Re: How to encourage a former creationist to persevere in faith?

From: Glenn Morton <glenn_morton@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu Aug 18 2005 - 17:45:44 EDT

Boy do I understand her situation. I too faced that same problem. For the former creationist, if the Bible doesn't say something real about the world, there is little reason to remain a Christian. Few here seem to understand the force of that issue.
 
There are several things which worked together to solve my crisis of faith.
 
1. I still had to have a concordistic type of interpretation (something most here feel no love for). That is what my theological view on Genesis (the days of proclamation view) did for me. It provided me a way to accept modern science AND at the same time have the Bible say something real. I can not emphasise enough that telling someone like this that the Bible doesn't have to say something real about the world merely drives them further towards leaving Christianity. In their mind, they simply say "Ok, it isn't real, then it doesn't matter."
 
I would suggest getting her to realize that the Bible very well may teach evolution (which makes it real for her). see http://home.entouch.net/dmd/gen1-11.htm I would also point out to her that the Bible also teaches an ancient earth http://home.entouch.net/dmd/olam.htm
 
 
2. This person probably still needs a place for design in the universe. The thing that I finally decided was that there was no place for design in biology (which is why I think ID makes a big big mistake). Evolution means that one can't design per se the individual animal. But that doesn't mean that God can't design a system which can evolve living beings. And that is where the anthropic principle comes in. The atheist today is decidedly in a metaphysical fog when it comes to explaining the origin and fine-tuning of the universe. If they try to say that there is a multiverse and we are just one of those universes which happen from time to time, they are speaking about things for whcih there is not one iota of evidence. They are into the realm of faith. So if they are into faith, and Christianity is into faith, what is the attraction of atheism? I would suggest showing her http://home.entouch.net/dmd/casino.htm
 
3. The question of why something even exists is a question science can't answer. Equations can't explain why there is something for the equations to describe.
 
4. My father was an atheist, and he was a very very selfish man. All he thought about was himself. I came to realize that a world full of atheists would be a very very dreary place. Religion forces people to think about others--especially the Christian religion. This shows up in charitable giving. This is something I sent to an atheist who was calling me biggotted against atheists when I asked him where were the hospitals built by the atheists?
 

"Though representing only 14 per cent of the Canadian population over the age of 15, religiously active volunteers make up 43 per cent of volunteers in Canada and account for a startling 50 per cent of all hours volunteered.

"The 32 per cent of Canadians who are religiously active contribute 65 per cent of direct charitable donations. As one might expect, this group is responsible for 86 per cent of donations to religious bodies; yet even in the secular sector, the religiously active provide 42 per cent of the $2.1 billion raised by direct giving. "

http://givingandvolunteering.ca/pdf/n-vc1sen.pdf#search='Charitable%20giving%20religion'

 

 

Lets repeat that 32% give 65%? Yeah those darn religious people are so stingy and those non-churched are so generous

 

 

 

Who Gives to the Poor? The influence of religious tradition and political location on the personal generosity of Americans toward the poor

Authors: David Sikkink, Christian Smith, Mark Regnerus

Date: 1998

    

 

Abstract: Americans vary widely in their ideas about the cause of and solutions for poverty. Americans also differ in what they think is compassion for the poor. Few researchers have examined the complex issue of compassion. Most who have suggest that conservative Protestantism has lagged behind Catholicism and more liberal Protestantism in “generosity” or “commitment” to the poor. Using the Religious Identity and Influence Survey (1996)this article examines the giving habits of Americans to organizations that help the poor and needy, using religious and political measures to test the conventional view that devout Catholics and liberal Protestants are “the friends of the poor,” and that politically conservative Christians are indifferent or hostile toward them. The results suggest that religion and religiosity are positively correlated to giving to the poor, but that there is no support for the conventional wisdom about conservative Protestants. Indeed, the evidence suggests
 theological and political conservatives are currently more generous in charity for the poor.
Journal for the Scientific Study of ReligionVol.37, No.3 (1998): 481-493.

**end of the former email**

I had also asked him to name the officially atheistic government who had given freedom of religion, freedom of speech, enhanced their economic well being and treated their people well. Such states are few in number. Thus a world full of atheism would be a very dreary place. Atheism isn't good for the world.

5. This is one way I hope she doesn't have to experience. For some reason when I had my cancer and was given a 45% chance of beating it, all my doubts went away. It wasn't that I was afraid of dying or anything like that. It was that I realized how terribly ephemeral I am, yet I can experience this wonderful world. Such a thing, consciousness seems to an overkill if all we are is dust in the wind (as the old song croons).

Hope this helps. Please don't tell her that the Bible isn't telling us anything more substantive than that its theology is right. That will be the wrong approach.

 

 

Iain Strachan <igd.strachan@gmail.com> wrote:
I'd welcome peoples' opinions.

I've a friend who was once a creationist, but now no longer so, and
accepts evolution. However, she says that now, as an evolutionist,
she finds it harder to persevere in her faith, as evolution "somehow
weakens God" in her mind.

How would people on the list approach this and encourage said person
to persevere and not to lose faith?

Iain

-- 
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There are 3 types of people in the world.
Those who can count and those who can't.
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glenn
http://home.entouch.net/dmd/dmd.htm
		
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Received on Thu Aug 18 17:46:02 2005

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