I often hear people claim that God created the world with the appearance of age. In a sense, I don’t have a problem with this. In another sense, however, I have a very big problem with it.
God created tigers on the sixth day of creation. I’m thinking he probably didn’t create only baby tigers that would have been dependent on their nonexistent mothers for nourishment. I’m thinking that instead he made tigers as adults. Similarly, I don’t think Adam and Eve were created as babies. I think God made them full-grown. I don’t have a problem with this idea.
What I would have a big problem with would be the notion that God may have created Adam with a scar on his left forearm. A scar is an indication of a historical event. If God made Adam with a scar, he would have been creating a record of an event that never actually took place. Because God does not lie, I cannot believe that he would do this. When talking about the appearance of age, we must be careful to make the distinction between God creating something in a mature state and God creating a false historical record.
It is easy when confronted with evidence that indicates an old earth to simply claim that the earth was created that way. For example, some may say that God made Antarctica with many of the annual layers of ice already in place. However, some of these layers contain volcanic ash. God creating a layer of ice with trapped volcanic ash would mean God creating a false historical record. (Yes, I know of the other interpretations of these layers, and I will address that at another time.)
The phrase “appearance of age” is something that I have frequently heard. However, we must be very careful with this phrase. If we mean that God created something in a mature state, that is consistent with the character of God. But if we mean that God has created a record of events that did not take place, then we are calling God a liar. Anyone who uses this phrase or who suggests that the earth may have been created with certain characteristics should carefully evaluate the implications of this statement.