Bobby V.'s Hovind Letter
- From: Bobby Valentine
Greetings from the land of snow. I composed this letter and mailed it to the Apologetics Association here in Milwaukee. I share it with you for your information . . . Bobby Valentine
Greetings from the Southside of Milwaukee.
I was at the event on Tuesday evening to listen to Kent Hovind. I think he is an entertaining speaker and I enjoyed being there. However, I cannot say that I was totally satisfide with his presentation.
I seek answers to some questions that hopefully you will be able to supply. I ask these questions not as an adversary but rather as a firm believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and an active church member. I could not agree with Hovind more about opposing proven lies. We are of one accord on that point.
I would also like to commend you and the Apologetics Association. I realize how challenging it can be to stand up for your faith in a college enviroment. Having pursed academic life through the B.A. and two Master's degrees I can share that burden.
I suppose my first question has to do with Hovind himself. I have spent the last couple of days finding and reading material about Hovind on the net. I was sorely disapponted when I discovered that Hovind does not have a real Ph.D. Patriot University is not a university (http://www.patriotuniversity.com/). This is a non-accredited mail order degree factory. I am not opposed to correspondence courses or online classes for I have taken some and even taught some, yet this is not what Patriot is about.
I feel like this is an integrity issue. Hovind hammered the "lie" issue numerous times. I believe there should be no lies either in textbooks or our professional lives.
My second question is again related to Hovind because this,once again,comes back to the issue of integrity. Does Hovind feel bound, morally and ethically, to the laws of the land? I was shocked to learn of his problems with tax evasion (see the online encyclopedia article on Hovind at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_Hovind) This site has links to court records that are pretty damaging I think.
I have discovered that other creationists have been critical of Hovind as well (cf.
My third question has to do with Hovind's theology. According to the online encylopedia Hovind is a "King James Only" advocate. I have been a student of the Bible for some time and I am quite familiar with this opinion. Is this opinion shared by the Apologetics Association? In my view this is an absolutely indefensible position. God, I believe, did inspire the Bible . . . but the Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek . . . not Elizabethean English.
My fourth question is really a statement. I work with folks all the time who have a negative image of Christians. They believe we are hypocrites and judgmental. I do not want Hovind confirming the first point. He spoke powerfully about being deceived by Satan and standing for truth. Surely this truth isn't limited to textbooks.
In the Q & A session there were at times it was more like a Jerry Springer show than an assembly of folks honoring God. When Jesus dealt with "non-believers" he did not let his disciples heckle and boo his questioners . . . in fact Jesus rebuked folks who should know better (always the religious crowd, cf. Matthew 23). I was sorely disappointed when a couple of non-believers were treated in disrespectful ways by the crowd and Hovind . . . nor AA did anything to stop that. I do not see how we will win folks to Christ by booing them.
My fifth question would be,can a person believe in evolution without being a pervert, an abortionist, or a homosexual. I am not an evolutionist but I have a number of close associates who are and are none of those things. To me this is nothing but an old debater's trick called guilt by association. It wins the audience but it does nothing to forward an argument.
Sixth, on what biblical grounds does Hovind suggest the earth is only 6000 years old. Is this the official position of the AA? There is nothing, not one shred, of biblical support for this date. The Bible says "in the beginning" God created the earth. It not one time says "when" that beginning was. I do not believe that claiming or affirming the earth is only 6000 yrs old is part of the discussion or debate. That may be Hovind's opinion but that is all it is and nothing more. He did not, as near as I can recall, offer an ounce of "evidence" either from Scripture or science that the world is only 6000 yrs old.
Seventh, I do not think it was an unreasonable question of the evolutionist as to why Hovind will not agree to a written debate.
His reply was pretty close to a copout. His reply was the same reply the UWM (some anyway) gave for not appearing that night: they did not have time. It seems to me that Hovind could have, potentially, thousands more readers of a written debate than the 1000 that was there on Tuesday. And in a written debate you have to deal with the argument and not appeal to the crowd . . . which Hovind did.
Finally a suggestion. I would recommend getting believers who have a different viewpoint than Hovind. First, someone with real credentials. I think if truth is going to be a cardinal plank in Hovind's presentation then he should drop the pretence to being a "Doctor."
Second, get someone with a real degree in real science.
Jonathan Wells is an outstanding apologist. He has real Ph.Ds from real universities and he would be an outstanding person to have on your program. Hugh Ross has a real Ph.D. in Astronomy (www.reason.org ) I have read several of his books and they are quite thought provoking. Philip Johnson is also an excellent choice to have on your agenda.
Again I am not being critical just to be critical. I believe Christians have to be on the up and up. Hovind's problems with ethics undermine his message. His KJV only doctrine is patently false in my opinion. The disrespectful treatment of those asking questions from an evolutionary point of view was disheartening.
I ask one final question: Did the AA know of Hovind's ethical issues before hand?
I hope you will take the time to reply to my email. I mean no disrespect to you or Hovind. But I do not like it when Jim Bakker, Jim Jones or even a Hovind has a double standard that ends up bring reproach upon the faith that we confess.
By the way, for the sake of complete honesty, I am a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can find me on the web.