Open Letter to Young Earth Creationists

michelangelo-creation-of-adam  If you have welcomed Divine Love into your heart, Hallelujah! Please believe that I have no wish to get between you and Jesus. What you have experienced is yours, and no mere argument, no matter how logical or scientific, can diminish the transforming power of your experience in any way.

However, you have entombed the Living Word in a tower of pseudo scientific babble. Answers in Genesis, for example, displays admirable inventiveness, craftsmanship, and intelligence, but the entire effort is misguided, mocking the ancient wisdom of the Bible by transforming it into a collection of propositions that, though they sound scientific, are obviously false.

hs-2001-12-c-small_webMartin LutherThe observations of modern science show the earth to be billions of years old, and the universe to be billions of years older. There are raging debates in science, but the idea that the earth is a few thousand years old was discarded long ago.

Relying on Biblical authority, Martin Luther and others freed much of Europe from the corrupt, apostate church of Rome. In so doing, they opened the door to a world where ordinary people realized that they could learn the Truth, the universal Truth that applies to all places and all times. In many ways, this made the scientific revolution that followed possible. However, while science continued to develop, thinking in some parts of Christendom ossified. Scientists have discovered much more about so many things that adhering to the sixteenth and seventeenth century ideas about origins appears silly. I expect that in a few hundred years, people will see the ideas of present day scientists as rather quaint in some respects. But people will still read the Bible.

We may no longer think that the earth is flat, with heaven above and hell below, or that our little planet is at the center of everything, or that our species is quite so unique, but the essential human condition has not changed. It is here in our everyday lives that the ancient, divine wisdom of the Bible is invaluable. “Love one another, as I have loved you” is needed just as much now as ever.

In attempting to transform ancient wisdom into a fake science, Answers in Genesis undermines the authority of the Bible. This has devastating consequences. It makes it appear that Christ is opposed to Truth. It leads many to reject the Bible and indeed all religion, thinking that it has nothing to offer in our modern age. Worse, those who subscribe to Young Earth Creationism find themselves at war with modern science, casting scientists, who are simply searching for the truth, as villains, instruments of the devil. This imaginary war is poisoning the politics in America and making it nearly impossible for us to be good stewards of the earth or address any of the other challenges facing our nation.

Expulsion_from_EdenIt appears that the crux of the problem is the Fall of Man. Some Christians seem to think that if we acknowledge that the story of Adam and Eve is mythic, the human condition, which we have experienced directly all of our lives, would somehow be changed.

Let me describe my own version of the allegory of the Fall of Man. Before the Fall, we were like the beasts in the Garden of Eden, fully engaged in the present, without an awareness of our own mortality, and, though capable of doing harm to others, innocent of sinfulness, in the same sense that a lion asserting dominance over his pride is innocent. As our amazing brain developed, the complexity crossed a threshold. We woke up. We consumed the forbidden fruit of knowledge and awareness. We developed language. We planned for the future. Suddenly, mortality was not just a flight or fight reflex in a moment of danger, but a constant reality. Sin and selfishness entered into our experience. Into this world, Jesus Christ came, taught, and offered his precious sacrifice.

I do not assert that my understanding of the Fall is the correct one; my insight is limited, flawed. However, you don’t need to believe the particular details of the account in Genesis in order to find evidence of the Fall of Man. It is all around us, and throughout written history. (There is evidence of an essential goodness of man as well.)

BibleThe Bible is a wondrous gift. We need it today. Science is never going to adequately address the questions as to how to live in peace with one another. We need to open our hearts to the Divine. We need the teachings of Jesus. Do not undermine the authority of this wondrous gift by attempting to make it into a bad science text.

If the Bible has helped bring you to Christ, rejoice! Thank the Lord that your life has been so transformed! Believe the Truth of your experience. Do not turn this blessing into a curse by adhering to what is false. Cease this abominable war with modern science.

May we live together in the peace of God, which passes all understanding,

jp lund


2 thoughts on “Open Letter to Young Earth Creationists

  1. Pingback: Open Letter to Protesters at the Ark Encounter | jplund

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