RE: Kline article in PSCF (D. Kidner on Adam)

Gordon Simons (
Mon, 8 Apr 1996 08:41:44 -0400 (EDT)

Hi; I'm Gordon Simons. This is my first posting to this ASA discussion
group. I've been a member of ASA for nearly 30 years. I'm a statistician
at the University of North Carolina. Beyond this, I have a background in
mathematics and physics. I view Glenn Morton as a good friend, and I very
much appreciate and respect what he is attempting to do with his book. But
here I want to express something of a contrary view as to need; my desire
is to speak a pastoral word to brother Fred Phelps, and I hope to any
others of like mind. In this, I make no claims of expertise or gifting,
but I have thought quite a bit about his concern, and have sought the
wisdom of those whom, I believe, do possess a large measure of pastoral
wisdom. Necessarily, this goes beyond specific scientific concerns.

Fred Phelps writes:

<< As a missionary, I need something to tell people. I enjoy the
discussion, but it seems to me that we are going back and forth talking
about concordism and complementarianism philosophically. What I want is
answers to the following: .... >>

In a subsequent posting, he writes:

<< I want to be honest. When I became an old earther I did not have any
answers for how to relate science and the Bible. Over the last 14 years I
have found answers to about half of the problems but some remain to this
day, quite irritating. Probably the flood is the biggest problem, but
some things to do with evolution are hard to live with also.

Why not just dump the faith and become an atheist or deist or something

I could say a lot of things. I still believe in the apologetic arguments
for the resurrection of Christ and there are a few amazing prophecies in
the OT which were fulfilled. I continue to see God at work in changing
lives here on the field every week. Our (Biblical, not American cultural)
way of life and moral code is so far better than anyone else's that I
would probably continue to promote much of it even if I were not convinced
it is entirely true! What I mean is that the sinful aftermath of the
Soviet Union is in need of moral strength and only Christianity is
providing it in a loving way. .... >>

Then he discusses God's witness to him through charismatic experiences.

Fred: Clearly, God has witnessed to you in powerful ways, in mind, heart
and spirit, and, in this, He has blessed you richly. You have much for
which to be thankful. Additionally, I commend you for your continuing
attempts to reconcile some difficult issues of science and Christianity.

My concern, Fred, is that it is all too easy to assume that the specific
faith issues that trouble you are also troubling to most of those to whom
you minister as a missionary. While you might even have specific examples
of folks in mind for whom this is the case, I strongly suspect most of
those for whom you have pastoral responsibility have much more pressing
needs and concerns. Very effective physicians treat their patient's needs
with the medicine they understand while recognizing their limitations. In
like manner, I believe it is important to humbly recognize that God does
not expect any pastor, or missionary, to have all of the answers.

Recently, I gently asked our pastor, after a very fine sermon, why he had
failed to address a particular (mostly esoteric) issue in the Biblical
text at hand, and he said quite honestly that he really did not know what
he might say about it with confidence. So, instead, he focussed attention
on what, in the text, God had made clear to him. I must emphasize that he
really did deliver a wonderfully helpful sermon. And many were blessed,
myself included.

Gordon Simons