Theistic Evolution, Genesis Gap, or Six Literal Days?

Origin of Man

Many differing camps within the church exists which try to squeeze millions of years into the Bible in efforts to allow for the claims of evolution. Two such theories are Theistic Evolution and the Gap Theory. We will look at a brief summary of both of them today.

Two questions we might consider together: When did the literal interpretation of the Genesis creation account come into question? How long ago did man, and/or the church, question the belief in a Creator who made all that we see?

It wasn’t until the later decades of the 18th century that scientists started to develop and pursue the idea of an older earth. Geology (the study of rocks and fossils) became its own separate field of science during the 19th century (or ~200 years ago). In the infancy of uniformitarianism (doctrine that believes change has occurred at a constant rate in the geologic record) vs. catastrophism (doctrine that physical changes in the geologic reccord can be explained by catastrophic events i.e. the Flood which happened in the past) debates, many believers embraced the newly developing theory of an old earth and immediately began squeezing millions of years into the only place possible: Genesis 1 and 2.

Namely, Thomas Chalmers (Presbyterian) in 1814 with his Gap Theory and George Stanley Faber (Anglican theologian) promoting the Day/Age view (see here).

Even the highly respected and often quoted pastor, Charles Spurgeon, of England, accepted the old-earth geological theory:

Years ago we thought the beginning of this world was when Adam came upon it; but we have discovered that thousands of years before that God was preparing chaotic matter to make it a fit abode for man, putting races of creatures upon it, who might die and leave behind the marks of his handiwork and marvelous skill, before he tried his hand on man.

I would like to question Spurgeon’s claims with my own question, “And we know this how?” Apart from an infinite Creator imparting to man the origins of time, space, and matter, we are left with presuppositions and worldview claims as to the creation (for lack of a better term) of life as we know it. This is an area we call historical science, which differs greatly from observational (testable) science.

We assume that geologists and scientists have actual facts to back up their evolutionary age of the earth claims. However, these claims are not in fact factual, but more simply, promoted as such. Christians unquestioned acceptance of such claims deteriorates the authority of God’s Word beginning with, “In the beginning, God created.” (Genesis 1:1)

Let’s look at an overview of the thoughts behind Theistic Evolution Theory and Gap Theory.

Theistic Evolution

  • God used evolution over long ages to create the universe.
  • Supports molecules to man evolution.
  • Does not believe in a historical Adam and Eve as the Scriptures teach both in the Old and New Testaments.
  • Makes God, instead of Adam and Eve, responsible for sin and death with the thought that the sedimentary, fossil bearing layers of the (man-made) geological column were laid down over long periods of time rather than during a period of days as a result of the world-wide flood. (See Genesis 6-9)

This theory purports that God set up the conditions for life and then walked away. Further, that man was not a creation of God, but that he evolved from lesser life forms over a period of perhaps millions of years. This is problematic for several reasons, one of which is that men and women would have evolved from multiple ape-like creatures all over the earth (in line with evolutionary thinking) and not from one mother-father pair. Meaning that there would not be a literal, albeit evolved, Adam and Eve by which sin would have entered the world. Jesus was the last Adam come to save his created from their sin. Apart from a literal Adam to usher in sin, there is no other reason to believe that God was therefore not the initiator of sin. Therefore, no reason for Him to redeem that which He would have created as evil in the beginning. Certainly the Bible does not support this line of teaching.

For Christians who are content to accept salvation and the gospel message of the New Testament and neglect the Old Testament, the above line of thinking should raise many questions. Questions for which there are answers to be found. (Matthew 7:7)

Gap Theory (Ruin/Reconstruction Theory)

  • God created earth and let it sit for untold millions or billions of years.
  • Lucifer and the fallen angels fell prior to the creation week and roamed the earth with spiritless “man-like” creatures and animals.
  • Sin was so rampant that God decided to flood the earth and start over—Lucifer’s flood.
  • God began again in Genesis 1:2 and proceeded with the creation week.

The Gap Theory is weak in that the fossil record from Lucifer’s flood would have been replaced with the fossil record from Noah’s flood and would have erased all the “evidence” of an old earth and Lucifer’s flood. Most importantly, once again, where do we see this accounted for in Scripture? Finally, is it necessary? Why do we need to insert more information into the Creation Account that is not found within the Scriptures? Is it merely in an effort justify the Biblical account with the claims of an evolutionary worldview? A worldview which secular society promotes as truth, and additionally, which exists only as a necessity to explain the world apart from a deity’s involvement. If so, then we need to question evolution to determine if the claims of evolution are supported with scientific data.

If this post has peeked your interest in the origins of man and creation, then I would refer you to this post (click here) for a list of recommended resources. Thank you for seeking for the Truth with me today.

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  1. Really? Not so about the Gap Principal of Genesis. Simply historically inaccurate in a most terrible way! Start with this:
    http://www.custance.org/Library/WFANDV/chap1.html

    Then try these:
    http://www.evogenesis.com
    http://www.kjvbible.org
    http://www.gap theory of creation.com

    Much more to come and much more to learn my friend.
    Paul

  2. What you see below is taken from a collection of information on a variety of subjects I have been researching and compiling over the years called Paul’s Research Links.

    Below is a section I took from it that deals with the creation/evolution debate and the Gap Principal views but also contains MANY MORE links to relevant information.

    At the very bottom of this page is a list of SOME of the Biblical scholars and Theologians that hold to the Gap Principal view of Genesis and I added a few more myself.

    The rest that make up my claim of AT LEAST 50 scholars/theologians that hold to the view is found in the other links below…mainly in Custance work and in Dr. Stephen Dill’s book.

    LINKS to the GAP PRINCIPAL of Genesis & the Evolution/Creation debate
    (WARNING: highly scholarly work): The most “literal” interpretation of Genesis
    and yet the most scientifically accurate as well. The views expressed in the links
    below are held by more Biblical Scholars than ANY other view of Genesis. Well over 50
    Biblical scholars hold to the Gap Principal view of Genesis.

    http://www.EvoGenesis.com – From author John Thomas groundbreaking book/website.
    Mr. Thomas is an old earth creationist with a Master’s degree in Physics and at one time
    taught high school science. His book reveals the dichotomy between Young Earth
    Creationists (YEC’s) and their misguided and unscientific beliefs in the earth being
    just 10,000 years old and Evolutionists who still hold to Darwin’s erroneous views of where
    evolution begins and ends. ONLY special creation can explain the appearance of the original
    living organisms that ALL current life forms came from; only “evolving” WITHIN THEIR OWN
    KIND. His research is based on the Gap Principal of Genesis. Mr. Thomas is a student of
    Darwin’s life and work and he quotes MANY secular evolutionary biologists and YEC’s as
    well as Gap Principal believers. This book was reviewed by a top UK biologist for accuracy
    and is quoted as saying “everyone should read this book.”

    http://www.kjvbible.org – The Bible, Genesis & Geology by author Gaines R. Johnson.
    A TOUR de FORCE on the subject of Genesis and the best of science (from several
    fields of science actually) from the Gap Principal perspective. A MUST READ!!!

    http://www.gaptheoryofcreation.com/ – Dr. Steven E. Dill’s EXCELLENT book and website
    about the Gap Principal. Provides mind blowing scientific arguments for creation and the
    Gap Principal of Genesis. Dr. Dill has also written a great Biblical Cosmogony that appears
    at the VERY END of this research page. Also lots of links to other Gap Principal works and
    a HUGE list of Scholars who hold to the view. (Quoted extensively Gaines Johnson’s book).
    A MUST READ!!!

    http://www.custance.org/Library/WFANDV/chap1.html – A Long Held View by author Arthur
    Custance. This is a HIGHLY scholarly work on the how belief in a gap of time between the
    first two verses of Genesis go back to ANCIENT TIMES. This work also provides a HUGE
    list of scholars down through the ages who hold to this view. A MUST READ!!!

    http://www.fallenangels-ckquarterman.com/ruin-restoration/ – Dr. C.K. Quarterman’s work
    on the Gap Principal, aka the “Ruin-Restoration” view. A very scholarly work!

    http://www.heritagebbc.com/library/evobookweb.pdf – By author Dr. Max D. Younce called:
    “The Truth About Evolution or: Don’t Let Satan Make A Monkey Out of You!” This is a great
    book that contains a list of over 25 Biblical scholars who hold to the Gap Principal of Genesis.

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evolution%20Hoax/gap_theorists_defended.htm – This is where
    I found the link above to Dr. Max Younce’s book. This is a GREAT web page that provides
    strong arguments for the Gap view of Genesis.

    http://www.historicalgenesis.com/ – Another important site worth seeing. While I do not agree
    with some of the conclusions of this research about Genesis, I DO think it’s important to know
    about and think that SOME of it IS VERY interesting and COULD BE CORRECT. Further
    research is needed and where this research agrees with the classic understanding of Genesis
    I think it helps validate the history and story of Genesis. Again it’s certainly worth seeing and
    certainly VERY interesting.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/218263608233522/permalink/833336943392849/
    There was once 9 planets in our solar system. Many scientists believe there was
    once a 5th large body in our solar system and one of them was destroyed and is now
    the Asteroid Belt. This belief fits with the Gap Principal belief that Lucifer, who once
    ruled the universe and led the angelic host in music and worship of God until he
    rebelled against God and was judged by the Almighty and his home planet of
    Rahab was destroyed along with the rest of our solar system and explains in part
    where all the impact crators on all the planets come from.

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=was+there+once+a+5th+large+body+in+our+solar+system
    Google Search Result for: “Was there once a 5th large body in our solar system.”

    THE EPILOGUE OF EVOLUTION – 7 Part Series
    By author John Thomas – A Research Paper based on material from the book EvoGenesis
    (And website: http://www.EvoGenesis.com) John is an old earth creationist.

    **NOTE: This is a ‘TOUR de FORCE’ on the evolution/creation subject!!!!

    Part 1 Natural Selection
    http://www.evogenesis.com/blog/1013-the-epilogue-of-evolution-part-1—natural-selection.html

    Part 2 Lamarck’s Theory
    http://www.evogenesis.com/blog/1014-the-epilogue-of-evolution-part-2—lamarcks-theory.html

    Part 3 Gene Expression
    http://www.evogenesis.com/blog/1015-the-epilogue-of-evolution-part-3—gene-expression.html

    Part 4 Keeping Evolution Alive
    http://www.evogenesis.com/blog/1016-the-epilogue-of-evolution-part-4—keeping-evolution-alive.html

    Part 5 Beyond Intelligent Design
    http://www.evogenesis.com/blog/1017-the-epilogue-of-evolution-part-5—the-creation-account.html

    Part 6 The Creation Account
    http://www.evogenesis.com/blog/1018-so-right-so-wrong.html

    Part 7 EvoGenesis
    http://www.evogenesis.com/blog/1019-stabbed-in-the-back.html

    GREAT YouTube movie on the Human Cell:
    Introduction to Cells

    The list of scholars and theologians below is taken from this book and link (also provided above):

    http://www.heritagebbc.com/library/evobookweb.pdf – By author Dr. Max D. Younce called:
    “The Truth About Evolution or: Don’t Let Satan Make A Monkey Out of You!” This is a great
    book that contains a list of over 25 Biblical scholars who hold to the Gap Principal of Genesis.

    CHAPTER SIXTEEN…………………………………………………………………….. 176

    THEOLOGIANS WHO BELIEVED THE GAP PRINCIPLE ………………… 176

    Donald Grey Barnhouse…………………………………………………………….. 176

    Dr. Mark G. Cambron……………………………………………………………….. 186

    Dr. Louis Sperry Chafer…………………………………………………………….. 187

    Dr. Bruce D. Cummons ……………………………………………………………… 188

    Dr. W. A. Criswell …………………………………………………………………….. 188

    Arthur C. Custance, Ph.D ………………………………………………………….. 194

    M.R. DeHaan, M.D. ………………………………………………………………….. 199

    Alfred Edersheim………………………………………………………………………. 205

    Dr. Harry Allen Ironside ……………………………………………………………. 206

    Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary ……………………………….. 206

    Dr. Henry Lindstrom…………………………………………………………………. 208

    Dr. Robert D. Luginbill ……………………………………………………………… 210

    J. Vernon McGee………………………………………………………………………. 211

    Dr. G. Campbell Morgan …………………………………………………………… 213

    Arthur W. Pink………………………………………………………………………….. 214

    Dr. David F. Reagan …………………………………………………………………. 215

    Erich Sauer………………………………………………………………………………. 218

    Dr. C.I. Scofield………………………………………………………………………… 219

    Dr. Richard A. Seymour, D.D., …………………………………………………… 220

    Dr. A. Ray Stanford …………………………………………………………………… 221

    Louis T. Talbot, D.D………………………………………………………………….. 222

    Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe……………………………………………………………… 225

    You can also include the following scholars/theologians:

    Charles Spurgeon:

    C.H. Spurgeon Calls “Answers in Genesis” to Repentance

    Chuck Missler

    • Thank you for reading. I will be happy to look at the links you provided in the days to come so that I can respond to your specific view point and “arguments” (for lack of a better word).
      I believe that the Word of God is infallible and that God did create the world and everything therein in 6 literal days. I believe that the global flood in Genesis 6-9 accounts for the “aged” appearance of the earth and the fossil record that we observe today. I in no way believe in macro evolution, nor that God used any evolutionary processes to create man. First of all because that isn’t how He described it in His word, and secondly, because that isn’t supported by scientific data or the fossil record. I do appreciate the articles and will read them in the days to come. Sincerest thanks. Take care,
      Brooke

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