Perhaps this belongs in the faith and belief forum. This rant was brought on from following one of the science threads and noting the damage done to Christianity by YECism.
It is often assumed by YECs that evolutionists are athiests, or at least non-Christian. Is it all right if I make assumptions about the faith of YECs, specifically that their faith is founded on a narrow interpretation of a book that they worship instead of in the saving grace of Jesus? Of course it's not OK to make either assumption. But I think YECs are as likely to hold that faith committment as evolutionists are to reject Christianity. Some YECs seem proud of their faith, but I think their faith is incredibly weak. Their faith is threatened by any facts that undermine a preferred interpretation of scripture. In my opinion true faith in Jesus Christ is unshakable. But YECs place their faith in something that is very shakable.
Lets assume that I am a YEC. Start out by giving me reasons why my faith is directed towards the wrong place.
Explain to me how much you love Jesus, then explain to me how I am to interpret the Bible.
Once you finish this reply, I will further consider promotion of this topic. :)
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I think a good test for anyone's faith is to ask what would happen to if certain things were found to be true. If your faith would be threatened by the indisputable discovery that Jesus did not rise from the dead, then your faith is founded on the belief that he did. The christian doctrine of grace, is based on the belief that man is sinful, Jesus lifed a perfect life, died as payment for man's sin and was raised from the dead. This fact would undermine the doctrine of grace.
But if your faith would be threatened by by some other fact then your faith is founded on something other than grace alone. If your faith would be threatened by errors in scriputure, then your faith is in inerrency in addition to grace. If your faith would be threatened by evolution, then your faith is in a narrow interpretation of scripture instead of grace alone.
With the exception of the indisputable discovery that Jesus did not rise from the dead, I can think of no finding of science would threaten my faith.
As a Christian I hate to see people reject Christ because of a misconception. It's one thing to have a naturalistic worldview. A naturalistic worldview is just as intellectually valid as a Christian worldview. But I hate to see YECism associated with Christianity. That is a large part of my motivation. I think the YEC ministry drives people away from faith in Christ. Those that it does bring to "faith", I wonder what their faith is in. By the same token we TEs are accused by YECs of driving Christians from faith and causing faith crises. And that's the last thing I want to do. But again I wonder, faith in what? Faith in Christ shouldn't be threatened by deeper knowledge of his creation.
If you decide not to promote the topic I understand. I wanted to explore this issue without getting off topic from some other threads.
Let me try to get this straight. You think a YEC has weak faith because if something is found out to be true, let's say an error in scripture, that this is irrelevant to what faith should really be based on, and therefore is "threatening a deeper knowledge of his creation".
But you're also saying that your faith is strong because it only relys on grace. That is, the only thing that will shake your faith is if it was discovered that Jesus did not rise from the dead. And you find that discovery to be highly unlikely, I assume.
So let's say we have this:
YEC -holds Biblical inerrency on faith -holds the doctrine of grace on faith
bdfoster -holds the doctrine of grace on faith
Is this correct? You're saying your faith is better because: 1. What you hold "on faith" is specified as a "doctrine". 2. There is less scientific discovery that can disprove it.
Does that explain your position well? Or am I missing something?
I see errors in this:
First, I'm sure a YEC would also consider Biblical inerrency as "a doctrine", so I'm not sure if that point would have much meaning to them.
Second, if "fear of scientific discovery" is a motivation, why not go one step further, like this:
YEC -holds Biblical inerrency on faith -holds the doctrine of grace on faith -holds that God exists as an incorporeal entity that does not interact with this world on faith
bdfoster -holds the doctrine of grace on faith -holds that God exists as an incorporeal entity that does not interact with this world on faith
Unfalsifiable Believer -holds that God exists as an incorporeal entity that does not interact with this world on faith
This way, the Unfalsifiable Believer has less to worry about from science than you do. Does this make his faith better? In fact, the Unfalsifiable Believer has absolutely nothing to worry about from science, does this make his faith perfect?
If you hold that the grace-doctrice must be included, or else you don't even really "have faith" or "don't believe in the right thing"... How do you talk to the YEC who simply thinks that you don't really "have faith" or "don't believe in the right thing" because you're leaving out Biblical inerrency?
Basically, what are you using to determine what "a good faith" is? Clarify those parameters first. Then you'll have a basis for comparing your faith to a YEC faith and specifying why your faith is better, or perhaps "more developed."
I think the real question is whether or not someone is willing to consider everything they hold as a belief might be wrong.
I agree. What I am currently struggling with is that this would seem to bring up the idea that one no longer has faith. Maybe only (simply?) hope. Does tentative faith exist? Or is that just hope? Is there a difference? Is the difference that faith includes a certain amount of arrogance where hope is more honest? Does a difference even matter?
Personally, I'm under the view that the label no longer matters, and this position is simply "open to new information", regardless of what anyone wants to call it. In that case, it makes it right to me. Sort of the absolute stance of the saying "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst".
Faith is a slightly different position than just hope, a more positive one.
I don't understand. Hope is positive, and can range from slightly positive, to extremely positive. I don't see how one can get into some range that's "too positive" to be called hope. I'm under the impression that it's impossible for hope to have a limit on how positive it is, to me it's infinite.
I would not call it as much arrogance as simply a higher degree of confidence.
A higher degree of confidence based on subjective analysis? Is that even still confidence? I cannot think of much objective evidence to base such confidence on. And that small chance of not-being-true still exists, doesn't it? If any tentativity is included at all, no matter how small, can it still be called faith?
But my dictionary semantics are rather trivial, really. I think we're on the same page, if we did agree on definitions, I'm pretty sure we'ed quickly agree on the main point.
Exactly. I like new words, and was admiring jar's creativity.
Although, on second thoughts, tentativity does sound a bit like a G. W. Bushism.
Speaking of the world's most powerful creationist brings me neatly back towards the topic. BDFoster suggests that YEC beliefs are more shakeable than his own Christian beliefs. In a sense, I agree.
Any form of religion that describes a non-existent universe is going to get shaken as we gain increasing understanding of the real thing. So, YEC's head on collision with all the sciences makes it very shakeable indeed, if that's what BDF meant.