March 31, 2003 Q & A

Creation: Length of Days


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


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.



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