Continuing the discussion from My Trip to the Ark Encounter:
Hi Jim (@jstump),
For many, many years I have operated on the assumption that YE was the one theory that a Christian could get behind. Not having a degree in anything physically scientific and being suspicious of the secularizing tendencies of our culture it was easy to hear just enough YE argumentation to assure me that, if I did have the right expertise and if I came at things from a “Christian” perspective, I would find for myself that the YE view would make the most sense of the data and that my YE-based faith need not be shaken.
In recent years, however, I have become more interested in the topic as my kids have started getting into high school. In doing more research to help them and others in our youth group with the question of evolution, which is wrongly posed by teachers as necessarily God-nullifying, I have come to see that there are other potentially legitimate ways of understanding God’s creation of the universe. I myself am trying to take my time coming to absolute conclusions because I realize my limitations, and I find myself processing the claims of all: YE, Ancient Creation w/o evolution, Intelligent Design, Theistic Evolution, and everything in between from the standpoint that we need to be humble as we attempt to unravel what God has done and what has happened in the past.
At the same time I have come to the conclusion that no matter which theory gets us closer to the truth of how things happened, there is no situation where believing in one or another puts us in a position to have to question God’s existence. Philosophically there is no ground we need to give to atheism, and the fact that we have is largely our own fault.
So I fully expect to see Ken Ham, Hugh Ross, Michael Behe, and Francis Collins around God’s throne one day. My concern, however, is that there will be some who might have joined us except for our propensity for in-fighting. I’ve read a fair amount by people from each point of view, and watched interviews of the authors on Youtube, but what I have found the most instructive, and at the same time most disturbing, have been debates between proponents of each. I found the YE crowd to be especially insulting and unkind, and I have had to continually remind myself to listen to their perspective thoroughly if what I truly wanted to seek was truth and not to dismiss their ideas just because they treated their brothers in Christ so badly.
For a long time I have found representatives of the other views to be more patient with one another as they discussed and debated, often taking the high road when an inappropriately rude comment or judgment came their way. It was partly this even-handed expression of your belief in Theistic Evolution that made it comfortable for me to peruse Biologos in my search for truth. Since “Liking” your page on Facebook several months ago (somewhat of a risk for someone from certain Church circles), I’ve seen Biologos posts show up nearly daily on my feed, and I have often opened them eagerly to see what you might have for me to consider that day. Still unsure of evolution itself, early on I used to regularly “Share” your posts to my page for my believing and unbelieving friends to see and also consider if they had more to do with the idea that God and science aren’t actually opposed to each other, or like topics. I’m still grateful for the ways you have stretched and challenged me, and for all the fascinating articles about history and philosophy as well as science.
Lately, however, it seems the tone has changed significantly. It’s likely due to the opening of Ark Encounter since so many articles seem to be centered on that, and perhaps its publicity has caused YE proponents to lash out at you or your organization, emboldened by their new, YE-affirming Mecca? I don’t honesty know. What I do know is that Biologos’ own stance has now shifted to the negative as well. I actually see very little to object to in your article here, but did you realize that this posts on Facebook with the Subtext “The obsessive focus on “realism” at the Ark Encounter only highlights the absurdity of their scientific claims.”? Or that in the text under the picture you call the YE perspective “contrived,” and insinuate that they are not serious? Isn’t there a better way to promote your view and to express your concerns over the ramifications of the YE view and their parks than this? Why does it seem that so many Biologos articles are using insulting and aggressive, anti-YE language lately?
I haven’t tuned out the YE argument because of the behavior of its proponents, and I’ll keep considering TE as well because I’m looking for truth. I do, however, hope that Biologos will remain a God-honoring source for truth in how it also honors its brothers and sisters in Christ.
Thanks for listening,