Avoid Foolish Controversies

Ken vs. Bill “Is creation a viable model of origins?” will be the topic of the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye Debate on February 4 at the Creation Museum. Internet Monk has a rundown of the gory details, I will share just a couple of brief thoughts below.

There was a time as a new blogger that I wrote on science and faith, and tagged the posts in order to attract the attention of atheists and bolster my page view numbers. That is an exhausting activity. Good science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. Good science seeks to answer questions in a logical and reasonable manner. In short, to believe that God spoke the cosmos into existence is not reasonable. Is it reasonable to believe that the holy Son of God would willingly take our place, receiving the wrath of God after living a perfect life, and offer the reward of righteousness to the undeserving? Even the scriptures describe that type of love as one that surpasses understanding. Science does the best it can with what it has, and I have no qualm with good science. In fact I rather enjoy it.

Debating the age of the earth and the mechanisms of creation has nothing to do with good science. For that matter the arguments are only loosely based in scripture. I just recently described this very argument as purely academic. Chaplain Mike is right when he speculates no good can come of this. The title of this post is based on Titus 3:9 “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” 2 Timothy 2:23 is very similar, but add “you know they breed quarrels.”

Ken Ham is not a scientist. Bill Nye has agreed to a debate at the Creation Museum. Next thing you know GQ Magazine will be interviewing Phil Robinson.

13 thoughts on “Avoid Foolish Controversies

  1. He is the founder/CEO of Answers in Genesis, the organization which built the Creation Museum. He is a highly sought after Christian speaker and biblical apologist, but has no particular background or advanced degree in the natural sciences.

  2. Weird, that he makes himself out to be one. I really don’t know much about AIG. But what I do know I do not like.

  3. I would argue that this controversy is not foolish. Believing the Genesis account, by faith, even when current science evidence points in other directions, is foundational to a sound Biblical perspective. Too many kids and adults alike fall into the lies of our culture that we are “just animals” or that Bible should be interpreted non-literally. I support Ham. Even though he may not be a quote-unquote “scientist”, Bill Nye doesn’t represent the whole of science either just because he had a show in the 90’s and we call him “the science guy”. I do agree with you that the question of origins is a philosophical and not a scientific question. However, the age of the Earth is definitely scientific in nature, as both sides have very compelling evidence depending on your worldview. My take, Clark! Just a post-theistic evolutionist turned Creationist, middle school science teacher sharing his two cents! God bless.

  4. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen 1:1 Make no mistake, I am a creationist. “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…” Col. 1:16 But the young earth position is that the earth was created during a literal 6 day period that took place 6,000 years ago. I’m not saying this belief is untrue; I’m saying scripture does not demand it.

    There is a lot the Bible does not tell us; Genesis does not answer all our questions. Why do Cain and Abel make a sacrifice? How did Mechizadek become priest of God Most High, and where did Abram get the idea to give him a tenth of all he had? These events take place hundreds of years before God gave Moses the Law. While there is much the Bible does not say that we might like for it to, there is so very much the Bible does in fact make very clear. The Bible is sharing a particular message that God wishes to share, and sometimes we are busy paying attention to the wrong things. At worst we make demands of the scriptures that they were not written to accommodate. We waste time and energy yelling verses at one another while the work of building the church and disciplining the nations goes undone. There is much the Bible is perfectly clear on, and our desire should be to let the Bible tell the story that God purposed.

    The Bible, from beginning to end, tells one story. It’s about how a holy, righteous God relates to a sinful, fallen and broken people. At the center of that story is Jesus. On February 4 Bill Nye will attempt to discredit the idea of creation, Ken Ham will make a scientific/faith argument, and the Gospel will not be shared. “Proving” the earth is young, old or otherwise will do nothing to convict the lost of their sins or edify the saints. If God had thought we needed a science book he would have given us one. What we needed most was an all-sufficient savoir. And our faith is in, after all, the God that knows what we most need.

    When I teach Genesis (which I started just yesterday in Sunday School) it’s to identify Adam as a type of Christ. When we read the curse in Genesis 3, note the first hint at the Gospel. God no more deals the wound than he presents the cure. Biblical apologetics is not foolishness. The debate on Feb. 4th? Let’s play it safe; hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

  5. Well, I believe Scripture, while it doesn’t answer all questions, as you pointed out, does answer way more than it doesn’t. For instance, Scripture does demand a young Earth, unless you presuppose there were people before Adam. In Matthew 1, we get a geneology of Christ from Abraham. We can easily find a geneology from Adam to Abraham in Genesis. We know Jesus lived app. 2000 years ago. Doesn’t take much math to see the Bible demands a young Earth. In fact, the Jews still use this type of calendar of the age of the earth, even today. Is this information required for Bill Nye to be saved or anyone to be saved from an “argument”? No. And I agree with you that no one is going to be saved by arguing. Something tells me that Bill Nye wouldn’t respond to an open gospel presentation right then and there, either. Although, if he would go through the museum he would see the Gospel presentation (I think you give Ham a pretty hard time. If you go to the museum, you will see the Gospel presentation and actually have an opportunity to accept Christ at the end of the tour of the museum). What about young Earth? Is it a foolish argument? Is it a useless enterprise, this debating creationism/evolution? I would say no. Imagine my job of presenting both to 8th grade students. Foolish arguments are when there is no Scripture to speak truth to. In this case, albeit this a rare one, there actually IS Scripture to speak truth to the argument (young Earth)..

    On the other things – yes, I agree about all you said, especially about the gospel. Abandoning the truth of the entirety of Scripture, though, and saying that only the gospel of Christ is paramount, that we should only focus on the story of the Bible and boil it down into what we can say it’s one message is — and should only be what is discussed with non-Christians – I don’t know about that. Should we avoid foolish arguments? Yes. Are all arguments foolish? Most of them are. But not all–Scripture can speak too. What if people don’t believe in Scripture? Does it become a foolish argument then, when we use Scripture? Still no – we must hold all Scrpiture up to the lost – not just the Gospel. All Scripture is God-Breathed and useful to lead those to Christ (my translation). It is powerful, even the not-so-gospel-like verses..

    Bless you bro. Once again, just my take. Love you and respect you.


  6. Yes, the recorded genealogy from Adam to Jesus is clearly 4,000. Biblical scholars and secular historians agree on the 6,000 of recorded human history. What I ask is that you read the first 2 verses of Genesis. The seven day creation account begins at verse 3. How much time, if any, passes between those two paragraphs? How long did God hover over the face of the waters? When was the beginning? I’m not arguing in favor of an old earth, on the geologic scale of 4.5 billion years. On the other hand, it takes a leap of faith to believe the earth must certainly be young, one that I don’t see being clearly supported by Genesis. I do not know how old the earth is; Ken Ham and Bill Nye are both certain they do.

    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 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.
    And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. Gen 1:1-5

  7. Clark, you know I’ve read that passage many a’times. I used to be theistic evolutionist, so I used to prescribe to that “gap theory”. I don’t any longer, because I do realize that God wants us to accept Him on faith in other areas of our lives, so why not in so-called scientific evidence? You and I both know that the old-Earth theory is based, at it’s roots, on radiometric dating, and that has its many assumptions and flaws. But your right, it does take faith to believe either one: creation or evolution. Further support of my claim that it’s not a foolish controversy. What could be less foolish? Granted, a discussion about our salvation would be less foolish, but that doesn’t mean it gets dibs on it all. Doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong here about the foolish controversy part — and as you say it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong about the age of the Earth as long as one accepts Christ. You know that I love you and support you, even if we disagree about a couple of points, or even if we disagree that those points are worthy to disagree about. I am making it a goal of mine from now on to defend ministries and people against the Christian community and cutting down our own team. I’m sick of people tearing down Joel Osteen – I don’t agree with what people say he says – but I haven’t taken the time to listen to him either. If he preaches Christ, even if there is prosperity mixed in with it, I don’t see the difference of what he is doing and what we are claiming is important here. The young Calvanists and reformers have ripped my old youth pastor, Ergun Caner, apart, all in the name of purifying the pulpit and the church. To me, sounds like a bunch of Pharasees in all their claims. And now, when you posted this about Ham and if one goes and looks up AIG online, you’ll see a wide range of opinions about him, and some of the most derogatory statements come from the Christian community. Guess what, Clark…me and you both have seen this same type of persecution from within the Christian community. I think it’s time we start defending people when we see fruit. That’s all I’ve got to say about it.

  8. i wish this would let us reply to specific comments :-/ while i can agree wiht something stated throughout this page, teh one thing that Ken Ham has always stated which i strongly believe in is that if you allow the world to claim and teach that the beginning of the Bible is false or not literal, then how can you expect the world to believe anything else in the Bible? if you started reading a history book on Napolean and it started off telling you what planet he came from and where he parked his saucer, chances are you would have very little reason, if any, to believe anything else in the book. just something to think about…

  9. Minds will not be swayed either way. Nye and friends will claim victory. Ham and co. will claim victory. I would not say it is a ‘useless or foolish controversy.’

    Remember Paul to the Athenians; he took them from where they where, and unfolded the Creator first and foremost. There is no Redeemer without first a Creator. In his mind, the only controversy would have been NOT to preach to them.

    The end result is the same for all who minister the word, but we all do not have to take the same highway. Ham is taking his road, and no body should put up a roadblock. If you, me, or anybody wants to take a detour, that’s fine too, as long as we have our eyes on the prize.

    But as to the age of the earth, I am positive in this: I do not know…and this is enough for me, does not alter nor diminish my faith, nor does it bother me that believers differ. Who am I to criticize another man’s servant?

    The discussion is good whenever God’s word is opened however.

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