Tyler Francke on Ken Ham’s Gospel

The quote is from an article that appeared on the Sojourners website yesterday. I thought it deserved to be highlighted, and so I made it into a meme image.

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  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I think dragging down the gospel first would be more effective at dragging down both than dragging down YECism.

    • arcseconds

      Well, I suppose that might be true, but it’s sort of like saying “well, if everyone gave up religion, we’d not have religion” isn’t it?

      I assume you’d like to eliminate both the Gospel and YECism, but the Gospel seems a much more resilient target than YECism, given that there are huge numbers of Christians who have either never been Young Earth Creationists, or were once and gave it up. Plus there are theologically liberal Christians who don’t believe in miracles or people-gods who make decisions to interfere with the natural order, and many non-Christians who think the Gospels have something important to offer.

      Whereas it seems quite likely that young-earth creationism will indeed one day become an irrelevant sideline — it’s already pretty irrelevant in developed countries with the exception of the USA.

      So, I don’t think going after the Gospel is really a practical proposition.

      Is there anything that makes you think it is?

      Or are you just dreamin’?

      • James Peter Allen

        Good point, arcseconds. Saying that getting rid of the Gospel is just as or more important than trying to do away with YEC, is like saying that we need to get rid of every influential book that might be misinterpreted or interpreted literally. The Bible wasn’t always interpreted this way. (people that were a few generations removed from Jesus himself knew the difference between myths and facts.)

        • arcseconds

          While I agree, that wasn’t really my point.

          Granting that Enopoletus Harding is antipathetic towards religion, I’m wondering what the point of his comment was.

          If he’s proposing a course of action, even given his values, it’s a bit of a silly plan. YEC is quite a viable target. It could dwindle back into insignificance in a generation or two. The Gospel is not anywhere near as vulnerable. There will still be Christians in 500 years time, and they’re very likely to still be highly culturally important, and while we might expect the USA to slowly follow other western countries in the decreasing proportions of self-identifying Christians, they’re still going to be a large proportion of the population for as long as EH lives.

          Assuming EH prefers the situation where there isn’t significant levels of YEC yet there are still plenty of Christians over the situation where there’s plenty of Christians and plenty of YEC, he’d be better off going for the viable target rather than tilting at windmills.

          Killing two birds with one stone is all very well, but if one of them is a blackbird and the other a T-rex, you might settle for killing the blackbird with a stone you can actually lift.

          But maybe all he’s doing is essentially saying “well, I’d like to get rid of both!”.

  • Tim

    You know, the way that a certain segment of Christianity acts (or, more accurately, reacts) with regard to new information about the world reminds me of something that I read recently in The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck. In the quoted section he’s talking about discipline, and the third tool needed to deal with the pain of problem solving, which is dedication to truth/ reality, which is necessary for a healthy life and spiritual growth. Here is what he says:

    “Our view of reality is like a map with which to negotiate the terrain of life. If the map is true and accurate, we will generally know where we are, and if we have decided where we want to go, we will generally know how to get there. If the map is false and inaccurate, we generally will be lost. While this is obvious, it is something that most people to a greater or lesser degree choose to ignore. They ignore it because our route to reality is not easy. First of all, we are not born with maps; we have to make them, and the making requires effort. The more effort we make to appreciate and percieve reality, the larger and more accurate our maps will be. But many do not want to make this effort. Some stop making it by the end of adolescence. Their maps are small and sketchy, their views of the world narrow and misleading. By the end of middle age most people have given up the effort. They feel certain that their maps are complete and their Weltanschauung is correct (indeed, even sacrosanct), and they are no longer interested in new information. It is as if they are tired. Only a relative and fortunate few continue until the moment of death exploring the mystery of reality, ever enlarging and refining and redefining their understanding of the world and what is true….” “What happens when one has striven long and hard to develop a working view of the world, a seemingly useful, workable map, and then is confronted with new information suggesting that that view is wrong and the map needs to be largely redrawn? The painful effort required seems frightening, almost overwhelming. What we do more often than not, and usually unconsciously, is to ignore the new information. Often, this act of ignoring is much more than passive. We may denounce the new information as false, dangerous, heretical, the work of the devil. We may actually crusade against it, and even attempt to manipulate the world so as to make it conform to our view of reality. Rather than try to change the map, an individual may try to destroy the new reality. Sadly, such a person may expend much more energy ultimately in defending and outmoded view of the world than would have been required to revise and correct it in the first place.”

    Wise words.

  • guest

    There are large parts of the Bible I wouldn’t mind losing. Leviticus for instance.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

      Need a razor? 😉

    • R Vogel

      Don’t lose them. That’s the easy way out. Rethink. Reinterpret. Read in context. Challenge the text. Engage in Midrash. Like Jacob, wrestle the angel and be blessed. The great Rabbi Hillel declared that the heart of the Torah is “What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy fellowman; this is the whole Law. The rest is but commentary.” Jesus, as I understand it, came to a similar conclusion. But irffing on Tim’s comments about, there is going to have to be some work done to reqrite the map.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

    Thinks creationism could ruin the Gospel that some virgin human sacrificed on a torture instrument who turned into a cosmic Jewish zombie and will grant you immortality, if you ‘symbolically’ eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept
    him as your master, so he can rid an evil imbedded in mans soul.

    isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?