Sunday 7 February 2010

YEC dreck - 3

One moment you're reading a Young Earth Creation text from the Missouri Synod, then there's a flash of recognition: the author is citing a WCG writer.

Thomas Lapacka I knew about. The former Pasadena minister traded in his suit and tie for the clerical collar of a Missouri Synod pastor some ten years ago, and went on to write a book about it. But I didn't know about Robert Gentet.

Gentet was a "science" writer (using the term science very loosely) for The Plain Truth. His most well-known article may have been Dinosaurs Before Adam?, which first saw the light in 1963, then achieved "reprint article" status as the definitive word on the subject for church members.

Obviously Gentet was a major promotor of the "gap theory," which is anathema to YECs. But Fange's approach is "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," so that wasn't too much of a jolt (he also cites ID gurus Behe and Johnson without indicating that their position is very different to his.)

But it seems Gentet has had a Damascus Road experience on creationism - or perhaps St. Louis Road - for he returned to his LCMS roots after leaving WCG and, after failing to find a job in the oil industry, went on to be ordained as a Missouri Synod pastor. Along with this metamorphosis, Gentet completely abandoned the pre-Adamic theory of creationism which he had long espoused, and adopted a variety of YECism (the "CCC" model) and now runs - where you can find his potted bio.

Fange cites kindred spirit Gentet, a similarly underqualified enthusiast on the subject, as an authority to back up his own views. Two dilettantes are, apparently, better than one.

Both of these illustrious gentlemen have the hard task of explaining how the planet came to be as it is in just a few thousand years. Noah's flood comes in handy here, and both of our geniuses seem to have been influenced by Alfred Rehwinkel's 1950s book called (not surprisingly) The Flood. Rehwinkel was yet another dilettante (his degree was in theology), Missouri Synod member and - like Fange and Lapacka, his book appears under the Concordia imprint.

So, how do you explain, for example, those big, pointy things made of rock? The Andes mountains for example?

What is surprising is that the earliest intensive agriculture in South America is believed to be east of the Andes in the Amazon lowlands before it was carried over the Andes, perhaps even before the Andes existed. Much of the Andes chain is very recent - shockingly recent! (p.218-219)

Do tell!

The Andes rose abruptly in historical times when man was already sailing ships. There was a sea harbor in Lake Titicaca. (p.219)

Well, land sakes, who'd have thunked it! But then, this is the same guy who writes:

Our belief in a young earth is founded on the Bible, and there is nothing in the way of evidence to shake that belief. (p.289)

Can we hear an Amen! from Brother Gentet?


  1. Our belief in a young earth is founded on the Bible, and there is nothing in the way of evidence to shake that belief.

    Which points out the reason why nothing in real life should be founded on the Bible.

    I'm rather fond of the strong glass dome over the earth myself. It just sounds so . . . logical, doesn't it?

  2. The strong glass dome over the earth certainly does explain a lot. God just opens a window and pours in some water when it rains, right?

  3. Thanks for the link to Lapacka's book, looks interesting; can anyone speak to whether or not he's heavy-handed with the bible-thumping for his current religious beliefs?

  4. Vulcan Computer: What was Kiri-Kin-Tha's first law of metaphysics?

    Spock: Nothing unreal exists.

  5. God just opens a window and pours in some water when it rains, right?

    Yep. He gets it from the storehouses up there. If he wants a drought, he just closes the window. Hey, you can't make this stuff up, it comes straight from the KJV.

  6. PH

    Lapacka is even more legalistic now that he is part of Misery Synod. In his book he makes the comment that his children are doomed to hell unless they conform to his Misery Synod legalistic beliefs. A quick look at the beliefs of Misery Synod will quickly tell you that Lapacka went from one crazy bible thumping system to another.

  7. Thanks for the heads-up on Lapacka; shame, really, the idea of the book is a good one, pity the execution is so horrible.