Question of the week: My daughter, a meteorology major asks, “In Genesis 1, on the fourth day God made the stars, Sun, and Moon. How, why, and would God have made the Sun after the plants?”
My brief answer: God made the Sun, Moon, and stars before any of the events described in the six days of creation in Genesis 1. The point of view for the six creation days is that of an observer on Earth’s surface (Genesis 1:2). “Let there be light” in the text describing creation day 1 is when the visible light of the Sun, Moon, and stars first appears on Earth’s surface. “Let there be the great lights” so that they may serve as signs marking seasons, days, and years in Genesis 1:14 implies that the Sun, Moon, and stars only became visible as distinct objects in the sky to creatures on Earth’s surface on creation day 4.
For an article giving more explanation, scientific verification, and documentation see “Hazy Early Earth: More Affirmation of Creation Day 4.” For something more in-depth, see my book, Navigating Genesis.1
Hugh Ross, Navigating Genesis (Covina, CA: RTB Press, 2014), 49–56.