Teaching Genesis in the Longhorn State

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Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking in Austin, Texas, at Concordia University and two local Lutheran churches. I was there by the invitation of Dr. Joel Heck, who is a professor of theology at Concordia. Every year for the past four years, he has hosted a seminar series on the creation/evolution debate. He even started an organization called the Society for Creation that is open to all faculty and administration who are employed at any of the ten Concordia Universities around the U.S. Dr. Heck has a passion for teaching young people and his colleagues about the truth of God’s Word from the very first verse. This is so encouraging and refreshing to see, since the AiG book Already Compromised showed that many theology and Bible professors at Christian colleges do not believe that Genesis should be taken literally.

It was great to see not only college students attending the sessions at the school but also many from the community, including several homeschool families. The Q and A throughout the day was tremendous, including the hour-long session late on a Friday afternoon that was attended by about 40 people! Not everyone agreed with what I taught, but all were respectful, and I felt that there were many fruitful dialogues that will hopefully challenge those who asked and listened.

A youth pastor asked me after one of the sessions what curriculum we had available to teach teens about Genesis. I shared with him about several of our resources including Demolishing Strongholds and our new Answers Bible Curriculum to be released this fall. This young man recently taught about homosexuality at his church and is concerned that he may lose his job because he taught what the Bible teaches, that homosexuality is a sin. Please pray for this young man and his wife as they take a strong stand for the truth of God’s Word.

On Sunday after speaking at a church a man approached me and was extremely irate about my presentation on the relevance of Genesis. He said I was doing a disservice to his church, especially the young people. As our conversation proceeded, I told him that he was elevating science (based on man’s ideas about the past) above Scripture (God’s Word about the past). He became very upset with me and said I was questioning his faith. I explained to him that I was not challenging him in regards to Christ and salvation. Rather, I was questioning the consistency and arbitrariness of his faith in holding science above Scripture in Genesis but not elsewhere. Science clearly shows that virgins don’t give birth and dead people don’t resurrect, and yet he believes those things but not the miracles in Genesis. Please pray for this man.

On a lighter note, Dr. Heck and his wife Cheryl took me on a tour of Austin on Saturday afternoon. I toured the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, the state capital building, and Mount Bonnell, the highest point in Austin. We ate a restaurant that evening called The Oasis that has 30+ decks all built into a hillside overlooking Lake Travis. It’s always fun to tour the city I’m in!

The event was made extra special by several Video Conference Coordinators who joined me (some from over 50+ miles away!) to help with each of the sessions. They were such a blessing in helping us transport, set up, sell, and pack resources. I don’t know how we would have done it without their help. We all became friends and I’m looking forward to seeing them in Branson, Missouri, at the Proclaiming the Faith Family Conference in July. I also want to personally thank my husband Chris who took two days off from work to care for our sick daughter Elizabeth while I came to Texas. I know it wasn’t an easy four days, and I appreciate so much his love and care for our family.

Enjoy the pictures and remember to keep fighting the good fight of the faith!

Speaking at Concordia

From the top of Mount Bonnell

The Oasis overlooking Lake Travis (the lake is very low due to the severe drought in Austin)

Me, Dr. Joel Heck, and the Vlugs, the Freds, and Rob Smith (our very helpful VCCs)

Statue of Martin Luther at Concordia. A great reminder of Luther's battle for the authority of God's Word.

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