This is a question that invariably comes up when Christians are faced with people who are more inclined toward scientific views and evidence.
So this is an article that will try to shed light on the basis of Scripture and scientific evidence. Before I lose you, keep in mind that God put the laws of physics in motion, just as He designed them, and as such they will have to be taken into account.
When did it all start? Genesis 1: 1 is our foundation, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Perhaps the Big Bang as a science looks back to the beginning and agrees that there was some kind of major event that set everything in motion. Being consistent with all Scripture that tells us the nature and character of God, we know that He is perfect, and therefore when He creates something, to be consistent with His nature, it should also be perfect.
Genesis 1: 2 continues (?) “And the earth was shapeless and empty.” Obviously, there was no one there to record these events, so when the author of Genesis wrote these words in Hebrew, it was under the direction of Almighty God. The Lord uses words in the Scriptures with a very specific purpose, and the words that have been translated into English, “without form and void” is “tohu wabohu”, which means “to become complete, total and unrecognizable ruins” or a “uninhabitable wilderness” and is only used elsewhere in all of Scripture, in Jeremiah 4:23 about a nation that was a land that had been filled with milk and honey, but was about to change due to disobedience From Israel. Just look at Israel today and how hard the land is to farm just about anything.
The reason this is important is that in Genesis 1: 1 God has perfectly created all the heavens and the earth and by Genesis 1: 2 it had deteriorated to a place that was completely, totally, unrecognizable, ruined and uninhabitable. . This is commonly known as the “gap” theory, avoiding the possibility that some time has elapsed between these 2 verses. It cannot be denied that the state of the earth is different in these 2 verses. It started out perfect, time goes by, now ruined. The scriptures don’t tell us how long, but given the laws of physics and geological studies show it could be hundreds of millions or even billions of years. I will cover more on this later.
So if the Earth was created perfect but had been ruined, some event had to have happened. In Matthew, Jesus says that he saw Satan strike the earth like lightning. We also know that Satan ruins and destroys everything he touches (John 10:10). So is it possible that Satan was thrown to Earth hundreds of millions of years ago and that Genesis 1: 2 has completely, totally, and unrecognizable ruined the Earth by turning it into an uninhabitable wilderness? Could be.
Let’s cover this “aging” topic. Yes, it seems that God created Adam (the first man) to be an adult. Suppose Adam was created and even though he was actually only 1 day old, he was able to be fully functional as if he were, say, 20 years old. Likewise, the Lord probably did the same when he created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. Perhaps all living animals were created as aged beings. In these cases, starting from “conception” would not have been a valid starting point. So which came first, the chicken or the egg? Probably an adult hen and her partner. Adam may have been created 10 minutes ago, but he appears to be 20 years old, can we really intelligently argue that he only has 10 minutes when all science would say he was 20 years old?
Next, let’s look at the Universe. Science estimates that the Universe is 14 billion years old, which means that light has been traveling for 14 billion years at the beginning of the Big Bang. The Hubble telescope has been able to see systems in which light has traveled towards Earth for hundreds of millions, if not billions of years, at least supposedly.
So here is the 6,000-year scenario, in Genesis 1: 1, God put the light that would have been emitted by galaxies, solar systems, planets, etc. in various places throughout the universe from their origin as if they were perhaps hundreds of millions of years or billions of years old, but they never really existed and God simply placed the light in the right place throughout the universe to reach planet Earth in a It’s time we can see these events now.
Our solar system is 26,000 light years from the center of the Milky Way. That would mean that light has been traveling for at least 20,000 years BEFORE Earth was created so that we can now see its center. Has no sense. What would God gain by deceiving us when science suggests that it is much older?
This is only a small sample of events that could be analyzed for which we would have to find reasonable answers so that we do not appear to be ignorant creationists without regard for science, science that our Almighty God put into practice.
In conclusion, it is quite easy to count back around 6,000 years to get to Genesis 1: 3, but to hold that Genesis 1: 1 and 2 were simultaneous events is in fact clearly articulated in Scripture is an assumption and I think only the the opposite is true. What could God gain by aging an entire Universe to “appear” older than 6,000 years when it was like Adam, just a fraction of what it seems? If in fact Almighty God has made everything “look” older than 6,000 years, how then can we intelligently argue that it is not? We just can’t.
Personally, I have no problem with the Universe being literally 14 billion years old or so a few billion years old, Earth is 4.56 billion years old, the Grand Canyon takes millions of years to form, dinosaurs roam the Earth millions of years. An ice age that lasted millions of years ago about 55 million years ago and diamonds took millions of years under millions of pounds of pressure to form. And it makes us seem ridiculous to try to explain this, ruining any possible credibility to be heard about The Truth that can set people free.
None of these events contradict the Scriptures or disturb the very nature of Almighty God. It also does not cover evolution, especially intraspecific evolution that Darwin embraced, for example humans “evolved” from apes, God made man in His image (creation), not apes and then somehow turned them into humans. I believe that Scripture and science are compatible and it would greatly help believers go from being viewed as ignorant and backward people to intelligent people who have also embraced faith in God and received His love and forgiveness through His Son. Jesus Christ.