My previous 2 blog posts demonstrated the Bible unequivocally teaches a recent, or young, creation. Many Bible-believing, old-earth Christians think so, too:
Gleason Archer: “From a superficial reading of Genesis 1, the impression would seem to be that the entire creative process took place in six twenty-four-hour days.”
William Dembski: “For those who regard the Scriptures as authoritative and accurate (as I do), a young-earth interpretation of Genesis seems natural and fitting.”
Theologian R. C. Sproul is right when he states that “one must do a great deal of hermeneutical gymnastics to escape the plain meaning of Genesis 1-2.”
To be clear, the age of the earth is neither a barometer for orthodoxy, nor a salvation issue, but it does present problems regarding biblical authority and interpretation. One particular point of contention involves Genesis 7:17-21:
17 Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18 The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. 20 The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. (NKJV)
Because of their belief in millions and billions of years for the age of the earth, most old-earth Christians reject the idea of a global flood as revealed in Genesis. One commonly proposed “hermeneutical gymnastic” to get around the idea of a universal flood is demonstrated by Gleason Archer:
In explanation of this assertion, it needs to be pointed out that the Hebrew ʾereṣ, translated consistently as “earth” in our English Bibles, is also the word used for “land” (e.g., the land of Israel, the land of Egypt). There is another term, tēbēl, which means the whole expanse of the earth, or the world as a whole. Nowhere does tēbēl occur in this account, but only ʾereṣ, in all the statements which sound quite universal in the English Bible (e.g., [Genesis] 7:4, 10, 17, 18, 19). Thus, Gen. 6:17c can be rendered: “Everything that is in the land shall die”—that is, in whatever geographical region is involved in the context and situation. If this interpretation be allowed, then the mountains whose summits were submerged by the flood would have been the relatively lower mountains of the region surrounding Mesopotamia.
Hank Hanegraaff, radio’s Bible Answer Man, likewise proposes that
the biblical text is not designed to communicate whether the Flood was global with respect to the earth or universal with respect to humanity. That debate is ultimately settled by a proper “reading” of the book of nature (Psalm 19:1–4). Finally, since civilization was largely confined to the Fertile Crescent, we need not automatically presume that the floodwaters covered the globe.
Even were we to grant that the word translated “earth” in the Genesis Flood account could also mean “land,” “under the whole heaven” in Gen. 7:19 clearly implies a world-wide flood, and if the Flood was indeed limited in extent, that raises several other objections:
1. If the flood covered an area even the size of the Fertile Crescent, or bigger, why would not the men and animals in the path of the flood simply move away from the flood waters, particularly since it took several weeks for the waters to cover the mountains?
2. If the flood was local, how could it have possibly covered the local mountains for a period of at least 150 days (see Gen. 7:24, 8:3)? Since water finds its own level, the flood waters would surely quickly flow down and away from the flooded areas once the rain stopped and the “fountains of the deep” (where were those, anyway?) were closed.
3. Why would a local flood, even one lasting over a year, require an ark that was 450-500 feet long, 75-80 feet wide, and 45-50 feet high—a capacity equal to hundreds of railroad cars—to protect a family of 8 and mating pairs of every kind of local animals?
If we deny that Genesis, plainly read and understood, teaches a recent creation and a global Flood, why would we expect non-Christians and other Bible doubters to accept what God’s word also teaches about the virgin birth of Jesus? His death and resurrection? The miracles Jesus performed, and how they demonstrated His claim to be the Son of God? Rejecting the young-earth chronology found in Genesis, while not a salvation issue, seriously undermines the authority and historicity of the Bible. Rather than use fallible, sinful Man’s ideas about the past to reinterpret the Bible, why don’t we instead trust in God, a perfect “eyewitness to His creative acts [Who] has given us an eyewitness account in His Word, the Bible.” Sola Scriptura!
 Gleason Archer, Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 196. Logos Bible Software.
 William Dembski, The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2009), 51-52.
 R. C. Sproul, Truths We Confess: A Layman’s Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith, Volume 1: The Triune God (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2006), 127-28, as quoted by Dembski, 54.
 Norman Geisler, “Genesis, Days Of,” Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 273. Logos Bible Software.
 Archer, 216.
 Hank Hanegraaf, “Does Genesis Confirm the Reality of a Global Flood?,” in The Creation Answer Book (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012), last modified February 10, 2014, accessed October 9, 2017. http://www.equip.org/bible_answers/genesis-confirm-reality-global-flood/.
 Archer, 216.
 David Wright, “How Can You Claim the Bible is God’s Eyewitness Account of History?,” modified June 23, 2006, accessed October 9, 2017. https://answersingenesis.org/bible-history/bible-is-gods-eyewitness-account-of-history/.