Everyone is aware that the Reformation began 500 years ago. It was on 31 October 1517 that Martin Luther first promoted his grievances against practices of the Roman Church. Creationists are jumping all over this anniversary, claiming that the Reformation was all about them.
A good example is at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom: Luther and Biblical Creation, 500 Years Later. It was written by James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. He has two middle initials, which is very classy, and he not only has a law degree, but he’s also a Doctor of Theology. He’s described at the end as “Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Unsurprisingly, a review of Luther’s treatment of Genesis shows how taking Scripture seriously logically leads to taking creation seriously. … Luther defended the Genesis account of creation, refusing to exchange it for popular yet unbiblical opinions of his generation.
Huh? What’s he talking about? Darwin wasn’t born until 1809, so no one was arguing for evolution in Luther’s day. Johnson says:
Ironically, those who opposed a six-day creation account during Luther’s lifetime decided that God should have created everything at once, in an instant, because He could. But God chose otherwise, and Luther affirmed that God told us (through Moses) how He chose to do it — in six normal days.
The existence of that debate is new to us. After quoting some scripture, Johnson concludes by saying:
It is no surprise that a serious reliance upon the God-given Scriptures for authoritative and relevant truth leads one to take seriously the Genesis account of the creation week. Here we stand.
Okay, good for them. There’s also Reformation talk from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. His new post is titled It’s Time to Ignite a New Reformation!
Oh yeah, that’s what we need. Hambo says, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
So many Christians are no longer thinking with God’s Word as their guide. Instead they are allowing the world to influence their thinking and are reinterpreting God’s Word in light of man’s fallible ideas. It’s time to get back to the right foundation! We recently hosted our annual Answers for Pastors and Christian Leaders Conference here at the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky.
I challenged the pastors and Christians leaders in attendance to consider the collapse of Christian morality and growing secularization of our nation, the mass exodus of young people from our churches, and the lack of a biblical worldview among the current generation. What is happening? I submit to you that the problem is a foundational one — God’s Word is no longer the authority. Instead, man determines truth — man determines right from wrong. This secular mindset has infiltrated the culture and much of the church and is the foundational problem giving rise to symptoms such as abortion, gay “marriage,” racism, and more.
We wrote about that event at the time. In Ken Ham and His Reformation, we expressed concern about his incendiary language, and repeated something we had said before:
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.
The Discovery Institute is also discussing the Reformation. Klinghoffer just posted The Reformation and Science: No Simple Answers, but Some Clear Foundations. It’s exceedingly chaotic, with lots of quotes from various people. Klinghoffer seems to argue that the Reformation was responsible for the rise of science — Discoveroid style science, that is. He says:
A century after that October day in 1517, the scientific revolution really took off with the work of Galileo, Kepler, Boyle and Newton.
But then he quotes an article by David Wootton in Nature (History: Science and the Reformation) which argues:
The link between the Reformation and the scientific revolution is not one of causation. But it is more than a coincidence, because both were made possible by the rapid growth of printing in the years after 1439, when Johannes Gutenberg developed his press. Where previous reform movements, in both science and religion, had failed dismally, the press made it possible for these two to succeed. If we are looking for the preconditions of modern science, it’s to Gutenberg, not Luther, that we should turn.
Even more basic is the Judeo-Christian concept of a Creator who is unchanging in truth and morals, a non-capricious Designer operating the universe in a non-capricious way. Try to imagine these ideas emerging from Darwinism!
In his final paragraph he says:
At the very least, the Reformation rejuvenated scientific values that had long been grounded in ancient propositions believed to have been revealed from a personal God who created a meaningful cosmos, and then created man in His image and instructed His sons and daughters about the right way to think and live. That is what Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Francis Bacon, Boyle, Newton, and the other giants of the scientific revolution took for granted.
Make of it what you will, dear reader. Creationists can rhapsodize about the Reformation, but we remain steadfast in our insistence that modern science, political liberty, free enterprise, and all that’s good in the modern world were made possible by Enlightenment.
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