mpathyThe word empathy does not appear in the Bible, but the Scriptures do refer indirectly to the characteristic or quality of demonstrating empathy, which is defined as “the capability to share another’s emotions and feelings.” The apostle Peter counseled Christians to have “compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous . . .” (1 Peter 3:8 NKJV). The apostle Paul recommended similar sentiments when he exhorted fellow Christians to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).

There is an important distinction between empathy and sympathy. Empathy is the capacity to feel deeply for someone despite the fact you do not share the same experience. Sympathy is the capacity to feel deeply for someone because you do, in fact, share the experience. Compassion, sympathy and empathy all have to do with passion (feeling) for another person because you identify with his or her suffering. True empathy adds the expression of those feelings.

It was the apostle John who said, “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17) We know that as Christians we are commanded to love our neighbor and to have intense love for one another (Matthew 22:39; 1 Peter 4:8). Though we are aware of this and intend to love one another, we often overlook opportunities to relieve others’ pain. That could be because we are not aware of others’ needs. Empathy is the key that can unlock the door to our kindness and compassion.

There are several other examples of empathy in the Bible. God, of course, is our prime example. He knows us very well, as the psalmist declares, “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). He personally feels the pain of His people. Again, the psalmist tells us, “You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8). How comforting it is to know that God records all our tears as we struggle in our lives!

Jesus Himself was also very sensitive to the feelings of others. When He healed the deaf man, He took him aside, perhaps so that his miraculous recovery would not embarrass or startle him (Mark 7:32-35). On another occasion, Jesus observed a widow about to bury her only son. Sensing her pain, He approached the funeral procession, and resurrected the young man (Luke 7:11-16). Matthew tells us how Jesus “went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:35-36). Jesus’ greatest empathy was for their spiritual weariness, a condition He came to rectify.

The word compassion describes for us the deep inner mercy of God. He saw the weary, the scattered . . . the lost without a shepherd to guide them. The word for “weary” can also mean “troubled, bewildered, or despondent.” The word for “scattered” is also translated “prostrate” or “thrown to the ground.” These two words indicate man’s helplessness without Jesus, for it is He who is our Shepherd. It is He who can show people how to avoid life’s pitfalls (see John 10:14; 1 Peter 2:25). As we humble ourselves before others, we can care for them . . . just as He cares for us.

amazingGod always keeps his promises. It’s in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 1:19-20, NKJV. “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us”

God never takes back or changes His promises. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 89:34, TLB. “No, I will not break my covenant; I will not take back one word of what I said.”

None of God’s promises ever fail. It’s in the Bible, Joshua 23:14, NIV. “You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”

We have been promised eternal life. It’s in the Bible, 1 John 2:25, NKJV. “And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.

God can do the impossible. It’s in the Bible, Luke 18:27, NKJV. “But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

We have been promised new hearts and desires. It’s in the Bible, Ezekiel 36:26, NKJV. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

He has promised forgiveness. It’s in the Bible, 1 John 1:9, NKJV. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

God promises our sins will be far removed from us. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 103:12, NKJV. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

We are promised that our sins will be buried. It’s in the Bible, Micah 7:19, NKJV. ” He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”

He has promised the fruit of the Spirit. It’s in the Bible, Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

He has promised deliverance from fear. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 34:4, NKJV. “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

God has promised salvation for our children. It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 49:25, NKJV. “For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.

We are promised the Holy Spirit. It’s in the Bible, Luke 11:13, NKJV. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

All of our needs will be supplied. It’s in the Bible, Philippians 4:19, NKJV. “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

God gave the best He had by giving us His only Son. It’s in the Bible, Romans 8:32, NKJV. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

God does not hold back anything that is for your benefit or good. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 84:11, TLB. “For Jehovah God is our Light and our Protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk along his paths.”

He has promised wisdom. It’s in the Bible, James 1:5, NKJV. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

God has promised peace. It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 26:3, NKJV. “You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

God has promised victory over temptations. It’s in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 10:13, NKJV. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

We have the promise of health and healing. It’s in the Bible, Jeremiah 30:17, NKJV. “For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord

God has promised protection from harm and danger. It’s in the Bible, Psalm 91:4-6, NKJV. “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.”

The Bible promises that the dead will live again. It’s in the Bible, John 5:28-29, NKJV. “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

Jesus has promised that He will come again. It’s in the Bible, John 14:2-3, NKJV. “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

He has promised an end to death, sorrow, and pain. It’s in the Bible, Revelation 21:4, NKJV. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Article by Allen B. West. …..One of the things I enjoy about this website is the opportunity to educate, edify, and challenge us all to think beyond the obvious. Now I realize some folks are — as we say in the military — “stuck on stupid” and it will take longer to get them with the program. But it is a challenge I accept.

So, in that light, I’d like to invite you to scour the annals of American history in order to respond to President Barack Hussein Obama’s recent assertion that Muslims have contributed “to building the very fabric or our nation.”

As reported by Breitbart “On Sunday, President Obama and First Lady Michelle released a statement thanking Muslim Americans for their many “achievements and contributions… to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.”

“The comments were made to mark the celebration of Eid-al-Fitr, a time of spiritual renewal for Muslims which comes at the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. The Obamas said in their statement that Eid “celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity” and “welcomed their commitment to giving back to their communities.” “

I’d like some audience participation here. Please share what you think are the “achievements and contributions” for which we should all thank Muslim Americans in building the very fabric of our nation? Oh – and don’t forget “common values” — please share those as well.

I’ll go first. And I’ll go way back. I know Abraham was the father of all nations and he was Isaac and Ishmael’s dad. And in Genesis 16:11-12, (NIV) ” The angel of the Lord also said to her (Hagar): You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”

So to Muslims, I say thank you for being a part of the Judeo-Christian foundation that established this great nation. And I am thankful for this Bible verse so I understand God’s blessing upon what would ultimately lead to the growth of violent jihad.
Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/07/obama-muslims-built-fabric-nation/#j3zQJS23r5ybQWtw.99

lastDon’t judge others by appearance. Remember that God looks beyond what we look like on the outside. It’s in the Bible, I Samuel 16:7, NIV. “The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Appearances can be deceiving; true character is shown by one’s life and actions. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 7:16-17, NKJV. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

The outward appearance of righteousness, is worthless if does not reflect accurately the  inner character. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 23:27-28, NKJV. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Don’t be like the world, the world focuses on what is attractive for the eyes and drawing attention to yourself. It’s in the Bible, 1 John 2:15-16, NKJV.  “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”

Our Christian influence and witness is affected by our appearance. It’s in the Bible, 1 Timothy 2:9, 10, NEB. “Woman again must dress in becoming manner, modestly and soberly, not with elaborate hairstyles, not decked out with gold or pearls, or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, as befits women who claim to be religious.”

We should avoid anything that causes confusion over what we stand for. It’s in the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:22, KJV. “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

When Christ came, His physical appearance was not attractive. It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 53:2, NIV. “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” But although Jesus was not particularly attractive physically, His spiritual qualities—kindness, compassion, thoughtfulness, tenderness, and undying love—were obvious to everyone He met and drew them to Him. He is our example.

Being a follower of Christ will make you different from those around you. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 5:13-14, NKJV. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden”

We need to accessorize our inner character, not our outer attire. It’s in the Bible, 1 Peter 3:3-4, NKJV. “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

The spiritual implications of our appearance include more than just the way we look and dress—the outward adornment through clothes and jewelry. Appearance includes lifestyle and the expensive homes and cars and gadgets we accumulate to impress others. These things lead to covetousness and greed. It’s in the Bible, Luke 12:15, NKJV. “And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.'”

The following article is from political outcast. Personally, I feel if Churches stopped focusing on tithes being a tax deduction instead of a gift to God, then none of this would happen. However, I still don’t agree with what the IRS is talking about doing. Here’s the article.

 

And the freedom to preach the Bible is directly protected in the First Amendment.

According to Lifesite.com news:

The IRS has agreed to pay closer attention to what is said in houses of worship after reaching a settlement with a secularist group in federal court last week.

On Friday, the IRS settled a lawsuit filed in 2012 by the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF). The Wisconsin group brought the lawsuit because it said the IRS was ignoring complaints about churches violating their tax-exempt statuses. Specifically, FFRF said many churches promote political issues, legislation, and/or candidates from the pulpit in violation of the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which requires that non-profits not endorse candidates.

According to FFRF, the IRS has not followed a 2009 ruling requiring it to hire someone to keep an eye on church politicking. The IRS says it hasn’t ignored the ruling, but merely failed to follow it.

The government has put a moratorium on the IRS’ investigations of tax-exempt organizations after the scandal that broke in 2013 over its targeting of pro-life, pro-family, and Tea Party groups. FFRF says that even though the IRS will not enforce the agreement because of the moratorium, they can still bring the lawsuit again if needed after the moratorium is lifted.

This is a cancellation of the First Amendment. To just mention one point in all this: churches are not mere non-profit organizations. They are not tax exempt because non-profit organizations are tax exempt. If the government ended the tax exemption of non-profits tomorrow, the government would still not be able to tax churches according to the First Amendment and the legal heritage around it.

The IRS has plainly arranged a “sweetheart lawsuit” to get forced to do what they already want to do. And you know they will never touch urban, mostly- or all-black churches that openly campaign for Democrats. You know they will never touch Barack Obama’s home church in Chicago and the preacher’s political ranting (nor should they!). But they will hit the Evangelical conservative churches that preach what God’s word says about marriage and other ethical issues.

This is nothing more or less than an attempt to bar the church from freedom of religion and free speech.
Read more at http://politicaloutcast.com/2014/07/will-irs-monitor-sermons-promise-atheist-group/#E66je7xXZOllVltR.99

 

challengePresident John F. Kennedy, in his speech accepting the Democratic nomination in Los Angeles (on 15 July 1960) said, ‘We stand today on the edge of a new frontier … but the new frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises – it is a set of challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them.’

Life is a set of challenges, problems and hassles. We sometimes imagine that if we could just deal with the immediate challenge that we are facing, all our problems would be over. But life is not like that. If we resolve one problem, others are just around the corner.

The temptation is to see these challenges as preventing us from carrying out the ministry God has given us. In actual fact, dealing with the problems is the ministry. As one former Bishop of Kensington put it: ‘These are not the problems associated with the ministry, they are the ministry.’

The Bible is true to life. The psalmist faced pain and distress. Paul faced false accusation and the frustration of being kept in prison on trumped up charges. The kings in the Old Testament faced battles and a massive building project challenge.

As I read the passages for today, I am reminded that the relatively minor challenges, problems and hassles that I face are nothing compared to what the people of God have faced in the past, and still face around the world today.

1. Talk to God about the problems

Psalm 81:1-7Are you in a time of testing? God sometimes allows us to be tested, as he allowed his people to be tested by the waters of Meribah (v.7, see Numbers 20). But he does not want you to face the tests and challenges of life alone. You can talk to him about your problems.

God says, ‘I removed the burden from their shoulders … In your distress you called and I rescued you’ (vv.6a–7a). Or as The Message puts it:

‘I took the world off your shoulders,
freed you from a life of hard labour.
You called to me in your pain;
I got you out of a bad place’ (vv.6–7a, MSG).

We are reminded of the importance and power of prayer. Whatever situations or difficulties you may face, you can bring them to God in prayer.

God removed their burdens and rescued them in their distress. The psalmist starts, therefore, with worship, celebration and joy: ‘Sing for joy to God our strength!’ (v.1).

Lord, thank you that you are my strength and joy as I face challenges and problems in life. Thank you that you remove the burden from my shoulders. Thank you that I can call on you in my distress and that you rescue me. Lord, I call on you today to rescue me from …

2. Trust that God is in control

Acts 25:1-22Faith means trusting God. ‘Faith’, as C.S. Lewis wrote, ‘is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.’ It is hard to trust God when everything seems to be going wrong.

Luke records Paul’s trial in a very objective and unemotional way. This must have been an extraordinarily frustrating time for Paul. This great leader of the church, evangelist and teacher is locked away, apparently unable to exercise the ministry to which he has been called by God. He is in custody, enduring the physical constraints and discomfort of imprisonment, such as poor diet and lack of hygiene.

Serious charges are brought against Paul (25:1–7). He defends himself by pointing out that he has done ‘nothing wrong’ (vv.8,10). But Festus was more interested in what people thought (v.9) than in what was right. He was more concerned about popularity than justice. In the end, Paul appeals to Caesar (v.11).

When King Agrippa arrives, Festus discusses Paul’s case with him. Festus says, ‘When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus whom Paul claimed was alive’ (vv.18–19).

This reminds us that the resurrection of Jesus should always be at the heart of the message we proclaim. The only accusation that could be made to stick was that Paul was preaching that Jesus was alive, yet numerous other accusations and false charges had been brought against him.

For Paul, in the midst of all these difficulties and frustrations, it must have been very hard to see what good might possibly come out of all the dishonesty, delays and dithering in his trials. Yet, as always, God was at work for good. As Paul himself wrote, ‘We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’ (Romans 8:28).

First, in the short term, it resulted in an opportunity for Paul to speak to Agrippa. After hearing all about Paul, Agrippa said to Festus, ‘I would like to hear this man myself’ (Acts 25:22). In times of frustration and hassle we never know when opportunities may appear, but sometimes they do.

Second, in the medium term, it resulted in Paul being sent to Rome. Paul had expressed his desire to go to Rome to preach the gospel (see Acts 19:21, Romans 1:15, 15:23), and the Lord himself had spoken to Paul saying that he would testify in Rome (Acts 23:11). It was because of what took place in Paul’s defence of himself that he was eventually sent to Rome.

Third, in the long term, 2,000 years later, vast numbers of people have read Paul’s story and been encouraged to know that he too faced false imprisonment, accusations and criticism. I suspect that Paul would have been astonished in the midst of all these difficulties to know how much good was going to come of them.

Lord, thank you that you are with us whenever we face accusation and criticism, from colleagues at work or the press or wherever else it might be. Thank you that through all of these frustrations of life you work together for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purpose (Romans 8:28).

3. Take the opportunities that God gives you

2 Kings 12:1-14:22In the middle of this rather depressing history of the kings of Israel and Judah, there is an incident in the life of Elisha that encourages us to take every opportunity that God gives us, to be persistent and never give up.

Leaders are a mixed bag. Some do ‘evil in the eyes of the Lord’ (13:2,11). Some do ‘right in the eyes of the Lord’ (14:3).

God is extraordinarily gracious and when Jehoahaz, who did evil in the eyes of the Lord, ‘sought the Lord’s favour … the Lord listened to him’ (13:4). Whenever you seek the Lord’s favour he listens to you.

In this list of Israel’s leaders Joash was probably the best example. He ‘did what was right in the eyes of the Lord’ (12:2), even if it was only for part of his reign.

Joash took on a building project. Like many building projects, it took far longer than he expected: ‘But by the twenty-third year of King Joash the priests still had not repaired the temple’ (v.6). The king calls a meeting and asks, ‘Why aren’t you repairing the damage done to the temple?’ (v.7).

They do eventually get on with the work. They collect the money they need (v.11). They all acted with complete honesty (v.15) and progress was made.

Of course, today God’s temple is no longer primarily a physical building but the people of God. Our money and effort should go into building up the people of God – in number (evangelism), in maturity (discipleship) and in care for the community (social transformation). However, sometimes we need buildings for this and it is not wrong to spend money on the infrastructure of church when necessary.

As well as the challenge of buildings, the people of God faced the challenge of battles. In particular, in this passage we see how they had to face Aram. Elisha says to the king of Israel, ‘Get a bow and some arrows … Take the arrows … Strike the ground’ (13:15–18). The king ‘struck it three times and stopped’ (v.18c). Elisha said, ‘You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times’ (v.19).

Challenges will be with us throughout our lives, believe me. I know this. So hold on to the above promises from God, and know that God will never leave or foresake you.

Lord, as we face battles ahead, give us a determination not to give up but to persevere and carry through to the end.

GapGenesis 1:1–2 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The gap theory is the view that God created a fully functional earth with all animals, including the dinosaurs and other creatures we know only from the fossil record. Then, the theory goes, something happened to destroy the earth completely—most likely the fall of Satan to earth—so that the planet became without form and void. At this point, God started all over again, recreating the earth in its paradise form as further described in Genesis. The gap theory, which is distinct from theistic evolution and the day-age theory, is also called old-earth creationism, gap creationism, and the ruin-reconstruction theory.

In young-earth creationism, Genesis 1:1 is seen as a summary of the complete chapter 1 in the Hebrew storytelling form. God created the heavens and the earth. Then verse 2 begins a detailed breakdown of the step-by-step process that verse 1 summarizes. However, the statement that “the earth was formless and empty, [and] darkness was over the surface of the deep” (Genesis 1:2) can be puzzling. The idea that God created a useless and shapeless earth is an uncomfortable position for some conservative theologians, and this leads them to the gap theory, or an old-earth perspective.

According to conservative proponents of the gap theory, Genesis 1:1 describes the original creation of God—perfect in every way. Then, between verses 1 and 2, Satan rebelled in heaven and was cast out. Satan’s sin “ruined” the original creation; that is, his rebellion brought about its destruction and eventual death, and the earth was reduced to its “formless and empty” state, ready for the “re-construction.” The length of time involved—the size of the “gap”—is not specified but could have lasted millions of years.

Of course, Satan must have fallen before Adam did; otherwise, there would have been no temptation in the garden. Young-earth creationists say that Satan fell sometime after Genesis 1:31. Gap creationists say that Satan fell between Genesis 1:1 and 2.

One difficulty of the gap theory is that it requires that creation suffer death and destruction before Adam’s fall. Romans 5:12 says, “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” The gap theory counters by positing two worlds. Satan’s sin brought death to the original creation, whatever that was like; and Adam’s sin brought death to the re-creation, the realm of mankind. Through Adam’s sin, evil entered our world and the realm of man was cursed. But rebellion already existed outside the realm of mankind (in the spiritual realm), since Satan and his angels had already fallen (Isaiah 14:12–14; Ezekiel 28:12–18). Sin could not enter the realm of man until man chose it. And Satan, via the serpent, successfully tempted man to make that choice.

Objections to the gap theory include the idea that, if something important had occurred between Genesis 1:1 and 2, God would have told us so, rather than leave us to speculate in ignorance. Also, Genesis 1:31 says God declared His creation to be “very good”—a statement difficult to square with the theory that evil already existed because of Satan’s fall in the “gap.”

It is possible to hold to a literal, six-day creation week and still hold to the gap theory—the gap theory does not require evolution to be true, since the gap falls before the events of Day One in Genesis 1:3. And that’s why some conservative scholars do believe the gap theory, although its acceptance has waned since the days of proponents C. I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee.

However, many of those who hold to the gap theory do so in order to reconcile old-earth, evolutionary theories with the book of Genesis. But it seems to be a strained reconciliation. The plain reading of Genesis 1 does not at all intimate a length of time between the first two verses. Genesis 1:1 tells us that God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:2 informs us that, when He first created the earth, it was formless, empty, and dark; it was unfinished and uninhabited. The rest of Genesis 1 relates how God completed the formless, empty, and dark earth by filling it with life, beauty, and goodness.