This article was originally written by Pastor Chai.
There are ongoing arguments concerning the creation of the universe between those who believe in God and those who don’t. These arguments occur even between Christians.
One camp tends to fit scientific data to their interpretation of the creation passages in Genesis. These people believe that the earth and every living thing on it were created in six literal days, and that the earth is a few thousand years old.
The other side tends to trust current scientific theories of creation more than the Bible; they treat the creation passages in Genesis as mere myths or legends. They believe in a god who is the first cause of the existence of the universe but they believe that once the universe was created, he let it run according to natural laws, in particular evolution.
I recently read a book “Seven Days That Divide The World” by John C. Lennox, a math professor at Oxford University. He has three advanced degrees – a PhD, DPhil, and DSc. In other words, he is an expert in mathematics, science, and theology. He believes that the Bible is the Word of God and truthful. He also believes that scientific evidence ultimately proves the truthfulness of the Bible. So his interpretation of the creation passages is based on both Biblical facts and scientific evidence. To me, his interpretation is the most sound.
Lennox believes that Genesis 1:1 describes the Big Bang. He also believes that Genesis 1:2 describes the events following the Big Bang: that initial burst of energy leads to the formation of subparticles, then atoms and molecules, then matter, stars, and finally the earth. Although Genesis 1:2 is only one sentence long, this process may have taken millions or billions of years.
He believes that Genesis 1:3 and subsequent passages describe what God did to the earth to make it a habitable place for human beings, the crown of His creation. Each passage, concerning the creation of night and day, fishes, animals, etc. ends with the phrase: “And there was evening, and there was morning.” He sees no reason for not believing each creation day taking a normal 24 hours. But he thinks that there could be a long interval between each creation day.
Fossil evidence doesn’t show living things evolving from one species to another by a slow process. On the contrary, the fossil record shows many new life forms suddenly appearing. Lennox’s interpretation fits both Bible passages and fossil evidence. To me, his interpretation of the creation passages in Scripture seems to be the closest to how our universe was actually created.