Do you ever think, "Why bother?"


(Phil) #1

Having been lurking around the evolution-Christianity debate for quite a few years, I find my interest waxes and wanes. Some on this forum and some of the related blogs seem to be consumed with the discussion. I follow it passionately for a while, then grow tired of seeing the same arguments made, and nothing changes. It then seems normal to ask, "Why bother?"
Personally, I come back for several reasons, including an inner need to have the truth heard, a sense of obligation to confront false teaching, and probably a little pride and desire to support my belief system, unfortunately. However, I think the thing that motivates me most to see change is the falling away from the church by some of my friends and friends of my children when they could not reconcile the teachings and attitudes of the local (leaning to YEC) church with the reality of the world.
Why do you follow these issues, and why are you concerned and passionate about them?


(Christy Hemphill) #2

I was most interested in the ancient near east culture/exegesis/biblical interpretation and inerrancy discussions. I pretty much ignored the science stuff. Then I started homeschooling my kids because we moved to Mexico and I realized how deeply the YEC worldview permeated almost all Christian homeschool material, so I started reading up a little on the science aspect too.

What I am passionate about is the ongoing battle in Evangelicalism to define the boundaries and the center, and what I feel is a recent push toward Fundamentalism in a number of areas. I see the science-faith discussion as one of the key fronts in which a power-struggle is playing out between conservative and progressive Evangelical voices. I think it is just part of my personality that I like to keep up with whatever people are arguing about, and theology/cultural contextualization of the gospel is for me the most interesting domain.


(Benjamin Pierce) #3

It’s a frustrating pursuit, to be sure. I often feel like Don Quixote.

Here’s the thing, though: I know the harm YEC arguments can do to Christian faith. I’ve seen kids turn their backs on Christianity based on being taught that “You either accept YEC, or you reject God.”

I can’t turn my back on that. I just can’t.


(sy_garte) #4

Like most people here, I want to see young and older Christians be fully able to accept modern science without feeling the need to give up their faith. I have not been a Christian all of my life, but was guided by the Spirit after reaching middle age. I think that the work being done by Biologos and others to offer an alternative to the YEC view of Christianity is the most important mission of our age. And while it often seems frustrating, all of these posts, discussions along with all of the other blogs, facebook groups, news articles, debates, and so on are working.

Perhaps its hard to see it from where we sit, but it seems like every day someone else testifies to coming to terms with evolution and their faith, and leaving the YEC worldview behind. Even some atheists and agnostics see that much of their rationale for discounting Christianity goes away after reading what we all say. The evidence for this success is everywhere, including in the increased number and intensity of attacks from both of the warring sides that flank either side of us.

This is a fight worth fighting, a fight for nothing less than the soul of humanity, the future of Christianity, and the glory of Christ. And we fight this fight, thanks to the internet, with our words, our patience, our understanding and our fellowship.

Perhaps, because I have only joined this movement (and it is a movement, though still a small one) in the past few years, I have not yet thought “Why bother”. For me there is nothing more important, more critical than bothering about spreading the Gospel in the way Biologos does. Praise God.


(Thomas) #5

It can be an enlightening topic, however when it comes to 90% of discussions regarding it, things just become a mess. You cannot change a made-up mind after all. Each person goes into any and all debates and discussions with their minds made up and they leave the exact same way. Nothing good comes from these discussions. People just dig their trenches and fight.

It’s all rather pointless. I used to get right into the fighting. But I learned that it really doesn’t change anything. As Jesus said: “You will always have the poor among you”… He didn’t mean just the financially poor…
The Bible also says to speak the truth and if it is not accepted, wipe the dust from your feet and move on. Yet you have to actually have the truth in order to do that… Which means you have to be honest with yourself first. You have to challenge your own views and honestly follow the argument wherever it leads.

Make up your own mind through honest searching, feeling the fear as your deepest beliefs are challenged, then walk away into the Sunset focusing on your own life and ignoring those who haven’t yet reached your position yet.

If you don’t, then you will eventually be driven mad by the deafening squabbling.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #6

@Find_My_Way

You are right, it is tough. But then I do love a challenge, and it is not only for those who do not accept evolution, but it is also for those who do not accept God.

If something is not tough, it really worthwhile. Faith and the Truth about God is not easy.


(sy_garte) #7

It often seems that way, and if your 90% figure is right, that still means that 10% of people can change their views. That’s not bad. Think of all the YECs who have come around to see the beauty of evolution, and keep their faith. Think of the atheists who were persuaded by the very facts they love, that God is real (Anthony Flew is the famous example, and I, not so famous, am another one.) Did one comment or post or book or article or argument persuade these people? Probably not. But if we stop trying, nothing will be accomplished. If we can indeed have a 10% success rate, then we are blessed. I think its worth it.


(Phil) #8

Encouraging words. I think that perhaps we get caught up in trying to prove a position through arguement, when perhaps the dialogue here Is more of a sharpening process as well as a opportunity to participate in a community that will not judge (well, maybe not judge as harshly). We can then accept those with whom we disagree without condensation.
I agree that you seldom can argue anyone into changing their mind, but I think you can open the path through which they will eventually reach their own conclusions.


(GJDS) #9

I think that becoming aware of other points of view and any background to such views is interesting and worth “bothering” - I enjoy robust discussions as these are most often made by people who have taken the trouble to think about the various topics.


(system) #10

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