A comment on Brother Joel’s site brought my attention to a post on Susan Wise Bauer’s forums, entitled, With reluctance, trying to set the record straight:
“After moderating the comments on my blogs this morning, it has become clear to me that there’s some misinformation out there. I don’t know where it’s coming from, because I am not keeping up with blog/Facebook posts on the subject. However, I feel that I need to address some of the assumptions that those commenting on my blog are making.
1. I neither disinvited Mr. Ham nor asked that he be disinvited. I was informed of the decision after it was made.Those who disagree with the decision should express their opinions to the conference organizers.
2. I have absolutely no connection with Biologos. At all.
3. Peter Enns, who has written a book for the Olive Branch imprint of Peace Hill Press, sometimes blogs for Biologos. To my knowledge, he has a publisher-author relationship with them. He has a publisher-author relationship with Olive Branch Books.
4. On my blog, I posted the following paragraph as part of a very lengthy post on more general matters:
“And in the middle of all this, people would come up to our booth and say, “Are you aware that other speakers are telling people in their workshops that Dr. Bauer is out to remove all Christianity from homeschooling and that’s she’s not even a Christian and that we shouldn’t buy any of her materials?” This was accompanied by Facebook and blog posts with big WARNING! headlines, explaining how I was part of a plan to destablize the kingdom of God.”
Please notice that I mentioned no names. That’s because I didn’t know what speakers were recommending this. This is a direct quote from several of our customers–who, very discreetly, simply said, “Other speakers.” I didn’t know who was saying this about us. (In fact I thought it was someone else. )
The Facebook and blog posts mentioning my name were posted during the convention and are public.
I did not know until yesterday morning that Mr. Ham had mentioned me specifically in one of his workshops. I only know it now because he said so himself, publicly, in his response to the convention organizers.
5. When asked, I will offer my reservations about particular curricula and methods of teaching. That’s part of my job as an educator. But I did not, and will not, criticize another speaker by name.
6. I support every parent’s right NOT to use the Bible curriculum published by Olive Branch Books. However, it is absolutely untrue to say that this curriculum attacks the Bible. Please read it before making such accusations. That seems to me to be the most basic requirement for critiquing materials.
I do not believe that a battle of words is an appropriate way to resolve the current situation. (The moderators will continue to prevent battles of words on this board.) But I do believe that it is proper for me to clear the record when misinformation is circulating.
I am convicted that in this matter I should obey James 1:19-20:
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
To me, this post is most disturbing. Dr. Bauer is a minister’s wife and a self-proclaimed “American Christian.” Thus, she should be aware that the Bible admonishes us to “Provide things honest in the sight of all men” [Romans 12:17]. Likewise, 2 Corinthians 8:21 admonishes us that we should be ”Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”
So when Dr. Bauer claims she has no connections to BioLogos at all, notwithstanding that Dr. Peter Enns is the Senior Fellow of Biblical Studies for BioLogos, and then proceeds to state that “Peter Enns, who has written a book for the Olive Branch imprint of Peace Hill Press, sometimes blogs for Biologos. To my knowledge, he has a publisher-author relationship with them. He has a publisher-author relationship with Olive Branch Books,” who is she trying to fool? Olive Branch is an imprint of Peace Hill Press. I contacted Olive Branch by phone and spoke with a person identifying herself as Kim, asking her:
“I read on your website that Olive Branch Books is a religious instruction imprint of Peace Hill Press. Does that mean Olive Branch owned by Peace Hill Press?” She answered directly: “Yes.” I then asked her who owns Peace Hill Press. She responded: “Peace Hill press is owned by Susan Wise Bauer.”
So why does Dr. Bauer refer to Olive Branch Books as if they had nothing to do with her?
As another blogger has made a suggestion that I consider deplorable but entirely possible, given her disingenuous comments regarding BioLogos and Olive Branch Books on her forum:
“What is nearly certain is that Mr. Ham’s criticism of Dr. Enns adversely affects sales of Dr. Enns’ new homeschool curriculum. Dr. Enns’ curriculum is published by Peace Hill Press, the publishing arm of The Well-Trained Mind. Peace Hill Press is owned and operated by Dr. Susan Wise Bauer and her family. Ms. Bauer is the corporate Vice President. Mr. Ham’s criticism is not good business for a major homeschool vendor and a prominent speaker within the homeschool community. It appears to me that Mr. Dean made a decision to protect vendor sales at his conventions. Ken heavily criticized many compromisers of Scripture. Mr. Dean’s midnight email explanation only took issue with Ken’s criticism aimed at other vendors though. It’s Mr. Dean’s right to make this decision to protect his sales forum and vendors. He should not, however, dress this decision up in “spirituality.”
The blogger who authored the quote above, Tony Biller, also mentioned something I’ve written to the Great Homeschool Convention concenring twice now [with zero response; I'm sure they're busy]: who exactly comprises this Advisory Board at GHC? These guys made a subjective judgment about Ken Ham’s “spirit” and summarily banned him and Answers in Genesis until Christ comes! [A bit over the top, guys.] Who are they? Are any of them connected with Dr. Enns, Dr. Bauer or Dr. Jay A. Wile? What specific incidents was this subjective determination based on?
Great Homeschool Conventions is not forthcoming regarding any of this. They are refusing to provide things honest in the sight of God and all men. I suspect it’s because GHC made a bad economic decision they hoped would serve their bottom line and then compounded their error by adding an artificial spiritual glaze to the situation, a fuzzy notion of Ken’s “spirit” that could not be engaged or refuted directly without specifics.
Meanwhile, homeschoolers and Christendom in general are profaned amongst the heathen on account of GHC’s reeeeeeeeeally BAD decision. C’mon, guys; you seriously still want us to think you prayed about this? Perhaps you should have prayed longer!
Their judgment is especially hypocrtical in light of the fact that they claim they don’t filter speakers or vendors [in order to allow non-Christians into these roles at their conventions] and that they don’t want speakers and vendors to feel ostracized. They correct note that “The Bible admonishes us that we should be zealous to maintain the ‘unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,’” but if they suppose they have either  managed to maintain that unity of the Spirit by this bad decision rather than letting speakers air their views without censorship and ostracization or  the right to say that maintaining this unity of Spirit forbears us from pointing out error, sin and compromise where we find it, they are sadly – nay, cataclysmically mistaken!
What they have done is to render irreparable damage to the unity of the homeschooling movement and made clear that their idea of tolerance is no better than the world: disagree, but never do so publicly. After all, they cannot tolerate such intolerance.
Perhaps the most disturbing factor is that this as-yet-anonymous Advisory Board is allegedly Young Earth Creationist but their decision was to permanently ban one of the most influentual YEC aorganizations on the planet and keep the compromiser from BioLogos. wow.
-Rev Tony Breeden
- Is Christianity Once More on the Down-Grade? Answering a Critic Concerning Ken Ham’s Expulsion from Great Homeschool Conventions
- Update: Providing Things Honest In the Sight of All Men: Ken Ham, Susan Wise Bauer and the Great Homeschool Convention
- Are Old Earth & Young Earth Creationism Both Biblical, Orthodox Interpretations? A Response to Dr Jay Wile’s Big Tent Orthodoxy Position & the 21st Century Down-Grade