I was also homeschooled through fifth grade, and YEC/ID books were the books that were available. But we also spent lots of time at the museum and library and watched PBS, and my parents weren’t militant young earth and they didn’t censor other materials. My pastor growing up was old earth. He liked the gap theory and that is what he taught us in junior high Sunday school. In high school, my mom who was an RN, used to read my biology text book because as she said, “They didn’t even know about most of this stuff when I was studying biology and organic chemistry in nursing school.”
I went off to college and took Biology at Wheaton. The professor spent a class talking about the various Christian approaches to origins and said he personally thought God used evolution and the world was very ancient. I thought that was interesting, but I didn’t think much about it. One of my friends was a geology major and she would argue the pants off anyone who suggested the earth was young, so by that point I was pretty convinced what I had learned as a kid about the age of the earth was completely suspect, but I honestly didn’t care that much.
My brother majored in physics at Taylor and came home and told my parents young earth creationism was a bunch of hooey and he could explain why. They basically said, “Well, go ahead and use your own brain, that’s fine with us. You’re the one studying science and your professors know more than we do. We like young earth creationism though, so we’ll stick with it.”
I got married and my husband had never been taught YEC and he and his brainy family thought it was beyond ridiculous, though evolution was a different thing. But his sister went to med school and she was like, “No evolution makes lots of sense.” We didn’t argue with her, but we were still a little skeptical.
For me the “crisis” that shifted my perspective on how to approach the Bible was not instigated by science, it was secular feminism. I was in grad school. The entire department was female professors. I was studying discourse analysis and sociolinguistics and a big part of what we were learning centered around analyzing how power dynamics are established and maintained through language use and culture. I also had classes that focused on anthropology and cross-cultural communication which really opened my eyes to how differently people experience the world. The narrative that Christianity is a tool to oppress women and maintain unjust sexist systems was very salient. So, I read thousands of pages of conservative complementarian theologians and Evangelical feminist theologians trying to deal with the cognitive dissonance I felt from growing up in a complementarian denomination where women were definitely kept in their place by certain ideas of “biblical womanhood” and the new information about systemic sexism and the construction of race and gender that made lots of sense intellectually and experience-wise.
Those thousands of pages on women and the church helped me understand in a much deeper way the idea of cultural contextualization of Scripture, the exegetical process, the idea of a redemptive hermeneutic, and the concept of narrative theology. I unpacked my baggage and rebuilt my worldview for a good five years or so.
All that to say, I had done that hard work by the time I started reading BioLogos white papers when they first started the website. I was really only interested in the Bible interpretation ones. Since my approach to Scripture had already been challenged and overhauled, nothing I found there was particularly troubling, just thought-provoking and informative.
Then we moved to Mexico and I had to start teaching my kids, and all the homeschool curriculum was YEC and anti-evolution, so I decided I better figure out how I was going to approach evolution. I read Falk’s Coming to Peace with Science and so did my husband. So we kind of felt like we had been lied to by all the anti-evolution folks, but it seemed like a no-brainer when all the evidence was laid out for us. I kept reading BioLogos articles to try to become less ignorant about the science I missed growing up, but I’m still really most interested in the Bible interpretation aspects of it all.