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Gap Theory Revisited

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This feedback concerns gap theory, which tends to rely on a misunderstanding of the word ‘replenish’ the King James Version of Genesis 1:28, which originally meant ‘fill’. Ray K. from New Zealand wrote in, with responses from CMI’s Dr Jonathan Sarfati and Lita Cosner interspersed:

Dear Mr K.,

We’ve been asked to respond on behalf of Dr Wieland and the editors. We must say, upon re-reading Dr Wieland’s article, we’re bewildered by your criticism and wonder how you could have arrived at your conclusions from any fair interpretation of his writing. Please see our comments interspersed.

Dear Editors,

I refer to the article entitled Replenish the Earth by Carl Wieland in Creation 33(2):48–49. This article, like many others in Creation and other CMI-sponsored literature, rubbishes what the writer sneeringly calls “the hoary old gap theory”.

Taking a single phrase out of context of the article, it is possible to misread it as ‘sneering’, but I would think any fair reading of the article would take note of the author’s gracious tone throughout, especially where he ended on the note about ‘setting them straight—‘making sure your words are “replete with grace”, of course.’

The issue hinges on whether or not Scripture presents a time-lapse between the creation of the heavens and earth (verse 1 of Genesis 1) and the “waste and empty” condition of the earth as described in verse 2, with a further time-lapse between verses 2 and 3. These time-lapses were not necessarily of long duration as CMI invariably presupposes.

Well, if we’re going to define a time lapse as a pause of any period, then I would fit the gap theory, because I would think that perhaps a few moments up to even hours separated the events! But as long as we believe that the entire creation was completed in 6 normal-length days as Exodus 20:8–11 states, it is orthodox….

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  • PaulN

    I was once a “gappist” but this site and others like it have brought enough evidence to cast doubt on that belief.I guess the difference is that I understand that God did not create us as “wise” beings, He crated us as being who should SEEK wisdom. I have therefeore always kept an open mind about things of the Bible with less impact on our salvation. Everything in the Bible MUST support our salvation or it is a wrong interpretation. Anything that presents a dichotomy of that truth must be reconsidered.

    Answer this question in your own mind. Is the God of the universe CAPABLE of creating everything that we understand in 6 standard days? If you answered “yes” then what is the problem believing it? Your compromising the truth of God’s word will not bring a single evolutionist to Christ! If you answered “no” then God help you. How can you trust your own salvation. If God’s holy and inspired word contains a lie (or even an untruth) you have no guarantee of salvation.

    No man has been saved by a compromise of God’s word; only the whole truth is designed to do that!

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