Continuing on with another excerpt from my book What Your Atheist Professor Doesn't Know (But Should):
So now we’ve established that we have a cause. Moreover, I think that necessarily, it must also be personal. How else could a timeless cause give rise to a temporal (in time) effect like the universe? If the cause were an impersonal set of sufficient conditions, then the cause could never exist without the effect. For example, imagine that all there is is a massive sea of hydrogen that existed eternally into the past, and the temperature is cold enough that it is liquid. The effect (the temperature being such that it is liquid) exists co-eternally into the past with the substance.
If the sufficient conditions were timelessly present, then the effect would be timelessly present as well. Yet if the sea of hydrogen suddenly froze 11 billion years ago, we’d have ample cause to wonder why. Likewise, if we grant (for the sake of discussion) the possibility of an eternal past, there is no good reason that the universe wouldn’t be co-eternal with its impersonal cause. We certainly shouldn’t be seeing evidence that it suddenly burst into existence 13.73 billion years ago for no apparent reason. The only way for the cause to be timeless but for the effect to begin in time is if the cause is a personal agent who freely chooses to create an effect in time without any prior determining conditions. And, thus, we are brought, not merely to the transcendent cause of the universe, but to its personal Creator.
Regarding the age of the universe, many will wonder if this rules out the Biblical description of creation, as most Bible translations state in the book of Genesis that the universe was made in six days. Now, granted, it is possible that God made the universe in six literal days, and built the appearance of old age into it. But notice that the Hebrew word “yom”, which is typically translated as “day” in the book of Genesis, can actually also mean “long period of time”. In addition, the words “ereb” and “boqer”, which are commonly translated as “evening” and “morning”, can also mean “ending” and “beginning”. Additionally, according to the fourth chapter of the book of Hebrews in the Bible, we are still in the seventh "yom", so obviously some days are much longer than 24 hours.
The primary focus in the Genesis account is on WHO did the creating, not on the time frame. There are actually 24 other references to creation in the Bible, and they all jibe with long periods of time and an expanding universe. Many interpreters of the Biblical account, including Hebrew scholars such as Onkelos (2nd century), Rashi (1040-1105AD), Maimonides (1135-1204 AD), and Nahmanides (1194-1270 AD), explicitly endorsed the view that the creation days were long periods of time. According to Professor Nathan Aviezer of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, this is consistent with the way early Talmud scholars approached Genesis 1. (7)
Notice from the table at the following link how Moses (who authored the book of Genesis about 3,400 years ago) got the sequential appearance of creature types right!: http://www.reasons.org/files/articles/creation_timeline_chart_color_2008... . The exact dates of each appearance are always being quibbled about and marginally adjusted, but it’s undeniable that he basically got the sequences right. This was way, way before Paleontology had been invented; where did he get this “inside information”?!
7) Old Earth Creationism: Setting the Record Straight, Jon W. Greene Reasons to Believe - Seattle Area Chapter News and Views August 2006).