Is the Ark Encounter Doing Our Job?

By now, almost every Christian in the United States, let alone Adventists, has heard about the "Ark Encounter" in Williamstown, Kentucky. It is a full scale model of Noah's ark that took over $100 million to build. It opened in 2016 and has already had millions of visitors.

The Ark Encounter has the dual purpose of promoting young earth creationism and sharing the gospel to the world. It was built by the world's largest creation ministry, Answers in Genesis. It was founded by Ken Ham, an Australian. They also built a world-class creation museum near the Cincinnati airport.

I first visited the Ark Encounter during its premiere year of operation. I was anxious to see how they treated the scientific questions of creationism. Their displays would affect how I set up our displays at the North Pacific Union Creation Study Center's museum. I've recently visited a second time, and I saw a number of changes and expansions of their ministry.

As to the historicity of the flood of Genesis, they have apparently heard every objection, as their displays echo questions about insects, fish, kinds of animals that were aboard (including dinosaurs) and their feeding and care. They even address what was done with the ... uh ... poop! Their science exhibits also show the many evidences found in the earth's crust of a worldwide destruction by water.

The proofs are well laid out and are strongly supported by objective science. Of course, Wikipedia calls those proofs "pseudoscience," a reminder our current culture has not accepted the truths of God's Word. But hopefully, to those with an open mind, those great truths will have a faith-building effect.

And that brings me to this question. Is the Ark Encounter doing our job?

When I say "our" job, I mean the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

It seems to me that in Revelation 14:6–7 the First Angel's Message includes a call to "worship Him Who made heaven and earth and the sea ... ." Those phrases are a clear reference to the Sabbath, a memorial of creation. Then there is the reference to the "fountains" of water, which is using the Septuagint’s wording of Genesis 7:11 and the flood.

If we believe that the Three Angels Messages are God's last message to the world prior to the coming of Christ — including a gospel call to worship the God of Genesis (the Creator and the Judge) — we should also use a "loud voice," if these angels' messages are indeed our mission to proclaim.

But how loud is our voice?

I recently spoke to two science professors from two conservative Adventist colleges and the consensus was clear: our church doesn't have a strong focus on these truths. And, more alarming, it is one of the leading causes for our young adults losing their faith in a Creator and walking away from the church. Answers aren't being provided that could change that outcome.

What we need is leadership, pastors taking on this challenge, administrators finding the funding, and prayers that the Lord of the harvest will send forth more workers. We don't want the harvest to suffer unnecessary loses. Nor do we need to rely on the Ark Encounter to do our job.