Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What Dennis Venema wants to hear from young-earth creationists

I'm supposed to be writing a test for Thursday, but I just read Dennis Venema's new essay for the Colossian Forum, and it's got me all riled up (in a good way).  It's called What I Would Like to Hear a Young Earth Creationist Say, and it's fascinating.  You should read it now before you read the rest of this.  I've got a lot of ideas bouncing around in my head right now, and I think it will take some time to sort them all out.  In the mean time, here are a few thoughts:

1.  I also know that look.  I get it any time I express disagreement with some vociferous, creationist luminary.  That look is not just for evolutionary creationists, and I think that makes it very, very important to understanding how the public perceives the creation/evolution debate, and therefore how we can help them to find a better understanding.

2.  Dennis's advocacy of evolution makes me uncomfortable, but we have a lot in common.  Most obviously, we have Jesus, and Jesus is a lot to have in common.  We are part of the same family.

3.  Here's a little bonus: There really is a geologic column, the human and chimp genomes really are remarkably similar, and there really are such things as transitional fossils.

I'm going to think some more about Dennis's idea of secondary issues, because that comes up a lot.  Judging from some of the comments on his essay at the BioLogos blog, I think the idea of "secondary issues" is hard for people and one of the genuine barriers to good conversation.  Perhaps that makes it a good conduit for deeper and more meaningful dialogue?  I hope so.

I should add here that Michael Gulker's review of The Language of Science and Faith gave me a lot to think about as well.  Especially helpful was his notion of asking good questions rather than just shooting off answers.  I hope that good questions about that look and secondary issues can lead to some great conversations.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.