Hambo Says the Pope Ignores the Bible

Things are getting very bold at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. Today he’s criticizing the Pope with his new post: Pope Francis: Another “Great Flood” Is Coming. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Do we have to worry that another flood of biblical proportions is on its way? Well, according to a recent interview, Pope Francis thinks so. Now, we take what any person says and hold it up to the ultimate authority: the Word of God. And God’s Word is clear: there will never be another flood like the flood of Genesis chapters 6–8 (more on that below). [That’s perfectly clear!] But if God’s Word is clear, why does Pope Francis suggest another “great flood” might happen?

This is a long article, so we’re skipping a lot of it. Hambo quotes the Pope, and the ellipsis is his:

The biblical flood, according to experts, is a mythical tale . . . The flood is a historical tale, archaeologists say, because they found traces of a flood in their excavations.

Hambo is horrified. He says:

Here you clearly see who Pope Francis’ ultimate authority is: man. [Gasp!] He believes the flood must be a mythical event because “experts” (who ignore the vast evidence around us to the contrary!) say there never was a global flood. According to the Pope, it doesn’t matter that Genesis clearly teaches it and that Jesus and the apostle Peter both believed in an actual flood. But since “experts” say it didn’t happen, Pope Francis doesn’t believe the global flood happened. His authority isn’t God and his Word — his authority is sinful, fallible man.

It’s not difficult to imagine what Hambo’s followers will think of the Pope after reading his post. After that severe attack, Hambo tells us:

Right after calling the flood a “mythical tale,” the pope says it was a “historical tale” because (and again note his authority) “archaeologists say” they’ve found “traces of a flood.” How can it be both a mythical tale and a historical tale? Well, it appears he is saying there was a local flood that was regionalized to somewhere in Mesopotamia. So it was historical in that there was a local flood, but it’s mythical in that the biblical text exaggerates the (its claimed) extent of the flood to make it sound global. Again, man is his authority — not God and his very clear Word. God’s Word teaches this was a global, earth-covering flood.

There’s no doubt about it, dear reader. His blog article makes it perfectly clear that Hambo is a much better authority than the Pope. He continues:

So why the warning that another global flood might happen?

Good question! Hambo quotes the Pope:

A great flood, perhaps due to a rise in temperature and the melting of the glaciers, is what will happen now if we continue along the same path.

Hambo explains why he thinks that’s absurd:

Two words: climate change. It doesn’t matter that God promised no such thing would ever happen again: [Scripture quote omitted.]

Hambo rants on:

Of course, if you reject the global flood, this promise in Genesis means nothing! There’s been many devastating regional floods since the time of Noah. The everlasting promise of Genesis 9 only makes sense within the context of a global flood. So, because of how he views the history in Genesis and the Word of God as a whole, the Pope can reject this promise as well.

One last excerpt:

We must not start with the thinking of our day and allow it to influence our beliefs. We must always start with the perfect, inerrant, authoritative, and clear Word of God. [Right!] And it tells us, yes, there was a global flood (about 4,300 years ago) when God judged sin, and no, there won’t be another global one.

So there you are, dear reader. In addition to all his other accomplishments, it appears that Hambo is also a climate expert. And he certainly knows more than that guy in Rome.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

14 responses to “Hambo Says the Pope Ignores the Bible

  1. Hopelessly muddled. Attacks the Pope *both* for saying the Genesis flood was local, and *also* for worrying about the widespread global flooding that would result from icecap melting, and asserting *both* that these local floods are irrelevant to Genesis, and *also* that because of Genesis, they won’t happen. At least, I think that’s what Ham’s saying.

    AiG has form on climate: eg https://answersingenesis.org/environmental-science/climate-change/what-or-who-is-causing-climate-change/ What or Who Is Causing Climate Change? That Depends on Your Starting Point, and many similar articles

  2. Our dear SC doesn’t do Ol’Hambo justice: “His blog article makes it perfectly clear that Hambo is a much better authority than the Pope.”
    Wrong. Ol’Hambo is a much better authority than the “experts” (who ignore the vast evidence around us to the contrary!). Remember, the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man knows more about religion and science than everyone else. The pope should have consulted Ol’Hambo.

    Note from a staunch unbeliever: According to Genesis YHWH actually promised ” I will not again curse …..” – he did not say it would never happen again. Given Ol’Hambo’s theology of everything in our world going downhill simple-minded me would think climate change a golden opportunity to rant about man’s incurable sinful nature. But Ol’Hambo is fourth in line, immediately after the Holy Trinity, so he’ll know better.

  3. As for evidence, Jakarta (Indonesia), Miami (Florida, USA) and many islands in the Pacific are flooding, while the Wadden Sea very well may disappear withing a couple of decades – that sounds pretty global to me. But hey, my lens is not Biblical but secular, so what do I know?

  4. Dave Luckett

    Ham axiom #1: “The Bible is the Word of God”. This is where he starts from. But it’s not the only axiom operating.

    Ham axiom #2: “The Bible is perfectly clear, needs no “interpretation”, and can be read for only one meaning, in one sense, and with one conclusion.”

    Now of course both are false. The Bible is a collection of texts, differing in origin in time and place, with many different authors, all of them human. It is the word of man. But even more, it is almost never plain, clear and unequivocal. Practically all of it needs careful interpretation, in the light of a very thorough knowledge of its original languages and the culture from which it came – and Ken Ham has neither. And still, it is often equivocal.

    You would think that would be the end of it. There’s absolutely no reason to believe Ham’s axioms. His ideas are merely false.

    Ah, but then we meet the nature of an axiom. An axiom is a statement that may not be contested, being taken as self-evident.

    And… well, that’s it, really. Ken doesn’t argue his axioms. In fact, he doesn’t often repeat them. He just goes on as if they can’t be contested. Any attempt to contest them he simply ignores. The result is imperviousness.

    And if we have a situation where a sufficient number of people accept the axioms – probably without ever thinking about them – then Ken Ham must prosper.

  5. Stephen Kennedy

    I graduated from a Jesuit high school and can assure you that Jesuits are extremely well educated. I an certain that Pope Francis does not believe in a literal global flood and is fully aware that if he did proclaim belief in one it would make him and the Roman Catholic Church look foolish in the eyes of educated people. The Vatican has an observatory in New Mexico and many important discoveries in science have been made by Catholic clergy such as Fr. Georges Lemaitre’s proposal of the Big Bang Theory in 1927,

    The bible says nothing about the issue of climate change so the Catholic Church leaves it to scientists to study unlike Hambo who claims that since it is not in the bible it must not exist.

  6. @FrankB — Hats off in memoriam of your countryman Lou Ottens, the Dutch engineer who invented the cassette tape and helped develop the compact disc, dead now after 94 years on Earth.

  7. Ham gets himself, and his followers, more and more into a corner. With every new scientific discovery he alienates himself further from reality. Mainstream Christianity is moving on, leaving Ham in his creationist/fundamentalist camp more than ever isolated.

  8. @StephenK: Jesuits always have been well informed about science. They gave René Descartes an excellent education and also understood the flaws of Galilei’s heliocentrism during the infamous trial.
    Lemaitre did not propose the Big Bang (actually he called it primeval atom) in 1927, but in 1931. In 1927 he derived the three Friedmann equations from general relativity theory that describe the expanding universe. Friedmann himself had found one in 1922, published in a German magazine in 1924. This is important because it shows that cosmology/astronomy is, like all science, indifferent to the God question.

    @Hans: Ol’Hambo and co have all the characteristics of a cult. The irony is that he’s so arrogant that he claims the One True Christianity.

  9. @FrankB, You sent me back to Lemaitre’s 1927 paper. Here, not only does he derives the relevant equations, but he used publish[ed] experimental data to derive what is generally known as Hubble’s Law, and sometimes, as it should be, as the Hubble-Lemaitre Law.

    @Stephen Kennedy, I am pretty sure that people here realise that the Catholic Church has accepted the material fact of evolution for many decades, and that its positions are well informed and thoughtful.

    But I think people here are much too kind to Ham. The real giveaway is that he accepts the Ice Ages (well one of them anyway) on the basis of the historical science that he rejects in all other regards as unreliable, and he or rather Bodie Hodge places its peak during the lifetime of Abraham, despite the complete incompatibility of this with the biblical narrative: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-timeline/how-does-mans-history-fit-with-the-biblical-timeline/

  10. @In addition to PaulB: my favourite is the Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker metric (see English Wikipedia). Where else can you find an atheist-commie and a catholic priest be honoured in one breath?
    What I really like about Lemaitre is (quote from his entry):

    – By 1951, Pope Pius XII declared that Lemaître’s theory provided a scientific validation for Catholicism. However, Lemaître resented the Pope’s proclamation, stating that the theory was neutral and there was neither a connection nor a contradiction between his religion and his theory.

    https://www.coraevans.com/blog/article/father-georges-lemaitre-big-bang-theory

    “As far as I can see, such a theory remains entirely outside any metaphysical or religious question. It leaves the materialist free to deny any transcendental Being… For the believer, it removes any attempt at familiarity with God… It is consonant with Isaiah speaking of the hidden God, hidden even in the beginning of the universe.”

    So of course Ol’Hambo and co despise him and of course the IDiots from Seattle claim Lemaitre for their “case”. The Attack Gerbil wrote in 2017:

    “In 1927, Belgian astronomer Georges Lemaître theorized that the universe began with a single explosion from a densely compacted state.”
    Lemaitre did not use the word explosion. In the same article:

    “If the universe had a beginning, then it had a first cause.”
    Of course the Attack Gerbil “forgets” to mention Lemaitre’s quote above, just like crypto-IDiot WL Craig.
    However Gonzo the Privileged Earth Guy wrote a surprisingly fair and good overview on the history of the Big Bang idea:

    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/03/confirming-the-big-bang-the-early-decades/

    No fine-tuning! No First Cause!

  11. Theodore J Lawry

    The Pope doesn’t just “ignore” the Bible. His real sin is he ignores Ken Ham.

  12. 100 years ago, practically all Christians accepted that the world was much more than 10,000 years old. The major exception was the Seventh Day Adventists, who relied on the prophecies on Ellen G. White in addition to the Bible. Scientists did not have good evidence, but practically everybody would say that at least tens of millions of years. For example, it was not agreed that galaxies were millions, yet alone billions of light years distant. Radioisotopes were just beginning to be understood.
    Somehow or other, even the most conservative Bible readers accommodated their reading with the science of the day.

  13. @TomS, true. See this, from my friend the geologist, historian and Anglican priest Michael Roberts: https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2021/01/28/genesis-chapter-1-and-geological-time-from-grotius-to-thomas-chalmers-1620-1825/

    Why do I keep on mentioning his priesthood? Because there may be (although not very likely here) some Christian readers concerned about a perceived conflict between fact and faith, and any such people are understandably best approached through those that share their core beliefs.

  14. Dave Luckett

    Ham, AIUI, is from a Baptist – or perhaps you could say, an Independent – background. He apparently holds with the idea of the “priesthood of all believers”, which does not absolutely preclude a clergy – those who better understand the Scriptures may expound them to their brethren – but which certainly does reject the sacerdotal functions of a priesthood, and even more so, an episcopate. Calling someone a priest, or, worse, a bishop, is a red rag to Ham’s bull. Loading more titles and functions on the latter, as was done with the so-called Bishop of Rome, is adding pepper spray and a siren.

    Thus, he is most unlikely to suffer any assumption of authority by such people. He’ll take issue and contradict as a first approximation.

    Now, what Ham might not know – or care about – is that while the Pope speaks with weight and is listened to with respect at least by Roman Catholics, what he says does not have directive authority, not on its own. He may, under very specific circumstances, in council, speak for the Church, and give specific directions to the faithful, and under even more specific circumstances, speak as the successor to Peter the Fisherman, ex cathedra, in which case his words are taken as inspired and infallible.

    That occurs very, very rarely – there is no definitive list of ex cathedra pronouncements, but the total seems to be fewer than ten in 1500 years. The doctrine of papal infallibility was only formalised in 1870, after much debate, and the implication is clear that it would never be invoked by a Pontiff acting alone or on only personal advice. The full episcopate, at least, and, I suspect, the priesthood and laity as well, would need to be fully consulted, and any significant criticism or difference fully accounted for.

    None of this would concern Ken Ham, of course. He is in the happy position of being able to regard his own opinions as inspired. And that is precisely what he does.