|Newsletter||Interviews||Dr Gary Parker||Gary, Part 2||Mary Parker||Gary, Part 3||Gary, Part 4||Gary, Part 5||Gary, Part 6|
Overview: This six part series was done on September 13, 1995 at the Dayton Answers In Genesis Seminar with Dr. Gary Parker and his wife Mary. These interviews will maintain the verbal format with only changes to simplify repeats done in informal conversation. This interview will cover Gary's view of the importance of our ministries and his advice to teenagers about what they could pursue in terms of a science career or to blend their Christian faith and science together.
Ron: Dr. Parker, what do you think the prospects are for a young organization like Answers in Genesis influencing our nation?
Gary: It has been absolutely phenomenal to see what has happened. The organization is only a year and a half old, but I have participated with Ken in probably over two dozen Answers In Genesis Seminars that have reached thousands and thousands of adults and young people. And Mary has done the [Creation Adventure] workshops; it's kind of an unique aspect of the Answers in Genesis program that emphasizes the family. It gives Christian parents a chance to do something with their young people on a Saturday or on a series of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. [Later] they can talk with one another about what they learned and what they learned about God's world. It really encourages them to trust God's word and scripture.
Ron: Gary, another aspect of what happens in everyday life is, you are here today and you are gone tomorrow. How important do you think local creation ministries are to a long term help of kind of a ministry?
Gary: Local organizations like The Ark Foundation are absolutely essential to a program like Answers In Genesis. Without the local support group there wouldn't be any major seminars. This is one thing that the Australians have developed very well over there in that country. The local support groups encourage people to come to the seminars to start with, look for the right menus, get the advertising out, give the personal touch, the willingness to bring people and then the followup. The seminar is good for exciting people's interest, but that fades very rapidly. So, if there is a local organization that can follow up with people who have come and pave the way for future work, that magnifies the work many fold and really honors God. It is good stewardship of everyone's time involved.
Ron: As a professor at Clearwater College, do you see role more important in the college environment or more important in the seminar environment?
Gary: That is an extremely tough, very personal decision; and the way we have done it for many, many years now is both, we just cannot let go of one or the other. So for many years with ICR, and now with Answers In Genesis, we have tried to do both. There is a real thrill in teaching young people at the college level, especially the four year college level rather than, for example, the advanced degrees. It is during this time, during those four years, that many young people are making decisions about the kind of careers they will pursue, the kind of activities they will get involved in. They are growing in spiritual maturity and really developing a heart to serve the Lord. And you get to know them very personally over that length of time and have an impact in their training in many specialized areas; so that is very hard to even think about giving up something like that. We have seen several of our young people develop in ways that we expect them to be the next generation of creation speakers. But [with] the seminar programs, you reach so many people all of the time; and in Mary's workshops it is just phenomenal to see the seeds planted, the eyes light up, a love for science and for God's word [develop]. And we know that many leading scientists have made a commitment to science as their live's work when they are six, seven, eight years old; so the ramifications are phenomenal in that kind of program; and the people who come up to us afterwards who turn their lives over to the Lord is just rich; so at the present time we are just thankful; and let's keep going in both directions as long as the Lord gives us strength.
Ron: A lot of people that we want to reach are children, junior high or older teens. What kind of advice do you have [for] those in their junior or senior high years about what they should pursue in terms of a science career or to blend their Christian faith and science together?
Gary: Everybody recognizes that science is having a tremendous impact on our age; and every citizen, and especially every Christian, needs to be aware of how science works and the impact science has on society, the relationship between science and Gods's word. It was really Biblical faith that gave birth to science as we understand it now. And it was Biblical faith that directed applied science into the service of mankind; so even those that are pursuing various other areas now directly related to the sciences, really need to be aware of the proper relationship between God's world and God's word. Many people will wind up in careers that touch on science. And of course Bible majors, business majors, students that pursue other kinds of careers can be spokesmen in their churches and in their communities for creation science; and part of support groups because basically what the Answers In Genesis program is all about is the authority of God's word in every area of life; and so we are supporting the foundation on which all of the careers, the different life works, the family, and so on are built.
Dr Parker's Interview continued in April. Mary Parker's interview will be next month.