Letter to the Editor

 

Midlife Crisis

Ross S. Olson, M.D.

5512 14th Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55417

From: Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 43 (September 1991): 212. Response: Jones

The ASA at 50 is having a midlife crisis. It is not an agony of self-doubt that might actually correct the course, but rather the kind with a sports car and mistress. Isn't anybody embarrassed?

D. Gareth Jones' article on "nonexistence" prepares the way for a socially comfortable acceptance of abortion. He does it by renaming early abortions ("is the word `destruction' an appropriate one?") and then likening them to decisions made prior to conception.

The selection from the poem, "No Answer" that follows Jones' treatise, teaches a faulty philosophy of science and an unbiblical theology. "Life is too short for / religion; it takes time / to prepare a sacrifice / for the God. Give yourself / to science that reveals / all ... Over the creeds / and masterpieces our wheels go."

Marvin Kuehn loves Paul Seely's  Inerrant Wisdom: Science and Inerrancy in Biblical Perspective  even though it softens the authority of scripture enough to make it nearly acceptable to the secular world, who may allow it to be true for us but not for them. Kuehn concludes that the book's "helpful comments about the roles of science and biblical revelation will receive a welcome ear among ASA readers." Of course they will. That is where the problem started. If you ignore the clear words of scripture, you need a clever cover-up.

It does not help for the editor to say, we are an "open forum" and hold "no position." If  Perspectives  did not reflect the membership, either the one would go or the other.

May I offer my tentative diagnosis? The problem is good old-fashioned peer pressure. One old-earther framed it well when he said, "I am a creationist, but I don't want to be treated by my colleagues as a cultic person." Jesus said it even better, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you."

I have seen a disturbing tendency among many modern American Christians working in hostile intellectual environments. They tend to take on protective coloration and adopt positions which are non-offensive to their secular colleagues.

This may be understandable if a job is at risk. But it does not fit the picture given in scripture of a universe that shouts out the Creator's existence, and disciples who are unconformed to this world system. It is time for contemplation.

1991