Friday, April 16, 2010

Foundational Principles

In discussing foundational principles one must eventually consider the creation account as presented in Genesis. At its core is the reliability of God and whether or not He says what He means. In general there are four main theories of creation:
The Literal Day Theory – is really self explanatory and really should not need any commentary. It takes the scriptural account at its word and exegetically requires less mental gymnastics to arrive at its conclusions i.e. God accomplished His creation in 6 literal 24 hr days (yôm(s)) as He states. It also allows the reader to use a usual and customary understanding of the text and is supported by reference in Ex 20:11 in which God makes a declarative statement regarding creation.
The Day-Age Theory – holds that yôm is used metaphorically with each day representing a geological age. This theory gives deference to the scientific community by discounting God’s creative fiat of speaking creation into existence fully mature so that things were capable of seed production rather than God having planted seeds which would have required the normal process of growth we know today.
The Literal-Day-with-Gaps Theory – holds that the Genesis’ account of the creation days are indeed literal 24 hr days but do not occur in succession. This theory allows for gaps between each day of an indeterminate duration to presumably account for the apparent large age of the earth.
The Revelatory Day Theory – holds that creation was revealed to man in six days and is therefore “pictorial” of the actual creative process. Advocates believe that God revealed His past creative account in visions much as He revealed future judgment in visions.

Some would ask “Does it really matter to hold to one particular view and should that view be the literal day theory over the others” to which one can only answer “Yes it matters…very much actually. And yes the literal day theory is the correct view to hold.” And here is why.A proper view of the creation week, particularly God’s use of the word yôm, provides the foundation to many other passages. In every instance where yôm is modified by a definite or cardinal number a literal 24 hour period is in view.

We hear God declaring His model of man’s work as being 6 days of work and one day of rest based upon His creative week in Ex 20:11. We also see this in Johna 1:17 where yôm is modified by the definite article 3 and along with leeylowt, indicates 3 literal light periods and 3 literal dark periods to total 3-24 hr days. We also see this concept carried into the NT in Mt 12:40 where Christ, in conveying the truth of his impending death, points to Jonah as the example; there heeméras and núktas are modified by the definite number 3.

So we see that the foundational principle of exactly what did God mean when He stated that at the end of the evening and morning were a day matters a great deal and will affect how we view other areas of Scripture as well.

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