It seems to me that it is Henry Morris and other founders of 20th century creationism, who have bent Christianity beyond recognition.
No. Henry Morris is very much in keeping with interpretations that have existed in Christianity throughout all its epochs. Christianity is a creationist religion, and has always included "young earthers". It also has a long tradition of ignoring and /or attempting to suppress evidence and observations that are considered problematic for it.
On the other hand, it can be argued that Kenneth Miller represents other equally old traditions.
There has never been such a thing as a Christian concept of god and creation. There have always been many.
But my point is that it's wrong to view Morris as "bending" or distorting Christianity any more than its other interpreters.
"There are not myriads of myriads of years, even though Plato said such a period had elapsed between the deluge and his own time, . . . The world is not uncreated nor is there spontaneous production of everything, as Pythagoras and the others have babbled; instead the world is created and is providentially governed by the God who made everything. And the whole period of time and the years can be demonstrated to those who wish to learn the truth. . . . The total number of years from the creation of the world is 5,695.29 ... If some period has escaped our notice, says 50 or 100 or even 200 years, at any rate it is not myriads, or thousands of years as it was for Plato . . . and the rest of those who wrote falsehoods. It may be that we do not know the exact total of all the years simply because the additional months and days are not recorded in the sacred books."
There has long been some sort of creationism. But the modern strident YEC version is quite a bit different from the more traditional versions.
I agree that it's strident, but I was just disputing your phrase about modern YECs having "bent Christianity beyond recognition." I thought it far too strong.
I think that they have their equivalents in all centuries of its history, and that includes plenty of stridency.
The main difference, and perhaps the excessive stridency, is that what we're witnessing is a rather desperate last ditch stand.
Morris felt (and apparently marc9000 feels) that Christianity is threatened by the high level of acceptance of science that Miller represents. Miller probably thinks that Christianity is threatened by the rejection of science.
I agree with both of them. It's doomed either way.
Morris felt (and apparently marc9000 feels) that Christianity is threatened by the high level of acceptance of science that Miller represents. Miller probably thinks that Christianity is threatened by the rejection of science. I agree with both of them. It's doomed either way.
Doomed either way haha — that’s a good way to put it!
Psychology, and other fields dealing with human behavior, are saturated with evolutionary thinking. Science (mostly atheists in science) propose that humans are simply evolved animals, and this leads to the evaluation of human behavioral problems on an animalistic basis. Many Christians don’t believe that experimentation with monkeys is good guidance in dealing with human problems. When evolution proponents proclaim that studying evolution is no different than studyingplumbing, the dishonesty is obvious to many. But other people, particularly young people who are not yet firm in an atheistic worldview, are often fooled.
There are details in the way that you expressed your points there that I could pick on, but I partially agree with the gist of what you're saying here. I'll add that the nature of religions themselves is being studied involving disciplines ranging from anthropology, psychology (including evolutionary) and neurology through to sociology and history. This is a threat to the religions, and my "doomed either way" comment was partially an agreement with literalists like you, as well as agreement with the other side; the embracers of science.
Further up the thread, I pointed out that there's nothing new about this debate within Christianity. Here, St. Augustin expresses the pro-science attitude 1600 years ago, and makes the point that people like Kenneth Miller might make now to those with your view.
Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]
I'll forgive him the "even a non-Christian knows something" phrase in the first sentence partly because he's dead, but mainly because he makes his point well.
From the perspective of Christianity and its survival, it's important that it is not seen as a propagator of ignorance.
However, too much knowledge is a danger to its existence.
Hence my conclusion that both Kenneth Miller and you are, in a sense, right, and that Christianity (and the other religions) are doomed either way.
We live in interesting times, because this is the beginning of the end of an epoch during which the world has been largely dominated by the large theistic religions.
They'll still outlive all of us on this discussion board by a while, though, so don't worry yourself too much.