December 11, 2017

More on Ken Ham…

By Chaplain Mike

For your further study and contemplation…

In response to a parishioner’s request, our friend, Pastor Daniel Jepsen, has written a review of Ken Ham’s video, “The Six Days of Creation,” over at the Franklin Community Church website.

Part of Dan’s conclusion:

All this is not to say that I totally disagree with all the points Mr. Ham makes, or that advocates of Old Earth creationism or other viewpoints do not have their own potential issue or problems.  I have been focusing on the arguments and tactics of one man, Mr. Ken Ham.  In my opinion, and based on the analysis above, I do not find him to be a capable interpreter of the Word of God.

I encourage you to read this well-written critique.

Comments

  1. Is Daniel suggesting I go back into my science class and say well there is a possiblity that the earth is old but young in appearance and theology? Or tell my kids tonight that God created the Earth in 6 solar days and not 24 hour days and which could also be 1000 years. Grrrr….This is probably the only moment when I can quote the Emergents and say, “Hey Brother,Why don’t we just get along together?” But I will still stick to a young Earth view instead of wavering between two opinions.

    • I hopebyou will read his review. The question is how Mr. Ham handles the Scriptures.

    • I would make no suggestions to you at all, except that the meaning of the text always trumps other concerns. The problem, as you hint at, is that the more you study Genesis 1, the more frustrating it can become, for it is not as simple and straightforward as some would like us to think.

      • Do people even read the Bible? Or do they just swallow the pre-digested/pre-interpreted meals or junk food their pastors/leaders spoon-feed or hand them?

        As you say, Daniel, the more one studies not only Genesis but many other Biblical books as well, the more things become less simple and straightforward. And once you venture into the original languages, the way can become even less of a “one way” road.

        • Do people even read the Bible? Or do they just swallow the pre-digested/pre-interpreted meals or junk food their pastors/leaders spoon-feed or hand them?

          Ding,ding,ding……which stuffed animal would you like EricW ?? We have a nice Triceratops hugging Eve over here…..

          This is the problem behind the problem. Ken Ham-ism doesn’t happen in a vaccuum. The bar for ANY kind of scholarly endeavor , biblical or scientific, first has to be set very, very low. Then, someone who talks a good game can come in and sell just about anything, UNCHALLENGED. In fact, to actually challenge them is to ‘show a rebellious spirit’, or ‘be swayed by the spirit of the age’……or make up your own poster heading.

          Somehow, in this whole ugly enteprise, mainline science got branded a tool of the devil and not to be trusted. This put people of faith in a terrible position, having to compartmentalize and trucate their professional/educational selves and their devotional selves. The enemy became anyone who might be used to support the godless forces of the ‘godless philosophy’. What a shame , and how avoidable, but I say better late than never: no more free pass, we need to hold up BOTH science and hermenuetics to the best possible information, and learn how to disagree openly and charitably.

          All this will make many pastors queezy as the pat answers that ‘worked’ 20 yrs ago no longer get rubber stamped, but welcome to the internet age, and an awakened populace that doesn’t have to swallow poorly thought out mush for dinner. We will all benefit from the push to work out these truths with fear and trembling.

          • Ding,ding,ding……which stuffed animal would you like EricW ?? We have a nice Triceratops hugging Eve over here…..

            Sorry to have to inform you of this, greg r, but no Triceratops:

            http://gizmodo.com/5601514/the-triceratops-never-existed-it-was-actually-a-young-version-of-another-dinosaur

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Actually, once you get past the tabloid “Triceratops Never Existed” headline, the article actually says that TOROSAURUS never existed. Apparently as Trikes aged, their frills grew longer and lighter, to the point that skulls of old Trikes were thought to be another species of ceratopsian. Since the name “Triceratops” has seniority over “Torosaurus”, it’s the name Torosaurus that’s going away.

            And before any paleos on this blog get into Brontosaurus vs Apatosaurus, I stand with Gould as stated in his manifesto “Bully for Brontosaurus”. Brontosaurus should continue on as an unofficial name and as a generic “street name” for sauropods.

      • I remember my first semester at the University of Sioux Falls. I was a disciple of Jesus, no doubt. I had a wonderful, conversational relationship with my God. But I had no idea what was about to happen – the crooked road I was about to start down – as I took my seat for day one of my Introduction to the Bible class. Most of the hour was spent on personal introductions and a detailed look at the syllabus before our professor gave us our first assignment – compare and contrast the two accounts of creation found in Genesis 1 and 2. Two accounts of creation? Apparently different from each other? I went straight back to my dorm room and grabbed my Bible. For the first time, I read those chapters with open eyes, why they were open this time, I don’t know. But I was devastated. Over the next eight years I completed a degree in Biology and a Masters degree Cell and Molecular Biology, and I turned my back completely on the faith that had shaped me for six years before leaving for college.

        I didn’t know what to do with the Bible. I was angry. The more I studied, the more I concluded it could be made to say pretty much anything I wanted it to. In the middle of the darkest days of my life, I had a conversation with a Physics professor from the college where I had been an undergraduate. During the course of that talk, which ended up being a discussion of his faith in Jesus, we had this exchange – he told me that as a scientist I must conclude that the Earth is either very old, or that it was made to appear that way. Which option I chose to believe would say a great deal about what I believed to be the character of God. When I asked him about reconciling his trust in science with the creation stories in the Bible, he simply said I needed to consult someone who knew the Bible better than he did.

        Praise God I stumbled across a man named Gordon Fee. His book, “How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth,” gave me new hope. After many years, the journey of my salvation is still not complete. But thanks to scholars like Fee, Ian Proven, and N.T. Wright, I’m doing a better job of approaching the Bible on its own terms. Because of that, I’m seeing the story of God’s work to restore his creation more fully, more beautifully. I understand more who Jesus is – it is an amazing tragedy to me that so many Christians today claim to follow this person, but they really have no idea who he was and is. I still struggle with many things – the condition of God’s church today, the role of the church in the world, my role within the church, and the list goes on. But, as Paul wrote, “we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” It’s not a quick and easy thing. It’s good to remember that Paul underwent a similar sort of Copernican revolution concerning his reading and interpretation of the scriptures that had to be unbelievably difficult. When we read Acts we assume that upon conversion Saul, now Paul, instantly went out and proclaimed “Christ, and him crucified!” But we look at Galations, the earliest Christian letter, and we see that Paul struggled with his experience in light of his very Jewish identity in the wilderness for 13 years before he began any ministry. So I feel like I am in good company.

        When I meet my savior face to face, I believe I will sound a bit like Tom Hanks speaking to Meg Ryan at the end of “Joe vs. The Volcano” – “It’s been a long time coming here to meet you, a Long time, on a Crooked road.”

  2. Note: Some may excuse Mr. Ham on the ground that he has no theological or biblical training (he has a bachelor’s degree in applied science).

    What’s a guy [i.e., Mr. Ham] who hasn’t even 1-2 years of training/study in Biblical Hebrew doing make fiat statements about the meaning/understanding of Genesis 1 and/or the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures?

    Does.Not.Compute.

    • Agree completely. His real skill is in public speaking, which creates a headache for any Pastor actually trying to do careful exegisis rather than just whip up the crowd.

    • Yeah, Ham is a good speaker. There is no doubt about that. I think to see though the YEC nonsense one needs training in both exegesis AND rhetoric/logic.

  3. Very timely, and fair review, Chaplain Mike. Daniel’s last paragraph was particularly to the point. If Ken Ham wants to wear the mantle of ‘he who understands Gen. 1 like few others”, then he has to answer for how he came by his interpretation. Needless to say, the explanation that works for his audiences does not go nearly as far with those who do not share his a priore assumptions and biases. As has been noted, how does someone this uneducated come up with his level of bravado, reg. BOTH the science and the biblical parts of his explanations >??? Amazing. I’ll keep this review in mind, and hope to not have to use it often, but ya’ never know….

    Greg R

    • It has been my experience that Ham and many others think that the meaning of the text is so simple and straightforward that it requires no explanation.

      • That has been my experience as well; and when confronted with any kind of push back, even from the gentlest of voices, and the calmest of appoaches, the motives of said confronter are brought under a withering critique….and the questions left dismissed. From the outside, this must look like some kind of weird theatre. I think this is the scandal that BioLogos (among others) is starting to address.

  4. Interesting. Thanks for sharing this link with us.

  5. The saddest part is that so many in the evangelical community have fallen for Ken Ham, who is just a person who has figured how to make a lot of money.

    He reminds me of a certain person who has made millions telling evangelicals how to manage their money, then turns around and gets paid to endorse vinyl replacement windows of questionable financial value.

    To rephrase an old saying “Evangelicals and their money are soon parted”

    • “The saddest part is that so many in the evangelical community have fallen for Ken Ham”

      I’d say the saddest part is that so many in the “evangelical community” are weak, comprimsied, ecumenical, pragmatic, unbiblical and humanistic”

    • “The saddest part is that so many in the evangelical community have fallen for Ken Ham, who is just a person who has figured how to make a lot of money”

      The saddest part is that we:
      1- Don’t study the Bible enough.
      2- Question enough
      3- Fall for any huckster because we fail to do 1 & 2

      • Double amen to that….and one sign of a huckster is extreme squemishness over #2…..they won’t sit still for really good qustions, or at least not for long.

  6. Isaac (the poster formerly known as Obed) says:

    Yeesh… Mr. Hamm only has a Bachelor’s in applied science? Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I can’t think of anything one could do with a Bachelor’s in science fields. Aren’t those just stepping stones on your way to Ph.D? Why would anyone stop at a Bachelor’s in applied science?

    At any rate, Pastor Jepsen’s review was a good read and should give folks lots to think about. Truth be told, I don’t really have a dog in this race. The age of the Earth is so far down on my list of theological, ministerial, and educational priorities, that it’s barely on my radar.

    That said, I think any time someone wants to claim the interpretation of a single passage in Scripture as one of the main reasons for the “collapse of Christianity today,” I get skeptical. That smacks of poor hermeneutics or the myopic tunnel-vision of a zealot. That’s how cults and heresies get started: you take one concept or passage in scripture and turn it into a banner for rallying the troops and a foundation upon which to build your entire theology and world view.

    • While you are correct to call Ham’s credentials into question, I have a quick observation. I have a recent B.S in applied physics and agree that one must be creative to find work. As an electrical engineer at Apple Computer, I do have to say that it is a useful degree.

      But I’m not pretending to be able to interpret ancient Hebrew scriptures either.

      • Isaac (the poster formerly known as Obed) says:

        Just out of curiosity, are you planning on continuing your education?

    • From the Answers in Genesis website:

      “Ken’s bachelor’s degree in applied science (with an emphasis on environmental biology) was awarded by the Queensland Institute of Technology in Australia. He also holds a diploma of education from the University of Queensland (a graduate qualification necessary for Ken to begin his initial career as a science teacher in the public schools in Australia). ”

      From what I understand, he used the degree and diploma to teach high school biology in Australia before getting involved in YEC.

      • This may or may not be related , but while meandering thru the AiG blog site a few minutes ago, I hit the “get to know our speakers” menu, and noticed that Ken’s credentials and bio is NOT part of that menu…… his brother Steve was listed, and ten or so others. What the ???

        Maybe I didn’t look hard enough, or maybe they don’t want his bio out there on their own blog site ……. hmmm

        • Mystery solved, sort of: his brief, but complete bio IS available on the main answersingenesis.org website. In addition to the two diplomas mentioned above, he has received three honorary doctorates, hence the title “Dr.” Sorry if my post made Ken seem dishonest about his background.

          GregR

          • Isaac (the poster formerly known as Obed) says:

            Looking at his stie, he has Honorary Doctorates from Temple Baptist University, Tenessee Temple University, and Liberty University. All very conservative (read: fundamentalist) Christian schools that do indeed have legit accreditation.

          • and the plot thickens…..guess where our thread writer/pastor got his undergrad ??

            Daniel received a B.A. in Pulpit Communications from Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, and a M.A. in Christian Thought (theology and philosophy) from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

            yupp….same place Mr. ….scuse me, Dr.Ham got one of his honorary degrees, Tenn. Temple U. How’s that for weirdness ?? Now they’ll have something to chat about over the non-alcoholic punch come alumni day… 🙂

        • If you google “Ken Ham Biography” the first result is a link to AiG. Not sure why it is not on the other page.

      • you guys dont like him because he is an Aussie!

        🙂

    • I don’t know. I did quite a lot with a B.S. degree with an MBA on top. In the science and technology world outside of academia, the quality of your thinking and your insights and your raw intelligence might be more important than the size of your degree. Do Bill Gates or Steve Jobs have doctoral degrees? There are plenty of patents out there with people’s names on them that don’t end with Ph.D.

      That is not to defend Hamm. At all.

    • I recently acquired a Bachelor’s in Biology. Basically, unless you get more education, this allows you to a) be in a position where you communicate the findings of researchers to others, i.e. reporters or patrons; or b) to work in a lab helping researchers perform the experiments which they devise.

      It really means that you have all the basics down; the ph.D. is all about specialization, gaining more depth of knowledge in a specific topic. So you need to be careful about listening to people with doctorates as well; many people seem to feel entitled to speak on issues outside of their specialty.

      And, that said, it is of course possible to become an expert in something without any schooling whatsoever. Just good luck finding a job.

      • unless you create said job or position, of course. Which is I think what Fish, above, is referring to.

  7. I just realized susceptibility to Ken’s bravado is really just a symptom of a main point that internetmonk was founded on, that reliance on the “show” on Sunday mornings had created an environment where we fall for whoever can produce the biggest show or bravado or charisma.

    • As a Pastor, it is much easier to just give the congregation my opinion (even if I don’t call it that) than to patiently teach and model responsible exegesis.

      • Wow. I really don’t know what to say about that except that I pray you get out of that position quick. The church does not need people giving opinions of what the Word of God says. I pray for your congregation too.

        • You may want to slow down a little, Todd. I hope you didn’t mean what you said to sound like that, but it sounded like you were condemning Daniel for doing something that he never said he does. He didn’t say that he routinely gives opinion in place of exegesis, only that it’s easier. Those are completely different things. I’m sure that you and I would agree that we would hate to be condemned based on the things that our “natural man” find easiest, as opposed to the course of action that we really take.

        • Perhaps I should have been more clear. There is nothing I despise more than when a pastor, speaker, or writer gives their own opinion and tries to pass it off as the Word of God, especially since this always leads to either extemely sloppy exegesis or exegesis with an agenda. Now, since we are all fallible and biased, I suppose we never break cleanly with tainting our exegesis with our own opinion. But the way to combat this is to get training in the rules of exegesis, to spend considerable time actually working on the passage, and consciously ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand and conform to the meaning of the text. And then, if you are dealing with a passage that has a lot of exegetical options, have the humility to acknowledge the other views as possible, even while showing reasons for the interpretation you have chosen.

          That is why I was so annoyed with Ken Ham. I refuse to judge his motives, but it seems clear to me that he handled the Word of God in a very loose way, despite his protestations to the contrary. And it grieves me that so many Churches and christian colleges (including my own alma mater, regrettably) refuse to hold him accountable for faulty teaching or an uncharitable spirit.

          • wow…excellent words on how to approach scripture and teaching/preaching. Consider this copied to my quotes file. Not to be snarky against your alma mater, but your last paragraph occured to me as well: why haven’t more leaders stepped out and called Ham out, not for his exact position, but for the way he has,and as far as I know, demonizes those with variant readings of Gen. 1.

            where’s the beef (leadership) here ??

            GREG R

          • Greg, thanks for your kind words. And I don’t mind the snarkiness about TTU at all. Like all human institutions, it is a mixture of good and bad. Perhaps some day I will write a post here (if Mike wants it) on why I left fundamentalism.

          • HEYYYYY CHAP MIKE …… we have Daniel on board for a future post, have JeffD get the deal inked before he changes his mind 🙂

            I will look forward to that. God give us keen minds and soft hearts. Stop back by often.

            Greg R

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      …created an environment where we fall for whoever can produce the biggest show or bravado or charisma.

      Why does the title Triumph of the Will come to mind?

      • Ben Wheaton says:

        Godwin’s law strikes again, I see. Pathetic, HUG.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          So a Nuremberg Rally WASN’T a “Biggest Show” with “Bravado” and “Charisma”?

          Tell that to my 1943 OSS report that cited eyewitnesses describing it as “A Revival Meeting”. Probably used the same tricks and shticks as a tent revival and/or Amway rally, except A.H. AG was preaching/selling something a LOT more sinister.

  8. Mike (the other chaplain) says:

    Has Ham become the boogie man of embarrassed Evangelicals, Post or otherwise? Do you realize that once you accept the literal resurrection of Jesus, the world places you in the same crazy fundie category as you are placing the Hammites.

    • No, the world does NOT place resurrection-believing Christians in the same category as Hamites. Some people/groups in the world may do so, but the world in toto does not.

      There are perfectly rational scientific explanations for the non-YEC view of the earth, which is why Hamites can be regarded as loco.

      But while there are arguments against the resurrection, there are also arguments in favor of it being the best explanation of what happened to Jesus’ body and how/why the Christian faith arose in and from a motley crew of monotheistic Jews.

      • Mike (the other chaplain) says:

        Eric, I beg to differ. Once you’ve entered into the realm of the miraculous, you are marginalized. Maybe not as much because an empty tomb is not as interesting (or weird) as say a display with men walking alongside a T-Rex or a button with the provocative display “IF ITS NOT SIX DAYS ITS CRAP.”

        • And I continue to disagree. Lots of nominal Christians (“the world”) accept faith in the resurrection as not loony-bin category. And lots of “spiritual” people don’t consider the idea wacko, whereas belief in a 6-day creation and 6,000-year-old earth would be met with WTF?’s by these same people who don’t consider the resurrection to be something from the Twilight Zone.

          YMMV

          • “Lots of nominal Christians (“the world”) accept faith in the resurrection”

            This seems like an oxymoron to me.

            And your basis for your assertions about lots of sprititual people would say WTF to YEC? Seems like it’s just your opinion.

          • I like my opinions. 🙂

          • Wow. Just like Ken Ham.

          • No, not like Ken Ham. I’m Jewish. More like Chaim Pastrami.

            Seriously, though, scholarly works like Larry Hurtado’s and others make the resurrection a philosophical and historical plausibility and/or best explanation for why worship of Jesus as divine came about so early. And Pinchas Lapide wrote a book on the Jewish view of the resurrection in which he concluded that the evidenced favored the resurrection, though he believed that Christ came for the Gentiles, not the Jews. Needless to say, many Jews were not happy with his book.

            Believing in the resurrection, or taking seriously one’s faith in which a tenet of that faith is that Christ rose from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures – think of all the authors and politicians and whatevers who are members of Nicene-Creedal or Apostles’ Creedal churches – is not regarded as being the same kind of nut-caseness as believing in YECism.

            While belief in the resurrection is fantastic when one seriously contemplates it, it’s not the same as believing that Adam used to play tag with a T-Rex before it became carnivorous.

          • @Mike

            Sorry, The reply thread only goes so far, sorry.

            I don’t know if William Craig would make the statement or not. I also don’t know if he is the preeminent defender of the resurrection either — I suspect he wouldn’t call himself that.

            Perhaps “no evidence” is a bit strong. But my point was really contrasting the scientific evidence for an old earth versus a belief in the testimony and historicity of the resurrection.

            You’d have to at least agree that there isn’t the same “kind” of evidence (physical, scientific) against the resurrection as there is against a young earth? To my mind the only evidence against the resurrection would be early claims of the body being stolen, modern claims of hallucination, etc., and a philosophical argument against miracles. Not quite the same thing as the physical, observable evidence of an old earth.

        • I disagree (and agree with Eric). I imagine even the adamant atheist sees a difference between belief in a miraculous event (resurrection) and young earth creationism. There is countless evidence of an old earth an universe (astronomy, physics, geology, anthropology, etc). There is no evidence against the resurrection of Jesus. Instead, denial of the resurrection is usually a philosophical reason, not a scientific or historical reason.

          • Mike (the other chaplain) says:

            NO Evidence against the resurrection? Wow! I just don’t know what to make of a statement like that. How do you justify it? I don’t think Bill Craig, the preeminent defender of the resurrection of Jesus, would make a statement like that.

          • Oops. My reply is above.

        • @Mike theotherchap: I think maybe where Kenny was going with his point was to say:

          In order to NOT believe in the resurrection, one chooses to believe that there is not a GOD who goes above and beyong the rules of science, or to say that the supernatural does not happen. That is not the same thing as the YEC position, which says that GOD has repeatedly gone against all we know in themajor sciences, making all that we’ve concluded in those sciences a fraud, a joke. The resurrection does not discount how physiology and human biology NORMALLY work, but that GOD superceded those ‘rules’ in a special instance. I think this is quite different in the YEC case, where ALL the rules are routinely turned on their collective ear.

          I think their is actually a surprising amount of acceptance for the POSSIBILITY that things like the resurrection might have happened, even by those who don’t yet believe it. But again, science is not really mocked , or threatened by the special cases, at least most folks don’t seem to thnk so. Not everyone has read Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, et al.

          Greg R

          • So, are you saying it is impossible for God to create everything with apparent age as the YEC folks believe?

          • Impossible? No. Out of character? Yes. So in that way, I think impossible.

          • So, you think YEC is possible since God is capable, but you think it is impossible since you understand completely the character of God? Hmmm… not sure I agree that you completely understand God’s character.

          • If God lied to us about the age of the earth, meaning he created it with apparent age to fool us or test us, what else is he lying about?

            To me at least, resolving the issue by saying that God is tricking us would tend to threaten the entire basis of Christianity. Maybe Jesus was a similar trick.

          • So when Jesus “created” wine from water, it had no apparent age? If it did have apparent age, then God lied to us according to your logic. Did the wine just evolve? or was the wine created with an apparent age? 6 day old wine? 4 billion year old wine? What can we learn from God’s character here? Is he lying to us? What about the loaves and fishes? Were the fish an apparent age when they were “created”? Was the bread 1 day old? 6 days old?

          • A more appropriate example would be if a scientific investigation revealed that the wine was newly made but the Bible said it was 10 years old. Or if God declared the bread was fresh but it turned out no one touched it because it was stale. Or if we found an ancient receipt for wine or bread showing the market where it was bought, but Jesus insisted that He made it.

            Those are examples along the same lines as deluding thousands of scientists and millions of people by deliberately fooling them.

            If God is the ultimate good, then am I to assume that trickery is moral?

          • What??? You don’t make any sense. If the “thousands of scientists and millions of people” ignore the possibility that creation had an apparent age when created, then they deserve to be deluded. The wine, bread, fish, etc are just examples that apparent age is required for creation–the fish would have had some apparent age as it must have been mature yet only “one hour old”. Just because one cannot rationalize supernatural activity with science, doesn’t mean the supernatural didn’t happen. You seem to be very closed minded to the possibility of YEC.

          • Sorry, but I cannot even grasp the possibility that YEC is correct. In matters of science, I go with science. Science and Scripture are both gifts from and revealments of God, each with its own purpose, neither in conflict.

            But that is a good point about everything having an apparent age. Sorry I didn’t get it the first time.

          • Tony says:
            “So, are you saying it is impossible for God to create everything with apparent age as the YEC folks believe?”

            Since this posting is about Ken Ham it needs to be said that KH and AIG do NOT believe in apparent old age. The AIG position is 6000 years and we are working on the science to prove it.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            The AIG position is 6000 years and we are working on the science to prove it.

            I can only say three words in reply:
            TROFIM.
            DENISOVICH.
            LYSENKO.

      • The cycle of death and renewal seems to me the way of the universe. A plant in my garden dies. The following spring 50 seedlings sprout in its place. A hurricane knocks down a mighty oak, allowing sunlight to reach the ground. Thus, the tree’s own acorns can sprout and grew. Many people plant crops on flood plains and volcanic slopes? From death, life.

        I accept Christ’s Resurrection as a matter of faith, and logic. If I believe that Christ is a present reality in our world, then how can I doubt the resurrection? If I believe that death makes way for new life, then the resurrection, no matter how miraculous, seems necessary.

      • EricW said (way up there at 10:45 AM):
        There are perfectly rational scientific explanations for the non-YEC view of the earth, which is why Hamites can be regarded as loco.”

        Eric, you didn’t technically call the YEC-ers loco, but pretty close. And they’re not loco. They may be wrong (they may even be RIGHT!), but they’re not loco. They are defenders of the faith and won’t bend an inch to science if they think it contradicts the Bible.

        My problem with YEC is not so much that it’s bad science (even though it is) but that it’s bad theology, and for the same reason. They start with an answer and then manipulate the data to prove themselves right.

        But they are not loco, and calling them that is not helpful.

        • Ted:

          I was referring to how and why “the world” would regard YECism as nonsensical. I wrote:

          No, the world does NOT place resurrection-believing Christians in the same category as Hamites. Some people/groups in the world may do so, but the world in toto does not.

          There are perfectly rational scientific explanations for the non-YEC view of the earth, which is why Hamites can be regarded [by “the world”] as loco.

          The [by “the world”] should clarify what I meant, though I didn’t think at the time I wrote it that it could be misunderstood as calling Hamites “loco.”

          Of course, whether or not Hamites are loco depends upon what the meaning of the word “loco” is. YMMV

          • OK, thanks. It looked like it could have been a grammar problem (obscure antecedent?) so I wasn’t sure.

    • I don’t believe that at all, really. I don’t think we are at a place where anyone who calls himself a Christian is automatically assumed to be a fundamentalist. There may be some people who make that assumption, but they aren’t the majority. Less than 10% of Americans actually call themselves atheists. That’s actually one reason I think Ham and others like him are spending energy fighting the wrong battle. I think they actually are a force that make Christians who don’t fit into a certain mold want to abandon ship altogether.

    • Sorry, but I don’t agree. Faith in something outside science is very different than faith that the Bible is a science textbook. A miracle is very different than a disproven ancient theory of astronomy.

      People outside the church expect Christians to make a big deal about the resurrection, but they don’t expect Christians to reject modern science in favor of the ANE version. Or maybe they do, and that’s the problem.

    • Mike, do you not believe in the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ?

    • Hmmm. I’m not going to join the argument over whether you are or are not right in saying that. I can see the point that you’re making, and I can also agree with much of what people have said in response. My point of disagreement with you lies rather in what appears to be the assumption behind your assertion, namely that the only reason that any of us would wish Ken Ham to change him message/methods is that he is embarrassing us in front of the watching world. While it’s true that I find him a little embarrassing at time, I’m more worried about his effect on people within the church or those who are near to being within the church. I’m worried about young people feeling like they need to choose between science or their faith. I’m worried about seeing more situations like I saw in the last few years where man who I had previously respected made a spectacle of himself attempting to force the resignation of the president of the Bible college that I attended because the college wouldn’t force the professor who taught Genesis to teach only a YEC position. And if it does come down to worrying about what the rest of the world thinks of “us,” I can say that I’m worried that they will think we are fools because of our positions on science rather than our position on the resurrection of the dead.

  9. The trouble with Ham and his Hamite followers is that their whole religion appears based solely on his interpretation of Genesis. Where is the gospel? It appears that Ken Ham has created a new religion – Ken Ham Creationism, that only refers peripherally to the real gospel that is Christianity. Is not the real message of Genesis that it was God who created the world including mankind. Mankind sinned, thus making necessary the need for a saviour who is revealed by types and shadows in the Old Testament and openly revealed as Jesus in the New Testament. One can be a true Christian regardless of one’s belief in how God created the world, as long as one believes GOD did it.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      i.e. Young Earth Creationism Uber Alles IS now The Gospel. No Exceptions.

      Christ has now officially been thrown under the YEC bus.

  10. Thank you for sharing this link. This is what I wrote in response to the pastor’s excellent review.

    “Repeatedly he says that the only reason Christian pastors or teachers questioned the interpretation he brings forth is that in the last few centuries they have seen the dating methods of science, and by embarrassment or lack of faith, have wanted to correct the word of God by science. This is, of course, patently false.”

    Seems to me this reasoning misses the obvious.

    The same factors that allowed Darwin, Wallace and other scientists to formulate new ideas about the natural world allowed archeologists to uncover information about New Testament Greek and ancient Hebrew traditions. In other words, as it became easier to travel the globe scientists like Darwin and Wallace began to notice interesting patterns in nature. Also, as archeologists excavated ancient sites, more information about language and traditions were gleamed.

    A better ability to travel and communicate on a global basis meant an explosion in every type of knowledge.

    I love to study the Bible. I also love to study natural history – God’s Creation. It breaks my heart to think that young people who have been raised in churches that follow Ham’s model may be led to believe that if they reject YEC they must also reject Christ.

  11. Buford Hollis says:

    I can accept that the authors of Genesis 1 (whoever they were) believed the universe really began more or less as described. Oh, I’m sure they were aware they were telling a story–and synthesizing several existing ones–but there’s no reason to credit them with modern scientific knowledge. In other words, I suspect Ham is right about Genesis (up to a point), but has failed to consider the possibility that Genesis is flat wrong about how the universe, earth, life, and humanity developed (just as comparable creation myths of other religions are, in point of fact, wrong).

    Similarly, I believe the Bible is wrong about Abraham, Moses, and David (none of whom are likely to have existed); and about the origins of monotheism (which Judaism probably acquired during the Babylonian exile). I believe it is wrong about slavery being good, homosexuality being bad, and men being the divinely-appointed bosses of women, although I accept that the the Bible teaches such things. I suspect that the New Testament garbles many details of the life of Jesus (including the stuff that seems to be impossible). That doesn’t make the Bible worthless, by any means. But if it’s going to have a role in modern culture, then we had better learn to read and appreciate it without taking it at face value. I realize this is a tough sell in a market looking for easy answers to everything, though.

    • Buford, great to have you posting at IMONK, and part of a civil discussion. I disagree with almost everything you said and would say that yours is a very strange orthodoxy (if , in fact , you claim to be christian). I would agree with Daniel’s comment that Mr. Ham is very glad to have you around, and no doubt will hold up your ideas as exhibit A as what will happen if the church at large does not accept his narrow views of Gen. 1 and science.

      Again, glad to have you as part of the discussion, disagreement and all.
      Greg R

      • Buford Hollis says:

        Thanks Greg! No, I wouldn’t call myself orthodox. I think church tradition is wrong about a lot of stuff. Jews come in Orthodox and Reform varieties–I’d be a Reform Christian if the word weren’t already taken by people who mostly stopped Reforming centuries ago.

        You know, a lot of atheists are probably really glad to have Mr. Ham (and Mr. Phelps, and Mr. Robertson) around. It makes the whole religion look like fools. I realize liberal churches are less popular than the conservative ones. Some people would say that means God likes the other guys better–I hope his taste is better than that! Anyway, there’s a whole spectrum in Christianity, from least rational to most, and everybody has to decide where they want to be on that spectrum.

    • I don’t know what your faith is. I suspect you call yourself a Christian? If so you are definitely on the liberal side of theology. I do wonder though, as someone who holds to a conservative theology myself, how do you hope to understand God or Jesus revealed in scripture, if the Bible got it all (or mostly) wrong?

      It seems from a liberal perspective that God has failed to reveal himself properly to humans, except maybe in the minds of liberal theologians.

      It would seem from a liberal perspective that we can’t know anything about God, except for maybe what we would like him to be like. . . In that sense, the atheists seems to be right, “God is made in the image of man.”

      • Buford Hollis says:

        I see scripture as a human product, hence it’s imperfections. Even our concept of God is, at most, a pointer to something we can’t understand. But it still has value–not only because it’s part of our culture, but because there’s a greatness in this whole tradition. (Homer is probably mostly wrong too.)

        Everybody has problems with God revealing himself, not just liberals. Why doesn’t God talk to us–you know, really talk? Hard to think of a good answer to that one, but that seems to be the way things are. Oh sure, some people tell themselves they hear his voice, but it’s hard to separate that from metaphor or wish-fulfillment. Life is just plain hard to fathom–I don’t think there’s any honest way around that. One of the reasons we like the Bible so much is that we identify with Israel’s fumblings and bad decisions!

        If human beings bear God’s image, then we could learn a lot about God from this direction. Of course we can’t learn anything if we think we already know everything!

    • Anony-mouse says:

      Exactly. Does it really matter if Abraham, Moses and David were real historical people? I always assumed they were, but it’s certainly not a detail that is essential to my faith.

      And do Christians really need to model their morality on the ancient Hebrews? Personally, I think civilization has advanced since then. I don’t think God endorses slavery or beating children, or that He put men in charge of women or caused some people to be born in such a sinful state that they must choose between an “abomination” or lifetime celibacy. That is simply the human sin and bias of the people who wrote Scripture.

      Love your neighbor as much as you love God. If we stick to the words of Jesus, then we find a truer revealment of God.

  12. Buford, no doubt Mr. Ham will think you are illustrating his point

  13. To me, the most critical issue is not the intra-Christian squabbles but the impact on our educational system.

    We have a right to argue theology, but we do not have a right to screw up the education of countless thousands of children.

    Teaching YEC is abusive to children. It harms their future learning and even their career and earnings. Not to mention their faith.

    YEC is one of the best arguments for public schools and against public funding of religious-based private schools. It is a parent’s right to teach their child whatever fantasy they like, but not on my tax dollars.

    • Agree completely. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a generation or two of Christian ‘thinkers’ growing up and influencing the world round them instead of producing generations of cloistered, automatons that think, say and do everything in fluent Chistianese. Social reproduction and control in the guise of Christ.

      • That would be so great to see Christians thought of as intellectuals.

        • I will not quote the horrendous text I am using at college at the moment but the premise of the book is that it is contra Christian to encourage academic success/achievement in children as it is competitive, intellectualist, encourages pride, makes others feel lesser, pagan and fosters individualism. All this comes from a Professor who one can only assume has at some point been involved in academic and intellectual pursuits. The author does go on to encourage teachers to value to God given gifts in students. Apparently some gifts are good. Others are not. Thinking is apparently a gift to quash.

          • DreamingWings says:

            Fundamentalists are really, openly telling people to keep their children stupid now? Growing up in that environment I always got that vibe from certain people in education but this seems to be a new low.

          • DreamingWings – I think that much of this attitude is fear based. Fear of having to face, close up and personally, the challenges of the real world, fear of loosing faith ( especially of children loosing faith) and fear of questioning. I also get the impression that there is a understanding that unity = conformity and community = hive in some cases. I would love to scream sometimes that God is big, His love is big and there is room for everyone (including the black sheep of the Christian family). We don’t have to meld into uniform blob.

          • I’m sorry- when someone puts trash like that in print, I think it’s a moral duty to call it out publically. So what’s the book?

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Fundamentalists are really, openly telling people to keep their children stupid now?

            It’s the Gospel According to Warhammer 40K Inquisitors:

            “Thinking begets Heresy. Heresy begets Retribution. Blessed is the mind too small for Doubt.”

        • ‘Letters to Lisa’ by Van Dyk 1997. I am not sure if it is still in print.

    • Yourname,

      While I agree, vehemently, that YEC is a travesty, I still support state funding for public based schools via vouchers.

      “Public” funding is nothing more than money taken from individuals, and never “belongs” to government.

      If we believe that we need to fund education (which no one argues) than I think that money ought to first be distrusted/entrusted to parents in order that they might decide where to send their children.

      The “abuse” of YEC is something I can relate to. I too, think it is a terrible thing. However, Ken Ham himself has acknowledged that those who are raised in YEC start questioning as young as high school and leave quickly after.

      Unless you believe YEC attracts hordes of new adherents, there isn’t much need to worry. 🙂

      • The other side of such a move is we might end up with a health care-like educational system, in which rich kids get great education while poor kids get none, elementary school costs $25,000 a year, and 30% of your tuition goes to the educational insurance companies for the privilege of rationing your kid’s education 🙂

        My kid is in private school but I don’t mind paying the taxes for a public education system. It benefits our society far beyond the cost.

        • While we are off topic at this point, is this not the way it already is?

          I am not saying that people should not pay taxes, or even that people who can pay should pay more.

          I am saying that the money should be distributed in such a way that a parents have more control over where their children will attend schools.

          (Note well, I taught at a charter school in Los Angeles county. Yes, the schools are a sodding mess. I don’t think more money is the solution though.)

  14. Rick Ro. says:

    I think the main issue here is the idea that I must believe EXACTLY as someone else believes, or I may not be a true Christian in their eyes. I don’t care whether someone believes in a literal 6 days or a symbolic 6 days, it’s the belief in JESUS that matters!!!

    When will Christians stop bashing each other over the head over stupid theological issues like this??? Aren’t there bigger fish to fish for? If fellow believers spent more time living as Jesus did than arguing creation vs. evolution, maybe God’s kingdom would be better served…

    • But the history of Christianity is nothing but bashing each other over the head over theological issues!! 😀

      Filioque
      One nature or two
      One will or two
      Eternal subordination
      Quartodecimanism
      Which way to cross one’s self
      Greek or Latin
      Hebrew text or LXX
      Perpetual virginity
      Etc., etc.

      • point taken. But, “hope springs eternal…”

      • Isaac (the poster formerly known as Obed) says:

        I think I should point out that with the exception of Filioque and Perpetual Virginity, none of those are really current dividing issues. Many of those are ancient heresies that died out. Others are seen by both sides of the issue as being matters of legitimate regional/cultural variation. And even Filioque and Perpetual Virginity are deal breakers for SOME folk. For example, even the Pope omits the Filioque when he prays with Orthodox brothers. And most Protestants couldn’t give a flip over whether Mary remained a virgin or not on theological grounds.

        I’m just sayin’….

        • “Many of those are ancient heresies that died out.”

          Depends. Maybe in “our” part of the world. But, (someone with more knowledge jump in here) I understand there are 3 distinct variations on the EO faith. Each with a different view of Jesus in terms of the entirely God/man ratios. And so on.

        • I was rehearsing the history of Christianity – i.e., a never-ending litany of bashing each other over theological points – to make a point that the YEC-Science fight is just the same song, different verse (okay, maybe dumber than the others). I.e., fighting over theology is what Christians DO. 🙂

          I wasn’t claiming that those were current controversies.

          • Rick Ro. says:

            Understood, EricW. And I think the point both of us were trying to make was that brethren/fellow believers arguing over such theological controversies detracts from our real mission, which is to help Him bring His lost sheep back home.

            If Jesus were walking the earth today with his disciples, the Bible might have included the following exchange:

            As they were walking, Jesus heard the disciples arguing amongst themselves. He asked was they were discussing.

            “Lord,” Peter said, “we were talking about Genesis and whether God created everything in six literal days, or whether those six days are more figurative. And also, whether God used his amazing, infinite power to literally ‘create’ everything, or did He use His mysterious power to have nature and physics evolve us into His likeness.”

            “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?”

    • A few months ago I visited a friend’s church. This church not only teaches young earth creationism, but does so emphatically. I was taken aback by their tone. They were emphatic about everything. I detected the exact same emotionally charged, in-your-face tone on several topics by various members. This was too bizarre to be natural. This had to be taught.

      Anyway, since I was visiting this friend I sat through the sermon, politely, and shook hands with the pastor on our way out. I vowed to be polite and say nothing. After all, people are free to gather and believe as they choose.

      Now on our way out my friend’s relative approached with her teen daughter. She was so excited because the daughter had scored brilliantly on her SAT. She pretty much had her pick of colleges and planned to study an area of science.

      I wanted so badly to grab this teen in my arms and implore her that no matter where her scientific education took her to stay close to Christ. I felt sick knowing how this congregation would treat her if she dared to question their beliefs.

      Whatever a person believes is between that person and God. But from my own experiences I know how it is when you are raised to believe that if you question the teachings of your church, you are not a real Christian. I know how this can damage a life.

  15. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    While we’re on the subject:
    Something that just popped up on a LiveJournal link.
    Ken Ham hails from Oz, doesn’t he?

    Money lines:
    “Adam and Eve were not eaten by dinosaurs because they were under a protective spell.”

    “The scripture teacher told the class that all people were descended from Adam and Eve.”

    “My daughter rightly pointed out, as I had been teaching her about DNA and science, that ‘wouldn’t they all be inbred’?

    “But the teacher replied that DNA wasn’t invented then.”

    • I’m from Australia – please don’t hold it against me! I am almost a secondary science teacher training in a Christian college. I have decided that I will not be teaching in a Christian school. While the college is reasonably intellectual there are moments when I want to scream (there are only 2 science majors in the college). I frequently get asked questions along the lines of “Aren’t you worried about your salvation. Science put you at risk of pagan thinking” and “why teach science? It is all about scientists looking for facts that aren’t there.” Sometimes I just despair.

      There is a willful ignorance mixed with the lack of critical thinking. Thankfully there is little judgement of me. My real issue is that I will not perpetuate this by conforming to the line and teaching non-science dressed as evidence. To a Non Christian school I will go and I will teach any child that wants to use their God given intellect to grow, and who knows, maybe they will serve God with what they learn.

      The thing is, even without the outrageous conflict that there seems to be in the US about the imagined faith/science dichotomy, the experience having to answer to both my faith and brain gets exhausting. Its is too frustrating to work in an environment where critical thinking in children is not only discouraged but labeled as intellectualism and pagan. There is no reason to do this. I wonder sometimes if Christians think that they are protecting God from questioning children or protecting themselves from having to use their own minds to decide for themselves.

      From my faith,understanding and experience I have discovered God is VERY big, can look after himself, and really doesn’t mind when you ask the hard questions. He is the perfect Father.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Tell that to the Warhammer Inquistor wanna-bes:

        “Questions beget Thinking.
        Thinking begets Heresy.
        Heresy begets Retribution.
        Blessed is the mind too small for Doubt.”
        — Warhammer 40K

  16. Paul Davis says:

    A very good article, I had the *pleasure* of being exposed to Kent Hovind videos at a fundamentalist church we attended years ago. Like Ham not everything he said was wrong, but there was no scripture study involved. It was all charts and graphs and garbage about evolution, no other positions where even discussed at all. What I found curious at the time (and still see it happening today) is that our Pastor white washed Hovind’s radical nature by only showing certain tapes. No mention at all that this guy was a loon…

    I see it time and time again, where someone claims to be a Christian, acts like an expert, and Christians turn off their brains and fall in line. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run into programs that make all kinds of radical claims, or that have questionable practices or people running them. And they all get a pass, no one can be bothered to be critical, and I think because it takes time and we are worried about offending someone.

    It’s probably my biggest beef with Christianity today, I can’t find Bereans anymore, even in the pastorate. Daniel, my hat is off to your and your church for doing the right thing, we need to be bold and speak the truth where we see it, there’s too many of these people running around making stupid claims without being challenged…

    -Paul-

    • Thank you, Paul. I agree that one of our biggest needs right now is to meld a critical mind with a charitable spirit. I’m grateful for sites like this IM. Mike is doing a wonderful job.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      I see it time and time again, where someone claims to be a Christian, acts like an expert, and Christians turn off their brains and fall in line.

      Remember the original guy with the rainbow fright wig and “John 3:16” sign at sporting events 20-30 years ago, the inspiration for the Steve Taylor song “Bannerman”? Well, this happened to him; the guy went off the deep end and nobody noticed until one day he started taking hostages in the LAX Hyatt and the LAPD SWAT team had to dig him out. But him going crazy isn’t the point — it’s that nobody around him noticed. All I can figure is when he lost it, he kept talking the right Christianese and “Souls Were Being Saved” to the point either nobody noticed the guy was going off the deep end or they did and thought it was God working through him or something.

      • Paul Davis says:

        There are so many others I could name but won’t, who have lied, cheated and used the Christian faith to make a mint, and these are the ones that Churches support (not the crazy ones). No ones asking the tough questions, it’s like no one can be bothered enough to even care.

        I left one Church because they where going to replace Sunday School with a program that teaches how to aggressively street witness. That’s not making disciples, it’s a good way to make enemies and distance people already hurting (I’m not against witness by the way). Not one person researched the creators of the program, and when I raised it with an Elder it got a big shrug. So much for the character of our Witness and the value of our word.

        Even in the Ancient churches it’s happening, it’s just so easy to buy a program rather than actually take the time to teach scripture and theology so people can be be armed. And when we buy programs no one can be bothered to take the time to really research them to make sure they are what they say they are.

        It’s heartbreaking really, and it’s driven me from Church all together for a time. I may go back but I’m not sure where I’ll end up.

        -Paul-

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          I left one Church because they where going to replace Sunday School with a program that teaches how to aggressively street witness.

          As in In-Your-Face, Turn-or-Burn, Have-You-Ever-Considered-WHERE-YOU-WILL-SPEND-ETERNITY Wretched Urgency? That’s the main reason I avoid overt Christians; you never know if they’re searching for the next notch on their Bibles (or Chick Tracts) and will target YOU on sight. It’s genuinely scary — on the order of having a halal slaughter knife put to your throat with an accompanying Arabic-language question “There is no God but The-God…” followed by the wait for your response.

  17. By the way, here is the background on why I wrote the review:

    Earlier this year I went through a 13 week sermon series on apologetics. I knew I needed to tackle the issue of Genesis one, since it is a huge stumbling block (or question mark) for many people’s attempt to understand and affirm the truth of the scriptures.

    My approach was to talk about this for three weeks. The first week was an overview of the relation of science and the scriptures. The second week was giving guidelines for how one should interpret a difficult passage of scripture, along with discussion of the literary, historical, and theological context of Genesis 1. The third week was a detailed discussion of Genesis 1, in which I argued the chapter was framed as a literary tool to teach the meaning of creation (especially the concept that creation serves as God’s temple).

    In the midst of this, a woman asked me to watch Ken Ham’s video before I preached the second week. Because I have a LOT of respect for this woman and her family, I not only watched it, but wrote a rather lengthy analysis of it for them. Since I thought others might find it helpful, I put it on our church’s website.

    Anyway, I am glad to say that this woman and her family did not have a problem at all with my presentation (don’t know if I convinced them or not), and, indeed, the only negative feedback I got at all was that the last sermon was a little long and technical for the kids (it was a full hour, a personal record). I think it helped that I have been here long enough that people know that I value scripture over anything but God himself, and so have a level of trust. So, even though we are a conservative, evangelical church, I have found people to be very open-minded.

    If anyone is interested, I may try to upload those sermons onto the website and put a link here. I don’t think I really have anything new to offer, except an example of how one evangelical pastor handled the issue.

  18. Thanks for this temperate and well balanced critique. I’ve been thinking along these lines as I’ve tracked some YEC blogs lately to help me better understand the position. It’s not the position itself that troubles me but the dogmatic insistence on the necessity of it (not just by Ham but by some others as well). How can they turn this into a foundational tenet of the faith? I’m puzzled as to where the impetus for that comes from and worried that it will a) create division among believers and b) alienate seekers.

  19. I find it somewhat ironic that the Internet Monk linking of the article got more comments here than on the original site.

    Irrelevant to the discussion, but a curious fact none the less.

    • Does it surprise you that iMonk has a larger readership than Franklin Church’s blog? 🙂

    • The reason I linked to it is because I thought it deserved a wider circulation, which Internet Monk, thankfully, can offer.

      • i don’t know, Mike, I think we had something like 15 hits last week! Seriously, though, I am glad and a little surprised that so many have found it worth reading.

  20. I visited the Creation Museum the first year it opened. While my family loved it; I had some major issues (which everyone here has expressed already. However, it was some specific content that drove me wild, not scientifically, but consistently with what Ham was trying to promote.

    For example, I had to ask what kind of museum this was anyway?. I came to the conclusion, that despite Ham’s claims, this was not a scientific museum, but more like a “wax museum” of the first chapters of Genesis. Well, the first two chapters with a skip to the 8th. Once I got that image in my head, I actually enjoyed the rest of the viewing.

    However, I was shocked at Ham’s presentation of Adam and Eve. According to Ham’s book, “One Blood” all the genetic code for all the races was in place in Adam, including skin coloration. By Ham’s writing, then, Adam and Eve would have to have been medium dark skinned, much like modern people from India. Yet, when I looked at the figures they were as Caucasian as I was. Very disappointing on Ham’s part, IMHO.

    Then Ham’s summary of the Bible (the Seven C’s) make the Bible jump from the tower of Babel (Confusion) to the New Testament (Christ). Like, uh, what happened to Israel and just about everything between? Ham’s museum gets a grade lower than a C for skipping both Israel (Chosen people) and the new testament community (Church). Gee, and he only needed a couple of more C’s to at least mention Israel (both the Hebrew and Gentile versions).

    Finally, the film at the end (Men in White) exemplified all that is wrong with Ham and his ilk. The film was childish, shallow, and just plain insulting. Where at least special effects could have made glorious angels and creation, we had some odd version of surfer guy angels, who were the worst combination of misinformed, rude, and arrogant. It exemplified a Christianity that did not get much past Veggie Tales.

    But, again, once I got it into my mind to treat it as a Christian/Genesis wax museum, I had a much better time.

    • If you have ever seen those facial reconstructions of Jesus based on actual 1st century Jewish men, he looks a lot like someone we’d waterboard.

      Our modern American rendition always reminds me of Buffalo Bill. I’m sorry.

      • When I see pictures of “Jesus” in most churches I tend to comment that he more likely looked like Yassar Arifat than someone from the cast of Leave it to Beaver with long hair.

        Most folks seem to be a bit put off by such comments. 🙂

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        I’ve seen those facial reconstructions, and they impress me with how ORDINARY they look. Like you could see that face anywhere — on the street, in the donut shop, at the supermarket, delivering the mail, driving a delivery truck, new guy at the office…

        (Though where I am, with that skin color a lot of people would mistake him for Mexican instead of Middle Eastern…)

        • Well, I just hope when Jesus returns he’s carrying his papers, because he looks Illegal. Not to mention He might not speak English and talks trash about rich people. Hard to imagine a more un-American person, actually.

          However, once He reaffirmed his faith in a literal six-day creation, everything would be OK.

          • by the time HE comes back HE WILL BE illegal…..but who will want to play DOG the bounty hunter with someone WHO’s robe is dipped in blood andn HIS eyes are a flaming fire …..any takers ?,,,,,,,,

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      By Ham’s writing, then, Adam and Eve would have to have been medium dark skinned, much like modern people from India. Yet, when I looked at the figures they were as Caucasian as I was. Very disappointing on Ham’s part, IMHO.

      Actually, DNA drift evidence indicates any Adam & Eve would probably have been more like the Khoi-San, i.e. Kalahari Bushmen. Short, wiry, with medum-brown skin and Africanized features.

      Not only are the Creation Museum’s Adam & Eve white, they both have Seventies hairstyles. (Could have been worse — could you imagine a Fifties Adam, clean-shaven with crewcut?) I’m not even going to go there as to how Eve’s tresses and the water level strategically even any suggestion of boobage…

      Finally, the film at the end (Men in White) exemplified all that is wrong with Ham and his ilk. The film was childish, shallow, and just plain insulting. Where at least special effects could have made glorious angels and creation, we had some odd version of surfer guy angels, who were the worst combination of misinformed, rude, and arrogant. It exemplified a Christianity that did not get much past Veggie Tales.

      First, Gabe, Mike, Ken Ham, Bib Overalls Reduce Your Apparent IQ by at least Fifty Points.

      Second, the names for the Surfer Guys in White Bib Overalls — “Mike” and “Gabe”. As in Mika’el (“Who Is Like God”) and Gavri’el (“Heroic Strength of God”), “who stand in the Presence of God”? We’re not just talking Maiar here, we’re talking VALAR — first-string supernaturals who can easily be mistaken for gods in their own right, whose very appearing can cause mortals to freak out. (“Fear Not!”) VALAR who descend from the Timeless Halls into Arda dressed as two white guys in bib overalls, with nothing better to do than denounce Evolution and parrot the Ken Ham/AIG Party Line with a Dudespeak delivery straight out of Dumb & Dumber?

      • LOL…..slow day at the celestial office….. and did you consider that maybe angels have an “informal Friday” once in awhile ??? Besides, the white bibs make a better background for NASCAR decals…

        Greg R

  21. iMonk: The New 6 Day Creationist Bashing Ground

    😉

    • I would say, “The new 6-day creation is the only legitimate interpretation of Genesis and all other interpretations are wrong and will lead to the destruction of Christianity and western civilization Bashing Ground.”

      • I would say iMonk is, “The new old earth theory is the only legitimate interpretation of Genesis and we’ll point out where the young earth theory is moronic”.

        • Tony, I know you are kidding around, but give us ONE quote from Chaplain Mike where he was promoting the idea that his (or Sailhamer’s) interpretation of Gen. 1 MUST be taken as the only right one. Thanks.

          Greg R

          • I didn’t say CM, I said iMonk, inferring this blog community. Read above. Seems like there are plenty of examples.

          • OK, I can see where you could get material for a YEC ‘bashing’, but I’ll point out that the direction of ALL Chap Mike’s posts and Rachel’s letter is that it is unacceptable to make any one person’s interpretation the only possible right way to read it.(and to make that one person’s interpretation a litmus test for orthodoxy in general)

            Posters to this blog aside, wouldn’t you admit that he has been consistent with that stance ?? Does he have a point with that , or…???

      • hahhahaha

        Even though I am a YEC, that is funny.

        Still, its 6 days Mike! 😉

  22. joel hunter says:

    Matthew Johnston wrote above: “I’d say the saddest part is that so many in the “evangelical community” are weak, comprimsied, ecumenical, pragmatic, unbiblical and humanistic.”

    Hey Matthew, who you callin’ pragmatic? 🙂

  23. Great review. Sometimes I think AiG becomes a bit sloppy in their exegesis because, in their minds, they’re just so obviously correct that they need not bother with all those pesky weaknesses in their interpretation. After all, when you BEGIN by assuming that all other takes on Genesis 1 are merely modern “compromises” with “secular science,” you tend not to treat with as much respect as they might deserve. Best part of the article (yet another reason to love Luther): “The days of creation were ordinary days in length. We must understand them as ordinary solar days, contrary to the opinion of the Holy Fathers.” Ouch. Here’s another gem:

    “Scripture simply says that the moon, the sun, and the stars were placed in the firmament of the heaven, below and above which heaven are the waters… It is likely that the stars are fastened to the firmament like globes of fire, to shed light at night… We Christians must be different from the philosophers in the way we think about the causes of things. And if some are beyond our comprehension like those before us concerning the waters above the heavens, we must believe them rather than wickedly deny them or presumptuously interpret them in conformity with our understanding.”

    So according to Luther, AiG is wickedly and presumptuously interpreting Genesis 1 in conformity with their understanding by re-interpreting the firmament and the waters above it based on the findings of modern science. And I’m not even quoting him (or Calvin) on geocentrism.

    • Garrett, great to have you posting here. Have you read the comments over at Rachel’s blog on this topic ?? It would encourage your heart to do so. Ham is dead wrong on the direction of this generation reg. this issue (IMO). Hope she’s right. And yeah, Ham’s approach (and GTY) is totally circular: we judge the ‘correct’ view based on how close to literal it is. Very circular.

      • Yes literal, and more specifically a heavy (and I do mean HEAVY) emphasis on the early chapters of Genesis as being straightforward, no frills no fuss historical narrative, a la, the eye witness-based gospel accounts. There’s really no difference in their mind. Why interpret Genesis 1 all willy-nilly and NOT allegorize the resurrection? I think it’s obvious that genre distinctions are seriously blurred in that argument. Yet that continues to be their line of reasoning (reminiscent of some modern “biblical astronomers” who claim that if we can’t take the bible’s word on the literal “rising of the sun,” then why trust it when it speaks on the literal “rising of the Son”).

        I have no problem saying that, on some level, historical info was meant to be conveyed, albeit in a symbol-laden way. Loved to bring up the fact that D.A. Carson (IMHO, more theologically orthodox in a traditional sense than MacArthur’s “leaky dispensationalism”) recently said in his book “The God Who is There” that the Genesis account is “full of demonstrable symbolism.” But I suppose he’s just an biblically naive “compromiser.” See how silly and condescending that sounds?

        • “There’s really no difference in their mind [between the early chapters of Genesis and the eyewitness-based gospel accounts].”

          Amen. This is why AiG’s scriptural interpretation (as it relates to the canon as a whole), while claiming to take the Bible more seriously than any other options, surely fails to take the Bible seriously by failing to recognize that the Bible is NOT a single book consisting of a single genre. I don’t think that all YEC-believing individuals fall into that error, but I think that many do.

          Somehow the idea that Scripture is God-breathed negates the fact that it is a collection of different sorts of writing and transmogrifies the canon into purely objective historical and/or scientific prose.

          • and transmogrifies the canon ……

            Calvin and Hobbes fan ?? Luv that transmogrification….

        • @greg r

          Does that transmogrify me into a Calvinist?

          • hmmm,,….or a Hobbesonian: seems like the Calvinists have better PR…. 🙂

          • I’m feeling a funny slogan or t-shirt coming on here, something to do with Calvin’s hair and five-point Calvinism maybe? If I were clever enough I could make it up all by myself. 🙂

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Remember, it was the Protestant Reformers who denounced Copernicus and Galileo with Gideon — “SUN, STAND THOU STILL!”

  24. where’s the peace that you wantd to make?

  25. Silvanus says:

    Wonder what Ham thinks about mushrooms or any other fungus. And what about all that fruit Adam and Eve ate? Aren’t bacteria needed to assist in the purification and break down of fecal debris? Do not bacteria have short life spans with some being only minutes. So was there a type of death in the pre-fall Eden?

    • We’ve already discussed here at iMonk whether there was death before the Fall. You can guess how the chips fell….

      (Or maybe that was at Parchment and Pen?)

      😕

  26. Hi Chaplin Mike,

    Sorry to get into this discussion at this stage but yesterday I was preoccupied with something else.

    Ken Ham does not read Gen.chs. 1-2 in its ancient near eastern setting nor does he take into account the doublets in Genesis. Gen.1:1-2:4a can be looked at as a polemic against near eastern idolatory, not a literal scientific account of creation. Also Gen,1:1-2:4a and Gen.2:4b-the end of the chapter appear to have different theologies and a different order of events. At least that is how some people see it. These appear to be 2 different sources commonly called priestly and Yahwist.

    The important thing is how they function in the completed canonical text as an introduction to the bible telling the goodness of God’s creation, not as a perspective on science. Chapter 3 introduces the story of the Fall and the rest of the bible is about the story of redemption.

    Ken seems to reject modern biblical scholarship whereas I would take the view that the Holy Spirit guides the believing community of God’s people with the aid of biblical scholarship to better understand the biblical witness to Jesus.

    Shalom,
    John Arthur

  27. Slightly off topic, but not by much….. the last of the Grace To YOu posts was up today, a conclusion to their long seiries on the creation evolution debate. This quote, from Travis Allen, early in the post spelled it out:

    After framing the argument in biblical terms, only one position is possible—young earth creation. The Bible teaches the recent creation by divine fiat of the heavens and the earth, plant life and animal life; the subsequent special creation of Adam and Eve; and the subsequent fall of Adam and Eve into sin, which introduced death into the world God created. Even the atheistic enemies of Scripture understand that. You either believe that, or you don’t.

    well….kabooom; that’s it. This wouldn’t sadden me so much, but their are dear friends of mine in ministry, at my own local church , that I get to work and fellowship with who read this stuff and say “Amen”. Now I get to put my big boy pants on and try to re-affirm unity based on something bigger than JM’s narrow heterodoxy. some days I want to throw things…..

    Greg R

    • It’s because of things like this (different issues, but same animal) that Anne Rice left “Christianity”/the organized church. She said on her CNN interview last night that she wanted to just leave the fray, the culture wars, etc., and maybe go into the wilderness for awhile. I’m already halfway there. 🙂