Monday, April 29, 2013

Some Christian Homeschoolers Want Alternatives to Young Earth Creationism

Developers of Christian homeschooling material report that there is a growing market for material that either teaches a range of views about creation, or goes all the way to teach theistic evolution. 

I think this is an encouraging development in the culture war between homeschooling evangelical Christians and regular-schooling mainline Christians.

Most American Christians accept the "young earth" view that the universe was created by God pretty much as it is now within the last 10,000 years.  A sizable minority, though, believe the "theistic evolution" view that God created the universe a long time ago and has guided evolution since.  This is roughly the division between evangelical or traditionalist Christians, on the one hand, and mainliners, on the other. The number of Christians who believe in purely naturalistic evolution is vanishingly small (and hard to explain without contradiction).

I think the real issue for most young earth creationists is not how old the universe is, but that God made it.  For most educated biblical believers of all stripes, the shackles of the dogma that the universe is only 10,000 years old is an embarrassment, the kind that leads young people away from the faith altogether. The fact that there is a growing market for more open-minded creationist accounts shows that there is common ground to be developed across one of great divides among American Christians (which is to say, among most Americans).

And that common ground is a triumph for centrism.

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