Dr. C. Van Dam: What did the days of the “creation week” consist of?

diagdIt’s common to hear Christians argue that God’s creative work should not be thought of in terms of six normal days.  Instead, we’re told that we should open to the possibility that these days were much longer periods of time, perhaps even billions of years.  These arguments have been around for a while.  In today’s featured article (which first appeared in 1989), Dr. C. Van Dam addresses these arguments and demonstrates how Scripture can and must be taken at face value on this matter.  You can find the article here.

Readers interested in a more detailed treatment of this topic should check out Rev. Paulin Bédard’s book In Six Days God Created.  The book can be purchased at this link and a review of it can be found here.  Highly recommended!

Dr. C. Van Dam: The First Day

Dr. Cornelis Van DamWe’ve just added another helpful article by Dr. C. Van Dam.  First published in 1989 in Clarion, this article looks at the nature of the first day.  Specifically, Van Dam looks at whether it is impossible to believe that there was light before there were light-giving or light-reflecting objects like the sun, moon, and stars.  After all, according to Genesis 1, these celestial objects didn’t appear until the fourth day — and yet light is said to have been created on the first.  Here too, the Word of God is completely trustworthy.  You can find the article under our “Articles” tab, or by clicking right here.

Is there a time gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2? (Part 2)

The other day we shared Part 1 of a two-part series wherein Dr. Cornelis Van Dam weighs the arguments in favour of the gap theory.  This theory states that there is a long period of time between the first two verses of the Bible — such a theory would allow for the long periods required for evolution.  In Part 2, Dr. Van Dam discusses two more arguments:  1) That the expression “without form and void” signifies God’s judgment on the earth due to a preceding fall into sin; 2) That “the darkness over the deep” likewise was present because of the fall into sin and God’s judgment.  Originally published in Clarion (January 2, 1989), you can read the article here or in our Articles section.

Is there a time gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2? (Part 1)

Dr. Cornelis Van Dam

Evolution requires time and lots of it.  One of the keystones of evolutionary theory is that the earth has a history dating back many millions of years.  This presents a problem for Christians who find evolutionary theory persuasive, who accept it, or are inclined to accept it.  The problem is that, on a surface reading, Genesis does not seem to speak of a history of millions of years.  One of the efforts to resolve this has been to posit a lengthy gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.  But how sound are the exegetical arguments for such a move?  In a two-part series originally published in Clarion in 1988/89, Dr. Cornelis Van Dam weighs the arguments and finds them wanting.  Today we’re pleased to share the first part.  Here Dr. Van Dam addresses two of the arguments in support of the gap theory:  1) That there is a distinction between the Hebrew words for “create” and “make,”  2) That the first word in Hebrew in Genesis 1:2 includes the element of sequential action.  You can find this article here — it’s also available in our Articles section.

The first verse

Today we’re posting the first of several popular articles by Dr. Cornelis Van Dam. Some years ago he published these in the Clarion.[1] By including articles such as this one, we aim to make our website a gathering place of useful resources, particularly from the Canadian Reformed Churches (of which we all are members). We intend to re-host or write both popular-level articles such as this one and those that involve more technical exegetical, theological, and philosophical arguments.

Van Dam’s article opens,

God’s Word starts off with those impressive words in Genesis chapter one. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” What a powerful and deep opening word of divine revelation! There’s nothing else like this in the so-called creation stories of man’s imagination. This is revelation! For that reason this opening verse continues to speak so directly to man today.

Besides examining briefly all the words of Genesis 1:1, Dr. Van Dam notices the implications of this verse as a refutation of atheism, polytheism, materialism, and pantheism. He also briefly notes that the context of the verse “makes it clear that this work of the creation of heaven and earth did not consist of making something out of what already existed, but it brought into being what did not exist.”

Read the rest of the article here: The first verse

[1] Dr. Van Dam’s article “The first verse” first appeared in Clarion: The Canadian Reformed Magazine 37.24 (Nov. 25, 1988), pp. 485–6. Dr. Van Dam quotes Scripture from the Revised Standard Version. We are hosting it here at creationwithoutcompromise.com with permission from the author and publisher. His own first footnote stated the following: “This article is the first in a series selected from lectures delivered on a popular level.”