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Ken Ham Denies the Power of the Resurrection!

Ken Ham Denies the Power of the Resurrection!

Yes, I know, that is quite a provocative and scandalous headline for a post, isn’t it? It’s one thing to take issue with Ken Ham’s claims about science or his interpretation of Genesis 1-11, but should we really question his belief in the resurrection of Christ? Isn’t that to essentially do the very thing so many people are upset with Ken Ham for doing—questioning one’s Christian faith simply because he/she has a different interpretation of Genesis 1-11? I mean, argue science and biblical interpretation all you want, but let’s hold off on accusing anyone of denying the resurrection.

Well, far be it from me to suggest that Ken Ham denies the resurrection of Christ…no matter how provocative the headline might be. Let me be crystal clear: I have no doubt whatsoever that Ken Ham believes Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead. But I came across one of his many tweets earlier today, and it just got me thinking about how Ken Ham, you, I, and probably many people in general tend to view, or more properly fail to view, the resurrection. And yes, in a roundabout way, I think this affects how we view science and evolution (not to mention virtually everything else).

Ham’s Twitter Argument
But perhaps I should first share what Ken Ham’s actual tweet was. It was quite simple, really—just a typical Ken Ham/AiG argument for YEC in less than 140 characters:

God describes death as an “enemy” (1 Corinthians 15:26). God didn’t use death to create—death is the judgment for sin.

Ham’s tweet encapsulates a basic argument by AiG that (A) evolution requires millions of years of death to account for the varieties of life we see today in the natural world, but that (B) Genesis 1 tells us that God call His creation “good,” Genesis 3 tells us that death came to Adam and Eve because they sinned, and I Cor. 15:26 call death an “enemy.” Therefore, if evolution is true, then Genesis 1 is a lie, because death would have been part of creation, and God would be calling death “good;” Genesis 3 is a lie, because death would have been occurring for millions of years before Adam and Eve; and I Cor. 15:26 is a lie, because how could death be an “enemy” if it was part of creation from the beginning?

Now, in this post, I am not going to go into a detailed exegetical argument regarding those passages in order to refute Ken Ham’s claims. Instead, I want to expand on what I wrote as a response tweet. When I first read Ham’s tweet, something about it just struck me as odd: “God didn’t use death to create.” Rather quickly, I hit “reply” and tweeted this:

God didn’t use death to create? Mmm…The cross, tomb, then resurrection/new creation! Looks like He CAN use death to re-create!

22 year old Joel at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem (circa 1992)

Rethinking Death’s Role in the Resurrection and New Creation
No, I wasn’t trying to be cheeky with my response (okay, perhaps just a bit!)—I was actually being serious. When I read Ham’s tweet, I couldn’t help but realize that, although what we see in the resurrection of Christ is certainly the defeat of death. But there’s something else: we see the use of death as the means by which new life—Christ’s life—is realized. Simply put, the resurrection of Christ hails the breaking in of the New Creation, and God used death to bring it about.

In the death and resurrection of Christ, we see the power of God on full display: He brings new life out of death and suffering; the New Creation is birthed through the pain of death. And I have to tell you, I’m not sure too many people really get the significance of that. I mean, we should, because it’s all over the place throughout the New Testament:

  • Romans 5:3-5 talks about boasting in our sufferings because ultimately the end result is the realization of the Christian hope…the resurrection of the dead and becoming fully like Christ.
  • I Peter 4:13 talks about rejoicing in our sufferings because we’re sharing Christ’s sufferings, and that we therefore will rejoice even more when his glory is revealed.
  • Romans 8:18-25 equates present sufferings with creation in birth pangs, and what’s the hope when a woman suffering birth pangs? That’s right, a new birth. In Paul’s analogy, that hope is being set free from this present age’s bondage to decay and death.

The entire New Testament bears witness to this very thing: it is through suffering and death than the New Creation is born…and then death will be no more.

This View is Testified to by the Early Church Fathers
And in case we forget, this view of suffering and death is pretty much what Church Fathers like Irenaeus had. I’ve written on Irenaeus before, but essentially, while he affirmed the goodness of creation, he also saw Adam as representative of immature humanity, and therefore as each one of us. Irenaeus saw Adam’s sin as an inevitability, because God didn’t create Adam as perfect—Adam was immature and naïve and, yes, therefore bound to sin. But it was God’s will that Adam (and each one of us) grow into full maturity in Christ through suffering, and yes, even death.

Irenaeus makes it clear that all this—the sin, the suffering, and death itself—was all part of God’s salvation plan before the creation of the world. Christ didn’t come into the world because God’s “original plan” got screwed up by Adam. Christ came into the world because this whole thing has been God’s plan all along. As Irenaeus says, the very nature of Christ is that of a Savior, and therefore a savior needs something to save.

Or to put it another way, when we look at Genesis 1:26-27, God created human beings (i.e. Adam) “in His image”—we are to be His representatives in the created order, and we are to act as (a) kings over the created order, (b) priests of the created order, and (c) custodians of the created order. The thing, though, is that because we are not born “perfect,” that means we are not fully “like” God yet. As the Orthodox Church puts it, we are created in God’s image, but we are not yet “according to His likeness.” To become like God is to become like Christ, and to become like Christ entails suffering as Christ did, because the way Christ the Savior saves us is through suffering and death.

Or to put it yet another way: the suffering and death of Christ explains to us the reason for suffering and death—and the reason for suffering and death is to bring about the resurrection life of Christ so we can be fully mature in Christ, and therefore be according to God’s likeness. And once that happens, death will be no more because there will be no more purpose for it…kind of like what Paul says about the Torah (re-read Romans 6-8, and note what it says about the purpose of Torah, and its relationship to death).

Now, Back to Ham…
So therefore, when I looked at Ken Ham’s tweet, I realized that he is ultimately wrong: God does use death to create. This is testified to both in the New Testament and in early Church Fathers like Irenaeus. Suffering and death are inevitable parts to this creation; they are part of God’s plan of salvation revealed in Christ to grow us up into His likeness; they are this creation’s birth pangs that will ultimately result in a new birth and a New Creation in which suffering and death no longer have any role to play.

Now, I imagine Ken Ham might say, “Well, sure, through Christ, God used suffering and death to bring about the New Creation, but they only came into existence after Adam sinned. Before he sinned, there was no death or suffering, because he was created perfect.” Well, to that, all I can say is that not only does science and evolution refute that claim, but so do the early Church Fathers, and so does the Bible itself.

Think about it. If Adam and Eve were perfect, super-intelligent, and all-wise (and let’s not forget in possession of a perfect genome!), then how could they have been tricked by a talking serpent? The whole story in Genesis 3 drives home the point that they were naïve and child-like, and therefore not fully mature, and certainly not perfect. And the reason that is so is because the description of them is the description of us as human beings. As Irenaeus said, Adam sinning was an inevitability, just like our sinning is an inevitability.

But now I’m starting to wander a bit. You can read my full treatment of Irenaeus starting here. Allow me now to wrap up my thoughts…

Conclusion
Perhaps one of the most astounding things to learn about the early Church is how the historical reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ caused the early Christians to re-evaluate everything, and see everything in a different light. The Jewish Scriptures? They reinterpreted them in light of Christ’s resurrection reality. Greek Philosophy? Christian philosophers essentially Christianized Greek philosophy and showed how the resurrection of Christ provided vast new insights into reality itself. And what about science? Long before the Scientific Revolution, all throughout the “Middle Ages,” Christian monks were making advances in scientific discoveries that laid the groundwork for the eventual Scientific Revolution, that was, incidentally, brought about primarily by Christians working in the fields of science.

The resurrection of Christ isn’t just some odd, historical claim that cannot be conclusively verified, but that you have to say you believe actually happened if you want to go to heaven. Too often, though, that’s precisely how we treat it—as just another claim you have to “take on faith” in order to avoid hell. But when we do that, when we reduce it to just a “fact” we have to say we believe happened, what we are essentially doing is denying the true power of the resurrection.

Yes, I believe the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a historical fact. Yes, I believe it really happened. But because I believe it really happened, I can’t allow it to be treated as just another “fact,” for that fact changed everything. It changed how we view suffering and death, and ultimately it changed how understand the created order itself.

If Jesus’ disciples were able to shine the light of the resurrection on the Jewish Scriptures and reinterpret them in that light, and if early Christian philosophers were able to shine the light of the resurrection on Greek Philosophy and reshape it in that light, we should be able to do the same thing with modern scientific discoveries like evolution.

Christian scientists even though they are bound by the same descriptive laws and scientific methods that all scientists are bound by in their observations of the natural world, they do not believe that the natural world is all that exists. Christians believe there is a God beyond nature who has made Himself known within history, in the person of Jesus Christ. And so, although Christian scientists would be wrong to inject “God” into their descriptive work of science, they (as all Christians) are able to contemplate their scientific findings in the light of the resurrection of Christ.

Sure, such contemplation admittedly isn’t “scientific,” but that’s okay—there’s more to life than just science. And although I am not a scientist, what I’ve learned about the theory of evolution over the past few years has been fascinating, not simply because of what it has discovered and what it can explain convincingly. It fascinates me because I’ve come to realize that what we can observe in biology, geology, astronomy, and genetics bears witness to what the resurrection is all about: the natural processes we observe in the natural world mirror the reality of salvation, resurrection, and the New Creation.

In Christ, God uses suffering and death to bring about new life and the New Creation. That’s at the very heart of the Gospel, and we see this very thing, by means of analogy, in the natural world.

Ken and me…

So yes, Mr. Ham, God does use death to create: that’s the testimony of the resurrection of Christ. I’m not saying you don’t believe in the resurrection, but it seems to me you view it as not much more than a fact. That’s okay, I think too many of us tend to also view it as not much more than a fact. I think we’d all be better off to open our eyes to the transformative power of the resurrection. It’s not just a door to the hereafter; it is the key to understanding reality itself.

Like I said earlier, everything is transformed in its light, even our understanding of suffering and death.

Gregory of Nyssa…and the Evolution of Man (Yes, I might be the only one in history who can connect Gregory of Nyssa with Ron Burgundy)

Gregory of Nyssa…and the Evolution of Man (Yes, I might be the only one in history who can connect Gregory of Nyssa with Ron Burgundy)

gregory of nyssaLet me admit it up front, the title to this post is a little misleading. Gregory of Nyssa (335-394 AD) was an early Church Father and, along with Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus, was one of the three Cappadocian Fathers—these three men helped formulate the official doctrine of the Trinity. So, to quote Ron Burgundy, in terms of Church history, if you met Gregory of Nyssa, he would be entirely justified if he said, “I don’t know how to put this…but I’m kind of a big deal.”

ron burgundyThat being said, no, Gregory of Nyssa was not a supporter of evolution, namely because the theory of evolution did not exist back then. But in light of the recurring mantra of young earth creationists like Ken Ham, that everyone in Church history believed in a young earth, and that God created everything in a literal six days, until the 19th century, when Christians started “compromising” Scripture to fit with evolutionary ideas, any study of how the early Church Fathers read the early chapters of Genesis summarily destroys that YEC claim. Early Church Fathers spoke quite a lot of the early chapters of Genesis, but one thing is for sure: they certainly weren’t advocating a 21st century, modern scientific-historical interpretation of them.

And this brings us to Gregory of Nyssa. Recently, I have been reading the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Genesis 1-11—a collection of the writings of the early Church Fathers on Genesis 1-11. In the section covering Genesis 1:26 and the creation of humanity, they quote Gregory of Nyssa from his work, On the Soul and the Resurrection. He writes the following:

“Scripture informs us that the Deity proceeded by a sort of graduated and ordered advance to the creation of man. After the foundations of the universe were laid, as the history records, man did not appear on the earth at once, but the creation of the brutes preceded him, and the plants preceded them. Thereby Scripture shows that the vital forces blended with the world of matter according to a gradation; first it infused itself into insensate nature; and in continuation of this advanced into the sentient world; and then ascended to intelligent and rational beings….

“The creation of man is related as coming last, as of one who took up into himself every single form of life, both that of plants and that which is seen in brutes. His nourishment and growth he derives from vegetable live; for even in vegetables such processes are to be seen when aliment is being drawn in by their roots and given off in fruit and leaves. His sentient organization he derives from the brute creation. But his faculty of thought and reason is incommunicable, and a peculiar gift in our nature.”

Commentary and Observations
Let me be clear: it would be just as wrong to say, “Gregory of Nyssa is advocating for evolution over time” as it would be to say, “Gregory of Nyssa is advocating for a literal 6-day creation week because he’s just saying plants were created on day 3, sea creatures on day 5, and beasts right before Adam on day 6.”

As I said before, Gregory of Nyssa is not putting forth what could be considered the idea of evolution. He had did not have the scientific knowledge regarding dating methods, genetics, DNA, etc. that we do today.

At the same time, he clearly doesn’t not endorse a literal interpretation of Genesis 1. First, he is saying there is a “graduated and ordered advance to the creation of man.” Young earth creationism does not allow for this. It basically says, “Day 3: plants miraculously appeared—BAM!” Then “Day 5: sea creatures just appeared, fully formed, in the course of one day, with absolutely no relation or connection with plants—BAM!” Then “Day 6: God made the beasts in the morning, then in the afternoon created the first man in history—BAM!”

But Gregory of Nyssa doesn’t say this, does he? He not only is emphasizing the creation of mankind in general, he is emphasizing the relationship and natural connection mankind has with the rest of creation, most notably plants and animals. He even says that with the “creation of man” there is a “taking up of every form of life” from the plant and animal world.

In short, he is emphasizing at the same time the uniqueness of human beings, and yet their natural, biological connection with the rest of the created order. He is not emphasizing some sort of literal, miraculous “poofing into existence” of the entire cosmos, every distinct “kind” of plants and animals, and then one literal man, a mere 6,000 years ago, all within the span of a week.

Yes, the language of Genesis 1 uses the word “day” and yes, there are verses throughout the Bible that talk about the importance of observing the Sabbath because God created in six days and then rested on the seventh. But it is obvious that language is not meant to be taken as a literal description creation happening in that exact, literal way, 6,000 years ago. That’s simply not what is being emphasized, and early Church Fathers like Gregory of Nyssa knew that full well.

As it is said in the introduction of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, “The Fathers read the first chapters of the Bible as unfolding a theological understanding of the human condition.” They did not read them as literal descriptions of actual events that happened exactly that way within history.

The Trick of YEC
And this is the problem with young earth creationism. As can be seen in articles like “The Early Church on Creation,” they will quote figures in Church history, like the early Church Fathers, where they talk about Genesis 1-11, and then young earth creationists will turn around, do a bit of a shell game, and say, “Since so-and-so quotes Genesis 1, therefore he must be taking it as an actual historical account, because look, he’s quoting it.”

But it’s a really bad shell game to anyone who pays enough attention and keeps his eye on the ball.

The Genre of Genesis 1-11, and the Scientific Knowledge of the Early Church Fathers
I argue in other posts, as well as in my upcoming book, The Heresy of Ham, that in its original context, Genesis 1-11 is clearly in the genre of ancient Near Eastern myth. Indeed, it does something radically different than the other ancient Near Eastern myths, but that’s the genre nonetheless.

What we see with the early Church Fathers is that they take Genesis 1-11 and interpret it in such a way as to confront certain errors and assumptions within Greek philosophy—that that is an entirely legitimate thing to do. But what they simply are not doing is interpreting Genesis 1-11 in the way 21st century young earth creationism claims.

For the sake of argument, let’s say the early Church Fathers assumed Genesis 1-11 to really be historically accurate. If they did, I would say they assumed that much in the same way they assumed the sun went around the earth, or that when a man and woman had sex, that a man was shooting tiny human beings into the woman, and that the woman contributed nothing—she was simply the “fertile soil” that the man “planted his seed.”

They might have assumed all those things, but they were simply making statements based on a lack of scientific knowledge, and advances in science are now able to give a more detailed and accurate explanation regarding the development of the natural order, the rotation of planets around the sun, and the existence of sperm and eggs. And, here’s the point, the advances in scientific knowledge we now know in relation to those things in no way diminishes the theological/philosophical points early Church Fathers like Gregory of Nyssa were making. I have to think that if Gregory of Nyssa time traveled to today, and it was explained to him the theory of evolution, he’d look at what he had written in his work, On the Soul and the Resurrection, and then say, “Wow! What I wrote was even truer than I had thought! Praise God! Sure, I said that human beings are related to the natural world around them, but wow—that evolution thing is amazing!”

So, I’m sorry, young earth creationists like Ken Ham simply cannot claim the early Church Fathers were young earth creationists—they weren’t. Their theological, philosophical, and yes even rudimentary scientific observations could easily incorporate modern evolutionary theory.

 

Ken Ham’s Presentation, Part 2: Noah’s Ark, Evolution, and Psalm 104

Ken Ham’s Presentation, Part 2: Noah’s Ark, Evolution, and Psalm 104

IMG_20160217_164528Yesterday, I discussed the first part of Ken Ham’s talk to the high school kids at the Answers in Genesis conference this past weekend in the town where I live. Today, I’d like to discuss the second part.

Noah’s Ark
After making his case that atheism was the same thing as evolution, that evolution was an anti-God religion, that “science confirms the Bible” (even though he gave no actual examples of this), and that Genesis 1:1 “was the most scientific statement to make” (even though it isn’t a scientific statement—mind you, it’s true: God did create the heavens and the earth; but Genesis 1:1 isn’t a “scientific” statement)—after all that, Ken Ham turned his attention to the topic of Noah’s Ark and the Flood.

HamArkEncounterA natural question many ask is, “How did Noah get all those animals on the ark?” Well, Ham had is answer all ready to go: Noah didn’t have to bring in every known species that we have today. He only had to bring the original “kinds” from which the wide variety of today’s species came. That would have been about 1,000 “kinds,” and thus about 2,000-3,000 land animals on the ark. I’ve written on this claim in an earlier post. For example, there was an original pair of “dog kind” that got on the ark, and that diversified over the past 4,000 years into all the different species of dogs, wolves, coyotes, etc. that we have today.

cat-kind-chartBasically, Ham takes “according to their kinds” as God’s own scientific classification system. The “modern” classification system of animals, Ham said, was simply a “man-made” classification system, and that God’s “kinds” corresponded to the “family” group in the modern system. He then spent a considerable amount of time trying to argue that natural selection (something he does not, in fact, reject) always entails a loss of genetic information. Therefore, that original “dog kind” only had the genetic information of “dog kind,” and thus could only produce offspring of the “dog kind.” Yes, there was a wide variety of genetic information in that original “dog kind” to produce dogs, wolves, etc., but it could never produce anything outside of that “dog kind.”

The only problem with that claim is that it demands such an explosion of variety over the span of 4,000 years, that it is nonsensical. Yes, it is hard to get your head around how one species could slowly evolve into another species over the span of millions of years; but try imagining two beagles procreating so much, with so much genetic variation, that after a mere seven years their “descendants” are Siberian huskies. And then imagine that happening on a consistent basis for 4,000 years. That’s what it would take to get those “original 1,000 kinds” to develop into the current 500,000 different species of land animals.

Simply put, Ken Ham’s claim is evolution on crack cocaine. He advocates for basically the same thing evolution claims, only he compressing the amount of time it could happen into the past 4,000 years. Instead of a common ancestor and millions of years, Ham claims it was 1,000 original ancestors and 4,000 years. But even if you started with 1,000 “original ancestors” if you will (instead of one), that’s the sort of multiplication and variation would have to happen, given over a mere 4,000 years. And if that truly was the case, then we shouldn’t be able to read in the Bible (a book that was written 2,000-3,000 years ago) descriptions of foxes, ostriches, wolves, jackals, snakes, horses, cows, sheep, camels, etc. Why? Because according to Ham’s own claims of natural selection over the span of 4,000 years, those kinds of animals would not have been around yet at the time. Foxes, ostriches, horses, and cows are all modern species we have today…4,000 years after Noah’s ark. They would have not come into existence a mere 1,000-1,500 years after Noah’s ark yet. And if Ham claims the explosion of variety within “kinds” happened that quickly—within 1,000 years after Noah’s ark, then I’m afraid that would require a pair of beagles to literally given birth to Siberian huskies, who would then literally give birth to basset hounds.

crocaduckOne of the ways Ray Comfort, another anti-evolution associate of Ken Ham, often mocks the theory of evolution is that he shows these ridiculous pictures of half-duck/half-crocodiles, and says, “According to evolution, we should have croca-ducks!” Well, according to Ken Ham’s own claims, that’s the sort of thing that would be needed. All that said, it should be obvious: Ken Ham’s claims of variation from original “kinds” in the span of a mere 4,000 years is sheer nonsense. And there’s one more thing: if you go visit Ham’s “Ark Encounter” this summer, you’re not going to find any known animal on the ark, because Ham is literally making up animals based on what he thinks the “original kinds” would have looked like. You won’t see monkeys, and cows, and giraffes. You’ll see representations of animals that have no known existence in the real world. You might actually see a “croca-duck.”

There was one additional thing Ham said in regards to all the animals on the ark that I almost missed. He claimed that there was 2,000-3,000 land animals on the ark (that figure, by the way is not found in the Bible), but that there was more than enough room on the ark for that many animals, because, according to Ken Ham, “most average land animals are smaller than a rat.” After he said that, he quickly moved on to showing a video that made false claims about evolution (I’ve written about that very video here).

But let’s back up for a moment: most land animals are smaller than a rat? I’m no expert scientist, but that claim sounds, at the very least, highly suspect. Can anyone name more than five land animals that are smaller than a rat? Cows? Dogs? Elephants? T-Rexes? (Yes, we have to include T-Rexes…Ham claims they were on the ark too!)—I’m pretty sure these animals are not smaller than a rat. Well, Ham has said that there were probably baby animals that came on board. I’m pretty sure even a baby cow or a baby elephant (or whatever “kind” that were their supposed ancestor) is still not smaller than a rat. Yet, Ham just throws that out there, as if to say, “See? They all could fit on the ark, because I have declared most land animals are smaller than rats!”

And astonishingly, no one seems to notice that this is an utterly absurd claim.

ADDED UPDATE:
Since I wrote this post, it was told to me by a scientist that, in fact, most “land animals” are smaller than rats, because 80% of species are insects, and they are considered “land animals.” So technically, Ham is telling the truth: most land animals are “smaller than rats.”

But wait! This reveals an even more deliberate lie, for Answers in Genesis claims in an article from 2013 that the animals on Noah’s Ark were limited to “land-dwelling, air-breathing vertebrate animals—corresponding to modern birds, mammals, and reptiles, as well as their extinct counterparts.” Translation? Ham isn’t counting insects, etc. as part of the animals on Noah’s Ark. Therefore, it is completely misleading to use the stat regarding “most land animals are smaller than rats,” because that stat is only true if one includes insects, etc.–and Ham it clear that he doesn’t include them on Noah’s Ark.

Therefore, this is a clear instance of intentional deception on Ken Ham’s part.

Chasing a Rabbit—More Rants Against How Evolution is Stupid
Ham then quickly turned and claimed that the best evidence “atheists” give for evolution is Darwin’s finches: their beaks adapt and change length, given their natural habitat. “But finches are still finches are still finches!” Ham said, thereby making it sound like those “atheists” are just so plain stupid.

There’s only two problems with that claim though. First, like I’ve said before, “atheism” is not the same thing as “evolution.” By claiming they are the same thing, Ham was being purposefully manipulative and misleading. Secondly, the beaks on Darwin’s finches are not the “best evidence” for evolution. That is simply the phenomenon that Darwin observed that got him to start developing his theory. By far the best evidence for evolution (among other things) is found in the genome and in genetic research. The evidence is literally observable and undeniable. When Ham claims that “finch beaks” is the “best evidence” evolutionists have, he simply is not telling the truth. Even if you ultimately are not convinced of evolution, at least be honest about what the evidence actually is.

In the midst of that claim, Ham then made another very odd statement. After denying the claim that human beings are genetically related to everything in the natural world, he then said that evolutionists only claim that you are related to everything so that they can say abortion is okay.

What? Now, I think Ham was trying to say if human beings are biologically related to animals, then that somehow means there’s no such thing as morality. But that is an absurd statement. The genetic fact is that human beings and chimpanzees have 22 identical chromosomes, and that the 23rd human chromosome (human chromosome #2) is basically the result of the other two chimpanzee chromosomes being fused together. That’s the only difference. Does that mean, because we are biologically related to chimpanzees, that it is now morally acceptable for human beings to start throwing feces at each other? Of course not.

Mere biological/genetic relationship between other living things in nature does not automatically negate morality. Yet this is what Ham is trying to get his listeners to believe. He wants you to believe that evolution (which is basically the description of the biological relationships between living things) somehow obliterates any notion of morality, and that if you acknowledge a genetic relationship between human beings and other life forms, then that must mean you are for partial birth abortion. Such a claim is worse than nonsense. It is intentional and manipulative fear-mongering.

Here’s Andrew Snelling!
Ham then showed a video of none other than Andrew Snelling (I wrote a post about him last week), in which Mr. Snelling gave a number of evidences for a global flood. Without going into detail, I’ll just say I wasn’t impressed the “evidences” like “there are billions of dead things buried in rock layers all over the earth.” I’m sorry, that’s not evidence of a global flood. That’s evidence that things get buried in rock layers, and that could be for various reasons.

In any case, when the video ended, Ham said, “So who are you going to believe? Men who make mistakes or the Bible?” This came right after he showed a video of a guy giving answers that are not found in the Bible.

Psalm 104 and Genesis 1
HebrewCosmologyTo further bolster his claim that there really was a global flood, Ham referred to Psalm 104, and claimed that Psalm 104 (I’m guessing verses 6-9) is the description of how God got the flood waters to abate. There’s just one problem with that claim: Psalm 104 isn’t taking about Noah’s flood. It’s a description of God’s power over the Waters of Chaos in Genesis 1. Psalm 104 is using the imagery of ancient Near Eastern mythological creation stories, and such stories were not attempting to give scientific, historical information. Namely, the imagery is that God “raised up” the land out of the primordial Sea of Chaos, to establish a place to where he would bring forth life. Psalm 104 using that imagery to praise God for having power over creation—it is highly symbolic and poetic language. Psalm 104 is not giving a detailed description of precisely how God “drained off” the earth after Noah’s flood. I have never met or read one biblical scholar who has ever made that claim.

Ham then turned to the argument that Genesis 1 is talking about a literal six-day creation a mere 6,000 years ago. He claimed that Christians who accept evolution are trying to “fit millions of years” into Genesis 1, but that it can’t be done. Well, he’s right. Theories like the “Day-Age Theory” are nonsense. We shouldn’t try to “fit millions of years” into Genesis 1. Why? Because Genesis 1 isn’t giving us a scientific account in the first place. Therefore, there’s no need to “fit millions of years” into Genesis 1, because evolution and Genesis 1 are addressing two entirely different topics. Genesis 1 is written in the genre of ancient Near Eastern myth, but it reveals a revolutionary concept of the true God and the true nature and purpose of creation and mankind. It is using the imagery and language the ancient Hebrews would have been familiar with in order to reveal to them the truth about God. The theory of evolution is an entirely different topic.

In any case, in the midst of that, Ham claimed that you don’t need a sun in order to have a 24-hour day. The light for those first three days came from somewhere else—but he doesn’t know where.

I’m sorry, what can you say to that?

Tomorrow, I’ll wrap up my concluding comments about Ken Ham’s presentation. And yes, there will be a surprise.

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