Nazarene Professor Responds—Woefully

The president and vice-president of the BioLogos Foundation (founded by Dr. Francis Collins of human genome fame) are two Nazarene college Professors—Darrel Falk and Karl Giberson. You can read their bios on the BioLogos website.

Darrell Falk is a biology professor at Point Loma Nazarene Nazarene University in San Diego. Because I mentioned these two (along with a number of others) in my “State of the Nation” address on Tuesday, Darrell Falk decided to respond on the BioLogos website. First of all, read through his response—then I will make some comments:

On Wednesday evening, Ken Ham, President of Answers in Genesis, and the head of the Creation Museum in Petersburg Kentucky, gave his annual “State of the Nation” address. Since Mr. Ham singles out BioLogos in his speech and expresses grave concerns about what we are trying to do, we have been asked by some of our readers to comment. We encourage all to watch his talk. Mr. Ham graphically illustrates our gravest fears. He is misleading his audience in ways that will continue to do much harm. So what is the BioLogos response? Please consider reading (or rereading) three of our recent blogs. Karl Giberson has written poignantly about his visit to the Creation Museum last Fall. At about the same time, I wrote about my attendance at a seminar put on by the Institute for Creation Research. Finally, I want to point to our more recent essay: “Why BioLogos?”

Mr. Ham states that two-thirds of churched young people abandon the faith of their youth as they enter into adulthood. The answer, in contrast to what he suggests, is not better training in young earth creationism. Heaven forbid! This is the very thing that is causing many to abandon their walk with the Lord. BioLogos exists primarily to help those same young people realize that their Christian faith need not be tied to Mr. Ham’s view of a 10,000 year old earth. God’s Word and our life in Christ is much more profound than that! If Mr. Ham and his followers want to continue to believe in a young earth, that is up to them. However, implying that one’s life in Christ depends upon holding a particular view of the earth’s age is not fair to our young people. We, all of us who share the BioLogos’ view, exist to show them that nothing could be further from the truth than this.

Submitted by Darrel Falk

Now read his statement with my comments:

On Wednesday [it was actually Tuesday] evening, Ken Ham, President of Answers in Genesis, and the head of the Creation Museum in Petersburg Kentucky, gave his annual “State of the Nation” address. Since Mr. Ham singles out BioLogos in his speech and expresses grave concerns about what we are trying to do, we have been asked by some of our readers to comment. We encourage all to watch his talk. Mr. Ham graphically illustrates our gravest fears. He is misleading his audience in ways that will continue to do much harm. So what is the BioLogos response? Please consider reading (or rereading) three of our recent blogs. Karl Giberson has written poignantly about his visit to the Creation Museum last Fall. At about the same time, I wrote about my attendance at a seminar put on by the Institute for Creation Research. Finally, I want to point to our more recent essay: “Why BioLogos?”

Actually I think it is great he is encouraging people to watch my talk, still available to watch. I trust they will be challenged by the fact that the emphasis of the talk was dealing with the loss of biblical authority in the culture—which we all observe around us. I did quote from the BioLogos website as you will see, but when you read what I quoted (and you can read much more detail regarding this topic of what it means to be created in God’s image on the BioLogos website), most Christians would be shocked!

And I encourage people to go to the BioLogos foundation website to see what these men really believe—and to understand the types of things they no doubt teach their students. What they teach is destructive to the church and an outright attack on biblical authority.

Read their question and answer sections. If you want a quick summary of some of the sorts of things they teach, go to my previous blog post on the Biologos foundation. Also read my previous post called “What Are Nazarene Students Being Taught?

Mr. Ham states that two-thirds of churched young people abandon the faith of their youth as they enter into adulthood.

Actually I quoted that two-thirds of young people leave the church. And that is not just a guess—I was quoting statistics from Barna research (he confirmed this in 2002 and 2006), from Lifeway, and from others.

The answer, in contrast to what he suggests, is not better training in young earth creationism. Heaven forbid!

Now, in my “State of the Nation” address, I didn’t deal with the specific answers to address what we found from research into why these young people leave the church. I did say the research (conducted by renowned researcher Britt Beemer from America’s Research Group) found these young people weren’t taught to defend the faith against the secular attacks on the Bible of our day.

However, if one actually reads the book Already Gone, where the real research is reported on, we don’t just say that they need “better training in young earth creationism.” We actually use the results of real, statistically valid research to go through many issues that caused them to leave the church. I would encourage people to read the book Already Gone and see that Falk is having an emotional outburst here, not reporting (as a professor surely should) on the actual results of the research.

This is the very thing that is causing many to abandon their walk with the Lord.

Now, Dr. Falk! Where is the statistically valid research conducted giving the results that enables you to make such a statement? I haven’t seen it! Have you had a consumer research group actually research this belief? Where are the results? Surely, as a professor you wouldn’t make such a statement without being able to back it up?

AiG used a renowned researcher (Britt Beemer) from America’s Research Group (highly respected in the secular and Christian world) to do real research into why those young people are leaving the church. No one else has ever attempted this.

BioLogos exists primarily to help those same young people realize that their Christian faith need not be tied to Mr. Ham’s view of a 10,000 year old earth. God’s Word and our life in Christ is much more profound than that! If Mr. Ham and his followers want to continue to believe in a young earth, that is up to them. However, implying that one’s life in Christ depends upon holding a particular view of the earth’s age is not fair to our young people. We, all of us who share the BioLogos’ view, exist to show them that nothing could be further from the truth than this.

We have stated over and over again that salvation is not conditioned upon a belief in the age of the earth. It is conditioned upon faith in Christ. There are many in the church who believe in an old earth but who are truly saved. For instance, this is what I wrote in a previous post:

Recently, in having an obvious dig at the ministry of Answers in Genesis, a person said, “the gospel doesn’t rise or fall on the days of creation.” My answer was, “That’s true—it doesn’t. But does the gospel rise or fall on the authority of Scripture? And does the authority of Scripture rise or fall on the days of creation?”

The point I want to make is that it is faith in Christ that saves someone—not whether a person believes in a young or old earth, or whether the days of creation in Genesis are long periods of time. Romans 10:9 makes it very clear that salvation is tied to faith in Christ, not the days of creation or the age of the earth.

However, another important point we make is that when a person believes in millions of years and then reinterprets the days of creation to be long periods of time, they are undermining the very authority from which they get the message of the gospel—they are undermining the authority of the Word of God by taking man’s fallible ideas on the age of the earth and using this to change the clear meaning of the Word of God: it is an authority issue.

I must admit I get tired of the people who misquote or misrepresent what we state concerning a person who is a Christian and who believes in an old earth. For instance, a retired medical doctor (who now homeschools her children) on her website stated:

Ken Ham essentially said that a person who does not believe in Young-Earth Creationism can’t be a Christian since they don’t believe the Bible. domesticadventure.blogspot.com/2009/01/evolution-creation-wheres-truth.html

Well, Ken Ham has never said and doesn’t say anything of the sort! As I said above, nowhere in the Bible is salvation tied to the age of the earth. But it is about time that compromising Christians understand that they have contributed to the loss of biblical authority in this nation and thus helped open the door to the secularization of the culture. And a friendly warning to homeschool parents—if you teach this compromised position to your children, be prepared for the great possibility they will open the door of compromise wider and get on that all-too-familiar slippery slide of unbelief. And, I challenge this person to send me the quotes where I said what she claims I did above. And I encourage her to have a dialogue with our medical doctor on staff, Dr. Tommy Mitchell, who also homeschools his children, about how he once wrestled over the creation/evolution issue.

You can read Falk’s comments here.

It is academics like Falk and Giberson who sadly are leading so many young people astray by their outright attack on biblical authority. I believe most in the Nazarene church would be shocked by what these men actually believe and what they teach to their college students. But don’t just take my word for it—read what they endorse on the BioLogos website.

Many of their answers to various questions are far from orthodox Christianity. In fact, for many of their answers, they traipse into downright liberal theology that undermines biblical authority and the church.

One last thing. Notice that Falk says more than once “Ken Ham’s view” (e.g., the age of earth). It needs to be stated categorically: this is not “Ken Ham’s view.” This was the almost universal belief of the church for the first 18 centuries and is increasingly being believed in the church today all over the world, as lay people, pastors, scholars, and other Christian leaders read the Genesis text carefully and become aware of the anti-biblical philosophical assumptions hidden in the secular “scientific” claims about evolution and millions of years. That Genesis clearly teaches a literal six-day creation a few thousand years ago and a global Flood at the time of Noah is defended in Old-Earth Creationism on Trial (for laymen and students) and Coming to Grips with Genesis (for more in-depth, scholarly analysis).

Read the Debate

I also urge you to read the debate between Karl Giberson and me on the Beliefnet website. Here you’ll see us debating the Genesis/origins topic, and you can read what we say for yourselves.

One “State of the Nation” Address—Many Formats

If you missed the recent “State of the Nation” address (or if you want to rewatch it), you have several options from our website and online store. On the front page of the Anwers in Genesis site (and the Creation Museum), you can follow the large banner to AnswersLive.org and watch the web-quality version for free. You’ll also find information about the webcast and some recommended resources that will further equip you to stand on God’s Word.

If you’d like a high-quality video recording of the address, you can either buy it on DVD or download it to your computer. The DVD will ship on February 25, but you can preorder it now for $12.99. Once you receive your copy, plan a viewing with friends and family or a church small group. It’s a fast-paced presentation that every Christian needs to watch.

For those of you who would like the video immediately, you can download it now from the online store for $7.99. The digital format provides a high-quality presentation from your computer, iPod, or any other portable media device. So, take it with you to share.

Off to Canada

I am off to Canada for an Answers in Genesis conference in Abbotsford, British Columbia (near Vancouver and the Olympics), on Sunday and Monday. You can find all the details from the AiG website calendar.

Devotion

Blameless though not faultless

(1 Corinthians 1:8) Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are certainly not faultless, but because of the power of the Cross, the Lord Jesus Christ took all our blame and left us blameless.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken