Ken Ham Continues Winning Souls for Atheism

Jeri Lofland shared her testimony about the impact of Ken Ham on her life, and how it led to her current atheism, on the blog Heresy in the Heartland, in a post with the title “Ken Ham: The Evolution of a Bully.” It was since picked up by the blog Homeschoolers Anonymous.

UPDATE: The above image seemed to provide an even more relevant accompaniment to this post than the one I originally used. I found it online on Goodreads, shared by people who probably don’t connect the text and image of Ken Ham in the way I do.

 

  • T. Webb

    Dr. McGrath, is there a problem with someone accidentally leading others to the truth of atheism? For the first time you made me wonder if I should stop being so opposed to this propagandist!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Well, I can fully understand why atheists might like to support him. The question I have is why so many Christians do!

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        The likely communist-originated phrase “useful idiot” appears probably applicable; but “support” overstates it.

        (Despite common attribution, that phrase traces neither to Lenin nor to Stalin; however, Wikipedia indicates one of the earliest recorded variants from among 1940s Yugoslav communists.)

  • http://irrco.wordpress.com/ Ian

    Love the line “I swallowed the whole Ham sandwich”.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Me too!

  • dangjin

    Who commits the greater sin? Those people like Ken Ham who present the truth and allow others to make their own choice whether or not they will accept or reject it? OR those like you, who reject the truth and disobey God by following sinful deceived teaching, and who lead people to sin by your own false teaching and lies?

    • mrichardson84

      Only an ignorant fundamentalist like you would think Ken Ham presents the “truth.” You wouldn’t know truth if it hit you in your narrow, bigoted face. Get lost, troll.

    • http://bit.ly/glUAR7 Calladus

      “Sin” is victimless.

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        Eh; some sins, like “disobedience to God”. Not so much some other sins, such as murder.

        • http://bit.ly/glUAR7 Calladus

          You are confusing two different categories. Murder is a crime and it has victims. Think of a Venn diagram with two circles overlapping, one is Sin the other is Crime. Where they overlap is “murder”.

          As a sin, the only “victim” is God, since it offends him.

          As a crime, murder definitely has victims.

    • Christopher R Weiss

      Look up at the Stars – this is evidence of Ken Ham’s lies.

    • TomHark

      That’s easy. You do.

  • arcseconds

    Dr. Carl Wieland, a medical doctor and former atheist, believed he had encountered the supernatural while playing at card tricks with his wife.
    Recognizing that modern science and telepathy were incompatible,
    Wieland became a creationist and even founded a creationist magazine Ex Nihilo.

    because… if telepathy is true… young earth creationism…

    O_o

    • Paul D.

      Bullsh*t comes in so many flavours! Some people aren’t satisfied with just one.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      because… if telepathy is true… young earth creationism…
      -
      That is a bizarre chain of logic.
      -
      So Dr Weiland had some sort of “weird shit” incident regarding card tricks. (A lot of people have weird experiences.) And that weird experience proved Young Earth Creationism. O…Kay….

      -
      “I have no idea what is going on. I thought I had a most morbid imagination, as good as any man’s, but it appears I have not.”
      – Aliester Crowley (commenting on the occult antics of Jack Parsons)

  • http://brucegerencser.net/ Bruce Gerencser

    For me, Ken Ham wasn’t a factor in my deconversion. For many Christian turned atheist’s, the intellectual reasons are many. Certainly realizing that the Evangelical/fundamentalist literal interpretation of the Bible and their rejection of evolution is a crock of ignorant s#%t is a big factor. :)

    As I told you before…I suspect for many of us godless heathens, if we had been exposed to a religious faith that promoted and encouraged intellectual pursuit and allowed for intellectual dissent and difference “perhaps” we might have ended up in a different place.

    But, here we are. :)

    • http://faithlikeaman.blogspot.com/ Ryan Blanchard

      I agree. For this reason, we take our kids to a Quaker meeting. I think atheism is right, but I wish it wasn’t, and hopefully our kids will find a way to hold onto faith, even if it isn’t true (because it’s certainly useful).

  • Dan

    If we are to be accepting of others, should we not be accepting of Ken Ham?

    • Christopher R Weiss

      When someone is a con man and a liar, he should be called out as such. Ken Ham’s sophistry does everyone he convinces a terrible injustice. He creates a false dichotomy – follow my young earth creationism or go to hell. This sort of fear based ministry is terrible.

      • Dan

        Christopher, I’m a bit confused. Can you demonstrate when and where Ken Ham has ever said that belief in a young earth is a prerequisite for salvation? Unless he has changed his position since December 8, 2010 (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v6/n1/gospel-young-earth), then I’m going to have to call “straw man” on your statement. But I’m willing to be proven wrong.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Ken Ham says different things to different audiences. He certainly has said at times that evolution is not a salvation issue. And yet is that statement really compatible with the time and money they spend on claiming that acceptance of it leads to atheism and immorality?

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2013/05/ken-ham-continues-to-contradict-himself.html

        • Christopher R Weiss

          He has said this repeatedly. I recommend you look up his speeches on YouTube. He has said very clearly that the bible is literally true, from which he says YEC springs, and you must accept the literal bible for salvation. This is called a simple transitive closure deduction. No straw man required:

          A => B

          B=> C

          Therefore, A => C

          Here is an AIG article for the “necessity of 6 literal days:

          http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v18/n1/six-days

          Here are Hambo’s blog posts on hell:

          http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/tag/hell/

          Rejecting YEC, means rejecting biblical authority and god himself. You can make the other deductions yourself.

          • Dan

            Christopher, thanks for your reply. With all due respect, sir, I don’t really have time to go on a witch hunt looking through scores of videos that support your assertion. I believe that the onus is upon you to provide evidence to support your position. As of yet, only anecdotal evidence has been offered.

            Having read many of Mr. Ham’s books, I cannot agree that your deduction is reflective of what the man believes or teaches. But again, I’m willing to be proven wrong. If you could provide specific evidence of Mr. Ham stating that YEC is a prerequisite for salvation, then I’m very willing to listen. The first article you cited on the necessity of 6 literal days does not, as far as my reading goes, say anything more than “if you reject YEC, you’re undermining biblical authority and that puts you at odds with what God has said.” I do not see where it says or even implies that salvation is hinged upon it–but it does pose the question “How can you say you believe the Bible and have a need for salvation when you deny the very reason for needing that salvation in the first place.” Put another way, he’s leveling the charge of cognitive dissonance towards Christians who allow for millions of years and macroevolution.

            • Christopher R Weiss

              I did cite evidence. Please see the two links. Did you read the entire post? Here are some select extracts:

              “If we allow our children to doubt the days of creation, when the language speaks so plainly, they are likely to then doubt Christ’s Virgin Birth, and that He really rose from the dead.”

              “We need to realize that the Bible is God’s Word. And as it is the inspired Word of the infinite Creator, God, then it must be self-authenticating and self-attesting. Thus, we should always start with what God’s Word says regardless of outside ideas. Only God’s Word is infallible.”

              I could go on… However, the chain is very simple:

              1. the word of god is infallible.
              2. genesis is literally true as the word of god
              3. you must accept the word of god for salvation

              You are using sophistry to escape Ham’s obvious statements.

              • http://brucegerencser.net/ Bruce Gerencser

                There is the unwritten rule in Evangelicalism that says we believe salvation is by grace, without works BUT people who believe ________are probably not real Christians..

                Years ago, in a sermon where I said that Democrats could be Christians too, a first time visitor came up after the service and argued with me over the premise that a Democrat could be a Christian. Based on their beliefs he did not consider any Democrat a Christian.

                Peel back all the Evangelical talk of grace and you will often find a theology that says, do or believe THIS and thou shalt live.

                Ham may not think you have to be YEC to be a Christian but he sure as heaven has his doubts about those who aren’t.

                • Christopher R Weiss

                  Without explicitly using the dichotomy of YEC = heaven, and Not YEC= Hell, he has made that conclusion very obvious to anyone who listens to him and chains his words and statements together.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  I think Dan was confirming your point (whether that was his intention was another matter). He, like Ham, points out when it suits him that believing Christ is Lord is enough or is not enough, and of course there are NT texts which suggest both.

                  To Dan I would point out that the texts which emphasize the insufficiency of saying “Lord, Lord” is directly connected to putting Jesus’ teaching into practice. Someone who genuinely believed that would presumably put their money into helping others rather than building an expensive pseudomuseum designed to promote falsehood.

              • Dan

                Yes, I did read the entirety of your post and the entirety of the article you cited. I did not dive into the list provided in your second like for want of time.

                I’m sure we could argue all day long about what Mr. Ham meant or didn’t mean. Did he misspeak? Were some statements ambiguous? Could there be alternate meanings? I suppose “yes” could be a reasonable response to those questions. Ever say something in public that you thought later “Dang, I should have said that a different way?” I know I have.

                Let me see if we can cut through the fog…

                Reject Christ as Lord, Savior & God –> Hell.

                Accept Christ as Lord, Savior & God –> Heaven.

                For those that do trust in Christ alone for salvation, there’s a second judgement that takes place–one where our works are passed through the fire to see what was junk and what was jewelry in His eyes. It’s at this time that secondary issues will be addressed, but they have no impact on one’s eternal destination, but rather one’s status in Heaven for eternity.

                So, will there be OEC in Heaven? I’m sure there will be, because that’s not the issue. The deciding issue for eternal salvation is answering Jesus’ own question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15)

                • Christopher R Weiss

                  The issue is Ken Ham… not your personal beliefs.

                  This lecture makes it clear from Ken Ham’s perspective that people who are not accepting of a literal genesis with literal 6 days and less than 10k years are under the influence of “satan.”

                  http://youtu.be/Dmgs4a-Gbrc

                  There is no ambiguity. There is no “dang I didn’t really mean what I said.” He is crystal clear and repetitive in what he says. He makes these dichotomies, linking 6 day creation to

                  “You are either for christ, or against him”

                  “You are either walking the light or darkness.”

                  Go 47 minutes in. He views literal creationism as an “authority” question for the bible. Either its all true or none of it according to him. You either take it all hook line and sinker or you are not a true believer. He essentially says that if you don’t accept YEC, you cannot enforce morality… everything is built on a pile of sand without YEC.

                  • Dan

                    Thank you for the link. I took your advice and started listening to it. Here’s exactly what he said:

                    “Someone will say to me…’I believe the days were long periods of time…millions of years, but I’m a born-again Christian. Am I still going to heaven?’ You know what my answer is? Yes.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmgs4a-Gbrc&feature=youtu.be#t=48m24s)

                    After that quote he then goes on to say twice more that he believes that OEC born-again christians will go to Heaven (just as Jesus promised) and that the issue is a side issue. The point he then goes on to make is that just because it’s a side issue does not mean it is not important via a reductio ad absurdum.

                    The bottom line he’s making is that Christians who are OEC (or even evolutionists) are inconsistent with their professed beliefs and are suffering from cognitive dissonance, not that they’re on their way to Hell.

                    Please stop twisting the man’s words.

                    • http://brucegerencser.net/ Bruce Gerencser

                      I would say you are trying to interpret Ham’s words in a vacuum. Sure he is going to say, a person is saved by grace. However, there is an unstated, but very real, rule in Evangelicalism that says a REAL Christian believes __________. In the end, salvation is by right belief and right conduct.

                      Let’s suppose there is a person who says they are a Christian. They have put their faith and trust in Jesus. But, they are gay, pro-choice, deny creationism of any form, support same sex marriage, think the Bible has errors, and thinks other religions have “truth.” (You know, James McGrath, sans the gay part) Is this person a Christian? Point me to a “bible believing” church that would accept this person as a member in good standing?

                      There is a code in Evangelicalism and Ham knows this code well. He may say ____________but it is this code that determines what these words really mean.

                    • Dan

                      Mr. Gerencser, your oft repeated refrain of yours reveals your ignorance of what the Bible says. The rule is not unstated–there is no secret code–it is plainly written for all to see. Anyone who claims the name of Christ but does not live or think biblically is to be corrected, and if necessary, cast out (Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5; Titus 3:8-11). That right living demonstrates right belief is what the book of James is all about.

                      There is also a difference, which you fail to recognize, in that there is a difference between being justified by God (salvation) and being justified before men (i.e. being a “member in good standing.”) It is entirely possible that one be a genuine believer in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2-9; Galatians 1:3-5) but also be living in sin (1 Corinthians 5:1,2; 6:4-6; 6:15-18) or to hold unbiblical beliefs (Galatians 1:6-10). In both cases–both wrong practice and wrong belief–the prescription is rebuke and correction, and if that fails, excommunication. This is an entirely biblical concept. Those who choose to reject these concepts, as you seem to have done, choose to act and/or believe in a manner that is contrary to God’s expectations and will have to answer to Him for those actions and beliefs on judgement day.

                      Finally, not everyone who claims the name of Christ is indeed a Christian. There are plenty of people walking around today calling Jesus Lord whom the Lord Himself says He never knew: Matthew 7:21-23.

                    • http://brucegerencser.net/ Bruce Gerencser

                      I was a Christian for 50 years, 25 years as an Evangelical pastor. I know the Evangelical church quite well. I know there is a code because I used it and heard countless colleagues in the ministry use it.

                      I am not interested in hearing the Bible quoted to me. What I wanted you to do is seriously answer the question (s) I asked you. Quoting verses to people who are not Christian and who don’t think the Bible is an authoritative, divine text is a waste of time. The words, unless you think they are magical, have no power or hold.

                      It can be argued that there are multiple versions, plans of salvation in the Bible. You have a developed a peculiar hermeneutic and systematic theology that you are certain is right. But what if James is really saying works do save. That a faith without works is no faith at all. Certainly, in the OT, which was the ONLY Bible during the life of Jesus, Paul, and James, it is clear that works and obedience brought favor and right standing with God.

                      Of course, I would contend Evangelicals preach a gospel, not of faith, not of grace, but works. They develop all kinds of explanations for why they are NOT preaching works salvation, but then they turn right around and say, a real Christian is, a true Christian is _____________.

                      You mention Matthew 18. The text says that the person excommunicated is to be considered a publican and a heathen. Surely, no publican or heathen is saved? So, if this is the case, then works do matter, and they are the standard by which a person’s salvation is determined.

                      You know, and I know, that the person I illustrated in my comment would not be considered a Christian in ANY Evangelical church. It would not matter that they said they were a follower of Jesus and believed the gospel. Because they were __________________, they would be rejected. In other words, they would be judged by their works and this betrays the fact that Evangelical salvation is by works and right belief.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      I think Dan was confirming your point (whether that was his intention was another matter). He, like Ham, points out when it suits him that believing Christ is Lord is enough, or is not enough, and of course there are NT texts which suggest both.

                      To Dan I would point out that the texts which emphasize the insufficiency of saying “Lord, Lord” is directly connected to putting Jesus’ teaching into practice. Someone who genuinely believed that would presumably put their money into helping others, rather than building an expensive pseudomuseum designed to promote falsehood.

                    • Dan

                      Mr. Gerencser, there is no such thing as “was a Christian.” The very fact that you left the pulpit and now have no desire to even hear the Word of God now only serves to demonstrate conclusively that you were never His to begin with and you are anti christ: “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” (1 John 2:19) You wasted 50 years of your life as a hireling teaching something you did not truly believe (assuming you were teaching the Bible at all), and now you’re a bitter old man who has decided to walk with the wicked, stand in the way of sinners and sit in the seat of mockers.

                      You may choose to pass your time in this wretched forum, but I’ll not waste another second with it. May God have mercy on your soul.

                    • http://brucegerencser.net/ Bruce Gerencser

                      Boy, I sure didn’t see this response coming. :)

                      Dan, I will take hanging out with James McGrath every time. We disagree on many things but we respect one another and James would never attempt to invalidate my experience, my life, my past. After all, it is my life, so who knows it better than me? Evidently, you do.

                      According to you, James and I will be bunkmates in hell. Sounds like pretty good company to me. :)

                    • Robert Long

                      That was a truly magnificent exchange. Dr. (?) Gerenscer, you are clearly more “Christlike” than your antagonist and your compassionate and humorous response warmed this recovered evangelical’s heart.

                    • http://brucegerencser.net/ Bruce Gerencser

                      No doctor. I will leave the doctoring to James. :) I remember being like Dan, Ken Ham. I was certain I was right and anyone who didn’t fit in my small box was wrong and headed for hell.

                      I present an unique problem for hardcore Evangelicals. 50 years in the church, 25 years as a pastor. In every way I was a committed, devoted, follower of Jesus. No one ever said, I have doubts Bruce is a Christian. Not one fellow pastor, not one of people I pastored EVER questioned my faith or commitment. So, either I was deceived for fifty years, fell from grace, or still am saved.

                      It is the Baptists, Calvinists that have the most problem with me. Their eternal security/perseverance belief precludes losing one’s salvation. So, either I am still saved or I never was saved. Arminians, on the other hand, understand a loss of faith.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      That’s Baptists who are Calvinists, and not some of us other Baptists, just to be clear! ;-)

                    • http://brucegerencser.net/ Bruce Gerencser

                      Yes, that is correct. The IFB church I grew up in, trained in, and started pastoring in are what I call one point Calvinists. They believe in once saved, always saved. It was a distortion of the perseverance/preservation of the saints. After the IFB , I was a Sovereign Grace/Reformed Baptist pastor. Definitely Calvinistic then.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy

                      IFB features prominently on a lot of Spiritual Abuse blogs.

                    • TomHark

                      What a smug, self-righteous prick you are. May your god have mercy on your self-satisfied soul.

                    • stuart32

                      You might want to be careful. If you look at Dan’s comment history you’ll see that he has an unhealthy interest in guns.

                    • Mimi1

                      I thought your post was interesting….Here’s how I see it. When a person makes a decision to follow Christ – he is saved by God’s grace. We can do nothing to earn this free gift. If this person is utterly serious, and truly a Christian, (not a nominal Christian) he will do good works. (“But I say, how can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith ‘by’ my good deeds” James 2:18b). Good works should not be confused with sin in a believer’s life. Again, if a person is truly saved, he will not only display good works, but will also want to rid his life of anything that God calls sin. Under the conviction of the Holy Spirit…he will see his sin….want to please God….and pursue holiness. (Of course, this is process) The Bible says that a Christian does sin…but does not make a “habit” or a “lifestyle” of sinning. When we display good works, and holy living on a consistent basis, this is “proving” that we truly belong to Him. Though no one is allowed to judge and condemn a person to hell….only God can ultimately judge a person….still…the bible tells us that there are certain things in a believer’s life that will give clues as to whether or not that person is saved. Again, we can never know for sure…or condemn a person. So then…….my Bible says that homosexuality is sin….murder is sin….fornication is sin….lying is sin….stealing is sin….etc…..One has to wonder then….if a person says they follow Christ…but has no good works, and is consistently living a lifestyle of sin….are they truly saved by God’s grace?…..or have they trampled on that grace, and made a mockery of God. True Christians are not to be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of their mind (by God’s Word) God is not mocked….a man reaps what he sows….we are called to be holy, as He is holy…anything short of that is counterfeit. :)

                    • Christopher R Weiss

                      He makes it clear over and over that allowing for OEC leads to evil and a misinterpretation of the bible. Listen to the whole thing.

                      The man is a con artist and scammer. He throws these qualifiers to mollify critics, but his position is very clear.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy

                      Latest in the news is Ham/AIG is planning to issue junk bonds to pay for his Ark Experience YEC theme park. Said junk bonds are set up so that the investors are fully liable for losses in the event of failure while Ham/AIG is not. I’d like to see how this one plays out.

    • beau_quilter

      We can accept people without accepting their lousy ideas. Especially when their lousy ideas are threatening public education.

  • http://ma-sblog.blogspot.com/ Alice

    We were Sunday School teachers in the last church we attended. They had just bought Answers in Genesis curriculum for the kids and I taught it for a few months. What stood out to me was the “us” vs. “them” mentality of it. It was heavily apologetic, in fact that was the whole idea, to teach apologetics to an increasingly secular and hostile to the Bible world.

    • LorenHaas

      Congratulations on your sucessfull escape!

  • John Duerwaechter

    Atheism is a choice by the person who chooses to reject God. How can you blame Dr Ham for your atheism? This is a choice that you have made!–Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

    Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    • http://brucegerencser.net/ Bruce Gerencser

      Hey John ,

      Just suppose I grant you the premise that by looking at the natural world I see evidence for a creator. How would I conclude that that creator is the Christian God of the Bible? How do I get from A God created to THE God created? Is there something intrinsic to nature that screams out the Christian God of the Christian Bible created this? Why not any of the other gods in the panoply of gods?

      Bruce

      • John Duerwaechter

        Because I agree with the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob and His son Jesus Christ. I believe what it says in Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, also remember for you skeptics there is evidence (archeological) in what the Bible says is true. Can you answer that?

        • http://brucegerencser.net/ Bruce Gerencser

          John,

          Let’s suppose I am an aborigine living in the outback of Australia. I have never heard of Jesus, the Bible, or Christianity. As I look at the natural world and I say there is a creator of what I see. What is it in what I see that would lead me to conclude that that creator is the Christian God of the Christian Bible?

          For you personally, how would you come to the conclusion you stated above without the Bible, without growing up in a culture that is Christian?

          Remember, humans, for most of their history, using the Bishop Ushher dating of the human race, have not had a Bible. Before the printing press, few people owned a Bible, and illiteracy was so pervasive that, even if they had a Bible, they couldn’t have read it. It has only been in the last several centuries that the Bible in printed form has been readily available and affordable

          Bruce.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      You do realize that Ham disagrees with Romans 1:20, right? He doesn’t think that following the evidence from the creation where it leads actually provides one with truth, in direct disagreement with what you quoted.

      And so why do so many Christians who think Paul was right support Ham?

      • John Duerwaechter

        I just spoke with Dr Hams staff regarding this Mr McGrath, and he informed me that Dr Ham always teaches from Rom 1 all the time. I emailed answersingenesis.org regarding your comment to me. I hope you and Dr Ham can work out your differences together.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Oh, I know he claims to believe it, even quotes it. But when he says that scientists following the evidence of the creation are led away from God’s truth, he is contradicting what Romans 1 says, no matter how much lip service he otherwise pays it.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy

          Isn’t Rom 1 a Decline Narrative (“for these are the things which the goyim do”) that is also THE go-to place for clobber verses about Homosexuality(TM)?

  • Mimi1

    I believe in YEC….no doubt both YEC and Evolutionists have problems with their positions…however, when a YEC runs into a monumental problem, we have the “edge”, so to speak. We can always fall back on the fact that God is able, and very well could have intervened with a miracle. When evolutionists have a huge problem, they have no way out of it. They’re just stuck. I’d much rather believe that the Bible’s account of creation is 100% literal, and that Almighty God could have done “anything” during the creation process that would allow it to line up perfectly with the whole revealed Word of God. You, of course, are allowed to hold your position….for goodness sake….why won’t you allow Ken Ham, AIG, and people like me have our position? There is no need for anyone to be so mean-spirited!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      You accept the dome mentioned in Genesis 1:6-8 to be literal? Paul’s talk of the heart as the seat of human cognition?

      It is true that one can believe anything and, if there is counter-evidence, simply say “God performed a miracle and made it seem this way.” But that isn’t unique to young-earth creationism. If someone wanted to do that with the as yet unanswered questions related to evolution, they obviously could. But science has been so effective as a way of exploring our world and its workings, that scientists – including the Christians who work in science – prefer to embrace unanswered questions and keep seeking answers, rather than merely saying “God did it.” Anyone can say that, for any viewpoint and any religion. And so resorting to that is liable to leave one prone to being deceived and to self-deception.

      • Mimi1

        Thank you for answering :) I guess I could have expressed myself a bit better….I meant that I believe creation in six days is 100% literal. I don’t believe in a literal dome, and realize that much in the Bible is symbolic, etc… I also realize that both non-Christian and Christian scientists alike, devote their lives seeking answers. Unfortunately, no one is ever going to figure it all out. We simply were not present when it all came into being. Since I don’t have a scientist’s heart, and don’t feel the need to “explore”….I am very content in trusting the Word of God, which I believe is without error, and blindly accept whatever God has said. I also don’t think that I am deceived in any way….because, if God is infallible, and I embrace all that He said…then how can I ever be misled? There are, however, certain things that God never intended for us to know while here on earth. I am in the category of Christians that say….God said it, I believe it, and that’s the end of it! ;)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          If I might ask some follow-up questions for you to think about here (you are welcome to answer them here, or just take them away to think about over a longer period of time, or ignore them, as you see fit). First, what makes the six days 100% literal but the dome symbolic, when ancient interpreters of Genesis more consistently agree on the literalness of the dome than the literalness of the days? Second, why treat the Bible as something that “God said” rather than as what its contents claim to be, which is things like letters from Paul rather than letters from God? Third, given that there were lots of different views about matter and processes in nature in the ancient world, and yet none of the Bible’s authors seeks to disagree with any of them, then what makes it seem to you to be appropriate to do radically differently and try to oppose prevailing views about the natural world? If anything, in Genesis 1 we see precisely the opposite – the depiction of the natural world agrees completely with the Enuma Elish, what is different is the theology!

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            Anyone considered that Genesis 1 might have been styled as a PARODY of the Enuma Elish, taking the same general story and turning it around?
            -
            The generic example I heard was that everything mentioned as being created by God in Genesis was worshipped as gods in their own right by the goyim of the time. More specifically, the order of Sun, Moon, and Stars; first the Sun is mentioned (as “The Greater Light”, because all the words for “sun” at the time were the names of sun gods), then the Moon (as “The Lesser Light” for the same reason), then the stars as an afterthought. I understand that in Mesopotamian creation myths, the Stars were the greatest gods, the Moon god lesser than the Star gods, and the Sun god the least of all. Genesis reverses the order and importance while it demotes all of them from gods in their own right to creations of a greater God.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              Yes indeed! Scholars have said that not only about Genesis 1, but also the tower of Babel story, which seems to be satire aimed at the great unfinished ziggurat in Babylon, and about the story about the sons of God and daughters of men, which seems to be taking aim at the stories of demigods and heroes that were popular around the ancient Mediterranean, attempting to turn them into something negative.

  • Ashley haworth-roberts

    Ham has written on his Facebook page: “Who is James McGrath? Well he is an Associate Professor in the Religion and Philosophy department at Butler University in Indianapolis. His main area of expertise is supposedly the New Testament/Bible.
    He definitely has a fixation on what… we do at AiG–and he seems to love to denigrate me whenever he can. I’m sure he sees what we teach at AiG as we stand on the authority of the Word of God as totally opposed to the biblical authority undermining courses he teaches students to lead them astray from the truth of God’s Word.
    I thought you would enjoy seeing his latest piece of academic work to attack me. See the illustration of me he put on his blog.
    Now as long as CON stands for ‘Christian Overtly Non-yielding,’ I love it! Yes, it is our unyielding stand on the authority of God’s Word that gets these reactions from people like James McGrath.
    As someone once said to me, ‘if you stand on the devil’s toes he reacts–you guys at AiG must be kicking him in the shins!’
    Have a great day in the Lord today.
    You can read McGrath’s bio here on the Butler University website: http://www.butler.edu/center-academic-technology/faculty-showcase/james-mcgrath/“.
    https://www.facebook.com/aigkenham
    He does not link to this actual blog post – not sure why not.

    • http://brucegerencser.net/ Bruce Gerencser

      I have been subject to Ham’s outing of my “supposed” past Evangelical faith. Ham uses the word “Supposed” or “supposedly” to cast doubt on the credibility of the person in question. He doesn’t directly link because he doesn’t want weak, poorly taught Christians to be influenced by people who are enemies of Christianity.

      Ham’s quote is a backhand way of saying that James McGrath is of the Devil. He considers James an enemy of God and the faith.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        Ham’s quote is a backhand way of saying that James McGrath is of the Devil. He considers James an enemy of God and the faith.
        -
        When YEC Uber Alles becomes THE Great White Throne Litmus Test (h/t to the infamous Jack Chick rendition of the scene), you get that sort of thing. Any who doubt YEC are The Enemy of God (AKA the Great Satan).
        -
        And the dynamic of Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory then comes into play. Where any evidence against The Conspiracy is disinformation planted by The Conspiracy; lack of evidence for The Conspiracy is proof The Conspiracy is so vast They can silence anyone; and anyone who doubts The Conspiracy exists has just revealed themselves as part of The Conspiracy. The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs, and Won’t Be Taken In.

  • Peter Veitch

    Evolution, to me was always of the devil. Reading books on evolution with the help of “creation science” books actually did play a large part in my deconversion not only from young earth creationism but from theism period. the Idea of an all knowing god dying ( part time) for an Adam that never existed is nonsense. Ken Ham is actually right on this point, it does undermine the redemption narrative. Ham is totally wrong on the young earth creation though.


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