RE: How to discuss evolution with friends. WAs RE: YEC and loss of faith:

From: Shuan Rose (
Date: Mon Feb 18 2002 - 20:47:27 EST

  • Next message: george murphy: "Re: Genesis One and Concordism (was a lot of other thingspreviously)"

    Thanks to all for your responses.I have a lot of homework to do!
    I think the key is that any response must be in love. Thats the hard part,
    not the evidentiary arguments!
    i was once accosted by a YEC who lecured me for an hour on the perils of
    believing in evolution. Apparently, I would be end up being a racist,
    Marxist, Nazi and would be in danger of losing the my soul to the fires of
    hell! She pressed a copy of the AiG book, Refuting Evolution, into my hand,
    insisted that I read it, and absolutely refused to listen to anything that I
    said! Tell you, I think the Lord had an easier time with the teachers of the
    Law than we have with YECS (have I committed blasphemy? I hope not)
    Anyhow, One major point that was made in another thread is that evidentiary
    arguments are not going to convince YECs. The strength of the YEC position
    is that it presents a defence of the simple, childlike picture of creation
    we grew up. If most of you are like me, you had a coloring book story of
    the ark with the elephants on the top deck pushing out their trunks beside
    the giraffes and the lions and the antelopes smiling at each other under the
    benign guidance of Noah as they filed into the ark in pairs. In your reading
    of Genesis One, you simply glided over inconvenient facts like plants being
    created before light.
    When that simple picture is threatened, people want to hold on this view and
    instinctively embrace the defenders of the simple picture especially when
    the alternative is to surrender their faith.
    I think the solution is to present a compelling vision of the faith that
    embraces both the modern science and biblical faith. I know that some of you
    guys have been working on that, so I will read what you have to say.
    Another problem is getting the word out.Why have the YECs and the IDs been
    so successful in getting the word out while deeper thinkers (like you folks)
    are "hidden under a bushel?" On another front, we have antitheists like
    Dawkins out there trashing religion in every one of d-ned (but really well
    written) books. Where are the thoughtful responses to his "evolution proves
    atheism" messages. Sometimes I feel like joining up with Mr. Johnson! At
    least, he seems to be fighting the good fight with all his(perhaps
    misguided) might). Yes, I've read Ken miller's book, but it just did'nt do
    it for me. Maybe because there's such an overwhelming flood of Dawkinsian
    propaganda and YEC counterpropaganda out there, its hard to keep my focus on
    the important things.
    I tell you, its hard being a thinking Christian ( but think of the
    Thus endeth this rant. Peace.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: []
    Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2002 10:36 PM
    Subject: Re: How to discuss evolution with friends. WAs RE: YEC and loss
    of faith:

    In a message dated 02/12/2002 8:14:06 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

    << Hullo List,
     In my opinion, the constant proprogation of YEC views as THE only true
     interpretation of Genesis can lead to a loss of faith, as it almost did in
     my life when I confronted the evidence for evolution. Evolution may not be
     the perfect scientific explanation for the diversity and elaboration of
     life, but it is better than OEC and incomparably better than YEC, which has
     been completely falsified scientifically.
     The next question for me is how I explain this to my YEC friends. I go to a
     conservative evangelical church, and most folk there appear to be YEC. In
     fact, the church puts out a tract attacking evolution as ungodly. When I
     mentioned that I beleived in evolution, I was challenged on this. One of my
     friends even wants the church to bring Answers in Genesis(GROAN) to town
     an evolution/creation debate!
     My position is not helped by Dawkins & Provine, with their proof of
     evolution = atheism formulas.
     Its enough to make you wish for the simple life of an atheist!
     Seriously though, I would like some guidance on how to deal with evolution
     when the topic comes up with my YEC friends.


    You can take a peaceful approach by simply showing from Bernard Ramm and
    others that committed Christians have various views of Science and

    You can also explain that understanding evolution requires proper
    have they studied paleontology? biology? genetics? etc. If not, you cannot
    convince them of evolution any more than you could teach calculus to a
    who only knows how to add and subtract, and you can tell them that.

    If you need to defend yourself, You will get ideas from David Livingstone's
    book, Darwin's Forgotten Defenders.

    Note also, Derek Kidner, 1967. Genesis. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries,
    IV Press. In discussing "let the earth [or sea] bring forth" in Gen. 1:11,
    20, 24, he states "this language seems well suited to the hypothesis of
    creation by evolution (as the present writer thinks)" but does not rule out
    any other alternative.

     Charles Hodge, the conservative Presbyterian theologian, who taught at Old
    Princeton Seminary in the 19th century, and who is considered
    said in "What is Darwinism" that evolution by chance is atheism (p156), but
    did allow evolution, "If God made them it makes no difference so far as the
    question of design is concerned how he made them; whether at once or by a
    process of evolution." (p95) (cited in Noll and Livingstone ed - Baker

    Also, A.A. Hodge and B.B. Warfield, who wrote THE book on Inerrancy which
    Evangelicals have build upon, both accepted evolution. B. B. Warfield
    himself a "Darwinian of the purest water," (cited in Carl F.H. Henry, God,
    Revelation and Authority, Vol. VI, p. 193.)

    Finally, Billy Graham said, "I don't think that there's any conflict at all
    between science today and the Scriptures. I think that we have
    the Scriptures many times and we've tried to make the Scriptures say things
    that they weren't meant to say, and I think we have made a mistake by
    thinking that the Bible is a scientific book.
    The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of redemption, and
    course, I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the
    universe. I believe he created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary
    process and at a certain point he took this person or this being and made
    a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man....
    I personally believe that it's just as easy to accept the fact that God took
    some dust and blew on it and out came a man as it is to accept the fact that
    God breathed upon man and he became a living soul and it started with some
    protoplasm and went right on up through the evolutionary process. Either way
    is by faith and whichever God did it makes no difference as to what man is
    and man's relationship to God."

    David Frost, Billy Graham: Personal Thoughts of a Public Man. (Colorado
    Springs, Chariot Victor, 1997) pp. 72-74

    Upon being shown this quote from Billy Graham, the theologian J. I. Packer,
    who wrote a book in favor of biblical inerrancy, said, "Most excellent! My
    sentiments exactly. Well said!" this was a personal communication to Denis
    Lamoureux Feb 22, 00; but Packer has also said in print that he sees no
    confluct between evolution and the Word of God. See J.I. Packer, God Has
    Spoken, p. 170, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1988, and J.I. Packer, The
    Evangelical Anglican Identity
    Problem, p. 5. Oxford: Latimer House, 1978.

    So, you can show that a believer in evolution is standing with some of the
    greatest orthodox theologians and saints of all time. Based on that fact,
    you then point out from I Cor and John that taking sides against other godly
    Christians divides the body of Christ and is a sin. It is a sin for them to
    speak against evolution per se; it is only naturalism that is the enemy; and
    neither you nor Derek Kidner nor the Hodges nor BB. Warfield nor Billy
    nor J.I Packer is a naturalist. If you want to really be aggressive, go for
    conviction from the Holy Spirit: Say, It is a sin. Don't argue any further.
    Just proclaim and let God convict. Just keep saying, It is a sin.

    Step 2 is to show the "I take the Bible in a straightforward way" folks,
    they are just kidding themselves. That they reject the Bible whenever it
    something that messes up the "god" to which they have made their ultimate
    commitment, that is, "The Absolute Inerrancy of the Bible in matters of
    science." But, that is lesson 2. I can only give you a preview here:

    Here is an email I sent to a "true believer" who said a Christian must
    interpret scientific data in subordination to Scripture because if one
    subordinates Scripture to modern science, that is naturalism which is
    to Christianity.

    <<Eccl 1:5 says, "the sun rises and the sun sets" By taking the verse out of
    its historical context, one can rationalize it to mean that, it is just
    speaking phenomenologically; but, it continues, "and hastening to its place,
    it rises there again." It clearly says the sun is moving around the earth.
    Nowhere does the Bible say or infer that the earth is moving rather than the
    sun. Indeed, as Luther pointed out, the world (the earth upon which man
    dwells) is fixed and cannot be moved (Psa 93:1; 96:10).

    If "sound Biblical thinking" means that scientifically acquired data is
    interpreted within the Biblical paradigm, then you must join Luther in
    rejecting Copernicanism. If you do reject Copernicanism, then for you "the
    bible is the basis for interpretation of the
     data. It is read as it makes sense without the need to try to reinterpret
     the Bible to fit the assumptions of mythological Naturalism." But, if you
    accept Copernicanism, according to your espoused principle, you are
    subscribing to naturalism.

    So, is the sun moving around the earth as the Bible says, or not? Bible or
    naturalism? Which do you choose?>>

    He never answered me.

    The problem they have is that ( I base this on 30 years of carefully
    searching Scripture in the light of history): Whenever the Bible touches
    science qua science, it is the science of the times. God, as a Father,
    accommodated his revelation to the science of the times, which is not far
    from what Calvin taught. So, their whole program of getting their science
    from the Bible is bogus.

    Stand tall. As you get more light, you will find that you have the long end
    of the stick.



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