“You’re going to start a war,” the theologian said. “If you write this book you’re planning, you will start a war. What you are saying—your approach to cosmology in light of all parties currently involved in the debate—is not one the world is ready to hear. And it doesn’t matter what your reasons are. As driven as you are to reach the lost through this message, if you write what you’re planning to write, you are literally begging for an unfathomably deep pool of argumentative agitators to surface from out of the woodwork on all sides and argue with you. Are you prepared to respond to all of them?”
This was the warning given in person to me (Donna Howell) and several other researchers from our Defender Publishing team a few years back. We were out to dinner with one of the most respected theologians of all time between presentations at a local conference. His chopped-steak-and-onions dinner was half-eaten, and then abandoned, halfway through the conversation, when it became clear to him that we were actually considering publishing a book like this.
“You can’t be serious,” he said, shocked by the implications of this research possibly being distributed across the US.
For a moment, I allowed myself to become intimidated by his cautionary words. I glanced at Dr. Thomas Horn—simply “Tom” to his inner circle—who was nonchalantly stabbing about his salad with ranch, unfazed.
“Yeah,” Tom said, poking at a cherry tomato. “Yeah, I’m serious. And yes, I know. This book will make some folks mad, but that’s true of anything we would attempt to write, anyway. SkyWatch Television and Defender Publishing have always been about addressing that one neglected subject. You know, the ‘topics the Church won’t touch.’ We’ve put our necks on the chopping block for years with media that tackles all kinds of bizarre subjects—aliens, UFOs, the Vatican and the pope, occultic symbolism embedded in the blueprints of the nation’s capital city, Deep-State deception, all that edgy stuff—and what, if anything, the Bible says about it all. We try to be fishers of men, all men, and that can’t be done if our end goal is to only speak or write about what has already been well covered in the scholarly world up to this point, right?”
“Okay, but,” the theologian interrupted, shaking his head. “I mean…you can’t possibly know how wildly you would provoke both the scientific world and the Body of Christ if you do this thing. I mean it. There’s ‘edgy’ and there’s ‘war,’ and this will be war!”
“Well,” Tom said with a smile. “A lot of people out there could potentially come to faith in God if they were equipped with the information this book would present. And, to answer your question: No, we would not feel obligated to respond to all the agitators. Christ didn’t in His day, did He? He simply gave people the truth and allowed them to accept or reject it, but He didn’t stand around arguing. Though it’s true we’re not perfect like He was, we can attempt as best we can to follow His model: Shed as much light on truth as possible and hope it reaches those who need it.”
The theologian blinked, took a sip from his iced tea, and nodded. “You got me there, Tom.”
“Besides,” Tom said with a chuckle, “don’t you agree that this radically different approach to the subject of Earth’s origins could be correct?”
“Oh, absolutely!” came the response. “It’s more than possible, it’s likely!”
“Then why can’t I convince you to write this? With your five thousand degrees in Bible studies and theology,” Tom sarcastically said with a wry grin, “you would be more than qualified.”
“Five thousand!” the theologian laughed. “It’s not quite to that number yet, but I’ll try not to disappoint you, Tom.” After the exchange of a few chuckles, he finally returned his attention to his meal. “No, sorry. I respect you and your team, Tom, but this ain’t my thing. You have no idea what kind of fallout would blow up my desk, my career, or my ministry if I tried to take this on. The compatibility between the Bible and science—from the angle you’re all coming from—would be a death knell.”
His answer was accepted, and that was the end of Tom’s attempt to recruit this individual in the project. The rest of our dinner was quite fun, and I felt honored to be in the presence of those brilliant minds who have more of my personal respect than any earthly language could articulate. But as the conversation went on regarding the relationship between science and the Bible, I couldn’t help but wonder why these words were being treated as two unrelated subjects.
They’re not unrelated, just so you know.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO:
THE EARTH IS OLD… AND YOUNG… WITH A PRE-GENESIS BATTLE? WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF TOHU, BOHU, AND THE CHAOS DRAGON?
Years passed, and Tom continued to propose this book to others. Each time, the answer was the same: These learned men of God with multiple doctorates in theology, who can quote and exegete with linguistic expertise the Bible’s most obscure and confusing passages, agreed the ideas presented herein were not only possible, they were likely. Some of the most respected scholars in all of Christian academia acknowledged that we were “onto something,” that “this explains everything,” that “it all fits,” and that “this cannot be left unwritten!” Yet, when they were given the opportunity to be the chief author, they were either too swamped with their own ministry demands (which was most often the case) or they felt the subject would “be too edgy for their ministry.”
I, however, kept digging…
Perhaps it was my passion for the deep research and dramatic conclusions we’ve drawn about the true origins of the Earth that led Tom to eventually choose me to assist him in writing this…and I knew one thing to be true from the very start. It is an irrefutable fact of human nature—proven by repetition throughout history, and well captured in the following famous statement frequently attributed to English psychologist, philosopher, anthropologist, sociologist, and biologist Herbert Spencer:
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is condemnation before investigation.
Let it sink in: A “bar” that stops the flow of “all information.” A rebuttal against false “proof” that obliterates “all argument” and destroys rare, priceless objectivity in the quest for transparent truth. A component of human communication that “cannot fail” to preserve and maintain the prison cell of man’s “everlasting,” yet familiar and comfortable “ignorance.”
What could be so powerful?
“Condemnation before investigation.” In other words, sacking a possibility before allowing the evidence to speak for itself, because people assume they already have all the answers, and those answers are incompatible with the posed theory. That is, the dismissal of all elements in an otherwise affable or progressive conversation—beliefs, opinions, points of view, contributing evidence, or irrefutable facts of an argument, debate, or examination of any topic—if the listener on one side does not hear what he wants to hear. If this recipient of new information finds his preconceived ideas, former training or education, long-held traditions, ideologies, principles, or creeds threatened by fresh data, he rejects it, embracing the prison of ignorance above that which is genuine. To do otherwise is to allow the investment he has placed in his former worldview to weaken and crumble out from under him, perhaps even damaging the reputation he holds among his peers as the one most knowledgeable on the subject and leaving him stranded, alone, and lonely on the island of enlightenment. To admit he may have been wrong is to admit a weakness and lose some or all of the support he’s accustomed to within his surroundings, so he chooses to keep good company, stay blind, and stand firm on the endlessly unstable ground called “error.”
The running narrative surrounding most “Old Earth” books—from both the secular world and the Church Body—is that the authors are “trying to make the Bible agree with science [or evolution],” or the other way around: “trying to make science [or evolution] agree with the Bible.” Both of these angles inherently miss the most critical and obvious factor in the room: God, the Creator of the universe, the Master Scientist who personally and joyfully crafted this planet and all the natural laws it bows to, is the one and only God over both science and the Bible. Therefore, neither true science nor the Word of God is in conflict with the other—once the emotional responses from all parties is stripped away and replaced with careful consideration of the mountains of evidence in support of their potential harmony.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO:
DID A GALACTIC BATTLE BEFORE THE CREATION OF ADAM & EVE RENDER EARTH “DARK AND VOID”?
To put this another way: 1) The Bible is God’s revelation to humanity, and nobody in the Church would disagree with this. 2) Earth is God’s Creation—His creative and very physical revelation to humanity—and, once again, nobody in the Church disagrees. If, then, both are His revelations, and if He is genuinely the immutable and indisputable God over both, then both the Word and the world must be pointing to one Truth, and are therefore irrefutably free of contradiction.
Why, then, do we see so many apparent contradictions?
Of utmost importance in the attempt to answer this question is an accurate treatment of the term “true science.” By this, I refer not to what conclusions within the scientific world have arisen through exclusively human origin—as the Bible bows to no man-made investigation, discovery, laboratory result, mathematic calculation, or observation of any kind—but to genuine reality as God has ordained it. Such a “genuine reality” in regard to cosmology and the origins of the universe is not easily found in any scientific journal or Bible study, since we remain finite humans whose grandest digs into the Word and world of God are personal and subjective, and therefore susceptible to endless error.
Nor do I claim under any circumstance to have been given dreams, visions, or divine revelation from God that makes the conclusions we’ve come to in this book the “genuine reality” superseding all other relative books or studies of this nature. That is absolutely not our purpose or goal.
I merely wish to uproot and set aside the nagging, chiding rebuke from voices on all sides that continuously suggest that taking the Bible and science together is wrong or sinful.
If God personally created the world, and He did—and if God personally guided the writers of Scripture to faithfully pen His self-revelation to all of mankind, and He did—then weaving these two threads together and seeking to find one accord between them is nothing short of a genuine act of worship.
This seemingly nonexistent and unique approach to harmonizing Scripture and science has been attempted by some in the past, but it has unfortunately been to the chagrin of many skeptics—inside and outside of the Body of Christ. In my humble opinion built from personal experience, this endeavor has (primarily) resulted in three responses: 1) The Church says the Bible should never be interpreted or reinterpreted in light of scientific discovery, because the Bible is the final, authoritative Word of God, and all other pursuits are fanciful, arrogant attempts to usurp His authority and place Him in a box that suits our ever-changing whims; 2) scientists say that because their work is demonstrable, transparent, and visible to all humanity, the incompatibilities of the biblical narrative prove the Word to be nothing more than archaic collections of irrelevant myths and fables that should be lost in the throes of history alongside all other literature originating from before our more enlightened eras of technological advancements and human achievement; 3) Christian or religious apologists—on both the Young Earth (the belief that our planet is around six thousand years old) and Old Earth (the belief that it is far more ancient as science identifies) sides—dedicate an exorbitant amount of time defending their beliefs by showing only the evidence that stacks in favor of their own research, while irresponsibly ignoring (or neglecting to respond to) glaring discoveries that render their conclusions ultimately impossible.
It is therefore extremely bold (and some would say audacious) to attempt a work like this that the first group considers heresy, the second group considers irrelevant, and the third group considers incorrect from every angle that does not complement their own findings.
In today’s American Body of Christ (not necessarily the Church in other areas of the world), Young Earth Creationism is, by far, the leading school of thought—so much so that those whose views and beliefs do not align with the Young Earth group are branded as liberal interpreters, as if they merely pick and choose what they want to believe from the Bible and discard the rest. An author such as myself and Dr. Horn who set out to present the case for an old planet Earth is, as we’ve heard within Defender Publishing circles countless times, “looking to start a war.”
From the bottom of my heart, that is not my intention. Much to the contrary, it is peace that I seek to spread, though it is a hand outstretched to the lost that I champion even above the comfort of agreeing with my Christ-believing fellows.
But above all else, I seek to make one thing clear: The Bible is THE Word of God, inerrant and infallible, God-breathed, and useful for all teaching, including those uncomfortable areas that plague our modern, heavily scientific world. It remains authoritative and relevant in all epochs, throughout human-guided investigation and discovery, and it is the corporate duty of Christ’s followers to recognize this. Therefore, it is to the Bible that I turn for answers regarding the question about our planet’s age that has unfortunately become the great divide separating believers from nonbelievers, the litmus test of whether a man or woman could ever come to the throne of a God whose Word is (apparently) in conflict with demonstrable, systematic studies in laboratories across the world. I am not driven by the need to “make the Bible agree with science”—as my faith in God is not shaken by even the most impressive of secular pursuits—but by my insatiable thirst to humbly reach out to those who are on the fence about “an unscientific God.” If the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Hebrews, the Jews, and the Gentiles is truly the God of Creation, too (as I believe He is), then He is the Supreme Scientist who made every observable thing in this world; He is not surprised by anything we find, and whatever lies at the absolute end of “true science”—be it an Old or a Young Earth—points back to Him indefinitely.
No one, of course, is required to agree with our research and findings. But my hope is that readers will see that we’ve taken great pains to faithfully present a biblical case for how the same God who created this planet, and all scientific pursuits within it, ultimately maintains control over what He formed “in the beginning”—however long ago that was.
So, are we “starting a war” here? And, if so, will it be worth it?
That depends on the war we’ve supposedly started. I’ll meet up with you later, in the book’s conclusion, to answer that question in a way that is, perhaps, quite unexpected.
UP NEXT: THE DEBATE