On February 4th, 2014, a historic event took place in Christendom. This is the date that Ken Ham (founder of Answers in Genesis) and Bill Nye ("The Science Guy") participated in a debate about this very issue of creation vs. evolution. Watched by millions, facilitated by Tom Foreman from CNN, and covered by over 70 news media organizations from around the world, the debate lasted for well over two hours touching on nearly every aspect of the subject. The question debated was this...."Is Creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era?" You may watch the debate yourself at this link: http://debatelive.org/ or order your own copy through our store by clicking the image below.
However, rather than review the debate and provide you my opinion about it, I would like to encourage you to consider why it is important to incorporate discussions about this topic within your own home school environment.
Co-authored by Ken Ham with data provided by The Barna Research Group, "Already Gone" shows that if you look around at the youth in any typical church in America, two-thirds of them are "already gone". In other words, though they are physically present, they have already mentally "checked out".
Why is this happening? By and large it is due to the fact that by 5th grade or so, children have begun to unconsciously categorize church as a place you go to feel good and listen to stories about the Bible. Apologetics is mostly ignored as the principle tool to teach youth about Scripture and so the Bible is not viewed as being reliable or relevant to them by the time they reach junior high school. Students start to realize that they attend church to build relationships and learn principles of living a respectable life but they go to school to learn facts and truthful accounts of history and science; all of which seem to contradict God's Word regarding the same matters. As Christian parents, we must be alarmed by this and recognize that we cannot and should not rely solely on the local church to "bring them up in the way they should go".
So what does this all have to with the debate mentioned above? The Ham/Nye debate is a powerful reality check for all Christians to realize that we must take all of Scripture in the literal way in which it was written. While there are certainly poetic and allegorical aspects to the Bible, most of it is clearly written as a historical account. In other words, we need to take all of the Bible and not just some of it for its plain-sense meaning. God's Holy Scripture must not be changed into our own version of "Holey" Scripture.
The debate and the entire focus of the Answers in Genesis organization, for that matter, focus on the historical accuracy of the foundational scriptures of the Bible, particularly as found in Genesis chapters one through eleven. When we begin to allow areas such as the creation account, Noah's flood, and the Tower of Babel dispertion to be spiritualized, we being our journey down a slippery slope of "what ifs".
Here are some dangerous concepts you have probably heard before....
I could go on, but you get the picture. Once we begin questioning the authority of God's Word; saying that it doesn't really mean what it says we open the door to question everything else in Scripture...
You can see how disturbing it is when we allow ourselves to begin spiritualizing God's Word; convincing ourselves that Scripture does not mean what it says it means. We run the risk of picking of choosing what to believe rather than taking the all-or-nothing approach. However, many Christians have unknowingly fallen into a belief that we can believe in both the Bible and the world of secular science when it comes to the subject of historical origins and still be consistent in our Christian walk.
Therefore I challenge homeschooling parents to do three things:
1. Be informed. Understand the issues clearly and resist the urge to say that we don't need to concern ourselves with such things because we just need to have faith. YES, faith is necessary. Yet we also need to be prepared to understand how to articulate the foundation of our faith which must include a full understanding of the foundational points of scripture. Part of being informed also requires us to understand that conflicts related to science and the Bible have to do with historical/origins science and not observable/repeatable science. We all have the same evidence to consider. Yet Chrsitians interpret it through a Biblical worldview versus a secular or humanistic one.
2. Prepare your children. Students who eventually leave home to enter the work force or attend college will be faced with the debates about creation vs. evolution. They will be questioned about the seeming inconsistencies with science and the Bible. They will be challenged in every turn about various points of their faith. So equip them with tools that support their faith and help them stand the strain that the culture will place on them. Answers in Genesis is an excellent source of resources regarding these matters, as I have already mentioned. Lamb and Lion Ministries is another good one that stands on the authority of the plain-sense meaning of Scripture in the face of today's cultural issues.
3. Evaluate your church's programs. Take a look at your church's children's and youth programs. Most programs claim to "come alongside the parents" in their quest to spiritually raise their kids. But is this what they are really doing or are they merely softballing Scripture and entertaining them? In other words, don't give away pieces of what you are doing in the home by allowing them to be surrounded by others who do not take the Gospel seriously or interpret it correctly.
Homeschooling since 2000, Carol shares in her blog observations, confessions, and musings that help provide perspective and inspiration for homeschooling moms.