Ken Ham: Compromise, Six Days, and the Authority of Scripture
Ken Ham opened the Tuesday afternoon session of the Answers for Pastors conference by presenting the first of three parts in his series based on his book Already Compromised. Ken shared with the pastors in attendance some of the research found in this excellent resource. This talk was given at our Mega Conference in July, so I will simply restate what was shared in the blog post for that conference.
Ken started by explaining the differences between operational science and historical science. Many people present the creation vs. evolution debate as a battle over faith vs. science. However, this is simply false. Both creation and evolution, along with young earth vs. old earth, are matters of historical science. The best place to learn history is from a reliable historical resource. The Bible provides the accurate history of our world and is from the God who made everything, who was there, who knows everything, and who cannot lie. As such, we know what happened in the past because God has told us.
The remaining portion of the presentation focused on the compromise that is rife within the church. Many Christian professors, leaders, and pastors have rejected a straightforward understanding of Genesis 1–2 because of man’s beliefs about the past. Video or audio segments were played from Bruce Waltke, Peter Enns, John Sailhamer, Karl Giberson, Darrel Falk, Jeff Schloss, William Lane Craig, Tremper Longman III, John Walton, J.P. Moreland, Joel Hunter, John Piper, Tim Keller, N.T. Wright, Alister McGrath, Dinesh D’Souza, Greg Boyd, and more. Not only have these Christian leaders rejected the plain words of Scripture regarding the age of the earth and how God created everything, but most of them reject the Bible’s clear teaching that Adam and Eve were the first two human beings. Tim Keller went so far as to say that believing in a literal interpretation of Genesis 1–2 is to believe there was an “idiotic editor” of these chapters.
Dr. Al Mohler: Running the Rapids—the Real Life Challenges of Young Christians
For his second presentation of the day, Dr. Mohler sought to teach parents and Christian leaders how to prepare young people for what they will face in high schools and colleges. Too many Christian parents are naive when it comes to the dangers facing Christians in these places. We tend to think that school wasn't so bad when we went, so our kids should be able to make it through as well. Before reaching such a conclusion, you must understand what has taken place in the past several decades in our schools.
Dr. Mohler discussed the creation of the teenage culture that took place following World War II. Prior to this time, children were children one day and then adults the next. In our world today, we have created a time in the lives of people in which they are practically encouraged to rebel. We place them in settings where the social spaces of adolescents are now different than adults. Instead of working and learning alongside adults, teens are placed with other teens and we often tolerate their disobedience and immaturity. In recent years this adolescent time period has extended into one's twenties and now into a person's thirties. We must prepare young people to grow up and live godly.
An interesting dilemma faces those who wish to transform America into a godless nation. The so-called “red states” are quickly growing in population while the people in “blue states” are not having many children. If this trend continues, then the liberal-minded folks will lose the battle of ideas. However, the response by some liberals is disturbing, and Christians need to pay close attention to the following words spoken by a liberal professor (paraphrased):
Those who are hoping for a liberal America see things going against them from a reproduction rate, but we don’t need to worry, because one day the SUV is going to drive up to my campus, and then the doors will open, and the parents will deliver their children to me, and then they're mine.Actually, most liberal professors believe they are doing a good thing when they indoctrinate young students who come from Christian homes. You might think, “Well, that’s just one college. Not all colleges are the same.” That’s true, but as Dr. Mohler shared, most colleges want to be the same. The most prestigious colleges, such as the Ivy League schools, are the ones that set the standards (and are often the most liberal). Since these are the most prestigious, other schools hire graduates from these places, so the ideas spread throughout the universities. As Dr. Mohler stated, “These institutions have an enormous conforming power to the secular left.”
James Davidson Hunter wrote that in the 1980s, the truth claim that was most under sustained attack in schools was the exclusivity of the gospel. Younger evangelicals are beginning to compromise the truth that Jesus is the only Way. They are performing “cognitive bargaining.” They involve themselves in a process of trading off ideas they think they can do without.
The reality is that when you now come to America’s colleges you have to know who you are or else someone will tell you who you are. There is so much pressure on students to drop certain beliefs, and it is very difficult to stop dropping other beliefs once you give in.
As much as we might try to protect kids from all that’s coming, we cannot keep them entirely secluded. We need to prepare them for it. It’s been done before. Christians in first-century Corinth sent their children to the marketplace where they would necessarily walk by open sexual immorality and many other vices. America is quickly coming to this point, and we need to prepare our young people to deal with it in a way that they can maintain their faith in Christ.
As one writer stated, “Serious-minded Christians are going to be the only Christians left.” Cultural Christianity will be swept away and Christianity will be reshaped before our eyes. When you look at our young people, you are looking at the future. Do they know what they must know so that they don’t give up the faith?
Another researcher stated that the young kids in Christian homes “aren’t Christians. They’re almost Christians.” How much stronger of a warning do we need to take seriously God’s command to train our children?
We offer some great resources for training young people in the biblical worldview so that they can withstand the attacks on the faith and reach out to an unbelieving world with the gospel of Christ. Here are a few of these resources:
Demolishing Strongholds (full curriculum with DVDs, teacher's guide, and student guide)
Answers Book for Teens (new resource providing answers to 15 of the biggest issues facing teenagers)
The Truth Chronicles (adventure novels for junior high students addressing many of the most common attacks on the faith, plus study guide)
Dr. Terry Mortenson: Ape-men, Adam, and the Authority of Scripture
This talk was also presented at the Mega Conference this past summer. So allow me to copy my post that summarized that presentation.
Dr. Terry Mortenson is a popular speaker and author with Answers in Genesis. He has authored The Great Turning Point and Coming to Grips with Genesis. He delivered the first talk of the morning and he focused on the various alleged missing links between ape-like creatures and humans. Each of the following so-called ape-men have turned out to be either fully ape, fully man, or fully hoax:
- Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) – fully ape
- Lucy’s “daughter” – fully ape
- Neanderthal – fully human
- Piltdown Man – hoax (50-year-old orangutan bones that were tampered intentionally mixed with 600 year old human bones)
- Nebraska Man – hoax, built from the tooth of an extinct pig
- Boxgrove Man (1994–1995) everything found (two teeth, shin bone, stone tools) was clearly human, but the reconstruction showed a creature fully human from the neck down, but with an ape-like head.
Dr. Mortenson concluded by telling the audience these four possible ways to make an ape-man:
- A few human bones + imagination
- A few ape bones + imagination
- A few ape bones + a few human bones + imagination
- A few ape bones + file and other tools + imagination
The Answers for Pastors conference has already been a tremendous blessing to many in attendance. I hope these blog posts will serve as an encouragement to you. There are answers available to address the many attacks on the Christian faith.
Please check back soon for updates on the remaining days of the conference.
Thanks for reading!