Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
CenQ 19:3 (Fall 1976) p. 29
Unformed and Unfilled by Weston W. Fields (Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1976, 245 pages, $4.95, paper). Reviewed by Dr. Rolland D. McCune.
This book is unquestionably the coup de grace of the final devastating blow to the Gap Theory of Genesis one. The Gap Theory teaches a period of time (of virtually unlimited duration) between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 during which the earth was ruined by sin and its effects. During this gap the geologic ‘ages occurred, laying down the various strata with their fossils entrapped within. Genesis 1:3 begins the account of the reconstruction or reconstitution of a fallen creation. By means of this theory some Christian men of science and theology have felt that the conflict between uniformitarian geology with its demands of a vast amount of time and the Bible with its emphasis on special creation can be harmonized.
Fields traces the history of the Gap Theory showing how it actually began with Thomas Chalmers in the early nineteenth century and perpetuated by scholars such as Johann Kurtz, George H. Pember, various dispensationalists of recent history, and enormously popularized by the Old and New Scofield Reference Bibles. The present champion of this theory is Arthur C. Custance and his book Without Form and Void (published in 1970). The author demonstrates that while many scholars going back to very early times have seen a certain amount of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, the actual ruin-reconstitution theory did not begin until the rise of modern uniformitarian geology with James Hutton in 1785. The Gap Theory arose, therefore, as a capitulation to current scientism with its demands for unlimited time. The only possible place to insert such time into the Genesis record was between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
Fields proceeds to analyze the arguments of gap theorists from lexical, linguistic, grammatical and historical points of view. This is done clearly and understandably. His handling of Biblical and cognate languages is not ponderous and can be comprehended easily by one not trained in those disciplines.
One of the arguments of the Gap Theory is a sharp distinction that is made between the Hebrew verb bara’ (to create) and ‘asah (to make). Fields shows that these two words (and others) are used interchangeably in the creation accounts and therefore mean the same thing. Gap theorists
CenQ 19:3 (Fall 1976...
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