Ken Ham and His Reformation

From time to time, we’ve called your attention to certain incendiary posts by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. In Ken Ham: A Bit Too Grandiose?, we quoted him saying, with our bold font:

At Answers in Genesis we are dedicated to calling the church back to the authority of the Word of God. We want to ignite a new reformation.

And we said:

Maybe we’re wrong to be concerned. Perhaps Hambo is just doing what he always does — promoting his money-making schemes. Or maybe he dreams about — no, we shouldn’t speculate about that. We’re not qualified to judge Hambo, so we won’t. But he worries us.

Later, in Ken Ham — A Call for Jihad?, we quoted Hambo saying, again with our bold font:

I believe the Lord has raised up organizations like Answers in Genesis to call the church back to the authority of the Word of God — which is in essence calling for a new reformation.

[…]

My heart is so burdened as I see this all round. We have to fight a war not only with the world, but also with much of the church! And there’s no doubt the enemy (Satan) is ramping up attacks on those who do take God at His Word beginning in Genesis. You can see why I believe we need a new reformation.

Again, we were restrained in our response. We said:

Hambo must be aware that the original Reformation wasn’t a peaceful affair. Wikipedia says: “The Reformation led to a series of religious wars that culminated in the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), which devastated much of Germany, killing between 25% and 40% of its entire population.” They also say: “Witch trials became more common in areas where Protestants and Catholics contested the religious market.” Their article European wars of religion gives estimates of “the deaths of civilians from diseases, famine, etc., as well as deaths of soldiers in battle and possible massacres and genocide,” and the total is approximately 18 million.

Well, Hambo is at it again. He just posted Igniting a New Reformation Pastors and Christian Leaders Conference. Observe that he’s still using incendiary language. He’s igniting a new reformation. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

This year marks 500 years since the start of the Protestant Reformation in 1517. And we’re commemorating this anniversary during our annual Answers for Pastors and Christian Leaders conference by using Igniting a New Reformation as our theme. We hope you can join us! If you’re a pastor or other Christian leader, I encourage you to come to the Creation Museum, October 10–12, 2017, for this special conference just for you.

Even the name of Hambo’s theme is incendiary. It’s about igniting a new reformation. Then he says:

This conference features AiG’s Dr. Terry Mortenson, Dr. Tommy Mitchell, Bodie Hodge, me, and others. And, as a special guest this year, my friend Dr. Steve Gaines, the current president of the Southern Baptist Convention, will be giving keynote presentations. You won’t want to miss his timely messages!

Whatever this new reformation is all about, Hambo seems to have the Southern Baptists as an ally. According to Wikipedia, the Southern Baptist Convention is “the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 15 million members as of 2015.” After that news, Hambo tells us:

Each of these speakers will encourage and equip you to stand on the authority of God’s Word from the very beginning, and teach your congregation to do the same. We want to help ignite a new reformation in the church, starting with our pastors and Christian leaders.

Once again, Hambo says he wants to ignite a new reformation. The rest of his post is just some promotional information, so we’ll quit here.

As is our custom, we’ll be moderate in our reaction. We don’t know what’s on Hambo’s mind, or why he chooses to use such inflammatory language. It may be nothing more than rhetorical exaggeration, but we have no idea what effect it may have on Hambo’s drooling followers — who are not known for independent thinking. As we said before, Hambo must be aware of the effect his words can have on them — so why is he talking like this?

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “Ken Ham and His Reformation

  1. Perhaps this from a conservative protestant will be of interest to some readers

    https://thenaturalhistorian.com/2017/01/02/ken-hams-ark-encounter-to-usher-in-a-modern-day-reformation/

    Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter to Usher in a Modern Day Reformation?

  2. Our Curmudgeon notes

    We don’t know what’s on Hambo’s mind, or why he chooses to use such inflammatory language. It may be nothing more than rhetorical exaggeration, but we have no idea what effect it may have on Hambo’s drooling followers

    Indeed–one should take great care with ones words: cf. Henry II on Thomas Becket

    “Will no-one rid me of this troublesome priest?”

  3. Mind you, I’d also include in a survey of reckless speech Trump’s comment on the campaign trail last year:

    “If she [Clinton] gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

  4. Michael Fugate

    An interesting read TomS. The problem is the Bible has no authority on anything scientific. All Ham is doing is wasting everyone’s time whether they are scientists or theologians – as he is neither.

  5. Eric Lipps

    Even the name of Hambo’s theme is incendiary. It’s about igniting a new reformation.

    Well, I guess you can’t ignite a new reformation without burning a few books, so Ham would be right at home in the New Order he imagines.

  6. What Ken doesn’t get, is that we Americans stopped taking orders from people with funny accents over 200 years ago… 😉

  7. The Orchardist

    Oh, but Kosh, you are the ones with funny accents. You just stopped noticing.

  8. “why he chooses to use such inflammatory language”
    Frankly I think this the wrong question. The correct question whether he’s willing to use violence if he thinks there’s a chance to succeed and establish a theocracy. I won’t bet he’s not.
    It’s better to stay worried and watch out for him.

  9. Wikipedia says: “The Reformation led to a series of religious wars that culminated in the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), which devastated much of Germany, killing between 25% and 40% of its entire population.” They also say: “Witch trials became more common in areas where Protestants and Catholics contested the religious market.” Their article European wars of religion gives estimates of “the deaths of civilians from diseases, famine, etc., as well as deaths of soldiers in battle and possible massacres and genocide,” and the total is approximately 18 million.

    Wouldn’t it be great if this information could be put in the hands of each participant at Ham’s October 10-12 conference?

    (PS to Curmy – check your second-to-last paragraph for typos.)

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    Maybe he should have built a fort, instead of an ark.

  11. Dave Luckett

    Ken, you’re no Martin Luther.

  12. Dave Luckett

    Eighteen million dead! To do that with the technology of the seventeenth century is incredible. I expect that starvation and disease were the principal means, and they are perennial, but even so…

    It just goes to show you that religion is no bar to ingeniousness. In fact, I can’t make out what it’s actually a bar to, generally. It doesn’t seem to rule anything out.

  13. retiredsciguy says: “check your second-to-last paragraph for typos.”

    The spell-checker let me down. Very embarrassing. Thanks for letting me know.

  14. SC — check it again. (“just just”).

  15. Aaaargh!! My worst paragraph ever. All fixed now.

  16. Eric Lipps notes

    I guess you can’t ignite a new reformation without burning a few books

    If only the zealots stopped at that! But alas, burning books is generally the gateway drug to immolating ‘heretics’ in full-monty auto-da-fé’s…

  17. Holding The Line In Florida

    We forgive any typos and other grammatical errors in our joy to have you back up and fighting the dark forces of creationist wackotrons! I feel as my life, such as it is, is back on track! I can get back to my daily fix of Curmudgeonite! Now to the subject at hand. If The Hamster really does believe this tripe, and I believe there is a real possibility that he does, then this is getting more serious. These Southern Baptists can be a scary lot. I know full well their local power. The mere attendance of Gaines is elevating Hambo’s status to more than just another huckster.

  18. Look, if Ham wants to ignite something, I can point him to some timber…

  19. Hambo better watch out since there are even more conservative groups that consider him a compromised Christian, a pejorative he uses on most Christians; “Ken Ham’s presence in this mixed multitude is irrefutable evidence of Answers in Genesis’ deep compromise in regard to doctrinal purity and its rejection of biblical separatism.” And “I call ministries like Answers In Genesis “one string” ministries. Instead of playing all of the strings of the New Testament faith, they play one. In the case of Ken Ham and Answers In Genesis, they play that string vigorously and most expertly, but at the end of the day it is only one string, and that isn’t enough.” From https://www.wayoflife.org/database/creation_science_ministries_why_new_evangelical.html

  20. As for Ham’s mindset, I don’t think he’s going completely Al-Baghdadi, he’s just trying to scrape together more sympathy and support. I suppose it has dawned on him by now that, with the Ark Park, he may have bitten off more than he can chew. Anything that can help to attract a few more visitors over the coming years must be more than welcome.

    Still, it’s difficult not to imagine that ‘Ignition’ conference as a meeting of SPECTRE. I wonder who’s going down through the trapdoor into the shark tank this year.

  21. The earthly purpose of Christianity, if there is a main purpose, is to control the actions of others so they don’t lie, steal, cheat, or kill; and so that they do treat others with respect. Laudable goals, and although I’m no authority on religion, I’d think the same could be said of most religions.

    Ham touts the idea that one must believe every word of the Bible as literal truth in order to believe any one part of it — his is an “all or nothing” approach, and relies on followers to remain ignorant of modern scientific discoveries concerning the nature of reality. As such, it is ultimately doomed to fail. He’s exhorting his followers to close their eyes and plug their ears, lest they become “compromised Christians.”

    Perhaps there will be a few attendees at Ham’s Reformation Conference with uncompromising common sense who will point out that Ham’s approach is compromising Christianity’s goal.

  22. There are very few people who take an approach of “the only truth and all is literally truth” in the Bible. Almost everyone makes exceptions for “obviously meant to be figurative”, such as the Fable of the “Trees and the Bramble” (see Wikipedia) in the Book of Judges 9:9-15. And almost everyone accepts that some truths of nature are not in the Bible.
    What I don’t understand is how people accept stuff which is clearly just made up, with no Biblical warrant, such as very fast micro-evolution after the Flood.

  23. Michael Fugate

    Well this part is true….
    “And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?”