RE: YEC Destroying Faith

From: Dr. Blake Nelson <>
Date: Fri Apr 16 2004 - 11:41:28 EDT

--- Glenn Morton <> wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:
> > [] On Behalf Of
> Dr. Blake Nelson
> > Sent: Thursday, April 15, 2004 8:09 PM
> >
> > Then it appears there are lots of ways to make
> such a
> > crisis worse. Different parts of the canon are
> not
> > "true" in lots of ways one might try to read (or
> read
> > into) them. But I think as George and Paul and
> others
> > have amply pointed out the question that the YEC
> in
> > crisis has is not one about "truth", but a
> particular
> > position that the person insists a particular text
> in
> > the bible must comport with. That is myopic, at
> best.
> > The text is what the text is. The reader,
> ideally,
> > earnestly tries to figure out what the text is and
> > means rather than insisting a priori that it is X
> or
> > means Y and if it doesn't then it's not "true".
> In some sense, this illustrates my point. You don't
> understand the
> logic followed by a YEC and thus don't think doing
> the above is that
> bad. It isn't, FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW.

Oh, I quite understand that. The problem, however,
lies in the fact that they 1) may not be interested in
seeing someone else's point of view at all, and 2)
more problematically, they might not be equipped based
on education, etc., to discern that there are other
points of view.

> The YEC logic (and I still think it is good)
> 1. god created the earth
> 2. God isn't senile so he knows what happened
> 3. God has a choice--communicate what actually
> happened at creation or
> communicate a fictional account (There is only one
> thing which actually
> happened.)
> 4. Blake Nelson tells me that it doesn't have
> historical truth (thus is
> not the thing that actually happened)

Actually, I never said that, but I'll go along with it
for the purposes of argument -- I think George aptly
made the point that some texts are clearly historical
"reports" in a modern sense others may not be. I
would go further and say that one can be happily
agnostic or uncertain about which is which without
affecting one whit the importance or veracity of any
particular biblical text (with a few possible
exceptions) or Christian faith or praxis (again with a
few possible exceptions).

> 5. Therefore the Bible is False, or God isn't
> telling the truth
> 6 Both options bad.
True, both options bad, for reasons Bob has indicated
and a bunch more that I won't belabor including myopia
and pseudo-rationality.
> > *Shrug*. Then, perhaps, we have a problem bigger
> than
> > their scientific viewpoint. I am hard pressed to
> > determine what specifically is "christian" in
> Genesis
> > *without* the understanding of Jesus of Nazareth's
> > life, death and resurrection to inform it.
> Another illustration of my point. You wouldn't be
> very helpful in
> dealing with that person's crisis, other than to
> help them along the
> road to atheism.

Thanks, Glenn. Surprisingly, I have actually helped
some YEC folks open themselves to other understandings
of Genesis without them becoming atheists. I think,
scientifically, those handful of counter examples
would disprove your assertion conclusively. ;)

To my knowledge, my discussing the place of Genesis in
christian faith and praxis with people who take a YEC
position has never led them to atheism. In fact,
putting Genesis into proper perspective or as George
said, getting the priorities right, is perhaps the
most effective element in helping those in crisis.

And contrary to the pastiche you've repeatedly offered
about what such a putting Genesis into perspective
entails, there are lots of ways to do so without
saying their understanding is "absolutely" incorrect
or that Genesis is just a "myth" or "fairy tale", etc.

BTW, I still don't see the solution that you
implicitly offer. Just so I am clear, is it your
particular brand of concordism? Dick's? Hugh Ross?
Anyone's? After your dismissing the position of
Paul, George, et al. I am still missing what you think
the solution is.

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Received on Fri Apr 16 11:41:37 2004

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