Re: [asa]: YEC--What can we offer them?

From: Christine Smith <>
Date: Sat Jun 30 2007 - 01:43:02 EDT

Hello all,

See my responses below:

George writes:
"For starters, most YECs don't read the Bible
"lterally." If they did, they'd realize that there
were 2 different creation accounts in Genesis, that
the flood story is a conflation of a couple of
different accounts &c. In fact, a few years ago - I
think on this list but perhaps another discussion
group - I was told by a YEC that I was being "too
literal" when I pointed out that the "literal"
chronologies of Gen. 1 & 2 didn't agree!

& then there's the fact that most YECs, when faced
with texts like "this is my body" or "born again of
water and the Spirit," insist that they are "not to be
taken literally." Of course one can argue for that
view but it ill befits someone who insists that a
literal reading of scripture is essential."

Point taken. Perhaps the word I was looking for was
"inerrant", in the strictest sense? What I was aiming
for was characterizing an approach that excludes more
figurative/historical/cultural interpretations or
context from a reading of scripture, such as those
that might allow for ID, TE, cultural overtones (i.e.
the role of women), etc.

George continues:
"Of course you're right - we need more than just
criticism of YEC views. A positive presentation is
needed - and there are plenty of them available."

That was definitely my aim, and I guess I'll take this
opportunity to better clarify my post here. Jack, in
an offline post, kindly pointed out that we have an
"about science and faith" section on the website,
which I confess I had not read before tonight. It
addresses some of that "positive presentation" that I
was hoping to bring out with my post. I was also
looking maybe for personal experiences or approaches
that you (the forum members) practice as you study
scripture and science/faith issues--a general set of
study questions that you reflect on perhaps, or
resources that you personally found helpful in your
faith journey. Any kind of advice, if you will, that
you would wish to share with others about how to put
things into perspective, particularly if you are not
familiar with the scientific or historical background
of the topic at hand.

Gregory writes:
"For example, as a geologist, Christine, is there ANY
possibility you would consider either a 'young'
earth,' a 'young' birth of Adam and Eve (within the
last 10,000 years) or a view of 'science' that
accomodates (or at least doesn't disqualify)
'interventions' by (a) creator God in 'natural
processes'? In other words, are you 'closed' on the
viewpoint of an 'old' earth? Further, what are you
willing to do to either avoid or appease conflict?"

Fair questions. I will start by saying that historical
geology was not my emphasis and that biology was (and
still is) my weakest science. That being said, from my
understanding of things, I find it very difficult to
believe that the "young earth" viewpoint will be ever
be supported by science. Of course, as a scientist, I
am always open to new research or data that would say
otherwise. Not sure what you mean by a "young birth of
Adam and Eve"--at the moment, I believe that it's very
possible--maybe even probable--that there were a real
Adam and Eve whose descendants became Israel and other
nations (if that was indeed your question), but I'm
still trying to learn more about the Biblical history.
I think I've made it clear from previous posts that I
do not discount, and indeed believe that God did
directly (miraculously) intervene during evolutionary
and natural processes (does this make me an ID? not
that the label really matters)--certainly as
Christians, I don't think we can say for sure with any
authority that He didn't. As for what I'm doing to
"avoid or appease conflict", my purpose in my original
post was to do just that--to compliment critiques
we've offered in previous threads with more positive
alternative perspectives in this one. Although, I
don't agree with your wording of "avoid and
appease"--conflict is not necessarily bad--in fact, it
can be a healthy part of all families, including the
Christian family.

Don writes:
"Perhaps we might start by pointing out that when
looking at the Bible
is an advantage to replace a set of fixed focus and
spectacles by a variable focus and polychromatic
optical system. It
takes more effort to employ the more complicated
system, but a 3D and
colorful image that reveals the diversity (within a
basic unity) in the
Bible is worth the effort. Also, a willingness to
accept assistance
people who are familiar with the more complicated
system should be
encouraged. Importantly, people need to be reassured
that if they
their spectacles they are not going to be on a
slippery slope leading

I like that analogy--particularly about the diversity
in unity that you get :)

I wonder why it is that "people need to be reassured"
that it will not lead to a "slippery slope"? I could
think of several reasons...they don't want to or don't
know how to explore the Bible in a more complicated
way? Fear of coming to the belief that there was faith
is wrong? Association of those who read the Bible more
figuratively with political views that they feel the
Bible contradicts (abortion, etc.)? They've heard too
many stories of people who became Atheists when they
started studying science? Misconception that evolution
= atheism? A few months ago we discussed whether or
not ASA should take a position on YEC; maybe instead
we should focus on and increase our outreach efforts
in providing this reassurance simply by sharing our
own experiences and beliefs with them?

Gordon writes:
"I am not comfortable with the practice of labeling
YECs as people who
the Bible literally. No one takes the entire Bible

Well said. See my comments to George above.

Thanks all for your comments--keep 'em coming!


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Received on Sat Jun 30 01:43:27 2007

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