I learned plenty from this debate, most of it discouraging, a little of
it strengthening my faith, sort of. I feel as though I were listening in
on a private conversation, something like
a little kid hiding in the closet while the "adults" talked of that which
was far beyond my experience and abilities. The specialized language,
unfamiliar terms, concepts so ambiguous they were impossible to follow,
were bad enough; but then added to it all was some (to me)
meticulously presented minutiae overshadowed
by what appeared to be a demand to be able to understand everything that
If nothing else, this lengthy dialog helped me appreciate the
depth of struggle that highly trained people go thru. And I've started
feeling like Ben Gunn! (He was, you recall, the marooned sailor on
Treasure Island who could barely speak English because he'd been isolated
so long from human companionship. He was "out of his element" being with
people on a different level.)
In general these postings saddened me for other reasons. It was so
discouraging to read that someone "lost his faith" in a literal Adam and
Garden, etc. because of studies in geology and anthropology.
But most disappointing of all, was seeing evidence of an argumentive
spirit instead of honest, building-up of one another in genuine love,
a respectful exchange. And I saw over and over one expert's "knowledge"
offset by another "expert's" knowledge offset yet again
by even another expert. Dates of millions of years vs. thousands
degenerated into arguments about whether a statue of a naked woman was a
religious relic or not. Not sure how that helps me be a better partner
today, or how such knowledge will enable me to be patient with my husband
and coworkers, or a better counselor, or a wiser friend, or a compassionate
neighbor, or an effective soul-winner. At church on Sunday a teacher
training tape by Howard Hendricks contained a comment in one segment
that still echoes in my mind: long after they've forgotten your
answers, he said, your students will remember your attitude. And that's
exactly what I'm coming away with here.
I'm willing to concede that it's perhaps naive to accept the concept that
God created an Old Earth because that would have been misleading us
(deceptive), even though He created a mature Adam and Eve. But what
bothers me the most is that nobody seems to *know*, but yet the experts
believe very firmly what they believe!
Which brings me to what I hope is a wise conclusion: I will no longer
debate those who have made up their minds about geology or astronomy or
anthropolgy or DNA or who-knows-what. I will openly accept him/her
wherever they are (as long as they respect the Scriptures, of course),
and I will be eternally grateful for "many infallible proofs" that the
Man Jesus was alive after being certified dead by both Roman (civil)
and Jewish (religious) authorities.
I am grateful for fulfilled prophecy, whether I understand all the
ramifications of worm holes in rocks or not.
And I've decided that I don't need to understand everything, which is
major progress for this once-insatiably curious person. It is enough to
know Him Who loves me, gave Himself for me, ever lives to make
intercession for me, and is preparing a place for me that where He is I
may be also. And I'm forgiven!
Thanks for the "ride", folks. It's been interesting, to say the least!
missions commission chair at church
etc. etc. etc. :)