Reasonable Rhetoricians

On this site we often focus on the preachers and teachers within fundamentalism who are shocking and perverse. The bullies, the screamers, the jokesters, the criminally insane, and so on. Truth be told, these are really not the most dangerous people within fundamentalism because although their presentations will gather a certain number of loyal followers they will inevitably turn most people off with their unusual antics.

In fact, the most dangerous of all fundies is the one who gains your trust with reasonable-sounding words and a smile. He is no less a fundamentalist than the crazy variety but he masks his rhetoric in pleasantries and humor. He speaks in soft tones and cajoles rather than confronts. Beware, a man can smile and smile and be a villain.

One such fundamentalist is defender of Creationism — and more recently convicted felon — Kent Hovind. He’s a man who (if you didn’t know anything else about him) you can listen to for a few minutes and instinctively feel you can trust. This just goes to show that your instincts should be locked away somewhere safe where they can’t hurt you.

Consider this video…

He sounds so reasonable and so easy to believe…right up to the second where he endorses a book full of distortions and half-truths by a woman from the lunatic fringe of fundamentalism that is anything but reasonable.

Some days I miss being that trusting.

189 thoughts on “Reasonable Rhetoricians”

  1. Some days I miss that trusting too. As a matter of fact, I was thinking of that last evening. The virginity of my trust was violently taken by those of Fundy Preachers and their can’t-pass-any-course-but-preaching assistants.

    Kent Hovind, gesh, where do I start? I’ve listened to him on a few debates and this man is rather cheeky, to say the least. He doesn’t answer the arguments with sound reasoning but instead, he plays to the audience with catch phrases and in-house jargon. Oh, and he doesn’t pay his taxes. 😳

  2. He lost me pretty early on, but he REALLY lost me when he started comparing Origen of Alexandria to a Jehovah’s Witness.

    1. For the exercise you have to imagine that you really have no previous knowledge of any of the facts he’s presenting.

      You know Jehovah’s Witnesses are bad and you’ve never heard of Origen…so it all sounds pretty good.

      1. Good point, not really designed to influence people like me in the FB group for the de-anathematizing of Origen! 🙂

      1. I think the connection is that both Origen and the JWs have a troublesome view of the Godhead. But yeah, it’s not that obvious and LDS teaching seems to bear more similarities to Origen than do the JWs. Tying Origen to one’s foes is a favorite tactic of Peter Ruckman, who is another one of Pensacola’s greatest minds.

      2. Yes… I watched a video once where he said that every time you put gas in your car, you’re pumping your ancestors into the tank. You might as well say, “Bye, Grandpa!” 😐

      1. Yes, I’m one of the few who believes there’s no point in using the KJV except as a introductory tool to understand Shakespeare. Just my opinion!

      2. My church uses the KJV, but that’s because we’re extremely “high church” Anglicans–not exactly company he’d like to keep, even if we are the one’s who produced the KJV :).

  3. I liked Hovind for years and only caught on to his shenanigans when, in his updated seminar videos, he recommended a Chick Publications comic book about the Catholic founding of Islam (no lie). Sometimes all you need is one clue.

    The comic book, incidentally, is The Prophet, which is certainly in the running for Most Mind-Blowingly Insane Conspiracy Literature Ever.

    1. Utter, total and complete insanity! I mean, one gets the impression that Chick believes the Roman catholics are responsible for all the evil in the world. Which leads to the question – how did the Devil manage before then?

      1. But we all know that the Roman Catholic Church was around long before Jesus or even Constantine. It has always been inexistance in one form or another and it originated with Nimrod and the Tower of Babel…

        1. I was wondering the same thing. I hope you’re just referring to Chick’s wacko theory of some ancient Babylonian cult carried across four thousand years of history and don’t really believe it.

        2. Nimrod is right!!! I’ve read multiple books that *prove* it. Did you know that Nimrod is also the source of both Christmas trees AND palm tree symbols???

        3. This of course comes from one Alexander Hislop, who was the author of ‘the Two Babylons’. The resemblance of Hislop’s ‘Babylonian Mystery religion’ to Roman Catholicism is uncanny, but any similarity to real Babylonian religion is purely coincidental. In other words, he made up ancient Babylonian relion to look like Catholicism and said “look! It’s uncanny!” These days a lot of sceptics use Hislop-type reasoning.

  4. Distortions and half-truths pretty well sums it up. If you don’t know any better this seems like a reasonable position. If you do you your church history and the history of Bible Translation, you can easily see this man is full of it.

    Just to take one point: Alexandria was not the center of a cult or cult worship. It was one of the three or four major cities of the early Christian world.

    Has anyone informed Mr. Hovind that Catholic monks are responsible for copying and preserving the manuscripts of the Bible? Of course anti-Catholics just say “men” copied the Bible and the Catholic Church kept people from reading it. Uh, most people couldn’t read, and the Bible was chained in the church to prevent theft. The Church educated people so that they could read the Bible, but most people were too busy trying to stay alive rather than learn to read. Reading was considered a luxury of the idle rich and even parish priests were commonly only semi-literate. The story of salvation was not told by the Bible, but it was told by the Church in her liturgy, statues, artwork, stained glass windows, and sacraments, all of which spoke of the Bible and salvation in ways that the illiterate could understand.

    1. I have a theory that Fundamentalism perpetuates itself chiefly through historical ignorance. Even a smidgen of real historical education would clear away a lot of his cloudy thinking. Getting in touch with the medievals certainly helped me.

      1. Getting in touch with the history of the early church would help as well. As Morgan pointed out, Alexandria was not a center of cult worship within the early church. It was considered one of the 5 Patriarchal cities of the early church. They had representatives at all four of the major church councils through the first 500 years of Christianity. And, while Origen had some writing that was heretical, some of his other writings continue to influence the orthodoxy of the church. If Hovind really knew what he was talking about he would have linked Arius and the Jehovah’s Witness since that is the true connection of heresy, but that wouldn’t have related to proving anything about the King Jimmy.

        1. Getting in touch with the history of the early church would help as well.

          For sure. Dante was my first real breath of fresh air (I started reading The Divine Comedy in high school after years of watery Beka Book literature) and I’ve been moving back toward the first century ever since.

        2. But if he used Arius, the pun “Origen is the origin,” which I read on a Fundy site, wouldn’t work :).

      1. Yes, and some others who post on this site are also Catholic, or Orthodox, or Methodist, or Baptist. What does it matter?

        1. That’s a Baptist insult, what with Catholics being the Great Whore of Babylon and all.

      2. And then there are the protestants among us who think our Catholic brothers and sisters are just wonderful. 😉

        1. One of my Catholic priest friends refers to me as a “Catholic sympathizer.” I love Catholics, but I’ll never subscribe to everything Catholics are supposed to believe.

    2. As a recent refugee from fundydom I have been studying the major world religions from their point of view. I find primary sources and read them. This is opposed to the way I learned about these religions at FU where “Dr” Fluffyhead would tell us what these people believed and why they were wrong. Even though he had never met an adherent of that religion in his life.

      I have been surprised to learn about Catholicism. I was taught the usual fundy stuff about Catholics so I had a definite bias. However, I have been learning that much of what Catholicism teaches is based on Scripture.

      1. AMAZING, isn’t it? I’ve felt the same way about the Orthodox church (Eastern Catholicism). The Orthodox people I’ve MET compared to what I’ve been TOLD is really no comparrison. The Orthodox piety is refreshing compared to the bluster and pseudo piety found in fundyism.

        1. The Orthodox Christians I’ve known have a good knowledge of the Bible. I differ with them on some doctrinal issues, but their traditions are as historically legitimate as the ones I follow. And it’s not up to me to say who’s saved and who isn’t, so as far as I’m concerned, they are my brothers and sisters in Christ.

        2. Yes! It has been an interesting experience. I enjoy challenging my own preset beliefs. It is nice to meet people who know their Bible and love the Lord.

          (Also, FWIW whenever a fundy preacher says “Jews believe” or “Jews back then believed” chances are good that he is very, very wrong.)

        3. The Orthodox Divine Liturgy is something to be *experienced* rather than to “amen”. The Divine Liturgies I’ve attended have been in an OCA (Orthodox Church of America) church which is kin to the Russian Orthodox Church. The service is mystical and edifying. No hymns are sung…it is a service where God actually ministers to YOU…I love it. Besides, the’ve got a couple thousand years experience behind ’em.

        4. What amazes me is that, in all my years in Evangelicalism, I never learned anything about the mind blowing ramifications of the Incarnation. It was all Penal Substitution, Penal Substitution, Penal Substitution. None of this second Adam, new creation, God condescending to unite himself with his creation, Christ retaining a glorified body in Heaven stuff.

          Thank you, N.T. Wright! Then, later, I discovered Irenaeus, one generation removed from the Apostles, saying the same things.

        5. Ooh, Eastern Orthodox! It was so interesting taking a university course in Humanities – History of Western Society from the Ancient World until the 15th Century – and learning how the two churches, the Orthodox and the Catholic, came to split. The fascinating idea of Constantinople versus Rome, etc.
          It’s kind of pathetic how for Christians, especially in Christian schools (and colleges, I’d imagine), church history doesn’t seem to ‘begin’ until the 1500s. Only Protestants seem to count. Yeesh.

    3. Alexandria was ground zero for Christian Gnosticism. It was also influenced by Indian pantheism due to its trade with the subcontinent. The philospher Plotinus lived there and Origen took his ideas and incorporated them into Christianity. Like I said above, Origen’s theology more closely resembles Mormonism than JW beliefs.

      Ruckman and Hovind are joined by secular scholars such as Bart Ehrman in believing that Alexandria was the source of much textual corruption of Scripture. However, while Ruckman believes heresy was inserted into the text there, Ehrman believes the orthodox establishment of Alexandria over-compensated by modifying Scripture to defend against the Gnostic threat.

      See Orthodox Corruption of Scripture by Ehrman. While unpopular with evangelicals, Ehrman was picked by Metzger to replace him as as editor of the UBS Greek New Testament.

  5. The most dangerous fundamentalist I know is very docile and kind. His preaching is even-tempered and it’s hard to imagine him even pouting, never mind screaming. For his followers, admitting he is wrong is to say he isn’t *nice*. He’s successfully intertwined his dogma with his personality. I’ve always imagined the sheep clothing as easily recognizable and tattered. This wolf’s duds are high-end quality.

    1. I’ve had good success looking into Fundies’ credentials. Research what they say about themselves and they sink or swim accordingly. If the Fundy in question has good educational cred, and then acts the typical fundy, then he’s just a flake. However, if he is like Hovind…NOTHING can be verified, so he is perpetrating a fraud in a REALLY nice suite!

    2. It’s very common for Americans to confuse being right with being nice.
      Very often when I’ve criticized something, people have attacked me on the basis that it wasn’t nice to say that. This effectively drags the focus away from whether or not what I said was true.

      Kent Hovind seems nice enough, but, as someone else said, he’s full of it.

      1. @BigGary – so true (Americans confuse “nice” with “right”… when I try to warn relatives about Mormons, the inevitable response is that they are nice people.

        I’m not saying that they aren’t nice people; I’m saying that what they teach is wrong!

        1. Lots of Mormons are nice people. It’s only their doctrines that are downright psychotic, not to mention racist and jingoistic.

    3. ItWasn’tGrapeJuice,

      My ex-pastor was exactly like that. He was a genuine nice guy that worked two jobs, treated his wife like she was a princess, and indulged his kids (whenever they could afford it).

      It cloaked a lot of his bad theology, particularly his complete lack of grace. 😐

      1. Of course when you confront these wolves behind closed doors, they’re more than happy to disrobe for you. 😉

        1. Oh yes! Completely different behavior privately vs publicly. Most think he is soooooo nice. They don’t get the doctrinal error, even when you point it out, ’cause they trust him so much and he couldn’t be wrong.

  6. At least he is not taking the KJV only stance. He has a right to have his own opinion which Greek text is better even though his reasoning is unsound.

    Personally I have been taught (by BJU) and use the Greek New Testament that is based on the Westcott and Hort’s edition. The nice thing about this GNT is that is does show discrepancies between different manuscripts. Of course the whole manuscript debate is a little moot since the differences between manuscripts are minute and really don’t change any doctrines.

    1. Manuscript differences don’t change any Doctrines?

      None except the doctrine of Bible Inerrancy.

      The most recent one I discovered, The new bibles coming out do not have the last sentence of the Lord’s Prayer: “For thyne is the Kingdom…”

      So which one is the inerrant bible? The one with that phrase or the one without?

      Few of us left the fundie churches because we no longer believe in God. Instead, we left because we can’t stand the contradiction between what is preached and what is lived.

      1. Big fat negative on that. Manuscript difference all contain the doctrine of inerrancy as defined in the same standard proof text passages in all manuscripts. Nice, but try again.

        1. Actually, I don’t agree with either of you. Firstly, with regards to the specific example:
          I am of the opinion that the one without the doxology to the Lord’s Prayer is the one that best represents the original. Probably it was added into the liturgical worship and some later scribe saw it and added it in thinking, “It must be there, I say it at Church every morning”
          Secondly, with regards to inerrancy in general:
          I don’t believe in it. For me to say the Bible is inerrant I have to do a lot of twisting of the Scriptures to make it not contradict this or that other part or make it fit with science or make it fit with the kind of morality that is instinctual to a five-year-old (i.e. slavery is bad even if the Bible allows for it). Indeed, I used to say that it was inerrant and had to do a lot of mental gymnastics to keep it so! I would much rather take each text seriously and interpret it on its own based on the fact that one particular author may or may not have what another author wrote and had his (for some, possibly her) own theological argument.
          Finally, where is the doctrine of inerrancy in Scripture? I know that 2 Timothy 3:16 says that it’s “God-breathed” (whatever that means) and “useful” for ethical instruction but I don’t see any of that implying the “verbal plenary inspiration” so often espoused by Conservative Evangelicals.
          Note: I am not an atheist, communist, pagan, or Bishop Spong. I am simply an Evangelical with Liberal tendencies or perhaps a Liberal with Evangelical tendencies. I still believe in the vicarious substitutionary atonement (recognizing that it wasn’t formulated until the twelfth century) and the Sovereignty of God. I’m only a slight heretic. 😈

      2. This doctrine is rather young. Read the wiki page on this. Personally, I view it as a theological position and not a critical doctrine. If it was a critical position, it would have been an issue before the 1970s. I can see this as a critical fundy position due to the fundy desire to apply God’s stamp of approval on a particular translation. I hold to Scriptural preservation. Briefly, God will always have a copy/translation somewhere on earth that has the information that God wants man to know. Survival of the fittest copies.

        1. Mac: “where is the doctrine of inerrancy?”
          JimE: “this doctrine is rather young”

          Consider this sampling from the church fathers:

          “The once (and briefly) credible idea that Charles Hodge and B. B. Warfield invented inerrancy has been shown to be resoundingly false… the doctrine of complete biblical truthfulness is not a Princetonian invention. Clement of Rome (30-100) described ‘the Sacred Scriptures’ as ‘the true utterance of the Holy Spirit.’ Polycarp (65-155) called them ‘the oracles of the Lord.’ Irenaeus (120-202) claimed that the biblical writers ‘were incapable of a false statement.’ Origen (185-254) stated, ‘The sacred volumes are fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, and there is no passage either in the Law or the Gospel, or the writings of an Apostle, which does not proceed from the inspired source of Divine Truth.’ Augustine (354-430) explained in a letter to Jerome, ‘I have learnt to ascribe to those Books which are of the Canonical rank, and only to them, such reverence and honour, that I firmly believe that no single error due to the author is found in any of them.’ It was not modernism that invented inerrancy. It was modernism that undermined inerrancy.” (Why We’re Not Emergent, 76-77)

        2. Lowercase dave, the only one of those quotes that claims inerrancy is the one by Augustine. The others only claim divine inspiration of the scriptures. And even Augustine only seems to be claiming orginal inerrancy. He seems to allow for errors of transmission, translation, and interpretation.

        3. @lowercase dave.

          ditto Big Gary’s comment. I will agree that the concept is old and accurate if being applied to the original text. In that sense I believe I am in agreement with the church fathers. As the wiki article states, there are many variations to inerrancy. Some attribute the doctrine to translations. I believe that this is wrong and a recent addition.

  7. I do not know where to start! Practically ALL of the information in that short clip is wrong! Everything. Trust NOTHING he says! I have made a study of the subject (on my way out of King James Onlyism), and he obviously hasn’t. He’s read Gail Riplinger. Oh dear.

    I must say, you’re much to kind to Mrs. Riplinger. I have examined NABV, and discovered hundreds of LIES in it. The woman has no idea how to write history, and her most recent book proves it in spades! It is apparent that Hovind is repeating from memory what he has heard from other Fundies – because it is all WRONG (or, as I like to put it, R-O-N-G wrong).

    1. glad you pointed out how totally wrong this guy is, until you, no one had actually pointed this out(he did get his name right)I slowly made my way out of fundyland and the KJV issue was one of the things I had to investigate. how about the idea that all those folks that were copying the scriptures ended up with “perfect” copies! it is this simplistic reasoning that characterizes kjvonlyism. Also didn’t Jesus come out of Egypt after he returned from fleeing Herod?

  8. I like Dr. Hovind (though I disagree with him on some stuff), and I’m a King James Onlyist. 🙂 So shoot me. 😛

    1. Nah, I won’t shoot you, I’ll just tell you there are a ton of translation errors in the KJV.

    2. Those WERE shots.

      BTW you can’t believ in preservation and NOTbelive the KJV….if it ever WAS it still IS, and if it never WAS nothing today IS.

      1. To play the Devil’s advocate, WHO EVER SAID the NT was “God’s Word”? Any reference to preservation would be relative to the OT. Any reference to any writings being considered as “God’s Word” was written with the OT in mind. So, now what?

        1. Neither did the translators of the KJV. Try Shakespearean English. (Both of which are, according to linguists, Modern English.)

        2. Thank you, Tiquatoo! It drives me bonkers when people say the KJV is “Old English.”

        3. Philippians 1:8 KJV – For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

          Philippians 1:8 ESV – For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.

          That is just one example that I found at random and that I took about 15 seconds looking for. Can you see how the ESV makes much more sense.

          The bowels of Jesus Christ…Come on now. You know there is a better way to put it than that.

        4. Polished Shaft, the English of 1611 is considered the beginning of “modern” English. Note: the beginning of it. It’s a step or two ahead of the English in the original Canterbury tales, which is considered more middle English. If memory serves, the original Beowulf was in old English. But notice that even early “modern” English sounds anything but modern to our ears–it’s not even what’s used in our current KJV’s.

        5. Right on the nose, grace2live.

          Beowulf = Old English
          Canterbury Tales = Middle English
          King James Bible – Modern English
          What we speak – post-modern English?? :mrgreen:

        6. So, if I go along with what you both are saying and agree that we are speaking post-modern english…Do you not feel we should be able to enjoy God’s word in the language with which we speak?

        7. “Do you not feel we should be able to enjoy God’s word in the language with which we speak?” @Polished Shaft: Absolutely! Your example with the word “bowels” is just one reason I learned early on when my husband was a youth minister that I did NOT enjoy teaching teenagers with the KJV!!! 🙂 Or try reading about Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem in the KJV.

          From wikipedia: “Old English is often erroneously used to refer to any form of English other than Modern English. The term Old English does not refer to varieties of Early Modern English such as are found in Shakespeare or the King James Bible, nor does it refer to Middle English, the language of Chaucer and his contemporaries. The following timeline helps place the history of the English language in context. The dates used are approximate dates. Language change is gradual, and cannot be as easily demarcated as are historical or political events.

          450–1100: Old English (Anglo-Saxon) – The language of Beowulf and Alfred the Great.
          1100–1500: Middle English – The language of Chaucer.
          1500–1650: Early Modern English (or Renaissance English) – The language of Shakespeare and the King James Bible.
          1650–present: Modern English (or Present-Day English) – The language as spoken today.”

          Here’s the first line of the Lord’s prayer in Old English: “Fæder Å«re þū þe eart on heofonum, SÄ« þīn nama Ä¡ehālgod.”

          Here’s an example of Middle English: “Whan that AueryÅ‚Å‚ wt his shoures soote, the droghte of Marcħ, hath perced to the roote;”

          The KJV, while it is NOT the same as the common English we use today, is certainly more modern than either of those examples. I LOVE the beauty and familiarity and history of the KJV, but I value understandability over traditionalism. That’s why I no longer hold the KJV-only position I grew up with.

        8. Now aren’t you sorry you asked! 😉 Sorry for that verbose reply. I like language.

          BTW, we use the ESV at our church.

        9. Well, I stand corrected in regards to my victorian english remark. Thank you for the enlightenment.

        10. @PolishedShaft

          Of course we should! I have a copy of the NASB myself. And the church we’re intermittently attending uses the ESV.

        11. @pastor’s wife: Not to worry; I would have given pretty much the exact same reply you did, had you not beat me to it. 🙂

      2. @John

        Sorry, but I laughed at that one. All I could imagine was that it was said by Tweedledee…er or Tweedledum.

        Sorry, brother.

        1. no one has gotten to my favorite 2 corinthians 6:11-13 KJV “O ye corinthians our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompense in the same. (I speak as unto my children.) be ye also enlarged.”

          I suppose if you’ve got a learned “Man o’ God” he could “splain” it to us.

  9. Hovind does sound very reasonable, and if you didn’t know that he has a great many facts wrong, he might be persuasive. The thing that jumped out at me first was that he said that Luther and Erasmus translated the Bible into English. Erasmus, a Dutchman who wrote mainly in Latin, is best known for editing a Greek edition of the New Testament. Luther translated the Bible into German, but not English.

    Hovind does have a great fossil collection behind him in the video, though. Hmm, I wonder if the IRS is going to auction off the fossils …

    1. I think it would be really cool to own something that’s well over a hundred thousand years old… 😉

  10. I didn’t watch the video, have no desire to. I never heard of the guy until the tax thing. But I did a little “googling” and got plenty. Darrell, you can probably back me up on this: This guy has a doctorate that can only reasonably be described as fake. Patriot Bible University is just a house! I mean… A House! C’mon! And I’m not thrilled with David Barton’s credentials either. It seems that in fundy land, a cheap imitiation is just as good as the real thing. Or better, because it came from a pure source not sullied by the world’s demand for legitimacy. You can get a legitimate, earned, degree from a place like Liberty, where the faith is defended, etc. but they just won’t do it. They get a fake diploma, call themselves doctor, and its off to the races.

      1. Thanks Darrell. That’s not the picture i found online. The one I found was a blue split-level. Maybe they moved. When the college is entirely in your mind, I guess moving is easy.

      2. Darrell:

        Don’t you know that this is the new Log College, well on its way to be the next Princeton? I know every new school starts humbly, but there is something about these places that makes want to skip lunch.

    1. The facts that he tried to evade taxes by hiding his money and that he doesn’t have a real doctorate don’t prove that he’s wrong about Bible translation and about evolution.

      But he is. He’s worng about both. The fact that a great deal of his “evidence” either inaccurately reported or just plain made up is good clue to this.

      1. No BG, but what it DOES show is that he has ethical and character issues. And if you were to take the time to really look at the issue, MOST of the men who end up touting the KJVO position are scoundrels (Hyles, Schaap, Ruckman, Gray, Hovind, etc., etc.).

    2. Add his “doctorate” from Patriot with where he taught high school science (Bob Gray, Texas) for 15 years and that will equal zero credibility.

    3. Here is something I don’t get… I understand when we go off at fundies for being legalists, or hypocrites, or liars, or abusers etc (and tax evasion would fall under hypocrisy I guess), but I do not understand why everyone hates on a person who is not legalistic, is not abusive from the pulpit, is genuinely friendly and personable, and instead of actually discussing the wrong issues (such as his promotion of questionable material, not limited to what is already being discussed here), you are attacking where he got his doctorate from, as if it matters? He isn’t employed by anyone and never was employed by any place of higher learning. I don’t get why we go on witch hunts and try to dig up all the dirt on people for no other reason than to dig up dirt. His tax evasion is public. His ties to fundies are public. Do we really need to attack his education, his history etc?

      1. The other thing is, and I guess this is gonna sound pretty fundy, but I don’t see how having a doctorate from somewhere unaccredited equals zero credibility. Where exactly can one get a doctorate in “creation science” that is accredited? If he didn’t have a doctorate, would that make him more credible? I don’t understand this mentality that having a signed slip of paper from anywhere means you are credible. It comes down to this – does what he say line up with the Bible, or not? Brigham Young University is accredited, but I wouldn’t take anyone with a theological degree from there very seriously.

        I’m trying to sound unbiased here. I don’t care what he is teaching. I just don’t get this “if he has a degree then he has some credibility”. Richard Dawkins has a doctorate, but in my books, he has no credibility when it comes to matters pertaining to God.

        Just don’t get it…

        1. I guess it depends on how you feel about education and the quality thereof.

          Hovind’s “doctoral dissertation” (a generous way of describing a written, early version of his video course) is available online for your perusal, should you continue to think education is somehow a side-issue.

          That someone ever referred to it as a doctoral anything let alone a dissertation is the stuff that headdesk is made of.

        2. I don’t think he needs to have a degree to be credible (Jesus didn’t have one), but he loses credibility when he goes around calling himself “Doctor Kent Hovind” on the basis of a piece of wallpaper from a cheapo diploma mill whose main requirement seems to be that you pay $1899.

          I don’t have a doctorate in molecular biology. What distinguishes Hovind from me and almost everybody else who hasn’t earned a doctorate is that the rest of us are not going around saying we have doctorates.

          Anyhow, as I’ve said before, his claims should be judged on their own merits, and on the evidence he provides, not on his credentials or his reputation. If a liar claims that the earth orbits the sun– guess what, the earth still orbits the sun. However, it happens that Hovind is either deluded or lying about most of what he says, not just his own academic credentials and his finances. His lectures are nonsense poopy pants.

        3. Richard Dawkins has an earned doctorate in zoology, and I think he’s credible on matters of biology (I would think that even if he didn’t have a degree). However, when he starts talking about God, he’s way out of his depth in that subject. His critique of religion is based on a very reductive, childish caracature of religion. Expertise in one subject doesn’t mean a person is automatically authoritative on all subjects.

  11. I shoulda put it this way… 😆

    Teacher for Bob Gray’s School in Texas
    “Doctorate from Patriot U.
    0 credibility

  12. In the photo, Patriot Bible University looks like a double-wide trailer. But that’s a type of house, so OK, it’s a house.

    1. I liked this exchange:
      Ali G: Have you ever eaten a banana?
      Hovind: Yes, I eat all kinds of food.
      Ali G: There! I proved you wrong!
      The banana thing got ‘im, din’t it? ‘E went all red when I said it. …

      It’s at least as valid an argument as the ones Hovind himself uses to “disprove” evolution.

    2. That was the very first episode I ever saw of Ali G.. Almost wet my pants. It was hysterical. Literally had tears in my eyes.

    3. our church brought in Dr. H and his traveling dino show. as did my Christian school. it was funny to hear their explainations after his arrest. “uhhh … welll … his message and ‘facts’ are great but his actions, welll … uhhhh …. render to ceaser ….”

      i loved seeing him get punk’d on ali g. it was great.

  13. My WY church had Kent’s son Eric for a week of Creation meetings several years ago. The pastor discovered that his topic toward the end of the week was to be KJVO and the political issues regarding the taxes. The pastor and deacons took Eric into a room and politely and quietly informed him that he would not be presenting that material. Hovind makes his videos available for copying and distribution free of charge, which the church did, but they left out that particular volume. After the meetings were over and Eric H. left, the pastor told why that volume in the tape series was missing and what had happened. I had no idea at the time! Now I regard all of his material with a wary eye and will not use any of their stuff in our Creation Bible study.

    1. I heard Kent in real life some time ago. He was into conspiracies back then. It was suppose to be a creation seminar. Like most irresponsible lecturers, Kent went off topic in a big way. The conspiracies I remember mentioned the first day. Thank God I can’t remember all of them —

      All GPS receivers are used by the government to spy on people.

      Dinosaurs are alive today in Africa (but the US Gov doesn’t want you to know that).

      We only went the first day. I couldn’t handle more than that.

        1. We went to Loch Ness in June. No Nessie! Sigh. But you just can’t stop yourself looking as you travel along the shoreline road!

  14. I remember attending a creation seminar with this guy when I was in high school. He is very reasonable-sounding, much scarier than the screaming preachers.

    Remember, just because it’s on a Power Point doesn’t make it the truth.

    1. Wouldn’t Hovind showing up there violate some “separation” clause? I’d think he’d have lost some credibility in Fundyland for that moreso than his iffy-at-best research.

  15. James White over at alpha and omega ministries has the same video and prints out the mistakes across the screen as the video rolls along

    1. Why? Another thing I don’t get. If the issue is pretty much limited to fundies, (and it is, and some pentecostal fundamentalists too), and noone would really care unless they were a fundamentalist, why even bother wasting time doing the same thing they accuse fundamentalists of (dividing the brethren). Is there any real point in being educated in how to destroy someones faith in a Bible? Wouldn’t effort be better spent to point out the truth about the liberty we have in Christ using the very Bible they claim to believe (but preach more on than from).

      I just see all these anti-king james “ministries” as just as destructive for everyone involved as Fundamentalism.

      1. “Anti-King James ‘ministries'” are very useful to those of us who haven’t swallowed the bait. They provide us with material to help equip the not-so-well informed in our churches who may be under attack by rabid KJVOs.

      2. I’m not familiar with these ministries, but I do think it is important for someone to speak up about KJV-onlyism. Some KJVO folks actually say you’re not saved unless you’ve been saved from the KJV. Talk about being destructive! That is WRONG and needs to be addressed. Also KJVO churches (I grew up in one) tend to spend a LOT of time cutting down other versions, a whole lot less time than actually focusing on what Jesus says!

      3. What you have characterized as “anti-king james ‘ministries’” are actually anti-King James only ministries. They don’t spend time trying to destroy the KJB; rather they have to spend time showing that other versions are valid. Many of these folks actually have a preference for the King James but have enough sense to know that no translation is perfect or inspired.

        1. Take me for example – I love to read my familiar, comfortable, worn KJV. Would I recommend a KJV for the average new believer? No! The ESV would be my top pick.

          As Cordovan said, many of us who have left KJV Onlyism still prefer the KJV for personal use. We just reject the ideas we’ve heard like “missionaries have to go teach English so people can read the KJV and be saved” or “God can only save people through the KJV so any person who thinks he was converted out of another version obviously must have previously heard at least one verse somewhere sometime out of the the KJV. That or he’s not really saved.”

      4. We pastors don’t have the luxury of avoiding the KJV-only position when we have people in our churches who are sowing discord and mistrust by campaigning for the KJV as the only valid translation. When someone says, “Pastor, what’s the truth about this?” we can’t just say, “It doesn’t matter; just love the Lord.”

      5. I’m with exIFB on that. Since my departure from fundyism I haven’t given a second thought to KJVOism. I don’t care anymore, plain and simple. If a very small and increasingly irrelevant subset of Christendom wants to fight their petty wars and pass resolutions and condemnations among themselves, let them. I’ve discovered an enormous world that doesn’t involve them, and I’m having the time of my life exploring it.

        1. I have found that, too, at our base chapel here in the UK. It simply is not an issue, and I love it! My husband and I landed there after being in a US mission-to-the-US military church that turned out to be KVJO. The missionaries had to return to the States to raise more support. And although I like this couple very much and find them to not be the manipulative, over bearing, whack-a-mole fundy preacher types of my past, they are very fundy–their talk, his preaching style, dress, etc. I miss the friendship, but not the tension of the KJVO issue. Since they left I have done a lot of study on the KJVO issue and referred to these anti KJV Onlyism ministries. And jolly glad I did because it looks like the missionaries may be returning here and my husband wants to go back to their church when they do. KJVO is not an issue for him like it is for me, but he doesn’t have the fundy abuse in his background that I have. Since we have been married less than 2 years and are both in our 50s, we have a lot of history before “us”, if that makes sense. I need the knowledge that I have gained from these ministries in case I find myself back there again. I also need wisdom and grace to not use it as a battering ram in the manner of KJVOnlyists.

      6. No-one is ‘Anti King James’, and James White clearly does far more than the King James Only controversy. The fact of the matter is that what needs to be opposed is that teaching which goes to a man who uses the NIV (this is a real example) and says, “you don’t have the Word of God because you don’t use the King James.” Gail Riplinger and other King James Onlyists are going out and undermining confidence in every other Bible version, then hoping people will go with the King James. In her latest book she blasts all Greek and Hebrew study as evil! I don’t oppose the King James. I have friends who use it, I sometimes preach from it at other churches. What I oppose – and what we all ought to oppose – is the idea that it, and it alone (in English anyhow) is the Word of God, while all other Bibles are Satanic counterfeits. Enough bashing the King James. It’s a good translation (though from a rather odd text in a few places). What it is not is the alone Word of God.

        1. I wouldn’t have thought that I’d encounter a KJVO Bible campaigner in our small Anglican UK church. But I just did. And I was glad I’d paid so much attention to this site SFL then.

  16. I heard Dr. Kent Hovind in HAC chapel about three or four years ago. I was both gullible and extremely interested in anything having to do with either health or science, and eagerly ate up every word he said (no pun intended). I remember that less than a year after I’d listened to him speak I heard that he was in jail. Hearing that did more to weaken my trust than 100 preachers I wasn’t interested in. It hadn’t been the first time I’d heard that someone I’d trusted had actually been a criminal. I remember walking down the hall thinking that there was no one in this world who could be trusted and upset that I’d let my guard down.

  17. Hurrah for one-trick ponies (I’m looking at you, Bob Shelton). These people make a fast buck going around the country and saying the exact same thing 75 times a year to whoever will listen or allow themselves to be shoehorned in. Hovind spoke at my high school and Shelton was at my home church twice in 10 years – same messages both times. They’re all alike and they’re all pointless.

  18. Our church had this self acclaimed “Dr Dino” come speak every year when I was a teenager. We loved the zingers, one liners, the jokes he told at the dumb Darwinist’s expense. His conspiracy theories were great. Since we were already mistrustful of the govt, he gave us PROOF that they were indeed out to get us. He told us he cut up his social security card and encouraged us to do the same, it was illegal to give us one in the first place. We wanted to search for dinosaurs in Africa and Lake Champlain. Loved it.
    But then the more he came back we realized he didn’t have anything new, he made the same jokes word for word, same conspiracy theories- “a lady wrote me two weeks ago and said she was in a grocery store in Colorado and the guy in front of her scanned the back of his hand to pay for his groceries!! Black helicopters, traffic cams have the ability to stop your car… oh my. It got old. He talked fast, entertaining program with jokes and put downs, but not a lot of real substance and proof. Our church finally stopped having him out when his stance on government got a little dangerous to be associated with him. He’s a bonafide nut.

    1. Oh, how weird! I know a lady in Colorado this happened to. Her husband told me about it at a music festival we were all performing at. Granted Hovind needs to update his material, but this incident did happen to my friend and I have never known her to be fanciful at all. I would not be a bit surprised if she did indeed write to Hovind about it, and I may have been the one to suggest to her husband that she should, because at that point I thought Hovind was A-okay. British credit cards use chips, not magnetic strips like US cards. I suppose the technology is available, so, why not?

      1. At this present time British credit cards need to be inserted into a reader slot which interfaces with the card. I think that might be rather painful if the chip was in someone’s hand.

    2. I heard the chip-in-the-hand-at-the-grocery-store story too. This was perhaps 15 years ago at church, but it wasn’t Hovind. I think it was an evangelist. But the way he told it was exactly the same (woman saw man scan hand at store). At the time it sent shivers up your spine but the more I thought about it the more I thought was it really possible? I don’t remember seeing any technology at a store where you could scan a hand…it was all by card reader. Not that the technology couldn’t or doesn’t exist, but I think this is another fundie urban legend…everyone seems to know someone who knows someone who saw something or did something.

      1. My dogs are microchipped – the technology exists. I believe I read that some wealthy people have having their kids microchipped, too, in case of kidnapping. Of course, I could have dreamed that.

      1. I hate doomsday scenarios. I have yet to see how they managed to tie together a verse about the mark of the beast and microchips that would essentially to the same thing as the credit/debit card most people already carry. Personally that seems a whole lot easier than digging for a credit card. Ooh, and it would be a whole lot harder to steal someone’s cards. 😛

    3. It isn’t necessary to put chips or marks on someone’s hands. You can recognize people through their fingerprints. The technology to quickly read finger prints is already used at theme parks.

      Magnetic strips are used on credit cards because credit cards don’t have fingers or eyeballs.

    1. I hope the only thing he’s seeing is the grey walls of a prison, and occassionally the rec yard, not white baby grands. And I still deny the existence of that piano in they Schaap pic or in this video!

    2. Only if the piano was made prior to 1611. Any piano made after 1611 is just a pervsion 😆

  19. OK, Boys and girls, back to the original subject. 2Tim3:16 is used by supporters of all five different major canons, by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Adventists, Mormons and even Christian Scientists. We can say all scripture is inspired until we are blue in the face but that does nothing for the issue of WHICH scripture, which canon, which manuscripts?

    Theopneustos is not easy to translate. God breathed on Adam, but that did not make him inerrant.

    Didache 1:2: “Now the path of life is this — first, thou shalt love the God who made thee, thy neighbour as thyself, and all things that thou wouldest not should be done unto thee, do not thou unto another.”

    The Didache is in one of the five major canons. Thus millions of Christians believe it is inspired. How did you go about discarding it from your canon?¬ (Answer: Canon depends on church traditions… those ugly church traditions we thought we were leaving behind when we broke with Rome.)

    For a pretty good on-line course on Textual Criticism, take a look at this, from Erlham School of Religion: If you don’t like their brand of religion, find your own course.

    The problem in Fundyland is we made the New Testament (our NT) into the New LAW. It is so much easier to make up a checklist and follow it, rather than have to look at every new situation through the eyes of Grace.

    The NT is NOT necessary to preach the good news of Jesus. Proof? With what power was Peter preaching at Pentecost? (Answer: the Power of the Holy Spirit.) What book were Paul and Silas carrying under their arm in their missionary trips? (Answer: None.)

    Is the NT of blessing to the church? Yes. But it is not the NT that saves.

    1. Ricardo, why isn’t this good enough? (proof-texting aside)

      The Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus the sixty-six books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

      The Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2 Timothy 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God breathed.

      1. There is no way to claim what the author of 2Tim3:16 meant by “all scripture.” Considering that Paul’s epistles were the first NT books written, there is no way that he could have meant: “all scripture to be written within the next 30 to 50 years…” And worse, these days we are closer to consensus that Paul himself did NOT write the pastoral epistles. (One of the major reasons for including these epistles in the canon was because they were written by Paul.)

        What bugs me the most is that ALL persons who have gone through the first couple of semesters in just about any divinity school know this. And they continue to mislead their congregations.

        I love 1Cor2, but it does not have anything to say about canon. 2Peter1:20-21 I believe in completely. It continues today as men of God are led by the Holy Spirit. But that also has nothing to do with declaring a specific list of books as inerrant.

        1Thes2:13 “the word of God WE PREACHED.” There was no NT. God moved then, as he does now, without the need for some arbitrary list of books chosen by some catholic bishops.

        Do a little research on the creation of the Textus Receptus, or the Codex Sinaiticus, or Codex Vaticanus. The decisions someone has to make about which verses to eliminate from one codex, to replace from another are not simple. Solid Christian experts with lifetimes of experience on this matter do not agree.

        Some fundies have come up with the excuse of “well, the original autographs, yeah, those are the ones that are inerrant.”

        We don’t have a single original autograph.

        Meanwhile, our preachers continue to raise the bible in their hand and say “This is THE word of God.”

        This is the type of little lies that drove us away from Fundamentalism.

        So much easier, and more honest, to say: “The early churches found these letters to be of blessing, and so do we.”

        1. “We don’t have a single original autograph.”

          Correct, but we do have completely accurate translations of those originals as verified by multiple thousands of copies that agree in nearly every way.

        2. Last reply and I’m done – I think we mean two different things when we say inerrant. In my mind that does not mean that copied manuscripts will never have variant readings, but that all of the teachings/doctrines are without error. That is why we say we have the Word of God.

          I thought that you were saying something else completely – my bad.

        3. That’s what the discussion really boils down to Jon. While they agree in almost every way, it is evident that they disagree in some way. How does one determine which is more accurate? And that is what the debate is over. Do we take the earliest surviving manuscripts (which disagree with the majority), or do we take the majority (which disagree with the earliest surviving).

          You probably know all the arguments- the earliest surviving were written on vellum, not parchment, and thus had a longer shelf life (literally, they were found in monasteries and libraries), as opposed to the originals and earlier, which were written on parchment, which, over time, deteriorates at a much faster rate than vellum.

        4. To me: KJV (literal translation)=accurate
          ESV (literal translation)=accurate
          NIV (dynamic tranlation)=accurate

          Am I missing something?

        5. “So much easier, and more honest, to say: “The early churches found these letters to be of blessing, and so do we.””

          My 5 year old son’s letters are of blessing to me – but my (and his) soul’s eternal consequences do not hinge on it’s meaning. 😀

      2. I mean the we in: “And worse, these days we are closer to consensus that Paul himself did NOT write the pastoral epistles.”

        1. If you mean Paul is not the inspired author, then that’s wrong. But everyone knows Paul didn’t write most of his letters with his own hand. Either Timothy or Sylvanus did. It even says it in most of his epistles.

        2. yeah, no…I was quoting Ricardo. Whether or not Paul dictated them does not mean they were not inspired? Does it? Is that what he is saying? I’m now confused – for me…par for the course

        3. Ahhh, reading over I see I added “inerrant” to my discussion of the copies and translations. Thanks for talking, Ricardo, exIFB – this helps me by working out some “errors” of my own.

        4. Jon quotes me:“We don’t have a single original autograph.”

          and then Jon comments: “Correct, but we do have completely accurate translations of those originals as verified by multiple thousands of copies that agree in nearly every way.”

          No. we don’t have ‘complete’ anything. There is not one “complete” manuscript. Among the multiple thousands of copies no two match. We are the ones who pick and chose. aLSO, Translators most definitely do not claim inerrancy.

          The thing is, being ALMOST inerrant is like being almost pregnant. It don’t work that way.

          How do you calculate your “nearly every way?” There are more disagreements than there are words in the NT.

          The oldest version of the story of Jesus and the sinner woman seems to be in Luke. The older versions of John do not have that story. (Which, by the way is my favorite story of the bible. He who is without sin…)

          So what are we to do with that wonderful story?

          Honesty would be a good idea: While we have found that this story was added to the Gospel of John several hundred years after the fact, our church traditions found the power of the Holy Spirit within that story so that it does not matter who wrote it, or when, God speaks through it.

          So, how did you decide to eliminate the Didache from the NT canon? (Especially when that canon also has 2Tim3:16?)

          We have no alternative but to admit that we, fallible men (no women were involved in these decisions,) we were the ones who chose a list of books, we are the ones who chose among the different manuscripts which passages to chose from what specific codices, and then it is us, again, who decide how to translate these words.

          To declare a specific collection to be inerrant we would have to declare the specific committee of Catholic bishops as inerrant.

          The worst part of all this, is that it is so unnecessary.

          It is not the bible that saves, no matter which one you chose.

          I love biblical paraphrases, because then I can simply read what someone thought was a translation, and let me sort it out with God.

  20. My good friend taught his kids at Pensacola Christian Academy. She has no respect for him as a person. He’s an abusive man. May he stay in prison and not be able to harm anyone.

        1. Um, if they’re abusers and are breaking the law, then yes, that is the answer. Kind of obvious…

    1. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say when he gets out. Usually prison has an impact on your thinking.

  21. Actions always speak louder than words. I went to school with his kids at PCS, now PCA, and they were extremely haughty (there’s a nice KJV word for you :twisted:) and arrogant. That told me all I needed to know about the man. Added to this, in an attempt to wiggle his way out of his legal problems, he claimed he wasn’t bound by US law because he had renounced his US citizenship. Since I cannot see his heart I cannot say for sure he has, or does not have, a relationship with God but his actions leave plenty of room for doubt.

    1. So did Moses when he murdered, Abraham when he lied, David when he did all that he did, Peter when he denied, Thomas when he doubted, Peter again when he became a Judaizer for a time, John the Baptist when he doubted Jesus was the Messiah, Peter again when he cut off a man’s ear. Seriously, this kind of thinking “Oh, he did something wrong so he might not be a Christian, well he maybe but I doubt it” is stupid. I am a Christian BECAUSE I do wrong, not because Jesus enables me to make some positive moral choices, but because He is my Saviour from my moral failures (and every other failure).

      1. I heard somebody say once that he would never read a book written by a believer who later committed adultery.

        Somebody else came back with – I gues you never read the Psalms then…

        -Jon (not Jon.S)

  22. These are the writers who copied the texts who…killed the cat that ate the rat that lived in house that Jack built. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeesh! 🙄

  23. Some day (maybe a hundred years from now, hopefully sooner), my great-grandchild will say to her mother, “Did my great-grandma really believe that the earth was created 6000 years ago and that humans co-existed with dinosaurs?” To which her mom will respond that no, great-grandma did not believe that, but it was a common belief in those days.

    The advancement of knowledge will proceed. It just takes some of us a little longer than others to comprehend it. It seems like just yesterday that we were debating about a flat earth.

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