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Answers in Genesis

From Academic Kids

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Answers in Genesis (AiG) is a Christian apologetics organization devoted to the belief of Young Earth Creationism, specifically a "plain" reading of the first chapters of the Book of Genesis. They have offices in many English-speaking countries, publish a number of books, videos, and audio programs, as well as a website featuring articles and papers. The organization also publishes two magazines: the layman's-level Creation and a technical journal, TJ.

AiG employs a staff exclusively of Christian evangelicals.

Contents

History

AiG was started in Australia in the late 1970s by John Mackay and Ken Ham and others who believed that the established churche's teaching of the Bible was being compromised in the face of ever-increasing attacks by secularists. The organisation was then known as Creation Science Supplies, later changed to Creation Science Foundation (CSF).

In 1978, a separate Australian organisation started by Dr. Carl Wieland began the magazine Ex Nihilo, from the Latin phrase Creatio ex nihilo meaning "Creation out of nothing". Soon after, CSF took over production of Ex Nihilo, and later renamed it Creation Ex Nihilo and eventually simply Creation. In 1984, CSF started the Ex Nihilo Technical Journal for more in-depth analysis of creation issues. It was later renamed Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal then simply TJ. TJ is a refereed journal, reviewed by members of the creationist community who share the same beliefs [1] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2002/1011hovind.asp).

In 1987 Ken Ham was seconded by CSF to work for the Institute for Creation Research in the United States, then in 1994 left ICR to found Answers In Genesis (USA). Later that year, CSF in Australia and other countries changed their names to Answers In Genesis.

The Creation Museum

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, AiG in the United States started planning and constructing a Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, near the Greater Cincinnati International Airport, which will be used to explain the history of the World according to AiG beliefs. According to Ham, "One of the main reasons we moved there was because we are within one hour's flight of 69 per cent of America's population" [2] (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2005/01/16/1105810774805.html).

Amongst its various displays and exhibits, the museum is being designed to include life-size dinosaurs, large movie screens depicting epics from the Old Testament, a planetarium depicting God making the Earth in six days, a re-creation of Noah's Ark, and a three-dimensional depiction of the crucifixion.

The expected cost of the building, interior designs and exhibits is around US $25 million. As of early 2005, the first stage of the museum is nearing completion, and the museum is expected to open completely in the spring of 2007.

Facts and figures

  • AiG offices exist in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, Canada, and the United States.
  • In 2000, their quarterly Creation magazine had subscribers in about 140 countries, and 60,000 copies of each issue were being produced. [3] (http://www1.auspost.com.au/priority/index.asp?issue_id=13&area=features&article_id=285)
  • In September 2004, their website, which is also translated into many foreign languages, had 35,000–47,000 visits per day. [4] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2004/0914search_engine.asp)

Teachings and beliefs

Methodology

AiG describes their biblical hermeneutical method as "plain" (or sometimes "grammatical-historical") and why they believe it is more precise than "literal":[5] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/feedback/2004/1126.asp)

"Simply put, our bottom line is that the proper interpretation of Scripture is to take it “plainly”, meaning “as the author intended it to be understood by the original audience”. This incorporates a literal interpretation of a literal context, poetic interpretation of poetic context, etc. This is covered in depth in the article Should Genesis be taken literally? (http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v16/i1/genesis.asp)
"E.g., with Genesis, we can tell it is meant to be historic narrative because it has all the grammatical features of Hebrew narrative, e.g., the first verb is a qatal (historic perfect), and the verbs that move the narrative forward are wayyiqtols (waw consecutives); it contains many “accusative particles” that mark the objects of verbs; and terms are often carefully defined."

Self-described mission

AiG's mission on the top of their website is: "Upholding the authority of the Bible from the very first verse", so AiG supports Biblical inerrancy and Sola scriptura. AiG's Statement of Faith begins:

  • (A) PRIORITIES
  1. The scientific aspects of creation are important, but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer and Judge.
  2. The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • (B) BASICS
  1. The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. It is the supreme authority, not only in all matters of faith and conduct, but in everything it teaches. Its authority is not limited to spiritual, religious or redemptive themes but includes its assertions in such fields as history and science.
  2. The final guide to the interpretation of Scripture is Scripture itself.
  3. The account of origins presented in Genesis is a simple but factual presentation of actual events and therefore provides a reliable framework for scientific research into the question of the origin and history of life, mankind, the Earth and the universe. …

AiG emphasises a presuppositional rather than evidentialist approach to apologetics. This is not to say that they deny the role of scientific evidence, but that they argue that evidence must be interpreted according to a framework, which depends on the axioms or presuppositions we start with.[6] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/feedback/2005/0610.asp)

AiG tries to present primarily scientific arguments for Creationism, avoiding many of the rhetorical methods used by many of their contemporaries. Many of their arguments against biological evolution are similar to those of the Intelligent design movement. Critics charge that many of their arguments are arguments against evolution rather than for Creationism, as if disproving evolution gives credence to Creation. AiG argues that this is just what many evolutionists have done, except in reverse: claim "God wouldn't have done it what way, so evolution must have done it."[7] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v24/i1/rats.asp) AiG says that neither view can be scientifically proved nor disproved, and that they seek to show that the evidence better fits with creation than evolution.

AiG's views on moral and social issues

Life issues

AiG takes a strong pro-life stance on abortion and euthanasia,[8] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/humanlife.asp) and is opposed to embryonic stem cell research (but supports somatic/adult stem cell research).[9] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v15/i3/stem_cells.asp)

Marriage

AiG defends marriage as one man and one woman for life, based on Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, which Jesus cited in Matthew 19:3–6 and Mark 10:5–9. Therefore AiG rejects homosexual behavior [10] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/morality.asp#homosexuality) and polygamy[11] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/4074.asp), while AiG sees nothing wrong with so-called Interracial marriage.[12] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v21/i3/interracial.asp)

Evolution and race

AiG also connects belief in evolutionary theory with the eugenics and racial theories of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, as well as Soviet Communism.[13] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/communism.asp) In dealing with Christendom's own violent history, the group claims that anyone who used the Bible to justify atrocities (such as during the Crusades or the colonization of the New World) was clearly misinterpreting the Bible's intent (e.g., Jesus says to love your enemies and bless them that curse you [Matthew 5:44]).[14] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/AnswersBook/existence1.asp)

Merged with this approach are the conclusions of modern anthropology about the meaninglessness of the category "race" which they see as supporting their interpretation of scripture. Using this line of argument, AiG argues that Creationism, along with other Biblical teachings, is the only true answer to the social problem of racism, and that Evolution has (and still does) promote racism.[15] (http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/racism.asp)

To support this view, AiG cites selections from early 20th century biology textbooks (such as Hunter's Civic Biology, the textbook used in the Scopes Trial) which illustrate the close connection between theories of eugenics and theories of evolution. Eugenics was a movement founded by Darwin's cousin, Francis Galton, after his reading of Darwin's Origin of Species. As a movement it was popular in the United States during the 1920s and early 1930s but soon after went into decline, just as it was gaining support in Nazi Germany.[16] (http://www.csustan.edu/History/Faculty/Weikart/FromDarwintoHitler.htm) After World War II, it quickly became an unpopular concept in much of the world. (see the page on Eugenics for more on this history)

No historian of racial thinking would deny that many people interpreted Darwinian evolution (or at least invoked it) as justifying various discriminatory models of society, and that at least through the 1960s these interpretations were fairly common in mainstream scientific circles. However, many Darwinian biologists explicitly rejected such interpretations as well (such as Thomas Hunt Morgan and Theodosius Dobzhansky), and modern supporters of evolution generally disavow such claims as being more the result of the social context in which the theory existed than something which necessarily came out of the theory itself, and are in any case irrelevant to the question of whether the theory is accurate or not.[17] (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA005_1.html)[18] (http://www.princeton.edu/~jconley/DarwinRacism)


See Also

No Answers in Genesis

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