Beginning from the Right Foundation

Equipping young people to think from a biblical worldview

by Ken Ham on April 27, 2024
Featured in Ken Ham Blog

“Can you please teach us how to think?”

All the challenging questions we have to grapple with today are addressed by remembering where to start: “In the beginning, God created.” I wanted to share with you some experiences Executive CEO Martyn Iles has had answering such questions from this month’s letter we mail to our US supporters.

A few years ago, I was helping a group of teenagers with some tutoring sessions. They would ask about everything—from English essays to science projects.

As this practice grew, I wondered how we might make the best use of our time. So one evening, I asked them, “What do you need help with the most?”

After a long pause, one of them suddenly lit up as if she’d had the best idea of her life. That’s when she said, “Can you please teach us how to think?” This was met with a chorus of approval and delight from the others.

That was not the answer I was expecting!

These young folks were only about 13 at the time. They are entering their early 20s now. They are Generation Z. That moment told me something: this generation has no foundations. They live in a world of subjectivity, where everything is based on how they feel. Identity is based on self. Truth is “my truth.” God is whatever spiritual preference feels best. Morality depends on culture, context, and perceptions. There is nothing solid, nothing reliable, nothing absolute.

This is a terrible tragedy because there is truth. There is a foundation.

Whether they realized it or not, these young people were genuinely feeling the burden of that. They realized they couldn’t think clearly at all. But this is a terrible tragedy because there is truth. There is a foundation. This is why ministries like Answers in Genesis really matter in days like these. This is the very problem we answer.

The Foundation for Right Thinking

See, the key to thinking well is to begin from the right foundation. If you have the foundation, it’s easy to see how everything else builds on it. If you begin in the right place, you’ll be less likely to go astray later. So people need to begin at the right foundation, and the rest will fall into place.

It reminds me of this song from The Sound of Music: “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you read, you begin with A, B, C. When you sing, you begin with do, re, mi.” But what foundation lies at the beginning of everything? Even before A, B, and C?

Well, maybe we should (literally) take a leaf out of God’s Book. What does God choose as his foundation when he speaks to us in his Word? Before God says a single thing about anything at all, he begins from this foundation: “In the beginning, God created” (Genesis 1:1).

There you have it.

How to think? Start with God and what he has done. That is strange in a culture where people tend to start explaining their thoughts with the phrase “I feel like.” We speak from our own authority—how we feel about things—rather than from God’s authority.

We start with ourselves. We don’t start with God. This is the first sin identified in a Romans 1 culture—ungodliness. In other words, people fail to begin with God and his authority. The result is foolishness.

God teaches us how to think with wisdom in Genesis 1:1 by beginning with himself and what he has done. Jesus modeled this for us as well. Consider the occasion in Matthew 19 where he is asked whether it’s OK to get a divorce. These days, people resolve such questions with advice like, “Do what’s right for you.” But Jesus resolves the question by beginning at the right foundation.

Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? (Matthew 19:4–5)

See—he starts with God’s view on the matter, not ours. In particular, he starts with what God has done—he created marriage. He followed the same pattern as Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created.” Having turned to that foundation, he then applies it to the question: “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6). In other words, don’t divorce!

Did you know you can think like this about absolutely everything? In Romans 13:1–7, the Apostle Paul even applies this pattern to the government. He begins with the fact that God created authority and works out his teaching from there.

A New Resource

In my brand-new book on identity, Who Am I?, I deliberately do the same thing. I show the disastrous consequences of addressing this question based on self and instead point the reader to God and what he has done. The only truly clarifying answers to the identity question are found in the Creator’s blueprint for human beings and in Christ’s redemptive work for human beings.

We need to restore the foundations in these confused times. Fortunately, Genesis is the book of foundations. It seems that no matter what this society comes up with next, there is a relevant foundation in Genesis.

And thanks to your support, we can spread this foundational message through an ever-increasing range of platforms and technologies which have the power to reach new generations. First, through our traditional books, curricula, and the “brick-and-mortar” attractions. More recently, we have expanded enormously into social media, having passed 110 million views on YouTube—and that doesn’t account for our other platforms like Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok. And as we look to the future, we are mindful that the next generation is being influenced by clever new interactive platforms that use artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

This presents possibilities in terms of global reach and intergenerational influence that we once only dreamed of. We are carefully and wisely investing in ways to ensure that the foundations of Scripture and the power of the gospel are present on these platforms too. This is pioneering work, and I ask that you partner with us in this effort through prayer and financial support.

Meanwhile, we can all model “right thinking.” We can be those who start with God and what he has done. We can teach it and live by it ourselves.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10)

Thank you for standing with us. Your partnership with us is such an encouragement!

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

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