“What is the Day-Age Theory?”Although Moses wrote the book of Genesis approximately thirty-four hundred years ago, it has been in just the last couple of centuries that serious debate over the nature and date of creation has developed. Consequently, there are now a number of theories relative to the creation account and one of them is called the Day-Age theory. Basically, this is a belief that the “days” spoken of in the first chapter of Genesis are sequential periods and not literal 24-hour days. Each day, therefore is thought to represent a much longer, albeit undefined, period of time, such as a million or more years. Essentially, it is an attempt to harmonize Scripture with theistic evolution.Science has never disproved one word of the Bible. Nevertheless, in the last century and a half the scientific community has done a remarkable job of indoctrinating us with their worldview, one that is very much opposed to the truth of Scripture. However, the truth is that the Bible is the supreme truth and it should be the standard by which scientific theory should be evaluated, not vice-versa. At the very core of most of these contrived theories is an attempt to remove God from the equation. And one of the unfortunate consequences of questioning the historicity of Genesis is that the floodgates burst open for man to question every part of God’s Word that does not agree with our limited intellectual abilities. However, everything Scripture teaches about sin and death requires a literal interpretation of the first three chapters of Genesis. That being said, let’s review some of the arguments made by the proponents of the Day-Age theory.Adherents of this theory often point out that the word used for “day” in Hebrew, yom, sometimes refers to a period of time that is more than a literal twenty-four hour day. One scriptural passage in particular often looked upon in support of this theory is 2 Peter 3:8 where it says “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” However, as with all biblical interpretation, one must look at the context of the entire passage. In 2 Peter 3:3-10 we see that Peter is talking about scoffers in the last days as they question the second coming of Christ. This passage simply reminds us that God stands outside of time and we should not doubt the occurrence of a future biblical event simply because it seems to be taking a long time from our limited human perspective. Accordingly, 2 Peter 3:8 has nothing to do with the length of the creation week, nor was it meant to turn “day” into a mathematical formula.Each day in the first chapter of Genesis is described as having an evening and a morning. Indeed, these two words—evening and morning—are used extensively in the Old Testament and each time they refer to normal days. Moreover, outside Genesis yom is used with a number hundreds of times—i.e., “one day” and each time it means an ordinary day. If Moses wanted to convey a longer period of time he could have used either olam or qedem, in place of yom.Another reason given for a metaphorical “day” as postulated by this theory is that with the sun not being made until day four, how could there have been ordinary days (i.e. day and night) before this? However, the sun is not needed for a day and night. What is needed is light and a rotating Earth. The “evening and morning” indicates a rotating Earth, and as far as light is concerned, recall that God’s very first command was “Let there be light” and there was light (Genesis 1:3). Separating the light from the darkness was the very first thing our Creator did. Also, remember that in Revelation 21:23 we see that the New Jerusalem “does not need the sun or moon to shine on it” as the “glory of God” will provide the “light.” At the beginning of creation, God’s radiant light would have certainly been sufficient until the luminaries were created three days later.Additionally, if the “days” of Genesis are really long periods of time such as millions or billions of years, then God’s Word is completely undermined at its very foundation as we would then have disease, suffering and death before the fall of man, even though Scripture clearly indicates that “sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin” (Romans 5:12). Thus, it is clear that there was no death prior to Adam’s act of disobedience in the Garden of Eden. If this theory were true, it would nullify the doctrine of the fall of mankind into sin. Furthermore, it would also render void the doctrine of the Atonement, for if there was no “fall” why would we need a Redeemer?Martin Luther once said: “But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are…since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish it to go.” Instead of looking to science to tell us what God really meant, all we really need to do is study Scripture, daily and eagerly, just like the Bereans (Acts 17:11), as all of it was inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), and all of it is true (Psalm 119:160).Christ Himself spoke of the importance of believing in Moses’ writings (John 5:45-47). And in Exodus 20:11, this is what Moses had to say: “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.”
“What is the Gap Theory? Did anything happen between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?”Genesis 1:1-2 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The Gap Theory is the view that God created a fully functional earth with all animals, including the dinosaurs and other creatures we know only from the fossil record. Then, the theory goes, something happened to destroy the earth completely—some speculate it was the fall of Satan to earth—so that the earth became without form and void. At this point, God started all over again, recreating the earth in its paradise form as further described in Genesis.There are too many problems with this theory to describe adequately in a brief response, not the least of which is that if something important had occurred between the two verses, God would have told us so. God would not have left us to speculate in ignorance about such important events. Second, Genesis 1:31 says God declared His creation to be “very good,” which He certainly could not say if evil had already entered the world via Satan’s fall in the “gap.” Along the same line, if the fossil record is to be explained by the millions of years in the gap, that means death, disease, and suffering were common many ages before Adam fell. But the Bible tells us that it was Adam’s sin that introduced death, disease, and suffering to all life: “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin” (Romans 5:12).Those who hold to the Gap Theory do so in order to reconcile the theories of modern scientists who hold to the old-earth theory—the belief that the earth is billions of years older than can be accounted for by adding up the genealogies of man found in the Bible. Even well-meaning evangelicals have bought into the old-earth theory, handling much of Genesis 1 allegorically, while attempting to hold to a literal interpretation of the rest of Scripture. The danger in this is in determining at what point to stop allegorizing and begin interpreting literally. Was Adam a literal person? How do we know? If he was not, then did he really bring sin into the human race, or can we allegorize that as well? And if there was no literal Adam to introduce the sin which we all inherit, then there was no reason for Jesus to die on the cross. A non-literal original sin denies the reason for Christ’s coming in the first place, as explained in 1 Corinthians 15:22: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” At that point, Christianity itself becomes a hoax and the Bible just a nice book of stories and fables. Can we not see where this type of “reasoning” gets us?Genesis 1 simply cannot be reconciled with the notion that creation occurred over long periods of time, nor that these periods occurred in the space between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. What took place between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2? Absolutely nothing! Genesis 1:1 tells us that God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:2 informs us that when He first created the earth, it was formless, empty, and dark; it was not finished and not yet inhabited by creatures. The rest of Genesis chapter 1 tells us how God completed the formless, empty, and dark earth by filling it with life, beauty, and goodness. The Bible is true, literal, and perfect (Psalm 19:7-9). Science has never disproved anything in the Bible and it never will. The Bible is supreme truth and therefore is the standard by which scientific theory should be evaluated, not the other way around.