- The regard for this topic in Church history
- The use of the Hebrew word yo-m, which is translated “day.”
The literal view
holds to creation accomplished in six twenty-four-hour days; the epochal view understands that the days as representative of long periods of time;The poetic view (or framework view)
dechronologizes the creation account while not denying creation by divine cause.
The epochal view of creation days
regards the six days of creation in Genesis 1 as geological ages of unequal length. These ages are required to accommodate the supposed scientific evidence of an earth several billion years old. Millard Erickson surveys several views and recognizes that “the biblical statement seems quite straightforward. God created the earth in six days” (Erickson 1995, 380).The poetic view of creation days
does not concern itself with explaining time-bound events but with the literary structure in which the account was written, “more a matter of logical structuring than of chronological order” (Erickson 1995, 381).In his foreword to The Genesis Debate, Norman Geisler points out that there are several lessons to learn.
1) “The creation-day debate is not over the inspiration of the Bible, but over its interpretation,” 2) “The creation-day debate is not one of evangelical authenticity but of evangelical consistency,”
3) “The time of creation is not as important as the fact of creation,”
4) “The Church needs to shift its focus to the real enemy—evolutionism—not to other forms of creationism that remain true to the historicity of the events recorded in Genesis,” and
5) that “just as the issue is not one of orthodoxy, so it is also not one of morality” (Geisler 2001, 11-12).