Are Bible believing churches mostly filled with YEC?

(Jay Nelsestuen) #21

Well, I believe in a literal Adam, so no skin off my nose. :slight_smile:

Further, belief in inerrancy =/= YEC. I’m an inerrantist, but I have no qualms with accepting the earth’s great age and the evolution of life on earth; in my opinion, the Biblical text, while inerrant, leaves room for those things. You might disagree, but regardless, I am not in disagreement with anything in the statement of faith.

I do believe we’ve gone slightly off topic. This thread is not about me.


Hi Tabitha

I feel for you and your spouses’ dilemma. My thoughts: carefully review any prospective church’s doctrinal statements and have a look at the organizations they are promoting to the congregation. Doing that may give you an indication of how your husband’s old-earth views will be received.

Perhaps, if you both are brave, consider meeting with some of the leadership and find out if old-earth views will be accepted as one of the allowable options or instead seen as a position and your husband as things to be either “fixed” or viewed with suspicion. Sometimes it is better to find out things like this early in a “church dating” experience before you’ve invest lots of time.

Larry Schmidt

(Emily) #23

I haven’t had experience with this (thankfully). Although I couldn’t attend a church that taught YEC views. Just my two cents.

(Emily) #24

I pretty much agree, accepting an old earth and evolution. As far as a literal Adam and Eve I am not sure what I believe on that 100%. Although within an evolutionary framework, the belief that they were the first humans to have knowledge of sin, a relationship with God, and sin’s consequences, makes the most sense to me. I think Biologos has some articles on that.

(George Brooks) #25


[Question Revised to be more flexible on the question of the Flood]
What is his explanation for where the 2+ million terrestrial species came from after Noah’s Ark emptied its precious cargo onto a flood-swept plain?

(Lynn Munter) #26

Do old-earthers commonly believe in a plantary flood, in your experience?

(George Brooks) #27


I haven’t encountered any true “Old Earther Creationists” to be able to generalize. Of the participants here on BioLogos, who would you consider to be a true “Old Earther Creationist” ?

(Lynn Munter) #28

Depends on how it’s defined, I guess. How do you tell the “true” Scotsmen from those who are just confused?

Technically it could mean nearly everybody here, if you take it to mean the beliefs that the earth is old and God created everything. But it’s probably more commonly understood to mean the beliefs that the earth is old and God individually created or ‘poofed’ species of animals, particularly humans, onto it. I have no idea how many people hold to that specific view, on this site or off it, but I don’t think it’s no one, and I can think of at least a couple here that hold both to biblical inerrancy and a local flood.

Not only are you still attacking this planetary flood view without knowing if someone even holds it, but now you’re doing it through a third party who happened to volunteer some information. What gives?

(George Brooks) #29


I was asking Larry this question because he seems to have some detailed understanding of the third party’s views. As to your question regarding “the flood”, sometimes my fingers have a more conservative bent than my brain. I can easily re-word my original question to provide more flexibility:

Original Question:
"@Larry, What is his explanation for where the 2+ million terrestrial species came from after Noah’s Ark emptied its precious cargo onto a flood swept-planet?"

Revised Question:
"@Larry, What is his explanation for where the 2+ million terrestrial species came from after Noah’s Ark emptied its precious cargo onto a flood-swept plain?"

I’ll be sure to amend the question in the original posting as well.

For the purposes of this thread, I’m less interested in what kind of flood it might be than I am in hearing the position taken to explain the millions of modern-day terrestrial species. This “diagnostic” should be dwelled on more … for all the various forms of Creation.

Creationists are allowed to promulgate all sorts minutia-bound discussions about “information” and “impossible” molecular reactions and so forth (topics in which their expertise is sometimes dubious at best) - - while given a “free ride” on the most obvious problems of their interpretation - - millions of species with no explanation for how they got here!

(Jay Johnson) #30

This is often true of the ministers, but a church is more than just what is preached from the pulpit on Sunday mornings. In my experience, the problem shows up when lay leadership takes over – small groups, Sunday school classes, children’s and youth ministries …

(Lynn Munter) #31

Sigh. I am fairly sure that the whole point of a local flood is you only have to save the local animals.

But that’s a detail. I agree with you that ‘poofing’ species is a much less satisfactory explanation for…well, anything, really. And whether they all migrated out from Eden or from Ararat, you would expect to see certain obvious patterns of dispersal that simply aren’t reflected in the real world.

To me it has always seemed that the information argument makes the least sense—you copy some DNA and add a mutation to it, hey, look! New information! But what do I know?


I may not understand what you mean by the “information argument”. But as to “copy some DNA and add a mutation to it”, that is basically what happens when agronomy scientists use polyploidy to make new crop species. From what I’ve read, it has become incredibly routine. Of course, this emulates what nature has done with so many important food plants like corn. I’ve heard that it can be used to develop perennial varieties of annual species—which would revolutionize farming. (Imagine harvesting corn or soybeans from the same plants each fall.)

Polyploidy certainly sets the stage for even more mutation opportunities. But I will let the experts describe it better.

(George Brooks) #33


A sigh?

You seem disappointed that I am willing to discuss Old Earther-ism with or without a global flood.

The point of my question, and questions like it, are not to focus on the flood, but to focus on the ramifications of Biblical inerrancy in all its Creationist permutations.

I can only assume that you, also, would think this is useful.

(Lynn Munter) #34

The argument I have seen from some creationists that “natural processes cannot cause an increase of information!”

I don’t think I properly understand their logic, partly because, as you say, we see it happen all the time.

(Lynn Munter) #35

All right. That does help; hearing that you are fighting against inerrancy rather than for common descent (although you may well be doing both, of course) explains much of what I was getting hung up on.

Carry on then!

(George Brooks) #36


Yes, Lynn, I’m doing both.

The first thing is make sure the Creationists understand they have to defend the Entire position that Creationism forces them to have.

Then it is easier to promote Common Descent as a simpler and more credible answer.


I find that most of them don’t understand that logic at all—but they read it at their favorite Young Earth Creationist websites so they repeat it. In a way, it is easy to believe: information is a product of intelligence. It is wrong but it just seems like something only a brain could do. So when an “expert” reinforces it, that’s enough.

I always beg them to play around with a genetic algorithm, like the “2D car” at:

…so they can see how information and complex designs can come from simplicity and “randomness” without any built-in “intelligence.”

Of course, if they do bother with the genetic algorithm, they will insist that humans wrote the algorithm so they “implanted” intelligence into it—so they didn’t actually grasp how it works.

I even had a astrophysics PhD totally fail to grasp genetic algorithms.

(Lynn Munter) #38

Perhaps the rise of social media will help people make more sense of it. Why are sites like Twitter and Facebook so popular? It’s not because the average contribution to them is anything above average—there are lots and lots of posts which are just dumb. But everybody ‘likes’ or ‘reposts’ their favorites, and the collective decisions made end up being a superior filter for what people will find interesting or entertaining. (Factual is another story.) And because people are so well entertained, the sites keep growing and being used more.

Watch me skate out onto some thin ice here: apparently a recent political candidate took advantage of this by closely observing which of many Facebook ads did best with people, and basing future campaign messages on those messages. In this way, a person can look like they have a deep grasp of issues and current events, but really they just play a good game of guess’n’check. What looks like it must have been designed by intelligence is actually just selection at work.

Of course this has been the playbook of the demagogue since Greeks invented the word, but technology has enabled it to grow faster than we’re adapting. And it’s unlikely that we’ll get to rewind the clock, because the technique works, but people need to understand what’s going on.

They need to understand evolution and how evolution works. Forget germ theory and environmental protection (no! don’t actually forget them!) the real-world applications of evolutionary theory are right here, and important to the world of humans we coexist with.


Sorry, George, other than listening to a few STR Podcasts and poking around a bit on their website I don’t have anything like deep or detailed knowledge of his head. As my post said I wrote from memory of listening to podcasts. That being said, I am confident of what I wrote. Greg outlines broad positions and at times goes into some detail when answering caller questions. However, his specialized training seems to be in philosophy. Anyway, I ran a search of the STR website and in the few minutes i spent read that he seems to swing either way on the world-wide or local flood but no mention of the Ark or super-fast specie development (evolution) post flood. Perhaps a search of that term would show up something. I haven’t bothered doing so.

regards, Larry

(David Lee) #40

May I come at this from a slightly different angle?

Modern quasi-religious language… and its slipperiness.

Your original post talks of "Bible-believing churches"and “doctrinally sound”. Subsequent language is of “inerrancy”. Our evangelical churches, very sadly, have an unfortunate habit of using such language to demonstrate tribal loyalty within our own echo chamber, and to proclaim our superiority over “the other”. (I wish this weren’t so, but alas, it seems so…)

Sure, there are classic doctrines from the early church, such as the Trinity and Hypostatic Union, for which such technical language is important. But it is important here precisely because it so so finely nuanced, and it is used with almost clinical precision.

But the more modern instances of pseudo-technical language (“Bible-believing church”, “doctrinally sound”, “inerrancy”, etc.) are very different. They are actually very poorly defined, imprecise and lack any nuance. Humpty-Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland springs to mind: “When I use a word…”

With these modern examples, pause. Take stock. Unpick. Examine.

  • “Bible-believing church”. Well, what do we really mean by this? I mean, really mean? Examine the counter case. It implies that there are “them over there” in what we critically judge to be in a “Non-Bible-believing church”. On what specific basis do I pride myself to be “Bible-believing” and judge them to be “non-Bible-believing”? Why, really, do I feel the need to draw this us-versus-them distinction? Pin it down. Pin myself down. Do I really not have a log in my own eye as I point out the speck in theirs?

  • “Doctrinally sound”. What “doctrine” is included in our judgement of “them”, the presumably “unsound”? Which doctrines do we think matter? (And why?) Which doctrines do we think don’t matter? (And why?) Who defines “sound”? (And how? And on what basis?) And how does any of this marry up with the classic creeds almost universally agreed as ‘core’ across almost all denominations? (Apostles’; Nicene (modulo ‘Filoque Clause’!); Athanasian.)

  • “Inerrancy”. Another recent invention, unrelated to classic church doctrines. What do we really mean by that? (For instance, what might it mean to apply inerrancy to “the kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed”?) The Chicago Statement, which claims to be authoritative on “inerrancy”, itself seems rather confused in places.

For myself, whenever I encounter such terminology being used, I always try to strip away its religious “command and control” aspect of “us insiders versus those outsiders”; to get it pinned down in non-religious language.

It can help if one tries hard to avoid such terminology; instead, re-cast it into something specifically and deliberately non-religious.

Hope that helps.