Introduction — A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture
“How old is the universe?”
During the second Question and Answers period at the Ligonier Ministries 2012 National Conference, the speakers were asked this question in connection with the ongoing debate between Christians who think the universe is less than 10,000 years old and those who think it is much older. Dr. R.C. Sproul took about five minutes to answer the question, and what he said in that brief period of time should be heard by every Reformed Christian who is interested in this subject and by every Reformed Christian who is discussing and debating it.
Please take a few minutes to watch Dr. Sproul’s entire response.
The importance of what Dr. Sproul says in this response lies in the fact that he reminds us of certain issues that are necessary to a proper approach to this question, issues that are routinely mishandled, neglected, or simply ignored. Dr. Sproul, for example, reminds us of the source of both general and special revelation, the difference between God’s revelation (general or special) and our interpretation of that revelation, and the fallibility of our interpretations of both kinds of revelation. In doing so, he reminds us of several aspects of a distinctively Reformed approach to questions of science and Scripture that have been largely forgotten in the debates of the last several decades.
A Reformed approach to the age of the universe question that takes these issues into account is missing from much of the contemporary discussion. Because of the importance of the question, we will spend the next several weeks discussing in more detail the different issues raised in Dr. Sproul’s response.