Re: Why YEC?

From: Howard J. Van Till (
Date: Tue Aug 21 2001 - 10:02:20 EDT

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    Paul Seely writes:
    > My experience with YEC's is that they have felt uneasy about "not believing
    > the Bible." In reality, they have been so indoctrinated and emotionally taken
    > with the extra-biblical doctrine of an "absolutely inerrant Bible" that this
    > is what they really find peace with when they become YEC's.
    > Seeking and honoring the truth is seeking and honoring Christ. Those who
    > choose to suppress scientific evidence and/or Scripture in order to hold on
    > to the extra-biblical doctrine of a scientifically inerrant Bible have put
    > Christ second. In addition, they have embarked on a very dangerous course of
    > having to suppress light again and again. Although I do not believe YEC's
    > have any consciousness of lying, because YECism is false, it functions as a
    > lie and inevitably demands more lies to keep the first lie intact. This
    > commitment to darkness invites demonic reinforcement.

    I agree, Paul. Here is how I expressed it (with considerable restraint) in
    my chapter in Three views on Creation and Evolution (Zondervan, 1999) pp.

    I believe that God has made and continues to make his presence known to us,
    and that the Scriptures proceed from a highly important and representative
    sample of those divine-human encounters. As the verse from 2 Timothy [3:16]
    suggests, these writings are especially useful for Christian "training in

    I must, however, express a considerable degree of discomfort at the way in
    which numerous Christians have chosen to extrapolate far beyond the words of
    Scripture itself, heaping onto the words of 2 Timothy many additional
    humanly-constructed claims regarding the biblical text. Some go so far as to
    assert that the biblical text was intended by God to provide Christians with
    inerrant, and therefore binding, information on all sorts of subject matter
    (including the natural sciences) to which it might appear to be related,
    even if only tangentially. In its extreme form, this practice of making
    exaggerated claims regarding the nature and proper use of the biblical text
    leads to a biblicism bordering on bibliolatry‹that is, an inordinate
    elevation of the status of an historic text, which could lead to the
    idolization of that text. When a person expends more energy on the strident
    defense of humanly-devised claims about the Book than on living humbly in
    accord with the actual teachings of the Book, something has gone seriously
    wrong. Having been the victim of a libelous public attack proceeding in part
    from that spirit, I believe I have earned the right to comment on the
    dangers that flow from a profoundly misguided zeal to promote a mischievous
    concept of Scripture dressed in the garb of a pious attitude toward the Word
    of God.

    Howard Van Till

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