Re: Glenn makes front page of AiG today

From: george murphy (
Date: Sun Feb 10 2002 - 22:27:21 EST

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    Walter Hicks wrote:

    > george murphy wrote:
    > >
    > > It's not clear to me from what you've written here just what you're arguing
    > > with. What is "the current approach being taken" which "will never succeed in
    > > convincing a YEC to believe in evolution and remain Christian"? And who on this
    > > list has suggested "converting YECs into atheists"?
    > >
    > > What I have suggested is that people be convinced to
    > > a) take scientific evidence and theories seriously, and
    > > b) appreciate the variety of _true_ and _authoritative_ material in
    > > scripture.
    > >
    > > Of course the meta-scientific claims of Dawkins _et al_ should be opposed
    > > as well.
    > >
    > > Shalom,
    > >
    > > George
    > >
    > But as Glenn mentioned (and a similar observation was made in a post by
    > Christopher Sharp) when a YEC becomes convinced of the "truths of
    > science", he usually becomes an atheist. If this the net result of
    > hammering on the validity of science, then why is that a worthwhile goal
    > for a Christian?

            Apparently the 2d part of my program (if I can rather pretentiously call such a
    brief sketch that)
    wasn't clear. By no means do I want to concentrate entirely on scientific evidence. I
    also want people to learn how scripture - & Genesis 1-3 in particular - can be understood
    as being true and authoritative without necessarily being accurate historical or
    scientific narrative. This requires, among other things,
            a) understanding the primary role of scripture to be its witness to Jesus Christ,
            b) appreciation of the variety of types of literary material and, in particular,
    to the differing ways in which truth, including theological truth, can be conveyed.

            If this _doesn't_ happen - if people become convinced that evolution is true
    while still thinking that the Bible can be true only as accurate history - then the only
    conclusion is indeed that the Bible is not true and that Christianity should be
    rejected. & the responsibility for that lies with the YECs who've told them that they
    have to make the fake choice between evolution and Christianity.

    > I'm suggesting that one is attacking the wrong problem. For example,
    > Charles Coulson in "How now shall we live" has one of his main
    > characters make the the statement: "I'll find out how to argue with it
    > (evolution). I'll find out why the story we heard here today is wrong or
    > I'll give up my faith too."
    > So my point is that we should be dealing with a far more fundamental
    > spiritual issue than the validity of the "facts" of science. YECs are
    > generally opposed to conventional science because they perceive it as a
    > direct threat to their faith. Trying to convince them that they are
    > wrong about the validity of science is interpreted as a direct attack on
    > Christianity.
    > My suggestion is that we should instead emphasize that science is about
    > physical things and the Christian Faith is about spiritual matters.
    > There need not be a conflict between science and religion and THAT is
    > what is important. If all could come to believe this, then I think that
    > the YEC viewpoint would just fade away with time as an irrelevant issue.

            This is an oversimplification. The Christian faith is about physical things -
    i.e., human beings as embodied entities and the whole physical creation. It isn't the
    task of theology to understood how the physical world _qua_ world functions, but about
    the relationship of that world to God. There is certainly a difference between science &
    religion, but it's more subtle than just putting all physical things in one category and
    all "spiritual" things in another. In particular, some attention needs to be given to
    the meaning of "spiritual". In St. Paul, e.g., it doesn't refer to some disembodied
    aspect of life but to the proper relationship of human beings with God.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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