From The Quest: Exploring Creation’s Hardest Problems, Appendix, pgs. 127-131
Let’s say you’re a student, and you’re excited about what you’ve read here, and you want to get involved. What now? I was hoping I might reach a few of you, so let’s talk about what you can do.
First of all, stay in school. I know that’s trite, but it’s true. You need to get educated and trained. Like I said, don’t expect to be able to learn a discipline just from reading books. Get involved. You have to get your hands dirty.
What should you study? The sky’s the limit. What are you interested in? Creationism is still very wide open, and just about any field of study can make substantial contributions. The only specific advice I would give is not to hide from conventional science. Don’t choose engineering or horticulture or biotechnology because you think evolutionary biology or geology will be too difficult for a creationist. At least try to get relevant training. That’s not to denigrate any of those fields, if that’s your passion. Just don’t feel like you have to settle.
If you’re looking at undergraduate institutions, and you want creationist-based training friendly to the quest, there are several options. I hesitate to even mention them, because I’ll leave someone out, but here goes. Check out Cedarville University or the Master’s University for geology. Southwestern Adventist University could get you plugged into the dinosaur excavations at the Hanson Station. The Center for Creation Studies at Liberty University would be glad to have you study biology there. You’re also welcome to come on down to Chattanooga to study at Bryan College, Southern Adventist University, or Covenant College and work with me here at Core Academy of Science as a research intern. There are many other possibilities, but these are just a few that come to mind.
Next, you’re going to need some creationist training. Here are some books you’ll find helpful, but the content is biased to biology. You should probably ask someone else about any other discipline.
Paley, William. 2008. Natural Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Originally published in 1802, this book is a classic of old school natural theology (hence the title), which argues for the existence and attributes of God based on contrivances of living things. Read the book carefully and pay attention especially to Paley’s treatment of natural evil.
Darwin, Charles. 2009. The Annotated Origin. Annotated by James T. Costa. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press. Yes, you should read Origin of Species. Don’t be shy. Costa’s version reprints the first edition (the best) and includes lots of commentary to help you understand what you’re reading.
Roberts, Jon H. 1988. Darwinism and the Divine in America. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. This is a good book to help you understand how the people who would eventually be called “creationists” responded to Darwin’s Origin.
Price, George McCready. 1923. The New Geology. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association. This is a seminal work in creationist geology. Much of Price’s work has been modified or rejected by creationists over the years, but many of these ideas linger on in creationist folklore (stuff you’ve heard, but you can’t remember where). It’s important to know what these ideas are, and where they came from.
Clark, Harold W. 1946. The New Diluvialism. Angwin, CA: Science Publications. This is the beginning of nonPrice creationist geology. It also introduces the concept of ecological zonation as an explanation for the fossil record.
Marsh, Frank L. 1947. Evolution, Creation and Science, revised edition. Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing. This is a classical statement of creationist biology written by the third major Seventh-day Adventist creationist of 1900-1950 (the other two are Price and Clark). Marsh is a pioneer in the study of the “created kind.”
Numbers, Ronald L. 2006. The Creationists, expanded edition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. This incredibly helpful history of twentieth century creationism paints modern young-age creationism as an outgrowth of Seventh-day Adventism but still gives a decent record of the who, what, and when. The Center for Adventist Research at Andrews University has Numbers’s original correspondence after he passed the manuscript around to be read by a number of the individuals featured in the book. Without exception, they said they didn’t remember things being so dramatic, so keep that in mind as you read.
Whitcomb, John C. and Henry M. Morris. 1961. The Genesis Flood. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishers. This book helped to launch the twentieth century creationist revival in the 1960s, although much of the scientific content is recycled from Price and Marsh. It’s still worth reading.
Dembski, William A. 1998. The Design Inference. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. One of the books that launched the “Intelligent Design” movement. It’s really intriguing stuff.
Wise, Kurt P. 2002. Faith, Form, and Time. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers. It’s old, but it has a good overview of the entire creation model.
Wood, Todd Charles and Megan J. Murray. 2003. Understanding the Pattern of Life. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers. Yes, this is mine, but it’s a helpful but very, very dated overview of created kinds and biology. Think of it as an update of Marsh’s book.
Garner, Paul. 2009. The New Creationism. Darlington, England: Evangelical Press. Also out of date, but another useful update on the creation model.
Snelling, Andrew A. 2009. Earth’s Catastrophic Past. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research. Again, this one is out of date, but it’s still a good update of Price, Clark, and Whitcomb and Morris.
Brand, Leonard and Arthur Chadwick. 2016. Faith, Reason, and Earth History, third edition. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press. A much more recent work focusing mostly on biology and geology from two seasoned creationist researchers. Highly recommended.
Finally, you need to be part of a community. That means minimally going to church, and not one of those big megachurches where you can hide in the pew and remain completely anonymous. Surround yourself with believers, especially believers who are not scholars. I can’t tell you what a blessing it was to be a member of Wayne Hills Baptist Church while I was a student. Those people cared about me, and that church spiritually protected me from the difficulties of my studies, my own discouragements, and the basic challenges of life. Don’t try to go it alone. Surround yourself with godly friends and mentors.
You’ll also want to stay plugged into the world of creationism. I recommend you subscribe to the two big creationist journals, Creation Research Society Quarterly from the Creation Research Society (http://creationresearch.org) and Journal of Creation from Creation Ministries International (http://creation.com). The papers in these journals aren’t always worth reading, but it’s important to be aware of what other creationists are saying. Answers in Genesis also publishes a free, online journal called Answers Research Journal, which you can access at their website (http://answersingenesis.org).
You also need to attend creationist conferences. I recommend two: The annual Origins conference and the International Conference on Creationism (ICC). Origins is sponsored by the Creation Biology Society (http://creationbiology.org) and the Creation Geology Society and features research presentations from a small but dedicated group of creation researchers. The ICC (http://creationicc.org) is held every five years and draws from a much wider range of creationist scholars. Last but certainly not least, if you’re itching to dig even deeper than anything on this list, if you really want to push the limit, you should check out a Creation Retreat from Core Academy of Science (http://coresci.org). We hold these retreats annually in locations around the country, and each one focuses on a specific theme. The goal is getting people to think about the hardest questions in creation. Our retreats are also a great opportunity for students to get to know creationist researchers and scholars. So if you’re in the southeastern U.S. or southern California, try out one of our retreats. You’ll be very glad you did.
The author, Dr. Todd Wood, has graciously granted New Creation permission to publish selected sections from The Quest: Exploring Creation’s Hardest Problems. To purchase a copy, please visit our online store.