Isn't the Appearance of Age theory the most biblical theory of creation?
Jesus did not spend many years planting, farming, and harvesting the grapes for the matured wine he shared at the wedding. Neither did He have to fish for the mature fish he multiplied. It seems He and God transcend our concept of time and maturation issues, regularly, throughout the Bible including an unlimited cooking oil, large pillar of fire, matured fig tree for Jonah, etc. Sometimes I wonder if an almighty-powerful God is amused by our genetic/speciation/time theories on how his miracles came to be even though they do seem rather logical by our own standards. If we were able to extract DNA samples from the wine or bread He created 2000 years ago, it may look like it came from a grape cluster or 3 fish /2 bread. However, it could also have it’s own unique genetic information just like the snake that “evolved” from Moses’ rod could have had. But doing that seems to take away from the point of His miracles: to show His power to be outside of time/space etc. So If God said “let there be light” , “day,” “morning and evening” in Genesis 1, wouldn’t there be more *biblical *weight that supports the theory of an” appearance of age” for the creation of earth? Do you think Christians are on a slippery slope in regards to faith when trying to explain the maturation or “evolution” of His miracles?
You and I are about the only ones who are prepared to support the “appearance of age” theory. I agree that God could create the earth in six twenty-four periods and like Jesus with the wine and the fish, the earth could appear old at the time of its creation. It is interesting that Young Earth Creationists refuse to propose this explanation, as do Old Earth Creationists. They do so for different reasons. The YECs do not support the appearance of age theory because they want to claim that their theory is “scientific” and the appearance of age theory is clearly not “scientific.” OECs are unwilling to support the appearance of age theory because it is not “scientific.” It seems that both groups miss the point, which is that, no matter how you view it, the creation of the universe is not “scientific.” It is not “scientific” because the creation was a miracle.
So, I agree with you that it is interesting that almost no one is willing to use the appearance of age argument. I have published this theory and, although it definitely is not my favorite theory, I believe it should be considered and not rejected out of hand.
Now, let me explain why this is not my favorite theory. The fact is that the universe does in fact appear to be very old. In fact, the scientific evidence is quite consistent in terms of age and how the universe appears to have evolved. To me, the obvious explanation of the fact that the universe appears old and the earth appears old is that they are, in fact old. I do not believe that the Genesis creation account requires a literal interpretation of the days, and the scientific evidence tells me that the literal interpretation is likely to be incorrect.
Then there is the nature of the evidence the universe is old. If the universe and the universe are both only a few thousand years old, then a few facts need to be explained. For example, if we look at a galaxy which is one billion light years away, then we can assume that the light hitting our telescopes left that galaxy one billion years ago, which implies that the galaxy is in fact at least one billion years old. The appearance of age theorist can propose that the universe was created with the light already on the way to the earth. I suppose this is possible, but it seems like a big stretch. If this is true, then is that galaxy even there at all? Why would God create light on the way to the earth from a galaxy which is not even there? If the galaxy is in fact there, why would God create light which appears to have come from that galaxy, but did not come from that galaxy. Of course, God can do whatever he likes, and this is not an insurmountable problem. A similar question can be proposed. If God created the earth with an appearance of age, then dinosaurs in, fact, never lived. If that is true, then God created the earth with dinosaur fossils in the ground, even though dinosaurs never actually lived. Scientifically, this is an insurmountable problem. Either dinosaurs lived more than 65 million years ago, or they never existed, and the fossils are a record of species which never even existed.
Of course, God can do whatever he likes, but these are some reasons that I do not have the appearance of age theory as my favorite theory. It is my second favorite theory after the theory that the “days” of creation are metaphorical in the sense that they are not literal 24 hour periods, but they represent the successive periods of God’s creation.
So, I agree with you that the fact that almost all Christians reject the appearance of age theory does draw into question their belief that God can do whatever miracle he likes. In a sense, the fact that they reject this theory out of hand, could be thought of as evidence that they do not have as strong a sense of the miracles God can do as they ought. I agree with you in this sense. However, I do not agree with you that this is the best/most likely theory to explain the Genesis account and the scientific evidence. Is this a slippery slope toward rejecting that God works miracles? In my opinion, this is a bit over the top. The vast majority of OECs and YECs are very committed to the belief that God works miracles, so you might be overstating your case just a bit, but I understand where you are coming from on this one. I do not think that accepting the theory of evolution is equivalent to rejecting miracles. I say this because I know many who take this view and do not for a moment reject belief in miracles. In fact, I count myself among these people. I believe that the appearance of age theory ought not to be rejected out of hand, but it does not seem to me to be the most likely explanation of both the Bible and the scientific evidence.
I hope this helps.