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Last night, like hundreds of thousands of others around the world, I watched¬†the debate¬†between Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis) and Bill Nye (The Science Guy). I remarked on Facebook that I liked Ken Ham’s opening remarks. I watched almost all of the debate and appreciated what both men shared. Both men are very smart and both men are scientists.

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Let me share my own view of Creation first: I agree with pastors and authors like Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler when it comes to Creation. I do not believe in the theory of evolution. I believe “God created the heavens and the earth” – and life for that matter. However, like Driscoll and Chandler, I don’t get caught up in “new earth” or “old earth” debates. I like how Chandler quoted Driscoll in his book The Explicit Gospel. Driscoll said:

“In the end, it must be admitted that the age of the earth is simply not stated in the Bible and it may be young or old. Furthermore, both young and old earth advocates are inferring from the Bible a position that the Bible simply does not clearly state.”

Some of you may be scratching your head and saying, “I thought the Bible states that the world was created in seven days.” Let me allow Matt Chandler to explain. On pg. 101 of The Explicit Gospel, he says:

“In the beginning,” Genesis 1:1 reads. We don’t know how long that beginning was. Could it have been billions of years? Maybe. What we do know is that when God began to shape and mold that piece of land for Adam and Eve, the period of preparation lasted seven days.”

So let me be brief about my personal thoughts and opinions from the debate. Here goes…

What I liked:

  • Two scientists had a debate without name-calling or belittling one another.
  • Bill Nye kept pushing for our students to create, build, design, engineer and innovate
  • Ken Ham held fast to his belief that the Word of God is without error
  • Ken Ham shared the gospel throughout his time speaking
  • Ken Ham defended the sanctity of life and marriage
  • Ken Ham believes there was a flood (I do, too)

What I didn’t like:

  • Ken Ham didn’t always have a good answer for tough questions
  • Ken Ham won’t budge on the earth being only 6000 years old
  • Bill Nye attacked the Bible numerous times and kept inferring that it wasn’t reliable and couldn’t be trusted
  • Bill Nye had no grasp or way to handle the concept of something supernatural taking place in history
  • When Ken Ham infers something that the Bible doesn’t clearly state (like the earth is only 6000 years old), he approaches the subject as a theologian and Bible lover, not a scientist. This hurts his case and yes, he could be wrong. (For the record, I love and cherish the Bible, too)

My two cents:

  • I don’t question Ken Ham’s character in the least.
  • I think Ken Ham is a man of God, but is taking a hard stand on something the Bible doesn’t clearly teach.
  • I do like Ken Ham’s heart and passion to boldly speak the truth of the gospel, defend the Bible and speak up when he is often in the minority.
  • I pray for the salvation of Bill Nye and pray that God would supernaturally open his eyes to the truth of the gospel.
  • I pray that I would have the same conviction of holding fast to the timeless teachings of Scripture, including the sanctity of life and marriage.
  • I pray that my kids (who are very bright) will ask tough questions and learn that good science and good theology are not opposites. They actually work quite well together.
  • I pray for our country, as it was very clear that the Word of God was under attack last night.
  • I don’t like debates. I’ve always said, “You can’t debate someone into the Kingdom.” Salvation is about God opening the eyes of the blind. It’s about regeneration of the heart.
  • I want Christians to build relationships with lost people and be a true friend and light to them.
  • I don’t want us to be known for what we’re against. I want us to be known by our love and grace and mercy. As a people of hope.
  • Lastly, there are many brilliant doctors, academics, theologians, professors, scientists and engineers that believe in the Creation account in Genesis. I’m one of them. Just don’t try to date the earth, since God didn’t.

What were your thoughts on the debate? Do you agree with Ken Ham’s age of the earth? Do you believe in the theory of evolution? Can Christians be academic, smart and believe the Word of God?

Greg Atkinson

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