Re: Kurt Wise on the creation crisis in Christian colleges

From: Mervin Bitikofer <>
Date: Thu Feb 02 2006 - 23:22:01 EST

Bill Hamilton wrote:

>This has been a very interesting thread, in which some excellent observations
>have been made. I think David and George have hit on two crucial points:
>David said (I'm paraphrasing. Correct me if I get it wrong, David) that for the
>YEC all knowledge forms an integrated whole -- it all fits together. So once
>the YEC has a view of Scripture and a view of science that apparently fit
>together, trying to correct one challenges the other. George observed that
>YEC's get science wrong because their theology is misguided. I'd like to add
>that it frequently seems to me that YEC's either didn't take or didn't learn
>anything in high school literature: the use of simile, metaphor and allegory.
>One other individual asked the question of whether it was better to correct a
>YEC's science, if by so doing you cause him to abandon his faith, or to keep
>his incorrect scientific views and remain saved. As a Reformed believer, that
>gets us into theological issues that we won't resolve, but I do agree: if the
>choice is correct science and no faith, or saving faith and incorrect science,
>I'll take the second every time. So as I believe David said, the challenge is
>to gently and lovingly correct the misconceptions -- a task which is far more
>easily said than done.
I hear and agree with the thought that simile, etc. seems lost on the
YEC kind of thinker, and yet this provokes me to share an irony. The
most outspoken YECer at my school is our English teacher! And he, of
all of us, has an intact appreciation of literature in all its forms. --
in fact fantasies such as Lewis' chronicles of Narnia are a great source
of common fellowship between us. He would bristle at this suggestion
that metaphor is lost on him (and he is an intelligent man -- I know.)
He would surely point out all the places in scripture where the prophet
or writer makes deliberate and explicitly labeled use of metaphor, and
then he would go on to explicate on how Genesis 1 is NOT one of those
times, etc, etc. (Yes -- I know -- a lot of you get your dander up at
this point and want to inform him about how he's "massacring" scripture,
etc. etc. Just save your breath -- he says the same thing about
theistic evolutionists and I don't think he can be convinced.) But my
point is -- here is somebody that under any other circumstance has as
good an understanding of metaphor as any of us could be expected to have
-- but when it comes to scriptures (unless they are explicitly
self-labeled as metaphor), he seems to have a hermetically sealed
compartment (or should I say "hermeneutically" sealed?) that prevents
normal conclusions he might reach from applying in this special case.
Now, perhaps he is unusual. Because among most other YECers I have met,
I would agree with you. Their appreciation of literature would seem to
be limited. But meanwhile I add my voice to the theme of 'gentle and
loving' corrections (and to receiving the same as well.) That is a
much needed leavening in all these exchanges, and it's one of the things
I appreciate about the people on this site. You truly have a
discussion going here that is rarely found in forums on this topic.

May we be (to use Yancey's phrase) an "aroma of grace" to the world.

Received on Thu Feb 2 23:27:26 2006

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