RE: Report on the YEC seminar in Durango, 9-2003

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Sun Sep 21 2003 - 17:08:04 EDT

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    Hi Josh,

    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: Josh Bembenek []
    >Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2003 2:22 PM
    >Subject: RE: Report on the YEC seminar in Durango, 9-2003
    >>The God of the Bible (Genesis 1:11,20,24) ordered the LAND to bring forth
    >>living creatures. According to the Hebrew, it was the LAND (eretz) which
    >>brought forth the animals. He also ordered the water to bring forth life.
    >>That is exactly what evolution and the scientific evidence says happened.
    >>The water and the land did bring forth life, a confirmation of
    >the Biblical
    >>account. The problem with antievolutionism is that it leads to people not
    >>reading the Scriptural account very carefully.
    >-I was reminded of something along these lines during the worship service
    >this morning. Our pastor mentioned that the Word of God, the bible, was
    >written by 40 authors, over several continents, in several languages, over
    >several millenia. Yet, despite the development of the times,
    >cultures, etc.
    > despite the fact that sheep herders and scholars all wrote parts of the
    >bible, it remains a text seemless in character conveying the same message
    >from begginning to end. The reason is that God's spirit moved all the
    >people, of all different sorts and of all kinds of infallible nature, to
    >record and write His truths. The nature of the bible, then, even lends
    >itself to a kind of evolutionary development as God used the resources in
    >His hand to leave an accurate and precise witness of His character for all
    >to understand. God didn't just magically cause the sky to rain bibles one

    Agreed. But neither did he snap the earth and universe into existence.

    >>"...whosoever believeth in him AND NOT EVOLUTION shall not perish but have
    >>eternal life."
    >-This doesn't seem exactly accurate or fair. They believe that you cannot
    >compromise the integrity of the bible, therefore NOT EVOLUTION.

    Having spent 20+ years as a YEC, I can assure you that I have a pretty good
    understanding of their position. I published 30 items arguing for YEC. What
    I said above is fair because they take a single interpretation of scripture
    and assume that it is GOD's interpretation and expect everyone then to
    accept it. When you add the 'us vs. them' attitude they engender, you get a
    world view in which they believe they are the standard of truth and in which
    anyone who disagrees with their standard is a 'son of satan' (a term I have
    been called by them).

    By doing what they are doing, they make themselves out to be infallible
    interpretors of the Bible and refuse to believe that they could possibly be
    wrong. That means, they are making the same mistake Adam made--believing
    themselves to be like God--infallible. When I was a YEC, I was guilty of
    that sin as well. That doesn't mean they aren't christians, they are(and
    this inclusion is something as you saw the other day is not extended to the
    likes of me by them).

    >You simply
    >believe that evolution does not compromise the integrity of the bible. If
    >they are right, somehow, and the earth is young and the bible clearly
    >demonstrates this fact, then they have the right to express NOT Evolution-
    >and since they believe this, then they express that belief. If they are
    >wrong, they are mistaken, but I don't believe they are adding to
    >the gospel-
    >they are misinterpreting it.

    They can not possibly be correct because what they say violates all
    observational data. One simply can't be correct and violate what we see. If
    I say that pigs can fly, do you grant that I might be correct? Such a
    granting wouldn't be showing an open mind but an empty one. We can't do that
    with people who deny all they see. We simply can't grant that they might be
    right because they can't be, unless you claim that nothing we see is true,
    in which case not even the words we see on the pages of the Bible would be

    Would you also allow for people like Gerardus de Bouw to express his belief
    that christians compromise the integrity of the Bible when it comes to
    heliocentricity? His credo reads:

    "We believe that the creation was completed in six twenty-four hour days and
    that the world is not older than about six thousand years. We maintain that
    the Bible teaches us of an earth that neither rotates daily nor revolves
    yearly about the sun; that it is at rest with respect to the throne of him
    who called it into existence; and that hence it is absolutely at rest in the
    universe. "

    . . .
    "Lastly, the reason why we deem a return to a geocentric astronomy a first
    apologetic necessity is that its rejection at the beginning of our Modern
    Age constitutes one very important, if not the most important, cause of the
    historical development of Bible criticism, now resulting in an increasingly
    anti-Christian world in which atheistic existentialism is preaching a life
    that is really meaningless."

    Your belief in heliocentricity undermines Biblical authority according to
    him. And in the past there were those who believed that if you held people
    lived at the earth's antipodes(the other side of the earth) you couldn't be
    christian. When should we call our brothers to account for not facing up to

    If you won't grant Gerardus the same freedom you grant YECs, why not?

    How do you approach someone who clearly
    >misrepresents the bible in your mind? I think your email
    >demonstrates that
    >you take the same aggressive approach to those who distort what
    >you view the
    >bible to say.

    If people hadn't taken an aggressive approach with me, I would never have
    been forced to face the data. I would still be a YEC. While I didn't always
    let them know that I listened, and I argued strongly against their
    positions, and they thought they were wasting their time, they were making
    an impact on me.

    We all have a right to our private interpretation of the facts. We have no
    right to have a private set of facts. YECs have private sets of facts which
    is why none of them agree with eachother except in broad outline.

    The real issue is whether we can accomodate for legitimate,
    >honest differences of opinion on what the authority of scripture
    >reveals to
    >us. If the authority of scripture justifies OUR interpretation on issues
    >that are unclear or debatable, then obviously we can not tolerate
    >the views
    >of our opposition.

    Even if that violates what is clearly visible in the world? If you came to
    me and said, like Gerardus de Bouw, the earth doesn't rotate around its
    axis, I would tell you your religion is worthless. We have no right to tie
    God's word to falsified views of what is out there. To claim something like,
    'God's word teaches that there are no lizards,' would be to tie his
    infallible word to falsehood. What a sinful thing to do. That is what the
    YECs do.

    Disagreements between Mormons and Fundamentalists are
    >different than disagreements amongst fundamentalist christians with
    >different views of origins.

    Do you grant that the Christian Scientists may be correct, that is, that all
    we see might be mere illusion?

    >However, once you decide that your
    >view is the
    >fully sanctioned view, all disagreements are the same: heresy verses the

    And that is what the YECs have done. I can't tell you whether or not my
    interpretation of Scripture is true or not. Their interpretation of
    Scripture may actually be the intended on. But if it is, it has huge
    implications for the authority of scripture. If Scripture actually does
    require the violation of all we see, then Scripture pays a high price--it is
    simply false. This is because what the YECs want the Bible to say makes it
    false. I can tell you that the YEC world view is simply, laughably and
    humiliatingly false. It violates everything one SEES. They violate
    observation, not interpretation. I can judge them based upon what is seen in
    this world. They are saying things with the logical equivalence of "cats
    have no wiskers". Do we really want that to be what the Bible says?

    In my opinion, Christians should be able to categorize their
    >disagreements, assigning particular areas of truth degrees of confidence.
    >Our confidence in Christ is unwavering, our confidence in the act of
    >creation which no human ever witnessed might be somewhat less.

    Not if what you say about creation violates everything we see and observe.
    Our confidence that what the YECs say about the world violates all
    observations of physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, and geology is
    extremely high. They simply have everything of importance wrong! I am highly
    confident of that fact.

    YEC is so bad it is not even wrong. And you know, they could fix it with
    one change in their method. They could say 'this is what the Bible says and
    it all happened miraculously'. No one could dispute them. But they insist
    upon having observation support their viewpoint, which of course it doesn't
    and when it doesn't, they claim that everyone else should ignore the
    contradictory data along with them. And by saying that observation should
    support their interpretation, when it doesn't, they make the Bible false.
    They drag the Bible into falsehood.


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