Ministry in Norman, Oklahoma

Friends,

The seminar last weekend in Norman, Oklahoma, was well received by those who attended. Many people thanked me. A couple of families drove two hours one way to come to the lectures on both Sunday night and Monday night. They were big farming families with very well-behaved, teachable kids. A professional counselor told me after the last session that the seminar was “worldview-changing” for her.

In addition to the six talks, I spoke and answered questions at a pastors luncheon attended by 35 men representing 17–20 churches. At least one pastor came back on Monday night for the last two sessions, and three pastors said they would like to host a seminar jointly in the near future. In the Q&A time, one young pastor who is still finishing his seminary degree claimed that Genesis 1 is poetry. I was well prepared for that and quickly summarized a number of reasons for rejecting that view. As he left he said, “You’ve given me some things to think about.”

After lunch I met with four bright students from the church who attend the University of Oklahoma (just a few miles from the church). They have been heavily influenced by the Intelligent Design movement and wanted to know what was wrong with it, in our opinion. They all seemed very appreciative of the discussion. The pastor later told me that he thought it was very helpful for them.

We are in a great spiritual battle for truth on this topic of origins. I was particularly reminded of this truth when, before the first session on Sunday morning, I saw an old-earth (nearly theistic evolutionist) PhD geologist enter the church. He has come to three other seminars in the past few years when I have been speaking in the relative vicinity of Tulsa, Oklahoma (where he lives). I have also talked personally to him at length and have had several email exchanges. He claims to believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. But when I have challenged him to show me from Scripture that Noah’s Flood was a local flood in the Mesopotamian Valley, and that millions of years of death and bloodshed and extinction can be harmonized with Biblical teaching, he has refused to answer.

He and several other old-earth PhD geologists are starting to show up each year at ETS to try to influence the theologians. In Norman, the pastor told me the last day that this geologist approached him on Sunday morning and said that he would like to talk to the pastor in the near future. I warned the pastor to steer clear of this geologist. A man who runs a local creation ministry in Oklahoma and who knows the geologist said he is doing this in a number of churches. This is reflective of the great battle today: Christian geologists, astronomers, and philosophers who have made “science” (falsely so-called) their authority for interpreting Genesis and are influencing pastors and theologians to disbelieve the Word of God.

This week I will be at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society trying to influence my fellow members to believe Genesis. AiG will have a booth with books and DVDs for sale, and I will be involved in other activities connected with this topic of origins.

Thanks for praying,

Terry