Shining a Light in the World
Creation Weekend 2022 represented yet another experiment in our efforts to bring the presentations of featured speakers before a far-flung audience. Obviously live events are the ideal, when people can meet, share concerns, examine resources at first-hand, and engage the speaker in face-to-face conversation. But even online, the audience enjoys the speaker’s message and still has the opportunity to ask questions. In these uncertain times therefore, Creation Science Association of Alberta elected to provide a hybrid event.
Earlier in the year, travel from the United States was very uncertain. Since our speaker, Patricia Engler, had just moved from Canada to Kentucky, she graciously agreed to make her presentations on-line. Our audience could view her on a large screen in the local church venue, Meadowlands Baptist Church, or on-line in their homes. The church had brand new audio/visual technology that worked extremely well and Answers in Genesis provided an IT specialist to make sure everything went smoothly at their end.
Everyone agreed that Patricia Engler, Youth Outreach Coordinator from Answers in Genesis, provided excellent presentations. Her arguments were understandable and inspiring, and her slides were similarly excellent. She effortlessly kept her audience engaged. At the church venue, the audience reacted as if she were present.
Growing up in a Christian family, Patricia, from a young age, exhibited concern for people plagued by modern social ills. How, she wondered, can Christians bring comfort and resolution to people impacted by alienation, violence, drugs and the like. At a home-schooling conference, the young Patricia heard Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis. He declared that society needs the gospel. For example, the rejection of Christian understanding of the created order has led to many problems that we see in society. Although she was a young teen at the time, Patricia immediately developed an interest in apologetics, which she defined as the logical defense of the Christian faith.
For more than the past two centuries, many people have focused their attacks on the gospel by attacking the foundations of the Christian worldview. Since arguments for evolution have long served as a major rationale for destroying the foundations of the gospel, Patricia realized that it would be helpful to familiarize herself with biology and arguments for evolution in order to defray attacks coming from that direction. While she studied at a secular Canadian university, she found herself in a milieu which promoted paganism, eastern religions and atheism, all roughly based on an evolutionary worldview.
As a defense against these popular secular views, Patricia clung tenaciously to the gospel message starting with a very good creation, man’s fall into sin with the resulting corruption of all nature, God’s judgment on the world by the Flood, the dispersal of human populations on the basis of language, the promised Messiah Christ who came to provide salvation for His people, and the future hope of glory.
The implications of this biblical worldview include respect for human life, made in the image of God. Patricia declared that if we jettison even one small aspect of the biblical foundation, the whole structure falls down. As an example of this metaphor, she showed a picture of an actual large building in which a foundational crack led to the collapse of the whole structure. Similarly, if the Bible is wrong about cosmology, or biological origins, or anthropology or geology, or whatever, what does this do to the whole structure of the biblical worldview? If the Bible is wrong about the real world, what confidence do we have that it is right about anything? Those who believe God’s word over that of fallible human interpretations, on the other hand, will not discard any part of the Genesis record.
Patricia then shifted her attention to briefly review some topics in which nature testifies (as it does in all aspects), to a young creation. Her examples included dinosaur soft tissue and polystratic trees at Joggins Nova Scotia (trees that have been fossilized standing straight up through many geologic layers).
The theme of Patricia’s presentation was Psalm 11:3 “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The whole issue boils down to what can the church and each Christian do to stem the tide of humanistic culture and to help turn back the darkness affecting modern society. Patricia’s message was very clear. It is important to preach the gospel including to fight against all attacks on the foundation of the Christian faith.
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