"For me, extending the age of the earth raises a far more profound, pertinent, and perplexing problem: It calls into question the very nature of God.
Since “the fall” when thorns and thistles and other calamitous evils prevailed, misery has been endemic on this planet. A recent internet post postulated that the Old Testamemt had more violence that the Quran.Violence implies murder , rape, genocide, torture and every imaginable atrocity.’
My answer to this very important question is:
God cannot do the logically impossible. God cannot create a married bachelor. God cannot create a mostly free and autonomous system where wrong choices will never be made!
Let me state this again: God is not able to do the logically impossible, such as create a world with ‘free and autonomous’ creatures where wrong choices and/or mutations do not happen!
If God would create a closed system with no free choice it would be like the garden without the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” peopled by totally ignorant beings, unable to relate as rational creatures—preprogrammed automata.
Augustine in his apologetics manual
The Enchiridion, writes, “God judged it better to bring good out of evil than not to permit any evil to exist.”
The Creator made possible the above outcome by creating beings with free will and moral aptitude who would choose their own destinies.
The Creator, before he created, took responsibility for “all” the effects of freedom that ‘open creation’ would unleash in human society. God did this by punishing himself on the Cross, taking the responsibility for our sin. God did this from the beginning. “Foreordained before the foundation of the world, but manifested at the end of time for your sake." I Pet. 1:20
"The Lamb . . . was slain from the foundation of the world." Rev. 13:8
We see from these verses that The Creator, from his eternity, saw and re-acted to the sin situation before it actually ‘happened’ in the stream of earth-based time!
If this were not so then when mankind first sinned, mankind would have died “that very day.” Gen. 2:17.
Symbols of the Cross were placed on mankind before the event the symbols pointed to happened. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Gen. 3:21
The need for Calvary was “foreknown” and the benefits of the Cross proactively applied. “Who saved us according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ before the world began.” II Tim. 1:9
The Creation Provision
The reality of the death of Christ on Calvary was pro-actively applied to mankind in the garden, thousands of years before the event. In the same way, the effects of sin (death) were applied to nature before creation.
The Creator, before He created, would foreknow perfectly the negative outcomes due to free choice, and from the beginning He would design nature with the ability to adapt and maintain balance.
Nature was “made subject to vanity, not of its own [God’s] will . . .” Rom. 8:20 which is not referring to Adam but to God.
Death and predation–“Vanity” according to Paul, would be a reality until the “restoration of all things.” Acts 3:21
The Creator, in the final day, would free nature from this “bondage and corruption.” Paul again reminds us, “The creature was made subject to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him [God] who subjected the same in hope.” Rom. 8:20
“In Hope!” There is an inner sense in human hearts that something is wrong with this world, and a desire or hope for a “better country.” There is a hope in the heart of man for God, and a sense that God in heaven is good, and that things are wrong here, but there must be a plan.
Our desire and hope for a ‘better world’ resonates with Scripture’s promises that “. . . the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Rom. 8:21
In the New Creation, mankind and all of nature will experience freedom and Perfection --goodness will be realized on earth as it is in heaven without over-ruling free will!