Christian is not same as creationist

24th March 2006 at 00:00
In the bizarre debate about the teaching of creationism and "intelligent design" (TES, March 10), I would like to point out that the belief that God created the world in seven days is held by only a tiny minority of Christians; that it is not clearly based on the Bible; and that it is not part of fundamental Christian faith.

Genesis gives two different accounts of creation (chapters one and two).

They are mutually incompatible. Mainstream Jews and Christians have always recognised this and for most of the last two millennia have generally regarded them as profound moral reflections on the purpose of creation and the origins of evil, rather than as scientific or historical descriptions.

Creationism itself is the product not of traditional Christianity (or scientific investigation) but of 18th-century rationalism, and an Enlightenment approach to literary theory that insisted that texts simply mean what they say -an approach which, when applied to traditional Christianity, has disastrous results, producing simplistic absurdity in place of orthodox teaching about God.

As a father of three young children and a pretty traditional Christian believer myself, I urge all teachers - whether in RE, citizenship, history, science or literary theory - to campaign hard to keep the dangerous nonsense of creationism out of the classroom and school assemblies.

Nicholas Henshall Precentor Derby Cathedral Centre 18-19 Iron Gate, Derby

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