He tells everyone that if you question anything in the Bible, it puts you on a slippery slope to apostasy — you must believe every word is literally true or doubts will creep in, and then you are damned. He’s right, sort of. I’ll qualify that a bit, though.
Here’s a beautiful example: the story of Sandra Edwards, a serious, dedicated Christian and young earth creationist, so serious that she published a children’s book promoting creationism, who one day find herself thoughtfully reading material on the internet…and next thing you know, GODLESS.
After a long and difficult struggle, I’m finally stepping away from the Christian faith I’ve known for 46 years–the faith I grew up in, then selected for myself as an adult and shared with my husband and our 5 children, and hundreds of people in churches, women’s groups, Sunday school classes, and Awana clubs. Shortly after "coming to Christ" and being "born again" at 22, I discovered Young Earth Creationism through Answers in Genesis, and was completely convinced by their mantra: "The issue is not the age of the earth, but biblical authority. If you can’t trust Genesis, you can’t trust the Bible." Without the Genesis explanation of "original sin" corrupting God’s perfect Creation, there would be no need for a Savior to save us from its consequences, and no explanation for the disease, suffering and death we observe despite "God’s goodness". I decided–and taught–that if you’re going to invest your life in a religion with the Bible as its foundation, that demands that you study it, quote it, sing it, connect with others over it, legislate your morality by dissecting it, and worship and pray to its central figure, you must accept it as true and fully reliable–or you’ve allowed "compromise" to creep in, and any undesired doctrines could be cast aside as well: you could tell God what he really meant. So I subscribed to Answers magazine, watched AiG videos, funded an advertising campaign for their Creation Museum on a Christian radio station, and visited it along with nearly 2 million others. I knew YEC was dismissed by many Christians as a "fringe belief", but I championed it because it starts with the Word of God, not man; I often declared, "God made the rules, so he has the right to say we’re wrong." A year ago, my book was published and I got on Twitter to promote it…and was challenged by atheists who knew a lot more about science, reality and the Bible than I did. In order to be able to present my position with any credibility–and be a good witness to my faith–I had to quickly learn what the arguments were and how to address them…so I continued to engage in conversations with non-believers…and became one myself.
She has a much more detailed discussion of all the points that made her question her faith, and it’s a good thing for any Christian to read.
I do have to point out one thing, though, to make it clear that this story shouldn’t cause excessive exuberance among atheists. Followers of Ken Ham/Kent Hovind style creationism are setting themselves up to fail. They’ve created a starkly black and white universe in which either you are completely in agreement with their dogma, or you are completely wrong in all things, which means small cracks in their façade quickly tear wide open into vast chasms. It might mean they’re impenetrable in the short term, but over time, they crumble, and they crumble hard, since losing faith in certain pseudoscientific claims means you are inevitably going to have to question the whole of your faith.
So Ken Ham is doing good work for us atheists by building a very brittle Christian wall. It can resist a few punches, but when it goes, it goes in its entirety.