Origen vs. Ken Ham

Origen vs. Ken Ham August 10, 2016

Origen vs Ken Ham

This meme came my way via God of Evolution on Facebook, and I have been meaning to share it for some time.

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  • CrazyDogLady

    Probably off the point: Ken Ham’s quote here reminds me of something my former pastor said in a sermon: “I don’t see how you can call yourself a Christian if you don”t believe what the Bible says [meaning: take the English NIV translation I am reading literally].” (Context: he was preaching against same sex marriage, again.) 🙁 I never really got over that one. It was part of what launched me on a quest to understand what the Bible really means, which somehow led to my reading a lot of Bart Erhman, which led to about 2 years of dealing with cognitive dissonance and trying desperately to figure out what was left of my faith after my “magic book” view of the Bible was gone. I eventually resigned my staff position and left that church and next week will rejoin the congregation and denomination in which I was raised. There, I have space and loving company to wrestle with doubt and still affirm my faith (trust) in Jesus.

    • jh

      It’s the fundamentalist literalness who do the best job of destroying their faith. For every one person who falls for their spiel, I’m betting that two walk quietly away… maybe to a more liberal variant or to another religion or to no religion.

    • I see no contradiction to believing GOD can do all things, and has done most of them. I think GOD has done for greater things than just making a donkey talk or providing angels to speak to people.

  • Ian

    I just don’t see how someone truly and fully understands what it means to be saved if they don’t believe in a historic Adam and a historic fall.

    The problem with Ken is, that he assumes his ‘inability to see’ is the other person’s problem.

  • otrotierra

    Somebody needs to tell Ken Ham and his followers that Jesus (The Word) never asked his followers to believe in a literal Adam or a literal Fall.

    • Ethereial

      Matthew 19:3-9 Jesus Disagrees with your assertion.

      • Phil Ledgerwood

        How does that passage require a literal Adam? Is it no longer true if Adam is a symbolic character?

        • Since the genealogy of JESUS is traced back to a literal Adam, I think rejecting that Adam is pretty much a rejection of a very significant construct of scriptures

          • You might want to learn more about the NT genealogies. Perhaps start here? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2007/08/the-plain-sense-of-the-bible.html

          • Here is a simple fact; By one man sin came into the world and by one man the price of sin has been paid. There was a first Adam and JESUS is the second Adam. There is a reason this is so. One man who lived a sinless life as a human, because the one man couldn’t. I read your other posts. I think your logic is flawed.

            I reject someone who comes along 2,000 years later to tell us that what the writers of the Bible said is not what they meant. It is written that by one man sin came into the world. That is good enough for me.

          • You reject someone who comes along and points out to you that your claims about what the Bible says and means are false.


          • I just quoted the Bible

          • And yet failed to understand it, and also didn’t click through on the links that I offered in an attempt to avoid repeating myself.

            Count Matthew’s generations carefully, compare his genealogy both to Luke’s and to his source material in Chronicles, and then let me know if you still think that the Biblical genealogies provide a basis for what you are claiming.

          • What I am sure of is that Adam is a real person. If the first Adam is figurative, then so too is the second Adam.

          • On what basis are you sure of that? Adam in Hebrew is a word, and so the character in Genesis depicts humanity in general, and often very specific experiences that are common to all human beings. Paul’s talk of life “in Christ” is about another way of being human, not another lineage of ancestry that one can have. And so why on earth would you try to undermine the Christian message by tying it to the historicity of a symbolic figure? What leads you to hate the Christian gospel so much that you would try to undermine it, and what leads you to care so little about these texts that you would try to undermine Christianity in this highly implausible and ineffective manner?

          • Throughout the scriptures it is written that sin entered by one man. A real man. This is contrasted by sin being removed by one man. A real man. You wish to say that this interpretation is not what you see. OK. But, it is clear to me and is not a point I would seek to prove one way or another.

          • That is indeed an important text, since it shows that Paul was not treating the Genesis story in a literalistic fashion, but as a counterfoil to Jesus. Otherwise he would have said that sin entered the world through two humans, not one.

          • Eve didn’t sin against the command of GOD. There is no indication Eve was ever told by GOD not to eat the fruit. GOD told Adam not to. Adam did. Thus, sin came into the world by one man.

          • So you disagree with 1 Timothy 2:14? It is always interesting to see people clutch at straws and contradict the Bible in a desperate attempt to preserve their doctrine about the Bible. The reason I stopped doing just that is because I eventually realized that it is self-defeating. It makes your doctrine about the Bible the ultimate authority, not the Bible itself, since even the Bible is not allowed to disprove your view of what the Bible is…

          • To interpret 1Tim 2:14 the way you have chosen to, is to say sin came into the world through Eve. That goes against all the teaching of the Bible. The statement is that Eve was deceived. Adam did what he did knowing he was sinning. Eve transgressed the law given to her by Adam, but Adam sinned against the law given to him by GOD.

            There is a vast difference between transgressing and sinning. But, that difference in this scripture is only obvious in the original Greek. Search it out, if you wish to have understanding

          • You are reading things into 1 Timothy 2 that aren’t there, in a desperate attempt to harmonize it with what Paul wrote in Romans, and to harmonize both with your desired viewpoint. Ultimately this kind of approach is self-defeating, since it claims to be trying to safeguard biblical authority, and yet does not hesitate to twist and distort what the Bible says in the effort to make it appear as though it says what one thinks it should, and says so inerrantly.

          • So, you say the Bible says that Eve was the first to sin

          • I am not saying that the Bible says one thing as though it were a single work and not a compilation. I was talking about specific works within the Bible, what they say, and what they ought to have said if their authors read Genesis literally.

          • Phil Ledgerwood

            Why? Does the fact that Caesar traced his ancestry to Apollo mean that Caesar didn’t really exist?

          • RbtRgus

            So be it.

    • David Evans

      No, but Adam is frequently referred to as a real person in the epistles, and also in Acts 17:26

      “He created all the people of the world from one man, Adam…”

      and in Luke’s genealogy of Jesus.

  • histrogeek

    Maybe Ken Ham will go literal on the one verse Origen supposedly went literal on, Matthew 19:12 (eunuchs for the kingdom). I mean it’s a slippery slope to assume figurative language right Ken?

    • Since I have been celibate for my Christian service, created with no need for sex, I would say that some are in fact made eunuchs for the purposes of Heaven.

      • RbtRgus

        But nobody has tampered with your family jewels? Youre lucky nobody does biblical literalism anymore

  • Don Roberts

    I am beginning to believe that a person who truly knows neither God or the Bible believes the Bible should be read literally. Ken Ham’s faith seems so fragile that only a literal interpretation of the Bible can hold it together. Take out one thread, introduce on grain of doubt and his card-castle faith collapses. To take the Bible literally truly shows that he neither knows or cares about the context or spirit in which all the books were written.

    On another point, it absolutely gets my dander when someone refers to the Bible as the “Word of God.” That completely discounts John 1:1-14 in which he claims Jesus is the one and only Word of God. The Bible is not Jesus.

  • I happen to agree with Ken Ham. To deny the story of Adam and Eve is to call JESUS a liar. I am not inclined to do so.

  • Pseudonym

    It’s worth adding the next sentence from De Principiis, too, but it might not fit in the image:

    And if God is said to walk in the paradise in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under a tree, I do not suppose that anyone doubts that these things figuratively indicate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance, and not literally.

    And while we’re on the topic…

    It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are.

    With the scriptures it is a matter of treating about the faith. For that reason, as I have noted repeatedly, if anyone, not understanding the mode of divine eloquence, should find something about [the physical universe] in our books, or hear of the same from those books, of such a kind that it seems to be at variance with the perceptions of his own rational faculties, let him believe that these other things are in no way necessary to the admonitions or accounts or predictions of the scriptures. In short, it must be said that our authors knew the truth about the nature of the skies, but it was not the intention of the Spirit of God, who spoke through them, to teach men anything that would not be of use to them for their salvation.

    — St Augustine of Hippo, The Literal Interpretation of Genesis

    For it appears opposed to common sense, and quite incredible, that there should be waters above the heaven. Hence some resort to allegory, and philosophize concerning angels; but quite beside the purpose. For, to my mind, this is a certain principle, that nothing is here treated of but the visible form of the world. He who would learn astronomy, and other recondite arts, let him go elsewhere. Here the Spirit of God would teach all men without exception; and therefore what Gregory declares falsely and in vain respecting statues and pictures is truly applicable to the history of the creation, namely, that it is the book of the unlearned.

    — John Calvin, Commentary on Genesis