Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Letter to Dr. Dino

As I sit in West Palm being, well, homeless, and living off the kindness and couches of my friends, I have found myself a bit bored and so I took the time to write an email to a popular Creationist: Dr. Kent Hovind. Here is what I said:

How important is it that a Christian believes that the world was created in six, 24-hour days a few thousand years ago? I always thought that the central tenet of Christianity was not the cosmology laid out in Genesis, but rather the humanity and divinity of Jesus of Nazareth who died and was raised to life in an act which atones for the sins of humanity. If we can agree on the claims that Jesus made about Himself and the acts He performed, what does it matter if He created the universe 6,000 years ago or 6 billion years ago? Is the huge amount of research and effort and funding that feeds the "Creation vs. Evolution" debate really being used in the best possible way? Or have we forgotten that Christ calls us to "Love our neighbor as ourselves," not to convince him that our view is right and any other way of looking at thing is stupid? If we channeled our efforts toward loving our "enemies" instead of insulting their intelligence and integrity maybe they would see the light on a hill that we are supposed to be.

Here is the Automated response I got the next day:

Dear Matthew B. Davis,Thank you for your e-mail for Dr. Hovind. Each day we receive an abundance of calls, e-mails, and letters for him and it has become extremely difficult for him to answer each one personally because of his very busy schedule. He would very much like to talk to you and suggests that you call into his daily radio program. If you do not wish to call into the radio, your question will still be submitted to the radio show and will be answered during the live radio broadcast. If you are unable to listen to the program during the scheduled airtime, you may listen to archived radio shows at www.truthradio.com To listen to the show, go to our website http://www.drdino.com and tune in to Creation Science Hour which is on weekdays from 4:30 - 6:00 pm (Central Time). Click on the red bar which appears at the top of our Home Page to listen to the broadcast during this time period. Dr. Hovind answers all kinds of questions live during the CREATION SCIENCE HOUR. His AOL instant message name is drdinolive. Or call our toll free number at 1-877-479-3466 ext 136 during this time period. Outside the U.S. the phone number is 1-800-479-3466. When he is out of town the program will be pre-recorded.God bless,CSE Customer Service

About three days after I received the email above one of the staff members sent me this short, but to the point message.

Dear Matthew,
Wow – please stop attending the wishy washy church you are going to now and find a Bible-believing church!
Love with *justice* - got it?
If there was no Fall, there was no need for the Cross.
Sincerely, Paul
(Dr. Dino Staff)

After receiving the above email, I responded to Paul:

I appreciate your response, I had nearly given up the hope that I would get anything more than an automated response. To respond to your message, the church I currently attend is actually how I was introduced to Dr. Hovind. In Sunday school one of the classes showed his lecture DVDs. Outside of Sunday school, I have never even heard a pastor or speaker talk about evoultion except to condemn it. Furthermore, I agree wholeheartedly that without the Fall the Cross would not be needed. Humans are naturally sinful and that is why we need salvation. But the doctrine of the Fall is not the issue. In fact, the doctrine of the Creation, that the one, true, triune God created the universe, is also not in question. The true issue at hand is the relative importance of the doctrine that states that God created the universe in six literal days. I think that some doctrines are more important than others. For example, the doctrine that Jesus is God's Son is more important than the doctrine that says the only right way to baptize someone is full immersion. In the grand scheme of things, if you were baptised with a sprinkling of water or dunked doesn't matter as much as if you call Jesus that Son of God or just a great prophet. Along that same idea is where my question lies: How important is it to believe God created in six literal days? Must someone embrace that idea or be condemned to Hell? That is the question which I asked, but I'm afraid it was not fully addressed. If you or someone on the Dr. Dino staff could address my question I would greatly appreciate it. In closing, could you also expand on your comment "Love with *justice* - got it?" Thanks again for responed to my question, I look forward to further dialogue with you.


A few days later, Paul responded:

Sir, Please understand that I cannot write for long. I apologize for this. We take the Bible very seriously. Baptism, as one doctrine, is an important one. Creation in God's image, as the Bible said, is another. You seem to be a smart person, but ... one who is not well grounded.Best Wishes, Paul

As you can see, Paul still has not answered my question. If you have any thoughts, feel free to respond.