Answers In Genesis is Coming to Canada

Are you excited by this news? Are you appalled by this news? Are you angered by this news? Are you totally confused by this news because what’s “Answers in Genesis”?

Whatever your reason for clicking through to my blog, welcome. I hope you find my posts on this organization and the linked resources helpful and informative as you prepare for the arrival of Ken Ham and his Fantastic Ark in the Great White North.

Whether you are a churchgoing Christian like me, an atheist, agnostic, or come from an other faith tradition, you should become familiar with Answers in Genesis and the possible implications for its official arrival in Canada.

What is Answers in Genesis and Why Should You Care?

Continue reading “Answers In Genesis is Coming to Canada”

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Dispensationalism, Dividing the Word, Dividing Walls and all on Flat Earth

A Mystery:

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?flat-earth

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.
Continue reading “Dispensationalism, Dividing the Word, Dividing Walls and all on Flat Earth”

God Has Spoken 1: Reflections on J.I. Packer’s Book

“Theology is for doxology.” J.I. Packer

As I find myself in the middle of a conversation that is dominated by Evangelistic Atheists (EAs) on the one hand and the heirs (wittingly or unwittingly) of American Fundamentalism on the other hand, I find myself disagreeing with both sides with respect to how they frame the debate and on their assumptions about the nature of Christianity. I have described their almost symbiotic relationship in a series of posts entitled  An Unhappy Marriage.

As one who grew up reading and watching Carl Sagan and other modern scientific apologists, I too imbibed a particular views of Christianity especially with respect to the nature of revelation and of the Christian Scriptures aka the Bible. I accepted their understanding of the nature of Scripture and of Biblical Revelation. This view was reinforced by some Christian relatives, televangelists, and pop-culture in general. For instance, my grandfather was into End-Times charts and, as far as I know, I was the only one of his grandchildren that enjoyed these theological conversations. Like Carl Sagan, I was much more into extra-terrestrials but was fascinated by people’s beliefs in and the idea of supernatural beings as well.

For the most part, those who engage in evolution vs. creationism or science vs. Christianity debate seem to share similar views on the nature of Scripture. Obviously, atheists reject that any text ought to be authoritative in the way Christians hold the Bible to be authoritative but many atheists tend to grant that people like Ken Ham and other heirs of American Fundamentalism are normative with respect to how Christians do and ought to read Scripture. Continue reading “God Has Spoken 1: Reflections on J.I. Packer’s Book”

Humanity was not made for Scripture but Scripture for Humanity

Following from the idea of sola scriptura (scripture alone), many Christians, primarily those coming out of the Protestant traditions, have come to think that if people will just read the Bible they will become followers of Christ. That is, they seem to suggest that acceptance of the Bible as an authoritative text for life precedes acceptance of Christ Jesus as Lord and Savio(u)r.

In convincing the world of this basic though generally erroneous assumption, we Protestants have unfortunately been quite successful. I am reminded of this through my recent interactions with non-Christians of various kinds.

To witness our success, take some time to listen to how non-Christians portray Christianity. For a moment, you might see yourself as in a mirror, it may be a funhouse mirror but it is a mirror, nonetheless.

When you do take time to listen, to ask questions, to create space for your neighbo(u)r to give voice to their ideas, frustrations, fears, dreams, desires, and concerns, I think you will hear what I hear quite consistently. That is, in the distortions of the funhouse mirror, this view of the authority of Scripture is an accurate reflection of what they hear from Christians. Continue reading “Humanity was not made for Scripture but Scripture for Humanity”

How to Teach Genesis 1  – Part I: Don’t Begin with “In the Beginning . . . “

Given that my post How to Teach Genesis 1 in 30 Minutes remains one of my most popular posts, I thought my readers (new and old) might appreciate a little more detail and a slower walk through the process.

While my previous post was aimed at a single session, this series will hopefully aid those who teach introductory or survey courses either in an academic or church setting.

Related Posts: Why Seven Days?Review of Michael Cosby’s Interpreting Biblical LiteratureHave Sex and Eat: The First Two CommandmentsWhen is a Snake not Merely a Snake?Review: Pete Enn’s Inspiration & Incarnation 1

Mistakes to Avoid:

Mistake 1. Beginning with Genesis

Do not begin with Genesis. As I have stated elsewhere, I think the majority of textbooks and biblical overview courses make a pedagogical error in beginning with “In the beginning . . . ” In any other subject, you teach the basics first before you jump into the really difficult material. You don’t jump into Hamlet before you teach grammar and the basics of poetry.

What’s a rhyme? What’s a simile? What’s a metaphor? Am I reading a comedy or a tragedy? If Romeo & Juliet is really a love story, then why do they die in the end? If Hamlet is a tragedy, why are there so many funny moments? Is that another dirty joke? Err, I mean, Is that more ribald humor? How come the clowns aren’t funny? Continue reading “How to Teach Genesis 1  – Part I: Don’t Begin with “In the Beginning . . . “”

How To Teach Genesis One in 30 Minutes

Having spent many words critiquing Ken Ham and AiG’s approach to this discussion, it is about time that I offered an alternative constructive approach to teaching Genesis 1. Continue reading “How To Teach Genesis One in 30 Minutes”

Review: Interpreting Biblical Literature by Michael R. Cosby (Stony Run Publishing, 2009)

Interpreting Biblical Literature: An Introduction to Biblical Studies by Michael R. Cosby (Stony Run Publishing, 2009)

As I prepared to teach a section of Baylor’s Christian Scriptures course, I spent a day or two examining the available introductory textbooks. While it is not a survey course, Baylor’s Christian Scriptures course does cover both Testaments in a single semester. In a survey course, I would feel more compelled to say something about every book of the Bible. Such courses often leave little room for actually modeling and teaching exegetical (or interpretive) practices. Continue reading “Review: Interpreting Biblical Literature by Michael R. Cosby (Stony Run Publishing, 2009)”

Why [my friend] is Not Teaching This Year…and the Heresy of Ken Ham

This post will be my last post on Ken Ham for at least a week. I promise. I may still tweet one-liners, though. @panth_ian

Many of the posts on #POPChrist and on my friend Joel’s blog ‘resurrecting orthodoxy’ have been about Ken Ham and the teachings of AiG. Below, there is a link to Joel’s initial post on this topic called “Why I am Not Teaching This Year” and will give you (my wonderful readers) a better understanding of why Ham is on our minds at the moment. Continue reading “Why [my friend] is Not Teaching This Year…and the Heresy of Ken Ham”

Mad Science, Bad Science and the Cure for Everything (Originally published August 4, 2009)

The polemic against religion seems to depend on an assumption concerning the makeup of the world. A popular assumption seems to be that there are three basic realms the political, the religious and the scientific. Depending on one’s personal preference, one establishes an “if only.” For instance, those of us with a religious affiliation might say, “If only Constantine had never got involved with the Church, then Christianity would not be tarred with all this political corruption.” For any one of the supposed realms, one of the others can be used as a scapegoat for the evils of the world. Continue reading “Mad Science, Bad Science and the Cure for Everything (Originally published August 4, 2009)”

The Heresy of Ham

The title of this post is the working title of my friend’s book on the teachings and influence of Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis (AIG). At present, the two of us are joining into the ongoing discussion about the relation of Christianity to Science. Neither of us accept the parameters of the debate as it is often defined by Young Earth Creationists (YEC) and their defacto debate partners, the so-called New Atheists (i.e. Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, etc.). The debate as defined by the usual and very vocal participants and, therefore, as seen presented by the media and understood by the majority of the public usually presents a very stark either/or. Either the Bible (as interpreted by Ken Ham and AIG, etc.) offers a valid, historical, and scientific account of the proximate origins of the universe and therefore Christianity is true or modern scientific theories about the proximate origins of the universe (aka Big Bang and billions of years) and the origin of species (aka Evolution) is accurate and therefore theism is false. Continue reading “The Heresy of Ham”