Thoughts From The Nye On Hamm Debate


While this is entirely too late to be current, I found the Ken Hamm-Bill Nye “debate” to be a waste of time. There was little debate as both men just continued to state their position and had little interaction with each other. Neither men carry the credentials to engage in a debate like this with a national audience. And the debate partners were wrong (Ken Hamm (Young Earth Creationist) should have debated another Christians with a different view and interpretation of the Genesis text)

It also reminded me of one of the reasons that young people are leaving or staying out of churches. It’s the perception that Christianity is anti-science. From Dave Kinnaman’s book, “You Lost Me”,

“In our research among eighteen-to twenty-nine-year-olds with a Christian background, one-third (35 percent) suggested that Christians are too confident about knowing all the answers. In a related thread, one-fifth (20 percent) said they believe Christianity makes complex things too simple. Nearly three in ten (29 percent) said that churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in, while one-quarter (25 percent) described Christianity as anti science. One-quarter of those surveyed report that they are turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate (23 percent) and one-fifth are disillusioned with Christianity because it is anti-intellectual (18 percent).” (page 136- emphasis mine)

If the people we are trying to reach see the church as too confident in knowing the answers or out of touch with the scientific world, we need to look at why that belief exist. It was refreshing to hear Bill Nye exclaim several times in the debate “I don’t know” when asked a question. As Christians leaders, can we embrace science in a way that it strengthens our faith, reveals God, and allows us to embrace the mystery that is God? We do not need to fear science. I believe that God is big enough and faithful enough to handle questions and searching for answers from the very beings that He created.

I was always taught that science and faith are compatible with one another. Our official United Methodist stance is that “we find that as science expands human understanding of the natural world, our understanding of the mysteries of God’s creation and word are enhanced. (BOD Par. 160F)” The beauty of faith, theology, and science is the journey of discovery. We don’t know everything there is to know about God! We don’t know everything there is to know about God’s grace or salvation- just like we don’t know how the universe was created exactly. Our faith is built, not in answers that we know, but seeking the God who has the answers- and is the answer.

The Bible is not a science text, but a book that reveals a God who created, who loves, and who redeems. The Bible is much more concerned about who created and why it was created than how is was created. The Bible is a book that shows the lengths that God will go to show time and time again how much He loves creation- to the point of sending Jesus to show us a better way to live; to die on the cross for our sins; and to conquer sin and death giving us hope in this life and hope for the life to come.

About Steve LaMotte

Husband of Andrea and father of four amazing children. Pastor at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, Delaware.
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