Re: [asa] Advice for conversing with YECs

From: <>
Date: Sun Oct 26 2008 - 15:40:32 EDT

Quoting Murray Hogg <>:

> Anyway, the point is that I think that perhaps the best way to disabuse the
> notion that one can accept evolution and have a high view of scripture is
> simply to live the two out in practice. I think that seeing that done is
> perhaps the best evidence that we don't have to choose one over the other.
> And once that realization is made it probably gives people the confidence to
> explore the question without feeling a challenge to their faith.
> Blessings,
> Murray Hogg
> Pastor, East Camberwell Baptist Church, Victoria, Australia
> Post-Grad Student (MTh), Australian College of Theology

I continue to appreciate the sound advice Murray gives, and I'll presume to add
more to this last thought about the "confidence to explore the question without
feeling a challenge to their faith...".

This is a key point. Somehow, a tension needs to be disarmed, before any real
"give & take" can happen, just as you would release strong spring tension on a
mechanism if you could before dismantling it or working with it. And this is
not easy because that "spring tension" has been deeply instilled by many a
well-meaning parent and Sunday school teacher: "To go there means you must
leave here..." So even just the attempted message that "you can explore this
and need not worry that it will shipwreck your faith" --even that will be
viewed by the "faithful" as a seduction away from an inherent tension to which
they want to cling.

Part of our temptation, then, is to try and break it up into more palpable
smaller pieces; i.e. just work on the "age of the earth" issue and don't try to
force-feed things about evolution. This may have some wisdom, but also has
some danger: Young-earth people are intelligent; and they hunger --as any of
us do -- to be respected for their intelligence; and they know that to accept a
billions years old earth will quite often lead to the wholesale acceptance,
then, of robust evolution. (Very few I suppose stop off and find permanent
residence at concordist OEC styles of thought --but perhaps I shouldn't
underestimate that). Anyway --my main point is, that they assume, usually
correctly, that swallowing the age pill means there will be much harder pills to
follow that. And "teasing" them by saying they can maybe just consider a
"little part" of the package may give it the greater feel of seduction. I
think the golden rule is valuable: how would you wish to be treated? Most of
us would like straight talk, and we would like others to allow for --even
presume some intelligence on our part. So I propose that an acknowledgment such
as "Yes, considering these things is upsetting to some teachings that have come
to be traditional Sunday school factuality, and yes, if you are wanting to just
dabble in parts of this investigation, you are playing around on the slippery
slope you've been taught to fear that leads to evolution." By bringing the
biggest "scare" to the floor where you can all look at it, and maybe see it for
what it is, would seem to me a more forthright way to deal with someone. For
others, this would be too much, but I think "straight talk" could be a better
path for others --particularly if they are mature in their faith.


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Received on Sun Oct 26 15:41:33 2008

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