Why OEC vs YEC?
by Brian Hearn
Just when you thought enough blood has been spilled in the Old Earth creationism (OEC) versus Young Earth creationism (YEC) debate, here comes another post to stir up trouble. I realize this is one of those insider disagreements we all wish would go away. That is probably why in twelve years of writing on apologetics I have not taken the time to really address the topic. I mean really, what is the point? You say YEC – I say OEC. Do we have to call the whole thing off? So instead of trying to prove billions is truer than thousands in a blog post, I want to share a personal apologetic perspective – one that leads us right back to the question: What is the point? What is our objective as insiders when debating the age of the universe?
The intersection of those who might read my blog and those who know little of the YEC/OEC conflict is probably near-zero. But just in case, Young Earth creationism holds to a literal, consecutive, 24-hour-day interpretation of the book of Genesis and places the age of the earth somewhere between about 6,000 and 10,000 years. Old Earth creationism is an eclectic position accepting a much older universe based on the current scientific view. There are all sorts of OEC variations covering a continuum from episodic supernaturalism through telic processes such as theistic evolution.  But ultimately under OEC, God is the Creator and the earth is very old by comparison to YEC.
For the record, I hold a 0.9 OEC view. That is, if I were to rate my certainty in the truth of OEC, it would be 90%. The exact number is not really important. Essentially, I am reasonably sure but leave the door cracked open for correction. To provide a little background: I was a nontheist until the age of 31 and unmoved by YEC growing up. After becoming a follower of Christ, I was informed by a few amicable believers the universe was actually a few thousand years old. If I wanted to hold to the true interpretation of Scripture, I was encouraged to come to grips with this. At the time, my immature faith was challenged by this view. The epistemic dissonance forced me to take an agnostic position until I could research it further. In other words, I swept it under the rug. But no honest and rational person wants to leave it at that. So I started reading and after a few good books [ii] came to realize I didn’t have to commit intellectual suicide over this issue. I learned how OEC fits in the Christian worldview…
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