Theories of Creation Part Three: Literal Day with Gaps Theory

The Literal Day with Gaps Theory is also known as the Multiple Gaps Theory.  This theory holds that the earth was created in six 24-hour days, but in between these days were an undetermined length of time.  Dr. Donald England writes, “The days could easily have been 24-hour days and the earth still date to great antiquity provided that indefinite periods of time separated six creation days[1] In this theory God creates on a particular day, and the span between the days allows for development.  No matter what happens between the days of creation is still attributed to the design of a sovereign creator.

This view does not view Genesis 1:1 as an age, but inserts the various ages between each day of creation.  At this point the geologic process takes place which makes the earth billions of years old.  It allows for things such as the Dinosaurs living and becoming extinct millions of years before man, or the sixth day.  This theory attempts to reconcile the creation narrative with that of science.  Through it all God is sovereign, and through the development of the ages he is still in charge of all new life[2].

From a logical perspective, this theory makes sense, and does allow one to reconcile a twenty-four-hour creation account with a world that is billions of years old.  From a hermeneutical point of view the theory is lacking.  The biblical text does not seem to allow for multiple gaps between each day of creation.


[1] Donald England, A Christian View of Origins (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1972), 111.

[2] Carl F.H. Henry, God, Revelation, and Authority (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1999), 144.

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