‘Sooner or later, anyone involved in the subject of Christian apologetics will be asked about the existence of death and suffering. The question can take many forms: Why is there so much suffering in the world? Why does God allow it? What about suffering caused by natural evil? Historically, the Christian response to this question has been to explain that the original creation, which was declared by God to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31), did not contain such aberrations as death and suffering. Apologists then typically point to the historical event of the Fall as that which allowed sin and death to enter and corrupt the created order (Romans 8:20–22). Such a response is a biblical one, yet many are seemingly oblivious that this answer can only be used consistently within a ‘young-Earth’ framework. While correctly pointing to the Fall as an explanation for death and suffering, many apologists who accept the evolutionary long-age paradigm of earth history are unaware of the massive inconsistency. Old-Earth belief directly undercuts the biblical defence against objections posed by death and suffering. The secular paradigm is built upon ‘dating’ methods and assumptions which place death, suffering, disease, cancer and carnivorous activity long before the Fall of man. Thus, pointing to the Fall as the terminus a quo2 for death and suffering is logically inconsistent, and many thoughtful skeptics have picked up on this.’
‘A recent example occurred on the Unbelievable podcast hosted by Justin Brierley. This is the UK’s leading apologetics podcast that brings believers and unbelievers together for discussion and debate. I listen to the show regularly and greatly enjoy the content. Recently, an episode aired which featured Christian philosopher Paul Copan.3 Paul is well known for his book Is God a Moral Monster? which attempts to explain many of the difficult passages in the Old Testament (see also this review of Copan’s book, co-authored with William Lane Craig, Creation out of nothing). As part of the show, listeners were invited to submit questions for him. The central part of the show featured what I considered an illuminating, yet frustrating, exchange between Paul and an atheist caller.’
‘This sorry episode clearly demonstrates that the age of the earth is not a secondary, peripheral issue, related only to the creation-evolution debate. It is absolutely pivotal in determining how we answer fundamental questions relating to death and suffering. If we are inconsistent, astute sceptics, like this caller, will pick up on it. It also demonstrates the irrational fear that so many Christian apologists have over the age issue, causing them to repeatedly make these types of contradictory statements. This fear seems to be driven by the incorrect assumption that deep time has been irrefutably demonstrated. However, such an assumption is unwarranted given the abundant evidence available today that the deep time paradigm is flawed.
The solution really is quite simple: rather than trying to invent different explanatory models or interpretations of Genesis that can accommodate millions of years, we need to realise that the Bible can and should be taken at face value. Its explanation for the origin of suffering and death needs no alteration and the problem only appears when secular evolutionary assumptions are imported into our theology (see Plumbing and paradigms). It is those compromising assumptions that need to be thrown out! Only then can we present the biblical explanation of death and suffering without contradictions.’ https://creation.com/age-of-the-earth-christian-apologists?utm_campaign=infobytes_au&utm_content=Popular+Christian+apologist+explains+away+%27very+good%27+creation&utm_medium=email&utm_source=mailing.creation.com&utm_term=AU+World+IB+-+2018.04.13
The truth of the matter is that there really are no secondary doctrines. All Bible doctrine is important.