Below is a post I wrote for a hybrid class I am taking in seminary. The main topic was Creationism/Beginnings of the universe and life as we know it. We were also discussing creation evidences from the Old Testament and Ancient Near East secular texts.
Instead of rewriting or redefining the same 4 creation theories I would like to make commentary on them and contend for a more literal interpretation of the creation story.
Theistic Evolution: Combining the two ideas of evolution and theology is a dangerous thing causing us to take into question the Genesis account and the accuracy of Scripture. You may believe that God exists and created the world and all of life, good, but HOW is also an important question that cannot be excluded. Evolutionary theory directly contradicts the account of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman. God created Adam from dust, breathed life into him(gave him a spirit), and then created Eve from Adam’s body sometime later. That does not match up with this formula of evolution that says humankind came from an organism advancing later on to an ape and then to a man. In comparison these two theories cannot stand together fully.
Progressive Creationism: Adherents to this belief may try to quote 2 Peter 3:8 saying “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Indeed at first glance it does seem that Peter is trying to say something about time and space in relation to God which is true. The context, however, has nothing to do with creation or Genesis. It is saying that God is outside of time and the verse is more like a simile than a literal definition of a “day”. Do we have all the answers for the timeframes after the first week in Genesis? No, not 100%, but we do have these words to define the creation in Scripture that we should hold to, “God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.” Gen. 1:3 I like to believe personally that God is so perfect and powerful that he can and did make all of existence in one true week.
Instantaneous Creationism: If you can’t tell from the above writing already then it is true that I do hold more closely to this belief. This is a stricter belief with a very literal interpretation of creation coming from ex hihilo or “out of nothing”. When God spoke things came into existence which is similar to when the power of His words made Lazarus come to life as well in the New Testament. I do not propose to know all things about God, but I do know that there was once nothing, and He was already in existence and had never been out of existence, then the Scripture says that he spoke and then from that point on in an instant He had created something.
Intelligent Design: This theory holds the closest similarities to the Instantaneous Creationism, but can easily lead to an agnostic, polytheistic, or deistic point of view instead of a monotheistic view which we are to uphold as Christians. I suppose that you could combine theories three and four though by saying that God created all of life both instantly and intelligently. Those two can coexist, and often times Intelligent Design at least shares a part of the truth of God creating the universe and making it run smoothly.
Also, in comparison between the OT texts and ANE texts I can say that the creation story in Genesis and other accounts of the floods do hold some interesting similarities. Particularly one should note the dissimilarities in the creation of the gods accounts but also the similarities of the flood accounts. One can easily see the flawed characters and less transcendent/more humanlike mythology in the Enuma Elish epic. The evil and highly emotional gods and the creation of man to do their labor and slave work present a flawed theology. Compare that to the account of a good and holy God creating man in His image to live in paradise, but then mankind turns against God and is punished with the labor. They are similar, yet they hold differing truths about who we are in relation to God even today.
Lastly, the flood stories caught my attention with the birds that were released post flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh. There were a dove, a swallow, and a raven in this story. There were a raven and a dove which was sent twice in the Genesis account. I find that to be strikingly similar, but I only find that the ANE texts are to be taken as a support for evidence in the Genesis stories instead of a literal account in opposition to the biblical stories.