Tagged: Biblical authority

Admonitions to a Disappointed Young-Earther

This article was also published at SBC Voices

by Ken Hamrick

Recently, I came across a paper in the Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry, written by Dr. Kenneth Keathley in 2013, entitled, “Confessions of a Disappointed Young-Earther.”[1] The piece is well done and gives an informative summary of the various arguments and supposed problems of the Young-Earth Creationism movement. After reading it, I must say that I’m just as disappointed as Dr. Keathley, but for different reasons. I’m disappointed that the enemy, who is delegitimizing the truth-claims of Christianity by undermining the authority of Scripture, is often met with so little resistance and so much well-meant, reasonable-sounding cooperation. I’m disappointed that not even the best among us are immune from a skeptical evidentialism. And I’m disappointed that one so capable of competent reason would falter in thinking that evidence has bearing on the question of a recent miraculous creation.

I’m no scientist, and I do not claim to be able to present all the scientific intricacies of the various arguments. To be fair, there do seem to be some valid points brought against Young-Earth “creation science” and even a few points in support of it. Nevertheless, I do not argue for a “young” earth, but for an old earth recently created—what Dr. Keathley presents as Philip Henry Gosse’s “Omphalos argument” or the mature earth view. The Bible clearly and explicitly reveals a recent creation by divine fiat. Miracles being what they are, we should not expect to find proof in physical evidences for this recent miraculous act. But, neither should we expect the secular scientific view to be free from error, overconfidence, and overreaching. Ultimately, though, the scientific argument is irrelevant to the vital question at hand—and that fact is sadly missed by Young-Earthers and Old-Earthers alike. Continue reading

Shedding Light on the Length of Pre-Sun Creation Days: A Text-Based Approach

by Ken Hamrick

In the ongoing debate over the Genesis creation account, one supposed problem that seems particularly troublesome for many is the question of the length of a day prior to the creation of the sun (on Day 4). Since the sun is the means by which a day is usually measured, then it is objected by Old-Earthers that we are left without any sure understanding of what God might possibly mean by the term, “day,” when it is used to describe the first three days of creation. Here’s the text:

Genesis 1 ESV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. Continue reading

Old-Earth Compromisers: Preconceived Skepticism Shrouded in ‘Open-Mindedness’

by Ken Hamrick

Old-Earth Creationists, who accept the evidence-based claims that the earth is billions of years old, ought to honestly acknowledge that their view does not rest on natural evidence, but upon their own prior skeptical denial of creation by divine fiat (or, command). It is dishonest to put forth such a view as being based on the evidence. Without first denying that a miraculous creation by fiat might have occurred, they would have no basis for giving weight to any natural evidence. This doesn’t mean that they have properly thought this out and realized that they must first deny the plausibility of a miraculous creation by fiat; rather, for most of them, their preconceived skeptical denial remains unrecognized, like a hidden assumption.

To answer the question, How long ago did God create the world?, they immediately look—as a matter of course—to what the scientific evidence ‘reveals.’ Ostensibly, this supposes to give equal weight to all sources of truth, whether God’s revelation in Scripture or God’s revelation in the physical world (nature). However, the bias of the scales toward nature becomes evident: whenever the two (the plain reading of Scripture and natural evidence) seem to contradict, they never opt for reinterpreting natural evidence in light of the inerrant Scripture, but always insist on reinterpreting Scripture in light of the inerrant natural evidence (at least where creation is concerned). Continue reading

“Thank God You Can’t Sink This Ship” | Answers in Genesis

Thank God You Can't Sink This ShipThere are modern-day Ark legends being spread far and wide by secularists who are seeking to hinder the Ark Encounter project of Answers in Genesis, a full-size Noah’s Ark to open in Northern Kentucky in 2016. This Noah’s Ark theme park will present the historicity of the biblical account of the massive ship of Noah’s time, which is rejected today by Bible scoffers in various anti-Christian groups. Many of these secular groups, as they relegate Noah’s Ark to a myth, are passing around their own Ark myths. These agitators outside the state are trying to affect the project by spreading misinformation and putting pressure on the state of Kentucky to undermine the project.

To counter this intense misinformation campaign by secularists and many in the media, a billboard campaign (and other initiatives) has been launched to get people to discover the truth about the Ark project, and to direct people to our Answers in Genesis website. This new campaign follows after last year’s hugely successful “Thank God You’re Wrong” billboard campaign that directed thousands of people to AnswersInGenesis.org and a special banner article and video. This new campaign is expected to have a similar effect and will help to counter the myths floating around about the Bible-upholding Ark Encounter. Continue reading →

Standing Together in the Battle for Souls | Answers in Genesis

answers-in-genesis-logoby Ken Ham on November 24, 2014

I have a very special true story to share with you today, and it involves a former Army Ranger. But first some background . . . .

When I began giving apologetics presentations on biblical creation in Australia (1970s), some people in the church were actually rather discouraging towards me. For instance, they would tell me that the teaching of evolution and millions of years was so pervasive in the culture (and the church) that it would be hopeless to have any impact.

I remember one person telling me I should just concentrate on “getting as many people saved as possible without trying to deal with such issues as creation/evolution, because everything would get worse anyway!”

I’m glad I didn’t listen to those naysayers over 30 years ago! In fact, I recall telling one person something like this:

If you start digging a coal mine with a teaspoon, it will take a long time to dig a hole. But the more people who start digging with you, the faster and greater the hole will become.

And then I started to tell people something like this:

God’s Word is like a major weapon. For me it’s as powerful as a “nuclear bomb”—the more that we can see people motivated to stand on God’s Word and proclaim the creation/gospel message, the more the impact can resound around the world.

I am often reminded that God’s Word uses a lot of military-type imagery to help us understand the real spiritual battle we are in—and how Christians need to be actively involved. Continue reading →

Let Scripture Speak for Itself

by Ken Hamrick

When it comes to understanding the Bible, the intended meaning of the author ought to be held in such importance that the text is bible-open-to-psalm-118allowed to speak for itself—with every effort made to not read into the text ideas that were not intended—and to get our clues as to what was intended only from the text itself, rather than permitting ideas, claims, evidences and authorities from outside of the text to tell us what the text means. This is why we go by the axiom, If the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense. When it tells us that Christ physically rose from the dead and left the tomb, we don’t allow science to weigh in and tell us that He must not have actually died, but only “swooned,” since dead bodies do not reanimate (CPR might work for a few minutes, but not three days after death). Certainly, science has a legitimate stake in the matter, since what is claimed is above and beyond all natural laws and a physical impossibility. Nevertheless, science must be ignored in this, since it is a supernatural matter outside of their ability to explain, detect, or prove. For us today, it is a matter of pure revelation—the eyewitnesses are dead and unavailable for examination. Continue reading

Reflections on the ERLC Conference 2014: Part 3 | Baptist Twenty One

B21I recently attended the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention national conference on “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage.” I am thoroughly encouraged by the work of this entity of our convention and the leadership of its president Dr. Russell Moore. The conference was designed to equip churches, pastors, and Christians to minister in our 21st century context on the issue of the future of marriage and sexuality. I would like to share 10 reflections on the conference:

This conversation must focus more on elevating Biblical marriage than highlighting what marriage is not – We should uphold Heterosexual marriage because Jesus did! Marriage points us to a greater reality – a reality that highlights the whole story of the Bible, of a King pursuing a bride at the cost of His life to rescue her, redeem her, and sanctify her to Himself so that they live in union forever. In this conversation, if there is capitulation, the gospel is muddied. Now to be clear, the gospel does not lose its power, but any union short of a man and a woman in marriage pictures something false about the gospel (Ephesians 5). Continue reading →

The Gospel in a Good Marriage | The Gospel Centered Woman

Gospel Centered WomanWe almost killed each other coming out of the gate, but the relentless, self-crushing grace of God chased us down, and now we’re rounding the corner to our 30th wedding anniversary. Snorting our way neck-and-neck down the backstretch, we blindly run through a dust of faith that continues to spotlight our inadequacy against the backdrop of Christ’s sufficiency. We’re an unfancied pair for sure, but the positioning secured for us in the winner’s circle keeps us racing toward the wire.

I enjoy the privilege of a great marriage to a great man. I married my polar opposite, and I’ve been crazy about him ever since the moment we met as two hapless teens. Continue reading →

Reflections on the ERLC Conference 2014: Part Two | Baptist Twenty One

B21I just left the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention national conference on “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage.” I am thoroughly encouraged by the work of this entity of our convention and the leadership of its president Dr. Russell Moore. The conference was designed to equip churches, pastors, and Christians to minister in our 21st century context on the issue of the future of marriage and sexuality. I would like to share 10 reflections on the conference:

This conversation will not include a 3rd way – There have been some, and I believe there will be many more, who will seek to find a 3rd path on the topic of same-sex attraction and marriage. Mohler reminds us this will be a short-lived hypothetical, because eventually we either will or won’t recognize same-sex couples as married, we either will or won’t perform those weddings, and we either will or won’t accept same-sex couples as members of the church. Continue reading →

Pro-Evolution Pope | ICR.ORG

icr-home2by Brian Thomas, M.S. *

During an October 28 meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences held in the Vatican, Pope Francis said, “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve,” according to The Telegraph. He also asserted that the Big Bang “doesn’t contradict the intervention of a divine Creator, but demands it.”1 If the Pope says it’s okay for Catholics to embrace the Big Bang and evolution, does that settle the controversy?

Those who simply take the Pope’s words as authoritative may find no reason to doubt his recent assertions, but attempts to square Pope Francis’ statements with science or the Bible will encounter some serious red flags. Continue reading →

Marriage crisis predated gay marriage, conf. speakers say | Baptist Press

Baptist PressNASHVILLE (BP) –The crisis in marriage preceded the rapid rise of legalized same-sex unions, and the church faces a daunting challenge in addressing it, speakers told 1,300 attendees on the first day of a Southern Baptist conference on the issue.

Southern Baptist and other Christian leaders addressed a gamut of related issues Monday (Oct. 27) at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s first national conference, “The Gospel, Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage.” A capacity crowd gathered at the Opryland Resort and Conference Center in Nashville at a time when court rulings have cleared the way for the legalization of gay marriage in 35 states, the percentage of never-married Americans is at a record high, cohabitation has become the default position of many adults and divorce remains a problem in the culture and church. Continue reading →

Weather Channel Founder Blasts ‘Climate Change’ | ICR.ORG

John Coleman, award-winning meteorologist and co-founder of the Weather Channel, has long been an outspoken skeptic of man-made global warming. He recently claimed that the idea that humans are changing the climate via increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is “nothing but a lie.”1 His remarks are just the latest salvo in this long-running debate.

Creation scientists have generally been quite cautious in their approach to this controversial issue, wanting to examine the data honestly and objectively.  Continue reading →

Growing Up Evangelical: My Story of Making Peace With Evolution | The BioLogos Forum

Brad Kramer

Brad Kramer

My short presentation tonight is titled, “A personal story from a Millennial.” Ironically, as I wrote this speech, an article popped up on my news feed by Relevant Magazine called, “15 books Every Christian Millennial Has Owned.” Initially, I was offended at being stereotyped, and then I read the article and realized I owned every single one of the books. Christian Millennials are a much more diverse bunch than we are given credit for, but I have found that there is a shocking amount of consistency in our experiences–especially among those who grew up in the golden years of conservative Evangelicalism. While my Millennial friends have landed all over the religious landscape, not one of them thinks that we can ever go back to the simpler world of VeggieTales Christianity. What we need is a way forward.

I say all this to frame my own story as a Millennial, because I hope my own journey can help others realize that the way forward for the evangelical church is not only possible but deeply exciting and interesting. Continue reading →

Sexuality and Silence | 9Marks

I’ve heard rumours of a silent trend beginning to take hold in some city churches in the UK and the US. I don’t just mean a trend that takes hold silently; presumably most trends do that. I mean a trend toward silence: a decision not to speak out on issues that are considered too sticky, controversial, divisive, culturally loaded, entangled, ethically complex, personally upsetting, emotive, likely to be reported on by the Guardian or the New York Times, uncharted, inflammatory, difficult, or containing traces of gluten. Since I do not attend a city church, but am a proud member of the backward bungalow bumpkin brigade, this is coming to me secondhand, and it may turn out to be a storm in the proverbial teacup, or even (for all I know) entirely fictional.

But let’s imagine that there were such things as well-written booklets which had been discontinued simply because they were about sexuality, and leaders who were avoiding making any public comments at all on controversial ethical issues, or churches whose lectionaries or sermon series were systematically avoiding passages which addressed pressing contemporary questions, presumably in the name of being winsome or wise or likeable or culturally sensitive, because of the number of Influencers and Powerful People in the area. Without knowing any of the behind-the-scenes discussions that had taken place—all well-intentioned, I’m sure—what would I say then? Continue reading →