Museum Neutrality?

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We find it flattering in general when a very well-known media outlet mentions the Creation Museum. That was the case with this recent article in the New York Times (the nation’s “newspaper of record”). We have mixed feelings about its coverage of us, but at least our Bible-affirming ministry is being noticed by this international newspaper.

In a recent New York Times article that dealt with the increasing number of museums with specialized themes, the reporter noted there are a surprising number of museums that are involved in “advocacy.” In writing that our Creation Museum brings the pages of the Bible to life, the reporter noted that we present “a counterargument to the theory of evolution with a series of exhibits that make the case for the theory of intelligent design.”

A good friend of our ministry, Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, recorded a podcast recently in which he commented on the New York Times’ inclusion of the Creation Museum as a place that advocates for a certain position. Dr. Mohler’s insights about the article were right on:

[The reporter gets it] almost right, actually the Creation Museum makes far more than a claim for intelligent design, and it makes a claim to be demonstrating evidence of divine creation. But the interesting thing, in terms of this article, is not just that he sees advocacy—this writer—in the Museum of Tolerance and in the Creation Museum, what’s really interesting, is that he doesn’t see it elsewhere. Implicit in his article is the idea that there are normal museums that are somehow value neutral and then there are advocacy museums. The Christian thinking carefully will understand that it is impossible to have a value neutral Museum, every Museum and every exhibit is advocacy of some form. Every single person who puts together every single exhibit is operating out of a worldview and that worldview will become increasingly apparent when one looks at how the exhibit is put together. Christians walking into a museum, into any Museum, have to understand just as opening any book or watching any entertainment products that a worldview is actually on display. No, the really interesting thing about this article is not where the author sees advocacy in museums, it’s where he doesn’t.

Certainly, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) up the road from the New York Times is an advocate for the evolutionary worldview in its exhibits (as is the case for almost all such museums in America)—and is quite blatantly pro-evolution. For example, evidence found in its glass cases of so-called “ape-men” does not speak for itself but is interpreted according to a person’s worldview. And with the AMNH in New York, the text on the display signs does not show neutrality—it advocates for the evolution belief system. See our article on the AMNH.

And there is no such thing as neutrality. For one, people are either for Christ or against him (Matthew 12:30). As Christians, we need to base our thinking on the unchanging foundation of God’s Word, and not the other side: the secular worldview of man’s fallible, changing ideas.

It’s really the same old tired propaganda from the secularists where they try to brainwash the public into thinking that Christians are biased, religious, intolerant people. But, in actual fact, secularists are some of the most intolerant people in the culture, and they don’t want to admit they are preaching a religion from their bias of naturalism.

You can listen to Dr. Mohler’s podcast (start at about the 20-minute spot) here.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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