Further to “Are dinosaurs the real reason young Christians in college desert their faith?”, first, thanks to all who have contributed so far. Back to the ol’ day job tomorrow, so here goes, touching on some specific replies:
scordova at 4: Hardline YEC I think can be damaging to faith if it is taught as all or nothing. It is bad if there is an unwillingness to say, “a literal reading of the Bible suggests YEC, but the data in hand don’t make a convincing case, yet”. If instead, you get the standard line, “you’re sinning and attacking Christianty for thinking otherwise, there must be some sin in your life causing you to doubt doubting, you need to read the Bible and see that God created the world 6000 years ago”. Of course the youth will leave. That’s bullying, that’s not a reasoned defense of the faith.
Fair enough. But that is a description of fanatics who bully students. That does drive people away. But does the dinosaur effect kick in even if the pastor simply states in a friendly way that such-and-so is the denominational belief, but does not make it an issue? And suggests reading resources on both sides?
I find it hard to credit the idea that conflicts between traditional Christian lifestyle teachings and pot use, cheating on tests, buying essays, drunkenness, hookups, dabbling in the occult, doping, poor sportsmanship, gambling, and abortions would not drive most conflict. Having already mostly left the Christian frame of reference, the student then discovers that in general, the world rewards behaviours of all kinds that he has been told come at the risk of his soul. But now the price seems worth paying. He regards his old self as boring and naive.
Of course, he may end up wishing he had never met his new self. But by then he might be forty. In the meantime, stuck for an explanation, he says it was all about dinosaurs.
scordova at 9, w. respect to Tim Keller: If that’s the case, it proves exactly my point about bullying. Points the accusing finger first, doesn’t even to bother to ask and listen.
I am staying resolutely out of any discussion of the merits of pastors, noting only (perhaps controversially) that I believe there is more to be said for Keller’s approach than first appears. For the reasons I have suggested above.
Incidentally, none of this is meant, in any event, as an accusation against students. Quite the contrary. It would of course make more sense to leave a church because one wishes to live a life forbidden by New Testament-based teachings than to leave it in a quarrel over the bones of T Rex.
What is T. Rex, that thou art mindful of him? Will he be counted worthy of a place in the resurrection of the just?
drc466 at 11: I think “dinosaurs” get the blame because professors in evolutionary-fields tend to take radical atheism and open anti-religion to higher levels than, say, your average accounting or engineering professor.
Yes. Will Provine co-authored a study according to which 78% of evolutionary biologists were found to be pure naturalist atheists.
My chief reason for having no use for groups like BioLogos is that anyone who fails to see the significance of that type of finding, and continues to treat “evidence” for Darwinian evolution coming from such a quarter as if it were neutral science data … there are terms to describe such people, but we ought to focus on something constructive here.
scordova at 22 sounds like he is on the right track in dealing with the human issues.
And, as he says, the SuperBowl is starting. – O’Leary for News
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