Genesis 1:3-5 ESV
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
Before I go delve into the days of creation, I want to preface the next few posts with an explanation of my view of creation.
Many people believe that science and faith are at opposite ends of the spectrum. As a result, some Christians who take the Bible at face value distrust all science; some scientists who take physical evidence seriously reject all religion.
It is blatantly obvious to anyone who follows my blog that I believe science and faith are compatible, and even complimentary.
I believe that the Bible is God’s Word and is the highest authority regarding life, the universe, and everything else. The Bible is God’s greatest example of special revelation to His people. I also believe that nature is God’s general revelation to all mankind, so all mankind is without excuse regarding God’s existence (Romans 1:18-20). The universe was created by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3). Since both the Bible and the universe come from the same source, they should not contradict one another.
I understand that the skeptic of Christianity will find this hard to accept, but if I am right, the evidence will support my viewpoint.
Now for a point of view that some Christian skeptics of science will find hard to accept.
I believe when both the Bible and the scientific evidence are considered, Old Earth Creationism makes a lot more sense than the more common Young Earth Creationism. There is simply too much solid evidence that the earth is billions of years old, rather than 10,000 years or less as Young Earth Creationists claim.
I also believe the days of creation are long periods of time rather than periods of 24 hours. There are several examples in the Bible of the word day that are not 24 hour periods, such as the day Joshua prayed and the Lord stopped the sun, or a day in the Lord’s sight being 1,000 years, and 1,000 years being a day. One does not have to believe that the days of creation equal 24 hour periods to take Scripture at face value.
This is not to say the Lord does not have the ability to create the universe over the course of a literal week. It is simply to say that day does not always mean a 24 hour period in the Bible, and scientific evidence does not support the view that God created everything in the span of a literal week.
So why would there be light before the sun was created?
Short answer: There wasn’t.
Longer answer: The creation account was written from the point of view of someone standing on the earth. The early earth was covered with hazy clouds which blocked out the sun.
This layer of clouds blocked view of God’s sources of light–the sun, moon, and stars. (Yes, I realize the moon reflects the sun’s light rather than giving its own light; remember that the creation account was given from the point of view of someone on earth. We know this, but we still don’t have an issues with the terms “moonlight”, because that is what they appear to be.) When God created light, He also created the sun, moon, and stars. The sources of light were there from the moment God said, “Let there be light,” but the sources of light were not visible until later on in the creation process.
The thick layer of clouds protected early life on earth from harmful UV rays. At the same time greenhouse gases–especially methane–kept the earth warm.
So why does the Bible say God made the sun, moon, and stars in Genesis 1:16? The Hebrew word translated “made” refers to an action in the past. A clearer translation might be “had made.” God created the sun, moon, and stars when He created light. It just wasn’t visible until after the hazy cloud cover disappeared. This view is supported by Scripture and science, special revelation and general revelation. This makes it the best explanation of the creation.