Dr. Robby Gallaty is the senior pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is also president of replicateministries.org, a ministry that educates, equips, and empowers disciples to make disciples. His new book Growing Up: How to Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples comes out November 11.
He and his wife Kandi visited our Creation Museum recently, and he spoke to our staff. Later, Pastor Gallaty wrote a summary of his museum visit (slightly revised here):
Our trip to the Creation Museum was long overdue. Our fifth-graders make a trip every year before being promoted to our student ministry. Our senior adults, college students, single adults, and various Sunday Bible study classes have even made the trip. My wife asked repeatedly for me to take her, but I responded with the normal pastoral excuse, “I would love to go, but it’s impossible with my schedule.”This past Saturday, a group from Pastor Gallaty’s church visited the Creation Museum. Here I am in a photograph taken with the group at our Foto FX booth:
The opportunity finally presented itself for Kandi and me to make the trip. Was it worth our time? My first comment to her on the plane home was, “Why did I wait so long to visit the museum?”
Immediately, I realized that Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis ministries, shared the same passion I do for making disciples. If we, particularly the fathers, do not disciple our families, who will? God has appointed us to be the priests of our home. The museum brings to life the creation, the Fall, redemption, and restoration at the end of time. Your questions about dinosaurs, Cain marrying his sister, different species and kinds of animals, evolution, the big bang, planets, stars, and our solar system, to name a few, will be answered from a biblical perspective.
The name of the ministry, Answers in Genesis, explains it all. According to Ken, the first 11 chapters of Genesis, a portion that many people look over and overlook, contain crucial information that explains everything that comes after it. The attention to detail that Ken gives to these chapters—a section most gloss over— is unsurpassed. His affection for the Word of God is contagious, causing me to re-read and study afresh this section of Scripture.
What’s at stake is the future of our young people. Ken highlights staggering statistics about young people in his book Already Gone. George Barna, basing his interview on 22,000 adults and over 2,000 teenagers in 25 separate, albeit thorough, surveys, suggested that “six out of ten twenty-somethings who were involved in a church during their teen years are already gone” (Barna Research Online, “Teenagers Embrace Religion but Are Not Excited About Christianity,” January 10, 2000, www.Barna.org).
If we keep doing what we are doing, we will keep getting the same of what we’ve been getting. Something has to change, and it begins in the home. Parental discipleship begins prior to formal education. During the formative years, a child is deciding whether he or she will accept God’s Word as authoritative or man’s word as interpretive.
The same quality you expect from Disney World can be expected from the Creation Museum, but the existing museum is only phase one. An all-star team is about to begin construction on another project. The ministry is raising funds to construct an exact replica of Noah’s Ark. You heard me right! The Ark of deliverance that sailed for months carrying two animals of every kind is about to be built. Additionally, a first-century Jerusalem city, a petting zoo, and the Tower of Babel will complement the Ark.
Here are the “Five Takeaways” from our time with Ken Ham at the Creation Museum:
- The first 11 chapters of Genesis are crucial for understanding the story of redemption and our place in human history.
- Our approach to studying Scripture must be proportioned. Ken made a statement that I’ve pondered since I left: “Why do we apply a different hermeneutic to Genesis 1–11 than we use on Genesis 12 to Revelation?” He went on to say, “We would never interpret the New Testament the way we do creation, the Flood, or the Tower of Babel.”
- Ken is unapologetic about what he believes. It’s refreshing to be around a man who is absolutely certain about the reliability, infallibility, and sufficiency of the Scriptures.
- You can’t take the museum in during one trip, which is why single admission is for two days. Do yourself a favor and plan on staying for two days.
- The ministry is selling Charter Lifetime Boarding Passes, which allows a family to board the future Ark for life. I forgot to ask if this entitles a family to board in the midst of a real catastrophe!
Pastor Gallaty’s book Growing Up has been called a “manual for making disciples.” It answers the what, why, where, and how of discipleship. Now, you will not be learning this information just for yourself—it’s to help you disciple others—although you will definitely benefit from it. The foreword is by David Platt, author of Radical and Follow Me.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying, Ken