Re: Full disclosure (was Grand Canyon Tears America Apart )

From: Don Winterstein <dfwinterstein@msn.com>
Date: Mon Jan 26 2004 - 10:24:17 EST

William Hamilton:
..It seems to me that if we're really serious about educating Christians we have to reach the pastors and the students. I happen to know that Wheaton College and Calvin College are both doing a pretty good job of reaching the students -- at least insofar as making the case for an old earth is concerned. My sons, one a Calvin grad, the other a Wheaton grad, are not outspoken about their views, but both accept an old earth and evolution, and both are solid Christians. Progress is and will continue to be slow, but I think we are making progress -- at least in some quarters.

Glenn Morton:
I would suggest that part of the strategy is to show that the leaders aren't telling the whole story which is necessary to separate the laity from the YEC leaders. There are risks with this strategy, but there are risks anytime someone tells a YEC that their view isn't correct. The YEC may leave the faith.

I think by far the best prospects for converting from the YE to the OE frame of mind are college students, who are being exposed to lots of new and compelling ideas and don't have the intellectual baggage that might otherwise keep them from changing their views.

In any case it's not enough to convince YECs that their views are wrong. If they're not simply going to wind up leaving the faith, you've got to replace their whole way of thinking with new ways of thinking. You need to show them new ways of interpreting the Bible, new ideas about death, sin and God's punishment for sin, etc. It's a whole theological package. George Murphy has made commendable efforts in this regard; but ultimately the test is whether people will buy into the new ways.

Older YECs who've contemplated their beliefs for many years are likely just to say, "This is all just some human interpretation; as for me, I'll take my chances with THE WORD OF GOD." Meaning, of course, that "I'll stick with the Bible interpretation I've become comfortable with."

Several YEC pastors I've talked with seem less rigid in their YEC beliefs than many in their flock. Oftentimes pastors have at least been exposed to the other side at some depth. A couple of pastors have said that it's the flock that demands rigid adherence to YEC tenets more than they themselves. But they're still YECs. They just claim they're not scientists and can't evaluate the evidence.

Don
Received on Mon Jan 26 10:20:01 2004

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