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When Nothing and No One Can Change Your Mind

A commenter on this blog made this insightful observation:

Ham’s words actually imply (to me at least) that even if God Himself came down and said “you read My book wrong,” he would reply with “This book is right and you are not God.”

That pinpoints the danger in Ham’s stance, and that of others like him. In order to persuade himself that the Bible says only one thing, says it clearly, and offers no other statements to the contrary, one must already have excluded, ignored, or explained away some of what is in the Bible. And so not even the Bible is being allowed to change such a person’s view of the Bible.

Their ultimate authority thus turns out to be themselves, and it is not clear how or whether anyone, even God, could change their mind.

  • Just Sayin’

    The best thing that could happen would be that this charlatan be sent packing back to the Australian high school he came from. Anyone who really valued the Bible would be queuing up to give him a boot in the pants to send him on his way, not fence-sitting and protecting him!

    • Pam

      No way! We don’t want him back! He’s been yours for long enough we’ve disowned him.
      Seriously, Australians don’t have a clue who he is, his stuff just doesn’t fly here.

      • Just Sayin’

        Hammy spotted a few million gullible Americans and the dollar signs started appearing in front of his eyes. He probably couldn’t get his bags packed quick enough! The U.S. is the land of plenty for him!

  • Matthew Funke

    This is tangentially-related at best, but a question just occurred to me, and you’re one of the only people I know I can share it with. If Ken Ham and his ilk think animals and humans were given permission to eat meat in Genesis 9, where do they think the animal remains in coprolites came from?

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

      I think Ham probably thinks that animals were made carnivores after the Fall, and it was only humans that were given permission to eat meat after the Flood.

      • Matthew Funke

        All right. Let’s take that as written. Why is it that animals would be allowed to kill other animals, but humans would not? Is there some fundamental moral difference involved in who’s doing the killing? Or is there some fundamental difference between animal death and human death? Or both?
        (One would expect some kind of difference even so, since killing animals was okayed but killing humans remains verboten.)
        In any event, if there *is* a difference here, how can we insist that animal death should be treated the same as human death with respect to sin entering the world?

        • Paul Roberts

          that is a well thought out statement, nice… a few possibilities could address that, 1: “Image of God”; humans were made to reflect the god who created them. 2: Dominion of animals; humans had the responsibility to care for and oversee the animals. 3: Animal skin covering; death to an animal came first by the god who created them. So, because something had to be done about the “shame” the humans felt for not reflecting the god who created them an animal died to cover their shame, in turn bringing about more failure on their part to have dominion in the care of the animals. Death became the reality for both humans and animals at this point in the account.

          • Matthew Funke

            But that would strongly imply that when mankind did wrong, God made it *more* wrong, wouldn’t it? By making animal death an indicator of man’s further failure, He made it inevitable that man would fail further by suddenly causing animals to be mortal, right? This might address it, but it sounds like divine entrapment. (How would God explain the entrance of animal death into the world and the idea that it’s a judgment on mankind’s fallen state? “And further on your list of human shortcomings is the fact that animals die… a property I had to give them supernaturally when you sinned.”)

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

              I’ve now posted my definitive thoughts on the topic of young-earth creationism and pre-flood vegetarianism: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/02/cain-and-abel-according-to-young-earth-creationism.html

            • Paul Roberts

              Is death a curse or state that is final to a god that can create, sustain, and resurrect life? The “judgment” of death is seen by many as a punishment for doing “wrong”, but the account shows that it is a byproduct of eating the fruit. I’ve enjoyed your comments thank you.

  • Michael Wilson

    At a certain point, the whole concept of knowing breaks down when you have ideas like infallible sources and truths. The fact is that if a golden throne bourn by cherubs came down from the sky, landed on the White House lawn, and declared that people heard Him wrong when they wrote Genesis, or that Ken’s interpretation is wrong, Ham could dismiss this as a Satanic illusion. But then we have to ask, could the biblical worthies have been mislead by a Satanic illusion? Some Jewish sects had the same issue and declared that the Torah is God’s revelation and not even God could say otherwise. What happens is the text or the interpretation becomes ultimate truth, not God.

  • http://benirwin.wordpress.com/ Ben Irwin

    I was intrigued (though not surprised, sadly) that what struck me as Ham’s weakest argument became his main talking point on the Answers in Genesis website the day after the debate. It seemed like every time Nye would present some piece of actual scientific evidence, Ham would response with his “there is a book out there” line. There is indeed a book out there, and it has NOTHING to do with science.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Now I’m picturing Nye bringing God out from backstage like Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall. “I heard what you were saying! You know nothing of my work!”

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lotharson

    Thom Stark famously said that he will always keep his faith EXCEPT if God descended from heaven and told him He does not exist :-)

    I think that Bill Nye has clearly to be congratulated for his warm and kind tone during the whole debate.

    I offered my own progressive Christian thoughts on the debate here .

    Thank God for evolution!

    Cheers from Europe were Creationism is really fringe.


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