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Ken Ham, BioLogos, and Calvary’s Love

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April 1, 2011 Tags: Christian Unity

Today's entry was written by Darrel Falk. You can read more about what we believe here.

Ken Ham, BioLogos, and Calvary’s Love

Among the biggest news in the science and faith dialogue last week was the announcement that Mr. Ken Ham, President of Answers in Genesis, has been disinvited from participating in two upcoming homeschooling events thanks in no small part to his harsh criticism and unkind words about The BioLogos Foundation. Brennan Dean, Chair of the Board of the Great Homeschool Conventions, criticized Mr. Ham for making what he describes as “unnecessary, ungodly, and mean-spirited statements that are divisive at best and defamatory at worst.” He goes on to say, “We believe that Christians do not need to personally question the integrity, the intelligence, or the salvation of other Christians when debating Biblical issues. Ken has obviously felt led to publicly attack our conventions and a number of our speakers. We believe that what Ken has said and done is unchristian and sinful.” These are strong words from an organization leader who prefaces his remarks by stating that the organization shares Mr. Ham’s strong commitment to a “young earth” perspective.

We are pleased that another “young earth” organization is holding one of its own most noteworthy “young earth” leaders accountable. Mr. Ham has made mistakes--lots of them--and we are thankful to see him being admonished by his closest allies. However, I want to be quick to add that we at BioLogos have also made mistakes--too many--and we ask that the BioLogos community hold us accountable as well. Don’t let us stray from that which must be our guiding principle—respect and love for our brothers and sisters who see certain things differently.

Please pray for Mr. Ham and his ministry during these days. Pray that on matters surrounding this highly divisive issue of how best to seek harmony between God’s two books we might all draw closer to God and to each other. Pray that Mr. Ham’s great fear—that BioLogos will damage the integrity of Scripture as the fully inspired Word of God—will never be realized. We understand his fear and sympathize with his concerns. Please pray that we at BioLogos might always seek the wisdom which is from above, and that we not give into the temptation to advocate a compromise purely for the sake of appearing wise.

Hours before Jesus’ arrest and his trip to Calvary, he prayed for his disciples, but then his prayer changed focus—it switched to being a prayer for us:

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message…I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:20, 22, 23).

At the most tender moment in all of history, Jesus prays for us. He doesn’t pray that we will get all the theological details correct, as important as good theology is. He also doesn’t pray that we’ll develop a thorough understanding of "matter" and how God works in the material world, as wonderful and exciting as those details are. Rather, at the most significant moment of all time, Jesus simply prays that we might so love and respect each other that the watching world—in its desperate need to personally experience the life-changing love of Calvary—would see that love in us, his followers.

As we live, move, and have our being within the profound safety of Calvary’s love and as we discuss our significant differences in a spirit of kindness and mutual respect, pray most of all that those who curiously look on will see Jesus, and that in so doing they will come to realize for the first time that what they are doing is looking into the very face of God.

Heaven forbid that we would reflect a distorted image.


Darrel Falk is former president of The BioLogos Foundation. He transitioned into Christian higher education 25 years ago and has given numerous talks about the relationship between science and faith at many universities and seminaries. He is the author of Coming to Peace with Science.


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John - #57292

April 7th 2011

Ned:
“I was hoping John would say more.”

I answered your questions, Ned. What more do you want?

“It is better to have data than mere speculation, but it is important to understand what the data is telling us.”

What do the data tell you about the viability of your Biblical hypothesis explaining biological diversity? The differences, not the similarities.

“I’m not sure exactly what the data is telling us.  These results do seem odd.”

Why?

“If evolution really does happen easily, we should be seeing it.”

Why? Evolution is constrained to finding local optima. Oh, and we do see it.

Jon Garvey - #57328

April 8th 2011

Does not Evo Devo suggest specific answers to this? In multicelled life more than unicellular organisms, as I understand, there is much more modularity to the genome. Big changes can be produced by new combinations of complex arrays of switches acting on a basic set of toolkit genes. Hence a mouse and a man will have many of the same genes, but utilised in very different ways.

Presumably in lower forms of life you have to change a greater number of genes to produce significant modifications, in the absence of the same degree of modularity.

It’s not so much that evolution happens easily, but that it happens much more easily once complex systems are in place.


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