Ready to Return: Bringing Back the Church’s Lost Generation by Ken Ham with Jeff Kinley, research by Britt Beemer
The church is in trouble in the West and this is no lie, for there has been for many years a growing secularism that is eating away at the livelihood of the historic church. Ken Ham and Jeff Kinley decry this global diminishing of the church in their new book, Ready to Return. They look at the spiritual departure from churches in Europe as a sign of both a unhealthy belief system but also a church that has weak in its proclamation and stance on the real issues of the day (9). What is the way forward for the church to regain its footing?
The authors posit that the real issue at hand is the nature of biblical authority (58). The questions to begin this discussion are: Did God really make you? and Is He really the Creator? These questions point back to the origins of humanity and the divine work in the beginning. Man was created with purpose and this comes straight from God’s design, being made in His image and reflecting his nature (65-66). The authors then try to dispel the notion of evolution by pointing out logical inconsistencies in its method and looking at the moral claims it makes. There are certain problems in the way they look at evolution here; one, they equate evolutionary origins thinking with an atheistic worldview in which morals are only decided by man (although this could be the case in some instances, it’s not a given). Secondly, they don’t really help us understand what kind of literature Genesis is, its audience and its literary genre. All of these questions need to be answered first before we can talk about a young or old earth view of the world.
Lastly, the authors regard the age of the earth issue as a central gospel issue. They make the claim that this is not a salvation issue, but they verge oh so close in saying exactly that. The main issue I have here is that they have not engaged the best bible-believing scholars who adopt an older earth position but basically state that if you take the evolutionary positions of millions of years then you undercut the biblical narrative and God’s Word. If the authors were trying to make certain older earth Christians feel guilty, they have surely done their job. My main objection to their work is that they fail to really engage the best arguments out there from an evangelical perspective.
Thanks to Master Books and Cross Focused Reviews for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.