Re: Competing for the Evangelical Mind

Jason A. Alley (
Sun, 30 Mar 1997 17:45:48 -0800

My friend,

I cannot speak for everyone on this listserv, but let me tell you why I
personally am passionate about this issue. It is not to encourage John
Doe Christian in his personal walk. I don't feel called to edification
of the body (although this is a very important thing to do, it is not
what I believe I've been called to). I am evangelical in my
ministerial focus. I would like to conscider myself a missionary to
the scientist. You see, to a secular scientist who doesn't know much
about the origin debate and has been raised and trained a "good
atheistic evolutionist," the idea of a supernatural influence is hard
enough to swallow, without having it weighted down with a system of
beliefs that they cannot reconcile with what they've learned in all
their years of science. My goal in working to understand this issue is
not to find a "weapon" in science, but to find a bridge.

You see, if a secular scientist cannot bring himself to believe in
Christ becuase of the creation account and it's incompatability with
the evidence he's seen, then the church is doing him a great disservice
by defining as "orthodox" a position that he cannot accept and
condemning all shades of gray as heretical. Although this may seem to
be an extreme case, I know several (at least twenty) individuals who
aren't Christians, not becuase of any doctrinal problem, but because
they simply can't swallow a literal interpretation of the creation
story. One of these people told me that he'd been to church once, but
as soon as they found out he was a scientist, they completely cut him
off and stopped talking to him because he didn't agree with their
ideas. This is not the way the church should behave. Sadly, though,
it is how the majority of the churches behave.

When one of these scientists begins to look into what Christians
believe on this issue, who do they turn to? The most well-known
Scientific Christian foundation-- ICR. What do they find when they
look around the ICR literature or ask questions of its faculty? "Only
the Young Earth Position is Orthodox Christian." So what do they
think? All Christians are closed-minded and unwilling to look
rationally at evidence. Do they want to join this body? Of course
not. They don't want to become a member of what, to them, seems like
an irrational and ignorant group of people.

This is why I want to get completely immersed in this discussion. You
see, if a Christian Scientific (not the cult) organization can say to
these seeking scientists that there is a way to read the bible that is
consistant with the evidence that we find and that can both honor God
and be "intelligent" in its dealing with origins, then the concordinism
of the eivdence for evolution and the biblical text is not a weapon,
but a bridge. This is what I see as the reason for finding out what is

As for your attack on the ASA as putting forth as stumbling block by
not taking everything in the Bible as literal, I have nothing else to
say besides the Bible ISN"T all literal. If you take it all literally,
you fall into the trap of the Mormons, who want to think of God as a
physical being because of the many references in scripture to the right
hand, right arm, left arm, mind, eye, mouth, etc. of God. It also says
in Psalms that God will hide you "under the shelter of his wings..." Is
God a chicken too? The Bible is repleate with metaphores an
illustrations that make the point, but it is dangerous to confuse the
vehicle of the truth (the illustration) with the truth itself.

In Christ,
Jason Alley