by Jojo Ruba
Those of you who’ve ever been in ministry or have friends in it, know the old adage that the work never stops—and it doesn’t. But thank God that He commands us to stop once in a while and take some time off.
That’s why I’m grateful for my parents who took me with them on vacation to the Grand Canyon a few weeks ago. I’ve never seen it before, and visiting it made me appreciate why it is known as one of the Wonders of the World.
When I was looking through one of many gift shops at the Grand Canyon National Park, I was reminded that it’s really hard to escape work when the work you do is talking about God. That’s because I saw a book at this secular store called The Grand Canyon: Monument to an Ancient Earth. Its subtitle was even more provocative: Can Noah’s Flood Explain the Grand Canyon? At first, I thought the book was going to attack or belittle Christianity because many of the other books in the store did. They implied that their views of Darwin or evolution were unassailable and that Christians had no reason to disagree. Besides, I thought, why would a secular park even have a book talking about Noah, unless it was to discredit him. But as I skimmed through the book, I realized it wasn’t attacking Christianity at all.
Instead, the book was written by Christians who believe the earth is old. This view is called Old Earth Creationism (OEC). They provided arguments for why they believed the Bible doesn’t actually give a specific age of the earth, and that passages in Job and Psalms suggest that the earth is old. At the very least, they wanted to show how both the OEC and the YEC (Young Earth Creationism) view can be biblical. It was even endorsed by some of the Christian apologists we have heard in Calgary.
At first, I was pleasantly surprised that a secular bookstore would carry such a book. Here were self-professing Christians selling their materials about the Grand Canyon at the Grand Canyon. At the same time, I was disappointed that the YEC view wasn’t represented either. It would have been good to see both views represented.
At FBB, we’re often asked about our views of the age of the earth and the simple answer is, it depends who you ask. Our volunteers and staff all have different views of how old the earth is and we respect both sides. What we agree on is that we can’t even get to a discussion with most skeptics about how God made the universe unless we first make the case that God made the universe. It isn’t that we don’t see the age of the earth as an important discussion. Rather, we see it as a discussion that happens among believers, while providing evidence that God made the universe is a discussion that happens with non-believers—and that discussion is essential if we want to reach a hurting world for Christ.
When we got to another part of the Grand Canyon, we saw this little sign tucked by another store:
Seeing this simple message showed me why we need to talk about things like the age of the earth but also why helping people see Who made the earth, is much more important. It reminds us of Who made the Grand Canyon grand.