Ken Ham

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Ken Ham

Kenneth Alfred (Ken) Ham (born 1951 in Australia) is a self-described Biblical apologist emphasizing Young Earth Creationism and the reliability of Scripture in all matters of which it speaks, including science. He is founder and president of Answers in Genesis, an apologist organization founded in 1994 in the United States with the purpose of upholding the authority of the Bible from the very first verse.[1]

Ham also speaks on a daily radio feature, "Answers with Ken Ham," and is a prolific public speaker and author and the brains behind the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter in Cincinnati, OH. He also founded "Answers" magazine, which won the prestigious "Award of Excellence" for top Christian magazine in 2011 from the Evangelical Press Association.[2]

Early Life and Education

Ham was born and raised in Queensland, Australia.[3] His career of defending Christianity and the Bible was partly inspired by his father, a school teacher who had the same passion as Ham.[3]

Ham earned a Bachelor's degree in applied science from Queensland Institute of Technology and a Diploma of Education from the University of Queensland. In addition to this, he has also received four honorary degrees—DD in 1997 from Temple Baptist College in Cincinnati, OH, DLitt in 2004 from Liberty University, DLitt in 2010 from Tennessee Temple University, and DHL in 2012 from Mid-Continental University in KY.[4]

In his last year of his university training to become a public school science teacher, Ham was strongly influenced by The Genesis Flood, a book co-authored by Dr. Henry Morris, a hydraulic engineer, and Dr. John Whitcomb, a theologian, showing how scientific evidence supported the Great Flood as described in the Bible.[5]

As an adult, Ham became a science teacher in Dalby State high school, and there he "was soon confronted with a need to defend his faith in the classroom".[3] Ham started a creationist ministry that was based in his house in Sunnybank, and in 1987 he and his family moved to the United States to work at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR).[3] After moving to America, Ham worked for seven years under Dr. Henry Morris at ICR.[6] He began the Answers in Genesis ministry in late 1993 along with Mark Looy and Paul Palmon. The Creation Museum broke ground in 2000 and opened in 2007. The Ark Encounter, featuring a full-size Noah's Ark according to Biblical dimensions, opened on July 7, 2016.[7]

Publications

Some of his many publications include, but are not limited to, How Could a Loving God...? 2006; Already Gone, 2009; One Race, One Blood, 2010; Already Compromised, 2011; The Foundations, 2011; The Lie/Millions of Years, 2012; Science Confirms the Bible, 2012; The Great Delusion, 2013; Rescuing our Kids from the Lie, 2013; Inside the Nye-Ham Debate, 2014; and Ready to Return, 2015. He has also authored or co-authored many books for children, such as Did Adam Have a Belly Button? 2000; My Creation Bible, 2006; Did Eve Really Have an Extra Rib? 2007; Dinosaurs for Kids, 2009; N is for Noah, 2013, and the Answers Book for Kids 2013, and books for teens, such as Answers for Teens (Vols 1&2), 2012.

Creation Museum

According to AiG, Ken Ham had a vision for "a creation museum that teaches the truth" since 1979, when he began his ministry in Creation Science.[8] During the mid-1990's, after AiG was founded, the ministry began searching for land in Northern Kentucky to build the museum.[8] The Museum was opened on May 28, 2007[8] at the cost of $27 million.[9] $21 million of the cost was raised through private donations.[10]

It was estimated that 250,000 people would visit the museum in the first year.[9] However, the 250,000th visitor visited the museum in early November, nearly seven months ahead of schedule.[8][11]

The aesthetics of the museum have been praised even by critics of the museum.[9]

Homeschool Conventions

Ham has been uncompromising in his defense for young-earth creationism and has criticized schools and individuals that have failed to uphold it. In March 2011, AiG and Ham had an invitation to the two Great Homeschool Conventions revoked by the events' organizers. The organizers cited Ham's criticism of the group as the reason for the revoked invitation, but the board of AiG found no spiritual wrongdoing on Ham's part.[12]

Debate with Bill Nye

On February 4, 2014, science educator and evolutionist Bill Nye debated Ham.[13] The debate was the dominant trending topic on Twitter and Facebook and it was estimated that over 3 million people watched the debate live.[14] It was reported in the mainstream media that because of the debate, interest and support for the Ark Encounter, which had been struggling for funds, returned, and AiG was able to raise enough money so construction could begin in 2014,[15] even though AiG has stated that this was not the case, as it was not reasonably possible to purchase a bond after the debate.[16]

Ark Encounter

After the completion and success of the Creation Museum, Ham and AiG started focusing on building the Ark Encounter, a life-sized replica of Noah's Ark.[8] The plans for constructing the Ark Encounter were announced by AiG, along with Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear on December 1, 2010.[8]

During the construction of the Ark Encounter, AiG sued the state of Kentucky after officials blocked AiG from receiving a sales tax tourism incentive worth up to $18 million because AiG would use the Ark Encounter to share the gospel. On January 25, 2016, Federal Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove ruled in AiG's favor, ruling that blocking the incentives from AiG was unconstitutional and violated their First Amendment protections.[17][18][19]

On July 7, 2016, the Ark Encounter was opened to the public in Williamstown, Kentucky.[20] The ark cost $100 million dollars and is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high, based off of the dimensions given in the Bible.[21] The opening date, 7/7, was intentionally chosen to coincide with Genesis 7:7. The next day, Bill Nye visited the Ark Encounter upon invitation from Ham.[22]

Beliefs

As a Christian, Ham believes that salvation is obtained through faith in Christ alone, regardless of their beliefs on creation.[3][23] Ham denies any claim that he is any type of messiah, stating that only Jesus is the Messiah.[24] He has criticized those who attach his name to his beliefs, stating "What I say really doesn’t matter. What matters is what God’s infallible, perfect Word says."[25]

Personal and Family Life

Ham is married to Mally, who trained as a bank teller. The couple has five children—four born in Australia and one in the U.S.[26]

References

  1. answersingenesis.org
  2. answersingenesis.org
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Rogers, Ben (August 8, 2016). Ken Ham: A Queenslander with all the Answers. Journey - Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  4. Ken Ham. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  5. Appeal letter from Ham for Answers in Genesis, Nov. 20, 2015
  6. Appeal letter from Ham for Answers in Genesis, Nov. 20, 2015
  7. Appeal letter from Ham for Answers in Genesis, Nov. 20, 2015
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 History. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Rothstein, Edward (May 24, 2007). Adam and Eve in the Land of the Dinosaurs. The New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  10. Lovan, Dylan (July 31, 2006). High Tech Museum Brings Creationism to Life. NBC News. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  11. "Creation Museum hits 250K visitors", November 3, 2007. Retrieved on July 22, 2013. 
  12. Kicked Out of Two Homeschool Conferences. Answers in Genesis. March 22, 2011.
  13. Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham. Answers in Genesis. February 4, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  14. Over 3 Million Tuned In Live for Historic Bill Nye and Ken Ham Evolution/Creation Debate. "'Answers in Genesis. February 5, 2014. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  15. "Creation Museum's $73m Noah's Ark park to begin construction in Kentucky", 28 February 2014. Retrieved on 13 April 2014. 
  16. Ham, Ken & Looy, Mark (August 22, 2016). Media Misinformation Continues with the Ark. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  17. Lovan, Dylan (January 25, 2016). Ark Encounter builder wins legal battle over tax incentive. WCPO.com Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  18. Caproni, Erin (January 26, 2016). Judge rules on Ark Encounter incentives. Cincinatti Business Courier. Retrieved August 5 2016.
  19. Victory for AiG/Ark Encounter in Federal Court. Answers in Genesis. January 25, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  20. Ham, Ken. Ark Encounter Opens to the Public! Answers in Genesis. July 7, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  21. Weed, Alexis (July 8, 2016). Noah's Ark Opens at Kentucky Theme Park. CNN. Retreived August 5, 2016.
  22. Ham, Ken. Bill Nye Visits the Ark Encounter. Answers in Genesis. July 8, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  23. Ham, Ken (May 15, 2008). Do All Creationists Go to Heaven?. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  24. Ham, Ken (May 18, 2016). Bill Nye Called Who “the Messiah”?. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  25. Ham, Ken (August 5, 2016). Dr. Andrew Fabich: “Quit Calling This ‘Ham’s Interpretation’”. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  26. Answers in Genesis appeal letter from Ham, Nov. 20, 2015

External links