Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Creation Account, Part 2

Today, we continue our topical study on the issue of the creation account as found in Genesis, chapter one and two. Just to recap, this is based on a paper that I wrote in 2014 for a class called Old Testament Background Studies in Genesis. In it, I briefly looked at some of the various views of the creation accounts to point out their weaknesses and strengths, at least as far as I could discern, and which ones we as Bible-believing Christians should reject and embrace. Again, this study is not meant to be exhaustive, but to serve as a good starting point for the reader to pursue on their own. Last time, we looked at the Mythological view. Today, we are going to take a look at what is called the Pictoral Day, Old Earth Creationism, and Young Earth Creationism.  

The second view to consider is called the Pictorial Day. It is often times also referred to as the Revelation Theory. In essence, it says that the days in Genesis 1 are indeed “literal days of twenty-four hours each, but they are days only in the life of Moses. The basic view is that during those six literal days, God revealed to Moses exactly how creation occurred, and as God spoke, Moses recorded what was said to him in a six-day format.

Of course, this view clearly has accommodationism in mind as that it still maintains the literal twenty-four hour days and yet also allows the scientific community to have the long periods of time that they demand for the formation of the earth through the means of evolution. However, just like the Mythological view, it again discounts the clear intent of the author in that he clearly intended the book to be a historical account. This is again seen in its narrative style, attention to genealogies, dates. Why would the writer go through the trouble of giving these details if he knew the twenty-four hour periods were only in his life and not the actual account? Wouldn't make sense. Again, it is merely an attempt at accommodationism which we Christians are far too prone to.  

A third view of the creation account is called Old Earth Creation or Progressive Creation.   Like their Young Earth counterparts, they do believe that the emergence of different life forms was due to the actions of an intelligent creator. The difference between the two is that this group does not accept the historical account of creation as found in Genesis 1 and 2 to be literally true. Instead, they choose to view creation through the lens of science and insist that one can be a Christian and believe in Old Earth Creation as long as “one accepts the central doctrine of salvation through a profession of faith.”   

The most glaring problem that Old Earth Creationists face is that their theory does not fit the scientific evidence. In order to resolve the discrepancies between the Bible and Science, they insist on what is called the Day-Age and Gap Creation ideas. The Day-Age idea says that creation was by God, but he did it in “God-length days that may have lasted thousands, if not millions, of years.” They accompany the Day-Age idea with Gap Creation which says that “all life emerged in cycles of creation followed by long periods of stasis” that was repeated continually until humans were created." 

The fourth view of creation is that of Young Earth Creation. By most conservative scholars, this group is considered to be the most faithful to the Scriptures. Those who hold this view take the creation account in Genesis 1 and 2 literally. This is to say that God created the heavens and the earth in six literal twenty-four hour periods. This means that God created everything by fiat. That is to say that God merely spoke, and it was created just as Hebrews 11:3 implies, “By faith, we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” Young Earth Creationists also insist that earth cannot be more than 10,000 years old. And, they conclude that the fossil record bears out that a cataclysmic event did take place in time past, and that event is the worldwide flood that is recorded in Genesis 6.

Naturally, this view does have its challenges, especially from the scientific community who consider the idea of a divine being calling things out of nothing to be absurd. One of their contentions is that modern dating methods do place the age of the earth much older than 10,000 years. These methods used by geologists today include carbon-13 and carbon-12 ratios which actually place the oldest fossils as far back as 3.86 billion years. Of course, both of these methods of dating have not proven to be the most reliable at times. 

Bear in mind, that for the moment, I am just listing the various views with their own strengths and weakness. We still have the Gap Theory, Naturalistic Theory, and what I will call the Biblical View.

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