The Reverse Possibility (was Re: [asa] Response to Baylor meeting)

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Mon Aug 31 2009 - 16:11:10 EDT

Gregory Arago wrote:
> Ruse answers "Can a Darwinian be a Christian?" with a 'Yes.' I would
> answer that a Darwinist cannot be a Christian, but someone who follows
> *some* Darwinian principles will find them anti-thetical to their faith.
> To follow *all* Darwinian principles, however, is tantamount to becoming
> just as agnostic as he was. And this raises the question of whether or
> not it s possible for a religious person to become agnostic due to their
> contemplation and acceptance of certain aspects of 'Darwinian
> principles' to their logical conclusion. A Darwinian can perhaps be a
> Christian, while rejecting the agnosticism in Darwin's extra-scientific
> speculations and ruminations. However, it is also possible for a
> Christian to become agnostic (van Till?) as a result of their embrace of
> Darwinist ideology. TEs don't seem to highlight this 'reverse'
> possibility and rather highlight only the positive aspects of accepting
> 'biological' evolution or 'cosmological' evolution (and sometimes TEs
> even promote 'cultural' evolution). It is not difficult to realize why
> this is the case.

Hi Greg,

If you're looking for an acknowledgement of the "reverse possibility" then, fine, I acknowledge the reverse possibility.

But as we're putting our cards on the table, are you prepared to recognize that it was not an acceptance of evolutionary theory but the narrow bigotry of anti-evolutionist Christians who most influenced van Till's move toward agnosticism? See his account in the following address to the Freethought Association of West Michigan in May 2006;

My point is not that anti-evolutionist Christians cause problems for others - I'm not interested in purile games of tit-for-tat - my point is that the ATTITUDE of Christians on both sides of this debate is at least as problematic as any conceptual difficulties which might be caused by one's view of origins.

Unfortunately, we can't easily reconcile the nexus between various views of origins and Christian faith - but we CAN stop taking the moral high ground and bandying about accusations and recriminations.

The reality is that there are sincere and godly Christians across the range of YEC to TE, and whilst there are plenty of examples of people who have abandoned Christianity because they found evolution a problem to their faith, there are also those who found that the possibility of a TE position resolved their difficulties.

I'd only urge you to keep in mind here that there are no silver bullets against loss of faith, nor are their any magic formulae which guarantee people will come to faith. Why TE should be singled out for special attention in this regard is not clear to me.


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Received on Mon Aug 31 16:11:56 2009

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