In college I took a Bible class. My professor talked about different views of the Genesis account, one of which was a ‘young earth’ view that the world is 6000ish years old. Other views talked of the world being millions of years old. I still held to my belief in a young earth. Then one Sunday I was on a ball field playing catch with a friend. I was 18. This old man walked up to us and started talking. He was old, had a long flowing white beard and had a sparkle to his bright blue eyes. We chatted for over two hours. I learned this man was a physicist that worked on the Manhattan Project, you know, the one where they developed the atomic bomb. He was like wicked smart but so cool. We got on the topic of creation and it was there that he talked about the earth being old. He talked about God; he talked about what he knew as a scientist of our world’s geology. He talked about the accuracy of dating fossils. He believed that there was an answer to the question of creation but realized that the Bible was not a science book. Rather it was a book about God, man, sin and redemption. But he did say that he believed that God wasn’t out to trick us. For example. If we can see the light from galaxies 4 million light years away, then isn’t that galaxy at least 4 million years old? If fossils can be dated to be millions of years old, then aren’t they really quite a bit older than 6000 years?
We talked – actually he talked and I listened. He told me too about the Hebrew language. He told me they didn’t use articles – you know, a’s, an’s the’s etc, the way we do. So when you read Genesis 1 it says, In "THE" beginning….. He pointed out that it could just as well be read, In "A" beginning….. And if you look on the bottom footnote of Genesis 1:1 you will see a footnote in the NIV translation that the brains that put that translation together acknowledged that indeed it could be read that way. This guy told me that the footnote was HIS contribution to the NIV translation. Like I said, he was a smart man. I mention that to you because he believed in the Gap theory of creation. He believed God did create the world (In a beginning God created the heaven and the earth). Period. And then he believed that millions of years later, the earth was destroyed somehow. And Genesis states this: "And the earth was without form and was void, and darkness covered the face of the earth." And it is here that this guy told me that he believed there was a recreation. He believes this because he can make sense of fossils that are dated millions of years old, and make sense of finding animals in Siberia that were frozen and eating vegetation, and make sense of galaxies that we see that are millions of light years away. OK, so where am I going with this?