Uh huh, but why?
Are religious beliefs something to be ashamed of, hidden and not discussed? Is creationism not up to a a vigorous debate?
After all, Mr Hastie himself is personally opposed to gay marriage, a view he shares with many fundamentalist Christians.
"I have no problem with people coming after me, but just make sure you come after me and not my family," he said. (and more here).
But why? That's if its not about the family on a personal and private level, but about the views of the family put on the record for public debate and discussion ...
It's not as if creationists are shy, shrinking violets, unable to take a position and make a public stand ...
For example, there's a rock solid creationist at work - by name Peter Hastie - on creation.com, only too ready and willing to mock the work of evolutionary scientists.
Here's the beginning of one outing:
The rest of that work is available here.
And there's another insightful piece here.
And there's an introduction to the Rev. Hastie here.
The pond has long been fascinated by creationism, young earthists, angry Sydney Anglicans who believe in Adam and Eve, and all the many other religious beliefs out there, from Xenu to Krishna and the prophet, and claimed the right to discuss and attempt to refute them, and at that, long before Andrew Hastie hovered into view.
And at the heart of it is the question of religion v. science, and the Rev. Hastie himself is aware of the significance of the debate:
There are many Christians who believe in the processes of evolution as an explanation of the origin of life. On the other hand you’ve got people like Richard Dawkins who claim that biblical, and especially evangelical Christianity, is fundamentally incompatible with evolutionary theory. Who’s right?
Here is one case where I agree with Dawkins. The thing is the Bible is very clear about certain things. It says that the world was created in six days and that a flood covered the whole earth. It’s also very clear that the death and suffering we see around us is a result of the fall of Adam and Eve. The New Testament is emphatic about this. In Romans 5, and 1 Corinthians 15, Paul tells us Adam brought death into the world and Jesus Christ, the last Adam, brings the resurrection from the dead.
So the whole gospel of Jesus Christ depends on a literal happening in the Garden of Eden where Adam sinned against God and brought God’s curse upon us. Evolution undermines this account of our origins by putting death before sin. The Bible also says that death is the “last enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26); yet theistic evolutionists would have us believe that God used his last enemy to create things which then became “very good” (Gen 1:31). However, according to the evolutionary view there was death, suffering and disease for millions of years. Frankly, I find it hard to imagine how that can even remotely be described as very good.
Christians who believe in evolution also have to face the problem of restoration. If Christ is going to restore or “regenerate” the world, what will He restore it to? Will we simply experience millions more years of death, suffering and disease? Once Christians accept an evolutionary hypothesis they are buying into a worldview that not only denies just a few verses in Genesis; in fact, evolution is opposed to the biblical ideas of creation, fall and redemption. We undermine the entire message of Scripture if we try to introduce the idea of evolution into it.
Where does this leave Christians who believe that evolution resolves the conflict between religion and science?
You lose your ability to understand where this death and suffering comes from. You lose the ability to understand Jesus as the Kinsman-redeemer, who is our blood relative because He comes from Adam and all the rest of us come from Adam. But if there’s no real Adam, then the Kinsman-redeemer concept gets thrown out the window as well. The authority of Scripture is undermined because there’s no real way you can develop evolutionary ideas from Scripture. This means that fallible evolutionary science becomes the underlying hermeneutic for Scripture. Is this something that evangelicals can afford to tolerate?
We easily forget the warning of people like the late leading biologist Jacques Monod. He said that evolution is the cruellest, most wasteful, and inefficient way that anyone could imagine of creating the world. I think Monod is right. Evolution leaves us with a supposed God of love who uses a cruel and wasteful process to eliminate the unfit. The gospel of God’s grace, however, is about the God of mercy who delights to save sinners.
Indeed, and the day that religion v. science is swept under the rug would be a sad day for all those interested in the matter.
After all, if science managed to get something so fundamental wrong, where would that leave climate science?
Why, it might well be a conspiracy by the United Nations to establish world government ...
Phew, cue Dame Slap and what an excellent excuse to run some old climate science cartoons: