Saturday, June 04, 2011

Something is Eating Ham

In this Network Norwich & Norfolk article James Knight continues to development his theme of there being a connection between New Wave Atheism and Christian Fundamentalism. Almost to order Beyond Our Ken Ham publishes this post on his blog. Ken’s post provides both evidence for James’ thesis and YEC antipathy toward academia, a matter that was the subject of my last NCBC blog post.

Anyway, here is my comment to James article:

Hi James,
Once again I think you are onto something here, re: the connection between gnu atheism and Fundamentalism.

Unless you have already seen it, you might be interested in this link to Ken Ham’s Young Earth Creationist blog:

Here Ken actually says he agrees, yes, *agrees*, with atheists and instead rails against “compromising” Christian academics who in the main believe in an old Earth. He goes on to say “What a sad day when the atheists understand Christianity better than so many Christians do”. What he means of course is that the atheists he is referring to understand his version of Christianity! They certainly would understand it better if many of them are ex-YECs. Simplifying a bit: One might claim that gnu-atheists are YECs with the signs reversed; at the very least there definitely is a connection between YEC fundamentalism and gnu atheism.

In the blog post Ken talks about Christian academics who “clearly compromise God’s word with man’s fallible beliefs about evolution, millions of years etc”. And yet he seems utterly unaware of man’s fallible interpretations of the Bible. Ken says “It is so obvious from Scripture that God created a literal Adam and Eve”. What he means here is that in spite of what they may say YECs give lip service to the question of interpretation and meaning. For Ken, meaning extraction is unproblematic and obvious and thus his words effectively become God’s Words. No surprise, then, that at the end of the article Ken can accuse Christian academics of heinous sin: He accuses them of attacking Jesus Christ and telling them they “need to fall on their knees before a Holy God and repent of their attack on the Word”. If one’s Biblical hermeneutic leads one to closely identify one’s own words with God’s words it is no surprise that one is then going to believe in the Divine authority of one’s own opinions. Consequently, Ken starts speaking as if he is God’s judge on Earth with the authority to impugn the consciences of Christian academics.

On the whole it all goes to show just how much Ken and his followers have isolated themselves from mainstream Christianity and in particular Christian academics.

I’ve been thinking about just what characteristic sufficiently defines the "fundamentalist" mind set. I'm coming to the opinion it is something like this: The common trait of fundamentalists is that they all closely identify their words with God's words (Of which my previous comment on Ken Ham gives an example). A fundamentalist, then, is someone who believes in the Divine authority of his own opinions.

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