Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dr. Ray Bohlin

Again, I bring the topic of Intelligent Design back up to the surface from the comments areas of my recent posts starting with my "Whimsical Creationist" post. My anonymous Christian reader whom I refer to as big "A" gave these two links in response to my request for "a thesis written by a prominent evangelical Bible literalist explaining the responsibility of all Christians to maintain sustainable life on earth":
Both of these links are to articles written by Dr. Ray Bohlin who, according to the following link, is Administrator of Probe Ministries:
Two statements in this Probe site seem to indicate that Dr. Bohlin is not a biblical literalist. In the section subtitled "POSITION STATEMENT ON CREATION/EVOLUTION" the site claims:

5. The plain language of Genesis 1 seems to teach a recent literal six-day creation. There is much data from science, however, that indicates the universe and earth are billions of years old. I do not believe that certainty regarding the age of the earth is either necessary or possible at this time. Tension in areas of conflict between science and biblical interpretation should not necessarily be viewed as either questioning the inerrancy of scripture or a lack of faith. This issue should not be the focus of the creation/evolution debate at this time.
6. The plain language of Genesis 6-8 teaches a violent universal flood which would be expected to leave discernible scars on the earth. However, it is difficult to assimilate all geological formations into a model of a single worldwide flood only 5,000 years ago. There is also a significant amount of geological data that is not easily explained by uniformitarian principles. Research of a water canopy/universal flood model should be vigorously pursued, but belief in such should not be made a litmus test of true Christian belief.

If this suspension of judgment characterizes dogmatic biblical literalists, then there's some duplicity going on here because that is not the stand taken by any 6-day Creationists that I am aware of. But conveniently enough, big "A" has alerted me to a Christian leader who actually supports some of the claims I have been making about right-wing literalist Christians. Let me explain, but first let me point out that the two references above which big "A" gave me share some paragraphs in common. They seem to be two versions of the same thesis and I will use them as one thesis.
Dr. Bohlin states:

It is not hard to notice that the environmental issue receives very little attention in Christian circles. There are so many other significant issues that occupy our attention that we seem to think of the environment as somebody else's issue. Many Christians are openly skeptical of the reality of any environmental crisis. It is viewed as a liberal issue, or New Age propaganda, or just plain unimportant since this earth will be destroyed after the millennium. What we fail to realize is that Christians have a sacred responsibility to the earth and the creatures within it. The earth is being affected by humans in an unprecedented manner, and we do not know what the short or long term effects will be.

Big "A" commented, "You suggestion that Christians don't care about the environment is wrong and you have provided no facts to back up your crazy assertion other than your own crazy hair brained theory." Yet, within the first paragraph of Dr. Bohlin's thesis, he points to Christian complacency, citing the very same claims that I have cited, and like me, giving no references for those claims. Well, big "A" I cite Dr. Bohlin.
Dr. Bohlin's thesis is a warning message aimed not at atheists, but at complacent Christians, pointing out that believers are instructed in the Bible to take care of God's creation. His introductory paragraph makes it clear that Christians don't live this way, aren't concerned about the environment, and even are complacent because they think environmental concern is "unimportant since this earth will be destroyed after the millennium."
Why is it, big "A," that if I say it, it is, as you so eloquently put it, "your own crazy hair brained theory" while when Dr. Bohlin says essentially the same thing, it is proof that Christians care? My experience over the years and even now with Christians is that they essentially don't care about the environment as long as they can continue living a prosperous life. The people who do care, the people who are actually putting Dr. Bohlin's recommendations into practice, are not Christian, in large part because they find their life choices condemned by complacent Christians who brand their lifestyle (in Dr. Bohlin's words) "liberal" and "New Age propaganda," in both cases meant by Christians as slander.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew you would draw attention to that comment. While he does point out Christians are complacent (and really, who isn't complacent from time to time?) in regards to the environment, he does support my claim that the Bible tells us we have a responsibility to maintain the environment.

I challenged you to find a religious leader who says we do not have a "responsibility" to maintain the environment. Bohlin only says we are complacent. And I hardly think you can pin environmental apathy solely on the heads of the Christians.

8:54 AM, September 30, 2005  

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