Should Reformed Christians support Ken Ham?

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Marcus417

Puritan Board Freshman
Since watching the Ken Ham debate a question about Ken Ham and like-minded ministries have popped up in my head. I feel personally that the biggest problem in Evangelical Christianity today is the Pelagianism that is running rampant within it. Michael Horton describes American Christianity as being the "Heirs of Charles Finney" and I believe I saw this on display in the Ham-Nye debate. Christianity has shifted from a reformed view that fallen man is incapable of saving himself and only through the grace of God can a sinner be brought miraculously to salvation to a belief that salvation is simply man's philosophical assent to certain theological positions and choosing to live a moral life.

If you read through Ham's website the underlying soteriology is that if someone can be convinced of young earth creationism then they will believe in Jesus and they will be saved. It is a simple choice between Creation and Evolution and if we can just present the case for YEC rationally enough then people will believe. This is pelagianism at its finest.

I see Ken Ham's whole ministry as the antithesis to reformed theology and its underlying message is salvation comes from believing philosophical assertions and behaving morally, which is completely man-centered. I believe this worldview is far more dangerous to the church than the materialism of the New Atheism.

With Love,
Marcus
 

Sylvanus

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm not entirely sure this is accurate. Can you provide some specific examples that you've seen on the site? I think they certainly believe the YEC model is the biblical one, but I doubt they are hyper-creationists...where you must assent to certain beliefs before you can become a Christian.
 

Sylvanus

Puritan Board Freshman
The Gospel of Jesus Christ - Answers in Genesis

The AiG Statement of Faith - Answers in Genesis

These seem pretty decent to me.

And specifically to your point: "The scientific aspects of creation are important but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, and Judge."

and

"Salvation is a gift received by faith alone in Christ alone and expressed in the individual’s repentance, recognition of the death of Christ as full payment for sin, and acceptance of the risen Christ as Savior, Lord, and God."
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Answers in Genesis does good work for the church and for the "world."

I'm not aware of any basis to believe that it advocates one can know the person and work of Jesus Christ through general revelation (Creation), as one can through special revelation (Scripture).

While the theology is not on the caliber of reformed, which would emphasize certain attributes of God made known through general revelation, it does witness to that fact. The fourth commandment, that is a point of growth, I suspect this individual would be approachable and teachable on that point. A charitable assumption, based on having the same Holy Spirit and same Savior.
 

Jash Comstock

Puritan Board Freshman
I guess I'm the minority here, but his involvement with the Kirk Cameron evangelism movement seems like it does more harm than good. His speeches are often full of the prayer-pulling evangelism that is antithetical to solid theology. I'm glad to see he stands for inerrancy and conservatism, but his wildly off base theology poses a problem for me, and personally I would find my material from other sources
 

Sylvanus

Puritan Board Freshman
If by minority you mean: those who can't benefit from anyone with different theology, then yes. But if that were my standard I wouldn't be able to benefit from 90% of the apologetic stuff that I do (i.e. AiG, Creation.com, Dividing Line w/ James White (baptist), Discovery Institute (who knows), Bahnsen (theonomy), Gospel Coalition).

My advice, take what you can from things like AiG, etc., and be discerning. Test it by the Scriptures.
And unless I see some actual evidence to steer me away from any of these things, then I would probably go on using them for what they are worth.
 

Dearly Bought

Puritan Board Junior
I have some differences with AiG; the lack of Sabbath-keeping and 2nd Commandment violations at the Creation Museum are certainly to be noted. That being said, I don't recognize the criticism being offered above. Please provide evidence of this purported Pelagianism.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Since watching the Ken Ham debate a question about Ken Ham and like-minded ministries have popped up in my head. I feel personally that the biggest problem in Evangelical Christianity today is the Pelagianism that is running rampant within it. Michael Horton describes American Christianity as being the "Heirs of Charles Finney" and I believe I saw this on display in the Ham-Nye debate. Christianity has shifted from a reformed view that fallen man is incapable of saving himself and only through the grace of God can a sinner be brought miraculously to salvation to a belief that salvation is simply man's philosophical assent to certain theological positions and choosing to live a moral life.

If you read through Ham's website the underlying soteriology is that if someone can be convinced of young earth creationism then they will believe in Jesus and they will be saved. It is a simple choice between Creation and Evolution and if we can just present the case for YEC rationally enough then people will believe. This is pelagianism at its finest.

I see Ken Ham's whole ministry as the antithesis to reformed theology and its underlying message is salvation comes from believing philosophical assertions and behaving morally, which is completely man-centered. I believe this worldview is far more dangerous to the church than the materialism of the New Atheism.

With Love,
Marcus
You wrote:

I see Ken Ham's whole ministry as the antithesis to reformed theology...
Please prove your point. I believe he is doing a great service to the Church.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
When you have a "ministry" that is primarily concerned with "creation" it is obviously going to fail to focus on that message which ought to be characteristic and central to biblical ministry.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
When you have a "ministry" that is primarily concerned with "creation" it is obviously going to fail to focus on that message which ought to be characteristic and central to biblical ministry.
Matthew beat me to it.

It may be an interesting learning and teaching activity, but I don't see it as a ministry.

I admit to not following the latest Creationist websites, but I do know many who are thrilled with the idea of convincing people of creationism who are not particularly concerned with the far more basic issue: we are sinners facing Judgment and have no hope outside of plain faith in Christ.

One man I know spends all his time "evangelizing" the creationist view, loves to ridicule secular scientists, yet rarely even goes to church. He lives in open sin--yet it almost seems he is hoping that his "work for the kingdom" will somehow save him. That scares me because it reminds me of Jehu in 2 Kings 10:16.

Heb 11:3: Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Do we really need empirical "research" to understand this?
 

Jash Comstock

Puritan Board Freshman
Since watching the Ken Ham debate a question about Ken Ham and like-minded ministries have popped up in my head. I feel personally that the biggest problem in Evangelical Christianity today is the Pelagianism that is running rampant within it. Michael Horton describes American Christianity as being the "Heirs of Charles Finney" and I believe I saw this on display in the Ham-Nye debate. Christianity has shifted from a reformed view that fallen man is incapable of saving himself and only through the grace of God can a sinner be brought miraculously to salvation to a belief that salvation is simply man's philosophical assent to certain theological positions and choosing to live a moral life.

If you read through Ham's website the underlying soteriology is that if someone can be convinced of young earth creationism then they will believe in Jesus and they will be saved. It is a simple choice between Creation and Evolution and if we can just present the case for YEC rationally enough then people will believe. This is pelagianism at its finest.

I see Ken Ham's whole ministry as the antithesis to reformed theology and its underlying message is salvation comes from believing philosophical assertions and behaving morally, which is completely man-centered. I believe this worldview is far more dangerous to the church than the materialism of the New Atheism.

With Love,
Marcus
You wrote:

I see Ken Ham's whole ministry as the antithesis to reformed theology...
Please prove your point. I believe he is doing a great service to the Church.
Ken Ham's ministry isn't only about Creationism. He also has a huge evangelical ministry distributing "how to witness" videos with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. These videos are prominent amongst some fundamentalist dispensationalist independent baptist circles. This is what I meant by "antithetical to reformed theology". His concept of evangelism is the kind of prayer-pulling which does more harm than good. I don't find fault with his Answers in Genesis (though sometimes they also promote a low view of grace) but I do find fault with the dispensational pressure filled evangelism that him and his associates promote.
 

ProtestantBankie

Puritan Board Freshman
It is not a ministry. It is an organisation devoted to the pursuit of science and understanding.

It merely has to arm itself with an apologetic wing
 

Marcus417

Puritan Board Freshman
When you have a "ministry" that is primarily concerned with "creation" it is obviously going to fail to focus on that message which ought to be characteristic and central to biblical ministry.
Matthew beat me to it.

It may be an interesting learning and teaching activity, but I don't see it as a ministry.

I admit to not following the latest Creationist websites, but I do know many who are thrilled with the idea of convincing people of creationism who are not particularly concerned with the far more basic issue: we are sinners facing Judgment and have no hope outside of plain faith in Christ.

One man I know spends all his time "evangelizing" the creationist view, loves to ridicule secular scientists, yet rarely even goes to church. He lives in open sin--yet it almost seems he is hoping that his "work for the kingdom" will somehow save him. That scares me because it reminds me of Jehu in 2 Kings 10:16.

Heb 11:3: Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Do we really need empirical "research" to understand this?
This was what I was getting at put more eloquently then I could I put it. Christ does not seem to be at the center of his ministry at all.
A general reply to the forum

Its not about his Ham's view on Creation or whether or not AiG's statement of faith is orthodox. I know from growing up back hills Free Will Baptists that you can easily be within the realm of orthodoxy in your statement of faith but far from orthodoxy in your practice.

We have a bunch of back orders of Ham's creation magazine at the college where I work and his Answers in Genesis books as well. As I read he his feedback section in his his magazine there are several testimonials where people are saying things like "I understood now that evolution is false and am a Christian because of you now." They are very graceless testimonials. If many people's takeaway from Ham is that all you have to do to be a Christian is reject creationism then shouldn't that be cause for concern?

I would levy the same charges against BioLogos (especially since the Ham-Nye debate) and many Old Earth Websites too. If Christ and Christ crucified is not always at the center of our preaching, apologetic, or any other form of ministry we take up then WE are at the center and it becomes about our glory in winning an argument.

People have this misinformed view that the "Evolutionists" that Ham is always railing against reject Christianity because of Evolution. I am a chemical engineering student and I have talked to many non-believing science students and once you truly engage them you realize that 90% of the time evolution/creation is never the real reason they give for their unbelief. Most of the time its because they see Christianity as a religion of rules void of grace. The only thing they ever hear about Christianity is Creation/Evolution people yelling about evolution. That is a far cry from preaching what has been received (1 Corinthians 15).
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
The organization's web site is up front about what they are. They do not claim to be a church, but an apologetics ministry.

Granted, the term "ministry" is overused in our time and we would define it more precisely, but they are not claiming to be something they are not.

And granted, para church must be clear it in no way replaces the church. And there are problems with the way para churches operate.... all that granted.

I appreciate the curriculum they offer home school for the sciences. And for church based study resources. It certainly is needed in the mix of godless, baseless in scientific reason teaching that is taught as "fact."

In one way, this apologetics ministry plays a supportive role to the church so the church does not have to spend undue time debating in the "scientific" realm. While the church can speak "truth to power," in form of, e.g. Creation to 'evolution' (they are not even agreed what the evolution is from, let alone where it is going), that is an extraordinary role.

Answers in Genesis plays a part in helping keep that role extraordinary. Not a perfect part, but an imperfect, and important one.

And we have no reason to doubt the Christian profession of the brothers who risk their careers and reputations on defending this (essential) aspect of truth.

Biblical truth.



Answers in Genesis web site
http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/good-news

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics (i.e., Christianity-defending) ministry, dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus particularly on providing answers to questions surrounding the book of Genesis, as it is the most-attacked book of the Bible. We also desire to train others to develop a biblical worldview, and seek to expose the bankruptcy of evolutionary ideas, and its bedfellow, a “millions of years old” earth (and even older universe)....

For an elaboration of AiG’s presuppositional thrust check out our Get Answers section—for example, learn how the Bible offers the best explanation of the world’s geology, anthropology, and astronomy. Also, for information on the issues we deal with and which ones we don’t, see Where Do We Draw the Line?


http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/mission
Goal

To support the church in fulfilling its commission
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Reformed theology is not separatist.

There are certainly grounds for separation, but it is also tranformational, in the sense of extending God's Kingdom to the whole order of man. Not that that will be completely attained here, but it is, at least part of a back-and-forth as Christianity advance, recedes, advances upon all the cultures of men. (I'm not arguing this from a postmillennial view because I'm not quite there).

Reformed theology, on the whole is not dominated by culture transformation, but I think it is fair to say it leans that way. Perhaps only slightly, maybe a 51/49% leaning. But when we look at what Mr. Calvin did for Geneva, how can we conclude otherwise?

Apologetics organizations like this one help in that.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
AIG "Statement of Faith"

The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Reformed theology would state this much better.

Westminster Confession of Faith
Of Holy Scripture

....

X. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.[24]
We might add.... including, of course, the Doctrines of Creator and Creation.
 

Sylvanus

Puritan Board Freshman
Do we really need empirical "research" to understand this?
For those who like science and research, it's nice to have sites that have done research on things like this. What is the lesson to take from this? "Don't get into science kids, just read Heb 11:3 and let it go"
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Do we really need empirical "research" to understand this?
For those who like science and research, it's nice to have sites that have done research on things like this. What is the lesson to take from this? "Don't get into science kids, just read Heb 11:3 and let it go"
I hope one would not take that as a lesson. For my own part, I am an avid practitioner of empirical research. I used to make my living conducting experiments and running statistical analyses of field plot results. Even now I'm an inveterate record keeper and experimenter. I spend a fair amount of my spare time reading physics, chemistry, and astronomy journals. God gave us minds and senses to measure and categorize his Creation, which, from the proper perspective, glorifies him. Indeed, one of the first tasks of unfallen Adam was to develop a taxonomy of creation.

My only point is that we should not base our faith on empirical observation, nor should we try to convince others through empiricism to come to faith. I've been around long enough to know that one's "solid scientific study" can become a relic of foolishness in light of further empirical studies.
 

Sylvanus

Puritan Board Freshman
My only point is that we should not base our faith on empirical observation, nor should we try to convince others through empiricism to come to faith. I've been around long enough to know that one's "solid scientific study" can become a relic of foolishness in light of further empirical studies.
I agree. Thanks.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
I'm glad to see he stands for inerrancy and conservatism, but his wildly off base theology poses a problem for me, and personally I would find my material from other sources
lol. Agree or disagree with the man, but claiming he has "wildly off base theology" is a little silly. There is as much difference among PB members as there is with many of us and Ken Ham.

I count the man a blessing for giving his life to promote God's Word and the Gospel. Sadly, I think some Christians would be happier if he was locked in a seminary library and spent the rest of his life learning a more precise Reformed Theology than to continue his "imperfect" outreach to strengthen the Church and reach the world.
 

Free Christian

Puritan Board Sophomore
With the never ending onslaught in media and the likes ramming evolution down peoples throats, from documentaries to kids programs even signs in national parks saying how many millions of years the feature before you took to form, its nice to know some out there are batting for creation and presenting to those who would otherwise not be any the wiser that there is an option, creation by an Intelligent God.
 

Sensus Divinitas

Puritan Board Freshman
Ken Ham's ministry isn't only about Creationism. He also has a huge evangelical ministry distributing "how to witness" videos with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. These videos are prominent amongst some fundamentalist dispensationalist independent baptist circles. This is what I meant by "antithetical to reformed theology". His concept of evangelism is the kind of prayer-pulling which does more harm than good. I don't find fault with his Answers in Genesis (though sometimes they also promote a low view of grace) but I do find fault with the dispensational pressure filled evangelism that him and his associates promote.
I'm fairly familiar with the evangelism methodologies employed by people like Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. While there may be plenty to disagree with concerning their theology or evangelistic methodologies, I don't think characterizing it as "prayer-pulling" is accurate. In fact, if you actually listen to them their methodology is fairly simple: give the law followed by the gospel. They don't (at least as I've observed) tell people to "accept Jesus into your heart" or anything similar.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
One of the problems is defining words. When a liberal says they believe in God do they necessarily mean a Creator God? When contemplating who God is one of the first things I would say is Creator. To that extent Ken Ham is asserting the Biblical definition of God which is lacking. He is also willing to tackle the heresy of evolution. With one or two caveats I support him.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
I am exceedingly grateful for Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis and think they are very worthy of support. A winsome man who has worked tirelessly to defend the truth of God's Word in a specific area that was sorely needed.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Obviously "doing some good" is better than doing no good and much better than doing evil, but it is not the criterion by which "ministry" is to be approved and supported. Bring Scriptural qualifications to bear on these so-called "ministries" and they are obviously found wanting. They should not be called "ministries" and they certainly should not claim your support and take away precious resources from the true church as she seeks to fulfil the great commission.

If one decides to patronise them as commercial enterprises, that is somewhat different.
 
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