My oldest son (now 13) goes to a private Christian School (which we really like). And right now they are studying issues of the origin of the earth and creationism and how all of that gets reconciled with dinosaurs, etc. So, we have been having a lot of conversations as he tries to reconcile what he believes with what his dad believes with what his science teacher believes (and no…they don’t all agree). But in the conversations I began to really appreciate that I was brought up in a church (as conservative as it was) that placed a high value on God’s Word as authority, and yet, at the same time had a teacher(s) who allowed me to believe:
- That the earth is millions of years old (as opposed to about 6000).
- That dinosaurs and humans did not co-exist.
- That “a day” in Genesis does not have to be literally understood as a 24-hour day.
- That the Grand Canyon had better explanations than the result of the Noahic flood.
- That dinosaurs didn’t have to ride on Noah’s ark, nor were they all plant-eating hospitable creatures who allowed human children to ride on their back.
- That the exact timing of creation, or the methods in which God ultimately choose by way of creation, are questions that are largely imposed by us on the text, rather than answers the Scripture is trying to provide for us.
- That science and faith don’t have to be enemies; and as a person of faith, I don’t have to reject every scientific finding as a threat to my “balloon” of faith.
AND AT THE SAME TIME have complete confidence in the authority of Scripture and the power of God.
Thus, carbon dating (with all of its potential error) doesn’t scare me. Nor does it shake my faith in God even a bit.
You may disagree on some of the above. And you are more than welcome to do so. Your dissenting opinion on this matter doesn’t disturb me either. I just want my 13-year old to be able to conclude for himself these matters and do so in a way that might someday allow him to stare at dinosaur bones and not have a crisis of faith.