The Academic Gap [was Re: A case for Christianity that does use ID or YEC arguments]

From: <>
Date: Thu Feb 05 2004 - 20:40:03 EST

You hit on the *academic gap*, which is caught up in a vicious cycle that is taking too long to break. The YEC view, and its OEC cousin, continue to be supported in the pulpit, thus contributing to a steady momentum. When I attended a conservative protestant seminary in the mid-90's, students who came straight out of conservative Christian colleges were shocked when their protected methods of biblical interpretation were now being scrutinzied and compared to other methods--methods not spouted by pop-theology. Some resisted and some opened their minds.

Many of the ministerial students I knew softened on their YEC views, and some even planned to enlighten their eventual congregations with the news that the Genesis text holds a deeper meaning than what a literal interpretation has to offer. I know of only one fellow student who decided to share his newly obtained knowledge with his small congregation. He was almost ousted from the church.

It seems that the YEC grip in the U.S. will continue because of this cycle. Here's how I perceive the cycle:

1) Seminary graduates eventually pastor churches. If these pastors dare to present views differing from YEC, they may lose employment and tarnish their academic reputation.

2) Members of these churches give funds to private Christian colleges, as well as send kids from those churches to the said colleges.

3) Professors at these colleges may hold views that differ with YEC, but if they dare to support the differing views, funding and future admissions are put at risk. Thus, professors stay silent to keep the waters calm and, understandably so, to remain employed and preserve their reputation.

4) The students sent to these colleges will exit college, go into the career world and join churches where they continue with the YEC mentality.

All along the way, we have pop-theology radio and literary sources that echo the YEC viewpoint. The news media contributes to the cycle by reporting on only the two extremes views of the evolution/creation debate, ignoring any middle ground whatsoever.

In some cases, it isn't safe to be a non-YECer in the evangelical academic realm. Granted, there does appear to be leniency toward the more relaxed OEC view and even the ID view, but I have observed some OECers and IDers to be deemed as liberals by YECers.

My portrayal here is quite a broad generalization, and thus is not going to be accurate for every private Christian campus. But it is a reality for many.

> Absolutely spot on. This is what I have been saying for a long time. And
> that is why I give my [false] binary choice. But I do think most atheists
> are far more moral than the bigoted fanatics from the YEC camp, but not the
> kids I taught at Wheaton who were YEC because of bad teaching at their
> churches .
> Michael
Received on Thu Feb 5 20:41:00 2004

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