is this the beginning of the homeschool convention wars?

Over the past couple of weeks, the Rob Bell controversy has been written about all over the internet with both sides taking strong positions even before his new book was released. Few who have followed his ministry should have been surprised at his views and even fewer should be surprised now at where Christians of all stripes are lining up in their support or condemnation of him. Just about everyone’s orthodoxy is being measured by their perspective on Rob Bell.*

I am now wondering if this will also be the case among homeschoolers in the controversy that has erupted over the last few days surrounding Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum and Brennan Dean, the mastermind behind the wildly popular Great Homeschool Conventions that are taking the country by storm.

Anyone who has been paying attention to the civil war going on within the homeschooling world over the past decade should not be shocked at what happened earlier this week and there should be few surprises when it comes to speculating who will support the two sides of this issue. Indeed, it is pretty predictable to see who is already weighing in and where.

In case you think this is as simple as a debate on evolution vs creationism, let me try to explain why it is not; this is about far more than whether or not someone believes in a literal 6-day creation or an old earth perspective. It is also not about the authority of Scripture and who actually holds to that and who doesn’t; both young and old earth proponents believe they can make a case for their views without compromise. It isn’t even about Ken Ham or the Great Homeschool Conventions. It is, however, about the power struggle that has been brewing for years between tightly controlled state homeschooling organizations and those who see a need for a more diverse group of speakers than the usual rotation that is repeated at conventions around the country year after year.

Most of the long standing state groups are closely associated with Home School Legal Defense and Vision Forum, both organizations committed to practicing their brand of dominion theology and using the homeschooling community via their conventions to accomplish their goals, political and otherwise. Through their ever-narrowing standards of orthodoxy, they have managed to alienate the vast majority of homeschooling families, including most Christian homeschoolers. They have been quite open about their agenda, both by identifying their priorities at their 2009 Homeschool Leadership Summit** and by readily acknowledging that they “must take back” homeschooling from those who disagree with them. They began this several years ago when Kevin Swanson’s Colorado Christian Home Educators kicked John Holzmann’s Sonlight curriculum out of their convention because it “wasn’t quite Christian enough” for them, Swanson later vowing to accomplish all over the country what he and CHEC had accomplished in their state.

Now there is a daily increase of whining from inside these ranks because, heaven forbid, other homeschoolers won’t comply with their agenda and, horror of horrors, someone, (ie those they are now calling “for-profit conventions”) other than vendors who are in lockstep with them can actually be given a venue for making money in the homeschool market. Oh the irony…

But that isn’t where the hypocrisy ends….there is still the question of whether or not it is OK to publicly call out someone you think is teaching doctrinal error and, in this case, warning parents about the content of textbooks. I absolutely think that Ken Ham has the right to do this and I believe that right can be supported biblically, including the naming of names. It is not always uncharitable or unchristian to do so. It isn’t even always wrong to question someone’s salvation or even their integrity when doing so, as GHC wrongly believes as shown in their statement regarding Ham and AiG. (I am not saying anyone did this or that those things apply in this situation, only that there could be times when it would be appropriate. The first example that comes to mind is Jesus telling the Pharisees what He thought of them, as religious leaders, adding to the requirements for Gospel faith.)

However, Ham must recognize that he may have to pay the consequences for speaking out, especially if done in someone else’s arena; this didn’t just happen on his blog in his own space of the internet. He was invited to come into Great Homeschool Convention’s home to present his views and as such needed to behave like a guest. I think he forfeited his right to do so at future conventions by dissing both the conventions and the other speakers who shared GHC’s invitation.

Ken Ham isn’t the first to follow through on their personal convictions in this way. There is always plenty of anti-something going on within this branch of the homeschooler speaker circuit; others before Ham have just been more creative and less transparent as they condemned others. For example, Doug Phillips refers to women bloggers who don’t agree with his brand of men/women relationships as “Titus 2 lesbian bloggers” and Stacy McDonald loves to hurl her “white-washed feminists” moniker the direction of any Christian women who aren’t drinking her particular cup of womanly tea. You can be sure both will readily name names and imply heathenism if the situation presents itself.

You need a play card to navigate the hypocrisy of it all; several people who have jumped to Ham’s defense for speaking out are also quick to censor others. Right after the Ken Ham announcement, a friend dropped me a note to tell me she had posted links to the podcasts about the 2009 Leadership Summit** in a FB discussion about the validity of “for profit” conventions on the page of a well-known HS vendor. It was removed and she was admonished that she was not allowed to post any links to my blog. So much for fair and open discussion; again, it is all about the control of information.You even see some of the same people who are condemning Ham’s behavior openly denouncing Rob Bell themselves! Does that make any sense? I guess it all depends on your own personal agenda and the “heretics” who are in your way.

Sadly, rather than cleaning up some of the Ham messes from the past two Great Homeschool Conventions, it looks like the upcoming Cincinnati convention may be the site of some real ugliness. Some people are planning to disrupt the event by wearing pro-Ham t-shirts and it appears this morning that Doug Phillips, who is also scheduled to speak at that conference, is beginning to rally the troops. Ham has become a martyr and, by default, the hand of state convention people around the country has now been strengthened. Part of me wonders if this wasn’t part of the plan all along. Any thoughts?

*In case anyone who is dropping in here and doesn’t know where I stand on the authority of Scripture, let me assuage your concerns: I believe that Scripture teaches a literal hell where those who leave this world apart from a saving faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation will spend eternity. I also hold to a literal 6-day, young earth view of creation.

**2009 Homeschool Leadership Summit podcasts: The August 15 and 21st podcasts feature my review of the 2009 Leadership Summit agenda. Copies of the actual recordings can be purchased here.

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  1. Jack Brooks says

    One big problem here is that Enns (the speaker that Ham is upset about) isn’t just a non-young-earther, but denies Biblical inspiration altogether. He’s a liberal who was removed from the faculty at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philly) for his various deviations from basic Christian orthodoxy. Ham’s rigidity on the young earth issue clouds up this important bit of information.

  2. Phil Newton says

    Gosh, I hope it’s not the beginning of homeschool wars. In the words of Ben Franklin, “we must all hang together or we will hang separately.” While the context is not the same as that of the patriots who founded this country, we homeschoolers in America are beginning to see persecution. Let’s all “hang together” people. There is strength in numbers. Those of us who profess Christ should major in the majors and minor in the minors when it comes to those areas of agreement and disagreement with our brothers and sisters.

    My $.02

    Yours in Christ,

    Phil Newton

  3. says

    Phil, I heartily agree! We are under attack, especially in Illinois right now!!!

    My concern for a long time has been, though, that the noose of “orthodoxy” has been tightening in many of the state homeschooling groups. For example, I know of one former speaker who was ousted from a homeschool speaker’s bureau for sending her daughter to college, thus making her no long acceptable. There is a very small group of individuals who believe these things and when homeschooling families attend workshops and that is what they hear, they become frustrated and discouraged. Every year when the conferences start, I get weekly e-mails from families who attended and heard all the evils of Sunday School from speakers like Voddie Baucham and Ken Ham. Some of them are pastors who are greatly offended. Yet, the 2009 Leadership Summit listed getting all homeschooling families out of traditional churches and having all daughters stay home and not go to college as part of their agendas! Does that help?

  4. Jack Brooks says

    Here is the quote from a Reformed chat site I frequent. I’m leaving the author’s name off, but you can tell from what he says that the reader will need to do a little digging to get the background verifications. I trust this fellow’s reliability when he states stuff like this, because he’s been accurate over the years:

    I hadn’t heard about the homeschool convention problem, so I started doing some Googling on it. It looks like some of the problem might be Ken Ham’s squawking because he doesn’t like to be disagreed with, but with at least one of the conventions, the problem was that they were also hosting Peter Enns. If it were me, I would not appear on a panel with Peter Enns either, at least not without telling everyone what I thought of his theology.

    Enns was pushed out at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia a couple of years ago because they concluded that he’d departed from inerrancy. He has sense vindicated their concerns by joining the BioLogos Forum, which is peddling all manor of “evangelical” attacks on the Bible, including a robust advocacy of theistic evolution. In a blog post there, Enns comes very close to saying that we need to reject the Bible in favor of scientific evidence.

    So if Enns was the problem, I’m not sure Ham was wrong.

  5. Julie says

    What a ridiculous waste of time. Anyone with any discernment whatsoever will evaluate homeschool convention speakers themselves.

    I’ve got piles of laundry and dishes and phonics to teach and books to read and math lessons to teach. I don’t even go to our state convention’s meetings. (I live in Colorado. Would you go?)

  6. Anonymous says

    I’m sick to my stomach about this entire situation. I still don’t know exactly where I stand, but here are some things to note . . .

    1. This *truly* is not just a young earth/old earth debate. From what I’ve gathered, Peter Enns is connected to BioLogos and undermines some key components of the Christian faith. You can watch this video of Enns’ teaching:

    You can also learn more about BioLogos here:

    Here’s my short list of what I’ve gathered that Enns believes:
    ~The Adam & Eve story is a metaphor (they were NOT the first man/woman)
    ~A global flood never happened
    ~Paul was confused/wrong in his references to Adam in the NT . . . scripture is not without error
    ~Children can’t understand the concepts of grace or sin, so don’t teach them about those things:

    Dr. Enns is Senior Fellow of Biblical Studies for The BioLogos Foundation, which views Christ and scripture as follows: “If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time, there is no reason at all to suppose that Moses, Paul, John wrote Scripture without error. Rather, we are wise to assume that the biblical authors expressed themselves as human beings writing from the perspectives of their own finite, broken horizons.”

    2. The convention organizers KNEW Ham would call Enns out on these things

    Mark Looy, had a very frank but cordial discussion with Mr. Dean about this BioLogos/Dr. Enns matter in November. Mark took notes during the phone conversation; here are excerpts from his summary:
    Since I know Brennan a little, I called him a few weeks ago and told him our deep concerns about BioLogos [being at the convention]—but informed him we will not be pulling out. He told me that many h.s. conventions are becoming “less Christian”—that they will have vendors there to cater to the secular and even Jewish families that are becoming good-size segments within the h.s. movement . . . . Brennan made it sound as if he might avoid BioLogos in 2012 and beyond, but he did not promise that. I told him that Ken would still mention compromise in the church, and might bring up BioLogos by name in his keynotes, and Brennan replied: “I would expect nothing else from AiG.”

  7. Jack Brooks says

    These guys should decide if they are a Christian home school convention, or a home school convention.

  8. says


    I think Brannon Howse explains how the Marxist/Socialist leaders in our government and ruling elite operate under the philosophy of first creating a crisis, then implementing their steps to ‘solve’ it. All to the detriment of personal liberties, of course. This is what is done to control the masses.

    Though the homeschool convention wars may not correspond exactly, in some sort of odd way, this is what came to my mind as I read about this! Yikes.


  9. says

    I tend to stay away from the home schooling conventions and any Christian literature these days for the very reason of this debate. Many in our ranks seem to think their “brand” of Christianity is the best; conflict ensues.

    However, if Mr. Enns is in error (my biggest question: According to 2 John he is antichrist if, and only if, he denies Jesus came in the flesh and is the Savior) then the caution is warranted.

    I agree that this should not be labeled a “Christian” Home School Convention if there are curriculums which make the Bible questionable or the basic Salvation message so. (as some are saying in this discussion is actually happening). Perhaps Mr. Hamm would not have been as forceful in what he said if Mr. Enns and others would acknowledge their decided turn against the inerrancy of the Bible. That is a major Christian cornerstone, and it ought not be wandered away from. However, seeing as how there are quite a few freemasons calling themselves Christians in this day and age and sitting in our pews, this other honestly pales in comparison. But I understand the conviction which led Mr. Hamm to speak as he has done.

    The loudest sound which Mr. Enns and others will hear will come from the mighty dollar. Perhaps, Christian homeschoolers, it is time to boycott our own territory until those selling to us either own up to their actual belief systems or leave the “Christian” off of what they are selling. This, in my view, is false advertisement anyway. There is no way they will, though, unless honest Christians like Mr. Hamm sound the warning. It is much better to bill yourself a Christian, you see, because Christians are so good at spending money.

    I stick to mainstream curriculums that I know are solidly Biblical because I have not the stamina to read every single course lesson across 7 children whom I teach. I have boycotted the home schooling movement. Goodness, quite honestly I’ve boycotted the entire Christian community until we all come to understand what it is to be “likeminded”. It has nothing to do with home schooling or not, dress standards, old earth/new earth, predestination/armenianism, or any other such issue. If we understood the suffering happening across this world as well as the suffering Jesus Christ endured for us to have the privilege of calling ourselves “Christian”, the rest of this simply would not matter at all.

    But it does. And that is sad indeed. May God forgive us and help us get bravely over ourselves.


  10. Grace says

    This is why I don’t go to homeschool conventions. What is the most disturbing for me is this part of the homeschool movement’s rabid promotion of corporal punishment. Not only the promotion, but the horrible idea that if you don’t do it, your kids won’t be saved.

    Here’s a (grace-filled) alternative:

  11. says

    I hadn’t heard about the Rob Bell thing other than a YouTube interview clip David sent to me which led me to read the Amazon reviews of his new book. I’ve already written about Bell and his Velvet Jesus a few years back on my blog so nothing surprises me there.

    I confess that as a newer homeschool mom (but one who has followed the homeschool community for the past ten years), I have zero interest in attending a convention no matter who is headlining it. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss and that’s where I’m choosing to live right now.

    It’s all really quite sad.

  12. Trudy says

    I am in agreement with Cara and Grace. I do not attend home school conventions either. My kids are enrolled in Abeka Academy, we purchase all our curriculum from them, and both my husband and I are educators. With all of this craziness going on in the home schooling community, I do not need “experts” to tell me how to raise my children, what “curriculum” is suitable for my needs, or what my “role” is in the home. I am perfectly aware of my Biblical role in the home, and I tend to educate myself by reading the Bible for myself and relying on excellent teachers of the Word–John MacArthur, David Jeremiah, and James MacDonald to name a few.

    I believe that men are to lead the home, women are to support their husbands and guide their children’s spiritual growth and development, and to be agents of grace and mercy to those who enter her home.

    I believe in literal interpretation of Scripture, and that there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. I believe that the only way to heaven is through the precious blood of Jesus Christ and His atonement for my sins.

    I don’t hold to either young earth or old earth creation. God created it. It exists because of his miraculous, powerful hand. That is all I need to know. However, my children are educated in all aspects of creation vs. evolution and young earth vs. old earth, because you cannot adequately defend or refute something for which you have no background knowledge.

    These homeschool conventions seem to have a theme, and they seem to want everyone to follow their format. I’m not into man-made formats. I want to go where God leads me, do what God has called me to do, and stay where God commands me to stay–that would be in His perfect will.

  13. says

    I think that a Christian home-schoolers convention ought to avoid trying to exploit the system in order to push a splinter agenda. Shouldn’t this be a Chjristian home-school movement? Not a “Christians who regard their daughters as property & won’t let them go to college & who fear Facebook & who advocate spanking babies” home school movement? The latter approach is sinful because it’s schismatic.

  14. Elizabeth says

    I have been planning on attending the Cincy convention. I do not go to hear debates on young earth/creation/evolution/etc but to obtain information that will help me to educate my children. This year my focus is on learning how to do transcripts and prepare for teaching high school. There are also a few different books I want to look at and find it easy to do that all in one place. I am very saddened to learn that my learning experience might be disrupted over these disputes. I wonder if it is even worth my time in attending. Any wisdom?

  15. says

    All of the divisions among homeschoolers sicken me Karen as you know. I am really sad that this latest conflict has allowed Doug Phillips and his ilk to “rally the troops” but I must agree with Ken Ham here. I read all that Ken Ham said in regards to this convention in general and Mr. Enns in particular and I believe Ken was right. Mr. Enns does not believe that Scripture is the inspired Word of God. Were I a speaker at this conference at the very least I would feel compelled to speak out as did Mr. Ham. There is a very definite line drawn in the sand between those who believe in inerrancy of Scripture and those who do not. If the Bible is not the Word of God then we are truly free to add or subtract to it as we see fit and as a result come up with our own religion. This is VERY dangerous and therefore warrants the actions that Mr. Ham took and I applaud him for having the courage to do so.

    That said I regret the fact that this will give the patriocentric crowd ground to begin to scream the sky is falling and have homeschoolers running for their skirts, their family-integrated churches while pulling daughters out of college left and right and bearing children until their wives are barely able to stand. It almost makes me glad that my homeschooling years are quickly coming to a close.

  16. Adam says


    I am a Hebrew major, and I can honestly say that I don’t particularly care for Peter Enns’ views. While he claims to hold to inerrancy, there are times when it is really in terminology only. The big issue with him came to light with his book Inspiration and Incarnation, Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. Dr. Bruce Waltke, who is not a young earther, and who, in fact, initially endorsed the book, later wrote a review for the Westminster Theological Journal in which he said that, on second thought, he had some real concerns about Enns’ position:

    Hence, I would have some real concerns about Enns writing a home schooling curriculum. However, I think the old earth/young earth issue clouds the debate. For the record, I am young earth, and I do have concerns about the old earth position. That being said, there are far more pressing concerns with Enns than his view on the age of the earth.

    God Bless,

  17. says

    So glad you all have added your concerns about Enns. I had never heard of him prior to this situation. Jack, I think you made a really good observation in that if the Great Homeschool Conventions want to maintain a large and diverse group of participants, including those outside the orthodox Christian faith (they mentioned welcoming Jewish homeschoolers) then they need to not claim that it is a Christian homechooling convention. Otherwise, they might need to have every vendor sign a statement of faith.

    Taunya, I, too, think it would be hard for me to not speak out against a speaker whose views I believe are harmful to others! I don’t know if I could keep silent about Doug Phillips, for example. 🙂 This is why I think it was a blunder for The GHC to invite those people they know draw a small circle of orthodoxy if they were knowingly having speakers like Enns. I still feel like there is more to this story…

  18. says

    Adam, that link was really helpful, btw. I skimmed over some of it but can’t give it full attention right now. Thanks for adding your research to the discussion.

  19. says

    Just wanted to add that for years we loved attending homeschooling conventions., many times just for the fellowship with those we rarely saw. My favorite workshops were ones meant to inspire moms and Clay always liked the science ones. In more recent years, I would say really since the 1999 conferences where so many people used that forum to promote their Y2K products and fears,there has been a marked change in them. So many whacky ideas are given an open forum! And, of course, you can buy any of the products online, usually for much less than you pay at conferences.

    Here is an interesting article that quotes Michael Farris and his concerns about what he is calling “for profit” conventions. Obviously the state groups, who have long catered to the patriocentrists, are feeling the heat. I think the homeschooling community does need an option to the state conventions, especially for those who are isolated and could use some encouragement, so I hope this all gets resolved.

  20. Carmen Ledford says

    Michael Farris is correct about hurting the state organizations and should be considered. But he also has another reason to not like them. Homeschool Legal Advantage which is competition for HSLDA is attending the “for profit” conventions. HLA is also conducting very interesting workshops about Parent Rights Amendment and the dangerous of it. If you don’t know that is Michael Farris baby. Also all the conventions are for profit in they make a profit and I don’t think making a profit is evil. The state run ones use the profit to run their organizations all year that support homeschoolers and that is a great thing. I don’t know what they others use their profit for but it may also be for good cause. It is just different.

    I am not Hamite and have not taken sides on this issue. I think there may be blame to go around. The reason I went to the conference in Greenville and would go again was they had lots of speakers and ones that I had never heard. The biggest think that I wonder about now is have who have the other conventions been protecting me from.

  21. Betty says

    I stand by Ken Ham on this. I have read everything that has been published and he is right on on this one. I for one and thankful he stood up. Have you listened to the audio tapes stating EXACTLY what he said? I am wondering if you should not have researched more of the facts before publishing this blog….it is your opinion of course but it could be very misleading to not post all the facts.

  22. says

    The bigger issue is the definitive struggle for power (not truth). As you watch the posturing and rallying, you begin to smell the stench of politics. I almost expect to see a symbolic walkout or some other nonsense when we go to the convention.

    I didn’t choose to homeschool my children because of my political views or my theological position on creationism. I chose to do so because I felt their education in public schools would be compromised due to politics and other power-related garbage. It seems that the only way to avoid that is through isolation. Such a shame.

  23. says

    Susie,you are spot on in your comments. I have long thought that deciding something is a crisis is a great way to garner support for your views. And to sell you something.

  24. says

    Betty, as I hoped to communicate in the original blog entry, I think this issue is not really about Mr. ham’s views (or Mr. Enns)or about the methods of the Great Homeschool Conventions. I have seen numerous articles and FB conversations over the last week (like the one I linked to above) that are examining the validity of any homeschooling conferences other than the one sponsored by state groups. That is at the crux of the issue, as Matt pointed out. It is all about power and control and who is going to get the homescooler dollars. So sad.

  25. says

    Betty, I also hope you saw the end of that piece where I talk about being a 6-day creationist. Our family has long enjoyed things from AiG and have heard Ken Ham speak several times. I would attend a conference with him again. But I think he should have anticipated the fall-out that has occurred and should have used his own blog to write his critique of Mr. Enns. I also think Great Homeschool Conventions should have anticipated the controversy involving having people with such strong opposing convictions be in the same place!

    I also wish they would reconsider and not invite Vision Forum. They are allowing their racist views to peek out in their rhetoric more and more all the time, most recently using the word “negro” in talking about African Americans In Jamestown.

  26. says

    Wow, I missed all the controversy. Are there any links to what happened, and not just people’s opinions on what happened?

    Also, to the person above who said we need to stand united as homeschoolers, tell that to the conservative patrios. THEY are the ones who want all the power in the homeschooling world, and THEY are the ones who refuse to live and let live. Those of us labeled “liberal”, like myself, are more then happy to let them use whatever curriculum they want and to fight for our right to educate our children right along side them. But they are the ones who do not want to stand with us, and instead call us names, are dishonest with legal information, and don’t want anyone who disagrees with them to have a voice in the homeschooling world. They make the rest of the homeschoolers in America who do not agree with their agenda their enemies (watch the Vision Forum Video “Homeschool Dropouts” for an eye-opener sometime).

  27. Regena says

    I do not believe this is truly about upholding Biblical teachings. I think it is about money.

    If people do not think that Peter Enns offers a good/sound product, then they need not buy it or use it with their children. No one is foisting his product upon them and forcing them to use it.

    Only adults are shopping the convention. If they buy a product, take it home and look it over, then decide it is not for them, they can certainly complain to the seller and/or request a refund of their money. Adults really do not need others to run interference for them about what products may or may not be offered to their children.

    If we’re going to take up arms against “bad” books, then please let’s all band together and attack the textbook industry in our country.

    I sincerely hope that anyone attending convention who does not act in an adult manner, and in love as a fellow Christian, is removed and banned. I want/need a place where I can shop in peace for educational products. I am not shopping for a world view.

    No product offered or speaker proferred is going to change my world view and I don’t need watch dogs to protect me, thanks just the same….

  28. Jeff says

    I have been asking the same question about links to what actually happened, especially since there are pretty severe accusations against Ken Ham (for example that he questionned Peter Enns’ salvation). You would think that audio excerpts of his talk in South Carolina would be made available as evidence. Also, Mr. Ham claims that the HSC people did not contact him prior to uninviting him. If this is true, they were not following Biblical principles in addressing such concerns.
    We are Biblically conservative in our approach to homeshooling (and life). In being conservative, though, I am attempting to avoid jumping to conclusions in either direction with this issue. I would definitely prefer to have more unbiased information instead of the “he said, she said” that I have been able to find so far.

  29. Amy says

    This is why in the twelve years we’ve homeschooled we’ve never attended a homeschooling convention. Too many of these ‘Christian’ organizations merely wish to control the homeschooling community with their method of education and religious interpretation. They paint their world with a broad, one-color brush and expect us to fall in line with them or be condemned.

    Well, 24 years and four children later, (well, actually, pretty early on!), I’ve learned that each of my children is a unique individual requiring different modes of discipline and education, and so I rely on the One and His Word, Who blessed me with each of my beautiful children, to guide me in my choices of method and curriculum–some secular, most Christian. What we don’t agree with gets discussed–how else do our children learn to not be ‘tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine’? Each year might even be a little different, too, as we discover what worked and what didn’t. I don’t want cookie-cutter children: I want my children to honestly seek the Lord in everything, and if that means they go in four different directions as they discover God’s will for their lives, so be it. I’ve done what the Lord has asked of me.

    Aren’t we all adult enough to think on our own and to make our own choices?!

  30. Ann Trudel says

    Thank you Jeff!

    I don’t believe the Conference Board sought God in their decision at all.
    Here is why He will not bless this decision:
    If the real concern was Christian, Ken Ham sinning against the Christian Home School Convention Board… with his ” Public Negative Comments”, then it should have been handled by having a private meeting with him. The Biblical way of handling “sin” against one another. If that didn’t work, take two witnesses to his “sin” and meet with him again…Instead, the Christian Home School Convention Board has made it one public lashing for another.
    Sinning back isn’t Biblical. Many blessings could have come from God’s way of addressing this “sin” like growth, fellowship, forgiveness, an witness to how Christians handle things differently than the world? The Board’s attempt to do that missed the mark completely because God was not involved.

  31. Jack Brooks says

    If Peter Enns was speaking on the same platform as I, I would refuse as well. And unless the convention organizers can demonstrate that AIG attacked someone’s salvation or intelligence, I am going to assume the accusation is faklse, and possibly a PR lie. I’m fairly familiar with Ham’s approach, and i have never read or heard him attack someone else as either stupid or unsaved. He does sharply criticize others for being what he regards as logically inconsistent, or for undermining the Christian faith.

  32. says

    Darcy, how would I get a chance to watch that video without actually purchasing it from VF or the Botkins? I would happily pay shipping costs if someone would loan it to me….

  33. Kay says

    Please tell me where you got the statement from Doug Phillips “Titus2 Lesbian Bloggers”. All that comes up on google is your articles.

  34. says

    Kay, here are the links for that Doug Phillips quote: (this is the place where you can order the 2009 Leadership Summit recordings. I believe this was from Doug’s talk on setting a vision for homeschooling.) ( this is my podcast series on the patriocentric movement that includes my review of that comment where he made those remarks)

    This last one is the link to John Holzmann’s thoughts on the conference where he also comments on that quote.
    Hope this helps!

  35. judi says

    This whole thing is making me physically ill. I read and searched for something, anything that Ken Ham wrote that did was Dr. Wile and the convention organizers accused him of and I found nothing. Although I like his stuff and have never had a problem with anything of his I’ve read, his close relationship with Doug Phillips has always made me nervous so I fully expected to find confirmation of their accusations. I found nothing. I found his blog writings criticizing not Dr. Enns as a person but his writings and his theology. That isn’t un-biblical in fact it is the opposite. We are told by Scripture to speak up when people are teaching doctrines that contradict the Gospel. That is what you do when you speak out against Vision Forum and Phillips. I am a regular on a small, private message board and I can’t even go anymore because of the people who are attacking Ham and defending Dr. Enns. The attack on Scripture by Dr. Enns is just as bad as those perpetrated by Doug Phillips and his cronies. Nothing short of the Gospel is at stake here.

  36. says

    Judi, I really appreciate your comments. I heartily agree that people need to feel the freedom to publicly disagree with public teachers. in fact, that is where I beleve it belongs! What I question is the venue for doing that and the wisdom of HOW Ken Ham chose to do so. I would, myself, not have used that convention to do so but rather would have handed out materials of my own that included links to my concerns! I am troubled by the teachings of Peter Enns but am even more concerned by the rhetoric that wants to tell parents that they aren’t able to discern things for themselves as well as some of the comments that are being made that lump anyone who does not hold to “their” list as not being Chistian. For example, many of these teachers have very narrow views of women and men and label those who disagree as not being Christian.

    I saw this am where Phillips is now suggesting that Ken Ham sue GHC for loss of income and that he is suggesting that there be some “rules of engagement ” for discussing differences. I find that very interesting because he, along with many other patriocentrists simply refuse to answer questions about their own views or teachings. I also am troubled with the idea that someone wants to make such rules….what, exactly, does that mean?

  37. judi says

    Ken Ham claims that he told the conference organizers ahead of time that criticism of Biologos and Dr. Enn’s theology would be part of his lectures at the convention. He also claims that the organizer said he would expect nothing less from Answers in Genesis and Ham. All we have is his word against theirs but if that is true then what grounds did the convention organizers have for dis-inviting Ham? I certainly hope that Ham doesn’t sue. That goes directly against the Scriptural warnings about suing a fellow believer. Big surprise that Phillips conveniently overlooks that scripture in his grandstanding. That’s probably one of the most upsetting things about this. If they had just let Ham speak and left it alone then this would have all have been forgotten and Philips and his cronies wouldn’t have been given all of this ammo. Once again those who would warp God’s Word to suit their own purposes (Phillips and Dr. Enn) are dominating the conversation.

  38. says

    I saw that Ken Ham was asked if he would go back to another GHC if asked. his reply gave me pause…says he could not speak at a convention where there would be other speakers who didn’ hold to the authority of Scripture. It makes me wonder exactly what that means to him. Where does he believe there is room to disagree? What is considered to be “orthodox” and what is not? What exactly does Doug Phillips mean when he talks about Rules of engagement?”. I go back to Doug’s manifesto outline….would “orthodox” speakers have to agree with his list? This is where it all is becoming scary to me.

    I also noticed that some AiG supporters are suggesting tha Ham and Phillips do their one seminars together. I wonder where Ham stands on patriocentricity. Anyone know?

  39. says

    Hello Karen,

    I’m so thankful to have found your blog. Several weeks ago I was alerted to the existence of the “patriarchal movement.” I had not heard of it, but a statement recently made by a friend became a bit of an “uh-oh moment” for me. I am a 20-year veteran of homeschooling, and a representative of a large homeschool curriculum company at 10-12 conventions every season. (In fact, I just returned from the GHC in Cincinnati!) Sadly, it would seem that until that moment I had buried my head in the sand regarding patriocentricity. But suddenly, as I began to look into this troubling movement, things I had observed over the years began to fall into place.

    Several days after initially beginning to look into the movement, I found myself reading and commenting on the FB page you mentioned which solicited readers’ thoughts concerning the “for profit” conventions. Someone mentioned the “patriarch movement” and I saw a comment that provided links to your podcasts. I’m so thankful I stumbled upon it before it was removed!! In fact I came back later to look for the link to tell my daughter about it and saw that the comment had been removed. Thankfully I was able to remember it and found you again.

    I’ve been listening to your podcasts on patriocentricity ever since and am so thankful for the “education” they have given me. My 24yo daughter has downloaded them and has been working her way through them as well.

    This post on the Ham/GHC controversy hits the nail right on the head. I fear that it IS the beginning of a battle that could very well divide the movement right down the middle. I know that the lines have been drawn fairly strongly in my own state and situations like this will only serve to strengthen the “sides”. It’s incredibly sad.

    Thanks again for your excellent blog. I so appreciate the humility that you display as you provide your view of the situation. Your application of scripture to these matters is so effectively done. I have passed your information on to a number of friends and have tweeted a couple of recent post. I hope to share some of this on my blog as well.

    Thanks again…

    God bless!!
    The Joyful Journey
    The Homeschool Apologist

  40. says

    Nothing significant that I observed or heard about (as a vendor.) Vendors were given a statement by Brennan Dean. There were a few folks (definitely in the minority) wearing “I stand with Ken Ham” buttons. The number of attendees was through the roof. From a vendor’s viewpoint, it was a FANTASTIC convention. Crazy traffic…great sales.

    What Brennan Dean is doing with the “Great Homeschool Conventions” seems to be resonating with a lot of homeschoolers.

  41. says

    Linda, thank you for your kind and encouraging words! So many people have watched this movement take over their local groups and didn’t have a name for what it is. A few years ago when I started seeing the toll it was taking on moms and daughters and began writing about it, the flood gates opened and I was amazed at how many people had experienced horrific pain from being associated with these teachings. I have so longed for the earlier days of homeschooling when it was about children and families and real learning rather than about fulfilling some man’s scheme or following a manmade paradigm. I am so thankful that the majority of homeschooling families do not follow these teachings and I agree that Brennan’s vision for these conventions is a terrific idea. And I am so happy that the Cincinnati convention was positive for the vendors! You all offer a great service for homeschoolers who want to put their hands on real materials.

    I wanted to add that I am sorry to see how the influence of these groups has taken over in my own state, too, by the way. There is a lot of homeschool politics going on and it grieves me to see so many succumb to it, to the detriment of the sweet, precious families.

  42. says

    Linda, I forgot to ask….could you give us the straight scoop on the Philadelphia convention being cancelled? Did that affect you, too?

  43. says

    The straight scoop that was announced to vendors and speakers in a meeting was that the Valley Forge Convention Center has cancelled their rental agreement with Great Homeschool Conventions. They are in the process of issuing refunds to vendors and attendees. It does not appear that the cancellation had anything to do with the Ham controversy. Here’s the blurb they quoted from the letter they received from the venue and posted on their website (and what they told the vendors in Cincy):

    “Pursuant to the provisions of the Contract entitled Change in Usage, the Center Owner has elected to discontinue using all or a material portion of the Center for exhibition purposes, therefore, Valley Forge is hereby exercising its option contained therein to terminate the contract.”

    By the way…it appears we’re from the same state! 🙂 Any chance you’ll be at the Peoria convention next weekend? Would love to meet you if you are!

  44. says

    @Sally: I believe the “for profit” conventions (Randy St. Denis and Kelly Ling are also running three such conventions this year) provide a broader range of homeschooling materials and options for homeschoolers. I think a lot of homeschoolers are tired of the state run organizations deciding what they can and can’t see at their conventions. I agree wholeheartedly that homeschoolers need to exercise discernment as we choose materials and listen to speakers (as Karen has so wonderfully shared in her recent posts,) but that responsibility should be the responsibility of the homeschooler, not the State Organization.

    I think THIS is what is resonating with MANY homeschoolers. They want to have the opportunity to see everything, and then make their own choices. I hope that answers your question!

  45. says

    I received this anonymous comment and wanted to share it because I completely agree!!

    “Is it possible that these divisions are actually a good thing? For so long people have wanted the truth out about patriarchy and what is being promoted. It is now becoming more and more obvious to people that there are specific agendas amongst many who have been overseeing the homeschool conferences. Could these divisions now offer a greater amount of freedom? Perhaps I’m being naive, but the truth sets people free and it sounds like from what I’ve read that the truth is going forth. Yes, it is painful and causing some people to make difficult choices. But is it possible that what is happening is actually the answer to years of prayer?”

  46. says

    Linda, what a small world! You and I will have to compare notes sometime! We are probably not going to make it to the convention this year. Will have to wait and see what my husband’s work schedule will bring. I love John Stonestreet and would really like to hear his full blown presentation. One of our sons has taken classes with him via Summit and I did a podcast interview with him a couple years ago. We are both duly impressed with the man. I am so happy that they were able to bring him in this year.

  47. says

    Hi Karen,
    Thanks for affording this balanced, open discussion. This is an interesting situation, isn’t it?

    As someone said, “Don’t waste a good crisis.” Clearly people are profiting from this situation. It ain’t Homeschool Legal Advantage, let me tell you! But we trust in God and He is amazing in His faithfulness and His provision.

    We’ll all have some more information over the next few days. Until then know that I have tremendous respect for your wisdom and experience.

    Christine Field

  48. says

    Christine, I have been wondering how all the puzzle pieces to this situation fit together so please keep us updated. I am praying for HLA. I believe your voice is so needed and appreciate you all so much!

  49. says

    These Vision Forum-connected groups are narrowing the perameters of Christian unity summarized by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:1-6, as well as falsely teaching that certain lifestyle preferences are the will of God.

    What also concerns me is that left-leaning feminist groups will successfully exploit the obvious divisiveness of the patriarchal groups. Does anyone share my opinion that one batch of errorists will try to take advantage of the Christian flock’s reaction to other errorists? We flee, “baa-ing”, from the snarling wolf on the right, only to fall into the jaws of the grinning cougar on the left.

  50. says

    Jack, as someone who has spent much of my life in the comfortable, normal middle watching the pendulum swinging above my head, first to one extreme and then the other, I agree.

  51. Concerned about division says

    I am concerned about how this is all playing out in the homeschool community. Even in our small homeschool support group alot of people are posting comments on our loop saying that they will boycott the GHC. So strong are the attacks on GHC that I will not be openly admitting to going next year (though I will) since I will not want to invite any “unfriending” that could occur. This has sadly caused a rift between me and a budding friendship with another mom in the group and me. I think she sees me as liberal – I’m not – I just see both sides and think it was unprofessional of Ken Ham to bash other speakers. He could have thrown up a red flag and directed people to his blog for more details. Imgaine what these conventions would be like if all the speakers openly bashed other speakers for their differences? I am praying for unity for our goup and for me and my friend.

  52. Also concerned says

    @ Concerned about Division – the same thing has been happening in our co-op. Unfortunately, I just found out that now some people are fearful of posting prayer requests to our group, because of the judgmental and attacking attitude of other posters. It just makes me so very sad.

  53. Jack Brooks says

    There are differences that don’t matter all that much, and there are dire differences. Enns’ ideas attack the fabric of Christianity. It takes people with Ham’s hard-edged temperament to out people like Enns, because “nice” Christians won’t do it.

  54. says

    I agree that there is room for calling out those who are false teachers. I do question the appropriateness of how and where Ham did so in this case. It really has caused a lot of people to take sides and much confusion that’s for sure. Ham is also bringing some credibility to Doug Phillips through this, unfortunately.

  55. Kay says

    Thanks for the links to the Doug Phillips statements. (Just getting back here finally). I agree that Phillips is using people to gain credibility for his own unbiblical views. I love the teachings of Ken Ham and he has been very important in my Christian walk as a scientist trained. May we humbly petition the God of mercy and truth to guide us during these times and always.

  56. says

    Jack said:

    “What also concerns me is that left-leaning feminist groups will successfully exploit the obvious divisiveness of the patriarchal groups. Does anyone share my opinion that one batch of errorists will try to take advantage of the Christian flock’s reaction to other errorists? We flee, “baa-ing”, from the snarling wolf on the right, only to fall into the jaws of the grinning cougar on the left.”

    Absolutely. I am already seeing this in too many places. This is where being honest with Scripture and not being afraid to ask questions and have good discussions in brotherly love comes in.

  57. says

    Here is the truth behind CHEC and Ken Ham. Dr. Peter Enn’s has written some fabulous stuff and the reason Ken Ham, Kevin Swanson, Doug Phillips want to silence him is because they can’t exegete Scripture to refute him. This is normal modus operandi for Tyrants. Just 2 years ago Ken Ham successfully got Sonlight kicked out of a conference. The homeschool movement has come a long ways! As a homeschool graduate, I am very encouraged to see these nut cases losing control and to see the Homeschool leadership embracing parental rights and real scholars like Dr. Peter Enns.

    If you want to know the character of those at AIG here is a great little article. They will lie to advance their agenda, plain and simple. And they want us to believe them when it comes to science?


  58. says

    Micah, thanks for reminding me of those articles. I had read them when the Sonlight controversy first was made public. I do have a question for you about something that has confused me. What is the difference between being postmillenial and being a preterist? There are many people within the Vision Forum/ Kevin Swanson branch of homeschooling who are postmillenial. R.C. Sproul Jr. ( and his dad), James and Stacy McDonald, etc. In fact, wouldn’t those who cntinually talk about taking dominion and 200 year plans, and reformation via a quiver full mentality be postmillenialists? I believe the OPC must have provision for those beliefs and wonder of Swanson holds to them, too. Can you shed an light on this?

  59. says

    I’m not Micah, but I am a Preterist, and the main difference between us and the post-mils is that we interpret certain scriptures spiritually while they interpret them physically. For instance, when we read about the influence of the Kingdom of God in the world, we see it as a spiritual Kingdom, influencing others in a spiritual manner, and “taking over the world” in a spiritual sense (though the effects of that spiritual transformation are certainly physical). All of the post-mils I’ve talked to, think they must physically “take over the world” and spread a physical Kingdom on this earth. They also (most of them) think that this has to happen BEFORE Jesus can return. Thus the Dominionist mindset. Most preterists believe that Jesus has already come and the “End Times” spoken of in the NT were talking about the end of the Old Covenant and the consumation of the New, which culminated at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (although, there is much discussion on when and what and how much between full preterists and partial preterists). Some post-mils believe this, but also think there will be a future “end time” and it all gets a little fuzzy there for me. 🙂

  60. says

    @ thatmom,

    Darcy is essentially correct. There is a big difference between full-preterism and post-mil / dominion / theonomy theology.

    This might be a bit long but permit me to try to answer your questions as succinctly as possible.

    First of all, I grew up fundamentalist, homeschooled, young earth creationist (YEC) and during my teenage years moved from a dispensational idea to a more reformed / theonomic / post-mil worldview. Before I moved to Montana a few years ago, I actually attended Swanson’s church, so some of my observations are first hand accounts. Needless to say, when I came to the defense of Sonlight (it didn’t help that my brother wrote the article I cited) I realized my days were numbered. Thankfully, my wife and I have seen the light and completely moved out of the patriarchy movement into a grace based discipline mindset. FYI, here are some radio shows I did on this very topic.

    With that being said, Darcy is essentially correct. There is a big difference between full-preterist and post-mil/ partial prets. As FP, we believe that all is fulfilled. We believe that we are living back in the presence of God. It is too long to get into it here. If you want a better explanation let me know. But there are some very interesting things that FP does.

    It destroys “dominion theology” / theonomy. David Chilton, a very well known post-mil / theonomist did a lot of work writing partial preterist stuff. When he finally realized that all was fulfilled and became a FP he knew he had to shed his theonomy / dominionism because it is based on the fact that we take dominion and finish the “war” so to speak, so Christ can come back. Basic Post-mil stuff. Unfortunately, David Chilton died at an early age.

    Greg Bahnsen argued the idea that theonomy is based on Matt. 5:17-18. The law doesn’t pass until heaven and earth pass (at the end of time). David Chilton took the preterist position that the heavens and earth Jesus was talking about was the OC world that passed in AD 70. Bahnsen said the heavens and earth is the physical creation. You can see the problems. (Interestingly enough, DeMar and many others see 2 Peter as fulfilled to but still hold on to “OT law applies”.)

    Bahnsen typically won the debate (also suffered from and early death) and most Post-mil’s / theonomist / dominionist take his position. Swanson would be in this category. (None of them have a problem with the ceremonial laws passing but I guess they don’t believe they are more than a jot or a tittle, but I digress.)

    The argument is, Heaven and Earth still exist, therefore the law has not passed. The Great Commission is not fulfilled so we must take dominion to fulfill it so Christ can come back. (Making disciples means ruling over them.)

    This is also why many partial preterist that are very close to full-preterism won’t make the logical conclusion. (Folks like Gary DeMar / American Vision) They understand that FP destroys the foundation of their theonomy / post-mil. It is also why people like Swanson fight it so much. In fact Swanson has retreated back into the A-mil camp and is distancing himself from the more optimistic post-milers like DeMar, that is, depending on what day you listen to him. When he does a radio show on Harold Camping he has Gary on. A few months ago though during a sermon he said that since the French Revolution it seems that Satan has been released to deceive the nations (end of the millennium) and that the 2nd coming could be right around the corner. So, as with anything Swanson says there is about a 5 second expiration date so he doesn’t have to worry about contradicting himself. Anyway, I digress.

    Vision Forum was never really in the partial preterist camp. There is a fairly large rift between American Vision and Vision Forum. VF doesn’t deal with eschatology because they know most of their constituency is fundamentalist/dispensationalist. AV, has more of a Reformed constituency so they can afford to deal with eschatology that is not as popular without fear of losing financial support. (Quite honestly, I don’t think VF has anyone capable of doing the actual exegesis necessary to deal with eschatology, that would require them to think and that is something that is discouraged at an early age.) (Don’t get me wrong VF is somewhat reformed but their constituency is mostly not in the traditional sense of the word.)

    The OPC is basically Reformed so they would fall into the A-mil or Post-mill camp. Swanson doesn’t care a wit about what the OPC believes. He doesn’t feel he needs to submit to the authorities above him, just as long as everyone “below” him is submitting. Funny how that works. I can give you sermon audio where he clearly and publicly goes against the Westminster Confession and the teaching of the OPC. Baptism is just one example.

    Full-preterism sees the death of Adam as Fellowhsip death, not biological death. (It happened when they ate, not 900 years later and Christ was the first to rise from the death of Adam, not biological death. Acts 26:23) You can easily see how this is a threat to YEC. If bio-death is not our problem then the flood doesn’t have to be global. If bio-death is not a result of sin then an old earth becomes no problem for Christians to believe in.

    You can connect the dots when it comes to the homeschool movement. People like Peter Enn’s (not a preterist) and John Walton (not a preterist) are opening up people’s minds to a non-concordance view of Genesis. (Genesis doesn’t line up with any science (old or young earth) because it is not about the material creation. It doesn’t concord with modern science.) This view, which is older than YEC, is again gaining tremendous ground among Christian circles. The overwhelming evidence for an old earth is making people reconsider their interpretation of Genesis, just like the clear time statements from Jesus and his Apostles are making people re-consider their idea of the “nature” of the 2nd coming.

    So here is the cycle. Full-preterism destroys theonomy/post-mil, even though many post-millers are partial preterist, so they fight it while using the same hermeneutic. It also destroys the foundation for YEC. (bio-death as the curse) If people accept FP, it is only a matter of time before they realize the ending was covenantal and so was the beginning. From the other direction, people like John Walton and Peter Enn’s are getting people to question their scientific / literal interpretation of Genesis. Once they do this, they eventually start to question the literal (dispensational) interpretation of Revelation.

    So, the two most popular “fundamentalist” beliefs (Dispensational Eschatology and Young Earth Creationism) which the VAST majority of American Christians hold to are under severe attack by a much better and more consistent hermeneutic. Most Patriarchy people are very fundamentalist (even if they are reformed and not dispensational). Thankfully, history shows that truth wins out in these battles! I am optimistic. I think you will see more an more acceptance of FP and people like Enns and Walton within the HS movement.

    Check out the latest edition of the AIG newsletter. Ken Ham was very clear at who he was attacking. “Cosmic Temple” is John Walton. “Adam as Israel” is Pete Enn’s. FP haven’t made his public radar but privately we are on his hit list. I personally know of people that were fired from AIG because they held a FP position. It is no wonder why AV has cut ties with AIG. AIG knows that Gary, even though still just a partial preterist, is creating a lot of FP. Dispensational Eschatology is essential to YEC. The funny thing is that the Reformed world wonders why they don’t make any inroads into dispy eschatology when they agree with their fundamental hermeneutic in Gen 1. If you tell people Gen. 1 is literal / scientific history you can’t try to argue that Revelation and the heavens and earth 2 Peter talks about is “covenantal”. People see the inconsistency. This is another reason why VF doesn’t deal with eschatology. They are in bed with AIG.

    FP also completely destroys the Patriarchy movement. There is no male or female in the New Heavens and earth (new covenant). How many time have you heard the Patriarchy crowd yell out Malachi 4:5 as the reason they need to adopt Patriarchy? But if Malachi 4 is completely fulfilled and God did turn the hearts of the children to their Fathers then that means the Family is not the weapon for “God’s Victory”. The Victory has been won and the war has been over for 2000 years! (And how can we scare our kids into submission if we aren’t at war?) The difficult passages in the NT about women in church take on new light when we understand the context and events surrounding the specific and original audiences they were written to.

    Don’t get me wrong there are broad applications we can draw, but they are far from the narrow applications the patriarchy guys are preaching. The Bible was written FOR us BUT it was NOT written TO us. If we want to understand how it applies to us today we must first understand it from the perspective of the people it was written to (and the surrounding events of transition from the Old Cov. to the New that was being accomplished in the 1st century).

    Full-preterist are typically independent thinkers and for a very good reason. Many of us were homeschooled back before these crazies tried to take over the movement. FP tend to homeschool and tend to be very libertarian politically. That really gets at the theonoimist because we will defend the liberty of everyone, not just the chosen few! Theonomist are basically statist. All statists hate libertarians. (Another irony, I know, but the tyranny they want to project politically but can’t because of lack of power is clearly evident in their “churches” and their families.)

    Yes there is a war going on in the HS movement. We are in the beginning stages. The lines are being drawn and people are choosing sides. That is why it is extremely important to choose wisely, like the leaders of the GHC did. They chose liberty and parental choice, the foundation for the HS movement (and a very Biblical conception) over tyranny, indoctrination, and slavery, the foundation for centralized government run school system. Ironically, those who voice the loudest disagreement towards the government education scam are trying to implement the very same tactics in the HS movement. Crazy, I know, but who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor!

    I would be willing to bet that Ken Ham, Swanson, Phillips, Sproul Jr. and others only get louder against those like Peter Enn’s and John Walton. Just like in their families, when they think they are losing control, they will try to tighten their grip, thus losing more and more support and falling further and further into the bondage of their own prison. Over the next decade, FP will inevitably gain more popularity amongst the HS movement and the public attacks will come against those speakers as well. By then though the battle will be lost, or won, depending on how you look at it. 🙂

    There is a great book that explores these very issues. It is called “Beyond Creation Science”. My brother Tim is one of the co-authors. I have a few copies laying around, I would be happy to send both of you a copy free of charge if you are interested in reading it. It deals with the history of the modern YEC movement and the connections between futurist eschatology and YEC. It also explores the answer FP brings to the table. I’m a bit biased because Tim is my brother but I think it is a great read. Let me know and I can mail you a copy. If anything it will shed some light on a whole lot of topics relating to the HS movement.

    My email is

    I hope all of this makes sense and is helpful. I hope it doesn’t come across as conceited. I wrote it in a hurry because I need to head out the door for work. Please feel free to ask any more questions. I promise I will make my answers shorter next time!

    Micah Martin

  61. says

    Micah, some random thoughts in no particular order:

    I have been a preterist for about 10 years. I have always believed in Young Earth theology. My dad (also a preterist) just a few days ago sent me the link to the website you posted above. Since I’ve been questioning the YE stuff, I’m starting to dig into that site. Funny you should mention it. 🙂 I am very interested in reading that book, too.

    Gary Demar’s books were the starting point for my family’s journey into preterism.

    One of the biggest reasons I am against theocratic gov’t (like VF wants) is because of my preterist beliefs. And, yes, I am libertarian. 🙂 And, yes, I get tons of flak for both positions.

    I know many preterists who believe in the literal physical interpretation of Genesis and am uncertain as to why this is completely inconsistent?

    I live in Montana! I don’t suppose you know of any other homeschoolers in the Bozeman area who are not patrios or ultra-conservative? I’m feelin’ a little disconnected around here. 😛

    Thank you for your thoughts. Makes me want to dig deeper into the website my dad sent and the idea of covenant creation.


  62. says


    Wow! What a small world. My brother, who wrote the book lives in near Whitehall. There are quite a few preterist in the Bozeman area and Whitehall Community church is totally a preteris (and very libertarian) church. I am amazed that you haven’t heard about them, if you haven’t. They all homeschool too and have a great working homeschool group.

    Many FP had the basic YEC view before they came into preterism. Most haven’t worked out the logic. The interesting thing is that when some do, they leave FP because they are more beholden to their YEC or philosophy. Sam Frost is the biggest name that is in that boat. The Cov. Creationist predicted some would leave FP when they figured out that it destroyed the YEC framework. Low and behold, there have been a few that did. But for the most part they all move into the CC camp if they actually study the topic.

    Send me an email and we can talk further. I will get you a copy of “Beyond Creation Science” and introduce you to some preterist I know of in the Bozeman / Whitehall area.

    I know it is a bit of a drive but Whitehall Community church is doing a big party this Sunday after church. Grilling hot dogs and the such. They are doing a “Harold Camping Roast”! Should be a lot of fun. I don’t know if I can make it down there but it would be a great time to check out their church.

    The churches website is

    In the meantime, please feel free to email me at my personal email, My wife and I were just laughing at how out of the blue this all is.


  63. says

    WOW, Micah and Darcy, thanks so much for putting yet another light on these things. Micah, I had read the Sonlight info you linked to regarding Holzmann when you first wrote about it and going back and rereading sure makes me take another look at what all has been going on. We have been exposed to lots of partial-preterism through the years and one of the reasons that postmillenial thinking has had such appeal to me is that it is more consistent than dipensationalism tends to be. I am always wondering why somethings are literal and some are not and the thought process someone takes to get to their own conclusions about these things. I honestly don’t know exactly where I stand right now on the eschatological chart but would be interested in looking at the book you offered. I will e-mail you my snail mail.

    I was also intrigued by a couple other things you said.

    “Ironically, those who voice the loudest disagreement towards the government education scam are trying to implement the very same tactics in the HS movement. ”

    I agree with this. Centralized control and power are bad if it is the government but good if it is in the hands of the self-appointed homeschooling gurus?

    Also, yourthought about Kevin Swanson, authority, and his mixed up positions on things are right on. He was just in the Peoria, Il.(my neck of the woods) in April as one of the speakers at a “world view” conference in James and Stacy McDonald’s church alongside Gary DeMar. Such strange bedfellows in many ways.

  64. says

    I don’t think Gary DeMar and AV have quite figured out the ramifications of their 98% partially full-preterism. They also are stuck with the constituency that leans more partriocentric. Stuck between a rock and a hard place and they keep filling up their preterist glass. Not a good place to be when you depend on free will donations for your livelihood. But, Gary and a few other people at AV still have my respect. They allow open and honest debate on issues and they don’t seem to practice the same cult control and manipulation that other HS leaders do. They also are looking for real ways to be relevant. Movieology is a great little program they are sponsoring that is really cool and engaging.

    I will look forward to sending you the book. Thanks for fighting this fight. It is well worth it.


  65. HoppyTheToad says


    Thanks for all the info. Researching more about the local flood theory and old earth creationism is on my list of things to do. I’ve read a few articles about each at various websites that make some good points. I was a YEC before but now I don’t know what to believe.

    I have spent the last 1 1/2 years questioning just about everything…discipline of children, marriage roles, women speaking in church, etc. Who knows what I will question next? I don’t, but I do know that God is faithful and that I am secure in him. While correct doctrine is something we should strive for, as Lewis pointed out so well on his blog, our salvation comes from Christ’s work, not “faith + the correct belief about such-and-such a doctrine.”

    My husband and I, and a few others we know, have often wondered about the patriarchy types we know that vote for libertarian candidates. We know at least one family that believes adulterers should be stoned again (and that we are still under the “moral” part of the OT law), but yet they love Ron Paul! They don’t seem to notice the cognitive dissonance in their choices. How can you want freedom for everyone yet also want a theocracy?

  66. HoppyTheToad says

    I also wanted to talk about Peter Enns’ first grade Bible curriculum “Telling God’s Story” recently published by a company Susan Wise Bauer owns. I’m 90% through the parents’ guide and about 20% through the curriculum itself and so far, it’s great! It doesn’t really talk about his view of Genesis (so far) or of Biblical inspiration. The focus is all about Jesus and how to make him the center of our Bible lessons with little children.

    Enns points out how easy it is to get lost in Bible stories or character studies and neglect really showing our kids what the NT teaches about Jesus. He isn’t against Bible stories…just that we can spend dozens of hours reading them and never really explaining clearly to our kids the entire point of the Bible – God’s love and sacrifice for us through the cross.

    Enns believes that we should start with Jesus and then after a few years, start to branch out more into the rest the Bible. I have already learned several things I didn’t know…it’s not just fluff for kids. Let me give an example: In the parable of the woman who lost the one coin, he explains how houses back then had dirt floors covered with layers of straw. The woman didn’t spend ten minutes sweeping; she was digging through what we would consider a barn floor with a candle, to find that coin. It was not a pleasant job. No wonder she was excited when she found it. And he explains how Jesus and the angels have that same joy over us when we become his.

  67. says

    Thanks for the offer. I e-mailed you….let me know if you get it. 🙂 And thanks for all the info and the interesting conversation.

  68. says

    @ Darcy,

    I am so sorry. I did get your email and your copy is on it’s way. My wife loves your blog and it was so funny because a very good friend of mine has linked your blog to hers. Amy Fountain or justamy@blogspot or something like that. Her family and mine are really close and they are coming out of an abusive church. Anyway, you should get the book here in a few days. I would love to know what you think and my wife will be in contact with you. You guys have a lot in common.


  69. says

    @ Hoppy the Toad,

    Yeah, Pete Enn’s book is phenomenal. I don’t have the curriculum but the parents guide is amazing. He really get’s it and has the ability to communicate in an easy and understandable way. I ordered it right after everything blew up with Ken Ham and the GHC. LOL I don’t think Ken realizes how much publicity he is giving to those he disagrees with.

    Isn’t it funny when you start to question one thing and that leads to 100 other things you question. You really start to appreciate the journey and the relationship with Christ once you start doing that.

    The Genesis debate is a really interesting debate. I would be more up Peter Enn’s alley saying that the Genesis doesn’t “concord” with science. (Non-concordance view as opposed to a “concordance view”) There are many many advantages to this view over both the YEC and the OEC concordance views. However, my understanding of geology is enough evidence that the earth is really old. But that is the great thing about a non-concordance view of Genesis. You get to understand it as the ancients would have not according to modern science.

    Anyway, there are some great books out there. I offered Darcy a copy of my brothers book and I will do the same for you. All I ask is that you send it back if you don’t like it or pass it on if you do. Send me an email with your address and I will send out a copy. The book deals a lot with the history of the modern YEC movement, where it came from and who actually started it. It also deals with eschatology and how that interacts with the Genesis debate. You might really enjoy it. ( A great little cheap book on the flood and other stuff is “Noah’s Flood, Joshua’s Long Day, Lucifers Fall, what really happened” by Ralph Woodrow.)

    I also don’t understand how some Theonomist can be libertarian. Cognitive Dissonance is the best way to explain it, but then again there is a lot of that going around in the church. Tell your kids it’s not right to hit by hitting them… LOL



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