Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Week(s) (02/10/11)

TITLE: Between ten and twenty
By Gregory Kane


Doris shifted uncomfortably as Professor Hargreaves climbed into the pulpit. Moments later, the lecturer's opening words only confirmed her worst fears: "The bothersome God of the Bible is dead. The God of this modern age is a much more reasonable deity."

Professor Hargreaves quoted a number of eminent geologists and physicists, citing their opinions as proof that religion must always take second place to science. He then proceeded to lambaste the mediaeval church for their treatment of Galileo, saying that were it not for the plucky Italian, people would still be insisting that the world was flat.

Moving on to evolution and the Big Bang, the professor took obvious pleasure in belittling those Christians who held to a literal six days of creation, dubbing them narrow-minded simpletons whose greatest intellectual challenge came from understanding the index in their antediluvian hymn-books.

Doris had had enough. Letting rip an injudicious cry of "Blasphemy!" she burst through the broad oak doors of the chapel and fled into the college grounds. Twenty minutes later Dean Andrews grew weary of the pretentious prattling and made his own excuse to leave. As he padded along the verge of the well manicured lawn, he found himself drawn to the girl's soft but persistent sobs.

"There, there, my dear," the Dean said in what he hoped was a vaguely reassuring tone. "Don't you go letting old Herbert Hargreaves get the better of you. He has an inflated view of his own self-importance and a churlish fondness for lampooning his opponents. Now, judging by your recent essays, I would surmise that you hold to a 'young earth' view of creation."

"That's right, sir. I believe God created the world in six days. Afterwards he rested on the Sabbath."

"And this took place how long ago?"

"In 4004BC"

"I see. And where exactly do the Scriptures state this?"

"Er, they don't as such. But Bishop Ussher did the calculation and everyone accepts it. Are you saying that you side with Professor Hargreaves?"

"Not at all, Doris. But as a member of this faculty I see it as my duty to teach you to employ your gray matter, a skill that seems largely to have fallen out of fashion in the modern church. Ussher had a phenomenal grasp of history but he based his calculation on the assumption that the Old Testament genealogies were complete. Hence when Genesis states that Cush "begat" Nimrod, Ussher took it that Cush was the biological father of Nimrod. You should know by now from your studies that Hebrew is not that precise a language. When the Bible says "father" it sometimes means "forefather." There could conceivably have been a gap of several generations between Cush and Nimrod, allowing for somewhat longer than your minimum 6000 years. You only have to examine Matthew's list of the ancestors of Jesus to see that it too contains noticeable gaps in its genealogy."

Doris' immediate impulse was to quote her pastor's sermon from the previous Sunday. In a manner uncomfortably similar to Professor Hargreaves', he had branded as heretical anyone who held a contrary view of creation. If man came from monkeys, he had hollered, his spittle reaching as far as the second row, then every word of Scripture was a bare-faced lie. Just then an unusual thought struck the young theological studentó in a recent sermon on the Mark of the Beast, her pastor had asserted that grocery bar codes all contain the digits 6-6-6. Yet when Doris had checked the shelves in her pantry, she had discovered that her minister sometimes got it wrong.

"Aha, I see that something has registered. Does this mean we have a serious brain underneath all that faith and righteous indignation?"

"It does make me wonder, sir, about that genealogy from Noah's flood through to Abraham. It is hard to imagine how mankind could have repopulated the entire earth in only eleven generations."

"I agree. My personal view is that the world may be between ten and twenty thousand years old."

"But that still allows for seven days of creation, doesn't it?"

Dean Andrews smiled as he turned to resume his stroll. "It does indeed. But you will come across Christians who in all good conscience hold to differing views. Don't allow anyone to spoon feed you their pet ideas as if they were gospeló especially not doddery old Hargreaves. Decide for yourself what makes the most sense and hold fast to your convictions. Live like this, Doris, and you won't go far wrong."


P.S. The more astute reader may have noticed that Professor Hargreaves' reference to Galileo was entirely inaccurate. The Italian astronomer was challenged over his [correct] view that the earth orbited the sun. No one in that day and age seriously considered that the world was flat. Christopher Columbus had set off more than a century before to find a short cut to China by heading west across the Atlantic. Not that Hargreaves would have admitted his mistake of course ...

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 532 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kellie Henningsen02/20/11
Lots to think about in this one!
Margaret Kearley 02/22/11
Well written and thought-provoking. I long that Doris will not be drawn away
by unbelief, humiliation or more subtle 'clever reasoning'. Many great Professors will have much to answer for won't they, by causing the young to fall away from the faith (Matthew 18:6)
Henry Clemmons02/22/11
It is thought provoking. Very well written. Bold and brave sentences. I'm familiar with the gap theory and many others. An interesting read, but I am just glad Jesus got here, regardless if it took 4,000 years or a million. Enjoyed your entry very much.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/22/11
Made me think! I've been wondering about a number of things lately, none of which is out-of-line with biblical teaching and faith--just things that we won't know for sure till we get to heaven. This was written excellently.
Lollie Hofer02/22/11
This was deep for sure. I'm glad you made the Galileo correction at the end. I was wondering where that was going. To me what you're saying is, "On either side of the argument, don't take everything you hear at face value. Research, study, pray...use the brain God blessed you with." Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/22/11
This is a great story. The characters felt so real. I especially liked how you didn't criticize Christians who might have differing opinions. I asked my pastor once if he believed the age of the earth was 6,000 years or something different His profound answer was he could see God doing it either way the numbers of years the earth has been around isn't important as long as we know it was God's plan and believe m Jesus those are the important things.
Amanda Brogan02/22/11
Great story for "weeks"! (I'm one of those who holds to the six-day-creation/young earth view. :) ) Being a huge fan of personal research, I loved the point you made that everyone should study for themselves and use their own "grey matter" to come to a logical conclusion.

Well done!
Rachel Phelps02/22/11
I appreciated this story very much. As someone who grew up in a house of "Listen to what we tell you and don't question it," I was amazed by how much closer to God I became when I moved away to college and was encouraged to seek out answers based on my own mind and dialogues with God. Thank you for an excellent story.
Bonnie Bowden 02/23/11
What a well thought out piece. It is so important to rely on the Bible and not on man's interpretations of it.

Some questions;however,will never be answered.