I’m an evangelical Christian with leanings toward eastern orthodox theology. But I started with science and existentialism – YEC is and always was in the same category as the Flat Earth society for me – the raving of complete lunatics. Even though I found something of value in the Bible, I am more hostile to creationism that ever – seeing it as no more Biblical than it is rational or consistent with the objective evidence. The age of the earth is determined by science as 4.5 billion years. The Bible does not speak to such a question – ever.
Ah!!! so it is not just Genesis 1:1. That did seem a little too straightforward. The meaning of much of this (verses 2-11) is rather obscure. The only thing which I am completely sure is that a literal interpretation is utterly impossible. Add in the fact that the language did not have near enough words to describe much of what we know happened and for all we know this is describing the separation of bosons from fermions, the big bang, spontaneous symmetry breaking, the decay of the vacuum state to produce matter and energy, and the formation of planets and stars from whirlpools of cosmic gasses and dust.
We just don’t know what that stuff means and like much of the book of Revelation it is too easy to read whatever you want into it like clouds and inkblots.
Only Deists think God stopped creating and simply watches it all like a big clockwork mechanism.
Genesis is not a purely sequential narrative. It retells the story of creation several times with different emphasis. There is simply no warrant for treating Genesis 1:1 as a first act which is completed before anything else. The text just doesn’t read that way… people don’t always talk that way or write that way!
for example… a little creative writing here…
I woke up to a miserable rain and spent the day in a sulk. I went to work in darkness and came home in more darkness. Turning on the light of my classroom penetrated neither the gray weather nor the fog of my brain, no more than the promise of my girlfriend’s embrace after work. The sparkle in the eyes of my students helped a little, shining enough light in the gloom to see my way through the usual tedium. But, nothing was enough to dispel the dull blur of this day droning on like the static of a tv now off the air.
This is not a sequential narrative but a retelling of the same events over an over again from different perspectives.
What Genesis is not in any way shape or form is a science text explaining how God did it. There is simply no reason for God to communicate such a thing to man and certainly there is no expectation of God later on in the Bible (thinking of Job in particular) that He explained any such thing to us.