Once in a time half remembered by old men deep in their tankards, I promised to write about six day creation. That time has come.
This may be incomplete. I am always reading and studying: although I remain firmly convinced of the conclusion, it is always a labor of love to find new and better ways to express and defend it.
I wanted to get to the bottom of the issue. I could approach it scientifically, that is true. Evolution has no true proof to support it. Many other better men than I are qualified to attack it there.
The more I studied, the more I realized was that evolution is a faith. Dr. Morris of the ICR has shown this extensively. This is not in itself a proof for creationism, but it does shape the debate between the old and new earth camps. The conversation must be couched in teleological terms – for what purpose did God do things the way he did? Is it essential that he did it exactly as described in Genesis? If the answer is no, then the old earth model can be considered. If the answer is yes, then the young earth model is the only option.
Therefore, the teleological approach is, I believe, of a great deal more help than any amount of “science.” Science is very often merely philosophy and teleology disguised behind big words and fancy charts.
A discussion of typology and symbolism is unfortunately integral to our discussion. I refer the curious reader to Jim Jordan’s vast works on this subject for details. The main tenet of reading the Bible this way is that God works in certain patterns that have very deep meanings. These patterns often repeat themselves, and every action of a creature of God is inherently symbolic. We often think of symbolism as lagniappe, but Peter Leithart has argued that it is in fact often more important than the physical way it is presented. For example, the act of sticking one’s arm out towards someone’s chest might seem odd until we consider the symbolic meaning of this action in our culture: it is impossible to separate this act from the symbolism of a handshake.
Now, I understand that there are many opponents of this kind of thinking, and many within my own circles. That’s ok, but it must be understood that this is critical to understanding the Bible correctly, and by extension every aspect of life. Theology without typology is often helpful but remains incomplete! And everyone understands this to some extent whether they mean it or not.
To the point: this serves to explain why the creation account may sound more like a fanciful description than a literal story. God did things in that way to establish patterns deeply into his creation. Each new day sees God acting on the world in a Covenant sequence, taking hold and changing things from glory to glory, culminating in the creation of man, the most glorious creature of all. The argument can still be raised that this is merely embellishment…that there are unmentioned eons of time that can account for geological phenomena we see today. This is only tenable if “we think we can deduce the ages of things by looking at them” (In Six Days, Jordan). Why did the Spirit write the account this way? Is he lying? Certainly not. The world was created this way to embed God’s patterns into creation, and to teach us something about God and about ourselves.
This post should serve as a basic introduction for where I will be heading with this topic. It is now clear to me that typology is at the heart of the debate, so that’s where I’ll be concentrating my efforts. God bless.