I thought this was a very good way of thinking about the age of the earth, when confronted with the claims that the earth appears to be much older than the Genesis account allows:
“To use a fairly realistic analogy, suppose you had two cars, both with odometers removed, both with titles tucked in the glove compartment. One is in cherry condition, all the working parts clean, all routine parts replaced on schedule, all the larger parts replaced at the first notice of wear.
The other is rusty, worn, rattles, smokes, you name it.
It turns out on inspection of the titles that the first car is 20 years old, but was owned by a motorhead who idolized it. The second car is a 10 year old utility truck from up north that spent every winter sitting in unshoveled drifts and was owned by a slob who drove it lots of miles distances but didn’t bother with any maintenance at all.
Who you gonna believe — your eyes or the title? Are you gonna argue with the guy showing you the title? Are you going to accuse someone of deception or find the whole thing incredible? If the young earth reading of Genesis is correct, we have the title to the earth in front of us. There is no “problem” posed by the fact that the title indicates something different than normal inspection would if we didn’t have access to the title. But we do.”