Should Reformed Christians support Ken Ham?

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puritanpilgrim

Puritan Board Junior
I think they do awesome work. I was blessed by the conference they did in Houston recently. Dr. Lisle spoke at my church twice that week:

Science Confirms Creationism | SermonAudio.com

The Ultimate Proof for Creation | SermonAudio.com

He brought some real insight. He like a Bahnsen that knows science. He was skilled in science, philosophy and the Bible. It was an excellent combination that many don't have. I was impressed with how well he understood presuppositional apologetics. Their ministry is especially helpful in talking with people who come from a naturalistic worldview. Additionally, as a homeschool father I found many great resources to use with my kids. Since naturalistic atheism is the main worldview I run into on campuses, it's helpful to have someone who is working to dismantle the core of the belief, which is the big bang and evolution.
 

Worddoer

Puritan Board Freshman
I could not disagree more. You need to provide some very specific reasons for your assertions. I wonder if you have given enough consideration to the seriousness of division within the body. I believe in standing for the truth and am entirely supportive of separation when it is appropriate. However, separation is a serious matter and deserves the most serious of consideration before we act on it. Unbiblical separation, after all, is no less sinful than Pelagianism. Finally, it is highly inappropriate to mention Ken Ham and Pelagianism in the same critique. Anyone familiar with Ham's ministry knows better.
 

Jash Comstock

Puritan Board Freshman
I realize that I expressed some unhelpful sentiments and I would like to apologize for that. I let my previous experience with some circles semi-affiliated with Ken Ham (I.e. strong proponents of his programs) to discolor my opinion. I also expressed some unverified statements. I feel the need to apologize for the way I answered the OP's question, and my subsequent comments as well.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I could not disagree more. You need to provide some very specific reasons for your assertions.

It might be more useful if you identified who or with what you are disagreeing. the references to Pelagianism suggest you are interacting with the original post. But clarity could be helpful.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I could not disagree more. You need to provide some very specific reasons for your assertions. I wonder if you have given enough consideration to the seriousness of division within the body. I believe in standing for the truth and am entirely supportive of separation when it is appropriate. However, separation is a serious matter and deserves the most serious of consideration before we act on it. Unbiblical separation, after all, is no less sinful than Pelagianism. Finally, it is highly inappropriate to mention Ken Ham and Pelagianism in the same critique. Anyone familiar with Ham's ministry knows better.
I have to ask, which response are you disagreeing woth?
 

augustacarguy

Puritan Board Freshman
I could not disagree more. You need to provide some very specific reasons for your assertions. I wonder if you have given enough consideration to the seriousness of division within the body. I believe in standing for the truth and am entirely supportive of separation when it is appropriate. However, separation is a serious matter and deserves the most serious of consideration before we act on it. Unbiblical separation, after all, is no less sinful than Pelagianism. Finally, it is highly inappropriate to mention Ken Ham and Pelagianism in the same critique. Anyone familiar with Ham's ministry knows better.

I agree!
 

Pilgrim Standard

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think we have all learned here that we must use caution when utilizing the label "ministry," as ministry is a function of the Church.

We have also observed that caution ought to be exercised with “support” of organizations not under the authority of a church body, especially our own, such that it does not undermine the support we are to give to our own churches. We must remember that we should not develop a “moral obligation” to support them, as this would be binding our conscience to something scripture does not bind our conscience to do, which would be idolatry. This is not to say one cannot take joy in supporting an organization outside of the Church at all. It is a matter of knowing and honoring our priorities in stewardship.

For those that do support AIG, either financially, by patronage, or verbally, they certainly should consider the duty of warning others of the 4th and 2nd commandment violations by AIG. It may also be wise to vocalize the concern to the leadership of AIG.

That being said, I find AIG to be a refreshing relief from many other “creation science” institutions that do not guard up against foolish, unbalanced, rash, knee-jerk, unscientific approaches passed off as fact.

The question arises, when a group of scientists/experts organize under an institution not under the authority of the Church, for the purpose of combating prevalent unscriptural teaching that attempts to undermine Christianity in the culture:
1) of what capacity “may” we support them,
2) of what obligations and responsibilities do we take on “if” we decide to support them,
3) what is the relationship between the organization and the Church local/abroad,
4) of what language do we use to speak of the organization so as not to confuse others as to their authority and position.
 

Pilgrim Standard

Puritan Board Sophomore
It may also supprise some that my oldest son acquired and read a copy of M'Cries Life of John Knox from AIG. They also have some banner of truth as well as other reformed publications that many who patronize them may never have been exposed to.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
When I was there the last time at the Creation Museum the bookstore had a myriad of "Creation" centered books, DVD's, etc... but the only shelf devoted to what I would term "doctrinal" books was almost exclusively Banner of Truth titles. I purchased a book by J.C. Ryle there.
 

whirlingmerc

Puritan Board Sophomore
My understanding is that Ken Ham is somewhat reformed in personal views and My understanding is that AIG is a presupposition apologetic ministry, a position defended by Jason Lisle (when he was there)

Some of the people associated with it go to arminean, not pelagian churches like Nazarene but they work together but I do not hear heavy arminianism or pelagianism when I listen to their material
 

whirlingmerc

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would like it better if AIG's 7 C's of history phrase and song
creation, corruption, catastrophe, confusion Christ and the cross inserted covenants generously somehow, skipping from babble to Christ seems to need some rethinking
 

whirlingmerc

Puritan Board Sophomore
I do have a problem with the death before the fall view which many old earth reformed people take.... seems problematic
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
"Scripture plainly teaches that salvation is conditioned upon faith in Christ, with no requirement for what one believes about the age of the earth or universe. Now when I say this, people sometimes assume then that it does not matter what a Christian believes concerning the supposed millions-of-years age for the earth and universe. Even though it is not a salvation issue, the belief that earth history spans millions of years has very severe consequences."


The New Answers Book 4, Ken Ham, General Ediror, (2013-09-05). Master Books.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Even though it is not a salvation issue, the belief that earth history spans millions of years has very severe consequences."

Although it is disclaimed as a salvation issue, if one probes further it will eventually come out that one's interpretation of Genesis will have an ill effect on how one understands the whole Bible, including the doctrine of salvation.

Creation science is not presuppositionalism; it is evidentialism with a bias.
 

whirlingmerc

Puritan Board Sophomore
Even though it is not a salvation issue, the belief that earth history spans millions of years has very severe consequences."

Although it is disclaimed as a salvation issue, if one probes further it will eventually come out that one's interpretation of Genesis will have an ill effect on how one understands the whole Bible, including the doctrine of salvation.

Creation science is not presuppositionalism; it is evidentialism with a bias.


Well... no... a creationist can be either. A presuppositional apologetic can argue from consistency to invalidate world views and use evidence to that end. I think Doug Wison describes presuppositional apologetic like driving a demolition derby and being the last car standing

Saying something is not a salvation issue might be more correctly stated as it might not be a salvation issue. John Gerstner says if disbelieves something because ultimately one disbelieves the word of God, that's a serious problem. so.... it depends.... people have various positions for various reasons.... one might disagree over an honest different in their best understanding of how to interpret a passage without it necessarily being a salvation issue
 

Pilgrim Standard

Puritan Board Sophomore
one might disagree over an honest different in their best understanding of how to interpret a passage without it necessarily being a salvation issue

But in this instance, we are not talking about a particular passage, but an interpretation that has direct bearing on if one believes Adam to be a literal or figurative person, the garden of eden to be a real place in history/space/time on earth, a talking serpent, the origin of man etc; which all hit original sin, the covenant of works, federal headship of adam, etc.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Well... no... a creationist can be either.

A creationist must be a presuppositionalist (Heb. 11:3), but a creation scientist is bound to give inductive evidence for his belief in creation and is therefore evidentialist at heart. When he insists that his inductive science must be right because it is based on the facts of special revelation he is only introducing bias into his scientific approach.

A presuppositional apologetic can argue from consistency to invalidate world views and use evidence to that end.

When a creation scientist uses "presuppositional" arguments he is manufacturing evidence to arrive at a preconceived conclusion. That is not invalidating a worldview; it is distorting facts.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
Well... no... a creationist can be either.

A creationist must be a presuppositionalist (Heb. 11:3), but a creation scientist is bound to give inductive evidence for his belief in creation and is therefore evidentialist at heart. When he insists that his inductive science must be right because it is based on the facts of special revelation he is only introducing bias into his scientific approach.

A presuppositional apologetic can argue from consistency to invalidate world views and use evidence to that end.

When a creation scientist uses "presuppositional" arguments he is manufacturing evidence to arrive at a preconceived conclusion. That is not invalidating a worldview; it is distorting facts.

There are those on this list that have revisited and changed their evolutionary/"old earth" positions based on a literal Biblical chronology and not from natural evidence. Many also attribute these changes in belief to ongoing sanctification and faith in God's word. Do you not believe the natural world produces corroborating evidence?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
There are those on this list that have revisited and changed their evolutionary/"old earth" positions based on a literal Biblical chronology and not from natural evidence. Many also attribute these changes in belief to ongoing sanctification and faith in God's word. Do you not believe the natural world produces corroborating evidence?

It is good to see folk believing the truth for the truth's sake. But let's be honest about why we believe creation and why we view the world the way we do. Inventing a new science to function in the same way that old science functions in an unbelieving worldview is not the way to go. If evidence corroborates creation, that is to be accepted. At the same time, if evidence conflicts with creation, that is to be accepted too.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
There are those on this list that have revisited and changed their evolutionary/"old earth" positions based on a literal Biblical chronology and not from natural evidence. Many also attribute these changes in belief to ongoing sanctification and faith in God's word. Do you not believe the natural world produces corroborating evidence?

It is good to see folk believing the truth for the truth's sake. But let's be honest about why we believe creation and why we view the world the way we do. Inventing a new science to function in the same way that old science functions in an unbelieving worldview is not the way to go. If evidence corroborates creation, that is to be accepted. At the same time, if evidence conflicts with creation, that is to be accepted too.


As a man who has struggled with this subject for nearly two decades, your position is the most intriguing I've read. Do you have any particular posts or other links I could read that explain your position in more depth?

With Much Appreciation,
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
It is good to see folk believing the truth for the truth's sake. But let's be honest about why we believe creation and why we view the world the way we do. Inventing a new science to function in the same way that old science functions in an unbelieving worldview is not the way to go. If evidence corroborates creation, that is to be accepted. At the same time, if evidence conflicts with creation, that is to be accepted too.

I've come to a similar conclusion a number of years ago, but I might have a twist on it.

I think it is perfectly legitimate to be a scientist and be a believer in God's creation account. And I draw that conclusion directly from Genesis itself. One of Adam's first tasks was to observe Creation and develop a taxonomy. He was called to observe and distinguish the animals. Implicitly, he was required to develop a taxonomy of plants, too. He was doing what a true scientist ought to do.

The twist is this: in our role as observers and learners of God's Creation, we are obligated to take it as we see it, and yet, through faith, we are to always understand how the world came about (Hebrews 11:3 again).

So the upshot is our scientific endeavors can be applied to what we observe now and may be used to develop empirically derived predictions of physical behavior based upon what we observe to be consistent, but we cannot take present observations back to develop conclusions about the distant past, any more than Adam could look at his surroundings and try to develop a physical model for how it all came to be.

That's where I think Creation Science goes astray--it is trying to force a view of current observations back in time, and this is solely based upon a preconceived notion. That is not being a scientist, and that isn't what Adam was doing either.
 

itsreed

Puritan Board Freshman
Victor, do you believe Evolution Science similarly goes astray?

"trying to force a view of current observations back in time, and this is solely based upon a preconceived notion. That is not being a scientist, and that isn't what Adam was doing either."
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Victor, do you believe Evolution Science similarly goes astray?

Sure. And on its own terms, as well.

Look at how they apply teleology. "There is no purpose..." Yet the evolutionary scientist will often assume an evolutionary "purpose" and force it onto his investigations.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Do you have any particular posts or other links I could read that explain your position in more depth?

There have been a few threads on this. Some which come to mind are General Revelation interpreting Special, Geocentricity, and Science as an Human Construct.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
So the upshot is our scientific endeavors can be applied to what we observe now and may be used to develop empirically derived predictions of physical behavior based upon what we observe to be consistent, but we cannot take present observations back to develop conclusions about the distant past, any more than Adam could look at his surroundings and try to develop a physical model for how it all came to be.

Exactly. Anyone who accepts the classic distinction between creation and providence should have no difficulty with this.
 

Free Christian

Puritan Board Sophomore
I like that there are scientists out there teaching along with their work, creation. Before I became Christian I believed in God, sort of, but also in evolution. When I became Christian I knew that the evolution story must be wrong and so rejected it. But my rejection was a bit wacko. I believed the fossils were false and all made up, that scientists were being lead by Satan to make these fossils up to deceive people into following evolution. Many others think this way too. How else could I explain their existence in rock layers? (not a question here just a comment) But as years went by I read about others who had the actual answers, many who were well renowned doctors, scientists, biologists and so on. Who were also Christian. I now had, along with the actual witness of the true Gospel of Christ, a not at all wacko explanation to fossil records and so called evolution. Before I had the true Gospel but had no decent come back to the often asked questions with the old age earth, fossil records and ape men. I have noticed less of the laugh you off effect when you are able to answer those who ask evolution questions like "well how do you explain ape men fossils?" and so on.
I do agree that the Gospel is the ONLY means by which a man is saved and that teaching creation is not on its own.
Its God who calls and saves, not science, creation teaching or anything else. Does me now having some decent come backs now mean the difference between someone hearing me speak of Jesus in being lost or saved? Ultimately no.
But we are to sow. Why, if it is only God who calls and saves? Because we are told to.
What seeds? The seeds of the Gospel, but is there other ways we can sow? Some we may never know the end effects of? I think yes.
Sometimes just the person knowing we are a Christian and by our life witness in situations, some by speaking the Word, some by a person going to a church for a funeral and hearing the Minister, some by a Bible left in a hotel room or hospital ward, along with countless other ways.
And some by hearing of a wonderful Creator Who through/by His only Begotten Son Created the world we live in with in some cases some explanations for some of those wonderful things we see today.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
VictorBravo said:
So the upshot is our scientific endeavors can be applied to what we observe now and may be used to develop empirically derived predictions of physical behavior based upon what we observe to be consistent, but we cannot take present observations back to develop conclusions about the distant past, any more than Adam could look at his surroundings and try to develop a physical model for how it all came to be.
Would you distinguish this from the distinction between "historical/origins" science and "operations" science that creation scientists like to use? If so, how?

armourbearer said:
There have been a few threads on this. Some which come to mind are General Revelation interpreting Special, Geocentricity, and Science as an Human Construct.
And, alas! That last one locked before I was done. There may be a fourth thread upcoming.


armourbearer said:
A creationist must be a presuppositionalist (Heb. 11:3), but a creation scientist is bound to give inductive evidence for his belief in creation and is therefore evidentialist at heart. When he insists that his inductive science must be right because it is based on the facts of special revelation he is only introducing bias into his scientific approach.
The creation scientist might say in response something like (1) They are following Van Til: the facts of "origins" science are being interpreted in the way God has interpreted them already (i.e., special revelation is being used to interpret these facts). (2) "Origins" science is speculative anyway, so we have no other choice than to use our own ideas or to use God's ideas written in Scripture. (3) Non-Christians share with us facts that science seeks to explain. But we Christians have additional facts we are willing to use in our scientific endeavors: those of special revelation. Wouldn't we make more progress in science and be more likely to explain the facts in the correct and true manner by using all this extra information that we have at our disposal than we would if we merely stuck with the facts outside of special revelation to explain scientific facts?

armourbearer said:
When a creation scientist uses "presuppositional" arguments he is manufacturing evidence to arrive at a preconceived conclusion. That is not invalidating a worldview; it is distorting facts.
Could you explain a little more how this is so? As I mentioned under (1) above, the creation scientist might admit that the facts are deliberately being interpreted within the framework of Scripture and say that there is no problem with this because we are interpreting facts according to and within God's interpretation of them (hence they would say they are being presuppositional in their arguments). They might also add that (4) all facts and evidence must be interpreted in a framework; of themselves the facts and evidence don't lead anywhere; so Christians should use the Scriptures to interpret them.
 
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