Re: Discussion advice

From: Vernon Jenkins (
Date: Tue Jun 17 2003 - 18:25:19 EDT

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    Dear All,

    I shall of course defer to Terry's request. However, my ceasing to speak of
    the numerical phenomena for the time being does not imply that they suddenly
    cease to exist, for they are an integral part of God's Word. It is He who
    has caused them to appear there and it is He who will undoubtedly ensure
    that they accomplish all He has willed concerning them.



    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Terry M. Gray" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Monday, June 16, 2003 9:28 PM
    Subject: Discussion advice

    > ASA group,
    > As I've watched the "debate" turn increasingly acrimonious and
    > useless, I have hoped that we would excercise some self-control and
    > move on to other topics. It's not clear that that's going to happen
    > so I am going to make some pronouncements and suggestions. (Of
    > course, you are free to ignore them, but I hope you will not in the
    > interest of the health and usefulness of this list.)
    > These comments are likely to offend people from all the various camps ;-)
    > 1. The ASA is not a young-earth creationist organization, although it
    > welcomes young-earth creationists among its members. Don't be shocked
    > that there are people in the ASA who don't hold to young-earth
    > creationist viewpoints. I don't want to limit debate here, but most
    > of us aren't interested in rehashing all these issues over and over
    > again. ASA is best known as a place that welcomes other views--there
    > are plenty of other places to advocate the YEC position. Above all
    > let's not be questioning (on this list) the orthodoxy of those who
    > hold to alternative views.
    > Non-YEC should not be shocked that there are YEC among us. The ASA
    > welcomes them in their membership. Only those that can tolerate other
    > views will really be a part of us though. Historically, this is the
    > reason that most YEC folks have left the ASA and started their own
    > more restrictive organizations. So, please, let's not be questioning
    > (on this list) the intelligence of those who hold to YEC views.
    > 2. The ASA is not an inerrantist organization, although it welcomes
    > inerrantists (like myself) among its members. Don't be shocked that
    > there are people in the ASA who think that there are errors in the
    > Bible in matters outside the realm of faith and life (say in the area
    > of history and science). The ASA statement of faith contains a fairly
    > conservative statement concerning scripture and is compatible with a
    > broad range of Christian traditions. However it deliberately avoids
    > the term inerrancy. The debate in the ASA is outlined from the
    > inerrantists viewpoint in Lindsell's *Battle for the Bible* and can
    > be chronicled in our own journal in the 70's and 80's under the
    > leadership of Dick Bube. Some of that material is on the web already.
    > A key JASA issue on inerrancy is not yet posted on the web site, but
    > we hope to have it up soon. Personally, I think that the ASA
    > statement goes much beyond the more "theological liberal" views
    > sometimes articulated on this list that the scripture is "merely" the
    > human writings of a faith tradition informed by an encounter with
    > God. In that sense the ASA statement is definitely in the broader
    > evangelical camp.
    > So there's no need to question (on this list) the orthodoxy of those
    > who do not hold to inerrancy. Let's also not question the
    > intelligence of those who hold to a "higher" view of scripture than
    > you do.
    > 3. The ASA is not a church. It is a parachurch organization with a
    > very narrow purpose. It is not evangelistic--thus we don't need a
    > gospel presentation on every page. None of us need make any apologies
    > for the absence of a full-blown Christology in our statement of
    > faith. The reason that the point on scripture is there is because it
    > is a particularly relevant part of the Christian faith that impacts
    > the purpose of the ASA.
    > 4. Let's take a break from the "numbers" discussion. Anyone who wants
    > to talk about this stuff can visit Vernon's website and dialog with
    > him off-list. Those who want to continue should consider starting a
    > new discussion group on Vernon, feel free to post
    > notices that you have added new information to your web site that we
    > can visit if we like, but I don't think that productive discussion of
    > your interests occurs here.
    > 5. At this point I would like to invite those on the list who aren't
    > members of the ASA to seriously consider joining the ASA. If you
    > aren't a member of the ASA, you are welcome to continue participate
    > in the list, but please keep in mind the purposes and positions of
    > the organization that sponsors the list.
    > 6. So what do we talk about? Hmmm.... maybe we should take some time
    > to think about that question.
    > List manager,
    > TG
    > --
    > _________________
    > Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
    > Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
    > Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
    > phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801

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