Or the Ark of Deception
This post is a follow-up to my recent post Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter is Fantastic! In that post, I note the Double-Standard of Answers in Genesis when it comes to depicting the Ark. They chastise illustrators of books for children for their inaccuracies (as defined by AIG) but in their own advertising and practices they do not live up to their own standards.
A Tweet brought another Ken Ham approved message on the dangers that lurk between the covers and frequently on the covers of children’s books and Bibles. In a post on the ArkEncouter.com, Ham reveals that the Ark Encounter will dedicate a whole wall to “Fairy Tale Arks” and the 7Ds of Deception. Next thing you know, he will be insisting that David wasn’t really an Asparagus and Goliath was not a Giant Pickle.
Click Here for “What is a Fairy-Tale Ark and Why Is It Dangerous?“
Tantalizingly, Ken Ham only reveals three of the 7Ds of Deception in this post. I can’t wait to visit the Ark Encounter and find out the other four. At $40 a ticket, that’s only $10 per D. A bargain by any post-diluvian standard.
So, what are the first three Ds of Deception?
1. D is for Deceptively Cute
“Everyone’s smiling and happy. There’s no explanation for the cause of the Flood. There’s certainly no mention of sin or past and coming judgment. We call those images fairy-tale arks. And we think they’re dangerous. We’re dedicating an entire exhibit at the Ark Encounter to warn people how they could be unknowingly teaching their kids to disbelieve the Bible from a young age.”
Should I show my toddlers Holocaust footage so that they get to know the real world, Mr. Ham?
Yet, D is also for Dinosaur. In their presentations for children, the folk at Answers in Genesis make Dinosaurs cute for kids. In fact, they have one named Rexy wandering around the Creation Museum. Now, Rexy is no Barney but those teeth are definitely the carnivorous teeth of a post-lapsarian kind. So, what are children doing petting this creature when they should be taught that the truth about how dangerous they were? According to Ham those carnivorous fangs are the direct result of the Fall and God’s Judgement. Either Rexy should snap at the children’s hands or they should have gone with post-diluvian Brontosaurus. They could have had two female Brontosauri and called them Emily and Charlotte, the Bronty Sisters.
Click Here for the Deceptively Cute Rexy stalking the grounds of the Creation Museum and lulling children into false beliefs about the true nature of post-lapsarian dinosaurs like the T-Rex. “Rexy in Action“
2. Disregarding God’s Word
According to Ham, the 7 Ds of Deception are a “twist on the Creation Museum’s 7 Cs of History.” I’m glad they pointed that clever twist out or I might not have seen how clever the folks at AIG are.
Now, among the many ironical features of Ken Ham’s teachings and practices is that the 7 Cs of History skip over the History of Israel which is the bulk of the Old Testament. Genesis 12 through 2 Kings, the Writings and the Latter Prophets. Ken Ham’s 7 Cs jump from Genesis 11 (the Tower of Babel) to Matthew 1. The 7 Cs are the Cookie Monster approach to World History.
What about Conquest, Cingship, & Captivity, and Cyrus of Persia?
3. Distorting the Message
In my humble opinion, Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis excel in this D of Deception.
First, they frequently insert their own theories into the gaps of the text and do so regardless of how bizarre the theory is. For example, they teach the co-existence (both peaceful and post-lapsarian) of human beings and dinosaurs. Of course, the Bible says nothing about dinosaurs but they read it into texts that mention Leviathan or Behemoth. There will be dinosaurs on Ken Ham’s Ark. Baby dinosaurs because of course it would be ridiculous to think that Noah could fit a full-size dinosaur on the Ark. That would be just plain crazy to suggest. Or because the Bible does not say what tools Noah used, Ham can speculate that Noah and his family had advanced technology and employed people to help him build the Ark. Conveniently, all the evidence for the advanced technology was destroyed in the catastrophic worldwide flood. Paradoxically, the flood was so destructive it it destroyed all the evidence for a global flood.
Second, as much as AIG claims to be doing history and even claiming to engage in the historical-grammatical method, they almost invariably ignore the actual historical and cultural contexts in which the Scriptures were composed. In practice, they deny the role of the human authors in the composition and preservation of the Biblical texts. They reject any evidence and playing on the ignorance and credulity of their audience they give counter narratives that could only be plausible if you know nothing about the Ancient Near East and the documents that we possess which of course most people don’t. For instance, Ham claims that all the world’s flood narratives are derived from the Biblical narrative but the evidence strongly and almost irrefutably suggests that the author of Genesis 6-9 was creatively responding to pre-existing myths. To this end, Ham exploits the low church suspicion of education and convinces people that even the most devout evangelical scholars have been “secularized”. They have compromised their faith in their pursuit of worldly prestige, etc. (See my posts on Ham’s misrepresentation of N.T. Wright.)
Third, despite their protests to the contrary, Ken Ham and AIG have made their interpretation of Genesis 1-11 the foundation of the Gospel. If you don’t read Genesis 1-11 in the way that Ken Ham and AIG interpret it, then you have undermined the authority of God and his Word (by which they mean the Scriptures and not Christ). You are calling God a liar. In his forthcoming book The Heresy of Ham, Joel Anderson argues that it is not the belief in YEC itself that makes Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis problematic. Rather, it is the elevation of their beliefs about the age of the cosmos (and all that goes with it) and of their interpretation of Genesis 1-11 to an essential status and test of Christian orthodoxy that warrants labeling the teachings of Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis heretical.
3 thoughts on “Ken Ham’s Double Standard & the 7Ds of Deception”
In essence, the Ark Encounter is saying that in order to be able to convert to Christianity a person needs to become convinced that what is to be taught there (the truth ‘of the Bible’) is indeed true. They are creating a stumbling block for some would be Christians ie scientifically literate and rational people.
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If you take the claims of the Bible to be true, that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God” then the same could be said of any portion of scripture, not just Genesis 1-11, and the misrepresentation or denial of such would be a claim that God was wrong. In saying that such statements create stumbling blocks for “would be Christians” while subversively insulting other Christians as scientifically illiterate and irrational, you only prove Ham right, that you have “compromised your faith in pursuit of worldly recognition”. Answers in Genesis is not a perfect organization by any means, but they will and have already admitted to you that they are sinners. So, you’re just preaching to the choir.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post and to comment. Would you agree that one can believe in the inspiration and authority of Scripture without a) being an inerrantist or b) a young earth creationist?
While traditionally Christians have affirmed the authority of the Scriptures, inerrancy is a modern doctrine that is largely an apologetic defense against modernism. As for YEC, while some as far back as Theodosius of Antioch argued for a YEC, it was never considered by the Church as essential and was rejected by others like Augustine and Origen. It is precisely that Ken Ham and AIG raise this debates interpretation by making it a central doctrine that I find problematic. It is the raison d’être for their organization.
With respect to this specific post, it is an example of the pervasive hypocrisy I find in AIG’s material.
Thanks again for your comment. I hope you are well in these difficult and extraordinary circumstances.