Some of the church historians had views expressed on the Gap Theory as well. They are presented here for your review.
Augustine, 354 – 430 A.D., one of the earliest church fathers approached creation differently from the gap theorist in philosophy. Augustine states, “What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible for us to conceive”. Augustine, who was an allegorist in the vein of Origen, believed in instantaneous creation, and that God did all creations by just speaking in a single breath. Augustine’s approach was that God spoke six creation acts into existence in a single instantaneous moment, and then had Moses wrote them down as six days. (Missler)
Martin Luther, 1483 – 1546 A.D., speaking of creation, “Moses spoke in a literal sense, not allegorically or figuratively that the world, with all its creatures, in six days were spoken into existence as the words read. We know from Moses that the world was not in existence before 6,000 years ago.” Luther also was critical of Augustine’s allegorical use of the Genesis 1 and 2 accounts: “Nor does it serve any useful purpose to make Moses at the outset so mystical and allegorical. His purpose is to teach us, not about allegorical creatures and an allegorical world but real creatures and a visible world apprehended by the senses. He employs the terms ‘day and evening’ without allegory, just as we customarily do.” (Luther 158).
G. H. Pember, MA, who otherwise was a staunch Brethren Christian from England, was a gap advocate even though the term was not part of his personal dialect. In his classic work, Earth’s Earliest Ages, Pember first attempted to remove some of geological and other difficulties commonly associated with the commencing chapters of Genesis; and then endeavored to show that the characteristic features of the Days of Noah were reappearing in Christendom, and, therefore, that the Days of the Son of Man could not be far away.
Doubt cast on creation comes not only from outside the non-Christian scientific community where it would be expected, but, from also from within the professing scholarly Christians. Friar George Coyne, the former Vatican Observatory Director, made the following comments:
"How are we to interpret this scientific picture of life’s origins in terms of religious belief? Do we need God to explain this? Very succinctly, my answer is no. In fact, to need God would be a mere denial of God. God is not the response to a need. One gets the impression from certain religious believers that they fondly hope for the durability of certain gaps in our scientific knowledge of evolution, so that they can fill them with God. This is the exact opposite of what human intelligence is all about. We should be seeking for the fullness of God in creation. We should not need God; we should accept him when he comes to us." (Coyne)
Why should we discuss evolution in an investigation about the gap theory? Dr. Jack Sofield, a gap theorist and former medical physicist puts it this way, “The relationship between evolution and the gap theory is found in the theory's statements that express a desire to provide for the lengthy time periods, or “ages,” required for evolutionary concepts and to harmonize these ages with the Biblical record of creation.”
Most in churches today are totally unaware of the forces that surround Theology, Hermeneutics and the debates going on that has Satan smiling. He simply sits back and watch academics debate the current trends. I hope you have enjoyed reading the two articles on the Gap Theory. My conclusions on these articles, which were originally published in a paper presented on the Gap Theory, will follow in a conclusion to this discussion.
Coyne, George, SJ. A Catholic Scientist Looks at Evolution. Catholic.org. 1 February 2006. Web. 1 May 2013
Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 1-5, Luther's Works. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Print. 1958.
Pember, G. H. Earth’s Earliest Ages, London: Hodder and Stoughton. n.d. Preface. Print.
Sofield, Jack. The Gap Theory of Genesis Chapter One. Bible.org. 1975. Web. 29 April 2013.