The Southeast Homeschool Convention is now over, and I am back home. It was an excellent convention, as I have come to expect from the organization that arranged it. There were well over 2,000 families in attendance, and the talks I gave were incredibly well attended. I signed lots of students’ books (something I truly love to do) and met all sorts of impressive homeschooled students and homeschooling parents. I also posed for lots of pictures with students, which is something else I love to do.
I wanted to address two questions I got at this conference: one dealing with homeschooling at the high school level, and one dealing with theology.
During my talk ‘Teaching’ High School at Home, a parent asked about AP and/or CLEP tests – the tests that are often used by students to get college credits without actually taking college courses. The parent wanted to know if it is a good idea to take such tests, and if so, does it matter whether one uses AP or CLEP? The first thing I told the parent is that AP or CLEP exams are always a good idea, if you can afford the fee ($87 for the AP and $122 for the CLEP). If the student does poorly, which is rare among homeschooled students, you can simply not report the results to anyone. However, if the student does well, it strengthens your high school transcript. If you can list “Chemistry” on the student’s transcript and note that the student got a “4” on the AP (the second highest grade possible), it will go a long way towards convincing the evaluator that the student had an excellent chemistry course.
Now you need to realize that AP and CLEP tests are college-level tests, so your high school course in the subject needs to be very rigorous if the student is to have any hope of passing. I wouldn’t waste my money on an AP or CLEP test unless the student had a serious course in the subject. This brings me to the difference between the AP and the CLEP: Both test whether or not you know a subject at the college level, but the CLEP is an easier test. Thus, it is easier to get a good grade on the CLEP than it is to get a good grade on the AP. Why not just take the CLEP, then? Because since the CLEP is easier, it is not highly regarded by some colleges. There are many colleges that will give a student credit for a good score on the AP, but they won’t give the student credit for a good score on the CLEP. Thus, if you want to use the CLEP to get some college credit without taking the college classes, you need to make sure the college you are interested in accepts the CLEP.
The more important question, however, is should you use CLEP tests to get college credit without taking the college course? In my opinion, you should do so only if the course is unrelated to the student’s major. If so, it is an inexpensive way to get the annoying “distribution” credits that most colleges require for graduation, and as a bonus, you don’t have to sit through the annoying course. However, if the course is related to your major, I do not recommend testing out of it. No matter how good your high school course was, you will most likely learn more (or at least learn it better) if you take the college course. In addition, since the first few courses in a major tend to lay down important fundamentals, you should make sure you are a master at their material! If you had a great high school course, that just means it will be an easy “A,” and who couldn’t use that in the first couple of years of college?
The other interesting question I got was theological, and it was probably inspired by what I posted previously about Ken Ham. In my talk on the science that you find in the Bible, I discussed Matthew Maury, a naval officer who read Psalm 8:6-8:
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
Since Maury believed (as I do) that every word in the Bible is important, he decided that this verse meant there are actual paths in the seas. Because of this, he discovered many of the prevailing currents in the oceans, and that revolutionized world travel at the time.
A person in the audience asked me how I can be so detailed in my interpretation of Psalm 8:8 but not in Genesis 1. If I believe “path” means “path” in Psalm 8:8, why can’t I categorically state that “day” means “24-hour day” in Genesis 1?
I first made it clear that I do believe that the days in Genesis 1 were 24-hour days. However, I recognize (as theologians have since the earliest times in Christendom) that the case is far from ironclad. As a result, while I believe that they are 24-hour days, I am not about to claim that anyone who disagrees with me on that point has a poor view of Scripture.
To answer his question, however, I made it clear that “path” doesn’t really mean “path” in Psalm 8:8. It means “prevailing current.” However, it is clear what the word is meant to imply, since we have a lot of context for such an idea. We are all familiar (at least through the benefit of books) with the oceans and the fact that fish are found in them. We understand that they swim to get from point “A” to point “B,” and we understand that paths connect point “A” to point “B.” Thus, through context, it is very clear that the paths mentioned in Psalm 8:8 have something to do with getting from one point to the other in the sea.
Now move to Genesis 1. Here God is describing a one-time event that will never happen again. The only people around to witness the event came along right near the end. As a result, we have very little context for the event. In addition, what context we do have is a bit muddled. For example, Genesis 1 continues to repeat “there was evening and there was morning” to close out the account of each day. How do we recognize evening and morning? We use the sun. However, the sun was not created until day 4. Thus, the thing that we constantly use to determine evening and morning does not exist for the first three evenings and mornings!
Does that mean the days are not 24-hour days? Of course not! We know that morning turns into evening not because of the motion of the sun, but because of the rotation of the earth. As a result, if there were some other source of light that was acting roughly like a point source of light during the first three days, you could still have evening and morning as usual. However, the very fact that what we typically use to mark evening and morning didn’t exist for the first three evenings and mornings should at least give a person pause. In fact, it caused St. Augustine to write this in the early 400s AD:
“But at least we know that it [the Genesis day] is different from the ordinary day with which we are familiar; and we are attempting to discover its true nature.” (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis, 5:2)
There are other textual cues to indicate that these days might not be 24-hour days. For example, if you read the account of day 3, a straightforward reading indicates that it would take more than a 24-hour day for everything reported to actually happen. The account seems to say that plants emerged and bore fruit that had seeds. However, the fruiting process takes a lot more than 24 hours, and if we assume that the seeds and fruits were formed the normal way, then the plants had to flower and transfer pollen as well. That takes a long time. Now I personally think that God probably sped things up to make that all happen, but the point is that a straightforward reading does not indicate this. As a result, once again, it gives a person pause.
Please understand that I am not arguing that the days in Genesis were not 24-hour days. I think there are many more textual cues to indicate that they were (evening and morning, ordinals, definite articles for two of the days, etc.), and I think there are other parts of the Bible (such as Exodus 20:11) that add to those cues. My point, however, is that the text is simply not ironclad on this, and you don’t need evolution or “millions of years” to see that. Augustine, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and many other great Christian theologians did not need evolution or “millions of years” to force them to interpret the days as something other than 24-hour days. They just needed the text.
Thus, while I think the text (on balance) indicates the Genesis days were 24-hour days, the case is far from ironclad. As a result, I am not willing to say that those who see the Genesis days as something other than 24-hour days are absolutely wrong. I think they are wrong, but I am not certain they are wrong.
I was talking to a representative of Answers in Genesis about this, and he seemed flabbergasted that I do not agree with people who see the days of Genesis as something other than 24-hour days, but I fiercely defend them. He said something like, “If you think it’s bunk, why are you defending it?” That’s the point. I think it is wrong, but I do not think it is bunk. C. S. Lewis doesn’t come up with bunk. Norman Geisler doesn’t come up with bunk. Gleason Archer doesn’t come up with bunk. William Lane Craig doesn’t come up with bunk. These people are not “compromisers.” They are devout scholars who love the Word, and they have some good arguments to support their case. I am not convinced by their arguments, and I think mine are better. However, given that they each have forgotten more Biblical knowledge than I will ever learn, I will at least use them to temper my view with a bit of humility.
125 thoughts on “The Southeast Homeschool Convention”
Especially for the serious science student…
I disagree with many homeschool parents who believe in taking a lot of CLEP courses so their students can get their degrees cheaply and fast. I think the goal of college is more about intense studying and learning and not just about getting a degree.
We have used texts designated as AP, but have not participated in the AP tests. Although college admissions do look favorably on AP tests, I think that if you do “plan” on taking an AP test after an AP course, the class has a likelihood of becoming a “teaching to the test” course.
I tend to think that AP tests are overrated when it comes to receiving college credit for AP classes. While a student may get a general credit for an AP score, that credit doesn’t always transfer to a specific graduation requirement beyond number of credits. A lot of the more selective colleges are getting away from the introductory humanities requirements, such as composition. My college-senior son was required to take 4 courses that were designated as “W” for writing intensive; no introductory english class. I recall some subjects such as Exaggeration in the Media and Writing Fiction. He is currently taking an advanced physics lab that is designated as writing intensive.
Our approach has been to teach your AP texts and Calculus I at home; Calculus II was taken as a dual-enrollment student at a local state college. Son #1 also took some more advanced math courses. Son #2 has taken introductory chemistry courses/labs and also Organic Chemistry I at the college. I agree with you that, if the student plans on studying a science, then even the introductory courses should be taken at a college and not with AP or CLEP.
Bottom line…know what you want from your degree. Be educated in what your prospective college will require and will accept.
Thanks so much for your perspective, Kathy. I hope everyone who reads the article reads your comment on it!
I tend to agree when it comes to science-oriented degrees that you’re probably better off taking the classes for the area of study (CLEP doesn’t have enough options for science-oriented degrees anyway), but as someone working on a History degree using as much CLEP as possible, I find it a great way to get out of the agenda-driven social science courses that cost tens of thousands of dollars a year and take up way too much time teaching the stuff my mom taught me a few years ago.
Plus I plan on using the time and money I save to move on and get my MA, which I otherwise probably wouldn’t have been able to do, so whatever CLEP happened to lack in education, I gain back through utilizing its advantages.
That’s a good point, Kyle. I tend to think of science and math, because those are the classes with which I am most familiar. Introductory classes in the social sciences might, indeed, be worthy of testing out!
Thank-you for the well phrased and informative answer to the theological questions. Very helpful!
My pleasure, Hpitts!
Congratulations Dr Wile! You and Dr Susan have succeeded in censoring Answers in Genesis
I guess the Holy Spirit has put it on your heart to lead this charge.
Anthony, AiG has not been censored. Mr. Ham was disinvited by the convention because of his behavior. However, they have already found Dr. Jonathan Sarfati (who has the same views and whose books are sold by AiG) to speak in Mr. Ham’s place. AiG’s views will be heard, hopefully this time in a way that is consistent with the goals of the convention.
Dr Jay – what do you think of other speakers attacking Ken?
Vision Forum ”Ken is the most important living apologist of the Christian Faith in America today. His defense of Scripture has been a bulwark of orthodoxy. Last week we served together in South Carolina, but he has been removed from the docket at our next two scheduled events.” Doug Phillips
After being a speaker with Ken at the event; having seen the personal attacks against Ken by at least one fellow speaker; and then having read the surprising statements by the conference organizers, my staff and I made a combined four attempts by email and phone to reach the leadership of GHC in an effort to encourage a charitable and unifying outcome. At present, we have received no response. I want to wait for the present to hear back from the organizers before making any further statements. Read more on the Vision Forum Facebook page, or on my personal page, for those who are subscribers.
Anthony, I don’t know of any speakers attacking Mr. Ham at the convention. I only know that Mr. Ham attacked Dr. Enns at the convention. If other speakers similarly attacked Mr. Ham at the convention, they should be treated similarly.
I think your quote from Doug Phillips is good, and it shows that Mr. Ham was not removed from the convention for his views. If that were the case, Doug Phillips would have been removed as well. Once again, Mr. Ham was removed for his behavior. Given that behavior, I have no idea how a “charitable and unifying” outcome is possible, unless Mr. Ham is truly apologetic and repentant.
We are not likely to agree, given your fence-riding position. As the AiG representative you mentioned and I myself, in times past, have both asked, “If it’s bunk, why do you defend it?”
Your answer was essentially that some of your Christian heroes held this view so they couldn’t be wrong. That’s the silliest reason I’ve ever heard. You know as well as I that a man may be correct in nearly all respects, but he may be dead wrong on something else. You’re attempts to hide under the skirts of these great men of faith without answering the charge of your personal inconsistency in this matter is deeply troubling. Pick a side and get off the fence, sir.
As for this matter with Ken Ham, the organizers specifically state they will not filter as they have so that those who go to the convention only see those who are approved. If they had banned you for disagreeing with Mr Ham, you’d be livid; thus, I find your endorsement of the as-yet-anonymous Advisory Board’s decision a bit hypocritical. Forgive me if I note that Ken Ham seemes to have been censored [yes, that’s what it is; he joins the ranks of Charles Spurgeon for daring to name compromisers [see the Down-Grade Controversy if you need your memory jogged on this one] and being censored for daring to expose by name what writhed beneath the facade] for being consistent with his beliefs in speaking out against compromise and compromisers, while you remain inconsistent in defending what you profess is not true [but not bunk, because your holy heroes believe so].
A healthier attitude towards men of faith who err concerning Creation is found with Martin Luther:
“The days of creation were ordinary days in length. We must understand that these days were actual days (veros dies), contrary to the opinion of the Holy Fathers. Whenever we observe that the opinions of the Fathers disagree with Scripture, we reverently bear with them and acknowledge them to be our elders. Nevertheless, we do not depart from the authority of Scripture for their sake.”
As for the conference organizers… They would have banned both Spurgeon and Jesus Himself from this conference for speaking out against compromise. We will now tolerate any sin or compromise other than daring to speak out against sin and compromise. And you’re a part of it, Dr. Wile.
Thank you for helping a new generation of Christians onto the down-grade by your double-mindedness and respect of persons.
Rev Tony Breeden
Reverend Breeden, you couldn’t be more wrong on most of your points. First, those people are not my “Christian heroes.” I have even told you this before in another forum. You should know better than to repeat something you know is not true!
Second, I do not say that because they held to an idea it must be okay. I give several TEXTUAL reasons for questioning the meaning of the Genesis day. What I am saying is that these people do not believe in “bunk.” You can ignore that obvious fact if you like, but it is nevertheless there.
Also, Ken Ham’s view was not censored. They have already replaced him with Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, who holds the same view. Ken Ham’s BEHAVIOR is what got him eliminated.
In addition, I would not be livid if they banned me for criticizing Ken Ham. I understand that I speak at the PLEASURE of any convention that invites me. As a result, I would respect their decision not to invite me to speak. Indeed, I have been invited and disinvited from a convention because of my views, and I had no problem with that. I understand that a convention should have speakers that fit in with their vision.
A healthier attitude regarding men of faith who disagree with you is given by Augustine, in his Literal Interpretation of Genesis:
“In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation.”
Also, you might read Romans 14:1-9.
In response to Anthony’s quote from Doug Phillips and your reply to him: Apparently you are the fellow speaker who is being charged with having “personal[ly] attack[ed]” Ken. At least, that, apparently, is how Ken views things. Notice his comment: “We won’t dwell much into the fact that another speaker, Dr. Jay Wile, made personal attacks on Ken on his blog before the convention, and his attack was supported by two other speakers, John Stonestreet and Susan Wise Bauer.”
I think you got down to the root of the issue in your last few paragraphs in this post where you discuss textual cues [or clues!] and the point that “the text is simply not ironclad on [the matter of the length of days in Genesis 1], and you don’t need evolution or ‘millions of years’ to see that.”
Your appeal to historical–and historically conservative interpretations is valuable.
But AiG is unwilling to cede even that much. And so, as you noted, they seem “flabbergasted” when someone who “do[es] not agree with people who see the days of Genesis as something other than 24-hour days” still “fiercely defend[s] them.”
To AiG, everything is either Truth (with a capital T) or error/compromise/bunk. Their way or the highway.
They appear unable to distinguish theology (their man-made interpretation of Scripture) from Scripture itself. Thus, as Mr. Ham quotes with approval from his coworker Dr. Georgia Purdom–“AiG speaker, researcher, and writer”: Dr. Enns, says Purdom–and Ham, by way of approval– . . . Dr. Enns is a compromiser because, “last point on his last slide is ‘Theology is provisional.’ I think that says it all.”
When one’s theology (i.e., one’s [personal, man-made] interpretation of Scripture is no longer provisional), there really isn’t much room for discussion, is there? We–two or three or four . . . or a thousand–human beings can no longer discuss what we believe we are seeing in God’s Holy Spirit-breathed Word. We are stuck listening to Mr. Ham and only those who agree with him. His view, apparently, is the final view, the only view, the only [supposedly] non-compromised and [supposedly] non-provisional view.
John, thanks for your comment. I did not attack Ken Ham at the convention. As he states, he thinks I made personal attacks on him on my blog, not at the convention. Of course, my attacks were not personal. They were attacks on his actions, which were not Christlike in any way, shape, manner, or form.
You are certainly right in regards to AiG’s view that it is their way or the highway, and that saddens me greatly!
I would like to see you and the Deans give quotes that support your claim that Ken Ham made accusations against the convention or other people which were not Christian. I attended the Memphis convention and went to hear almost everyone of Ken’s talks, and I did not hear this. I could have missed it, so I really would like to see specific quotes. I believe that the Deans are in error, both in the way they handled this, and in their stance in general. On their own website they claim to allow differing viewpoints, and allow the attendees to discern for themselves their own beliefs. Yet, now they are censoring Ken Ham. I heard many differing viewpoints from my own, and was challenged to examine my views more deeply, but I did not hear anyone, including Ken Ham, maligning anyone’s salvation or character. I did hear many people speak with great passion and purpose about their own beliefs and I would expect no less from a true believer. This is to be expected, not punished. The world is watching this unfold and we will be judged both as Christians and homeschooling families according to how we handle this. We need to be very careful to show love on all sides, and to let our lights shine for God and Jesus and not bring reproach on ourselves, the church, and the very gospel we all say we follow.
Charlene, the Deans (and the other members of the board) are NOT censoring Ken Hams viewpoint. They don’t censor viewpoints. In fact, in order to keep Ken Ham’s viewpoint in the convention, they have Dr. Jonathan Sarfati speaking in Mr. Ham’s place. He has the same viewpoints, so nothing is being censored. So the convention is going out of their way to make sure that all viewpoints are represented.
I did not attend Mr. Ham’s talks, and I didn’t even imply that I did. However, I did have SEVERAL homeschoolers talk to me about how they felt Mr. Ham’s behavior was uncalled for. If the kinds of complaints I heard were anything like what the convention heard, I completely understand the convention’s actions.
Is there video evidence, or quotes from Mr. Ham’s talk, that give evidence to the charges being leveled? As of yet, I have not seen any of it, just the accusations of the GHC board, whom I understand were not there to witness the so-called mean-spirited attacks where Mr. Ham called into question Dr. Enns’ “integrity, intelligence, and salvation.”
Gmv, I have no idea. I do believe the talks were recorded. I think the problem is that the convention received a LOT of complaints about Mr. Ham. If they were anything like the complaints I heard, I can see why they did what they did.
Your double-mindedness is dizzying!
On the one hand you say you are firmly Young Earth Creationist; on the other, you tear down other Young Earth Creationists at every chance you get because you feel that it’s only one of many possible correct positions. You think their position is wrong, but you refuse to take a definitive stand on anything other than the fact that you think we ought not take a definitive stand on it. Your definition of Biblical seems only to require that some past or present Christian affirmed such a position; there is, in essence, no room in your worldview for error or compromise, except where it concerns those who say others are in error or have compromised. In your world, except by your subjective judgment alone, there would be no opportunity to obey Galatians 6:1, because it would simply be wrong [unless we’re you] to point out that someone is wrong in the first place.
As for the convention, they have merely made a statement that you will keep your views about the compromises of other speakers to yourself while at the conference. These fellows would give the boot to Christ Himself for “attacking” moneychangers and “His behavior” in calling out scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites. The only reason you justify, unless it’s simply a matter of knowing which side your bread is buttered on, Ken Ham’s expulsion is because you don’t like him or what he stands for.
btw, the Bible passage you reference is speaking of customs not doctrines, so I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Unless of course you think Creationism is a side issue.
Reverend Breedon, I think you have a hard time understanding how someone can actually believe that another person might have a reasonable position, even if it disagrees. That’s not double-mindedness. It is following Romans 14:1-9.
Actually, following Galatians 6:1 is not a problem for someone who also follows Romans 14:1-9. The key is in the verse itself:
“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.”
This verse has to do with trespass. When people are caught doing something wrong, they should be restored, and it should be with gentleness and introspection. Why introspection? Because it is possible that YOU are the one who is wrong! That’s the entire point.
You are very fond of deciding what other people would do in a hypothetical situation, aren’t you? That is not a very good habit to be in, as you will often be wrong. How well do you know the convention organizers, anyway? You seem to think you know them well enough to know how they would treat Christ. I expect I know them better than you, and I can say that you are quite wrong in your assessment, as you were wrong in your assessment of what I would do.
I actually like Ken Ham quite a lot. Indeed, I am a big fan of AiG and have defended him in the past. However, I don’t like some of his actions, and I have called him on them. What I have said about this has nothing to do with knowing what side of my bread is buttered or my personal feelings towards Mr. Ham. They have do to with saying what is right and what is wrong. In addition, I do not need to justify the convention’s actions. They have done that quite well themselves.
You seem to have the mistaken idea that a young-earth creationist view is central to Scripture. It most certainly is not. It is, indeed, a side issue and is definitely covered by Romans 14:1-9.
Funny how you can justify your remarks as not being personal, but just an attack on his actions. And yet Ken Ham’s remarks where against Dr. Enns teaching not Dr. Enns…it was not personal either.
Mm3, Ken Ham’s attacks were quite personal. Ham called Dr. Enns a “compromiser” and said he does not have a Biblical view of inspiration, which is false. Those are personal attacks and are uncalled for.
A question–many are asking who is on this board, can you tell us that?
From my personal experience, I heard no complaints, and I attended most of his lectures in Memphis. Can you PLEASE give specifics to back up what he supposedly said? Or the actions that you say are not Christlike in any way? NO ONE has done that yet.
I understand your point–I hear what you are SAYING–that his views are not being censored because he is being replaced by a young earth creationist. I do not agree with that point. YEC is not the only view Ken Ham holds—-his idea (view) that one should stand up for the truth, even if it means naming error and those committing it, is being censored. I heard nothing from him, nor read anything on his blog, that was unloving or “nasty” or not “Christian”, rather I heard a man proclaiming what he believes to be the truth boldly. There are many examples in the New Testament of Jesus and his followers naming error and those preaching it.
I repeat that I did not hear an unloving, harsh word from Ken Ham, but only passionate concern for what he considers to be error. There was not an overwhelming feeling of unrest at his lectures in my opinion as was said in the official statement from the convention. By and large, the crowd was loudly expressing their support with applause, head nods and even “amens”. Outside his lectures, I did not see or hear any altercations among attendees, vendors or speakers. I did not hear anything from him that was disparaging of the convention, or the other speakers CHARACTER or SALVATION. I just heard him say repeatedly that he believes if you do not believe in a literal translation of Genesis then you are on shaky ground with the rest of the Word of God, and are calling into question all Scripture.
I read that you feel there are broad strokes of ideas/beliefs/views which people can hold and profess which can still be considered “Christian” even if they are not correct or true. You names Mr. Enns, C.S. Lewis and others. I believe that saved PEOPLE can still be considered Christians when they hold to certain false beliefs, but those false beliefs are still not correct or true or Christian beliefs. Also, it is our responsibility and duty to instruct others who come into our circle, when we feel they are in error, as well as to be open to that same instruction ourselves.
I do not subscribe to every idea from every speaker I heard, including YOU, Doug Phillips, Ken Ham and many others. Still, I have great respect for the knowledge you all have attained and are willing to share, and I was willing to glean from all. It is my responsibility to compare what you all said to the Word. All attendees should have read that some speakers were not inherently Christian, and others would have opposing beliefs and that no one was to be favored and that we were to all work it out ourselves. We all know that a speaker is going to strongly defend and persuade the audience toward his/her beliefs– or else there would be no need for you to be there…nothing for you to share or inspire us with! Why, then, does it turn out that one speaker is indeed treated differently? I am hearing it is “because of his behavior”?
I did not hear Ken Ham say one thing mean-spirited, or anything which called into question another person’s salvation or character, nor have I heard such quoted by any involved. I do not at this point believe his behavior was unseemly. Rather, I think he took a stand for what he believes to be error in the curriculum we as homeschool families will be choosing from to teach our children. I appreciate his concerns and think they are both valid and relevant to all who attended. What could be more pertinent to us as Christian homeschoolers than to hear which false doctrines and false worldviews might be leading our children away from a saving faith? If there is knowledge of that I need to know about it! What could be more important? Most of what I heard was more simple and yet profound than telling me about Mr. Enns curriculum; I did not even hear him mention that. The main truth I heard that impacted me from Ken Ham was that I not tell our children that these are Bible “stories” we are reading, and that I make sure to speak to our children in such a way to show them I believe the Word of God is TRUE, and that I take a stand against any curriculum, Bible “story”book or person who would teach my children otherwise. These were his VIEWS which I heard presented, and they ARE being censored.
Charlene, I am sorry, but I do not know who is on the board of Great Homeschool Conventions. I am inclined to support them, however, as they do what they can to help ALL homeschoolers, not just the ones who are “theologically pure” in their minds.
You might not have heard Mr. Ham say anything nasty, but you might not have been listening the same way someone else would listen. That’s an important point. A person who is being insulted listens to things in an entirely different way. It is difficult to compare the actions of Jesus to the actions of a finite person. Jesus KNEW the hearts and minds of others, Mr. Ham and I do not. I agree that Mr. Ham’s views are more than YEC, but Dr. Sarfati holds most of them. Indeed, if you read Creation Ministries International’s statement, you will find it nearly identical to AiG’s. There is a reason. The groups used to be one in the same. Thus, AiG’s view will be given by Dr. Sarfati.
I would agree with you that Christians can believe false things and that we must instruct those who we find in error. However, I would also say that many Christians who I find “in error” have excellent Biblical arguments to support their beliefs. I cannot say they are wrong if they can defend their point Biblically, even when they disagree with me. Unfortunately, there are many Christians who don’t care how you defend your view Biblically. They say that you either believe like them or are on shaky ground with all of Scripture. That is not only unfortunate, it is wrong.
I think the reason one speaker was singled out is that one speaker behaved in a way that offended a whole lot of Christians who attended the conference. I didn’t hear any complaints about Doug Phillips, Dr. Bauer, or Dr. Enns from conference attendees. I did hear complaints about Mr. Ham.
Once again, his views are not being censored. Dr. Sarfati will have almost the exact same views.
Mr. Wile, were you in attendance at the talks by Mr. Ham that are being considered by some to be personal attacks against Mr. Enns? I have heard from some that his talks called out the falsehoods contained in Mr. Enns curriculum and that Mr. Enns is teaching as truth, but that he did not attack Mr. Enns personally. Since I was not present, I am curious to hear from someone who was and considered it a personal attack on Mr. Enns. What, exactly, did Mr. Ham say that you object to?
Amy, I was not in any of Mr. Ham’s talks. I did, however, have to listen to several complaints by several Christians who were in attendance. I did not hear complaints about any other speaker – only Mr. Ham.
Above you stated: “You might not have heard Mr. Ham say anything nasty, but you might not have been listening the same way someone else would listen. That’s an important point. A person who is being insulted listens to things in an entirely different way.” and that, sir, is simply a terrible argument on your part. Christ himself said things that people took great offense to when He walked the earth and still today. So, if your wife is not in a good mood and you say something to her that really was harmless and not meant to upset her yet she takes it that way, does that MEAN you were mean spirited and attacking her? No. Honestly, my husband has used a “tone” with me that I took offense to in the moment but in reality, there was nothing to his tone. Likewise, I have said things in a tone that has been misinterpreted and had him take offense — but both of us only take offense for the moment and we confront each other in person, immediately. We don’t hide behind emails, blogs, or facebook posts. At the core, Mr. Wile, that is what should have occurred here. You should have investigated the complaints, spoken to Mr. Ham, listened to audio of the sessions and so forth but you didn’t do that. The Bible tells us that if we have an issue with another believer, we are to go to that believer and work it out and not air our grievances as this whole thing has been aired. I do not know what Mr. Ham said, I wasn’t there. What I do know is that many, many people were there and never heard such a thing as these few complainers heard. What I know is that I am looking at both sides and the only side that seems to be able to really defend itself is Mr. Ham and AIG’s side.
Lastly, Mr. Wile, I would like you to consider this situation in another context. How often do 1 or 2 parents of a school child complain about something in, or not in, the classroom. Often, the entire school, if not educational system, bends to that parent’s wishes regardless of the majorities desire. How often has a handful of complainers changed, for the worse, things in the school system, in the government, and other sectors of life when the majority were saying, “No! This is wrong. You don’t have the facts.” You allowed complainers to voice their opinions and feelings, and that is fine, but you never went to the heart of the matter and found out the truth for your self. Did you ever think that maybe there are people who are out to attack and vilify Mr. Ham and that was why they focused on him? Did you consider who these complaints were coming from and why? Personally, Mr. Wile, I think you ought to have stayed out of the entire thing. You neglected Proverbs 26:17″ Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.”
Kathy, you seem to think that I had something to do with the convention’s decision. I most certainly did not. However, I can tell you this. If I were running a convention and got lots of complaints about a speaker, as a convention organizer, I would not want that speaker at another one of my conventions. The convention is supposed to be beneficial to people.
I have not accused Mr. Ham of anything other than his horrible words on his blog post. There is no need for me to “investigate” those. They are right there. I am not “hiding” behind the blog post. I am simply defending a brother in Christ who was wronged by another brother in Christ.
I have already addressed the Proverbs 26:17 issue to another poster. This quarrel is most certainly my own. I was speaking at the same convention as Mr. Ham and Dr. Enns. Thus, when he put up his blog post days before the convention unfairly attacking Dr. Enns, I had to get involved, as the convention made me involved.
“You are certainly right in regards to AiG’s view that it is their way or the highway, and that saddens me greatly!”
Actually that’s not true at all. The ONLY thing that might apply to is that there is only one way to heaven, and surely you wouldn’t disagree with that!! AiG makes it VERY clear that believing in a literal Genesis is not a tenet of salvation, but that Genesis is the foundation for the entire Bible and should be treated as such. Accepting it as anything other than what it proclaims itself to be is just opening the doorway for secular human thought.
Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with what they teach (and actually listen to the talk that Mr. Ham gave) before casting judgement.
Lana, I am very familiar with what AiG teaches. I have read many of their books and listened to many of Mr. Ham’s lectures. AiG definitely says it’s their way or the highway when it comes to interpreting Scripture. Oh sure, they’ll say your salvation isn’t dependent on your view of creation, and that is good. However, that’s not what the commeneter I was agreeing with was discussing. He was discussing the fact that AiG says if you disagree with them on creation, you are compromising Scripture. Thus, it’s their way or the highway. The commenter was quite right.
While AiG does say it is possible to be a Christian and not accept their whole view, it comes nearly close to that. In fact, Mr. Ham linked to a blog from his Facebook page: http://sapphiresky.org/2011/03/23/false-piety-by-great-homeschool-conventions-inc/ As he did this without any qualification and the blog post mentions an “apostate vendor and his curriculum”, it seems rather inconsistent. What exactly does “apostate” mean than “not Christian”? My theology was entwined in my scientific knowledge at one point. AiG claims to base their scientific investigations on the Bible and it’s authority. While I had grown up in AiG, looking back, I actually based my belief in the Bible on scientific authority. I’m not sure how I missed the difference. Nevertheless my theological understandings suffered disastrously once my scientific understandings changed (or as AiG would put it, I listened to “man’s word”). Keep up the good work making important distinctions, Dr. Wile.
Thanks for your kind words, Keith. Apostate is defined as, “One who has abandoned one’s religious faith, a political party, one’s principles, or a cause.” Obviously, Dr. Enns is not an apostate.
Dr. Wyle, please help me understand. You said you personally didn’t hear Dr. Ham speak, yet you’re willing to not only listen to Dr. Ham’s detractor’s (and reasonable people would agree you should do this), but then to legitimize their complaints by referencing them more than once, to explain the recent actions taken against Dr. Ham’s participation at several conventions. If you knew these individual’s personally, and can vouch for their integrity and Christian worldview (concern here is that there would be a high probability that our typical Satanist home educator is offended by Dr. Ham’s existence and might therefore give a negative report – not comparing your complainers to Satanists, just using hyperbole to say that I need to know someone before I take them at their word), this would help us to take your blanket acceptance and subsequent promulgation of said complaints, seriously. If not, how can you judiciously vouchsafe that their interpretation of what was said is valid, fair and therefore acceptable to present as, for all intents and purposes, fodder against Dr. Ham?
Sadly, your aversion to Dr. Ham’s bold, but reasonable assessment of Dr. Enns’ position has the familiar echo of intolerance to that which is disagreeable with mainstream thought (Christian or otherwise). In reviewing the offensive blog you referenced, I agree that Dr. Ham has addressed what he sees as compromise and clearly states his position regarding Biblical inspiration. However, I disagree that this is a personal attack and find it amazing that in this, the information age, that those in both Christian intelligentsia (sorry if some consider that an oxymoron) are abandoning the arena of the exchange of ideas.
Further, I must take issue with your repeated assertion that AIG’s views are represented by Dr. Sarfati as though the repetition itself makes the assertion valid (a strange echo of well-known liberal media practices?). Obviously, AIG has made his materials available to the public and built upon his expertise in physical chemistry to advance their mission. However, from having read and heard both gentlemen, their points of view although similar in some areas are not the same nor should anyone continue to represent them as such – this is insult to anyone with a modicum of intelligence.
Dr. Wyle, you are undoubtedly very bright, but in case you haven’t caught this, your repetitious arguments are not convincing and unfortunately are building sentiment against you (and others espousing your untenable position). Although I appreciate that you try to defend what you believe, your supporters responses should perhaps give you pause to reevaluate if you have misjudged these events in some way?
Travis, my name is Wile. I did not listen to Mr. Ham’s detractors. I listened while people complained to me about him. I have never heard such complaints before, and they were disturbing. Since I have no power at the conference, I could not do anything either way. Thus, I listened to their concerns and tried to comfort them. That’s all. These were not secular or satanist homeschoolers! They were Christians who were distraught. Once again, a conference exists for its attendees. If attendees are offended, then it is reasonable for a conference to address that.
Mr. Ham (not Dr. Ham) is not reasonable in his assessment of Dr. Enns. He leveled a false charge and called him an unwarranted name. I have no aversion to Mr. Ham. I have a real aversion to someone not treating his brother in Christ properly.
Dr. Sarfati and Ken Ham have very similar views, especially when it comes to interpreting the Genesis account. You can deny this if you want, but it is clearly true. Thus, this is not about Mr. Ham’s views. It is about his behavior.
I knew what apostasy meant. I was just curious as to how Ken Ham can say that he didn’t say Dr. Enns was not a Christian but then link to a blog that seems to say just that (without stating that he personally disagreed with that particular part of the post). Just a bit sloppy on his part I would say.
I am sorry I misinterpreted your comment, Keith.
Reverend Breedon, you mention that Charles Spurgeon would have banned from this convention. However, Ken Ham would have called Spurgeon a “compromiser” too. He believed in an old earth after all. Here is his sermon in reference to that: We know not how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be—certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam. (http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0030.htm)
Here is Ken Ham and AiG’s take on Spurgeon:
“The Baptist “prince of preachers” Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892) uncritically accepted the old-earth geological theory” (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab2/idea-of-millions-of-years)
That’s okay, I did screw up too. My faulty sentence said:
What exactly does “apostate” mean than “not Christian”?
when it should have had an “other” inserted in there:
What exactly does “apostate” mean OTHER than “not Christian”?
No harm, no foul.
I applaud you, Dr. Wile, and MOST of the commenters here, for your professional and courteous discourse, even in the face of these sticky subjects (especially after reading the comments on GHC’s facebook page). Mostly, Dr. Wile, I appreciate your tireless explanations to each commenter – even when having to repeat yourself over and again. We are new homeschoolers, and are learning to appreciate your (Apologia) material (and Sonlight’s) even more, given the responses to this controversy we are sadly witnessing.
My husband and I attended the Greenville convention, and he personally heard both Mr. Ham and Dr. Enns, coming away with a very clear “his way or the highway” message from the former. Dr. Enns seemed much more gracious when faced with dissenting opinions – standing back to see the big picture, allowing for diversity within. Isn’t it unfortunate that we Christians – as a whole – seem unable to do the same herein? How the devil must be reveling in tearing us apart. We will keep you and all involved in our prayers.
Jdjcpa, thank you so much. You are right that the Devil revels when Christian brothers and sisters attack one another, especially when it is unwarranted. I also want to join you in saying that MOST of the commenters on this blog are being courteous, even when we disagree. I thank them for that.
Just read Dr Norman G’s review of Enns and he calls Enns views “clearly unorthodox views”.
Sounds like COMPROMISE to me
Anthony, Dr. Geisler does say that Dr. Enns has unorthodox views. However, he doesn’t call him a compromiser, and he attacks only his views. As I have said, that is the proper way to do things. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Geisler, even though Ken Ham thinks he is also a “compromiser.”
Dr. Wile, my apologies for the misspelling of your name. No offense intended – I’ve not heard you speak nor read your books thus my unfamiliarity with your name (although we have several of your textbooks in our library that I’m now rather curious to read myself).
I understand that Dr. Ham did not “earn” the honoris causa degrees he holds in the same way that you earned your phd. However in accordance with the tradition held by most people, I choose to refer to him by the appropriate honorific, in my case to recognize the accomplishments he has made including the positive & significant impact he is having in the culture war (Orlando Bloom’s honorary degree notwithstanding).
From your comment about detractors, it would seem that your definition of this word is different from mine – you are free to refer to those who complained about Dr. Ham’s session in any way you desire, but as yet my first question although addressed, remains unanswered – I would appreciate the courtesy of an answer.
Regarding your second point, are you referring to Dr. Ham’s blog post (which while admittedly forceful and confrontational (and therefore in the view of some, politically incorrect), was not provably false nor was there any unwarranted name calling) or to the contents of the speech that you didn’t have the opportunity to hear?
In light of your reference to the behavior of brothers in Christ, did you personally converse with Dr. Ham before going public with your viewpoints on this issue?
I completely agree that Dr. Ham has being denied the opportunity to present his ideas because of his behavior. A “behavior” that is interestingly and coincidentally judged by the culture to be politically incorrect – disturbingly, even in some streams of Christendom. However, I would posit that the greater majority of Christian home schoolers support what Dr. Ham said in his blog post, and I think it questionable to censure a brother in Christ based on hearsay if that is indeed what has occurred (in other words, if you did not hear Dr. Ham directly, a recording of the session, or talk to him directly following the incident to gain clarity on his comments and the context in which they were made).
I will agree to disagree about Dr. Sarfati’s presentation being in general and/or in spirit the same thing that people would have heard had Dr. Ham been there to speak. It clearly will not be. Obviously, people come to hear the keynote speaker’s ideas given in multiple sessions covering multiple topics. At most Christian homeschool conventions, it is the sessions that touch on Christian worldviews that can be the most illuminating and compelling, often being the reason we even bother to shell out the bucks and dedicate time we don’t have to attending, not just the sessions given from a phd’s expertise in a given field and thus there will be an undeniable difference in what people hear from Dr. Sarfati vs. what they would have heard from Dr. Ham. Again, to suggest otherwise is an insult to anyone’s intelligence.
Travis, I would say that unless you start calling Orlando Bloom, Dr. Bloom, you should probably not be calling Ken Ham, Dr. Ham. However, I agree that you can call him that if you want, since he does have an HONORARY degree.
I am sorry you think I did not answer your first question. I did not talk to Mr. Ham to confirm the stories that were told to me. I didn’t feel the need to, since I was not making any decisions regarding them. Also, Mr. Ham is very difficult to find and to speak with. It is easy to say, “You should have talked with Mr. Ham personally,” but quite frankly, that is much like saying, “You should have talked to Orlando Bloom personally.” It is often hard to get to a celebrity. Please note that Mr. Ham did not see the need to talk with Dr. Enns personally before calling him an unwarranted name and leveling a false charge.
I am, as I have always done in this post, referring to Mr. Ham’s blog post when I say that. I did not attend his talks at this convention, so I couldn’t say anything about what went on in them. However, the terrible words he posted on his blog are there for all to see.
You may be very correct that the majority of Christian homeschoolers support what Ken Ham said in his blog post. I desperately hope you are wrong, but you may be right. However, that has nothing to do with what was done. Great Christian Homeschool Conventions wanted to do what the Lord was leading them to do, regardless of the fallout. I find that admirable. It is interesting that you have no problem with Ken Ham calling a brother an unwarranted name and leveling a false charge against him (without contacting him first) because Mr. Ham thinks the Lord is leading him to do that, but you have a real problem with the board of Great Christian Homeschool Conventions acting the way they think the Lord is leading them.
You keep claiming that Dr. Sarfati will not adequately represent Mr. Ham’s views. Can you give me an example of a theological matter in which the two disagree? I have heard them both on several occasions, and I have read several of their books. I see almost complete overlap. To suggest otherwise goes against the facts.
Please note that Great Christian Homeschool Conventions DOES NOT have keynote speakers. They think the Word tells them to not elevate one teacher above another. Thus, people do not hear keynote speakers at these conventions – another thing that tells me Great Christian Homeschool Conventions is on the right track Biblically.
Regarding testing out of subjects, I think that people can learn most college subjects without having to go to college. College level mathematics included. One does not need to pay a couple thousand dollars in order to study and learn algebra, calculus, differential equations, analysis. Where college is more of a necessity is when a laboratory component is necessary to aid in learning a subject, but otherwise I think that most people can learn subjects autodidactically just as well if they put the effort into doing so.
I strongly agree with you on that point, Ben. However, when it comes to actually attending college, it is assumed by the upper-level instructors that you took the lower-level courses. As a result, they assume you have a certain knowledge base. You can pass tests without that knowledge base, so if you are going to be forced to take upper-level courses, testing out of lower-level courses in that same subject could end up being a real problem.
Dr. Wile, I too appreciate your answering all posts but do wish you would add the caveat that “in your opinion” the words used in posts on Ken Ham’s blog were terrible and untrue. I have read those blog posts quite closely and have yet to see any horrible words used. There are, in my opinion, truthful words, forceful words. But no terrible words. As for Dr Sarfati being able to give an adequate view of Ken Ham’s view, I have heard both men speak and while Dr Sarfati is good speaker, he is not the speaker Ken Ham is (again in my opinion). I listening closely to all of Ken Ham’s talks and heard nothing that even approached what has anecdotally been presented here (except for one comment). It seems that the vast majority of the people who attended these talks heard what I heard.
Skipper, I am sorry, but when you level a false charge against a brother in Christ, as Mr. Ham clearly did, that is terrible. There is just no other way to slice it. Thus, I will continue to characterize his words properly.
Can you note one theological issue on which Mr. Ham and Dr. Sarfati disagree? I am not saying they are equivalent speakers. I am saying that Ken Ham’s VIEW is not being censored, since Dr. Sarfati has essentially the same view.
Skipper, I am sorry, but when you level a false charge against a brother in Christ, as Mr. Ham clearly did, that is terrible. There is just no other way to slice it. Thus, I will continue to characterize his words properly.
Can you note one theological issue on which Mr. Ham and Dr. Sarfati disagree? I am not saying they are equivalent speakers. I am saying that Ken Ham’s VIEW is not being censored, since Dr. Sarfati has essentially the same view.
Dr. Wile, (chuckling) granted, not all honorary degrees are bestowed with equal validity just as not all earned phd’s are earned equally.
I think you misunderstood me in that I didn’t assert that the Lord was leading either party in regard to their actions. Indeed, with the best of intentions, we can still sometimes miss God’s direction in a given situation so it is of course possible that GCHC and/or Dr. Ham are not hearing Him in this circumstance. Your statement then to the effect that I have a problem with the Board of GCHC acting the way the Lord is leading them is an inaccurate assumption and therefore so is your point in regard to this.
Thank you for answering my question about the source being referenced in regard to the unwarranted name calling and leveling of a false charge. Would you please then explain what specifically you believe is the unwarranted name applied to Dr. Enns? Would you also please explain what in your opinion is false about the charges made by Dr. Ham? I do not wish to debate your opinions because we are all entitled to them, but I do want to understand you in regard to these two questions.
Thank you for clarifying GCHC’s policy on not having keynote speakers – I stand corrected. Indeed, it prompted me to take a closer look and interestingly it is clear in cached promotional materials on the internet regarding Dr. Ham’s appearance as a “featured speaker”, that he is consistently placed in the second slot in the listing of all the featured speakers with no other discernable order to explain why his information would be in this slot (such as academic honors, alphabetical order, etc. as compared to anyone else), other than his prominence. Although you are technically correct, there is an obvious and implied deference to a pecking order at odds with your explanation of the GCHC policy of not elevating any teacher above another and that leaves one to ponder the two possibilities – is this a random coincidence, or perhaps not?
I previously stated that I would agree to disagree with you on the point of Dr. Sarfati representing Dr. Ham’s views. As you have pressed the point, I will clarify that I think you and I are talking apples and oranges with you referring to the academic equivalence of their viewpoints – no examples are required to refute your point however, as I do agree with you on this specific aspect. To put a finer point on it then, the majority of laymen coming to these kinds of conventions are not coming to hear only academic dissertations, as wonderful as they are, but to hear the ancillary observations of the speaker and the vision that drives them. In this specific area, these two men have different skillsets, goals, motivations, and are obviously different in their approach and impact upon our culture. I am not contesting the facts on the first point. But to suggest otherwise on the second point, also goes against the facts.
Travis, I am sorry I misunderstood you on that point. I am not sure why you want clarification, as the problems I have with Mr. Ham’s post are clearly spelled out in my post. Mr. Ham calls Dr. Enns a “compromiser,” when he is clearly not. He also claims Dr. Enns does not have a Biblical view of inspiration, when he clearly does. Thus, he calls Dr. Enns an unwarranted name and levels a false charge.
In answer to your question, there is no “pecking order” in the GCHC sessions. There is simply a “room order.” As is the case in any convention, there are differently-sized rooms. The convention tries to choose the proper room for the speaker, given what they think the attendance for that speaker will be. Since the rooms are ALWAYS in the same order in the program, if the convention thinks a given speaker’s draw fits a given room, then that speaker will always be in that room. Thus, this is neither a pecking order nor a random coincidence.
When there is a KEYNOTE at the convention, there is only one speaker speaking. No one else is speaking. Some conventions even close the exhibit hall during the keynote. This clearly elevates one speaker compared to the others. GCHC doesn’t do that, which I find admirable.
You are still quite wrong about the equivalence of Mr. Ham and Dr. Sarfati. While it is certainly true that each speaker brings his or her own “specializations” to a talk, that is not what I mean by “equivalent.” The charge was leveled that Ken Ham’s VIEWS are being censored. That is clearly false, as Dr. Sarfati has essentially the same views. Thus, while you are right that they are not equivalent as speakers, they represent the same view. As a result, no censorship of views is being done. That was my point, and it is squarely supported by the facts.
Mr. Wile, I keep seeing you say that Mr. Enns is not being ‘unbiblical’ in his beliefs. This quote is from his ‘bible curriculum’ Telling God’s Story…
“It is entirely accurate to understand Israel’s kings as messiahs: they were anointed by God to do his work. We need to resist the temptation to think that “messiah” in the Old Testament means the supernatural, second person of the Trinity, who will die for our sins. Yes, Jesus is the ultimate and final messiah, who far exceeds anything any messiah before him did. But that is just the point. To appreciate Jesus’ messianic role, how impressive and amazing it is, we need to be familiar with what the concept meant in the Old Testament. There, the “messianic hope” was not in a heavenly being coming down, but in Yahweh raising up a mighty warrior-king who would keep the Law and would rule and guide his people. Israel’s kings were God’s representatives on earth, there to rule for him as intermediaries.” (page 83)
“The Flood was an attempt by God to set it right, but it didn’t work.” (Page 70)
There is more, but just these two alone, do they not strike you as unbiblical? Thoughts?
Christa, you need to read more than a couple of quotes lifted from Mr. Ham’s Facebook post in order to understand what Dr. Enns is saying. You need to read the book to understand the context of those quotes.
I have enjoyed using your curriculum with my children since my now 25 year old son was in high school. I am not certain how I feel about the young earth/old earth debate because I lack the science background needed to really understand the differing interpretations of data. But I have loved your textbooks and one of my children is on the dean’s list at her college now, as well as attending on an almost full scholarship after being one of only 15 freshman chosen for the elite scholar’s program at her state school. I credit God first, and then the people who gave so much of their time to producing curriculum. You are on that list, Dr. Wile. And now I see how you are handling this conflict and your grace, humility and kindness just blow me away. May God bless you as he has blessed us through your materials!
Kelli, thank you so much for your kind words. Also, thank you for reporting how well your child is doing at university! You are right – God gets the credit for that. I am just glad that I could help in some small way.
I want you to know that I love the Exploring Creation series and will continue to use it. My question and comments are about BioLogos. I read an article published by the Institute for Creation Research in the January 2011 issue of Acts and Facts that concerned me. Here is a quote from the article: “Of particular note is the BioLogos Forum, founded by Dr. Francis Collins (President Obama’s pick to head the National Institutes of Health), which is aggressively leading the charge into biblical compromise, teaching that the Bible is not completely without error, that the biblical writers just didn’t get it right, that Adam was symbolic and not real, that Genesis does not teach the creation of the material world, and many more aberrant ideas that run counter to sound doctrine. They have the audacity to publish on their website that if Christians today do not accept the theory of evolution, the Church will die off in the form of an insignificant cult!” The article continues with more warnings worth reading like their plan to harmonize the Bible and Darwinian evolution. I find it interesting that the publisher for BioLogos is Susan Wise Bauer and wonder how that might be connected to why AIG was ousted from GCHC.
Have you actually reviewed BioLogos yourself?
Melissa, I have read several articles from BioLogos, and I think they are wrong on many, many issues. However, that’s not the issue on this blog post. The issue on this blog post is that Ken Ham called Dr. Enns an unwarranted name and leveled a false charge against him. That is the problem I have. I disagree with a lot of Dr. Enns’s theology, but he is not a “compromiser” and does have a Biblical view of inspiration. BioLogos has NOTHING to do with it.
I seriously doubt that Dr. Bauer is the publisher for BioLogos. Dr. Bauer publishes some of Dr. Enns’s materials, but not all of them. Since the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society also publishes some of Dr. Enns’s work, does that make them the publisher for BioLogos? No. Thus, I see no reason to think that Dr. Bauer is the publisher for BioLogos.
You are correct and I was wrong. Susan Wise Bauer is not the publisher for BioLogos. She is the publisher for Dr. Enns Bible story curriculum. Please forgive my misstatement.
I will do my research more carefully before I post again. I do think this is a serious issue and that the voice of Ken Ham should not be squelched.
Melissa, thanks for checking into that. I am glad you cleared it up. I also do not think Ken Ham’s voice should be squelched. I think he needs to treat his brothers and sisters in Christ with love and respect, but his voice should not be squelched. I don’t think Dr. Enns’s voice should be squelched, either.
Mr. Wile, have you read the entire book? Do you agree with his statements? I don’t want to read the book, I don’t want to spend money on it. I have read 3rd party reviews and direct quotes, that information is enough for me. So your only answer to my question is that I need to read the whole thing? You still stand by calling him ‘biblical?’ I can’t help but feel a little brushed off on this topic.
Christa, I have not read the book that Dr. Bauer publishes, if that’s what you mean. I read a much more informative book when it comes to understanding what Dr. Enns believes – his major theological work. As stated in the blog post, it is called Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. If you are going to call someone a “compromiser” and claim he doesn’t have a Biblical view of inspiration, you should read the book that describes his theology. Reading that book, I have no problem saying that his view of inspiration is Biblical and that he is not a “compromiser.”
The main issue Dr. Wile against Mr. Ham seems to be:
1) He shouldn’t have labeled Dr. Enns as a compromiser;
2) He shouldn’t have said the Dr. Enns’s take on how the Bible is the “inspiration” of God is unBiblical.
The reasons for why he shouldn’t have done those 2 things seem to be:
1) His first claim is not true. Dr. Enns does not compromise his interpretation of the Bible by incorporating secular hypotheses on world orgins and attempting to understand the Bible in a way so that these secular hypotheses can remain “true.” (Really?! He doesn’t do that?!) Since Dr. Enns didn’t engage in such compromised reading of the Bible, he’s obviously not a compromiser. (….??)
2) His second claim is not true. Dr. Enns’ take on how the Bible is an “inspiration” of God — and I understand his take is that the Bible should be treated as a product of the culture of its times; possible mistakes from the Bible’s multiple authors should be readily taken into consideration when trying to interpret verses and passages — is in fact quite Biblical; It’s exactly how the Bible says we should understand “inspiration.” (Really! That was how Jesus understood the OT? That was how the apostles understood the OT? That was how David understood God’s law?)
3) Making these 2 claims, even though there appear to be sufficient evidence and reasoning to back them up, is problematic, “mean-spirited,” “unChristian.” I can see how Dr. Wiles is sympathetic with liberal theology, but please understand that other people have grounds on which to feel deeply troubled by such theology, and such people should not be faced with a moral obligation to declare liberal theology as “uncompromising” or “Biblical.”
Thank you, Cathy. Your two points are exactly right. However, your commentary is not. Dr. Enns does not “incorporate secular hypotheses on world origins” to understand the Bible. He uses the Bible itself to understand the Bible. However, he does make the point that his view is consistent with the evolutionary dogma of the day. Also, as I have said before, the measure of any view of Biblical inspiration (as Mr. Ham points out) is 2 Timothy 3:16, and Dr. Enns’s view is consistent with that. Thus, it is clearly not unBiblical.
I certainly do understand that many people are troubled by liberal theology. I am troubled by it. However, to indiscriminantly call it unBiblical is wrong. Some liberal theology is clearly unBiblical. Some is not. Also, even if you think a person’s views are unBiblical, there is a right way to show that. As Dr. Geisler and John Frame’s discussions that have been linked on this thread show, you can do that in love, without the name-calling and the false charges.
This is the book I’m talking about. As a homeschooler this is the one I’m putting under the microscope. And is the one I quoted above. http://www.amazon.com/Telling-Gods-Story-Parents-Teaching/dp/1933339462/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1301082533&sr=8-2
Could there be a possibility that you might be mistaken in supporting his writings? Maybe the book you mentioned, being 6 years old, had some good stuff but his position may have morphed further into less and less biblical beliefs? I have read reviews of that book as well and they didn’t come off too stellar either. But I’m just wondering, what if he’s slipping more and more out of biblical truth? Could it be that maybe he’s going on a slippery slope and it would be wise to take a step back and re-evaluate?
Christa, I have not read that book. However, my comments regarding Mr. Ham’s terrible actions have nothing to do with it. My comments were about the fact that Mr. Ham called him a compromiser and said that his view of inspiration is unBiblical. As the reviewer on the Amazon link you gave says, this book doesn’t even mention his views on inspiration. It is also not a theological book, so you cannot use it to determine whether or not Dr. Enns is a “compromiser.”
I don’t know where you get the idea that I support Dr. Enns’s writings. I clearly say in my blog post that I disagree with him on his views about Genesis. Thus, I do not support his writings. However, I do know his view of inspiration, because it is in his book that I did read, and that view is wholly consistent with 2 Timothy 3:16.
I don’t think Dr. Enns is on a slippery slope. If you do, you should not buy his book. At the same time, however, you should at least recognize that calling him names and making false charges about his views is wrong, especially since he is a brother in Christ. Romans 14:1-9 tells us how to treat brothers and sisters with whom we disagree, and it is decidedly NOT that way.
Dear Dr. Wile,
I typically avoid these types of conversations like the plague, but I want to commend you for graciously defending a brother in Christ, Peter Enns, and a sister in Christ – Susan Wise Bauer. I also wanted to let your readers here know that the good folks at Olive Branch Books (which is affiliated with Peace Hill Press, and publishes Telling God’s Story) have graciously made the text of the Bible curriculum written by Peter Enns available for free on their website so that interested parties can read it for themselves at no cost, and form their own opinions about the material.
With respect and appreciation for the way you are approaching these issues (Goodness knows we need a voice of reason in this debate : ),
Thank you Laurie. I appreciate the gesture by Olive Branch Books.
Here is a link to the text of Telling God’s Story, written by Peter Enns, published by Olive Branch Books (affiliated with Peach Hill Press, owned by Susan Wise Bauer):
Thank you for posts which clearly define the differences in biblical and spiritual beliefs between those involved in the current controversy. After examining the information posted by the parties involved, your summary of Dr. Ham’s alleged unacceptable behaviors of name calling and making false charges certainly require some form of intervention.
However, the issuance of a disinvitation without first making an attempt to dialogue with Dr. Ham and AIG regarding a remedy for these behaviors, leaves me a bit confused. Why has the manner in which Dr. Ham received his disinvitation not been discussed here? Although the emailed disinvitation did not call him names nor misrepresent his theology, its message gave no offer of hope for a reconciliation. This, I believe, was a grave error in judgment on the board’s part. According to AIG’s website, they requested further communication at once from the board, but were initially ignored and then put off.
It seems that some of us need to remember that civility towards others with whom we disagree is not a sin and can actually lead others to Christ. Others of us need to embrace the biblical truth that speaking out boldly against teachings and teachers that, in our analysis, are not consistent with God’s word can and should be done.
Anger flairs when fear is there, and fear is not of God. We all believe that God is in control, don’t we? (Maybe some of us have forgotten that one?) Given those facts, what is everyone so afraid of?
Once the fears are acknowledged and dealt with, the anger will subside and better behavior from all parties will prevail. Only then should a debate of beliefs be considered. I’m praying that this situation, which has only escalated since the disinvitation, will be resolved quickly and that everyone can reach a place of forgiveness, and hopefully, reconciliation.
Babette, I had nothing to do with Great Homeschool Convention’s decision to disinvite Ken Ham. They have a board that controls the conventions, and I am not on that board. I am simply a speaker who was invited to the convention. Thus, there is nothing I can add to that discussion, since I know nothing more than anyone else when it comes to this matter.
If you want to know why the convention did what they did, you need to ask them. They do have a statement, which might be useful.
My thoughts over reading Dr. Wile’s comment:
1. Given that you firmly believes Dr. Enns follows 2 Timothy 3:16, I must conclude that your interpretation of 2 Timothy 3:16 is different from mine. (And — I suspect — probably different from many other people concerned about Dr. Enns’s teaching.) Care to elaborate a bit on how you interpreted that verse?
2. If Dr. Enns came to his interpretation of Gen 1 WITHOUT any prior exposure to evolution hypotheses, I would agree that his reading is probably divine revelation from God. But for now, all evidence is pointing to how it’s more an unease at deserting secular beliefs than anything else.
3. I’m not comprehending how a theology that Christians recognize as Biblical may not necessarily have to be COMPLETELY Biblical. If it’s not completely Biblical, is it still Biblical? Is it okay for a theology to be only partly Biblical? And is it “wrong” for anyone to label a “partly” Biblical theology as unBiblical?
4. Dr. Wiles has repeatedly said that it is “wrong” to point out unBiblical teaching (yes, I’m still using that term) by, you know, saying it is “unBiblical” and calling the individual a compromiser, and that it is better to subtly point out where liberal theology is lacking rather than stating the obvious. Romans 14:1-9, cited to support this claim of “wrongness,” deals with two groups of Christians desiring to follow Jesus, agrees on central Christian doctrine, and insist on their differences (not central to Christian doctrine) BECAUSE they desire to follow and please Jesus. I’m not seeing how these verses can be applied to this situation at hand. (But then again I guess it ultimately boils down to whether Biblical inerrancy is a central doctrine or not. And obviously liberal theologists don’t think so. But please understand there are other people who think so. And for these people, it doesn’t make sense to interact with Dr. Enns using the principles from Rom 14.)
Cathy, in answer to your points:
1. I interpret the verse exactly as it reads, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” So to hold a Biblical view of inspiration, one must believe that the Scriptures are inspired by God and its messages are profitable for teaching people, reproofing people, correcting people, and training people. Dr. Enns believes all of those things. Thus, his view is Biblical.
2. There are plenty of people throughout history who, LONG BEFORE EVOLUTION, came to quite different conclusions about what the Genesis account said. Thus, there is no reason to suspect that evolution is the problem here.
3. Nowhere do I even come close to saying it is okay for a theology to be “partly Biblical.” I am saying that there are several different views that are all CONSISTENT with the Bible. To label such a view “unBiblcal” simply because you don’t believe it is wrong.
4. Nowhere do I even come close to saying that it is wrong to point out unBiblical teaching. What I am saying is it is wrong to do so by calling names and leveling false charges. It is also wrong to call something unBiblical when it is NOT.
Christians who desire to follow Jesus should live up to what Scripture teaches, and Romans 14:1-9 teaches us how to treat brothers and sisters in Christ with whom we disagree.
My only problem in all of this is that Matt 18 doesn’t seem to have been followed by anyone in this. The Bible doesn’t suggest that we write blog posts about the other person. We are supposed to go directly to the one who offended us. It doesn’t appear that either Ken Hamm or you went first directly to the person who you believed was in the wrong.
Matthew 18 is designed to keep disagreements on as small a scale as possible. If it had been followed the controversy potentially would not have spiraled out into the community as much as it has.
The enemy has to be quite happy that this and the way it has been handled is causing divisions among believers.
Amy, I quite agree. The problem is that as a recent movie says, “The internet is written in pen.” When Mr. Ham publicly attacked a brother in Christ with an unwarranted name and a false charge, it had to be answered.
Evolution is a problem. If you read Genesis it says each creature was made after its own kindm, and it says everything was created in 6 days… There’s really not any way to mix evolution into that. So if you question the reality of the Genesis account, then it makes it much easier to break down other parts of the bible. Like, a literal Adam, or a world wide flood. If you can’t agree with what is clearly stated in Scripture, then you are agreeing with something else and making the inerrant Word of God… well, in err.
Just one personal question and I’ll let this go, did you confront Mr. Ham personally before posting your blogs against his actions? I may have missed that somewhere and want to be sure I have the whole story.
Christa, there have been many devout Christians, long before evolution, who have come to the conclusion that the Genesis days were not 24-hour days. Indeed, that thinking goes back to Jewish theologians before Christ! Thus, to say that such an interpretation is simply trying to “mix” evolution in with the Bible is just plain incorrect.
Dr. Enns does not QUESTION the Genesis account. He wants to know how to PROPERLY INTERPRET it. His interpretation is different from yours and mine, but that is no reason to call him an unwarranted name and level a false charge.
I did not confront Mr. Ham privately, because he publicly attacked Dr. Enns with an unwarranted name and a false charge. That had to be confronted publicly, because I am committed to the Truth. Have you asked Mr. Ham if he contacted Dr. Enns privately before making his charge public?
Dr. Wile, I might agree with you that Mr. Ham would have been advised not to call out a fellow believer by name at the conference, but one thing makes no sense to me. Why do you get to determine the definition of compromiser and unbiblical? By your definitions, Mr. Ham was wrong to label Dr. Enns with these terms and was therefore “nasty,” yet apparently Mr. Ham has plenty of company in believing Dr. Enns is exactly what he said:
Using your approach, I could argue that Mr. Ham wasn’t “nasty” at all and because he wasn’t, you are behaving in an unChristian manner by labeling a brother in the Lord this way.
For what it is worth, I have heard Mr. Ham make it very clear that he is not calling the salvation of those who do not share his beliefs into question. While I think Mr. Ham may have been better served not to mention names, I can’t help but think that the Apostle Paul would have been every bit as strident in defending the faith as he was. You can argue that Dr. Enns shares the faith, but perhaps the proponents of false gospels in Paul’s day believed the same.
Psychowith6, please show me where that link calls Dr. Enns a “compromiser.” Also, please note what that review actually admits:
“Most of the professors at Westminster found nothing objectionable in all this, and tried to protect Enns from the criticism that he provoked. We will pass over their arguments in silence.”
Thus, most of the professors did not see ANY problem with Dr. Enns’s view, and this link won’t even MENTION why. That’s not exactly a fair way to do things, is it? If one is going to attack Dr. Enns’s view, it should be done in the proper way, which is the way Geisler and Frame have done it – and I have praised them for their work.
Mr. Ham was nasty because he leveled a false charge at Dr. Enns. That’s what my post clearly says. I expect that Paul most certainly wouldn’t have done what Mr. Ham did, because he tells us how to treat brothers and sisters in Christ with whom we disagree. You will find it in Romans 14:1-9. He also said that he rejoices when the gospel is preached, even by those with false motives (Philippians 1:15-18).
what was the unwarranted name and false charge?
Marie, as spelled out in my previous post, the unwarranted name was “compromiser,” and the false charge was that Dr. Enns’s doesn’t have a Biblical view of inspiration.
Mr. Wiles you stated, “Most of the professors at Westminster found nothing objectionable in all this, and tried to protect Enns from the criticism that he provoked. We will pass over their arguments in silence.”
This is not quite accurate, there was a 12-8 split on whether Enns violated his oath to Westminister. 12 said no but 8 said yes. That’s far from most, it’s almost half disagreed. Then when it went to the board of trustees they were split 18-9, 18 said he needed to be suspended due to this and only 9 said keep him. So let’s not think they all just followed behind him in agreement, that was not the case.
Noele, that quote comes from the very link that was given. If someone is being inaccurate, it is the authors of the link, not me. If you think they are being inaccurate, then it lends even less credibility to their case!
Dr. Wile, why are you getting in the middle of this? Do you not think that these two grown men, Dr. Ham and Dr. Enns can handle this themselves?
Did you already have an axe to grind with Dr. Ham, and you’re happily seizing the moment to criticize him?
In one of your speeches in Memphis, you talked about how you didn’t recommend the MathUSee curriculum for high schoolers because of its weakness of teaching word problems.
You pointed out a flaw that you perceived to be in someone else’s curriculum. Is that not just what Ken Ham did? Would that be considered mean spirited as well?
You keep hanging your hat on this “compromiser” name. I think you need to work on forgiving Ken Ham for whatever wrong you think he has done and try to live in peace with all men.
Julie, as I have repeatedly said, I got into this because it involved me. Mr. Ham and Dr. Enns were speaking at the same convention I was speaking at, and so it was important to defend a brother that I was going to be sharing the venue with.
As I have also repeatedly said, have no problem with pointing out errors. Indeed, I have praised how it was done by Dr. Geisler and John Frame. However, Mr. Ham did so by name-calling and with a false charge. That is simply not right. This has nothing to do with me having an “axe to grind” with Mr. Ham. It has to do with Mr. Ham’s wrong actions.
When I pointed out the weaknesses I saw in MathUSee, did I call its author a name? Did I level any false charges? No. In fact, I talked about its GOOD points first (better on math concepts than Saxon) and THEN what I saw as its weaknesses. I would LOVE to live in peace with all men. Unfortunately, that can’t happen when one man levels false charges against a brother in Christ in a public forum.
I am not sure that you are being biblical in your treatment of Ken Ham. You have labeled him nasty: “Mr. Ham was nasty because he leveled a false charge at Dr. Enns.” You did not say Mr. Ham’s words were nasty, but that Ken Ham was nasty. I think you have called him a name. I call on you to stop. You have a problem with Ken Ham because he called Dr. Enns a “compromiser”. I actually think that is a less personal attack than what you have leveled at Mr. Ham.
I do not understand why you feel so strongly about this. I see no value in this controversy. It is obvious that you are quite intrigued by Dr. Enns’ work. (You have multiple posts on your home page about him.) I read over that Year One curriculum and it seems quite harmless because it is centered on Jesus. It does not discuss the areas I disagree with him, i.e. the Old Testament. And I believe those areas are significant enough to make me want to keep my distance.
Why is this so important to you? (Because Ken Ham acted poorly.) Well, I submit the same is true for you. You’ve got a phone, call Ken Ham up and discuss it with him. Then report back to us. We’ll wait…
TomB, leveling a false charge is nasty, period. There is no reason to stop saying what is clearly true. It is important to me because false charges should not be leveled publicly, especially against a brother in Christ. Mr. Ham did that, and so I must publicly defend my brother. Mr. Ham has a phone as well. Perhaps he should have called Dr. Enns and reported on the phone call rather than leveling a false charge and calling him an unwarranted name.
I’ve been looking at this controversy re: Ham and the H.S. Convention for a day or two. Just found my way to your blog. Haven’t read everything here, but I see that you are making a distinction between thinking Gen. 1 refers to 24-hour days and being certain it does. I appreciate the thought you have obviously put into this issue and I appreciate you willingly taking the risk of being misunderstood in order to stand for the truth. You have helped me see this issue more clearly and I believe, from a more godly perspective. Your post has enlightened me. I still believe the days were 24-hour periods, but you have nudged me toward a greater patience with those who don’t see it the way I do. Thank you.
Thank you, mthorn10! I am glad you found this blog helpful!
Thank you for your response. I forgot that the Bible says that if someone we know is publicly attacked that we are allowed to ignore Matt 18 and attack publicly as well without any personal contact. That explains Jesus praising Peter for cutting off the servant’s ear… oh wait, He admonished Peter for attacking the servant and restored the ear.
I personally think both you and Ken Hamm are wrong in this instance. Ken Hamm could have approached Enns personally, could have talked with him. Then could have pointed out problems he had with the concepts instead of talking about ‘compromising’. You could have spoken directly with Ken and tried to facilitate a reconciliation instead of publicly continuing (and extending) the controversy and personally attacking Ken Hamm by calling him nasty (‘then he got nasty’.. not his words got nasty, ‘he’ got nasty.)
As I said previously, the enemy is rejoicing in this division. Anytime the enemy is rejoicing at division between brethren, the Father has to be grieved. Those who are involved directly in the division should be actively working to repair the division in order to bring fellowship back to the body.
AmyB, it is clear that Matthew 18 doesn’t apply here. Read what I am to do if the person I contact doesn’t repent:
“But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
This is clearly about CHURCH discipline. It is about dealing with wrongdoings in a church environment. There would have been no church to tell it to, and there would have been no way to treat him as a Gentile or tax collector.
If you think I am in the wrong, I am fine with that. I don’t agree, but I can see why you would come to that conclusion. However, Mr. Ham did, indeed, get nasty by publicly leveling a false charge, so what I am saying is true.
I agree that the Enemy is rejoicing in this division.
How did it involve you because you happened to be there?
And as for the false charge, whose standard of false are you going by?
And if the charge is accurate, then the name is not unwarranted.
Jliv, it involved me because I was going to be speaking at the same convention with both of them. As someone who holds Mr. Ham’s views, I could be seen as supporting Mr. Ham. Indeed, some people I talked to at the conference thought I was supporting Mr. Ham, because they hadn’t seen the post. I could not be seen as supporting false charges against my brother.
In terms of the false charge, I am simply using Scripture itself. 2 Timothy 3:16 is the Biblical standard for the inspiration of Scripture, and Dr. Enns’s view is consistent with that.
The name is unwarranted, because Dr. Enns is trying to defend Scripture, not compromise it.
Dr. Wile, I’ll give you this. You’ve got an answer for everything.
Just as you think of the AIG website, I think your theology leaves a lot to be desired.
I do respect you and agree with some of what you are saying. I just cant figure out why you are going so far out of your way to defend this guy.. I sure do hope for an amicable outcome.
Jliv, I agree with your hope!
Thank you for your gracious, reasonable, and patient responses here, Dr. Wile. I’ve been in the homeschooling community for many years and have always held you in high regard. That regard has only increased as I’ve read through your posts here.
It troubles me to see posters here accuse you of causing or exacerbating division. The division here is certainly over an unwillingness to disagree civilly on a point of biblical interpretation. Something you had nothing to do with. You are modeling what it means to disagree in a way that honors God–both in the way you address the work of Dr. Enns and in the way you respond to folks on this thread. Thank you.
Thank you so much, byawp! Your comment really helps!
Wait a second. If Dr. Ham does not deny the salvation of Dr. Enns, despite his unorthodox view of Creation, doesn’t that mean that it is possible to be a genuine, gospel-believing Christian and still get Genesis wrong? If so, then in what sense is Dr. Enns a wolf in the fold that deserves personal, public rebuke?
Bywap, Mr. Ham thinks that Dr. Enns’s teaching is unBiblical. As a result, it needs to be pointed out as such. I have no problem with him doing that, but it should have been done without name-calling and a false charge.
speaking of math-u-see, do you recommend any particular math texts to go with the science books you wrote? i’m so curious and NEED a change from what we have – fast! my daughter is ready for pre-algebra.
Maria, have you looked at Videotext Interactive? I think it is great. They would say you don’t need prealgebra – that you can start with their algebra course.
I actually have a comment about the AP & CLEP scores! I am working my way toward attending Bastyr University in WA (its a 2yr finishing school for bachelor degress, along with postgrad work). They do not accept *any* CLEP scores and only accept AP for a math course or two. I can get no explanation for this policy and am having to retake several courses I should not have to.
Really, really know which school you’re going to and if they credit for these scores or you may have knocked yourself out for nothing and have to pay tuition to take retake the material. (and no, I can’t retake these courses at Bastyr, that’s not the reasoning lol)
Hélène, thank you so much for that excellent comment. You are absolutely right!
The reason for their policy is that CLEP tests are much easier to pass. Some colleges just don’t see them rigorous enough to allow for credit.
“Christa, there have been many devout Christians, long before evolution, who have come to the conclusion that the Genesis days were not 24-hour days. Indeed, that thinking goes back to Jewish theologians before Christ! Thus, to say that such an interpretation is simply trying to “mix” evolution in with the Bible is just plain incorrect.”
It disturbs me that you actually think this. Here you your self have written science books on the literal 6 days/24 hours creation and now it sounds to me like you are back tracking. Now you are saying that — what’s that comment: Jewish theologians didn’t believe in the 24 hour days. This is hypocrisy. You yourself — should know that evolution dates back to the Egyptians — they were the first people group to “believe this” simple because they did not want to be accountable to a God.
“Dr. Enns does not QUESTION the Genesis account. He wants to know how to PROPERLY INTERPRET it. His interpretation is different from yours and mine, but that is no reason to call him an unwarranted name and level a false charge.”
From what I have read of Peter Enns articles — you are correct — he doesn’t QUESTION the Genesis account — he simple dismisses it. Saying Adam was just a metaphor and had an ex-wife and the “flood” was just a bad idea God had that didn’t working. I would interpret that to say — he totally discredits Genesis. I find it interesting too that he says that “other cultures” talk of a flood so one shouldn’t share the account of the flood with your children?””
What?? Does he stop to think that the reason that other cultures talk of a flood is because there was a FLOOD and it is discussed in Genesis and it just points back that — the Bible really is TRUE. how can this be confusing to children but it should only encourage children in their faith and knowing who God is.
Yes — I would agree his interpretation is different from mine — I am unsure about yours — and it certainly does not match the Bibles — God’s WORD. Not sure if you believe in that or not but I do!!
“an unwarranted name and level a false charge.”
I think calling someone a COMPROMISER is anything but a “unwarranted name” — you obviously was raised in a much SOFTER society than I but I could give you some really good unwarranted names. Ones that wouldn’t be appropriate to put here.
ANd I would say from the research I have done on Peter Enns — A “DR” of the Anti-Christ theology — this is no false charge but it does in fact draw a line deeper in the sand about WHO we as people are going to stand for. Do we stand for God — the Alpha and the Omega — the first Adam and the last Adam —
or will we compromise our beliefs for the fear of man instead.
DeLyssa, I am not backtracking, and I am not being hypocritical. I am just stating facts. The idea that the Genesis days were not 24-hour days goes back to before Christ. This has nothing to do with evolution. It has to do with the text itself. The text itself is not nearly as clear as many young-earthers think it is. This is nothing new. I have always said that and will continue to say it, because it is quite true.
Of course my books support a young earth, because I believe that to be true. However, I do not set myself up as the sole arbiter of Truth, so I am willing to listen to what my brothers and sisters in Christ say. I also take Romans 14:1-9 very seriously. I wish that was something ALL Christians would do!
You are certainly incorrect about Dr. Enns ignoring the Genesis account. It is unfortunate that you mischaracterize your brother in Christ like that. Read his book. He takes great pains to determine how to interpret the Genesis account. If he dismissed it, he wouldn’t spend any time on it in his book!
Dr. Enns believes the Bible is true. However, he believes that the first few chapters of Genesis are not historical narrative, and he cites textual reasons for that. In fact, he thinks that you are doing a GREAT disservice to the Bible to read it as historical narrative. I disagree, of course, but to falsely charge him of not thinking the Bible is true is not the way to treat a brother in Christ.
This has nothing to do with a soft society. It has to do with speaking the truth. It is simply untrue to call Dr. Enns a compromiser, and it is untrue to say his view of inspiraton is not Biblical. It is also nothing short of libel to say he has anything to do with an anti-Christ theology. Your comment saddens me more than I can possibly express.
Thanks for the link. Sorry to bring this topic of math up here! This looks a lot like A Beka’s DVD curriculum but can I assume a little better?
Maria, I would say it is a LOT better.
You are speaking out both sides of your mouth Mr. Jay Wile — first you say that “the idea that Genesis days were not 24-hour days goes back before Christ — which this has nothing to do with evolution — but than you say that your books support a young earth – because you believe it to be true.
So – Question — how can you believe it to be true but say there is no historical evidence before Christ?? That makes no sense. In order to write an accurate science book I would think one would want to have solid rock evidence to support the information being presented.
I am sorry Mr. Jay but I am thinking that you saw nothing more than an opportunity to make money in a great way and along with it gain some fame. After all the home school movement is a multi-million dollar business.
Do you Mr. Jay Wile believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that He is the SON of God, born of a Virgin, rose the third day — now sits at the right hand of God and is waiting for the go ahead to return to collect His Bride? Do you believe Mr. Wile??
DeLysaa, I am not speaking out of both sides of my mouth. I am simply stating facts. The idea that the Genesis days were not 24-hour days dates to times before Christ and has nothing to do with evolution. After all, some Jewish theologians before Christ saw the Genesis days as not having to do with time at all!
First, I did not say there was NO historical evidence before Christ. There were Jewish theologians before Christ who thought the days were 24-hour days, and there were Christian theologians from the beginning of Christendom who thought they were 24-hour days. However, there were Jewish theologians before Christ and Christian theologians from the start of Christendom who did NOT! What I said was evolution and millions of years are most certainly not the reason some theologians see the Genesis days as something other than 24-hour days, because that idea has been around since LONG BEFORE evolution and millions of years.
Second, I believe that the Genesis days are 24-hour days because I think the BALANCE of the textual evidence suggest that. However, there is textual evidence that DOES NOT support that interpretation. Thus, while I think that 24-hour days is the proper interpretation, I am not going to label those who disagree with me as “compromisers,” because they are not. They simply consider the textual evidence differently than I do.
How, exactly, am I making money on this? I don’t sell anything. This blog is free and has no advertisements. Assigning false motives is not the way you should treat a brother in Christ!
I most certainly do believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that He is the SON of God, born of a Virgin, rose the third day — now sits at the right hand of God and is waiting for the go ahead to return to collect His Bride. And, in fact, Dr. Enns believes that as well.
It saddens me when men of faith argue over such issues. While these are issues for debate among learned men, they are not issues of salvation. I am saddened that Mr. Hamm did not have more grace when dealing with this issue. I am sorry that you are caught up in it. My husband is a chaplain. As such we live in a very diverse world of faith. I have learned to appreciate people of faith who don’t share the specifics of my faith. What is important is matters of salvation. I will be praying for you and your family. Blessings.
Thank you so much for your prayers, Lori!
I believe somewhere in these comments, someone said that you could learn college-level subjects, including math, on your own. I confirmed with my older son what I had suspected. Textbooks for these subjects aren’t written for this type of learning. Also, on many occasions he’s told me how bad some math or science text is. He has plans to someday write some understandable material.
Any plans to write or have someone write a high school psychology text?
Kathy, that is an excellent point. School textbooks (be they high school or university) assume the presence of a teacher. Thus, it is difficult to use them in an independent-study format. However, “difficult” does not mean “impossible.” There are free lectures available at many universities. If you use the book that class is using and follow the lectures, you can do it on your own. In addition, there are some materials made for independent study. If you use both my high school books in a subject (like Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Advanced Chemistry in Creation), you have covered everything in a first-year university-level chemistry course.
I am not a part of Apologia anymore. I don’t know their plans. I could not write high school psychology. That’s way too far from my area of expertise!
You may have read this already, but I found Tim Keller’s white paper on this issue very interesting: http://www.biologos.org/uploads/projects/Keller_white_paper.pdf
Thank you for the link, Byawp.
It seems that the key problem here is that Dr. Wile believe that there have been “false” charges against Dr. Enns. Namely, the false charges are the “compromiser” comment and the “unBiblical source of inspiration” comment.
The only means to evaluate the true/false of a charge is to examine evidence of Dr. Enns’s teaching, and how his teaching demonstrated his understanding of the Bible.
Strangely, after examining the evidence — Namely, after watching Dr. Enns’s lecture he posted on his own blog and reading excerpts from his book, I do not find anything to support Dr. Wile’s claim that these charges are false.
Just because past renowned theologians compromised their interpretations of the Bible to fit with their understanding of the science of their days, doesn’t mean the Dr. Enns did not engage in similar behavior.
When we believe a Bible passage to be God-breathed as a divine revelation, we do not interpret a passage that CAN be interpreted literally simply by trusting God’s power to operate miracles as metaphoric. We do not make such metaphoric interpretations based on the fact that such miracles disagree with popular hypotheses of earth origins.
I have read Dr. Wiles stating over and over that Dr. Enns have been faced with false charges, but very weak evidence and reasoning is being used to support how these charges are in fact false. Given that it is questionable that Dr. Enns were facing “false” charges, I do not see how it’s wrong.
Cathy, it is wrong because the charges are false. You might disagree with Dr. Enns’s views, and you might not understand how they constitute a Biblical view of inspiration, but many other Christians do. If a view is clearly unBiblical, it should be obvious to most Christians. His view of inspiration is supported by many, many theologians and many, many Christians. That might not make it RIGHT, but it makes it very hard to say it is UNBIBLICAL.
My husband, son and I attended the event in Greenville and heard both John Stonestreet’s and your lectures (didn’t make it to Dr. Enns’). We reviewed and purchased several of Mr. Stonestreet’s materials (have used yours in the past), including the What We Believe Book 1 as we didn’t find any aspect of his lectures or materials “unbiblical” or “compromising”. If we do come across something that we disagree with, we’ll address that as we would do with anything else. My husband and I are realizing that (as much as we want to keep them safe) we cannot fully live out the Great Commission by creating a “safe culture” (Christian or otherwise) for our children to live in where they will not be exposed to beliefs that we don’t agree with. In these precious years of homeschooling, we hope to meet these differences together and understand them via exegesis so that they will be equipped to do this once they leave home.
Whether my children agree with me or not on the historicity of Adam is not my primary concern. I want them to love and live the gospel. Period. There are too many other worldviews competing for their attention for me to argue about the finer points of Christianity. The point I want to make here is that sometimes our own internal bickering and name-calling compromises our higher purpose. We’ll know beyond a shadow of a doubt when God chooses to reveal His Perfect Mystery to us. Until then, I think we should try very hard to remain in solidarity as Christians (with our differences) and keep the Gospel message as our focus.
In my desire to more fully understand the controversy, I found Apologia’s response to this issue, and thought it might contribute to the discussion.
Thanks, Dr. Wile, for demonstrating how to agree to disagree!
Blessings to you,
Thank you for your comment, Nancy. Mr. Stonestreet isn’t really involved in this at all. I doubt that Mr. Ham finds anything compromising or unBiblical in his work. Mr. Ham’s ire is directed at Dr. Enns, not Mr. Stonestreet.
I cannot agree more with your statement, “Whether my children agree with me or not on the historicity of Adam is not my primary concern. I want them to love and live the gospel. Period.” That’s all I desire from my little girl. Thank you for putting it so well!
I just realized that Dr. Enns’ bible curriculum is a Peace Hill publication. So then what is the connection with John Stonestreet and the What We Believe series, if I might ask?
Thanks, Nancy MacDonald
Nancy, there is no connection. Mr. Stonestreet has nothing to do with this controversy.
I was at the Southeast Convention in Greenville. I did not get to go to a session by Ken Ham, but I find the materials from AiG to be invaluable for educating my children. I also use the excellent materials from Apologia. I have found the materials from Peace Hill Press by Dr. Susan Wise Bauer to be extremely helpful. I might also add that I do not agree with Dr. Bauer on some theological issues, but I do not use her materials in teaching theology. Therefore, I have no problem recommending many of her materials to my friends.
All that being said, I do not know first-hand the characterization Mr. Ham used to refer to Dr. Enns, but if it was only to call him a “compromiser”, then I find the decision to remove him from the other conventions basically nothing less than censorship. If the convention does not want to censor those such as Dr. Enns, who believes the first part of Genesis is only metaphor, then why would it censor Mr. Ham for disagreeing with him? I know there are people who do not believe in the literal Adam or the Fall, but I would not want to unknowingly buy materials from them. I think that if Mr. Ham was just showing parents what these materials contain, he was helping those of us who believe that the Bible is literally true and want to use curricula that reflect that. If Dr. Enns is selling Biblical curricula, then it is important for parents to know about his stance, so that those of us who do not agree with him but who find the Genesis account important to the coherence and premise of the rest of the Bible, will not mistakenly purchase a curriculum we could not use.
I would hope that Mr. Ham did not use defamatory remarks to characterize Dr. Enns, and if that is the case, I think he should publicly apologize. However, I do not believe that calling someone you disagree with a compromiser is defamatory. It is simply characterizing the way those beliefs are viewed.
Kim, thank you very much for your comment. I cannot speak for the convention, as I am nothing more than an invited speaker there. However, they seem to think that Mr. Ham was quite unkind in the way he addressed his disagreements with both the convention and Dr. Enns.
I would also point out that Mr. Ham’s view is definitely not being censored. The convention has replace Mr. Ham with Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, who is the author of Refuting Compromise. He agrees with Mr. Ham on virtually every theological issue related to origins. Thus, it is not the view that is being censored. It is the behavior.
Dr. Wile, I have only read a small portion of the comments and your replies, but I am amazed at your patience! Thank you for taking such large amounts of time to answer, in appropriate detail, those who have all manner of questions — from those who are truly seeking answers and from those who seem to be more intent on bringing accusations against you. I’ve never seen anything like your responses. Seriously.
Blessings to you and your family,
Thanks so much, Karen. I take Romans 14:1-9 very seriously, so I do try to treat my brothers and sisters with respect, even when I disagree with them.
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