Professor Andy McIntosh reports on creation ministry in the UK and Europe from April to May 2018. He also shares an encouraging email from Indonesia.
Italy (30 March–1 April)
It was a privilege to serve in Southern Italy again, with the Association of Biblical Creation, and good friends Antonio and Antonietta Cicerale, along with many kind people who cared for Professor Stuart Burgess and I as we shared this ministry.
Antonio has since ministered in the Rome area and it is his intention to reach other major population centres, such as Milan, with the Creation/gospel message. Prayers for this important Italian work are much appreciated.
On the first night in Foggia, I spoke on why Creation is important to the gospel. It was evident that people were seeing the importance of the issue, and some young people there were not believers and took evangelistic literature.
Christian Education Europe (4 April)
I was asked to speak, on 4 April, on the Wonder of Hearing to many young people gathered for a Christian Education Europe (CEE) meeting in Bridgewater, Somerset. The onslaught against Christian principles in education in the UK has taken a new vicious turn, with government plans to strengthen yet further the evolutionary stranglehold on young minds.
Along with CEE, at Truth in Science we are planning to lobby the government about this. It is important for believers to realise that the fast-changing scene of moral decadence in education, which is seen in such things as the transgender movement, is strongly connected with the loss of Genesis and the embracing of evolutionary philosophy.
Belfast (7 April)
The main Answers in Genesis conference was in the Iron Hall in Belfast, on Saturday 7 April, with talks by Stuart Burgess and myself. There was great interest in the creation literature. Stuart and I spoke at churches in the area on the Sunday. There was good interest in the services, as people began to see the connection of Creation with the gospel itself. This is the all-important issue, showing that there can have been no death before the Fall of man.
Germany (17–19 April)
Marius Keute of the SMD (the German equivalent of UCCF in the UK) kindly hosted me in visits to the Otto von Guericke Universität in Magdeburg, where I spoke on the Intricacies of Flight; and the University of Leipzig, where I spoke on Science, Mathematics and Beauty.
Staying with good friends out there helped much in my understanding of the issues facing the Christian student world in Germany. The rise of secularism means that many are turning to atheism, so I was able to speak evangelistically at the end of each address and give out copies of a booklet I have written, Are you really an atheist?
I stressed that the Christian has a head-start in understanding the basis of good science, and is also able to make sense of the rest of reality, in terms of rationality, meaning and morality.
I spoke for a long while afterwards with an ex-Muslim from Pakistan, who was in just that situation and had turned to atheism. I left him with my booklet and sought to stress the reality of the new birth in Christ.
Poland (20-21 April)
Friends from the Polish Biblical Creation group kindly drove me from the Leipzig/Halle area in Germany to Warsaw. I did a debate against Karol Fijalkowski on Atheism, on Friday 20 April, which attracted a number of young people to the economics university in Warsaw. At the end of the debate, I was able to present the gospel and speak with students afterwards. There were certainly people there who would not normally come to Christian meetings (the debate can be seen at http://bit.ly/debata-2018-04-20).
Then, on the Saturday, there was a worthwhile conference, with 50–60 young people gathered at the Baptist seminary, who had obviously come to learn and buy resources. Paul Garner spoke on the geology of sedimentation rates, that they can only be consistent with fast deposition by the Flood.
I spoke on ‘Has Science killed God?’ and Steve Taylor spoke on ‘Dinosaurs and Dragons’. The questions showed that people were thoroughly engaged, and it was so good to hear that an administrator was converted after he heard Paul Garner speak previously about the fact that geology is consistent with the Scriptures.
Please continue to pray for those leading this important ministry. Though few in number, they are reaching all over Poland with the Creation message and the importance of biblical infallibility, to a nation full of young people now strongly questioning everything from Catholicism to communism.
Chesterfield (28 April)
I was delighted to see about 60 gather for the Chesterfield Creation meeting, at Chesterfield Central Pentecostal Church. The fossils came into their own, as I passed these around — most hadn’t realised that fossils bear testimony to rapid burial in the Flood. This topic is dealt with in the latter chapters of the book, Wonders of Creation — design in a fallen world (Profs. Stuart Burgess and Andy McIntosh; Answers in Genesis), which sold many copies that day. It’s already in a second edition and a mini-summary version is coming out soon as a booklet.
Russia (6-8 May)
A most unusual opportunity for creation ministry developed in the last few months. A school in Russia had invited Answers in Genesis to speak, in order to show alternatives to the heavily evolutionary view of the state schools (Sounds familiar? Exactly the same problems as in the UK!).
So, Simon Turpin (UK director of AiG UK) and I headed east for a five-day visit to Ekaterinburg, the historic, fourth city of Russia (after Moscow, St Petersburg and Novosibirsk), lying east of the Ural Mountains. The visit included, on Saturday 5 May, being shown monuments in heavily ornate Orthodox churches, to the death of Tsar Nicholas II and his family in Ekaterinburg.
This July, it will be 100 years since the Bolsheviks murdered the Russian royal family (and we were reminded that our own government at the time refused to let them come to England as refugees). After the sad slaughter, their bodies were thrown into a disused mine in woods outside the city, and now that location has also been enshrined with monuments. Today there is a growing resurgence of the Orthodox church, of which the Tsar was the head.
So, while showing respect to the tragedy that took place, Simon and I were seeking to put the gospel central in what we said on the two days we were in the schools. Both times (7-8 May), we found there was keen interest in the evidence presented for the Flood, with the fossils. In the first school in particular, the owner and one of the teachers were very enthusiastic, and it may well be that further visits will be made.
Please do pray for these schools and their owners and head teachers. Both schools are for pupils aged 8–18 years, so it was not simple to direct the talk to reach all age groups. A set of questions had been sent ahead of our visit, and there was great interest as we went through them. Many of the students had not heard a viable Creation/Flood alternative to evolutionary theory. In the first school, I think we made the biology teacher, who is an evolutionist, begin to reassess his thinking.
Simon and I were able to get to the Baptist church on Sunday morning and evening. Simon spoke in the morning on Hebrews 1 and I spoke in the evening on, ‘Has science killed God?’ About 70 packed into the room from a number of church groups across the city and it was a privilege to meet up with the pastor and his wife. There is a family of God’s people all over the world.
Russia is a huge country, and we can so easily be so biased by the media and political difficulties, and not see the reality of the vast needs of the ordinary people. On one occasion in an Orthodox church building, it was sad to see many kissing icons and yet so obviously lost to any real knowledge of the biblical gospel of forgiveness and assurance through Christ alone. Pray for this vast country and the possibilities of a future follow up visit.
West Camel, Somerset (12 May)
It was good to be with Geoff and Liz Chapman at the Creation Resources Trust General Meeting, where I spoke on ‘The Wonder of Insect Flight’ and also ‘The Wonder of Hearing’. About 70 were there, including some unsure about the gospel. Many copies of Wonders of Creation were sold.
It was a great encouragement to have a testimony recently from a young person in Indonesia. This young lady is now seeing the way everything fits together from a Creation perspective. I asked permission to put her letter in my report (the glory for its contents belongs to Christ alone). Here it is:
‘I am very grateful that I could have a chance to meet and listen to Prof. Andy. I have just read the first chapter of a book titled Total Truth, [Andy: a book by Nancy Pearcey well worth reading]. It’s about how Christians should not put their daily life and their religion into separate compartments.
‘Oftentimes, we practice a dichotomy, where our job and our life is in the secular, public sphere, whereas our religion and faith is in the private sphere. This is not right. This is not living with a biblical, Christian worldview. Instead, we must understand that all truth is God’s truth (hence ‘total truth’). Everything we think of, everything we do and everything we say must be rooted in the knowledge of God and his Word.
‘And that is exactly what I see in Prof. Andy. When he was explaining science, he based it on the Word of God. When he was teaching logic and rationality, he based it on the Word of God. When he discussed about morality, ethics, and even politics, he based it on the Word of God. Every time someone asked him a question, he always started from the Bible’s perspective…
‘Seeing him also convinced me that, if we have a solid, biblical, Christian worldview, and can argue intelligently, we can have an influence on the people around us. We can speak up. We can make our voices heard. We can make an impact in the public arena. And by doing this, I think God is glorified, all the more, through us…’
Truth in Science
Please do pray for Truth in Science (TiS). The government is putting great pressure now on independent schools (not just state schools) to conform to its educational ‘standards’, which insist that evolution must be the only view taught in science lessons.
Ironically it was Dawkins who stated: ‘Do not indoctrinate your children, teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you’.
Please consider getting the latest TiS DVD, Spirit of Discovery, which shows how a class can constructively investigate what the scientific evidence really shows (£10, plus p&p, from the Truth in Science; see http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/dvd1). Could you also consider sending these DVDS to educators, teachers and home tutor groups you know of?.
Recently, I have been much moved reflecting on the fact that underlying Creation ministry is the glory of Christ himself. Ephesians 1:10 states: ‘That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him’. And Colossians 1:16-18 states: ‘For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist …. that in all things he might have the pre-eminence’.
Everything is moving to a grand conclusion, when Christ will be seen to be all in all. When the end comes, it will be over in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52). It will not need millions of years to wind down the universe.
The resurrection of the just and the unjust will be at the voice of Christ (John 5:25-29). The same voice that created all to begin with, will bring the final resurrection of all who have ever lived. Evolution undermines the glory of Christ himself and the power of Christ’s voice. All our voices are unique, but the voice of Christ is the pinnacle of all, and the whole universe answers to him!