Training of Fundamentalist Clergy

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Training of Fundamentalist Clergy

Postby Roger Stanyard » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:19 pm

Evangelicism and Creationism

What we don’t have on our wiki or anywhere I know where we can provide a URL link to is why creationism is so prevalent amongst and dominated by evangelicals. Lenny Flank has lots on the link on a historical basis but not from a theological basis. From what’s been said in the FFA forum, it appears that a deliberate low level of theological training in certain denominations such as the charismatics may be one cause.

Anyone got any ideas on this or links to other sites that may help illuminate the issues?

It seems to me that the issues lie at several levels:

1. Basic theology.

2. Organisational

3. Cultural

I’m trying to get some feel why creationism has no hold in many mainstream denominations such as the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, Methodism, non-evangelical Christians and so on.

From what has been said, the suggestion is that lack of intellectual rigour arises when congregations are left to make up much of their own minds without the guidance of well-trained clergy. This opens the door to creationists because there is simply no-one or nothing to oppose them.

Moreover, it appears than many of the “bible schools” where fundamentalists receive their training are seriously piss-poor – incapable of becoming accredited by recognised accreditation bodies. It’s not even their output that is poor – one wonders what the quality of brain it is they attract in the 1st place.

Anyone also got any ideas on why the piss-poor quality of their degrees are accepted by congregations? If I were a Christian, I would walk out of a church that had John Blanchard as a guest preacher purely on the grounds that he uses a diploma mill PhD title – just as I would sack an employee who tried to pas such a standard off as the real think. Surely many of the congregations in such churches know that real degrees have to be earned the hard way and that some universities are better than others?

Or is it the case that in many fundamentalist circles adherents believe such people have superior knowledge just because they are religious and that over-rides the need for proper education and training?

In other words, why is the over-inflated qualificational status of fundamentalist clergy so prevalent? Why do they accept the third rate so often?

Is th position as bad in the UK as it is in the USA?

In other denominations, we expect clergy to have recognised qualifications – when a member of the Anglican clergy uses MA after their name, we expect that it’s the real, recognised thing - probably from Oxbridge. The Catholic Maynooth seminary requires its trainee clergy to study and train for, IIRC, seven years.
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Re: Training of Fundamentalist Clergy

Postby Derek Potter » Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:08 pm

Roger Stanyard wrote:Evangelicism and Creationism

What we don’t have on our wiki or anywhere I know where we can provide a URL link to is why creationism is so prevalent amongst and dominated by evangelicals. Lenny Flank has lots on the link on a historical basis but not from a theological basis. From what’s been said in the FFA forum, it appears that a deliberate low level of theological training in certain denominations such as the charismatics may be one cause.


Charismatic is not a denomination, it's a broad theological term referring to Christians who believe in the modern-day supernatural gifts (charisma="gift" not "personality"!!). There are charismatic evangelicals, non-charismatic evangelicals, charismatic Roman Catholics, non-charismatic RCs. The principle use for the term in the context of creationism is that there are a lot of independent small fellowships that have arisen out of the charismatic movement and these do tend to be Bible-believing, i.e. Biblical literalist, by default.

Anyone got any ideas on this or links to other sites that may help illuminate the issues?

It seems to me that the issues lie at several levels:

1. Basic theology.

2. Organisational

3. Cultural

I’m trying to get some feel why creationism has no hold in many mainstream denominations such as the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, Methodism, non-evangelical Christians and so on.


Because they are not Biblical-literalists.

From what has been said, the suggestion is that lack of intellectual rigour arises when congregations are left to make up much of their own minds without the guidance of well-trained clergy. This opens the door to creationists because there is simply no-one or nothing to oppose them.


I didn't say anything about lack of intellectual rigour or needing a well-trained clergyman to whip them into line. I said that free churches do not accept the authority of traditional theologians so why should they bother with their theologies? It's as irrelevant as expertise in animal nutrition would be to the local gardening sociaty.

Moreover, it appears than many of the “bible schools” where fundamentalists receive their training are seriously piss-poor – incapable of becoming accredited by recognised accreditation bodies. It’s not even their output that is poor – one wonders what the quality of brain it is they attract in the 1st place.


For once I agree with both you and David Anderson on this point. I suggest you read his latest blog though as you are seriously missing the point of what this kind of Christianity is about.

Anyone also got any ideas on why the piss-poor quality of their degrees are accepted by congregations?


Do you have any evidence that most members of a congregation are even interested? There was a home-spun Bible school round here at one stage. People enjoyed going but the qualification would be worthless for someone wanting a job with the CoE or even the Baptists. Nevetheless it would mean something to like-minded people.

If I were a Christian, I would walk out of a church that had John Blanchard as a guest preacher purely on the grounds that he uses a diploma mill PhD title – just as I would sack an employee who tried to pas such a standard off as the real think.


I half agree with you. However, to my mind "diploma mill" means "Pay us $60 and we'll send you your PhD by return of post". I understand he has a PhD from a non-accredited university obtained by a correspondence course. Other than that I have no idea whether it represents any particular expertise. If not - and assuming I found out in time - I would certainly protest but not because of lack of qualification but because true diploma mill degrees are fraudulent.

Surely many of the congregations in such churches know that real degrees have to be earned the hard way and that some universities are better than others?


You are assuming, are you not, that most members of churches can actually be bothered to research who's speaking? Most of them just turn up on the night.

Or is it the case that in many fundamentalist circles adherents believe such people have superior knowledge just because they are religious and that over-rides the need for proper education and training?


Indeed so and they are correct. Being a Christian is not an intellectual exercise. Read your Anderson :)

In other words, why is the over-inflated qualificational status of fundamentalist clergy so prevalent? Why do they accept the third rate so often?
Is th position as bad in the UK as it is in the USA?


Is it and do they? Or is this another one of your straw polls? I would say that lack of recognised qualifications is fairly prevalent in some streams - and largely irrelevant to what they are doing. Over-inflation seems to me, though I may be wrong, largely an American phenomenon where a quirk in the law allows anyone to set up a university and sell degrees. And of course, it is quite immoral.

In other denominations, we expect clergy to have recognised qualifications – when a member of the Anglican clergy uses MA after their name, we expect that it’s the real, recognised thing - probably from Oxbridge. The Catholic Maynooth seminary requires its trainee clergy to study and train for, IIRC, seven years.


Horses for courses.
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Postby Peter Henderson » Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:41 pm

I’m trying to get some feel why creationism has no hold in many mainstream denominations such as the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, Methodism, non-evangelical Christians and so on.


The four mainstream churches in northern Ireland do not promote YECism as a rule Roger, even the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. There are at least four Presbyterian churches teaching it though. Abbots Cross, Glenwherry, Leggacurry, and Tandragee. I don't think the powers that be in church house are really aware of what is going on. Dr. Desi Alexander did not seem concerned when I raised the issue and I felt he was somewhat naive about the situation. As far as I know, candidates for the Presbyterian ministry are required to have both a secular degree and a theological one. My own minister (a YEC) has a legitimate degree from Queens University and he was a teacher for a while before entering the ministry. His wife is from a Baptist background so that's where the YECism may originate from. The clerk of session is also ex-brethren, and ex-Metropolitan Tabernacle (Whitewell) so that probably doesn't help either.

Incidently, one of the lay preachers in the Methodist church here is Eric Waugh, former Northern Ireland political correspondent for BBC NI (his son is a Methodist minister). He was very much opposed to Roger Oakland's (understand the times) visit here a few years ago. Oakland spoke at Abbots Cross Presbyterian Men's Fellowship during his last visit. He's a staunch YEC by the way.

Education seems to be partly the key. Whiteabbey Presbyterian draws most of it's members from the Jordanstown area, quite a middle class district close to the Ulster University. Abbots Cross on the other hand, is close to several large working class housing estates, although there are a number of well educated/professional people in the congregation. However, that is not to say that if Paul Taylor or Monty White spoke at Whiteabbey PC there wouldn't be a sudden enthuseistic lurch towards a Young Earth position !
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Postby Paula Thomas » Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:37 am

It might be useful also to look at shy those that do promote YEC do. In there you may find why the others don't.

Therre's a line I remember from a US ex Catholic comedian "We Catholics believe in evolution - we aren't like those ignorant protestants". :D

But seriously:

Within any group there are those who accept the reality of that groups position and those that hold onto the groups dogma no matter what.

And within protestantism there has always been a biblical literalist group from the puritans of the 16th and 17th centuries on.

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Training of Fundamentalist Clergy

Postby Dave Oldridge » Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:55 am

On 14 Mar 2007 at 10:08, derekpotter wrote:


Roger Stanyard wrote:
Evangelicism and Creationism

What we don't have on our wiki or anywhere I know where we can
provide a URL link to is why creationism is so prevalent amongst
and dominated by evangelicals. Lenny Flank has lots on the link
on a historical basis but not from a theological basis. From
what's been said in the FFA forum, it appears that a deliberate
low level of theological training in certain denominations such
as the charismatics may be one cause.


Charismatic is not a denomination, it's a broad theological term
referring to Christians who believe in the modern-day
supernatural gifts (charisma="gift" not "personality"!!). There
are charismatic evangelicals, non-charismatic evangelicals,
charismatic Roman Catholics, non-charismatic RCs. The principle
use for the term in the context of creationism is that there are
a lot of independent small fellowships that have arisen out of
the charismatic movement and these do tend to be
Bible-believing, i.e. Biblical literalist, by default.

By no means all are, though and the movement does range all the
way from very traditional rites out to bizarre neo-Arian rites
with a huge chip on their shoulders.

Anyone got any ideas on this or links to other sites that may
help illuminate the issues?
It seems to me that the issues lie at several levels:

1. Basic theology.

2. Organisational

3. Cultural

I'm trying to get some feel why creationism has no hold in
many mainstream denominations such as the Catholic Church, the
Orthodox Church, Methodism, non-evangelical Christians and so
on.

Because they are not Biblical-literalists.

Exactly, in some of these denominations, sola scriptura ad
litteram is actually seen as heresy and most of the others view
it with some distaste if not outright excommunication.

From what has been said, the suggestion is that lack of
intellectual rigour arises when congregations are left to make
up much of their own minds without the guidance of well-trained
clergy. This opens the door to creationists because there is
simply no-one or nothing to oppose them.


I didn't say anything about lack of intellectual rigour or
needing a well-trained clergyman to whip them into line. I said
that free churches do not accept the authority of traditional
theologians so why should they bother with their theologies?
It's as irrelevant as expertise in animal nutrition would be to
the local gardening sociaty.

Well, I think, "Thou shalt not bear false witness" is pretty much
accepted by MOST denominations as being an expression of God's
will in the matter. The problem is, the professional bearers of
false witness are cunning, glib and quite convincing. They get
the ordinary members of the sola scriptura rites, especially
those who accept a literalist notion of what that means, to start
spouting the lies and slanders of creationism without really
checking up on them. This is subtle and dangerous because once a
victim has invested some emotional capital in defending the false
doctrines, he tends to get hooked on doing so and can be more
easily seduced into not caring if he's lying.

Moreover, it appears than many of the "bible schools" where
fundamentalists receive their training are seriously piss-poor
– incapable of becoming accredited by recognised
accreditation bodies. It's not even their output that is poor
– one wonders what the quality of brain it is they attract
in the 1st place.

For once I agree with both you and David Anderson on this point.
I suggest you read his latest blog though as you are seriously
missing the point of what this kind of Christianity is about.

Anyone also got any ideas on why the piss-poor quality of
their degrees are accepted by congregations?

Do you have any evidence that most members of a congregation are
even interested? There was a home-spun Bible school round here
at one stage. People enjoyed going but the qualification would
be worthless for someone wanting a job with the CoE or even the
Baptists. Nevetheless it would mean something to like-minded
people.

If I were a Christian, I would walk out of a church that had
John Blanchard as a guest preacher purely on the grounds that he
uses a diploma mill PhD title – just as I would sack an
employee who tried to pas such a standard off as the real
think.

I half agree with you. However, to my mind "diploma mill" means
"Pay us $60 and we'll send you your PhD by return of post". I
understand he has a PhD from a non-accredited university
obtained by a correspondence course. Other than that I have no
idea whether it represents any particular expertise. If not -
and assuming I found out in time - I would certainly protest but
not because of lack of qualification but because true diploma
mill degrees are fraudulent.

Surely many of the congregations in such churches know that
real degrees have to be earned the hard way and that some
universities are better than others?

You are assuming, are you not, that most members of churches can
actually be bothered to research who's speaking? Most of them
just turn up on the night.

Or is it the case that in many fundamentalist circles
adherents believe such people have superior knowledge just
because they are religious and that over-rides the need for
proper education and training?

Indeed so and they are correct. Being a Christian is not an
intellectual exercise. Read your Anderson :)


In other words, why is the over-inflated qualificational
status of fundamentalist clergy so prevalent? Why do they accept
the third rate so often?
Is th position as bad in the UK as it is in the USA?

In the USA, these people are often the heirs to a serious anti-
intellectual movement that has festered there since the 19th
century. Basically, it is a serious distrust on the part of many
rural Americans for anything intellectual at all. And some of
that distrust is fairly earned. I mean, just a couple of decades
ago, I remember serious "theologians" telling them that God is
dead. But the fact is, a lot of this motion was originating in
poor, rural communities both in the aftermath of the Civil War
and in the Great Depression. And it strikes a chord, not only by
inciting suspicion of outsiders, but also by strumming the
temptation to envy those who have by those who don't.


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Training of Fundamentalist Clergy

Postby Dave Oldridge » Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:55 am

On 14 Mar 2007 at 10:08, derekpotter wrote:


Roger Stanyard wrote:
Evangelicism and Creationism

What we don't have on our wiki or anywhere I know where we can
provide a URL link to is why creationism is so prevalent amongst
and dominated by evangelicals. Lenny Flank has lots on the link
on a historical basis but not from a theological basis. From
what's been said in the FFA forum, it appears that a deliberate
low level of theological training in certain denominations such
as the charismatics may be one cause.


Charismatic is not a denomination, it's a broad theological term
referring to Christians who believe in the modern-day
supernatural gifts (charisma="gift" not "personality"!!). There
are charismatic evangelicals, non-charismatic evangelicals,
charismatic Roman Catholics, non-charismatic RCs. The principle
use for the term in the context of creationism is that there are
a lot of independent small fellowships that have arisen out of
the charismatic movement and these do tend to be
Bible-believing, i.e. Biblical literalist, by default.

By no means all are, though and the movement does range all the
way from very traditional rites out to bizarre neo-Arian rites
with a huge chip on their shoulders.

Anyone got any ideas on this or links to other sites that may
help illuminate the issues?
It seems to me that the issues lie at several levels:

1. Basic theology.

2. Organisational

3. Cultural

I'm trying to get some feel why creationism has no hold in
many mainstream denominations such as the Catholic Church, the
Orthodox Church, Methodism, non-evangelical Christians and so
on.

Because they are not Biblical-literalists.

Exactly, in some of these denominations, sola scriptura ad
litteram is actually seen as heresy and most of the others view
it with some distaste if not outright excommunication.

From what has been said, the suggestion is that lack of
intellectual rigour arises when congregations are left to make
up much of their own minds without the guidance of well-trained
clergy. This opens the door to creationists because there is
simply no-one or nothing to oppose them.


I didn't say anything about lack of intellectual rigour or
needing a well-trained clergyman to whip them into line. I said
that free churches do not accept the authority of traditional
theologians so why should they bother with their theologies?
It's as irrelevant as expertise in animal nutrition would be to
the local gardening sociaty.

Well, I think, "Thou shalt not bear false witness" is pretty much
accepted by MOST denominations as being an expression of God's
will in the matter. The problem is, the professional bearers of
false witness are cunning, glib and quite convincing. They get
the ordinary members of the sola scriptura rites, especially
those who accept a literalist notion of what that means, to start
spouting the lies and slanders of creationism without really
checking up on them. This is subtle and dangerous because once a
victim has invested some emotional capital in defending the false
doctrines, he tends to get hooked on doing so and can be more
easily seduced into not caring if he's lying.

Moreover, it appears than many of the "bible schools" where
fundamentalists receive their training are seriously piss-poor
– incapable of becoming accredited by recognised
accreditation bodies. It's not even their output that is poor
– one wonders what the quality of brain it is they attract
in the 1st place.

For once I agree with both you and David Anderson on this point.
I suggest you read his latest blog though as you are seriously
missing the point of what this kind of Christianity is about.

Anyone also got any ideas on why the piss-poor quality of
their degrees are accepted by congregations?

Do you have any evidence that most members of a congregation are
even interested? There was a home-spun Bible school round here
at one stage. People enjoyed going but the qualification would
be worthless for someone wanting a job with the CoE or even the
Baptists. Nevetheless it would mean something to like-minded
people.

If I were a Christian, I would walk out of a church that had
John Blanchard as a guest preacher purely on the grounds that he
uses a diploma mill PhD title – just as I would sack an
employee who tried to pas such a standard off as the real
think.

I half agree with you. However, to my mind "diploma mill" means
"Pay us $60 and we'll send you your PhD by return of post". I
understand he has a PhD from a non-accredited university
obtained by a correspondence course. Other than that I have no
idea whether it represents any particular expertise. If not -
and assuming I found out in time - I would certainly protest but
not because of lack of qualification but because true diploma
mill degrees are fraudulent.

Surely many of the congregations in such churches know that
real degrees have to be earned the hard way and that some
universities are better than others?

You are assuming, are you not, that most members of churches can
actually be bothered to research who's speaking? Most of them
just turn up on the night.

Or is it the case that in many fundamentalist circles
adherents believe such people have superior knowledge just
because they are religious and that over-rides the need for
proper education and training?

Indeed so and they are correct. Being a Christian is not an
intellectual exercise. Read your Anderson :)


In other words, why is the over-inflated qualificational
status of fundamentalist clergy so prevalent? Why do they accept
the third rate so often?
Is th position as bad in the UK as it is in the USA?

In the USA, these people are often the heirs to a serious anti-
intellectual movement that has festered there since the 19th
century. Basically, it is a serious distrust on the part of many
rural Americans for anything intellectual at all. And some of
that distrust is fairly earned. I mean, just a couple of decades
ago, I remember serious "theologians" telling them that God is
dead. But the fact is, a lot of this motion was originating in
poor, rural communities both in the aftermath of the Civil War
and in the Great Depression. And it strikes a chord, not only by
inciting suspicion of outsiders, but also by strumming the
temptation to envy those who have by those who don't.


--

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ICQ 1800667
VA7CZ
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Posts: 159
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Postby Michael » Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:49 am

In Britain "fundies" can be found in all mainstream denominations and thus will have gone to ordinary theological colleges or local training schemes.

In the Cofe creationist clergy will have been trained in "respectable " institutions and be graduates. George Curry has a Durham degree and trained at Cranmer Durham and Oak hill (and was a student with me at Cranemr) Others have been to all colleges especially evangelicals ones like Oak Hill, Trinity, Wycliffe, St johns and Ridley

It's too early to say more

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Re: Training of Fundamentalist Clergy

Postby Derek Potter » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:59 am

Dave Oldridge wrote:
I'm trying to get some feel why creationism has no hold in
many mainstream denominations such as the Catholic Church, the
Orthodox Church, Methodism, non-evangelical Christians and so
on.

Because they are not Biblical-literalists.

Exactly, in some of these denominations, sola scriptura ad
litteram is actually seen as heresy and most of the others view
it with some distaste if not outright excommunication.


Especially your own - since the 4th C, I understand!

Funnily enough any departure from the same theology is regarded as heresy in other streams and any compromise viewed with the same distaste. Of course excommunication is not available to coerce dissidents but peer-pressure is very strong especially where the church values a strong community or family feeling.

...

Well, I think, "Thou shalt not bear false witness" is pretty much
accepted by MOST denominations as being an expression of God's
will in the matter. The problem is, the professional bearers of
false witness are cunning, glib and quite convincing. They get
the ordinary members of the sola scriptura rites, especially
those who accept a literalist notion of what that means, to start
spouting the lies and slanders of creationism without really
checking up on them. This is subtle and dangerous because once a
victim has invested some emotional capital in defending the false
doctrines, he tends to get hooked on doing so and can be more
easily seduced into not caring if he's lying.

Absolutely.

In the USA, these people are often the heirs to a serious anti-
intellectual movement that has festered there since the 19th
century. Basically, it is a serious distrust on the part of many
rural Americans for anything intellectual at all. And some of
that distrust is fairly earned. I mean, just a couple of decades
ago, I remember serious "theologians" telling them that God is
dead.


Seem to recall that someone else said that a bit further back :)

There was a young curate called Nietzche
Who applied for a job as a preacher
But he went off his head
And declared "God is dead!"
So they made him Divinity teacher.


But our own Don Cupitt said something similar around then, much to the horror of the more conservative Christians who stubbornly hung onto the quaint theological idea that God actually exists.

But the fact is, a lot of this motion was originating in
poor, rural communities both in the aftermath of the Civil War
and in the Great Depression. And it strikes a chord, not only by
inciting suspicion of outsiders, but also by strumming the
temptation to envy those who have by those who don't.


You may be right. However the meme thrives in the UK too. There is some anti-intellectualism but I'm not sure whether it's pre-existing (jealous rather stupid, ill-educated members?) or whether it's just part of the package itself. It certainly lets the ill-educated feel they know better than the experts. Sigh.
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Training of Fundamentalist Clergy

Postby Anonymous » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:14 pm

What we don’t have on our wiki or anywhere I know where we can provide a URL link to is why creationism is so prevalent amongst and dominated by evangelicals.

Does this help you?

http://www.ncseweb.org/article.asp?category=11

Also, type in evangelical on the NCSE website and you will find a number of really interesting statements and articles.

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Re: Training of Fundamentalist Clergy

Postby Derek Potter » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:36 pm

Mike Brass wrote:
What we don’t have on our wiki or anywhere I know where we can provide a URL link to is why creationism is so prevalent amongst and dominated by evangelicals.

Does this help you?

http://www.ncseweb.org/article.asp?category=11

Also, type in evangelical on the NCSE website and you will find a number of really interesting statements and articles.


"Still, for some people of faith today, the theory of evolution is rejected outright because of its conflict with the tenets of their faith. For others, like the articulate students shown in Episode Seven, evolution seems to challenge their faith assumptions, but in a way they are willing to engage. For a few people of faith, because they work in sciences grounded in evolutionary concepts and are also active members of worshiping communities, the dialogue between evolution and theology are familiar ground. But for most leaders and members of congregations, evolution and faith occupy different domains in their lives. Both make sense in different departments of life, and nothing has caused them to explore what they might have to say to one another. It is largely for this group that this study guide is offered."

Good start! Must spend some time on it, some time.

For my own part, I don't mind admitting that I steered shy of the first couple of chapters of the Bible for a year or so after conversion, fully expecting it to be a load of trouble. When I finally got up the bottle to look I was pleasantly surprised by the echos of evolution I found there. Later I discovered the bara and asah business. Unfortunately, I also ran into "Creation Science" at the same time and naively assumed it was something to do with creation and science... Yes, I know that now!
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Postby Peter Henderson » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:43 pm

For my own part, I don't mind admitting that I steered shy of the first couple of chapters of the Bible for a year or so after conversion, fully expecting it to be a load of trouble. When I finally got up the bottle to look I was pleasantly surprised by the echos of evolution I found there. Later I discovered the bara and asah business. Unfortunately, I also ran into "Creation Science" at the same time and naively assumed it was something to do with creation and science... Yes, I know that now!


Had Young Earth Creationism been presented to me prior to becoming a Christian Derek, I most likely would have rejected Christ and the gospels. I'd probably be an agnostic had that happened. I've always treated Genesis as symbolic and didn't encounter YECism until the 1980's. I was really shocked, and balked in disbelief when I heard some of the theories.


]"Still, for some people of faith today, the theory of evolution is rejected outright because of its conflict with the tenets of their faith. For others, like the articulate students shown in Episode Seven, evolution seems to challenge their faith assumptions, but in a way they are willing to engage. For a few people of faith, because they work in sciences grounded in evolutionary concepts and are also active members of worshiping communities, the dialogue between evolution and theology are familiar ground. But for most leaders and members of congregations, evolution and faith occupy different domains in their lives. Both make sense in different departments of life, and nothing has caused them to explore what they might have to say to one another. It is largely for this group that this study guide is offered."


On one Sunday morning a few months ago, when doing a study on the book of Esther, the minister of Abbots Cross PC made the statement " We don't believe in things happening by chance like evolution. we don't believe in that either" This is completely at odds with what the Presbyterian church in Ireland believes. His sermon on Esther was actually very good, apart from the bit at the end !
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Postby Derek Potter » Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:03 pm

Peter Henderson wrote:On one Sunday morning a few months ago, when doing a study on the book of Esther, the minister of Abbots Cross PC made the statement " We don't believe in things happening by chance like evolution. we don't believe in that either" This is completely at odds with what the Presbyterian church in Ireland believes. His sermon on Esther was actually very good, apart from the bit at the end !

It's quite revealing though, isn't it?
Firstly, it means that he has learned what he knows about evolution from creationists since no-one but no-one calls evolution "chance" apart from them.
Secondly, it suggests a pan-supernaturalist mind-set - "we don't believe in chance" can only mean that if a theory doesn't have an explicitly miraculous component, it must be rejected. That's actually quite close to solipsism.
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Derek Potter
 
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