Continuing the discussion from It is possible for the earth to appear old to science without it actually being old and without God being deceitful?:
God’s creation doesn’t “tell” us anything. It does not vocalize the age of the earth. It just is. So we should talk about what “science tells us,” or perhaps what other “studies of nature” tell us. Creation itself says nothing.
As Christians, we believe that our understanding of creation is fallen. We do not always clearly see the world. This should be obvious. Most of us are blind to our own mistakes and shortsightedness. We are not fundamentally logical or rational beings.
@Mike_Gantt’s analogy is helpful. Is the auto manufacturer deceptive for making a mirror labeled with “objects are closer than they appear”? Of course not, especially because their is a purpose in this distortion. One can not fault him if we came to a different conclusion by ignoring the written words.
Science, I remind you, ignores the written words. Its conclusions can be valid and correct (e.g. it looks like that car is far away through the mirror). However, things in this world are not always what they look like. I’m entirely opposed to Christians overruling science with theological concerns in the limited discourse of science. They have no right.
At the same time, the rule of science is to ignore the words. These words are also a type of evidence. They have to be taken into account when moving from “the earth looks like it is ancient” to “the earth is ancient.” Remember, as Christians, we have good reason to wonder if things are what they seem. Over and over again, we find that our view of the world is shaped by our fallen nature.
Of course, I personally affirm “the earth looks like it is ancient because it is ancient.” I came to this through both science and theology, not just science. Insisting that YECs that acknowledge the evidence for an earth are making “God deceitful” shuts down the more important question. In this case, are things as they seem or not? When we take into account the written words, how does that adjust our view?
@T_aquaticus have you read “Till We Have Faces” yet? This might help make sense of this. The synopsis on wikipedia is reasonable, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Till_We_Have_Faces. But I reccomend reading the book: https://www.amazon.com/Till-We-Have-Faces-Retold/dp/0156904365
It written by CS Lewis, but it is not a Christian book. It retells a Greek myth through the eyes of a pagan queen. It asks the question, “are the gods good or are they evil?” Things are not always what they seem. If it is that God exists, we should remember who judges who.
I entirely understand this is common argument made in the faith science conversation. So this is not specifically calling @Christy out.
My objection to this is emphatic and well considered. In theology, we do not think that the world is always as it seems. We are often misled in our understanding of it. Science in particular is limited. It only gives a partial view of the world.
I like how CS Lewis puts this in Is Theology Poetry?…
When I accept Theology I may find difficulties, at this point or that, in harmonising it with some particular truths which are imbedded in the mythical cosmology derived from science. But I can get in, or allow for, science as a whole. Granted that Reason is prior to matter and that the light of the primal Reason illuminates finite minds, I can understand how men should come, by observation and inference, to know a lot about the universe they live in.
If, on the other hand, I swallow the scientific cosmology as a whole, then not only can I not fit in Christianity, but I cannot even fit in science. If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees. And this is to me the final test.
This is how I distinguish dreaming and waking. When I am awake I can, in some degree, account for and study my dream. The dragon that pursued me last night can be fitted into my waking world. I know that there are such things as dreams; I know that I had eaten an indigestible dinner; I know that a man of my reading might be expected to dream of dragons. But while in the nightmare I could not have fitted in my waking experience.
The waking world is judged more real because it can thus contain the dreaming world; the dreaming world is judged less real because it cannot contain the waking one. For the same reason I am certain that in passing from the scientific points of view to the theological, I have passed from dream to waking. Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the subChristian religions. The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself.
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
It does not follow to call God “deceitful” because science cannot make complete sense of the world. One might as well call God deceitful for not giving a scientific way of proving genocide is wrong. Or call Him deceitful for being good while allowing suffering in the world. As Christian’s, we believe important things in this world are beyond our scientific reach.
Our world is not always what it seems.
Curious the thoughts of others…