How does a 21st Century Norwegian become a King James Only, Dispensationalist, Not Merely Young Earth but FLAT-EARTH Creationist?
A Living Riddle:
To @aigkenham @CreationMuseum Outer space does not exist, Ken. We live under the firmament on a flat earth which is still. You should know.
When I first saw this Tweet chastising Answers in Genesis’s Ken Ham, I thought it was a jest. The type of jest I might make to emphasize the limits of literalism and to note that every literalist stops being a literalist somewhere. Or do they?
I doubt there are many young earth creationists who adopt a biblical biological perspective when it comes to human conception or medicine. If they did, their doctors would prescribe heart medicine for mental disorders and fertility doctors would treat women only and treat the discovery of ova like AIG treats the discovery of background radiation in space and carbon dating.
Out of curiousity, I replied to this tweet and asked, Do you really believe the earth is flat? The individual responded with “Of course I belive the earth is flat that is what the Bible teaches.” I had found someone who was at once more consistent and more of curiousity than Ken Ham.
He was more consistent in his commitment to so-called “biblical science” while at the same time his beliefs were more peculiar. To be more peculiar than Ken Ham is a feat. For instance, Ken Ham argues that if you don’t believe in unicorns, then you are undermining God’s authority. But who am I to argue with a man with a life-sized Ark.
Why do I say he is more consistent. Well, many if not all the authors of scripture did believe the world was flat. Unless, we are docetists or the Father considered it important for Jesus to know that the earth was spherical, then Jesus Christ likely thought the earth was flat. Why more bizarre than Ken Ham?
After exchanging a few tweets (and our interaction remained friendly for the duration which seems rare on Twitter), I could see by his terminology and by his insisting that certain texts presented the Gospel for the Gentiles and other texts presented the Gospel for the Jews that he has been influenced by Dispensationalism. Indeed, when I cited 1 Peter, he rebuked me for reading it because Peter is writing for the Jews in the Tribulation not for us Gentiles.
He insisted that because I am a Gentile Paul is my Apostle. In accord with Paul’s own teaching (1 Corinthians), I informed him that I follow Christ and not Paul so I am free to read any of the books of the Bible for edification. He also seems to miss that 1 & 2 Peter were likely written to a predominantly Gentile audience.
Now, my dialogue partner also insisted that he was “simply reading” what Paul wrote whereas I and the rest of the biblical scholars and Bible translators were interpreting the text to fit with our modern presuppositions. That is typically Hamean argument but I was no longer in familiar confines of Ham’s Ark, I had ventured into Asgaard and was being taught Loki’s interpretive principles.
Next, I discovered that this individual was a King James Only Christian. Now, I have met a few people in North America who have an exalted view of the King James Version of the Bible and I have seen many churches with “King James” on their placards. Yet, this individual’s first language is Norsk ie Norwegian not English. Now, most Scandanavians I have met speak better English than some Americans I have met. Yet, it still strikes me as odd that an individual whose mother tongue is not English would come to believe that in the primacy of an English translation of the Bible. Of course, that a god might reveal himself through a particular language is not unique. To truly read the Qu’ran one must read it in Arabic. Yet, this notion of one language and one right translation runs counter to Orthodox Christian teaching and practice. It runs counter to Pentecost.
When I asked him about his commitment to the KJV, he said that he is waiting for a Norse translation that presents God’s Word correctly. I pressed him. By what criteria will you judge a translation? By its faithfulness to the KJV?
When I pressed this man on his beliefs? He kept pointing to a verse about “rightly dividing” the word. Which for him meant dividing the text up into its different dispensations and dividing the supposed Gospel to the Jews from the Gospel to the Gentiles (oh, Paul would love that!). I suggested he was taking this verse out of context and misunderstanding what Paul (and the KJV translators) meant by rightly dividing and pointed to Greek which actually suggests “to cut straight” like drill not “to cut up” like scissors but that it simply means “interpret well”. He chastised me for going to the Greek rather than reading what is clear meaning of Paul in the KJV. Aaaaargh.
I could not get a straight answer from this man concerning the source of his interpretation (I mean, plain reading of the text). Who has taught you this way of reading? What authors, websites, etc.? He just insisted that he was “simply reading Paul” and the rest of us educated Christians were conforming Paul to our pre-conceived notions in the world (which is what Ken Ham believes about any Christian who questions his commitment to a young earth or a world-wide flood. Like this Norwegian man who insists that he is “simply reading Paul”, Ken Ham insists that he is “simply reading” Genesis 1-11. They are cut from the same cloth.)
I got the impression that this Norwegian man who despite his bizarre beliefs did not strike me as crazy is isolating himself (or being isolated) from other Christians and so my heart and prayers go out to him. But I am left with the riddle which is the riddle of humanity. How does a Twitter using Norwegian come to be a KJV only flat-earther?