“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
Some well-meaning Christians have attempted to place a considerable gap in time between the first two verses of Genesis. The Gap theory or Ruin and Reconstruction theory posits that God created an original heavens and earth, populated it with creatures (including dinosaurs and extinct megafauna) and then destroyed it after millions of years. The heavens and earth wete cteated in verse one and then the earth was void and fornless in the bext verse to indicate that the World That Was had been destroyed before the beginning of the Creation Week. This, they claim, explains a fossil record of millions of years.
They forget that the fossil record has been interpreted according to pure naturalism and uniformitarianism rather than from taking God’s Word as one’s ultimate authority and interpreting the fossil record according to that. When we do the latter, we find that a world-wide Flood such as occurred in the days of Noah sufficiently accounts for the fossil record. The Gap theory on the other hand must relegate the Noachian Flood to a local event, which sounds nice until you realize that it makes utter nonsense of the Biblical account and actually makes God a liar. I mean, why build an Ark and fill it with seed and animals when one could simply migrate? Why put birds in it at all when they could just fly away from a local flood? Worse still, God promised not to send such a Flood again [Genesis 9:12-15], yet local floods abound to this day!
It also makes nonsense of the idea that death came by Adam’s sin [Romans 5:12], for the fossil record that Gap theorists say preceded the creation of Adam is a record of suffering and mass extinction.
Fortunately, Scripture elsewhere refutes the Gap theory. Revelation 21:1 says the following:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
The problem is that the Gap theory posits that this is at least the second earth that God established, not the first (which they believe passed away between the first two verses of Genesis), making the prophetic passage nonsense.
A natural reading of these verses doesn’t include a Gap of any sort. In the end, the Gap theory ends up being unnecessary, based on a perceived need to square the supernaturally authenticated history of Scripture with a Theory of millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution based on pure naturalism. It also ends up undermining the ultimate authority of the Scriptures it seeks to protect from charges of error.