Re: Competing for the Evangelical Mind

Bill Frix (
Sun, 30 Mar 1997 16:43:09 GMT-5

To reply to Robert L. Miller's post (among others) on this topic:

First, I have been asked to share some of my reasons why I believe
in the literalistic interpretation of the origin of the universe and
Noah and the flood. I will do so, although it will probably be this
summer, after my teaching responsibilities subside.

In the meantime, I would like to address why I (and others like me)
have difficulties with what I am reading on this listserv. It is my
understanding that the ASA is a Christian organization - with that
perspective, here is my heartfelt concerns:

Robert wrote:
> I have seen some hand wringing recently over the influence of ICR, P.Johson
> and others on Evangelicals. There has been some implicit and explicit
> wonderings about what ASA should do. I have some suggestions.
> 1. Compete from our strength. ASA is by orientation and practice academic so
> we should not try to get into a public relations dual with ICR. Stick with
> the things we are good at.
> 2. Aim for the college undergrad and grad students. Win them and you win the
> church.
I am patently disgusted with this attitude by a supposedly Christian
organization. Look at the words above (and similar comments being
posted): you appear to be at war with Christian believers, more
intent on proving their faith in the Bible is wrong than in trying to
find a way of reconciling Christian faith and scientific "knowledge".

When I studied evangelism at Asbury Seminary, one of the cardinal
rules I was taught was: you must not destroy a person's faith
position without giving that person an alternative faith. Pardon me
(growing) Christian desires to know how to know God and how to trust
God. Granted, most of them do not have scientific knowledge. Look
at what you are saying to them: the Bible which you trust is not
trustworthy as it is written. When they read Paul's letter that says

Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and
death through sin, and so death spread to all men ... For if by the transgression of
the one (Adam) the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the
grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many ... For if by the
transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more
those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of
righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So
then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all
men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted
justification of life to all men. For as through the one man's
disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience
of the One the many will be made righteous. (Rom 5:12-19

Or what about the young Christian man and woman being married, when
the words of Jesus are quoted (as justification for marriage):

And He answered and said, "Have you not read, that He who created
{them} from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For
this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave
to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh'? (Matt 19:4-5, NAS)

Now will you proceed to tell them that Adam never existed and,
hence, the theological basis of Paul's letter and of marriage are
false (or, at best, founded on a false foundation). Or what does
the average Christian think when he/she reads the words of Jesus,
the Lord, the God of Truth, He who is the Truth saying:

"For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of
Noah. "For as in those days which were before the flood they were
eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until
the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand
until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of
the Son of Man be. (Matt 24:37-39, NAS)

and the Apostle Peter (of whom the Bible calls a foundation, Eph
2:20) who wrote:
"... when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during
the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons,
were brought safely through {the} water. And corresponding to that,
baptism now saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but
an appeal to God for a good conscience-- through the resurrection of
Jesus Christ," (1 Pet 3:20-21, NAS)

Are you going to tell those who trust the Lord and His apostles that
Noah never existed, that these words of Jesus were false? Oh, yes.
I have heard it before at Candler: Jesus was not being false, He was
speaking to them in a way that they could understand. Well, Jesus,
who is the truth (John 14:6) was never one to couch the truth in
words that were acceptable to the masses (Matt 13:33-34) and He
Himself testified regarding the Bible (and in this context, the
first chapter of Genesis is definitely included)

"... Thy word is truth." (John 17:17, NAS) and "But it is easier for
heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the
Law to fail." (Luke 16:17, NAS)

This verse has never been interpretted except in one fashion: all of
Scripture, down to the Hebrew tittle (a stroke, the smallest letter
in the Hebrew alphabet) is held to be God's truth.

And of the other New Testament verses that testify of the veracity of
the Old Testament (including Genesis 1) such as John 10:35, the sum
of which is summed up:

ALL Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for
reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; (2 Tim 3:16,

Will you stand before the church and tell them that their simple
faith is wrong, that YOU must correctly interpret the Bible for them?
You remind me of the Pharisees in John 7:49:

"But this multitude which does not know the Law is accursed." (NAS)

I will give you one piece of advice: you are counselling together to
fight the Christians who are testifying that the Bible is true and
can be depended upon, even in Genesis 1. Your "weapon" is science,
and a science that is popularly associated with an atheistic,
humanistic stance. If you cannot show a person how, through your
science, to increase their faith in God and His Word then BE QUIET.

To show the truth is important, but the truth will ALWAYS glorify
God. If you tear down the simple faith in the average Christian,
though you successfully defend your "science", maybe you have won the
current battle over the scientific viewpoint in one person's mind but
what have you done to their faith in God? BEWARE, lest YOU be the
person of whom Jesus said:

"... but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to
stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around
his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea. "Woe to
the world because of {its} stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that
stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling
block comes! (Matt 18:6-7, NAS)

Incidentally, I know of this struggle from personal experience. I
was an engineer and scientist before I became a Christian and had to
reconcile my scientific worldview with a Christian faith. I
struggled for years over this issue until I discovered that the
currently held scientific viewpoint is based on philosophical
interpretations. I also found that there is an alternative
philosophical basis through which the evidence can be interpreted,
using sound scientific logic, which is in accord with a conservative
Christian viewpoint (of which you have labeled, the YEC position).

In summary, some of you are implying a greater faith in science than
in the Bible which Jesus affirmed. You are in danger of being allied
with the Enemy and remember the words of Jesus:

"He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather
with Me scatters. (Matt 12:30, NAS)

William M. Frix
Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering
Box 3021
John Brown University
Siloam Springs, AR 72761
Phone: (501) 524-7466
FAX: (501) 524-7499