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illustrating the dangers of linking young-earth doctrines with the Gos

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http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/experiences.htm

 

Joshua Zorn, an evangelical missionary, makes an urgent appeal to "well-meaning Christians who share with me both a high regard for Scripture and evangelism," beginning with his personal experience:
I became a Christian in 1973 at the age of thirteen when my Sunday school teacher took four lessons to explain the plan of salvation to us. ... This was the first time I had heard that the blood of Christ shed at the cross could wash away my sins. I immediately accepted this good news that salvation was by grace through faith and not by works. I began a new life in Christ which has now led me to work as a church planter in the former Soviet Union. ...
A few years after my conversion,... I became an enthusiastic devotee of young earth creation science (YECS) as promoted by the Institute for Creation Research. ... By the time I entered graduate school, I had discovered Christian geologist Davis Young's book, Christianity and the Age of the Earth. ... As I read this book, I saw that the scientific arguments for a young earth were completely untenable. I found that all the other Christian graduate students had problems with YECS geological arguments. And so, although it was painful, I asked myself if I wanted to continue to believe in something that is quite plainly wrong. I decided I did not, and so rejected the young earth position.
But rejection of the young earth was not only a matter of science. It affected my faith and the core of my life. ... I went through a period of deep soul seeking, clinging to the Lord. .... Twelve years have gone by since I abandoned the young earth viewpoint. As I continued to study (toward a Ph.D. in mathematics with applications in population genetics), I unfortunately saw argument after argument of YECS crumble in the face of evidence, both new and old. The list is in the hundreds and goes far beyond the issue of the age of the earth.
I don't expect pastors or church leaders to be impressed by all the scientific evidence unless there are also good hermeneutical reasons for abandoning the YECS position and a literal reading of the opening chapters of Genesis. As my prejudice wore off over the years, I began to discover a whole new world of evangelical interpretations as well as persuasive arguments against some aspects of the literalist reading of Genesis 1-3. ...
Do not fall into the trap of thinking the age of the earth is just a matter of "trusting God's Word" versus "trusting science." Christians need to, and every day do, trust both. The common error of rejecting many well-established results of science in favor of a certain biblical interpretation is not a valid Christian position. In the end, the truth will be a harmony which rejects neither the teachings of Scripture nor the well-established results of science. The results of science (properly interpreted) should never challenge the authority of Scripture, but they may cause us to reexamine our interpretation of Scripture. This is what I am pleading with young earthers to do.
The Christian position must be that all truth is God's truth and that we have both general revelation (nature) and special revelation (the Bible) as sources of truth. ... Ultimately, our confidence in Scripture should not rest on having a complete harmony between science and the Bible because we simply do not know enough to complete the harmony. ...
[Young-earth teaching] creates a nearly insurmountable barrier between the educated world and the church. Certainly God in his sovereignty has allowed some to be persuaded to believe in Christ through the arguments of YECS. But how many more have not accepted the Gospel because of the unnecessary demand that converts believe that the world is no more than 10,000 years old? And how many have unnecessarily gone through a crisis of faith similar to that which I described above? How many have chosen to give up their faith altogether rather than to accept scientific nonsense or a major reinterpretation of Scripture? How much have we dishonored our Lord by slandering scientists and their reputation? How much have we sinned against Christian brothers holding another opinion by naming them "dangerous" and "compromisers"? How much responsibility do we bear for having taught others (James 3:1) things that probably are not even true? Each must search his own heart. ...
As I write this paper, I see YECS literature becoming more and more widely distributed in the growing churches in my corner of the former Soviet Union. We are sowing the seeds of a major crisis which will make the job of world evangelism even harder than it is already. Lord, give us wisdom!

 

 

Glenn Morton describes his experiences as an earnest seeker of truth:
I became a Christian in my sophomore year of college. The people who had led me to the Lord immediately began my discipleship. They taught me to evangelize and they taught me what they felt a Christian should believe. But most importantly they were a loving family of believers which was a welcome oasis for someone like me whose home life had been less than familial. Thus, when I was told that Christians must believe in a young-earth and a global flood, I went along willingly. I believed.
Being a physics major in college I had not taken any geology courses. I knew there were physics problems, but I thought I could solve them. When I graduated from college, physicists were unemployable since NASA had just laid off many... [but] I found work as a geophysicist working for a seismic company. Within a year, I was processing seismic data for a major oil company. This was where I first became exposed to the problems [documented in his website] geology presented to the idea of a global flood. ...
Over the next several years, I struggled to understand how the geologic data I worked with everyday could be fit into a biblical perspective. I published more than twenty items in the Creation Research Society Quarterly toward that goal. I would listen to the discussions that the Institution of Creation Research (ICR) had with people like Harold Slusher, Duane Gish, Steve Austin, and Tom Barnes, and with some of their graduates whom I had hired. Nothing worked to explain what I saw. ... The data I was seeing at work was not agreeing with what I had been taught as a Christian. Doubts about what I was writing and teaching began to grow. No one could give me a model which allowed me to unite into one cloth what I believed on Sunday and what I was forced to believe by the data Monday through Friday.
Unfortunately, my fellow young earth creationists were not willing to listen to the problems. ... But then I too was often unwilling to face the data or to read books... which argued against young-earth creationism. I would have eagerly isolated myself from geologic data, but my job would not allow it. I preferred darkness of self-deception to the light of truth. Yet, day after day, my job forced me to confront that awful data. And to make matters worse, I was viewed by my fellow young-earth creationists as less than pure for trying to discuss or solve the problems. ...
It appeared that the more questions I raised, the more they questioned my Christianity. When telling one friend of my difficulties with young-earth creationism and geology, he told me that I had obviously been brainwashed by my geology professors. When I told him that I had never taken a geology course, he then said I must be saying this in order to hold my job. Never would he consider that I might really believe the data. This attitude that the messenger of bad news must be doubted amazed me. And it convinced me that too many of my fellow Christians were not interested in truth but only that I should conform to their theological position. ...
By 1986, the growing doubts about the ability of the widely accepted creationist viewpoints to explain the geologic data led to a nearly ten year withdrawal from publication. ... I was still a young-earth creationist but I did not know how to solve the problems. ... Eventually, by 1994 I was through with young-earth creationism. Nothing that young-earth creationists had taught me about geology had turned out to be true. I took a poll of all eight of the graduates from ICR's school who had gone into the oil industry and were working for various companies. I asked them one question, "From your oil industry experience, did any fact that you were taught at ICR, which challenged current geological thinking, turn out in the long run to be true?" That is a very simple question. One man, who worked for a major oil company, grew very silent on the phone, sighed, and softly said, "No!" A very close friend that I had hired, after hearing the question, exclaimed, "Wait a minute. There has to be one!" But he could not name one. No one else could either.
Being through with creationism, I was almost through with Christianity. I was thoroughly indoctrinated to believe that if the earth were not young and the flood not global, then the Bible was false. I was on the very verge of becoming an atheist. During that time, I re-read a book [by Alan Hayward, and]... his view had the power to unite the data with the Scripture. That is what I have done with my views. Without that I would now be an atheist. ... His book was very important in keeping me in the faith. ...
It was my lack of knowledge that allowed me to go along willingly and become a young-earth creationist. It was isolation from contradictory data, a fear of contradictory data and a strong belief in the young-earth interpretation that kept me there for a long time. The biggest lesson I have learned in this journey is to read the works of those with whom you disagree. God is not afraid of the data.

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The Gospel is linked to a young creation and a literal interpretation of Genesis.  No one has ever blamed YEC for shipwrecking their faith.    But there are plenty of people who gradually fall away from the faith when they allow other competing influences into their lives.  Their fall from the faith didn't occur because of YEC, but because those who seek to tear down the faith of others.  

 

There are many people who claim to no longer be Christians because they were convinced that the Bible was false, that the entire narrative of Genesis 1-11 is a farce and its claims can't be trusted.  Numerous atheists on this board over the last ten years that I have been here have repeatedly pointed to the principles of Darwinism as the leading reasons why they rejected God and the Bible.  Those members who have been here at least as long as  I have  can also testify to that fact.  There is nothing about YEC that is a danger to faith.  But there are plenty of competing influences presented by those who reject a literal and faithful interpreation of Scripture that will destroy the faith of some people.

 

 

OEC is the gateway, as the article states above.  It is the "foot in the door"  that the Darwinian camp needs in order to make Evolution more acceptable to young, impressionable minds.  It is these kinds of competing influences that end up shipwrecking the faith of some people.  Not everyone exposed to the OEC/Evolutionist old earth arguments are persuaded, but there are some who are.   There many sitting on the fence regarding Christ and whether or not to accept Him.   But if the Bible can be demonstrated to be unreliable in one area, it stands to reason that it will also questioned in other areas, including the claims of Christ.   The potential for turning people away from the faith doesn't exist in the YEC model.  It exists when people attempt to prove that the claims of the BIble can't be trusted.

 

The articles above come from the American Science Affiliation and their statement of faith reads in part:  "We accept the divine inspiration, trustworthiness and authority of the Bible in matters of faith and conduct." http://network.asa3.org/?ASAbeliefs

 

This is important because it offers a qualifed statement about both the trustworthiness and the authority of God's word.  The Bible is trustworthy and authoritative where they choose to recognize such, but it is not authoritative or trustworthy in any and all matters it touches upon.   That should send up a red flag to any genuine follower of Jesus.   They have assumed upon themselves the authority to sit in judgement on the Scriptures and decide which parts of the Bible are true and which parts are not.

 

If the Bible can't be trusted in one place, it can't be trusted in at all.

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The Gospel is linked to a young creation and a literal interpretation of Genesis.  No one has ever blamed YEC for shipwrecking their faith.    But there are plenty of people who gradually fall away from the faith when they allow other competing influences into their lives.  Their fall from the faith didn't occur because of YEC, but because those who seek to tear down the faith of others.  

 

There are many people who claim to no longer be Christians because they were convinced that the Bible was false, that the entire narrative of Genesis 1-11 is a farce and its claims can't be trusted.  Numerous atheists on this board over the last ten years that I have been here have repeatedly pointed to the principles of Darwinism as the leading reasons why they rejected God and the Bible.  Those members who have been here at least as long as  I have  can also testify to that fact.  There is nothing about YEC that is a danger to faith.  But there are plenty of competing influences presented by those who reject a literal and faithful interpreation of Scripture that will destroy the faith of some people.

 

 

OEC is the gateway, as the article states above.  It is the "foot in the door"  that the Darwinian camp needs in order to make Evolution more acceptable to young, impressionable minds.  It is these kinds of competing influences that end up shipwrecking the faith of some people.  Not everyone exposed to the OEC/Evolutionist old earth arguments are persuaded, but there are some who are.   There many sitting on the fence regarding Christ and whether or not to accept Him.   But if the Bible can be demonstrated to be unreliable in one area, it stands to reason that it will also questioned in other areas, including the claims of Christ.   The potential for turning people away from the faith doesn't exist in the YEC model.  It exists when people attempt to prove that the claims of the BIble can't be trusted.

 

The articles above come from the American Science Affiliation and their statement of faith reads in part:  "We accept the divine inspiration, trustworthiness and authority of the Bible in matters of faith and conduct." http://network.asa3.org/?ASAbeliefs

 

This is important because it offers a qualifed statement about both the trustworthiness and the authority of God's word.  The Bible is trustworthy and authoritative where they choose to recognize such, but it is not authoritative or trustworthy in any and all matters it touches upon.   That should send up a red flag to any genuine follower of Jesus.   They have assumed upon themselves the authority to sit in judgement on the Scriptures and decide which parts of the Bible are true and which parts are not.

 

If the Bible can't be trusted in one place, it can't be trusted in at all.

 

I disagree insofar as I think YEC can positively be a stumbling block for people. I don't mean the bare doctrine per se as much as the 'science' that springs up around it. The reason is, the likelihood that such 'science' is going to survive in the face of what 99.99% of scientists think are the bare facts about the world is very small. You get someone who is zealous, sure that they can defeat those evolutionists or old earth types delve deeply into the science and realize the case is more difficult than they ever imagined. They are on the ground of expertise of these people, and have conjoined their faith with the ability to, on scientific grounds, defend their YEC stance. It's also the case that when you present seekers with the gospel tied up with all this extra ideology and scientific claims you put them in the position of needing to evaluate the scientific claims before being able to accept the gospel. So, when people start tying up YECS (young earth creationism plus an attendant science) with the gospel, I can see how it would be very damaging and difficult.

 

I think it's essential that people realize that the gospel is, ultimately, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and forgiveness of sins through these actions. It's possible to struggle with other claims and genuinely be a believer. It's possible to accept evolution and be a believer (whether or not others think that is a good idea, or even if it is the wrong position to take in the end). The truth of the gospel does not hinge on whether God created the world in a literal 6 24 hour days or whether God took a billion years, from our perspective. It does, however, hinge on Jesus having literally risen from the dead.

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Shiloh, your whole rant comes down to this statement...

 

But if the Bible can be demonstrated to be unreliable in one area, it stands to reason that it will also questioned in other areas, including the claims of Christ.   The potential for turning people away from the faith doesn't exist in the YEC model.  It exists when people attempt to prove that the claims of the BIble can't be trusted.

 

 

 

OEC does not make the Bible unreliable in one area, this is a strawman created by the YEC due to lack of a real argument against OEC.  The potential for turning people away from the faith exist more in YEC than the OEC model.  The YEC model requires people to check their brains at the door of the church and to ignore the obvious world around them.  YEC demands people choose between one possible interpretation of the creation account and science.  As the science for an old universe gets stronger and stronger as it is doing, people will be forced to choose between the 144 day creation interpretation or what is clear via science.  This has huge potential for turning people away from the faith.

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The Gospel is linked to a young creation and a literal interpretation of Genesis.  No one has ever blamed YEC for shipwrecking their faith.    But there are plenty of people who gradually fall away from the faith when they allow other competing influences into their lives.  Their fall from the faith didn't occur because of YEC, but because those who seek to tear down the faith of others.  

 

There are many people who claim to no longer be Christians because they were convinced that the Bible was false, that the entire narrative of Genesis 1-11 is a farce and its claims can't be trusted.  Numerous atheists on this board over the last ten years that I have been here have repeatedly pointed to the principles of Darwinism as the leading reasons why they rejected God and the Bible.  Those members who have been here at least as long as  I have  can also testify to that fact.  There is nothing about YEC that is a danger to faith.  But there are plenty of competing influences presented by those who reject a literal and faithful interpreation of Scripture that will destroy the faith of some people.

 

 

OEC is the gateway, as the article states above.  It is the "foot in the door"  that the Darwinian camp needs in order to make Evolution more acceptable to young, impressionable minds.  It is these kinds of competing influences that end up shipwrecking the faith of some people.  Not everyone exposed to the OEC/Evolutionist old earth arguments are persuaded, but there are some who are.   There many sitting on the fence regarding Christ and whether or not to accept Him.   But if the Bible can be demonstrated to be unreliable in one area, it stands to reason that it will also questioned in other areas, including the claims of Christ.   The potential for turning people away from the faith doesn't exist in the YEC model.  It exists when people attempt to prove that the claims of the BIble can't be trusted.

 

The articles above come from the American Science Affiliation and their statement of faith reads in part:  "We accept the divine inspiration, trustworthiness and authority of the Bible in matters of faith and conduct." http://network.asa3.org/?ASAbeliefs

 

This is important because it offers a qualifed statement about both the trustworthiness and the authority of God's word.  The Bible is trustworthy and authoritative where they choose to recognize such, but it is not authoritative or trustworthy in any and all matters it touches upon.   That should send up a red flag to any genuine follower of Jesus.   They have assumed upon themselves the authority to sit in judgement on the Scriptures and decide which parts of the Bible are true and which parts are not.

 

If the Bible can't be trusted in one place, it can't be trusted in at all.

 

"There are many people who claim to no longer be Christians because they were convinced that the Bible was false"

 

I cannot understand this.  Claiming to be a Christian then fell away for.... "Whatever Reason".   What in the WORLD???

 

To be a Christian is to have a Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

This is Tantamount to saying:  I was married for 15 years had 5 kids.... then one day, I discovered my wife didn't EXIST!!

 

It's Preposterous. 

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The Christian position must be that all truth is God's truth and that we have both general revelation (nature) and special revelation (the Bible) as sources of truth. ... Ultimately, our confidence in Scripture should not rest on having a complete harmony between science and the Bible because we simply do not know enough to complete the harmony. ...

 

 

THIS ^^^^^^

 

I could very well be wrong in being not a true believer in the young earth creation position, but I am not demanding that everyone believe just like I do or else just throw the Bible out the window either.

 

That, seems more like a threat than truth but I can understand why some might be uncomfortable thinking like I and some others do.  I'm not uncomfortable and it has not created a void or a faith

problem with or in God either.

 

My problems with Christianity have stemmed from and continue to stem from...well...Christians themselves.  I am sure we could all work harder at representing Christ and that is my biggest problem.

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The Christian position must be that all truth is God's truth and that we have both general revelation (nature) and special revelation (the Bible) as sources of truth. ... Ultimately, our confidence in Scripture should not rest on having a complete harmony between science and the Bible because we simply do not know enough to complete the harmony. ...

 

 

THIS ^^^^^^

 

I agree 100%, but why have a war between science and the Bible based on one possible interpretation.

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The Gospel is linked to a young creation and a literal interpretation of Genesis.  No one has ever blamed YEC for shipwrecking their faith.    But there are plenty of people who gradually fall away from the faith when they allow other competing influences into their lives.  Their fall from the faith didn't occur because of YEC, but because those who seek to tear down the faith of others.  

 

There are many people who claim to no longer be Christians because they were convinced that the Bible was false, that the entire narrative of Genesis 1-11 is a farce and its claims can't be trusted.  Numerous atheists on this board over the last ten years that I have been here have repeatedly pointed to the principles of Darwinism as the leading reasons why they rejected God and the Bible.  Those members who have been here at least as long as  I have  can also testify to that fact.  There is nothing about YEC that is a danger to faith.  But there are plenty of competing influences presented by those who reject a literal and faithful interpreation of Scripture that will destroy the faith of some people.

 

 

OEC is the gateway, as the article states above.  It is the "foot in the door"  that the Darwinian camp needs in order to make Evolution more acceptable to young, impressionable minds.  It is these kinds of competing influences that end up shipwrecking the faith of some people.  Not everyone exposed to the OEC/Evolutionist old earth arguments are persuaded, but there are some who are.   There many sitting on the fence regarding Christ and whether or not to accept Him.   But if the Bible can be demonstrated to be unreliable in one area, it stands to reason that it will also questioned in other areas, including the claims of Christ.   The potential for turning people away from the faith doesn't exist in the YEC model.  It exists when people attempt to prove that the claims of the BIble can't be trusted.

 

The articles above come from the American Science Affiliation and their statement of faith reads in part:  "We accept the divine inspiration, trustworthiness and authority of the Bible in matters of faith and conduct." http://network.asa3.org/?ASAbeliefs

 

This is important because it offers a qualifed statement about both the trustworthiness and the authority of God's word.  The Bible is trustworthy and authoritative where they choose to recognize such, but it is not authoritative or trustworthy in any and all matters it touches upon.   That should send up a red flag to any genuine follower of Jesus.   They have assumed upon themselves the authority to sit in judgement on the Scriptures and decide which parts of the Bible are true and which parts are not.

 

If the Bible can't be trusted in one place, it can't be trusted in at all.

 

"There are many people who claim to no longer be Christians because they were convinced that the Bible was false"

 

I cannot understand this.  Claiming to be a Christian then fell away for.... "Whatever Reason".   What in the WORLD???

 

To be a Christian is to have a Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

This is Tantamount to saying:  I was married for 15 years had 5 kids.... then one day, I discovered my wife didn't EXIST!!

 

It's Preposterous. 

 

 

Not every Christian believes in Eternal Security, some would argue that it is possible for one who was a Christian to choose to no longer be one.   There are some very good discussions on the topic on this website, search for OSAS as a starting point.

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The Christian position must be that all truth is God's truth and that we have both general revelation (nature) and special revelation (the Bible) as sources of truth. ... Ultimately, our confidence in Scripture should not rest on having a complete harmony between science and the Bible because we simply do not know enough to complete the harmony. ...

 

 

THIS ^^^^^^

 

I agree 100%, but why have a war between science and the Bible based on one possible interpretation.

 

 

 

I'm not having a war.  I don't have anything to prove... :noidea:

 

I cannot prove the Bible is true and no one can prove it is not true.  Science is not the enemy of God.  I figure we will all know one day anyway and in the meantime, no one can tell me I don't

believe in God if I don't agree with them 100%.  I cannot say for sure what I think is true regarding the earth...but I do believe God created it and everything else.

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The Gospel is linked to a young creation and a literal interpretation of Genesis.  No one has ever blamed YEC for shipwrecking their faith.    But there are plenty of people who gradually fall away from the faith when they allow other competing influences into their lives.  Their fall from the faith didn't occur because of YEC, but because those who seek to tear down the faith of others.  

 

There are many people who claim to no longer be Christians because they were convinced that the Bible was false, that the entire narrative of Genesis 1-11 is a farce and its claims can't be trusted.  Numerous atheists on this board over the last ten years that I have been here have repeatedly pointed to the principles of Darwinism as the leading reasons why they rejected God and the Bible.  Those members who have been here at least as long as  I have  can also testify to that fact.  There is nothing about YEC that is a danger to faith.  But there are plenty of competing influences presented by those who reject a literal and faithful interpreation of Scripture that will destroy the faith of some people.

 

 

OEC is the gateway, as the article states above.  It is the "foot in the door"  that the Darwinian camp needs in order to make Evolution more acceptable to young, impressionable minds.  It is these kinds of competing influences that end up shipwrecking the faith of some people.  Not everyone exposed to the OEC/Evolutionist old earth arguments are persuaded, but there are some who are.   There many sitting on the fence regarding Christ and whether or not to accept Him.   But if the Bible can be demonstrated to be unreliable in one area, it stands to reason that it will also questioned in other areas, including the claims of Christ.   The potential for turning people away from the faith doesn't exist in the YEC model.  It exists when people attempt to prove that the claims of the BIble can't be trusted.

 

The articles above come from the American Science Affiliation and their statement of faith reads in part:  "We accept the divine inspiration, trustworthiness and authority of the Bible in matters of faith and conduct." http://network.asa3.org/?ASAbeliefs

 

This is important because it offers a qualifed statement about both the trustworthiness and the authority of God's word.  The Bible is trustworthy and authoritative where they choose to recognize such, but it is not authoritative or trustworthy in any and all matters it touches upon.   That should send up a red flag to any genuine follower of Jesus.   They have assumed upon themselves the authority to sit in judgement on the Scriptures and decide which parts of the Bible are true and which parts are not.

 

If the Bible can't be trusted in one place, it can't be trusted in at all.

 

"There are many people who claim to no longer be Christians because they were convinced that the Bible was false"

 

I cannot understand this.  Claiming to be a Christian then fell away for.... "Whatever Reason".   What in the WORLD???

 

To be a Christian is to have a Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

This is Tantamount to saying:  I was married for 15 years had 5 kids.... then one day, I discovered my wife didn't EXIST!!

 

It's Preposterous. 

 

It is preposterous.  There are a lot of people who profess to be Christians but fall away. You can't fall away from a personal relationship with Jesus.   You can "fall away" from a mental assent to certain propositional truths.  There are many "believers" for whom that is the case.  They confuse faith with mental assent. They were religionists, but they never really made that full commitment to Jesus.  They were Christians in the sense that they ascribed to the Christian religion, but they were never really born again.

 

The marriage analogy is a good example of that. 

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