Dr. Jack L.
A. The Day-Age theory is
another attempt to harmonize the apparent facts of science (geology, fossils,
etc.), with the creation account. NOTE: Of all the time theories, the Day-Age
theory is by far the best and most logical.
B. This theory was popularized by James D.
Dane, former professor at Yale University. It is held today by such men as Eric Seuer, Gleason Archer, J. Oliver Buswell
and a host of other evangelical scholars.
II. AGE-DAY (Concordistic Theory)
A. Definition. This view is usually associated with the
geologic time scale and allows each day of Genesis 1 to be periods of as much
as one million years in length. There were no 24-hour days in the history of
creation at anytime.
1. Uses of “Day” in Scripture
a. Twelve-hour period. It is sometimes used to mean the period
from daylight to dark. In its simplest sense it is the light time of the day
cycle (Gen. 8:22; Psa. 55:17).
hours. This is the normal sunset to sunset usage (Exod. 12:15-20; Lev. 23:32).
of Jehovah. This is a use as a long period of time, which is yet future.
d. General time. General time is expressed in Job 20:38,
“day of his wrath”; “day of trouble” Psa. 20:11); end “day of cleansing” Lev.
14:2), which is an undetermined time of healing.
e. Day according to God: Time is not
reckoned in the mind of man as it is with God (Psa. 90:4; 2 Pet. 3:8).
f. POINT: The word “day” has all kinds of
meanings in the Bible, so why does it have to be a literal 24-hour day in
in Genesis 1:1-2:4. In
Genesis 2:4, “day” is used to cover the length of the begetting of the heaven
and the earth, evidently including all activity from Genesis 1:1-2:3.
3. Creation of Man
“Genesis 1:27 states that after creating all the land
animals on the sixth day, God created man, both male and female. Then, in the
more detailed treatment of Genesis 2 we are told that God created Adam first,
gave him the responsibility of tending the Garden of Eden for some length of
time until He observed him to be lonely. He then granted him fellowship of all
the beasts and animals of earth, with opportunity to bestow names upon them
all. Some undetermined period of time after God observed that Adam was still
lonely. He finally fashioned a human wife for him by means of a rib removed
from him during a “deep sleep.” Then at last he brought Eve before Adam and
presented her to him as his new life partner. Who can imagine that all these
transactions could possibly have taken place in 120 minutes of the sixth day
(or even within twenty-four hours, for that matter)? And yet Genesis 1:27
states both Adam and Eve were created at the very end of the final day of
creation. Obviously the “days” of chapter 1 are intended to present stages of
unspecified length, not literal twenty-four hour days” (G. Archer, Jr., A
Survey of Old Testament Introduction).
4. View. A consideration of giving the word “day” a longer time
element than 24 hours was held by many Jewish rabbis, and some early Christian
greats, Irenaeus Origen, Augustine, etc.
5. Not a Stepping Stone to Evolution. A man does not have to be an
evolutionist to believe in the Day-Age theory. In fact, evangelicals who do
hold this position do not hold to the evolutionary theory.
6. Geologic Harmonization. The
Day-Age view provides a framework which best fits with
geological strata and fossil beds. The order of the strata is basically the
same and vast ages would be necessary for the formation of these fossil strata.
The age-day theory, then, accounts for the six
creative days as indicating the broad outlines of the creative work of God in
fashioning the earth and its inhabitants up until the appearance of Adam and
Eve, Modern geologists agree with Genesis 1 in the following particulars: (a)
the earth began in a confused and chaotic form, which subsequently gave way to
a more orderly state; (b) the proper conditions for the maintenance of life
were brought into being: the separation of the thick vapor surrounding the
earth into clouds above and rivers and seas below1 with the
evaporation-precipitation cycle, and also with the increasing penetration of
the sunlight (for the previous creation of the sun is suggested by the first
command: “Let there be light!”) to the surface of the earth; (c) the separation
of land from sea (or the emergence of dry land above the receding water level)
preceded the appearance of life upon the soil; (d) vegetable life had already
made its appearance before the first emergence of animal life in the Cambrian
period. As a matter of fact, all the invertebrate phyla appear
contemporaneously with remarkable sudden” ness in the
Cambrian strata, with no indication in any of the Precambrian deposits as to
how these various phyla, classes and orders represented by no less then 5,000
species) may have developed; (e) both Genesis and geology agree that the simpler
forms appeared first and the more complex later; (f) both agree that mankind
appeared as the latest and highest product of the creative process.
7. Glorifies God More. God is glorified just as much by using
an age as a day for His creative process. It must be remembered that God’s time
scale is not limited as man’s is.
To Him, a thousand years is as one day. God is not in a hurry and can afford to take His time.
The immediate context of Genesis plus the fact that when “day” is used as a
numerical adjective it always refers to a literal, 24-hour day seems to weaken
the Day-Age view.
2. It is difficult to understand why God
would need thousands of years to create man, unless He did it through the
evolutionary process. If this is the case, then the Bible refutes any idea of
the theistic evolution of man (Matt. 19:14; I. Cor. 11:8; Gen. 2:7; I Cor.
3. This view plays down the majesty and
supernatural character of God. Whenever a miracle was done in the Bible it was
instantaneous and complete. An immediate act of creation brings much more glory
4. The language of Genesis 1 seems to
support instant creation rather than long periods of time: “God created” (1:1), “God said, let
there be” (1:6), “God made” (1:7), “Let the earth bring forth” (1:11), etc.
5. This view capitulates a great deal to
uniformitarian geology and often allows science to govern the interpretation of
6. This view may leave the door open to
some type of evolution.
III. REAL DAYS BUT NOT ORDINARY DAYS THEORY
This is a modified Day-Age view which admits
that a normal 24-hour day is scientific fact in operation today, but in the
original creation “day” might well have been a figure of ten minutes, ten years
or ten thousand years (eons are highly improbably). Each day was varied in
length to accomplish its intended purpose.
1. Meaning of Day. It can be proven that “day” can have
various time elements attached to it in Scripture.
2. Fits With Science. This view can
harmonize geology, which takes vast lengths of time, with Scripture, and yet
hold to immediate creation of man, which might have only taken minutes.
3. Things May Not Have Always Been
Uniform. Those who hold to a
literal 24-hour day are usually also very strong in their conviction that all
things since original creation have not been uniform, Why
then would days have to be uniform in length?
1. Context and use of “day” with a
numerical adjective in Genesis 1 supports a literal 24-hour day.
2. There is no indication anywhere to
Scripture that there was a variance of time in the days of creation.
3. This view must make concessions to