For several years, I attended a church that taught the gap theory. I’ve always thought it was a strange theory, but within the realm of possibility. After all, we we’re alive to know what happened during the creation of the earth, and the Bible doesn’t shed much light on eternity past, Satan’s fall, etc., but I’ve never been able to fully embrace it.
If you’re in the dark, wondering what on earth I’m talking about, the gap theory claims that the original creation of Genesis 1:1 was judged when Satan fell, and Genesis 1:2-31 describe God remaking the ruined creation. So, in other words there is a time gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
I’ve always had a couple of questions about the gap theory. They are:
- Why would God ruin the whole creation just because of Satan’s rebellion?
- If God created instantly, why would he take six days to restore it?
Obviously, even with these questions, I didn’t have enough evidence to refute it. I hadn’t studied it enough. However, over the past two years, I have become entranced with Answers in Genesis and their materials, and I find that studies of their materials give me a lot more logical argument to support the Bible. I find that, over time, I’m beginning to shed myself of many of the things that I have been believing that just haven’t been biblical. It’s painful, perhaps the most painful spiritual work I have done since my college years, but it’s beginning to pay off.
While I could consider the Answers in Genesis responses to the gap theory, I just wanted to show you the evidence (that wasn’t Answers in Genesis) that caused me to refute it. One day I opened my Bible and I saw Jesus’s words in Mark 10:6 as if I had never seen them before.
Do you see it? Jesus says, “from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.” There’s no gap between the creation of the world and some re-creation that comes later. Or at least, if there is, my omniscient Lord and Savior isn’t aware of it.
This is my ESV Bible (my favorite!), and my dear friends at my old church would question my quote on the basis of it not being KJV, so let me quote the KJV for you:
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
It’s too simple. I think I liked believing in the possibility of the gap theory because it made it as if there was some secret to interpreting the Bible. I was one of the cool kids who could actually interpret the Bible correctly. Other people just didn’t know.
When I just read the Bible instead, it becomes so much clearer that I was wrong. I had believed something about scripture that wasn’t true.
I now look back and I embarrassed by what I would tell those that I was mentoring when we would get to the section that had gap theory in our church’s former discipleship materials. I would say, “I know it sounds weird/crazy/strange, but just lean into it and let it sit with you a while.” or “Let’s just keep going and as I show you more things, maybe that part will be come clearer to you.” I’m ashamed, and I confess that in doing that I used my gift as a teacher to lead people farther from the truth. I’m pretty sure the book of James speaks of a judgment for teachers just for that.
For now, all I can say is that I’m still learning and growing, and now my almost constant prayer is to be more spiritually discerning. I hope I’m getting there.