Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Gap Theory of Creation

The Bible is not a science book but as I have claimed earlier in this blog, where it touches on proven science it is accurate and reliable. Nobody knows all of the mechanisms God used to create the universe but the Bible encourages us to explore. Believers generally view the creation from three standpoints. Each view makes valid points and each will determine how the creation event in the Bible will be interpreted. It should be remembered that all three are theories and should be acknowledged as such and not used to ostracize or disfellowship other believers. All three view the creation story as recorded in the Bible as divinely inspired.
The Three Most Common Biblical Creation Models are: The “Gap” theory; the “Age-Day” theory and the "Literalist" theory (in which the original universe, including earth were created in six literal days about 6011 years ago)
I. “Gap” or “Reconstruction” Theory. This theory suggests the condition in Genesis 1:2 is the result of a cataclysmic judgment involving the fall of the angels; that there was a primeval creation, complete in itself, in which the Angels were created as well as an inhabited pre-Adamite earth. After an unknown interval of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 there was a rebellion by Lucifer who was cast out onto the earth (Isaiah 14:12-14; Luke 10:18) perpetuating a catastrophe creating the conditions of Gen. 1:2. Therefore, the six creative days in the following verses would be the new creation of the earth that had become desolate.
Problem: That death was in the world before Adam sinned.
Solution: Sin (iniquity) was found in Lucifer. (Isaiah 14:16-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19)
At some point (in Genesis 1:2) the Holy Spirit began brooding over the waters covering the earth as God began to create the earth as a home for man and the life we see about us. When Adam disobeyed God and obeyed Lucifer, he forfeited all that God had given him to Lucifer, and that old serpent became ‘god of this world’ (2 Corinthians 4:4) over which he has no right (Psalm 24:1; 1 Corinthians 10:26) and to whom Adam by nature became servant and the earth itself came under a curse.

II. “Age-Day Theory”
This theory regards the first two verses of Genesis as that of the original creation in its raw state as from nothing, while the remaining part of the chapter is a formation and organization of the matter thus created. Genesis 1:1-2 is merely an introductory statement of fact, with each creative day being an indeterminate period or era of time. This is based on verses like 2 Peter3:8 which equates a thousand years as a day. These “era’s” are the geologic era’s t hat fit into modern scientific theories. How long it was, we do not know but ample space is given to all the requisitions of geology.
Problems:
(1). The Scripture says that each day of the creation week is “an evening and a morning.”
(2). The geologic era’s of science do not correspond to the same order that life appears in the scripture.
(3). Plant life was made before there was sunshine. If the age-day theory is correct then plant life survived an era or at least a thousand years without it.
Solution: none

III. 24 Hour / Six Day Creation Theory (Young Earth Creationism)
This theory says that the entire universe was created by God in 6 equal twenty four hour days about 6,011 years ago according to Ussher's Chronology.
Genesis 1:1-2 is an introductory statement showing the earth at the outset, like a lump of clay that God began to squeeze and form into the earth we live in today. Proponents of this theory often say that it is futile to question creation for God said “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (Job 38:4) and “the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)
Problem: The stars & ‘sons of God’ were witness to the creation of the earth. (Job 38:6, 7) How can this be if the stars weren’t created until the fourth day? See other problems.
I believe in both an old and young earth interpretation. God created it from a pre-adamite earth that was destroyed by a flood that completely destroyed all life. This does not conflict with the Bible at all as some have claimed.
(Definitions are derived primarily from Strong's Concordance)
Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”In the beginning…In the beginning God -- (the Self-existent One) Here the Hebrew word for God is 'el-o-heem' which is a plural form of; 1) "gods" in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the "supreme God;" occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative:—angels, exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), (very) great, judges, mighty."In the beginning God created…" Here "created" comes from a Hebrew word pronounced "baw-raw'"'Baw-raw'' is a primitive root; (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes):—choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch, do, make (fat).
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth..." Earth here is the same word as 'earth' which is defined as 'dry land' in verse 10.
Genesis 1:10: "And God called the dry land Earth"
The gap in the creation story is between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 for it says-(Genesis 1:2) “And the earth [**was] without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
Below, you will notice the words I've italicized are terms used in the Bible to commonly describe the aftermath of divine Judgement, not the creation. To say that this a state of the creative act is to contradict every specific creative act of the God who creates all things orderly and whom Isaiah says clearly (Isaiah 45:18) "God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else."
The word vain is from the Heb. word pronounced toòhuò or to'-hoo. Same word used in Genesis 1:2:
And the earth was without form ( toòhuò or to'-hoo) which comes from an unused root meaning to lie waste; a desolation (of surface), that is, desert; figuratively a worthless thing; adverbially in vain:—confusion, empty place, without form, nothing, nought, vain, vanity, waste, wilderness and void (boòhuò or bo'-hoo) comes from an unused root meaning to be empty; a vacuity, that is, (superficially) an undistinguishable ruin:—emptiness, void.and darkness (khoh-shek') was upon the face of the deep.From the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness:—dark (-ness), night, obscurity.
How do Young Earth Creationists (YEC) reconcile the state of the earth in Genesis 1:2 to a God who Creates all things good?
Now if God said He didn't create the earth in vain, (toòhuò or to'-hoo) who are we to say that He did? This is a state that the earth came into after it's original creation.
______________________________________
**Also translated “became” in the footnote of the Torah.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why, in general, do you think angels were created? Or what is the primary job angels perform? Scripture references relating to this would be great.

R. Hoeppner said...

I'm going to address Angels in detail on a future blog. To partially answer your question now, there are different types of angels, some of whom have left their first estate (Jude 1:6) and are fallen of whom Lucifer (Satan) is one. Michael is called an "archangel" (Jude 1:9). Satan was a "cherub" (Ezekiel 28:14). You can glean a lot of information by reading the entire chapter of Hebrews 1. In Hebrews 1:14 it gives their relationship to us as humans. They are called ministering spirits.
Angel(especially in the NT)simply means 'messenger.' In the first few chapters of the book of Revelation they represent the leaders of the seven churches who are not supernatural beings but men (Rev.1:20; 2:1,8,12 etc)
I differ with those who say demons are fallen angels for the reason that demons are disembodied spirits familiar with inhabiting bodies. They are also called "familiar spirits" and that's what you hear during 'regressive hypnosis sessions' by those who claim we've all lived previous lives. More on that later but you might want to check out the account of the Witch of Endor; 1 Samuel 28. That'll get you started. On one occaision a single angel killed 185,000 men (2 Kings 19:35). Jesus claimed he could immediately summon 12 legions of angels (Matt. 26:53). A legion in Christ's day was over 5,000 men.

Anonymous said...

If you would like some more Biblical and scientific evidence that supports the Gap Theory, check out my book, In the Beginnings: The Story of the Original Earth, It's Destruction, and It's Restoration.
It's available by going to

www.gaptheoryofcreation.com

and linking to any one of the online bookstores listed. If you are a Gap Theory person, I think you'll enjoy the book.

In Christ's marvelous Grace,
Steve Dill, Louisville, KY