Ken Ham Debates an Old-Earth Creationist

This is a good one from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. He just posted this at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Watch Ken Ham Debate Jeff Zweerink of Reasons to Believe. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Do we live on a young or an old earth? That question was the subject of a recent debate on a Christian radio show in the United Kingdom, Unbelievable. [Hee hee!] For over an hour, I debated Dr. Jeff Zweerink of Reasons to Believe (an old-earth organization). I challenged listeners to start with God’s Word as their authority as I exposed the problems with old-earth beliefs.

A video of the debate is embedded at Hambo’s post, so if you want to watch the thing, just click over there. Your Curmudgeon never watches that stuff, so we’ll carry on without it. Hambo says:

I encourage you to watch the debate (embedded above). What stood out to me was the obvious difference in our choice of authorities. Throughout the debate, Jeff kept appealing to certain Hebrew scholars and differences throughout history on how to interpret Genesis chapter 1. While insisting he believed in biblical authority, he told the audience that, because Hebrew scholars and theologians have not always held to one common view of Genesis throughout history (although, until fairly recently, most of the church viewed Genesis as historical narrative and the earth as young), there is room for differing interpretation, and so we cannot be dogmatic that the earth is young. But is this true?

Well? Is it true that we can’t be dogmatic? You already know Hambo’s answer to that question. He tells us:

No. [Surprised?] I often hear this argument that it’s just a difference in interpretation, so we should just agree to disagree. But Scripture is abundantly clear — God created everything in six, literal days, just thousands of years ago [scripture references omitted].

Using the same argument, it’s also abundantly clear that The Earth Is Flat!, but Hambo is dogmatic that it’s spherical. See, e.g.: Hambo Says: Flat Earth, No & Young Earth, Yes. Anyway, he continues:

Why am I so passionate about this issue? Why did I debate another believer on an issue so many people see as a minor one? Because I’m passionate about the authority of God’s Word and the gospel. This topic isn’t a minor matter and not an issue of interpretation. It’s an issue of authority — is God’s Word truly your authority, or is man your ultimate authority?

If you start with God’s Word, and nothing else, there’s absolutely no room for millions of years in Genesis. You just won’t find it in Scripture! The only reason people like Dr. Zweerink try to add those years in Genesis is because of influences outside the Bible. Therefore, the Bible is not their ultimate authority — man is. This compromise undermines biblical authority and, ultimately, the gospel message (which is grounded in the history in Genesis).

You see the problem, don’t you, dear reader? According to everything Hambo is saying, he ought to be a flat-Earther. But he’s not, and the consequences will be eternal! Anyway, let’s read on:

I encourage you to watch the debate and consider the following for yourself — who will your authority be? The ever-changing opinions and ideas of man? [Oh no!] Or the rock-solid, inerrant, unchanging, eternal Word of God?

Hambo goes on and on, but you get the idea. This is an important issue, dear reader — perhaps the most important issue there ever was. So what will your decision be?

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Ken Ham Debates an Old-Earth Creationist

  1. Michael Fugate

    If Ken claims rapid evolution post-flood, then why did no one document it? 1000 to 1000000 extant species?

    Then there’s the dark side to his beliefs:

  2. As Ken pointed out, Jeff Zweerink kept on referring to Hebrew scholars and theologians as an excuse for not accepting a young earth.

    He should only have pointed to the mountain of evidence we get from nature and not referred to the Bible at all..
    The “Unbelievable?” channel which hosted this discussion predominantly accepts all of science, including evolution, and most comments on that video are in favour of the old earth position.

  3. “But Scripture is abundantly clear ”
    Yes – exactly as clear as on the value of pi (it equals 3) and that bats are birds. But then Ol’Hambo suddenly adopts the Zweerink way and starts to interpret.

    “Why am I so passionate about this issue?”
    We all here already know – because Ol’Hambo suffers from vanity and hence doesn’t want to be no kin of no monkey.

    “So what will your decision be?”
    Pray to the Great Hand from Above that He will guide our dear SC in the right direction, ie the answer of Zweerink that undoubtedly will follow.

  4. Dave Luckett

    I don’t know that Ken isn’t a formidable scholar of ancient Hebrew. I can find no academic paper by him on that or any subject, but it is conceivably possible that he knows exactly what the text means, and, more importantly, what it meant to its writers. Possibly he rests his certainty on an appreciation of subtle but ineluctable cues that lesser academicians have missed. Alas, he has never mentioned the profound studies that provided those insights. Modesty forbids, perhaps.

    Oh, who am I kidding?

    The whole exchange puts me again in mind of “Inherit the Wind”, the scene where Henry Drummond puts Matthew Brady, who is actually appearing for the prosecution, on the witness stand and grills him about what the Bible says as opposed to what Brady thinks it says. He eventually reduces Brady to saying, “I never think about… the things I don’t think about.” To which Drummond ripostes “Do you ever think about the things you do think about?”

    Ken doesn’t, for sure.

  5. How is it that a few people, starting in the mid 20th century have been privileged to understand the True Meaning of the Bible? Nobody before about 1500 understood that the Bible, when read correctly, i.e. literally, said that the Earth was a planet of the Sun, and nobody until the 20th century saw that the Bible was teaching about micro-evolution and the barrier preventing macro-evolution, etc.
    Yes, I know how the Fall of Man clouded men’s minds so they wouldn’t see the truths of nature as plainly revealed in the Bible. My question is why this small group of people, after all these years, could see The Truth. How the truth about the Solar System was made plain only after studies of the natural world coincidentally gave natural evidence for it. And, if I may be permitted, how they know that they are so privileged – and maybe after a few centuries somebody might find out that there is a different message being told.

  6. Only religious people debate this, not scientists.

    “Why am I so passionate about this issue? ” – Ken Ham

    That easy, because it’s how you bilk gullible religoustards out of their money!

  7. Michael Fugate

    I will throw this one out there for Ham. If the Gospels are to be believed then the tiniest amount of faith can do anything, move mountains, heal the sick, raise the dead, etc. The Acts of the Apostles makes this appear as daily activity. If true, why then did Christians (this is the claim of Christians) need to develop science when faith was better and easier? In a country that claims 75% Christians, why do we have a health care crisis? A homeless crisis? Why would God win wars, when God could have negotiated a peace?

  8. Karl Goldsmith

    Or as sane people put, it reality or fiction.

  9. Laurette McGovern

    This is pure idiocy. How can any sane person debate from a position that has no basis in reality?

  10. @LauretteMcG: I think we all can agree that creacrap and intellectual sanity don’t go together well.

  11. Ham makes the same mistake as all other Fundamentalists: they fail to distinguish their *interpretations* from what a text meant to its writer — and we often do not not the latter.

  12. @alanf00
    If the writer is inspired by God, not to mention if it is a matter of word by word dictation, then the writer may have no idea of what he is writing. See also the concept of “sensus plenior” – yes, that is in conflict with “literal meaning”, but what’s a little inconsistency.

  13. Michael Fugate

    A follow up on Reasons to Believe:
    What the Bible says or doesn’t say is not relevant – not the Bible’s raison d’être

  14. According to Zweerink scientific evidence isn’t top priority either. Unsurprisinlgy the exchange (because really, debate,, discussion?) has boiled down to the correct understanding of a two and a half millennia old textbook. Yeah, that’s the way to decide scientific disagreements!
    Bunch of [Bleep!]ers.