Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Augustine Did Not Support Old-Earth Views

There are professing Christians who falsely claim that the church fathers believed that the earth was far older than Scripture indicates, and that biblical (young age) creationists are wrong. It would be a mighty big help if they did their homework on people like Augustine.

Professing Christians who claim that Augustine and other church fathers should do their homework. They dishonestly claim that those were old-earthers.
St. Augustine in his Study, Sandro Botticelli, 1490
It is important to note that Augustine did not consider his writings to be sacred writ, his views changed in some areas, and he freely admitted that his understanding was imperfect. It did not help matters much that he was unskilled in Hebrew and Greek, and he had access to weak Bible translations. He believed that everything was created in an instant (he should have consulted Exodus 20:11, 31:17). Old-earthers must reject the global Flood as well. While Augustine was in no wise a young-earth creationist as we understand the term, claims that he believed like the pagans that Earth was far older are disingenuous.
Old-earthers claim Augustine as support for figurative interpretations of Genesis 1. But what did Augustine really say? In the video series The Great Debate (watch | buy), AiG’s Ken Ham, Jason Lisle, debate astronomer Hugh Ross (of Reasons to Believe) and Bible scholar Walter Kaiser (of Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary). Both of the latter are Christians who believe that the creation is billions of years old. The debate series was hosted by old-earth proponent John Ankerberg on his television show in early 2006.

On AiG’s DVD release of the debate, AiG historian of geology Terry Mortenson offered extensive commentary from a young-earth creationist perspective. The following article is rooted in Dr. Mortenson’s commentary on Ross’s and Kaiser’s appeal to Augustine in defending old-earth ideas.

This may seem like a study for academics, but it is both interesting and relevant. To finish reading, see "Augustine on the Days of Creation". 


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