An Open Letter and Challenge to Ken Ham, Creationist (Not So) Extraordinaire

unnamed-26Dear Mr. Ham:

You see, there’s this book.

Sound familiar?

Yes, and it is in fact called the Bible.

And whether one calls it the Inspired Word of God or an anthology of fairy tales, it is the most fascinating and complex book ever composed.

I love it dearly, despite how you abuse it.  In fact, I live by it.

Yet here’s one of the most interesting things about “this book”:  you can’t find an original copy of it anywhere.  It’s like one of those missing link fossils you and your Creationist chums are always going on about, laughing over a six-pack of near-beers.

Shh!  Don’t let the cat out of the bag!

As you and I both know (and as Bill Nye couldn’t quite articulate), the Bible is a compilation of thousands of codices and pieces, sometimes fragments, written in numerous ancient languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Syriac).  Oh sure, big chunks of the Bible can be found in the four great uncial codices:  Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus.  Then there’s the Dead Sea Scrolls.  But not a single one of them are the Bible, are they?

Then there are all of the textual variants, sections of various passages in different manuscripts that don’t quite align with one another.

Then there’s the complicated matter of the biblical canon.  Some books got in, some were rejected.  Some are in one Bible, not in another.

Wait, so maybe there are “these books.”

Gee, why did the Immortal Creator of the Universe make the Bible so darn difficult to piece together?  Heck, nearly as complex as all those geologic strata you and Mr. Nye were quibbling about.

Kind of sheds light on the foundation of your worldview, doesn’t it?

As rehearsed and polished a speaker as you are, anyone who knows the first thing about hermeneutics knows that your fundamentalist worldview is built on a sandy foundation (and, yes, I enjoy the irony of that remark).  Oh, I’m pretty sure that you know this, and I’m pretty certain that you know your scam goes right over the heads of most confirmed Creationists.

Unfortunately, they’re unable to differentiate a potassium argon radiometric reading from two rabid mating possums.  So by the time you’ve piled a bunch of terminal degree professors into a telephone booth—who deceptively forget to mention that they simply refuse to apply the scientific method to historical inquiry—your followers think you’re the bloody pope.

By the way, Bill Nye, despite his professed limitations as a theologian, was very astute to repeat over and again that you represent the Ken Ham Creationist Model.  It is, in fact, your model.  It is your interpretation.

The Creation Museum crowd cheered you each and every time you said, “You see, there’s this book.”

Each time they did, I realized more and more that Bill Nye missed the mark overall.  It’s not his fault, really.  He did what any scientist or engineer would do:  he presented evidence for a scientific theory.  He repeatedly made the case that his aim was to produce a predictable, functional model to explain the origins of the Universe and life on Earth.

What he failed to realize is that he could have felled you with one swift chop of the hermeneutical axe.

Creationism in fact fails because of “the book.”

The Bible is the one and only foundation of your personal cosmology.  Fair enough, everyone needs a foundation.

Guys like Bill Nye rely on observation, the senses, with a pinch of Gadamerean sensus communis, as the bedrock for their cosmological worldview.

But your brand of wanton fundamentalist cosmology fails because you cannot find ONE DAMNED PASSAGE in the entire Bible that compels the reader to interpret Genesis literally.

You interpret everything in Genesis literally—the Creation Account, Adam & Eve, Noah’s Flood, the Tower of Babel, Balaam’s Ass, etc.—simply because.

You see, there’s this book.  And I know a whole damned lot about it too.

I grew up believing men like you.  Being deceived by men like you.  Trapped by men like you.

But now I’m free.  An enlightened Believer.  That’s right:  a Christian.

And I’m going to keep calling out your bullshit every single week with this modest national voice.

And not just me.  There is a whole army of progressive Christian writers cropping up all across this country, many of whom, like myself, once upon a time were trapped in fundamentalist communities until folks like Bill Nye showed us the way out.

And we’re going to keep calling out the bullshit of you and your fundamentalist cronies.  Every.  Damned.  Day.

I challenge you to a debate.  Publicly.  Any day.  Anywhere.

In front of a lectern.  Written words—why not here on Forward Progressives?.  Hell, I’ll even take you on with a Flannelgraph.

But the subject will be biblical hermeneutics and biblical scholarship.  Because that is your true Achilles heel.

And you know it.

Oh, of course you won’t take up the challenge.

Because your followers have a modicum understanding of the Bible.  And the first time I say, “You see, there’s this book, it’s called the Jefferson Bible” they’ll sit up straight in their seats with a puzzled look on their faces.  And they’ll listen.

And for some, the scales will begin to fall from their eyes.

Unlike Bill Nye, I actually speak Fundamentalese.

Anyway, below follow some articles of mine you might like to consider reading.

You are an antichrist.  And I live to call out you and your ilk.

What the Hell is Christian Fundamentalism

What Every American Should Know about the Biblical Definition of Capitalism: Part I

What Every American Should Know about the Biblical “Definitions” of Marriage

The Bible, Rated X (Part I)

The Bible, Rated X: Mr. Jefferson, 666 and Biblical Bosoms (Part II)

The Bible, Rated X: Careful Where You Stick Your Colon (Part III)

The Bible, Rated X: Stop Pointing Your Rod at Me (Part IV)

The Bible, Rated X: From Adam’s Snake to the Horny Beast (Part V)

See you Sunday!  Pastor Pillow is waiting.

The following two tabs change content below.
Arik Bjorn lives in South Carolina. His education background includes archaeology, ancient languages and biblical studies. His writing interests include religion, unraveling theodicy and trying to understand why voters commonly vote against their own self-interest. Visit Arik’s website, Viking Word, and check out his latest books, Birds of a Feather and Why Bad Things Happen to Good Parrots. You can also follow him on Twitter @arikbjorn and on Facebook as well. And be sure to check out more from Arik in his archives!
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  • Pipercat

    After I stewed on all this overnight, it occurred to me that Mr. Ham (a bit of poetic irony there) is nothing more than a flim-flam man. Apparently, he has a degree in applied science. Either the Australian university system is not the full quid or Ham’s a total rort. I lean 179 degrees towards the latter. Gidday!!

    • The Author

      Spot on and perfect assessment as ever! Thanks, Pipercat!

  • John Masters

    Great Article Arik. Interesting, isn’t it, that now that progressive Christians are rising up and reclaiming and proclaiming the true gospel message of love and grace and compassion, conservatives have decided they require yet another translation of the Bible. You see, now that it’s being used against them, the current translation aren’t really accurate. That whole Beatitudes thing was just wrongly translated from the get-go.

    • The Author

      Let’s go get ‘em, John! And by doing so, enlighten minds left and right!

      Christianity has always been progressive. It’s the religion of the down and out, of the needy (and we’re ALL needy at a foundational level).

      In the end, Christ’s message is NOT about trying to reconcile fossils and geologic strata. Ham and his minions have wasted so much time and energy on the wrong things. (Cosmology is a valid inquiry, but it is not the basis of our religion.)


      • Doug

        To “The Author” Arik?
        It’s not your straw man “basis of his religion”. It’s just a specialty of his.

      • Arik Bjorn

        I somewhat agree, Doug. Hamism is actually the worship of the Bible (not God) through literal hermeneutics. That IS his actual religion, and specialty.

      • Doug

        I don’t see why if we believe the stories about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob we think the part about Adam being the first man and them living almost but short of 1,000 years until the flood is a myth unless you believe the local flood and something to the effect the Israel White Identity believes.

    • Why5ks

      They are already trying Phyllis Schlafly’s son has started a project rewriting the Bible and he wants only “lay people” to offer their translations. What gives you more confidence in the credibility of a book. It is written by unknown authors and attributed to people who died before it was written. Translated from original sources yet those sources aren’t available to check the veracity of the translation. Later translated and rewritten by people who never viewed the original texts or even understood the original languages the books. Now it is being rewritten from all those problems by a bunch of people who haven’t studied the Bible, studied theology, or in many cases attended college.

  • Ted Tegar

    I assumed the audience was a huge majority of Creationists, and they did smugly laugh when Ken Ham said ” There is this book…” but otherwise they were neutral and polite during the debate. Bill Nye was very polite but his disdain for the non-thinkers was still evident though he tried his best to keep it down. I love this open letter to Ken Ham and I too feel like we were harmed in our evangelical upbringing.
    Bill Nye indeed does not speak fundamentalese, but I think he got his point across to even these non-scientific types…there are HUGE impossibilities in Ken Ham’s model of creation where 11 new species would have to have been created EVERY day since the flood 4000 years ago, the seasonal displays in the ice rods drilled in the antarctic, the missing land bridge to Australia, etc.
    Ken Ham probably made all Christians look bad last night, but if it minimizes the fundamentalists so that progressive Christians rise to prominence, maybe all Christians benefit.

    • The Author

      Right one, Ted!

  • Robb Warwick

    Have fun living a life that means nothing to you. Have fun believing in not existing after u die guy. Sorry u are so depressed. Prayers to u.

    • crabjack

      Your assumptions are illogical….

    • chainsofstrife

      Did you even read the article? Or did you just peruse the parts you like. Your ignorance is the very ignorance he speaking about. If you had read the article he said he is in fact an enlightened believer and a Christian. He just doesn’t believe in the fundamentalist view of Christianity. Your comment however implies that he is an atheist which was never mentioned in the article, at all. Thus proving his point about the fundamentalist’s seemingly only ever wanting to hear and or believe what they want to hear or believe.

    • Rachel

      I must add that Atheists don’t feel that way either. I am an atheist. I am far from depressed and never have been. I love life! I love the people in my life! I do not believe in an afterlife, however comforting it may sound. I love to learn new things. I yearn for knowledge and an understanding of the world. This is my only life and I live it as such. I’m a good person, better than most actually. I don’t do good things in hope for a reward in an afterlife or in fear of eternal punishment if I don’t. I do good things because it makes me feel good and I would want others to do the same for me. This one life I have means everything to me. I believe in people, friendship, love, happiness, learning, and the list goes on and on.

      • DukeAJuke

        That sums it up perfectly!

    • HF

      What a SHOCK! A condescending jerk who clearly didn’t read a single word of the article, “praying” for the Christian author.

      You give ALL of us a bad name.

    • PoppaDavid

      If you happen to do math or engineering, calculate the circumference from the following description:

      He made a cast metal tank 10 cubits from brim to brim, circular in form, and its height was five cubits,

      If you know math the answer is pretty simple. Then go to 1 Kings 7:23 to see what the Bible says.

      • Robin Salvadori Allison

        And your point is????

      • PoppaDavid

        The correct answer is “more than 31 cubits”. The Bible contains an inaccurate value, therefore the Bible contains inaccurate information.

  • Chris Mulcahy

    In the original video that started all of this, Bill Nye asserted that creationism shouldn’t be taught in school. That it inhibits future scientists from making the groundbreaking advances needed to keep technology going. And it is true. The people that have made the advances are the ones that question everything. Believing in something with no thought of questioning it, causes society to stagnate.

    • terezi

      You don’t teach a debunked fairy tail as an “alternative theory”. Sure, scientists question their current base of knowledge all the time and sometimes something big happens (Like the higgs boson), but that doesn’t mean you should teach something false to students as fact.

      There are parts in evolution where somethings are unclear. It could have happened in multiple ways and we’re unsure exactly which path it took.

      Do you see what I’m trying to say here? “Teach the alternative” would be ok in the case where scientists really WERE unsure about how something happened, but we’re not. There’s almost unanimous (97+% of all scientists) consensus that the process evolution is how it happened.

      Creationism is religion trying to butt its way into the class room as “fact.”

      • Doug

        To me the most amazing thing is that “Recorded History” around the globe is recognized at about 4-6000 years BC. It is fascinating that with the millions upon millions of years we have with humans evolving in complexity we only have recorded events and dialogue for the last 6- 8000 years.

        Shouldn’t we have evidence of recorded history long before this or did human evolution not attain the necessary skill set until 6000 years ago. This would be millions of years after much of our cognitive and social skills were developed and reinforced throughout human culture and subcultures.

        It does not make sense – at all. We should have a much longer documented and recorded history if evolution is true.

        Do not rely upon “cave paintings and drawings” as examples – these cannot be dated. They will use material found in the vicinity of a “cave painting” date that material and then extrapolate the results to the painting or drawings. Hardly scientific.

        If any recorded information could be found that was 20 – 100 thousand years ago then evolutionists would have a case, but they don’t. They have to admit that the oldest recorded history we have is under 10,000 years old. That up against millions of years complex human evolution doesn’t look good – at all.

        Doesn’t it seem peculiar that humans have only recently figured out the intricacies of written communication and the means to do so against the backdrop of millions and millions of years. It doesn’t seem right does it? Evolutionists are not fighting creationists at this point they are trying to fight historical facts. We should be discussing documentation that goes back hundreds of thousands if not millions of years.

        It is too much to swallow that it took millions of years to get to an era when knowledge and the means to gaining knowledge just happened to explode over a 6000 year period. Pure fantasy.

      • TropicDave173

        To answer all your paragraphs in a few words, no, it doesn’t seem peculiar. You might wish to look at the increases in technological knowledge from the 18th to the 20th centuries as a parallel. Or the spread of the printed work as compared to the increase in general knowledge. Another point is that the populations up until the historic period were small, sparse and not very long-lived, which decreases the ability for an education. Once humanity had the spare time and resources to have an educated class, you see a rise in population, technology and a further increase in knowledge…which accelerated the process yet again. That we went from no flight to space travel in under a century – or from trails to interstate highways in a couple of centuries – or best yet, the very venue you’re using to deride this article, the Internet as compared to the printed word (or books to manuscripts) shows this. Once a new technology came along it didn’t take too long to spread if the powers that be allowed it (think the scribes in ancient Egypt, or monasteries which restricted the passing on of knowledge to a privileged class – once that was done away with information spread like crazy).
        As for male and female, it’s the best way nature found to strengthen the species. There are plenty of species extant today that reproduce asexually but they tend to be the lower orders. Mixing individual strains creates a more vigorous offspring than simply making “copies of copies”.
        We can date cave paintings by analyzing the pigments used by the prehistoric artists.
        I applaud your faith, but not unlike Mr. Ham, your facts are suspect and based on belief. That’s your privilege, but as Mr. Nye said, don’t base our childrens’ education on it.

      • Doug

        Your theories are all speculation. I don’t buy it for millions of years that getting advanced was quashed. We’re not talking about computer age etc – we’re talking about language and writing etc.

        My faith is defined as evidence of things not seen and the substance of what I hope for.

        When the only physical evidence was the fossil record all it showed was stasis. There were a few missing link models but they were debunked as one was using a pigs jaw on a human skull, one was a type of man already in existence, one a prehistoric ape and not human, one an old man with arthritis etc.

        Last time I looked at the info about fruit flies etc I found flaws in it. All as they had then was proof of adaptation.

        Each person has a model based on speculation like ice cores etc. One wants to teach theirs as science and exclude the other.

        The sediment in the oceans and from rivers etc doesn’t show an old earth.

        “A fool says in his heart there is no God.” (Proverbs) That’s like evolution – everything happened by chance. It turns the Bible into a myth and the Almighty into trial and error throw everything out there and see what happens God – not one who raises the dead and stops rivers created everything in… If you want to follow the religion of evolution then why bother to call yourself a Christian (that’s what the author does)?
        Why not just say he likes the Bible as a literary fairytale with some wisdom in it but obviously is not a Christian as the Christians who are in the Bible are.

        The uncreated intelligence/power that dwells in the ultimate no things, ultimate silence, stillness and possibly darkness (haven’t sussed out darkness yet) being 2 or possibly 3 I’m aware of, that define all things created and sustains the creation.

        Silence and stillness define sound and motion. Sound and motion are only definable in relation to stillness and silence or relative stillness and silence.

        You are standing still in relation to a passing car but from the perspective of the earth’s axis or outside its atmosphere you are spinning around the axis. The axis is moving around the sun in our solar system but the sun is moving in the universe and somewhere out there in heaven is an ultimate stillness that defines all motion/ a non-thing/no-wave that defines all things/waves.

        You can do something to demonstrate motion or sound but there is nothing you can DO to demonstrate stillness. The stillness that defines motion is greater than and undefined by the motion. The no things remain after the things are gone.

        Even if you were to define stillness by a motion and take it to its conclusion you’d have to keep going faster and faster to define each relative stillness. The faster the speed the slower time gets and if we reached the speed where time stopped we’d be in the same place of nothingness that defines all things – but of course matter would disintegrate/burn up before it reached the speed where time stopped and our creator dwells in that place of stillness that defines all wave/motion/matter (for all matter is just wave/motion but no one really knows what it is that is moving) outside of time and space – the kingdom of God that flesh and blood does not inherit/enter.

        Matter is made from vibrating/curving time like shadows created in the bottom of a swimming pool from just the water motion of the pump. The river of time flows forth and resistance to time creates whirlpools and eddies which are matter. The resistance that creates the motion is like the interference pattern a laser is shined through to create a hologram. the laser being time.

      • disqus_mmZU8TPsvi

        Wow. He didn’t say that knowledge was quashed for millions of years. But knowledge has been suppressed by a number of factors such as religion and ruling classes since the first civilizations arose.
        For million of years we progressed slowly because hunter gathers have to spend most of their time just surviving. When agriculture was first discovered is unknown, but science keeps making discoveries that it goes back further than we think.
        As for recorded knowledge, we have found places that put the first cities about 10-12 thousand years ago and the first records of some kind of written language was being used. Since metal usage was not discovered until copper was first used, the only material available would have been stone (painted or carved), hides or some sort of paper. Well neither of the last two last very long unless there are special circumstances. They decay.
        Even stone erodes or the paint wears off after exposure to the elements. So finding recorded material is difficult as one goes back in time.
        As for your disbelief in sediments well, the grand canyon shows layer upon layer of sediment. A mile and a half deep. or 7020 feet. Now Mr Ham said that the great flood deposited 200 feet of sediment at once. Never heard of such an amount ever happening, but I will use his measurement.
        That means that we would have had to have 39 great floods through out the course of our history to lay down that much sediment with all the fossils in it. Seems like recorded history would have made some remarks on so many floods. Esp. considering that a flood would have to have happened every 102 yrs to the present in order to lay down all that sediment. Yet history doesn’t mention that, even the bible.
        You don’t believe what you can see, but you believe what you can’t.
        And as for male and female evolving in every species, it didn’t happen that way. It evolved at most only a few times and the species that evolved from those genesis species. And that is not the biblical genesis.
        Skip Moreland

      • Doug

        The “basement” layers, consisting of granites and metamorphic rocks, were probably formed by Day 3 of Creation Week. Some sedimentary layers were deposited on these rocks late in the Creation Week and during the pre-Flood period. The horizontal sedimentary layers were deposited over the other rocks by the waters of the Flood. Unhindered, swirling currents picked up, transported and eventually deposited tons of sedimentary layers. These strata were then in places tilted and went through great tectonic activity as the Colorado Plateau was uplifted during the final stages of the Flood. The sedimentary layers which make up the nine distinct layers of the third major division of the Canyon walls show that they were soft and unconsolidated when they bent, unlike the basement rocks which fractured. The sand grains in these sedimentary layers show no evidence that the material was brittle and rock-hard, and neither has the mineral cementing the grains been broken. Instead, the evidence points to the whole 4,000-feet (1.220 m) thickness of horizontal strata being still “plastic” when it was uplifted and bent. Once the floodwaters receded, the recently placed layers of sediment continued to harden into rock. As the floodwaters receded, the uplifted plateau acted like a dam wall, trapping the waters behind it. In a subsequent catastrophic event, this earthen dam ruptured, releasing a barrage of water that carved the Canyon itself..

      • Doug

        “The youngest rocks in the Grand Canyon are recognized by all to be volcanic rocks in western Grand Canyon that flowed from the top of and into the canyon. The oldest rocks that have been dated are volcanic rocks called the Cardenas Basalt, a Precambrian formation near the bottom of the canyon. The rubidium- strontium method, however, has dated the Cardenas basalt at one billion years and the lava flow on top of the canyon at 1.3 billion years. This is clearly impossible! Rocks on the bottom of the canyon are 300 million years younger than very recent rocks on the very top of the canyon! These dates were obtained by ICR from samples they sent to several independent dating labs. Something is amiss, either in the interpretation of the rocks, the dating methods, or both.”

      • TropicDave173

        Ever heard of folding? It’s happened in Earth’s history. When one layer gets folded over another, I bet if you could dig deeper you’d find your 1-billion-year-old (1Byo) layer on top of your 1.3Byo layer.
        I’d like to know how (at least 2 of) all the animals we have today just happened to be within walking distance of a family of amater boatbuilders. Where was all the food and fresh water kept for Noah and his family, PLUS all the animals? Not to mention what would have happened to all the plant life all over the world. We have trees that are older than the supposed 6000 years as expressed by Ken Ham. Wouldn’t the Flood have killed them?
        Even accepting that, I’ve always wondered about the whole Adam and Eve thing. If they were the only first humans, and had children, then who, pray tell, did their children marry and have children with? Kind of important, ya think? But I have seen no “answers in Genesis”.
        Literal translation or allegory and parables? I say the latter, if only for the inconsistencies and missing information that would make it a LOT clearer to understand were they included.

      • Doug

        I know I answered this but don’t see my answer.
        According to some the flood happened about 6,900 years ago and Adam was 13,000 years ago. That was partly gotten to by only counting as a son when it said “and he begot a son and named him such and such”. If it doesn’t say “and named him” it could be more than one generation away he was begotten from.
        Then there was the kings who don’t seem to line up correctly when you see how many years they ruled. If you count the first section one way and the second the other it lines up perfectly. I don’t remember which was first but one was by the first year he ruled and another was counted as a year by the first full year he ruled. I forget exactly.

        Water came from above and below. There could have been a firmament of ice too but also there can be water in space from what I’ve heard.

        Noah had “God” (the power/intelligence that dwells in the nothingness that defines all things, the uncreated creator) instructing him on the boat building. He built it over 100 years. I’m sure he had help with the animals too.

        Adam and Eve’s children married each other.

      • Doug Ribot

        or God made wives for their children the same way He made Eve for the first few.

      • Cooper

        Yes a 600 year old man built a giant boat in a 100 years and spent 120 years on it . And fed everything how? If the arc had 20,000 spiecies , then 7 million spiecies of animales would have to evolve from that 20,000 in less then 10,000 years . 7 million new spiecies . Wow that’s some rapid spieciation. It’s not possible Doug , it’s just not. Starlight bud., the stars appear lightyears away cuz they are and their light would not have had time to get to earth in 10,000 or even 100,000 years.their is no evidence that wAter came from below and genesis 1 6-8 says nothing of the sort , you are misinterpreting scripture . It say God created a firmament to seperate the waters above from below , to seperate heaven from earth .that is today’s inteurpretation of it .
        The old inturpretation led the gospals to think the sky was made from water.
        Let’s throw out all ” ologies” ( geology, biology) and physics to believe you . “

      • Doug

        May be my answer didn’t get posted cause I linked my website backwardwalk. Com

      • Cooper

        Adam and Eve kids married and bred with eachother to start humans then after the flood noahs kids bred with eachother to restart humanity .crZy right?

      • Cooper

        I can find nothing that backs up your claim here , can’t find it anywhere.the research I have done dates the Grand Canyon geological formation at 6 million years old and the rock from 1.84 billion to 270 million.all records I read state the rock at the bottom is the oldest.where do you get your info? I hope you are not using this argument to prove the earth is young

      • Doug Ribot

        It’s been awhile and I forget my source. If I ever have more time than I have this week I’d like to re look it up. Thanks for the heads up.

      • disqus_mmZU8TPsvi

        So how come in the sediment layers you find distinct types of life, all separated? First you have shellfish and nautilus (skipping the bacteria and a couple other layers actually), then you have the big amphibians taking over with huge insects and various ferns and other similar vegetation, then the big dinosaurs and different vegetation, then the big bird layer (terror birds) with the start of new vegetation, and then a big mammal layer.
        And in none of those layers do you find a mixture of any of them. No big amphibians in the big bird layer, no dinosaur in the layer of big mammal or any kind of mixture. Now this is simply put because we do have survivors from every layer, but they are never predominant.
        So during the big flood the amphibians, who could swim, died first and were buried? I have seen floods, and floods never lay debris in nice separate layers. It is a mess, a jumble that is twisted and intermixed. The fossil record even show us that when creatures are caught in a flood how their bones will look afterwards.
        But in your flood every is laid down nice and neat with each of the distinct fauna and flora having their own separate layer. It defies every thing we know about floods. If dinosaurs were living with men and died with men, the layer for men show have dinosaur bones in it. Yet it doesn’t. No dinosaurs at all. And some of the dinosaurs could swim, so they should have been able to survive. After all whales did. And the huge shark, the giant swimming reptiles, the huge fishes, all of them should have been able to survive a flood. Other fish and reptiles did.
        And what about the flying reptiles? After all birds were able to survive. And from what we know of the flying reptiles, they were designed to be great soarings, able to stay aloft for long times. And why didn’t Noah take with him any of the other kinds of animals like the amphibians, dinosaurs, huge insects, etc? He supposedly took others with him.
        And another question, god was mad at man, ok understood. But why then did he curse all other life to doom? What could they have done, they didn’t have free will, only man did.
        I know the explanation that you will give. God wanted it all that way. Instead of having the flood mix up all the bones like a normal flood, god went and somehow laid everything down in nice distinct layers. Which would beg the question as to why he did that.
        The truth is there is no logic to what you believe, to explain everything it just comes down to god did it that way.
        Skip Moreland

      • Cooper

        Start from zero , look at the world and run tests to show its age but you cannot tweak anything or explain why it looks older. EVERYTHING is what it is. The stars look billions of light years away cuz they are and their light took billions of years to travel here, the evidence points to an old earth because it is old . Quit t trying to force the issue and use a supernatural event to explain a natural geology . Quit tying to use logic and reason to explain something that is illogical and unreasonable , evolution is the most intuitive option we have today .Go find yourself an ancient isolated cave and explain to me why god made lizards and crabs and bugs with partial eye=sockets but no eyes , was he stupid?blind?or maybe they lost their eyes cuz they did not need them and the socket is going to be gone couple more million years

      • Doug Ribot

        Most interpretations of the Bible say On the first day God created the heavens and earth. An actual translation would say God created with the heavens and the earth meaning the heavens and earth already existed but the animal live is recent — within the last 13,000 or so years depending how you calculate. Not that you care.

      • Cooper

        Doug robot .
        I do care and thank you for that . Really . I challenge the YEC literal inturpretation of the bible cuz they are not reading Hebrew so it cannot be literal .i enjoy these lessons . Though It appears to me life evolved from evolution I do not stand as strong on that as I do the age of the earth.

      • Doug Ribot

        I’ve been following some amateurs who are attempting to get a word for word translation even if it is a little hard to understand. They have an interesting method treating each letter as a glyph. It’s interesting to see them occasionally explain and take apart some of the interpretations we get passed on as “translations”. It’s the Chronicle Project in Canada. They’re amateurs but very interesting.

      • TropicDave173

        You’re repeating yourself on the sound and motion thing. Suffice it to say that you value the translated and retranslated and edited writings of up to 3000-year old shamans and goatherders over the discoveries of scientists and experimentalists in the last few centuries. That’s your right. Just as it’s mine to believe that the evidence before my own eyes is correct. Quote Proverbs all you like. But it’s like Bill Nye was asked…what would change my mind? “Proof. Evidence”. And that’s something that no one arguing creationism has ever provided. Nor, do I think, they ever will.

      • Doug

        Oops – sorry about the repeats.

        I found the explanations of the shamans thousands of years old bodies of knowledge a lot more advanced than many of todays mostly less than a couple of hundred year old bodies of knowledge. There was math Mayans had hundreds of years ago we didn’t have until the 60s so what makes you think it’s so primitive? I thought primitive people like Einstein, though, and relativity were more in line with my ideas on sound and motion etc.

        I remember the whole scam with fossil records and missing links but I haven’t kept up with the more recent bombardment of what I suspect is also propaganda, They used to teach the fossil missing link thing as scientific fact too.

      • PoppaDavid

        When information is passed on generation to generation by oral transmission the interruption of one generation may be sufficient to eliminate the history. For example your grandfather certainly did have experiences that were not passed on to you, and unless they were preserved by some other method they are gone. Oral history is ephemeral.

        Writing started appearing in societies about 6000 years ago. And with it came the preservation of histories independent of oral history. And it allowed the history of lost cultures to be preserved.

        One of the earliest written histories is the Sumerian King lists which chronicles their oral history from 385,200 years before the flood. And then there were kings who ruled for 30k years after the flood to the start of written Uruk history.

      • Cooper

        Your getting your facts way screwed here . Mayans had no advanced math that Europe and the rest of the world was not familiar with and masters of. We didn’t discover that the myans had it until the 60s , but we were killing it mathematically by then and the myans while advanced for their time were pretty elementry

      • Cooper

        That is the beauty of science that their are flaws and gaps in it . No one says it 100 % .
        The theories are not at all speculation ,
        Their are thousands of transitional fossils now man , update your info.
        The sediment “strata” shows a very old earth
        No they don’t , the data is complimentary of eachothers , there are no competing models for the age of the earth.
        Fruit flies show evolution, Ken ham and YEC admit to evolution.
        They do not accept evolution by natural selection.
        My faith is defined by the evidence of things not seen also .

      • Doug Ribot

        It’s been a long time — BC (before computers) since I did most of my research. I read a lot of books by different scientists pro and con.

      • Cooper

        Your welcome , let me know if you find your scource , I would love to research it also

      • Cooper

        ok you just an idiot

      • Doug

        How is it possible that all life evolved when male AND female are needed to propagate any species? Do you really believe that male and female happened to evolve for each and every species on the planet? The odds are not mathematically possible. That fact alone would make you pretty foolish to think that evolution is responsible for life.

      • Jay Jonstone

        It’s not true that sexual reproduction is the only mechanism to propagate species. More simple life forms use cell division. In fact there is more biomass on the planet that uses cell division than sexual reproduction. IE: Cell division is the most common form of propagation.
        And yes, it is mathematically possible for all life that uses sexual reproduction to evolve. Remember chemistry (the basis of all life) has been churning/ reacting for BILLIONS of years. That makes the odds pretty good actually that life would evolve from simple chemistry.

      • Doug Ribot

        The odds are greater that a power/intelligence dwelling in the no things that define all things created life and time than that it all happened by chance and there is no power/intelligence.

      • PoppaDavid

        I suggest that you review the biological record with better detail. The female coral reef fish, Labroides Dimidiatus will change sex by shrinking the uterus and growing testes if there is no male. The Clownfish will perform the opposite change. The planarian flatwork will self fertilize for reproduction. The Sea Bass, Serranus Subligarius will alternate between male and female multiple times per day.

        Since they DO exist, the mathematical probability for their existence is “1″. To believe otherwise is foolish.

      • Cooper

        Chemistry is responsible for life . It’s basic chemisty man

      • Doug

        The reality is you wish to be unaccountable for the things you do so it feels better to eliminate the need for God.

        “A fool says in his heart there is no God.” (Proverbs) That’s like evolution – everything happened by chance.

        The uncreated intelligence/power that dwells in the ultimate no things that define all things created and sustains the creation.

        Silence and stillness define sound and motion. Sound and motion are only discernible in relation to stillness and silence or relative stillness and silence.

        You are standing still in relation to a passing car but from the perspective of the earth’s axis or outside its atmosphere you are spinning around the axis. The axis is moving around the sun in our solar system but the sun is moving in the universe and somewhere out there in heaven is an ultimate stillness that defines all motion/ a non-thing/no-wave that defines all things/waves.

        You can do something to demonstrate motion or sound but there is nothing you can DO to demonstrate stillness. The stillness that defines motion is greater than and undefined by the motion.

        Even if you were to define stillness by a motion and take it to its conclusion you’d have to keep going faster and faster to define each relative stillness. The faster the speed the slower time gets and if we reached the speed where time stopped we’d be in the same place of nothingness that defines all things – but of course matter would disintegrate/burn up before it reached the speed where time stopped and our creator dwells in that place of stillness that defines all wave/motion/matter (for all matter is just wave/motion but no one really knows what it is that is moving) outside of time and space – the kingdom of God that flesh and blood does not inherit/enter.

        “Be still and know…”

      • Jay Jonstone

        Motion is relative. Relative to one’s point of view. Relative to another object. Stillness is an artifact of language and has no meaning in science. You are just arguing semantics.

      • Doug

        Anyone who is ignorant as to believe stillness has no place in science is obviously smarter than Einstein and I suppose Zero has no place in math. Perhaps I’m insane. I always thought motion existed and that it was a fact and that it was defined by either relative or ultimate stillness.
        You hate reality Jay. I can see what kind of person I’m dealing with concerning you.

      • Jay Jonstone

        I challenge you to reference any mention of the word “stillness” in any of Einstein’s writings or theses.

      • Doug

        He used terms like non accelerating. Stillness is the non accelerating observer of motion. What’s your point?

      • Jay Jonstone

        Stillness is not a synonym to non-accelerating. You can be said to be non-accelerating while in your car with the cruise control engaged. You are by no means still. This goes to my point that all motion is relative. If you understand Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, then you understand that there is no fixed point in space. Only fixed in relation to other spacial references.
        Try again.

      • Doug

        Whether or not it’s a synonym for non acceleration stillness is the non accelerating observer of motion.

      • Doug Ribot

        Your error or blind spot is comparing matter to matter assuming there is nothing beyond time.

        Unless you go beyond time you can’t absolutely measure it but the laws of physics certainly point to ultimate or absolute stillness/silence.

        The river of time creates eddies and whirlpools of matter. Matter is created by resistance to the flow of time.

      • disqus_mmZU8TPsvi

        We do know what stillness is, we can even measure it. At 100 degrees centigrade or absolute zero, all motion ceases. That is what stillness looks like, frozen in place.
        Skip Moreland

      • Cooper

        I am held accountable for the things I do by myself and those who love me . You wish to make your life feel meaningful , and to have a moral compass so you invent God to awnser the questions you cannot .
        I don’t mind the unknown , and to live in a universe where the matter and energy collected and achieved consciensness in infanitly more interesting and meaningful to me. I have one life to live and it is a gift , I enjoy it and have found happiness.
        You will live forever , which makes this life pointless. 1 trillion billion zillion years from know will what happend in you 80 year life matter to who you are , you won’t even remember it.

      • Doug Ribot

        What is developed in my life that is eternal will matter. I have found what I believe is beyond time and space to be intelligent and effect things in my life. Whether I am deceived or not there are many coincidences and events that prove to me my life is being watched over by an intelligence that knows my prayers and answers them in miraculous ways. I believe that intelligence/power loves me and is eternal.

        My understanding of the mechanics of eternal life is shown in a discovery I made reading the imperfect translations of the Bible (I research the roots of the words of the original language). It’s far beyond any other spirituality I’ve seen in Satanism or shamanism or psychology or any religion. My website is very short. It’s backward walk . com
        The home page is not done if you care to check out my web site. The About, Backward Walk and Contact pages are finished.

      • Cooper
      • Doug Ribot

        The spiritual world supersedes chance and odds as we would naturally look at them but there is good and evil in that world too. It’s not all directly from God.
        Heaven is the ultimate and eternal non things, such as ultimate stillness, silence and darkness i.e. non vibration/motion are 3 aspects I’m aware of, that define all things. That is the part that comes from beyond time and space.

        Satan is cast out of heaven, the 3rd heaven where God dwells. Satan reflects off of all material/created things — i.e. vibration/motion but has no rest for Satan can not perceive the stillness. That is where the power/intelligence all things emirate from dwells. Creation is not just chance any more than we can get order out of pure democracy with fallen man.

        I’ll e mail you.

  • ShameonMe

    I wish this would stop being framed by others in the media as an actual dichotomy because i think it is something that both creationist feed on. Now Mother Jones has articles equating believing in a god as some sort of alternative to reality and anti-scientific.

  • DukeAJuke

    I applaud you for piling on Ham and helping to expose the evil of his existence. I am however, curious about your “progressive Christianity.” I have many friends that fall into this category and in my opinion it isn’t really that much different then the Ham crowd. The only real difference is that you are more selective about which stories you choose to take literally. In reality you are simply applying your own interpretations to this collection of fictional stories and hearsay of historical accounts (just as Ham does). You appear to have a background in Archaeology, so you must have at least a fundamental understanding of the scientific method. I’m just curious why you choose not to apply it to all your beliefs.

    • The Author

      Very astute observation. However, in this case, my real beef with Ham and other Creationists is that I do not believe the Genesis account was written to be interpreted literally in the first place. I don’t think the author (though it was probably authors) of the Pentateuch sat down with his stylus and said, “You know, everybody out there better believe this is exactly the way it happened.” The Creation Account was a counter-allegory to other Creation Myths, and the point is: Do not worship that which was created; worship the Creator.

      My personal belief is that Abraham is the first historical figure we encounter in the Bible. I wrote about this several weeks ago in my “Biblical Capitalism” article. (Do a search of “bjorn” / “abraham”.) At this point, we start to see references to the familiar: Hittites, Egyptians, even numismatics.

      That doesn’t mean I believe in the Abrahamic passages word for word with respect to historicity, nor does it mean I reject them.

      You will note, however, that I have not built an Abraham Museum and spent millions of dollars to make public school children read “The Life and Times of a Man from Ur.” The “historical Abraham” is a personal belief, yet certainly the centerpoint of my faith.

      I try to apply scholarship and critical thought to every part of the Bible. This is an important part of my faith.

      Was Job real? Does it matter if Job was real? Does the story align with history as we know it? And so on.

      Then there’s Jesus. And rather than provide you a short response, I might turn that into a future article. “The Historical Jesus Revisited” or something like that.

      Just some initial thoughts; thanks for your own thoughts.

      • The Author

        Oops! I meant “NOT the centerpoint of my faith” in the Abraham paragraph above.

      • DukeAJuke

        Fair enough and thanks for the response!

  • Denise Joy

    Awesome article! You fully articulated what I have been trying to explain to my family for years. You have a new follower…

    • The Author

      Thanks, Denise! Come on over to my FB writer page and join the fun. We stand united!

  • Asher Frost

    I really like this (So much so that I believe this is the first FP article I have commented on) Did you also post this letter on his facebook page? (I would, but then I am somewhat of a combative sort)

    • The Author

      Be my guest!

      • Asher Frost

        It’s been posted. If he ignores it, it’s on him :)

  • c0cac0la

    Someone needs to investigate his finances. I think there is something very very sinister in his “movement” and we know there was not a lot of money before in it. I bet we can find subversive (corporate? political? lobbyist?) money in this ooze.

  • Lee

    Arik, thank you and I hope you find a way to make that debate a reality. THAT I would watch. Go Pastor Pillow, GO!

    • The Author

      No word yet from Camp Ham. Still waiting.

      • Asher Frost

        I posted this article in several places on his FB page, and sent it to him, so he won’t be able to claim nobody told him :)

  • johnny rotten

    Caned Ham.

  • Geoffrey Miller

    Dear Mr. Bjorn,

    Why do all “progressive” Christians I come across inevitably end up calling everybody with a mistaken idea an “antichrist?” And why do they tend to align almost 100% with whatever values are most popular in their culture at any given time? Maybe it’s just because pendulums held to the right and then released naturally swing to the left.

    Be very careful about hitching your worldview to the notion of progress, for progress is not good in itself if it’s not headed toward a good place. And seeing the fruits of your progress in the way you address your opponents, I would really worry about where you’re headed. You don’t talk like a Christian, and it’s not because your ideas about marriage, sex, and life are off-base (though I would say they are). The main problem is that your heart is off-base.

    As Yoda would say, “Much anger and fear I sense in this one…”

    • The Author

      I appreciate your concern. My response stems from years of suffering the mindboggling ludicrous hermeneutics of men like Mr. Ham. I do believe in gentle rebukes, but I did not believe in a gentle rebuke in this case with Mr. Ham. His mission is causing (and has already caused) irreparable to many, many minds, especially the minds of children (case in point Bill Nye’s greatest concern in the matter).

      It is, I believe, the first time I have ever called someone an “antichrist,” and by it, I mean someone acting antithetical to the teachings of Christ. (Not “the” Antichrist.) You sound like you are someone who knows your Bible well, so I probably do not have to explain the difference to you.

      Also, case in point, here is a gentle rebuke. I do not agree with your judgment with respect to my positions on things like marriage, sex and “life,” nor especially my heart. And you especially have neither the ability nor the right to judge my heart. “My heart” is firmly rooted in a place with which my conscience feels at ease.


      • Geoffrey Miller

        His mission is causing (and has already caused) irreparable to many, many minds, especially the minds of children (case in point Bill Nye’s greatest concern in the matter).

        But if homosexual acts are wrong, and against the natural law or whatever, couldn’t one argue that your mission of convincing people that such acts are fine by the Bible is also harming good people?

        It is, I believe, the first time I have ever called someone an “antichrist,” and by it, I mean someone acting antithetical to the teachings of Christ.

        You boast about interpreting the Bible in its proper historical context, but you do not apply your principle consistently.

        An antichrist is not just somebody who acts contrary to the teachings of Christ. We all do that from time to time. An antichrist is somebody of a proto-docetic or gnostic mindset who denies the Incarnation of God in Jesus. “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world” (1 Jn 4:2-3, NRSV).

        Mr. Ham is not an antichrist. Misguided, sure. But he’s not denying the Incarnation of Jesus. I say this as a Catholic.

        Also, case in point, here is a gentle rebuke. I do not agree with your judgment with respect to my positions on things like marriage, sex and “life,” nor especially my heart. And you especially have neither the ability nor the right to judge my heart. “My heart” is firmly rooted in a place with which my conscience feels at ease.

        There is no commandment against critical thinking. I’ll judge whether your claims are correct on their own merit, and I’ll judge the condition of your heart by the content and the tone of your words. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (cf. Mt. 12:34), and a man is known by his words.

        I’ve been writing a series of posts on the Biblical understanding of marriage over at my own blog, and I’d welcome a debate with you.

      • Arik Bjorn


        Thank you and sorry it’s taken some time to get back to you. No, obviously I didn’t mean “antichrist” as expressed in the NT letters of John. I simply meant that I didn’t mean he is the apocalyptic “A”ntichrist from Revelation.

        Hopefully we can agree the term can have some elasticity. Ken Ham would likely not deny the divinity of Jesus, true. But the term “un-Christ-like” really doesn’t roll off the tongue, does it? (And anyone who is a bulwark for fundamentalism fits that bill, so far as I’m concerned.)

        Also, launching Bible verses at me like grenades doesn’t change the fact that you don’t have the authority to judge my heart.

        Also, I guess you would probably believe that Erasmus, St. Thomas More and Martin Luther had corrupted, “off base” hearts by the invective of some of their epistolary “assailments.”

        Ken Ham is destroying minds. Period.

        Ever yours,

      • Geoffrey Miller

        Okay. For the sake of argument: You’re destroying hearts and morals by saying sexual sins are okay when they aren’t. Period.

        See? The invective cuts both ways. Ken Ham would probably think you’re an antichrist. And he’d accuse you of judging his soul just as quickly as you accused me. That’s why I say let’s do everybody a favor by not calling anybody an antichrist and talking about stuff like grownups instead of getting all melodramatic.

        For instance. I quoted the Bible twice. Both in context. Hardly an act of scriptural grenade launching. The way you reacted to me kind of makes it seem like you’ve got a persecution complex.

      • Doug

        What’s your blog URL Geoffrey?

        I could see using the word antichrist for someone claiming to be a believer because it says about antichrists “they went out from among us”
        But it could also be Arik, you’re projecting.

  • Vicki fuller

    Though I do agree with your direction and main topic for these gentlemen… I can agree with your own behavior in how you delivered your message. As a Christian I have been taught to Rebuke Gently… Food for thought in a kinder understanding :)

    1 Cor 14:3 NKJV
    But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.

    Some think that prophesying can be full of angry rebukes, judgments, warnings and corrections. The Lord does give strong words, but usually not in anger, always in love and not through prophesying. Instead, these are called Admonishments and are delivered differently.

    Scripture says when we admonish, we are to gently rebuke or warn. An admonishment is from a brother to the brothers. (As opposed to prophesying, which is a love letter from God to His people.) An admonishment carries a concern for something that has gone awry that is no longer according to scripture. In contrast to building up through a prophesy, admonishments are used to tear down. However, notice that even in admonishments, they are carried with only gentle rep roof. Mild manner

  • Vicki fuller

    Sorry… That was to say I cannot agree with your own behavior of delivery :) … Per my comment below

  • Daniel Vest

    Suffered through this debate because I have great respect for Bill Nye, but I was let down. I think Bill is a better teacher and scientists than he is a debater. The problem with taking the bible literally is that people reading it in this day and age have to concept for the idioms and sometimes even the language that it was written in. For example “40 days and 40 nights” is used a few times, but it really is an idiom of the time meaning “it was a long time, no one is sure how long.” I don’t trust anyone to interpret the bible to me unless he/she has studied not only the history of the time it was written, but also Aramaic, Hebrew and a smattering of Ancient Greek. A great example of this is the Hebrew in the old testament, which has 3 different words that can be translated into “you shall not”, each with a different layer of importance, ranging from “this is a bad idea” to “this is not allowed.” If any of this is incorrect, please let me know. I’m just repeating what my spiritual advisor has told me. She, however, is fluent in these matters, and assures me that taking the bible literally would be like writing down what you did this summer, running it through Google translate and then giving a copy to a society thousands of years in the future. Lots of real TRUTH survives in the modern bible, but very little scientific fact.

    • Doug

      Copies of the original hebrew is better preserved in its original form than any other book in history. Translations are usually sincere attempts and pretty good at getting the meaning across. You have up to one Hebrew or Aramaic word translated as up to 100 different sometimes unrelated English words or many Hebrew or Aramaic words translated as one English word so what we have is interpretations, but usually pretty good ones.

      There’s an interesting group called “The Chronicle Project” in Canada doing a word for word translation. If you follow their work it helps you see some of the obstacles in translating. They treat Hebrew as a mother language. Each letter is a word. They can be put together in different ways to describe anything.

      As far as your 40 days — 40 is 40. What evidence does she have that it is an idiom? There are people in the middle east who still have the same languages and customs of Biblical times. George Lamsa writes a number of books explaining idioms of the Bible.

      Look at what the catholic Church did with heaven, hell and death. Ask most Christians and they’ll tell you if you are saved you go to heaven when you die and if not to hell. Actually the moment you are conceived into Adam’s death you died and went to hell. Hell is separation from eternal life. Christ saves you from it while you are yet living — The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

      Just as so many readers of the Bible can be wrong for so many years so can so many scientists falsely believe in evolution. They have a bunch of models and theories but so does the creationist. The evolutionists, though, want to treat their theories as fact and exclude the opposing models which are just as logical.

      Years ago the only physical evidence for evolution would have been the fossil records. They put together what they called missing links but that was later debunked. The only thing the fossil record showed was stasis but they discarded it as inconclusive cause it didn’t fit their theory. The evolutionists are on a fishing expedition and always have been.
      The missing links were an old man with arthritis, New Guinea Man who is still here today and is not a link, a prehistoric ape that was always an ape and a man with what was later found to be put together with a prehistoric pig jaw. Nothing has changed. They were calling it fact 40 years ago based on a little false evidence.

      All that fruit fly stuff and ice cores and dating methods uses a lot of assumptions and there are alternative interpretations just as logical on the other side.

      • PoppaDavid

        Yes the books of the old Testament are well preserved. And one aspect of that, is that we have variant copies of the books. The library at Qumran collected various versions of the books. From that we know that the Bible was edited into its current form by selection from various alternate versions. If there is consistency in the current version of the Bible, it is a testament to the editors who compiled the Bible after the fall of the Temple.

  • Paul

    Those who are true Christians led by God Holy Spirit would not say such things against men of God like Mr. Ham. God bless him.

  • Ken

    Arik. What you claim about the weaknesses of the Bible aren’t true at all. Ken Ham, Josh McDowell, others… would destroy you in a debate!

    • https://plus.google.com/+WardChanley Ward Chanley

      I’d like to see that debate, if any of them would actually take it up. But I’m not holding my breath. It’s easy to claim what J. Random Fundamentalist *would* do – why don’t we get that debate and see what they *actually* do, instead?

    • Arik Bjorn

      Ken, no, they wouldn’t destroy me. Nor would I destroy them. But fundamentalist ideas would be shattered. And many minds would be one step closer to freedom.

  • Jay Jonstone

    YAY! Thank you Mr. Bjorn. This was my exact thinking upon seeing this “Debate”. Mr. Nye should have had a slam dunk. Unfortunately he was caught up in the circular logic and parrot like speeches of a deranged man.

  • Gijreb

    What is your definition of Christian, and where do you find it?

  • jacoviza

    This is just sad Arik, you profess yourself to be a follower of Christ, but I just can imagine my Lord speaking with such a filthy language, that’s not the way to articulate your position, you can be bold and still not let any corrupt word come out of your fingertips, but actually words that may edify and impart grace to those who read. All I see is bitterness in your words, and that’s so strong that it just shadows the whole point of your “open letter”.

    • Arik Bjorn


      Sorry to disagree. There are times when invective is appropriate, in my opinion.

      Out of curiosity, what passage did you find offensive?

      Also, thought this might interest you by way of the article “Invective and Discernment in Martin Luther, D. Erasmus and Thomas More” (Constance M. Furey, Harvard Theological Review, October 2005):

      “The scathing insults that fill texts by sixteenth-century Christian
      reformers can shock even a jaded modern reader. In the prefatory letter to the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520), for example, Martin Luther begins by wishing for “grace and peace in Christ” before launching his attack on the “brainless and illiterate beast in papist form” and its “whole filthy pack of … asses,” and concludes by exhorting his reader to rise up against the Catholic hierarchy: “Continue courageously, noble sir; in this way the disgrace of the Bohemian name will be abolished, and the sludge of the harlot’s lies and whoring shall again be taken up in her breast.” Or consider the nasty invectives by the English Lord Chancellor and future Catholic martyr, Thomas More, against not only Luther but also Matthew Tyndale, who translated the Bible into English. More calls these men the “devil’s disciples”: Luther “a pimp, an apostate, a rustic, and a friar”; and Tyndale “a babbler, and a devil’s ape.” Even Desiderius Erasmus, the erudite Catholic humanist, filled his writings with insults both satirical and blunt and proclaimed that theologians “are more stupid than any pig” (sue
      stupidiores). Fierce words commonly appear in the midst of
      religious controversies, and one may choose to skim past this hyperbolic outrage in search of the real message. Insulting rhetoric, however, does provide a sensitive barometer of religious concerns in the sixteenth century and yields unexpectedly complex answers to a simple question. What does negative speech accomplish?”

  • https://plus.google.com/+WardChanley Ward Chanley

    Would it have made a difference to this…

    “It’s not his fault, really. He did what any scientist or engineer would do: he presented evidence for a scientific theory. He repeatedly made the case that his aim was to produce a predictable, functional model to explain the origins of the Universe and life on Earth.”

    …if Ham’s debate opponent was a theologian or biblical scholar who rejects biblical literalism and/or young-earth creationism?

    Because, I fully expect Ham (and similar fundamentalists) wouldn’t come anywhere NEAR this:

    “I challenge you to a debate. Publicly. Any day. Anywhere.”

    But who knows … I could be wrong (I’d like to be, on this).

  • DesertSun59

    ” it is the most fascinating and complex book ever composed.”

    No. That is simply not true.

    What IS true is that the book is composed of a vast collection of pre-Bronze Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age MYTHOLOGY. Pure mythology. There is very little in that collection that has historic fact behind it or is testable. That makes it a collection of TALES. It isn’t history. It isn’t fact. It is a book of short stories. FICTION. Any author can determine this by simply looking at how its constructed. One very good example of how it is clearly fiction is in the Torah. Imagine how Moses was able to describe his very own death in his very own words.


    • Doug

      I remember a lot of people like you said the Bible was all made up until archeology started digging up relics from the Hebrews.

      Ever think the obvious? – someone finished it for Moses, like the person who wrote Joshua.

      Actually it is a complex book. Especially interesting to me is the hidden typologies between the old and new testaments. Whether you believe them to be literary devices or divine watermarks they are definitely there. What’s odd is how the backward typologies are so obvious and have been in the most read about book in the world for almost 2,000 years and no one has seen them until now, near the end times when people are going to and fro and knowledge is increased.

      In the Genesis man was judged by the tree “of knowledge of good and evil”. Cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way kept mankind from going back to eat of the tree of life.

      Then we were judged by the flood. It rained 40 days. After a 40 day period a dove and raven were sent up from the ark. The rainbow shows that we will not be judged by water again.

      Then Israel was given the law. “Christ is the end of the law” (Romans 10:4).


      The story of Jesus’ life as told in the NT mirrors (or corresponds to, or follows) the above summarized OT events, only in the NT these events are chronologically reversed.

      In the NT Jesus and his parents kept Torah law. Before he was 2 they fled to Egypt to avoid death of their 1st born.

      In the OT Israel fled from Egypt after the death of Egypt’s first born. Within 2 years they were given the law on Sinai.

      The Flood

      In the OT It rained 40 days. A dove and raven were sent up from Noah’s Ark.

      In the NT Jesus was baptized by John. The holy spirit descended on him like a dove. He went into the wilderness 40 days.

      The dove is the holy spirit.

      The raven is the spirit of Elijah.

      Elijah was fed by ravens (1 Kings 17:6). Elijah was to turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers (Malachi 4:6). The eye that mocks at his father and despises to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out (Proverbs 30:17). Jesus said that If you care to believe it John is the Elijah to come (Matthew 11:14). Hence John’s baptism has something to do with a raven.

      [Further evidence from the temptation after the flood -Matthew 4:4... Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God....man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD ...Deuteronomy 8:3Matthew 4:7... You shall not tempt the LORD thy God.You shall not tempt the LORD thy God,Deuteronomy 6:16Matthew 4:10... Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.Deuteronomy 6:13

      Note: The backward walk goes from the giving the law of Moses in Exodus to the beginning of Genesis. The further evidence is outside the thread of the entire Gospel in reverse from Exodus to Genesis. It's in Deuteronomy.]

      The Garden of Eden

      [Jesus went backward before the flood to the garden of Eden. It says in Deuteronomy 30:6 The LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your seed to love the LORD your God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that you may live.]

      We can be alive without a circumcised heart. In order to “live” one must eat of the tree of life which is in the garden of Eden.

      The Last Supper

      The last supper of Jesus was the Passover supper where the angel of death passed over all those in the households of Israel when it saw the blood of the lamb on the doorpost.

      On Passover Jesus and his disciples revisit the original scene in Eden and reverse it. Jesus is the 2nd/last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45, 47). The disciples – the bride of the last Adam. Judas “One of you is a devil” (Jesus said of Judas)

      In the OT Eve gave to Adam to eat to forget our creator.

      In the NT Jesus gave to his disciples eat in remembrance of him.


      OT – Where were Adam and Eve before they ate? In a garden (Eden) being tempted.
      NT – Christ and the disciples after they ate were in a garden (Gethsemane) during his and the disciples time of temptation.

      note – Gethsemane was on or near the Mount of Olives and the olive tree seems to me symbolic of the tree of life, “I’ll live” being a carryover to the English language.

      The Bride

      OT Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed before they ate of the tree.

      NT Messiah was crucified naked and despised the shame of being hung on a tree.

      Jesus went back before Eve was formed.
      OT Adam was put into a deep sleep. His side was opened. A helps meet was made for him from his side.

      NT Christ was put into a deep sleep, death. His side was opened. Water and blood came out. The bride of Christ is the witness on earth with the spirit, water and blood.

      The Alpha and Omega

      One must be born again. In Christ our creator takes us to heavenly places but there was a battle in heaven. He takes us back to the beginning and where are we? At the end of the scripture. “Revelations” is the description of that battle. In the beginning of Genesis and at the end of Revelations we have a new creation. This is where the beginning meets the end.”

      Copyright © Douglas Ribot 1986-2013 all rights reserved
      May not be copied without written permission from author and must include all copyright info above and link backwardwalk. Com

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  • Scott Lane

    While I no longer consider myself a christian, it is nice to see that Christianity is not simple fundamentalism. It does get difficult sometimes to correct myself and keep from lumping all christians into one pot. But, that is the only real honest way to do it.
    I have a friend who is a Christian and actually lives like it. He pointed out that he believes, most fundamentals do not worship or try to follow Jesus, but they worship a book they know nothing about other than a few reference quotes they choose to remember to serve their biases.
    That may be too harsh, but it does appear relevant.

    Thank you for your article and integrity.

  • Cozman57

    Love this open letter. I too spent many years – close to 30 – drinking at the fountain of fundamentalist bovine fecal matter. Ironically it took seminary and a course in hermeneutics to open my eyes. As I read the history of the bible (or should I say bibles) I suddenly realized that the KJV (the only version most fundamentalist will use) was not the inerrant “protected” word of God -nor are any of the others. Suddenly other teachings began to crumble as I dug deeper into the history of the church and its holy book. A book pasted together by a hodge podge of clerics and scribes.

    I believe and have experienced that once a believer learns the truth about their holy book (Bible, Koran, Torah, et al) they will not be able to sustain a literal belief system and will leave the faith.

    • olddog

      From an Atheist-Vangelical Cultist..Nothing more (D)evoted to NOTHING than these …folks..right??