The Instigator
TheWarrior
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
Lupricona
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Gap Theory

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
TheWarrior
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/6/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,701 times Debate No: 45336
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

TheWarrior

Pro

I will be arguing for the gap theory. This is a type of old earth creationism.
would like an opponent who is legitimately a young earth creationist. Round 1 is acceptance. Round 2 opening arguments. Round 3 is rebuttals. Round 4 is closing arguments.
Lupricona

Con

I accept, and look forward to a very thought-provoking and intellectual debate.
Debate Round No. 1
TheWarrior

Pro

I want to start by saying thank-you for your acceptance. I hope for this to be a very good debate also.

I will start with a definition of the Gap Theory.
The Gap Theory- Gap creationism (also known as ruin-restoration creationism, restoration creationism, or "The Gap Theory") is a form of old Earth creationism that posits that the six-day creation, as described in the Book of Genesis, involved literal 24-hour days, but that there was a gap of time between two distinct creations in the first and the second verses of Genesis, explaining many scientific observations, including the age of the Earth. This is from wikipedia.

I hold this form of Creationism to be true.
Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), who was the founder of the Free Church of Scotland and a professor at the University of Edinburgh, Popularized this idea among the christian scientist of his era. The Christian scientists of that era were finding that geological records were say the earth was much older than 6,000 years. Chalmers was not the first to have this Idea though. It was traced back to a seventeenth century dutch theologian by the name of Simon Episcopius.

My reason for accepting this theory is that I find undeniable evidence in scripture supporting this gap.
Genesis 1:1-2 says 1 "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."
The hebrew word for created in verse 1 is "bara" which is translated as "created out of nothing". As opposed to the hebrew word for "made". Which is more accurately described as recreated. This word is "asah "which means to "make" or "remake". The word "asah" is used in reference to the sun moon and stars. This would mean that they already existed and God simply remade them.

In verse 2 we see the word "was". The hebrew word used here is "hayetha" which is more accurately translated "became" or "to become". If this is the proper translation of the word then it would have to mean that something happened to cause the earth to become "without form and void". That is if God is perfect and only creates perfect things.

"Without form and void" this is translated from the hebrew "tohu wabohu". This phrase refers to something that was once good but is now destroyed. It is used this way in other parts of scripture as we see in Isaiah 45:18 ("God created the earth not in vain""tohu; same word translated "without form" in Genesis 1:2) Therefore the world was not originally created "tohu wabohu" but the world became that way. This means there was some sort of cataclysmic event.

This event was when satan rebelled causing the wrath of the Lord. Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-17 are my proof-texts for this. Isaiah 14:12-15 says
12 "How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
13 You said in your heart,
"I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High."
15 But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit."
Ezekiel 28:11-17 says 11 "Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me: 12 "Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God":

"You were the signet of perfection,
full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
every precious stone was your covering,
sardius, topaz, and diamond,
beryl, onyx, and jasper,
sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle;
and crafted in gold were your settings
and your engravings.
On the day that you were created
they were prepared.
14 You were an anointed guardian cherub.
I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God;
in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
15 You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created,
till unrighteousness was found in you.
16 In the abundance of your trade
you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;
so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,
and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub,
from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Your heart was proud because of your beauty;
you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground;
I exposed you before kings,
to feast their eyes on you.

As I have shown through an exegesis of Genesis 1:1-2 and the scriptures in Isaiah and Ezekiel the Gap Theory is perfectly inline with the scriptures and is therefore a valid interpretation.
Lupricona

Con

INTRODUCTION

The Gap theory is a mere invention of a way to interpret the Bible to accommodate the theory of an old earth. However, the plain understanding of Genesis has always been that the Earth was created in 6 days with God resting on the 7th.

Early Jewish and Christian Thought

Passages from the Talmud:
R. Kattina said: Six thousand years shall the world exist, and one [thousand, the seventh], it shall be desolate, as it is written, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.Abaye said: it will be desolate two [thousand], as it is said, After two days will he revive us: in the third day, he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

It has been taught in accordance with R. Kattina: Just as the seventh year is one year of release in seven, so is the world: one thousand years out of seven shall be fallow, as it is written, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day,' and it is further said, A Psalm and song for the Sabbath day,meaning the day that is altogether Sabbath and it is also said, For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past.

The Tanna debe Eliyyahu teaches: The world is to exist six thousand years. In the first two thousand there was desolation;two thousand years the Torah flourished; and the next two thousand years is the Messianic era. (1)

Early Christians Writings:

Barnabas: "Now what is said at the very beginning of Creation about the Sabbath, is this: In six days God created the works of his hands, and finished them on the seventh day; and he rested on that day, and sanctified it. Notice particularly, my children, the significance of "he finished them in six days." What that means is, that He is going to bring the world to an end in six thousand years, since with Him one day means a thousand years; witness His own saying, "Behold, a day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, my children, in six days " six thousand years, that is " there is going to be an end of everything." (2)

To further show my point, Origen was another early Christian who interpreted scriptures much more allegorical than most, yet he still is quoted as saying, "After these statements, Celsus, from a secret desire to cast discredit upon the Mosaic account of the creation, which teaches that the world is not yet ten thousand years old, but very much under that, while concealing his wish, intimates his agreement with those who hold that the world is uncreated" (3)

Scriptures on the literal Genesis Account

Biblical Importance:

"Six days you shall labor and do all your work,but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day" (Exodus 20:9-11)

The reason we have a 7 day week is because of God's 7 day Creation week. This comparison only makes sense if God created in 7 literal days.

Jesus on Genesis

"But in the beginning, at the time of creation, it was said, 'God made them male and female'" (Mark 10:6)

Jesus links the beginning of Creation with the beginning of Adam and Eve. If Jesus believed in an old earth, he would be saying that the beginning (which was almost 14 billion years ago according to the Evolutionary theory) was when humans were created. Since He did not say this, the passage only works under a Young earth creationist perspective.

CONCLUSION

Jesus and early Jewish and Christian understandings of Scripture was a creation of around 4000 BC

References

(1) http://www.come-and-hear.com...
(2) http://edinburghcreationgroup.org...
(3) http://www.earlychristianwritings.com... (Chapter XIX)
Debate Round No. 2
TheWarrior

Pro

Starting with the introduction I would like to say I never denied the six days of creation as found in Genesis. I simply think that they happened after the earth itself was created. I think this is obvious because the earth is there before the 6 days are even mentioned.

As for the passages of the Talmud it says that the world shall exist for 6 thousand years 7 thousand if the desolate years counted. Even young earth creationism must admit the earth has been around over 6 thousand years and even if we are in the 7 thousandth year I do not see a desolate world. Again I say agree that the six days in Genesis happened around 6-10 thousand years ago. Though, the Talmud is errant in its prediction regarding this, I see no way in which it connects to there being a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.

On to the early Christian writers. I will start with Barnabas. Again I grew that the 6 days mentioned in Genesis are 6 days. Though, what he says after that seems to greatly compliment the day age theory which goes against what either of us believe. He does mention that the earth will be destroyed in 6 thousand years. Is he talking about from the time of the 6 days of creation? If he is, that time has passed and the world is still here. Or,is he speaking of 6 thousand years from the time he is speaking which we have yet to see. I still see no correlation to how this refutes the Gap Theory.

I see how Origen relates to this topic. But, this proves that even as far back as Origen there were disputes as to how old the earth was. So how do we know that Origen was right? As I see it, my argument has existed from very early times so it must have the same historical credibility as yours.

The previous quotes while some were faulty, they were not biblical which leaves room for error. Your biblical texts that you have provided have nothing that I disagree with. The creation and recreation of some things happened within that literal 6 day window. This is why we have a 6 day week. As for what Jesus said, He was obviously referring to the beginning of time of time for humans. Because, humans were not created until the 6th day so they were not created at the beginning anyway.

I fail to see how either of the scriptures apply to the Gap Theory. When the earth was obviously here before the 6 days of creation in Genesis. The only extra biblical proof you have that is even remotely relevant is an obscure quote by Origen which further proves the historicity of my argument.
Lupricona

Con

Genesis 1:1-3 is a continuous text. There is no need to add a gap in betwee, and as I have shown, none of the earliest Jews and Christians have ever interpreted it this way. It is a modern theory to accomodate for an old earth.

The passages you argue for Satan's fall are misinterpretations. These passages are speaking to specific kings, not to some angel that fell from heaven. One may argue that the passages have a dual meaning to them, but even if that is true, it would still not prove that there was a gap in between verse 1 and 2. Even at the beginning of the book of Job, Satan was still allowed in heaven. His fall had not occured yet, which proves that his fall was after Genesis.

You argue that you do not see a desolate world, but the Messiah has not come yet. The earth is very close to six thousand years, but not quite yet, as Jesus has not returned for His Mellinial reign. It's not a failed prophecy; it is still a prediciton that is for a future event.

Again, Barnabas said the world would exist for six thousand years from the beginning of creation for when the Messiah would begin the Millenial reign. It has not been quite six thousand years yet, but it is very close.

Origen was not arguing with a Christian, he was arguing against a Platonism, which taught that the earth was tens of thousands of years old. This does not help your argument, as it shows only non-christians believed in an older earth, and Christians continually refuted that idea.

Again, I will bring up what Jesus said. He put the creation of Adam and Even at the beginning of Creation. Not of a second creation, but of all of creation.
Debate Round No. 3
TheWarrior

Pro

As for your first paragraph, the Gap Theory is not modern. It can be traced back as far as the 1600's to the Dutch theologian Simon Episcopius, if not farther. As or the early Christians and Jews, you speak for all of them, as if you know what ALL of them thought. As for the need for the Gap Theory, it is not a question of need but of proper interpretation of scripture.

In the second paragraph you argue that even if the passages are referring to Satan's fall, which they are, it does not prove the gap. You the site how Satan is allowed in heaven in the book of Job that this proves that Satan's fall had not yet occurred. According to the Bible the account in Job happened after the fall of Adam and Eve. This would necessarily place the time in the book of Job after the fall of Satan. Because, God will not send one of his servants to tempt someone. "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God,' for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one." -James 1:13.

As for how the scriptures pertaining to Satan's fall relate, I go back to one of my arguments in the second round. "Without form and void" this is translated from the Hebrew "tohu wabohu". This phrase refers to something that was once good but is now destroyed. It is used this way in other parts of scripture as we see in Isaiah 45:18 ("God created the earth not in vain""tohu; same word translated "without form" in Genesis 1:2) Therefore the world was not originally created "tohu wabohu" but the world became that way. This means there was some sort of cataclysmic event. If the world was not created "tohu" then why was it "tohu" in Genesis 1:2? I have an explanation and you fail to explain this. Satan's fall would have been and adequate solution to this problem of reconciling the scriptures.

The desolate world in paragraph 3 is attributed to the earth not quite being 6,000 years old. Even the most modest estimates of the earths age place it a little over 6,000 years. Look at this site http://www.answersingenesis.org.... If the earth is a little over 6,000 years we should be in the 1,000 years of desolation but, we are not. This goes for the fourth paragraph too.

As for the argument about Origen, ok, so he was arguing against Platonism. Also, yes, some early Christians refuted the idea of an old earth. I still see nowhere in the scriptures where any of the apostle's even approached this subject.

To you final argument I would say again what I said before. As for what Jesus said, He was obviously referring to the beginning of time of time for humans. Because, humans were not created until the 6th day so they were not created at the beginning anyway. This is to say Jesus was referring to the beginning of the human race not the beginning of time. This would be the proper meaning with-in the context of the passage.

I have proved that my argument can be defended Biblically. Also, it cannot be refuted Biblically. Unless, you take a passage out of context as my opponent is doing. This is the main reason I must hold to the Gap Theory.

I would like to add that my interpretation also helps to correlate science and the scriptures. I believe that God would want us to be able to further the cause of science with scripture. As it says in Luke 10:27 "And he answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.'" One of the key words there being mind.
Lupricona

Con

We do know what the early Christians thought, as we have their writings. They universally agrees on a recent creation, and it was used as a main argument in bringing people to Christ, as they would successfully argue that the Jewish history went farther back than any of the other nations.

God did not tempt Job, Satan did. But Satan was still allowed in heaven during Job's lifetime, which was after Genesis.

The source my opponent gave gives references to mathematics that put the earth less than 6000 years right now. It must be noted that the Bible gives a pretty fair account of genealogies from Adam to Jesus, but there are some places that aren't as specific, which is why genealogy calculations won't be exactly precise, just relatively close.

I have to admit that most of my young earth creation arguments are easily evaded by my opponent from his unique stance on a random gap at the beginning of genesis. I don't think my opponent gave reasonable evidences to convince that the gap is the correct intention of the writer of Genesis, and I think that my Young Earth Creation interpretation better fits the Bible.

I thank my opponent for the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Grandbudda 3 years ago
Grandbudda
TheWarriorLupriconaTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a good debate but I felt that pro met his goal and evidence and that con didn't.
Vote Placed by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
TheWarriorLupriconaTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Good job to both debaters. However, I think pro did better because he provided more biblical and scientific resources and arguements