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.