I guess the easiest way of giving a synopsis is to review where I was having issues with the YE model. It actually started studying the OT and was primarily the two accounts of Gen 1 & 2. I just couldn’t buy into the documentary hypothesis, so the Gen 1 account being an E source and Gen 2 being a P source seemed, for lack of a better word, lame. Passages like Psalm 19 and Romans 1:18-25 were also giving me problems because their teaching of natural revelation did not align with with what I saw in Gen 1.
Our prof had discussed Gen 1 as polemic, Gen 1 as ancient Hebrew poetry, Gen 1 as a framework, etc. but I wasn’t comfortable just brushing it off like that. It could well be true that Gen 1 did serve the polemic role in countering other peoples’ creation stories. I could well be true that there are poetic elements in its structure — especially the “evening and morning” divisions. Yet that doesn’t justify trivializing the passage or questioning their accuracy.
Then I read it again, looking at the divisions created by the “evening and morning…” phrase. And that’s when it hit me. Those divisions were almost exact matches for the proposed epochs of geological time. Then I read Genesis 1:1 again and it was like a light-bulb; that is a perfect description of the Big Bang, if the expanding model was correct (they didn’t know at that time).
I had come to on my own, what I would later find was called the Day-Age theory. Gen 1 and 2 fit without conflict. The genealogies no longer presented a problem. The heavens clearly declared the glory of God. His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature were unarguably seen being understood through what has been made. Oh… and I got an A- on the term paper that this study became. 🙂
It was after that, that the science kicked in. In my Cell Biology class, the engineering in the cell is amazing. In embryology, discussions of the origins of life were desperate grasping of straws without a creator. In genetics I realized I was looking at highly sophisticated software engineering. Physics gave me a finite origin of the universe as well as the anthropic principle. My various math classes gave some perspective on dimensions, and the real kicker: probability. And when I started thinking in probabilistic terms regarding the building blocks for life, it became quickly apparent that there isn’t a difference between six thousand, 4 billion or even 10-12 billion years.
Genesis and especially Romans 1 took on a whole new level of jaw-dropping awesomeness. God and His transcendent majesty took on a whole new meaning. I used to describe it as “Give me the Big Bang and the Anthropic principle and you cannot avoid a transcendent, intelligent, personal, moral God. From there, it’s only a short walk to the God of the Bible.”
This was all some 15-20 years before I learned that the Hebrew ‘yom’ means an age as well as a day. Before I learned about flood geology and all the red flags of weak science that I saw surrounding it. Before I heard of ICR or AIG or Kent Hovind. Before I studied the early fathers’ perspectives on creation. Before I studied the history of church thinking on creation since Darwin, the history of the flood geology models and their ties to Seventh Day Adventists. Before I found out that not only was I not alone in my thinking, but that there were many more solid evangelical thinkers who carried similar opinions (that list is surprising).
So that is a synopsis — with a bit of editorial thrown in. At the end of the day, I’m left with model that satisfies a number of important issues:
– a literal interpretation is maintained.
– inerrancy is maintained.
– internal consistency within the Bible is maintained or improved.
– Genesis remains truthful and relevant in both Moses day as well as ours.
– Natural revelation is preserved.
– The God of the Bible is necessitated (and glorified).
– It demonstrates the nature of God.
– It doesn’t require “special knowledge” to reconcile Genesis with creation or the rest of the Bible (that sounds just TOO much like the gnostics).
– Materialistic arguments cannot stand up well.
– It provides very powerful evangelic tools (though for some reason skeptics don’t seem to want to discuss the subject with me anymore).
– It’s well supported in conservative evangelical scholarship (outside certain vocal segments).
– Faith is reasoned, not blind (an oft forgotten biblical principle).