Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 1.8.14 – When A Creationist Debates an Evolutionist, It Matters What We Think

It should be pretty cut and dry, shouldn’t it? Bill Nye the Science Guy (a known humanist/evolutionist) will debate Ken Ham, leader of Answers in Genesis on February 4. It should be pretty cut and dry how a Christian thinks, shouldn’t it?

I hope it is, but let me offer a two warnings that make sense. Then, I’ll point to what should be the obvious crux.

Warning #1. Watch the name calling.

Many, to be clear not all, in the evolutionist camp will simply call names and make false allegations. See Ken Ham’s response to allegations some have made regarding the debate itself.

Calling names and trying to belittle someone accomplishes as much in a debate setting as it did in third grade. All it does is stir emotions – that’s why it’s a logical fallacy. Christians should rest on logic – I’m sure that’s what Ken Ham is prepared to do.

Warning #2. It’s not about winning a debate.

If the chief goal of this for the Christian community is to humiliate Bill Nye by trumping him in a debate, we’ve lost our spiritual pulse.

Do we hope Ken Ham wins the debate? Sure, but the anxiety that he might lose should not drive how we view such an opportunity. The “we are right” feeling is NOT the maximum ceiling for God’s glory in this debate.

The Crux

The maximum ceiling for God’s glory is love. God is love. He loves unconditionally. Let me offer three ways we can show and desire love as the highest good in this debate.

1. Our prayers, energy, and focus leading to this debate should be our love for those believing the lie of evolution. Our love for Bill Nye and our bitter hatred of the thought he would spend eternity in hell should consume the energy we spend. We should desire that he would experience the love of God through Jesus Christ, repent of his sins, and come to faith in Jesus Christ.

2. Our love for God and a thirst for more of His truth revealed in the Word and in creation should be our goal. As Ken Ham uses evidence and Scripture, we should desire to grow in these abilities as well, always thirsting for more knowledge.

3. Our desire to learn from Ken Ham how to treat unbelievers with respect, dignity, and love should drive our curiosity to watch this debate while or after it happens.

Think. How are you approaching this debate? What was your initial thought when you heard about it?

Act. Speak and act with love as you interact, especially if the temptation is to steer the conversation away from the love we should have and seek in this significant event.


  1. My initial thought when I heard about this debate was that I was shocked that Bill Nye would accept the invitation. In order for it to be a fair debate, I think both parties have to be prepared for the possibility to “lose”. But I wonder how likely it could really be for Ken Ham to admit defeat should Bill Nye present better arguments. It’s probably more likely that evolution is true than that a creationist would admit defeat in the Creation Museum.

    I also think it’s important to recognize that creationism is a very broad term, and that Ken Ham is only a very narrow representation of Christian views on the topic. As well, Christianity and belief in evolution aren’t always exclusive.

    • KevinBurkholder says:

      Josiah my only reply would be to go back and re-read what I wrote. I don’t think the Christian’s biggest concern should be who wins or loses the debate. Of course it’s possible Ken Ham loses the debate, but that’s not what prompted me to write.

  2. I saw an interesting article on the Huffington Post from an ex-creationist about this. Wondering your thoughts:

    • KevinBurkholder says:

      Josiah I read through the article and I’ll try to sum up my thoughts briefly. My authority comes from the Bible. And the main issue in any YE creation vs. evolution debate is authority and beliefs more than science. Science can’t tell you everything and the Bible obviously doesn’t give us complete scientific detail. Even Ken Ham will tell you this. So, for some reason this guy doesn’t want the natural reading of Genesis to be his authority. I’d be interested to see what turned this guy away from creationism – he doesn’t mention that. This is far from thorough but it helps express my beliefs:

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