I believe God created the world exactly as it was recorded in the Bible: in six 24-hour periods. As a Christian I feel it important to not read too much exterior influences into the scriptures. I believe those who interpret Genesis 1 as six creative “periods of time” are using extra-Biblical influences to rewrite what is plainly written. I find it dangerous to stray from the text. I find that once we allow this to happen, we open up a never-ending downward spiral to where the Bible loses all authority, and therefore anything (and eventually everything) will be open for speculation. If I allow that to happen, then my very testimony that Jesus is real and true is seriously endangered.
The Hebrew word for “day” is “yom”, and when combined with the phrasing “evening, then morning” and a number “first day, second day, etc.) always means a literal 24-hour period. Moses references creation in Exodus 20:11 – “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth.” The entire Jewish tradition of Sabbath is based on a six day creation with God resting on the seventh day. Jesus adhered to this tradition. Jesus also describes humans as being created at “the beginning of creation” in Mark 10:6. Jesus references man being around since the “foundation of the world” in Luke 11:50. Remember in the beginning of John’s gospel he describes Jesus as “the word”, and that the word was “with God, and the Word was God”. Genesis 1:1 says – “In the beginning, God created…” Therefore Jesus is God. Jesus is the creator. Therefore, I think He would know how it happened, and his statements on it would be reliable.
On the other hand, I can’t reconcile any form of evolution (secular or theistic) with the Bible. The Bible teaches that man was created perfectly with no death. Romans 5:12 says “just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin.” Evolutionists teach that millions of years elapsed of animals living and dying before man ever came onto the scene. How is that possible if death (sin) didn’t begin until man in the garden? If death didn’t enter the world through man, why would Jesus be necessary to come back and deliver us from death (eternal life) if death was always a part of the design of creation? Evolution actually destroys the entire gospel message and is therefore incompatible with Christianity.
Theistic evolutionists will argue that “spiritual death” occurred in the Garden, but there is no Biblical evidence that this is the case. That is another case of trying to reconcile exterior information into the Bible. I don’t think it works that way. As Christians, I think we need to do the opposite. We should make the Bible (God’s revelation to us) our ultimate authority and judge what the world has to say through it.
The biggest hurdle for most people then is – what about all the overwhelming evidence for evolution? Without getting into all the specifics here, the basic premise is that creationists do not disagree with the evidence (we have the same rocks, same fossils, etc.) – we disagree with specific dating methods and the conclusions made from them. Same evidence – different conclusions. We see real science as the kind you can observe in the present, not the kind that makes unverifiable assumptions about the ancient past.
Outside of the Bible we have a wealth of scientific data that back up a young age for the Earth. If the Bible is correct in its 6-day creation, and pursuing genealogies, then the Earth is approximately 6000 years old. There are at least 22 verifiable time clocks (http://www.earthage.org/youngearthev/evidence_for_a_young_earth.htm) that if just using present-day calculations extrapolated backwards in time (assuming nothing) – then the Earth cannot be as old as evolutionists claim. This seems to be a more logical approach than making assumptions about the past and placing the found evidences into that determined timeline. There are also living fossils (http://www.straight-talk.net/evolution/living.htm), in-tact red blood cells found in T-Rex bones (http://www.straight-talk.net/evolution/t-rex.htm), and many more examples of modern-day scientific findings that do not need to resort to unverifiable assumptions to make their claims.
In conclusion, I believe in a 6-day creation – not just because God says so in the Bible, but because modern-day verifiable scientific findings have reinforced that belief. Faith is not without reason, but to many on the outside that is how it appears. I understand the objections to placing your authority in the Bible, but I don’t buy it (https://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/is-the-bible-really-reliable/). The outside has been told over and over, practically indoctrinated that evolution is proven fact and cannot be disputed, and that anyone who disputes it is not credible. I will choose the unchanging word of God over man’s constantly evolving words any day of the week.