The Old Earth Doctrine

By Jonathan Michael Dean

The Old Earth Doctrine has become somewhat popular recently. Old Earth is a blanket term for different types of creationism; each of which teaches that the earth is millions if not billions of years old. What are some of these theories?

Evolutionary Creationism: This theology inserts God’s creative power into the Darwinian Theory. It is a Theistic Evolution.

Progressive Creationism: This theology teaches that God progressively created life over millions of years -though not necessarily according to Darwin’s theory. Some use this to explain where Cain’s wife came from. Often, in this theory, the six days are considered to be symbolic of an extensive period of time.

Ruin-Restoration Creationism: Also known as Gap Theory. This teaches that there was a habitable earth prior to the one we now inhabit. The order is as follows: God created the earth at some incalculable time in the past. This earth was inhabited by angels, dinosaurs, giants, etc. (the possibilities are endless); and God then destroyed the earth because of Satan’s rebellion. Some even say that the earth was “without form and void” (Gen.1:2) because Satan was cast down to the earth; that like a meteor he ruined the world. This is all inserted  between Genesis 1:1-2. Then in Genesis 1:2 God begins a new creation.

The number one issue with all of these theories is just that, they are theories. The Bible teaches that God spoke the world into existence. He did not use an evolutionary process as Evolutionary Creationism asserts. Genesis one identifies the days of creation as 24 hour days, with an evening and morning. There were not extensive periods of time used by God to progressively created the universe as Progressive Creationism claims. And it is near heresy to insert a wild tale of another earth between verses one and two as Ruin-Restoration Creationism conjure up.

There is little to no biblical support for any of these. They must be inserted by the invention of men. Yes, there are some mysteries to creation that we may never solve on this side of eternity. However, we should trust that God has revealed everything necessary for our knowledge of Him and salvation. If we believe in Christ, we should trust the words of Christ, who Himself affirmed the authenticity and accuracy of the historical narrative of Genesis (Mk.10:6; John 5:45-57 [Ex.20:11]). The eternal, all-powerful, self-existing God created the entire universe from nothing by the power of His Word in Six 24 hour days.