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Outreach for Theologians

on October 1, 2010
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Each November at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society more than 3,000 scholars from around the world gather to discuss biblical issues. During this three-day conference, they present and discuss more than 300 papers on a wide variety of theological and biblical topics.

But ETS members rarely dedicate time to studying the issues surrounding the age of the earth. Most seem inclined to accept that the earth is millions of years old, and many accept evolution as well.

For the last eight years Dr. Terry Mortenson, a speaker at Answers in Genesis, has helped lead efforts at ETS to stimulate further study of both the biblical and scientific sides of the origins controversy. One of those efforts is an AiG booth in the exhibitors’ hall where he and a colleague offer creationist resources at a significant discount and give away hundreds of books and DVDs each year. This outreach has led to many excellent conversations.

Although young-earth creationists are a minority at ETS, each year many people stop by to thank AiG for being present.

The voice of even a few faithful Christians can make a great impact. It starts with each of us and those we directly influence. By God’s grace, we can make a difference!

Terry also organizes a private lunchtime meeting of young-earth creationists. They gather to have fellowship, pray for the society, and discuss ways to encourage more thoughtful reflection on the question of origins at ETS.

Out of this gathering came the idea to form a Creation Consultation, a block of four back-to-back sessions at the annual meeting, for scholarly interaction on origins. A consultation lasts for a three-year term, with an option to apply for a second term. Terry is co-chairman of the five-man steering committee, which is composed of two young-earth advocates, two old-earth advocates, and one man who is undecided. The ETS leadership decided on this composition to ensure a balanced, scholarly discussion.

Together the steering committee invites three speakers each year to present papers. The fourth session consists of a panel discussion of the presenters and one other scholar, along with audience questions. The Creation Consultation is now entering its third year, and the committee has received approval for a second term.

The committee has been encouraged by the quality of the papers and the thoughtful discussions they have inspired. Terry prays that these presentations will inspire ETS members to take more seriously the historic truth and foundational importance of Genesis 1–11.

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