Abso-freaking-lutely! I've been teaching this and screaming this for over a decade now. To give an example, I had one student last year (a senior), who had been attending our school since kindergarten, told me this, "So much of what we have discussed this year has helped me make sense of Christianity, but one thing I cannot get over and is holding me back is the creation debate and its battle against science." This particular student was Japanese, and I won't bore anyone here in this thread what Christianity is seen as in most of Japan. That student for years has been told certain things about creation, science, etc., until he got to my class, his last class and his only class with me. I spent all semester trying to help re-shape the sphere so that he could see that many in the world are in agreement with him. My gift to him on graduation day was a book written by a Japanese friend of mine, who just got their PhD in biblical studies, about the intersection of faith and science. What was even better was that my friend had included a Japanese translation.michigander wrote: ↑Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:19 amI agree.Joshoowah wrote: ↑Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:32 amYeah, Lennox is good. There's also Polkinghorne, John Walton (world renowned expert in Ancient Near Eastern culture), Peter Enns, and so many others. To me, it just shows there is room for disagreement in this whole "all or nothing" type of debate. Our early church theologians disagreed and yet remained in communion. We could learn a lot from that.michigander wrote:This lecture by John Lennox offers a perspective that holds to the inerrancy of scripture while allowing for an old earth view.
His lecture starts at 10 minutes, but the introduction is entertaining if you're so inclined to listen. I believe his lecture is only about 45 minutes and then there is a Q&A.
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I think there's also value in being open minded for at least two other reasons:
1) It's not a good idea to be dogmatic about things that aren't central to our faith.
1.a) As science discovers new things we need to be open to adjusting our thinking without feeling like it's compromising our belief system (referene John Lennox's
discussion of the church's previous stance on an earth centered universe.)
2) Being dogmatic over issues that conflict with science unnecessarily projects the premise that in order to become a Christian one must adopt these (non-essential) beliefs (e.g. a young earth or even a Geometric Universe if this was 1500 years ago).
That's deeper than I have ever wanted to wade into a Theological discussion, and clearly I'm in over my head.
So to quote Forrest: "that's all I have to say about that".
This type of dogmatism on certain issues is, indeed, a problem.