What is the best way of approaching YECs?

(Juan Romero) #1

As I told you in my story, I am a former YEC. My change from a literal interpretation of Genesis to a different one was not easy at all and I almost lost my faith when I realised that I had been wrong for all of those years.

I would not like people to reject God once they realise that they were wrong. What would be the best way of approaching YECs without turning them away from the One who made this world possible?

Using books like “Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism” or “Why Evolution Is True” is not really a good option. A Baptist minister lost his faith thanks to the last one (and other books by people like Bart Ehrman).

YECs will not accept evidence unless it is compatible with the Bible. In my opinion, “Saving Darwin” is a good start. It really helped me and my faith back then. Which other resources should we use in this friendly approach?

(George Brooks) #2

I’m sure Prof. Karl Giberson would be happy to hear this!

Link to Google Books: Saving Darwin by Karl Giberson

(Phil) #3

Well, in my own life outside the internet, I have a number of friends who would claim to be YEC adherents, so have a bit of experience, though cannot claim it is all good or wise, so take it as you may.
Several of my YEC friends are staff members of our local church, but first and foremost they are my brothers and sisters in Christ, and think they would say the same. My approach is to try my best to show love and genuine care towards them,as if they see you are sincere and show fruit, they are more likely to listen to you. Ultimately, the difference in opinion is based on theology, and interpretation, not on scientific merit, so I feel it is relatively unproductive to argue the science if your goal is find common ground with fellow Christians. On the other hand, once you have a relationship, that discussion can take place.
Regarding the theology, I have referred people to look at some of the books listed on the site here, particularly Walton’s books and The Language of God. Once they accept that there are different ways of looking ar Genesis, people are more likely to accept the science that follows.
One another post, Lee Strobel’s. The Casa for Christ was mentioned. Last year I was invited to an apologetics conference he hosted, and was pleased to see his presentation was open to an Old Earth interpretation, though with a strong ID slant. However, I am struck that apologetics is mainly for the reassurance of believers, though as noted it may lead some to Christ. In the same was, the science is pretty much apologetics for theological creationists, as it will not lead people to Christ (though it may open the door) but reassures us of our theological construct.
Excuse the typos, on my iPad and sort of in a hurry. I look forward to hearing your and others thoughts.

(Christy Hemphill) #4

I like Coming to Peace with Science by Darrel Falk for getting people to think about the evidence but in a way very respectful of and accomodating to other conservative Christian commitments.

(Juan Romero) #5

Those are amazing and they are really useful for a better understanding of Scripture. Walton did an excellent job.

Well, since classes are about to finish here in Uruguay (they finish this week), I’ll definitely check that one out!


I like this video. http://biologos.org/resources/the-big-story/#

I’ll write a more in depths post when I get on my laptop, this is on an iPad.

(George Brooks) #7

Is it just me, or is that link not functioning? Not the link itself… but the video Play button?

It does work on YouTube however !!!

(Phil) #8

Not functioning for me on the iPad either. There are some bugs in the latest changes on the website, I also have had problems with access to the forum on my phone also. Sure they are working on it.

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #9

I find that the best approach is to get on Twitter and just troll YEC accounts. Flame wars win people over particularly well.

Just kidding! :smiley:

My approach is the non-approach. In other words, I don’t approach YECs with the hope of changing their minds, and it’s for the very reason you cite. I don’t want to send their faith into a tailspin, given that for many YEC folks, their anti-evolution-ism is a bedrock of their faith—as we saw illustrated so clearly in AIG’s two-castles cartoon on another recent thread.

Rather, I have two postures toward YEC folks:

  1. Show them through my life that it’s possible to be a faithful Christian (actively serving, worship-leading, even speaking) and an evolutionary creationist. My fondest goal here is not that YEC folks will agree with me, but merely that they will come to consider their EC brothers and sisters to be full siblings in Christ and not dangerous “slippery slope” people that they rather wish were not part of their Body; and

  2. Be there when they start to ask questions. Have books on hand to lend them. The tricky part is sticking around long enough to be there for this! For me there is a real temptation to just go fellowship in an Episcopal church in a college town many miles away so that I don’t have to deal with constant anti-intellectualism in my Evangelical milieu. But these are my people, and it’s important for me to continue in fellowship where I am. On my FB page, I have “liked” BioLogos very subtly, so people ought to be aware that if they ever want to explore the other side of the fence, I’m a safe person to dialogue with about it.

But yeah, I don’t try to “approach” YEC folks with any hope of changing their mind. That’s a perilous journey to invite someone to join you on if they’re not already on it…

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #10

We could excuse the typos, or we could just enjoy them. :smiley:


I would go on a journey with them. Begin to build a foundation with them of who God is. Who created us. Start with a foundation with God (not a God of the Bible, but just our Creator and provider who we can see throughout creation (outside of the Bible), our creator. What is our purpose in life, why do we do everything we do? We do everything to glorify Him. The first greatest command is to love you God with all your heart (your want or your will), your mind (your knowledge of Him), and your soul (your actions). Loving your neighbor as yourself is a function of loving God, it is how you love Him with your soul. Jesus left heaven to come to earth as a human to show us how it should have been done, to fulfill God’s covenant with Abraham, and to become the high priest for us, so that we can come to know God again as it was intended.

Build this relationship with them, to where you both agree on the main foundation things. Then when you bring up creation, they won’t see you as a heretic, they will know your foundation. They still might not agree with you, it might open their mind a bit. Then you can try to explain evolutionary creationism, not evolutionism to them, which is probably what they know, or think they know. They might not know very much about actual evolution. But if they are scientific and logical minded, and start to see how it is still to argue science, they are hopefully not shaken as you were, because their foundation is in God, the creator and provider of us all, who cannot be moved and will never change, and it always good, just, merciful, and loving. Then a small thing like the possibility of evolution might not shake their foundation or faith as much.

Though I firmly believe that those who seek Him, will find Him. It sounds like you were seeking Him, and even though you had troubles, He found you and brought you back. Make sure they are seeking to know God, the God who created us and wants to have a relationship with us, not a God of the Bible.

Now to clarify, I do believe these are the same, but if you approach it as (our Creator, not a God in the Bible), then their pre-concieved God of the Bible logic won’t be there to alter the truth. Don’t seek to confirm your current thoughts (even if most of it is Biblically based), seek to know Him, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. God is real, He is outside the Bible, we can see His love through people, His majesty through creation and evolution. Anyone who is an engineer should be marveled and dumbfounded when they learn how incredible of a feat evolution would be to design. And the logic of how God works throughout the Bible in slow strange processes to accomplish His will. There are very very few, if any massive, strong, instant changed, like a YEC surmises. It is about slow, strange processes, seeds, small things that grow to large things that bear fruit. Humans, from a sperm to a baby, to a child to an adult. Organisms to a money to a human. Israelite’s seed came from Abraham, who was later planted in the promised land, had many branches cut off until Jesus was the ultimate fruition of that promise, the mustard seed that planted the kingdom of heaven.

But hopefully, knowledge or belief of YEC shouldn’t change one’s faith a single bit. What is their faith in? The God who created everything in this universe? Or their interpretation of some writings?

The Bible is just ONE way for God to speak truths to us and reveal things to us, it is A tool(not the only way). Jesus (not the Bible) is the only way, and Jesus is a manifestation or fulfillment of the true image of God which all leads to God, our Creator. If you want to know God, read the gospels, not Genesis, see how Jesus lived, the only non-flawed human image of God. There are many tools our there how God reveals Himself to us. That is like seeing a cruel mass shooting, and that shaking your faith. Our faith shouldn’t be in man, or their actions, nor in a book (even if God’s very words are in that book), it should be in God. The fact of evolution or not, even if YEC’s are right, should not change one’s faith a single iota. I don’t buy into the argument that 'if this is incorrect, the whole Bible can’t be trusted". God can always be trusted when He speaks to us and gives us peace. The Bible is just one of the many ways God speaks to us and gives us unexplainable peace.

If Adam never existed, nor Noah, and they were all merely stories. That doesn’t change the way I live. I live to glorify my Creator, and I am thankful He loves me enough to want to know such filth like me. This is a truth revealed to me by God, and sure the Bible was a means that He revealed that to me, but if Jericho wasn’t a real city nor did that attack happen, that doesn’t change a truth of who God is. If you are mad at gravity and don’t believe in it, you will still fall off a building if you step off, even if the theory is proven wrong, you will still fall. You can’t change the truth of God, it is unshakable.

If you are just a Christian because of the circular logic that “the Bible is God’s word because the Bible says it is God’s word, and God is love because the Bible says so”, I would doubt your Christianity. I hate to do that, because only God knows our hearts, but God is so much more than words in a book. And the age of the earth or if Genesis is literal is so insignificant and unimportant to the main message. God is love because He is, that is a truth, not a Biblical word truth, a real experiential truth!

(Juan Romero) #12

Perfect. I actually remembered this because of what you said.

(Curtis Henderson) #13

I was thinking how thankful I was that Mi Casa is for Christ!

(Jonathan) #14

All typos should be unconditionally destroyed until none are left.

(Actually, though, if somebody complains about a typo I have made, my desire to remove it deflates completely).:wink: