By David George Moore
Dear Dr. Giberson (or may I call you Karl?),
It seems destined that I should get in between you and Mohler on your recent fireworks. After all, you were born in 1957, I in 1958, and Mohler in 1959. If I were into astrology, I would make much of this, but alas, my mentor Augustine loved to mock such silliness so I follow his lead. Debunking astrology is surely one thing all three of us can agree on.
Like you, I have written for The Huffington Post. My piece was on Tiger Woods. It didn't generate the interest yours did. I guess religion is truly more fascinating than sports, not to mention yours got a more prominent place on their web site. But I digress . . .
I enjoyed your lively exchange with Dr. Mohler. "Enjoyed" may not be the best way to describe it, but I found it fascinating, not only for what was said, but for the manner in which each of you articulated your arguments.
In case you are wondering, I do not know Mohler. My only interaction with Mohler was a one-hour interview, years ago during my local radio gig here in Austin. I'm sure he remembers the seminal hour we spent talking about the history of seminaries in the United States.
I was pleased to see Mohler nuance his rather sweeping statement that "Darwin left on his expedition to prove the theory of evolution." You were correct to challenge him on this matter. Granting this, wouldn't you concede that Darwin carried some assumptions about the natural world before boarding the Beagle? It is impossible for any of us to extricate ourselves fully from biases, personal agendas, working hypotheses, or presuppositions. This, of course, does not leave us to meander endlessly in the swampland of uncertainty, but it should inform our pronouncements about issues that are not crystal clear.
Confidence in the core doctrines of the faith is critical. Confidence in our position on some secondary matter, or treating a secondary matter as if it were primary, results in considerable problems. I can't say with confidence (!) whether you or Mohler are guilty of doing this with your respective views, but I know that both of you would concede it is unwise.
My own position on the age of the earth is agnostic, so I guess I don't agree with either one of you. I do believe in a literal Adam and Eve. Here's why I am agnostic about the age of the earth and related matters: Kurt Wise, as you well know, received his Ph.D. at Harvard under Stephen Jay Gould. Wise is no dummy and he is an early earth creationist. You received your Ph.D. at Rice (a great academic institution and a growing powerhouse in football) and you hold a polar opposite view from Wise. When I teach theology or church history, I constantly alert my students to an important reality. If two scholarly Christians who genuinely seem to be seeking the truth on some issue come to different conclusions, you can be certain about one thing: the issue isn't crystal clear.
I plan on reading your next book, The Anointed (co-authored with Randall Stephens), when it comes out next year. If you would like to read any of my books, I will gladly direct you to the proper Amazon links.
Sincere Regards in Christ,
P.S. I trust you know by now that Mohler reads books very thoroughly. You may have other areas to find fault, but I am confident about two things: Mohler is a bookworm and a genuine seeker of the truth.
See Karl Giberson's recent article at Patheos here.
David Moore is founder and president of Two Cities Ministries. David has spoken
at universities and churches on a variety of topics, and has presented at conferences in Canada, Mexico, Poland, Croatia and France. He has also spoken at numerous professional baseball and football chapels for teams such as the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers, and the Chicago Bears.
David is the author of three books, most recently The Last Men's Book You'll Ever Need. He has also written essays for publications such as Bibliotheca Sacra, The Huffington Post, and Touchstone. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/DGEMoore.
8/30/2010 4:00:00 AM