Before I get to our report on a unique raft trip through the Grand Canyon that was conducted recently, I wanted to show you a photo taken on an unusual foggy morning for us at the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky earlier this week. The photo is by Matt Graubner of our staff, who came early to the museum on Tuesday and walked through our lush botanical gardens and took some photos. By the way, we are closing in on 850,000 visitors in just 27 months!
A few weeks ago Dr. Andrew Snelling and Dr. Terry Mortenson of our Answers in Genesis ministry helped to lead a 7-day, 185-mile raft trip down the Colorado River through Grand Canyon for 24 Christian leaders and scholars. The other men on the teaching team were Tom Vail, founder of Canyon Ministries who has led over 200 such Canyon raft trips over the last 30 years, and Dr. Bill Barrick, Old Testament professor and director of the PhD program at The Master’s Seminary.
This was the second year for this unique, by-invitation-only trip sponsored by Answers in Genesis, Canyon Ministries, and The Master’s Seminary. The Lord raised up some supporters to donate $75,000 to substantially underwrite the cost of the trip to make it financially feasible for these men. Many of the participants were seminary or Christian university professors of theology, Old Testament, apologetics, or philosophy. One was a seminary president and the rest were influential pastors or ministry leaders. One each came from England, the Netherlands, and Australia—the others were from the U.S.
Sixteen went into the Canyon as young-earth creationists with varying degrees of conviction and knowledge of the geological evidence that confirms the truth of Genesis chapters 1–11. They finished the trip greatly strengthened in their convictions. The rest of the men started the trip holding to an old-earth view or were unsure what to believe about the age of the earth. At least one of them was persuaded of the young-earth view as a result of what he saw and heard through the lectures. There was a lot of open and respectful discussion and “debate,” and every one of the men (even those who at the end of the journey were still not persuaded of the young-earth view) told the group that he found the trip to be a tremendous spiritual and intellectual experience. The comments of one of the men, who in the end was still unsure of his position, spoke of the impact of the trip in a way that many of the men echoed. He wrote in a thank-you note to those who prayed for and financially supported this trip:
My heart overflows with thanksgiving for the gift you have given me—both in financial and in prayer support. From the first time I dared to walk up to the edge of the South Rim many years ago and look over the edge and see the little ribbon of the Colorado River “meandering” through the canyon, I have longed to “go below the rim.” You gave me an opportunity of a lifetime to see God’s glory in nature in a way I have never seen it before. But it wasn’t primarily a vacation, it was an education! I have long been agnostic on the age of the earth and have for the most part avoided serious study of the subject. But this trip convinced me that there is much for me to study and think through.While they were in the Canyon, we shipped them (free of charge) 7 books and 5 DVDs to help them consider further the biblical and scientific arguments for believing Genesis 1–11 as straightforward literal history (two resources I would particularly recommend to you are Coming to Grips with Genesis and Rock Strata, Fossils, and the Flood). So please lift up a prayer for these men as they study these materials—that they would come to a deep conviction about the truth of Genesis and then have a great impact on others through their extensive teaching ministries. And pray that, as the invitations go out to many other leaders and scholars for the July 2010 trip, God will lead the men He wants to come on that trip.
Each of the men on the leadership team was an extraordinary model of humility with strong, thought through convictions and a radical dependence on the Scriptures. Their courage to stand up for their convictions amidst the ridicule of the guild was very inspiring to me. Their respect for God’s creation and God’s Word was very inspiring.
The effects of this trip will continue in my own mind and heart and will impact the people whom I am serving for years to come. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
If you are interested in any of the three 2010 raft trips for the general public that we will be co-hosting with Tom Vail, visit Raft Grand Canyon!
“Severed People”Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
(Leviticus 20:26) And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.
The Lord Jesus Christ cut us right out of the mainstream of thought and lifestyle of a godless world so that our thoughts and lives are guided as His possession.