A Gap Theory

I think the church is conducting the wrong argument when it carries on about a so-called “Six-Day Creation.” Likewise, it insists on a literal 6,000 years for the history of the earth, while deriving that number by lifting certain texts out of context (Psalm 90:4; 2Pet. 3:8); converting days to years when it refers to the history of the planet, while insisting on literal days when it speaks about creation. Now, don’t get me wrong, I find no validity in the evolutionary hypothesis (and/or any of its confounding “big bangs” or the like). The six-days of Genesis Chapter one are not so much a “creation” as they are a “making out of material previously created.” It is possible that the earth is millions or billions of years old (not because the empiricist irrationally demands it) and, that the six-day account is historically accurate as well.

In the beginning God created the universe and the earth (Gen. 1:1). And the earth was chaotic and in ruins (Gen. 1:2). God does not create in chaos and ruin (or whatever two-word combination your translation may have). These two words, in the Hebrew, speak of judgment. God destroyed the verse one creation, by-the-way with a flood, in judgment. Incidentally, He then spoke forth light (Gen. 1:3), which is the Resurrection Life of Christ (John 1:4-5). The “light” counter-acts the darkness, which was never a part of God’s creation, but a result of that which God judged in the “gap” between verses one and two.

Notice, during the Six Days of Genesis 1:3-31 that God does not “create.” According to Gen. 2:4 this is the account of “heaven and earth” when they were “created” and “earth and heaven” when they were “made” (notice an initial creation and a secondary making out of that creation). Created and made are two completely different Hebrew words. One speaks of a creation ex-nihilo (out of nothing) and the other describes a making out of previously created material. God made Adam out of the clay of the soil (Gen. 2:7), which clay God had previously created (Gen. 1:1). Likewise, out of that which was previously created did God cause to grow every living thing on the earth (Gen. 2:5-14).

It is beyond the scope of this writing, but it could be argued that it is here, in this gap between Gen. 1:1 and Gen. 1:2, that the dinosaurs are found. It could also be that here, in this gap, is where one could argue for the fall of the evil one (the source of the uncreated darkness – Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30; Luke 22:53; John 3:19; 8:12; 12:35, 46). The possibility of an old earth, however, is within this writing’s scope. It does not contradict the Scriptures (or itself) in any way to understand that God created the material (and the immaterial, for that matter) innumerable years ago and then, more recently, made out of that creation, in a literal six day time frame, the present universe and earth.

It would be easier to argue that humanity has only 6,000 years of existence than to argue it for all of creation. One could at least find more support for it in the Scriptures.

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