Re: Kurt Wise on the creation crisis in Christian colleges

From: Mervin Bitikofer <>
Date: Thu Feb 02 2006 - 18:59:46 EST

David Opderbeck wrote:

> I think it's critically important to understand YEC'ism in the milieu
> of this defensive subculture. The whole worldview hangs together --
> simple moral certainties, basic libertarian politics, an authoritative
> and easy-to-understand Bible, a "golden age" view of history, and
> insulation from a corrupt world -- and it provides an enormous sense
> of security and community to those who hold it. This worldview has
> become intertwined with a "Christian" worldview in popular
> evangelicalism like kudzu in a cypress stand. The challenge isn't
> only to show why YEC is wrong. The biggest challenge is to peel away
> all this growth without appearing to chop down the trees.
... without appearing to chop down the trees!!!? Appearances are
certainly important -- but I think the issue is deeper than mere
appearances. How does one go about challenging scientific (or even
theological) illiteracy without actually chopping down trees for real?
What is one man's peripheral and optional doctrine is another's central
tenant of truth. What if the intended corrective "surgery" envisioned
by many here finds the YEC "cancer" so intermingled with vital organs
that it cannot be removed without spiritually killing the patient? So
invested are some people in this concordist thinking, that they cannot
separate an attack on YEC thought from an attack on God's word
itself. If it came down to a choice -- which would be more
important? A scientifically (and even -- by the opinion of some here
-- theologically) deficient view of reality, that is nevertheless held
by an otherwise sincere believer whose heart belongs to God? Or a
burned out spiritual husk of a life who has rejected God because of his
devotion to having a correct scientific appraisal of nature -- and his
inability to reconcile this with his convictions (very fundamentalist
flavored) of what God's word ought to look like if it were really true?
(I know someone, who IMO, strongly qualifies for the latter category,
and I don't wish that on any of my YEC friends, though I think their
position deliberately courts that danger.)

I don't think we'll be finding any checklist at the pearly gates that
will sort out the "scientifically correct", or even the "theologicall
correct". Significantly, those things didn't even make the slightest
mention when Jesus spoke of the sheep and goats. We must remember to
keep all these things in perspective. There are other aspects to life.
Some others (may I humbly suggest) may even be more important than the
scientific take on the origins debate.

Received on Thu Feb 2 19:05:24 2006

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