Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Wake Up Call?

Apparently, a homeschooling association has banned Ken Ham from their upcoming convention for being too intolerant. AiG has its own account of the ordeal, posted here. According to an unsigned article:
In an email to Ken Ham, the leader of this homeschool group wrote to us (just after midnight last night) to announce its decision. Sadly, the leader of this group did not personally call Ken or anyone at AiG first, nor did anyone on his board, to make sure they got the full background. Just as a common courtesy, not to speak of biblical guidelines (such as Proverbs 18:13; Matthew 18:15–17; etc.), one would expect that one of its leaders would at least have spoken to us before rescinding our agreement.
What did the homeschooling association write?
One of the core values of our convention is that we believe that good people can disagree and still be good people. We believe that Christians do not need to personally question the integrity, the intelligence, or the salvation of other Christians when debating Biblical issues. Ken has obviously felt led to publicly attack our conventions and a number of our speakers. We believe that what Ken has said and done is unChristian and sinful. A number of attendees are demanding explanations from our board and we must respond to them.

We believe that Dr. Ham is very intelligent and deliberate and that he decided that publicly slandering our conventions and defaming a number of our speakers is what he wanted to do. Whereas Ken chooses to conduct himself in a way that we believe to be unscriptural, we cannot countenance that spirit as we believe it would not honor the Savior whom we serve.
It is amazing and gratifying to see someone from a homeschooling association take on the one-dimensional Ham. This seems to have arisen, in part, due to Mr. Ham's public criticisms of one of the speakers of the conference, Peter Enns. Enns is a senior fellow at BioLogos and has written many articles for them on the nature of the literature of Genesis and the historical Adam. It is also no surprise that this has rubbed some Christians the wrong way. AiG continues:
For a long time now, Ken has been alerting audiences to what Dr. Enns believes and teaches. Since he was there at the convention to promote a Bible curriculum to homeschoolers, Ken could not in good conscience speak without warning people about him. Also, the conference organizers were aware back in November that we would be talking about the beliefs of BioLogos at upcoming conventions. Because Dr. Enns of BioLogos was speaking at Mr. Dean’s conventions to promote a Bible curriculum to homeschoolers, which we consider very dangerous to the spiritual upbringing of kids, we wanted to make sure that people knew what he believed.
While it is certainly true that Dr. Enns, who is a Christian theologian and professor of Biblical Studies, has some views that are not shared by many Christians, it is the supreme irony here that Mr. Ham has gone out of his way to “warn” people about Dr. Enns without once disclosing the fact that his own views on the creation of the universe fall within the purview of “flat earth religion” and are regarded by virtually all educated scientists as a joke and completely without scientific merit.

Concerning an article by Enns, Ham writes:
He accepts what the secular world teaches concerning evolution and millions of years, and it is so obvious this determines how he approaches the Bible. He does not have the same view of inspiration as I do. In fact, he doesn’t have the biblical view of inspiration: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Aside from the pomposity of such a response, Ken Ham does not have either the theological or scientific education that Peter Enns does and, therefore, employs a one-dimensional view of scripture that he argues is the only view that one can have. If it is not based on a six-thousand year old creation, it cannot be Christianity. I hope more organizations stand up to this kind of intolerance.

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  1. Interesting. This post got me to thinking: what are the chances BioLogos could be the nexus of the production of sound scientific texts for homeschoolers?

    Seems like a natural fit.

  2. AMW, Your thoughts are my urgent hope and prayer.

  3. Darryl2:29 PM

    AMW & Jim,

    I believe Biologos initially planned to do that, and I hope they still do. But obviously anyone who uses it would have to endure this uncharitable bashing like we see from Ham and his ilk.

  4. It is not just uncharitable, it is unChristian. Ham and his organization need to be called on the carpet for this.

  5. It's amazing how many people have commented on this fiasco (just check it in Google). Until now, I was mostly unfamiliar with Peter Enns' writings, so before I posted comments on my own blog, I read up on some of his responses at Biologos to YEC's. I made a side-by-side comparison of Dr. Enns' "demeanor" with that of Ken Ham and was blown away. Dr. Enns keeps an extremely gracious tone when dealing with various YEC's that question his integrity, commitment to scripture, etc. Against this backdrop, Ham's pejorative labeling of others seems particularly childish and unprofessional (e.g. 'he is part of an extremely liberal organization'...'his comments on Romans will shock you'). Moreover, these are not even arguments. How does Ken Ham stay so popular?