by David Catchpoole

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend” says Proverbs 27:6, so with that in mind, I went to see my Christian friend Graham, the principal of a Christian school, who didn’t (and, sadly, still does not) share my ‘young-earth creation’ views. (Now semi-retired, Graham still teaches at Christian schools part-time.) With his long-age views, I was grieved that he was thus defrauding himself of key ministering opportunities to the children in his charge, and I was eager to do my utmost to rectify that.

“Graham, tell me, have any of the children in your care ever asked you, ‘Sir, why did my pet have to die?’

Graham answered that they had indeed. “What did you tell them?” I asked him.

“That animals have to die, that’s the way it is, always has been—the God-ordained natural order of things.” And then, evidently knowing where the conversation was heading, Graham said defensively, “The Bible only says there was no human death before the Fall,” and proceeded to cite favourably the writings of ‘day-age/progressive creationist’ Hugh Ross and others of the organization Reasons to Believe. (Which have been comprehensively rebutted in Dr Jonathan Sarfati’s book Refuting Compromise.)

I won’t go here into all the details of our ensuing discussion. Suffice to say, I was frustrated and sad—sad for Graham, and sad for those many youngsters in his sphere of influence. Not least because such long-age compromise is all so unnecessary (as well as destructive)—there’s a plethora of resources and freely-available information online which shows that true science supports a straightforward reading of the biblical account of origins. No death or suffering before Adam sinned, no carnivory before the Fall, all the animals were originally vegetarian. Young children exposed to their first-ever animal death, and distressed by it, intrinsically know that something isn’t right, though ignorant of the event in history which caused it….

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