The Importance of Consensus

To what extent should a Christian community (e.g., church, college, school, charitable organization) hold to a consensus on origin opinions? How important or unimportant is it? Most of the institutions to which I have connected seemed to hold to a default YEC view, but there has been a significant minority in some who don’t hold a YEC view (myself included). How important is it to rock the boat, forward a conflicting view, or maintain a tenuous status quo for the purpose of maintaining peace or, arguably, agreeing on “more important things”?

I suggest that it should be … only to the extent necessary to prevent it from being a stumbling block to anybody on any of the various sides. I.e. this sounds more like tolerance than agreement, and so it is. It’s an agreement that “this shall not be important when it comes to sharing in Christ and community.” But if somebody wants to make it important … woe to them through whom any stumbling blocks come. I think Romans 14 speaks excellently to how people of different attitudes and understandings can coexist, and more than coexist … be nonjudgmental community with each other despite their differences.

It would probably be fair to note that I doubt many YECs view this as a salvation issue and seem to quite willingly concede this when pressed. But for them it is a red flag for other deeper issues that do venture into more important areas … how do you respond to biblical authority generally? How does your faith interact with culture? … who/what is in the driver seat for you? Science? other gods? Your own understandings? They see evolutionary enthusiasm as perhaps a red flag symptom of deeper issues that may indeed be more important for salvation. Do you think they have a point there?

Do I think that good theology is a red flag for deeper issues? No. Do I think that bad theology (YEC) is a red flag for deeper issues? Yes

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And yet unity is expected in the church. N.T. Wright would argue that it was one of Paul’s two primary concerns in his writings (the other being holiness).

It seems to me that you are elevating the scientific method above all rather than a unity based on mutual love and respect. Then it simply becomes about “the power of truth.”

Let’s keep in mind, though, that the scientific community goes through cycles of orthodoxy that rejects evidence until it is overwhelmed by it.

While I may share many of the same disagreements as you with YECs, I think it may be more a critique of their modernist philosophy (and how they have let that leak into their theology) than it is a critique of their theology in its “pristine” state. They want to just trust God and His word just as most other Christians claim to want to do as well.

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In a day I would not question that and in a way I would. The problem with that is the Pharisees believed in God and God’s word, which is why they condemned Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. They believed in God’s word more than God’s Word and that was their downfall.

I am not in a position to judge YEC on this basis, but a word to the wise is sufficient. The problem as I would see it would be if YEC’s are convinced their point of view is the Mark of true faith.

It is my experience which is limited that they are not very open to the fact that Jesus is God’s Word, not the Bible. They want clear proof that their theology is right, rather than live by faith in Jesus.

This does not mean that Christians who accept evolution are per se “people of faith.” God plays no favorites.



You are right, but

Somehow Survival of the Fittest missed this process which is why it is not scientific.

No. A unity based on mutual love and respect requires people to treat each other with mutual love and respect regardless of what they think about science. That means not calling people heretics just because they accept scientific evidence which you deny, and not excommunicating people because they believe the earth is round. How much mutual love and respect do you see from people like Ken Ham?

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