What a blast! What a camp!
The first CMI-US Super Conference: The Battle for the Bible
Published: 1 July 2010 (GMT+10)
I was one of the invited speakers at CMI–US’s 2010 Super Conference at Ridgecrest, near Asheville, NC, in June. Quite simply, it was a huge success. How does one measure success? The following come to mind: Lives impacted for Christ, families equipped to defend their faith, Christians motivated to reach the lost, folk encouraged in hearing information that supports the trustworthiness of the Bible’s history.
Let the attendees tell you what they thought (I just love the way young people were impacted for Christ):
- For me this time was the family atmosphere. When my son looked up at me and said “Dad I want to come to this again next year” my heart leaped for joy.
- I brought my 17 year old son … I believe this was a life changing event for him.
- My two teenagers loved it! Came for them but left filled myself.
- Some of the best I have ever been at.
- Excellent!! Great!! Well done!!
- I met so many wonderful people.
Of the speakers, the talks:
- I was held captive by their talks.
- Really excellent speakers on great topics—good variety.
- Exceptional. Professional presentations by all.
- Wow!!! … they all were a joy to experience.
- We are amazed at who we heard in 4 days!
- We appreciate the level of cutting-edge research.
- Excellent with excellent credentials.
- All lectures were amazing and I loved having access to the Drs and speakers.
- First class, knowledgeable yet understandable by lay people.
I was just delighted to be there. I have been to many such conferences and this was a beauty! It was not just the beautiful location of the LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina (and the delightful Center staff and volunteers who added to the enjoyment of all). The people who attended made it really something special.
I met so many wonderful people and hearing their stories and sharing with them at meal-time encouraged me greatly—particularly how creation ministry has impacted their lives (many of them through our Creation magazine—it was confirmation that it is still changing lives after 30-plus years). It’s just delightful to see the way the Creation-Gospel message builds up families, with parents and children enthusiastically loving and serving our Savior.
A smorgasbord of teaching!
Overall, 14 speakers from the USA (9), Canada (3) and Australia (2) addressed the main conference and three more ministered to the children. One parent who attended a children’s presentations, overseen by Tom and Donna Nichols (thanks Tom and Donna!), remarked: “I attended one of the kids’ presentations. Wow!!”
CMI–USA’s membership of the new international federation of the seven CMI national sister ministries enabled ready access to experts in various fields from around the world. And the contributions of non-CMI speakers really added to the depth and variety. There were lots of new presentations and information not heard before, as confirmed by the other creation ministries represented.
I was also thrilled to see the other like-minded Bible-upholding ministries involved in this conference:
Dr Charles Jackson from Creation Truth Foundation, Tom De Rosa from Creation Studies Institute, Dr John Sanford from Logos Research, Mike Oard (who is also a speaker with CMI) and Dr Russ Humphreys from Creation Research Society. Creation Science Evangelism was an exhibitor and also had some video spots shown before the main sessions and Eric Hovind presented in the children’s program. Other exhibitors/sponsors welcomed included our friends from The Old Schoolhouse, Samaritan Ministries and Apologia publishers.
There is so much need for the biblical creation message to restore the Christian foundations of this great nation and it thrilled me to see the way in which CMI–US is working with other like-minded ministries to achieve this. The fields are ‘white unto harvest’ and ‘the labourers are few’. We need to cooperate, not compete.
Seeing the energy injected into the CMI outreach in the USA by the move of Gary Bates and Jonathan Sarfati to the USA also encourages me regarding the future church-by-church outreach in the USA (but I can tell you that CMI–Australia is feeling the loss!).
Campers loved the interaction with speakers
Before the conference, Gary Bates, CEO of CMI–USA, urged the speakers to mix with those attending, such as at meal times and coffee breaks. The speakers did this and those attending remarked how much they appreciated this. One person commented, typically, “Having access to speakers was a real treat.” Dr. Sarfati was kept busy signing books bought at the resource tables and interacting with folk, to their delight (we are getting lots of good feedback about his new book), Jonathan also delighted chess fans with engaging 10 players while he was blindfolded (he won all 10 games).
CMI–Canada’s geologist-speaker Dr Emil Silvestru expertly informed those who went on the excursion to the Linville Caverns as to how these connect with the world-wide Flood of Noah’s day.
It stood out that no one big-noted themselves (after all, compared to what there is to know; what God knows; none of us knows much at all!). In a shared forum session, Dr John Hartnett and Dr Russ Humphreys shared the essences of their different cosmological theories (how God might have created the Universe whereby not just us, but Adam and Eve, could have seen distant starlight). Their cooperative attitudes and humility regarding their competing theories really exemplified the tone of the conference; where the speakers strived to honor God, rather than themselves. A number of conference attendees noted this, one commenting, “What really amazed me was seeing how approachable everyone was. They really exemplify Christian humility.”
One feedback out of the dozens we received was particularly moving. A father commenting on the convivial family atmosphere wrote: “When my son looked up at me and said ‘Dad I want to come to this again next year’ my heart leaped for joy.”
“So, when will the next one be? I want to sign up now!”
That was the most common question I heard at the end. Well, there will be a similar conference for CMI–Canada next year. Sign up for Infobytes to get a heads up about it. You might have to book early to make sure you don’t miss out!
A big thanks also to our supporters. Your support of this ministry makes all the wonderful information heard at the camp possible. Thank you.
You can get audio recordings of the talks, plus DVDs of many talks will be available soon.
You can see a slide show of pictures from the camp on CMI’s CreationClips channel on YouTube, at: Creation 2010 Super Conference - Battle for the Bible .