The thesis of this small volume written by Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, is that, “The gospel message hasn’t changed, but the way in which it needs to be presented in a secularized culture does need to change” (p. 10). Ham contends that due to the public educational system in America, lack of biblical instruction in the churches, and failure to teach apologetics to believers, especially young people, our society has become so biblically illiterate that few can comprehend the gospel message as traditionally presented. In addition, millennials who have been raised in church are leaving the faith, never to return, because they have been inundated by evolutional theory gone unchallenged by the church.
Ham sees presenting the gospel to a generation that does not know who Jesus is, or what sin is (pp. 13, 42, 43, 59, 112), nor believes in truth (p. 117), will need to be contextualized to speak truth in the language of the culture (pp. 18, 98). Using Acts 17 and Paul’s encounter on Mars Hill (pp. 93-103), he believes evangelists must “de-Greekize” people so they will be able to listen and understand the gospel (p. 106). Ham’s methodology is to begin with Genesis and challenge the worldview of the “Greeks” with a biblical worldview rooted in Genesis chapters 1-11 (pp. 38, 40, 74). This is the reason, he informs his readers, as to why he has constructed the Creation Museum and The Ark (pp. 87-88), as well as developed Sunday school and VBS materials teaching his brand of apologetics (pp. 113-114).
Anyone familiar with Ken Ham will recognize that Gospel Reset does not say anything that the author has not said and written innumerable times before. However, this book provides a good summary of his teachings, philosophy of ministry, and AIG resources.
Of a negative critique is Ham’s generality and loose use of statics. He speaks of the failures of the church and church leaders (pp. 31, 35, 67, 70) without defining either. By lumping every form of church and Christian leader together, a distorted view of what is taking place in conservative churches is presented. Are young people in biblically sound churches leaving the Christian community in adulthood never to return? Certainly some are, but I would seriously question that they are doing so to the same degree as those raised in liberal churches. Do 90-95% of kids from church homes attend public schools (which Ham strongly condemns)? Not from the conservative churches I have observed and not every public school is as deficient as Ham implies. And Ham’s promotion of his sites and materials is rather obvious.
Overall, however Gospel Reset offers some important things to consider.
Gospel Reset, Salvation Made Relevant by Ken Ham (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2018) 125 pp., hard, $14.99.
Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher at Southern View Chapel