Alternate Creation Theory #3: Day/Age Theory :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

Genesis 1:1, Exodus 20:8-11, Psalm 33:6-12, Psalm 104, Hebrews 11:3, John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:16-18

Summary: Another theory of the creation of the universe in opposition to the record given in Genesis 1 is the “Day/Age” Theory, and like the previous two we looked at, it has neither the science nor Scriptural foundation to verify its claim.

We have looked at two of four “theories of creation” used to explain our origins apart from what is clearly and unapologetically presented in the first chapter of Genesis. The first theory is known as “theistic evolution,” which teaches that God used evolution as part of the creation process. The second theory is the “Gap” theory. It was an attempt to “rectify” a possible “gap” of undisclosed time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, allowing evolution to occur or that there was a previous world that had been ruined somehow and needed to be re-created by God.

Both of these “theories” are an attempt to blend Darwinian evolutionary theory and Scripture in order to sound palatable to some in the scientific community and the skeptics, and is a way to “fit in” with the world system that, in the end, rejects the authority of the Bible and the existence of God Himself. Any “theory” apart from what God has shown to us in His Word is nothing more than a compromise of belief and a demonstration of shame for the truth (John 14:6, 17:17; Romans 1:17; 1 John 2:15-17).

I want to present the third of these theories, known as the “day/age” argument. We’ll look at what it proposes and how it either stands or falls in light of both science and the Bible.

The “day/age” theory supporters believe that life evolved over billions of years. They teach that God guided this evolutionary process by intervening at critical stages when it became necessary to correct the mistakes that were generated through natural selection. Day/age theorists also believe that the geological column and fossil records are proof that the earth’s history was laid down in uniform fashion. They view this assumption as something that Christians must reconcile with their faith if they ever hope to be taken seriously by educated friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

To accommodate these suppositions, the day/age theorists insist that the days of Genesis are not to be viewed as literal 24-hour days but rather as six periods of extended time. Each long period of time is essentially made to correspond to one of the six days of creation. On the contrary, my professor of the Old Testament at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary affirmed and professed a literal six-day creation in the class I took on Genesis. So much for fear of being ostracized or criticized by the “educated” class (Acts 17:22-34; Romans 3:4; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25). All of my professors in seminary were firm Bible believers, and for that, I am thankful.

The same scientific problems addressed in dealing with theistic evolution and the “gap” theory are the same for adherents of the “day/age theory. However, I want to concentrate on the Scriptural problems with the “Day/Age” theory. The first is that its proponents redefine the word “day” in Genesis 1 to mean a long period of time. The Hebrew word for “day” is “Yom.” This word is used 2,291 times in the Old Testament and typically refers to a literal 24-hour day.

In Genesis 1, God defines the “light” and “dark” cycle as “morning” and “evening,” which obviously describes a literal 24-hour day. The terms “evening” and “morning” are used 38 times in the Old Testament and always refer to, again, a 24-hour day. In Exodus 20:8-11 God explains humanity’s work week, defined as six days of labor and one of rest. He paralleled it with the same pattern He set during His creation work week, laboring six days and hallowing the seventh as a day of rest.

Mixing and matching literal days and indefinite periods of time in such parallel contexts would appear to be a desperate attempt to promote personal ideology at the expense of Scripture. It is also a faulty means of Bible interpretation. If each day of creation somehow represents a period of undisclosed millions or billions of years, then we have to believe that Adam also lived that long. Human beings have never lived that long, even in the antediluvian (pre-flood) world.

The order of creation, as presented in Genesis 1, does not agree with any type of evolutionary theory. The day/age theory cannot accommodate both days of Genesis and the basic tenets of evolution. Here’s an example: We read in Genesis 1:11-12 that God created plant life on the third day and the sun on the fourth. While plants may be able to survive one day without the sun, they certainly could NOT survive without the sun for long ages of time.

Here is something else to consider: A perfect God would not create imperfection. Why would God take so long a time to create everything? In Psalms 33, 104, and Hebrews 11:3, God spoke, and His creative will was done instantly. If you accept His miraculous power to heal the sick, raise the dead, or calm the sea instantaneously while rejecting His power to create in the same manner, it is an unnecessary and troublesome position for a Christian to maintain.

The supporters of the day/age theory seem determined to reconcile a supernatural creation with atheistic ideas of naturalism. Any accommodation theory apart from what Scripture records (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21) is a slippery slope that gradually leads to an abandonment of the biblical teachings about God’s miracles in general and Jesus’ miracles in particular.

It should be noted that this “slippery slope” of compromise, or a “downgrade” of belief, was the main reason that the effectiveness of Christianity dwindled in the United Kingdom at the end of the 19th century. The “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), fought so hard against this compromise that it damaged his health and was one of the factors that led to his early demise.

Are there any preachers, teachers, or believers in these last days willing to fight for the truth of the Gospel, or have we become ashamed of it?

We are in just as much of a “downgrade” of biblical authority today. Let us stand firm in what is recorded in the Word of God. It works better that way.

Resources for further study:

“Battle for the Beginning” and “Ashamed of the Gospel” by John MacArthur

“Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers” by Lewis Drummond

“The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics” by Ed Hindson and Ergun Caner