VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Christian News Network) — In a recent episode of the “700 Club,” televangelist Pat Robertson was asked about his assertion that God took “billions” and “millions” of years to create the universe and Earth, and again claimed that there is “no way” that the Earth is 6,000 years old. Apologist Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, who has many times expressed concern about Robertson’s views, says that Robertson is putting a “stumbling block” before others by not taking the creation account in Genesis literally and authoritatively.
On April 13, during the Q&A period of the broadcast, co-host Terry Meeuwsen read a question from a viewer about a statement in Robertson’s book “Ten Laws for Success.”
“Think of the patience of the Creator, who waited fourteen billion years to see His universe take shape,” the publication states. “Think of the hundreds of millions of years that God took to prepare our planet as a sustainable dwelling place for human being made in the image of God.”
The viewer, named Christy, noted that Genesis states that God created the heavens and the Earth in six days. She asked Robertson to expound on his view.
He began by stating that the time it takes for rotation varies, depending on which body is being referred to — that the Earth rotates in 24 hours, but the sun takes much longer and the universe takes even longer.
“I could say that the short Earth thing is wrong, but what I’ll say is: How do you count a day? What is a day? A day is how long it takes our planet to rotate one time, and that’s evening and morning, because it’s the way it faces the sun,” Robertson responded. “So, it turns. That’s 24 hours. That’s a day.”
“Now, what is a sun day? The sun has to turn. How long does it take the sun to turn? It must take a lot longer because it’s a great big planet,” he said. “Let’s assume it’s the universe. How long does it take for the universe to turn all the way around? A billion years? Ten billion years? How long does it take?”
Robertson then pointed to Scripture, which says in 2 Peter 3:8, “[O]ne day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
“You can be honest with Scripture and still, if you understand that a heavenly day, a universal day, is a long time,” he said.
“But the truth is — without question, without question — you cannot account for all the geological phenomenon, all the things that have been discovered, there is no way under Heaven that this Earth we live in could have taken place in 6,000 years,” Robertson asserted. “It couldn’t have possibly done it. But that’s how you reconcile with Scripture, all right?”
However, Ken Ham, president of the Kentucky-based Answers in Genesis, which defends a literal reading of the creation account and believes that the “compromise on Genesis has opened a dangerous door regarding how the culture and church view biblical authority,” refuted Robertson’s words on social media — as he has done in the past.
“Pat, the fact is, ‘There is no way under heaven that what you say is correct because you are telling God He got it wrong in His Word,'” Ham stated. “And the only Bible passage you mentioned you took out of context. 2 Peter 3:8 … is in the context of the Second Coming, explaining God is outside of time. This has ZERO to do with the days of creation.”
He said that Robertson relied more on man’s word for his response than what the God’s Word outlines is the meaning of a creation day.
“Pat, you didn’t use Genesis and what God actually states there to discuss the meaning of the Hebrew word for ‘day’ in the context in Genesis chapter one,” Ham noted. “Instead, you accept the pagan religion of millions of years and add that to God’s Word, thus undermining the authority of the Word of God.”
He lamented that Robertson is “putting a stumbling block before people in regard to them taking God’s Word seriously.”
“[L]et people who actually do believe God’s Word in Genesis and understand it to answer these questions. And most of what you said doesn’t make sense anyway in regard to the question asked by the viewer,” Ham asserted. “Oh, and the sun is not a planet; it’s a star.”
As previously reported, in 2018, Ham likewise pushed back against assertions made by conservative commentator Matt Walsh, who denies a young Earth like Robertson.
Ham asked how one can square billions of years with God’s Word in Exodus 20:11, which directed the people of Israel to rest on the seventh day of the week because “in six days the Lord made heaven and Earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore, the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
“See, this is the problem with trying to fit billions of years into Genesis. It always ends up compromising the Bible in places outside of Genesis too,” Ham said. “So either we accept the whole Bible naturally, as it is written, or we reject the whole thing. Trying to fit the Bible with the secular timeline just does not work.”
ROBERTSON’S REMARKS AGAINST YOUNG EARTH
Robertson, 90, has stated his views on a number of other occasions, including last September when similarly asked during Q &A if he believes that the Earth is billions of years old.
“A day is how long it takes the Earth to revolve — that’s one way of looking at it. But another day could be a lunar day — how long does it take for the moon to revolve around,” he said. “Another would be a solar day — how long does it take the sun to revolve. Another could be a galactic day — how long does it take a galaxy to move around. And a universal day would be how long does it take to traverse the entire universe.”
“And any of those could be a day,” Robertson contended. “The Bible doesn’t say a literal 24 hours. Okay?”
Last May, Robertson said that young Earth teaching is “nonsense” and “embarrassing.”
“Well, the truth is the dinosaurs were extinct maybe … about 50 billion years ago, and this planet has been [around] much longer than that,” he asserted. “And there was a course that they were trying to hustle around called creation science that was just nonsense, and it was so embarrassing, so we wanted to make sure we told the truth.”
“You know, this universe that we live in is about 14 billion years old and there’s no question about it,” Robertson claimed. “And we have tremendous geological records and all the rest of it. And that 6,000-year stuff just doesn’t compute. But we, as Christians, we need to know the truth.”
In describing the vastness of the universe, which He attributed to the hand of God, he then told viewers with a chuckle, “Let’s give God the credit for what He did and not try to limit Him to 6,000 years.”
In 2012, Robertson responded to a viewer who was afraid that her husband and teenage sons might leave the faith, including because of questions they had surrounding the existence of dinosaurs.
“[I]f you fight revealed science, you’re going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was,” Robertson remarked.
Romans 3:4 states,”[L]et God be true but every man a liar.”