From 4-6 September, the UK Creation Mega-Conference took place at the Bethel Convention Centre in West Bromwich, Birmingham. Entitled ‘Together for truth’, it was organised by Answers in Genesis (AiG).
The conference brought together nine speakers from five different organisations, for 15 sessions, addressing biblical authority, creation and evangelism.
On the Thursday evening, Rev. Ian McNaughton, chairman of AiG Europe, opened the conference with prayer before introducing AiG’s Ken Ham, who explained why Genesis matters in 2014, stating that it is foundational to all biblical doctrine and the gospel.
He was followed by John McKay of Creation Research,speaking on evidence for creation, the Flood and Babel. He showed pictures of Jurassic Ark, his outdoor Australian museum and fossil dig site, as well as of fossil dinosaurs, whose poses indicated they drowned before they were buried.
Friday kicked off with Ray Comfort, founder of Living Waters Publications and co-host of the Way of the Master television programme.
In his own entertaining yet challenging style, he gave some scriptural keys to zeal, including 1 Corinthians 2:1; Romans 15:13; and Acts 20:24, as he called on believers to fulfil their evangelistic responsibility.
Dr Steve Lloyd, of Biblical Creation Ministries (BCM), spoke on the theology of Noah’s flood. Explaining that we are ‘floodists’ as well as creationists, he showed its place in the storyline of the Bible. Its historical reality gives impact to our message and has shaped the world we now live in and can investigate. It also inaugurated an era of abundant grace. Steve Ham, AiG’s director of outreach, spoke of our being made in the image of God, tracing that concept through the Scriptures and drawing out implications for Christian ethics.
Author and speaker Brian Edwards helped us to better understand Genesis 1, which, he said, we should be revelling in, not having to argue over. It was a scholarly, verse-by-verse examination of the text, dealing with such things as the literality of the seven days and the origin of male and female.
Andy McIntosh, professor of thermodynamics at Leeds University, co-director of Truth in Science, gave an overview of biomimetics, the copying of structures found in the created world. Focusing on the ‘walking’ kinesin protein, knobcone pine and bombardier beetle, he shared his own involvement in developing new technologies, giving glory to God for the design.
After Ken Ham continued with a look at compromise over Genesis and the decline of the church, John McKay brought the day to a close with a look at recent claims about intermediary forms and living fossils.
He ended by saying, ‘Genesis 1 and 2 was good news, Genesis 3 was bad news, Exodus 20 tells what’s bad, and the rest of history is His story’.
The second day began with Ray Comfort sharing his testimony and experience in ministry before outlining the principles behind his approach.
He is known for his biblical emphasis on the law of God to show sinners their need of Christ, often by taking people through the Ten Commandments. Furthermore, it is the spoken gospel, as blessed by the Holy Spirit, which is the primary means by which souls are saved.
BCM’s Paul Garner, fresh from graduating at University College London with a master’s degree in paleobiology, gave a technical presentation of his own geological investigations into the Grand Canyon’s Coconino sandstone, an example of cutting-edge creationist research.
Conventionally thought to be formed by wind-blown sand in dry desert, a careful examination of the structure reveals it is more likely to have been laid down by flood water.
John McKay’s final session concerned snakes, both in Scripture and the fossil record, particularly those found in the cretaceous limestone of Israel, over which the Lord Jesus walked. A comparison of snake structures, some with legs and some without, tells a story of degeneration rather than
Stuart Burgess, professor of engineering design at Bristol University, used his session to present the uniqueness of mankind — which could not possibly be explained by survival advantage.
Ken Ham’s final session was ‘Creation/evolution is not religion vs. science’. He reiterated that the debate was about different worldviews, rather than about evidence. The evidence remains the same for whoever seeks to interpret it.
More than 1300 delegates were in attendance, with numbers rising to 1400 on the final day. As well as people from the UK, there were visitors from France, Poland, Albania, Romania, Switzerland, Hungary, the US, Australia and India.
About 100 children aged five to 11 took part in six Mega-Kids sessions, led by Tirzah Jones of DayOne youth ministries and a team of volunteers. On the final day, they sang from the front of the huge auditorium with Buddy Davis, AiG’s song-writer and dinosaur sculptor.
It was perhaps disappointing that there were no opportunities for question and answer panels; and there were some relevant areas not covered at all, such as cosmology and genetics. But thanks must go to all those involved in the organisation of such a helpful gathering.
It was poignant that the conference took place in the same week that millions of pupils returned to our schools, where evolution will now be taught at primary level while creationist alternatives will be prohibited from science lessons.