I appreciate your concerns in your e-mail. Here are some vague replies to
* When the sparks fly ("as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens
another"--Prov. 27:16), we do indeed seem ingracious, pig headed, and
burdened. And I admit to occassionally being ingracious myself. ... (Ok,
frequently being ingracious. ) (..... Well, I'm sure I was gracious in at
least one message.....)
* However, it's as true here as anywhere else, that we are divided by our
consensus. We don't talk much about the things we do hold in common, but
rather focus on the points that divide us. And, in the big picture, these
points are relatively minor. Of course, people new to the forum won't see
the consensus -- only the divisions.
* I think it's also true that the majority of us love a good fight. I
mean, a good debate. (It's a little hard to distinguish the two at times).
In the midst of a debate, one tends to concentrate on making one's point,
not on appearing gracious.
* We also feel somewhat persecuted by the church at large. And frustrated.
One need only consider the absurdity of some of the young-earth arguements
dissemated and embraced in the church at large (or at least in America), and
the hostile attitude taken by some of the propogators to see why. Many
Christians are content to believe that the Bible teaches that the Earth is
young, and any divergent view shows a lack of faith. When one considers the
totality of both Biblical and Scientific evidence, this stance is roughly
equivalent to believing that the Bible teaches that the Earth is flat, and
any divergent view is mere lack of faith--or sin.
I think it's fair to say that this forum sometimes is an avenue to vent our
frustration with the church at large.
* It's also a great place to bounce ideas around to see what other people
think. One can learn a lot from even a heresy, if it's well disected
(rather than crudely smashed.)
* And it's a fellowship--of people that are both Christians and Scientists
(or Engineers) that most of use are denied in off-line life.
* Also, it's via e-mail. Which can distort the communication process.
I certainly appreciate your perspective on, and share your concern for,
creation stewardship. I'm rather disappointed by the lack of interest
in--and occasional hostility toward-- environmental issues.
Grace & peace,