Friday, January 11, 2008

Creation Museum Review

I've been in Cincinnati for a few days - along with my wife for one of her conferences. Anyway, needing something to do, Dan at NR suggested I check out the Creation Museum, just across the river in KY.

So I went. Took my one year old daughter along, which made it a little harder for me to pay attention, and also made for a short visit (I didn't see all the various shows) but I thought I would write some thoughts and reactions here.

The whole place was very well done, in terms of presentation. The multi-media, the the exhibits and models all seemed very professional, and not as campy as I had feared they would be. With an admission fee of 20+ bucks a person, they seem well funded.

Anyway, this was Ken Ham's museum (he's listed as the "founder") and since I have read quite a bit of his stuff from Answers in Genesis over the years, I was well familiar with a lot of the material. It was all very didactic (like, the "7 C's" Creation, Condemnation, Confusion... Christ... Consummation) anyway...

If I had any problems with my experience they came because I am a Lutheran and this place is not. Obviously, I too believe in a literal 6-day creation, according to Genesis. I suppose I had mixed feelings about the way the "salvation" part of the story was handled. Let me explain.

For one, there was an overwhelming emphasis on the "glory of God". This, to me, smacked of a real theology of glory (as opposed to theology of the cross). For instance, they would tout the power of God's word in creating various comsic bodies, etc.. and I remember thinking, "that's nothing compared to the power of his forgiving word!" But the big message I heard was "glory, glory, glory, and also... glory". Certainly on the plus side here, though, was belief in the absolute truthfulness of Scripture, a tenet we confessional Lutherans share with many other conservative Christians.

To their credit, I suppose, they did get the basic details of the gospel correct. Sin was mentioned, even Christ and the cross. Obviously the Means of Grace were not, but then as Dan at NR pointed out, there wasn't really an overwhelming pressure to "make a decision for Christ".

I would also note that they did a good job of pointing out not only the errors of secular/evolutionary thinking, but also its creeping encroachment into many of the more liberal churches today. But then on the down side, sin was mostly cast as a problem "out there" in the culture, in the wisdom of the world, and not so much personally in MY life. Another danger of Evangelicalism, in my experience.

The Planetarium was worth the extra $7, and was really the best part of it all for me. I also liked some of the stuff in the flood part of the exhibit (like the animation of their flood theory- pretty cool). If I had more time I would have taken in more of their extra little shows, but as it was, not a total waste of time or money but a nice refresher.


Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Hey thanks for the review. I've been sort of casually wondering what to think of this. Now, I want to go and take my 12 yr old.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Chryst, thanks!

I will be interested in going when my kids are a little bit older. I didn't go myself, but I heard about it when I was in Williston, ND. The youth group and Pastor Reinke had made the trip to Cincinnati.

The big things I remembered from their discussion were the "no decision theology" idea and the thesis that for natural section and evolution to really take place we would have to have a lot more junk in our DNA than we do, and successive generations would have less information than previous generations. It was an interesting idea.

True®Grace Believer said...

My husband & I just returned from exploring & enjoying the Creation®Museum while they hosted a pastors' conference. Our only disappointment was the contradicting and confusing gospel appeal in the printed materials we received!
We even purchased a large case of one evangelistic book for our church ( to distribute before we discovered the conflicting "discipleship salvation" message offered in lieu of the clear true grace message of Scripture? (Romans 4.5; 11.6; Eph.2.8-9)