Views of Biblical Creation

For those acknowledging the reality that God was the agent of creation, there are four possible answers to the question of how He did it.  The first view is that God took six, literal days as understood by the plain reading of the Genesis text, which is my thesis and is demonstrated in this teaching. (See The First Six Days)  The other three views consider the evolutionary model to be an established fact and therefore seek to reconcile the revelation of Scripture regarding creation with evolution.  The three views are Theistic Evolution, the Gap Theory, and Progressive Creationism.

Theistic Evolution

Theistic Evolution is the most liberal of the views that ascribes to God a role in creation as being the agent that jump-started the BigTheistic Evolution, Gap Theory, and Progressive Creationism are Wrong Bang.  According to this theory, since then He has allowed evolution to take its course thereby having very little, if any, role in His creation and dealings with man.

The Gap Theory

Proponents of the Gap Theory see the days of Genesis 1 as being literal days but with a time gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 (some also suggest a gap between 1:2 and 1:3).  The rationale for seeking a gap, nevertheless, is due to the belief that (geological) evolution is an established fact and that the Bible must be reconciled to it.  Hence, a time gap is envisioned between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 (or 1:2-1:3), which allows for the billions of years supposedly necessary for geological evolution to take place. (I deal with this question in greater depth in my DVD teaching The Angelic Domain and the Fall of Satan and in article The Angelic Domain: Created Before Genesis 1:1 or After? and in  my DVD The Language of Creation)

Progressive Creationism

Progressive Creationism seeks to reconcile the belief of evolution with the Bible, not by way of a gap between verses 1:1 and 1:2, but rather by redefining six days of Genesis 1 to mean indefinite periods of time in which millions and perhaps billions of years transpired each day.  They see God as being involved in the entire process of creation wherein every day, God was creating via the evolutionary process.[2]  Van Bebber and Taylor point out:

The Angelic Domain and the Fall of SatanAccording to the Progressive Creationist timeline, Adam was, in effect, created on top of a graveyard of decaying or fossilized animals. Almost anywhere he walked, the remains of millions of dead animals were somewhere below his feet — evidence of death and frequent misery on a massive scale (2006).

Thus, for the Progressive Creationist, both the Bible and the evolutionary model complement one another because the biblical creation account is better understood through the lens of evolutionary thinking.  Undoubtedly, most proponents of both the Gap Theory and Progressive Creationism believe in the authority of the Bible.

How Much Time Does God Need?

Rather than ask why couldn’t God have taken billions of years to accomplish His work of creation, the better question is why didn’t God speak once and everything merely come into existence as suggested by Augustine (see chapter 7)?  God, the Supreme Being by which all things exist, could have snapped His divine fingers and everything would have come into being at once.  Thus, even from a literal, six-day-creation standpoint, God took His time in a big way!  Why did He take so long to create everything?  God purposely slowed Himself down rather than just getting it over with.  The reason, found in Exodus 20:11 (and 31:12-17), is that God wanted to establish a pattern which for mankind to follow; God worked for six days and then rested and so should man.

 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. (Exod 20:11)


[1] See: http://www.tufts.edu/as/wright_center/cosmic_evolution/docs/

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[2] A more predominant Progressive Creationist view is that God created the animals as we see them today (i.e. fixity of species) and they lived and died out over millions or billions of years. However, proponents of this view, such as Hugh Ross, do not believe in molecules-to-man evolution, but they do accept the evolutionary timescale for the geologic and fossil records.  (Dave Wright, Answers In Genesis staff, personal communication, June 9, 2007)