"Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed." Acts 17:10-12
"I hold that belief systems that cannot survive scrutiny are probably not worth having." Carl Sagan
I met Jesus in 1983 and I truly have seen my life turn around. I have always loved science and even worked in the medical field for a season. I guess I would have classified myself as an agnostic before I became a Christian. My faith was so simple and childlike in my early days, I knew there were problems between the scientific world and what the Bible taught but I had a peace and a confidence that there were answers, these issues never kept me up at night. Actually, the trouble didn't begin until I was introduced to apologetics - defending the faith through reason. I was urged by my Christian brothers to investigate the claims of the Bible (not realizing at the time we are commanded to do so), and the Bible, time and time again, would be justified. So to begin, let me say, I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is fully vindicated in all it claims and it is not dependent solely on the issue of origins.
Creation science had become a passion for me almost from the day that I was introduced to it. Yet all my information concerning the pros and cons of the young earth position, I received from young-earth creationists. The weight and number of their arguments were amazing! I collected the books, audios and videos and was just blown away. I was a well equipped "young earther." I believed that God had created the universe, all life forms and Adam and Eve in six literal days less than 10,000 years ago, and I had the SCIENCE to PROVE it too! "Oh - how I would love to see the faces of those atheist scientists when they get a load of this stuff!" "Isn't it true that evolution and the Big Bang were invented just so the immoral could justify their lifestyle?" Boy was I naive.
I discovered, as life went on, my exhilaration would dwindle if creationist material was not fresh in my mind. Whenever I would "bath" myself in their details, I would be renewed and so excited, "God is real, heaven is real, the universe IS young!" There was one doubt however, which would pop into my mind frequently, "how can all those scientists be so wrong?" This single idea would gnaw at me like a toothache so it would be time for a fresh dose of YEC (Young-Earth Creationism), and life would be wonderful again!
One day, being psyched-up for a new fix, I popped in a video I had received from a young man at Church. The tape was a series of debates (about eight), between a famous "young-earther" and various evolutionists. After viewing them, I found my jaw on the floor. I truly expected these evolutionists to roll over and die after being presented with this battering of "facts" - they didn't! I was truly numbed and frankly, pretty upset with the manners of this "young-earther." I was forced to come to some serious conclusions that day.
I talked to my pastor (a young-earther), about my new discoveries. He warned me as so many other "creationists" have, that to continue on this path was dangerous and would only lead to me falling away from the faith. At times, that notion seemed true! He asked me, "do you want to end up like "R" (a college student) who now denies the faith after he tried to pursue scientific understanding?" That question hit me hard and weighed heavy on my heart; however, I would soon discover that that line of reasoning was also imaginary. Since then, I have corresponded with several Christians who have traveled the same path as I have. One thing that is always agreed upon is the damage young-earth creationism can do to souls; how many believers they have seen fall away. We have been taught that the Bible demands a young earth interpretation and when the facts of nature become inescapable - our faith becomes shattered! My pastor was wrong, and the opposite was the case. If "R" had been offered an alternative from the beginning, he would never have experienced the turmoil he went through. When "R" could no longer deny that the universe was billions of years old, the only option left for him was to deny the Bible. How many others have been disheartened in a like manner?
And that's why I'm here. I had to jump on the other side of the fence. I was afraid! I knew that everyone has their own bias. Would I be able to discern fact from mere opinion? I also knew that I had no choice. So I gambled to dialogue, face to face, with believers and non believers, scientists and theologians and my faith has been strengthened. There were dark times, but in the end, I can say with assurance, we have nothing to fear. I quote a friend: "Your religious beliefs should be based on faith and love, not fear. Never fear the 'slippery slope', it doesn't exist. By searching for the truth, you will not find something else . . . although your truth may not exactly match another's."