Review of Bill Nye – Ken Ham Debate

Here on Answers in Genesis’ YouTube channel and here at billnye.com you can watch (free for a limited time) the entire two and a half hour debate (push forward to the 13 minute mark to start it) which I did last night when it streamed live. I was not disappointed with the debate or the length of the debate. The time went by fast because it was so interesting. Both men are good speakers and very well versed in their beliefs so it was easy to get immersed and lose track of time. Even my two teenage sons listened and watched the majority of the debate with me and they were also drawn in. If you’re going to watch it free, I suggest the YouTube site simply because when you’re done watching you can scroll through the comments. The Bill Nye site doesn’t allow for comments.

In my first article about this debate, A Different Kind of Super Bowl, I likened this debate to the Super Bowl and I am going to continue with that because it really works for me. Anybody that knows me simply would not label me a football fan, but I did watch the whole Super Bowl and I felt the crushing disappoint at the Broncos’ insanely large-margin loss and I didn’t know why until yesterday. As I said in the above mentioned article, the debate would not have a clear cut “winner” or “loser” like the Super Bowl did (does). Now that I’ve watched the entire debate, I see why even more so than I did when I wrote that first article.

While I was writing that first article, I read that, to be a good debater, one must know his opponent’s position so well that one could argue his opponent’s position for him. And yesterday, I learned Richard Sherman did just that and, I’m sure, it’s why the Seahawks won so easily. Unfortunately, for the Broncos, what Richard Sherman did is not considered cheating, but I’m sure, in the future, all quarterbacks will have a ‘Plan B’ and maybe even a ‘Plan C’ especially for such a game as the Super Bowl. Now, with this in mind, consider Bill Nye’s HUGE handicap as a debater of a man of God. Bill Nye cannot know his opponent as well as Ken Ham can know his. Paul says in First Corinthians, chapter two,

For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (NKJV)

Paraphrased and condensed, that passage tells us that the non-Christian cannot understand the things of God because they do not have the Spirit of God in them. So, Bill Nye cannot know Ken Ham’s position well enough for a fair and effective debate. And he certainly cannot know it well enough to argue Ken Ham’s position for him. Albert Mohler said in his review of the debate, “To Bill Nye, the idea of divine revelation is apparently nonsensical. He ridiculed the very idea.” Foolishness. And Ken Ham was in the frustrating position of knowing his opponent’s position so well that he could have argued Bill Nye’s position for him, because those with the Spirit of God are able to discern the natural man. These things were clear all through the debate from Bill Nye’s rhetorical questions to Ken Ham; Bill Nye’s redundant phrases, “…troubles me…” and “…that’s very unsettling…;” as well as Ken Ham’s look of frustration at, I believe, Bill Nye’s total inability to comprehend and consider Ken Ham’s position.

Bill Nye could not say “God.” He used other terms such as Higher Being, Higher Power, Spiritual Power, but not God. There was even a question where he should have used God in his answer, and I was intently listening for him to say it, but he kept to his agnostic terms.

In the promotion of this debate and in the review cited above, it was known to Ken Ham that it wasn’t a debate about origins, the age of the earth, or the claims of modern science. They say it was a debate about worldviews. While I agree that it wasn’t a debate about science topics, I don’t agree that it was a debate about worldviews because Bill Nye is completely ignorant of Ken Ham’s worldview and, as such, cannot argue against it. In fact, I wouldn’t call it a debate at all; rather, it was a dual lecture. It was two different lectures on the same topic and the differences are foundational at their very core. Ken Ham’s foundation is a belief in The Great I Am; His existence, His Word, and His character. Bill Nye’s foundation is God’s creation – with God removed – as Romans 1:25 describes. So, you see, I don’t think the difference lies in how we see (worldview), but in Who we see and what He reveals to us (or not).

If you’re unable to watch all of what you want to watch of the debate while it’s free, there are DVDs and video downloads available here for purchase. Maybe your church can place a bulk order to cut the cost significantly? I will certainly be ordering a DVD!

© 2014 Wendi Wilkins

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