Re: P.Johnson on James Dobson

Wendee Holtcamp (wendee@greendzn.com)
Thu, 18 Nov 1999 00:04:24 -0600

John Wiester wrote:

>>I have just listened to the tape of Phil Johnson on James Dobson's Focus
on the Family program and have found Wendee Holtcamp's draft letter to be an
inaccruate caricature of Johnson's statements."

Actually, what I wrote concerning Johnson is ONLY in my top cover letter
signed by myself personally. The second letter only discusses my reasoning
for why Christians should keep an open mind when attempting to dissect
evolutionary theory and/or the creation account. The second letter does not
mention Johnson or his broadcast at all, and I did this specifically so that
no one signing would feel as if they were signing some kind of opposition to
Johnson's talk, which they likely hadn't heard.

Secondly, the only thing I wrote at all about Johnson was "I am writing
today because of a recent Focus on the Family radio show with Phillip
Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial. Listening to Johnson gave me a deep
concern about his dissemination of false information, and leading Christians
astray."

That was the sum and total of my mention of his broadcast. What exactly do
you feel like I said that was not an accurate representation of his
presentation?

I will explain my reasoning for my above (and brief) statement to Dr Dobson
in brief. Johnson claims to have no problems with microevolution, but then
went on to say some recent research had discounted the classic peppered moth
study - which is only an example of microevolution, right? So he was
contradicting himself, which only told me he didn't have a very good grasp
of the whole area of study. In answering an audience question, he stated
that theistic evolution was "incoherent." He said that God could use any
mechanism that he so chose, including evolution, if He wanted. Then he
stated that (macro) evolution involves bringing matter together on its own,
which seemed impossible or "incoherent" to him. However, if God can do
anything, why is it so hard to comprehend that he might use His hand to
bring matter together? That doesn't seem even a stretch of imagination for
any believing Christian. I felt like Johnson came across with a bit of a
haughty attitude, which didn't seem to go along with what I believe Jesus
teaches. However I know that even the best of all of us can come across
different than we'd like at times so I wouldn't consider that a major point
of contention.

I did not mention all of this in my letter to Dr. Dobson because my
intention was not to do a point-by-point rebuttal of Johnson, only to
highlight what Scripture speaks to me about the evolution/creation "debate"
and how it sidetracks people from what really matters. When I say creation
is not what "really matters" think about it this way: When your
non-believing friend gets terminal cancer, or when you go on a mission to
care for malnourished children in a third-world country, will even the most
ardent 7-day creationist spend his or her time discussing why evolution is
"evil" and goes against God's meaning etc, or will you minister love and
compassion, teach about what Jesus said and did, and genuinely care and
listen and pray for those people? Creation may be "important" but it's not
"critical" to salvation, nor to the greatest gift we havd as Christians -
love.

>> I suggest that before considering signing on to her letter you listen to
the tape for yourself
which can be ordered from Focus at 1-800-232-6459, tape number CT227, The
Evolution/Creation Controversy."

Of course that is fine for anybody who wants to sign my letter but like I
said I said only one sentence total in my personal cover letter regarding
Johnson, and in the jointly signed letter only broadly and scripturally
discussed the creation issue.

>>> I would also like to remind myself and all ASA members of ASA's
Resolution on this issue. Unless we define that ambigious word of multiple
meanings, "evolution," in our communications, we will be forever mired in
confusing dialogue. Here are the recommendations from that Resolution.

I completely agree with you about the terminology! That is one of my big
things I usually say, but it didn't come up in this letter. I might ad in a
brief point about that.

John, what is the Science Education Commission? Is that a part of ASA?
In Christ's love,

Wendee