Should Reformed Christians support Ken Ham?

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by Marcus417, Apr 8, 2014.

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  1. Marcus417

    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
     
  2. Sylvanus

    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.
     
  3. Sylvanus

    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."
     
  4. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    I don't see why not. However, the Creation Museum is open on Sundays....
     
  5. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    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.
     
  6. Jash Comstock

    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
     
  7. Sylvanus

    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.
     
  8. Dearly Bought

    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.
     
  9. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    You wrote:

    Please prove your point. I believe he is doing a great service to the Church.
     
  10. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    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.
     
  11. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    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?
     
  12. Jash Comstock

    Jash Comstock 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.
     
  13. Free Christian

    Free Christian Puritan Board Sophomore

    Luke 9 v 50.
     
  14. ProtestantBankie

    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
     
  15. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Still wondering if he called it a bussiness would that be OK with those of us here?
     
  16. Marcus417

    Marcus417 Puritan Board Freshman

    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).
     
  17. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    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.



     
  18. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    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.
     
  19. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    Reformed theology would state this much better.

    We might add.... including, of course, the Doctrines of Creator and Creation.
     
  20. Sylvanus

    Sylvanus Puritan Board Freshman

    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"
     
  21. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    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.
     
  22. Sylvanus

    Sylvanus Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree. Thanks.
     
  23. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    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.
     
  24. Free Christian

    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.
     
  25. Sensus Divinitas

    Sensus Divinitas Puritan Board Freshman

    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.
     
  26. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Senior

    :ditto:
     
  27. Eoghan

    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.
     
  28. Miss Marple

    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.
     
  29. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    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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