Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Notorious Islamic Extremist Renounced His Childhood Christian Faith Because Of Creationism (In Part)

Omar Hammami, son of Syrian Muslim and Southern Baptist parents, has been playing a leading role in the Al-Shabbab militancy in Somalia. The New York Times magazine has just chronicled his journey from Southern Baptist (baptized at age 6) to Islamic extremist. One stage of the process involved dealing with creationism:

"When he was 12, Hammami wrote in his journal, 'Sometimes I get confused because the Bible says one thing and our textbooks and Darwin say another.'"

There were of course other issues in the journey--among them his father's Muslim faith and a mile-wide rebellious streak. But if he had been taught that the inerrant Bible is in complete agreement with the concepts of a billions-years-old earth and a providential (theistic) view of evolution, perhaps he would have become a rebel for Christ (instead of an al-Qaeda sympathizer)!? It's impossible to say for sure, of course. And as long as he lives and breathes, he can always return to his childhood faith.

I just wanted to point out the effect that creationism had on Hammami to reinforce the idea behind my previous post: the apologetics we use, and the way that we handle issues of science and faith, can have a huge impact for good or for ill. We need to think very carefully about these issues, and not just think the way we've always thought, and speak the way we've always spoken, just because it's more comfortable for us.

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