Re: [asa] Sins of pseudoscience

From: Merv <>
Date: Mon Jan 21 2008 - 19:19:29 EST

Your impression, unfortunately, was accurately perceived and right on.
That is a condescending way of thinking, and I too do have friends I
would not at all consider immature in their faith, that yet harbor YEC
views. (Although, interestingly, their views on this issue do not seem
to be so "ever-present" in their conversation -- so "front and center"
of everything they do.) It is more like an assumed back-drop -- but
they don't dwell on it or push it; at least not around me. So perhaps
that post was two-faced of me since I would not at all have put it thus
to them either. (Should I? --I would still stand behind much of what I
said; as a challenge to myself foremost.) I guess I should modify my
words to say, rather, that their strength of faith (that I admire) does
not, IMO, reside in the YEC aspect of their theology, but exists in
spite of it. They would disagree, of course, but there it is.

It is easier to wax bold, strong, and alas--offensively when it is
regarding people I don't know (like *your* friends) than when applying
this to my own. Thanks for calling me on it.


Iain Strachan wrote:
> Perhaps I could respond briefly to one impression I'm getting from
> your post, which is otherwise thoughtful.
> The impression from your post is that people who have the "coping
> strategy" of YEC are perhaps immature in their faith and need to be
> helped to grow up. Yet there are quite a number of YEC friends that
> I've studied scripture with, who I would have said were very mature,
> and from whom I've learnt a great deal (provided we don't get on to
> the vexed topic of evol....).
> Iain
> On Jan 21, 2008 10:22 PM, <
> <>> wrote:
> Quoting Iain Strachan <
> <>>:
> >
> > I've a friend who believes she is sensitive to just about all
> kinds of
> > electromagnetic fields, from mobile phone radiation right down
> to the mains
> > .... My wife and I
> > have had to bail her out on occasion when she was on the brink
> of suicide;
> > but now all that is put down to the effect of EMF's. It is a coping
> > strategy.
> >
> > Likewise, the YEC David Anderson I wrote about earlier told me "if I
> > believed, as you do, that the earth is billions of years old, I
> would give
> > up my faith and become an atheist". What is one to do? Be
> responsible for
> > the collapse of someone's faith? Or is it better to be an
> atheist than to
> > base one's faith on a lie? If someone's faith cannot survive at
> the same
> > time as accepting billions of years/common ancestry etc, is one
> to say that
> > this faith is worthless?
> >
> > I kind of think not - if you examined what we all thought and
> believed,
> > there is probably some bit of irrational dishonesty that we all
> cling on to
> > for dear life. >
> > Iain
> I can understand the sympathy we can have towards our coping
> mechanisms -- but
> Christianity is so easily reduced to just such a phenomenon by
> those outside the
> faith. "It's our delusional way of coping." While we don't
> want to be
> "trigger-pullers" towards a brother's fragile faith, I don't think
> we do him any
> favors by patting him on the back and letting him go either.
> Hebrews 5 may be
> relevant to this: a person of fragile faith needing the "milk"
> of reassurance
> on the basic foundations of his faith; he needs to see some
> answered prayer,
> hear some glowing testimonies, "feel" a presence of God and so on.
> I think God
> actually provides this as needed for a "babe" who needs it. But
> to think that
> an immature death-grip on a certain fallacious view of Scripture
> can be
> included in this, is, I think, dangerous for the infant --who
> needs more than
> anything to grow up.
> A more mature believer, however, may get his boat rocked a bit
> more without
> his foundations getting blown apart. He can handle the night
> times of the soul,
> the desert wastes encountered in life; and while he is shaken --
> he still
> recognizes the Rock. I think Paul demonstrates a commitment to
> Truth above all
> when he says in I Cor. 15, if these things are not so, then we are
> found to be
> false witnesses -- and indeed our whole faith is a most pathetic
> affair if
> Christ was not really raised from the dead. No sympathetic word
> here about how
> it still might all be a nice coping mechanism.
> I don't have a good answer for you Iain about how to handle some
> of these. You
> obviously have a bit of experience. But if we don't somehow
> gently pry these
> "time-bomb falsehoods" away from a friend, then someone else later
> may be happy
> to pull their trigger, and you may not be around at that point to
> help pick up
> pieces.
> --Merv
> p.s. I think the question has been asked: If you had to choose
> between
> happiness or knowing the truth, which would you want? Our
> Christian faith leads
> us to see that as a false dichotomy. But in the meanwhile, Truth
> would seem
> the more paramount of the two, I think. Happiness built on
> falsehood is to be
> on stormy seas in a cardboard boat. And we don't do our
> Christian witness any
> favor when it becomes apparent that our commitment to truth is not
> preeminent in
> our theology.
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> --
> -----------
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> - Italian Proverb
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Received on Mon Jan 21 19:21:34 2008

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