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Question and Answer

Creation: Length of Days

Question:

Does the OPC have a statement or decision regarding the length of the days of creation?

Answer:

The OPC, as a denomination, has no statement or decision regarding the length of the days of creation. Though General Assembly denied the appeal of a ruling elder who taught the animal ancestry of Adam (determining that such teaching was contrary to the Westminster Confession of Faith), it has thus far had no judicial case with regard to the length of the days of creation, and therefore has rendered no ruling on the matter. OPC ministers and elders are divided on the issue. Those who hold to literal 24-hour days appeal to the words "in the space of" in Shorter Catechism question 9 ("The work of creation is God's making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good"). On the other hand, those who hold to the day-age theory or framework hypothesis argue that the biblical text is inconclusive as to the length of the days, and the phrase "in the space of" is not determinative. The OPC is a confessional church, and therefore the Confession, Larger and Shorter Catechisms must always be the standard by which to determine an officer's orthodoxy. Unless it is determined by a judicial ruling that our doctrinal standards teach a particular position, there must be latitude in this area.


About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

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