Re: Phil Johnson on Focus on the Family

Arthur V. Chadwick (
Sat, 27 Mar 1999 14:26:46 -0800

At 12:54 PM 4/27/99 -0600, Allan wrote:

>What he [Johnson] said (as reported by Ryan Rasmussen, I didn't hear the
>myself) was that Christians in scientific academia are "selling out to
>naturalism in order to further their own professional goals"). That (and
>similar comments about such people "selling out" and being
>"accommodationists" in previous interviews) was what I was referring to
>as slandering his brothers and sisters.
>Art, I would hope that you would not be in agreement with that
>characterization of, for example, the academic Christians in science with
>whom you interact on this list (even if you don't agree with their
>interpretations of scientific evidence and/or Scripture). If you *do*
>think they (we, since I'm peripherally in that category) are so devoid of
>integrity, I at least commend you for keeping your postings on this list
>focused on the science rather than attacking our characters.

Perhaps there are some who meet Johnson's criteria of "selling out" for the
purposes of maintaining their academic standing. There are lots more who
have gone through agonizing struggles trying to reconcile the clear intent
of scripture with a world view that excludes this possibility. For
whatever reasons they may have come down on the side of PC orTE or MN. Some
of these may have "sold out" because of peer pressure or other social or
scientific considerations, but I suspect that for many it is a struggle
that they would rather not have categorized as having "sold out". In my
personal experience those that are the most vociferous in opposition to any
accommodation to a recent creation or a global flood tend to be the ones
who were once YEC's and have abandoned that view, only to fight against it.
I suspect for the rest of us, it is an interesting and important topic
that we still wrestle with on a continuing basis, while attempting to make
sense out of the world in the light of Scriptures. Probably Johnson's
rhetoric was overdrawn, but the stakes are high and the battle lines are
becoming clearer. It is a continuing tragedy to me that the Christian
community cannot get behind a broad view of God as Creator at the level
espoused by Johnson et al, without getting into the war of alphabet soup.
We may still differ as to the (still important) details, but who in the
Christian community would argue that there was no Creator needed?