Threatened by science?


(Emily) #1

Why are some Christians, mostly fundamentalists, so threatened by science, evolution specifically? Science is how we learn about the world God made. And science shows we evolved over time. It’s that fear that is driving people away from God and Christianity.

I thank God that He lead me to Biologos to show me there was no conflict between science and faith.


(George Brooks) #2

@Celticroots

They keep telling us what they are afraid of:

If we reject some part of the Bible as “really happening”, this will lead to “everything” eventually becoming vulnerable to rejection.

They don’t seem to notice that generations of “liberal” Christians have not rejected Christianity in this way … if anything, Evangelical teens go to bible college, and find they have to reject a boat load of Evangelical theory, because they discover it’s based on a veil of distortion!

The Catholic Church has been quite insistent on choosing what is right and what needs to be “interpreted”. And they don’t look like they are at any risk of becoming Bhuddists.

So… what is really going on is actually quite similar to what we see with the Mullahs of Islam. They oppose “Western Science” for very good reasons: they are poorly equipped to understand Western Science. The mullahs are the conservative, even reactionary machinery of Islam … which is constantly calling for a return to the Simple Truths of Islam: martyrdom, 75 virgins, and so on. Because they are experts in reciting and interpreting these straightforward texts.

In the West, this isn’t quite so obvious, because we send an awful lot of our clergy to colleges. And to the dismay of many an Evangelical college, there’s a lot of Born Again believers who slide right through the gaps of logic that Evangelical minds think is foolproof.

We are tampering with their “philosophy machines” (the Evangelical schools) when we challenge YEC theory and metaphysics.

This is why, a few months ago, I mentioned the “crazy” idea of identifying some promising smaller denominations who are chomping at the bit to provide some Real Truth to their followers … and to win converts from the old denominations that refuse to change their tired old views.

Back in the days of the Millerites … who found that “Old Earth” theories impaired their theological justifications for a rapid and impending arrival of the End of Days… there was a distinct motivation for arguing against Old Earth. Now that the fever of Millerites has lessened, one doesn’t hear about this as much.

But back then, during the heyday of the Millerites, the Plymouth Brethren (that’s Plymouth as in the UK!) was a small denomination that seemed, for the most part, to be pretty zealous about arguing in favor of Geological findings, and arguing for Old Earth. There were some major defections, to be sure… and I believe in the modern age, the Plymouth Brethren may not look so favorably upon Old Earth - - I haven’t found any definitive discussion of that as of yet.

But I am confident that somewhere out in the world today, there is a small denomination or two that could fill the role that was once eagerly filled by the Plymouth Brethren. Every once in a while, I do some googling to see what I can find out there… no luck so far.


(Phil) #3

Emily, my knee jerk reaction is to say they are threatened because they were taught to be. I really dislike snakes. Now, perhaps some in biblical fear, but mostly because my mother taught me to watch out for rattlesnakes when I went outside to play. It was a real concern in that case, as I ran into one or two around the farm through the years, but to this day, a crooked sticks make me freeze in place when seen out the corner of my eye.
Why were they taught such about science? I am sure that is complex, but often boils down to power and money, like most things in the world, cynic that I am at times. That, and once it is part of your worldview, it is very difficult to “re-set.” Anything that threatens your system of belief, shakes you to the core. Many just choose to abandon that belief rather than adapt, which is why Biologos is important.


(George Brooks) #4

Upon further reflection, @Celticroots, I think we have always assumed that the Evangelical ministries will be motivated, eventually, by the loss of divinity students who encounter the academic foundations of YEC, and then recoil!

I’m starting to think that there will essentially never be a sustained reaction to this issue.

From the Evangelical viewpoint, it is better to have 80 out of 100 divinity students flee, than to have 80 skeptics become clergy!

They are defending their monopoly in the Evangelical community . . . rather than Christianity per se. What we interpret as intrinsically negative or even instructive on what the Evangelicals should change . . . they view as a “Qualifier”, to strain out the people who would eventually move the denomination towards a more reasonable accommodation with Science.

Brothers and Sisters, we are really Up Against It !


#5

Because…science is a demonic conspiracy which functions to undermine faith in God…?

I think that’s the reason?


#6

Actually, I think because sometimes science undermines the faith we have in some things that are not God…


(Phil) #7

Interesting thought. Just thinking through that statement, if all truth is God’s truth and science tends to undermine our false presuppositions, it can be threatening.


#8

Exactly. If the science we have done has been done correctly and leads to truth. That’s where the suspicion comes in–that the science might not have been done correctly. From a YEC perspective, that suspicion is an a priori given.