Take 2 on posting this
I watched some recent episodes on Rhett and Link’s Youtube podcast channel Earbiscuits. All four videos in their faith “deconstruction” are helpful to get all the background info. It has the story of them growing up in a North Carolina Baptist YEC church. They grew up in evangelical fundamentalism with much of the standard beliefs and culture that entails. Rhett and Link were heavily involved in CRU (Campus Crusades), mission trips, etc. Rhett’s video describes their move to California and ongoing doubts regarding Christianity. I would summarize it as believing in EC, receiving inaccurate information from friends and family about evolution as he understood it, and pondering the literal Adam/Eve creation story to see if it makes sense figuratively as so much is connected to that story. It seems to me he took the same level of scrutiny to the more central Christian teachings of historical evidence for Jesus and the Resurrection, accuracy of the Bible, and eventually reaching the conclusion that Jesus existed as a person but essentially that Christianity is built on a house of cards.
On a personal note, I watched these maybe a week ago and was already in a rabbit hole of atheist videos online encountering arguments I hadn’t heard before. Watching Rhett’s story was very painful as that’s kind of what I’ve always been taught. I come from a very similar background in so many words believing that YEC was for “faithful” Christians and everybody who said otherwise was seriously confused at best. There was no one answer or apologetic video that got me out of this spiral than perhaps the obvious revelation that doubt itself isn’t a terrible thing. It’s somewhat neutral. I think that hiding your head in the sand to science might work for some, but it’s very dangerous when you realize the cognative dissonance. Certainty itself is an idol. I want to keep an open mind, but at what point are you so “open” agnosticism is the only “answer?”
So, here’s the actual question: Is there any legitimacy to the claim that EC leads to atheism? One perspective is that such an accusation even if true has nothing to do with whether God used evolution or not. In my limited research of atheist videos, science led them away from God in their own words. If God created science, why does it betray us? In talking with a Muslim in the ID community I met online, I received a thoughtful reply “Anything and everything could lead people away from God, so science isn’t unique or special in that regard. Art, philosophy, work, relationships, etc. (anything you can think of) could also lead people away from God. But on the other hand, all those things could also lead people towards God. There is potential for good and bad in everything we pursue.”
So, I am looking into what Biologos has to say and there is certainly a wide variety of opinions on here. The simple answer is that of course God could have used evolution as He is all powerful. Getting into questions of why God does one thing over another misses the point of Job though. I just got through an article on here from a very honest individual wrestling with all the theological implications EC implies. I largely agree with how significant they are and because change scares me I might be ok with never reading another article about evolution, but that sounds like a cult-member being taught to block “outsider” info. Honestly, an eternal conscious hell is so much more a stumbling block (as it seems to be a core doctrine these days) than whether God used evolution or not. For that reason, I’ve been looking into annihilationism. Maybe that makes me theologically liberal now, but putting yourself in the narrowest possible box of Christianity isn’t helpful. Anyway, I’m getting off topic.
I’ve found a couple articles on Biologos that talk about how science relates to faith, but not quite the answer I’m looking for. There very well may be a post on this forum that has similar thoughts. We’ll see how this goes, but I am interested in hearing your responses (hopefully without the theological debate).