Ken Ham and the “Natural Reading of Scripture”

From my Colson Center article about Ken Ham’s Faulty Hermeneutics:

Ken Ham is part of a larger tradition (limited mainly to American fundamentalism) that finds it difficult to acknowledge that the young-earth way of interpreting Genesis is indeed an interpretation of Genesis. The underlying notion is that we can take the Bible at face value without needing to interpret it since the meaning of Scripture is clear, self-evident, and utterly beyond doubt to any honest layman who desires the truth. It is important to appreciate that this is not the historic Protestant position, but an offshoot of Protestantism that arose as the doctrine of Scripture’s perspicuity became mixed with the type of American individualism that Nathan Hatch has chronicled in The Democratization of American Christianity. The result is that evangelicals like Ham can have the best of both worlds: on the one hand, they can interpret Scripture however they like and claim that it is the clear meaning of the text; but, on the other hand, they are able to dismiss alternative readings as obscuration, subtlety, and man’s interpretation. That is why young-earth creationists do not see the need to do business with other potential readings of Genesis.

Read more here.

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