RE: YEC Destroying Faith

From: Glenn Morton <glennmorton@entouch.net>
Date: Thu Apr 15 2004 - 20:23:27 EDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu
> [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of George Murphy
> Sent: Thursday, April 15, 2004 7:17 AM

> I'm not sure whether you categorize me as a "liberal":
> I don't.

I wasn't referring to anyone in particular. What I was thinking of when
I wrote that is the numerous times I have heard people say about such
situations, when a YEC is having trouble, that what they should do is
believe that the Bible is
1. allegorical
2. non-historical
3. a poem which teaches us deep truths
4. it is a myth
Etc etc

The thing people who suggest such things don't realize is that they are
effectively helping that person to atheism. Given their epistemology
that the Bible must have historical truth, if one tells them "come on be
a christian but you don't have to believe it has historical truth," what
that person is doing is telling them that their worst case scenario has
just occurred! The bible ISN"T true. That merely makes the crisis
worse.

Anyway, I grew
> up in church setting in which evolution was rejected & in
> which YEC was, at least in
> theory, held. As a freshman in high school I did a science
> project called "A Refutation
> of the Theory of Evolution." I gradually exited that kind of
> thing with some temporary
> help from "apparent age" & "day-age" notions, & without much
> trauma of faith or
> intellect.

You were fortunate. Some people aren't.

>
> The sort of concordism promoted by many on this list
> (though with little
> agreement on what early Genesis is supposed to be in concord
> with!) can be a helpful
> halfway house (nice alliteration) for those exiting YEC. But
> they can move to more
> mature forms of Christianity & not live in the halfway house
> forever. (& by "more
> mature forms of Christianity" I do _not_ mean "liberalism.")

I will say something you won't like here. The mere term 'more mature'
forms of Christianity, is a term of snobbery, George. It rates the
other person's form of Christianity as less mature. There is no escape
from that logic. And to say that to a person in the midst of a crisis
that they need to have a 'more mature' faith is not very helpful. In
fact, I would find it hurtful. Maybe someone like me doesn't have the
maturity that you have achieved, but telling them that doesn't help them
get there. That is simple human dynamics.

>
> One of the things that was helpful in my own case is
> the fact that while the
> Missouri Synod does reject evolution & insist on a more or
> less "literal" interpretation
> of early Genesis, it has always held - with the Lutheran
> tradition in general - that the
> gospel of Jesus Christ and the doctrine of justification is
> the core of Christian faith. So while dropping the idea that
> Genesis is accurate history & accepting evolution may be
> difficult for a person in that tradition, one needn't feel
> that the Christian faith
> itself is being abandoned. If you've got to grow up as a
> YEC, have the good fortune to
> do it in a church that at least has its priorities straight.
> Of course that doesn't
> help someone in crisis right now in a church that doesn't
> have its priorities straight
> & thinks, e.g.(with Ken Ham), that Genesis is the foundation
> of Christianity.

I would agree with you here, personally. But the YECs simply won't. And
neither will those in the midst of a YEC generated crisis. They will
look at that and do exactly as I have done with you over the years and
ask

1. So God didn't know what happened at the time of creation and thus
told us a fairy tale?
2. So God doesn't have the power to communicate actual scientific truth
(something I would apply to my friend Paul Seeley's views)
3. God tells us not to bear false witness but He is allowed to do it?

On and on. MY point is not to get back into that merry-go-round you and
I have had, but to try to make people here understand how ineffectual
the help is that is often offered.
Received on Thu Apr 15 20:24:06 2004

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