What about creation through the process of evolution? There are five views that have been set forth as accommodationist positions to evolution. What happened in the 19th century was that science began to cut itself loose from the Bible. Up until the early 1700s every self-respecting scientist and geologist believed in a literal universal Noahic flood, and they built their science assuming the Bible to be true. Starting with the Enlightenment in the late 1600s, early 1700s, scientists began to reject the Bible, and as they ignored what the Bible said they were coming up with conclusions that were much different from earlier science at that time. As they came up with conclusions Christians decided that in some way they had to accommodate themselves to these conclusions.
The first view is the view that is called theistic evolution, the one that is most removed from taking the Bible literally. It is simply the idea that God works behind the process of evolution. The creative activity of God is indirect, He is just out there in the cosmos somewhere and He uses all the mechanisms of evolution, the mechanism of the survival of the fittest, in order to bring about and advance through the various times until eventually man evolves. So theistic evolution assumes the validity of everything that science teaches and then just kind of sticks God in there as a suave to their religious conscience.
The second view is called progressive creationism. This is where you have long periods of time which begin with a day. So there would be a 24-hour day followed by a long period of time when evolution takes place. After this long period of thousands or even millions of years there is the second 24-hour day, and so on. So the creation days are actually 24-hours but there are thousands or millions of years in between these creative days.
The third view is called threshold evolution. That is very similar to progressive creationism, and instead of having 24-hour days God just comes in and interferes at each stage breaking through these barriers between species.
The fourth view is the day-age view. It looks at each of these days as not 24-hour days but days of extended periods of time—millions of years. But that doesn’t fit the language of the text, and there are also other internal problems.
The fifth view is one that many people thought solved the problem. It was a view put forth by Thomas Chalmers, a Scottish Presbyterian, and was later popularized by a man name Pember: the Chalmers-Pember gap view. They took a very ancient view that there is a time period between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Up until the early 19th century when Chalmers hi-jacked the view this gap was understood to be the time period when the angels were created and fell, and the beginning of the angelic conflict and the beginning of spiritual warfare in the universe. And it was during that time that Satan was put on trial and sentenced to the lake of fire, but then he challenges God and challenges the veracity of God, the justice of God, the fairness of God, and claims He never really has given His creatures a chance to prove that they can be God and run things just as well as He can. So God establishes a test case right on Satan’s very own territory of planet earth to demonstrate through volitional creatures, man, exactly why a creature cannot function independently of his creator. So the Chalmers-Pember gap view tried to solve the problem by inserting all the geologic ages in between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 and make that the period of the catastrophe. According to their view, they would say that all the evidence that you see of fossils took place as a result of that judgment. The problem with that is manifold. 1) It doesn’t fit science very well; 2) It doesn’t fit the Scriptures at all theologically because 1 Corinthians 15 emphasizes that the principle of death began with Adam’s fall. (In evolution the mechanism for advance is through death.) If you have a worldwide judgment, pre-Adamic races, pre-Adamic animals that lived on this earth before Genesis 1:2 and they are all packed in ice and are fossils, then basically you would have Adam not created in a perfect world, he would be created in a graveyard. It is not perfect anymore because there is death everywhere and evidence of death everywhere.
So you can’t solve the problem by compromising and accommodating. It must be realized that modern science is built on an epistemological [knowledge base] that is completely antagonistic to revelation. They do not believe that God can reveal Himself to man because it cannot be analyzed scientifically; it is not subject to rationalism and empiricism, and therefore they invalidate revelation as a valid means of knowledge at the very beginning. So it must be realized that divine viewpoint is set against human viewpoint, human viewpoint against divine viewpoint, and you can’t come in and try to compromise just so you feel a little more comfortable living around a bunch of unbelievers who reject the existence of God.
So prior to Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 there is just the existence of the angels, the trial and fall of Satan, and God judges the earth. Another reason why you can’t have fossilization and pre-Adamic race here, from a scientific framework, is this: There are two main events in Scripture that talk about a worldwide flood or watery mass around the earth. There is the condition in Genesis 1:2 and the condition of Genesis 6-9 with the worldwide flood. But what would you look for to prove that there was a universal flood at the time of Noah? What would you expect to find geologically? You would expect to find millions of dead things scattered all over the earth, buried in sedimentary rock, as evidence of a worldwide flood. If all of these dead things buried in sedimentary rock were laid down between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 then you would have a universal flood that lasted a year. It only rained for forty days and forty nights but the water continued to rise for another 180 days and stayed at that level for some further time. From the day Noah stepped on the ark until the day he stepped off the ark was a period of 360 days. So if you have that much water swirling around the earth, along with the other geologic cataclysms that would have taken place at that time—volcanic eruptions, earthquakes—all of it caused by this enormous water pressure you would have had all of that take place for a whole year and with no evidence of it. What you do by placing fossilization between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, is lay the foundation for rejecting the universality of Noah’s flood. The reality is that if you do that you basically don’t have any evidence whatsoever anywhere, other than the Bible, of the Noahic flood. And that doesn’t fit from a scientific framework in terms of the descriptions given in the Bible.
Now we begin with the six days of restoration. Just to review on the stages of creation: God creates an original universe. It is in light. Then there is the fall of Lucifer and there is darkness in the universe. The earth is packed in ice—tohu waw bohu. Then there is the new creation or restoration described in Genesis 1:3-2:3. These are the stages of creation and restoration.
How the tohu waw bohu was reversed. Tohu refers to that which is chaotic and unformed. Bohu refers to that which is empty or unfilled. So in the first three days God is going to form all the various spheres: the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere, the geosphere, and then he is going to fill each one of those spheres in the second three days. There is a perfect pattern here of description. On day one we have the creation of light and the separation of the light from darkness. This indicates that time enters in at this point. There is a temporal mechanism established of light and darkness establishing the cycle with the rotation of the earth of a 24-hour day.
Vv. 3-5, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” When this day begins the earth was a dark watery mass and it is the Spirit of God who is hovering—[or one way to translate the verb here is the idea of “fluttering”, the image of a mother bird fluttering its wings over a nest to keep it warm]—over the earth. The Holy Spirit is now energizing the planet. Before there can be any creation there has to be the introduction of energy back into the system. The energy comes from God. God speaks, and we know from Colossians 1:16, 17 that it is Jesus Christ Himself who is the actual agent of creation, and He is the LOGOS of God, the Word of God. God uses His Word here; He speaks, and so this implies the presence of the second person of the Trinity in the formation of the items in the creation. God speaks and says, Let there be light. Darkness implies the absence of light and symbolically in Scripture it implies the absence of good. When God speaks here we see the word Elohim, the plural ending im indicates a plurality in the Godhead. Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:6, Paul is quoting Genesis 1:3 as if it literally took place.
The analogy in 2 Corinthians 4 is that just as God illuminated our thinking to the truth of the gospel, that truth is built on or is taught through the principle of Genesis 1:3, that light shall shine out of darkness. Also 1 John 1:5; John 8:12. When God creates light in Genesis 1:4 the first thing He says about it when He observes it is that it is good. The light is good; the darkness is not. He doesn’t say the darkness is good. Then He separated the light from the darkness. Darkness is not removed completely as it will be in the new heavens and the new earth but it is separated, and together light and darkness are used as a means of telling time and of developing a clock in the universe. Then there is a discussion in v. 5, where God calls the light day and the darkness night. He begins to name things, to use a vocabulary. The reason He uses a vocabulary is that He is initializing the vocabulary of the human race. We know tentatively from studies related to the acquisition of language that people learn language from hearing it spoken. In a couple of cases where young children have never been exposed to a human voice it has been learned that after so many months they can’t learn language. At the time of birth you start speaking to a child, their brain cells begin to develop and to process that language and develop the ability to process language. And if they live to be two years of age without hearing a human voice then the brain no longer has that ability to process and categorize language. One of the great problems of evolution is how did a person ever learn to speak? So God is the one who originates language, and He is the one who begins to identify terms.
“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.” It is clear that this is the beginning of some sort of temporal succession, a succession of darkness and light. It is evident that the earth is now rotating on its axis, even though there is no light bearer. Remember that there is no sun yet and no stars, there is just light. This makes it clear in and of itself that these are 24-hour days. In fact, there is so much information given here—evening and morning, day one—so much information about chronology that it is questionable whether God could have done anything more to say these are 24-hour days. In terms of Hebrew vocabulary He has said that. It was necessary for Moses to make that point and for God to say that in light of the fact that in all of the pagan cosmogony around them—the Egyptian origin myths, the Babylonian origin myths—all had eons of time just we face today with modern Darwinism. So God makes it very clear from the beginning that the way the earth was actually created by Him is radically different from the way man has tried to explain it. Furthermore, this light is clearly physical and visible. This means that the presence of visible light waves would include the entire electro-magnetic spectrum. By setting these electro-magnetic forces into operation God in effect is completing the energizing of the universe. So there is a perfectly logical order here. The Holy Spirit begins it with this fluttering or hovering over the earth in v. 2, and then with the creation of light there is the conclusion of the energizing of the physical cosmos. All the types of force and energy, which interact in the universe, are now present.
The other interesting thing seen here is that the clock starts at dawn. It is evening and then morning, day one, so day two starts with dawn of the next day. This is contrary to the way the Jews later told time. The Jews later marked the time by dusk, so that it began when the sun went down. This is another indication that this is not just Jewish mythology because if it were they would have had the day starting at dusk and not with the dawn.
On day two we see the development of the atmosphere and the hydrosphere. The atmosphere is the creation of all of the gasses and chemicals that make up the atmosphere and that are necessary for the sustenance of biological life on the planet. There is no other planet known to science that has an atmosphere anything near approaching that of planet earth. Furthermore there is the separation of the waters on the earth now into two different spheres, the upper waters and the lower waters. And there is a spatial separation between them which in the KJV is called “the firmament,” indicating that it was something solid, something firm. But that is not the meaning of the Hebrew word. Genesis 1:6-8, “And God said, Let there be a firmament [let there be an expanse] in the midst of the waters, and let it divide [separate] the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament [expanse], and divided [separated] the waters which were under the firmament [below the expanse] from the waters which were above the firmament [expanse]: and it was so. And God called the firmament [expanse] Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.” What is the key word here? Expanse. It is mentioned five times in three verses. Whenever the Holy Spirit wants to capture attention He repeats things He repeats them, so when expanse is repeated five times we ought to pay attention.
The Hebrew raqia means expanse, atmosphere, literally a thin stretched-out area. So God is establishing this thin stretched-out area, which He places in the water, and it is as though it expands and pushes part of the water up and keeps another part down below. So we see movement taking place in creation; the dynamic of energy. Isaiah 40:12, 22 mentions this raqia. V. 12, “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out [marked off] heaven by the span, and comprehended [calculated] the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?” V. 22, “It is he that sitteth upon the circle [above the vault] of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.” So He creates the raqia as a tent for us to dwell in. He has designed the atmosphere and the hydrosphere perfectly to support life. This raqia, then, separates the waters below from the waters above. So what there is, is planet earth and then the gaseous atmosphere, and then above that a layer of water. There is an outer layer of water, the earth is still covered in water, and in between are the gasses, primarily oxygen. So the question becomes, what happened to this water? Was it solid since it is out in space above the stratosphere? Is it ice? Or is it a water vapor? If there were the presence of an outer layer of water then it would have certain implications for the earth. But we need to understand that the Bible describes three different heavens.
Jeremiah 4:25, “I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.” That refers to the atmospheric heaven around the earth. Then in Isaiah 13:10, “For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.” This is a second heaven, the heaven that comprises the stars and the universe and the solar system. In Hebrews 9:24, a third heaven, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:” This is the heaven of heavens, the very throne room of God. The term raqia is used for each of these heavens. Genesis 1:17 is the second heaven, 1:20 the atmospheric heavens. Ezekiel 1:22, “And the likeness of the firmament [raqia] upon the heads of the living creature was as the color of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.” This would refer to the third heaven. So raqia is a word that is ambiguous, it can have flexibility and refer to the first, second, or third heaven.
If there were a water vapor canopy over the earth there would be certain things that would follow from that.
1) First of all, since water vapor has the ability both to transmit incoming solar radiation—i.e., light and heat comes through the water—and to retain and disperse much of that radiation reflected from the earth’s surface—it holds it, it doesn’t reflect it back down to the earth—it would serve as a global greenhouse, maintaining an essentially uniform temperature around the earth. This would mean that there were no extremities of cold, no freezing weather, no excessively hot weather.
2) As a result of that, with nearly uniform temperatures there would be no wind. Wind comes because there is a colder area and a warmer area. The temperature difference causes the wind to move. So with uniform temperatures great air mass movement would be rare and windstorms would be unknown.
3) Without wind there are no hydrologic cycle—evaporation, then water vapor, condensation of water vapor on a dust particle, and then precipitation. Evaporation is from heat. Now there is a uniform temperature. There is wind and wind blows over the source of water and there is evaporation. So without the air circulation of wind there is no hydrologic cycle, and this fits the pattern of why nobody knew what Noah was talking about when he said it was going to rain for forty days and forty nights. It would be a meaningless term to them. Also, without any global air circulation there would be no turbulence or dust particles thrown up into the upper atmosphere for that water vapor to condense on and precipitate out from. So there would be nothing to cause that to rain.