23 March 2011

God, deception, and young earthies

My life had a glancing pass of a statement of young-earth creationism yesterday, and I was reminded of some of the issues I have with the entire movement to push the Bible's message into the packaging of certain fundamentalists.

My concern is specifically for the Omphalos hypothesis, or the notion that the earth is young but that God created it to appear old - a position designed to reconcile geological data with the young-earth hermeneutic. (This, then, deteriorates into discussions about whether or not Adam and Eve had navels. *sigh*)

I have two nagging questions regarding the Omphalos hypothesis, and they both the same: Why?

Firstly, why is God interested in making the earth appear older than it really is? What purpose would he possibly have to deceive the people of earth into thinking that things are really much older than they actually are? This is quite peculiar behavior for one whose main purpose is to establish a relationship with his creation, specifically humanity, when we all know that strong ties do not start with half-truths or non-truths.

Secondly, why is it acceptable for God to deliberately deceive his own creation? This should not need elaboration, for it stands to reason that a trustworthy deity would necessarily act trustworthy at all times. Furthermore, I do believe that all of our theology - the parts that are actually built upon holy Scripture - tell us that God does not / can not deceive as part of his character of holiness.

Interestingly enough, this is simply one case (out of what would certainly be a long list) of our desire to win arguments that we are willing to sacrifice truth - even God's own stated character - to get there. So we should have a definite problem with those who would assert God's wisdom in deception by making the earth appear older than it actually is.

For a lie's a lie, no matter how small.

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