An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day Creation View, Part 3

JP: Part 3 of a 3 part series by Dr. Robert V. McCabe of Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. Part 1 | Part 2.

An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day Creation View, Part 3


I am convinced that the alternative accounts I summarized in my last post are wrong. … my objective is to present three areas of weakness and a questionable presupposition that each view shares.

  1. Hermeneutical inconsistency: …. Non-literal interpretations of the creation week minimize the historical details of the creation account—and this is what we would expect if Genesis 1:1–2:3 were a poetic or even a semi-poetic account. However, this account has the characteristics of historical, narrative literature, rather than poetic literature. If this account were poetry, poetic parallelism would be its dominant feature, as it is in passages such as the creation hymn in Psalm 104. In contrast to the expected rhetorical features associated with poetry, Genesis 1:1–2:3 consistently uses a grammatical device that characterizes historical literature.
  2. An inconsistency with the perspicuity of Scripture: The doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture maintains that the average believer can comprehend the Bible’s overall message. What this doctrine denies is that a believer needs assistance from an external interpreter, whether it be a Pope, philosophy, or any other human authority, to arrive at a proper understanding of the Bible’s basic doctrines. In Scripture, the literal understanding of the creation account is both assumed and used as the basis for other commands, such as the Sabbath command in Exodus 20:8–11.
  3. Undermining the Fall of Adam and the Edenic Curse: Each of the alternative views directly affirms or allows for suffering and death before the fall of the head of the human race and thus undermines both the headship of Adam and the Edenic curse.
  4. Presuppositions and biblical interpretation: … the twenty-four-hour day view has been the dominant view of Christian interpreters from the church fathers until … the mid-1800s. … What has primarily changed since [then] is the way man defines and uses science. Modern scientific opinion has seemingly been elevated to the status of general revelation, and with its elevation “scientific opinion” has become an a priori that influences how we interpret Genesis 1:1–2:3.

Therefore, my conclusions are that theistic evolution, the gap theory, and the day-age and framework views pose more exegetical and theological difficulties than they solve. The traditional, literal reading provides the most consistent interpretation of the exegetical details associated with the context of the early chapters of Genesis and the overall theological message of Scripture. At the end of the day, therefore, I am convinced that the Westminster Confession of Faith is still correct: “In the beginning it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, to create or make the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good” (chapter 4, paragraph 1).

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