YEC and loss of faith

From: Ted Davis (
Date: Mon Feb 11 2002 - 09:58:18 EST

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    Let me affirm strongly what Chris Sharp writes about the likelihood of
    students raised as YECs, losing their faith at university. We at Messiah
    (who are not YECs, at least not in the science dept) are also concerned
    about this (many of our students come to us as YECs). Specifically, we are
    concerned that our graduates be made to think very hard about science/faith
    issues while they are still here, so that when they go elsewhere for further
    study they at least have some basis for furthe reflection. I will quote a
    statement that guides our teaching:

    "Within the Natural Sciences Department there is no single interpretation
    that all faculty would endorse; nor should this be surprising. Indeed, the
    college expects faculty to form their own positions thoughtfully and to
    communicate these to our students in appropriate ways. In this way we can
    offer our students multiple models for relating science and faith, which
    parallels what we do in other academic disciplines. We believe it is
    especially important to do this with science, as it reflects a genuine,
    legitimate diversity of opinion within the Christian community and better
    equips students to evaluate information that might not fit neatly into one
    particular model."

    I'll fill in the blanks: we want our students to see us disagree amongst
    ourselves, so that they do *not* get the dangerous impression that there is
    *the correct* Christian view of origins, apart from our unanimous
    affirmation that the universe was brought into being, and is upheld in
    being, by the triune God revealed in Jesus Christ. If they think that
    there's just one option, it's most likely to be YEC, and that house will
    topple when the sand under it shifts--if not at Messiah, then later on. No
    doubt, YECs will accuse us of being wolves in sheeps clothing, who steal the
    faith of Christian youth, whereas in fact we *know* we are doing just the
    opposite--that we are helping students properly to ground their faith in
    thoughtful reflection on the word and the works of God. We are definitely
    "concordists" in the loose sense of that term.

    Ted Davis

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