Recently I have been watching an AiG video series about human genetics, with a little bit of biblical chronology sprinkled in. Ken Ham hosts Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson makes a number of disturbing claims about ancient history, which particularly frighten me as someone who studies Sumerian history. I have become quite engulfed in the environment surrounding these ideas, and hardly even know another Christian who believes otherwise. At this point, I am quite confused about the chronological models used by YEC’s, and really want to see the evidence they use for Egyptian, Sumerian, or Syrian historical reconstructions. Is there any consensus about these issues amongst any number of them?
Welcome to the Forum, @Jack_Naylor. It sounds interesting. Can you link a source and summarize a “for instance”? Thanks.
A common objection to the flood of Noah being worldwide is that the word erets, which is used in phrases such as “the whole land”, is also used to describe the extent of the famine in Joseph’s time. Dr. Natnaniel Jeanson addresses this by saying that the famine was in fact worldwide, and either civilization did not exist far beyond Egypt in 1800 BC, or people from Mexico had to come to Egypt to buy grain. He uses a dating conversion method to convert “mainstream” dates to YEC dates, a system I still can’t wrap my head around. I have linked the video below, the conversation specific to what I am talking about starts at the 30 minute mark.
Welcome to the forum! I listened a bit to that, and I think the main reason you can’t wrap your head around it, is that it is so distorted. He starts out with a conclusion (literal young earth creation timeline) and then distorts everything else around it to conform to his interpretation. It becomes a make believe world in a make believe universe. But that is just my opinion.
Yeah, he clearly has no concept of the magnitude of problems his model would cause. I still feel that there is at least some twisted method beneath all of it.
In part 22 of the series, linked down below, he seems to have created a conversion system between “mainstream” dates and YEC dates. He uses a four-step process utilizing population data to create a graph of conversions, one that would frankly destroy ancient history.
One of the many contradictions that stands out to me is the claim of “Kinds” on Noah’s Ark that later diverged into the species we see today. Googling, it was some 1600 years between “The Fall” and “The Flood” so you might think those Kinds would have diverged quite a bit already. Yet the apologetics for Noah tell it as if it were only a few years between the events.
I’m not asking for an explanation, nor really trying to criticize, it’s just another striking contradiction that seems to get sweeped under the rug (or maybe under the hydroplates? ).
I assume you mean the church you attend? Sorry to hear that.
Meantime, Joel Duff’s blog might provide some overall help.
YEC dates are typically based on a timeline developed by Bishop Ussher based on the genealogies of Genesis. There is no “model” based on actual historical analysis. They are biblical literalists. If your history or science disagrees with what they say the Bible makes clear, then it’s wrong.
I don’t really think it is a productive use of my time to sit around and try to argue with YECs, but at the same time I am quite troubled by the damage they are doing to the church. A lot of kids that I know will grow up and realize that their views in regards to science are totally unsupportable, leading them to leave the faith. I have an honest worry for these people, but trying to argue with them is like beating a brick wall.
One of the craziest literalist sermons I ever heard was one by a person who not only tried to map worldwide events to biblical ones but the guy seriously preached dinosaur bones was the bones of fall angels and that Satan was literally a dragon. Somehow he tried to tie it all together how when God came to earth in the flesh as Jesus so did angels take on flesh when cast down.
One of the biggest mistakes it seems individuals such as Ken Ham are making is that they think the whole ancient world revolved around OT events. Its like they think everything in the OT was global: the deluge of Noah, the famine of Joseph, the Tower of Babel.
In the UK we don’t have this problem, but we do share the elephant in the room of a damnationist intervening God.
Good thoughts. Here is a note by Ham (I agree with you, not him, by the way):
Having said that, my church is YEC. I am the sole EC that I know of in about 210 congregants. I realize, though, that what attracts me to them is their genuine kindness. Most are nigh on “damnationist” (eternal conscious torment) and I think are quite mistaken theologically as well as scientifically. However, they are self sacrificing and loving. They would harbor and care for my children if needed, with joy, not because of our friendship, but because of who they are…good people of integrity. They really think that they are saving people from ECT if they don’t get the creed right, and really care. My wife and I mused about that recently. Many, many folks believe crazy things, but are wonderful people. I am sure Ham has wonderful qualities. I know he has steadfastly spoken against racism.
Pastor Donald Cole of Moody Radio used to say that each of us likely has enough heresy to sink a battleship, yet God accepts us. Thank goodness!
How does one approach folks like that? I am grateful for their common love.
Alas, we do have that problem in the UK. AiG has offices and staff in Leicester (LE2 6BR). Here in Reading is an active “Reading Creation Group”, with links to a few churches and a programme of a few talks per year (pre-COVID, of course). One such church here, which hosted an AiG/UK event a year or so ago, run its own private day-school. As part of my music-leading activity, I have habitually sat in other congregations from time to time to see how they do music; as a by-product, I have had a few after-church conversations where evolution is described as evil and anti-biblical. Yes, here in the Home Counties of the UK. YECism is over here, too.
I certainly think that a lot of the YECs that I know are generally nice, charitable people. I certainly don’t like what Ken Ham is teaching about Genesis, but I do like what he says about racism. Ken Ham most definitely has good intentions and I appreciate that. However, a lot of YECs I know seem to have an underlying hostility towards ECs or OECs. Most of the people around me don’t know I am EC and will openly condescend people who are. The age of the earth is the ever present issue for them, and anyone that doesn’t agree with them is biblically illiterate. Most YECs probably aren’t like this, but thats unfortunately the only way I have experienced them.
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Yep. I don’t debate YEC, but I am trying to mop up some the damage they’ve caused.
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You shouldn’t waste your time on that stuff.
Quick! To the unscientific, unproven, and unprovable bomb shelter!