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Vibrant Dance 2: Panel Discussion 4: Can Young-Earth and Old-Earth Christians Work Together to Build the Kingdom of Christ? What are the foundations for cooperation? What are the current impediments?

{RJW Note:  The fourth and last panel discussion was discussing the tensions among Christians that hold to different views of Genesis, again moderated by Craig Blaising (CB). The panel members were:  TB(eall), JD(uncan), WK(aiser), JR(eynolds), BW(altke), JW(alton). Also Genesis 1 and 2 are abbreviated as G1 and G2 respectively. Again, this post will be in the form of a pseudo-transcript. Due to some duties as a volunteer at the conference, I missed the first 20-25 minutes of this panel. My apologies, however, I think the gist is probably captured here.}

TB:  There are different levels of working together, and so many opportunities to cooperate, but we have need to be aware of and discuss those differences.

JR:  We need to get over worrying about wondering—if you are in love with someone, you are constantly in wonder of them. If you become skeptical or no longer filled with wonder, you no longer are in love {or love is decreasing}. We should always be in wonder about Christ and exploring and asking questions. We need to fight more and support those we agree with in their writing and research; ‘fight’ being a sincere non-acrimonious debate. Need to support young earth creationists with time and treasure to study actual scientific research to see what support exists there. We’re either nasty or wimpy. We need to disagree agreeably and agree disagreeably (i.e., keep things stirred up to keep up the wonder and keep exploring).

CB:  JD- how does all of this come together in the real world of congregations?

JD:  As theists and supernaturalists, the secularists have already lumped us together as fundamentalists. They say we are the last people on earth who can have a disagreement, but it is something to celebrate, we can argue passionately with each other while celebrating what unifies us. We are too nice towards each other, so that we are afraid to disagree because it might make us look not nice. Polemics is one of the greatest gifts the Church has given the world, so we shouldn’t be afraid of it. Mystery and wonder have a important role—“if I understood God, I would cease to be a Christian.” Quoted “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” (Hamlet, Act 1, Scene V) We are living in the middle of a series of HUGE advances in many areas, and science is getting a swelled head, so we need to be humble.

BW:  quoted Lincoln, “Baptists are like cats—they fight and reproduce.” Our distinctive is love for one another, which includes desire for truth. We all believe that Scripture is important. There are 5 stances people have toward Scripture:  1) the Liberal stands above Scripture with Reason, 2) the Neo orthodox-stands before Scripture hoping it becomes the word of God, 3) The Orthodox stands alongside Scripture and goes along with rabbinic tradition (Jewish) or patrician system (Catholic) or our Confessions (some Protestants) They aren’t trained in exegesis so they are weaker because only rely on Confessions, 4) Fundamentalist stands on the Word of God—it is inerrant, but compared to what? So we are busy evaluating it, 5) But, BW stands under the Word so we can develop and grow together—let the Word teach us and let us be under its authority.

CB:  agrees with BW, we must be instructed by the Word on how to interpret the Word. So we need to speak the truth in love to lead to growth in Christ. II Tim 3:16 implies we will mutually instruct and correct each other, but in love. We have gone into minute detail in this conference and yet have proclaimed God is One, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; in addition to all of the other things that we agree on. So what do we do with our interactions with the education system, and its antagonistic worldview? How do we set forth a Christian worldview, especially as they point out our differences? We need to draw strength from one another in facing these issues.

{Tomorrow will be the final planned post on the conference. It will be on the specific final breakout session I attended. MP3’s and DVD’s of the conference are available at a nominal fee at}

Day 14 Praise:  Praise the Everlasting Father that very little in this world is either as straightforward and simple, or as complex and unintelligible as we declare it on first (or even tenth) examination. God and His Truth are as deep as fractals—deceptively simple, yet continuing infinitely.

{Fractal image public domain, courtesy of}


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