Re: [asa] Advice for conversing with YECs

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Fri Oct 24 2008 - 20:44:39 EDT

Hi Dennis,

My only suggestion is to find out what reasons the person concerned has - from their own perspective - for holding to a YEC position.

I would suggest that if you don't get THIS basic point right, then you'll only dig a hole for yourself.

I'd urge against the idea that it's merely a case of debunking creationist science - partly because the person might not HAVE any strong scientific views (I have YEC's in my congregation who are simply ignorant of ANY of the scientific issues and it would be folly to raise them) and partly because there is a danger of undermining faith. Here, like Coope, I see wisdom in Moorad's remarks - although I also see the wisdom of Coope's response.

My response to the tension which underlies the entire debate - both in respects of how we treat individual YECists AND with respect to how we approach the entire "damned if we do, damned if we don't" dilemma of whether or not to try to debunk YEC (do we offend the YECist or the evolutionist?) - is simply to treat each case on its merits.

In that respect I don't think I would recommend a "one size fits all" approach - but I dare say that's not what you're looking for, in any case.

I'd only add the caveat to the above that IF Creation Science IS a major part of their position AND they rely on it to evade criticism of their views, then some degree of debunking may well be in order!

For what it's worth, I was never a YEC - partly because I didn't grow up in the church, and partly because Australians don't really care about the issue (that's why you got Ken Ham - he simply doesn't get the attention he wants over here). But what really makes it a non-issue for me is really my understanding of the Australian Aboriginal notion of the Dreamtime. Frankly, they have a really profound understanding of the nexus between history, spirituality, story and culture which leaves contemporary Western culture for dead ("white man got no Dreaming" is an remarkably insightful Aboriginal critique of our cultural attitudes). But when one has an idea that "the Dreaming" is MORE real than they physical world (it's almost like a Platonic notion of the plane of forms) then one can appreciate that story can deal with reality in a very profound sense without even having to bring questions of history into it. Unfortunately, I don't suspect that many North American YECist would see
 the Australian Aboriginal idea of the Dreaming as something positive to emulate!

Hope it helps in some small measure,


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

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Received on Fri Oct 24 20:44:55 2008

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