Recently, I was inadvertently directed to this post.
Though it is about a year old, I thought I would offer a few comments. It represents one of those remorseful, head-wagging invectives against what is perceived as idiocy within evangelical circles.
In a nutshell, the authoress cites from an article last year from the New York Times written by pseudo-evangelical, Karl Giberson, and some other guy, in which they complain bitterly about what stupid liars 6-day creationists like Ken Ham and Al Mohler Jr. really are and what a terrible disservice they are to both Jesus and the little lambs of His church.
I’ve not seen the original NYT article, or heard the NPR interview also mentioned, but according to the blog post writer, Karl goes on to mournfully opine how evangelicals like Ham and Mohler have turned their backs on society, creating a parallel sub-culture that allegedly presents alternative views of reality with their teaching as well as rejects “science.” The word “science” here is new-speak for the Darwinian evolutionary worldview, btw. In other words, young earth creationists don’t do “science.” It’s voodoo or something.
What is missed in this blog report is how Karl’s materialistic, a-miraculous, naturalistic Biologos vision of “evangelicalism” is incompatible with biblical Christian theology, the very concerns Ham and Mohler express from their parallel sub-culture. In fact, nothing is even stated about Karl and his friends being funded by a foundation set up by Charles Templeton who became a notorious apostate before his death.
Everything I’ve read from Karl is that he doesn’t really care about the incompatibility between a Darwinian worldview and biblical Christianity anyways, because he believes evangelicals take the Bible too seriously. In his mind, we need to abandon the doctrines of infallibility and inerrancy because they are bogus to begin with.
At any rate, the writer then tells us a fanciful, personal anecdote about the influx of hillbilly rubes adversely impacting evangelical Christianity in America.
Years ago, I knew a man who I will call Fred. He told me that he had never looked at any evidence that Young Earth Creationism might be wrong. So, I gave him some material to read and suggested he look at websites such as Reason to Believe and Answers in Creation. A few weeks later I asked him about his reading. He told me that he had read a few things and the information made him very nervous since it seemed to disprove everything that he had been led to believe.
So what was his solution? He refused to read anything more because it challenged him to the core. He said he would choose to believe Young Earth in spite of the evidence because “he couldn’t take it.” You see, his faith was based on a secondary issue. If that issue was challenged, his very faith was called into question. Yet this man insisted that his daughter go to college and “stand up” against those “secular” professors who said science has proven the earth is old.
Here is where I stand. All Christians should question anything that is fed to them by supposed “leaders.” We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and that goes for Ken Ham, David Barton, and Al Mohler. Never forget Galileo and the church. This means, as hard as it for some Christians to accept, these guys could very well be wrong. And, if these guys are wrong, what happens to your faith? Is it based on a secondary issue or is it founded on the solid rock of the person of Jesus Christ?
The myth floated around now-a-days about these rogue Christians who home school is that they basically lie to their kids.
That’s right. Christian moms and dads lie daily to their kids by making them believe a false reality. All for the purposes of keeping them safe from evolutionists, atheists, drugs, premarital sex, and gays Sure, these kids put up a facade of academic achievement by taking top honors in a national spelling bee contest, but it would all collapse if they genuinely knew the truth their parents are purposefully hiding from them.
Just expose them to the real, naked truth of what scientific academics claim about the earth, or all the textual problems with the NT documents, or the so-called archeological evidence against the historicity of the Exodus, or the search of the “historical Jesus,” and their faith will fall over faster than a heavy woman slain in the Spirit at a Pentecostal tent revival.
Four things here:
First, YEC is a matter of biblical authority. The text of Genesis says God created in 6 ordinary days, as does the rest of the Bible whenever it touches on creation, including our own Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If you claim to take the Bible seriously as a divinely inspired, infallible document, you cannot possibly get around this fact. You will only be denying the meaning of language and the principles of grammar in order to do so. Moreover, insurmountable exegetical and theological problems are created as well. This is regrettably the position of many old earth proponents like Hugh Ross and his Reasons to Believe crew.
Secondly, the writer doesn’t tell the readers that old earth proponents like Hugh Ross are also at odds with even Karl Giberson and the Biologos people. That is because, as muddled as Hugh’s exegesis of the Genesis text may be, he at least attempts to affirm supernatural creation, albeit in spurts during progressive ages over millions of years. The Biologos guys reject such a view because of its supernatural implications.
The authoress calls Biologos head, John Collins, an “evolutionary creationist” which is really disingenuous, and would be a term I imagine, if pressed, Collins himself would be uncomfortable being tagged with. Ultimately, the “age of the earth” really has nothing to do with the disagreement Giberson and Biologos have with these rogue evangelicals who teach young earth creationism. It is God’s creating just like it says in the Bible that bothers them.
Third. Why is it that Christians have to question everything taught to them by Ken Ham and Al Mohler when it comes to creation and the age of the earth? (David Barton’s American “history” lessons are a non-related issue and are hardly the same). Does this charge equally apply to old earth proponents? I take it this writer questions Hugh Ross, Karl Giberson, and John Collins in the same way, right? Or does she blindly swallow everything they say just because they are not “fundy, 6-day creationists?”
What happens when their conclusions they make regarding “science” and “reality” conflict radically with the historical narrative presented in Scripture? Which “authority” will they choose? If the Christian’s faith is at risk if Ham and Mohler are wrong, will the writer’s old earth faith be at risk if it can shown Ross and Giberson are wrong?
Fourth. I think the idea of hapless, sheltered home schooled fundamentalist kids losing their faith and going apostate after they bump up against genuine science is highly exaggerated. How do we explain the opposite phenomenon? That being, public schooled and strictly secular educated kids who are saturated heavily in old earth, Darwinian thinking embracing young earth, biblical creationism? Is it because they caught a bad case of the “stupids?”
I believe fundamentalist defection has more to do with a spiritual heart condition rather than home schooled kids being unable to defend YEC in college. Their deconversion more than likely goes along the lines of this anti-creationist, Christ-hater who wrote into mock the folks at Answers in Genesis. He’s a bitter troll who rather than sought out genuine answers to the challenges of his faith, instead abandoned the Lord. It wasn’t a matter of bad “science” being challenged by unanswerable evidence. It was a matter of an unconverted heart.
If I may close by sharing my own anecdote.
Years ago, I knew a fellow who I will call “Karl.” He told me that he had never looked at any evidence that young earth creationism might be true. So, I gave him some material to read and suggested he look at websites such as Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries. A few weeks later I asked him about his reading. He told me that he had skimmed over the material I gave him to read and glanced a bit at the two websites. I asked him what he thought and if they answered some of his questions.
“Well. It was interesting,” he replies, “but I don’t know if I can believe God created the universe and the world in six days a few thousand years ago.” I asked “why?” “Well,” he says, “It cuts against everything I’ve been taught, and I don’t see how all those people can be wrong.” I followed up by asking, “So you don’t believe what the Bible clearly states in Genesis about God creating?” “Who knows? How do we know we don’t have it wrong? Besides, I don’t think we need to be so dogmatic and unnecessarily divisive with such a trivial, secondary matter.”