An Inadequate Testimony (From Ken Ham’s Perspective)

Ken Ham has chosen to respond once again to some things I’ve written, this time offering my very brief description of how I came to a personal faith as “a warning to the contemporary church.” If the disdain with which Ham uses words like “experience” is anything to go by, he probably has never had a life-changing experience of being born again. But I’ll leave it to him to share his own experience, if he so chooses, and if he has one to share.

His complaint is that, in a post I linked to which provides a very brief account of how I came to a personal faith, there is a lack of reference to Scripture. Apparently complete, unconditional surrender of one’s life to God in Christ is not enough for Ham. Yet I suspect that someone having gone through “4 spiritual laws” (on a tract featuring verses taken from their context) and/or having uttered the “sinner’s prayer” (which of course Jesus makes his disciples say in all four Gospels, as I’m sure you know) would have their faith accepted by Ham, no questions asked – as long as that person was a young-earth creationist, preferably one that supports Answers in Genesis.

Ironically, my born-again experience was followed not long after by my embracing young-earth creationism. The only difference between Ham and myself when it comes to this particular point is that I continued to learn about both the Bible and science, whereas Ham has emphasized that he has nothing to learn from those with genuine expertise in either area.

So once again I’m delighted to say that my faith is not what Ham thinks it should be. It is a result of a life-changing experience, not a merely intellectual assent to theological propositions. It arose from an encounter with the divine reality to whom Scripture points, not a bibliolatry that substitutes Scripture in the place of God. And yet precisely for that reason, I’ve felt free to let go of views I had once assumed in my immaturity were the only true Christian stance, precisely because the evidence provided by the Bible itself necessitated my doing so.

As for Ham, his online biography says nothing about how he came to a personal faith, and so I wonder whether Ham would agree that, since there is no testimony provided, never mind one that mentions Scripture, his faith must by definition be less adequate by his own standards than my own?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08779494116778446650 Hacksaw Duck

    "His complaint is that, in a post I linked to which provides a very brief account of how I came to a personal faith, there is a lack of reference to Scripture." I wonder if any people were converted before the New Testament was written? Could it be possible?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13483419817200339955 Paul D.

    Brilliantly put.Your example and testimony continue to contribute to my own faith, which would be completely demolished by now if Real True Christians like Ham had their way.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09396016590610037737 Gordon

    Surely the early Christians had no NT scriptures?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Thanks to those who commented. It is precisely because I think Ham is wrong in principle and not just in detail (he ignores both that there was as yet no New Testament when the various conversions mentioned in the New Testament took place, and that the accounts of people's encounters with Jesus are varied and not uniformly connected with Scripture or Scriptural language) that I decided not to respond by offering more detail and evidence of repentance or influence of Scripture in my own experience of coming to a personal faith. I could, but if I were to do so could suggest that I think Ham's point is a valid one – which I don't.

  • http://sunestauromai.wordpress.com/ sunestauromai

    well, anyone who doesn't see things from his perspective, can't possibly be right! :-)