A few thoughts…

I was taught from childhood to believe in Young Earth Creationism. And until recently, I was still a staunch YEC. My views have changed after devoting myself to months of studying the biblical text, reading various books and related literature, and the views of mainstream science. The reason I was a YEC was because I believed that’s what the Bible taught. I now am convinced that Genesis 1 is talking about a functional, not material, beginning. John Walton has been very influential in this for me and his Lost World books.

Arriving at this position has been somewhat freeing for me, as I always believed evolution and the Bible were at odds. I believe the Bible is the word of God, so my commitment has always been to what that book is saying. Now I don’t really see that as an issue. However, there are now many other questions I’m dealing with, with really no one to talk to about them. This has been very weighty for me, and this shift in my theology has been something I never could’ve imagined. I haven’t shared it with many people yet… I’m a member of a conservative reformed baptist church, and I don’t think anyone there holds to theistic evolution. I did talk to my pastor about it and he was very gracious and loving, and overall supportive of my new views.

I guess I just needed a place to empty some of my thoughts. My faith has definitely been tested in this and it’s been a hard season of life for me. I’m sure I’m not alone in this type of journey, going from a YEC to now believing in theistic evolution. There are still many things im trying to work out, but I guess for now, being that this is my first post here, I’ll leave it at that.

Looking forward to some edifying and uplifting conversation here.

Adam

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Welcome! You have come to the right place. You will find many people in a similar place. You are not alone in going through the process of shifting from YEC to something different. You are not alone in feeling isolated and different in your church community. It is great to have you here, and please feel free to post your questions one at a time. It often takes a long time to “work things out.” The world keeps turning even if some questions are unresolved, don’t stress about it and give yourself time and space to try out new perspectives and see how they fit.

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Welcome to the forum! You are not alone. I have had similar feelings, as I was raised YEC and held that view until sometime in the last 5 or 6 years. It is strange to simultaneously feel a sense of peace and freedom in not seeing Genesis as being “at war” with science anymore, while also, as you indicate, dealing with even bigger questions that have opened up as the result of a faith shift. For me it has been a time to really ask myself what my faith is truly based on and why. I’m glad your pastor was gracious toward you, and hope you’ll find some helpful conversations here.

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Welcome! I hope your journey is not too rough! God was gracious to me in mine, and there are still plenty of folks that I am not free to share with. My wife is well acquainted with God’s sovereignty and providence, so when I explained the science to her (not hardly that I am an expert!), she was fine with it. We have been both on board with the antiquity of the earth and the cosmos for a long time, but I have only fairly recently (ca. three and a half years ago) come to recognize evolutionary science. I had been an OEC for a long time (decades) before that.

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Welcome! I too had similar concerns, and even after I came to the understanding I currently hold of evolution, remained silent in a largely YEC church community. Once I decided to “come out of the closet” and voice my different understanding of early Genesis, I found that freeing, and interestingly, found it was no big deal. Of course, others have had a more traumatic experience with their church communities. One thing I notice, is that seldom does anyone want to discuss evolution with me, so perhaps they are a bit uncomfortable with the subject even though I am not.

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Thank you all for the replies and the kind welcome!

I do have one question- is there a particular view of Genesis that is the “majority view” on this site? As I mentioned, John Walton’s functional view of Genesis 1 and archetypal view of Adam & Eve would be my interpretation as well. Are there many others who share in this? Or perhaps a more broad Framework View?

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Welcome aboard.

I don’t think anyone has ever done a survey so there is no way to tell what a majority view would be. My guess would be a whole bunch of different views. And remember that there are many more people that only read the posts so the posts you do see would only represent a minority of the people here.

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You’ll see John Walton’s name mentioned a lot in here and he’s spoken at BioLogos Conventions. I’m not sure if he’s been a guest speaker on the podcast though or if I’m just remembering him on the BL YouTube videos I’ve seen. There are many people who believe that Adam and Eve are purely fictional people and are merely archetypal. I fall into the mythicized history camp and more influenced by Pete Enns though I came into Pete Enns work only a few years ago and I’m not 100% what his current position is. I’m moving through decades of work in a non linear way hopping around and like many his opinions change over time. But I’m also not against the archetypal and they are purely literary devices either. Only thing I’m against is reading their story as a purely inerrant historical and autobiographical narrative.

If you ever do a keyword search on the forums here for Adam you’ll see a few beliefs.

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There isn’t one interpretation to rule them all around here, but lots of people like Walton’s idea about functional and material origins and temple inauguration. And lots of people take the framework view as obvious. I would say what ties most of the people in the “BioLogos network” together is more an approach to Scripture than specific interpretive conclusions drawn using that approach. The approach is trying to read the Bible in light of its historical and cultural context with the assumption that the original audience would have probably drawn some very different inferences than us about the meaning of the texts based on their shared cultural context with the authors. So we need to try to get inside their worldview and mental environment to really understand it ourselves. There is also a lot of appreciation for what is called “divine accommodation” and a lot of trying to avoid “concordism.” Divine accommodation is the idea that God accommodated the worldview of the people he was speaking to on things that were peripheral to his message, he did not correct mistaken views of science. Corcordism is the attempt to make everything in the Bible “concord” or match up with history and scientific findings, and it is a hallmark of YEC and OEC, but they take different approaches to it. They either see the Bible in scientific findings (like thinking deep sea aquifers are the “waters of the deep” of the OT), or they think the Bible teaches history and science (like the people who try to find geologic evidence to support the global flood) Some non-concordists go even further with divine accommodation and say than in addition to ancient science, God accommodated things like polygamy, tribal warfare, the belief in many gods, rampant slavery and misogyny. He just tried to push his people further on a cultural trajectory toward his justice and righteousness. (This is called a redemptive-historical or redemptive trajectory hermeneutic)

I think there is an overall respect for biblical scholarship (and Walton is a well-known OT scholar), but there are other scholars who focus on different nuances of the Genesis account or the ANE cultures.

ETA: I wasn’t sure if by “site” you meant the BioLogos website and published articles or the open forum so I answered about the BioLogos website. The open forum has participants ranging from atheist/agnostic to YEC to other religions, so you never know what views people will promote.

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