Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Home Schooling Article: the Missing Paragraph

In the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette version of the home schooling article that I posted about yesterday, there is a paragraph that was omitted. Here is a quote from the article as it appeared in Foxnews. I have bolded the section that was not in the version I posted:
"Those who do not believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God will find many points in this book puzzling," says the introduction to "Biology: Third Edition" from Bob Jones University Press. "This book was not written for them."

The textbook delivers a religious ultimatum to young readers and parents, warning in its "History of Life" chapter that a "Christian worldview ... is the only correct view of reality; anyone who rejects it will not only fail to reach heaven but also fail to see the world as it truly is."

When the AP asked about that passage, university spokesman Brian Scoles said the sentence made it into the book because of an editing error and will be removed from future editions.
I am now going to list some notable people that have gone to Hell:

St. Augustine
St. Basil
Justin Martyr
Clement of Alexandria
B.B. Warfield
Bernard Ramm
Father Teilhard de Chardin

All of the above thought that a literal reading of the first chapters of Genesis was unwarranted and reduced the scriptures to a caricature. Is it true that some of them thought the earth was young? Of course they did. They had no evidence to the contrary. It is also true that when the evidence began to pour in (like Niagara falls), people like B.B. Warfield and Bernard ramm simply adopted the evidence as part of the growing biblical faith. In The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Mark Noll writes the following:
Despite widespread impressions to the contrary, [young-Earth] creationism was not a traditional belief of nineteenth-century conservative Protestants or even of early twentieth-century fundamentalists. The mentality of fundamentalism lives on in modern creation science, even if some of the early fundamentalists themselves were by no means as radical in their scientific conclusions as evangelicals have become in the last forty years. For instance, during the century before the 1930s, most conservative Protestants believed that the “days” of Genesis 1 stood for long ages of geological development or that a lengthy gap existed between the initial creation of the world (Gen. 1:1) and a series of more recent creative acts (Gen. 1:2ff) during which the fossils were deposited. As we have seen, some conservative Protestants early in the century — like James Orr of Scotland and B. B. Warfield of Princeton Theological Seminary, both of whom wrote for The Fundamentals (1910-1915) — allowed for large-scale evolution in order to explain God’s way of creating plants, animals, and even the human body. (As it happens, their position closely resembled official Roman Catholic teachings on the subject.) Popular opponents of evoution in the 1920s, like William Jennings Bryan, had no difficulty accepting an ancient earth. [pp. 188-189]1
It absolutely amazes me how many young earth creation supporters are vocal about their opinions that those of us that take an old earth view are going to Hell, as if somehow that is the only view of the scriptures that is warranted. That is like saying that the King James Bible is the only one that can be read. All the others are apostate and constitute heresy. The blinding arrogance just stuns me. Internet Monk has a plea on his site that I and so many that I know echo:
If I could get just one message to the world’s creationists, it would be this: please have the same humility as Joe Boysel, and recognise that your knowledge of the scripture does NOT entitle you to make pronouncements on science. No, not even if you’ve read a couple of Duane T. Gish paperbacks. Would you try to tell a lawyer his job after reading Honest Bob’s Big Book Of Law? No? Then please have the humility not to try to tell palaeontologists their job from a position of similar ignorance. All you’re achieving is poisoning the well for those of us who would otherwise be in a position to engage with atheists and agnostics in our science.

1Noll, M. (1995) The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. New York: William B. Eerdmans

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  1. Jim, Thanks so much for this post for several reasons. One is for the Mark Noll quote. I never did read his book, even though it's been highly regarded by so many who I deeply respect. I may now get it just for what you posted. Secondly, thanks for the Internet Monk quote. You may already know this, but if you don't, I just wanted to ask that you keep Michael, his wife Denise, and their daughter Noel and son in law Ryan in your prayers. Michael's cancer is inoperable and they're looking at him having somewhere between six months and a year to live. This news is beyond sad for so many, but especially to Michael's family. I know I've been richly blessed by his honest writing.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Irenicum. I have been following Michael' progress for a bit and am not hopeful. But that is where prayer comes in. I lost a very dear friend to cancer five months ago so the emotions are still close to the surface.

    My boss here at the lab turned me on to the Internet Monk a bit back and I am very interested in his take on these subjects.