Here we go. This should be our final blog post from the 2011 Apologetics Mega Conference. I've had a wonderful week at the conference and have enjoyed keeping you informed about what has been taking place in Florence, Kentucky. I hope these posts have been helpful, informative, and sometimes fun for you to read. Most (if not all) of the sessions were recorded, and many of them will be available on DVD in the future.
Bodie Hodge: The Tower of Babel: Was It Real?
In the first talk on Friday morning, Bodie Hodge discussed some of the most-asked questions related to the Tower of Babel account in Genesis 11. This important event can be used to explain the various languages and people groups we see in our world today.
Bodie covered issues such as the location of the tower, whether or not it was completed, and why God judged them in the first place. One of the more interesting features of this talk is that we can trace many of the place names and people groups today right back to the families that split up from Babel (as described in the Table of Nations in Genesis 10).
Tommy Mitchell: Why Can’t a Day Mean a Day?
Dr. Mitchell was originally going to speak about death and suffering, but changed the topic to discuss why the word day in Genesis 1 really means a normal-length day. While this is fairly standard teaching for Answers in Genesis speakers, Tommy always entertains the crowd with his delightful sense of humor while still maintaining strong content. This talk was no different in those regards.
The word translated as “day” in Genesis 1 is the Hebrew word yom. In Genesis 1, it is used to refer to both the daylight portion of the day (verse 5) and to the entire 24-hour period (verses 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). In Genesis 2:4 it is apparently used to refer to the entire week. This is perfectly acceptable since the meaning of the word depends on context. It is easy to determine the actual meaning of yom in Genesis 1 because of the various descriptions attached to the word. It is described as being a period of “evening and morning” and is also used with a number in a numbered list. Throughout the Old Testament, whenever yom (in its singular form) is used with a number or with evening and morning, it always means an ordinary day. Why would Genesis 1 be the exception?
There are also numerous theological problems with interpreting these days as long periods of time or as something other than ordinary-length days. Adam died when he was 930, yet we know he lived through the seventh day. So if the Sixth Day was 1,000 years or more, as some propose, then Adam didn’t actually live past the Creation Week.
Steve Ham: United in Christ: What Does It Really Mean?
One of the most common complaints we receive as a ministry is that we are divisive. We are accused of dividing the church. However, when you shine the light of truth in a world where men love darkness rather than light, then you will end up being divisive. Steve Ham closed the conference by setting the record straight on this issue and calling Christians to boldly stand on God’s Word.
It is true that some biblical creationists have been unnecessarily divisive, because the way they present themselves or the material has caused people to be offended. It is also true that some old-earth creationists have been divisive. In fact, old-earth creationists are the ones who divided the church in this area in the first place when they introduced their anti-biblical ideas into the church.
Jesus desires the church to be united (John 17:20–22) and that we keep the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3). It is important to realize that in one sense, we are already united in Christ. However, we must also realize that true unity can only be experienced where truth abounds. We are not called to compromise the truth of God’s Word for the sake of some false unity. Instead, we boldly stand on the Word of God, striving to make sure that if someone is offended it is for the sake of the message rather than because of the messenger.
Steve Ham pleaded with those in attendance to strive to keep the unity of the Spirit and to realize that we can only do this when we are in Christ.
What a wonderful week at the Apologetics Mega Conference. I hope you were encouraged by the blog posts and will be able to make it to one of our conferences in the future.