Is it important to believe in a literal six-day creation?
Some would say “no”. Others would even go so far as to say that those who believe that God created the cosmos in 6 24-hour days hurts the Christian message and is a stumbling block to evangelism. If we want to reach the unbelieving world for Jesus, they assert, we need to be more scientific and take the evidence that the earth is billions of years old.
The Old Earth vs. Young Earth debate is nothing new. Yet, where you land on this issue has direct implications regarding the consistency of your Christian worldview. More specifically, how you consider the Scriptures themselves.
The first verse of the first book of the Bible, Genesis, sets the stage for all of history and gives us the reason for reality itself. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). That one verse is the fundamental principle that all philosophy, science, matters of existence is built upon. Without God, there is no basis for any truth claim nor is there a consistent objective answer by which we can appeal to. To put it another way, to reject Genesis 1:1 is to claim that your life is nothing more than a meaningless, illogical and hopeless existence.
Contrary to Carl Sagan’s poetic description of humanity that we are made of “stars”, if God didn’t create us then we are all products of slime plus time plus chance devoid of any value or purpose.
Hardly something worth celebrating.
The reality is God did create the cosmos and He did it because He is good. God’s attributes like his creativity, his almighty power, his loving-kindness and many more are all displayed in the creation.
As Romans 1:20 says, “For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”
But was this done in 6 literal days? Does the creation narrative in Genesis 1 speak of 24-hour periods or could it mean something else?
Some take the approach that the creation narratives of Genesis 1-2 should not be taken literally rather allegorically. The accounts of God speaking creation into existence and the order of creation itself is meant to symbolize a deeper truth than just providing an answer to how we all got here.
Others will take the approach that the word “day” in Genesis 1-2, could possibly mean “long age” which gives room for the possibility of Theistic evolution--that God did act in creation by merely starting the evolutionary process that lasted millions of years.
There is a problem with either of those views and it comes down to how we interpret the Bible.
The Book of Genesis, particularly Genesis 1-2 are written as historical narrative not as allegorical poetry. There is allegory in the Bible but it is not found in Genesis. Genesis is about history, answering the questions of origins.
Secondly, the word “day” is translated from the Hebraic word yowm, and the majority of its usage within the Scripture is in reference to a 24-hour period. For example, in Exodus 20:19, references Genesis 1 and gives the command to set a day aside to rest because “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth…and rested on the seventh day.
To make it very simple, a proper interpretation of Scripture clearly refutes the idea of Theistic evolution or any other billion-year-old-earth theories and proves a six-day creation.
And we shouldn’t be embarrassed or apologize for that.
We should believe the Bible as it is written and my concern for individuals who deny clear Scripture at face value, what else will they deny?
The virgin birth?
If someone is willing to throw out the message of the first two chapters of the Bible, what else are they willing to throw out?
In fact, a denial of six-day creation within churches has opened the door for theological liberalism that stamps its approval on homosexual marriage, abortion and a whole host of other issues.
Show me a church or Christian organization that denies the clear message of Genesis 1-2 and I will show you a group that has grossly deviated from Christian orthodoxy in other areas.
So, we go back to our original question, “It is important to believe in a literal six-day creation?”
The answer is yes because the Bible teaches it.