Friday, February 7, 2014

The Great Debate Part I

It was brought to my attention this week by one of my Facebook evangelical friends that the great debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye.  It was billed as a huge event for Christians.  I had the moment to tune in and listen to it . . . all of it.

Without sounding cynical, which I often do, the debate--as most debates--was not of substance.  It was evango-entertainment.  Both men speak fluently and both are entertainers.  Bill Nye is an engineer by training, but quickly became a science educator and entertainer.  I would love to hear a good debate between two knowledgeable people who had only one objective, to know the truth.  These men had objectives but neither had knowing the truth as one.

But the debate raises some important issues and questions, but not about the content of what they were saying.

1) Ken Ham is setting the agenda for the protestant church that believing in a 6,000 year old earth is a fundamental of beliefs.  Without this view, you can not call yourself a Christian.  It was for this issue (as a last straw) I left my last church.  I had been told twice that I could not be a Christian and believe that the earth was older than 6,000 years.

This is historic.  Never before in the history of the Church has it been mandated that you believe in a young earth. This is a new development in 20th century America (and Ham is Australian but from a American-Evangelical movement within Australia). Even when the Catholic Church was  mandating that the earth was the center of the universe, they were not putting dates on the earth.

I will continue this thought but for now I'm out of time.


Headless Unicorn Guy said...

YEC enthroned in place of Christ as the core of the Gospel and Necessary for Salvation is uniquely American.

As is Darbyite Dispy/Secret Rapture End-of-the-World choreography.

According to Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, you usually find the above two (YEC and Pin-the-Tail-on-The-Antichrist-It's-All-Gonna-Burn) together. One of those linkages that's an Unsolved Mystery of the Universe.

And adding a third linkage to the package deal, where you find the above two togetehr, you usually find "Say-the-Magic-Words" Salvation.

Hippimama said...

What convinced me that YEC is not true was not so much that real science shows that the earth is very old, but that the Biblical text does not make sense if you assume that the "days" are literal 24 hour days
No sun until day 4 -- so no "days" are present before this.
The repetition of "It was morning, it was evening" does not occur on the 7th day -- which implies that the 7th day of God's sabbath rest is still ongoing, so also not a 24 hour "day".
No sun on day 3, so no plants are possible.
Instead, the "days" are most likely poetic and structural elements meant to articulate a theology both of the Sabbath, and of establishing the good character of the Creator, and the good nature of the earth -- especially in contrast to the creation myth of other ancient near-Eastern cultures.

Don Hendricks said...

I just don't think Hamm can grow an audience in this present world. It feels like a death struggle of an worldview that cannot sustain itself for another generation. Look forward to your observations. I could not make myself watch.

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