Editor’s note: Occasionally we’re asked if we receive responses from the submitter in a published feedback. We do, and usually the submitter has changed his or her tone and apologized for some of what he or she wrote. Very few, though, respond with the same attacking tone. This email is one of them.

You may find it helpful to read Mr. Hart’s previous email (with our response), since Mr. Hart’s response has references to it.


Thank you for responding to my letter on your website. I am truly amazed at the level of dogmatism and hypocrisy in your response to my letter. For example, you suggest in your letter that I refer to Luke 6:42.

Why is it that this scripture applies to me and not to you?

Why is it in your letter that you compare Dr. Hugh Ross with the prophets of Baal and the Sadducees and Pharisees? Do you really think this is a rational comparison? Dr. Ross is proclaiming to the world everyday his unashamed faith and love for his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. How could you compare him with these biblical characters?

Yet, when you compare Ken Ham with a biblical character, you use the Apostle Paul.

Do you think it is possible that you are being a little subjective?

In my letter I stated that I witness everyday of my life the message of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ and the beauty of his creation. You used seven words to commend me for my obedience as an ambassador of Christ.

Then you instructed me to “watch someone die of cancer, ask a crime victim how they felt after they have been attacked and you will realize the world isn’t pure beauty but under curse of death and suffering”. In the year 2000, I watched my father slowly waste away from cancer in a hospital bed in Maine. While attending my freshman year at the University of Massachusetts, my brother David was stabbed to death in Milford, Massachusetts trying to protect an innocent victim of crime. The next day, the local newspaper published a photograph of my brother’s pool of blood. My Mother went into shock after unexpectedly finding this photo in the newspaper. I can’t comprehend how you could state in your response letter that you wanted me to realize “the world isn’t pure beauty but under a curse of death and suffering.”

Maybe now you would like to withdraw that statement. That was an unreasonable statement because you had no reason to make that statement.

Again, you compared the young earth issue and the old earth issue with the virgin birth.

How you can make this comparison screams of religious arrogance and lack of understanding of doctrinal issues.

You consistently mix subjective philosophy in with the Word of God. Just one example is in your response letter, you state “if God’s Word will never pass away, then how is it then that nature and its facts will pass away if they are part of God’s Word?” The first part of your statement is correct. God’s Word will never pass away. Then you shift to subjective reasoning “then how is it that nature and its facts will pass away, if they are part of God’s Word?”

To answer your question, I would bring your attention to the Word of God in Hebrews 1:10–12. “And, thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest and they shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” Without going into a lot of detail, this is a two thousand year old acknowledgement of the second law of thermodynamics effect on atoms and attests to the fact that God changes not.

The world is going to hell in a hand basket. We are now seeing a lost generation of young people who don’t know right from wrong. Sexual immorality, partial birth abortion, Presidential candidates announcing boldly that gay people are “born that way”, student violence and direct assaults on the diety of Jesus Christ is common place in our culture. Elton John on the Today show a few weeks ago proudly proclaimed that his new stage play promotes “homo-eroticism.” The attack of religious freedom in the US and in many other places in the world is now unprecedented.

In the middle of all this turmoil and evil, there you are pointing your finger at Dr.Ross, a man who loves Jesus Christ and believes Jesus Christ is the only name whereby a man under heaven can be saved.

You tell Dr.Ross what his definition of Big Bang is. You fight over death before sin while the multitudes descend into hell.

You twist his words as you have twisted mine.

My question to you is, how long will you kick against the pricks?

Please increase my faith in you as my brother in Christ and place this letter along with my first letter on your website.

Your brother in Christ, Peter Hart.
USA


Dear Peter,

It is nice to hear from you again. I was hoping that you would take my comments to heart, use them and respond to my questions with the same kindness that I used when I replied.

Most people who send us hostile feedback—including many non-Christians—are satisfied with our responses. Many apologize for their previous tone, negative comments or claims they made, and often try to answer some of the questions posed. Then we usually carry on good conversations if they are interested in further discussion. Only a few simply continue to argue harshly. So I was surprised that you, a professing Christian, didn’t soften but, instead, continued with a second attacking email.

Please note that my comments are made with kindness.

Thank you for responding to my letter on your website. I am truly amazed at the level of dogmatism and hypocrisy in your response to my letter. For example, you suggest in your letter that I refer to Luke 6:42.

Let’s read Luke 6:42 in context:

41 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

42 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

The email previously sent to us was a bit rude and without substantiation; yet the email was complaining about alleged rudeness. The point of the passage is to instruct Christians to stop doing what we claim others are doing. I sent this in hopes that you would refrain from such tactics; they can make your witness less effective.

Why is it that this scripture applies to me and not to you?

I didn’t say that this passage only applies to you, but my comments were said with respect, and not meant to be rude—which is why I stated up front “I am inserting comments below, and though they are direct, they are still said with respect.” I am not above the Word of God and should be held equally accountable. I am imperfect and fallible and surely have planks in my own eye.

Dear AIG-USA,

I just can’t thank you enough for your solid, presuppositional approach to defending the absolute authority of God’s Holy Word.

I was dismayed when I read the account of Dr. Kaiser’s debate with Dr. Ham. I am seminary student and we use Dr. Kaiser’s (co-author) book for hermeneutics but, thankfully, our seminary has taken a strong stand for literal, 6 day creation. Because of this, we read many of the current writers with care and criticism. Dr. Kaiser is no exception. It is stunning that a man of his learning would not apply his own rules from his own textbook on interpretation. I think we are all reminded that it is by grace alone that we believe - even among Christians who do not carry out their presuppositions, as Dr. Kaiser does not! Thank you again and my God continue to bless your ministry.

G.F.
USA

Why is it in your letter that you compare Dr. Hugh Ross with the prophets of Baal and the Sadducees and Pharisees? Do you really think this is a rational comparison? Dr. Ross is proclaiming to the world everyday his unashamed faith and love for his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. How could you compare him with these biblical characters?

I did not compare Dr. Ross to these characters. Please re-read my response. What I stated is that there is a time for the challenge-riposte method, as was used with the prophets of Baal, the Sadducees and Pharisees. Dr. Ross was not even mentioned in this section. During challenge-riposte, such things as patience and longsuffering need not apply to the immediate responses.

Yet, when you compare Ken Ham with a biblical character, you use the Apostle Paul.

Not so. I compared both Dr. Lisle and Mr. Ham’s situation to that of Paul’s situation at Mars Hill. Please reread my previous response.

Do you think it is possible that you are being a little subjective?

In light of what I actually wrote compared to what I allegedly wrote, I was not being subjective.

In my letter I stated that I witness everyday of my life the message of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ and the beauty of his creation. You used seven words to commend me for my obedience as an ambassador of Christ.

The reason I am in the ministry is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have a link to the Good News at the top and bottom of every page on this site and are witnessing daily, yet did we receive even a single word of commendation from you? Whether you commend us or not, though, we will continue to tell people the gospel and witness to the unsaved on a daily basis.

I complimented you indeed, as your desire to share the gospel shouldn’t be overlooked; however, I didn’t agree with your entire statement of witnessing about the beauty of His creation because the creation is marred with sin and death and suffering—that’s not beautiful. If you witness to people and tell them the creation is beautiful and they see the death and suffering going on, they will likely blame God for it (by equating “beautiful creation” with sin, death and suffering), and be pushed away from God.

How can people understand the importance of the good news if they know nothing about the bad news found in Genesis 3—that the creation is cursed (Romans 8:20–21) and broken due to sin (hence no longer only beautiful but marred)? Then, tell them the good news of Jesus Christ who came to save us (John 3:16) and the good news to come of a time when the Curse will be removed (Revelation 22:3) and death and suffering will have passed away (Revelation 21:4). They will then realize that although creation still retains much of its original beauty, it has been corrupted by sin; but that won’t last forever! Aspects of nature like death, suffering, tumors and cancer are neither good nor beautiful.

Then you instructed me to “watch someone die of cancer, ask a crime victim how they felt after they have been attacked and you will realize the world isn’t pure beauty but under curse of death and suffering”. In the year 2000, I watched my father slowly waste away from cancer in a hospital bed in Maine. While attending my freshman year at the University of Massachusetts, my brother David was stabbed to death in Milford, Massachusetts trying to protect an innocent victim of crime. The next day, the local newspaper published a photograph of my brother’s pool of blood. My Mother went into shock after unexpectedly finding this photo in the newspaper. I can’t comprehend how you could state in your response letter that you wanted me to realize “the world isn’t pure beauty but under a curse of death and suffering.”

I am saddened by your losses and will pray for you and your family. However, it is only through realizing that the world is under the Curse that we realize our need for Christ. Your experiences, although extreme, are not unlike the painful experiences of all of us, which show us the extraordinary consequences of the sin of the first Adam—and show us our need for the extraordinary sacrifice of the Last Adam.

Maybe now you would like to withdraw that statement. That was an unreasonable statement because you had no reason to make that statement.

But the Curse of a once-perfect creation is exactly what the Bible teaches. Who am I to go against the Bible’s plain teachings? Furthermore, I would think you would be willing to withdraw your comments that the creation is beautiful considering your firsthand experience with such ugly things as cancer and murder.

Let me explain this further so I am not misunderstood. We both agree that tumors are not good or “beautiful”; they are either a result of sin or part of God’s “good” or “very good” creation. At AiG, we believe these tumors are a result of the Curse: when the world went from being “very good” to corrupted by sin. Tumors have been found in dinosaur fossils that are allegedly 110 million years old (according to secular sources). Additionally, the (allegedly pre-Adam human fossil record (by definition, a record of death) contains evidence of syphilis, broken bones, arthritis, lesions, tooth decay and loss, lead poisoning, hypoplasia (see Pre-Adamites, Sin, Death and the Human Fossils, TJ 12(2):222–232). If these diseases were made by God and were around for all this time, then they would have been included in God’s declaration of His creation as “very good” (see Genesis 1:31 and Deuteronomy 32:4)! If millions of years of disease and suffering (the human fossil record also shows evidence of cannibalism and scalping) are “very good,” then why are these things suddenly bad when our relatives are struck with them? Understanding that tumors (and all death and suffering) are a result of the Curse is the key to understanding why those things repulse us.

Again, you compared the young earth issue and the old earth issue with the virgin birth.

Absolutely.

How you can make this comparison screams of religious arrogance and lack of understanding of doctrinal issues.

Compare the stances of old-earthers and young-earthers on the two issues below:


Biblical creationists are consistent in trusting the Bible first and letting it explain the evidence, regardless of what materialistic science says. Why do old-earth creationists maintain the double standard? Why not treat Genesis as real history in the same way they treat the Virgin Birth of Christ (and the Resurrection of Christ)—as real history that doesn’t need to be re-interpreted because of secular pressures.


You consistently mix subjective philosophy in with the Word of God. Just one example is in your response letter, you state “if God’s Word will never pass away, then how is it then that nature and its facts will pass away if they are part of God’s Word?” The first part of your statement is correct. God’s Word will never pass away. Then you shift to subjective reasoning “then how is it that nature and its facts will pass away, if they are part of God’s Word?”

This is not our viewpoint; I was merely asking how old-earth creationists respond to this question. Please re-read my response and the context of that statement.


To answer your question, I would bring your attention to the Word of God in Hebrews 1:10–12. “And, thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest and they shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” Without going into a lot of detail, this is a two thousand year old acknowledgement of the second law of thermodynamics effect on atoms and attests to the fact that God changes not.


I agree completely with that verse. But how does an old-earth creationist, who includes the “facts of nature” as a part of God’s Word, reconcile verses that teach that nature will pass away with verses that teach that God’s Word will not? After all, if nature is a part of God’s Word, as Hugh Ross teaches, then it should never pass away; but this is counter to what the Bible clearly teaches: that nature is also suffering the effects of the Curse (Romans 8:19–22), and this world will eventually be destroyed by fire. Not so for God’s Word—it is not cursed, and it will not be destroyed by fire in the future.

The world is going to hell in a hand basket. We are now seeing a lost generation of young people who don’t know right from wrong. Sexual immorality, partial birth abortion, Presidential candidates announcing boldly that gay people are “born that way”, student violence and direct assaults on the diety of Jesus Christ is common place in our culture. Elton John on the Today show a few weeks ago proudly proclaimed that his new stage play promotes “homo-eroticism.” The attack of religious freedom in the US and in many other places in the world is now unprecedented.

Do you know why these symptoms are occurring in today’s culture? It is because the culture no longer trusts the Word of God, but is instead standing on the foundation of man’s ideas—like “millions of years” of history. But even worse, many of these symptoms are occurring among Christians; abortion, sexual immorality, etc., are problems within the church, too, because many in the church have rejected the Bible as the absolute authority.

Genesis is foundational to every major doctrine of theology, directly or indirectly.

Why do we work? Genesis 2:15, 3:17–19.

Why a seven-day week? Genesis 1:1–2:3.

Why do we wear clothes? Genesis 3:21.

Why is there sin? Genesis 3.

Why is marriage one man and one woman for life? Genesis 2:20–25.

Why is there a basis for laws? Genesis 2, for example, records God (Creator and, by rights, Lawgiver) giving a command not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (see also the command against murder given in Genesis 9).

Why do we die? Genesis 3.

Why do we need a savior from sin? Genesis 3:15.

Why did Jesus need to come the first time? Genesis 3.

Why will Jesus return a second time? This goes back to Jesus’ first coming, which goes back to Genesis.

And the list continues (see Henry Morris’ The Genesis Record for a more complete list).

Genesis, though, is touted as myth today because of evolutionary beliefs such as millions of years. If the plain reading of Genesis is reinterpreted, then what basis do we have for these doctrines which are based on a plain reading? None.

We often give the following illustration to show that the root problem is trusting man’s ideas about the past over God’s Word:

The problem

When the church (not to say all churches do this, but as a whole) began giving up the authority of the Bible and accepting man’s ideas as truth, they gave up the foundation of the Word and instead stood on the castle of man’s ideas about the past (though sometimes inconsistently accepting some parts of the Genesis account and not others).

People aren’t ignorant—if the Bible tells lies in its first chapter, why trust it anywhere else? If the Genesis account of creation needs to be reinterpreted according to so-called “science,” why not also the gospel accounts of the Resurrection? You and I are both seeing the consequences of this. When the church says that Genesis needs to be reinterpreted, people ask “why not reinterpret the rest of the Bible—the portions about homosexual behavior, racism, abortion, murder, laws, etc.” The collapse begins. We need to stand firm on Genesis as the foundational book of the rest of the Bible.

Collapse diagram

What we need to do is stand firm on the authority of the Bible and let it teach us. Then we, as the church, can pull the plank out of our own eye and then go after the speck of sawdust in the culture’s eye.

The solution

I am going to send you a complimentary copy of Ken Ham’s Genesis: The Key to Reclaiming the Culture DVD that discusses this in more detail.

In the middle of all this turmoil and evil, there you are pointing your finger at Dr.Ross,

Actually, it was Dr. Ankerberg that contacted us for the debate in the first place. Besides, we are not blaming Dr. Ross for these problems, but are pointing out that his support of the materialist view of millions of years over the plain reading of the Bible is not helping solve the problem; rather, it is adding fuel to the fire. Plus, it was you that “pointed your finger” at us via email—how is that different than what you allege us to be doing?

a man who loves Jesus Christ and believes Jesus Christ is the only name whereby a man under heaven can be saved.

I don’t deny that he believes this as do I. But belief that Christ is the only name by which we can be saved doesn’t mean that everything that person says is without error.

You tell Dr.Ross what his definition of Big Bang is. You fight over death before sin while the multitudes descend into hell.

Sadly, the reason many today are “descend[ing] into hell” is because they don’t accept Acts 4:12 (which you referenced above) precisely because they accept that the universe began not with God, but with the big bang. When so many Christians—including Dr. Ross—are acting to undermine the authority of the Bible, why should we be surprised when “the multitudes” reject it?

You twist his words as you have twisted mine.

How did I twist your words—or Dr. Ross’s?

My question to you is, how long will you kick against the pricks (Acts 9:5)?

I will continue to defend the authority of the Bible and I want to encourage you to do the same. But should I continue to respond if feedback submissions continue to be argumentative? The Bible commands:

But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. (Titus 3:9–10)

Please increase my faith in you as my brother in Christ and place this letter along with my first letter on your website.

I hope and pray that this will help you increase your faith. I will send you the complimentary DVD today.

Your brother in Christ, Peter Hart.
USA

Kind regards from your brother in Christ,
Bodie Hodge, AiG–USA

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