Creation for Pastors Conference Report

By Dr John Watterson

Published: June 2014

On the morning of Wednesday 21 May about 50 people gathered in Bailiesmills Reformed Presbyterian Church for the “Creation for Pastors” conference organised by Creation Outreach Ministries. The speaker, Dr. Stephen Lloyd, is the pastor of Hope Church, Gravesend, and a speaker and writer for Biblical Creation Ministries (BCM). With a background in Natural Sciences and a PhD in Material Science and a Diploma in Theology and Religious Studies (both from the University of Cambridge) Stephen was well placed to deal with the complementary subjects of his two talks.

In his first talk Stephen spoke about the different stories evolution and the Bible tell about death. While evolution claims that “death has always been present”, the Bible says that “death is due to sin”. Nowhere are these counterclaims more pronounced than in the Cross of Christ: Jesus came to suffer, and the big issue is “why did Jesus have to die?” Theistic evolutionists, for whom death is not the consequence of sin, cannot provide a satisfactory answer to this question; neither can they connect the Cross to the new creation. In contrast, the Bible teaches that the whole of creation has been corrupted by human sin, and the redemption achieved by Christ extends to the whole of creation. If we maintain this focus then the evolution-creation debate becomes an opportunity for the presentation of the gospel.

Stephen began his second talk by outlining how scientific models are developed, and the factors that lead to their rejection or adoption. In this talk he characterised the theory of evolution as “life made itself” and the Biblical account as “Someone made life.” Stephen acknowledged that evolution is an elegant theory which explains a lot of evidence. However, he emphasised that a model is not correct just because some data fits. The Intelligent Design Movement has developed mathematical measures of design, and these demonstrate that the world is awash with biological structures which evolution could not produce. For example, evolution cannot explain the origin of the information stored in DNA, or the molecular machines found in all living cells, or human consciousness. However, the challenge for creationists is not only to critique methodological naturalism but also to generate valid and fruitful scientific models that start with the Biblical framework. In this connection, Stephen presented the results of some recent work on “Flood geology”.

Both presentations generated considerable discussion. It was obvious that some of the people present were not Biblical creationists. It is hoped that Stephen’s talks challenged them to reconsider their position. Attendees coming from a creationist perspective expressed their appreciation for Stephen’s clarity and competence. Creation Outreach Ministries hope to continue such useful dialogue with Pastors in the future. If you would like Creation Outreach Ministries to organise an event to speak to Pastors or Church Elders please contact us here.