A Question on the Age of the Earth

Question: What does Scripture tell us about the age of the earth? To be true to God’s Word, is it necessary to believe that the Genesis account of creation refers to six literal 24-hour periods?

For years I have been pulled both ways on this issue. The scientific evidence is largely in favor of an old earth, but the biblical evidence seems to favor a young earth. Both sides have strong arguments and weak arguments, and we lack the necessary information and understanding to resolve the problems on both sides.

That being said, the best case I’ve seen for young earth creationism is Walt Brown’s In the Beginning (the whole book is available online here). Hugh Ross, on the other hand, is the best advocate for an old earth (some of his creation-related resources are here). I think the evidence for both viewpoints should be considered.

An interesting new perspective on this issue is presented by William A. Dembski in The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World (view here on Amazon). A helpfully detailed review (written by Stephen Blake) is here.
 
Additionally, consider going through “The Six Days of Genesis,” a presentation based on The Science of God by Dr. Gerald Schroeder. The SixDay Science site’s introduction to the presentation explains: “Was the universe created and developed in just six days? Is it possible to reconcile a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 with a billions-year-old universe? We address these questions … .”

For Further Exploration: