Martyn Iles, who first joined Answers in Genesis in May of this year, is now Executive CEO. Iles announced this development on his own Facebook page with, the next day, an identical emailing from Answers in Genesis to its supporters, and an article, Martin Iles: Answers in Genesis CEO, in Vision Christian Media, by Tony Davenport. The article is mainly devoted to Iles’s own statement, with a flattering headshot and minimal mention of Ken Ham.
Iles’s ascendance is very bad news indeed, not only because he is a formidable figure, but also because he is explicitly far more political than Ham ever revealed himself to be. On January 21, 2021, two weeks after the Capitol riot, Iles, who was still at that time managing director of the politically explicit Australian Christian Lobby, posted,
Donald Trump's term in the White House ends today, so I thought I'd share this crucial highlight of his presidency... Thanks President Trump, from an Aussie who still likes you and is happy to admit it.
This highlight consists of Trump making pugnacious gestures to an applauding crowd.
Further, in a podcast, The truth of it, Episode 55, shortly after the November, 2020 election, Iles noted the narrow margins in some states, drawing attention to lawsuits, and claimed that suspicion of fraud was reasonable:
There's a radical strand [of people on the left]… Do you really think that they wouldn't—they wouldn’t have a little tamper with a vote to stop a man who they believe is literally Hitler?… Of course, they would. … I mean, forgive me for thinking that someone who sets fire to a church wouldn't mess with 10,000 ballots. Of course, they would. Of course, they would.
(Here, Iles is presumably trying to link the election result to nebulous allegations of damage by un-named rioters.)
In Iles’s statement announcing his appointment, quoted in Davenport’s article, he mentions two new concerns:
Just as scientific naturalism has threatened the faith of so many, post-modernism and new critical theories threaten the faith of a new generation.
I find the reference to new critical theories interesting. Churches have been dealing with textual criticism of the Bible for over a century, so I suspect that he is referring to critical theories of society, such as Critical Race Theory. As Governor DeSantis’s policies in Florida show, criticism of CRT is now used to attack any teaching that questions conservative dogma, much as 70 years ago such questioning was condemned as Communism.
Postmodernism was a bit of a surprise, but Mike Johnson has also attacked postmodernism, in his 2017 Shreveport Christian Center speech.There he referred to postmodernism, which he described as a $10 word that he needed to explain to his audience, as among the results of studying Darwin, because it elevates individual opinion over the one and only Truth.
We have yet to see how Answers in Genesis will evolve under its new management, and how it will affect long-standing members of the AIG team, such as Ham’s son-in-law Bodie Hodge, who has been with Answers in Genesis for 20 years.
Following is the text of the announcement:
It’s a great honour to announce I have been elevated to the position of Executive CEO by the board of Answers in Genesis.
Fear not – Ken Ham is still the Founding CEO. We are leading together for the next season.
This is an arrangement designed to set Answers in Genesis up for the future. It means our feet are firmly planted on our foundations whilst we adapt to a new era.
The culture is changing, fast. The next generation is different. Digital technology is disrupting our existence. Just as scientific naturalism has threatened the faith of so many, postmodernism and new critical theories threaten the faith of a new generation.
But God’s word is a word for every generation.
And the gospel is God’s answer to every generation.
We will adapt to that which is new, holding fast to that which is timeless.
Please pray for us.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those that labour build it in vain.” (Ps 127:1)
P.S. And… Both Ken and I will be in Australia together in March 2024. Do not miss it!