Ken Ham, Young Earth Creationism, Young People AbandoningTheir Faith: My Daughter’s Story

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This next story pains me. It’s a personal one. Parenting is very challenging. Homeschooling children has also been a challenge. When we began homeschooling our children, we chose to do so for a number of reasons. We wanted to have better oversight over the curricula our children were taught because we wanted to give them a solid Christian foundation.


I’m sure my kids played
with dinosaurs like this. (Source)

As typical Christian parents, we did not want them to have “worldly” influences. We got support at homeschool conventions, conferences. I spent time on the internet in e-mail groups, message boards, etc, and got support and information there. In the Christian homeschooling arena, Creationism was taught in the science curricula. Evolution was labeled as evil and we needed to protect our children from those false ideas.

Ken Ham spoke at the homeschooling circuit and we went to his seminars. Others echoed his ideas and if you were a Christian homeschooler, you very likely taught your children Young Earth Creationism  (YEC), as this was the primary science taught in the available Christian homeschooling texts – at least that I saw in my circles. Science has never been my “thang.” I don’t need to know the process of how we got here. The Bible told me how we got here. I believed what it said and that settled the issue for me. I didn’t need to discuss it further. My husband, however, is an engineer. He is very interested in knowing the process of things. :::::ja yawns at the thought of such a thing::::: I can’t imagine him not wanting to know how things work. Engineers live and breathe processes. Teaching creationism was a perfect fit for my husband. He took the kids to creationism seminars over the years, bought quite a few creationist books about dinosaurs and the origins of the earth, and the kids soaked it up. I found our eldest daughter devouring the books just for fun. She was sold. It was a foundational issue for faith, just like Ken Ham always said. Here is a quote by Ken Ham to students at Bob Jones University:

“The majority of Christian colleges in this nation won’t take a stand on a literal Genesis, as you do here at Bob Jones University,” he said. And that compromise, according to Mr. Ham, is the very reason that some Christian young people are abandoning their faith. He said, “We have increasing numbers of people who have been led to doubt the history in the Bible, and so they don’t believe the Gospel based on that history.” (Source)

A couple of months ago, my older kids and I were at a restaurant and Hannah, 26 yrs old, shared with me a pivotal experience. I hadn’t heard this story before. Remember, science bores me. When she talked this time about science, I was not bored. I listened with great sadness and also understanding. It made sense to me. I asked Hannah if she would share her story here and she agreed. I do not agree with Ken Ham anymore. I hope my daughter’s story will open your eyes to another side of the story which Mr. Ham would not dare to admit. His intentions may be good in holding so strongly to the YEC teachings, but we cannot dismiss that his ministry and possibly livelihood depend upon it. I don’t care if people believe in Young Earth Creation or not. To me, it is not a salvation issue or gospel issue. But the YEC-only way of believing did not work for my daughter, it backfired. I think it’s important to take a closer look at this issue. Hannah’s story follows.

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My Experience with Young Earth

Hannah Smith


While on a break between classes at the local community college, a previous homeschooled friend I knew from church and I were sitting at a table chatting in the main lobby. I honestly have no idea how the subject came up, but we were talking about YEC and evidences for it. I was trying to explain Carbon-14 dating (it’s not the easiest thing to break down off-the-cuff, but I was pretty sure I knew the very basic fundamentals of it in order to have it make sense to her. As I was trying to explain it, one of my classmates overheard our conversation and came over and joined the conversation. He very efficiently sliced-and-diced my YEC “points” and “evidence”, but since I felt I hadn’t brushed up on the subject in a year or two, I’d investigate it more in the light of the contradictions he’d brought to surface. I wanted to see if I could do more in-depth research on the topic and figure out if and how much of what he was saying could be verified and where the disconnect between our two viewpoints occurred.

So after I went home, I dug up our trusty creationism-is-true-sort-of books commonly found in good Bible-Believing Homeschooling YEC family’s libraries. After reading the articles and chapters, I did what my father always said to do and “checked the source” – probably more to see if there were books completely dedicated to the topic of Carbon-14 dating that I could look up in the local library. Flipping to the end of the book with the citations I was shocked that pretty much all of the sources for their proof was from other Christian YEC-believing books. So I quickly determined that they were just quoting what other people who believed similarly where saying, rather than going to scientific journals and scholarly articles written by secular authors and scientists. For example, take a look at the following excerpt taken from an article at Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis site (Doesn’t Carbon-14 Dating Disprove the Bible?)

In 1997 an eight-year research project was started to investigate the age of the earth. The group was called the RATE group (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth). The team of scientists included:

  • Larry Vardiman, PhD Atmospheric Science
  • Russell Humphreys, PhD Physics
  • Eugene Chaffin, PhD Physics
  • John Baumgardner, PhD Geophysics
  • Donald DeYoung, PhD Physics
  • Steven Austin, PhD Geology
  • Andrew Snelling, PhD Geology
  • Steven Boyd, PhD Hebraic and Cognate Studies

That looks VERY impressive – every single person, a PhD. But they probably ALL have a vested interest in this – 3 of those 8 people have written books advocating YEC and you can find that information one simple mouse-click away from the article. Look at the sources quoted at the end of the article – they go back to other Christian Scientists with published books on the subject (the scientists above) – unless they are quoting the opposing viewpoints for comparison. I found this info out in about 1 minute while I was writing the first paragraph above, about the same amount of time it took me five and half years ago, when this originally occurred. This kind of circular reasoning raised (and honestly still raises) major red-flags for me from a logical and scientific standpoint. If they can’t find outside sources, how does them quoting from their friends make it true? This was the starting point of me doubting my faith. I never recovered from it.

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266 comments on “Ken Ham, Young Earth Creationism, Young People AbandoningTheir Faith: My Daughter’s Story

  1. Gary W said:

    .” How much better it would have been if these teachers had simply said something to the effect that, “This is what we believe about creation, this is why we believe it, others disagree, but in the end, it just doesn’t matter. All that really matters is Jesus.”

    Wild applause, Gary!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Man, it’s amazing how many comments one has to catch up on after being away from the computer for just a few hours :)”

    I was thinking the very same thing, Ryan. I’ll catch up with the rest tomorrow. Must find wifi hotspot. Typing on iPhone is for the birds.


  3. Pingback: Crosspost: Young Earth, Young People, and Abandoned Faith | H • A

  4. JA,
    Well, no apologies, so I guess I’ll move along. Most of you aren’t really interested in genuine Biblical dialogue anyway. I guess I’m a slow learner. I do believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of scripture and the other aforementioned tenets of fundamental Christianity.. So did Jesus, so I guess I have good company.

    So y’all go on and leave the Bible and a couple thousand years of church history on the shelf, have your little ‘me and Jesus – don’t need anything else – love fest and have a nice day.


  5. B4B,

    Yesterday at 5:35 PM you took umbrage at being called a liar. What I said was that the following statement, posted by you, is a blatant lie: “The tenets drawn up by the fundamentalist movement in America are not unlike the formulation of creeds by the early church councils.” To call your statement a lie is not the same thing as calling you a liar. You are a liar only if you made the statement thinking it to be untrue. You obviously believe in the truth of what you stated. Therefore, while I am of the opinion that you are outrageously mistaken, nobody is calling you a liar.

    Even if you are unable or unwilling, for whatever reason, to engage in civil discussion, please don’t try to play the victim card.

    Note to JA: This is my second attempt to address this issue. Maybe I neglected to post the first time. However, if my first attempt somehow ended up in moderation, please just delete it. Also, please feel free to delete this paragraph/note once you have seen it.


  6. Wow, Born4Battle. How can you pack so many condescending and snarky statements in such a short paragraph. So

    – You are the only one who knows what “genuine Biblical dialogue” looks like.
    – You have Jesus on your corner and the rest of us don’t.
    – You’ve cornered the market on orthodoxy because the rest of us left the Bible and Jesus
    – Then you whip out the victim card.

    You serve as a reminder of why I left the conservative Evangelical bubble. So at the very least, I am appreciative of your willingness to fill that role even though it was never requested by anyone here. Didn’t you threaten to leave several times before?


  7. Ryan,

    This whole comment was so excellent. I couldn’t just post an excerpt. Yes!!!

    Marusha, I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. I believe that its contents are completely binding on me, as a Christian. I believe that every Christian needs to have their life firmly rooted in the teachings of Scripture.

    And I also believe that your interpretation of the book of Genesis is scientifically ignorant, not supported by sound exegesis, not shared by many of history’s greatest theologians and Bible scholars, not logically necessary to uphold any of the core tenets of Christianity, and incredibly harmful to many a young Christian.

    But you know what? I don’t believe that your interpretation of Genesis, as filled to the brim with garbage as it may be, puts your salvation at risk. I think it’s entirely possible to be dead wrong about scientific issues and still love Jesus with all of your heart.

    My hope and prayer for you is that, in the future, is that not only will you re-examine this issue with an open heart and an open mind, and not only will you see that all truth is God’s truth and there need not be any conflict between faith and “worldly science” (as you put it in a previous comment), but that you would also learn to extend Christian charity to those with whom you disagree. There’s simply no need to come onto a blog and question the salvation of people you’ve never met in real life because they think its silly to believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old…


  8. Julie Anne,

    Somehow, the article lost its last few paragraphs. I noticed that article abruptly ends with “For example, take a look at the following excerpt taken from an article at Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis site” but I know it didn’t end with that before.


  9. RMR,

    Oh, how bizarre. Let me check. I’m limited right now with only my smart phone but I saw that Homeschoolers Anonymous reblogged it. Hopefully they have the whole thing.

    Thanks for letting me know.


  10. “brad/futuristguy” here. Sometimes I fix technical problems for Julie Anne. There was a problem with a link that made the last few paragraphs disappear. It appears to be fixed now. Thanks for alerting us to the problem!


  11. Look at that, without even a phone call, in walks Super Brad who saves the day! Thank you, friend!!

    I wonder how that happened.


  12. B4B – “Most of you aren’t really interested in genuine Biblical dialogue anyway.”

    Yeah, is that like the post on corporal punishment where you refused to respond to any of my BIBLICAL arguments with anything except “the Bible says so”? Besides, who wants to dialogue with someone who has to resort to constant ad hominem attacks instead of addressing the actual issue?

    “So y’all go on and leave the Bible and a couple thousand years of church history on the shelf, have your little ‘me and Jesus – don’t need anything else – love fest and have a nice day.”

    Again, over generalizing, over reaching – what good does this do anyone? Deal with the actual argument with the actual person who said it and move on.


  13. So I just went over to snoop at the reblogged post at Homeschooler’s Anonymous (the post is all there -yea)
    and check out this excerpt from a comment:

    I’ve read quite a few stories of de-conversion and for many people, once the creationism idea falls, the rest falls like a house of cards. If I’ve been lied to about that,what else have I been lied to about.


  14. Whoops, other comments came in before I posted it, so now my last comment makes no sense. It was in reference to this from Julie Anne:

    “Look at that, without even a phone call, in walks Super Brad who saves the day! Thank you, friend!!

    I wonder how that happened.”

    Maybe it was the Internet trolls….:P


  15. It’s sad to me when those who adhere to church history and orthodoxy, as if they are the Gospel, dismiss believers who don’t hold to all those extras. They often resort to unkind remarks and put downs of other Christians who don’t look through their glasses. These folks seem to view Christians as a “collective of same thinking” people 😦 instead of Christians being all those who believe Jesus is their Lord and Savior and the way to our Father 🙂


  16. Nope, no trolls this time. I just figured it out. There was a small typo someone alerted me to and so I ahem “fixed” it from my phone. That is quite the challenge because you basically see a screen with a bunch of HTML mixed with words. I must have tweaked some code. My fault. But I’m sure glad you mentioned it!


  17. “It’s sad to me when those who adhere to church history and orthodoxy, as if they are the Gospel, dismiss believers who don’t hold to all those extras. They often resort to unkind remarks and put downs of other Christians who don’t look through their glasses. These folks seem to view Christians as a “collective of same thinking” people instead of Christians being all those who believe Jesus is their Lord and Savior and the way to our Father ”

    No kidding. It’s sad when people’s dedication to Christ is judged solely by the opinions one holds on various topics and issues, rather than Christ’s direct commandment to love God and love neighbor.


  18. Thanks to the above comment by Anonymous (July 10, 7:28 PM), I was able to locate an excellent paper by Randal Rauser. Addressing issues raised by Focus on the Family’s so-called Truth Project, Rauser masterfully addresses problems with the kinds of thought patterns exhibited by so many fundamentalists. In particular, he addresses the nature and effect of binary thinking, what I would tend to refer to as black and white, either or, my way or the highway, kinds of thinking. The paper can be found in .pdf format at:


  19. “have your little ‘me and Jesus – don’t need anything else – love fest and have a nice day.”

    Sounds good to me 🙂


  20. Julie Anne
    B4B: Said person is using a tactic taught by Ken Ham. “We are the intelligent ones.” “We have studied extensively.” “You are not debating properly.”

    They have to go down this road because they know the science as presented by this group is off base and not peer reviewed. If they get around people who can intelligently question the science, they are taught to question the person questioning the science. That is the only possible way for them to win.

    They are so predictable yet they think they are being clever.


  21. Bridget,
    You had said:
    “It’s sad to me when those who adhere to church history and orthodoxy, as if they are the Gospel, dismiss believers who don’t hold to all those extras. They often resort to unkind remarks and put downs of other Christians who don’t look through their glasses. These folks seem to view Christians as a “collective of same thinking” people 😦 instead of Christians being all those who believe Jesus is their Lord and Savior and the way to our Father :)”

    I first ran into this sort of thing with a Catholic that I have been debating with for over 3 years now. He is a devout Catholic, and a very good debater. That being said, I first had responded to someone else about a certain topic. He chimed in and said that he would rather research what the “Church Fathers” had to say on the subject, and whatever the “Church Fathers” had to say is more important than anything else.

    I responded something like, “Oh, so you don’t have a mind of your own?”

    He then points me to what Peter said:

    2 Peter 1:20
    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

    So, the answer is, they don’t have permission from Peter to interpret scripture.

    However, Peter never said what they claim. 2 Peter 1:20 is about prophecy, not scripture. And the topic is about Jesus, that prophecy is about Jesus, not me.

    So, you have a lot of the Augustine folks who adhere to the church fathers, aka, church history, which includes all of the dead men’s councils, etc., because they aren’t allowed to have a mind of their own.



  22. Dee, It’s pretty obvious that your readers and my readers were created by intelligent design and can see through the garbage. It just may take some of us a little longer (:::cough,cough JA) to realize what is really going on. I’m glad I finally cleaned my glasses.


  23. The Current (July 11, 2013) article at The Wartburg Watch is IMO well worth reading. Just as a teaser, Ronald M. Enroth is quoted as writing, “Many have described the aftermath of abusive-church involvement as comparable to that of rape victims, or the delayed stress syndrome experienced by war veterans. It is recovery from what might be called spiritual rape.”


  24. Insightful as always, Bridget. 🙂

    In my opinion, the people you’re referencing view Christianity as a club you join rather than being a belief system you’re responsible for thinking through on your own. They’d rather have an authority figure tell them what to think about any and all Biblical and moral issues than go through the process of constructing a real Faith based on a personal relationship with Christ.

    There’s nothing wrong with that per se from a freedom of religion stand-point. However, trying to engage folks who view Christianity as a fixed package deal requiring no independent thought is seldom a good use of time, in my experience.

    “It’s sad to me when those who adhere to church history and orthodoxy, as if they are the Gospel, dismiss believers who don’t hold to all those extras. They often resort to unkind remarks and put downs of other Christians who don’t look through their glasses. These folks seem to view Christians as a “collective of same thinking” people 😦 instead of Christians being all those who believe Jesus is their Lord and Savior and the way to our Father :)”


  25. I don’t mean to offend anyone with this question but haven’t seen it addressed in my limited exposure to YEC thinking.

    I see lots of arguments pertaining to YEC and Science but none explaining why our literary record contains no evidence of people co-existing with Dinosaurs.

    For example, wouldn’t the ancient Sumerians, whom we have every reason to believe were around about 6000 years ago and from whom we have the world’s first written records via Cuneiform, have left us some written record about how irritated they were that Tyrannosaurus Rex was stomping on all their pottery?

    I’m really not making fun of anyone’s belief system. I’m genuinely curious as to how YEC proponents explain why people left no written records of their interactions with dinosaurs if the earth was created about 6000 years ago and the two species overlapped.


  26. Thanks, Julie Anne. I wish I could take credit for the question but I read the essence of it somewhere.


  27. I’m guessing some would claim that there’s a vast atheist conspiracy to suppress any evidence of dinosaurs and people co-existing.


  28. “I’m guessing some would claim that there’s a vast atheist conspiracy to suppress any evidence of dinosaurs and people co-existing.”

    I think that’s what you’d be reduced to arguing as even if people weren’t literate 6000 years ago they could have drawn pictures of dinosaurs in caves or left some other documentation to the effect that they were co-existing with a note-worthy species. They certainly drew pictures of other thing they came in contact with.


  29. I had a little chuckle out of that…with the new generation that has never known a period of time that cell phones and internet never existed, I can imagine the new generation saying something like, “couldn’t they have just emailed a picture of the dinosaurs and posted it on Facebook?” No, their operating system was “Windows 4000 B.C. The modem would take 37 million years to get all the pixels together.”


  30. The GodDiscussion broadcast is at 8:00 here. I’ll be listening for you, JA. (If the kiddos allow.)


  31. Now if we can get some smart youngsters together to figure out how to make a time-travel machine to go back in time, we’d eliminate the need for this discussion. Let’s get on it!


  32. Fascinating broadcast! The discussion really connects a lot of dots. I have to wonder how much of the crazy in my former church was directly attributable to The Movement(TM).


  33. BTDT – That very well could be the source of crazy – or some of it. All it takes is one connection with a guru leader and then you dive into their ideologies (ie, Doug Phillips)


  34. Julie Anne,
    I think you and the rest of the crew did a good job articulating the specific issues that are so troubling.

    I laughed when you mentioned knowing people who were still using up their Y2K stash. We knew some people doing the same. When my husband and I married in 2001, he received three Aladin oil lamps at his groom’s shower. They are beautiful lamps. But he’s convinced they were someone’s Y2K preparations that they no longer needed. Lol. I bought electric converters for them so we can use them as regular lamps.

    It was sad at the end hearing that some of them never received any science education beyond YEC. It made me grateful for the online program my kids are doing. My oldest daughter has enjoyed the science lessons and the accompanying experiments.

    My wheels are turning. I’m glad all of you took the time to do the program.


  35. Thanks, BTDT – – we are still recording off air. Just wrapping up right now.

    What science program do you use? Yes the lack of science was sad. Thankfully our kids did get some decent science in the co-ops.


  36. The science curriculum is included in the Time4learning program. The basic lessons, quizzes, and tests are all completed online. They then print off the related worksheets. With science, the worksheets give instructions on how to carry out various experiments.

    It’s been a lifesaver for me. A year ago I could barely function emotionally, much less teach. But, my daughter is already learning material that her daddy never learned.


  37. That’s wonderful. The beauty of homeschooling is that we don’t have to follow traditional school schedules. We can teach in the summer and holidays and are able to catch up. You went through a lot with your former church. It’s understandable that normal life suffered.

    You’ve done so well. Looks how everything is coming together for you. I’m so glad we met in TX. It truly was one of the highlights of my trip.


  38. Thanks, Julie Anne and Hannah, for this thought-provoking honest discussion about faith. Hannah, as a parent, I especially appreciate your point of view. Why? I homeschool and use public online curriculum (some may not see us as “ligit” homeschoolers). When it comes to history, individual opinions & discussions are part of our learning process. I have found this highly beneficial in order to: foster critical thinking, develop ideas, respect others with different points of view even when they’re not our own, and encourage a fluid mindset which makes it okay to change our mind & admit we are wrong, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it’s good. However, with all that said, I’ve had to reflect and rethink what I’ll be teaching about creation, based on this post and Hannah’s comments.

    First, an observation: B4B has presented the nail to his own coffin in this discussion. He says “being well grounded” is key to “lasting” faith. I so disagree with that! He doesn’t believe that either but for a different reason – predestination (meaning neither firm foundation, nor anything else matters since God decides and is in 24/7 complete control), but I’ve digressed.

    What I’m trying to say is if the foundation of faith is a bunch of absolutes (like YEC), no thinking required or allowed, then it can be easily shattered when just one absolute falters, and it doesn’t really matter which one. It is about integrity. I understand and sympathize. Janna Chan is right, it can lead to rigid shut-off-brain mindset, or lots of questions (if the person cared about what they believed). So this is also a discussion about what faith’s foundation is. B4B may take comfort in orthodoxy, creeds & theology instead of simple faith and in being reconciled to a God who loves us so much. Did Jesus discuss creeds and absolutes with the thief on the cross? Creeds, orthodoxy, absolutes do not love or save, Jesus does. Hannah, I’m glad you think for yourself. That’s a right foundation. We care. I hope you feel loved and I hope this comforts you.

    I have benefited so much from this post and comments about YEC. I had leaned YEC. Not surprising for a homeschool Mom, right? These discussions reminded me that it is right to explain that I don’t “absolutely know for sure” exactly how, and teach the different thoughts on creation. And I realize it’s not primary, it’s not absolute that we in our own family agree on this. It is not our “foundation” of faith. This has been a great reminder of what’s important. Thank you Hannah and Julie Anne.


  39. A Mom:

    I was so, so happy to read your comment. If one person/family is benefited by our story, then my/our pain was not in vain.

    Your point about B4B and predestination was right on. It’s interesting because B4B echoes what many of his ilk might say and I missed the obvious contradiction. So thank you for that!

    I love your illustration of the thief on the cross who was saved without creeds – beautiful!

    These discussions reminded me that it is right to explain that I don’t “absolutely know for sure” exactly how, and teach the different thoughts on creation. And I realize it’s not primary, it’s not absolute that we in our own family agree on this.

    I was just thinking about this idea of not knowing everything. It seems people like Marusha and B4B need to have all of the answers. Everything needs to fit neat and tidy in their Christianity box. That is not the reality of the bible. All through the bible there are mysteries. How did the water turn into wine? How did the fish/bread multiply? How did John see heaven? When will Jesus return? I think having these mysteries humbles us and keeps us at a place God wants us to be – – trusting in Him, rather than religious scholars.

    Thank so much for sharing, A Mom. Your comment made my day.


  40. I have to wonder why Jesus did not question the thief on the Cross about age of the earth. Seems his belief that Jesus was God in the flesh was enough.

    And that is what this boils down to. Making belief in a young earth a requirement for salvation. On the other hand many OE scientists are also determinists when it comes to this subject and are as bad.

    This is one reason I have been impressed so far with BioLogos.

    This is NOT a salvic issue and to treat it as such is a slap in the face to our Savior who said HE is the way, the truth and the light. Not the age of the earth.


  41. Ha! I just went back and read some comments and “A Mom” mentions the thief on the cross, too! Great minds?


  42. Btw: I love what NT Scholar NT Wright had to say about people taking a very narrow literate view of the OT. He said that one cannot feed Hebrew Poetry into a computer program for interpretation. It is just not that simple. I see people doing this all the time with the Psalms and it is dangerous. Psalms are man talking to God in poetry. It is also full of imprecatory prayers and killing your enemies or begging God to kill them.


  43. Flipping to the end of the book with the citations I was shocked that pretty much all of the sources for their proof was from other Christian YEC-believing books.

    The formal name for this is “Larry-Moe-Curly Documentation”:

    Larry cites Moe as a source for his proof.
    Moe cites Curly as a source for his proof.
    Curly cites Larry as a source for his proof.


  44. I’m guessing some would claim that there’s a vast atheist conspiracy to suppress any evidence of dinosaurs and people co-existing.

    “If your Conspiracy Theory doesn’t fit the facts, Invent a Bigger Conspiracy.”
    — Kooks Magazine

    — Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle


  45. Actually, I came across it in “Selling Satan”, Cornerstone’s expose of Mike Warnke. Where the authors coined the term “Larry-Moe-Curly Documentation” regarding the Satanic Panic Conspiracy Theory which became near-universal among Evangelical media in the Eighties. Like YECs today, the Spiritual Warfare types then cited each other Larry-Moe-Curly style.

    Plus, this type of documentation is also characteristic of Conspiracy Theories and general kook literature.


  46. Eric Fry, This is directed at you. I read your comment to Gail. I am putting you on notice. From now on, I will think of you as “good guy, Eric Fry”. Even in the midst of losing your friend (I am still praying), you can’t help reaching out to care for someone else. I say, now that’s an example I’m proud to follow.

    For anyone confused about what the Bible says, Jesus tells us how to keep God’s commandments in Matthew 22:34-40 – love. If we love, we will keep God’s commandments by default. Jesus actually tells us the big secret to keeping God’s commandments. Love for God, ourselves and others will always choose rightly. We should believe this. So, if there’s a disconnect between theology and love, the theology is wrong. Love does not trump theology. If your theology contradicts or ranks higher than love, throw the theology in the trash. You’ve put your theology above God. God is love. Check out John Immel’s videos on Paul’s Passing Thoughts blog. I found them very helpful.

    I kind of think Hitler would thrive alongside today’s evangelical churches. As if complete doctrinal understanding makes someone a better, solid Christian. I completely disagree. Churches are too busy talking about homosexuals, doctrine & creeds, microscopic details of theology while their own sins grow bigger. Have you seen the Calvinist cross chart? And it’s not hard to tell which sins these churches are in love with – greed, partiality, hatred of self and kids, control (self-hate doctrine helps with this one). This is how the rest of the world will know Christ?

    I will now shut down anyone who disagrees with doctrine expert = better Christian = solid foundation. If that is true, a low-functioning Downs Syndrome individual cannot be a christian or at least one with a solid foundation. Nothing could be further from the truth. And I will further claim it is very possible that a precious Downs Syndrome person can know God better than anyone.

    And for anyone who claims I don’t think knowledge and study is important, I most certainly do. I guarantee you would be impressed with the amount of knowledge in my household. If we are lacking, it’s not in the knowledge department, but in love.


  47. Clarification: Love does not trump theology. They go hand in hand. They are not separate things. If there’s a disconnect between love and theology, don’t just put the theology aside to love, throw the theology out. Love and theology are consistent with each other.

    And if your theology ranks above love, you’ve put your theology above God. You might not even know God. God is love.

    Sorry if my last comment on theology and love was not clear.


  48. Interesting that B2B invokes the earlier councils and creeds (I suppose he means Nicene, Constantinople, etc.) and compares them to the five “fundamentals” that fundamentalists adhere to. I suggest he looks up the oldest council of them all, the Council at Jerusalem, as recounted in Acts 15. The apostles (people who actually, y’know, walked with Christ) had to confront a supposedly salvific issue: the ritual circumcision of Gentiles for them to be considered “saved”. (Much like his belief that believing in YEC is a salvific issue, i.e. if you don’t believe it, you’re not saved.)

    Now remember, this was a meeting concerning the Church universal, a mere 20ish years after the ascension of Christ himself. Not a small group of men representing a tiny fraction of the Church universal almost 2000 years later (The Fundamentals, a 10-volume set setting out the basics of what these conservative theologians opined should be taught and a basis for all believers, was published in the 1910s.)

    You know what? The Council at Jerusalem decided, after much prayer and Scripture reading, that Gentiles didn’t have to be circumcised to be considered saved. They could fellowship with their Christian brethren and still keep their foreskins intact. And so it should be today. As others here have so eloquently put it: belief in Christ is what makes one a Christian. Not belief in Biblical inerrancy, YEC, quiverfull, coverings, Calvinism, Arminianism, dispensationalism, or any other “fundamental” you can name. Christ alone.

    Also, ftr, I believe God created the heavens and the earth. How he did it? I don’t know. How long did it take? I don’t know that either. No one was there but God. Not even the writer of Genesis. (Don’t go on about the writer of Genesis being inspired and without error. That may well be so, but can the same be said about the generations and generations of scribes and translators in the years since? Ever heard of textual corruption? Or even Telephone? Hmm?) So, barring some wild scientific discovery that answers those questions beyond a shadow of a doubt, I don’t know. And I’m okay with that.


  49. Julie Anne said to me:

    “You are accurate, but it was a starting point for her. If it was a starting point for her and countless others, it seems like the rest of your comment is dismissing this important point. Why are you dismissing it? It seems like this should be an area to explore. If young people are leaving their faith over it, why??? and what can we do about it?”

    It’s interesting how you frame your remarks as accusations rather than neutral inquiries on the topic. First of all, I was not “dismissing” anything so your question is not even relevant. But if you want a good article that describes those young people who stay strong Christians, here’s a good article: I hope it helps in answering your questions concerning the whys and what we can do about it. God bless.


  50. Christy: I hope Hannah will chime in, but I’d put a check in the box for Hannah on all 3 of those points mentioned in that article. Back to Square 1.


  51. Christy,

    In your comment of July 11 @ 4:49 AM you said, “The one thing I tried to emphasize in homeschooling was for them to ‘think for themselves.’ ” Others seem to be indicating that YEC was presented as dogma that was no more subject to questioning than, say, the Crucifixion and Resurrection. I suggest that your children, perhaps, had at least two advantages.

    First, because they were encouraged to think, they acquired the skills to consider differing, even threatening, views analytically. Therefore, they were not so susceptible to error. To they extent they did adopt error, they likely did not adopt it with the rigidity of binary, black and white, thinking. Therefore, any error embraced was more easily cast aside than would be the case with a child that has been presented with, and denied practice in thinking through, either/or choices.

    Second, because your children were apparently encouraged to think for themselves on matters relating to YEC, they may not have been so susceptible to the notion that, if YEC falls, our Faith must fail. Christians may debate the age of Creation, and they may debate with passion. However, to bolster YEC with the argument that the Gospel itself depends on accepting a YEC is a pernicious, insidious, ruinous lie.

    From what I have read here it appears that in some instances children were indoctrinated with YEC in a manner that did not permit them to question, and that did not give them practice in thinking through challenges. Worse, they were taught in black and white terms that, if YEC is untrue, there is no ground for our Faith. Is it any wonder that such children abandon the faith when confronted with cogent arguments for a 4 billion year old earth and a 14 billion year old universe (or whatever the current estimates are)?

    You did it right, while other parents were guided to set their children up to buy into a faith destroying lie, i.e., that the Gospel must fail if YEC is false.


  52. Christy, to answer your question:

    The three points brought up in the article were:
    1. They are converted. – I was converted. I was baptized. I was an active believer and follower.

    2. They have been equipped, not entertained. – This one especially… I wasn’t allowed to go to youth group – mostly because my father thought that it Was more entertainment than hard gospel training. I went to numerous training sessions, equipping sessions, teaching sessions from everything to apologetics to evangelism to many many missionary conferences.

    3. Their parents preached the gospel to them. – This was probably the best thing my dad is most proud of… If nothing else, he did EVERYTHING in his power to preach the gospel to us. Nightly devotions, he led sunday school, small groups, etc. My parents definitely weren’t to blame.

    So yeah, like my mother said, back to square one.


  53. It seems to me that the Christian teachers of the YEC do indeed have an agenda.

    The atheist scientists agenda, if you can call it that, is to prove that there is no God.

    However, the teachers of the YEC doesn’t SEEM to prove the atheist scientists wrong, but to pit Christians against Christians.

    In other words, they are trying to prove that Calvinism is true, and all other Christian belief systems are of the devil.

    To those Calvinists who wish to make this a salvation issue, What is salvation based on?

    We are saved from our sins. What is sin?

    1 John 3:4
    “…sin is the transgression of the Law.”

    All of the do’s and don’t’s begin in Exodus 20 thru the end of Deuteronomy. All 613 of them. It does not include a particular belief in topics.

    Take for example, Daniel.

    Daniel 12:8
    And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?

    But God said:

    Daniel 12:9-10
    And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

    This is prophesy of future events that Daniel didn’t understand, and yet, God tells Daniel that it isn’t for him to understand, but for a future generation.

    Some, in today’s generation attempts to make this a salvation issue. But salvation is based on sin, and what is sin again? Transgression of the do’s and don’t’s, not a particular stance on topical issues.



  54. @ JA~

    Did you read this sad story? It reminded me of something bfourb wrote about how the lack of being spiritually grounded in the word is a contributor to leaving the faith-

    July 11, 2013 @ 2:02 PM
    JA, The issue of why young people beginning to doubt their faith or considering walking away is the issue. that lack of spiritual grounding in the Word IS a great contributor to that. Sorry it’s not working. Maybe you need to research the issue a little. there are a LOT of folks that will tell you the same thing I have.”

    This young lady sure had a wealth of “spiritual grounding in the word” and she is no longer identifying as a Christian and no longer speaks to her dad. Very sad.


  55. Yes, I did and I left a couple of comments. There are some interesting connections with Rachael’s father’s organization, CARM and BGBC if you go snooping around on Twitter, it’s very obvious. It sounds like Rachael was raised very similarly to my daughter and very similar to the black/white legalism at BGBC. I’ve heard of scores of people who have left the faith in that environment (take a look at Homeschooler’s Anonymous). It does not surprise me one bit. They blame it on the kids saying they are rebellious. I think they are pointing the finger in the wrong direction.


  56. The lack of “analytical thinking” permeates our culture. Most students in public school environments also parrot what they are taught without considering the implications of their viewpoints. If children are taught dogma only by rote, it’s the fault of those who taught them.

    In terms of becoming a Christian, it takes divine intervention. Jesus declares we MUST be born again, and that is the work of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to teach the Gospel as clearly and accurately as possible to our children (as well as to others.) Defining that Gospel has been much debated but it’s crucial to get it right (Phil.1:27). This is why it drives me crazy when I hear people say they aren’t into doctrine but just loving Jesus. Who is Jesus? How can you know Him if there are no “facts” in your head about Him? Cults also “love” Jesus, but they have redefined who He is to fit their own preferences. Doctrines are “teachings” and essential. We can’t function without some conscious or subconscious assumptions about reality. The Bible commands us to pursue SOUND doctrines, those teachings imparted to us by God. Through sound doctrine we are saved and begin to love the true Jesus as He defines Himself.

    But we don’t just accept doctrines externally. The Holy Spirit must convince us of Truth. We are to reason together with Him. It is when we are convinced of Truth that the power of God transforms us. Our actions reflect what we really believe, not what we say we believe. Only God can know the heart, but our actions can be clues to what we really believe.

    Hannah, I obviously don’t know you personally. But you claim that you were once a Christian, but now you are not. What part of the Gospel do you reject? Are you now an atheist? Is good and evil just a man-invented myth? Does life even have meaning? Can one have “eternal” life and then stop having it (which to me is an oxymoron)? Can matter come from nothing? We are not back to square one. Your rejection of Christianity is not a sudden “mystery,” but rather a traveled path marked by one rejection after another of Scriptural premises.


  57. Hannah,

    I’m putting my mother hat on.

    Hannah, you need not reply to Christy if you don’t want to. The argument will continually lead to: you did something wrong; ie, “blame the victim.” The reality is that you have been wronged by people in the church. Yes, you have made choices as we all have, but feel no pressure in responding.

    You’ve had your faith trampled upon by those who should have been nurturing it. People who should have shown unconditional love and support have failed you, expecting perfect performance. They have put requirements on you that God never put on anyone.

    Those questions are very personal. Sure, ask them to yourself if you like, but be aware that if you respond here, there will likely be those who will tear your responses apart.

    I can pretty much guarantee that my regular readers do not have expectations for you, so you do not need to feel any pressure in responding. I love you!


  58. Therefore it is biased. He is afraid because he knows it is painfully easy to debunk his stuff. So he says awful things about good people in science-Christians-saying that they, too, are involved in a vast conspiracy to “hide the evidence.”

    “If your Conspiracy Theory doesn’t fit the facts, Invent a Bigger Conspiracy.”
    — Kooks Magazine

    — C.S.Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle


  59. To those who have argued something to the effect of “YEC isn’t the problem, it’s a lack of a proper grounding in the faith”, I have this to say: nonsense. Complete and utter nonsense.

    As well as being very similar to the Brezhnev-era Soviet solution for all problems with their system: “Increase Political Consciousness Ideological Education/Indoctrination.” And the USSR still crumbled.


  60. Even before reading my mother’s advice, I still wasn’t planning on a second reply to Christy. She can go ahead and believe what she wants too, whatever I say will go most likely not be read with an understanding spirit. All I can say about my life 5+ years ago, is before the YEC conversation detailed above, no one I knew – including me, doubted my salvation. Now, all I say is that I don’t identify as a Christian. I don’t feel the need to justify myself or my current beliefs to anyone who asks. My personal beliefs are just that – personal.


  61. Christy, Come on, now. This isn’t how you show the love of Jesus. Your words sound very condescending.

    Much of what you say is correct. Yes actions indicate what we believe. Yes, understanding the Bible is important. But knowledge is NOT more important than Matthew 22, Jesus’ own words to love God, yourself and others. Jesus was crystal clear, this is THE most important command to obey in all the Bible. If you don’t get this command down, all your Biblical knowledge is for naught. Worthless. If you read the Bible for yourself, you’ll find the Bible is quite consistent on this. God is love, and love is the basis for all the commands for living and obeying. Christy, I am concerned you think doctrine is more important.

    Christy, you said, The lack of “analytical thinking” permeates our culture. I fully agree. And it permeates the homeschool culture, also. I am a homeschool mom, so I can say that. I’ve met many homeschool children who parrot their parents’ beliefs without thinking for themselves, and without thought to loving actions. It’s the innocent, pure faith of a child that brings tears to my eyes and sharpens my own faith.

    I don’t know Hannah, but it seems she thinks for herself. It doesn’t seem she lacks analytical thinking. She seems extremely thoughtful, thus her excellent questions. As I alluded in an earlier comment, if you care about your faith, if it is personal to you, then you will have questions.

    Christy, you said, “In terms of becoming a Christian, it takes divine intervention. Jesus declares we MUST be born again, and that is the work of the Holy Spirit.” Then you said in the same paragraph, “How can you know Him if there are no “facts” in your head about Him?” It seems these statements contradict each other.

    Christy, which one do you believe? Does the Holy Spirit prompt or do you need a certain amount or number of facts to be born again? How many facts are necessary? Is child-like faith not enough?

    And here lies the problem, doctrines/creeds/foundations/the kitchen sink are, in fact, “necessary”. We have arrived again at the square one problem. That is the square one problem.


  62. The problem with love, if it is divorced from truth, is that it has no content and the problem with knowledge alone is that it is cold. If we have all knowledge but have not love we are nothing (I Cor. 13), but if we walk with those that have “zeal without knowledge” (Rom 10:2) we are blind.

    We all much search the scriptures to see if these things are so. Because love is manifest in a pursuit of truth, doctrine cannot be abandon as unimportant. But one should try and understand the more important points and not swallow gnats and ignore camels.

    Clearly, many YEC proponents have staked out the claim that this interpretation of the Bible is a core issue (perhaps not for salvation, but at least for the intellectual integrity of the faith). And really, the question of what a core issue is cannot be avoided. They will be defined because love “rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). Christians must be defined at least by the belief in Jesus as the savior who dies for our sins and was raised. It also requires belief that God is the creator of all matter and spirit. As we go down the list of implications we find many bible teaching (doctrines) and earth teachings (science doctrines) to wrestle.

    YEC is correct about one thing knowledge is important, the err is that it is not the specific doctrine of Creation that matters most but one’s judgment about the believability of the truths the bible presents on the whole that matters most. Thus, I can have questions about young earth and old earth views and still believe in Jesus as savior. Maturity is desirable, of course, and if I come down to the final conviction that what is ACTUALLY taught in the Bible is not true then I have a crisis. I have had several crises, and have come back to see these conflicts were not as real as I thought. My encouragement to Hannah would be to keep looking for there is more in heaven and earth than is found in a trip to the library (not that I think this was the end of the matter for her).


  63. How much Bible teaching should we avoid, in order to not “offend” people to the extent that they “leave the faith”? The Bible even says that the cross is an offense. That’s why this is ridiculous. It’s the days we live in. People don’t want to hear things that clash with the world that they love. But the Bible is continually clashing with the world. By satanic design, the world is contrary to the Bible. The cross is an offense, but be sure, the cross of Jesus Christ is the only means of redemption.


  64. Abe,
    Did you mean opinion bible teaching, or actual bible teaching? Some make this issue a salvation issue. If I am not mistaken, sin is the transgression of the do’s and don”ts (1 John 3:4), not the belief in a salvation issue of young earth. Help me out here, please.


  65. On the YEC part:

    I realize I may be skewered by some fundamentalists for this, but my feeling and understanding is that we Christians focus too much on the trees and not the forest. “If the Bible says ‘God made the World in 7 days,’ then that is the absolute truth.” When I studied the Bible in college, we looked at the book looking for themes and conclusions. “What is the author trying to tell us? What can we learn from this passage? What was going on at the time that inspired the author to write this? Why did the author write this?” Does 7 days or billions of years really matter? If Evolution is the truth, should we just throw out the whole Bible? I don’t think so. I think you have to worry less about certain details and look at what the Bible’s authors and characters are getting at. Look at Jesus’s parables and how he tried to get people to understand his major points. Maybe that’s how we as Christians should look at the whole Bible?

    Even the late Reverend Jerry Falwell said that “the Bible is like a fish. You have to pick away the bones.” I wouldn’t have believed that he said if I didn’t see his interview! Maybe the literal creation of the world is one of the bones?

    On the Faith part:

    When I went to college, the preachers talked about having a “borrowed faith.” By high school and college, you start re-examining your principles and beliefs. You essentially start creating your own faith. I don’t think you can go through life with a solid, unwavering faith. Matthew 17:20 says that one with the faith of a mustard seed can move a mountain. However, none of us can. Faith can be a bit like steel. It gets heated and hammered over and over until it becomes strong. I was always taught that education and learning were essential to being a good Christian (and you and her husband have shown that with your daughter). Education isn’t just about learning facts or skills, but also encountering obstacles that contradict and challenge what you once believed. I honestly don’t know where your daughter will go, faith-wise, but I think she has the ability to be a very intelligent, well-educated person with a strong faith.

    I hope I made sense with all the metaphors and questions. I also hope I allayed at least some of your fears. Good luck. 😉


  66. Thank you, Ripberger. I think you and I are in agreement on this issue.

    I like the verse you brought up and it’s making me curious to know what B4B would say about that.

    If we’re to believe in the literal 6 24-hour days of creation – because that lays the foundation for the rest of the bible as true, why have we not seen any mountains move? Does that mean nobody has faith?


  67. Too many sensitive hurt feelings about this, like some kind of sacred cow. Avoiding YEC should be its own religion or something. I’ve seen people led to the Lord by YEC, rare is the person driven from the Lord by it.

    I don’t mean to sound cold, Julie, but I can’t say this without running the risk of appearing that way, so I’ll just say it and let it be what it is. John 6:68 is the answer. A person shouldn’t be driven from Jesus based on pro or con YEC arguments. But the plain reading of Scripture obviously shows YEC to be true. Obviously to me, but ridicule me if necessary.


  68. Abe said:

    I’ve seen people led to the Lord by YEC, rare is the person driven from the Lord by it.

    I’m not sure how you could prove that point. I’ve read quite a few stories (and Dee has attested to it as well).

    I don’t mean to sound cold, Julie, but I can’t say this without running the risk of appearing that way, so I’ll just say it and let it be what it is. John 6:68 is the answer.

    Great verse!

    A person shouldn’t be driven from Jesus based on pro or con YEC arguments.

    I agree, but it happens. In my daughter’s case, it was one of many contributing factors.

    But the plain reading of Scripture obviously shows YEC to be true. Obviously to me, but ridicule me if necessary.

    What is the real issue, Abe? Is it whether YEC is true or how to get to Jesus? You just pointed to an excellent scriptural reference in what it takes to be saved. It’s all about Jesus. What did Jesus say about being saved? Did he say we have to believe in YEC? If he didn’t, then why are so many YEC supporters essentially saying that or at least saying that one’s faith is compromised for not believing in YEC?

    I don’t believe I ridiculed you in my response. I am hoping that you will see that I am trying to have meaningful discussion – – discussion that could help prevent people from erroneously saying that YEC is a primary doctrinal issue.


  69. I don’t see the Bible splitting things into “primary”, “secondary”, and “tertiary” doctrines. If I don’t see the Bible doing that, then it is man’s constructs that do it. The Bible teaches the whole counsel of God as being of value. John 6:68 is the focus of Jesus in terms of the heart’s response in association with salvation. Why would I go anywhere else, when Jesus alone is the way? I’ve pushed that verse more than even John 3:16 in many circumstances, just because it shows the heart of Peter as in, “Lord, I’m not going anywhere, You are it”.

    There was a similar discussion on another board not long ago, about how focusing on the end times doctrines caused people to “leave the faith”. But to that I say, as I say about this, baloney. Utter baloney. A church went through the Bible and taught YEC and dispensationalism, and all of the sudden a person that believed in Jesus, now doesn’t?

    There was a deeper issue there, that had nothing to do with YEC or whatever, and in that vein I pray that your daughter come to Jesus in the John 6:68 sense.

    But I’m also not going to fear leading people into the Word deeper a la Hebrews 5:12. I’m not saying anyone is unsaved for rejecting YEC, but I’m also not going to call YEC “secondary” or “tertiary”. It’s not in either of those categories. It’s just truth.

    Maybe we would refer to heresy vs. damnable heresy (2 Peter 2:1). Those would be the two categories I’d accept, just my personal opinion. Rejecting YEC puts the person into heresy. Rejecting Jesus puts them into damnable heresy.


  70. Abe,

    Actually, some matters revealed in Scripture are said to be primary. While my translation does not contain the words “primary,” “secondary,” or “tertiary,” it does distinguish that at least this much is of first importance: “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. (1 Corinthians 15:3-5, ESV).

    Just as it turned out that the proponents of a flat earth and a geocentric universe proved to be the true heretics, so it now appears that those who subscribe to the notion of a young earth are heretics. The problem, of course, is not with the Bible. The problem is with how all these fundamentalists selectively insist upon a simplistic, supposedly literal, reading of Gen. 1.

    I find it amusing that I am called a heretic for rejecting a literal reading of Gen. 1 by the very same people who categorically reject a literal reading of, say, John 6 (we must eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood), Rom. 5:18 (one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for ALL men), 1 Cor 15:22 ( in Christ shall ALL be made alive), and Titus 2:11 (the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for ALL people).


  71. Abe said:

    I’m confused by your comment. It seems at first you say the whole counsel of God is equal and we shouldn’t be splitting up primary/secondary doctrinal issues. You said:

    “I don’t see the Bible splitting things into “primary”, “secondary”, and “tertiary” doctrines. If I don’t see the Bible doing that, then it is man’s constructs that do it. The Bible teaches the whole counsel of God as being of value.”

    But then the 2nd part of your first paragraph seems to contradict the first part. You said:

    “John 6:68 is the focus of Jesus in terms of the heart’s response in association with salvation. Why would I go anywhere else, when Jesus alone is the way? I’ve pushed that verse more than even John 3:16 in many circumstances, just because it shows the heart of Peter as in, “Lord, I’m not going anywhere, You are it”.”

    I can go with you there. That seems to be essential doctrine you are referring to – the words of Jesus – and what mattered to him.

    Can you help me clear up the confusion, Abe? Thanks!


  72. Hanah, Did you know God loves you infinitely and there is nothing you can do to make Him love you less or more. Don’t miss the blessing of a love relationship with God that we were made for. (And “since you were created in His image, that makes you a beauty queen.” Mandissa)


  73. Gary: The conversation now degenerates into the version issue, and since I use the KJV, then I’m not interested in comparing it to the ESV/NIV/NASB/NLT/RSV and whatever other version came out this week.

    Nobody ever believed in a flat earth. Your “history” books tell you that people once did, and they tell you the whole Christopher Columbus thing about how he was trying to disprove flat earth, and so on. But the ancient Greek idol statues of their gods, often had them holding the world in their hands, and they all held a ball, not a pancake. So nobody ever believed in a flat earth. You have been duped by “history” which is just fiction.

    Julie: I didn’t contradict myself. The idea of “primary”/”secondary”/”tertiary” is man-made. They make it as if, “primary” is just to get saved, whereas “secondary”/”tertiary” are a matter of personal opinion and preference. But the Bible doesn’t leave room for personal opinion and preference. As I pointed out, there is heresy, and there is damnable heresy. Both are evil, but only the second one damns the soul. That still leaves the first one as evil, except that it won’t damn the soul, it will just do other forms of damage.

    I can see that there is no possibility whatsoever in convincing anyone here of any of the things that I am saying, and without any possibility of that, I’m going on my way.


  74. Abe said: “Julie: I didn’t contradict myself. The idea of “primary”/”secondary”/”tertiary” is man-made. They make it as if, “primary” is just to get saved, whereas “secondary”/”tertiary” are a matter of personal opinion and preference. But the Bible doesn’t leave room for personal opinion and preference.”

    Well, how can you justify giving complete credence to YEC in Genesis and then avoid some of the prohibitions in Leviticus – – ie, no sex with wife during menstruation or XX amount of weeks after having a baby? And what about the head covering thing? Does your wife wear one? Did your children ever disobey you? If so, did you stone them to death? Why or why not?

    It seems a lot of Christians pick and choose what they adhere to in the Bible and for the life of me, I don’t get how one can get so caught up in a trivial issue of the length of a day when the bigger issue is: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, He sent His son to be born of a virgin. He lived on this earth as man, knew no sin, but understood our temptations, and yet he chose to suffer on the cross on our behalf, to be our sacrificial lamb because He loved us. That’s essential stuff I’m talking about.

    I hope you got to read this before going away.


  75. Abe,

    You had said:
    ” But the plain reading of Scripture obviously shows YEC to be true.”

    My reply:
    Well, to me, plain reading of scripture obviously shows OEC to be true. But, let’s just say for a moment that we are BOTH WRONG, although only one of us is wrong.

    What difference does it make? I know, I sound like Hillary Clinton there.

    Salvation is based on the disobedience of the 613 laws from Exodus 20 to the end of Deuteronomy, having nothing to do with Genesis 1 and 2? Sin vs. Salvation. Where does one have to believe that a creation day is 24 hours to be saved? Which of those 613 laws specify that it is a sin to not believe in a literal 24 hour creation day?



  76. So Abe, like other fundamentalists, simply walks away from those who deign to disagree with him. And he does so after a not-so-thinly-veiled intimation of my illiteracy (although I note that even Abe was very selective in ascribing error to my comment). B4B must be proud of Abe.

    The way fundamentalists walk away from honest debate makes them look like bullies and cowards, but I’m not entirely certain that this is the best explanation. I think it more likely that they just don’t have the intellectual firepower to think for themselves–much less to contend for and defend their own opinions. About the best they can do is admonish us to go do our own study (more shades of B4B).

    This, in turn, likely has to do with what passes for higher education in fundamentalist circles. Bonhoeffer said something to the effect that American seminaries are no more than vocational schools. In other words, fundamentalist seminarians are taught what to think–they are indoctrinated–but they are not taught how to think. To ask a fundamentalist to engage in an open and honest discussion is like asking a freshly minted auto mechanic to expound on the intricacies of a newly design an engine. Trying to talk intelligently to these fundamentalists is like talking to somebody in a discount store tire department who thinks they are qualified to design Formula 1 racing tires.


  77. What’s interesting, Gary W., is that we are put down as not capable of their level of expertise and they walk away. It’s the same thing on so many of the TGC blogs where they simply do not approve my comments or on Twitter when they block me.


  78. As you know, JA, I get the same action on my end from these kind. As long as people agree with them, everything’s cool. Oppose them, they block you.

    I first noticed this kind of behavior on YouTube. Most Calvinist teachings do not allow comments, or if they do, they are moderated and cherry picked. And if they do respond to one comment, they consider it to be cased closed, and won’t allow for any more comments. They are so nasty and mean in their responses, too, as if they are far more superior in their intellect. PRIDE!!


  79. More for Abe,

    Since you choose to be snotty about which version to use, how about we abandon ALL the English translation in favor of the actual Greek, where 1 Cor 15:3 reads “αρέδωκα γὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν πρώτοις, ὃ καὶ παρέλαβον, ὅτι Χριστὸς ἀπέθανεν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν κατὰ τὰς γραφὰς.” In this verse, at least, KJV proves to be less than inspired. Now, since you are so certain in your choice of English interpretations, I assume you have the intellectual wherewithal to see exactly what point I am making. If not, maybe you could get Born4Battle to do an in-depth study for you.


  80. Pingback: An A Priori Argument Against Young Earth Creationism | ajrogersphilosophy

  81. I can understand this – the question didn’t completely break my faith, and like you I don’t think it’s an issue which affects salvation, so I find it in a lot of ways irrelevant, if still interesting, but when I even thought to question it I had already come through the fire of leaving faith, remaining agnostic for awhile and coming back to the sort of faith I could believe in, with all the trappings of legalism stripped away.

    So by the time I questioned the YEC view, I was not terribly invested in it’s truth, and I found the scientific evidence on the other side compelling enough that I began doing some research into other views, and discovered things like old-earth creationists and theistic evolution. I was, quite transparently, delighted. I had never heard of them. I wish these people got more press, it might be the saving of some people’s faith (not all, for sure, such ‘compromise’ frameworks do not work for everyone, but for some), if this is the issue that becomes a stumbling block for them, it could change their world.


  82. I’m a former homeschooling mother and also worked on my masters in microbiology. My comment is directed at Julie-Ann and Hannah.
    What I want to mention is that as homeschoolers, in the movement over the past 10 years, there has been a teaching that tells moms that we have to teach YEC as a foundation to our children’s faith. So we buy all the books, get CD’s, and teach it as foundational to our faith. The problem is that the bible does not teach that at all. Where do we hear Paul telling the churches to teach this? I believe the problem for Hannah is that her foundation was not built on the rock, as Paul tells us, but on shaky ground…a scientific foundation that appeals to our intellect. (Not that I claim to know Hannah’s background, only that this article points to that, I’m sure there is much more at play here, I’m only addressing this article)
    In fact Paul warns Timothy to stay away from any such debates in 1 Tim 6. Learning about science findings that contradict the norm of evolution is fascinating…but isn’t our foundation.

    There is another problem that I see here. The argument that scientists in YEC books only quote each other. Well, from a strictly science point of view, that is not unusual at all. When I would research soil antibiotic transfer, I looked up and quoted scientists that supported my theory. It’s not always great science, but it’s how it’s done. Now as a once scientist, I believe there is sufficient data to question evolution. So I enjoy hearing the evidence for YEC. Remember that the belief that the earth was flat was once the accepted position of science. Every scientist believed this at one time, and any scientist that did not was not accepted as a serious scientist. Keep in mind that only one was credited for disproving it. And whether he quoted others who supported him or not was irrelevant. I once worked for a scientist who opposed evolution, she was not religious, she just did not agree with the theory, but she let me know that it was unacceptable for her to discuss it, write about it, or debate it. Otherwise she would have difficulty getting published.
    If you write research about a topic that only 20 other scientist are looking into, you can only really quote from them, and maybe a few others, but your choices are limited. This is not a faith issue, this is a science community problem.
    I thought this might help Hannah put her experience into perspective. Remember that Paul wrote that we know in part only. Scientists know in part only no matter what side they are on. And they usually are on one side or the other. Unfortunately there are politics at play here…and to get published, you have to play by their rules. To deviate from it means you have to make your own science community from which to draw most of your research that supports you. Science is filled with flaws. That is why it cannot be a foundational issue of faith. I lived it, saw it, and was disappointed by it. Then fell for the idea that YEC must be my kids’ foundation…but that was wrong too. Science is just that…science. If you have faith, your foundation must be much stronger!

    My hope is that Hannah will see that her logic in questioning her faith strictly on this issue is flawed. I’m not debating YEC vs. evolution at all. Only that I hope she will see that there is more to the eye in why science is published the way it is, and unless you know that, then her conclusions are common and I myself had them in university before I worked with scientists. It’s like saying that a naturopathic doctor only quoted from other naturopaths and avoided quoting from medical journals in a sense. Well, that’s the way science goes unless you are a purist, and there are scientists that are and I applaud their efforts, they steer clear from bias…but sadly this is not the norm. Also, there are many, many evolution scientists that cannot prove many aspects of their theory either…it works both ways, it’s just that if we build our faith on YEC, it simply won’t stand, just like it woundn’t if we built it on evolution.

    1 Tim 6:20-21
    Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you.

    You probably know this already, but I thought this might be helpful to those homeschoolers who are building on a faulty foundation…and also for Hannah, so that she might understand there is a bigger picture here. Regardless of what her conclusion might end up being.


  83. You have wise words, Patricia. Thank you for your comment. (BTW, I edited “Heather” for “Hannah” on your comment. That’s a common mistake – no worries.)

    The issue of making YEC a primary doctrinal issue is completely wrong and that is a stance that the homeschool community needs to take a serious look at (and Ken Ham).


  84. Just discovered this thread….
    I heard Ken Ham on the radio one evening travelling along with the groceries in the back of the car, and if I hadn’t needed to get the ice cream to the freezer before it turned to boiled (& boiling) custard, I would have hunted the daft wee mannikin down and punched him in his arrogant aussie nose for his snide remarks about how-he-knows-it-all-and-the-rest-of-us-are-all-heathen dressed up as “science”.
    Hmmph!! What a JERK!!! [She said. Muttering under her breath. I clearly should have sacrificed the ice cream].

    Liked by 1 person

  85. Here’s a statement that I found in an article published by the Institute for Creation Research which, by the way, does use data and quotes from secular scientists to prove Young-Earth creationism. It says, in quotes:

    “If theistic evolution is true, then God is a callous death-loving supreme being who failed to record a trustworthy world history in His Book.”

    Here’s the link to this article (which, by the way, tells about an upcoming debate between Ken Ham and an evolutionist that I highly recommend that everyone listen to):

    Here’s the link to another article by ICR that explains in detail why recent creation is a vital doctrine to the Christian faith:

    Basically, what these people are saying is that if Old-Earth creationism and theistic evolutionism are true, then death and chaos would not have come from the first sin of man, but from God Himself, as God would have brought millions of years of death and chaos upon before the creation of man. It also means that God is a liar, as He says very clearly in the Bible that man was created in His Image, that the six days of creation are the same kind of days as the six days of man’s work week (thus the Sabbath day), and that death did not enter the world until the first sin of man.

    So my question for any self-respecting, devout Christian reading this comment is, do you want to believe that a loving, benevolent God, who came into this world to bring truth and life and will one day return to bring order, would fill His Holy Book with lies and bring upon death and chaos without sin as a provocation?


  86. Pingback: journey into a larger world: theistic evolution | flamesword ~ watching in the shadows

  87. Julie Anne and Hannah,
    When I read through this blog (and all of the comments) I was very much reminded of my own journey. I have great parents who love me and have been consistent in their faith. I attended a Christian school which taught YEC. In 11th grade, because I had taken every math class offered at the Christian school and other reasons too, I transferred to public school. I went on to study engineering at a secular university. Through my study, I came to see that the “science” behind YEC was so flawed and the evidence for an old earth and universe was monumental.

    I struggled with feeling lied to and betrayed by my church and the Christian school. I left my church and questioned all that I believed. I personally, know of several others who have rejected Christianity because of the incompatibility of YEC with science.

    My parents remained encouraging to me during this time and my dad eventually pointed me to Reasons to Believe ( which is an organization that promotes the integration of science and the Bible.

    What I read and learned about God’s dual revelation to us drew me back to Him. I love the way they teach that God is truth and we can learn His truth in the Bible and in His other book – the book of nature. I love the thought that when we don’t see how science and faith fit, it is because we don’t fully understand and we need to dig deeper and investigate more (not just ignore the evidence). I love the lack of arrogance and the gentle way they use science to draw people to God, rather than push them away.

    Hannah, I’m so sorry you have been hurt. I don’t have any pat answers or quick fix solutions. I have 2 daughters now and desire to keep them far away from YEC (well actually I think it is probably better that they are aware of what YEC is and the evidence (or lack thereof) to support it so that they can make an informed choice). It seems like your mom loves you very much.

    I would welcome any advice either of you have for my daughters (who are going to public school). I hope that the faith they develop will be lasting, genuine and evidence based.


  88. Kristine,
    Are you aware that Dr. Henry Morris, one of the founders of the young earth movement, was an evolutionist when he was younger? As he studied science and the Scriptures, he slowly began to realize that the Bible teaches the universe was created in 6 literal days. He was able to merge the Genesis account with real science. I suggest you buy the Evolution Handbook by Vance Ferrell. It will destroy your faith in evolution.


  89. Kristine – Thanks so much for sharing your YEC journey. The only advice I have on this topic and really it applies to many topics in Christianity is to make sure to keep primary doctrinal issues and secondary doctrinal issues separate. And be wary of those who try to make secondary issues into primary ones. And love much. It sounds like you probably already do this, though 🙂 Welcome to the blog, btw!


  90. Dennis – guess I’m not sure why you think I believe in evolution. I think there is significant evidence published by well respected scientists in multiple fields for well over 100 years that points to an old earth. Evolution is a completely different topic that I didn’t address in my OP at all. Gotta love the way YEC calls their science “real”.

    Julie Anne – thanks for the advice. There are lots of ways to be side-tracked from what is important. Even good things can be used used by the devil to distract us from what is primary. We are trying to “keep the main thing the main thing” but at the same time addressing secondary things as appropriately.


  91. Kristine:

    I have another daughter who just came home from college and we had a great talk last night about this very topic. She goes to a private Christian college, but the students come from a wide background. Her college choir has recently gone on a couple of trips where they sang at a variety of churches and so she was able to see a lot of diversity among churches and even some doctrinal differences.

    At our former bad church, we were trained to look down on anyone who believed anything different than our beliefs and so she has had to fight that internal battle. What she has seen is the love of Christ even in diversity. She’s learned that you can have differences of opinion on the smaller matters and still love and serve the same God. She especially noticed this when staying at the homes of host families and engaging in great conversations.

    Because of our bad church experience and extra-biblical teachings and legalism, I was quite nervous about her going off to a private Christian college. I did not want her to get sucked into a place similar to what we had left. What I am observing is that she is growing deeper in her faith by having the freedom to choose. I told her last night that I want her to investigate for herself, test things with scripture and hold on to those things which line up with scripture and with what God is speaking to her heart.


  92. “Because of our bad church experience and extra-biblical teachings and legalism, I was quite nervous about her going off to a private Christian college. I did not want her to get sucked into a place similar to what we had left. What I am observing is that she is growing deeper in her faith by having the freedom to choose. I told her last night that I want her to investigate for herself, test things with scripture and hold on to those things which line up with scripture and with what God is speaking to her heart. ”

    This is it. Freedom brings a deeper walk because in the end it is a “personal relationship”. Like you, I am very concerned with mine choosing a “Christian college”. So many of them have serious issues that are hidden from the naïve young who can get sucked in when it has a plastic fish slapped on it to hide the evils within.

    So glad your daughter found one that is more open.


  93. Freedom to choose but also freedom to view all of the information. It drove me crazy when the data was hidden and only conclusions were accessible. How can you choose when you’ve only been allowed to see one side of the story?

    The Christian school I attended was very legalistic about everything but our church was somewhat less so and my parents were (and still are) great and always encouraged us to investigate and understand both (or multiple) sides of an issue rather than making hasty conclusions. I’m glad they saw my frustrations and pulled me out of the school after 10th grade.

    I’m still learning and growing in my faith and my knowledge (and still learning that love is more important than knowledge). I’m currently reading “The Bible, Rocks and Time: Geological Evidence for the Age of the Earth” by Davis A. Young and Ralph Stearley and very much enjoying all of the insight on the history of the church, geology and paleontology and more. I’m also reading “Navigating Genesis” by Hugh Ross. I like his thorough and gentle approach.

    For my kids, I bought Holman QuickSource Guide to Understanding Creation which takes a respectful approach to describing multiple views on creation (including YEC, OEC, theistic evolution and some sub-categories of each). No bashing of any view, just explaining what the view is, and some pros and critiques of each.


  94. I’m glad someone finally answered the circular quotes objection. Even better that it is from someone who has studied graduate level biology. I learned early on in my studies that a Ph.D. really doesn’t mean anything. There are Ph.D.’s who think deeply, and those who just carefully jumped through all the hoops and managed to get one. I’ve had courses taught by people with Masters degrees that were way better than those taught by Ph.D.’s.

    I hope that Hannah will continue exploring, and as she digs deeper will find reasons for renewed faith. Christianity really is about exploring — that’s how we are transformed by the renewing of our minds! (Rom. 12:1)

    When I read scientific papers I see circular quotes all the time. Confirmation bias is very real. It happens on both sides of the debate (and over many other topics of debate). While I don’t believe YEC is “primary” as others have pointed out, our view of Genesis 1-3 does affect our view of the rest of scripture. Our choices have impacts. We need to take things to logical conclusions. As someone has pointed out, evolution is certainly not compatible with a literal Adam and Eve existing. If Adam and Eve don’t exist, then what do we do with the fact that the rest of the Bible also treats them as literal people with literal descendants?

    Scientists like to talk like they know what they are talking about. Yet when you really read their stuff you realize how little they know. For instance, in reading a bit about muscle development, I realized no one know whether when you exercise you can create more muscle fibers or whether the fibers just swell. Lots think the number never increases, just the size, but others think that with enough training the body builds more. If they can’t even figure that out, with living organisms to study, what makes us think that they can figure ancient history that is not currently observable?

    I’m not saying they have it all wrong — I’m just saying we need to take everything scientists say with a large grain of salt and investigate for ourselves. We should also do the same with Bible teachers — and investigate what the Bible really says (and doesn’t say).


  95. All i know is, Adam and Eve were created on the 6th day, some 6,000 years ago. However, there is a possibility of a gap between Genesis 1.1 and 1.2a. All and all, i believe in God’s word far more than man’s “science.” And yeah, i’m a fundie 😉


  96. Pingback: Attention Homeschool Moms: A Potential Homeschool Mom Asks about Agenda-Free Christian Homeschool Curricula | Spiritual Sounding Board

  97. Pingback: Young Earth Creationism blamed for people losing their faith – Such Was I

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