Re: [asa] Advice for conversing with YECs

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Fri Oct 24 2008 - 20:16:30 EDT

Well, let's take a bit of a steely-eyed look at this situation. Unless
the person is seeking your insights, there is really little liklihood of
persuasion, particularly as he is not interested in looking at the
evidence. In any case, such a win-lose confrontation has a very low
persuasion success rate. The most powerful voice you have in this
situation - in my view - is simply your story (not your powers of
persuasion), offering without insistence why you have a different
persuasion. That respects his position, with whatever basis there might
be, while voicing your differing perspective without demands, which are
a put-off to most all of us.

My experience, and that expressed in several other posts addressing your
question, is that such transformations typically happen over time - if
at all - and not in response to some single power-of-persuasion win/lose

If for some reason he wants to talk about something with a rational
flavor, I might start with the speed of light. He has certainly observed
the response lag associated with newspersons conversing via satellite.
He might recall the greater lag when talking with the fellows on the
moon. Then there are yet greater delays associated with sending commands
to and getting responses from the Mars rovers. If he trusts geometry, he
might follow the argument as it extends to the enormous times of flight
of light from the furthest star we can directly triangulate the distance
for. When the distance gets to more than the 6,000 or 10,000 year
window, you can ask why he thinks that might be. It might be a start.
Just be prepared to respond to the "appearance" explanation.

But at the end of the day, there may be no opportunity at all present,
other than having the conversation and parting with some measure of
respect for each other. But who knows, it might lay the ground work for
another conversation down the pike. If so, and you're lucky, it might
even be with you.

I had a many-year run at talking relatively unproductively from time to
time about such things in my earlier church life. I guess I labored
under the illusion that I might be a "voice for change". Turns out that
tradition and emotion simply trumps ration in most cases. Fast's quite a different experience being in churches where
this is not an issue. I rediscovered relaxing in church life!

Blessings -

JimA [Friend of ASA][...a dues paying Friend, that is]

Dennis Venema wrote:
> I seem to be something of a lightning rod for YECs in my local church
> sphere. At present I am discussing these issues with a gentleman from
> my congregation, but I am not making much progress in having him try
> to understand my point of view. We canít even get past the
> age-of-the-earth issue. He is not interested in looking at any
> evidence, either.
> I am interested in what advice folks might have Ė I am especially
> interested in hearing from those of you who used to be YECs but now
> accept an old earth. What was useful to you as you made the transition?
> Thanks, all.
> Dennis

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri Oct 24 20:17:17 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Oct 24 2008 - 20:17:17 EDT