Righting America

A forum for scholarly conversation about Christianity, culture, and politics in the US
Answers in Genesis, BioLogos, and Righting America at the Creation Museum | Righting America

by William Trollinger

It may seem surprising, given that Answers in Genesis (AiG) self-identifies as a Christian apologetics ministry, that AiG is as interested in making war on fellow Christians as it is in attacking secularists and atheists. According to Ken Ham,

there is a culture war happening in our nation, but there is a much greater battle that needs to be fought – a battle to call the church back to an uncompromising position on the authority of the Word of God. (Righting 207)

For Ham and AiG, those Christians who are engaged in unbiblical compromise are those who accept mainstream geology (an old Earth) and mainstream biology (evolution). While this certainly includes mainline Protestantism and Catholicism, Ham seldom attacks them. That is because they have not only

made their peace with mainstream science, but their constituencies are not his constituencies, and thus would take no notice of Ham’s criticism (or may even consider a “Ham attack” a badge of honor). (Righting 216)

Instead, Ham and AiG appear to prefer going after evangelical leaders and institutions who do not toe the young Earth creationist line. One of AiG’s favorite targets appears to be BioLogos, which was founded in 2007 by Francis Collins with a $2m grant from the Templeton Foundation, and which sees its mission — on its website and in its workshops and conferences — “as inviting ‘the church and world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation.’”

Importantly, BioLogos is a quintessentially and unapologetically evangelical organization, with a statement of faith that affirms the “inspired and authoritative” Word of God. More than this, it has worked very hard not to alienate young Earth creationists, whom it sees as fellow evangelicals who happen to disagree on science. In fact, the organization has made repeated efforts to reach out to AiG in an effort to foster dialogue.

Such efforts have been rebuffed by the AiG leadership, who see

BioLogos not as a friendly evangelical competitor that simply has a different understanding of creation, but a deadly enemy seeking to poison the hearts and minds of American Christians. In fact, as Ham sees it, AiG’s conflict with BioLogos is but another front in the great cosmic war between God and Satan. (Righting 221)

Here at rightingamerica we have a good deal of respect for BioLogos, not only for their efforts to persuade evangelicals that one can be a devout Christian while also accepting the findings of evolutionary science, but also for their patiently gracious responses to folks who seek to discredit them, like Ken Ham.

So it is gratifying that a generous and thoughtful review of Righting America at the Creation Museum has just been posted on the BioLogos website. Better yet, the review is written by Ted Davis, Bill’s former colleague at Messiah College, and a top-notch historian of science. Professor Davis makes a couple of critiques of Righting America in his review, which we welcome! We look forward to looking closely at those and responding to them in our next post.