Ken Ham, Susan Wise Bauer and Peter Enns Engaged in Epic Battle for Hearts, Souls and Greenbacks of Christian Homeschoolers!

April 6th, 2011

Over the past few days I have noticed an uptick in readers landing on a post I wrote about Susan Wise Bauer.  Bauer, as you may recall is the Christian homeschooling guru who wrote The Well Trained Mind.  Apparently Bauer’s influence reaches well beyond God’s most holy people – the Christian homeschoolers and into further outposts of Jewish and secular homeschooling populations as well.  She maintains a forum self labeled ‘the hive mind’ which sent notable numbers of traffic to this site when someone left a link on the forum to one of my early Pie Near Woman parodies.  Up until that point, I had never heard of The Well Trained Mind and it’s hive minded forum.

But the recent traffic that is landing on this site is not coming from the WTM forum.  Instead, these folks are seeking out information on Susan Wise Bauer.  I had to wonder why and after a brief google search I found out that there is currently some serious dissent among the ranks in the Christian homeschooling world.  I know!  SHOCKING!  And the topic at the epicenter of the present debate – is EVOLUTION and the BOOK OF GENESIS!

Evidently Susan Wise Bauer publishes not just her own Christianized versions of historical text books for bible believing homeschoolers, she also publishes some religious curriculum written by Peter Enns through an imprint of her Peace Hill Press publishing company called Olive Branch books. Peter Enns is the senior fellow of biblical studies for an organization headed by Francis Collins called BioLogos.  Francis Collins is the guy famous for decoding the human genome and for somehow being a devout Christian at the same time.  In other words – he is the rare super smart scientist who still believes in unicorn fairy dust.  So Enns is tight with Collins and that is impressive to a certain segment of Christians (the ones whose brains still work pretty good), but to those who are fearlessly unafraid to believe that the world was not only created by a male God with a penis in six days and then destroyed by a flood, except for six people and eleventeen twillion animals who all survived on a boat and then they got out of the boat and re-populated the entire world and then all those people got really super evil again so God had to come down to earth and impregnate a thirteen year old virgin with his God seed and then thirty three years later, he had to stand idly by while the resulting God seed child was nailed to two ‘morsels of wood’ died, put in a tomb, and then rose again, walked around for a while, saw a few old buddies and then flew up to heaven where he currently judges the quick and the dead and loves us so, so, SO much, but can’t quite bring himself to stop the FUCKING TSUNAMI FROM KILLING THOUSANDS OF JAPANESE AND CRACKING OPEN A NUCLEAR REACTOR.  But whatever Jesus!  You still the man!  You are still so totally awesome and I still totally fucking believe in you!



So Ken Ham pulls out his hammer of iron at a recent homeschooling conference and starts doing his best John Calvin imitation by slamming fellow conference speaker, Peter Enns for being such a non-literal Adam believer and for SO not believing in a world wide flood like Jesus totally said so!

And then Susan Wise Bauer was accused of getting her homeys together and kicking Ham’s ass out of the conference for not playing nice with the smart scientist Christian man and for scarily disrupting the sales of her Christian homeschooling merchandise by spreading a bunch of lies amongst her sheeple!  Although according to Susan, she had nothing to do with Ham’s dismissal.

And then Ham GETS BUSY and starts spewing his vitriol all over the freakin’ internet, drawing lines in the sand and rousing his people to back him and shun Bauer and Enns.

It’s kind of like a tsunami hit a nuclear reactor at the Christian Homeschooling Convention!

Holy (and I do mean HOLY) shit!

You can read a less profanity laced version at  Christianity Today

Here’s a link to BioLogos.

Here’s what Susan Wise Bauer has to say….

And here’s Ken Ham’s response…

As always – I am happy to be the crossroads between Christian homeschoolers and the correct interpretation of the Bible. It is my fondest wish that people would only come to see the real truth in scripture and live accordingly.  Off to spend the rest of the evening memorizing Ezekiel and Lamentations (my favorites!)!

Your faithful devout bible believin’ homeschool lovin’ servant,



I just visited the Well Trained Mind Forum to get the link and noted that the most traffic the forum has ever gotten was on March 23, 2011 – the very day that the Ken Ham/Peter Enns/Susan Wise Bauer story broke.

Also – It would appear that Ham is attempting a bit of ‘finance terrorism’ towards Bauer as he is currently and forcefully promoting homeschooling textbooks written by a biblical literalist on his facebook page.

I wonder how Bauer will respond?

I love how Christianity makes people so much better than the rest of us lowly sinful folk.  Don’t you?


  • Kay in KCMO:

    Okay, I truly have no knowledge about any of this because, you know, homeschooling, but I giggled at the David Sedaris reference.

  • Genius. You’ve just completely debunked christianity in one fell swoop. Good show!

    • Bridget:


  • Mo:

    Jesus H. Scientist.

    If you’re ever feeling ganged up on by some of these people, at least you know that they will eat their own just as easily. Maybe even with a side of favas and a nice Chianti.

    I was looking but did not see in the links the reason Westminster Blah Blah gave for canning Enns.

    • Rechelle:

      I’ll see if I can find the story, but from what I remember, the concern was that Enns did not believe the bible hard enough.

    • Rechelle:

      I went back and checked and Enns was actually asked to leave Westminster Christian theological blah blah blah in 2008. Sorry for the misinformation! I do still believe he was asked to leave for not believing in the bible quite hard enough to satisfy Westminster which is not as hard as Ken Ham believes but not as soft as Enns prefers.

      • Mo:

        Thank you!

  • ::laughs:: It’s like Thunderdome for Christian Homeschoolers!

    …And now I can’t get the image of Tina Turner referring to Ken Ham as “raggedy man” out of my head.

  • Alison:

    I read about this the other day and thought about you. I knew you’d love it! But I was on vacation and it quickly exited my mind. I knew about it because I am the only conservative, Christian, homeschooler still reading your blog :) But I’m one of those crazy ones that teaches evolution, thinks Ken Ham is an ass, and reads BioLogos. Thank you for the brief synopsis on Christianity. I may use that as our Bible study next week. I had a facebook ‘friend’ post a devotional based on Leviticus. Really? Leviticus? You REALLY want to go there?

  • Bridget:

    Allison: As your complete polar opposite, I have to say that I respect you greatly for sticking to your religious beliefs; but still teaching your children about evolution. I am reformed Christian turned Buddhist, and so I do understand Christian beliefs and I don’t think that evolution can’t fit within those beliefs. God could have created the universe and in doing so established certain laws of physics, evolution of species is one of those laws, that even God must obey or at least that could be one possible way of looking at things.

    In the hay day of my holy roller days, I was given the book, written by a Christian author titled, You Don’t Have to Check Your Brains at the Door, that was an attempt to provide Christians with “facts” that prove that the theory of evolution is wrong. When I was reading it I thought that the author had checked his brains at the door because none of what he was saying made sense and his “facts” were not true. I feel that many Christians check their brains at the door and will steadily deny many scientific theories that come as close to facts as science will allow.

    The theory of evolution is one of the most robustly supported claims. Almost as robustly supported as the Laws of Themromdynamics, but I don’t see many Christians trying to say that the Laws of Thermodynamics are just a theory or aren’t true. Many Christians say that evolution can not be proved because no one was around to witness the historical evidence that supports evolution, but at the sametime they accept the bible as fact and no one was around to witness the historical facts of the bible.

    Meaning after all of my windbag ranting that it is rather wise of you to teach your children about evolution because it shows a larger understanding of the possible history of the Earth, a history that can include both the evolution of species, as well as, God. I just hope that you aren’t teaching evolution by claiming that Jesus and dinosaurs walked the Earth at the sametime. Not that there is anything wrong with that with exception that it is a near impossibility. Although no one was around to ask people if they rode around on dinosaurs.

    I just don’t think that science has to be sacrificed on the altar of faith.

    • Alison:

      I agree 100% and I find the whole thing so sad. I love the title of that book. I was sure you were going to say it was about evolution fitting into God’s plan and that I should read it. I should have known better LOL. As far as the kids go–we’ve had a few non science books that showed people and dinosaurs together (sigh) and my first grader started laughing. He said ‘That’s so stupid! Everyone knows dinosaurs didn’t live with people.’
      I always tell people that God is way too big to be put in a box by us. And YEC is a pretty small box. I read a quote in the book unChristian that said ‘You can assume something is wrong when your God hates the same people you do.’ Ahhhh….now those are some words to live by :)