He regards them as 24-hour days, but he acknowledges the problem of the sun being created only on the fourth day.His solution: Before the luminaries were created as its vehicles the light caused day and night by being drawn back and sent forth. This explanation drew some criticism, with the result that Basils brother, Gregory of Nyssa, later wrote a treatise defending his brother against those critics who alleged obscurity in the explanation of the making of the light and the later creation of the luminaries. Although Ambrose (c.Augustines view, with its emphasis on instantaneous creation, would have an influence through the Middle Ages and still be held by some, such as Sir Thomas Browne, at the time of the Westminster Assembly. 673-735) there begins a trend in which commentators preferred to understand the six days to be real days, explaining Gen 2:4 by asserting that in the latter passage dies means space of time, not day, and that all things were created at once in the sense that the first heaven and earth contained the substance of all things, i.e., matter, which with Augustine they would not admit was made wholly without form, and which was formed in six days into this world.
Most obviously, the discussion of the nature of the creation days is a part of what has been one of the most important sustained theological issues in the Western world over the last century or so: the resolution of the conflicting truth claims of historic Christianity and modern secularism which uses a naturalistic view of evolution as its prop. Creation and providence are a constant revelation of God, rendering all men inexcusable before him.The issues among us are more specific than the doctrine of creation as such.It is our earnest desire not to see our beloved church divide over this issue.The debate over the nature of the creation days is, theologically speaking, a humble one.While they vary in their interpretation of the days, all recognize the difficulty presented by the creation of the sun on the fourth day. 185-254), in answering Celsus complaint that Genesis has some days before the creation of the sun, moon, and stars, and some days after, replies that Genesis 2:4 refers to the day in which God made the heaven and the earth and that God can have days without the sun providing the light (Contra Celsum, VI: 50-51).
Referring to his earlier Commentary on Genesis (now lost), Origen says, In what we said earlier we criticized those who follow the superficial interpretation and say that the creation of the world happened during a period of time six days long . (Contra Celsum, VI: 60).339-397) largely followed Basils treatment of the six days as 24-hour days, Augustine (354-430) found Basils explanation of the light and darkness on the first three days before the creation of the sun too difficult to accept.It is partly for this reason that Augustine says in The City of God XI, 6, What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible for us to conceive Puzzled as to when God created time, with the sun (by which our normal days are measured) created only on the fourth day, Augustine opted for instantaneous creation, with the days of Genesis 1 being treated as six repetitions of a single day or days of angelic knowledge or some other symbolic representation.In the fourteen centuries prior to the Westminster Assembly numerous commentaries on the days of creation in Genesis 1-2 were produced.Frank Egleston Robbins in his The Hexaemeral Literature: A Study of the Greek and Latin Commentaries on Genesis (Chicago: U.In these chapters we find the record of Gods creation of the heavens and the earth ex nihilo; of the special creation of Adam and Eve as actual human beings, the parents of all humanity (hence they are not the products of evolution from lower forms of life).