This past Monday in Biblical Creationism, we wrapped up our examination of old-earth re-creationist models followed by a presentation about how Genesis 1:1–2 ties in with young earth creationism.
Initially, we finished looking at a modification of the gap theory, the precreation chaos theory. Because of the inherent syntactical problems with Genesis 1:2, while still maintaining unwavering commitment continuing to embrace the concept that Genesis 1:2 reflects a chaotic state of judgment, Merrill Unger modified the gap theory and Bruce Waltke formulated this into the “precreation chaos theory” (see his five-part series in the 1975–76 issues of Bibliotheca Sacra; you can find this entry listed in my bibliography). To read an impressive rebuttal of this view, see Mark Rooker’s 1992 Bibliotheca Sacra article “Genesis 1:1–3—Creation or Re-creation? (Part 2)” (again, this can be found in the bibliography).
In the last part of our class, we examined a young-earth creationist’s understanding of how Genesis 1:1–2 connects with the rest of Genesis 1. Verse 1 is an independent statement declaring that God created the original mass called earth out of nothing. Since Moses used the waw-conjunctive to introduce v. 2, he was explaining what the earth was like at the time of its creation in 1:1. Consequently, v. 2 is answering the question, what was the earth like at the time of its creation in v. 1? The answer of v. 2 is that it was in an abiotic form, it was “without form and empty.” It was covered by water and the Spirit of God was hovering over it. However, for there to be a literal day, God, immediately after his first creative activity, created a light source in Gen 1:3 in order to begin a day-night cycle for day one, as Genesis 1:5 indicates. Day 1 was the first normal 24-hour day of a six-day project. When God created the heavens and the earth, He chose to complete this process in six normal days (see also Exod 20:8-11 & 31:15-17).
DBTS has a spring vacation next week but when our students return we will look at the creation of Adam & Eve and how death & decay entered the created order in Genesis 3.