Kind of a wordy title … but let me explain.
It happens that I chanced upon a pretty heated dialogue between two Christians online. The first was Glenn Morton, a former young-earth creationist who couldn’t square his beliefs with what he knew about geology, and the second was John Baumgardner, a geophysicist and young-earth creationist to the full.
Here is the discussion:
"Ok, John, I have stayed out of it up until now. Such a statement is simply nonsense. There is no evidence of a global flood in the rocks. A 36,500 foot pile of sediment (which is not exceptional) means that 100 feet per day of sediment must have been deposited ON AVERAGE during a one year flood. That means 4 feet per hour. Most burrowers can’t burrow that quickly and would quickly be buried.
Ophiomorpha, a burrower in marine sediments lines its burrows with its fecal pellets. Why do we see fecal pellets lining a burrow in Jurassic sediments of the North Sea (see picture below). Why can I regularly find burrows throughout an entire well bore? Burrows in these well-bores occupy thousands of feet of sediment.
But here are a couple of pictures for you. The Jurassic ophiomorpha burrow with fecal pellets lining the burrow and one of the core photos with thousands of feet of burrowed sediment. Please explain how this happens in a global flood.
John, there is NO evidence of a global flood in the rocks."
That was Glenn Morton speaking. Later in the discussion John Baumgardner replies with the following:
""One thing that strikes me in this interaction is how little respect for God and His Word exists in this place. Most seem oblivious that they face a judgment before a terrible Judge who will not look upon their mockings and blasphemies lightly. One of those this Judge carefully mentored wrote “that in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming?’” This spokesman for the Judge predicted the sort of mocking I have observed on this site. But observe the excuse for their mocking the idea of the Judge’s return: “For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” They appeal to a uniformitarian understanding of the earth and its past in which there has been no divine interventions in the realm of the physical. The spokesman then points out that to make such an appeal these mockers are being willfully ignorant of God’s destruction of the world by water in the Flood. This passage in 2 Peter 3:3-6 predicts a future time when mockers, by willful ignorance of God’s horrendous judgment of the world recorded in Genesis 6-8,instead adopt a materialist interpretation of physical world that excludes divine action past or future. I therefore with trembling appeal to you to turn from this Satanic snare and be saved from the certain loss into which it leads.
The Bible does not equivocate concerning the reality that the Flood was physical judgment of the entire planet. The words mean what they say, regardless of the protests the scoffers may throw up. Christians are also playing with fire when they willfully ‘sit in the seat of scoffers’ and advocate a hermeneutic that in effect makes God a liar.
So despite all the scoffing and ridicule, based on the confidence I have in who the Judge is and also on my awareness of the Bible’s integrity and reliability, I stand on my conclusion that the Flood was a world-destroying cataclysm responsible for all but the topmost portion of the Phanerozoic rock record. There will be a day when the truth of this matter evident to all. Pascal frequently spoke to his friends in terms of his famous wager. This is a different wager, but you all now know where I have placed my entire lot of chips."
Obviously this discussion is tense. My question is twofold:
Question #1: Which person, Glenn Morton or John Baumgardner, better displayed the Christian attitude (or spirit?) in how seriously they take Scripture and how seriously they take Nature? (It would be helpful also to use Bible passages to make your point and not just mere opinion).
Question #2: What does 2nd Peter 3 truly communicate? Was Peter really making a case against the future use of Uniformitarianism in regards to the Flood, like Baumgardner et al fervently imply? I know of other Bible passages, and Second Temple texts that would seem to say something different. What was the context and subject matter of Peter’s epistle?
I think this conversation demonstrates pretty accurately the positions of both sides — I appreciate any and all thoughts on the matter.