Creation magazine is 25 years old!
Founding editor Carl Wieland shares his vision
17 November 2003
Because a creation book was instrumental in converting me from evolutionary atheism to Christ, I had a deep passion to ‘spread the message’ that the Bible is totally true and relevant to real history, science—everything. I think what really helped to sway my impressionable young mind into believing evolution was National Geographic’s glossy multi-page spread about Louis Leakey’s ‘Nutcracker Man’—an obvious ‘apeman’ complete with tools and family. (As usual, he was later quietly shuffled out of man’s ancestry.)
The quality presentation was helping convince people about the ‘facts of evolution’. I saw the need for a popular-level magazine on creation, but couldn’t find any. Though I couldn’t afford to publish a full ‘glossy’, one had to start somewhere. So the first (1978) two issues came off my electric typewriter in my Adelaide home. With Peter Sparrow’s help, they were photocopied, sidestapled and crudely bound with black tape. But—the magazine, then called Ex Nihilo (Latin for ‘out of nothing’), had been launched.
Our fledgling Creation Science Association soon merged with a newly formed ministry, co-founded by Ken Ham, to form the Creation Science Foundation, later Answers in Genesis. I was thrilled to see them successfully reaching people in churches. I remained a medical doctor, speaking and writing on creation part-time as more or less a ‘southern support wing’ for the national ministry. Though the magazine was part of the outreach, financial restraints meant that for many years it was still basically black and white.
The next two editors were Robert Doolan, preceded by John Mackay, who resigned in turbulent times in 1987. When I joined the ministry as its full-time head, the magazine circulation was less than 5% of its current (70,000) print run, and it was still too expensive to put full colour inside. But gradually, section by section, we stepped out in faith with more and more colour. From the mag’s early black-and-white days, art director Steve Cardno has done a magnificent job of layout. ‘Liberated’ by the advent of full colour, Steve’s God-given creative abilities caused the magazine to surge ahead. We’re thrilled with the way God has blessed and used it in over 100 countries; probably around 250,000 people read each issue!
Far too many people contribute to acknowledge all individually, but special mention is due to Christine Leota (née McMillan), a true ‘editor’s right hand’ for many years.
Creation magazine has always been a team effort, so it is fitting that in the year of its 25th anniversary, that should be more formalized. A team of four editors (all of them scientist/speakers as well) will divide/roster the various tasks I’ve been doing. That doesn’t mean I won’t be involved at all, but it will help me meet other needs due to the ministry’s international growth.
In giving thanks to God for the magazine’s ministry, I wanted to share with you the tiniest fraction of the many thousands of life-changing testimonies we have received. You’ll see why we turn down paid advertising, because we want every page to be part of a life-transforming, witnessing weapon. For instance, Louis L. said:
Years ago I subscribed to the Creation magazine and shared it with non-Christian family, work colleagues and ‘clients’. … . Keep up the great work you are doing. It is an encouragement and blessing!
David S. wrote:
I recently found a copy of Creation magazine for the first time in a Christian bookstore. … [I] wanted more information about biblical creation. You have supplied it!! Your material is trustworthy, to the point, easy to read, honest, strong, and devoid of speculation and pseudo-science. Kudos!!! You have saved the day!!! I will be recommending … your magazine to everyone I know. Thank you so much for being good scientists!!!!
We know from the masses of testimonies (including many conversions) we have received over the years that Creation is (as one supporter wrote) ‘the world’s best witnessing weapon’. Please consider using this powerful tool to penetrate ‘enemy territory’—and please keep praying for us.