More from Calvin College. Bodie Hodge, AiG–U.S., responds.
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.
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.
Thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis regarding the allegations by several people at Calvin College claiming that Ken Ham lied. We have asked those who made this claim for specific instances and so far no one has sent any. Mr. Ham, like any Christian who wants to maintain biblical integrity, is curious to know where he specifically lied (even if it was unknowingly). This way he can correct the statement if need be.
When I read these two emails from you, I suspected that you were sending us some substantiation. But found the contrary and it was a rather hostile response with precious little grace. Below is my response in point-by-point fashion, sent with the kindness and respect that Peter demanded in 1 Peter 3:15, but also with the boldness that Paul displayed to fellow believers (2 Corinthians 10:1).
I am absolutely stunned by your hurtful response to my friend and classmate Daniel Camacho on your recent blog.
What was hurtful in it? When you agree to the feedback rules, you agreed to send substantiation for such claim. Why didn’t you?
But look at the converse. Were you stunned by the hurtful response of your friend Daniel Camacho first had toward Ken Ham in the Chimes, a student newspaper of Calvin College? If not, this is hypocrisy.
He did absolutely nothing wrong in responding to your shameful attacks on our College.
And what shameful attacks are these? Please read the portion where Ken quotes a public statement by Calvin College professor Daniel Harlow. Ken did not take the quote out of context, and the quote clearly conveys what Professor Harlow meant. This is not an attack but the truth (see Ken Calvin College Quote from SoN2).
But I find it interesting that you use the term “shame.” Being fairly familiar with Calvin College’s theistic evolutionary stance, where Genesis 1–11 is not taken as literal history, why would you possibly believe that shame exists? Shame comes from a literal Genesis where mankind originally had no shame (Genesis 2:25) and due to sin, beginning when a literal Adam and literal Eve ate a literal fruit to defy a literal God, shame became a reality (Genesis 3:7). So this very comment reveals that you still have beliefs that require a literal rendering of Genesis just for you to make a case.
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.
It is not Answers in Genesis or Ken Ham you need to worry about, but Christ who said:
“Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
But consider your quote in the Chimes here:
The case is closed, people. Thanks to Professors Young, Schneider, Harlow, and numerous others, there really is not an abiding need for a belief in a young earth. It’s not just science that has proven the great age of our universe; the best of Christian Biblical scholarship has gotten to the bottom of the issue and determined that there is no conflict between God’s Word and God’s world. It is as simple as that. The earth is billions of years old. People evolved from apes. Adam was an early hominid leader whose arrogant actions against God led his entire tribe into sin. Life continues to evolve in thousands of exciting directions, and for that we have a brilliant God to thank.1
And consider this response:
Bolt: The case is closed, people. Thanks to Professors Young, Schneider, Harlow, and numerous others, there really is not an abiding need for a belief in a young earth. It’s not just science that has proven the great age of our universe; the best of Christian Biblical scholarship has gotten to the bottom of the issue and determined that there is no conflict between God’s Word and God’s world. It is as simple as that.
So you believe humans (bolded) are the ultimate authority on matters. This is called humanism. Paul said God’s Word is the authority:
2 Timothy 3:16–4:4
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Bolt: The earth is billions of years old.
So you believe John Calvin was wrong when he commented on the first day of creation:
“the evening, the first part of the night, or darkness, put for the whole night, which might be about the space of twelve hours; and the morning, which was the first part of the day, or light, put also for the whole, which made the same space, and both together one natural day, consisting of twenty four hours;”2
Calvin went on to say:
“They will not refrain from guffaws when they are informed that but little more than five thousand years have passed since creation of the universe.”3
And Moses must have been wrong, too, in your view:
For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
And you must also believe Jesus was wrong when He said that man and woman, the first marriage, came at the beginning of Creation? Jesus went so far as to understand Genesis as literal history as the basis for doctrines, such as marriage in Mark 10:6 and Matthew 19:4–5. Jesus specifically quotes Genesis 1 and 2 as literal history. But note that He is clear where woman came from by the reference to the two becoming one flesh because woman came from the man.
But from the beginning of the creation, God “made them male and female.”
In a billions-of-years creation, the first marriage between Adam and Eve came at the end of creation.
Bolt: People evolved from apes.
So you must believe that “dust” is a metaphor for apes (Genesis 2:7) . . . . so do you also believe that when we die, we become an ape again (Genesis 3:19)?
And also, was Luke lying when he said Adam was the son of God, not the son of an ape (Luke 3:38)?
Bolt: Adam was an early hominid leader whose arrogant actions against God
In this fairy tale you propose, how did Adam rebel, and what makes you think he did anyway? The true origin of sin against God comes from a literal historical narrative called Genesis. If it cannot be taken as written, how do you know that Adam even sinned or that there was a hominid named Adam?
Bolt: led his entire tribe into sin.
Entire tribe? The Apostle Paul disagrees with you:
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man‘s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
For if by the one man‘s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
Therefore, as through one man‘s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man‘s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
For as by one man‘s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man‘s obedience many will be made righteous.
It also doesn’t make sense that Paul would state twice that woman came from man:
1 Corinthians 11:8
For man is not from woman, but woman from man.
1 Corinthians 11:12
For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.
Paul further disagrees with you in that Eve was the first to transgress and led Adam into sin:
1 Timothy 2:14
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
Moses also disagrees with you as there were no tribes of other people until after sin. The first child was Cain after they sinned (Genesis 4:1).
Bolt: Life continues to evolve in thousands of exciting directions, and for that we have a brilliant God to thank.
So theistic evolutionists think cancer is an exciting direction? Or miscarriages? Or progeria? I could list a whole host problems fueled by mutations, the alleged driving force of evolution. And then theistic evolutionists want to attribute that to a good God? This doesn’t make sense. There are major problems with billions of years such as the theological problem of death before sin.
Sadly, this is what a theistic evolutionary perspective would lead to. In a theistic evolutionary worldview, death has always been and would, therefore, be dubbed “very good” (Genesis 1:31) and “perfect” (Deuteronomy 32:4). Death becomes God’s fault. No wonder it is so difficult for theistic evolutionists to explain the gospel where Jesus came to save us from sin and death—that we, as humans, fell into from a literal Adam. When you trust God’s Word from the very first verse, there is a coherent basis for the gospel.
You challenged Daniel to a debate. I have no idea if he will accept,
So far we have heard nothing.
but be prepared to lose.
This sounds a bit arrogant. Why do you think Mr. Ham will 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.
If Daniel wouldn’t have attacked with claims of Ken lying in the first place there would be no need for this. Would Daniel prefer to debate someone far younger than Ken— perhaps our astrophysicist, Dr Jason Lisle. He has only been out of college for a few years?
You lambaste us for not documenting the false claims that you have made in attacking us; no such documentation was needed,
So there have been claims that Ken lied; we ask where, and the response is that it is not needed?
because the evidence speaks for itself.
What evidence . . . this is what we are asking for? And second, this is a logical fallacy known as reification. Evidence cannot speak for itself, it must be interpreted.
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.
I really hope and pray that you will reconsider the Bible and learn to trust it when it speaks in every area—after all, God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18). This is really the issue: trust God’s Word or trust man’s fallible word— and which will God look to when judgment comes?
Shame on you for distorting the words of those of us at Calvin
How so? It appears that the quotes were indeed used in the proper context. Can you show me where we changed their statements or where these people recanted of their views? We want to be as accurate as possible.
brave enough to stand up to you.
Erik, please realize that this is not between you and us or you and Ken, or between Daniel and Ken, etc. . . . it is between God and all of us. As humans we all make mistakes, but God does not. And the issue is in trusting what God has to say over any fallible, imperfect human beings.
I understand that you have some tremendous respect for Daniel Harlow and others at Calvin College and please do not get us wrong; we encourage you to have respect for them. In fact, there is probably a great many things that we would all agree on.
But does that mean that what they or anyone says is equal to or greater than what God says? If one elevates mankind’s words to be greater than God’s Word, then they are raising up for themselves a greater authority than God, i.e. a false god.
Even Peter did that to a point where Jesus said to him “get behind me Satan.” Did Peter blast Jesus for such comments and call Jesus a liar? No. Peter tried to impose an idea on Jesus, and Jesus put Peter in his place (Mark 8:33). And Peter responded to the rebuke wisely. We are all sinners and all need to be rebuked biblically for things we have said or done (2 Timothy 4:2). I have been rebuked a number of times and I needed to humble myself and get in line with Scripture. The Bible reveals the two ways that rebuke is taken:
Proverbs 9:8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
So do those at Calvin College, who have criticized Ken (for quoting a professor in context), love Ken more or hate him?
You, Ken Ham, are not God.
Where did Ken claim this? Mr. Ham is an honorable man. I have at times rebuked him for things he has said and he listened and there have been times he rebuked me and I listened.
You have no monopoly on Scripture or the word Biblical.
Where did Ken or we claim this? We want to see people using the Bible; that is the point. But take note that in the Chimes, of the people having a go at Ken Ham—Daniel Camacho, Stephen Mulder, and John Schneider—not one Scripture reference was used.
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.
What was a lie in the museum then? But this brings up an interesting point. We preach the gospel in the museum—so do you believe the gospel is a fake and a lie?
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.
Like thousands of others, we use Google alerts, which tell us when “Ken Ham,” the “Creation Museum,” and so on pop up on the internet.
We love God and His Word, which comes with the authority of God Himself. When people, especially those claiming to be Christians, attack God’s Word in Genesis and hold up fallible ideas of mankind as greater than God’s Word—that is an attack on God. That is an important issue.
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.
And yet, you don’t believe the very Scriptures on which you claim to take a stand (e.g., the account of human origin in the Book of Genesis)? How can you trust any part of Scripture if you can’t trust all of it? How do you know, in your view, that God meant any of it to be trusted then? It is irrational to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are true. This also places you as the authority over God’s Word.
I don’t mind the publicity, but I resent the attempt to paint me as your enemy.
This is our first response to you. Again though, it has little to do with you versus us, it is a matter of trusting God’s Word.
Our criticism of you comes only in response to your unprovoked attacks.
As I pointed out before, Ken’s quote in the State of the Nation 2 was not an attack but told the truth of what Daniel Harlow was saying and was referenced properly. When someone publishes something publicly, anyone has the right to quote that publication. As Christians it is right to quote things in context and that is exactly what Mr. Ham did. This is not an attack but the truth.
I criticize you because you deserve it;
So Paul was lying too when He said:
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
it was secondary to my point. You should be able to realize that.
My dear Erik, it is sad to read such emails where people claim others are lying and yet, after being asked refuse to give examples. It is sad to read emails from Christians who side with atheism’s evolutionary and millions-of-years ideas over the very Words of Christ, which disagree.
I want to encourage you to get back to the Bible and trust it from the first verse to the last. This is what John Calvin, whom your college was named for, encouraged others to do as well.
With boldness and kindness in Christ,
For those in the Reformed circles reading this and want to know that the Bible can be trusted from the first verse, I want to encourage you to read Reformed theologian Dr. Doug Kelly’s book on the opening of Genesis [1:1-2:4] called Creation and Change. It is an excellent book and sets the groundwork for the Gospel.
Quote starts at ~39:32
What is this going to lead to ultimately?
Well, from a college that I know teaches evolution as fact and teaches millions of years, a Christian College-Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, here’s one of their professors of religion from their religion department.
He said this:
“To begin with, the Bible itself nowhere claims that it is inerrant (free of factual errors of any sort). . . .When thoughtful Christians turn to the historical narratives in the Bible, they see ancient authors who wrote according to the methods and standards of their own day . . .”
“But they made occasional errors of fact in areas like geology [geography], chronology and, and uh political history and so on. To acknowledge this is not to demean Scripture but to accept it as it is . . .”
“Here are two examples of minor factual errors,” he gives one supposedly from Daniel 5, Luke 2, “. . .inerrancy is simply not a property that that Scripture is claiming [claims to be]. . .”
He goes on to say, so he said this
“there is nothing misguided or deceitful, much less dangerous, about the Bible teaching [that] our students receive at Calvin College.”
They’re being told the Bible is not inerrant. They’re being taught that you can, there are mistakes in the Bible. By the way then, who determines what’s a mistake and what’s not?
It all becomes subjective; you might as well throw the whole thing away, which is what a lot of people actually do these days because of that sort of teaching.
Quote ends at ~40:46Back