One Perspective on Ken Ham and Bill Nye’s Debate

I watched the debate tonight between Dr. Ken Ham and Dr. Bill Nye that was wildly promoted on Facebook and other social networking outlets. And I have to say I was very thankful to have been able to see two men with completely opposite worldviews share how they interpret the reality they see around them—the same reality we all have the responsibility to interpret. If you weren’t able to watch the debate you can review it on www.debatelive.org. And yet, the debate concluded in the way I really expected it would. Neither man caved or recanted on his personal belief system. There is a distinct reason for such a conclusion. However, I wasn’t expecting that to take place and so I wasn’t disappointed in the outcome.

I was very thankful for the many times Ham tied in the truth about God our Creator as the same God our Savior. Also, he always had an answer for what he believed whereas many times Nye had to admit that all he could believe in was a “mystery” to which he was still endeavoring to find a reasonable and scientifically verifiable or “predictable” solution. I also greatly appreciated how both men were respectful and polite in their responses and challenges to one another. And, last but not least, I appreciated how the moderator (Tom Foreman from CNN) was fair to both men in relation to their time as well as allowing himself be a moderator and not a controller of the debate.

Here are several things I walked away with tonight as I thought on the concept of God’s Truth as He graciously revealed it to us through His Story (also known as The Bible):

1) Truth can indeed be known and embraced. Truth is not a mystery anymore because Jesus Christ has come. Truth has indeed been revealed—and it was fully revealed in the Word: Jesus Christ (John 1:1-18). He is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Source of Life (John 14:6).

2) Truth is a gift from God to mankind to offer true hope, confidence, and joyous fulfillment for His image-bearers. God alone—as our gracious and loving Creator—has wired us to only find true freedom from the grip of this hijacked world in Him. He came with a message of mercy in a way no one could have ever predicted apart from His revealed Word (John 3:16). Man did not deserve God to reveal Truth to them but He did it anyway because He loves to glorify Himself in awesome and unpredictable ways. God’s workings can never be predicted by mankind unless God acquiesces by providing special revelation through His Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10; Ephesians 3:5).

3) Truth will not allow or afford mankind an excuse for disbelief. There will be a day where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that God—and His Word—were, are, and forever will be completely true, accurate, and infallible (Philippians 2:9-11).

4) Truth is not naturally received by fallen humanity, but requires God’s grace to be heard, understood, and believed (1 Cor. 2:1-16; 4:1-6). The understanding, acknowledgment, and joyful embracing of Truth require the gracious gifts of the Holy Spirit known as enlightenment and faith (Ephesians 2:8-10). This is why we preach Jesus Christ and His Gospel, for this is the means God uses to accomplish the great work of spiritual recreation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

5) Truth does not require complete understanding for it to be validated. For instance, just because we cannot see God does not mean that He does not exist. Just because mankind cannot scientifically “prove” how God made Genesis 1 happen does not somehow make mankind the authority in deciphering Truth. Because we cannot fully understand God and how His creation works actually makes us both inferior to God as well as naturally submissive to His Word’s authority whether we choose to embrace that reality now or later. God is not keen with sharing His glory with any created being or acquiescing to mankind’s quest for knowledge apart from His wisdom. He never has and never will do such a thing (Romans 11:33-36). In fact—He cannot do such a thing and remain Who He is. God is completely sovereign. This means God does what He wants to do, when He wants to do it, in the way He wants to do it—and that is how it will be forever because God never changes. He does not experience a bipolar bent or suffer from an inferiority complex like many in his fallen creation do (Psalm 115:3).

6) Truth must be spoken in love to those who have not yet embraced its message of God’s sovereign grace (Ephesians 4:15). Christians have not been left on earth by their Creator to save people—that is His job and delight. Christians have been left on earth to live a life of joy in worshiping Jesus Christ and to tell other people how this joy can be theirs through the True Gospel. So then, Christians have no right to live arrogantly because they know the Truth and non-Christians have no right to live arrogantly because they reject the Truth. Both groups of people will answer to their same Creator. And both groups of people have the same responsibility to fully believe and embrace His Truth in their hearts and lives while they enjoying breathing God’s gift of common grace we have scientifically labeled as “oxygen.”

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,  as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:16-25)

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.  To this He called you through our Gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, Who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.     (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17)

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “One Perspective on Ken Ham and Bill Nye’s Debate

    • Thank you Michael for the links–when I get some time I will try to listen to the debate you referenced. Here’s a couple thoughts I had:

      1) I appreciated glancing briefly at your website and info page. Even though you and I do not have earned doctorates in theology or on a particular emphasis of the Scriptures, we nevertheless can be well qualified to both interpret and proclaim God’s Truth. This is because the Holy Spirit is our ultimate Teacher and we both rest in the priesthood of the believer instead of leaning only on the teachings of a “more qualified” and hierarchical spiritual leader.

      2) As the debate last night went on, it became clear to me that this was not such as much a debate about science as it was about the authority and veracity of God’s Word. In this sense, Ham was fully qualified as a Christian to present his faith in the authority and inerrant veracity of God’s Word.

      3) While both Ham and Nye have indeed been given some honorary doctorates from various institutions, they are both seen as significant leaders/apologists in their field. I think we both would agree that we have met people in our lives and ministries who were fully “qualified” to have a doctorate but never actually went through the academic process for one reason or another to actually have an officially earned doctorate. I agree that creation scientists can indeed stretch the Text to become something it was never intended to be and this is my biggest “beef” with the creation science movement, though I hold to very similar beliefs as them for the most part. And, to be fair, Ham said that what he believes is indeed a theory or assumption based on what He reads in God’s Word as well as what he observes in nature. I’ve never heard him declare that he has a verse or passage that proves his theories concerning the age of the earth/universe, water canopy theory, etc. but that his theories takes faith (just as Nye’s theories take a considerable amount of faith to believe). The difference between the two men is that one holds to the authority of God’s Word and one does not–and I think that was the main thing that was made clear. Also, since both are more apologists than hardcore scientists they were able to explain their points without going over the heads of their audience.

      4) Genesis (and the rest of Scripture for that matter) was never written to be a science textbook. Genesis was written to introduce and carry through God’s meta-narrative of Scripture. Genesis is also not a purely historical book, for there are significant chunks of “history” left out. What is recorded has been given by the Holy Spirit for a distinct purpose through a particular lens. That is why those who only focus on the Genesis 1-8 to the detriment of hastily reading through the rest of the book miss out on the real purpose Genesis was graciously given to us.

      5) The Text rules (not science or any theory based on the Text). I hope we both continue to grow in our love and passion for Truth. God bless!

  1. Excellent! Although I must say I felt badly for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It appeared that Mr. Nye (are they Misters or Doctors?) repeatedly attempted to belittle their level of education and their state’s educational system.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

Comments:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s