Wednesday, June 08, 2011

“Church in England Spiritually Dead” According to Ham.

Ken Ham: Flying in the Teeth of the Evidence

Ken Ham has obviously read James Knight’s latest Network Norwich & Norfolk’s article. Ken quotes a large chunk of it on his blog here. Ken is a little upset about James calling AiG a “cult”. Ken is also not very complimentary about state of the church in England, or even in America for that matter:

Oh, by the way, look at the state of the church in England: it is all but spiritually dead. I’ve ministered in England about 15 times now and have met with countless church leaders there. I’ve seen for myself that this once-Christianized nation is pagan. Most of the next generation doesn’t even believe in God. Yes, that is the outcome of this heretical teaching, which sadly not only pervades the church in England but is also infecting the church now in the USA. Sadly, academics like Peter Enns and those from Calvin College (and others as quoted in the Christianity Today article) are leading generations of church leaders to undermine the authority of the Word instead of standing uncompromisingly upon it as we must do!

As far as I’m aware the church in England is far from spiritually dead; what Ken means, of course, is that a church rates as all but spiritually dead, or at least compromised by heresy, if it doesn’t accept YEC teaching and ministry. Thus, as far as Ken is concerned that puts the great majority  of the English church well beyond the pale of God's pleasure! No wonder he sees the English church as dead; so very little of it swallows AiG's flintstone travesty of palaeontology, hook line and sinker. And am I glad: The last thing we want in this country is an expensive outsized wooden toy boat dominating the shore of an undersized ornamental lake; it would be an affront to both atheist and Christian scientists in this country. It is this sort of doctrinaire sectarian perspective by Ken and AiG  that ticks one of my cult check boxes.

As I’ve said before I have a reserved view toward evolution and I have a lot of respect for many of the anti-evolutionist correspondents on Uncommon Descent. I can even understand how your average Joe and Josephine Pugh, puzzled and confused by the times they are in, are looking for something that narrows the domain of cognizance thereby taking the strain off their creaking epistemic resources. For them a literal interpretation of early Genesis provides a myth that makes sense of reality and suits them just fine; at the very least it cuts down the vertiginous time dimension to anthropic proportions, if not the agoraphobic spatial dimensions of the cosmos.

I have to say that in spite of being potentially sympathetic I have a great deal of trouble trying to summon up respect for AiG and what it stands for with its “Our Word is God’s Word” ethos. But the rampart “dead cert” fundamentalism of AiG is not the only problem I have: Frankly, when it comes to technical subjects commentators like Beyond Our Ken Ham lack competence and aptitude. Give me William Dembski, or Hugh Ross any day – but not Ken Ham. Ken’s expensive Theme Park projects are just a little too kitschy and sentimental for me. Ken really needs to sort out his PR even in America before he brings his anti-science circus and far right Christian extremism over the pond.


Anonymous said...

If not spiritually flatlinind, the church in England is certainly very sick. As a South African who has lived here for 10 years, I am saddened by the dearth of strong, active Christians in whole sectors of society, especially the workplace and have visited so many churches where a handful of people work very hard to keep things chugging along with no growth or gospel outreach. I frequently ponder the reason for this and wonder if it is because the people in this country have 'little need for God. Perhaps the recession is an opportunity for people to reevaluate their lives and put their faith in something other than worldly things.

Timothy V Reeves said...

With a comment like the above we need to factor in the following:

1. The state of society as whole is being confused with Christianity
2. Sectarian and proprietary religious interests (like YEC for example) if not satisfied in the eyes of religionists will, needless to say, register as a failure in Christian witness.
3. Quoting a source on the history of Christianity: "An extraordinarily large amount of Church history is one of internal conflict, of disagreement about the nature of the tradition".

Consequently I take the above comment with a large pinch of salt.