WHY I AM NOT OF THE VIEW OF BILL NYE OR KEN HAM (OR NAPARC CHRISTIANITY) by J. Parnell McCarter
Like many others, I watched the recent debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham.† The most obvious conclusion I came away with was how different my views are from Bill Nyeís.† But I also came away reminded of how it also differs in some important respects from Ken Hamís.
Bill Nye lives in a world that pretends there are no moral absolutes and that God has not revealed these moral absolutes in the Bible.† Rather, he holds to a naturalistic philosophy which would have us believe our knowledge of the universe should be approached following the assumption that this is simply a materialistic world where things came into being by chance involving naturalistic forces.† In such a world as he conceives, there is no sound basis for morally absolute rights and wrongs. †Someoneís killing Bill Nye would be no more wrong than killing a cow to eat for dinner tonight if this philosophy is followed to its logical end.† But if Bill Nye were so being killed, as Jews were during the Nazi holocaust, I seriously doubt he would regard it as so morally neutral.† Frankly, I dismiss Bill Nyeís worldview out of hand.† There are moral absolutes.† God has supernaturally revealed them in the Bible.† Jesus Christ did rise from the dead, as testified by many faithful witnesses.† There will be a Day of Judgment where those moral absolutes will be the standard by which God judges humanity.† If Bill Nye continues to pretend that we do not live in the world revealed in the Bible, he will have a rude awakening on that Day of Judgment.† And my concluding response to Bill Nye is this declaration from Godís word: ďThe fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.Ē
At first blush, it would seem I do agree with Ken Hamís views.† After all, we agree the Bible is Godís infallible revelation to mankind and the universe was created in the space of 6 literal days approximately 6,000 years ago, and both of us agree in the veracity of the creation account of man and his fall through sin.† But on closer examination, there are yet a number of important differences of view remaining between Ken Ham and me.† Most importantly, I think there is a difference of view relating to the extent of the depravity of man.† Based upon hearing his presentation and reading some of his writings, I am not persuaded Ken Ham and I are fully agreed upon the extent to which man in his natural state is totally opposed to the moral law of God as summarized in the Ten Commandments, and the enmity of man against Godís revelation in general.† Ken Ham did not make clear in his presentation how much Americans are opposing that moral law.† It seems to me he did not make sufficiently clear how they are dead in their trespasses and sins unless God supernaturally regenerates them by His free and sovereign grace.† Nor do I sense Ken Ham recognizes manís moral obligations fully, which probably accounts for his lack of understanding of the extent of manís depravity.†† For example, if Ken Ham realized this, he would realize how even keeping his Creation Museum open on the Lordís Day is rebellion against God.† It seems to me Bill Nye and the American audience who heard Ken Ham did not come away from the debate realizing the truly dire situation we are in as a people, and how we need to plea for Godís mercy in Jesus Christ.† In addition, I am not persuaded Ken Ham (or Bill Nye) have a thoroughly realistic view regarding science and how we obtain knowledge of the past.† The reality is that most human knowledge relating to the past depends not upon the department of science but the department of history. How do I know about the fall of Sodom, the conquests of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesarís exploits, the Battle of Hastings, or the American Revolution led by George Washington?† Or how do I know about the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 or the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire?† Science, no; history, yes.† The department of science is an excellent tool for attaining knowledge of the present, but of very limited use in attaining knowledge of the past.† I am not asserting that science is of no help in attaining knowledge of the past, but I am not persuaded Ken Ham or Bill Nye have done full justice in comprehending or explaining the extent of the limitations of science and the reliance on history (especially divinely inspired history) when it comes to attaining knowledge of the past.† Finally, I am not persuaded by Ken Hamís assumptions regarding the extent to which observed natural phenomena relate to the Noahic Flood, certainly not assuming uniformity of natural laws.† Ken Hamís is a hypothesis which may be true, but scripture certainly does not settle the question, and I am not persuaded observed phenomena corroborate the conclusion either.†† Much of what we observe in the natural world may relate to any of the following periods and events:
∑ Godís creation ex nihilo of a fully functioning universe which displays age
∑ Godís altering the created order subsequent to the Fall in miraculous ways
∑ Godís special miraculous workings on the material world since initial creation (of which the Noahic Flood is but one possibility)
I think observed natural phenomena suggest far more relates to the above and less to Ken Hamís hypotheses relating to the Noahic Flood.† I think there is reason to believe some Seventh Day Adventist theological assumptions which Ken Ham has imbibed from geologist George McCready Price affect his approach in a detrimental way.† I am dubious of Ken Hamís explanations in explaining the natural world we observe, and I think Bill Nye raises credible objections to many of Ken Hamís explanations.
While I am at this business of differentiating my views from others, I will take the opportunity finally to express the difference in my view from NAPARC Christianity (http://www.naparc.org/), while I have the attention of some.† NAPARC operates on the assumption that man is not obliged to embrace the Biblical doctrines outlined in the original Westminster Standards.† It assumes people are qualified to be ecclesiastical officers who do not embrace these doctrines fully.† I quite disagree. The Bible teaches the Biblical doctrines outlined in the original Westminster Standards.† God does not give the Church of Jesus Christ a multiple choice option as to whether these doctrines are true or not, and it does not give the Church liberty not to uphold them.† They are true and Biblical and they must be upheld, according to Godís word.† Those who do not adhere to them are not qualified to be ecclesiastical officers.† Those who reject them are not even qualified to vote in ecclesiastical elections.† And Christians have no right to condone, vote for, or ordain church officers who reject these true Biblical doctrines.† Finally, those who do not embrace them are not yet ready to vote or serve in civil office.
I am all for debate of the various viewpoints, so let the debates continue.† God has promised the truth will prevail.