In that same post, I invited Ken Ham, or any representative of his organization, to an open dialogue on evolution, creation, the gospel and the proper interpretation of Genesis. Shortly thereafter, I sent a brief message along very similar lines through Answers in Genesis’ feedback form, which is the only forum for interaction on the group’s otherwise comment-disabled website.
In my message, I also expressed interest in discussing whether it is fair for Ham and other AiG writers to regularly describe other Christians who disagree with them, like myself, as “compromisers,” who don’t accept “the authority of God’s word.”
On Oct. 16, more than three weeks after I sent my inquiry, I received a response from one Terry Mortenson.
Well… actually, I received a response claiming to be from Terry Mortenson, which was actually forwarded from a man named Troy Lacey (I found his bio too; he looks like a friendly chap, doesn’t he?).
Well… actually, I received a response claiming to be from Terry Mortenson and Troy Lacey, from an email account called “Correspondence Mbox,” which I seriously doubt is the real staff email address for anyone at Answers in Genesis, because, when you reply to it (as I did), you get an automatically generated response that looks like this.
But, anyway, here it is:
The text is as follows:
Tyler, I’m passing along a brief reply from Dr. Terry Mortenson
In Coming to Grips with Genesis we have already very clearly and thoroughly made our case that young-earth creation is the only correct interpretation of Genesis 1-11 and historically the orthodox Christian view until 200 years ago when most of the church blindly and foolishly swallowed the millions of years claims of deist and atheist geologists and then the evolutionary claims of Charles Darwin and his disciples. Feel free to try to refute those arguments on your blog. We will see what you have to say.
Terry Mortenson, MDiv, PhD
Ooooooooh! They’ll “see what I have to say.” Well, shucks, I never thought about refuting any of AiG’s arguments on this blog before, but here goes.
The first thing I have to say is this: “Dear Dr. Mortenson, this little mark here (,) is called a comma. It is a very useful punctuation mark, and should help make your future correspondence immensely more readable. Here is a simple guide that explains how and when to use a comma. I believe you will find it illuminating.”
The next thing I have to say is to my readers. I am, obviously, ignoring AiG’s unenforceable little disclaimer on the bottom of its email. I agreed to no such “confidentiality,” so I am, of course, not bound by it. I’m well aware that the good folks over at Answers in Genesis believe that they alone serve as the mouthpiece for God, and therefore, anyone and everyone should instantly fall in line with whatever they assert to be true.
However, unfortunately for them, that’s not the way it works. The laws of the United States do not permit the senders of electronic communications to preemptively and unilaterally muzzle their recipients simply because they believe they should be entitled to do so. Last time I checked, my freedom of speech was still protected under the U.S. Constitution (Dr. Mortenson, here’s a primer on the First Amendment by your friends at the ACLU).
The final thing I have to say was my actual response to Mortenson/Lacey/Correspondence Mbox Robot, which follows:
Dear Mr. Lacey,
Thanks for the forward. I would appreciate it if you inform Dr. Mortenson that, while I appreciate the pitch for his book, I remain primarily interested in discussing whether his, his organization’s and Ken Ham’s routine descriptions of Christians like myself as “compromisers” is remotely fair or biblically defensible. Unless “Coming to Grips with Genesis” contains a detailed and biblically based explanation of why it is perfectly appropriate for ministers of God’s word to habitually attack and belittle other Christians who hold differing views on non-essential matters of doctrine, then my offer stands.
Well, now you’re caught up on our correspondence. I think it pretty much speaks for itself, but if you have any questions or comments, feel free to chime in below.