Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Sound of Chicken Wings Flapping

...or how NOT to run a Christian ministry

The man to the left is Kent Hovind. He is an amateur apologist for biblical creationism. He goes by the name "Dr. Dino."

If you scroll down my blog you will note on the right I have listed many links. I have those links broken into a variety of categories so as to identify how I feel about the content a person will find on those links. You will note that I have placed Dr. Dino under the Muddled Theology category - and for good reason.

A few years ago I use to slum around on some KJV only email discussion groups. I can recall one of the fellows I tangled with regularly singing the praises of how Dr. Dino was the best Christian apologist in the world defending biblical creationism.

The best? I guess the guys over at Answers in Genesis are a bunch of hacks?

I had a real surface knowledge about the guy at the time, but the beauty of the Internet is that you can do a quick search and find a person and then retrieve a ton of information about him or her. I googled Dr. Dino and was directed to his main ministry website, and go figure, it's called Dr. Dino.

I surfed through out his website and it fast became obvious that he was something of a goofball. I had that sneaking suspicion on account of a crackpot KJV onlyists whole-heartedly endorsing the guy.

There was something of a conspiratorial tone to many of his ideas. He solicited the help of Queen Quack, G.A. Riplinger, for defending Bible difficulties. As a publicity stunt, he has a standing offer to pay any person $250,000 who can demonstrate evidence for evolution. And stunningly, he seemed to imply that Christian ministers were not required to pay federal and state income tax. I left his website with a big red flag billowing in my head.

Also during my research, I discovered he debated progressive creationist Hugh Ross on the John Ankerberg show. According to one of the staff at AiG who reviewed the debate, Dr. Dino did not fair well debating Ross and he did more harm to his credibility as an apologist than good. Dr. Ross still appeals to this debate as an example of how easily young earth apologetics can be trounced. Moreover, AiG published a lengthy paper listing what they believed to be poor arguments defending biblical creation that apologists should NOT use. Dr. Dino took issue with their list because he utilized several of the listed "poor" arguments in his talks and offered a rebuttal that really only sunk his competence as an apologist even more.

I had a friend who happened to have one of his taped lectures and so I borrowed it. The lecture was OK; he didn't necessarily say anything bad, but he seemed to be rehashing material pieced together from previous talks made by other, more reputable creationists. Some folks would call him a plagiarist, though he added his own personal flare.

All of that to say that I never found Dr. Dino to be impressive. He had too many trouble areas with his apologetics for me to recommend him to anyone.

Well, Dr. Dino's views on paying federal and state income tax has come home to roost. He was arrested in Florida this past week for tax fraud, and get this, for threatening investigators, whatever that means. Sadly, as someone who already had a questionable way of doing evangelistic apologetics, this only shackles the rest of the Christian community who genuinely do have an evangelistic ministry in the area of evolution and creationism.

There are many testimonies from folks over at Sharper Iron commenting on their personal experience with Dr. Dino which only affirm what I had concluded about him. I can only hope God will use this for His good, but this is another example of how a person's reputation and integrity will make or break his apologetics for defending the faith.



Blogger Pickle Boy said...

While I share your concerns about how Dr. Dino represents and presents Christianity and creationism, I'm always befuddled by Christian criti-blogs that resort to name calling. I'm sorry, but I don't understand why you feel the need to call folks "goofballs" or "crackpots."

I thought those kinds of choice words were only fired at "Bible-doubters" from the guns of some of the KJV Only crowd.

8:20 AM, July 18, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I'm sorry, but I don't understand why you feel the need to call folks "goofballs" or "crackpots."
I thought those kinds of choice words were only fired at "Bible-doubters" from the guns of some of the KJV Only crowd.

(Fred) Pickle,

I appreciate and respect your criticism. You have to believe me when I tell you I don't take it lightly, nor will I dismiss what you write. A couple of thoughts in response, however:

First, I do desire to be somewhat humorous with my blog. In a sense, mixing a good laugh with a theological and biblical worldview. Though I appeciate more serious blogs like Faith and Practice who tend to emphasize the stale, academic side of theology, I want to make theology fun. So I am going to poke a bit at perspectives I disagree with. It is just a part of my personality.

Second, I try to reserve comments like "goofball" and "crackpot" for those individuals deserving of such a designation. "Crackpot" is a word that means a person with ideas which are eccentric or outright loopy. The KJV onlyist I referrenced falls squarely under that definition. And reviewing the various non-creationist beliefs promoted by Kent Hovind places him in the camp of being a goofball. Additionally, he received his "degree" from a guy in Colorado who runs a theological school out of the basement of his house. It is then goofy for someone like Kent Hovind to pawn off his academic creditionals as someone who accomplished serious research and study.

But again, I recognize your concern of being needlessly mean spirited and will take those comments to heart.

9:52 AM, July 18, 2006  
Blogger D.J. Cimino said...

Dr. Dino showed up at the University of Tennessee about 4 years ago to debate a prof. at UT. Being in the KJO crowd at the time some men from my church went to go see the good "Doctor" put this UT prof to shame.

Needless to say, Dr Dino was laughed right out of Knoxville. I hear he did "so-so", but once he mentioned that he still believed there were dino's on the earth "he lost any credibility" he ever had with the crowd... I'm thinking he didn't have too much to lose anyways.

BTW, I had read about some falling out he had with PCC regarding taxes/money. I'm not too suprised by his arrest.

11:22 AM, July 19, 2006  
Blogger claeyborn said...

Another mud-slinging blog against Kent Hovind. Why don't you just come right out and say that you hope he burns in hell?

Don't forget about Kind David, who sinned greatly against God... worse than Kent Hovind's mistakes/sins, and yet, God restored him. So, get over your holier than thou attitude... please! Before it's too late for you!

10:18 PM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger claeyborn said...

I forgot to add.... that it doesn't matter where Hovind got his education either. He was still a high school science teacher for 15 years, and that makes him more qualified than most of us who are speaking up against evolution. How educated was Moses before he went to the Pharoah. He was "slow of speech", and had Aaron go with him. Kent Hovind is more than qualified to evangelize for God. If only Christians with PhDs from Harvard/Yale/Princeton/etc. could be evangelists, then the church would've died a long time ago.

10:24 PM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

See my comments to claeyborn under this post here

1:22 PM, June 04, 2007  

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