RE: YEC Destroying Faith

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Mon Apr 19 2004 - 23:03:55 EDT

 hi Howard

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Howard J. Van Till
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2004 8:15 PM

>Thanks, Glenn. I think that's a succinct and fairly accurate way of
putting it. I presume that you would also admit that
>you would -- on this one issue at least -- respond in essentially the
same way as a YEC with respect to the issue of the
>historical & scientific accuracy of the biblical text. I assume that's
why you prefaced your remarks with "The YEC logic
>(and I still think it is good)." You are on a mission to speak to your
old YEC community and I commend you for it.

I have spent a life time getting yes or no answers to life's important
questions, such as: Is there commercial oil in this well? Yes/No. Or
Will we make our $50 million back? Y/N Was the geologic structure
mapped correctly? Y/N Maybe because of that, I believe in truth or
falsity more than most. There is rarely a middle ground for me. And I
don't see anyone doing to science what is done in religion, so when I am
watching the explanations for why the story shouldn't be read as it
sounds, I get the feeling that there is a wee bit of sleight of hand
going on. A bit like at the end of the Wizard of Oz movie when the
projection of the Wizard proclaims, Don't look at the guy behind the
curtain, He doesn't control anything. If I held the view that most here
do, I would think that the real power behind God, is man(the writers).
So, yes I do find the logic good and I will explain more below

>Now, here's the connection with the thread on "coercion." As I see
it, this concept of biblical inspiration is an
>example of a coercive form of divine action. God's inspiring action is
presumed (with or without warrant) by YEC's and
>many others in the evangelical Christian community to be "fully
determinative of some particular outcome [in this case the
>fully accurate information content of the biblical text] by superseding
or overpowering the natural causal system [here
>"natural causal system" = human beings writing material that would
eventually be chosen (again by coercive divine action
>to ensure the correct choices by the ancient Hebrews and the early
Christian community) for inclusion in the Christian
>canon.]" Variations on this theme include both concordism (the ancient
text and modern science must agree) and theories of
>divine accommodation (God purposely chose to accommodate the text to
the conceptual vocabulary of the writer).

If God has little control over what gets into the books in the first
place, and has little control over the canon, then I would submit I see
no reason to trust what they say with regards to salvation. I don't pay
attention to the Book of Mormon because I don't trust it to be a
meaningful revelation from God although many men wrote in its front that
it is a true revelation from God. If as you say you see no reason to
believe this form of inspiration, then I see nothing but the hand of man
and at that point, no reason to worship what the hand of man writes. I
would feel like I do about Scientology, which as I understand it L. Ron
Hubbard started because of a bar room bet that he could start a

>Now, as I have said before, I treasure the biblical text for what it
can tell me about the beliefs and practices of the
>ancient Hebrews and the early Christian community, but I see no warrant
whatsoever for this concept of biblical
>inspiration. Maybe that's why I can no longer speak effectively to
YEC's. What I want to say to them would be tuned out as
>heresy. What they want to hear from me would require me to compromise
my integrity.

I think there is truth in what you say. One should know his strengths
and weaknesses. But it isn't about telling them what they want
necessarily. It is about having some common basis to speak together and
have a communication. If they won't listen, then what is the point?

>[As an aside, let me add that several years ago I left the Christian
Reformed Church and joined a congregation that
>describes itself as an "independent, liberal church." I am happy to
wear the label "liberal Christian," although I prefer
>the label "progressive Christian." :) ]

Here is to my progressive friend!

Received on Mon Apr 19 23:04:14 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Apr 19 2004 - 23:04:15 EDT