Calvin College and USA Today

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USA Today Mentions Creation Museum in Article on New Evolution Exhibit

On the website of the national newspaper USA Today, our Creation Museum was cited in a piece about the Smithsonian’s new human origins exhibit—full of evolution, of course—that has just opened in Washington DC. In the article, it states that the museum supposedly expected creationist protesters (maybe that’s because a few dozen evolutionists protested our museum’s opening in 2007)!

A museum official stated, according to USA Today, that the exhibit’s presentation of human evolution lets “visitors reach their own conclusions.” Hmm.

Here is a portion of what the reporter wrote:

As for creationists’ take on the exhibit? “I haven’t really paid too much attention to it,” says Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, which runs the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky. Famed for its juxtaposition of people and dinosaurs, the museum promotes a literal reading of the Old Testament in its view of human and the Earth's origins. "I'm amused how much the (Smithsonian) exhibit cost. We built a whole museum for that much," Ham says.

For anyone keeping score, the Smithsonian's Hall of Human Origins measures 15,000 square feet and the Creation Museum encompasses 70,000 square feet of exhibits.

Warming to his topic, Ham called it "child abuse" for the Smithsonian to "promote the secularist view that people are just animals. So, if you are an animal, you might as well do anything you want.’

We’ll see if this article also makes it into the print edition of USA Today. Meanwhile, here is a link to the web article for you to read in its entirety.

Is the Gospel a Fake? More Calvin College Sadness

Well—this minor controversy all started because I quoted a Calvin College religion professor (who says there are errors in the Bible and that the Bible is not inerrant) in my State of the Nation 2 address in the museum several weeks ago. I have written a couple of blog items now about a student who wrote a scathing opinion piece against us—in response to the State of the Nation address—in the Chimes student newspaper of Calvin College, which was followed by another scathing and sarcastic piece by the paper’s editor in response to my blog.

Here are the links to the blogs:

Well, we have now received two emails from another Calvin College student (Erik Bolt). I trust this is not representative of the caliber of students at this Christian college or their spiritual state . It is so sad to see this continuing personal attack on AiG (and me) with no documentation on our supposed lying. I have challenged the writer of the opinion piece to document his claim of my lying—but to no avail. Now, in these two latest emails we read: “And if you want proof of all the lies you have spread over the years, your fake museum serves as all the evidence we need.”

Not very specific is it? Actually, our “fake museum” not only walks people through the Bible from the beginning of history, but also presents powerfully the gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope this person is not claiming the gospel presentation is also a “fake”? And in regard to my challenge to document the accusation against me of lies, we read,

And if you want proof of all the lies you have spread over the years, your fake museum serves as all the evidence we need.

You lambaste us for not documenting the false claims that you have made in attacking us; no such documentation was needed, because the evidence speaks for itself. Your speech was so full of self-evident untruths and pointless attacks on fellow Christians that it would be fruitless to catalog them.

So now I am accused once again (without specific documentation) of telling “untruths.” I just don’t understand how a Christian can call another Christian a liar (in a public way) without presenting any evidence—even after asking for it!

I have reprinted in full this student’s latest two emails to us—they speak for themselves—and we have also used them for today’s Special Feedback item on the front page of our website, which I encourage you to read and see many more details regarding this matter. (By the way, when the student submitted his comments to us, he indicated to us that AiG had “permission to publish my name if my feedback is selected for publication on the Internet.”)

Shame on you for distorting the words of those of us at Calvin brave enough to stand up to you. You, Ken Ham, are not God. You have no monopoly on Scripture or the word Biblical. And if you want proof of all the lies you have spread over the years, your fake museum serves as all the evidence we need.

Do you have nothing better to do than read every college paper in the country looking for your name? And do you really care about nothing more than your own reputation? Are you so insecure that you see my piece from last week as only an attack on you? It wasn't.

I wrote to reconcile and tell the world that there are other issues on which Scripture must be defended that are far more pressing than the one that you claim is the only one. I don't mind the publicity, but I resent the attempt to paint me as your enemy. Our criticism of you comes only in response to your unprovoked attacks. I criticize you because you deserve it; it was secondary to my point. You should be able to realize that.

—Erik Bolt, U.S.

Mr. Ham,

I am absolutely stunned by your hurtful response to my friend and classmate Daniel Camacho on your recent blog. He did absolutely nothing wrong in responding to your shameful attacks on our College. I'm writing this because I in turn weighed in on the situation, as you'll find if you continue to read our Chimes, so I'm sure I'll probably find myself under assault on your blog before long.

You challenged Daniel to a debate. I have no idea if he will accept, but be prepared to lose. Even if you seem to prevail, the sheer cowardly arrogance of publicly demanding a debate from a man one-third your age will damage your image in ways you probably cannot imagine.

You lambaste us for not documenting the false claims that you have made in attacking us; no such documentation was needed, because the evidence speaks for itself. Your speech was so full of self-evident untruths and pointless attacks on fellow Christians that it would be fruitless to catalog them.

I truly feel sorry for you.

—Erik Bolt, U.S.

Pastor Challenges Calvin College

A minister from Grand Rapids, Michigan (where Calvin College is located and who is in Reformed church circles) sent a letter to the Chimes newspaper. He sent me this cover note and the letter:

Ken. I’ve forwarded the following letter to the Chimes (date submitted), related to the discussion on Scriptural inerrancy. [The letter was published yesterday—March 19, 2010]. The position taken by the editor of the chimes and Daniel Harlow (Calvin Religion Professor) are not consistent with the Historic position of the Christian Reformed Church (the college’s supporting denomination) nor consistent with their own currently subscribed to confessions. As a graduate of Calvin & former board member I along with a number of others were compelled to leave the denomination over this issue of the authority of Scripture and form the United Reformed Church. I wanted you to know that there are still believers from a Reformed background who have not compromised on this issue of inerrancy – and note that this newer view at Calvin College is not consistent with Scripture, Calvin’s past and Reformed Confessions. It’s sad to see an institution that was once faithful to God’s Word now placing man’s fallible ideas above the inerrant and infallible Word of God.

Rev. Casey D. Freswick

Pastor, Bethany United Reformed Church (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Former minister of the CRC

Graduate(1980) and former Board member of Calvin College and Seminary

Rev. Freswick also sent me an addendum to his letter to the Chimes editor:

Just one correction to my letter to the editor. It really was the first century of the CRC and not the first century and a half. I missed this. The CRC was established in 1857 was basically sound for 100 years and then began its decline in the last 50 years to come to the point that they do not even know what they believed in the first 100 years.

Here is the letter to the editor he sent (and was published but without giving the information at the end of the letter regarding the fact he is a former Calvin College board member:

Dear Editor of Chimes,

I submit the following perspective to the historical revisionism reflected in most of editorials and letters to the editor that fail to faithfully describe the clear teaching of Scripture as confessed in the Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dordt and the Belgic Confession and the historic practice of the first century of the Christian Reformed Church taught at Calvin College during that time. It should be clear from the following that the vast majority of the Calvin community rejects the teachings clearly taught in these confessions. I submit the following from Synod 2001 of the United Reformed Churches of North America and encourage your readers to also read the last issue of "Modern Reformation" to get a true view of the historic consensus of Reformed theology and its clear understanding and adherence to Biblical infallibility and inerrancy.

From the Synod of the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA) 2001

Synod affirms that Scripture teaches, as summarized by the Creeds and the Three Forms of Unity:

  • The authority and perspicuity of Scripture (Belgic Confession V; Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day VII).
  • Necessity and sufficiency of Scripture (Belgic Confession VII; Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day VII).
  • God the Father almighty created the heavens and the earth and all things visible and invisible (Apostle’s and Nicene Creed).
  • The Father created the heavens and the earth out of nothing (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day IX).
  • God gave every creature its shape and being (Belgic Confession XII).
  • The creation and fall of man. “God made man of the dust of the earth; man gave ear to the devil.” (Belgic Confession XIV).
  • The historicity of Adam (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day VII.20; Canons of Dort III, IV.1).
  • Man was created good, in a garden, and tempted by the devil, committed reckless disobedience (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day III and IV).
  • God’s words to the serpent in Paradise are noted as the first revelation of the Gospel (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day VI).
  • Adam plunged himself and his offspring by his first transgression into perdition (Belgic Confession XVI).
  • Adam’s fall into sin and our connection to it (Canons of Dort I.1).
  • God came seeking man when he, trembling, fled from Him (Belgic Confession XVII).
  • God created all things good in six days defined as evenings and mornings (Genesis 1 &2 and Exodus 20:11). This means that we reject any evolutionary teaching, including theistic evolution, concerning the origin of the earth and of all creatures (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’sDay IX).

Synod affirms our commitment as churches to the Church Order’s procedure in dealing with matters of discipline of those whose teaching stands in conflict with the Bible as summarized in the Creeds and the Three Forms of Unity.

Grounds:

1. The above is consistent with the basis of our federative unity, which we declare is in the Bible as summarized in the Three Forms of Unity. We have said together in the introduction of our church order:

We as a federation of churches declare complete subjection and obedience to the Word of God delivered to us in the inspired, infallible and inerrant book of Holy Scripture. We believe and are fully persuaded that the Reformed Creeds do fully agree with the Word of God and therefore do subscribe to the Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dort. . . . The churches of the federation, although distinct, voluntarily display their unity by a common confession and church order.

2. The Three Forms of Unity adequately contain the parameters within which the interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 can responsibly take place.

3. The above will provide the context in which we are able to protect the churches from heresy and spur one another onto faithful and vigilant discipline in order to protect our confessional unity.

The recent attacks on Ken Ham make it clear that Calvin’s own history is not only no longer adhered to but in an age of relativism is declared never to have even existed in the CRC and at Calvin College. This is clearly and historically wrong.

Sincerely,
Rev. Casey D. Freswick

Pastor, Bethany United Reformed Church

Former minister of the CRC

Graduate (1980) and former Board member of Calvin College and Seminary

More Calvin College Feedback

Here is an email (representative of many comments we have seen) about the Calvin College OpEds, letters, and blogs about the inerrancy issue:

Dear Mr. Ham -

I would like to comment on your article "You Wouldn't Believe ... Calvin College". As a Christian of 20+ years (in my late 40's) and a theology student I must encourage you in this battle. The current social trends rage against moral absolutes and render God to our feelings and desires. This is unbiblical. I hardly think we could have imagined how fast our society has become depraved and debase enough to replace the inspired Word of God with our personal thoughts and feelings.

Please know that my family and I appreciate your efforts and understand what we are all up against. Studying church history we quickly realize that suffering is the lot of the committed Christian. This young generation, and it's arrogance, will soon see the refiners fire and subsequently must change. The Bible is without error, inspired by God. Period.

My family visited the Creation Museum and LOVED IT! An Oasis. Be encouraged brother, I know what you are up against.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

Ken Ham’s Daily Email

Email me with Ken’s daily email:



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