Re: Children of YEC's in Sunday School (WAS: How to discuss evolution with friends

From: Jan de Koning (
Date: Wed Feb 13 2002 - 15:37:41 EST

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    At 03:00 PM 13/02/02 -0500, george murphy wrote:
    >"Vandergraaf, Chuck" wrote:
    >>One must be very careful with trying to stretch the "day" in Gen.1 to
    >>"ages" to accommodate an old earth. ["(For that matter, when talking with
    >>adults on whom the light is just beginning to dawn & who say, "Maybe the
    >>days were millions of years long", I don't try to introduce more
    >>sophisticated ideas - right then.)"] Some years ago, when I tried this
    >>tack, the response was something along the lines that plants need
    >>sunlight and that they would not survive a long night (assuming, of
    >>course, that the night was also "millions of years long"). I suppose one
    >>could argue for long days and short nights, but that has its own problems. ;-)
    >>Having thought about this for many years now (but not as long as some
    >>correspondents on this ASA site), I've come to the conclusion that it is
    >>hopeless to look for any agreement between what God shows us in His
    >>Creation and what Genesis appears to tell us at first glance (or, for
    >>many, even after 'n' glances). A more satisfying argument, to me, would
    >>be that God created the Universe some 6000 or so years ago as a fully
    >>functional system, with the stars 'way out there and the light well on
    >>its way to us, with all the daughter products of the U and Th series in
    >>place, with the isotopic signatures that we find, etc., etc. Note that I
    >>don't say I'd be happy with it, but I think I'd prefer it over "shoe
    >>horning" Genesis into geology or the other way around.
    > Please note the very limited way in which I said that day-age
    > concordism could be useful:
    >> For this age I don't object to some modest concordism as a kind of
    >>temporary resting place. The days might be much longer than 24 hours &
    >>the other
    >>land animals were created before human beings (in the 1st account!) The
    >>thing doesn't really work on close examination & I wouldn't "teach it",
    >>but in
    >>this context it's okay to suggest it as one way of thinking about things.
    >> (For that matter, when talking with adults on whom the light is
    >> just
    >>beginning to dawn & who say, "Maybe the days were millions of years
    >>long", I don't
    >>try to introduce more sophisticated ideas - right then.)
    > It may be helpful temporarily for children or for adults who are
    > just coming to realize that a young earth isn't the article by which the
    > church stands and falls. "Close examination" however, will reveal
    > problems like the plants existing millions of years without the sun. &
    > then you have to say
    >"I don't know" or (probably for adults) "that's one of the limits of the
    >model." & pretty soon people will see enough limitations of the model to
    >realize that it really isn't helpful.
    > OTOH I think that the apparent age argument you suggest would sow
    > the seeds of disaster. It still allows one to maintain a YEC view, it
    > really explains nothing, & says that God created a world which was
    > misleading about its own character.

    More important than anything else is that people keep their trust in the
    God of the Bible. If there is only a chance that people lose their faith,
    I think, we should keep quiet. It is above all necessary that children and
    adults keep their trust in the Bible. I do not think that one can give
    rules for that. I have seen too many people lost for the church on these
    issues. Scientific and philosophical methods can only be discussed with
    people who understand the issues involved. If one has to discuss it, many
    issues come into sight: the type of literature written, the comprehension
    of the people first hearing the stories, the sort of people listening, the
    environment, the education available, copying, translating etc. etc. I do
    not think one can give general rules for that, nor can anyone be literate
    in all these areas. Each one is on his own in different situations at
    different times. Most important is that they belief in Jesus Christ as
    their Saviour, and that they are willing to live with unexplained facts,
    like we all do. Trying to spin stories has only disastrous results for the

    Jan de K.

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