A Query for Al Mohler, Ken Ham, and the YE Camp – Where’s the Love?

“Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?”- St Augustine

courtesy of NASA

Sunset Over the Sahara-Courtesy of NASA



Starting Monday, we will be reviewing and discussing two fascinating books dealing with spiritual abuse and abuse recovery. We believe there is new and previously overlooked information, both historical and current, that will be of value to our readers.



If you read yesterday’s post, perhaps you were left wondering whether Ken Ham and his camp actually label those who do not fall in lock step behind them as heretics. The Reasons to Believe website brought this matter to the fore in an article entitled: “Old-Earth Creationism: A Heretical Belief?” which can be found here.

It begins as follows:

“Ken Ham is an ardent young-earth creationist. As president of Answers in Genesis, he generates a steady stream of articles critiquing the old-earth view. Although I disagree with most of his assertions, I respect his right to express them. However, Ham’s article “The god of an old earth” crosses the line of amicable debate. By declaring “the god of an old earth cannot be the God of the Bible, and “the god of an old earth destroys the Gospel,” he is accusing old-earth creationists of heresy.


Disagreements in the body of Christ are inevitable. And history has shown debate in the church can be edifying and unifying when it is conducted properly. This requires focusing on the things that unite us and avoid passing judgment on nonessential matters (Romans 14:1). But that is not the spirit of Ham’s paper. By claiming old-earth creationism violates orthodox Christian teachings, he seeks to denigrate and marginalize it. That only serves to divide faithful Christians and prevent them from having fellowship together.”


As expressed in our previous post, we are grateful that the Assemblies of God denomination recently amended its position on creationism and approved a statement that encourages unity and fellowship despite differing view on creation. Will other denominations follow their example?

Scholars in the Southern Baptist Convention are beginning to debate creationism, as reported in a Florida Witness article entitled “HOW OLD? Age of the earth debated among SBC scholars”, which can be found here.

Of particular interest to us was the following excerpt regarding Al Mohler. The article states:

“Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. agrees that naturalism is the chief enemy. He has addressed the topic of creation in several recent articles and addresses, including one at the 2010 Ligonier Ministries National Conference in Orlando.


He believes that any form of evolution is incompatible with the Christian Gospel and has engaged in debate on the topic with BioLogos, a group of Christians who believe God used evolution to create life.


“The problem is that the theory of evolution in its current standard form is completely incompatible with the Christian Gospel,” Mohler told the Witness. “That’s not to say that all evolutionary thought is the same. But evolution as a standard theory is driven by naturalistic assumptions.


“Christians who seek to be theistic evolutionists are in the awkward position of trying to adopt a cosmology that has theological ramifications that, in my view, do nothing less than catastrophic damage to the Gospel.”

Even though the disagreement between old- and young-earth creationists is a less important issue, it still has crucial implications, according to Mohler.

“Theologically, the historical Adam as the common ancestor of the human race is the most important issue. But the question is, how in the world do you end up with an historical Adam if you have an old earth?” he said. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that an old earth implies something other than an historical Adam.”

Mohler worries that most Christians who hold to an old earth are not thinking through all the logical implications of their position.

Kurt Wise, professor of biology at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., agrees. He obtained a Ph.D. at Harvard under the famed evolutionist Stephen J. Gould and has long advocated a young earth as the only position compatible with Scripture. He replaced Dembski on Southern’s faculty in 2006.


“Believing in a young creation is in no way a requirement for salvation,” Wise told the Witness in an email. “I do believe, however, that it is impossible to consistently believe in both an old earth and inerrant Scripture.”


By using the term “naturalism” to describe “Theistic Evolution”, Mohler demonstrates either his ignorance or his ability of obfuscation. The philosophical definition of “naturalism” is “the view of the world that takes account only of natural elements and forces, excluding the supernatural or spiritual,” according to Dictionary.com.  Wikipedia even gets the definition right by stating: “Naturalism is a philosophy that posits a particular picture of reality, being, and existence that typically excludes the supernatural.”

Naturalism is synonymous with atheistic evolution, and we find it highly disconcerting that Mohler lumps theistic evolutionists together with atheistic evolutionists. By using rhetoric like “naturalism is the chief enemy”, Mohler has demonstrated that creationism appears to be moving toward a primary doctrinal issue within the Southern Baptist Convention.

According to the article, Mohler “worries that most Christians who hold to an old earth are not thinking through all the logical implications of their position.” We find it astonishing that Al Mohler would accuse universally respected theologians such Walt Kaiser and Bruce Waltke, along with much of the faculty at Wheaton College and Baylor University, of “not thinking through all the logical implications of their position”. Such claims are divisive rhetoric that demonstrate deliberate disdain for the unity and love we should be demonstrating to one another in the faith. Mohler is well aware of the beliefs of his fellow Christian theologians, and one might conclude that he is being intentionally deceptive when making such claims about his fellow brothers and sisters who have a deep love and respect for God’s Holy Word. How dare Al Mohler marginalize Christians who hold to a different view of creation, yet who share his commitment to a high view of Scripture.

As the Florida Witness article explained, Mohler spoke at the 2010 Ligonier Ministries National Conference on Creationism (at the behest of R.C. Sproul), confirming that he considers this to be a hot-button issue. Mohler’s message “Why Does the Universe Look So Old” is available on video here.

Our beloved Michael Spencer, who blogged as The Internet Monk prior to his passing on April 5, 2010, wrote an excellent post on Creationism in 2007 which we highly recommend.

Interestingly, Spencer’s post contains the following statement:

“Good men, like R.C. Sproul and J. Gresham Machen, are outside of the young earther’s definition of orthodoxy on this issue. The Presbyterian Church in America has been painfully divided over this issue, an issue that no creed or confession in classical orthodox Christendom has ever taken sides on.”

We wonder what Michael Spencer must have thought when he read about R.C. Sproul Sr.’s sudden conversion from Old Earth to Young Earth Creationism. Reformation Faith Today published an article on October 5, 2008, with this headline: Reformed Theologian RC Sproul Changes his Mind about Creation

The article begins as follows:

“A noted evangelical, R C Sproul, has announced a conversion from having previously accepted the theory of evolution as valid science. He now accepts both the Biblical and scientific evidence that the world was created in 6 literal 24-hour days and possibly as recently as 6,000 years ago.
R C Sproul is the author of some 60 Christian books. He has now stated on the record:


For most of my teaching career, I considered the ‘framework hypothesis’ to be a possibility. But I have now changed my mind. I now hold to a literal six-day creation. Genesis says that God created the universe and everything in it in six twenty-four-hour periods.”

We are left wondering why Sproul, who turned 69 in 2008, suddenly changed his mind after accepting the theory of evolution as valid science for most of his ministry. It’s definitely a conundrum…

As previously stated, it seems to us that the accusations of HERESY are coming from only one side. While the other side may argue strongly over scientific evidence proving that the earth is old (which Mohler acknowledges), they never characterize this as a salvific issue. Here’s a case in point. In May 2010 Dee visited the Lattimer House, located in Birmingham, Alabama, to hear Hugh Ross. Larry Taunton, who heads the Fixed Point Foundation made these concluding remarks to those in attendance:

Although we have serious disagreement with our Young Earth brothers and sisters, we should commend them for wanting to have a high view of Scripture. (not an exact quote but accurate to the best of Dee’s recollection)

Sadly, it appears that the converse is not true. Young Earth Creationists claim that Old Earth Creationists and Theistic Evolutionists do not hold to a high view of Scripture and are willing to throw out the Bible in favor of science. Well, if that’s true, then why in the world did Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary invite Walt Kaiser (Old Earth Creationist and President Emeritus at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) to address students in chapel for the Page Lecture Series which took place October 19-20, 2010?

We want to leave you with a convicting comment written by one of our loyal readers, Stunned.

Stunned challenged us with these piercing words, which we all need to take to heart.

“But the minute these discussions cross the line of love, that’s another matter all together. I don’t think for one cotton pickin’ second that God is pleased in the least, no matter how hard someone things they are “defending” either God or truth or anything else. Seems to me that since Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and the second was to love your fellow man, then the moment we step outside of those boundaries, no matter how “right” we are, we’re wrong… Mohler missed the mark of love in trying to prove a point. And if he missed the mark on love, heck, even if he talks in the voice of angels, but has not love, what is he (or any of us?)”

Lydia’s Corner: Leviticus 14:1-57 Mark 6:30-56 Psalm 40:1-10 Proverbs 10:11-12


A Query for Al Mohler, Ken Ham, and the YE Camp – Where’s the Love? — 74 Comments

  1. Very good points!

    Dee, here’s a thought for you — remember thr “time dilation” devices that the Asgards (and the Ancients) made use of in the Stargate series? What if God created everything in 6 literal days about 6000 yerars ago in some sort of time dilation pocket? All problems solved! 🙂

  2. Junkster

    OK-since you get to use those fancy abbreviations when you know I am having a pessimistic day-I’ve got one for you. What show/movie is “Klaatu barada niktu” from?”

  3. Then again, there was the episode in which the day just kept repeating over and over due to one of those ancient devices. That to would resolve everything. One day,repeated ten trillion times.

  4. Junkster

    Absolutely no question. Reeves was awesome in The Matrix but overdone in The Day. It was my favorite movie as a kid. That robot was so cool.

  5. There is a reason that Kurt Wise, who Ii have heard is going to Southern Seminary is teaching at Truett. Wise was told that he had to interpret Genesis one way by the theological mafia. He then realized, because of false exegesis marketed as truth, that he could not believe in the scientific evidence and the Bible at the same time. Wise was unable to continue to function in scientific circles because of this stand.

    Of course he would say that it is impossible to believe the Bible and believe in an old earth. He gave up a shot at scientific fame for his beliefs. Can you imagine how hard it is for him to see Francis Collins who has effectively combined his Christian beliefs and scientific beliefs in a way that he does not believe compromises his view of Scripture?

    And Collins will most likely win a Nobel Prize for his work. Collins is one of Christendom’s most effective witnesses to the leading scientific establishment He has earned the respect of the likes of Christopher Hitchens. Wise, on the other hand, has faded off into oblivion. Somehow, I find this rather sad.

  6. Dee, et al

    I had a thought this morning that I think helps put some of this in a context that might, if both sides can adopt it, at least help soften the rhetoric.

    As we all know from scripture, Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We also know that ‘without faith, it is impossible to please him’.

    Although it does seem the YEC side is far more willing to condemn those outside their camp as ‘not having faith’ consider the following. Let us first suppose that there are 3 Christians each of whom hold a high view of scripture. Each of whom Believes by Faith in the bodily resurrection of Christ, and in the truth and authority of God’s word, the Bible.

    Now let us add to that the 1 of these is a YE fellow. The other an OE fellow, and the 3rd a TE/CE (form of Christian that accepts evolution). Based on my first statement of their underlying faith, I would say that each is practicing a good bit of faith, and each has chosen a place in which to place a certain amount of trust in his reasoning capacity.

    Here is how. Let’s start with the YE guy. Where has he chosen to place a certain amount of trust in his reasoning capacity? In his ability to understand what the Bible says. The YE Christian knows of only one way or group of ways that the scriptures can be true, and so he trusts that reasoning capacity to be correct, and believes that reading of scripture is necessarily correct. Where is he practicing a good bit of Faith? By looking out into the world and realizing the data just does not line up with what he sees, he exercises faith in believing that there really, somewhere, somehow is a way to look at this data that actually does line up with what he believes must be the correct reading of scripture. In trusting that God really hasn’t mislead us or deceived is on one end or the other.

    Now let is, (for reasons of efficiency in expanation) take the TE/CE next. Where has She chosen to place a certain amount of trust in her reasoning skills? Well, in looking about and seeing the world as it is and seeing so much that points to an old cosmos, a long history of life, and some pretty string evidence this life has changed over time from one form to another arriving at the current state. And where has this person exercised faith? By believing that in spite of the fact the really aren’t sure how to map the text of scripture back to that physical history, there really is somewhere, somehow, a way to understand scripture that maps truthfully and authoritatively to what we see in nature.

    Note that both sides make efforts the other side criticizes harshly to put wings on the faith side of their origins conundrum, and each thinks the other side is ignoring some really difficult issues.

    Finally, I left our OE guy/gal till last because effectively what happens for the OE guy is that they essentially sort of mix the two areas, exercising a good bit of faith in each with the aspects that don’t quite fits, but also resting a good bit on what they can understand of each area.

    Each side is in actuality being faithful to their Lord. Each side is holding a high standard for faith, and a high standard of the Bible, and Each side really doesn’t understand how the other side can just ignore the problems staring them in the face.

    But I propose the scripture already tells us how to resolve this conundrum in terms of fellowship. Paul in the letter to the Corinthians spoke of those for whom eating meat offered to idols was a problem for their conscience. And he told each side of that debate to respect the conscience of the other, and to let each one follow their conscience in these matters.

    I believe that each side of this debate has its ‘eating meat offered to idols’ conscience problem. And each side has its ‘faith to eat all things’ side. Let us each then in love respect the conscience of the other in this matter, and also respect the faith of the other in this matter. We are not talking about folks on any side of this debate that have dropped faith from the equation and said the Bible is just a work of man where we can just pick what we want to believe and throw out the rest. Or that say we really can’t trust what the Bible says or how is was put together. We all proclaim he Gospel, in faith. We all hold high standards for what it means to follow Christ and the message the Bible brings us.


  7. Ack – that would be Corinthians, not Romans. But it was Paul!!! woo hoo!


    PS – when are you going to get an edit function!!! It was about 3 seconds after I hit Post Comment that I had forgotten to double check which book had the section on eating meat offered to idols.

  8. Zeat/OB

    I have asked the “guy behind the curtain”about it. He is looking into it (edit).

    I love what you wrote. I always do. You are so good at expressing your thoughts in a non-threatening and kind manner.

    Here is my problem and perhaps you have some way for me to resolve this. Until a few years ago, I had no problem with any of the positions-YE included. There are some people at Pete Briscoe’s church who could testify to that. All sides got along and we even had fun, lighthearted debates about the issue. I thought that this was how all the churches approached this matter.

    Then, I bumped up against people who would imply the heresy word, break fellowship by asking people to leave a Sunday school class,etc. Then, on a national level, Ken Ham uses the heresy word, or his “denial of the doctrine of the atonement” schtick which means the same thing. When I saw him go after Hugh Ross, who is a gentleman in every sense of the word, I realized that it was the YE crowd who were now alluding that their brothers and sisters were not even Christians in the orthodox sense of the word. That these faithful brothers and sisters had gone the way of compromise and, in so doing, rejected the faith.

    That is where I draw the line. How does one talk to those who would deny our very faith? I have decided to take a hard line stance on this issue, not in regards to YE beliefs on the age of the earth, but in regards to their un-Biblical attitude of judging the faith of another person. That has gone too far.

    Al Mohler, once again, is contributing to a new orthodox position that all Christians must subscribe to and I believe there is a high probability that his newest crusade will be successful within the rapidly declining SBC. Look at what happened the last time he went bear hunting.

    So, I agree with you on the faith thing. No problem. But it is a big problem for the YE ideologues who are willing to break unity over this issue. It is my perception that, within the Christian faith side of things, the only ones I see who are going this route are the YE crowd.

    They are planning to redefine the faith by adding a literal 6 day creation, and, in so doing, will just add one more reason that the faith is looked at with disdain by those on the outside and I believe that the YE crowd couldn’t care less.

  9. Zeta,

    I very much appreciated your explanation of how each of these groups is exercising faith.

    I, too, would like to have an edit feature.

  10. Hi Karl

    I am finally getting back to you on the evidence for the captivity in Egypt. I am well aware of the controversy which is based on the lack of extraBiblical evidence for such an event and sojourn. Since this is an important account which figures prominently into the narrative and has implications for the view of the coming of God’s salvation via Jesus, this could be potentially troubling.

    As always, I know that there are far more intelligent people than me who accept this story, who have researched the evidence and believe the Biblical account stands. As always, I read the detractors in order to see if their questions have answers. I believe that these answers do exist.

    Here is a simple outline that i found which expands on one of my points-there sure seem to be a large number of Egyptian names for members of he chosen people within the Biblical narrative. Since the Egyptians were looked at as heathens it would be unlikely that such names were given out of admiration or the fact that they are just “cute” names. It would be akin to evangelicals today deliberately naming their kids Mohammed or Ghandi.

    Here is link

    Here is a further discussion from a well-respected Christian historian, Paul Maier

    This is an excerpt
    “No Israelite Sojourn in Egypt or Exodus Therefrom? Critics make much of the supposed “fact” that there is no mention of the Hebrews in hieroglyphic inscriptions, no mention of Moses, and no records of such a mass population movement as claimed in the biblical account of the Exodus from Egypt. This “fact” is questionable. The famous Israel Stele (an inscribed stone or slab) of Pharaoh Merneptah (described more fully below) states, “Israel — his seed is not.” Furthermore, even if there were no mention whatever of the Hebrews in Egyptian records, this also would prove nothing, especially in view of the well-known Egyptian proclivity never to record reverses or defeats or anything that would embarrass the majesty of the ruling monarch. Would any pharaoh have the following words chiseled onto his monument: “Under my administration, a great horde of Hebrew slaves successfully escaped into the Sinai Desert when we tried to prevent them”?
    The ancient Egyptians, in fact, transformed some of their reverses into “victories.” One of the most imposing monuments in Egypt consists of four-seated colossi of Rameses II overlooking the Nile (now Lake Nasser) at Abu-Simbel. Rameses erected the colossi to intimidate the Ethiopians to the south who had heard correctly that he had barely escaped with his life at the battle of Kadesh against the Hittites, and so they thought Egypt was ripe for invasion. The story told on the walls inside this monument, however, was that of a marvelous Egyptian victory!
    No Moses? The very name Moses is Egyptian, as witness pharaonic names such as Thut-mose and Ra-meses. The ambient life as described in Genesis and Exodus is entirely consonant with what we know of ancient Egypt in the Hyksos and Empire periods: the food, the feasts, everyday life, customs, the names of locations, the local deities, and the like are familiar in both Hebrew and Egyptian literature.5
    No Exodus? It is true that few remains of encampments or artifacts from the Exodus era have been discovered archaeologically in the Sinai, but a nomadic, tribal migration would hardly leave behind permanent stone foundations of imposing buildings en route. Hardly any archaeology is taking place in the Sinai, and if this changes, evidence of migration may very well be uncovered. Again, beware of the argument from silence.”

    I like Paul Maier because he confronts the difficulties head on. In that same article he says:

    “This is not to claim that there are no problems in the Old Testament record; even traditionalists will admit that there certainly are. We can all fondly wish that the author of Genesis had given us the names of more contemporary associates of Abraham so that the whole patriarchal era could be dated with more precision; and why, oh, why, don’t we have the actual names of the Egyptian kings involved in the Oppression and the Exodus rather than only their generic title, “pharaoh”? Later on, the Old Testament readily gives us the proper names of pharaohs such as Shishak (fl. 920 BC, 1 Kings 14:25 f.) and Necho (fl. 600 BC, 2 Kings 23:29 ff.). Had such individual names appeared in Exodus, we would have been spared hundreds of tomes and thousands of articles debating their identity. We all crave, moreover, far more specific detail about the Hebrews in the period pre-1000 BC and would likely sacrifice several chapters of Jewish ceremonial law in Leviticus and Deuteronomy in exchange for this description.
    Perhaps, though, we are asking too much of early sacred records. No religion or culture on earth has, in fact, more specificity in its earliest historical records than the Torah, and it is always the case that the earliest records of any peoples will be more spotty and compressed than the later ones. We certainly see in the Old and New Testaments, not a progressive historicity in the sense that the earlier records are not historical and the later records are — as the radical revisionists claim — but rather a progressive historical specificity.”

    Anyhoo, this is a beginning to the discussion. I apologize this answer took me so long. The older I get, the more I find my best intentions are thwarted by the vicissitudes of age.

  11. According to Exodus 12:37-38, the Israelites numbered “about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children,” plus many non-Israelites and livestock. The 600,000, plus wives, children, the elderly, and the “mixed multitude” of non-Israelites would have numbered some 2 million people, compared with an entire estimated Egyptian population of around 3 million. Marching ten abreast, and without accounting for livestock, they would have formed a line 150 miles long. No evidence exists that Egypt ever suffered such a demographic and economic catastrophe, nor is there evidence that the Sinai desert ever hosted these millions of people and their herds, nor of a massive population increase in Canaan, which is estimated to have had a population of only 50,000 to 100,000 at the time.

    A century of research by archaeologists and Egyptologists has found no evidence which can be directly related to the Exodus narrative of an Egyptian captivity and the escape and travels through the wilderness, and it has become increasingly clear that Iron Age Israel – the kingdoms of Judah and Israel – has its origins in Canaan, not Egypt. The culture of the earliest Israelite settlements is Canaanite, their cult-objects are those of the Canaanite god El, the pottery remains in the local Canaanite tradition, and the alphabet used is early Canaanite.

    The late origins of the Exodus story are evident also in a number of anachronisms which characterise it. For example, Pharaoh’s fear that the Israelites might ally themselves with foreign invaders makes little sense in the context of the New Kingdom, when Canaan was part of an Egyptian empire and Egypt faced no enemies in that direction, but does make sense in a 1st millennium context, when Egypt was considerably weaker and faced invasion first from the Persians and later from Seleucid Syria.

    The earliest non-Biblical account of the Exodus is by Hecataeus of Abdera (late 4th century BCE): the Egyptians blame a plague on foreigners and expel them from the country, whereupon Moses, their leader, takes them to Canaan, where he founds the city of Jerusalem. More than a dozen later stories repeat the same basic theme, most of them with a marked anti-Jewish tendency. The best-known is that by the Egyptian historian Manetho (3rd century BCE), known from two quotations by the 1st century AD Jewish historian Josephus. In the first Manetho describes the Hyksos, their lowly origins in Asia, their dominion over and expulsion from Egypt, and their subsequent foundation of the city of Jerusalem and its temple. Josephus (not Manetho) identifies the Hyksos with the Jews. In the second story Manetho tells how 80,000 lepers and other “impure people,” led by a priest named Osarseph, join forces with the former Hyksos, now living in Jerusalem, to take over Egypt. They wreak havoc until eventually the pharaoh and his son chase them out to the borders of Syria, where Osarseph gives the lepers a law-code and changes his name to Moses.

  12. Not at all,

    If you tell me an 18 wheeler was driven through my back yard last night, I’m pretty sure the absence of tracks in the dirt is pretty good evidence you are not telling the truth.

    The absence of those tracks is affirmative evidence that the event did not occur. To argue from silence is more like saying I believe in a virgin birth because there is no contrary evidence to it occurring…

    The difference is that if a virgin birth occurred, there is no trail or anything to mark its occurrence, but with the 18 wheeler there is definitely something which should be visible…the same for 2 million people wandering 40 years in a desert.

  13. Karl, it is possible the numbers are exaggerated. Such an exaggeration can come from copy error or cultural convention in terms of reporting. The real issue here is that there is evidence – some of it given by you in your own post – that a people who later became the jews indeed created a good bit of trouble for the Eqyptians and were ‘expelled’. In light of what Dee had to say about how the Eqyptians painted failure, I doubt their ‘expulsion’ was quite what it is made out to be.

    Now I do need to be careful here – this is NOT an area I have researched well. So I am making no authoritative claims. I recognize that in secular archaeology there are issues with the Biblical account. Nevertheless, to claim there is ‘no evidence’ is no less an exaggeration that to claim ‘we can prove the exodus.’

    I really, really do wish these arguments could be framed a bit more honestly from both sides, but it does seem that we all have a gold piece to lose if we give an inch, even if it is obvious we can’t prove our case conclusively. Do you think it would be possible on this blog for the sake of this discussion for all of us to just talk about what is and is not without trying to ‘prove’ we are right in terms of the ultimate conclusion? Seems to me that would be the best way of laying out the data so that each of us can gain the most in terms of understanding what is out there, pro and con.

    Just an idea.


  14. But Karl

    Isn’t the witness of the Bible combined with the known persecutions of Christians early on in the faith, a tire track of sorts? Large numbers of people, going to their deaths and being tortured for something that did not occur is rather unusual. Those early persecutions took place near the time of the Resurrection and the Birth so that the rumor mill would have given hesitation to all but the most rabid of believer.

    That was not the case. There were so many willing to go to their deaths that the bishops told people to quit volunteering for martyrdom. The persecutions are well known in extraBiblical sources and could be thought of as tire tracks.

  15. If Ken Ham is making money off of his efforts, then I wouldn’t worry about him calling anyone a ‘heretic’ that doesn’t buy into his version of YE.

    There comes a point where people have to get real about who is making money hawking what idea and how that mongering affects credibility.

  16. Christiane,

    Ken Ham has quite a following, particularly among the homeschooling crowd. I believe these families provided quite a bit of the funding for the Creation Museum.

    The more Ham promotes his agenda, the more lucrative for him.

  17. The only ones who should be afraid of this project are the YE diehards. I predict this enterprise will end up hurting the Christian cause. Mohler seems to think people are afraid of this because he thinks that scientists and others fear the Bible being presented in all its glory.

    He does not understand that, far from being afraid, they disdain and, even, pity those who do not understand the broader implications of this park. There is a real possibility that Biblical exacting literalists will find their faith a bit shaken by what is to come. And I, for one, am mad that Mohler doesn’t get it. For being the smartest man in Christianity (according to some), he seems a bit naive.

  18. Seriously, I have to ask, who is it that calls Mohler the smartest man in Christianity? Seems a bit foolish to give anyone that title, just as it is laughable to call anyone “the smartest”. People can say, “This person scored the highest of anyone else who has ever taken an IQ test” but that isn’t the world so making statements like that seem ridiculous. I’ve always suspected that the smartest person in the world is some goat herder in Outter Mongolia that is never going to come near a written IQ test. Heck, for all we know, she’s also the smart person in Christianity.

  19. Stunned

    CJ Mahaney called Mohler this during a conference. He, of course, was in on of his suck up moods and said it to Mohler in front of a whole bunch of people.

    BTW, loved the she goat herder in Outer Mongolia and my guess is you are probably right. Can you imagine the look on some faces in heaven if such a thing took place? I can think of a few pretenders to the title of Mr. Humility who will have to actually practice such a title instead of play one in the pulpit.

  20. BWWwahaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    That is like the science nerd guy calling the debate captain the coolest guy on earth! Methinks neither of them would recognize cool if it hit them with a pole. Or one blind person calling another blind person the most sighted person on earth.

    I’m sorry, but I had actually thought that the title of smartest man was somehow bestowed by at least a somewhat reputable source so when I read who said it I just burst out laughing. No wonder the title of “Smartest Man in Christianity” was such an illogical phrase considering the source. (As it is both untestable and a bit embarrassingly smarmy or kiss-uppey.)

  21. Stunned

    You may assume when we use hyperbole it is usually derived from characters in the evangelical milieu. And CJ is the king of the smarmy kiss-up.

  22. Stunned

    Actually, the word that describes us best, on occasion, and some would say routinely, is snarky. Is there anything in the Bible that deals with the issue of snarky? I think I may need to work on it, whatever it is.

  23. Stunned said,
    “Seriously, I have to ask, who is it that calls Mohler the smartest man in Christianity? Seems a bit foolish to give anyone that title, just as it is laughable to call anyone “the smartest”.”

    Yep, Dee is right. It was Al Mohler’s buddy, C.J. Mahaney.

    At the 2010 Resolved Conference that John MacArthur & Co. host each year (BTW, Mahaney has spoken at ALL of them), C.J. says the following about his best bud Al (as he stands directly behind him patting him on the shoulders):

    “Listen, this is the smartest man I know. This is the smartest man I know. I think this is the smartest man on the planet. I do, O.K.?”

    You can hear it for yourself at the following link, beginning at the 39:44 mark.


    Just a sentence or two later, C.J. utters his best lines (IMHO) by saying:

    “All four of these guys have letters AFTER their name. My letters appear BEFORE my name. . . I want to be clear. I have a high school education . . . and that should be investigated.”

  24. Stunned,

    These statements were made by C.J. in the presence of John MacArthur and all of the Resolved 2010 attendees.

  25. Don’t remember about being asked to allow editing of posts. Hmmm. Need to take a better memory pill.

    Anyway, PREVIEW is a great option for those of us (me specifically) who are typing challenged.

    As to editing a post, to keep people from editing posts other than theirs (and yes it will happen) people who want to edit posts would have to be registered on this site. Would you (or others) be willing to do that?

  26. Hi Guy!

    What does it mean to be registered? Does it mean you have to provide your e-mail address?

  27. An 18 wheeler in the back yard. Yes evidence of it would be there the next day. Maybe the next month. Maybe the next year. But 100, 1000, or 4000 years later? Maybe not so much. Ground penetrating radar on some past shuttle missions discovered a lot of buried geography in the Sahara that opened up new areas to research. Old river beds, lakes, and I think some cities buried deep under the sand. And we’ve been digging around the Sphinx for a long time and not seen these things.

    And even when we know something “is there” we often don’t know what. All those mounds in England. And there was an area in Turkey to be flooded by a new dam where they dug up where they knew was an old city buried under many feet of dirt and discovered all kinds of things in pristine condition. The one I remember was a home bath mural made with 1/2″ or so tiles that would cost you $30,000 or more to put into a house today. Maybe double or triple that.

    My point is that most of ancient history is lost to us. While we have figured out a lot of the history of ancient Egypt, it is hardly a daily, monthly, or even annual narrative that we can use. There are many large gaps. As Dee said they tended to avoid monuments to non glorious events.

    I think in the last year there was a PBS/Discover/Similar channel thing on how an archeologist put forward a strong argument against the Exodus. Of course he didn’t mention any evidence against his points. And a few years ago there was another such show for the Exodus. They managed to track down evidence in various museums including a multi-part stone mural dating back to about the right time that showed the story of the pharaoh’s defeat at the Red/Reed/??? sea.

    Still more unknowns than known in terms of hard facts on this issue.

  28. Being registered means you’d be a real “user” on the site. And get to log in so the site “knows” you. And yes an email address would be required so we could verify you’re not a troll or SPAMer creating an ID to create mischief.

    As it is now only myself and the two ladies in charge have user ids on the site.

  29. yes, most sights that allow limited time editing of posts require you have an official ‘login’. And you can only edit if logged in. Otherwise there is no way to keep people from editing other people’s posts.

    As for preview. I don’t know why, but I have this affliction, For some reason it seems I can’t see even the most obvious of errors until its actually posted. I have no idea why. Not all the time mind you, but I can check it and get 95% of the errors cleaned, then I push ‘post’, and I immediately see what I missed.

    If I was paranoid, I’d blame it on the ‘guybehindthecurtain’, but if happens on other sites too 😉


  30. I would not want editing of posts AFTER the fact. I have even known SBC pastors to edit time stamps of comments for nefarious reasons.

  31. Zeta,

    Did you type “but if happens” or “but it happens”? Where are my magnifiers?!!!

    I can so identify with your comment…

  32. Lydia,

    Thanks for your input. I’d love to hear more about those nefarious practices by SBC pastors. 🙂

  33. typically the edit time is short – like 45 minutes. Just long enough to let folks like myself who can’t see their errors in a proof read go back in and correct them, but not long enough to let something said that has stood for a while and been read by a bunch of folks be ‘amended’ so some wily fox can later claim he never said it 😉

    Deb – if the letters are close together on the keyboard like ‘f’ and ‘t’ and close enough in appearance that these old eyes didn’t notice the subtle difference, then it’s likely the kind of mistake I don’t catch till later. Sometimes it’s just the shift in font, font size, background, or even layout that makes the difference.


  34. Zeta,

    I feel your pain! I’m fighting against getting bifocals, but I think I’m losing the battle, which becomes obvious when I comment using my Blackberry. Did I make any typos because I can’t tell!

  35. Wise used to teach at Southern Seminary. He was laid off with the budget cuts a couple years ago. I don’t know of another professor there who took such a personal interest in the spiritual well being of his students. He is a good man. It would be mistaken to believe he’s tight with Mohler, though obviously they’re on the same page theologically.

    Russell Moore, if not Mohler, believed in old earth creationism until fairly recently– perhaps as recently as five years. On the old Henry Institute blog he talked about how the necessity of sin before the fall in OEC is what changed his mind.

  36. “bifocals”

    Ask your eye doc about mono vision. Great if it works for you. Very confusing if not. 🙂

  37. Lynn,

    Dee has mastered mono vision and has encouraged me to try it. When I get desperate enough, I will give it a shot.

  38. R

    I am glad he was nice with the students who shared his faith and viewpoint. However, he is on the same page as Mohler on YE and this page has caused much pain and conflict with those outside of the faith as well as those inside the faith who go a different path.

    Wise, along with Mohler, is also friends with Ken Ham who has called his brothers and sisters heretics. By default, unless he publicly disavows this sort of tactic, he is complicit in this approach. I know someone like him. he appears to be the nicest man in the world yet he supports this terrible man, Ham, who treats his Christian brothers poorly. I think the niceness is a shield for their deep feelings of hostility.

    As for Russell Moore, there was a necessity for him to change his viewpoint. Just like there was a necessity for Sproul to change. It is called knowing what side your bread is buttered on. And let me hasten to add that the death before the fall has plenty of alternate explanation by conservative theologians. I think this has far more to do with job longevity and monetary matters.

  39. Just another note on this waaaay off topic subject.

    Mono vision is usually done with contacts. But you can also do it with glasses. I have for about 10 years or so.

  40. Lynn

    I had it done with Lasik surgery many years ago. My doctor suggested that I try it because I was able to live with just one contact lens on occasion when i lost one. They corrected just one eye.

    So, I don’t need any lenses, contacts, reading, whatever. I recommend this because, if you can’t adjust, they can do the other other eye. I have had no problems in over 12 or so years.

  41. Just a few minutes ago I came across Southern Seminary’s announcement that the Winter 2011 issue of its magazine has been released.

    I downloaded it and perused the articles. It indicates to me that creation will no longer be viewed as a secondary issue by Mohler and Company. I suspect the rhetoric will only increase in the months and years to come. How will this bode for the SBC?


  42. “Russell Moore, if not Mohler, believed in old earth creationism until fairly recently– perhaps as recently as five years. On the old Henry Institute blog he talked about how the necessity of sin before the fall in OEC is what changed his mind.”

    Oh, so Moore “changed” his mind. And we have heard that Mohler changed his mind about women having equality in the Body. (Seems these guys are good at seeing which way the wind blows for career reasons)

    Moore is quite the character. He once worked for a democrat congressman. He also wrote an article on his blog about the need to stop drilling oil in the Gulf which infuriated some people such as well heeled businessmen. He also wrote an article years ago that Christians should not be cremated. (?..now there is an interesting legalism). my pastor told me about that article which he thought was very odd.

    And he claims that complimentarians are wimps and we need more patriarchy. I get a kick out of the last one because Moore probably weighs 90 lbs soaking wet.

    Word on the street is that Moore is being groomed to take over from Mohler. Heaven help us.

  43. Lydia said:

    “And he (Russell Moore) claims that complimentarians are wimps and we need more patriarchy.”

    Here is the source of that interesting tidbit about Russell Moore.


    “Russell Moore: “I hate the term ‘complementarian’…”

    (Tim, w/thanks to Chris) Here’s an interesting statement by Southern Baptist Seminary’s Russell Moore unburdening himself about the nomenclature of the sex battles; and more particularly, expressing his extreme dislike for the word ‘complementarian’ and preference for ‘patriarchy.’ He’s exactly right.

    Tune in at 29:45, and you will hear this:

    Russell Moore: Gender identity and complementarianism… I hate ….the word ‘complementarian’, I prefer the word ‘patriarchy’…

    Again at 37:00 ff….

    Mark Dever: So then, why is it you don’t like the word complementarianism?

    Russell Moore: Because complementarianism doesn’t say much more than the fact that you have different roles. Everyone agrees that we have different roles, it just a question of on what basis you have different roles? So an egalitarian would say, “Yeah, I’m a complementarian too, it’s on the basis of gifts.” I think we need to say instead, “No you have headship that’s the key issue. It’s patriarchy, it’s a headship that reflects the headship, the fatherhood of God, and this is what it looks like, you then have to define what headship looks like…

    Mark Dever: So, Randy (Stinson of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood), are you rewriting the CBMW materials to take out the term complementarianism?”

  44. I think the Bayly Brothers might top Moore with about an inch or two. I read the Moore article about comp/pat on the Henry Institute site years ago. IN the article he claims egals are winning. And he makes the case that comps are wimps and men are not being the leaders in comp marriages. Too many women are making decisions. it must stop so the men can feel like men. Ironically, according to Moore’s logic, it takes the women to make a man a man. Such power. Poor Paul. No woman to make him a real man.

  45. “Mark Dever: So, Randy (Stinson of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood), are you rewriting the CBMW materials to take out the term complementarianism?”

    Did Randy answer?

    Randy was the one chosen to incorporate FIC into most of the degree programs at SBTS. It did not go over well so they have to do it through the back door. Just like they do with Calvinism in churches they take over by sending out nice little sychophant seminary students who take orders well.

  46. Lydia,

    It seems you and I have been reading the same websites and articles about Russell Moore.

    For those who would be interested in reading Moore’s article entitled: “After Patriarchy, Then What? Why Egalitarians are Winning the Evangelical Gender Debate” that Lydia referenced in her Jan. 18 (5:10 pm) comment, here’s the link:


    On page 6 Russell Moore lauds the “charismatic Calvinists of C.J. Mahaney’s “sovereign grace” network” as a wonderful example of complementarianism (actually, patriarchy). He also praises the PCA and “sectors of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

    Moore presented this paper at the 2005 Evangelical Theological Society’s annual meeting.

    I tried to link to this article on Russell Moore’s website; however, it has been removed. How do I know it was once on Moore’s site? Because the Wikipedia article on Al Mohler mentions Moore’s patriarchy article. The footnote for the article links to Moore’s website, and the article has vanished. Hmmm…….

  47. I think you are mistaken to assume that Kurt Wise is friends with Mohler or Ken Ham. I don’t mean to imply he dislikes them but I have reason to doubt he’s their buddy. He’s a man with bills to pay who has a narrow range of places he can work. He’s not the one using the tactics and doesn’t need to apologize or disown what they do. I think you’d be very hard pressed to find a place where he used a gratuitous insult or was intellectually dishonest. He is respected among his peers as a man of character.

    And for the record, I don’t place Mohler and Ham as his peers. Mohler is not a scientist; Ham is not as well educated as Wise. When I say peers, I mean guys who teach at Oxford or Yale.

  48. Is not adding to the requirements to be saved a heresy?
    If this is true… and I think there is good reason to believe it is true, then Ken Hamm is a heretic.

  49. R

    I appreciate the fact that Wise is probably a warm and kind man. However, he does endorse and support Ken Ham. He is part of that organization by affiliation and has his name and bio printed on the site. If you note in this link, Wise’s name is in blue which means he has a close affiliation with AIG.


    Once again, I do not believe anyone should support a man who thinks he is the judge and jury of orthodox Christian thinking and believes he can recklessly fling around aspersions against dedicated Christians by using or alluding to heresy.

    It would behoove Wise to actively distance himself from such men. Until he does, I will wonder if he supports an Inquisition-style approach to the faith. Mud splatters and he needs to wash his clothes.

  50. me

    Couldn’t you see Ham dressed up as a member of the Inquisition? Thank heavens he has absolutely no power or he would make himself judge and jury of the faithful and you and I would be burned at the stake.

    And yes, just like some of those guys back in Spain were not Christians and used the Blessed Name for their inglorious purposes, today there are some who may be doing the same thing.

  51. Deb

    Emir Caner appears to be complicit in his brother’s (Ergun Caner) debacle. He certainly did not stop his brother from lying nor did he try to correct the record. This means that Truett is led by at least one man whose reputation is dubious at best.

    R is probably correct when he says that it is probably hard for Wise to get a job elsewhere. Frankly, I think it is sad that he went down the path that he did. there are many dedicated Christians in the higher levels of science these days. He could have built bridges instead of tearing them down. He is bearing the consequences of his actions, for good or bad. It did not need to end up like this

    However, I would rather work for a burger joint with a decent boss than sell my integrity for a paycheck.

  52. Lydia

    The book on spiritual abuse recovery is written by Barbara Orlowski. She has some data to suggest that higher levels of spiritual abuse are found in churches which preach a limited role of women. I’ll write more on the subject n the coming couple of weeks. Finally, some data that suggests what we have suspected.

  53. TWW, I want to challenge you that your above statement

    As previously stated, it seems to us that the accusations of HERESY are coming from only one side.

    is not playing out as true on this blog. While it is a good work to challenge unbiblical additions to Scripture’s words, we ought to do it in a gracious manner and expect others to do the same.

  54. Watcher

    Can you be more specific about the heresy charges coming from TWW? One commenter, who I know was being tongue in cheek, was giving an example of how this could escalate to an all out war. Other than that, can you give me examples?

    Also, I have given up on expecting the other side to be gracious in their response. I have watched, and experienced, this over a course of years, and unless some new people insert themselves into the argument and denounce Ham and gang, I believe that the rhetoric will only intensify and continue to deeply hurt the cause for Christ.

    If you have reliable information to the contrary, i would be fascinated and would be happy to post it.

    In a debate forum, it has been the oE crowd which has been gracious and kind. However, the softer they speak, the louder the other side shouts. Sometimes, one must speak strongly in order to be heard. As far as i can see, the YE groups have brought this on themselves. Once again, if you have evidence to the contrary, let us know.

  55. Watcher,

    Would you please provide your insights to this quote from Reasons to Believe that we included in the post:

    “Ken Ham is an ardent young-earth creationist. As president of Answers in Genesis, he generates a steady stream of articles critiquing the old-earth view. Although I disagree with most of his assertions, I respect his right to express them. However, Ham’s article “The god of an old earth” crosses the line of amicable debate. By declaring “the god of an old earth cannot be the God of the Bible, and “the god of an old earth destroys the Gospel,” he is accusing old-earth creationists of heresy.

    Disagreements in the body of Christ are inevitable. And history has shown debate in the church can be edifying and unifying when it is conducted properly. This requires focusing on the things that unite us and avoid passing judgment on nonessential matters (Romans 14:1). But that is not the spirit of Ham’s paper. By claiming old-earth creationism violates orthodox Christian teachings, he seeks to denigrate and marginalize it. That only serves to divide faithful Christians and prevent them from having fellowship together.”

    Thank you.

  56. Dee, I missed the lighthearted spirit of the discussion, because in general the tone on this discussion hasn’t been in general terribly lighthearted. Maybe that’s because I tend not to ‘get’ snark very well (it usually comes across as totally serious to me).

    In order to be charitable (despite the fact that I am OE, although rather “eh” about it) to Ham, I’d need to read his whole paper. The reason I say that is that Ham might be throwing his allegations around for the very reason that TWW exists – he believes that it is a Paul confronting Peter issue. Then I’d need to look at why he builds his case. But I’d always want to be charitable to him as I would want to be to Biologos. Somebody in the debate ought to take the high road, and I believe that the YE crowd has abdicated it. Rachel Held Evans, whom I often disagree with, did a pretty good job of taking the high road while still stating her case in one of her recent blog posts.

  57. Watcher

    I challenge you to read and listen to Ken Ham. I have done so in great depth. I had hoped to give him the benefit of the doubt. Remember, until a few years ago, I thought everything was hunky dory and that we could all just get along and agree to disagree. I have written about this at length.

    It was Ken Ham and his cronies who changed my attitude towards this whole debate. From what I can see, some of the OE/TE crowd is tiring of this as well. How does one fight charges of heresy. Talk about a conversation killer! Once again, if you can prove that I am off base, I would be happy to post the evidence.

    I am familiar (and like much of her writings) with Rachel Evans and read her recent article. However, she has yet too be called a heretic by the YE Inquisitors. If she becomes more accepted by the Christian crowd, my prediction is that the gloves of the YE crowd will come off.In fact, if I remember correctly, I think I recently read something out of one of the seminaries that was not particularly charitable towards her. No surprise there. I will try to find it.

  58. “If you note in this link, Wise’s name is in blue which means he has a close affiliation with AIG.”

    No, it means they published one of his articles. It does not mean they hang out. I don’t know for sure that they don’t, but I never got that impression. Obviously they agree on YEC. But are they “buddies”? I don’t think they are.