Lie, The by Kan Ham

In 1979, after having been a public school science teacher and part-time speaker on creation during the weekends, Ken Ham retired from teaching to start a ministry that would later become what many today know as Answers in Genesis (AiG). Not even a decade after Ham began his now world famous creation ministry he published his first book in 1987, The Lie. This book encapsulates the message that lies at the heart of everything AiG stands for and teaches. This message is that God has given us a record of how He created everything in the book of Genesis and that the scientific theory of evolution as everything was an accident and all life evolved over millions and billions of years from a single cell, is a lie.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Lie and Master Books has published an
updated version. While the core of the book is the same, Ham has added new more contemporary examples with a few additional appendixes and has updated the cover of the book. Some of the diagrams in the book have been updated as they have been changed to more accurately reflect how Ham presents the creation/evolution debate (see castle diagram in Appen. 1, p. 197).

The basic content of the book is a compilation of lectures Ham was doing, and continues to do to this day, in churches and schools while teaching on creation/evolution. If you have watched any of his videos or heard seen him speak then some of the material will sound familiar. The basic thrust of the book is to call Christians back to the book of Genesis as our starting point for understanding origins rather than following the evolutionary teaching of secularism. For Christians, Genesis is to shape our worldview. If the church accepts evolution as the basis for origins then it will naturally produce a contrary worldview which it at odds with Scripture. If evolution is true, Ham points out, then we are left with a worldview that has no room for God and will naturally result in the moral and spiritual degradation of society.

Through the apologetical method of presuppositionalism, Ham does a good job of getting the heart of the issues within the creation/evolution debate. It needs to be pointed out that Ham employs a modified version of presuppositional apologetics from its more well known proponents like Cornelius VanTil, Greg Bahnsen and John Frame but this is not the place to tease this out. Presuppositionalism addresses ones starting point. For Christians it is the existence of God and his revelation to man in Scripture. To accept evolution as the explanation of human origins is to silence the voice of Scripture, and thus God, and therefore replace one set of presuppositions about life and reality for another. When it comes to the area of science and evidence ones presuppositions have a great impact on how a person interprets the data. Overall, Ham does a good job making the connection as to how accepting evolutionary thinking about origins leads to a worldview that is at odds with Scripture.

While there is much to commend Ham for in the book there were two things that stuck out to me that I had a hard time with. I only mention them because they are central to the books argument. First, I am not convinced about the hard line Ham draws between observational and historical science (see chap. 2 & 3). If one were to accept Ham’s premise that historical science can tell us nothing about the past because the evidence exists in the present, then we must throw out, possibly among other things, the whole field of archaeology which I know AiG engages in, and rightly so (see. pgs, 47, 49 & 57). Second, while I hold to the days of creation as being six 24 hour days, I do not see all of the creation day views as mutually exclusive like Ham does. While I hold to a young earth I do not hold to a young universe and I do accept part of the cosmic temple view as popularized by John Walton though I reject his functional ontology view of creation.

Those differences aside, The Lie is the go to book for the heart of AiG’s message. Readers will come face to face with the obvious differences between the worldview of Scripture and secularism/evolution. Ham is passionate about the truth and about Christians knowing the truth. Ham employs ample Scriptural support for Christians to consider and come to grips with. This is Ham’s clarion call for Christians to wake from their slumber of ignorance about the origins debate and arm themselves with understanding and truth about the issues at stake.

NOTE: I received this book for free from Master Books in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.