Welcome and Devotion
The second day of the Answers for Pastors conference began with John Elliot leading the gathering in a hymn of praise. This was followed by a Scripture reading and opening prayer by Steve Ham and a morning devotional by David Chakranarayan.
David made four points based on 2 Chronicles 26. This chapter shows us that King Uzziah initially sought the Lord and was greatly blessed, but at some point his heart was lifted up.
- Pride leads us to ignore the precepts of God. Uzziah's pride led him to usurp the role of a priest and offer incense in the sanctuary. The priests begged him not to do it because it was forbidden by the Lord.
- Uzziah ignored wise counsel from godly men—the priests who daily served the Lord in the sanctuary. How often have you (pastors) failed to seek godly counsel or ignored it because you are “the pastor”—the one that people come to, the one that is supposed to give counsel? Proverbs 16:18 states, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall,” which describes David's next point.
- Pride leads to God’s discipline. Uzziah instantly became leprous.
- This serves as a perfect example of how pride ruins our legacy. It erases in one act a reputation that takes a lifetime to build. When he was buried, it was said of him, “He was a leper” (2 Chronicles 26:23). All the wonderful things he had done in the early part of his reign were practically forgotten because of one act of pride.
Dr. Snelling holds a PhD in geology from the University of Sydney, Australia, and after years of field work, he served as a principle investigator in the RATE project.
The name of this talk perfectly describes the information presented by Dr. Snelling. He showed numerous examples of the failure of various radiometric dating techniques. Oftentimes rocks have been dated by several methods, and the result is that many different ages have been measured for the same rock. So which one of these is accurate? Do we just get to pick which date we want? Yet these types of findings are common.
Dr. Snelling also demonstrated how young-earth creationists can make better sense of the geologic data. He described how the sandstone layers in the Grand Canyon are better explained as a result of the worldwide Flood since the angles at which they form is consistent with the "dunes" that form underwater rather than the sand dunes that can be found in deserts.
Pastor Brad Bigney: God's Word—Is It Really Enough?
Pastor Bigney is the senior pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in nearby Florence, Kentucky. His talk focused on taking back surrendered ground, particularly in the area of how we change and grow as Christians. Just as so many Christians have given up ground on the subject of origins, so too have many given up ground in the area of counseling.
Throughout the talk, he highlighted the numerous differences between modern psychology and biblical counseling. He defined biblical counseling as “Coming alongside someone with God’s Word . . . filled with the Spirit . . . giving hope and help from God’s Word . . . staying with them long enough for them to experience lasting change—from the inside out . . . by God’s grace and for His glory!”
Much of this talk was based on 2 Peter 1:3–4, which states, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” Since God has given us all things we need that pertain to life and godliness, then do we really need psychological solutions that are rooted in humanistic thinking?
He explained the similarities between Depth Psychology (founded by Sigmund Freud), Behaviorism (B. F. Skinner), and what is known as Third Force (Carl Rogers). While there are many differences between these methodologies, there are some striking similarities. For example, each of these positions is based on the ideas that man is just an animal and that he is inherently good. Also, each position denies the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture. Instead, a person supposedly needs to find an expert—who cannot solve the real problem.
Sadly, many Christians have bought into this line of thinking. Pastor Bigney shared an example from his own time in Bible college (which sounded almost identical to my own experience in a different Bible college), in which one of his textbooks claimed that people are good and already have all the tools and good judgment they need to solve their problems.
God has given us all things we need to deal with the problems of life. We do not need to run to counselors who practice humanistic theories and teach the lie that we are basically good. We are sinful people, and God has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” through His Word and the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit in believers. There is no, “Yeah, but . . .” We don’t need to add man’s false teachings to God's inspired Word—not in the area of Creation, nor in the area of counseling. We serve the God who is called “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, [and] Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Mike Riddle: Taking Back American Education (Battle Cry for the Next Generation)
Mike is a popular speaker who focuses on educating teachers and students. He is a Marine, national champion decathlete, and founder of a new ministry, Creation Training Initiative.
Many talks have been given highlighting the problems within the American education system, but this talk was different in that Mike provided the solution as well. However, this talk did start by diagnosing the problem in our education system. There has been a concentrated attack on our nation's history and morality, following the strategy of John Dewey. Dewey's strategy was too focus on training the educators in anti-Christian and anti-American ideals. He has largely succeeded in his efforts and now the vast majority of our schools, from elementary levels all the way through graduate schools, are filled with unbiblical teaching.
So what is the solution to the many problems we face? Mike stated that we win every time we make a disciple. We win every time a school or university starts to stand on the Word of God instead of evolution. We win every time a pastor takes his stand on the Word of God rather than man's fallible ideas. Mike outlined a four-part strategy based on the “instruction book” (the Bible):
- Equip parents (2 Tim 2:15; 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Corinthians 10:4–5)
- Equip teachers (Christian school, Sunday school, homeschool, Christian teachers in public schools)
- Equip church leaders (Pastors, youth leaders, lay leaders)
- The Model—when we are trained, then we pour ourselves into the youth (biblical discipleship)
We’re looking forward to tomorrow, the final day of the conference. Please check back soon for an update on Thursday’s presentations.
Thanks for reading!