Genesis 1:1-3 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
It can be easy to get wrapped up in a debate over whether the earth is old or new, how long into the earth’s existence people were created, or if the days of creation are literal 24-hour days, but these would be considered “open-handed” issues or not essential to salvation and being a Christian.
Below, I’ll detail five Christian views of creation just because it’s something fun to think about and debate, but ultimately not divide over.
- Historic Old Earth Young Humanity Creationism
This is the idea that God bara’d the earth (created it out of nothing) possibly as far back as 4.5 billion years ago (number decided upon through radiometric dating) then asah’d (created/prepared) it in six literal days. It’s the idea that God took His time and created (bara) the earth much earlier then created (asah) everything else in six literal days much later than the earth was created. This view would require plant and possibly animal death before the first humans, Adam and Eve. Human death, however, would not come until after our first parents sinned against God.
- Young Earth Young Humanity Creationism
This is the idea that the earth was both bara’d and asah’d in six literal days at the same point in time. This view posits that science is wrong (the 4.5 billion years found by radiometric dating), that the flood in Genesis 6-9 could’ve changed the topography of the earth to make it look older, and that the earth could’ve been created as mature, similar to the way Adam was created as a mature man.
- Old Earth Creation or Intelligent Design
This is the idea that the earth is as old as 4.5 billion years, and that people were created by God, not evolved, but not in six literal days.
- Literary Framework View
This is the idea that the creation account is Hebrew allegory and metaphorical poetry. In this school of thought, there’s an old earth, old humanity, creation is not six literal days and the fact that it was all written before the Scientific Revolution means science and technology can’t be taken into account and it’s all metaphorical.
- Evolutionary Creation
In this view, God worked through the evolutionary process and humanity has evolved from lower life forms over long periods of time, not in six literal days. It’s similar to atheistic evolution in that it believes in an evolutionary process, but it instead gives God credit for the process.
Which of the 5 views make the most sense to you?
To help you study the book of Genesis with us, we have the first of three free e-book study guides here.
For a free PDF of Pastor Mark and Dr. Breshears’ Doctrine book, click here as chapter 3 specifically addresses creation.
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