ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview
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ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview

Otangelo Grasso: This is my library, where I collect information and present arguments developed by myself that lead, in my view, to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation for the origin of the physical world.

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Did the church fathers believe in a young or old earth ?

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Did the church fathers believe in a young or old earth ?

The first Church Father who mentions the days of Creation is Barnabas (not Paul’s companion) who wrote a letter in AD 130. He says:

“Now what is said at the very beginning of Creation about the Sabbath, is this: In six days God created the works of his hands, and finished them on the seventh day; and he rested on that day, and sanctified it. Notice particularly, my children, the significance of ‘he finished them in six days.’ What that means is, that He is going to bring the world to an end in six thousand years, since with Him one day means a thousand years; witness His own saying, ‘Behold, a day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, my children, in six days – six thousand years, that is – there is going to be an end of everything.” (The Epistle of Barnabas 15)

Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (AD 120 – 202), was discipled by Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who had himself been taught by the Apostle John. He tells us clearly that a literal Adam and Eve were created and fell into sin on the literal first day of Creation (an idea influenced by the Rabbis). He writes:

“For it is said, 'There was made in the evening, and there was made in the morning, one day.' Now in this same day that they did eat, in that also did they die.”

Hippolytus, Bishop of Portus, near Rome (AD 170 – 236), was trained in the faith by Irenaeus, and like his mentor, he held to literal Creation days. He writes:

“And six thousand years must needs be accomplished… for 'a day with the Lord is as a thousand years.' Since, then, in six days God made all things, it follows that 6,000 years must be fulfilled.”

Lactantius, a Bible scholar (AD 260 – 330) who tutored Emperor Constantine’s son, Crispus, taught the official Christian doctrine of the traditional church. He wrote:

“To me, as I meditate and consider in my mind concerning the creation of this world in which we are kept enclosed, even such is the rapidity of that creation; as is contained in the book of Moses, which he wrote about its creation, and which is called Genesis. God produced that entire mass for the adornment of His majesty in six days…. In the beginning God made the light, and divided it in the exact measure of twelve hours by day and by night….”



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