Ken Ham claims that to hold a different view on the age of the earth undermines the word of God, yet his ministry approves of the The Bible series on the History Channel. That is inconsistent. I still think his ministry has much to offer, but I wish he would be more charitable to those that disagree with him on the age of the universe and I wish he was more discerning on this movie series.
First, to be clear, I am as inerrantist as you can get on the Bible, firmly believing that the original writings turned out just the way that God and the writers wanted them to and that they have been transmitted to us in a highly reliable fashion. And I’m as anti-Darwinian evolution as they come. I truly enjoy friendly debates between young earth and old earth creationists and see merits in both sides.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m undermining the word of God by saying we don’t know precisely how old the earth is, and that it could be much older than 6,000 years. If you think that is undermining the word of God, then this may not be the blog for you.
Ham’s primary error is saying that if you don’t agree with him on the age of the earth then you don’t care what Genesis says. That is a counterproductive non sequitur. Via Noted Apologist Calls Out Evangelical Leaders Who ‘Undermine the Word of God’.
He believes in a literal interpretation of the creation account found in the Book of Genesis.
“I’m not attacking these people personally and I’m not saying they aren’t Christians or preach the Gospel or I don’t respect them,” Ham told Christian Press News. “I’m dealing with a particular issue that is important in which God’s Word is being undermined. Wittingly or unwittingly many of these famous Christian leaders are really undermining the authority of the Word of God.”
Ham mentioned, in particular, John Piper, founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, co-pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla. Dr. R.C. Sproul and Mark Driscoll, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, as Christian leaders who have drifted away from teaching a young earth perspective.
“Many Christian leaders today will say ‘who cares what Genesis says and what does it matter about the age of the earth as long as you trust in Jesus. We need to go out there and preach the Gospel,’” said Ham. “But the point we need to understand is the Gospel comes from this book called the Bible and if generations of people have been led to believe they can’t really trust the Bible or lead to doubt that you can trust its authority or doubt its history – eventually they will reject the Bible and won’t listen to the Gospel.”
If someone truly said, “Who cares what Genesis says?” then that would be a major issue. But that isn’t the case here. Saying that not only begs the question by assuming that others are wrong in their interpretation, but it is an attack on the people by claiming that they know they are wrong and don’t care.
If Ham’s ministry cares that much about authority — and I think they do — they shouldn’t have given such a fluffy review to The History Channel’s The Bible just because they liked how it treated their favored issues.
I have no issues if people want to watch the series. It can make a great springboard to encourage people to read the word of God for themselves and to point out the errors in the movie as well as the key theological themes that it didn’t address. But I wish people were more charitable on in-house Christian debates.