Re: Competing for the Evangelical Mind

David Campbell (
Mon, 31 Mar 1997 17:56:35 -0500

William Frix wrote:
>Second, in your professional capacity and ministry, by no means do I
>mean you should not discuss what you believe. The focus of my post
>dealt with a perceived desire of some persons to bring this debate
>into the church. Until this debate is complete in the scientific
>circles, being concluded with incontrovertible, repeatable proofs as
>is the requirement of science, it has no place in the church.

Unfortunately, it's already there.

>However, there are many in the church who are not so strong as you,
>their faith is weak and is founded on an all or nothing stance. If
>you take away a piece of their foundation, you destroy the totality
>of their faith (I have been a pastor and have seen this). "And
>thus, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience
>when it is weak, you sin against Christ." (1 Cor 8:12, NAS). This
>was my point: be quiet in the Church about this issue, lest you wound
>the conscience of the weak and thus sin against Christ.
I, too, am concerned about these, but I believe it much better if the ASA
points out the flaws in young-earth views and supplies viable evangelical
alternatives (with honesty about their flaws) rather than someone who
abandons Scripture, if not one who attacks the faith outright. Unless the
non-scientists in the pews realize that the age of the earth and the
methods of creation are largely irrelevant to the faith, they risk being
deceived by someone [e.g., almost any famous popularizer of science] who
claims that his non-Christian view is supported by science. As is, many
abandon the faith or refuse to consider it.

The foundation of our faith must be Christ, not fallible and debated
interpretations of details. [Not that we should acknowledge the validity
of every proposed interpretation, but that people who appear to genuinely
respect Scripture and who know Hebrew disagree on what a "day" is in Gen.
1, the scope of the flood, etc.] I believe that the Bible is true but that
we must work hard to figure out what it says in many places. [Again, not
to imply that the average (or below) cannot understand and must blindly
rely on other's authority, but that many details can be misunderstood, the
importance of background information (original wording, style, cultural
aspects, etc.), and our fallibility require checks on individual

Thus, I would not "fight" young earth views as such but would fight bad
evidence (for any view) and would fight for inclusion of old earth and
evolutionary views as possibilities.

David Campbell