Re: [asa] YEC social dynamics

From: Don Winterstein <>
Date: Tue Sep 05 2006 - 05:24:17 EDT

Randy wrote: " Lying was an
expected characteristic of "the flesh" and it made sense that the world
would flaunt an untrue objection to every aspect of the creation story.
Meanwhile, the "fruit of the Spirit" crowd would never tell a lie."

I used to argue for the veracity of the Gospels and other canonical writings on the following grounds: We know from experience how the Spirit of truth leads us to be as truthful as possible in everything we say, so the Gospel authors, moved by the same Spirit, were also as truthful as possible in everything they wrote. YECs demonstrate, apparently, that being moved by the Spirit does not guarantee truth. Perhaps it only guarantees a best effort at "truth as we see it." The YEC example has considerably increased my doubts about the level of veracity in various canonical writings. How much were the Bible's authors slanting their stories to conform to their wishes and expectations?

The larger question is why YEC expectations are what they are. At the root of the problem seems to be deep discomfort with a world whose workings and origins can be largely understood without reference to God. If you don't need to explicitly involve God, maybe he doesn't exist. Because of this discomfort, the TE kinds of arguments for compatibility between God and science are not acceptable. The comforting solution is to assert that the scientific view of the world is false.

Another problem is that a detailed understanding of origins was first formulated by humans, not God. God took a stab but got it wrong (Genesis 1). If God had given some clear hint in Scriptures about creation through evolution over billions of years, YECs would be receptive. They'd be even more receptive if some intuitive reason for creating the world in such a way had been advanced. As of now those billions of years dangle out there kind of meaninglessly.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Randy Isaac<>
  Sent: Monday, September 04, 2006 6:36 PM
  Subject: [asa] YEC social dynamics

  This ongoing discussion about the various outlandish claims touted and
  believed by AIG and other YEC'ers has led me to wonder more about the
  psychology and group dynamics of the whole business. Back in the 60's when
  I was a YEC, and I presume it is still the case, part of the whole paradigm
  was the "they vs us" perspective. Growing up in an isolated Christian
  community that tended to shun "the world" it was easy to believe the story
  that the world was characterized by Galations 5:19-21. Lying was an
  expected characteristic of "the flesh" and it made sense that the world
  would flaunt an untrue objection to every aspect of the creation story.
  Meanwhile, the "fruit of the Spirit" crowd would never tell a lie.

  Hence, every shred of evidence or logical argument presented against
  creationism was surely a lie but well covered up while every argument for
  creationism was surely correct and all objections were evidence of "the big

  One of the biggest hurdles I faced in turning away from YEC was coming to
  terms with whether such a large cross-section of the "spiritual" folks could
  be so mistaken and could perpetrate such a web of inaccuracies. As Burgy
  points out, "they really do believe it." And they believe it's a grand play
  in the "church" vs "the world" scenario. Scientific evidence and logic have
  little impact in such a worldview.

  Forgive the analogy but I couldn't help but see some point of analogy while
  watching the classic movie "To Kill a Mockingbird" this weekend. A jury of
  all white men is not at all swayed by evidence or by logic when it's the
  word of an African-American vs that of a white. Gregory Peck is merely a
  turncoat. Similarly, evidence and logic hold little sway in the face of our
  task of helping the church to stand fast against the world. Those of us who
  claim to find compatibility between the doctrine of creation and an old
  earth, let alone evolution, are simply turncoats and can't be trusted.

  I rejected YEC intellectually many years before I could reject it
  psychologically and emotionally. Then I had to deal with the emotional
  backlash I felt.

  This leaves us with a question of how best to deal with the situation.
  Evidence and logic continue to be important. Some will recognize it and be
  convinced. But it isn't enough to help the ordinary churchgoer believe that
  such a large segment of the church is caught up in a fantastic tale of
  science fiction. What else does it take?


  Burgy commented:

> Bob commented on AIG's argument:
> "Have they no shame?"
> I think the argument they present, in the context of their worldview, is
> fairly persuasive. Certainly it appears they believe it. So "shame" is
> not involved unless you posit that they are being deliberately
> untruthful. From my discuusions with Morris and Gish and Ham back in 1988
> that does not appear to be the case. Tey really do believe this crap.

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Received on Tue Sep 5 05:16:13 2006

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