Generating the "yes, yes" response: Dale Carnegie and talking to antievolutionists in a local neighborhood (?)

“I cannot live with or without you”
—U2, 1987

Sometimes I feel so distant from antievolutionists mentally at this point as a historian of Enlightenment science at age 48 that I forget mercy.

But I forget we are siblings in Christ.

This “in Christ” thing is a mystery that transcends what can be communicated in BioLogos post, and the best I can do, as a single that lives alone, is sit in my condo in solitude with God at night and wonder what is happening to neighborhood evangelism. In a polarized nation that is getting more polarized by the day.

I have come to realize that I lack mercy for those who didn’t have the education and exposure and time that I have had. These factors are what create divergence. And alienation.

Including from siblings in Christ.

What is it with this alienation deal? It started the Civil War between North and South.

To which Lincoln said, “Let us not forget the better angels, those mystic chords of memory” that bound us once together, or something like that I should remember.

Anyway, sitting alone in all that silence in my condo pushed me to listen to Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Carnegie makes this point about getting people to say “yes, yes” to draw strangers to you.

So here is what I think I can get antievolutionist pastors in my neighborhood to say “yes, yes” to…

The Great Commandment

The Great Commission

Becoming all things to all people in order to save some

Not putting stumbling blocks in nonbelievers’ way as they move toward the Gospel, as some once wanted to demand circumcision

the need to be “in the world, but not of the world” as salt and light

that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance

I think this will open up the possibility of talking about siblings in Christ who have lost their way in evangelism, as I believe the Discovery Institute has. That will require a proof adroitly delivered.

If you have any thoughts about how to begin a conversation with pastors to generate this “yes, yes” common ground thing, I am thinking of beginning a letter writing effort that will lead to face to face meetings during their office hours. Including pastors of Dallas’s urban megachurches that invite Discovery to come speak. But not first.

I am thinking of small church pastors in small town environments first.

If I fail to get a hearing with the latter, I will have to go back to the drawing board.

Discovery began as an effort in the early 1990s to respond to Richard Dawkins and the Inherit the Wind stereotype. But I think by the year 2000 it started to lose its way.

These Dallas pastors are super nervous American Christian youth are going down the moral tubes.

They need mercy. And truth. I suppose it will all have to be a work of the Spirit.

I need a hobby to get my mind off this polarization topic, but it is hard without a wife.



Good thoughts.

Maybe talk about some of the various studies that say one of the main issues causing young people to walk away is the perceived tension between faith and science. You can pull in your own experience with college students.

I notice how this equates walking away from Christianity with “going down the moral tubes.” This is is the consequence of being taught an authoritarian morality rather than a morality based on good reasons. But what do they care? If their lives go to hell then maybe they will snap out of it and trade in their rationality for bind faith.

Dear Josh,
I think a good place to start is read the Bible with an emphasis on what Jesus and the prophets said about the priests. Did Jesus try to change the minds of the priests? No, he showed the people His mercy. My friend who intruded me to my wife spent his life trying to convince priests and bishops to abandon their non-biblical attitudes. All he got for his efforts was conflict. Not one said “Your right, the priests have gone astray again.”

Priests and ministers have too much to lose to admit that their life is sham. The more successful path in, my opinion, is to talk with those who have walked away from the church and find out why, without trying to teach them your belief. I think you will find this path more fulfilling that beating your head against the wall with ministers and priests.

Jesus said: “Seek and ye shall find.” The corollary to this Spiritual Law is that if you do not seek, you will not find. If a person in is defending their faith or lack of faith, they are not open to seeking a new path. I spend my life dropping hints to the people around me, and after a some time, people have come to me asked “What did you mean when you said…?” becuase they see how I live and how I treat people. “They will know you are Christian by your love.” Don’t wear your religion on your sleeve. And just pray for those who do not ask or question. “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.” Don’t argue with them.
Best Wishes, Shawn

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