Question about communication habits re.these topics

I am trying to learn how often people interact face-to-face or over the phone about these science and religion topics. Do you meet people in your local neighborhood to talk about these things or is it mainly through online or Zoom sessions that you engage others?

I get the impression we are very spread out. And that a lot of people in our churches aren’t concerned with these issues enough to spend time really interacting in their busy lives, so fortunately we found each other on forums like this. Of course you might be part of an ASA chapter perhaps, but how many of those are there? Few in the South.



I do speak of these things face-to-face with a close friend of mine from church. Of course we speak of lots of other stuff - so “science and faith” aren’t usually our main topics, and when they are - we already think alike on these things. So there isn’t much to discuss since we are already "PLM"s (to use Elizabeth Oldfield’s venacular - ‘People Like Me’). There are others at church who probably aren’t necessarily "PLM"s to me on this particular topic - but I’m guessing most of them would be if or when it ever comes up.

This forum is its own venue and setting - and comes with a lot more “NLM” (Not Like Me) participants, which is a healthy and good thing too in its own setting. Face-to-face is good (better in many ways) - but also maybe suffers some in other ways. Each of these comes with its own particular advantages.


Sort of the same. Living in semi-rural central Texas, I would have to say there is only a couple of guys who share my view on things that I know of, and both are a little reclusive, There are probably a lot more who do, but just lie low. Or maybe I am just delusional. There are a bunch who are not YEC, but are not really sure or really care what they believe as to specifics on origins. Fair number of ID and of Hugh Ross fans. They also pretty much stay silent most of the time on origins issues.


As an acquaintance once noted, online he can’t hit people he gets mad at. :+1:


Maybe it is easier on line because people are expecting a response? face to face you are never 100% sure whether the conversation is welcome or not. I know that within my church congregation there is quite a wide diversity of both knowledge and dogma but, unless the topic comes up within the context of worship it never arises at all. Let’s admit it, the conversations over the end of service cuppa are basically social not theological.

And outside church? Again, unless the subject comes up in conversation from someone else I am reluctant to impose my views. We have a group of JWs who stand on the edge of the Market where I trade, but they do not approach me and my customers do not seem to take any notice of them. Most people know I am a Christian but that is as far as their interest goes. There are exceptions, of course, but in general I feel my witness there is to show that my faith is practical and not verbal.



That’s a great point, with the exception of people who drop into forums just to hammer home their views. A great example is how in the U.S. pro-self-defense people will drop into anti-gun forums and unleash all their cherished arguments, or how people who want universal health care will seek out pro-life forums and do the same. We’ve had some examples here of YECers who come not to actually engage but to tell everyone else how wrong they are!

I’ve experienced one exception, at a church where a new pastor was trying to guide the congregation back on track after the previous pastor had been found to be having an affair with the church secretary – though in a way that wasn’t even an exception, it was just that social talk for that congregation had become theological due to the circumstances; once things were back on track the theology talk faded except for right after the adult Sunday School because the pastor threw in outrageous examples from church history to illustrate points plus had a knack for shocking people with theological humr to drive points home.

Who was it who said to preach the Gospel at all times, and use words when necessary? I think my conservation work is my “preaching”, and indeed every now and then someone will ask why I put in so much hefty labor and I talk about Eden and how God made us to tend the Earth as a garden, and depending on responses share the Gospel with words (also depending on my psychological status; personal evangelism and anxiety disorder make an undependable pair).


I believe it was Francis of Assisi

“Preach the Gospels everyday & only if you have to…use words.”

He also said: “I have sinned against my brother the ass.”

1 Like

i find it really interesting that whenever i am at church i am always ready and willing to chat about these kinds of topics that we find on forums like this one. However, generally that doesnt seem to be the case with those i talk too at church. They mainly seem interested in sitting in a church pew listening to the other boring stuff! :wink:

For example, a few sabbaths ago, i sat down next to a retired pastor and began to engage in the exciting stuff we discuss on these forums…it didnt last long before i found myself listening to an old fart harp on about his missionary experiences and how many islanders had been baptised to Christ in the last few decades…my eyes tend to glaze over when i hear “30,000 islanders are baptised in the largest revival in history” (that kinds of stuff). I am deeply suspicious of why so many 3rd world country people get baptised into Christianity at these revivals…are they offering them free acommodation and meals? Surely masses of that size cant all be genuinely converted in a single campaign can they?

peole at this point might be getting a little bemused at the sort of Christian i present as…one the one hand i seem so fundamentalist and legalistic, then on the other…here i am deeply suspicious of the statistics of those apparently being won to Christ by my own religious denomination! (the answer is that Adam is rather ecclectic and logical in his world view…30,000 being won to anything in a single campaign isnt logical to me…i dont believe such numbers are realistic. S,omething else is at play…“dangling the carrot” is the first thing that comes to mind)


That’s a tough one. I am not sure of the depth of conversion experience. I’ve read that different cultures at different times tend to respond differently–supposedly, Charlemagne’s troops and tribe converted entirely at one point, and there have been Biblical accounts of the nation repenting as one. In an anthropology course, I read that societies that have a central authority figure tend to respond as a group.

I think it’s a good point that we also have to make individual decisions.

Personally, I like listening to deep thoughts, but I hesitate to get into deep conversations for fear of offending people.

Thanks for your discussion and thoughts.


I think 30,000 coming to the Lord in one missionary journey is wonderful and much more exciting than almost any discussion on this forum.

I visited Fiji last month. It is a beautiful but relatively poor island. I was thrilled to see the strong and open faith of so many there. One of our tour guides was a Seventh Day Adventist and was quick to ask me what I believed. I asked him if he knew the Apostles Creed.

Often God will prepare a place for the arrival of missionaries so that the area is ready for conversion. I have read many stories of prominent leaders in a pagan or Muslim area having prophetic dreams before a team arrives to show the Jesus Film. These dreams paved a way for acceptance of the gospel.

I have trouble understanding how the conversion of those in darkness into the kingdom of God would not be thrilling to any believer.


Randy, I think the parable of the sower adds insight into this.

18 "Hear then the parable of the sower.

19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path.

20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.

22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing.

23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."

Some places are very good soil, after long periods in darkness.

I know Billy Graham’s crusades saw many thousands come to salvation, and I have several people who said that is how they came to the Lord.


I agree–I think I wasn’t clear. I think that there can be many at a time. However, for me, I’ve had to have ongoing conversion–and even if there is a single point, I still am learning. In the anthropology class, it did imply that given the culture, some more more likely to convert en masse (at least formally) than in others. At this point, it seems to be less of an en masse conversion phenomenon in our culture-for example, the Graham crusades were better attended close after the mobilization of WW 2–but that’s ok, too. It’s also different for different people, most likely, I guess.


1 Like

“Brother Ass” is what he called his body, concerning which C.S. Lewis commented:

Ass is exquisitely right because no one in his senses can either revere or hate a donkey. It is a useful, sturdy, lazy, obstinate, patient, lovable and infuriating beast; deserving now a stick and now a carrot; both pathetically and absurdly beautiful. So the body.


An interesting fact about mass baptisms in tribal societies is that in many, many cases the decision is not an individual one but a tribal one. I recall reading in a book by a missionary of occasions where baptisms went on literally for days as people waited patiently in line for their turn, because one village had been preached to and had decided to become Christian – but they wouldn’t agree to baptism until they had informed all the other villages of their tribe, and as it turned out people from all those other villages showed up en masse to hear this message for themselves, and the entire tribe decided to throw out their old spirits and choose Christ. In practice it was the male elders and the female ‘grandmothers’ who made the decision, and everyone else accepted their choice.

Something instrumental in that particular instance was that when a small team of missionaries settled into a house they erected just outside that first village all the village’s spirits went silent until the shaman did something drastic, at which point the spirits told him that they had to leave, because the “Lord of spirits” had come.
Another instance involved Lutheran missionaries who borrowed a village’s meeting hall to use for worship, and after the first celebration there of the Eucharist the tribe’s spirits refused to enter any longer; when asked why, the only answer was “The blood, the blood!”, something the villagers didn’t understand until they had demanded of the missionaries just what they had done in that hall – they didn’t see any blood! And when the missionaries described the Eucharist and what it meant, the shaman cried out, “The blood of the great god!” and demanded to know everything. Apparently the tribe’s lore told that the “great god” had driven their ancestors from a land far away but with a promise to one day come and find them.

So, “free accommodation and meals”? No, something greater by far: shattering a tribe’s world by Christ merely “showing up” in the form of missionaries – and the fact that entire people groups make a joint decision to come to Christ, something we don’t understand as Westerners but which has happened numerous times down through the centuries.


I was just thinking this morning of how large the range is that is packed into the phrase “do you know somebody?” Can you easily count up how many people you “know”? It doesn’t nicely yield to a binary, and you would have to form an arbitrary rule to turn it into one. Do you know somebody if you’ve both been introduced to each other? Maybe you remember each other’s names, but know nothing else about each other. So does that count? Or can it be a one-way knowing? Do I “know” Abraham Lincoln? I know of him, but not in any mutually relational way since he’s not even alive in my lifetime, so that probably doesn’t count as ‘knowing’ somebody. Or what if we’ve met each other and I did learn quite a bit about a person, but can’t remember their name at the moment. Do I really know them? Perhaps we’ve visited deeply with persons (or at least we hopefully assume they’re human in this age of AI) right here on this forum, and they may have shared quite intimate details of their lives and struggles with all of us right here - and yet I probably don’t know their real name or even in what country they live. So do I ‘know’ them? That should be enough to demonstrate that the quality of ‘knowing’ somebody is a continuum, not a binary status.

Perhaps it is the same way in how we have a relationship with Christ. We may have been introduced. And maybe that’s all the farther it’s gone. No ongoing relationship (yet). Just casual acquaintance. What about somebody who very intimately knows Christ and has spent their lives being attentive to his Spirit and teachings? Do they know everything about Christ? Of course not. But very few would argue that they have to have perfect, infallible, and complete knowledge before qualifying as knowing and being known by Christ in the important biblical/spiritual sense of that. Without a doubt, I know my wife in any reasonable sense of that phrase, but that doesn’t mean I know everything about her or can’t be surprised and learn new things about her. And she (like) me is a constantly changing person in any case, so even if I had a complete, omniscient ‘snapshot’ of who she was yesterday, it would already be outdated knowledge today. Of course - we say that Christ is unchanging. But I’m not so sure that’s literally true (in the way we often use language today). It’s probably true about the important priorities of life and relationships - that God never wavers from those things and is unchanging in that highest sense. But if we’re capable of living attentively and responsively in a constantly changing world, why should we think God incapable of the same context-dependent creativity and response?

All that just being a long way of reacting to the question of legitimacy of conversion above. Every friendship probably started with an introduction of some kind (whether by an earnest or honest mutual friend, or whether by a charlatan or somebody peddling faith for profit.) And yes - they themselves may have been mistaken (or even outright lied to us) about the person they are introducing us to. But in either case, our further direct relationship to that person will have to grow (or not!) depending on what we do with it after that introduction. Because that was only a potential beginning of something. I’ve been introduced to many people in my lifetime who are complete strangers to me now since there was no followup on my part or theirs after that. (and rightly so in most cases - we can only have so many earnest friends.)


A woman at work came to me one day. “Where do asteroids come from?” She asked.

Thinking I was about to have a fun conversation I said, “they’re left over from the big bang.”

She started shaking, screaming at the top of her lungs …“it’s God,'s Word,!,”

Online is better.


I would have had a very strong urge to grab her wrist to take her pulse.

1 Like

As long as you only grabbed her wrist

1 Like

Technically, everything in the universe is a left over from the big bang, including each of us. As Sagan often said, we are all stardust.


The life saving principles of modern first aid responders have their place even in a philosphical debate. :wink: