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Creation brouhaha explored Sunday

Spring Hill Bible Church will host three talks for the convinced, the curious and the skeptical.

By JEAN JOHNSON
Published September 24, 2005


SPRING HILL - The debate over creation, evolution and intelligent design has moved to the center of the culture wars. School districts, museums and universities are being forced to re-examine how they portray the beginning of life on earth.

For those who are looking for a biblical point of view on how it all started, Spring Hill Bible Church is the place. On Sunday the congregation will host a three-part seminar, Creation vs. Evolution: The Intelligent Design Movement, conducted by Dr. Tom Woodward.

The Rev. Roy Herbster, senior pastor of Spring Hill Bible Church, said the seminars are for believers and nonbelievers.

"This (seminar) is for our church as well as the rest of the community," he said. "We welcome skeptics and scoffers. If they are sincere in seeking the truth, they should be interested in this."

Herbster and the Rev. Brian Brijbag, pastor of family ministry, decided to host the event "because how a person believes as far as origins is so important to the truth as the Bible presents it and sees it."

Herbster thinks it is important that people understand what the Scriptures say about what God did and why.

He said that some people find it difficult to understand or believe the Scriptures.

"It's a faith issue," Herbster said. "I think the Bible is clear, but what some do is take the Bible and look at what it states and say "it can't be that way' and come up with an alternative, even though (the truth) is clear."

Woodward is a professor of the Bible and theology at Trinity College of Florida in Trinity, near New Port Richey. He is the founder and director of the C.S. Lewis Society, a think tank for theological discussions. The society also offers mission outreach to students, skeptics and scholars, especially on university campuses in the United States and Europe.

Woodward, 55, has published articles on the "new skeptics" of Darwinian evolution and wrote Doubts About Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design. He also edited, with Dr. James Gills, the book Darwin Under the Microscope, a look at the creation controversy.

Topics will include:

"Ever wonder where the biggest holes are in Darwin's theory?"

Is evolution based on any solid evidence or is it a leap of faith?

How DNA is beginning to reveal to researchers the signature of divine intelligence.

How incredibly tiny "molecular machines" discovered inside living cells may help point scientists toward a creator.

Susan McCraw has attended Spring Hill Bible for six years. She came to the church because she was "looking for a place where the Bible is taught consistently and (was seeking) a strong fellowship of believers. That's what I found here."

Although she has not read any of Woodward's writings, she has read other books on creation. McCraw said she is "very happy about him coming and is looking forward to hearing him speak."

McCraw thinks the evidence for creationism is clear.

"You have to recognize that there is a God. Part of it is the involvement of submission on our part and also our acceptance to agree that we are sinful and that we need a savior," said McCraw, 51. "I know God is true because I have a personal relationship with God."

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Creationism vs. Evolution: The Intelligent Design Movement, a three-part seminar by Dr. Tom Woodward

WHERE: Spring Hill Bible Church, 15449 Spring Hill Drive

WHEN: Sunday: 9:30 a.m., the Great Evolution Mystery; 10:30 a.m., the Uproar Over Intelligent Design: Key Lessons for Life and Witness; 5:30 p.m., the Creator and the Cosmos: How the Heavens Shout Creation