In the past four years since the Creation Museum opened,1 I have met many museum visitors who have said something like this to me:
I was expecting to come to a place that just had displays of fossils and other items, with signs explaining them from a creationist perspective. However, this place is not just about creation, evolution, and the age of the earth. It is a walk through the Bible.
Certainly the Creation Museum has displays of world-class fossils and other magnificent exhibits (especially on dinosaurs). But the Creation Museum is not just about the topic of origins. It is a center that walks people through the Bible, helping them to understand that the history in the Bible is true—and thus the gospel based in that history is true.
The ministry that “powers” the Creation Museum is Answers in Genesis. When we followed the Lord’s leading and began the ministry in 1994, we used a temporary name of Creation Science Ministries. At our first board meeting, the main agenda item was to decide what our main mission was to be and then choose a name consistent with that mission. It was really an historic moment for this ministry.
We determined that the issues of evolution and millions of years were a “Genesis chapter 3 attack” on the culture and also on the church (i.e., a questioning of the Bible’s authority, represented in the Genesis 3 question: “Did God really say?”). Our ministry emphasis was to be one of standing upon the authority of the Word of God and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Over the years we have worked hard to position Answers in Genesis as a “biblical authority” ministry first and foremost. We share that the real battle in today’s “culture war” is God’s Word versus Man’s word. AiG recognizes that there is no point in converting people to be just creationists—creationists will end up in hell just like atheists if they don’t believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
And as “creation evangelists,” we are engaged in the Great Commission: to go into the world and preach the gospel. But in today’s world, the teaching of evolution and millions of years has had a major detrimental effect on people believing that the Bible really can be trusted. Therefore, we do specialize in the teaching of—and providing resources for—creation apologetics.
We have also seen rampant compromise in the church and Christian colleges/seminaries, particularly concerning Genesis. (See the insert.) This has burdened us so much that we believe a large part of the mission the Lord has called us to is to help bring reformation to the church—calling God’s people back to the authority of the Word of God.
Years ago, we developed a mission statement that helps our staff and supporters understand that we are not just a creationist ministry. We are a Bible-affirming organization that has been raised up to defend the Christian faith, stand on the authority of the Word of God, and proclaim the gospel in today’s secularized culture. We are, and always have been (and make no apologies for being), a biblical authority ministry.
The first few lines in our mission statement reveal this thrust:
To support the church in fulfilling its commission, Answers in Genesis is a catalyst to bring reformation by reclaiming the foundations of our faith which are found in the Bible, from the very first verse. We proclaim the absolute truth and authority of the Bible with boldness . . .
Although the origins debate is still a hot one, the most strategic battle today in our culture is a spiritual one: a struggle over the authority of the Word of God.
At AiG, we stand boldly and uncompromisingly on God’s Word—upholding the authority of the Word from the very first verse! It’s what is proclaimed to our visitors at the Creation Museum and at the future Ark Encounter (see next page). It’s all a part of contending for the faith, as the book of Jude exhorts:
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 3)