Creation Museum Announces Plans to Build a Full-Size Noah's
Creation Museum Announces Plans to Build a Full-Size Noah's Ark
Mark Looy, one of the co-founders of the Creation Museum, spoke in an exclusive interview with the Christian Telegraph about the Creation Museum in USA. He also spoke about plans to build a huge, full size Noah's Ark to explain creationism and present the Gospel to those who don't believe in the Bible.
Tell me a little bit about the initiative of building the Creation Museum and the influence it has on people?
The Creation Museum is one of the outcrops of Answers in Genesis. Answers in Genesis is an apologetics and evangelism ministry. Apologetics is just a fancy word for defending the Christian faith. But when we started Answers in Genesis 18 years ago, we not only wanted to start a radio program, a TV program and do teach seminars around the country, but we were also concerned about American young people going to science museums and getting an evolutionary prospective of the world compared to what the book of Genesis teaches. So, 18 years ago we decided to move to the Cincinnati metropolitan area, not only to start up Answers in Genesis but also to build and open a Creation Museum to help young people, families and everyone understand the book of Genesis.
Where were you originally?
There were three of us living in San Diego, California. But we chose the Cincinnati area because almost 2/3 of Americans can drive to Cincinnati in one day. A 190 million Americans live within about 600 miles off Cincinnati. There are other reasons too, but that was the main one. We opened a museum about four and a half years ago and God has blessed us with almost one million visitors in first three years, exceeding our expectations not only with the attendance but the media coverage from all over the world. It has been nothing less than phenomenal.
And what about the American media?
It’s been surprising too that just about every major media outlet in United States has covered the Creation Museum. What maybe surprising on top of that is that generally the coverage has been fair and balanced. Even though we proclaim biblical truth, we reject evolution, stand up for issues like pro-life, we also fight racism and we get into those top expedites of book of Genesis that addresses where all of us have come from. That all groups of people come from Adam and Eve, and so we can fight racism that way. We were created in God’s image, as Genesis teaches us, so we get involved in the abortion battle. So it's not just about creation or evolution, some of the hot button social issues of the day are answered right there in the book of Genesis. And we take strong stands on biblical issues if a reporter comes to the Museum. Reporters meet some of our PhD scientists who have, as you know, doctoral degrees.
What is the way right now to practice this kind of influence? Because now children study evolution in schools...
Evolution is taught virtually as fact in almost all public schools’ science classes. That is one of the reasons why we opened up the Creation Museum and use animatronic dinosaurs and high technology. We want to attract young people to come here in opposing views of origins that they don’t get in their schools. They certainly don’t get, you know, a pro-creation massage in the media or in science museums. So we intentionally made the Creation Museum family friendly, so we can try to counteract the evolution indoctrination that young people are getting in schools and even in Christian families. 90% of young people from Christian homes are going to a secular school. They are getting a world view that is so different than what they learn in the Bible. And you’ve probably heard this statistics too, that in the United States about three quarters of young people who grow up in Christian homes turn their backs on their Christian faith when they go to college or when they become young adults. And when you look at the studies of why so many people are leaving the church, of the youth often it concerns questions about the accuracy of the Bible. So, we can show through the museum and through our radio program or TV program, or magazine, or whatever, that the Bible is rational, it can explain the world around us today. And in doing it through the museum, people will see that the Bible and Christianity is a reasonable faith.
What ways do you use to promote the museum, the message. I mean, how do you lift your influence?
Our influence is known through our radio program. And our radio program called Answers is on several hundred stations in the United States and a few overseas. Our website has turned into one of the most popular Christian websites in the world (answersingenesis.org). We’ve had up to 94,000 visitors in one day. For our website, it’s just phenomenal number of people. We also have a number of publications, a magazine called Answers and a newsletter that has subscribers all over the world. Each year we produce a few dozen DVDs and books to help people understand that the Bible can be reasonably defended even in our modern scientific era. Our next major push is to build the full size, all wood Noah’s Ark just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, which will give us an opportunity to evangelize even more than we can at the Creation Museum because the Ark of Noah was a vessel of salvation. So in presenting the full size Ark, we can answer the most frequently asked questions that people have about the Ark and the flood. How did Noah collect all the animals? How did he care for them? Where did all the water come from that covered the earth? … And then we can present the Gospel to them right there at the Ark, because Jesus Christ is our modern day Ark of salvation. So the Ark will be first and foremost of way to share our Christian faith.
What is your timeline for completing it?
If all the funding comes in as expected this year, we hope to open it in 2014. The Ark itself will cost about $24.5 million to build. But we are going to do more than just build the Ark. And that’s simply because one of our studies indicated that we should get 1.6 million visitors the first year. Now, in the summer time if you have 15,000 people try to come to the Ark in one day it’s just impossible for one Ark to handle that many people. So we will have other attractions next to the Ark so that as people are waiting for their turn to go in the Ark, they can do some other things. So the whole project will actually cost $150 million, and the Ark accounts for about $25 million of that.
According to your opinion what is the main reason why our society nowadays moves to liberal, atheistic, anti-God values?
In United States and, maybe that's the case too in other countries too, when you believe in creation, that means you also believe in the Creator, who created you with meaning and purpose of life. A lot of people don’t like that. They want to do their own things. It’s convenient for them to push God aside and say “We are here through evolution and through natural processes that have occurred over millions or billions of years”. If you can push God off to the side and say ‘He doesn’t exist,’ you become your own God and you can do whatever you want to get away with that. So I think evolution is an excuse or justification for some people to live their own lives as they chose.
© 2012 Christian Telegraph
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