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What I Would Like To Hear A Young-Earth Creationist Say

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October 20, 2012 Tags: Christian Unity
What I Would Like To Hear A Young-Earth Creationist Say

Today's post features Dennis Venema. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of BioLogos. You can read more about what we believe here.

As The BioLogos Foundation’s Senior Fellow of Biology, Dr. Dennis Venema is no stranger to the many arguments against and misconceptions about evolutionary theory. In fact many of his over 40 posts for The BioLogos Forum deal with clarifying wrong assumptions about evolution, including the evidence for common descent in our genes, and the mechanisms of speciation. So it may come as a surprise that when asked by The Colossian Forum what one thing he would like to hear Young Earth Creationists say, his answer had nothing to do with scientific statements at all. Rather, his hope is to hear a single simple phrase: “We’re both part of the same family.”

As a scientist at a Christian university, Dr. Venema has experienced first-hand the breakdown of fellowship that can happen over disagreements about creation. Sometimes it can be a large falling out, but other times it can be as simple as a look-- when Christian brothers or sisters appear incredulous upon learning that your views about origins differ from theirs, as if they’re reassessing your place in the family of God.

Dr. Venema notes this breakdown can come from both sides: from YECs who view those who accept evolution as “compromisers” and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” as well as from ECs who view those hold YEC beliefs as “ignorant” or “fundamentalists”.

That’s not to say that science-and-faith discussions aren’t important. As Dr. Venema puts it:

Is it an important issue for Christians to discuss? Yes. Does the issue serve as a catalyst for a wide-ranging discussion on exegesis and hermeneutics? Certainly, and that in and of itself can be very healthy. Is it acceptable for believers to hold either opinion and be within the people of God? I would say yes. It is my conviction that the mechanism by which God created is an issue of secondary importance compared to the underlying primary issue of holding God as the Creator and sustainer of all things. As a secondary issue, then, the only danger is making one of the options an essential, and dividing over it. Is it a problem if my brother or sister at church is a YEC? No. Is it a problem if I won’t share fellowship with them because of their views? Absolutely. Our difference of opinion on the mechanism of creation is not a gospel issue, but breaking fellowship over a secondary matter is a gospel issue. It hinders the love and fellowship that we are called to be known for, and raises an unnecessary barrier to those who would consider joining us.

You can read his full response at The Colossian Forum.

What is the Colossian Forum?

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Colossian Forum's mission is to make concrete the unity all Christians have in Jesus--particularly in the science and faith conversation. Through retreats, a website, curricula, and scholarly research, the Forum seeks to promote growth, transformation, and unity in Christ. In their own words, "they aim make a new way forward together" by bringing people into "serious discussion of the deep riches of our Christian intellectual tradition—riches that shed light on the hard questions of science, culture and Christian faith.”

Dennis Venema is professor of biology at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. He holds a B.Sc. (with Honors) from the University of British Columbia (1996), and received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in 2003. His research is focused on the genetics of pattern formation and signaling using the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. Dennis is a gifted thinker and writer on matters of science and faith, but also an award-winning biology teacher—he won the 2008 College Biology Teaching Award from the National Association of Biology Teachers. He and his family enjoy numerous outdoor activities that the Canadian Pacific coast region has to offer. Dennis writes regularly for the BioLogos Forum about the biological evidence for evolution.

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lancelot10 - #75551

December 20th 2012

Does creationism lead to one being a better christian ?  Not always - as paul says we could have all the knowledge etc but have no love .   I am a six day creationist and believe the bible to be inerrant but this is intellectual - what should follow in me is the fruits of the spirit - if it does not then I am as sounding brass  -  eg I am sure the pharisees had similar knowledge but no love or mercy.

Remember the two friends in australia about a decade ago- after a night of drinking had a creation evolution argument and the creationist stabbed to death his friend.

Plus certain other religions some with cult status are also creationists and they can display violence.

So creation science is not necessarily proof of salvation.     However there is no doubt that the theory of evolution has damaged belief in the bible and God - but maybe the rejection of God was first in these men’s hearts and they looked for evolution as an excuse.

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