In the twelfth proposition of John H. Walton’s The Lost World of Genesis One he addresses problems with Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, the Framework Hypothesis, and other theories.

For Walton the main concern with these views is simple:  “…they struggle to reconcile the scientific findings about the material cosmos with the biblical record without compromising either (p. 112).” He suggest that his “functional cosmic temple” reading doesn’t need to do this because it argues that Genesis 1 doesn’t address material origins.

For Young Earth Creationist “everything must be recent” because of their interpretation of Genesis 1. Walton argues that the mistake is reading Genesis 1 about material origins. He agrees that yom is a literal day, but the days aren’t about the physical world coming into existence.

Old Earth Creationist (like Hugh Ross) attempt to reconcile science with Scripture. Again, the concern with material origins is the motivation. Walton says, “It is proof of our ingenuity rather than evidence of some ingrained underlying science (p. 109). ” Yes, God is the “author” of Scripture, but did he speak his word in a way that conveyed the findings of modern science in some encoded fashion? Walton doesn’t think so.

Walton likes the literary/framework hypothesis, but he thinks it doesn’t go far enough. He sees no reason to settle for a mere “theological” or “literary” interpretation. Walton’s approach allows for a literal reading. Walton writes, “While no objection can be raised against the literary structure and no disagreement with the theological points, one has to ask whether Israelites thought of this text in only literary/theological terms (p. 111).”

Other approaches such as the “Gap Theory” fall prey to the same problem. There is no need to reconcile Genesis 1 with material origins. They are about functional origins of God’s cosmic temple.