Think of the Children

If the opener to Rhonda Forlow’s article Teaching the Evidence of Creation to Children is correct then creationists have much to fear.

Young children approach life with refreshing innocence. They assume that spoken words are truth because they have no reason to question the trusted adult who spoke them. But as children grow older, they begin to question adults and situations—they want evidence of truth as they encounter unknown people and new circumstances in their world.

I’m not sure quite how trusting children really are – you certainly shouldn’t trust them. They also tend to start questioning from the beginning, but they might need to be taught the hated ‘critical thinking skills’ before they get any good at it.

Forlow wants you to teach your kids why you believe the crazy nonsense you do, preferably before it’s too late.

Adults are no different. They want proof that a new product does what it claims to do, or that a doctor received his credentials from an appropriate place, or that the latest technological gadget is truly going to make life easier. But with all our evidence-gathering, we too often overlook the importance of providing evidence to our children concerning faith issues. Shouldn’t we diligently look for ways to teach our children, in ways they can understand, the evidences of their faith?

Yes folks: evidence for faith. Isn’t that a bit of a contradiction in terms?

Skipping a bit – in which Forlow says that she herself does not question creation on account of being Christian, which is silly on multiple levels – we get to six points that she wants you to tell your kids. The first three are, in short, “Goddidit,” “Goddidit deliberately in an orderly fashion,” and “we’re special.”
The fourth is more interesting:

God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, and to fill the earth and subdue it (or take care of everything He had made). This is the purpose for creation.

How many times have you heard a creationist (or other Christian) berate atheists because their ‘meaning of life’ is apparently just reproducing? Forlow needs to be a little more careful, here and in number five:

In the beginning, God made everything perfect; and when He was finished, He called it “good.” God doesn’t make bad things, but because sin entered the world, nothing on earth is perfect now.

The idea that “God doesn’t make bad things” doesn’t really work in this theology. God, after all, is supposed to have made everything. It’s often said, for example in point number six, that God gave us free will so we wouldn’t be mindless drones – though then again this would probably depend on how Protestant you are. Saying that God did not create sin and evil is rather problematic, it might be added, to arguments that He is the source of all morality.

That sixth one, for completeness, was:

God didn’t create everything, put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and then just say goodbye. He wanted fellowship with people. One way He chose to have fellowship with them was by giving people an understanding of what was right and wrong (by forbidding them to eat from a specific tree in the Garden). When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from that tree of the knowledge of good and evil, sin entered the world. And that’s why we need Jesus—He came to save us from our sin.

Let me get this straight: what was ‘wrong’ was eating the fruit that would teach Adam and Eve real morality beyond simply ‘don’t eat the fruit’? The various pieces of nonsense in this paragraph are the problem with young Earth creationist theology in a nutshell.

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