Calling all ladies! You’re invited to join us and hundreds of other women, April 7–8, 2017, for our Answers for Women’s conference being held in Florence, Kentucky, at Florence Baptist Church Mt. Zion (located just 20 minutes from the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter). The theme this year is Defend: Ready to Give an Answer. You’ll hear speakers from various backgrounds—including a former professional astrologer and an expert on Christ’s Resurrection—on issues facing the church today such as defending the reality of heaven and hell; contending for the truth and sufficiency of Scripture; discerning New Age and other unbiblical influences (like the New Apostolic Reformation, mindfulness, and contemplative prayer) in the church; and practically sharing Christ with others.
I recently sat down with the woman in charge of organizing this conference, Dr. Georgia Purdom, one of our speakers and researchers here at Answers in Genesis, to get a behind-the-scenes look at why we need this women’s conference.
Why does AiG want to host a women’s conference?
When I first came to Answers in Genesis, I honestly never thought about having a women’s conference or speaking to women specifically on these topics. I am a scientist, so I thought, “I want to focus on teaching science.” But as I went to Christian women’s conferences, I realized that a lot of them, as Ken Ham calls it, are “fluff and stuff.” There’s not a lot of meat or delving into the Word, and there’s certainly not apologetics. A lot of women’s conferences tend to be emotionally and experientially charged, sharing stories and testimonies—and there’s nothing wrong with sharing testimonies and stories—but it needs to be within the larger context of delving into God’s Word.
Also, in speaking to the women around me, I realized they desperately wanted something like this. As I talked to women about the possibility of the conference, they started to get really excited about it. They said, “We’re so tired of going to these conferences where they don’t really delve into the Word, where it’s just very surface.” And they know who we are as Answers in Genesis, and that we do get into the Word, we do give meat, and they wanted something specifically for them. So I saw a desperate need for women to be equipped to defend God’s Word effectively and decided to have a conference just for them that met this need.
What makes this conference unique compared to other women’s conferences?
What’s really unique about it is the practical apologetics emphasis that we have. It’s not just apologetics for the sake of knowing how to defend your faith, but knowing how to use that effectively. We don’t just want to tell you, “This is how you defend something”; we want to show you how to do it and why it’s important and relevant, so it won’t just be head knowledge, but heart knowledge. Practical apologetics are something we can utilize in our everyday lives with the people we come in contact with.
What do you hope women take away from this year’s conference specifically?
This year’s conference is very heavily focused on apologetics, especially some of the false teachings that have crept into the church on things like God speaking to us, visits to heaven, the New Apostolic Reformation, and Eastern mysticism. One of the things that I want people to understand is that a lot of these sound Christian, but they really are not. When you start to peel back the layers and look beyond just the terminology to see [the meaning of those things within the context that they’re being used], it’s something totally different from biblical Christianity.
I just received a letter from someone who was concerned that we were having someone speak on the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) at the conference, because they looked at the NAR and said, “I think it’s Christian. I don’t know what your problem is with it.” And I thought, “This is exactly why we need the conference. Because, yes, some of the terminology they are using sounds very ‘Christian,’ so what could possibly be wrong with this? Well, when you start looking at what they mean by these terms and how they are using them, you see they are very different from biblical Christianity.”
We have to be very discerning and not just take it at face value. Just because the Christian bookstore sells it, doesn’t mean it’s Christian. Just because one of my friends on Facebook endorses that book, doesn’t mean it’s Christian. We have to learn to be very discerning and read more than just the introduction to really find out what these people believe and whether or not it lines up with Scripture.
What’s some feedback you’ve received from previous conferences?
Our conference coordinator said that he’s never seen so much positive feedback for a conference; it’s almost all positive, which is very encouraging to us. One of the things people have said over and over again is that they’ve never seen so much Scripture used at a women’s conference. They appreciate the meat and that it’s not just surface teaching. Instead, we’re getting into God’s Word, really understanding it, and practically applying it. It’s helping them with their neighbor, friend, or wayward child. They now feel they can talk intelligently about these things.
One finding from past conferences was the erroneous idea that we think we must know exactly what’s wrong with Mormonism to be able to talk to a Mormon, or what’s wrong with abortion to be able to talk to someone who’s had an abortion. But I think one of the good things that’s come out of these conferences is that, yes, it’s good to know some of those things, but, more importantly, that it’s the gospel of Jesus Christ and knowing God’s Word that’s the answer to everything. This teaching is making women feel confident in sharing their faith, knowing that we have the answers—we really do—and the bottom line is that it’s the Word of God and the gospel.
Are there any “perks” that come with attending this conference?
For the women who attend, lunch on Saturday is included in the price, and you will also receive free admission to both the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. Additionally, you receive a 20% discount to both attractions for your accompanying spouse and dependent children. This is something for the whole family to take advantage of.
Is this a good event to bring your daughters to?
I really encourage women to bring their daughters (junior high and older). I will be bringing my 13-year-old daughter this year. Two women, who are friends, bring their daughters every year and make a mother-daughter weekend out of it. What a great idea!
Can you imagine having this knowledge as a young woman? It will really equip young women, when they start to question things and make their own decisions, to know what they believe and why. I think being equipped with those answers is valuable so we would definitely encourage young women to attend.
You can learn more, see a full schedule, and register on the outreach page of our website.