Ken Ham answers CT's statement: "funding is slow ... and revenues ... have declined"

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Darrell Post's picture

One paragraph written by Ham that caught my eye:

"Meanwhile, people are contacting us—after reading false reports on blogs and websites—and asking if the museum is in trouble. We wonder if there will be many people who may now re-think giving to the evangelistic Ark outreach because of this false information."

 

Hopefully getting out in front of this with the response can help, but based on the way Ham describes the interaction between AiG and CT, there is no doubt in my mind that there is very little Christianity left in CT.

 

We attended the Creation Museum last fall, and on a weekday, and the ticket line inside the doors was at least 30 feet long. There were people everywhere. The cafe was full. The building was full, and a good number of people were touring the botanical gardens and petting zoo.

 

Those of you who have gone also know how this is a first class operation.

GregH's picture

I take what Ham says with a grain of salt. He seems to be getting more prickly with age, not that he has ever really tried to avoid confrontation. His reputation in the home school convention circuit has taken a hit because of his attitude. He may have a point here but I would not blindly accept everything he says.

Easton's picture

...seems that's been tried by someone else...

Of course, he didn't build an Ark...

He just didn't pay his taxes.

TylerR's picture

Editor

It is a very large stretch to compare Ken Ham with Kent Hovind. Their ministries are in no way comparable.

The Creation Museum is an outstanding operation. The Gospel message is presented clearly, and a Creationist theory is presented clearly and comprehensively. I wish him and his ministry the best.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Safe to say, you have humans involved on all sides of the CT/AiG exchange. And all that that implies.

I wish them all well and appreciate both organizations, though in very different ways.

dgszweda's picture

I still see this whole operation as an utter waste of money and a distraction from our true calling.  To spend $100's of millions on a museum to support creation boggles my mind. 

Easton's picture

"...a very large stretch to compare Ken Ham with Kent Hovind. Their ministries are in no way comparable."

Now there's a stretch.

If size and money mean anything, Ham succeeded where Hovind failed, but their ministries - their ultimate purpose - is (was, in the case of Hovind) the same.

GregH's picture

dgszweda wrote:

I still see this whole operation as an utter waste of money and a distraction from our true calling.  To spend $100's of millions on a museum to support creation boggles my mind. 

You must have forgotten about the zip lines Wink

It is interesting that other publications also report declining sales there. Here is another article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/05/creation-museum-zip-lines_n_3391857.html. There are a few links in that article as well.

It appears that they are still reaching their goal of 250,000 people a year (barely) but the trend is very down. In business, the trend is the big concern here.

I would think the price is part of it. The ticket prices are pretty high.

Darrell Post's picture

dgszweda, if you actually went to the creation museum, you would find that the museum itself is simply a walk-through gospel tract. Their burden for communicating the gospel is quite evident throughout. They start with Genesis, and walk the guest through creation, the fall, the judgment of the flood, and then the tower of Babel. Then they capstone the tour with a video presentation of the cross of Christ and explain why He came and died for the sins of man.  They clearly are reaching out to a generation of people who never went to Sunday School as kids and have little grasp of fundamental elements of the Christian faith. There is nothing hokey or poorly displayed. In my view, they are skillfully presenting the gospel in a way that would connect to this generation, without compromising its message. If you consider that a waste of time and resources, then you are entitled to your view. But I would graciously ask you to consider investigating the Creation Museum a little further and see it you might revise your opinion of it.

dgszweda's picture

GregH wrote:

dgszweda wrote:

I still see this whole operation as an utter waste of money and a distraction from our true calling.  To spend $100's of millions on a museum to support creation boggles my mind. 

You must have forgotten about the zip lines Wink

It is interesting that other publications also report declining sales there. Here is another article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/05/creation-museum-zip-lines_n_3391857.html. There are a few links in that article as well.

It appears that they are still reaching their goal of 250,000 people a year (barely) but the trend is very down. In business, the trend is the big concern here.

I would think the price is part of it. The ticket prices are pretty high.

 

In the end this is going to be a niche market, that will see strong upsurge and then fall.  Is the homeschool group from California going to go every year?  The story hasn't changed (God still created the world in 6 days and evolution is bad).  So I am not sure what they are going to do to drive ticket sales continually year after year.  Especially with the concept of 6 day creation, slowly falling off the radar of many Christians as a hot topic.

 

You are not going to see a more ardent 6 day young earth creationist than me, but we are not going to win any debates on proving creation through science or trying to disprove evolution.  A supernatural event performed by a supernatural creator will never be explained by science.  The approach of creation science is flawed in so many ways, and some day we may all see this.  With that said, we have missionary upon missionary spending 2+ years on deputation trying to raise money as they get the $10-$50 a month donation from each church, and we as Christians go and build this.  In some senses this whole thing is almost sacrilegious.   Really, have we degraded Noah to the point that we have created a cafe called, "Noah's Cafe".  Yes, I find some of the stuff fascinating and it would be cool to see an ark.  But we could send 1,000 missionaries to the mission field for 5 years on the money that was spent on this.

Darrell Post's picture

GregH, I would suspect Ham would point out that the HuffingtonPost isn't exactly sympathetic towards the success of the Creation Museum. Ham explained the apparent 'decline,' and it was simply an internal split into multiple not-for-profits, but if you add them together, the numbers are solid and not in decline.

dgszweda's picture

Darell,

 

I saved the $120 ticket price for my family, the $140 in gas, the $100 night hotel, and the $100 in food that I would have spent taking my family and we did the virtual tour.  I felt the $500 or so could be spent better in other ways.  I never said that there weren't good aspects of this, but my guess is that the vaste majority of people traveling to this are homeschool or Christian school groups or Christian families.  I just think that we can reach the real lost a lot more effectively for a lot less money.  Although I am sure that Noah would be happy that the pizza is really good in his cafe.

Mark_Smith's picture

Do you ever go on a vacation? See America? Or do you stay locked in your home?

dgszweda's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Do you ever go on a vacation? See America? Or do you stay locked in your home?

 

Just returned from a 2 week trip to France with my family.  And yes, it was significantly more expensive than going to the Creation Museum.  I just saw more value in taking my kids to see Paris and Normandy than to go to the creation museum.

Mark_Smith's picture

But if people see it the other way, why do you care?

Darrell Post's picture

...many Christians plunk down that sort of money for a summer vacation to go to six flags, Busch Gardens, or any number of other places. Many put down that sort of money to attend a couple of baseball games. Would you object to a Christian family spending that sort of money on a vacation trip to the creation museum instead?  Furthermore, while we were there, we got the sense that there was a lot more diversity than simply homeschool and Christian school groups. First, there are no doubt a lot of unsaved people who might be part of homeschool or Christian school group, but second, in my conversations with Creation Museum staff, they regularly see (curious) secular (non-professing Christian) folks wander through.  I can also see how this museum would be helpful for Christians unfamiliar with the genesis account of creation to be able to learn and grow via their experience there.

The pizza was fair, but the burgers were quite good.

Darrell Post's picture

"but we are not going to win any debates on proving creation through science or trying to disprove evolution"

 

I also wanted to respond to this sentence. The Creation museum right there in the very first display presents the idea that what we have is common evidence. Whether one is an evolutionist or believes in creation, everyone has the same evidence. Its just that one person's presupposition/starting place is different from another's, and so different conclusions are drawn from the same evidence. Their display had two wax-figure archeologists working on a dig, one an evolutionist and the other who believed in creation. It was very tastefully done and setup the idea right at the start that the creation museum isn't about trying to "prove" the case of creation, but rather, here is the evidence, and here is the framework through which a Bible-believer sees the evidence, how it fits, and now as you leave, come to your own conclusion. And in the process they did an effective job of laying out the gospel message.

dgszweda's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

But if people see it the other way, why do you care?

 

I don't think I ever said that I care about how people spend their money on a vacation.  What I was objecting to is whether the $100's of millions of dollars to build this, the ark and other things, is the wisest use of God's money.  Christ didn't need a museum or expensive facility to teach the gospel.  We don't need 1) a museum to teach our kids what the Bible says about Creation, and 2) we don't need this museum to bring others to Christ.

 

With all of that said, this was everyone elses money and time will tell on whether it was wisely spent.  My personal opinion, is that I don't think it was the wisest way to spend the money.  But again that is my personal opinion.

dgszweda's picture

Darrell Post wrote:

"but we are not going to win any debates on proving creation through science or trying to disprove evolution"

 

I also wanted to respond to this sentence. The Creation museum right there in the very first display presents the idea that what we have is common evidence. Whether one is an evolutionist or believes in creation, everyone has the same evidence. Its just that one person's presupposition/starting place is different from another's, and so different conclusions are drawn from the same evidence. Their display had two wax-figure archeologists working on a dig, one an evolutionist and the other who believed in creation. It was very tastefully done and setup the idea right at the start that the creation museum isn't about trying to "prove" the case of creation, but rather, here is the evidence, and here is the framework through which a Bible-believer sees the evidence, how it fits, and now as you leave, come to your own conclusion. And in the process they did an effective job of laying out the gospel message.

 

I am intimately familiar with the approach they have taken, and understand exactly how it is framed.  I still state, that trying to get general revelation to match perfectly with special revelation for an activity that 1) was a supernatural event and therefore outside of the realms of evidence, scientific theory and general revelation and 2) no human has observed is a practice in futility.  We believe in Creation because 1) it is taught in Scripture, and 2) to believe in evolution, theistic evolution, day age theory...... bring up numerous theological conundrums that cannot be solved (i.e. literal Adam, original sin.....).  The reason why it is futile is because the evidence and arguments are constantly changing, because science constantly changes.  Science is not permanent in the same way Special Revelation in Scripture is permanent.  If you don't believe this take a look at the arguments by Creation Scientists in the 1970's against evolution.  Almost all arguments have been proven to be either false or fraught with issues by the leading creation scientists.  Remember the "canopy theory" and other theories around carbon dating and such.  They have all been abandoned by creation scientists (although a few do still espouse it).  The items that we argue about today will also be thrown out.  So I find it extremely futile (and also I believe a leading cause why young fundamentalist in our conservative Bible colleges are leaving 6-day creationism in droves), to constantly be arguing against evolution scientists and using scientific arguments to show science in a different light as it relates to evolution.

 

With that said, I do find the arguments fascinating, and I am sure I would find the museum fascinating.   Just in the same way I would find a museum dedicated to the Chicago Bears should they decide to setup one in Jacksonille, Florida where I can visit all the time.  But that doesn't mean I think it is the best use of money.

Darrell Post's picture

Christ also didn't need summer camps, mission agencies, Bible colleges, seminaries, state church associations, music groups, book publishers, or Christian radio. The point is, these organizations are tools. Everyone can support or not support any of these organizations based on how they believe God would lead them to donate their monies. But just because one may feel led to not support an organization financially, one should understand that perhaps others might feel so led, and so one can extend the grace of Christ toward them realizing that God can work in marvelous ways--and accomplish things that we did not anticipate.

Darrell Post's picture

"I am intimately familiar with the approach they have taken, and understand exactly how it is framed. 

...

 

We believe in Creation because 1) it is taught in Scripture, and 2) to believe in evolution, theistic evolution, day age theory...... bring up numerous theological conundrums that cannot be solved (i.e. literal Adam, original sin.....)."

 

And yet that is exactly what the Creation Museum does. They embrace the special revelation right from the start, that creation is taught in Scripture. And most of what is displayed throughout the museum is gospel content. Teaching the Bible via visual display. I didn't sense at all that they were engaged in mere futile intellectual reasoning--they embraced the authority of Scripture throughout. 

 

I agree with you that you would find the museum fascinating. So why not give it a chance, and see what you think of it?

Greg Long's picture

Yeah, I'm not sure comparing the Creation Museum to a museum dedicated to the Chicago Bears really helps your argument.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

dgszweda's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Yeah, I'm not sure comparing the Creation Museum to a museum dedicated to the Chicago Bears really helps your argument.

 

Depends which you like better Smile

dgszweda's picture

Darrell Post wrote:

Christ also didn't need summer camps, mission agencies, Bible colleges, seminaries, state church associations, music groups, book publishers, or Christian radio. The point is, these organizations are tools. Everyone can support or not support any of these organizations based on how they believe God would lead them to donate their monies. But just because one may feel led to not support an organization financially, one should understand that perhaps others might feel so led, and so one can extend the grace of Christ toward them realizing that God can work in marvelous ways--and accomplish things that we did not anticipate.

 

And yet there are good men who disagree with certain elements of these.  I think my grace extends to the fact that I 1) am not stating to abolish the creation museum, 2) not calling those who support or attend the creation museum in sin.  These are all brothers in Christ, and 3) not stating that no one should go.  That is where my grace extends.

I am stating that in my personal opinion, I do not think this is the best use of our money.  But that is my opinion.  And again, in my opinion, I think better effort is spent not on discussing the science, but discussing the theology.  I think the theological constructs around creation is a better focus and a more compelling argument for believing in creation than trying to examine the science (which often isn't even done well by creation scientists).

Darrell Post's picture

Jim, thankfully the creation museum also has a planetarium and observatory, botanical gardens, and petting zoo. So there are multiple ways to learn about creation there.

 

dgszweda, thankfully the creation museum discusses and presents theology. I admit I was skeptical before I attended the place, but when I saw how soundly they made the Scriptures their platform and how they were committed to presenting the gospel, I realized this wasn't yesterday's "Dr. Dino" presentation.

Scott Matthew's picture

Darrell, let me say a word of thankful agreement for your posts on this thread.  I returned from a first time visit to the museum with my family of four a couple weeks ago.  I was initially skeptical that it would come across as "hokey."  It did not.  The gospel presentation was done very well.  The gardens were impressive.  And it was good to meet n greet believers from different church backgrounds at, yes, Noah's cafe.  I saw a several Amish and Mennonite families there for example. 

I had free admission as an active duty service member, and the family in front of us in line handed us a free ticket they didn't need.  So my family got in at 50% off.  I'd wait awhile, but would go back again.  It was well worth it, and I believe a good "investment" for Christian families in addition to supporting their missionaries and local churches--why can't we support both?

 

Jay's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Yeah, I'm not sure comparing the Creation Museum to a museum dedicated to the Chicago Bears really helps your argument.

Agreed.  This would be much better:

I'm not sure comparing the Creation Museum to a museum dedicated to the Chicago Bears Philadelphia Eagles really helps your argument.

I'd take the Eagles museum over the Creation Museum in a heartbeat.  As it is, I'll take the Creation Museum over Da Bears.

<ducks>

 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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