Re: Yet more denigrating of Apologists (was Why?)

Stephen Jones (
Mon, 27 Apr 98 07:28:12 +0800


On Sun, 19 Apr 1998 20:40:45 -0500, Glenn Morton wrote:


>SJ>Yet more "examples" of *you* "denigrating" "Apologists"! You
>>seem not to realise that these are God's *servants* you are
>>attacking. You better be 100% right that they are all 100% wrong,
>>otherwise you will be called to account for all that you have
>>publicly written against these fine Christian leaders. I would
>>*tremble* if I were in your shoes!

GM>...Unless you think it is OK to teach falsehoods, you should
>thank me for taking the trouble to try to correct things. I hold
>truth to be the ultimate goal for a Christian.

First, you are assuming that *you* are the sole arbiter of what is
"truth"! In my opinion many of your claims (eg. a hominid was
sufficiently advanced to have built a 3-decker Ark 5.5 million years
ago), are far from the truth, and are not even accepted by
evolutionists, let alone Christian apologists.

Second, the real "ultimate goal for a Christian" is *love* (Jn 13:34;
Mt 22:39; 1Cor 13). At the very least it is *both* truth and love
(Eph 4:15). But you show by your constant destructive criticism of
leading Christian apologists that you have anything but love for

GM>When apologists or anyone else gets an observable fact wrong,
>someone needs to point it out. Remember James 3:1. Those who
>teach influence people and if the facts they teach are erroneous, they
>then open the door for those listening to leave the faith.

It also says that we need to "...first take the plank out of your own
eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your
brother's eye." (Mt 7:5). In my opinion some of the things that you
"teach" are even more "erroneous" than what they teach.

At least these Christian apologists that you destructively criticise
have a proven Christian ministry that has lead to the salvation
and/or preservation of hundreds, if not thousands of ordinary people.
If you succeed in your goal of tearing them down, what will you
replace them with? Few if any would acccept the half-baked
alternative you have offered to date.

GM>Let me cite the case of Jim Lippard who was a high school
>student who believed in young-earth creationism. He writes:


What you say might apply to "young-earth creationism", but what
evidence do you have that what *Hugh Ross* and *Phil Johnson*
(who are not YECs) teach "open the door for those listening to leave
the faith"?


GM>So, Stephen, would you rather have students, like Jim, continue
>to leave the faith or would you rather provide them with answers
>that can actually be defended?

See above. This line of yours that "young-earth creationism" is a
danger to faith, therefore *all* Christian apologists who oppose
evolution must be criticised, shows muddled thinking, or worse.

It suggests to that you are resolving (if you have not already
resolved) your "No one can serve two masters" (Mt 6:24) conflict
between creation and evolution, by `hating' the one (creationism) and
`loving' the other (evolution).


GM>In private e-mail with Jim, he has told me that YEC played a big
>role in his leaving Christianity. What he was told was not what he
>found out and because of this, he lost his trust in Christians.

See above. While this might apply to "YEC" it does not necessarily
apply to non-YECs like Ross and Johnson whom you also destructively
criticise. This indicates that this anti-"YEC" argument is just a
pretext (whether you realise it or not) for a more general attack on
*all* Christian apologists who oppose evolution and advocate creation.

GM>Another question. Do Christians have the right to teach
>erroneous data with no fear of correction?

No. But first, you haven't shown that in the case of Ross and
Johnson that it *is* "erroneous". Second, your criticism is entirely
*destructive* (rather than constructive), and lacking in Christian
love. Third, and possibly the most important, you have not
established your own Christian bona fides in order to be the one to
do the "correction".

What *are* your Christian bona fides Glenn? I have been in almost
constant communication with you for the last 2-3 years and while I
have heard plenty of criticism from you of Christian apologists, I
have never heard much about your own Christian situation. What is
it? You claim to be a Christian, but I have seen little evidence of
the fruit of the Spirit in your posts. Do you go regularly to
church? Do you read the Bible and pray regularly? Do you pray for
your `enemies' like Morris, Gish, Ross and Johnson? You don't have
to answer this but I will draw my own conclusions if you don't.

>SJ>Obviously a group of children did not include any "trained
>>scientist"! Who claimed that it did?

GM>Phillip Johnson claimed that the story illustrated how scientists
>They had to go along to get along. But if it illustrated how scientists
>worked, I would like to point out that the story contains NO trained

See below. Johnson was using the story told by "trained scientist"
*Bruno Muller-Hill*. Your failure to fairly state the case shows you
really want to present all Christian anti-evolution apologists in
the worst possible light.

>SJ>But again you miss the point. As you yourself say in the above
>>quote, it was "The German BIOCHEMIST Bruno Muller-Hill"
>>who "tells a memorable story to ILLUSTRATE his thesis that
>>'self-deception plays an astonishing role in science in spite of all the
>>scientists' worship of truth". (my emphasis)
>>The point is that it wasn't an "apologist" who told the original
>>story. It was a *scientist*, speaking from his own experiences.
>>All the "apologist" Johnson did was take up this *scientist's*
>>"illustration" and use it. Are you claiming that evolution is a
>>sacred cow that is off-limits to Christian apologists?

GM>So, the scientist was wrong also. There was no evidence in that
>story of how science works. period.

With respect, you are a just a geochemist working in the oil
industry. Johnson is a *senior professor* who has worked at
*Berkeley University* for the last 20 years, and who knows many
leading scientists, some on a personal friendship basis. He is in a
far better position than you to know *first-hand* whether
"self-deception plays an astonishing role in science".

Indeed, if what you say was true, there would be no need for the
leading physicist Richard Feynman, at his 1974 commencement speech at
the California Institute of Technology, to tell the graduating

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself-and you are the
easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that.
After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists.
You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that. I would
like to add something that's not essential to the science, but
something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the
laymen when you're talking as a scientist.... I'm talking about a
specific, extra type of integrity that is [more than] not lying, but
bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong that you
ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility
as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen."
(Feynman R., "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" 1989, pp308-17,
in Johnson P.E., "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds,"1997,


Stephen E (Steve) Jones ,--_|\
3 Hawker Avenue / Oz \
Warwick 6024 ->*_,--\_/ Phone +61 8 9448 7439
Perth, West Australia v "Test everything." (1Thess 5:21)