Re: Will the transition ever occur in our lifetime?

From: Phillip Jones <>
Date: Thu Oct 13 2005 - 22:56:26 EDT

In answer to your question regarding hurdle number 2, yes, I do know of situations where professors at the collegiate level within the Southern Baptist Convention, and at the seminary level within the Bible Church affliliation, were pressured to avoid teaching views deemed controversial by supporting churches.

>> Actually, I think many Christians consider scientists reasonably smart people (or at least appreciate the technology and medical procedures science has provided) and are eager to find some way of reconciling science with their religion. <<

 Yes, I agree. But, lay people still think they have to decide between their faith and science supporting evolution. Thanks to pop-theology and the news media, people are still trapped in 1980s origins theology. Middle ground is unknown to them. I have taught theological and evidentialism Bible studies at various protestant churches, and when discussing origins, the TE concept is unknown. Most have never heard the term. While they have heard of ID, they don't understand it. I have thought about writing a book that simplifies and explains the various views in a brief, easy to read format. Seems the only books aimed at the non-intellectual crowd are propagandistic YEC books.

>> Unfortunately, many people think they have found this in intelligent design. <<

I think this is more an issue of misunderstanding what ID is all about. I realize that ID is going through an identity crisis due to leading thinkers in the field disagreeing on creation methodology, but look which crowd is getting the most publicity. The thinkers (and sometimes pseudo-thinkers) who cling to their Creationism roots while publicly promoting ID are the ones who contribute to the wide-spread perspective that ID is a spruced up version of creationism. The media and the anti-ID folk are quick to describe ID as a biblical literalism component rather than seeing it as an ideology that attempts to find evidence of purposeful design in existence. I find some ID concepts to be valuable, and in harmony with TE. <ducking> But those concepts are not receiving public attention, nor is TE.

Until the news media gets it, TE will remain overlooked, and lay people will continue to think they must make the inevitable choice between faith and science.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Freeman, Louise Margaret
  Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 11:21 AM
  Subject: Re: Will the transition ever occur in our lifetime?

  1) I mostly agree with this one, although I don't see that contemporary
  Christian music plays much of a role in anti-science sentiment, beyond it
  attracting people to the radio stations where anti-evolution opinions are

  2) Censorship of pastors for "scholarly perspectives," I expect, varies
  highly from church to church... some congregations thrive on such
  perspectives. Unfortunately, even in such churches, that "scholarly
  perspective' is unlikely to include much knowledge of basic science because
  most pastors are not trained in sciences. (How many science majors wind up
  going to seminary?)

  As for the college funding issues, do you have specific examples of
  accreditted colleges in which this has occurred?

  Actually, I think many Christians consider scientists reasonably smart
  people (or at least appreciate the technology and medical procedures science
  has provided) and are eager to find some way of reconciling science with
  their religion. Unfortunately, many people think they have found this in
  intelligent design.

  3) Here I agree

  4) Also here.

  Louise M. Freeman, PhD
  Psychology Dept
  Mary Baldwin College
  Staunton, VA 24401
  FAX 540-887-7121

  -----Original Message-----
  Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 14:44:02 +0000
  Subject: Will the transition ever occur in our lifetime?

> Upon reading the ASA discussions recently surrounding YEC and ID, and
> following the news media on the heightened awareness of origins
> controversies, I attempted to identify the culprits.
> Following are four hurdles that I believe we must overcome to make the
> transition from the current state of affairs to a recognition that
> belief in a divine creator does not equate to scientific ignorance:
> 1) POP-THEOLOGY - The role of pop-theology in American evangelical
> society is over-valued. Common avenues of pop-theology include: "Left
> Behind" book series, James Dobson, popular/trendy Bible study kits,
> contemporary music, and Christian radio stations.
> 2) ACADEMIC GAP - This goes hand-in-hand with number one. Most lay
> people will never attend seminary, never be exposed to academic
> journals, and never come into contact with rationale outside of
> pop-theology. Thus, pop-theology serves as their sole source on matters
> such as origins and end-times theology. Ministers who attended a
> seminary where academic freedom is tolerated discover quickly that
> introducing congregations to views other than what's popular does not
> make for good pulpit material. Any attempt to reveal scholarly
> perspectives can land a pastor in front of the personnel committee very
> quickly. Another aspect of the academic gap is the restriction on what
> professors can teach in Christian colleges. Should a teacher introduce
> TE as a viable view, and students tell their home church what their
> learning, home church will threaten to pull funding from the said
> college, and the said college will tell the teacher to stop discussing
> TE.
> 3) ANTI-EVOLUTION PROPAGANDA - Much of this comes through the
> Pop-Theology communication protocols. To attribute current immoral
> behavior as being the result of evolutionary teaching is a major
> disservice to origins science. How does one explain the immoral
> behavior prior to Darwin?
> INTERPRETATION - The first three above are the result of this major
> misunderstanding. The irony here is that the accusations against
> scientists who interpret data in favor of evolution come from people
> who neglect authorial intent when interpreting Genesis. The assumption
> of a literal interpretation of a deep allegorical text has caused the
> current state of affairs.
> -Phil
Received on Thu Oct 13 23:01:02 2005

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