For those of you who may have watched tonight, I believe Ken Ham lost the debate between him and Bill Nye. (If you are a Ken Ham supporter, hang with me!) In many ways, I thought Nye’s answers, while a little rambling at times, were complex and detailed.
On the other hand, I thought Ham’s answers were short of extraordinary. I thought he hit it out of the park in his opening 30-minute monologue but was a little more challenged in the one on one time. I thought he failed to answer many of Nye’s questions convincingly. On debate skills alone, I would give the edge to Bill Nye.
But here is why I believe Ken Ham won by losing. His objective was not to debate! In all reality this debate probably did not change many hard core atheists to becoming instant Christians and vice versa. But I believe Ken Ham accomplished three things:
1. He raised huge awareness about Biblical Creationism on a mammoth scale. Over 500,000 computers logged in? Not bad! He planted seeds of hope that the Bible is true and seeds of doubt that evolution is our only model.
2. He connected with Christians who did not think the age of the earth was a big deal. Very important! I believe he articulated very well the inconsistencies of believing in an old earth model while still trusting Jesus as Savior.
3. But most importantly, he preached the gospel over four times to hundreds of thousands of people!
I believe this debate teaches us something very valuable about the way we engage those who deny God’s existence – such as Bill Nye. Yes we provide answers to their questions. Yes we present evidence for what we believe the Bible teaches. But we do not play the game on their terms; we play on God’s terms. At the end of the day, we are not called to win debates or humiliate the wicked. We are responsible to present people with this simple question, What will you do with Jesus?
As Christians, we love to get caught up in debates! I’ll admit it, I find them probably too enjoyable at times. But what Ken Ham showed us tonight is that sometimes the best way of winning a debate is not through burying your opponent. The best way to win is through doing what God has called you to do. And this is to prepare, present, and then step back and make much of Jesus and allow HIM to cause the true transformation. His message is always greater than ours anyways!
As I watched Mr. Ham’s mannerisms, you could sense a tremendous Spirit about him. He was gracious and the power of God showed through his life. There were multiple times I believed he could have hammered Nye on some of his inconsistencies but in my opinion chose not to. Was this a sign of weakness? On the contrary, I believe this showed incredible strength. Anyone can badger or ridicule an opponent (as I believe Mr. Nye attempted to do through referencing “Ken Ham’s Model of Creation” when roughly 60% of Americans accept it!). There are times in our ministry when we will be tempted to hammer someone. We know the facts and they do not. We always want to "get the last word" and kick ourselves for "not saying the right thing." But it is in these times I believe God is not looking for our words. He is looking for our obedience to his will. He wants us to step back and allow him to work in ways we cannot!
I know you may challenge me on my idea that “Ken Ham lost.” Totally fine – I thought he did very well! But the simple point and prayer I take away is this: God, help me to care less about winning debates with others. Help me to make more of you and less of me. Help me always to remember it is your power, not my words that change someone else’s life!
Thank you Ken Ham for making much of Jesus!
- Ezra Byer
First off, thanks to so many of you who have viewed this article! I am encouraged by the number of non-creation viewers. In response to some of your comments below, let me answer and clarify some objections.
Thanks again for your interaction and hope this is helpful in answering some of your objections. God Bless!