What We Like About AiG

In spite of the narrow area of our interests that we disagree about, it’s also good (and Biblically mandated) to list the much bigger parts that we like about other Christians (and people God has put on this Earth with us).

I’d like to list all the things we like about Answers In Genesis in this thread (no snarky asides, please. I would like this thread to be only about positives).

  1. AiG (and Ken Ham) is a strong voice against racism
  2. AiG’s mission is to strengthen Christ’s church–something we agree on
  3. AiG provides another perspective on Biblical interpretation. As Jared Byas says, I learn from everyone I speak with. Not only does this broaden my point of view, but it’s an exercise in critical thinking.
  4. AiG and all YECs (Young Earth Creationists) are, so to speak, me (as I was as a teen); and as many of my closest family and church friends are now. They have wonderful hearts, would give the shirt off their back for the poor, support the persecuted Church everywhere, and often see the purpose of serving God as much higher than anything they would pursue selfishly (a strong witness in the worldly nation we live in today).

Make no mistake; I believe in evolution. I also trust God is good, and want to serve him with all my heart, as do my YEC brothers and sisters.

In any area of difficulty, not only can we pray together for wisdom, but we can learn by discussion. As Randal Rauser puts it, we can communicate by “steel manning,” (arguing from the other’s perspective), rather that “straw manning.”

May we continue to learn how to love those believers (and others) with whom we disagree. At the end of the day, as with my beloved church and family, I know we would sit in a pew, praise God, and break bread and take Communion together.

Thank you.

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Thanks for the reminder, Randy. Many of my favorite people are YECs, and I agree that there are many areas of common mission that should unite us on the important stuff.

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Randy, thank you for the reminder. I want to clarify though, that I see a great difference between the theology, mission and motives of most YECers I know and the theology, mission and motives of AIG. You’re right, that we are in community and take communion with people of diverse views on creation and many other things. And we need to live together as the Body of Christ. I have to remind myself constantly that my focus must be on Christ and his finished work as well as the Holy Spirit’s continuing work in all of us.

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I wonder if some comfort can be found in the fact that I rarely hear anybody self-identify as “YEC” - not that they don’t recognize and acknowledge the label of themselves when they hear others using it - but my point is: It’s almost always others using it. To me that means they don’t see it as some sort of strong tribal identity under that label. They are tribal about the whole concept, to be sure; but if I’m right, it still has fallen mostly to outsiders to bestow such a label on their camp. Just as we don’t go around looking for “TE” organizations or identifying ourselves as being part of some so-named camp (even under the preferred EC label), but we readily enough accept the accuracy of it when others in their own turn apply it to the likes of us. The fact that all of us don’t feel all that called to man the walls of some fortress flying the flags of such explicit labels is probably a healthy thing (though maybe YECs do tend to do this a bit more under the AIG tent [within the AIG fortress]). They might think that Biologos is like a ‘counterpart’ to AIG in that respect, but I don’t see it that way. Our “tent” is bigger than theirs, and indeed even invites and includes them, as the comments in these forums well demonstrates.

Added edit:
I guess the more plausible explanation for this reticence of labels, though, is that both groups want to see themselves as a seamless continuity within a larger historical stream - stretching back to Christ and prophets of course. And to accept an explicit modern label might seem to ever-so-slightly concede a kind of “set-apartness” from that cherished continuity. And both groups insist on identifying a discontinuity that does set apart the other group from that historical stream. So it is rarely characterized as “this group” vs. “that group”, but more a tussle about who is the more faithful, and therefore still in the main trunk of that Christ-rooted history, and which one is the more abberrant “branch off”. (Not that I’m all that averse to being seen as a branch or even a twig - Anabaptists have a history of thinking that the Spirit is really quite necessarily active out at the “twig” level.) I guess we can say it’s getting nasty when we start referring to others as branches lopped off - something I hear more leveled against TEs I think, than we (on our good days) are saying about others.

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Through this forum I have met many believers who started off as YEC and some even brought up on AIG. Yet they have turned out more than alright. Heck, we all start off as messy, ignorant and impulsive little brats but somehow we manage to mature and acquire more wisdom with age. Education is a challenge most of us find worthwhile, at least after the fact. But it does create a gradient of worldviews just by virtue of the self examination that entails which some miss out on altogether. Many without an education are fine people all the same, my own mother very much included. She didn’t stop being a wonderful person or important in my life just because her education was cut short. But it did limit the range of issues we could discuss as peers. In psychology there is a concept of the container and the contained which describes how in relationship sometimes one person (the container) really ‘gets’ the other but that other ‘the contained’ is never really able to reciprocate that understanding. I feel like YEC is a view which deliberately chooses ignorance in science out of fear of stepping out of a line as a worshipper of God. That is sad and it does create a division which could only be fully healed by both sides remaining in fear or both sides embracing the wider world. But that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

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Mervin,
Mostly “yes”, but as far as self-idenfication, I’d say “no”. I think (based on no data but my own experience) that most people, who have formed an opinion about origins, have done so, because they have been confronted by what seems to be two incompatable huge ideas, and someone is telling them, “DECIDE.”

If no one was there, making the demand (thank you Culture Wars), most people would just carry on, not really worrying about the implications of how we read the Bible over against how we understand evolution (and then physics, and and and).

Honestly, I don’t really care how the science and my theologically-conservative, high view of Scripture fit together. I am perfectly content with the tension of not knowing. There are so many other things I don’t know that are equally important. But I utterly reject being forced to accept stupid, untrue, or pat answers, just to make the pieces fit.

“I don’t know, (and you don’t either)” is probably the best wisdom I have to share.

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I find Ken Ham is entirely self-serving when it comes to racism; he blames it on Charles Darwin and evolution. In doing so he ignores some very real, very nasty history that we should never forget.

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Intended mission, perhaps, but I know a lot of people who think he does far more to tear the church apart.

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A lot of people leave the faith altogether when they learn they have been fed a bunch of lies.

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Some two-thirds of the younger generation, according to Ham himself. He even wrote a book about it (Already Gone). Ham’s response is to double-down on the very aspects that are driving people away.

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Shut the paddock gate after the horse has run away?

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For me there is a big difference between the uneducated being deceived and the deceiver that misguides the uneducated. I guess ultimately I can’t honestly say there is anything I like about AIG. I would not knowingly or willingly donate a penny or second to their growth.

For me i guess what I strive for is similar to the “Hate the sin love the sinner”‘mentality. Love the YECist but hate the YECism. I accept yecist as Christians and people. But the concept of YECism I hate. If someone is a hardcore YEacist we probably won’t be friends. We won’t be enemies and maybe we will be acquaintances but it will be a burden of love to be in semi weekly formalities.

For me (thinking out loud here, and not meaning to speak for anyone else) maybe it’s not so much AiG, but their audience is, as @Randy says, my church and my family and an earlier version of myself. We have similar passions and the same goals, and the Body is meant to thrive with all of us in constant growth at various and inconsistent levels.

I do take issue with their methods, but most people aren’t religiously hanging on to whatever AiG says, as most in this forum engage with an open mindset. For instance, we can agree that Ken Ham is passionately against racism, but he uses his platform to maintain and propagate a worldview that necessitates character maligning, being either untruthful or choosing to remain ignorant of the history that racism was not only fought by Bible-reading Christians, but much credit is due to the anthropologists who took an honest look at (what they might not admit to be, but what we Christians may agree on to be) the Image of God. And later to be proved by geneticists, with Christians mostly accepting after the hard work of abolitionists (in short).

My concern with AiG is that people will use their materials because they agree with Biblical concepts, then take them at their poorly-sourced word about other things. Yet the shared values are ways we can make connections, and hopefully give one another time to share our deep concerns. Having concerns about the ancient Scriptures that our God reveals Himself through is what we share, so hopefully church remains the place, the people, we can pursue those questions in because we all want to find the Truth and are convinced that it’s in the Word. I want to make this kind of a space, but it’s hard when it doesn’t go both ways. Thanks for the reminder to keep that way open no matter what anyone else does, @Randy :slight_smile:

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One of the best pieces of advices I got about reading the bible came from AiG.

Don’t read what isn’t writen.

Seems to be a white organization, in both leadership and customers

I think Ham is more interested in strengthening AIG’s market share.

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I’m hearing all that people say (eg @Christy’s noting that he wouldn’t even take time to have dinner with @DeborahHaarsma ).

I admit that I do feel deeply hurt when I read this.

There’s one like him in every family, isn’t there? We’re still family, not just with him, but also with the entire Earth and all of humanity, serving like Christ. :slight_smile: If Ken Ham wants to sit at a separate table at Thanskgiving, we’ll still share Communion and turkey with him, and give thanks for him.

Attending a Baptist church, like I do, I’ve heard it’s a bit more difficult to persuade God to build a separate hall for my group when we get to Heaven, though.

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I think @Randy started this thread to be positive and kind (very on-brand Randy thing to do). If all you want to do is fuss about them, do it in a PM.

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My kids used to use AIG materials at Sunday School, and while there were things I didn’t like about it, I did notice that the papers they brought home depicted dark-skinned people like those who would have lived in the Middle East, rather than Americanized-looking people that even many storybook Bibles still portray today. So I appreciate that they realized the importance of trying to portray people from that time and place as accurately as possible.

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I understand that at a Dennis Rainey (Weekend to Remember) marriage seminar, they request spouses to say what they appreciate about each other. It’s sometimes pretty hard, depending on the situation! I appreciate all that people have posted. I have a lot to learn, too.
Thanks.

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While I like to see diversity at all levels in every organization some groups that form just are monolithic culturally. In those cases I think it is still positive if mostly white groups use their platform to speak up for sensitivity and inclusion. The horticultural group whose board I’m on is also mostly white, greying and likely headed for extinction. I did organize a visit to the garden of a retired doctor who is black but like most of the membership he is older than me and I’m no spring chicky. We do better among Hispanics and Asians but mostly politics is pretty moot and we have platform to speak from of any significance. So I think AIG deserves recognition where they do well even if they also deserve criticism on other fronts.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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