On Tuesday evening, Ken Ham and Bill Nye will debate at the Creation Museum; the debate will be moderated by Tom Moreland from CNN and will be broadcast over the internet. The debate can be seen at http://www.debatelive.org
Barring official duties taking precedence and my computer cooperating, I plan on watching the debate in its entirety, posting comments on facebook during the debate, and will have a blog post recapping the event on Wednesday.
But today, the focus is on what to expect. Many churches are hosting debate parties, watching the debate together, and presumably, all rooting for Ham.
I thought about the feasibility of doing likewise, and while it could be done, several factors stopped me from pursuing the idea further.
First and foremost, having not seen any prior debates between Ham and other non-creation advocates, I am concerned about how technical the debate will get. I assume Nye will dismiss any Scripture citations out of hand, demanding that Ham provide non-Biblical evidence, and while some can be quickly explained, other evidence is not so simple to fit into 30 second sound-bites.
Another concern is what Nye will actually say. The reality is that many believe the Genesis account of creation, until they sit in science class, and suddenly theories such as evolution and Big Bang and millions of years do not sound so outlandish, but actually sound plausible. What is the risk of people questioning their beliefs after Nye speaks and seemingly silences Ham?
Third, what is the actual purpose of this debate? What does Ham hope to accomplish by debating Nye? If the goal is to draw media attention to the issue, mission accomplished, over 50 press credentials have been issued for Tuesday night, including CNN and ABC. If the goal is to convince people to believe the Genesis account as opposed to the secular view, well, that normally works better in one on one conversation as opposed to a debate. If the goal is to get money for the Creation Museum, well great, but who is doing the giving? People who already believe, or people who have questions?
On a related matter, why did Nye agree to this debate? Brian Young told me a while back that people were unwilling to debate him, and other creation speakers, because they considered the debate closed, and discussing the matter a pointless exercise. Did Nye look at the TV schedule for the evening and decide he had nothing else to do, so why not debate Ken Ham? Or does Nye get some sick perversion in trying to humiliate Christians? Perhaps Nye is looking to inflate his own career.
Finally, I’ll be rooting for Ham and I hope he leaves Nye speechless, and perhaps if it is not too much to ask, that in his closing statement, Nye comes to Jesus. But, while Ham is a wonderful presenter, I have never seen him debate anyone (my fault, not his, he has one other official debate). How quick on his feet will he actually be?
When the debate ends, I will declare Ken Ham to be the winner regardless; and I will pray that Bill Nye, and others, hear the Gospel and come to faith. But no matter what happens Tuesday night, the winner will be Jesus. His saving Gospel, His death and resurrection, is what truly saves; winning us from the prison of sin, death and the devil. Tuesday’s debate will be entertaining, but it is a reminder of the work of Satan in the world, and the need for all believers to fervently pray: Come, Lord Jesus; come quickly among us.