Deep time refers to the conventional scientific belief in the universe’s origin about 13 billion years ago and the many other events that unfolded over the billions of years until now. The phrase “deep time” is used to emphasize the difficulty of human comprehension of such lengths of time, similar to the difficulty of comprehending the vast lengths of space measured in light-years.
Deep time is often associated with biological evolution, the idea that all of today’s living organisms evolved from a common ancestor, but they are separate ideas with different scientific evidences and different theological challenges. Christians who believe in evolution (sometimes called theistic evolutionists or evolutionary creationists) generally believe in deep time as well, but some Christians believe in deep time without believing in evolution (sometimes called old-earth creationists).
Prominent Deep Time Christians
“Bible Answer Man” Hank Hanegraaff – Equip
Apologist/Philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig – Reasonable Faith
Astronomer Hugh Ross – Reasons to Believe
Deep Time Recommended Books
Seven Days that Divide the World by John Lennox
Peril in Paradise by Mark Whorton
If you’re not sure what to think about deep time or whether or not it’s compatible with the Bible, go to this page for a basic run-down of the Christian case for deep time, the traditional Christian objections, and common responses to those objections.
The Science of Deep Time
If you’re not sure what to think about deep time or whether or not it’s scientifically viable, go to this page for a basic run-down of the scientific evidence for deep time, the traditional young-earth objections, and common responses to those objections. (COMING SOON)
If you choose to teach your children that deep time is true, or a possibility, go to this page for tips for discerning between the secular interpretations of deep time, which often describe a universe of random purposelessness, and the Christian interpretations of deep time, which emphasize the marvels of God’s elaborate, unfolding plan to design a place for humans in his image to live and explore.
If you choose to teach your children that deep time is not true, go to this page for tips for how to describe deep time in a way that will healthily prepare them to interact with a world that treats deep time as a “scientific consensus.”
If you read all this stuff and just feel more confused about the possibilities, go to this page for some core values and perspectives to hold onto as you and your children explore the wonders of God’s creation.