Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ham on Nye: Sandwiching Evolution and Creationism Together

How do you get creationists and scientists together in the same room? Bring leading spokespeople from each camp for a debate. Last night, as many know, Bill Nye, the appropriately named "Science Guy" and Ken Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky squared off in a debate of sorts, to argue their case for creationism or evolution. (The debate can be watched here)

To be honest, the event felt less like a debate and more like two ships passing in the night, like two parts of a sandwich that wouldn't come together no matter how much one chewed them. Not much of a surprise, I guess. Debates work best when the conversation takes place between people who share a common matrix of beliefs, even while they hold disagreements, even significant ones at that. Ham and Nye don't have disagreements, they are in fundamentally different universes. How each viewed science was at issue. Nye clearly supported the scientific process as it is taught and practiced in research. Ham looked at science as only a crutch for finding support of his own view. If anything supported the standard scientific model over the creationist model, Ham found ways to dismiss or discount the finding rather than question his own model.



In many ways, this left Nye on an incredibly uneven playing field. Nye mentioned several times that the two participants had agreed to debate the science. Nonetheless, Ham's position was inherently theological. All of his evidence was used to point to his belief in the bible as the Word of God. Nye was hamstrung. No matter how much science Nye discussed, Ham was always able to return to his position that the world came into being precisely as described in the opening chapters of the biblical book of Genesis.

Nye appeared to refuse to engage the reality of the debate. While Nye stuck with scientific rhetoric, Ham peppered his pseudo-scientific language with biblical language. Nye refused to ask questions made Ham explain the ramifications of his theological beliefs. Sadly, Nye cannot ask these questions since he does not have a religious worldview.Were Nye to have a grasp of theological issues, he could questions Ham's assumptions of his biblical interpretation, just as Ham questioned the assumptions of science. For instance, Nye doesn't question Ham's literalism. He merely mentions that other religious folk have no problem with evolution science. Nye doesn't ask about what Ham's views claim about God. If God gives human beings the ability to reason, why does the prevailing evidence from science diverge? Is God testing the faith of humans? If so, why does God test our faith more by our adherence to our understanding of a few chapters of Genesis versus the way we treat our neighbor?

All in all, few minds if any were changed. People who already believed evolution to be true thought Nye won. Those who believed creationism to be true, thought Ham won. What is needed is a theologically sophisticated voice who is also familiar with the science and is able to challenge the theological assumptions that Ham holds. There is the common ground that is necessary for a true debate to happen.

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...

THE LORD'S CHURCH

What are the things that do not make you a member of the body of Christ?

What are the requirements for membership in the Lord's church?

THINGS THAT DO NOT MAKE YOU A MEMBER OF THE LORD'S CHURCH.

1. Simply believing that Jesus is the Son of God does not grant you membership in the Lord's church.

Mark 5:1-12 .....7..."What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?....12 The demons implored Him....

Demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God, however, that does not give them membership in the Lord's church. Legion was not part of the body of Christ.

2. Sprinkling infants with water does not make them part of the body of Christ. Sprinkling unbelieving babies is not an act that adds them to the Lord's church.

Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved....

Only believers who have been baptized are added to the Lord's church. Babies are not capable of believing.

3. Joining denominations, such as the Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, the Lutheran Church, the Methodist Church, etc. does not grant you membership into the Lord's church. Joining a denomination cannot save anyone. You cannot join the Lord's church.

Acts 2:47...And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

The requirement for being added to the Lord's church is not joining a denomination. The Lord only adds the saved to the church. The church is the body of Christ.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BEING ADDED TO THE LORD'S CHURCH?

The apostle Peter said, on the Day of Pentecost, " Be saved from this perverse generation!" (Acts 2:40)

Who was saved? Acts 2:41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day were added about three thousand souls.

Three thousands souls were added to the Lord's church on the Day of Pentecost. Why were they added to the body of Christ?
They received Peter's message and were immersed in water.(baptized).

Peter's message: (Acts 2:22-38) They were taught that Jesus was the Christ. That Jesus was Lord. That God raised Jesus from the dead. They were told to repent and be baptized so their sins could be forgiven and that they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Those who believed Peter's message, and repented and were baptized, were added to the body of Christ by the Lord Himself. (Acts 2:47 ...And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

MEN BECOME SAVED THE SAME WAY TODAY AS THEY DID ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST.

HOW TO BECOME ADDED TO THE LORD'S CHURCH.

1. FAITH: John 3:16, Mark 16:16
2. CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:37
3. REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19
4. BAPTISM: Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Galatians 3:27.


ONLY THE LORD ADDS YOU TO HIS CHURCH!

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