The Lie. It’s such an eye-catching title. It makes me wonder what lie exactly the author is going to talk about, and if it’s a lie at all. I’ve really been looking forward to reading this book. My mother-in-law got me this book last year for my birthday (thanks mom!). I’ve been wanting to read it really badly, but the life of a full time college student, athlete, husband, father, dual employed guy is riddled with activity. Now that this penultimate semester of my college career is winding down, and I’m on the incredibly rad class schedule of a senior, I can finally start to really analyze this book and give it good rundown. Without further ado, I give you “The Lie” and my thoughts on this incredible book.
The book opens with the original introduction from the 1987 (my birth year) publication of the book, as well as a new introduction for the reprint. Ken Ham begins the book with a question that many people ask, and one that all Christians need to ask themselves. He was a high school student that was being taught evolution and asked the question, “If Genesis was not literally true, then what part of the Bible could I trust?” (page 17). This really has become the question of our day. If we cannot trust the beginning of the Bible to communicate truth to us, namely on origins, then how can we trust any part of it at all? Ham recalls going to his local minister to ask him what to do about his dilemma. The minister responded with the same response that many ill-prepared ministers are responding with more and more today. He told Ham to accept evolution, but then add it to the account of Genesis so that God used millions of years to bring it about.
I cannot state enough how egregious this really is on the part of the minister. Yes, there may have been a dearth of information regarding the topic of evolution vs. creation. Yes, there may have been a lack of foresight on the coming storm within the church. But to simply throw out the biblical account, seemingly without a whimper, is an error that ministers of any kind simply cannot make. The sad part of the story doesn’t end there however. This is a serious problem that is blighting the landscape of the church today. In the now 26 years since this book was written there have been many articles, journals, periodicals, books, videos, and even the Creation Museum (which Ken Ham is the president of) specifically designed to teach people that science corroborates, or confirms, the Bible in a young earth framework. Yet with all this information available, many Christians and atheists don’t go looking for the answers around them, and just accept what they’re told at face value.
The problem with millions of years being shoved into the first three chapters of Genesis is that it makes suffering, death, and disease a precursor to mankind itself, whom the Bible says are the reason that those things exist in the first place because their fall. Creation was very good before sin entered the world, and death and disease make no sense in that framework.
The Introduction ends with a request to have your mind challenged by the arguments put forth in the book.
Chapter 1: Christianity is under Massive Attack
Chapter 1 begins with Ham citing how the Christian thinking that once characterized our culture has become decidedly anti-christian. He then cites a series of sins that are on the rise, but I challenge that the most pressing issue at hand in our country is that sin itself is on the rise. Sinfulness is the main issue at hand in ours, and every culture. The understanding that Christians need to wrap their heads around is that people are going to hell every day because they are sinners who need Jesus.
Ham then asks a pertinent question for our time. “Why is it that so many people are cynical and seem to be closed to the Gospel when we talk about Christ?” (page 28). This is a twofold problem. As stated above, the prevailing issue in our culture is that mankind has an obsessive desire to act contradictory nature to Scripture because of the moral accountability that a belief in God brings. The second is that Christians are many times behind the curve in figuring out how to adapt their presentation of truth, and themselves to the world. The content of the truth does not change, but the presentation is easily adaptable.
Ham then states that even with the plethora of churches that dot the map across America, the church is simply not touching the culture the way that it once was. The reason for this, and I agree, is because the culture has been allowed to defile the church. I would add to this though that the problem started a long time ago when the church completely pulled out of the culture, and left the unbelieving world to fend for itself in a quest for spiritual truth. When the church (true believers), whom Paul says has the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2), takes it’s cues from the culture who cannot understand spiritual things (I Corinthians 2), then the church’s death knell has sounded.
Ham asks why people should obey the 10 commandments if God does not exist? (page 29). Mark Driscoll said something to the effect of, when we separate law from lawgiver, we wind misinterpreting the reason we had the law in the first place (http://marshill.com/en/transcript/ten-commandments-set-free-to-live-free/i-have-no-other-gods). When the judge is removed from the court, the trial continues to go on, then all hell breaks loose, as no arbiter is there to keep the peace. When the lawgiver has been removed, moral relativism reigns supreme.
When Christians misinterpret Scripture, we open wide a hole in the ramparts of morality that allows the legions of the enemy to pour in to the church. When we misinterpret judging to admonishment, then the culture wins any time we say anything “negative.” There is no neutral ground when it comes to this issue. The secular world is not wanting to gain neutrality with Christianity. Neutrality doesn’t result in Christ being thrown out of Christmas.
What “neutrality” has resulted in is prayer, creation, and other Christian values and thinking being gutted from education as we know it. Secular education is not neutral at all. It’s all or nothing, for both sides. All for Christ, or all against Christ. This is so important to note that it was not religion that was thrown out of schools. Ham declares brilliantly that Christianity was eliminated from the schools.
I’m not saying I’m anti-public school, but kids are being indoctrinated in the secular school system and are being taught a slanted method of thinking that intrinsically biases them against Christianity either consciously or subconsciously. But this isn’t why we should pull our kids out of the public school system, this is why we need to have our kids there. Our parents (myself and my wife who wants to teach in a public school) need to train up our children in the way they should live, and train them how to think biblically for themselves, not what to think. The school’s need the influence of Christians within their boundaries. Mission fields come in all shapes and sizes.
If we can’t have God in the science classes, and everything came about naturally, then what God exactly, Ham asks, are our kids learning about when they sit in their religion classes in school? (page 31). You can’t have a second square if square one never existed. The sad thing is that this is happening right under the noses of the people who should care the most. The parents are being duped. Ham states they’ve been duped into believing that millions of years is science, and creationism is religion. (page 35).
I know what you’re thinking. “But Just, we have to be tolerant of all the other view of Scripture! So what if millions of years were used.” To that, Ken Ham and I would say that the 6-day literal interpretation of Genesis is correct, and all other views are wrong. Can you tolerate us, please? After all, Jesus was very tolerant of the those who didn’t agree with His understanding of Scripture (sarcasm). Jesus was always involved in a battle between competing dogmas. The religious leaders’ legalism, and Jesus’ unprecedented authoritative teaching of Scripture that concussed the religious leaders’ understanding.
What people hate about Jesus is that He is very dogmatic. He is very absolute. Morality is not a case by case basis. God is a God of ethics and He cares deeply about the needs of mankind. He demands responsibility for your actions, and the secular world cannot stand that they can’t take a pill for that.
Ham expresses that the sad nature of this battle is that Christians have failed to recognize the real nature of the battle (page 34), and I would add that many don’t even see that there is a battle at all. The issue comes down to authority. When your authority is your base animal instincts in your primate or lizard brain, when people are told they are animals, that is exactly what you get. That’s your authority and moral responsibility. Chemicals. When your authority is Christ, you are answerable to a judge who gives an account, and will judge according to our deeds.
What creationism asserts, Ham says, is that its beliefs come from eyewitness accounts of those who were there from beginning to present. We stake our claim on empirical evidence of internal and external tests. This is the inherent problem with science–we can’t test the past. It’s not possible to repeat the tests with the scientific method since all the evidence we have is in the present. Christianity is a belief of the past as well, but our beliefs stem from eyewitness accounts who were there and saw it all happen (page35).
Ham states that scientists are not objective. They have presuppositions and biases just like we do (page 36). The science that Ham is referring to is particularly origin science. Creationist and evolutionist scientists can work together on observational science and construct a spaceship, but in the matter of origins they simply cannot agree (page 36). In the end, it is no longer a game of whether someone is biased or not, but “which bias is the best bias with which to be biased.”
Ultimately, what we are dealing with is a starting for different religions. Christianity begins with God’s word, while all others begin with man’s word. This is not religion versus science. It’s religion versus religion. It is the science of man’s account of historical science, versus God’s account of historical science (page 40).
It must be stated that evolution is not the cause of sin(s) (page 41). Sin itself is the cause of sin(s). It is the Christian’s responsibility to understand the times in which we live, and present the Gospel accordingly as we seek to stem the tide in this truth war, and this battle for the beginning.
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If you can spare 35-odd minutes, check out this video from Ray Comfort and Living Waters Ministries. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0u3-2CGOMQ
interested in Ken Ham’s book? Purchase it here! http://www.answersingenesis.org/store/product/lie-25th-anniversary-edition/
Curious about Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum? Need answers to bolster your faith? Check out these websites! http://www.answersingenesis.org and http://creationmuseum.org