In my discussions with those who hold a young earth view, I have experienced little if any common ground. It seems to me that the young earth perspective leaves little room for dialogue, because of their belief that any other interpretation is contradictory to Scripture. I am willing to admit that parts of the old earth view are somewhat difficult, but believe that a proper interpretation of Scripture and Science leads right to an old earth view. So how can reconciliation take place between the two views.
First and foremost, all who are debating this subject must understand that this is not a salvation issue. We don't come to Christ having to express on which side of the earth's age we fall in order to be saved.
I have some suggestions on how we need to dialogue. First, we should listen and consider what the other side is saying. Second, when defending your position don't get into a name calling game, but instead articulate why you believe what you believe or point out the flaws in you opponents arguments in a loving way. Third, answer your opponents charges first before going on the offensive. This means you better be prepared on how to defend your own views. Ask questions concerning your opponents views, before attacking a general belief that you believe they hold. Remember, above all, you are in dialogue with a fellow brother or sister in Christ.
Sometimes there is too much entrenchment for any progress to take place. I have experienced this in many discussions. It's OK if you get nowhere as long as you can dialogue and both parties are willing to continue to listen and talk in a respectful manner. What you want to avoid at all cost is any type of degradation of others. I have experience this as well, as I was told by a fellow Christian that I worshiped a different God than he did simply for asking questions of his view. Good dialogue is possible with an attitude of respect and a willingness to consider views different from your own.
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