Joe Scofield's Creation Talk At The Pavillion.. Come Along!
"Despite growing secular trends in our society, the question of whether life had a Creator continues to hold huge implications for everyone. Secular thought suggests that we are here by accident, with no ultimate purpose, and that our lives end when we physically die. The Bible on the other hand, indicates that we were created by God for a purpose, that death is not the end, and that the choices we make in this life have eternal consequences. People need to investigate which of these contrasting perspectives is true." says Joe Scofield, of The Origins of Life talk he has organised on Wednesday 18 July at the Pavilion.
(PICTURES: JOE SCOFIELD, CREATION MINISTRIES LOGO, RICHARD DAWKINS)
Joe please tell us a bit about yourself?
I attend Sladebrook Evangelical Church in Southdown, as well as a small church called Stepping Stones which meets at Bath YMCA and is tailored to the needs of homeless people. I have a PhD from the University of Bath on the subject of church and community development. I enjoy outdoor exercise and volunteering within my wider community at South West Bath.
Tell us about the creation talk you are planning?
Two speakers from Creation Ministries International will be showing the scientific and biblical evidence for creation. I haven't heard them talk before, but others who have, say that their presentations are very good with visual aids to help engage the audience.
The event will take place at The Pavilion, North Parade Road, Bath. This venue is easy to reach by public transport or car and there is a car park conveniently on-site.
What inspired you to organise this event?
There had been a lot of teaching in Bath on the topic of evolution, including lectures by the BRLSI and a presentation by Richard Dawkins at the Guildhall. From a rational viewpoint, I thought it unwarranted that there should be so much focus on just one explanation for life's origins. And as a Christian, I wanted God to be honoured in Bath with a public talk on how science supports the creation model.I began to envisage a talk on the evidence for creation that would be open to all, held in a neutral public building rather than a church, so that agnostics and atheists who might be interested would not be put off by a church building.
Why do you feel it is so important to have a creation talk right now? In the context of society?Despite growing secular trends in our society, the question of whether life had a Creator continues to hold huge implications for everyone. Secular thought suggests that we are here by accident, with no ultimate purpose, and that our lives end when we physically die. The Bible on the other hand, indicates that we were created by God for a purpose, that death is not the end, and that the choices we make in this life have eternal consequences. People need to investigate which of these contrasting perspectives is true.
Nowadays there is a tendency to just accept the secular evolutionist explanation for life's origins, largely because the media broadcast it as established 'fact'. In reality, problems and obstacles abound in science with the idea that complex life could have evolved from 'simpler' life, or that simple life emerged out of lifeless chemicals. The general public are not given a full presentation of all the facts.
With all these points in mind, it would make sense to hear qualified speakers talk on why they think the evidence supports belief in a Creator that we call 'God'.
Do you think there needs to be a balance redressed towards people who say there is no God?
One problem is that some voices, who say there is no God, also demand restrictions on how far people are allowed to hear the other side of the debate. For example, the British Humanist Society campaigned against the Noah's Ark Zoo Farm which presents a creationist model. Yet one cannot retain intellectual integrity while continually looking at only one side of the coin.
I believe that churches should indeed respond to some of the atheistic challenges to faith associated with Richard Dawkins and others. There is a sound basis for doing so, because the Bible uses the creation as a proof of God (Romans 1:20) and also identifies the ministry of refuting false arguments (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Are you planning many more such events?
If this initial creation talk attracted enough interest, I would love to help organise at least one such event each year. Although some people are sceptical of the whole evolution / creation debate, it does touch upon all kinds of fascination topics from the fields of biology, genetics and geology etc. There is also a debate around whether solar systems, galaxies or even the universe itself could have evolved - so that opens up another intriguing arena for thought.
I think it would be a positive step for Bath to become a city where residents are prepared to engage with the question of life's origins, and to broaden their horizons to consider evidence that the world of nature around us is actually here by design.
Anything you wish to add?The two speakers hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis, so I have had one or two challenges from Christians who see no contradiction between Genesis and the evolutionary model. I respect differing views among Christians, but in my experience believers in a literal Genesis are good at showing why it isn't so easy to incorporate billions of years of evolution into scripture.
I hope that people of all standpoints will feel able to come to the talk, and I am sure that we all have some common ground. I think it is useful to hear different 'takes' on a subject to help us reach our own conclusions. This is a free event.
Contact Joe on: 01225 336850
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