Monday, December 10, 2012

What Do Young Earth Creationists Fear?

The NATURAL HISTORIAN on Ken Ham's Blog in which Ham shares a Letter from a "Concerned Church Member"

This week, on his blog, Ken Ham shared a letter (Chicago church compromiser) sent to him from a concerned church member about his churches hiring of a non 6 day creation pastor especially in light of their creationist history. In that letter the author recounts a discussion with the pastor and includes this comment:

The Lost World of Genesis One
“The Lost World of Genesis One” by John Walton
He then handed me a book to read written by John Walton who is a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Illinois.  The book entitled “The Lost World of Genesis”  claims that by studying  ancient Near Eastern cultures we are able, for the first time, to know what God was trying to tell us in Genesis and what it all means.  I politely left the book on his desk when I left.
He then states that he searched from reviews about the book and makes some rather distorted statements about Walton’s conclusions. He criticizes the pastor for not being able to support his position but then when he is given a book he leaves it behind. This is exactly what Ken Ham wants his followers to do – not to even give the other side a hearing. I’m not sure that Walton’s book would be the best choice but a full appreciation for the issues involved in the creation debate is not suited for short discussion. Reading several books is necessary to get a fuller understanding of the issues. This author admits that the creation science literature have answered all his questions. Ham constantly warns against listening to any compromiser and so the reaction by YECs is often to simply rely on the reviews of books like this by Ham himself to get the “other” side. I expect this author has also heard a creation seminar in which the salty sea was provided as a scientific evidence for a young earth. He will never read Davis Young’s book or 20 other Christian scientists books, or my blog, that refute that argument because we are labeled compromisers. As I state in my first part of my salt series, there is a confidence bias at work and this person is demonstrating how effectively it can be by simply only listening to once source and dismissing all others out of hand.

Read more here.

Alice C. Linsley

Why do Young Earthers run away from discussions of the cultural-historical context of Biblical texts? Why should they fear that the Bible emerges from a specific cultural context?  Will facing the evidence cause them a crisis of confidence in the Bible's authority? Doesn't this reveal a lack of confidence in the truth of Scripture?

If the Bible is true, it will stand up to the most stringent analysis. This writer is dedicated to demonstrating the veracity of the Bible through an anthropological approach. Today people want to know that there are solid scientific reasons to take the Biblical texts seriously. This is the time in which we live.

Young Earth Creationism is destined to fade away because the younger generation thinks empirically and rationally about the Bible. Under leaders like Ken Ham, YEC fails to explore the Bible scientifically and imposes quasi-science that misrepresents what the Bible makes clear. Their condensing of Earth's history to 6000 years based on Bishop Ussher's miscalculations is an artifact of historical interest, but not a Biblical position. People should be shown that the Biblical timeline is fully supported by the sciences.

Perhaps Young Earth Creationists recognize that a serious investigation of the cultural-historical context of the Bible will tilt their worldview so drastically that they will never recover their comfortable interpretations. They will have to recognize the Nilotic and Proto-Saharan context of Genesis and that the people listed in Genesis 4 and 5 were rulers, not the only people on earth. They are the first of the rulers than can be traced from Eden to Jesus. To neglect this means missing how it is that the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is about one thing: Jesus Christ.

In holding to their idol of Young Earth Creationism, fundamentalists will also misunderstand the wisdom literature that reflects Horite beliefs. They will neglect that Abraham's ancestors were Kushites, and that Abraham was Ha-piru, not a Jew. They will fail to see the profound historical implications of Jesus Christ as a direct descendant of Cain, Seth, Ham and Shem because their lines intermarried. Yes, that means that Cain's line survived the Flood. Noah was one of his ruler-priest descendants. Tilt! Tilt! Tilt!


James L said...

Have you seen this article over at First Things? I thought you might want to weigh in since you're something of an expert on such matters (ritual impurity, etc.).



Alice C. Linsley said...

Thanks for calling this to my attention, James. I read the article and posted a comment.

While the aspect of purity is significant, it is more important to understand the binary worldview from which anxiety about blood emerged. Males returning from battle had also to be purified and this too was the work of the priest.