****An early August Report from Roland and Faylene Beard****
We are training teachers in a federation of Christian schools in the Philippines with the high school edition of the biblical creation curriculum. One month of training events for approximately 180 teachers from 50 Philippine Christian schools has been completed. The first school asked for five full days of training; the remainder received an introductory one-day training session that will follow with more elaborate training in a month or so. The one-day events in July included a relevance talk, a brief coverage of the four-quarter course material, and a question and answer session. Decades of the naturalistic world view (“it all happened by itself” and no God is permitted) have taken a toll on a biblical understanding of origins and the world around us. The questions from the teachers demonstrate this as they grapple with the dramatic differences between the two world views.
Our research indicates many of the questions might be yours also, or those of your children. Here are some samples: Did dinosaurs really live with people? Did God create “gay” people? Is the earth the only planet with life? What was God’s purpose in making other planets? If God knew there would be evil people, couldn’t he have created us so that would not have happened? Why are there so many bad things like disasters and famines? Why do the books say we came from monkeys? Didn’t cavemen exist? All of these can be reasonably answered from a biblical creation world view.
Our audiences are teachers, but children ask nearly the same questions. The questions from average people (teachers or not; believers or not) show a lot in common. Most folks, it seems, want to know who they are, where they come from, and why things are the way they are. The types of questions vary, depending on the depth of belief in either the naturalistic or biblical view. While we hold to the biblical world view, we teach the fundamentals of both biblical and naturalistic views. The fundamentals are not that hard to understand, but in a century when the biblical view is hardly known or recognized or even disdained, we spend quite a bit of time covering those biblical fundamentals.
The biblical world view begins with a Creator, whose involvement is notable from Genesis 1 onward. The naturalistic view is relatively simplistic: no God is permitted, no supernatural is permitted, and the primary driving force is random chance over a very long period of time (billions of years). We purposefully cover both views and note the weaknesses of random chance to yield life and complex living things and information that is intrinsic to living things. Issues related to the global flood as recorded in Genesis are summarized in the one day training because understanding the extent and characteristics of the flood affects our sense of history and what we see around us.
We have three months of training events left in Philippine provinces and many people to see for this particular mission trip. Pastor training will be added and begins in September. We keep the questions from training sessions for children or adults, however, because they show our audiences that no question is dumb and many people have the same questions. The Bible has answers. The biblical creation curriculum is only a tool to go back to that primary reference, the Bible, where the words read plainly. In contrast to the cacophony of voices that says it all happened by itself with no direction or oversight (the naturalistic or evolutionary view), we say the opposite and demonstrate how the evidence of creation itself, from the features of the world around us to the brokenness of people, has a source and history that goes back to Genesis.
The work continues…