The following series of posts are my brief answer to this question:
As far as my history goes on understanding the Genesis creation account, I was raised to believe in a ‘literal’ interpretation of the book of Genesis. This meant that I was taught that the creation days, in Genesis one, were six 24-hour days during which God created the entire universe. Now, it is that view that I have always believed and it is that view that I hold today. But I must note that my traditional understanding of ‘literal’ interpretation has shifted. I am very strongly convinced that we should use the word ‘literal’ to refer to the meaning that the author originally intended. Thus, I do disagree with my upbringing on the idea that a ‘literal’ interpretation always means that we are to accept the words at face value according to how we understand the space-time-matter universe today. A good example of this would be where Scripture talks about the stars falling and the sun and moon during black and not giving light (e.g. – Matt. 24:29, Acts 2:14-21). In places such as these, cosmic catastrophe language is being used ‘apocalyptically’ in order to ‘reveal’ something about a given time period where the order of things are changing and God is judging nations and peoples in righteousness. So, where does that leave us in terms of the questions of Genesis chapter one and its meaning?
I think I can safely say that most scholarly interpreters of Genesis chapter one do not categorize the language as apocalyptic language. But there are several views that do say that the language of Genesis chapter one is different from the rest of the chapters in the book of Genesis. Two of these views are the Framework Theory and the Day-Age Theory. These views will be briefly interacted with in the following paragraphs as I seek to articulate my own view of the Genesis creation account.
To start with, when defending a ‘young earth,’ or ‘young age’ view (as I prefer to say ), one must deal with several issues in order to rightly clarify and establish what the Bible teaches about the creation account – that God took six 24-hour earth days to create the entire universe. Therefore, I would like to defend four basic premises in what follows: 1) Human testimony of God’s act of creation existed before Moses wrote or compiled the information contained in the book of Genesis. 2) The meaning of the word ‘day’ in Genesis one is to be understood in light of the words ‘morning’ and ‘evening.’ 3) The creation account is uniquely anthropocentric and the rest of the Bible acknowledges this as an important key to understanding the purpose of creation with respect to mankind. 4) A physically ‘mature’ creation is the norm for the entire creation account.
To be continued… on Thursday, Part 2 will be published.