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Dear YEC Friend – #11 Just Say “Maybe”

Dear Friend,

Today, I came across an article from the BioLogos website about a former young-Earth Creationist.

The following reminded me a lot of several conversations between you and me:

I remember arguing with a well-meaning guy in High School youth group because he thought that accepting evolution could be a potential option for a Christian. I was so sure in what I believed I couldn’t even attempt to hear him out, which makes it hard to respectfully engage with anyone –especially another believer. Saying God could have created with evolution was denying a part of the Bible, I told him, and if you believe in evolution you may as well toss out the rest of the Bible along the way! After all, scientists endorsing evolution all have ulterior motives, and science and Christianity are surely in conflict (or so I thought). Biblical truth is to be elevated above observations of the natural world in the end, I believed, so the Bible gets the final say.

Does this resonate with you? Well, except for the part where it says, “…science and Christianity are surely in conflict…”, because I think YECs would say that science and Christianity are in perfect harmony with each other. If there are any perceived conflicts, it is our interpretation of the scientific evidence that must be reevaluated. We know our interpretation is correct when it matches what the Bible says. Right?

If the truth of the natural world is no less true than the truth we see in the Bible, the way to deal with apparent discrepancies is not to throw one out or elevate one above the other. The error must be on our part; the interpretation is flawed, missing a piece. For me this meant just a brief moment of “maybe.” Maybe God could have used evolution to create the world if there truly is evidence for it extrapolated by good science. Just maybe. In the context of my story, “maybe” was a big thing to finally say.

I know for people like Ken Ham, there is no “maybe” about it. For such people, entertaining such thoughts puts one on a slippery slope to rejecting the Creation message and ultimately the Good News. The Institute for Creation Research lists as one of the Tenets of Biblical Creationism, “The creation record is factual, historical and perspicuous; thus all theories of origins or development which involve evolution in any form are false.”

How about you? Is there room for “maybe”?

 

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“I Cannot Come”

Dr Deborah Haarsma of BioLogos recently went to bat for Dr Hugh Ross when Mr Ken Ham criticised him. Dr Haarsma then invited Mr Ham to join her and Dr Ross for dinner. Readers can leave comments on the blog. One can also leave comments on their Facebook page here.

Mr Ham’s response is on his blog here. Mr Ham does NOT allow readers to leave comments. However, he has also posted about it on his Facebook page where people can comment.

 “We have written a number of articles on the AiG website to warn people that compromising God’s Word in Genesis is an authority issue, a gospel issue, and, indirectly, a salvation issue.”

So, there you have it. Belief in Young-Earth Creationism IS a salvation issue after all! Thanks for clearing that up, Mr Ham!

No, I did not miss the preceding ten-letter adverb indirectly. When you think about it, everything ultimately is a salvation issue. Everything will either draw you closer to God, or draw you further away. The question isn’t “Is ‘x’ a salvation issue?” but rather, “How much of a salvation issue is it?” In this case, young-Earth Creationism ranks quite high on Mr Ham’s Salvific Index (SI).

We at AiG are busy “rebuilding a wall.” We are equipping God’s people to defend the Christian faith, and I believe we are doing a great work for God. We are busy being “watchmen”—warning people of those who undermine the authority of the Word of God. Now, of course, I don’t consider Dr. Ross a personal enemy (as Nehemiah considered some of his detractors)—he is actually a pleasant person. But he is what I would call an enemy of biblical authority. He already knows our views, and we know his.

Ken Ham’s response to the dinner invitation? Well, I was reminded of the song, “I Cannot Come” which I learned years ago. I’ve re-written it with different lyrics.

CHORUS:
I cannot come.
I cannot come to the dinner,
Don’t trouble me now.
I am building a wall,
I am keeping my vow.
I must hold to the Bible,
I will not succumb.
Pray, don’t change my mind,
I cannot come.

VERSE 1:
A certain man had a site
Where he taught from God’s Word.
To those who disagreed,
He called them all absurd.
“Compromising Christians,”
Is what they all read.
But when they asked to dine with him,
This is what he said:

CHORUS:
“I cannot come.
I cannot come to the dinner,
Don’t trouble me now.
I am building a wall,
I am keeping my vow.
I must hold to the Bible,
I will not succumb.
Pray, don’t change my mind,
I cannot come.”

VERSE 2:
“God has told us very clearly
How the world we see was made.
He made it all in six days,
By that I won’t be swayed.
I must work to warn others
Not to compromise His Way.
To enemies of His Word,
This is what I say:”

CHORUS

VERSE 3:
“‘Millions of years’ is the Big Lie
Satan wants us to believe.
We must stand firm on the truth
Though he tries hard to deceive.
To be sure, far more dangerous
Are those who claim to follow God
Yet believe in an old earth.
Indeed it’s very odd!”

CHORUS

VERSE 4:
“When my days on earth are over
And I go to meet my Lord.
I am sure He’ll say to me,
‘Child, come to your reward!’
Be encouraged, dear believers!
When sheep-clothed wolves come your way.
If get asked to dinner,
Be certain that you say:”

CHORUS

Doug Phillips Sued by ‘The Other Woman’

Doug Phillips, the founder of the now-defunct Vision Forum, Inc. and Vision Forum Ministries, is being sued by the woman with whom he had, by his own admission, a lengthy an inappropriate physical relationship.

Although there were many speculations as to the woman’s identity, the woman has now chosen to publicly reveal her identity – Lourdes Toress – the nanny of the Phillips’ children.

The report on World Net Daily is quite detailed. My only quibble with the article is the title which calls Doug Phillips a ‘Christian Giant’. Actually, no, he isn’t. I believe Doug Phillips is only known within the conservative Christian homeschooling community, which itself is a very small slice within Christianity. Most of his followers are in the US, with a smattering in other countries.

The complaint filed against Doug Phillips can be read here. It is a very long, detailed, and very good look at what the Conservative Christian Patriarchy movement teaches. Doug Phillips’ friends and associates are also mentioned.

In particular:

  • Teach Them Diligently (operated by David Nunnery)
  • Family Covenant Ministries (operated by Jon Summers)
  • National Center for Family Integrated Churches (operated by Scott Brown)
  • Voddie Baucham Ministries (operated by Voddie Bauchum)
  • Advanced Training Institute Conferences (operated by Tim Levendusky)
  • Generations with Vision (operated by Kevin Swanson)

I would add Ken Ham and Kirk Cameron to the list of friends and associates.

Julie-Anne over at Spiritual Sounding Board has a more extensive timeline of events.

Read the file!

Ham-on-Nye Debate

Well, I followed a link on my Facebook feed which brought me to a live streaming of the debate between Ken Ham (President and CEO of Answers in Genesis, a young-Earth Creationist organisation) and Bill Nye (the Science Guy).

Link to YouTube video.

I started watching it live at the 1hr-something mark, and then decided to call my 11yods over to watch it with me. So we ‘rewound’ it and started from the beginning. He periodically paused the video and gave his comments. I have to say I was very impressed that he was able to identify some of the poor arguments made (mostly by Ken Ham).
My scattered thoughts:bill-nye-ken-ham-debate

Why does Ken Ham, who has lived in the US for decades still have such a strong Aussie accent? I guess he must be like the proverbial leopard and its spots. (I know that my accent has changed since living here and my accent changes depending on who I’m speaking to. Get me in a room with a Malaysian, an Australian and an American and watch me struggle to find the right accent!)

I think both men behaved well and spoke calmly. There were a couple of moments I felt that Bill Nye was trying to keep his temper under control (he seemed more animated), but overall, it was good. The audience members were polite and applauded only when they were allowed to.

Read the rest of this entry

Noah May Or May Not Have Gotten SAD

but Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis are probably feeling a little blue that they still haven’t raised enough money for their ark project.

Tickets to the Ken Ham vs Bill Nye debate have sold out, but you can still reserve a live video stream for $4.99. The stream is free with pre-orders of debate DVDs and/or digital downloads ranging from $12.99 to $24.99.

If one million people buy the DVDs and/or digital downloads, I think the ark project might actually get off the ground.

I do not want to give AiG my email address, let alone my money. I DO want to know how the debate goes, but I doubt I would be able to properly assess what is being said. Thankfully, many others who ARE able to will be watching and will be ready to give a more articulate response.

A Riddle

Question:

What is the difference between an ‘Atheist’ and a ‘Progressive Christian’?

Answer:

One is a real danger to Christianity. 

The other does not believe in a god.

*************************************************************************

But he never said that you can’t be a Christian and believe in evolution!  No, he didn’t!

After reading the article, Mast 11 said, ‘He sounds like a dictator who likes to blame others when things don’t go his way. Like Hitler blaming the communists.’

Bill Nye vs Ken Ham

Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum has invited Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ to a debate. The debate will take place on February 4 at the Creation Museum. Tickets are $25 each and will be available for purchase through the debate event page starting Monday, January 6. (Tickets are sold out.)

The hall can hold 900 people. I predict most of those seats will be occupied by AiG/YEC supporters who are hoping to see Ken Ham show convincingly how ‘observational science confirms the scientific accuracy of the Genesis account of origins, not evolution.’ I don’t know how many non-YECs (or ‘Evolutionists’ if you like) will buy tickets.

I think many that plan to attend will already have their minds made up regarding Creation vs. Evolution. Attending the debate will only serve to confirm what they already believe. Still, there just might be others who have not made up their minds and want to go and have a look-see and listen.

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