Interesting blog by a Christian Apologist

Randal Rouser has long held the position of an old earth, though do not know if he is completely in the EC mindset, and in his blog today states emphatically that YEC is harmful to faith. Interesting to also read the comments.
Do you tink the time is at hand to bluntly say YECism is wrong, or should we take a softer stance? Any other thoughts?


I agree with everything he says. It is a big issue.
However i am no fan of simply lashing out at YEC and it’s members. It’s very difficult for people to suddenly have their whole worldview shaken to the core.

I’d say we denounce the truth of it. But we try our best to help the people understand that it’s not the end of faith. And just be comforting in general.


This guy is welcome to the battle, but he is a johnnie come lately. I and loads of other Christians have been bluntly saying that YEC is wrong for over 30 years, and I have been criticizing young-earth theories even when I was a YEC as far back as 1979 when my first Creation Research Soc. Quarterly article, “Can the Canopy Hold Water?” attacked the physics of a water vapor canopy which was all the rage among YECs back then. It took ten years, but that article made top YECs move away from that idea.

For some information on me and on data showing YEC wrong see

I have posted on my blog a way for Christians to have a historically and scientifically accurate view of early Genesis.—I can’t stand the accommodational approach that is a surrender to the atheists, so historicity and scientific accuracy has been my life’s goal. I would suggest reading this first, and working up on my blog to see an interpretation of early Genesis that doesn’t violate either science or the scripture.

He has a point, but how that will work out on a personal level will depend on context. I would love to see more Christian leaders normalize EC, but that can be difficult – some might rather wait until we reach more of a “tipping point” as far as popular support goes.

I also think there are a lot of factors that go into shaking a freshman’s faith, and YEC might be a strong one, but there are other things at play. I’ve seen how Ken Ham and others have been quick to blame “evolution” for all the evils in the modern world, and so I want to be careful about making the same mistake and pinning too much on YEC views. In many cases they’re also tied up with culture wars, Christian nationalism, purity culture, overzealous apologetics, or any number of popular Christian teachings that expect the wrong things from the Bible (or from God himself).


@gbob, I think he has been at it awhile, if you read the earlier article he referenced, but the difference seems to the directness and the conversation centering on how the YEC position hurts faith and the gospel rather than arguing the science, or even the theology, although those continue as side issues. And re-reading it, he does seem pretty committed to EC.
And @Laura, I agree that those other factors are big players, as outlined in such books as You Lost Me. In fact, I do not see a real difference in numbers of kids staying in the church who do not go to college vs. those who do. That would be an interesting study: college vs. trade schools vs. no post- high school training as regards church attendance.


Here’s an article with a mixed response to that question. I’d be interested to hear what you think:

Yeah, that would be interesting. Thanks for the link, @Randy. I wonder if that takes into account the fact that Christians are more likely to be educated at Christian colleges (accredited or not) and seminaries. I’ve certainly seen all kinds of people leave/stay in the faith – homeschoolers, Christian schoolers, public schoolers, college educated, etc. It is unfortunate to see education discouraged out of fear of faith loss, as that can be an anti-intellectual way to approach it.


Interesting article, obviously a complex issue with social factors interacting with religious beliefs. It goes along with something I read that in the USA, the blue collar working class is the most unchurched group around. I am sure that varies by community and geographic area, but is certainly true in my church, as when I look around almost everyone in Sunday School has been to college or if not has graduated to a manage level type position. The manager of the oil change place may be in church, but the guys in the pit are not.
As the article stated, church attendance is a luxury. Note that this is not necessarily reflecting belief, but is only its expression in church going.

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it almost seems that we’re back in the Victorian age, like the musical My Fair Lady, With Alfred P Doolittle, who said that he had to get married because he was now respectable and rich. There is also a huge gap between the rich and the poor like there was back then. Perhaps the church can also provide help for the gap in society where we take care of the poor like they did back then. Remember the song, “Get me to the Church On Time”?

It seems to me that BioLogos has been bluntly saying YEC is wrong from the beginning. It is wrong. We tell people that it’s wrong every day. But, as Totti alluded, there is a difference between persuasion and lashing out. It’s not always easy, especially when YEC defenders resort to distortions and half-truths to dismiss obvious evidence. To my mind, God is the ground of all truth, so when people disrespect the truth to “defend” Christianity, I see it as an insult to the Christ whom they think they’re glorifying. They probably see me the same way when I speak of evolution as “true,” so here we are.

Can dialogue take place when the partners can’t even agree on a common set of facts to discuss? I don’t know, but what other choice do we have but to bear the insults and keep trying?

Here’s the view from the YEC end of the spectrum, which Joel (The Think Podcast) Settecase echoed on Rauser’s blog post:

Today’s generation is indoctrinated from a young age to believe in evolution and millions of years through the secular media and the public school system (85–90% of students from church homes attend public schools). They are telling our young people that they cannot trust the Bible because science has proven it false. It is these people who are driving youth away from the Christian faith because they aren’t getting solid answers from their churches and parents. So, of course young people are going to see a contradiction between much of the modern “science” (really historical science interpreted through the lens of naturalism and atheism) they’ve been taught and the teachings of the Bible! But sadly very few youth leaders, pastors, and parents are dealing with this indoctrination. Very few are equipping students with the tools they need to defend the Christian faith against these ideas of millions of years and evolution. That’s why AiG is working so hard to equip the church to answer the questions that young people have!

Now, here’s the view from the other end of the spectrum, a survey of incoming college freshmen at It’s a little dated but still pertinent.

One important question that intrigues us is: How do people become secular? We asked the students about family background and how they were raised. Almost half the Secular group (49 percent) reported that they had attended religious services at least monthly when young. Only 28 percent were raised in irreligious families and never attended services. So we can conclude that the great majority of the Secular group comprises the “deconverted.”

What, then, are the causes of this alienation from religion? Many conservative religionists have posited that higher education itself undermines faith and is the major cause of alienation from religion. We explored the differences among the worldview groups as to the courses of study they were following. Perhaps surprisingly, there was no statistical difference between the patterns of choices of academic majors between the Religious and Secular worldview groups.

Not just this survey, but others indicate no real connection between college and “deconversion.” As for the AiG official line, notice that HALF of the secular group came from homes that attended church at least once a month. They didn’t leave the faith because they were ignorant of AiG apologetics.

Glenn, this is a great piece that everyone should read. Well done. This was telling:

It appeared that the more I questions I raised, the more they questioned my theological purity. When telling one friend of my difficulties with young-earth creationism and geology, he told me that I had obviously been brain-washed by my geology professors. When I told him that I had never taken a geology course, he then said I must be saying this in order to hold my job. Never would he consider that I might really believe the data. Since then this type of treatment has become expected from young-earthers. I have been called nearly everything under the sun but they don’t deal with the data I present to them.


Very true. But I think that BioLogos and those who avoid confrontation like me for the most part have focused on it being scientifically wrong and theologically wrong but this article calls it out by somewhat gently saying it is morally and ethically wrong to teach that position, as it pushes people away from Christ. In a sense, it goes all Ken Ham on YEC.
Certainly, that is nothing new, as that position has been taken by many here as well as elsewhere on the internet, and I have expressed those feelings myself, but I think the difference is in emphasis.

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I think we can’t say its morally or ethically wrong unless we are certain of conscious deception.

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HA! :laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:

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How about if we think the disinformation is promoted to counterbalance what YEC advocates think is merely the reigning paradigm of disinformation? I guess your point still stands.

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So here’s a funny story that isn’t totally related to this thread, but I’m going to post it here anyway.

I was out for tacos last night with some people who work here in Mexico with the same organization and a friend was asking about my summer and various travels. So I mentioned I had been in CA working on a curriculum project (for BioLogos) and I told her a little about the goals of Integrate without going into too many details about exactly what science we were trying to help students integrate with the Christian faith. A little later in the conversation, she asked something like, “So have you heard of AIG, they are interested in helping kids integrate science and faith too.” So I tried to tactfully say that I didn’t really use AIG materials because I thought they were wrong about a lot of science and I just didn’t believe that you could calculate the age of the earth from adding up genealogies and stuff like that. The conversation turned to something else, but like ten minutes later, she looked at me and said, “Okay you said you don’t agree with AIG, so I just have to ask–Does that mean you are a…(uncomfortable pause) FLAT EARTHER?”


I almost wanted to say, “Oh, no I fell off the OTHER side of the slippery slope.”

I guess her daughter’s piano teacher in SC was trying to convert her to flat earthism because her son just went to a conference blah, blah, blah and it was the true biblical stance. I said it was nonsense, and she looked relieved. But I’m not quite sure what to do with that conversation. Definitely took an unexpected turn.


How funny! Great set up and punch line, and even true.

LOL! Probably the choices were down to “flat earther” or “atheist” and you clearly weren’t an atheist, so…

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I guess we tend to forget that for every slippery slope we may be on there is a slope on the other side too in the opposite direction!

Did she pursue it any farther to find out just … what it is that you actually think, then?

No, I was happy to talk about how crazy flat earthers were for a while.

You realize, don’t you, that the entire 10 minute interval between those questions was [probably] fluff while she was furiously thinking how to find out if you were … a flat earther!

How many polite and “filler” conversations do we all have while our minds are busy dwelling on the points we would really like to get to. Sorta like the “real meeting” happening in smaller discussions out in the parking lot after the scheduled meeting has disbursed. What deferential and “considerate” games we all play!