Wagner Email Bag: Does Carbon Dating Disprove A Younger Earth Belief?


From: XXX
To: pastoraloffice
Subject: I Respectfully Disagree


Thank you for you courageous leadership throughout the years and your call for full devotion to Jesus. It’s been a breath of fresh air in a culture of weak churches and lukewarm leadership. Attending Watermark has awakened me to the gloriousness of the gospel and what it really means to follow Jesus.

Now to the subject line of the email. I respectfully disagree with some point you made in your recent “Real Truth. Real Quick” podcast on dinosaurs and the bible, specifically the theory of new earth. I don’t disagree with the fact that God could create an aged earth –after all he is God…only that it seems unlikely. If there is an infinite God with infinite time, why cram it in to 6000 (or so) years? Why create aged dinosaur bones and aged rocks etc to create a perception of age that simply isn’t true? On the contrary, the idea that God spent hundreds of millions (billions?) of years creating earth for us actually reaffirms the idea that God holds his human creation as extremely precious. This may be out of context but “one day is like a thousand years” to God (2 Peter 3:8). Why try to put limits on the God of the universe by cramming creation in to a human timeline?

Secondly – the assumption of a young earth spits in the face of sound scientific procedures such as carbon dating. We have very good evidence (again marketing major talking here, take with a grain of salt) that many things of this earth are reallllly old. Hundreds of millions of years old. To say the earth is really 6000 or so years old is like saying “the pen is blue” when the pen is black. Sounds evidence simply indicates otherwise. I hate to say this, but I fear it makes the Christian appear foolish to reject such strong empirical evidence, especially to the non-Christian.

One of the best things I have learned through work is that it is ok to say “I don’t know”. I find it endearing when someone that has the humility to take that stance. In this case, I don’t know. No one knows because they are not God. I do know God is good. I have seen lives radically changed because of his goodness. I would hate to turn someone off to God over something as trivial as how God created the universe. The fact is he did and we are here now.

Thanks again for your leadership Todd. To paraphrase your sermon a few weeks ago, “you are my pastor”. I don’t think that means we have to agree on everything, especially the non-essentials…and I think this is a non-essential.

Don’t’ worry I have copied my community group as well.




From: pastoraloffice <pastoraloffice@watermark.org>
Subject: RE: I Respectfully Disagree


I’m really encouraged by your email and the fact that you CC’d your community group. Way to go! I agree that this issue is a non-essential and love your trust in God despite things we don’t understand. What an encouragement.

To respond more to your email, as a reminder, in the RTRQ I said I’m more of a young earth guy and believe that it’s definitely closer to thousands of years than it is millions. Also, I found a few articles that talk about the unreliability of carbon dating, as well as a classic example in history of geologists and others who have observed things happening much faster than they hypothesize were previously believed (Carlsbad Caverns). The world has real ramifications in our ability to trust and defend Scripture, and I’m praying we keep trusting God’s Word as we see it unfold in the world around us.

Hope this is helpful and that I get to meet you next time I am out in Fort Worth!


– Todd

(Below you will find the episode of Real Truth. Real Quick. titled “What’s The Biblical View On Dinosaurs?”)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Wagner Email Bag: Does Carbon Dating Disprove A Younger Earth Belief?

  1. I really enjoy these discussions. I work with a passionate Jesus-following geoscientist (I’m at an oil company) that believes and operates from an “old earth” perspective. I’ve often taken the bit of a cop-out Job 38:4 in such conversations – “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.” Love the deep mysteries of God.

    Yet, I came across this Orthodox Jewish scientist in Israel who answered the question of whether the earth is billions of years old OR if creation until man is a literal six days with a simple – “yes”.

    This is his biblical and scientific reason why both may be true – http://www.geraldschroeder.com/AgeUniverse.aspx

    Also blows my mind! Thanks for the fun Saturday morning. Already talking about this with my kids 🙂