RE: Engaging the power of Internet links

From: Stephen J. Krogh (
Date: Mon Apr 02 2001 - 23:37:06 EDT

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    hi Todd,

    Was it you that said you had heard from someone that they were told by their
    pastor to not look at Hubble photos? Is that 4th or 5th hand ;-)

    Stephen J. Krogh, P.G.
    The PanTerra Group

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: []On
    > Behalf Of Todd S. Greene
    > Sent: Monday, April 02, 2001 10:09 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: Engaging the power of Internet links
    > Hi, John.
    > I started my website almost exactly 2 years ago. One of the first pages
    > was my Links Page,
    > and the very first version of that page had a link to the ASA website on
    > it. I have used dozens of links to sites like the ASA website for the
    > very purpose of demonstrating to the many Christians who don't realize
    > it that the portrayal by many Christians of discussion about creationism
    > and evolution as "Christians (meaning young earth creationists) versus
    > atheistic conspiracy" is simply not a correct portrayal of the true
    > situation. The ASA website (the home page, and links to a specific
    > article or two) has always figured prominently on my Links Page.
    > Henry Morris was an ASA member way back around the time it first
    > started. He left because he couldn't handle the serious criticism of his
    > ideas. The ASA has not taken an official position; which means, in turn,
    > that young earth creationism is not the official position of the
    > organization; which means consideration of other positions, and
    > criticism of YEC is allowed. This sets the ASA apart from other
    > "conservative" Christian organizations. Try criticizing YEC in the ICR
    > and open advocating something like antiquity in your local congregation,
    > then stand back and watch the fireworks!
    > Another correspondent mentioned the stats and gave a dire prognosis. My
    > opinion is just the opposite. I believe that, the (last) decline of
    > young earth creationism has already begun, and that after this decline
    > YEC will be considered as geocentrism is now. A permanent result of this
    > change will be that many of the hermeneutical considerations that are
    > being worked on now, appropriate to the realization of the nature of the
    > real world with respect to antiquity, and to biological processes, will
    > become just another part of the typical "cultural milieu" of evangelical
    > Christians - just as hermeneutical changes with regard to the
    > geocentrism are now taken totally for granted. I see this, because of at
    > least three different observations:
    > (1) In denominations where anything other than YEC used to be anathema,
    > official governing bodies are considering this specific issue, and are
    > taking official positions of toleration of non-YEC views. Granted, there
    > is still the "working out" of the internal strife that is going on,
    > where, for example, particular congregations of the Christian Reformed
    > Church has split over this issue (while this issue was actually part of
    > a "plate" of other issues as well, such as women preachers). As you may
    > be aware, Howard J. Van Till, a (now retired) professor at
    > CRC-affiliated Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, met much
    > public expression of criticism by YECs in the CRC over this issue, years
    > ago. The situation today is substantially different, and this change is
    > going on in other denominations as well.
    > I myself was raised in the Church Of Christ. (Also, my father was a
    > minister of the COC until his retirement from the ministry in 1990.)
    > Even the very conservative COC now has substantial toleration of
    > non-YEC views and criticism of YEC positions. Again, there still remains
    > a significant contingent of COC preachers and other members expressing
    > "exclusivism" on this issue (they preach that Christians who do not
    > believe young earth creationism are not pleasing to God, and that anyone
    > who publicly criticizes YEC is a "false teacher" who is to be publicly
    > condemned as such), but their influence has greatly diminished since
    > 20 and 30 years ago. I can report to you that among the general COC
    > membership, there are a great many for whom the YEC issue is merely
    > passe.
    > (2) Others have pointed this out already, that due to whatever
    > historical contingents of our cultural evolution that made YEC such a
    > strong temptation to so many, its great popularity has been a mostly
    > U.S. phenomenon. It was a reaction against some post-World War II
    > social threads (not the least, I believe, which was some of the rampant
    > political socialism and flirtation with communism among some
    > "liberals"), and evolution and everything associated with it (geology,
    > astronomy, anything at all) was seen as part of this mixture of evil.
    > And this was despite the fact that many of the "fathers" of evangelical
    > Christianity had long since "made peace" with antiquity and had also
    > proceeded substantially, along with non-evangelicals, toward "making
    > peace" with the idea of biological evolution. What was part of a
    > reaction took on its own power in its way of thinking and looking at
    > theology (God's Word is Truth; scientific theories about the world
    > are merely the "fallible wisdom of man"). To look at things in a more
    > complex way simply became a part of the problem rather than a more
    > accurate way to look at things. (Why would God make His Word too
    > difficult for people to understand in a straightforward manner?)
    > (3) The rise of the internet has seen a great increase in the ease by
    > which relevant information can be accessed. Granted, there is also a
    > great amount of bad information that can be accessed, but, really, this
    > is no change in what existed before, it's just that the internet has
    > made all information easier to access. It was pointed out that YECs
    > "outgun" non-YEC sites on the web, but I disagree. While of sites that
    > specifically discuss creationism issues, sites with a YEC orientation
    > predominate, we can certainly say that of sites that cover information
    > relevant to creationism, YEC is quite dwarfed. For example, we wouldn't
    > consider The Hubble Space Telescope site
    > to be a creationism-related website. However, the site clearly contains
    > information relevant to creationism issues, and that information clearly
    > contradicts YEC, with respect to the antiquity issue - and it is the
    > antiquity issue alone that blows YEC-based theology and hermeneutics out
    > of the water.
    > There are other miscellaneous observations, such as, for example, the
    > YEC claim, made for at least a few decades now that evolution (and by
    > extension, antiquity) is "about to overthrown" by some kind of
    > revolution in science. I don't know what time-scale YECs have
    > specifically had in mind on that one, but George McCready Price was
    > making that claim, and the claim has been used quite steadily since
    > then. (For example, it was used, with no apparent embarrassment, by Paul
    > Nelson and John Mark Reynolds in *Three Views on Creation and Evolution*
    > just a couple of years ago.) I hate to be the one to break the "news,"
    > but the "revolution" is going the other way, and it's occurring in the
    > conservative Christian community!
    > Truth cannot contradict truth. And that's something that the controversy
    > over young earth creationism cannot change. SN1987A sits there, a direct
    > observation of an event that occurred about 168,000 years in the past.
    > "SN1987A and The Antiquity of the Universe"
    > This kind of direct observational material is kind of hard to dispute.
    > Indeed, all YECs have ever offered in trying to explicate their position
    > in the face of these kinds of observations is: (1) their own human
    > speculation, very pure, completely unadulterated by any substantiating
    > empirical information, or (2) almost the entire universe is a truly
    > cosmic illusion (a la Gosse, the "apparent age" concept). Of course,
    > since neither of these positions is stated anywhere in the Bible, young
    > earth creationists have thereby demonstrated the inherent fallacy of
    > their own philosophical position.
    > Now, look at that, John. I got all that just from talking about my
    > placing a link to ASA's site on my Links Page a couple of years ago!
    > Keep up the good work!
    > Regards,
    > Todd S. Greene
    > ###### John Burgeson, 4/2/01 17:57 EDT ######
    > [snip]
    > The placing of a link on the web sites of ASA members pointing to the
    > ASA web site. (I've done this; have you?)
    > [snip]

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