I've never understood the obsession people have with how old the earth is, or the universe for that matter. I guess it has something to do with the fact that I don't have a bone in my body that is interested in geology and stuff. Sure I appreciate it and I know we need thinking Christians in those fields who are interested in discovering more about God's activity in the world, but it sort of loses out in my list of top 10 things to get amped about in life. But during a recent theology class, my professor got into the subject of creationism. He had many insightful things to say and I resonated very much with it. He has a view of Genesis 1 and 2 which is not the majority view - it hovers somewhere between new earth and old earth and, so it seems, he could care less about the final answer to the age of the earth. Ultimately he said he's an old earth guy but if evidence persuaded him to young earth he'd be happy with that too. His main point? Know what you are actually supposed to be fighting against.
In Christian circles, the battle appears to be between old and young earth schools of thought. But in the scientific community, no one regards that as too big of an issue. The greater issue is not "How long ago did the universe get created?" but rather "Is the universe created or random?" Dr. Breshears makes it clear: the true opposition to any Christian view of creationism is not the opposite Christian view, but rather the dominant view of evolutionism (not sure if that's a word but it's one he uses). Evolutionism is the philosophic conviction that everything has come from nothing; nothing created all that we see. Everything that exists is here because of natural processes, completely without the governing of any creator.
Dr. Breshears went on to say that if you are ever talking to someone from outside the faith about the concept of creation, never argue about the age of the earth. It is a useless argument which, in the end, we can't know with perfect certainty. Plus it gets us derailed from the central issue. Rather we need to argue for the fact of creation through reason and data. And the good news is that the data is constantly pointing to the conclusion that the universe had a beginning. This may sound like old news, but has only been true for about 25 years that most of the scientific community agrees on this - they used to vehemently argue that the earth and universe have always existed ("steady state universe" was the term). The great thing? Scientific data keeps pointing back to Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth..." The problem? The philosophic conviction of evolutionism often keeps intelligent people from following the truth wherever it leads.
Creation is an extremely important doctrine which Christians must hold onto and defend. From the truth of creation we understand that man is made in God's "image" - mankind reflects, to some marred degree because of sin, the characteristics and traits of God. We also know God is not one with the universe, and therefore the earth is not to be worshiped but God alone. We also see God's rhythm for working and resting in creation, something God has made us to enjoy in order to be healthy. We see that God is so powerful that creation came about by the word of God (identified as Jesus in John 1:1-14). We also see reason to enjoy creativity and beauty - God has made a world incredibly creative and humans have the privilege to create in some way just like God did. This list is by no means exhaustive.
So, rejoice in the fact that you have been created by a good and loving God. You are not random, purposeless or meaningless. God has made you in his image and salvation through Christ is, in part, a renewal process of the clear image of God you were made in. If it's your cup-of-tea to research more of the scientific side of things, go for it! Praise God that he has made a world where the more and more we learn about the universe, the more and more we see it pointing back to him.