A group of Christians recently hiked through the great Smoky Mountains investigating rock formations in search of geological evidence of creationism and the biblical account of the great flood.
The half-day excursion was led by one of the foremost creation scientists in the nation, Dr. Andrew Snelling, geologist and director of research of Answers in Genesis. The hike sought to teach a young earth worldview.
"You've got the initial creation of the earth. You've got the basic structure of the earth," Snelling said.
At some 6,000 feet, Clingman's Dome near Gatlinburg, Tenn., served as a a real-life classroom to teach about creationism and the flood account in the the Bible.
"The very fact that we have these crystals is an answer. These indicate that (the earth formation) was very rapid," Snelling said.
Dr. Snelling, perhaps one of the world's leading researchers in flood geology, claimed that Clingman's Dome is an example of how catastrophic events challenge the idea of a gradual earth formation that took billions of years.
"One of the key events in the earth history is the flood. Jesus even spoke of the flood. Peter spoke of the flood. Noah and the flood are key to that history being true," Snelling argued.
And if that history is true, then the gospel message founded on that history is true, and challenges people that they must respond to the creator Jesus Christ.
Joshua Platillero, just moved to Knoxville, Tenn., from Spain where his parents were missionaries.
A sophomore in Thomas Edison State College's online degree program, Platillero said he was excited to discover evidence of the flood so close to home.
"There is so much evidence that what the Bible says really did happen. There is so much more evidence than any other theories," he said. "That is just so cool."
"Of course we can't know everything. We have to have faith," he continued.
"But it is great to know, too, that there is also much evidence that the Bible is true so we can have more confidence and trust in him more," he said.
Answer Mega Conference
While the small group of adventuresome Christians in the Smoky Mountains explored the book of Genesis in connection with creation narrative, there was a much larger group of believers in Sevierville, Tenn., for the Answer Mega Conference.
Some 1,500 Christians from across the nation gathered at the Sevierville Event Center last week to hear noted speakers teach on creation and biblical apologetics.
The premier showing of Evolution vs. God, produced by award-winning author and speaker Ray Comfort, was a highlight of the conference.
The film was so popular it sold-out, selling 2,000 DVDs in just 20 minutes.
"This is a two DVD set here, think I might get that," James Jones, a conference attendee from Atlanta, Ga., said.
Believers like Jones attended hungry for new resources that might help equip and defend their faith.
"I like the way they answer the questions of the conference attendee age today," Jones said. "A lot of things people don't really think about, but are really relevant for those who are lost and for those who are crying out for relevancy."
Jones, who works with inner-city youth, said he needs all the tools he can get to defend the Gospel.
"It really helps a lot when you are with other conference attendee believers who are likeminded from different areas, to be able to help share with you their experience as far as talking," he said.
"Their experience as far as having the courage to be able to talk with people, as well as share infortmation," he continued.
Many believers felt the tools and encouragement are needed to help others realize that our world and existence isn't an accident, but the handiwork of a purposeful and loving Creator.