Some might miscategorize my point of view on creation as ‘theistic evolution’. It is true that I was an early writer on various flavours of that sort of inquiry-In fact I believe there is still some of that in ‘Creation and Cosmos; The Literal Values of Genesis’, however I have moved away from that toward a more God-centered theological paradigm, abandoning to a certain extent, much of the effort to translate God’s nature and works of the Word into terms of natural philosophy. Natural philosophy and the natural world may be held to reflect God’s glory, and the second of the Gerstner lectures on the WCF say that all know God through nature yet cannot be saved through that knowledge (although God through Jeremiah said that everyone knows him yet they forget who he is), yet as I pointed out in my paper inclusive of multiverse theory-a MUT (Math Universe Theory) paradigm wherein the Universe is at its heart a field of purely abstract mathematical points, would fail to recognize the Holy Spirit as issuing that field and the points, if they existed, implicitly-it just isn’t possible to overcome the contingent being limits that are comparable I suppose to the philosophical criterion of solipsism.
Six literal days though is itself a human-based paradigm of natural law and understanding when it implicitly defines what a ‘day’ is so far as it has a space-time definition such as those used by people of the 2nd millennium B.C. They had the same meaning of ‘day’ perhaps in common understanding as people of the modern world, yet they did not understand the nature of spacetime as do modern people familiar with General and Special Relativity. Genesis uses the word ‘day’ instead of the phrase ‘literal day’. A day with an adjective attached is not as general as that of a day without. That sort of day has a specialized meaning. A Jewish day of the period when Jesus was crucified ended at a certain hour (and began at a certain hour)…those hours differ from daylight savings time or standard time in the U.S.A.
Some of course, alternatively define day largely in its opposition to night. Look for the Lord while it is still light and so forth. The Lord is the light in the darkness. One may use the word ‘day’ as a time period in which light exists rather than darkness, or as a period of hours such as the 24 of the Babylonian hour (I believe that’s a Babylonian number). Regardless, spacetime has different values for time at different locations and rates of travel. Except for Jesus Christ I think it unlikely that God has ever been subject to Earth-surface spacetime paradigm confines. People very much want to live in a Universe where time is the same all over. Newton presumed that. He thought that if it is 1 pm in England the same time exists at Proxima Centauri several light years distant, and he would have been wrong in that assumption.
If the people of the Westminster Confession had believed the world was flat yet had said the whole world is under God’s power, I would have pointed out the error in the first opinion and the truth of the second. The writers of the WCF just agreed with “a. Gen. 1:31. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was
very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
That is, they did not define what a day is other than to say ‘six literal days’. Here it is in question 9 of the shorter catechism; “Q. 9. What is the work of creation?
A. The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing,
by the word of his power, z in the space of six days, and all very good. a”
page 17, chapter 4 WCF “1. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, a for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, b in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good. c”
The WCF people were not dummies. They were very bright people. They wrote in such a way that they reflected scripture throughout-hence they did not ossify the meanings of terms with erroneous science of their time. I think it a mistake to decide that the WCF writers need to be in Theory of Relativity for they never in fact wrote in such a way as to support that.
People in the U.S.A. are accustomed to going beyond scripture and the WCF and supplying their own ‘literal values’ that just preclude General and Special Relativity spacetime criteria that have probably always been true. That truth is applicable even to the six days of creation paradigm, except that God is prior to spacetime and relativty itself-and no once can calculate anything about that.
I believe that wrong creation and end times opinion of the Christian Church does much to damage the number of people that will be converts around the world, and that it is a mistake to insist to people in Africa, Asia and Latin America that the Bible is in contradiction to natural philosophy when it isn’t. The Bible creation paradigm transcends natural philosphy rather than contradicting it.