Did God create the sun as is, or did it form by natural physical processes? Should we expect a scientific explanation of Genesis 1, or is it just poetry?
All the evidence points to the sun having been created, as all other stars, by an evolutionary process through gravitational attraction and thermodynamic heating of interstellar hydrogen. To put it in layperson’s terms, the sun appears to have been formed through natural physical processes. But… I cannot prove this. Besides, as a Christian, I am convinced that if God wanted to, he could create a fully-formed star ex-nihilo. John the Baptist said that God could turn stones into children of Abraham, and I believe him. God could have spoken the sun directly into existence. The question for me as a believer in the God of the Bible is not what he could have done, but what he in fact actually did. The evidence is that God used natural processes. The reason I say this is not due to a pro-science bias. It is that the evidence is consistent with this conclusion. The fact is that astronomers can view stars in the process of formation even now, and the process that is observed creates exactly what we can observe in our own star–the sun. Therefore, it is more reasonable (but not proved!) that our sun was created by this same natural process over millions of years.
2. There are many views of Genesis, of course. Here is what I will say on this. (for more get a copy of my book Is There a God? from www.ipibooks.com) It is clear from the text of the two creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2, that these accounts were not created as scientific documents or even with the purpose of creating an account that could later be used by scientists to prove the Bible. The Genesis creation accounts are written as a theological defense and explanation of the nature of God, and also as a polemic against the false ideas of God in the Near East roughtly 2000 BC. For this reason, it is not unreasonable to compare what is in the account with what we know from science, and to ask if there are any obvious conflicts, but it is not reasonable to expect to find a “scientific explanation” for the Genesis account. Is it merely poetic, or is there historical material which accords broadly with what we know from science? I say that it is both a poetic theological treatise that, nevertheless, in its broadest brush, is consistent with what we know from science, which is that the universe was created from nothing, that the earth was formed, that it was covered by water, that later land emerged, that life appeared first in the water, then in the land and air, and that, last of all, intelligent human beings in the image of God emerged. Is there a detailed and precise alignment between the Genesis account and all details of science? No, because that is not what the writer was trying to do.