Re: [asa] Youth leaving churches because of old earth

From: Paul Bruggink <>
Date: Fri Aug 07 2009 - 11:10:00 EDT


Well said. We need to keep this in mind, especially in our own local churches.

Paul Bruggink

On Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 9:12 AM, Bill Powers<> wrote:
> I disagree with the general tone of all these comments.
> Anyone who leaves the "church" because of a supposed tension between what
> has been taught and what the world says or what reason appears to confirm is
> no Christian, and anyone who stays because of some harmony between the
> world, reason, and faith is likewise not a Christian.
> Such tensions or harmonies can support the Christian life and faith, but are
> not the foundation nor the source of faith and the Christian life. Such
> tensions and harmonies are common to all, and are not confined to views of
> biological origins or the age of the earth.  Even without such challenges,
> there is no shortage of temptations and opportunities for doubt.
> Most of the churches that I have been involved with lean toward a YEC view,
> and yet there is hardly ever a mention of evolution, or the age of the
> earth.  The Fall, Adam and Eve, a Flood, and the like are used as Scripture
> uses them, and this is because church is founded on God's Word, not on some
> apologetic for any of these events, or a as a forum for scientific debate.
>  Individuals may be more concerned with such issues, but not the church.
>  The Church has bigger fish to fry, like sin, perdition, redemption, and
> salvation.  I would flee any church, pro or con, that spends a noticeable
> amount of time on the issue.
> I simply don't believe in any formula or simple equation that will explain
> or turn around the departure of people from the church.  No change in
> worship style, no change of language, no change of venues, and no change in
> doctrinal nuances will produce the desired effect.  To believe otherwise is
> to believe that faith is volitional and a matter of choice or style,
> something more like a commodity to be sold and made appealing.  The Word of
> God works despite our sinful and inadequate handling of it, and faith
> withstands the onslaught of reason, men, science, trials, and times because
> it is not maintained or created by our will and effort, but that of God.  In
> it, we ultimately cling, unknowing, unreasoning, unbelieving, to the Cross
> of Christ, as to the mast of a ship, it alone not dragged below the storm of
> water and waves.  To this, what can your YEC, OEC, ID, TE, or the like
> matter?  People leave the church, or more significantly, leave Christ,
> because they have no such faith, and perhaps never did, nor ever will.  That
> is tragic, but no more easily explained than why some are saved and some
> not, why one is the Son of Perdition, and another whose confession is the
> Rock upon which the Church is built.
> bill
> On Wed, 5 Aug 2009, Schwarzwald wrote:
>> I'd agree/suspect that a large part of the problem with children leaving
>> the
>> church because of "old earth" is due to it being drummed into them
>> repeatedly that Christianity absolutely demands a "young earth" view. When
>> they end up believing the earth is old (due to evidence, abundance of
>> scientific opinion, etc) - combined with quite a lot of social pressure to
>> leave the Church for just about any reason whatsoever anyway - it helps to
>> push them out the door.
>> On the other hand, I think those who believe in an "old earth" need to do
>> more than they are as well. In particular, I think there's a need to get
>> past mere compatibility (Christianity is compatible with the findings of
>> science) and stressing, even on a purely philosophical level, why nature
>> itself indicates the work of a creator. I'm hesitant to endorse them, but
>> I
>> think Biologos may actually be moving in this direction - I've liked some
>> of
>> what I've seen on their site as far as discussing faith and evolution is
>> concerned. But far more needs to be done.
>> Of course, there are also considerations that have nothing to do with
>> natural science topics either - it's a big issue, after all.
>> On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 5:43 PM, Jon Tandy <> wrote:
>>> If people are leaving the church because of "old earth" according to the
>>> subject line, then think about it -- they are not leaving church because
>>> of
>>> being taught old earth creationism by thoughtful Christians, but it's
>>> because they have been confronted with the scientific evidence of old
>>> earth
>>> and can't reconcile their faith to scientific discovery.  If there is
>>> truth
>>> to Ken Ham's statement, it's more likely because their faith has been
>>> built
>>> a false gospel of scientific creationism.  I believe the fact of an old
>>> earth didn't take God by surprise, and the truth of the gospel of Jesus
>>> Christ is not threatened by truths from the physical world.
>>> However, as you imply, I think this proposition needs to be seriously
>>> questioned, because youth are surely leaving YEC churches just the same
>>> as
>>> others, for reasons not having to do with old earth or even evolution,
>>> but
>>> for a variety of reasons.  It may be spiritual rebellion (manifest in
>>> drugs,
>>> illicit relationships, worldliness, etc.), and it may also be because the
>>> church is seen as disengaged from the reality of the world around us
>>> (science denial might play a part in that?).  Maybe their spiritual needs
>>> just aren't being met.
>>> Jon Tandy
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: [] On
>>> Behalf Of Ted Davis
>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2009 2:44 PM
>>> To:
>>> Subject: [asa] Youth leaving churches because of old earth
>>> You read that subject line correctly.  According to Ken Ham (surprise?),
>>> this is the bottom line reason why young people are leaving churches in
>>> droves.  Amazing.  But true -- that is, it's true that Ham thinks this is
>>> the reason.
>>> hurch/<>
>>> I saw a copy of this book today, browsed it a bit, and that's the bottom
>>> line for him.
>>> I guess the youth just don't leave those churches where they're taught
>>> the
>>> YEC view.  That's certainly what Ham wants you to think.  He's not about
>>> to
>>> admit that his rigidity on this issue is one of the reasons why people
>>> won't
>>> give Christianity a second look -- not those on the inside, but those on
>>> the
>>> outside looking in, who might otherwise go further with their spiritual
>>> curiosity.
>>> Ted
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Received on Fri Aug 7 11:10:57 2009

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