A student of mine recently wrote a paper in which he talked about growing up in a church that taught young earth creationism. This student was beginning to feel quite uncomfortable as he had learned some facts about the world a long, long time ago that were almost certainly undeniable. Here is how he reported it to me:
Specifically, I remember the single youth group lesson that finally pushed me to the point of crisis. We were being taught about creation from a perspective that I now know to be called young-Earth creationism. I remember watching the video our youth leader and pastor had selected, and as they launched into the prefabricated curriculum, I remember raising my hand and asking a single, simple question: “What about the dinosaur bones?” The pastor and youth leader looked at each other, exchanging some unspoken communication, and then our pastor looked me in the eyes and said “Satan buried those bones.” After receiving comparably absurd responses to questions I asked about carbon dating and human archaeological evidence, I walked away feeling deeply shaken and concerned.
When we are driven to think dinosaur bones are buried by Satan to fool the world into demonic-inspired ideas, and to think the whole world is duped, and that we alone are right in our interpretation of the Bible, I will contend that we need more humility, not more confidence, and that most important we need to have enough humility to give the Bible yet one more read to see if we’ve got it right.
I grew up in the environment of young earth creationism...