Genesis 1: Fact or Framework?

John MacArthur – Grace to You

The Framework HypothesisOne popular view held by many old-earth advocates is known as the “framework hypothesis.” This is the belief that the “days” of creation are not even distinct eras, but overlapping stages of a long evolutionary process. According to this view, the six days described in Genesis 1 do not set forth a chronology of any kind, but rather a metaphorical “framework” by which the creative process is described for our finite human minds.

This view was apparently first set forth by liberal German theologians in the nineteenth century, but it has been adopted and propagated in recent years by some leading evangelicals, most notably Dr. Meredith G. Kline of Westminster theological seminary.

The framework hypothesis starts with the view that the “days” of creation in Genesis 1 are symbolic expressions that have nothing to do with time. Framework advocates note the obvious parallelism between days one and four (the creation of light and the placing of lights in the firmament), days two and five (the separation of air and water and the creation of fish and birds to inhabit air and water), and days three and six (the emergence of the dry land and the creation of land animals)–and they suggest that such parallelism is a clue that the structure of the chapter is merely poetic.

Thus, according to this theory, the sequence of creation may essentially be disregarded, as if some literary form in the passage nullified its literal meaning.

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Demons and Magic

One of the best explanations I have heard on this subject – I pray this brings the truth to many – Elmarie


John MacArthur- Grace to You

January 14, 1973

The subject upon which we will be speaking tonight is one that perhaps has captured the attention of many of us in our particular modern day because it exists, in a certain sense, as a kind of a paradox. This is a very intellectual day. This is a day when men pride themselves on being rational. This is the era that is after the rational era in the sense that we’ve all discovered what logic means and what rationality means. And yet it is the midst of just such…such an era of education and higher learning and rationality and logic and all of these things that there seems to be a tremendous boom in the occult, the mysterious, the mystique, the things which are supernatural and which are irrational, unreasonable, and beyond education. And it’s becoming such a practical thing that it seems as though it hits us in every place in every way.

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