Nye vs. Ham: Witnessing to Scientists

February 12, 2014 | by Pastor Jim Harrison

Here is an interesting post, written by a scientist, about witnessing scientists.   Although he may not use the terminology, (he may use it, but I don’t remember seeing it), he is approaching the subject from a presuppositional perspective, and in the process, offering a critique of evidential apologetics.  I found some of the comments helpful, as well.




  1. Here’s a good question: Was Genesis meant to be understood as “history” in the way which we understand the discipline today? To what extent, if any, is this an anachronism?

  2. Jim Harrison

    It is a good question, indeed. It is also a question that is discussed more and more in evangelical circles.

    One of the problems that I have with Ken Ham and others who follow in his footsteps is the polemic nature of their positions as expressed toward believers who disagree with them. In many cases, they do not simply disagree on the issue, but come very close to impugning motives and assuming to themselves the ability to read minds.

    This comes across in books with such titles as “Refuting Compromise” by Jonathan Sarfati. Is it not possible that those who hold to an old earth might genuinely believe that they have arrived at the correct conclusion? Is it necessary to accuse them of compromise, which, of necessity, entails an accusation of cowardly disingenuousness?

    Regardless of how one thinks about the correct understanding of the first chapters of Genesis, it seems to me to be the height of presumption to accuse men like Charles Hodge, B.B. Warfield, and Francis Schaeffer, among others, of cowardly compromise, or of not taking Scripture seriously. Meanwhile, we have men like John Piper, who admits to being somewhat up in the air on the issue, and R.C. Sproul who once held an Old earth view and has now moved toward the young earth position, but nonetheless, and I think rightly, says that it is a secondary issue.

    This problem is highlighted in an article I saw about Sproul’s change of position. One of the headings in the article was “Return to Orthodoxy”. Regardless of one’s view of the days of Genesis 1 and 2, I think its a stretch to say that when Sproul held to an old earth position that he was unorthodox.

    Perhaps this short video might interest people. It is John Piper’s response to a question about his view of creation.


    • It is worth noting that Augustine had a way different approaches to Genesis, in part because of his allegorical approach towards Scripture, and also in part because the “respectable” discipline of the day wasn’t science but rather philosophy, neo-platonism specifically. And, Neo-Platonism did not permit a six day creation (neo-platonist doctrine posited a practically instant creation of everything all at once).

      So, I do question whether what we consider today as “Science” will stand the test of time, but it has never had a dramatic effect on how we understand Genesis, nor do I think it should.

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