Ken Ham is deeply confused about the Bible. We already knew that, but we just learned that it’s even worse than we thought.
Ham has always been confused about what the Bible was written for (he thinks it’s a science textbook). It turns out he’s also confused about who the Bible was written for.
Ken Ham doesn’t realize that the Bible is a book for humans from Earth. Here is Ham’s explanation for why he says there can be no other intelligent life in the universe:
Ken Ham explains to Elliott that his new friend is not descended from Adam and therefore must burn in Hell.
There can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel. You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation. One day, the whole universe will be judged by fire, and there will be a new heavens and earth. God’s Son stepped into history to be Jesus Christ, the “Godman,” to be our relative, and to be the perfect sacrifice for sin — the Savior of mankind.
Jesus did not become the “GodKlingon” or the “GodMartian”! Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the “Godman” as our Savior. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that we see the Father through the Son (and we see the Son through His Word). To suggest that aliens could respond to the gospel is just totally wrong.
An understanding of the gospel makes it clear that salvation through Christ is only for the Adamic race — human beings who are all descendants of Adam.
Ken Ham thus disagrees with Pope Francis, who recently said he would gladly baptize an extraterrestrial alien who sought to join the church. More than that, Ham also takes issue with Don Bluth — since Ham’s argument also means that No Dogs Go to Heaven.
Ham is partly right — the Bible speaks primarily of redemption for the human race – for those of us who are part of what Ham redundantly* calls “the Adamic race — human beings who are all descendants of Adam.”
But that’s not because we humans are alone in the universe. And it’s not because only humans can be or have been loved by God.
Humans from Earth are central to the story in the human’s Bible because that Bible was written by and for humans from Earth. This is our story. It’s a human medium expressing human truths for humans.
We humans from Earth have our story, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only story. It doesn’t mean that stories from Earth are the only stories, and it doesn’t mean that ours is the only story on Earth.
Consider the lilies of the field — whatever their story is, it’s different from ours. Jesus was sure that God loves them, but beyond that we couldn’t even begin to speculate about what the relationship between lilies and God might be. Lily stories, whatever they might be, would have to be conveyed in lily-specific mediums that are not accessible to us.
But that’s OK, because those lily stories are also none of our business.
Neither are the stories (whatever they might be) of the people (whoever they might be) who live on (or within, or above, or between) distant planets in distant galaxies. It’s fascinating to ponder what such people might be like and what their stories might be — do they have their own scriptures? Do they have their own story of God-become-flesh? — but we don’t need to know their stories any more than they need to know ours.
Perhaps one day we’ll meet them and they will be able to share their story with us and we will be able to share our story with them. Or perhaps we will meet them and be unable to do so.
That’s the case with most of our terrestrial neighbors. Willow, my beloved Yorkie-poo friend, is curled up by my feet as I write this. We share many things, but her story and her relationship to God — whatever that may be – will never be something I can know or understand.
A while back, James McGrath linked to this “Concept Art Writing Prompt” at i09, “The Missionary Seeks an Alien Convert,” a playful illustration by Eric Wilkerson.
Ken Ham would hate that picture.
Ham would also assume that the “missionary” must be the white-robed human. But I think Wilkerson’s picture is far more interesting if we take that human on the right to be the potential “alien convert.”
Maybe the man on the right is pleading with the missionary to allow him to convert and be saved, but the missionary — a fundamentalist who believes in a literal reading of her holy scriptures — is sadly informing him that only descendants of Xyloth the First Mother can be saved. Her Bible, after all, makes no mention of humans from Earth.
Click here to view the embedded video.
* The name Adam means humankind. So Ham’s phrase means something like “the human race race — human beings who are all descendants of human beings.”