When I went to Ken Ham’s Creation Museum, I had many conflicting reactions. If I looked at it as a museum on the level of a wax museum, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was wondrous seeing the first 11 chapters of Genesis presented if such a lifelike fashion. My second feeling was a kind of déjà vu in viewing the displays.
My third reaction was a kind of incompleteness; an unease. The first inkling of disquiet I had was when I studied the plaque shown at the top of this post: “The Seven C’s of God’s Eternal Plan.” In his literature, Ham calls these the Seven C’s of History. For Ham history (not just his museum, but HISTORY) is divided into seven major period of time, much the way geologists organize history in geological periods. These Seven C’s of History are:
The entire organizing structure of Ham’s museum reflects this division. Crystina, an online reviewer of the Creation Museum explains these Seven C’s perhaps better than I could. To quote:
[T]hey take you through what they call the Seven C’s of History…The first of the Seven C’s is Creation. It is detailed information on how the Lord created the earth and saw what he had made and saw that it was good. The second of the Seven C’s is Corruption. This is explained as Adam’s fall, when he ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil given to him by his wife Eve, instead of listening to the words of the Lord. The third of the Seven C’s is the Catastrophe. The catastrophe is explained as the day of Noah, when the world was flooded and only Noah, his family and the creatures the Lord sent to Noah survived on the ark.
The fourth of the Seven C’s of History is Confusion. This is explained as the confusion that was dealt to all the people at the Tower of Babel. Where the world was split up by the language barrier the Lord created.
The fifth of the Seven C’s is Christ. This was of course, when Jesus Christ came to earth as the Son of God, fulfilling the law and proclaiming the path to righteousness. The sixth of the Seven C’s is the Cross. This is quite obviously when Jesus, the Son of God was hung on the cross until dead, only to be resurrected three days later, as the champion over death…
The final Seventh C of History is the Consummation. This is when the New Jerusalem comes down to be our dwelling place after this world is destroyed…The consummation is the coming to pass of everything we that are Born of the Spirit of God are waiting for.
Even the final three C’s (Christ, Cross, and Consummation) get short attention in the Museum, being confined to a single room and a film presentation. They get no displays, figures, artifacts, or plaques that I can remember. As one reviewer quipped, “Perhaps they ran out of money by the time they got to the last three C’s.” It certainly appeared that way.
However, even that reduction was not the source of my unease. After all, it was a creation museum, so the emphasis naturally should be on the first few chapters of Genesis. No, it was not organizing the museum on the Seven (or Four) C’s that bothered me. What bothered me was the Ken Ham says these are the Seven C’s of History. This means that these C’s are the most important stages of history. These are not the most important stages of just Genesis, or even geology, or science. These are the most important events in history, period.
This doesn’t even make sense in terms of Biblical History. If I put paper clips on Genesis 1-11 (the first four C’s), the Gospels (the fifth and sixth C’s), and Revelation 20-22 (the seventh C), that leaves a whole lot of the Bible left unmarked. In my Protestant Bible, the Seven C’s cover approximately 103 chapters out of a total of 1189, or approximately 8.6%. The first four C’s cover only 0.9% (that’s zero point nine percent) of the Bible. Even on a cursory examination, some rather big C’s must be missing.
In Ham’s structure, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samson, Saul, David, Solomon, and the entire nation of Israel are merely footnotes in the organizing structure of the Scriptures. This omission occurs even though the history of Israel covers 879 chapters of the Bible, or 73.9% of the entire book (including the New Testament). Even worse, the Apostles after Jesus ascension, Paul, Timothy, Jude, and Titus are inconsequential in Ham’s History. For anyone following the legacy of Luther, omitting Paul is a bit of a shocker.
So Ham’s Seven C’s of History need some work. Some things need to be added, in the very least. This is necessary even if you want the C’s to represent Biblical history rather than world or secular history. I propose Ham make the following adjustments. I will even be gracious enough to keep the “C” pattern going. His Nine C’s of History should be:
• Chosen People
One could argue that even the “Chosen People” section could be defined finer (paralleling the first four C’s all over again, actually—hmmmm, do you thing that may be the point?). Also, adding the church seems almost mandatory. We are not here just marking time, awaiting Christ to come and do it all for us. As Christ’s body, we are working in the present to pull into history God’s ending consummation and to implement into the world what Jesus has already accomplished. This makes the time between the Cross and the Consummation very important. This makes us very important. The Church is not a footnote any more than Israel is in God’s Eternal Plan.
It appears that Ham, in Enlightenment fashion, simply puts little value on another C: Community. The community of the “body of Moses” in the Old Testament and the Gentile engrafted “body of Christ” in the New.
I don’t think this omission was deliberately thought out by Ham. It merely illustrates how hard it is sometimes to think outside of our own Individualistic, scientific, Enlightenment-influenced age. Nor do I think the situation is uncorrectable. I am not asking for more rooms being added on to the Museum. I am not asking for figures of Abraham, Moses, et all, to be added (though that would be nice). All Ken really needs to do is adjust the one plaque at the start of the museum.
He doesn’t even need to give me credit (though that would be nice too!)
The whole situation does explain the difference between the Ham and I on the importance of the first 11 chapters of Genesis. I think they are important, but of less importance than the history of Israel, Christ, and the Church.
For me they are 0.9% (that’s zero point nine percent) of the entire Bible. For Ham, they are 57% (4/7ths) of the Biblical message and 75% of his museum.