Record number of students learn about God’s creation, coming new creation, at conference

Communications Staff — February 8, 2008

More than 500 junior high and high school students crowded into Heritage Hall and overflow rooms at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for the 2008 high school Give Me An Answer conference, Feb. 1-2.

The record number of attendees exceeded last year’s total by 200 as junior high students were invited to the annual apologetics conference for the first time. “Made” was the conference theme as faculty from Boyce College and Southern Seminary addressed how the world came into existence.

In a plenary session, Jimmy Scroggins, dean of Boyce, said his greatest fear for young people in today’s culture is that they are being taught that Christianity is grounded on blind “faith” and is incoherent.

“You (young people) are being taught by a culture, by a school, by a television program, by what is on your I-Pod, that in order to be a Christian you have to turn off your brain, take a blind leap of faith and just believe a bunch of stuff that can never be credible and can never be substantiated,” he said.

“Some of you live in fear and you don’t share your faith the way that you really want to because you are afraid that … someone is going to ask you a tough question and you are not going to have a good answer. You are terrified that you are believing in something that is no more intellectually sound than Santa Claus or the tooth fairy.”

Scroggins said many people in the world try to convince Christians that a naturalistic worldview deals with facts and things that really matter, while supernatural things and faith beliefs don’t count in the realm of science. The perspective of many is that religion can play a nice role in people’s lives, he said, but it has no grounding in reality.

“What people are basically saying is, it is the same as if your mother came to you after you lost a tooth and said to you, ‘it is okay if you believe that the tooth fairy is going to come and bring you money.’ We all know that mom and dad are going to come and put money under there. But we say, ‘go ahead and believe in the tooth fairy: it’s fine,’” he said.

“That is what people expect you to do with church. ‘you know that you really evolved from monkeys and there is no real God involved in this, but you go ahead and go to church and pretend like there is anyway for fun. We all know that evolution is the way it happened, but when we go to church we all pray like we believe something else happened.’ It is one thing to play a kids game when everybody knows it is a kids game. It is another thing to play a game with a worldview that is going to affect everything else in your life and everything else in your eternity.”

In another plenary session, Russell Moore said that – contrary to public opinion – heaven will not be a place where will we stand with arms raised for all eternity singing, but instead it will be a place where we live and work and eat together in joyful service to a King.

“The life that we are looking forward to is not a life where we are alone with a light, or alone sitting on Jesus’ lap,” he said.

“It is instead being part of one another, it is a place where we will be joined with one another. The friendships and relationships that you are forming right now are things that will deepen and strengthen over centuries and millions and billions of years. It will be a kind of universe in which we will be seated together, eating together, serving together, working together and living together. ‘In my Father’s house,’ Jesus said, ‘there are many rooms.’ It will be a place where we will be together.”

The curse after the fall marred God’s good creation, Moore said, but there will come a day when God will make a new heavens and a new earth. Believers can look forward to that day with expectancy when God redeems not just humanity, but all of creation, he said.

“You now have nature that is under a curse and a nature that is revolting against its ruler, revolting against humanity and this is not the way that God designed it to be,” he said.

“He did not design for animals to be tortured by one another. He did not design the natural order to attack human beings. But Paul says you see the way that the creation is groaning and it ought to point you to the day in which God is going to roll all of that back and God is going to be able to look at His creation once again and say, ‘this is good.’”

In addition to the plenary sessions, students participated in separate junior high and senior high elective tracks. Elective session topics in the senior high track included “What does Shakespeare say about creation?,” “What does crime scene investigation say about creation?” and “What does Muhammad say about creation?”

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Apply now for summer or fall studies

Classes begin in June & Aug.