"What exactly is the "Gap Theory," and what do you think of it?"
According to the Gap Theory, Genesis 1:1 describes the creation of the heavens and the earth, but then there is a "gap" of millions or billions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2:
Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
There are different variations of the Gap Theory, but there seems to be a common belief that there was a "pre-Adamite" race of people who lived on earth during this "gap," long before Adam and Eve were created. In addition, there were many other forms of life on earth during this "gap," such as dinosaurs and other creatures and plants which have been found in the fossil record. The basic idea is that the fossil record and many of the geological changes which have taken place on the earth are remnants from this "gap" between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Since many scientists tell us that it would have taken millions of years for the fossil evidence and the geological evidence to have been formed, the Gap Theory seems to provide Christians with a way to fit these "geologic ages" into the Bible while still believing in the six literal days of Creation and while denying the theory of evolution.
Genesis 1:2: "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 basic Gap Theory goes on to say that there was a cataclysm of some kind which killed all life on earth and which left the earth "without form and void" and completely covered with water, and this water is "the deep" over which the Spirit of God hovered in Genesis 1:2. Therefore, the Gap Theory says that the "six days of Creation" in Genesis are not actually six days of
but rather they are six days of
after the cataclysm which destroyed the earth between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. For this reason, this theory is sometimes referred to as the Ruin and Reconstruction Theory. People who believe this theory tend to speculate that the "great cataclysm" which ruined the earth between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 was caused in some way by the devil being cast down out of heaven.
Personally, I believe that the arguments against the Gap Theory far outweigh the arguments that are used to support it. There are many articles on this subject out on the Internet, and without necessarily trying to endorse everything at these websites, here are some interesting articles which offer compelling evidence against the Gap Theory:
As these websites point out, one reason why some people believe in the Gap Theory is because it seems to allow us to harmonize the six days of Creation with the billions of years of stellar evolution which many scientists describe. However, it turns out that it is not necessary for Christians to find ways of using Scripture to explain away these alleged "billions of years of stellar evolution." To see why, I invite you to see my articles called
The Biblical Evidence Against the Theories of Evolution
Do You Interpret Creation Literally?.
I hope this has been helpful, and may the Lord abundantly bless you as you study His Word!