Wednesday, August 05, 2009

My Report From Our Visit to the Creation Museum

Psalm 19:1
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.”

Where to begin? That’s what I’ve been sitting here trying to decide as I attempt a post about our visit to the Creation Museum. I originally had the word “brief” in my title, but now that I’ve finished I see it’s not so brief, after all.

I think one thing that impressed me was the use of Scripture throughout the museum. As you go through the walk-through part, there are colorful, attractive signs explaining each exhibit and many of the signs are scripture verses that explain what is being depicted. Sometimes there might be theories about how something may have happened within the biblical framework, but in cases where we cannot observe and prove through experimentation, they were presented as hypothesis, not fact. It is clear that the worldview and starting point for this museum is that God’s word is our first and final authority in how we look at and interpret what we see in the world. In fact, I have been spending quite a bit of time recently pondering how important our worldview is to how we see everything, from the physical world, to how we read books and view movies, to how we perceive and respond to other people and their ideas. Everything is filtered through our worldview, whether we realize we are operating with one or not. We are not capable of seeing things in an unbiased way because our basic worldview will influence how we see and experience everything.

Another thing that impressed me was that the gospel is clearly presented throughout the museum, explicitly in The Last Adam, the movie at the end of the walkthrough portion. Answers in Genesis uses what it calls “The Seven C’s” to present a biblical view of the history of the world, and this was the theme through the museum. The seven C’s are Creation, Corruption (when sin entered the world through Adam and Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit), Catastrophe (the Global/worldwide flood), Confusion (the Tower of Babel), Christ, Cross, Consummation. This is a very effective way to present the gospel from Creation to Christ and to quickly tie it all together biblically. Last year our church used AiG’s VBS curriculum and we got to teach the kids the 7 C’s, and I really found it to be a great way to address VBS.

We began our visit with the planetarium presentation. It is absolutely awesome to ponder how incredible our Creator God is when you begin to understand how vast and beautiful our universe is. And He spoke it into existence. It’s almost funny to look at the complexity and wonder of the stars and all that is out there, only a tiny part have we been able to study, and then read in Genesis 1:16b, “….He made the stars also.” And then when you begin to realize how small we really are, and that it was here that Jesus came and walked among us and redeemed us and reconciled us to God. Incredible. Amazing, amazing grace. J came out of that presentation saying he wanted to be an astrologer. I told him, “I think you mean astronomer.” He asked the difference, and after I told him, he said, “Oh, yeah, I meant astronomer. I don’t want that other thing at all!” Anyway, both boys are contemplating careers in astronomy after that presentation. It was impressive.

Then we did the walk- through, which is the main part of the museum. There is a section on digging for dinosaur bones, discussion about how your ‘starting point’ (worldview) will influence how you interpret the same data, a section about the Bible – Moses and the Law and Prophets and David and Psalms and the New Testament and how the Bible has withstood the test of time, the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, the Fall, Cain and Abel, Methuselah, Noah and the ark and the Flood – with a realistic look at what the ark may have looked like and how they could have fit the animals and what a catastrophe the flood actually was, the tower of Babel and how what happened there explains our differences and how racism is really an unbiblical and evil concept – we are all ‘one blood’ as Paul tells the Athenians in Acts 17, and we ended with The Last Adam, a short movie about Christ and the Cross. It was very good. In fact, the quality of the exhibits and the movies and music throughout the museum is very high. It is all done very well.

I think the neat thing for me about the Creation Museum is that it gave me time to just think a little more concretely about things I already believe are true. The more I ponder these things, the more I am convinced that nothing else makes sense but to take God at His word, and to avoid trying to compromise and try to make man’s ideas fit. He created the earth in six literal days. The dinosaurs don’t even pose a problem for me anymore. I blogged once before about how nervous I was when my then 3 or 4-year-old son got interested in dinosaurs and we were getting books from the library that were talking about them dying out 65 million years before man. I knew I didn’t believe that. But I didn’t know what to think. Now I do. The land animals were created on day six. That is the answer. There can’t have been millions of years of death before man. It just doesn’t fit. Death and the curse entered the world through man’s sin. Does that mean I have all the answers for all the details all figured out? No. But I know the God who does. And I know that He gave us what He wanted us to know. And I know that when we look at the evidence around us, we need to do so with the starting point that God’s word is true and it is true in every way – history, biology, anthropology, etc.

I also think there are some things God did not tell us. In Deuteronomy 29:29 it says, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” There are some things we are better not to expend too much energy speculating about, and focus on those things we are given. The things we are told, we need to hold to and obey. The physical world we can see and observe, we need to do so with the authority of God’s word as our ultimate authority, a worldview with the starting point that His word is true.

As we were thinking about Methuselah after seeing that part of the museum, Drew and I got to thinking and talking about how these were real people. People who lived a long time. It’s very possible that Methuselah may have even known Adam. Can you imagine what it might have been like talking to Adam about what it had been like to walk with God? Surely He must have talked about some of these things with people. I said that I imagine there were tears as he told about what is was like when that was lost.

It was a really fun, educational visit. Even Boo enjoyed most of it – even things I thought she would find boring. All the kids want to go back again. I suppose that someone who doesn’t believe might criticize and say what we experienced was ‘indoctrination’ or ‘brainwashing.’ Again, your starting point influences how you see that, too. That same person wouldn’t recognize the ‘indoctrination’ and ‘brainwashing’ we see from the evolutionary and humanistic worldview that permeates our culture from every angle and almost every other museum we could visit. In fact, I caught it at the science museum here in St. Louis when we went to visit. They had some exhibits that were biased toward the evolutionary view, and the bias was obvious. So, it just depends on where you’re starting from. One thing I’ve appreciated about Answers in Genesis is that its ministry has helped me to better articulate what I already know to be true and how to think it though logically. I’m thankful for their ministry. And I’m very glad we took a trip to the Creation Museum. We hope to go again.


Veronica @ A Quiet Heart said...

I would love to visit the Creation Museum someday... I also ordered the book that you recommended (Already Gone), and am anxious for it to arrive! I am currently reading a book that seems to be from a similar perspective, called "Growing Up Christian," so I have something to keep me busy while I wait! ;) But, growing up in the church myself, and now having a daughter who will (Lord-willing) do the same, this is a topic that hits so close to home!!

Elle said...

This is our dream trip as well. Thanks for sharing your report and insights. As I have grown in faith, I have come to understand and appreciate the majesty of God in creation like I was never exposed to or understood while growing up. Very humbling.