Creationism to Evolution

What is your opinion on the beginning of our universe?

This is a spectrum I have found on another Christian Forum and summarized a bit.

  1. Flat-earthers - believe that a plain reading of Scripture indicates that the earth is flat. Very few still hold on to this belief.

  2. Geocentrists - believe that the sun and all the stars revolve around the earth. They have lots of Scripture and theological bases to argue from and insist that a literal reading of Scriptures requires geocentrism.

  3. Young Earth Creationists - believe that the earth and universe are both young (less than 10,000 years old) and that all the diversity of species is the result of special creation, based on a literal reading of Scripture.

  4. Gap Theorists (a form of Old Earth Creationism) - Believe that the earth and universe were created at the time science says, but that God created Man and all the animals at the “young earth” time frame. Some believe this is a “recreation”, God having scrapped an earlier version (dinosaurs, etc).

  5. Progressive Creationists (aka “Day-Age Creationists”, another form of OEC)- Believe that the earth and universe were created at the time science says, but that each “day” in Genesis referred to an indefinite period of time. Genesis is a historically and scientifically accurate account, just that it happened over a VERY long time period.

  6. Theistic Evolutionists (with a literal Adam and Eve) - believe in an old earth and universe, but accept that God used evolution as part of His creation, basically as science describes it. But they feel that there was a literal Adam and Eve in a literal Garden. Some attribute this Adam and Eve to an instance of special creation, others to election as “representatives”, etc. Also believe in biogenesis, not abiogenesis.

  7. Theistic Evolutionists (no literal Adam and Eve, but biogenesis) - believe that Man evolved along with the other species (pursuant to God’s plan), but that the initial spark of life was immediately God induced. Some even push this forward to some mass special creation of a variety of “kinds” around the Cambrian period, with all the species evolving from there.

  8. Theistic Evolutionists (abiogenesis) - God created everything and established the full system of natural laws upon with the universe and the earth would work. And it did. With life arising at the time and place He had known it would, etc.


Hi @maylana

This question always brings out very interesting discussion! It’s quite amazing how many viewpoints there are, as you’ve outlined above. From looking through it, I think that Christians can fall into 2 general errors:

  1. taking all Biblical text literally, without making room for the different genres of writing and intention of the authors,
  2. desperately squeezing the Biblical narrative firmly into the modern scientific narrative so that too much compromise is made.

So I think it’s really important to get clarity on the Genesis text before we can address any positions on the spectrum you’ve given. As modern readers of Genesis, our most common mistake is to assume that Genesis is somehow commenting on our modern scientific understanding. It’s really hard to fit them together. What we need to do is look at the culture in which Genesis was written, work out who it was being written for, and understand the language of the time. When reading the creation account in Genesis, I have found it so helpful to understand Babylonian, Canaanite and Egyptian cosmology, as this directly influences the text in Genesis, and therefore what the author was trying to communicate and how. All the cultures that surrounded Israel had creation accounts where earth came into existence through violence and death. In Babylonian creation accounts, Marduk has to violently suppress Tiamat (the sea), and humanity was created to be slaves for the deities. In Egypt, the land god has to kill the night water serpent every night. The Genesis account is the only creation story where creation comes from a God through love and the gentle spoken word. It’s the only creation account that places man as God’s divine image bearer - a position of honour - rather than of slavery. Genesis purposely keeps the sun, moon, sea, land unnamed in contrast to the surrounding cultural creation stories that placed the sun, moon, sea and land as various gods.

Genesis isn’t a scientific text telling us how and when the earth materially came into being. It’s a message to its surrounding cultures of the time saying that Yahweh is greater than the Babylonian sea god, or the Egyptian sun god etc, and it uses the common imagery of the time to explain this. A Babylonian, Egyptian, or Israelite would have clearly understand the message of Genesis. The meaning of the creation account is Yahweh’s unrivalled glory, and man’s role as image bearer. It is not a scientific record.

I think taking this approach to scripture quickly weakens the Flat Earth and Geocentric theories. To support both of these theories, we have to ignore the message behind the Biblical text and use it erroneously to support a scientific argument.

I think that the Gap Theory might use Genesis 1:2 to support their belief - that the earth was already covered in waters. I have heard one argument put forward the idea that these waters were from a previous flood when God would have wiped out the dinosaurs etc. To support this argument though, one must ignore everything I outlined above in terms of reading Genesis, including ignoring the symbolism of water in all the ancient creation accounts. It also requires a person to insert a great deal of information that just isn’t mentioned anywhere in scripture.

Ironically, I feel that both Young Earth and Old Earth creationists have better arguments for their viewpoints! The final three viewpoints are not ones I’ve looked into enough to make too much comment, but on the surface of it, I’d be concerned they’re trying to compromise too much to fit modern scientific theory (which, by the way, may be radically different in another 100 years!).

I currently lean toward an Old Earth position, but have a lot of respect for the Young Earth position, and am very open to being completely wrong on any of it! Ultimately it doesn’t impact my faith in God, although it is very interesting to discuss. I think both YE and OE support the idea that God is not only unrivalled in his glory and power, but is also intimately involved in the life of everything on earth. They both allow God to sit as ruler and sustainer of the earth.


Thank you!
I agree. I think there are two types of arguments in the faith- those that effect our faith and those that don’t. For the ones that do, it’s much more important, but for those that don’t, it’s easier to look at other sides of the story and learn to respect them. I believe in a Young Earth myself, mainly because I was raised to think that science points to a young Earth, but I definitely see the arguments from each side respect them because it’s interesting, but not faith threatening. I think the main thing is to look first at the Bible, look first at God’s word, instead of looking at science and expecting the Bible to fit.


Yes, I so agree!

Dr. Michael LeFebvre’s scholarship helped me understand Genesis on its own terms. We did a deep-dive interview here: