Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Creation Museum: The Truth About History

It was 7:45 on Thursday morning July 10 when we left for our trip -- a 10 hour drive from Raleigh, North Carolina to Cincinnati, Ohio (technically Kentucky, but Cincinnati is a border city). You might say, "Wow! I bet that was boring." However, when you have 11 other people in the van with you, it isn't bad at all. As we drove through the mountains and up into West Virginia and Ohio, beautiful sights grabbed our attention -- but we had a much more important reason for driving 10 hours than to see the scenery. We were going to the Creation Museum -- and it was amazing. After we arrived in Cincinnati around 7:00 P.M. Thursday evening and got a good nights rest, we embarked on our educational adventure. We spent approximately nine hours there -- we stayed from the 10:00 opening until almost 7:00. Here are a few highlights of the museum.

A full recap of my trip can be found on my personal blog (link on side). There are pictures as well and more will be coming.

The Creation Museum: The Truth About History

Off on a rather obscure part of the wooded
Kentucky landscape -- not far from the bustling hub of Cincinnati -- sit two dinosaurs on either side of a large gated entrance. Making one's way through the entrance soon reveals the reason behind this rather intriguing welcome: The Creation Museum. In Petersburg, Kentucky, the Christian apologetics group Answers in Genesis has created a masterpiece museum to portray the truth of history from the Biblical perspective.

A Brief History

Fraught with protest from every side, Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis finally realized their dream in May of 2007. After choosing Kentucky because of its relatively close proximity to two-thirds of America's population, the museum took seven years -- and $25 million dollars of private money -- to build after the imaginations of Ken Ham and so many others were finally put in concrete form. As Ham told a local radio show host, he wanted "something using
cutting-edge technology, something as good as what the secular world could do, so Christians could have something first class and professional that helps people understand that science actually confirms the Bible's history." [1]

On May 28, 2007, the museum was opened debt-free to more than 4,000 people on opening day. Not without protest, however,

Numerous protests were held involving the museum over the course of its construction. The media especially was harsh leading up to the opening, practically ridiculing the museum in many of its articles. Whether the protests were on site, in the media, or by other mediums (such as the
banner that was flown overhead on opening day reading, "Defcon says, 'Thou shalt not lie.'"), Ken Ham and AiG never ceased to fight on for what they believed in. Even amidst the ridicule and the sound of honking horns from approving motorists of the protests outside, the truth won the day. [1]

Did Ken Ham accomplish his dream? Did it live up to the hype? Was it worth a 10 hour drive to see it? It most certainly was.

Highlights of the Museum

The adventure for the museum goer starts right as soon as one walks in the door, with the long lines to sign in and buy tickets for certain events scheduled for the day. After that obstacle is hurdled, however, one embarks on an awe inspiring journey into another world, starting right after a green screen picture (see the two to the right. I'm in the back row/middle wearing the red Rebelution shirt).

This new world contains many different things to see and do whether it be the recline-and-watch Stargazers Planetarium, the special effects theater (complete with water squirting devices in the seat backs in front of you), or outside in the botannical gardens and petting zoo surrounded by waterfalls, exotic plants, and rope bridges. Once one does all this -- gathers loads of information from shows, displays of fossils, and other treasures; takes a leisurely stroll through the gardens; and/or takes a break with a snack by the lake -- one can just about think he has done all he can do.

Oh, but that's not the half of it! There is still hours of exhibits to go through. That's the best part!

The pièce de résistance of the museum's exhibits, is the Walk Through Biblical History. Knowledge seekers are taken on a journey through the Seven C's of History: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, and Consummation. Tourists are first introduced to the two points of view: creation and evolution. Then important questions are raised in sections about human suffering and corruption, pictures crossing the line to graphic at times. The museum goer is then taken through section after section of Biblical history and ultimately how it answers those questions that we as human beings have: "Where did I come from?" "Is there meaning to it all?" "Where did suffering come from?" "How can it be fixed?" Patrons get a view of the Garden of Eden, a life-sized replica of a portion of Noah's ark, and many other things along the way (including a rather creepy animatronic Methuselah that talks).

The wonders of God's creation are at the fingertips of patrons in the museum in the Walk Through Biblical History, various theaters, and other exhibits scattered around the museum grounds such as the Dinosaur Den, an exhibit devoted solely to dinosaurs -- and not from "millions of years."

The sights were really too many describe. However, starting in the lobby and the huge welcome room dotted with animatronic dinosaurs playing alongside children (we were both created on the sixth day you know), there is one thing that stands out above all the rest: Scripture. Even after being taken hundreds of light years away in the planetarium and experiencing a show in the special effects theater (I never got used to getting water sprayed in my face in the scenes from the Flood), one of the biggest things that stood out is the Scripture at every turn.

The Importance of It All

Yes. Scripture is everywhere. It's on the walls, it's on the bags for the book store, it's in the exhibits, and even on the water bottles for sale. Scientists have vilified the museum for participating in religious indoctrination, for deliberately misinforming children, and a for being a complete joke as a scientific museum. I would argue differently. This museum is about science. It's about history. However, the first few chapters of Genesis, let alone the rest of Biblical history, make no sense without the Gospel. All of history centers around Christ -- and so does the museum, ultimately.

I was greatly encouraged by the enormous importance the museum gave to giving the whole picture. They held nothing back, knowing the criticism that would come from it. The museum portrays a pure, unwatered down view of Biblical history. The final section of the walk through is The Last Adam Theater, showing a powerful presentation of the last three C's: Christ, Cross, and Consummation. It was the most uplifting thing about the whole museum. They were unafraid to give the Gospel in its full truth and potency.

This is extremely important for unbelievers and will undoubtedly be used by Holy Spirit in the coming years. However, it is also important for believers. To sit in the planetarium and be transported light years through the galaxies and see the huge scope of it all -- and then to walk through and see God at work through history and see His love for His creation: "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" (Psalm 8:4). To see the vast scope of it all has put a new perspective to virtually every time I look around and look up at the stars at night.


Yes, the Creation Museum has undergone all kinds of ridicule, criticism, and all out attack over the years. The Cincinnati Post made it known that they are afraid the museum will hurt Cincinnati's marketability to businesses, others implying that the museum would hurt the city's hard earned reputation as an educated community. However, the museum has also been a great blessing. The press hasn't been all bad, even in the liberal media (the New York Times article is actually pretty good, given the author's worldview). The museum is an uplifting place for Christians in an age where Christ is scoffed.

In short, the Creation Museum for Christians is a place to strengthen one's faith and exercise one's mind. And for non-Christians, it is perhaps a place to ask questions and explore new ways of thinking.

Yes. Ken Ham accomplished his dream -- and he pulled it off on a grand, God-honoring scale.

Sources cited and read while writing:


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