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Do people like Ken Ham help or hurt Christian evangelization?

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by RKO, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. RKO

    RKO Member

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    In short, no, I won't re-engage the debate between scientific research and YEC. That was not the intent of the thread. I simply stated my personal opinion in order to ask the main question of the thread, which was "does YEC hurt evangelism by it's being so difficult for MOST people to believe.

    Perhaps it wasn't a good idea for me to introduce this question here. I stopped responding pages ago. As far as I'm concerned this thread can be closed or die out.
     
  2. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    RKO - as to your OP - no, I don't believe that people like Ken Ham hurt evangelization. He demonstrates a POV that says theology and tradition are worth fighting for, and that they are not so weak as to have to bend to the whims of science. what hurts evangelization is the exact opposite - the complete dominance of Darwinian materialistic thinking that has saturated our minds.
     
  3. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 sinner profoundly blessed by God

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    I agree. Whereas evolution has scant evidence and mostly theory and supposition, they speak as if there is 100% metaphysical certitude beyond a shadow of a doubt that these theories are facts. The creationist is willing to admit things are fuzzy with timelines and specifics, but doesn't speak as if every detail in Genesis is a scientific hard piece of evidence beyond discussion. At least Ham comes from the camp that is not willing to call theories hard facts just because some lab coats say it's so. Both views stem from religion one way or another---the religion of Christianity or the religion of, as Rus appropriately calls it, "scientism." But at least one side is willing to admit faith being the operant mechanism!

     
  4. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    Nothing hurts evangelism more than rough dogmatism, and nothing so vividly displays it more than passionate debates which bare clear testimony to its unrelenting hold on people.
     
  5. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Real talk..
     
  6. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    This is, unfortunately, not true, though I would agree on the adjective "rough". And I question how often the disagreements are actual debates.
    We live in an age when a complete denial of TRADITIONAL dogmas has been replaced by MODERN dogmas, such as that truth is a personal and private matter.

    People are thirsty for truth. There is a thing in them that desires both God and goodness, however faded. Truth IS dogmatic in nature, and it is the Truth that sets us free.

    The Apostles preaching was quite dogmatic in its certainty of truth. The teachings of the Church are dogmatic in so passing them onto us.

    The Church will evangelize by being what She always has been. There will always be sin, and there will always be the Truth.

    Being certain that the seven days of Creation were seven consecutive 24-hr days is NOT a dogmatic teaching of the Church, but that death passed into the world by sin IS.

    My response to the modern misunderstandings of what dogma is can be found in the last chapter of GK Chesterton's great book "Heretics":

    Heretics -- Concluding Remarks on the Importance of Orthodoxy

    "Whether the human mind can advance or not, is a question too little discussed, for nothing can be more dangerous than to found our social philosophy on any theory which is debatable but has not been debated. But if we assume, for the sake of argument, that there has been in the past, or will be in the future, such a thing as a growth or improvement of the human mind itself, there still remains a very sharp objection to be raised against the modern version of that improvement. The vice of the modern notion of mental progress is that it is always something concerned with the breaking of bonds, the effacing of boundaries, the casting away of dogmas. But if there be such a thing as mental growth, it must mean the growth into more and more definite convictions, into more and more dogmas. The human brain is a machine for coming to conclusions; if it cannot come to conclusions it is rusty. When we hear of a man too clever to believe, we are hearing of something having almost the character of a contradiction in terms. It is like hearing of a nail that was too good to hold down a carpet; or a bolt that was too strong to keep a door shut. Man can hardly be defined, after the fashion of Carlyle, as an animal who makes tools; ants and beavers and many other animals make tools, in the sense that they make an apparatus. Man can be defined as an animal that makes dogmas. As he piles doctrine on doctrine and conclusion on conclusion in the formation of some tremendous scheme of philosophy and religion, he is, in the only legitimate sense of which the expression is capable, becoming more and more human. When he drops one doctrine after another in a refined scepticism, when he declines to tie himself to a system, when he says that he has outgrown definitions, when he says that he disbelieves in finality, when, in his own imagination, he sits as God, holding no form of creed but contemplating all, then he is by that very process sinking slowly backwards into the vagueness of the vagrant animals and the unconsciousness of the grass. Trees have no dogmas. Turnips are singularly broad-minded."

    Note that being right does not make one popular. It can even get you crucified, literally or figuratively.

    One can even be regretful and sympathetic in being right. But it is no cure to doubt the dogma.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  7. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    The Truth is not dogmatism. It is something other.
     
  8. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    The problem lies in someone spending an hour talking about the bible and never actually getting to the gospel of Christ.

    The ancient Greeks already had a full pantheon and a rich philosophical heritage--but Paul did not try to first argue them into accepting Genesis before giving them the gospel.

    Trying to convince someone to first accept Genesis before giving them the gospel is precisely the same as trying to make them first a Jew, then a Christian.

    "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." -- John 10

    Jesus' sheep will respond to His voice when they hear it...and defer everything else. But, my goodness, don't spend a hour debating someone without ever having given them the gospel.
     
  9. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    TF, this completely misunderstands what I have said. I get your concern - we should not love dogmas because they are dogmatic. You are right about that. But we SHOULD love them because they are TRUE.

    Is Jesus Christ the Son of God? Of course He is, and we all hold that as a dogma. We don't hold EVERYTHING dogmatically, but we DO hold that death entered the world by sin, and not in some symbolic way that really means only that it DIDN'T enter the world by sin, but literally, that is, as it is written, that death was not in the world until man sinned, and then it was. THAT is dogma of the Orthodox Church (and the rest of Christianity that actually is traditional) and it is TRUE. That which contradicts and denies it is NOT true, emphatically false. It is not otherwise.
     
  10. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    Yes.

    Even if we can't explain the precise mechanism by which someone can be the "Son of God."

    This was the attempt by Athenagoras, speaking to Caesar in the mid-2nd century. defending Christians from the accusation atheism:

     
  11. RKO

    RKO Member

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    Please take this comment in the spirit intended. This is where I leave this discussion, and am NOT trying to offend. But you really have to admit that the YEC is VERY VERY hard for most people to take seriously. This is overly simplistic, but I am a simple person. What makes it a little hard to take is the YEC's desperate struggle to find an explanation for things like evolution that meshes with their young earth story. In order to do that you have to ignore or spin a LOT of visible and measurable data. Everything in our history tells us that generally we can rely on what we can see and touch. Religion tells us to rely on what we can not see or touch. That's ok, I'm down with it, but there is a much bigger story that we have yet to learn. It is MUCH more spectacular than the idea that the earth is 6000 years old, and god put noah and the animals on a boat because he wan't to murder everybody else.
    That is a weak, uninformed explanation for a much better reality that we have yet to learn.
    That's what I think, anyway. I sincerely apologize to anybody to whom I offend by this. I am not trying to criticize your belief. I am trying to illustrate, in my normal guy simple minded way how very very difficult much of those theories are to take for most normal people like me. It just seems to me that Christianity is better served by saying that there are vast parts of this story that we do not and probably can not know in this life. These stories in Genesis, and the wild fundamentalist interpretations of it seem more an attemtp to be the "best believer" than they are a real attempt to find the truth. ( And I am limiting the definition of truth to those things we can KNOW> And not believe.)
    Again apologies. I'm out.
     
  12. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    Hey, RKO,
    I thnk we get you have zero intent to offend. This is one reason why you are so welcome here!

    Yes, if most people believe in a flat earth, then they will take the idea of a "globular" earth as a complete joke, and its adherents as fools.

    Frankly, though, I can take your words and turn them back on you:

    What makes it a little hard to take is the evolutionist's desperate struggle to find an explanation for things like the Fall that meshes with their old earth story. In order to do that you have to ignore or spin a LOT of Scripture and Tradition.

    So while I am TOTALLY ready to concede that the Earth is not so young as some would have us believe, I cannot concede the ideas that in effect deny that man Fell and rather insist on the reverse: that he is gradally evolving/improving without any supernatural intervention.

    I agree COMPLETELY. WHY, then, do Christian evolutionists insist that we MUST admit that the popular scientific ideas are TRUE, as true as Holy Tradition? If we cannot know, then it cuts both ways. And I think that regarding origins, that we can't.
     
  13. RKO

    RKO Member

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    Interesting point. I think you and I have a different idea of what the evolutionists interest in Christianity would be. My thinking is that for their own purposes, they simply ignore it. There are a lot of evolutionists I guess who seem to have a need to find explanations for things like the Fall. But in my thinking, their interest or need to do that comes from an uncertainty inside themselves, couched as a scientific pursuit. Not a true scientific pursuit.
    But, as I said, I'm just a regular guy with questions, neither a scientist nor a theologian.

    Having said all that, it seems to me that in the true pursuit of sciences like evolution, etc, that "Science" simply ignores religion because to them it is unproveable.
     
  14. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    I think that is one of the issues that rus and jckstraw were pointing out earlier (at least in one of these threads), is that evolution from the beginning is equally unprovable and not verifiable. even if we see some massive naturally occurring macro change now, that in no way proves that macro changes are how we got here.
     
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