Posted by: jesuswarrior | March 17, 2007

Refuting The Gap Theory

The Gap Theory was made popular in the late 1700’s by a man by the name of Thomas Chalmers. This view was created to accommodate the beliefs of the secular geologists of that time who began to say that the earth was millions of years old. (They believed that the earth was only millions of years  old at that time, it was not until later that the idea of billions of years was introduced.) The gap theory is based upon the idea of, as some scholars call it, a ruin-reconstruction theory, which will be explained later. They hold to three main lines of thinking.

1. The genesis account must be viewed as literal.
2. They believe that there is an extremely long age for the earth.
3. Most of the geologic strata must fit between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.

The theory is best explained by a quote from W.W. Fields book, Unformed and Undefiled.

Genesis 1.1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

In the far distant, dateless past, God created a perfect heaven and perfect earth. Satan was ruler of the earth which was peopled by a race of “men” without any souls. Eventually, Satan, who dwelled in a garden of Eden composed of minerals (Ezekial 28), rebelled by desiring to become like God (Isaiah 14). Because of Satan’s fall, sin entered the universe and brought on the earth God’s judgment in the form of a flood (indicated by the water of Genesis 1:2), and then a global ice-age when the light and heat from the sun were somehow removed. All the plant, animal, and human fossils upon the earth today date from this “Lucifer’s flood” and do not bear any genetic relationship with the plants, animals and fossils living upon the earth today. (Unformed and Unfilled, p. 7).

Genesis 1:2 And the Earth was without form and void…

There are some very large problems with this theory though.

1 Gap theorists assume that the earth is very old. They use the same assumption to reach this conclusion as the evolutionists do, to believe that fossils formed at the same rate that they do now, and the assumption that leads them to believe in the geologic column so often used by evolutionists. This column shows that fossils become more and more complex as time goes on. But this creates a problem for the gap theorists, for they hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis, so they cannot accept the geologic column as the evolutionist conclude, and they can’t believe that days in Genesis 1 correlate with the geologic periods so they ascertain that God reshaped the earth and re-created life in the days of Genesis after Lucifer’s flood. This is what the term ruin-reconstruction describes. This judgment supposedly caused the earth to be without form and void. But this makes no sense because if all the geologic strata was created before this flood, but then the earth was without form and void, how could we, today, see all of the layers of rock.

2. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned” This is saying that sin entered the world because Adam sinned, and this implies that there was no sin before Adam, however the gap theory says there was sin before any of the world was “re-created” according to the Genesis 1 pattern. This clearly does not line up with scripture.

3. Exodus 20:11 says, “for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day” This clearly says in it, that God made everything that was in heaven and earth in six days. This obviously does not just refer to life, because there is no life in the heavens, or universe. So this is stating that the rocks were also formed during these six days. Now this is not compatible with the gap theory.

4. Also, if the strata was created in the six days of Genesis, then, according to the gap theorists, the fossils have to be in the rock. But the Bible states that God said everything was very good. But if there were fossils then the world was not very good, because in order for a fossil to be formed, death must occur, and God never called death good.

5. The gap theory has not met the demands of evolutionary and uniformitarian scientists, which was the whole idea of the gap theory in the first place.

These problems are enough to dispose of the theory but the greatest of all is that it is simply not compatible with the Bible and it attempts to squeeze the ideas of the world into the Bible and this modifies the it, any theory which does this must be abandoned by the Church. In the next three posts I will examine three other such theories.

The research for this article was found from Answers In Genesis.


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