Fundamentalists have gotten in trouble for being too literal with God’s Word while combating the liberal tendencies that shook up American Christianity sometime around the 50’s.
One of the main areas of Fundamentalist literalizing was Genesis 1. Evolution was making strides and people saw Genesis 1 more figuratively to fit more nicely into an evolutionary understanding.
Fundamentalists responded by saying that not only did God create in six days, those days were 24-hour periods. Did Fundamentalism go too far? Do we really need to read those days as being 24-hour days?
Seemingly those who believe they were 24-hour days are ridiculed as hicks and morons, backward living people who deny science.
Of course, questioning the literalness of Genesis 1 is nothing new. John Calvin in his commentary on Genesis says:
“Moses describes the special use of this expanse, to divide the waters from the waters from which word arises a great difficulty. For it appears opposed to common sense, and quite incredible, that there should be waters above the heaven. Hence some resort to allegory, and philosophize concerning angels; but quite beside the purpose. For, to my mind, this is a certain principle, that nothing is here treated of but the visible form of the world. He who would learn astronomy, and other recondite arts, let him go elsewhere.”
Calvin doesn’t think Moses is speaking straight, and points to others in his day who think this is allegory, so if you want to learn how the universe works, don’t go to the Bible. I would agree that the Bible is not an astronomy textbook, but the fact that Calvin can’t make sense of Moses makes me doubt Calvin more than Moses. Not so for Calvin, however!
Hence our dilemma–if we don’t understand how God did what He did, do we fault God or do we fault our understanding? I tend to fault human understanding.
God created the heavens and the earth, He did not use evolution, nor billions of years, He spoke it into existence just as He’ll speak it out of existence, if He couldn’t do the first we should not fear the second.
I’m a hick, moron Fundamentalist. I think God created in six days and those days were strikingly similar in length to our days. I fail to see what is gained by playing with it further.