Creationism, Part 2


Last week we started looking at Genesis 1 and how it relates to God's authority over every area of life. And we contrasted the worldview God presents with the inadequacies of eight pagan worldviews.

But before we can go verse by verse through this passage, we need to confront a much more subtle problem. And this is a problem in the evangelical church. While many evangelicals verbally affirm the authority of Genesis 1, they are so uncertain about its meaning, that the chapter has lost any practical authority in their lives. Let me explain it this way. You know how many Christians have avoided eschatology because there are so many views out there? They have become pan-millenialists. They give up even trying to understand it, but they comfort themselves with the knowledge that whatever it means, I guess it will all pan out in the end. But they won't study eschatology. They've become too cynical.

Well in the same way, in the last 200 years (and its only been in the last 200 years) some 19 different interpretations of this chapter have been written, and trying to sort through it all makes one's head spin. If you want a paper that outlines and deals with these evangelical views, I've got one. But let me just give you a few examples samples.

There is the Pre-Genesis Gap theory1, the Gap Theory2, the Multiple Gap theory3 , the Mid-Week Gap theory4,, the Day Age theory5, the Pictorial Day/Moderate Concordism theory6, the Hesitation Theory7, the Edenic Creation theory8, the Figurative Day theory9, the Cosmogonic Day theory10, the Relativity Day theory11, the Days of Revelation theory12, the Days of Divine Fiat theory13, the Revelatory Device theory14, the Framework Hypothesis15, the Two-Register Cosmology theory (actually a subtype of the Framework Hypothesis, but rejected by some Framework interpreters)16, the Analogical Day theory17, the Day Peak theory18 and the preparation of Palestine theory19.And all of them claim that it was exegesis that drove them to their position Well, 19 views later and you can understand why some Christians have become cynical. What used to be a chapter simple enough for a child to understand in the 3400 years since Moses has now become so complex that even the experts insist that no one should be dogmatic, and that all the interpretations have a certain validity. Well, I think you can excuse Christians if they begin to be a bit cynical. I hope to show you how the way a child reads this chapter is the way all Christians should read it.

The Exegesis of a Stop Sign

But to encourage those of you who haven't been trained in all the modern (and I think compromised) methods of exegesis (called hermeneutics), let me read you part of an email that someone sent to me that mocks the tyranny and the foolishness of the expert. It's titled, "The Exegesis of a Stop Sign."20 It says:

Suppose you're traveling to work and you see a stop sign. What do you do? That depends on how you exegete the stop sign. …

6. [One expert] might look up "STOP" in his lexicons of English and discover that it can mean:

1) something which prevents motion, such as a plug for a drain, or a block of wood that prevents a door from closing;

2) a location where a train or bus lets off passengers.

The main point of his sermon the following Sunday on this text is: when you see a stop sign, it is a place where traffic is naturally clogged, so it is a good place to let off passengers from your car.

10. A New Testament scholar notices that there is no stop sign on Mark street but there is one on Matthew and Luke streets, and concludes that the ones on Luke and Matthew streets are both copied from a sign on a completely hypothetical street called "Q". There is an excellent 300-page discussion of speculations on the origin of these stop signs and the differences between the stop signs on Matthew and Luke street in the scholar's commentary on the passage. There is an unfortunate omission in the commentary, however; the author apparently forgot to explain what the text means.

11. An OT scholar points out that there are a number of stylistic differences between the first and second half of the passage "STOP". For example, "ST" contains no enclosed areas and 5 line endings, whereas "OP" contains two enclosed areas and only one line termination. He concludes that the author for the second part is different from the author for the first part and probably lived hundreds of years later. Later scholars determine that the second half is itself actually written by two separate authors because of similar stylistic differences between the "O" and the "P".

12. Another prominent OT scholar notes in his commentary that the stop sign would fit better into the context three streets back. (Unfortunately, he neglected to explain why in his commentary.) Clearly it was moved to its present location by a later redactor. He thus exegetes the intersection as though the stop sign were not there.

13. Because of the difficulties in interpretation, another OT scholar emends the text, changing "T" to "H". "SHOP" is much easier to understand in context than "STOP" because of the multiplicity of stores in the area. The textual corruption probably occurred because "SHOP" is so similar to "STOP" on the sign several streets back that it is a natural mistake for a scribe to make. Thus the sign should be interpreted to announce the existence of a shopping area.

7. An orthodox Jew does one of two things:

1) Take another route to work that doesn't have a stop sign so that he doesn't run the risk of disobeying the Law.

2) Stop at the stop sign, say "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who hast given us thy commandment to stop," wait 3 seconds according to his watch, and then proceed.

Incidently, the Talmud has the following comments on this passage: R[abbi] Meir says: He who does not stop shall not live long. R. Hillel says: Cursed is he who does not count to three before proceeding. R. Simon ben Yudah says: Why three? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, gave us the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. R. ben Isaac says: Because of the three patriarchs. R. Yehuda says: Why bless the Lord at a stop sign? Because it says: "Be still, and know that I am God." R. Hezekiel says: When Jephthah returned from defeating the Ammonites, the Holy One, blessed be He, knew that a donkey would run out of the house and overtake his daughter; but Jephthah did not stop at the stop sign, and the donkey did not have time to come out. For this reason he saw his daughter first and lost her. Thus he was judged for his transgression at the stop sign. R. Gamaliel says: R. Hillel, when he was a baby, never spoke a word, though his parents tried to teach him by speaking and showing him the words on a scroll. One day his father was driving through town and did not stop at the sign. Young Hillel called out: "Stop, father!" In this way, he began reading and speaking at the same time. Thus it is written: "Out of the mouth of babes." R. ben Jacob says: Where did the stop sign come from? Out of the sky, for it is written: "Forever, O Lord, your word is fixed in the heavens." R. ben Nathan says: When were stop signs created? On the fourth day, for it is written: "let them serve as signs." R. Yeshuah says: ... [continues for three more pages]

8. A Pharisee does the same thing as an orthodox Jew, except that he waits 10 seconds instead of 3. He also replaces his brake lights with 1000 watt searchlights and connects his horn so that it is activated whenever he touches the brake pedal.

Anyway, it goes on to give 17 interpretations by various experts of this stop sign, which even a child knows what the stop sign means. By the way, you know what an expert is, don't you? A spurt is a drip of water under pressure, and ex stands for "has been." So an expert is a has been drip.

I probably shouldn't mock these evangelicals too much, because many of these experts are godly Christians and in many cases they have meant well when they have disagreed with the historic interpretation. The historic position (which is the one that I hold to) is that God created everything in this universe approximately 6000 years ago, and He did it in the space of six days. That view was virtually unquestioned until about 200 years ago (which all by itself ought to give us pause and make us wonder, why do we all of a sudden have to have so many new interpretations?). If it's really the text that's driving these interpretations, then why didn't anyone come up with a new interpretation in 1800 years of New Testament church history, or in the 1400 years before that? Personally, I don't think it is the biblical text that necessitates these other views. It's something from outside. And I think for most it is a lust for academic respectability with the world. But that's my personal opinion.

But think about it. In the last 200 years (which is when all these new interpretations started arising) an ancient earth geology has so dominated secular scholarship that many Christians thought that the teachings of an ancient earth, of prehumanoid forms and of the evolutionary fossil record were as unquestionably true as the fact that 2+2=4. And that's the way some of these Christians of the past viewed the conflict between the traditional view and science. And it was embarrassing for these Christian scholars because they felt that the church was so out of touch with current scholarship.

Now not all followers of these new teachings adopt them for the same reasons that the founders did. In fact, many of them just think that it is an exegetical issue. They think that the text drives them to that interpretation. That's all they've been taught. But if you read the reasoning of those who invented these new interpretations of Genesis, you see quite a different story. You see in most cases that they wanted science to be unfettered by this text. Meredith Kline for example says that he was motivated to write his second essay so that ""the scientist is left free of biblical constraints in hypothesizing about cosmic origins."21 He wants the scientist to be free of any Biblical constraints on the subject of origins. Do you see how this ties into what we spoke about last week on authority. It really is an authority issue, but Kline removes Biblical authority from the scientist at this point. Well, let me point out first of all that the subject of origins is not science (it's not things you can measure with the five senses, because we weren't there when the world was made to measure it; only God was). So it's not science; it's philosophy; or more properly it is theology. Merrill Unger proposed his theory, saying that "the naïve view that creation was effected in one ordinary week about 4,000 B.C. is … absurd on scientific grounds." Notice the basis for his conclusion: its based on scientific grounds. That seems to be his ultimate authority in interpreting this chapter. He is quite happy with several long earth interpretations, but one thing he is dogmatic on is that the earth is billions of years old. I have a book on my shelf by a Day Ager that says that science must not be held hostage by the Bible, but in the process he has left the Bible unable to speak at all to science, and has left the Bible hostage to science.

Certainly with many, the goal was to win unbelievers to Christ, and to remove any stumbling blocks to the Gospel. I'll give them credit for that. But I believe in the process they unwittingly made unbelievers think that the Scriptures can be made to say anything that we want them to say. And so it's not just Genesis 1 that is at stake. They think that for us the whole Scripture is a rubber nose. The help of these Christian experts has actually made apologetics more difficult.

Just as a spoof, someone ought to make a child's story book that tells the story 20 different ways. First of all, the right way, the way a child would read this text, and then 19 new stories that would cover the billions of years of nature red in tooth and claw that have been proposed by the expert interpreters. Every one of these theories is trying to insert 15 billion years into a record that looks like it is only seven days long (because it is only seven days long).

The Gap Theory

The pre-Genesis gap theory inserts 15 billion years of history before Genesis 1. So you've got to reinterpret the first few words: In the beginning to mean in the beginning of history as we know it now, but not in the absolute beginning. Then there is another Gap Theory that has a judgment of Satan and a destruction of all previous animal life between verses 1 and 2. And most of them put billions of years between those two verses. And actually don't laugh, because in my paper I show how that is probably the most plausible of all of the theories proposed. And I'll maybe give it a little bit of space today when we start going through the text. But on to the listing: There is a midweek gap theory which says that days 1-3 occurred 15 billion years before days four through seven. They are a literal three days that started a 15 billion year period that included ancient animal forms. But after God judged the earth (which miraculously appears somewhere between verses 13 and 14) – a massive judgment that destroys everything occurs; and it too is a judgment that includes Satan's fall according to them). God then (beginning in verse 14 reconstitutes the earth, making the sun, moon and stars to appear as the clouds and debris clear from the air. So while the fossils of ancient animals are in the earth already by verse 14, God creates modern animals and man in a literal three days (days 4-6) 10,000 years ago. Voila! No embarrassment with science, because virtually all of the geological column can be fitted into verses 1-13.

Then there is the multiple gap theory that says that there were six literal days with billions of years between them.

The Day Age View

Then there is the Day Age view which takes each day as being millions or even billions of years long. And their favorite passage is 2 Peter 3:8 which says, But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day." They say, see? When God uses the term "day" it can mean an age? And if it could mean a thousand years then it could mean a billion years. But 2 Peter does say that a day is a thousand years. It uses a simile. It is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day to God in the realm of eternity. In other words, time has no bearing in eternity for God. He experiences and knows all past, present and future at the same. So it uses a simile – as or like. Whereas Genesis uses no simile. Furthermore, Peter is not saying that God confuses time. The God who made time knows what time is. Peter is saying that in eternity time is irrelevant. Genesis however is not describing eternity, but earth history. A day is a day on earth. And right off the bat in this chapter God goes to great lengths to define what He means by a day. In verse 5 he calls it a light dark sequence, And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. If we interpret day as age, then we have no consistency. For example, look at verse 14. On their interpretation of day this should be rendered: "Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the geologic ages of millions or billions of years from the night, and let them be for signs and seasons, and for geologic ages of millions of years and for years."You can see the same absurdity in verses 16, 18, 19 and 2:3.

Other Old Earth Views

I won't bother to define all the views, but let me give a couple more definitions. The Hesitation Theory says God gave the commands (Let there be light, let there be animals, etc. He gave the commands) on six literal days some 15 billion years ago, but that it may have taken billions of years for some of the commands to be fulfilled, and not necessarily in the same order spoken by God.22 Then there is the Edenic Creation theory which says that chapter 1 is using cosmic language to speak of the creation of a local garden of Eden23, The Relativity Day theory24 uses Einsteinian physics to show how the theory of relativity could make something that was billions of years from one perspective be 24 hours from another perspective. Then there is the Days of Revelation theory25, which says that the seven days had nothing to do with the timing of creation, but were seven literal days in which Moses received revelation from God about creation. The actual creation could have been done in an instant, or over billions of years, or in any manner or order, but it's the revelation alone that was sequential. So it just leaves everything up for grabs. But look at verse 5: God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. It seems to me that the first day is not describing what Moses was experiencing, but what God had created. The Framework Hypothesis26 sees the days not as time markers, but as poetical ways of communicating truth in a topical fashion. There are numerous, numerous problems with this view that we will maybe notice as we go verse by verse through the chapter next week (and by the way, we will only finish day one, up through verse 5 this week), but notice the "then" at the beginning of each day. It is the Hebrew syntax known as the Was Consecutive that speaks of historical sequence. It shows that this happens after that. Verse 6, then God said… Verse 9, then God said, etc. This is history.

Now again, all of these views might make you think that this text really is difficult (otherwise there wouldn't be so many views), and you've got to be an expert to understand. But there were 3400 years of teaching one view, and its only been in the last 200 years that experts think themselves smarter. And the only reason I have wasted 20 minutes on all of this preamble is to demonstrate that the experts don't know what it means. Many of these authors have changed from one theory to another. The only thing they have been unwilling to change on is their commitment to secular atheistic geology. If it wasn't for the dogmatic claims of geology (which by the way are constantly changing as well), if it were not for the pseudo science of evolutionary geology, there would be no controversy whatsoever on this chapter. It means what it says. Be on guard against any teaching that doesn't make sense unless you close the Bible. There is something perverse about the notion that you can't understand the Bible unless you have read expert A's special grid. Actually, one pastor in Omaha told me that the grids of experts A,B,C and D were all equally valid and the only thing he was offended at was my statement that it's obvious that God made the world in six days. He was dogmatic that no one could be dogmatic. And actually, that is the spirit of our age. On any controversy that is brought up, you are not allowed to be dogmatic on it. I was talking with some pastors on why I believed that Scripture was clear that women could not be pastors – how much clearer can you get than Paul's statement: I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. And two of the pastors said that the bible is so unclear, and there are so many interpretations, that we can't be dogmatic on that. Of course, they were dogmatically defending women being pastors, and they just wanted to shut me up because they didn't have any Biblical basis for it.

Well, in the same way, I don't know how many articles that I have read that have said that the ordinary, simple reading of Genesis 1 is naïve and that you need to understand their particular brand of new hermeneutics before you can understand the Bible. But you know – that approach (which unfortunately many in our denomination are taking – that approach) to the Bible ends up robbing the children of their spiritual food. Christ said, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. He didn't intend the Bible to be only for experts. Paul praised the Bereans for checking everything he said against the Scriptures, which implies that he thought they could understand the Scriptures.

Refutation of Old Earth Views

What I want to do this morning and next week is to go verse by verse through this chapter and then draw some practical applications. But I hope you see that the six day creationist interpretation is the obvious one. This is a chapter that can be understood by all. And all who understand it, tremendously benefit from it. OK, let's start. Verse 1:

Gen. 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

We're off to a good start already with the first contradiction with atheistic science by saying that time, space and matter had a beginning. Modern scientists say that time never had a beginning and material never had a beginning and space never had a beginning. But think about those first three words: "in the beginning." If God was subject to time just like we are (and there are compromised theologians like J Oliver Buswell, and in our own day the Openness of God theologians who say that time is an attribute of God which He cannot escape from; if that is true: if God is subject to time), then there never would have been a beginning. Right? The term "beginning" is meaningless unless time itself was created. But this verse makes clear that there was an absolute beginning, and at that point of beginning God made two other things: heavens and earth. We saw last week that the heavens created here was not the atmosphere since that was created on day two. What was created was the second and third heavens. The second heaven is space, into which planets and stars would be placed. The third heaven is the throne room of God and the abode of the angels. Heaven was not eternal. It was a created for the hosts of heaven (the angels) who were made on this day – as we saw last week.

But contrary to the pre-Genesis gap theory that places billions of years of earth geology before verse 1, God says that earth had its beginning here. Read Gary's North's Commentary on Genesis if you want to see some of the profound implications of this verse.

He goes on to say in verse 2

Gen. 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Now let me give credit to one of the views that I think at least has some exegetical plausibility. That is the gap theory developed by Dr. Thomas Chalmers and popularized by C.I. Scofield in the Scofield Reference Bible. One possible translation of this verse is "the earth became [not "was" but "became"] formless and void…" The gap theory says that a complete heavens and earth had been created by God in verse 1, including creatures, dinosaurs, angels, etc. At some point in the previous ages, Satan fell, and God judged the earth, and that the fossil record of dinosaur bones, etc., comes from that verse 1 period. God skips over those previous ages and begins our history at verse 2. And they believe in literal days. Let me give you a handful of their best arguments and a brief explanation of why I think that Chalmers attempt to accommodate science simply does not work.

The verb in verse 1 can be translated as "became." Possible, but extremely unlikely given the fact that the ordinary idiom for "became" is a different Hebrew word. For something so spectacular as what occurred on their theory, would Moses have used a word which would be almost guaranteed to be misinterpreted when a perfectly good Hebrew word was available? I doubt it. And I know of no published translation (and there are over 200 published English transations – I know of none) that translates it as "became." So possible, but unlikely, unless we are really forced to it by some of their other arguments.

Their second argument is that only perfection could come from God's hand, and "without form and void" is a state of imperfection.

And our response in part is that this very objection 1) contradicts their own theory which says that God judged the earth to make it void. So formless and void did come from God's hand. 2) How is gradual progress imperfect? How does the first stage of a project imply imperfection? Is a baby imperfect because he is not fully grown? I don't think that is a strong argument.

Their strongest argument is this next one. In fact, you may want to look at Isaiah 45:18. They point out correcting that Isaiah 45:18 uses the same Hebrew word for "void" when it says that "He did not create it a waste place [or "void," "empty," "chaos."]" Something else must therefore have made it waste or empty – Satan. Furthermore, Jeremiah 4:19-26 describes the destruction of Jerusalem using the same Hebrew words and translates it "waste and void." Isaiah 24:1 uses similar language for judgment. Thus, "without form and void" is language referring to judgment. So that's a hint they say that we ought to look elsewhere in the Scripture to find out what kind of judgment happened between these verses. That has a certain plausibility to it, even though most of the uses of these terms don't imply any judgment whatsoever. But my response is that the phrase in Isaiah 45:18 should not be taken out of context. Look at Isaiah 45:18. It says, For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain [or as you could translate it, "who did not create it to be empty" But notice the next defining clause] who formed it to be inhabited. It was speaking of God's purpose for creation– that it was not meant to be an empty earth, but "He formed it to be inhabited." But how long did God form or create it? God formed it, or created it over six days, and by the time creation was finished, it was inhabited. So there is no contradiction. By the end of creation: by the end of the six days, it is inhabited. There are a number of other points I make in my handout, but let me move on to the darkness argument

Verse 2 says, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Now the Gap Theory people will paint that as sinister. It seems like darkness in contrast to Spirit. But I think sinister and contrast needs to be read into it. This is simply showing the Spirit's creative activity. They will also say that the darkness is not called good, though the light is. Verse 3: Then God said, "Let there be light", and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; An implication they will sometimes brings up is that the light alone is mentioned as good, implying that the darkness is bad. Again, another reference to the judgment. The darkness came from the judgment.

Before I deal with other implications, let me set the record straight that Satan did not create the darkness. Nor was it a sign of judgment from God's hand. It is actually a protection for His creation. First, In Isaiah 45:7 God says, "I form the light and create darkness." Notice the difference. He doesn't create light out of nothing. He forms the light, but creates darkness. The word for create is Bara, which means to create out of nothing. There was no darkness before. In fact, one of the first things that God had to create was darkness. Why? Two reasons: 1) First, Scripture says that God is light, so for there to even be darkness in existence, it had to be created. Darkness is part and parcel of the created space-mass-time continuum. If God was all that there was before day one; if there was no universe into which stars would be placed, then all that existed prior to this time was the eternal God, full of light; full of glory. So darkness had to be created out of nothing. 2) Second, this darkness was necessary and good. Of course, verse 31 says, then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So this darkness was very good. And it was necessary because Scripture portrays God as being so awesome that if He did not protect His created order, it would disintegrate. Revelation 20:11 says that if the heavens and earth were to see His face, they would flee away from His presence and be no more. When God showed Moses part of His glory, He had to hide Moses with His hand so that he would only see a part of His glory. No man can see God and live. Psalm 18:11 says He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him. God was hiding the magnificence of His being from His creation. He had to do it or His creation would perish.

That's the kind of majestic God who has condescended to love us, to send His Son to die for us. Because of His love for His creation, He protects us within the darkness of a vast space called this universe. And it was only when that protection was in place that the Spirit of God allowed controlled light; just enough light to emanate from His presence; just enough to be good for His creation.

Gen. 1:3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.

Notice that unlike verses 14-16 where God gives light through sun, moon and stars, in this verse it is God Himself who gives light to penetrate the darkness. Many people have objected that there is no way there could be light without the sun being created. But there are many Scriptures which speak of God being the source of a light. For example, one of the miracles God did before the Exodus of Israel from Egypt was to put darkness on the land of Egypt, but put light within all Hebrew dwellings (Exodus 10:23). That light didn't come from the sun. It didn't come from candles. It was supernatural light. Another example was God's shekinah glory in the fiery pillar by the red sea which gave darkness to the Egyptians and light to Israel in chapters 13 and 14 of Exodus. Again, darkness and light being part of His glory cloud. Psalm 104:2 describes this time when the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters and says, He wraps himself in light as with a garment… So I believe this light was the Shekinah glory of God Himself hovering over the waters, allowing light to wrap around Him. Verse 4

Gen. 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

Gen. 1:5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

God is careful to define His terms. The first time the word "day" is used it is defined in a very literal way just like we use the term. First, the word "day" is especially defined as the light portion of day and night cycle, just like we use it. It's not a metaphor, or figure, or pictorial. And secondly, the whole cycle of evening and morning is called a day as well since the day is the prominent part of the cycle in God's mind. So "day" does not mean a geological period of millions and millions of years as day agers say. God defines His terms to refer to ordinary, literal days of light, or cycles of evenings and mornings. Why did God start things out with darkness? Because even the first day must follow the pattern of having an evening followed by a day. The evening and the morning were the first day. That's why Hebrews always began their days in the evening.

But what about the length of the day? Some people say that the first three days didn't have a sun to orbit around and so the first three days at least could have been any length of time. But lets think about that a moment. The orbit of the earth around the sun has nothing to do with day and night. It takes a year to orbit around the sun. The tilt of the earth relates to seasons, and that was created on day four. What gives day and night is the spinning of the earth on its axis in front of a stationary light source. Since there was a an evening and a morning on the first day, this verse helps to define the length of this day. Every one of the first six days is said to follow one upon another as being an evening and a morning cycle.

Now follow me here. For there to be sequential evening and morning cycles, the earth had to already be spinning on its axis when the sun is created on day four, but that means that the earth was set spinning on its axis already on day one, right? Because He didn't do anything to the earth on day four. He just introduced the sun. But the earth had already started its spin on day 1. On days 1, 2 and 3 God Himself was the light hovering in one place as the earth spun on its axis past that Shekinah glory. On day four God substituted the sun for His shekinah glory, but no mention is made in a change of the speed of the spin of the earth. Because of gravity, there were other changes on day four necesitating tilt and orbit. But don't confuse spin with orbit. There is no orbit till day four because orbit relates to seasons. But the earth is obviously spinning on day one in the same way it was spinning on day four. The only changes made relative to day and night was with the light source. So the only logical conclusion one can come to from the Biblical evidence is that the length of time it took for an evening and a morning to transpire on day one was exactly the same length of time it took to spin past the sun on day four. This is why we say we believe in a literal 24 hour period for every day of creation.

I do not know how you could get a clearer picture that the word "day" is not meant to be a period of millions and millions of years. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

What I find ironic is that even unbelieving Hebrew scholars are taken aback at the lengths to which Christians go to dismiss what is embarrassing to them in this chapter. In the 1800's Professor Marcus Dods of New College, Edinburg (and he's a rank liberal) said, "All attempts to force its statements into… accord are futile and mischievous… (and) to be condemned because they do violence to Scripture, foster a style of interpretation by which the text is forced to say whatever the interpreter desires, and prevent us from recognizing the real nature of these sacred writings." He recognizes the foolishness of 20 different interpretations – wildly different from one another.

More recently, Oxford Professor, James Bar said, "so far as I know there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that: (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the Biblical story; and (c) Noah's flood was understood to be world-wide and to have extinguished all human and land animal life except for those in the ark. Or to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the ‘days' of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not be chronological, and the flood to be merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any professor, as far as I know."

That's the perspective of pagan scholars. They aren't impressed with this apologetic. They just shake their heads at how much Christians are willing to compromise in order to be accepted.

I think we need to realize that science is not absolute. It is constantly changing, revising and correcting itself, and that there is nothing absolute in life except the Bible. Christian creationists, starting with the bible are doing their research. And they have proof after proof that the earth is young. In fact, I have a book that gives a short synopsis with the footnotes to the secular journals that show 121 so-called anomalies for the secularists. An anomaly is something that doesn't fit. And these are 121 proofs for a young earth that the secularists don't know what to do with. They are the ones that need to be on the defensive, not us. God's world works according to the way God describes it, and we ought to have confidence that God is wanting us to understand, not that God is trying to confuse us.


I will try to finish off this chapter next week. I wasn't very successful this week. But let me end with a couple of quick admonitions.

First, don't be intimidated by experts who try to make what is simple look complex. Eat the food God sets before you. 1 Corinthians says that God did not choose many wise or mighty or noble people, but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. God wrote the bible to be understood by such people. Don't let the experts rob the Word from you.

Second, the experts weren't there when the world was made. You can ask them, "Were you there?" God was, and we can take His word at face value. If they respond that Moses didn't understand modern geology and didn't know how to write it in a way we could understand today, tell them that God wrote it through Moses. 2 Peter 1:21 says, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Such comments from experts are an insult to the Holy Spirit as if He didn't know how to communicate well. Trust in the inspiration of Scripture.

Third, realize that every word of the text is important if God expects us to live by every word.

Fourth, worship God and appreciate His power. Trust that the God who is so powerful that He can speak, and it is done, can care for your needs. Trust that the God who cared for His creation so much that He gently covered His glory, continues to care for you. Trust that God is able to enable, and that He delights in blessing His people with His creation.


Gen. 1:6 ¶ Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters."

Gen. 1:7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.

The word firmament means that which is stretched out and can refer to any expanse. In this case it refers to the expanse of air, or what other Scriptures speak of the first heaven – the atmosphere. Now this verse says that God placed waters above the atmosphere. This cannot be clouds since clouds are in the atmosphere, not above it. This is probably a reference to what Dr. Morris speaks of as the water vapor canopy which existed above the troposphere and probably above the stratosphere in the high-temprature region now known as the ionosphere. Though the first two spheres are cold, the ionosphere is hot and would keep water in a continual vapor which would be transparent and through which the stars could be seen on day four, and yet it would be a protective canopy from the suns harmful rays. So the earth is one shoreless ocean and God also placed water above the atmosphere, in the ionosphere. Dr. Morris points out the incredible benefits in having this water vapor canopy. It was all very good. Verse 8

Gen. 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. That's the first heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day. Verse 9:

Gen. 1:9 ¶ Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so.

Gen. 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

There is not a bit of comfort that compromising Christians can get from any verse in this chapter because practically every verse contradicts atheistic science. It's not just the days, but the things that happened on those days that is so embarrassing to scientists who want to be in with the secular community. Uniformiatarians say that the sun and stars came long before the earth and that land came before water or oceans, and that marine organisms came before land plants, and that fish came before fruit trees, etc., etc. You look at any evolutionary chart and you will see that that is true. But because all was formed by design rather than chance, God gives the exact opposite order. Verse 11 says,

Gen. 1:11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.

Evangelical compromisers often try to support evolution where one kind can change into another kind. But there has never been a demonstrated case of this happening. While there are many varieties of apple trees, no apple tree has ever evolved into a orange tree. While there are thousands of varieties of dogs, it has never been possible to cross a dog with a cat or a horse with a cow. In this chapter you find things reproducing according to their kind. Verse 12 says,

Gen. 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Gen. 1:13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.

None of this developed over millions of years. It was miraculously created by God some time on the third day. On the evolutionary scheme there was millions of years of death, suffering and pain prior to fruit trees appearing. But that contradicts the Scripture. Scripture nowhere speaks of death as good. But what came from God's hand on day three was good. Verse 14:

Gen. 1:14 ¶ Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;

Gen. 1:15 "and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so.

Gen. 1:16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.

Gen. 1:17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth,

Gen. 1:18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

Gen. 1:19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

So here is the beginning of the earth's tilt and its yearly orbit around the sun, putting the stars into different places on the horizon for signs and for seasons.

But notice that God once again defines the word ‘day' in a way that destroy the Framework hypothesis and the day age theory. He says that the sun divides between day and night, and he says that the moon rules the night and the sun rules the day. He sets stars to function for "signs and seasons, and for days and years." Day obviously in context does not mean a geological age of millions and millions of years.

But you know, beyond that, I have often wondered why Day Age advocates struggle so hard to prove that a day is not really a day but an age, because it doesn't get them out of hot water. Almost every verse is a problem because it inverts the order given by uniformitarians. In fact, I was fascinated to find out that one of the chief and the most eloquent of the day age advocates, Davis Young, has recently abandoned the theory he advocated because he says it is exegetically impossible. The Day Agers say that God didn't make the sun, moon and stars at this point. They say that He created those things billions of years earlier through the big bang or some other slow mechanism, and this means that God merely parted the clouds and volcanic ash to let sunshine in. But that isn't what the text says. Look at verse 16 again. It says, Then God made two great lights… Later it says He made the stars also.

Verses 20-22 are yet another problem because you have the fish and the birds created at the same time and insects aren't created till verses 24-25, and every evolutionist will tell you that is backwards to their atheistic plan. They say that fish are before fruit trees, insects are before birds and reptiles are before birds. Let's read verses 20 and following for information from the God who was there and ought to know.

Gen. 1:20 ¶ Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens."

Gen. 1:21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Gen. 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."

Gen. 1:23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

Gen. 1:24 ¶ Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so.

Gen. 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

God has crafted His whole creation in such a way that there is no way believers can reconcile it with atheistic evolution or even with an ancient earth theory, and God doesn't want us reconciling the two. He wants the Biblical cosmology to replace the pagan one. He wants us to stop copying the world and to begin thinking His thoughts after Him; to begin taking scientific dominion based upon the principles of His word. And there are many scientists today who are doing so and coming up with remarkable discoveries. We are living in exciting times.

What's at Stake in this Debate

I want to continue on with God's creation of man next week but let me summarize why six day creationism is not an option, but is something that must be vigorously defended. If you are taking notes, I will give you nine things that are at stake:

  1. The first thing that is at stake is that otherwise the Bible is taken out of the hands of the ordinary person and put into the hands of the experts. These scholars will treat anyone who takes a six day creation interpretation as simplistic. It doesn't matter if the six day creationist has a PhD in Hebrew. He will insist that because of the certain findings of science (ha ha), the ordinary reading can't be the correct reading. But if you think you must give up being Bereans called by God to check everything I say by the Bible, realize that there is no agreement among the so-called experts on what this chapter means. The so-called expertise has only served to confuse people and stop them from studying the bible. I think that is a huge issue at stake. God wrote the Bible for you to read it and understand it and take it at face value. So don't let the experts rob the Bible out of your hands.

  2. But secondly, people's trust in the Bible's authority begins to be eroded. You see this isn't the only passage which speaks of God creating all things in six days. People try to make this chapter out to be poetic. But Exodus 20:11 is not poetic, nor is Exodus 31:17. Exodus 20:11 says, For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. God's creation days are treated as the same kind of days as our work week, and God's rest day is supposed to be imitated by us by resting one day in seven. You see, the same people who treat chapter 1 in a non-literal way also many times try to explain away the first eleven chapters of Genesis. And Dr. Morris gives a chart of 107 times the New Testament quotes the first eleven chapters of Genesis as historical fact. The whole Bible comes into question if we question this chapter.

  3. The third thing that is at stake is the trustworthiness of Christ's words. And if Christ made mistakes our salvation is in jeopardy. One example is Mark 10:6 where Christ, speaking of marriage, says, "But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female." It is hard to fathom how the creation of Adam and Eve was from the beginning of creation if the 15 billion years of supposed history happened before it. On anyone's time line, secular or believing, man's history would not even show up as a mark it would be so small if the time line was 15 billion years long. Some people say that Christ was only referring to the beginning of the Biblical narrative. But Christ is talking about history. So Christ's trustworthiness comes into question.

  4. Fourth, several of Paul's doctrines are based on historical sequence in Genesis 1-2. Those doctrines come into question. Much of Romans 5 and 8 is based on the literal sequence of Genesis 1-2. The same is true of his apologetics in Romans 1:20. According to Romans 5 & 8 death did not come into the world until after Adam's fall. But this contradicts all non-six day creationist positions. Scripture bases its doctrine of marriage, women in the church and other doctrinal issues on a literal reading of the text. So don't think this is unimportant. Much doctrine is at stake.

  5. Fifth, these theories seek to erase the geological evidence of the universal flood. In fact, many of these compromisers deny that there was a universal flood. The flood explains all of the geological phenomenon in the world in ways that atheistic science cannot.

  6. But sixth, these views minimize the affects of God's judgments on Adam and later upon the world at the time of Noah. 2 Peter makes a big deal about this. He says that all of creation makes it clear that God judges sin. How does it do that? Well, when you look at the Grand Canyon and realize that it was the erosion caused by receding flood waters, it reminds you of God's judgment. When you look at fossil grave yards containing fish, dinosaur bones and millions upon millions of animal remnants all buried in a catastrophe, it all points to God's judgment in the flood. Peter says that it is clearly all around us. And so, the idea of judgment is hindered.

  7. Seventh, six-day creationism and flood geology gives a wonderful framework for interpreting all the disciplines that would help them to be more fruitful and less wasteful of research dollars. And there are Christian scientists in the last twenty years who have made so many discoveries because of their confidence in Scripture.

  8. Eighth, the tape library has tapes by John Eidsmoe that shows the practical implications of denying six day creationism since there is no corrective to evolution, and evolutionary thought has affected law, anthropology, sociology and so many disciplines. How you view Genesis 1 affects everything. It really does.

  9. And ninth, we should all care deeply about knowing the truth. Truth is at stake. God's glory is at stake. And I urge you to stand fast for the truth of six-day Creationism just as Christ and the apostles did. Amen.


  1. Also known as the Recreation-Revelation theory. This places 15 billion years of earth history before Genesis 1:1-2, and that these verses describe a recreation after judgment decimated a previous earth.

  2. Also known as the Ruin-Reconstruction Theory, Catastrophe theory or Interval Theory. Espoused by Dr. Thomas Chalmers and popularized by C.I. Scofield. This theory places an undefined (but long – most fit the 15 billion years of geologic history in here) period of time between verses 1 and 2. The angels were created before verse 1. There was a fall, and a judgment of the solar system or at least our planetary system before day 2. Verses 2 and following are not a re-creation, but a re-formation of the earth, and a clearing of the clouds and/or darkness that kept the sun, moon and stars from appearing on the earth. Only a few things needed to be created in this second period – man's spirit and soul being one of them.

  3. Also known as the Intermittent Day theory. The six days are literal days in which God brought creative intervention, but vast ages exist between each day. Some say that a creative process described was begun on a given day, but that creative development continued. In any case, unlike the Day Age theory, the days are seen as literal days separated by billions of years.

  4. Also known as the Biblical Reality theory. This divides the creative week into two parts. Days 1-3 occurred billions of years ago. Days 4-6 occurred 10,000 years ago. During the first three literal days, God created the sun, moon, stars, earth and ancient animals (thus the geological record). During, days 4-6 God created man and modern animals.

  5. Also known as Progressive Creationism. Each day represents an age of billions of years. Each age is correlated to secular geology.

  6. The view of Bernard Ramm. This sees "the creation days in Genesis as pictorial representations of the major creative events. These events are coupled with progressive creationism but are not considered as a literal chronology of their occurrence."

  7. The view of William Stokes and Gordan Gray. Like the gap theory, this posits a long period of time in which the universe was created (v. 1), and then much later, six literal days in which the earth is formed and made habitable. However, unlike the gap theory, this does not see any judgment before verse 2.

  8. Also called the local creation theory. This view says that Genesis 1 is simply talking about God's creation of the Garden of Eden (or some say, the Middle East), and thus "land" instead of "earth." John Pye Smith held to this view.

  9. It is not clear to me why this is a different view from the Day Age theory or the Pictorial Day theory. But apparently, the proponents want things to be a bit fuzzier than those two views allow. Dr. Perry Phillips argues that evening and morning are used for the gradual closing of one period and beginning of another. He also argues that in Genesis 1:26-31 it appears that man and woman were created on the same day, yet chapter 2 shows so many things occurring between Adam's creation and Eve's creation that they could not possibly have occurred in one literal day. He opts for a nebulous figurative day.

  10. The days are simply seen as religious or theological statements about creation, and that they are modeled after pagan cosmogonies, but refuting those pagan polytheistic errors. Claus Westerman, Karl Barth hold to this, but many have adopted variations on its theme, some sounding more evangelical than others.

  11. Also known as the "Expanding Time theory Gerald Shroeder, Derek Humphreys espouse this view. "The six days are literal 24-hour periods from a cosmic perspective, long ages from the earth's perspective."

  12. They claim that these are six literal days on which God gave revelation to Moses. The days only show the timing of the revelation, not of the creative processes being described.

  13. God took six literal, consecutive days to command the universe to come into being, but the commands did not take effect right away, or necessarily in the same order.

  14. The days are like phases in a construction project.

  15. The creation week is seen as a metaphor, not a sequence of time. This metaphor is used as a convenient device to poetically describe creation in topical fashion with the kingdoms being created on days 1-3 and the rulers or the kingdoms being created on days 4-6.

  16. Developed by Meredith Kline as a refinement to the Framework Hypothesis and a philosophical adjunct to it. It has been rejected by some Framework Hypothesis people. This posits two registers: a lower register (time bounded, natural, earth history) and the upper register (timeless, supernatural, heavenly activity). "Therefore, when we find that God's upper level activity of issuing creative fiats from his heavenly throne is pictured as transpiring in a week of earthly days, we readily recognize that, in keeping with the pervasive contextual pattern, this is a literary figure, an earthly, lower register time metaphor for an upper register, heavenly reality" (p. 7).The implication is that we cannot know anything of timing whatsoever since the upper register is above time. This complex theory provides a overarching umbrella within which Kline holds to the framework hypothesis. However, many Framework Hypothesis people do not accept Klines two register view of history which appears somewhat Gnostic. Therefore it is better to distinguish this theory from the Framework Hypothesis, even though they are in many respects identical.

  17. I'm not sure that I can accurately describe this theory because it is very mushy. Each of the "days" are God's workdays, but they are not human days, but only analogous in some way to human days. They may (or may not) represent long ages. There may (or may not) be overlap between the days. Theses days may (or may not) be chronological. The days are "successive periods of unspecified length. They may overlap in part, or may reflect logical rather than chronological criteria for grouping certain events on certain days."

  18. "This claims that Genesis is a generalised account of major events. Thus while day 5 records the creation of birds - that does not mean that no birds were created before that day, simply that the day was the major period of bird-creation."

  19. This describes not creation, but the preparation of the land of Canaan for Israelite conquest.

  20. From Richard Showalter:


  22. The view of William Stokes and Gordan Gray. Like the gap theory, this posits a long period of time in which the universe was created (v. 1), and then much later, six literal days in which the earth is formed and made habitable. However, unlike the gap theory, this does not see any judgment before verse 2.

  23. Also called the local creation theory. This view says that Genesis 1 is simply talking about God's creation of the Garden of Eden (or some say, the Middle East), and thus "land" instead of "earth." John Pye Smith held to this view.

  24. Also known as the "Expanding Time theory Gerald Shroeder, Derek Humphreys espouse this view. "The six days are literal 24-hour periods from a cosmic perspective, long ages from the earth's perspective."

  25. They claim that these are six literal days on which God gave revelation to Moses. The days only show the timing of the revelation, not of the creative processes being described.

  26. The creation week is seen as a metaphor, not a sequence of time. This metaphor is used as a convenient device to poetically describe creation in topical fashion with the kingdoms being created on days 1-3 and the rulers or the kingdoms being created on days 4-6.

Creationism, Part 2 is part of the Foundations series published on May 18, 2003

Support Dr. Kayser

Biblical Blueprints runs on donations and coffee. You can help Dr. Kayser stay awake while working by buying him and his team more coffee.


Want to know next time Dr. Kayser publishes?


Contact us at [email protected]

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

This website designed for Biblical Blueprints by Tobias Davis. Copyright 2023.