Creation evangelism at the St Louis Zoo
Published: 15 May 2018 (GMT+10)
Creation Ministries International exists to partner with churches to show how science is understandable only because the Bible is true; right from the very first statement in Genesis.
We are not the only organisation that has come to the conclusion that there are only two possible explanations for how life arose:
- Through a creative act by an all-powerful God as we are told in Genesis;
- Or that life arose, by chance, through naturalistic processes as evolutionists, a la Charles Darwin, propose.
Back in 1972, a handful of years before this ministry began in Australia, two graduate students at the University of Missouri in Columbia, USA, founded the Missouri Association for Creation. They too had come to similar conclusions—as CMI’s now-retired founder Carl Wieland did—that science only makes sense because the Bible gives a true history of the world.
Those students were Glen Wolfram and Rex Hess. Glen was a PhD candidate working on ruminant nutrition in the animal husbandry department. Rex was a master’s degree candidate studying reproductive physiology in the poultry science department. After many discussions, Glen and Rex decided upon a structure and focus for the association.
Part of their mission statement reads:
The Missouri Association for Creation (MAC) exists to promote Special Creation by God as the best, most reasonable and true explanation of the origin of life and the world we live in, to defend that position against the proponents of the General Theory of Evolution, and to equip those who are like-minded to be able to explain and defend their beliefs and positions through a careful examination of available scientific evidence, fundamental laws of nature, and the evidence from Scripture.1
While CMI has grown into a worldwide ministry with—among many other publications— two flagship magazines (the family friendly Creation magazine and the peer-reviewed Journal of Creation), the Missouri Association for Creation several years ago decided to run creation-focused tours at the St Louis Zoo.
Scientific explanations for incredible design
During Spring and Fall for the past five years, MAC speakers have taken groups through the St Louis Zoo where they give a scientific explanation about seven of the animals pointing out the incredible design of the specific creature.2
“We have 120 people come for the tour in the morning, and another 120 in the afternoon,” says tour director Scott Jarus. “We do this for two consecutive days, for a total of around 500 people.”
The tours greatly impact those who take part as well as those who happen to be in listening range, but may have never heard a creation presentation.
Each speaker gives a 10-minute talk on an animal describing the various design features and how they display the invisible attributes of God (Romans 1:20). Tour participants are provided with a booklet with information that helps bring to life what is being described in a practical and understandable way.
“Due to the size of the tours we do, we arranged it with seven presenters so each only had to know his animal,” Scott said.
As well as the zoo outreach, MAC speakers give church presentations and also offer creation courses that cover various topics including the importance of the creation-evolution debate; what the Bible says about the age of the earth; geology; fossils and the Flood; carbon and radiometric dating; biology; and why there is death and suffering.
The Missouri team continues to show how creation evangelism is a real, impactful way to present the Gospel to anyone.
Scott wants to encourage others to likewise use creation evangelism to get out in the public at zoos and science museums and glorify God. And the team will help others achieve that with practical help. “We’d love to see this done in more places and are willing to give guidance and help, as needed,” he said.
If you want to impact your church in a similar way, why not ask your pastor to have a CMI speaker visit. It’s as easy as one, two, three.