During my involvement in Answers in Genesis’ biblical apologetics ministry, there have been many times people tried to get me into a particular church or college—but to no avail.
There were times we tried to reach out to particular Christian leaders or invite them to the Ark and Creation Museum so we would have the opportunity to impact them with the message God laid on our hearts. But alas, most times we were unsuccessful. Then, out of the blue, a door would open to get me into one of those colleges or churches, or a Christian leader we had given up on would suddenly ask to visit.
Such examples (and there have been many) remind me that God often does things in ways and when we least expect: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). It’s also a reminder that what we think is impossible is not impossible to God: “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
Ten years ago, if anyone had asked me, “Would you debate Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ in front of a worldwide audience?” I would have laughed. Impossible. That would never happen.
But February 4 of this year marks the tenth anniversary of the Ham/Nye debate. It did happen. We didn’t plan on it, neither did we even try to orchestrate such a debate. There’s no way we would have thought of having me debate Bill Nye. It wasn’t even a consideration. And yet, God specializes in doing things we think are impossible for reasons we don’t comprehend until afterward.
The most famous creationist debater was the late Dr. Duane Gish from the Institute of Creation Research. He debated many evolutionist scientists, and eventually, they stopped debating. They realized that by debating, they were giving the creationists publicity and letting people hear information that was basically censored from the public otherwise. When Dr. Gish retired, I considered that the end of the debate era.
Ten years later, I continue to hear weekly from young people who watch the debate, people who say it greatly inspired and equipped them to be bolder as Christians, and people who were atheists but became Christians as a result of God using the debate.
But back in 2013, an Associated Press reporter was interviewing me in my office. Mark Looy, another AiG founder, was with me. Suddenly, the reporter said he had asked Bill Nye if he would be willing to debate me, and Bill said he would. The reporter then asked if I would be willing to debate Bill Nye. I realized I had no option but to say yes. And so began the planning for a debate that received worldwide publicity. Millions watched it live, and it’s estimated (conservatively) that over 20 million have now watched the debate.
There’s no doubt interest in the AiG ministry grew exponentially as a result. Ten years later, I continue to hear weekly from young people who watch the debate, people who say it greatly inspired and equipped them to be bolder as Christians, and people who were atheists but became Christians as a result of God using the debate.
Many secularists were angry at Bill Nye for debating me—they didn’t want people to hear what I had to say, and they didn’t want people to think evolution could even be debated! But God orchestrated it all. God certainly does things way beyond our limited thoughts.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20)