Upholding a High View of Science and a High View of Scripture
Ministry Update from Dr. Wilson
Riot and the Dance: Water is part 2 of the documentary series by Canon Press.
Here is a sneak peak...
Check out the official website for more details:
If you thought high school biology was the tedious province of secular scientists, think again: The Riot and the Dance is biology like you've never seen it before. With over 130 original illustrations and several hundred figures total, this book is first and foremost an approachable and readable explanation of the basics of biology. But Dr. Wilson doesn't dumb down the concepts, either. Using analogies, anecdotes, and simple, personable language, Dr. Wilson teaches students the bottom-line themes and key details of biology. The Riot and the Dance is not a pile of disconnected facts: it is an integrated foundation for understanding biological life, and it will stir up curiosity about all life from fungus firearms to familiar vertebrates—that, along with a greater desire to praise the Creator of it all.
Dr. Gordon Wilson’s book, A Different Shade of Green, is both a refreshing primer for Christians with questions about environmentalism and a spur for the indolent. Green issues polarize—the left looks hysterical, and the right seems apathetic. Neither approach is preferable—A Different Shade, published by Canon Press offers the better way: A Biblical Approach to Environmentalism and the Dominion Mandate.
Few books have impacted the Western world so powerfully and irreversibly as Darwin's On the Origin of Species, yet a small number of people today actually read it. Darwin's slow and dry prose is hardly gripping, but Christians who want to pose an intelligent challenge to evolution need to read Darwin—and be able to explain him more competently than the evolutionists. When they do so, they will be surprised to learn that he foresaw many of the holes that have appeared in his theory since the voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle.
Is it really tenable to be a young earth creationist in the face of the overwhelming scientific evidence that counts against it?
Dr. Gordon Wilson was asked to be one of five creationists last spring to respond to this provocative question. Check out their responses.
to the Glory of God
Our understanding of the first chapters of Genesis has implications for the way we understand the rest of Scripture. And very real, practical matters are caught up in how we answer this question. What is a human being? What is God? How should we think about caring for the natural world? How should we treat our neighbour? How should we treat our dinner? Our starting point has a great deal to say about where we end up.
Dear Young Earth Creationist community,
We write this letter to make appeal to a community we love. It is apparent to us that division in the creation apologetics movement is widespread and at times there has been clear evidence of ungodly actions and sinful anger. Disagreement is not our problem; discord is. In every scientific endeavor there will always arise strong disagreement between scientists; Christians included. Because our endeavors are to uphold biblical truth, some of our disagreements have also been of a theological nature. Disagreement can be healthy and good if all participants are walking in the light. It can lead to iron sharpening iron. However, it can clearly lead to much sin if we allow those disagreements to sow discord among us. We want to do good science but we also want to do godly science. Although we may have opinions about certain models and theories, this letter is not in any way partisan. It is not about who we think is doing better science and who isn’t. This letter is completely pastoral. We are all well aware that the community of young earth creationists is a tiny fraction of the broader scientific community. It is also a member of the wider Christian community. Not only does it displease our Lord when we YEC creationists are not on speaking terms with each other, it is a poor testimony to the watching world. Will they know we are Christians by our love or by how staunchly we refuse to make things right. We think it is impossible to reconcile because it is impossible to get them to admit they’re wrong and I’m right about a particular creationist model or ministry philosophy. We are sure the enemy is quite pleased at the growth of the root of bitterness that he has cultivated in the YEC community over these years. In this letter we want to address with Scripture two basic groups of folks; the offendees and the offenders.
To the Offendees
One of the reasons our relationships become strained (or broken) is that the reviewee’s research/paper was rejected by the reviewer. Remember, the merit or lack of merit of a paper is not our concern here. When our research is submitted for review, what should our attitude and response be to criticism or rejection? Here are some verses that come to mind.
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid. Proverbs 12:1
Note that this verse is an indicative; not an imperative. A lover of knowledge loves discipline but stupid people hate correction. Even if we think the source of the discipline or correction (the reviewer) is wrong in his or her assessment, we should be humble; not hateful in receiving it. We don’t want to fit the definition of a fool by how we respond. A little farther on in verse 16 it says,
The vexation of a fool is known at once,
but the prudent ignores an insult.
Even if the reviewer isn’t manifesting Christian love but is outright insulting, wise people ignore or overlook it (water-off-a-duck’s-back). Fools express their vexation immediately at an insult. In other words, they get huffy at correction. If we do, we are fools.
We must never hold a grudge because they didn’t like our paper and were less than gentle in telling us as much. Our feelings and ego must not be woven into our scientific work. We must take our lumps patiently even if they were wrong in their criticism (in manner or content). We should either cover the offense or correct their manner. We must never gossip or nurse a grudge. If reviewer’s critique is obviously sinful (not just to you but to other neutral parties) and requires correction, then correction must be for their sake; not because we were offended and want to retaliate. Galatians 6:1-2. Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
What are the stipulations for correcting someone? First, you must be spiritual. That means not resentful or bitter at them. Love for them must be the motivation for the correction. Second, you must restore the person in a spirit of gentleness. You must not be vindictive or rancorous. Let your gentleness be evident to all. Philippians 4:5 (NIV). We cannot believe we are upholding truth if we ignore God’s truth about the way we are to go about it (2 Timothy 2:24-26). We need to remind ourselves that words like ‘gentleness’ and ‘kindness’ are every bit as biblical as the dogma we stand to defend and the models we use to serve our positions.
This Christ glorifying way of speech applies to those within and even those who oppose us outside our creation community. We must not react to each other or to the world like the world.
To the Offenders
If you fall into this camp, you might be pleased at my exhortation to the offendees. You might say to yourself, “preach it, brother; it’s about time someone told them to toughen up. The rigors of science are not for the faint of heart. It’s an academic version of American football, after all.” Here are some verses that come to mind. Again, Philippians 4:5 is a good rule of thumb not just for correcting sin but also criticizing science. A reviewer’s gentleness must be evident to all. You must manifest a spirit of gentleness and must be spiritual (Galatians 6:1-2). You can still be honest and straightforward with your assessment of the science but it mustn’t be serrated or barbed…or rash. Just because you are critiquing science; rather than correcting sin, doesn’t mean you get to pull your gloves off. Proverbs 12:18 says, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” We can learn at least two things from this verse. First, rash (reckless) words do not necessarily have malicious intent; but they nonetheless have the capacity to do the same amount of damage. They pierce like a sword. Just because you didn’t mean to hurt them doesn’t mean you’re not culpable. It does mean you’re not wise. Second, we see that the opposite of a rash wounding tongue is a wise healing tongue. Ask yourself if your tongue is more apt to wound or heal people. These biblical principles don’t go away when we interact with each other while doing creation science. We too often become numb to familiar verses like Ephesians 4:29. “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” In saying all this, we are not advocating a low standard for science. We must maintain high standards in our science. But in holding that standard we must also love our brothers and sisters in the manner of critiquing each other’s work. Our goal in all our speech (or writing) is to build up each other, give grace to those who hear. If you feel that the paper you are reviewing is sub-par due to poor methodology or is contrary to your views then communicate all of that clearly and graciously. There is no reason to be bitter at each other even if we sharply disagree. Paul and Barnabas experienced that and ministered separately for a time. We are sure that they didn’t hold any animus toward each other. If they did, it would have been contrary to everything they were preaching. At the Logos Research Associates conference this last April in Saint George, Utah, it was apparent that not everyone agreed with each other on every scientific matter, but it was also very apparent that the general tenor or atmosphere was that everyone had “put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Making things right
Whether you are an offendee or an offender or both or a creationist layperson that is a loyal partisan of an offendee or offender, reconciliation is the order of the day. I John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” This is very clear. If we are walking in the light…we have fellowship with one another. It follows that if we do not have fellowship with one another, then one or both parties involved are not walking in the light. We may be scrupulous about the quality of science but are we as scrupulous about being in fellowship with one another? We often think fellowship is dependent on scientific agreement. No. True fellowship is based on all the parties involved walking in the light as he is in the light. we can have sweeter fellowship with someone in a different denomination than someone in our own denomination. Why? Two people who have confessed their sins and have been washed clean, are able to love, forgive, cover offenses, and consider others better than themselves. They can have fellowship with someone else in that same state of forgiveness, regardless of denominational or scientific differences. When we put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony, we are then able to discuss our differences in a spirit of unity and harmony. Ephesians 4:1-3 says, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” We don’t have to sweep our differences under the carpet. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
In the gospels we can find the need for the offender to be urgent about seeking reconciliation with the offended (Matthew 5:23-26). We also find that the offended can approach the offender with a desire to win him/her (Matthew 18:15).
The Holy Spirit using the New Testament authors as a mouthpiece gave us clear marching orders in these and many other passages. He has given us license to correct, admonish, and rebuke but he also gave us clear instructions about how we should do it and the spirit in which we are to do it. We are to be gracious, kind, gentle, humble, forgiving, and eager to cover offences.
If you are an offendee and are hurt, bitter, and resentful at another YEC brother or sister, you must forgive them. Even if they do not come to you for forgiveness, you are given the command to love and Romans 12 gives us clear attitudes and actions that we, as Christians, must have. We should always love and always be ready to forgive. If it isn’t there, you’ll be slowly consumed with bitterness. If you know someone that has taken offence at your ungracious tone or rudeness or arrogant manner (even if you think your scientific assessment is correct), you must seek his or her forgiveness. If someone asks you for forgiveness, forgive completely and immediately (seventy times seven). Our prayer is to have the Holy Spirit hound all of us relentlessly until we lay our pride down, confess our sins, and reconcile (as far as it depends on us) ourselves to each other. God is doing a great work through the various creation research centers and the various creation ministries in spite of our sins against each other, our lack of forgiveness, and discord. Creation ministry can be a great servant to the church, but to be so we must exhibit the same qualities that God expects from his church. They should know us by our love.
Can you imagine how God would use us if we were all in fellowship with Him and each other? Denominational and scientific disagreements seem like intractable differences. His command that we be like-minded still stands (Philippians 2:2). Like-mindedness isn’t the same as agreeably disagreeing…although it is a far cry better than disagreeably disagreeing. How can we strive toward like-mindedness if we refuse to love and forgive each other? Love and forgiveness is the only Christian way to bind everything together in perfect harmony. As in the case with Paul and Barnabas, our differences may preclude working in the same organization or research group (which may have different views, doctrinal statements, goals, etc.). However, those differences should never preclude true Christian fellowship (unless there’s church discipline or apostasy involved) or give us license to nurse grudges, gossip, or fertilize the root of bitterness. For Jesus’ sake, let us restore true Christian fellowship and forsake our petty grievances.
Gordon Wilson, Senior Fellow of Natural History, New Saint Andrews College
Raymond Strom, President of Calgary Rock and Materials Services Inc.,
Jimmie L. Pamplin, Logos Research Associates senior administrator
 Sinful does not mean they disagreed with your conclusion or thought your research was poor. It means they were harsh, insulting, derogatory, etc.
 warn or reprimand someone firmly.
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