Saturday, September 22, 2012

Peter Enns, "Ken Ham and the clubbing of Baby Seals"

This made me laugh as well.
The title is a riff off Peter's original post. I'm not *that* incendiary. Even if I did laugh once I understood.

Peter Enns:
I recently posted some thoughts on reading Genesis like an adult. Ken Ham disagreed, and so posted a response, “Peter Enns Wants Children to Reject Genesis.”

Ham’s well-known chosen method of settling differences with Christians seems to be: attack first and ask questions, well, never. This is especially true when in comes to reading the creation story in Genesis as a literal depiction of historical events.

For Ham, the gospel hangs in the balance, and any disagreement with him is de facto a disagreement with the Bible and God himself. You are, therefore, “the enemy.” Gray is not a color on his rhetorical palette.

Given his well-publicized track record, I think it is fair to ask whether in Ham’s universe it is possible, (1) to be Christian, and (2) disagree with him on Genesis. Sadly, I suspect not.

But if in Ham’s mind is it actually possible to be a follower of Jesus AND disagree with him on Genesis, I would suggest that his engagement of his Christian opponents be more shaped by his acknowledgment of their shared Christians bond.

Now, of course, all Christians (at least that I’ve ever come across) in tense moments will fall off the wagon, so to speak, and forget themselves and say something they regret later. But, normally (hopefully) that doesn’t go on for long, and Christians will recommit themselves to acting like Christ once they realize it. Ham, however, has made those regrettable behaviors into a deliberate “ministry” strategy–and, what is far worse, encouraging his followers to do likewise.

One need only read the title of his recent post to see the problem, “Peter Enns Wants Children to Reject Genesis.” What I say in my post is that adults should not read Genesis like children do. That, I think, is a rather different point, not a subtle difference. But Ham’s “Enns wants to harm your children as he clubs baby seals” approach aids his ultimate goal–to score points by discrediting those who fall on the wrong side of his all-or-nothing ideology.
For the original article/s, enjoy them here.

--Nick

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