Do You Believe God Created the Earth in Six Literal 24-Hour Days?

By Randy Alcorn February 18, 2010

First let me say that many sincere people believe in the Bible and also believe in an old earth. They do this via the gap theory or day age theory or some other means of interpretation.

Secondly, let me say that I am not certain about the age of the universe, the age of the earth, or when the first humans walked the earth. I have read very persuasive scientific arguments for an old earth, and have read some counterarguments that may have merit. I don't feel qualified scientifically to make the judgment.

But when I am asked what Genesis appears to be saying, it is not so vague. To me it just seems so difficult to find other positions in Genesis 1, other than the literal 24-hour days position, without importing them. Hard to see them there to export! I have read widely the Intelligent Design material and I like it. I believe it certainly serves a good purpose, but its assumption of the old universe may not be valid.

I get concerned when we accept as givens premises that seem out of tune with Scripture. Yet I also recognize people’s genuine concerns about the extreme apparent age of the earth. So I respect friends who hold to the gap theory and day age and the variants, and appreciate their insistence on inspiration. But when I listen to the proponents of these theories, I’m still left feeling it’s obvious that no one would ever have come up with such interpretations except to solve a problem. And how many problems of one era of history disappeared on their own, only to leave believers with a strange biblical interpretation the text doesn’t and never did support?

I particularly cringe when I hear evangelicals view Genesis 1-11 as poetry or allegory and talk about God using macroevolution to “create” the first man and woman, which is basically “stick a soul in a sufficiently evolved primate.” What are the implications of Jesus and his obvious belief in the first man and woman, and Paul’s explanation that we all sinned in Adam? If God created Eve out of Adam, then that is an explicit disproof of God choosing two primates to honor as the “first man and first woman.”

If Paul was wrong, then so much for inspiration. If Jesus was wrong, so much for salvation. Yet, I know evangelicals, including some bestselling authors and prominent influencers—who though they avoid saying these things publicly—nonetheless, believe them privately, or at least consider then viable positions. But without the biblical doctrine of creation, there is no doctrine of redemption.

Speaking of this subject, I'm presently leading a group of mostly younger men in a study of creation, using two books: Schaeffer’s Genesis in Space and Time and Lee Strobel’s The Case for a Creator, which contains interviews with a number of the major Intelligent Design proponents (and assumes an old earth, not a young one). They're both great books, which I would encourage you to pick up from your local Christian bookstore.

A Reader's Response to One of Randy's Books

Edge of Eternity is one of the best books I have ever read, both as a literature fan and as a Christian.

I've probably read the book cover to cover about 15 times and still to this day every time I read it I can't help but cry like a baby at the beautiful imagery. Every time I read the part where the woodsman tells Nick Seagrave that "I did it all for you, I would have done it for you alone." I feel like God is speaking directly to me...and I can't begin to tell you how amazing that feels.

Even more than that scene however is that fact that this book addresses the issue of Christians living after coming to Christ-and that we're not alone in continuing to view ourselves worthless and to fall victim to ourselves, the world, and the enemy.

This book is a great comfort in my life, and a reminder anytime I get away from it of how important it is to read my Bible and follow the red path Home. —R.S.

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of fifty-some books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries