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What is the point of building a full-size ark (or doing any other ministry) if we are nearing the end of the world?
It is one thing, of course, for humanists to oppose the construction of the evangelistic and Bible-affirming Ark Encounter in northern Kentucky. But when a ministry friend writes to us and expresses opposition, that can grab our attention.
AiG recently had an email exchange with a supporter who made claims about the Ark Encounter. We thought it would be instructive for you to read how we addressed her concerns—including her belief that Christ is coming back any moment and thus AiG shouldn’t be starting any new initiatives. While AiG usually does not discuss issues related to eschatology (i.e., the doctrine of the “end times”) and instead devotes itself to biblical authority matters and apologetics, we occasionally receive emails from people who relate their particular view of end times to what we do in our ministry. That attempted link was one of the elements we examinded in an April web article AiG posted that responded to the claims that some Christians were confident Christ was coming back last month (May 21 was their prediction).
Here are excerpts of a recent email we received from a supporter.
AiG is still a valuable creation science ministry to me. But I just can’t help feeling the Ark Encounter is a rather inappropriate effort at a time when we’re getting very close to the end of the world. . . . That’s the first thought that popped into my head the moment I first saw the announcement for it. It struck me as, well, just plain weird and a little outrageous for a very Biblically-centered ministry. . . .
Somehow, building a life-size replica ark and interactive park dramatizing Biblical times seems like overdoing it to me. People may be so busy being entertained and dazzled that they won’t feel the Holy Spirit Himself trying to work on them. It feels seeker-friendly. . . .
Agreeing to disagree,
Thank you for writing.
It’s possible you had a gut reaction (you used the word “feeling”) about the Ark Encounter and don’t have a full picture of the evangelistic nature of the Ark project and also how it will equip Christians to better defend the historicity of the Bible. This is not a frivolous, dazzling theme park. Far from it. That’s why our secularist opponents are up in arms about it. If it were just some fun place, the Ark wouldn’t bother critics of Christianity.
You described the Ark project as “seeker-friendly.” Please note that the Flood was a judgment, and that’s how it will be portrayed at our Ark—warning people they will be judged one day just as the people were in Noah’s time. That is not a warm-and-fuzzy seeker-sensitive message at all.
Have you visited our Creation Museum? The same people who designed this high-tech Bible-teaching center will be creating the Ark Encounter, overseen once again by Ken Ham, AiG president. God’s Word will be proclaimed at the Ark as it is at the museum.
Respectfully, I don’t think you would be concerned about the Ark Encounter if you had visited our museum (please excuse me if you have toured) and seen how it goes far beyond entertainment. The Creation Museum is full of teaching, and the gospel message is at the heart of it all. If you have not been here, I would be glad to leave a complimentary ticket for you at the front desk should your travels ever take you near the Cincinnati area.
Some people told Henry Morris in the early ’70s that starting a new creationist ministry (ICR) was foolhardy because Christ was coming back very soon. This was at the height of the frenzy created mostly by Hal Lindsey’s end-times book The Late Great Planet Earth, which predicted that Christ might come back at any moment. But 40 years later, God is blessing the evangelistic efforts of the several dozen creation ministries that ICR helped start. After all, the Bible says we need to work (“occupy” or “do business”) until Jesus comes (Luke 19:13). Thankfully, Dr. Morris did not listen to his detractors and launched ICR anyway. This side of heaven, we will never know how many people received Christ through the creation evangelism outreaches that followed.
For more information on the Ark Encounter, go to www.ArkEncounter.com.