2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
From PJ: "if evil predates man, on what day was it created? Your book is a little vague on it.
Seems the great deceiver was the guy who decided to put a snake in an apple tree, but before the snake, there doesn't seem to be much mention of evil..."
* * *
I take from PJ's inquiry that by "day" he is referring to the six days of creation. Here's my take on this.
1. The six days of creation are a depiction of "God's work week", using exalted prose (half-way between straight prose and poetry) to describe God whipping the rough creation into shape to make it a suitable habitation for man. It thus uses the language of analogy that would be understandable to an Israelite craftsman -- "you have your work-week; God had his". It makes clear that life is planned and not accidental. Things look designed because they are designed. Man is not a mere animal. He is created in the moral, rational, creative image of God. Man is the focus. Evil predates this.
2. The roughed-in creation of the heavens and the earth -- Genesis 1:1-2 -- precedes the six day creation week. Notice that prior to verse three -- where the first "day" occurs, there is already the heavens and the earth, "void and without form". In other words, the earth exists, but is unsuitable for habitation. Any number of billions years could have passed, and there is no good reason to think that the six days must be interpreted as six chronological days. Nor must we think that these six days must precisely align with scientific accounts. Not the purpose of the account.
3. Genesis 1:1 begins at the creation of the material universe. The creation of spiritual worlds, of angels, etc., predates the material creation. The fall of Satan would have occurred sometime during eternity past, prior to the "creation of the heavens and the earth".
Satan was not created evil, but became evil when he rebelled against God. Why God would have allowed the devil to remain around to tempt man is a mystery.
What cannot be denied is that evil actually exists. But, for evil to actually exist, good must actually exist, since evil is the opposite of good, the absence of good, the corruption of the good, and without good, which i.e, entails an "ought", evil, an "ought not", is an empty, incomprehensible notion. Therefore, morality is not a mere add-on, but is at the very heart of ultimate reality. This fact alone disqualifies any kind of purely materialistic darwinian account of origins as being inadequate to explain the facts before us. The only adequate explanation for the existence of good as part of the fabric of reality is the existence of a Personal Entity who embodies goodness. In other words, if evil exists, good exists, if good exists, God exists. If God is all-powerful, evil shall be eradicated.
The first three chapters of Genesis are thus profoundly true in a way that makes any merely scientific account of origins by contrast trivial.
The only question is, "does evil win"? Scripture and history shows that evil wins many battles -- the fall of man, the enslavement of men, the defeat of Israel, the crucifixion of Christ, the persecution of the Jews, the corruption of the Church.
But, evil loses the war. If evil exists, God exists. If God is all-powerful (as he claims to be), evil's days are numbered. And, so says the book of Revelation, Genesis' book-end, written thousands of years after the Genesis account.
There is a day coming when the kingdoms of this world will have become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ.
And the one who won my heart, and the heart of countless others, shall reign forever.