Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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  • Thursday, July 03, 2008

    Review of the Creation Museum - very insightful

    Many exhibits at “world-class” museums cost between 20 and 50 million dollars. But the entire Creation Museum right outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, cost just $27 million—and it is definitely world class. On the other hand, however, it’s not world class.

    The Creation Museum goes far beyond mere science. It doesn’t elevate man’s intellect by using science to “prove” ScriptureIn comparison with the Creation Museum, “world-class” museums—even museums like the Roosevelt Museum of Natural History in New York City or the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.—seem paltry and commonplace. Most impressive is the scope of the museum. The individual displays—mounted skeletons, animatronic dinosaurs that turn their bodies in realistic motion, and mounted placards which present science and Scripture—these are amazing, but the big picture is just that: big. Bigger than anyone would have expected.

    The lobby itself rivals any full-size exhibit at a secular museum. A young child plays with a squirrel next to two small dinosaurs that watch the visitors walk under giant cypress trees. The walls, the floors, the rocks—everything is carefully handcrafted. The rock-lined waterfall and pool in the lobby is full of so-called “living fossils” like garfish as well as “modern” creatures like turtles and minnows.

    I love Lucy. I don’t mean famous TV comedienne Lucille Ball; I mean Lucy—the nickname given to a fossil skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis. The museum’s replica of the Lucy skeleton is just one of the many similar displays that show very plainly how scientists’ presuppositions influence their conclusions. A scientist who believes the biblical account of creation would see nothing more than an “ape from southern Africa” (which is literally what its name means) in the assortment of bones now hanging in the display case. But a scientist who has been conditioned to see millions of years and evolution will probably find a missing link in those bones—despite the conspicuous lack of feet, hands, or even an intact hipbone....

    The Creation Museum goes far beyond mere science. It doesn’t elevate man’s intellect by using science to “prove” Scripture. Instead, God’s Word is placed first and human reason is last.

    Between these exhibits and the Creation Walk is a dark, graffiti-covered brick wall. It shows in stark detail the state of Western society. Abortion, gay marriage, school violence. The brick wall ends in a blatant expression of the prevailing social theory. No longer is absolute morality something that can be determined—even by humanity.

    The Creation Museum shows that the problems in our culture aren’t the disease—they are merely symptoms of a much more serious cultural infection. Rejecting the biblical account of history led to the rejection of biblical authority in all other areas. By revisiting God’s Word in Genesis, we can realize the full breadth of Scripture and be ready to give an account for the hope we hold.

    The Creation Walk opens into the Garden of Eden—the perfect world God created before sin. It shows the first man and woman living peacefully with the other creatures—including, of course, dinosaurs. But this paradise didn’t last. Mankind broke God’s law, cursing all of creation and staining the human race with sin forever. The museum shows the vast array of evil that has blossomed as a result of that single act of rebellion thousands of years ago.

    The Creation Walk shifts focus to what is arguably the most spectacular event in the earth’s history after Creation and before Christ’s Resurrection: a Flood that covered the entire earth and destroyed every living creature on its surface.

    In my opinion, the museum is worth visiting solely on the basis of the Ark and Flood exhibits. Visitors are shown the massive scale of the ark, potential details of its construction, and the population’s probable attitude that pervaded the pre-Flood world. They see animatronic workers discussing the folly of building a huge boat; after all, science has “proven” a worldwide flood is impossible. “Ever since our fathers died,” say the scowling models, “all things continue as they have since the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:3-7).

    Computer animations show how tectonic activity on the ocean floor and huge tsunami-producing earthquakes could combine to cover the earth in water in just over a month. Alongside these displays are placards that answer common questions about the Flood. Secular scientists claim that the geological strata show less complex organisms at the bottom and more complex ones as you go up, attributing this to the evolutionary process over millions and millions of years. But if we consider the order of burial during the cataclysmic activity of the Flood, it makes perfect sense that sea creatures would be buried first, followed by invertebrates and finally by mammals and other vertebrates. The placard shown here gives an example of how the sequence could have worked during the first few hours of the Flood.

    After finishing with the Flood and describing the events surrounding the Tower of Babel (see Genesis 11), the museum makes an important point. Contrary to most evolutionists, all humans are of one blood (Acts 17), descended from Noah. In the light of true biblical history, the museum tackles tough issues like racism, genocide, apartheid, and abortion—all problems that come from man’s rejection of God’s Word.

    When the truths of Genesis are taken at face value, the redemptive acts in the play of human history—Christ and the Cross—fit together the way God intended them to. Sin, judgment, atonement, redemption, repentance, faith—all these doctrines are foundationally rooted in the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Instead of stopping with those first eleven chapters, however, the museum tour ends by simply presenting the gospel and leaving the rest between the visiting individual and the Lord of Creation.

    Somewhat surprisingly, the museum does not devote inordinate amounts of space to “disproving” evolutionary ideas or “proving” creation. The displays are scientifically accurate and easy to understand, but this isn’t the focus. Instead, the museum demonstrates the difference between the evolutionary mindset and the mindset that Christians should have from Scripture. We have the same evidence, the same earth, the same universe, but it is our presuppositions that lead us to our conclusions. We know from Romans 1:20 that we can clearly see God’s hand in nature—the question is whether we have the courage to submit ourselves to Him. If we refuse, then we are “without excuse.”

    from here

    1 comment:

    Ken Bagwell said...

    A very observant and insightfull review!
    I just attended the museum over the July 4th weekend. I was deeply moved by the honor this whole place shows the word of God. To anyone wavering on visiting or not ...
    1)Go. you will be impressed and surprised regardless of your worldview.
    2)Plan on spending at least 3/4 of a day there.
    3)Try a pot roast sandwich in Noah's cafe ... very tasty!
    I would also greatly encourage spending time in the bookstore and picking up a book or CD. It will surprise most everyone the degree of science that has been applied here. They are not waging a war with science. They are out to prove that properly applied science is in complete harmony with the Genesis account! It's a head-scratching, paradim-shifting new worldview, and they make an excellent case for it.