Ark Encounter & Creation Museum
Author: Helen Man
Translator: Kim Ng
My husband and I were supposed to visit the well-known Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum with my Christian relatives this past August. Unfortunately, they got sick the day before the trip. So we had to explore these two extravagant places on our own but the discoveries we encountered were truly breathtaking.
These two museums are founded and operated by a Christian organization called Answers in Genesis (AiG). They are purposely situated in Kentucky which is in the middle of the U.S. so that ⅔ of the people across the country can get there within a day of driving. Both Christians and nonbelievers can benefit from taking a tour there.
AiG believes that the Bible is infallible and the Ark is not a fairytale. The Creation Museum is a direct challenge to the Big Bang theory and evolution. It’s not a surprise to see atheists protesting against these two museums from the beginning with the slogans of “separation of church and state”, “toxic specially to kids”, “anti-science”, etc… Yet God’s truth cannot be hindered. The 75,000-square-foot “Creation Museum” opened on May 28, 2007, at a cost of $27 million, all funded by private donations. The “Ark Encounter” opened on July 7, 2016 (Genesis 7:7).
The Ark Encounter
Breathtaking! The Ark Encounter is as big as two gigantic soccer ball courts! It was built according to the dimensions recorded in the Bible, 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. The ark is supported 15 feet above the ground by a series of concrete towers. For the sake of tourists, three masonry towers were built on the starboard side of the ship, with stairs, elevators, and toilets inside.
There are three floors in the ark. Visitors enter the first floor of the ark from the deck on the ramp through a gate. Many large and small square grids are neatly built on the first floor, and there are various animal models that AiG thinks may be on the ark. Food bottles and water bottles were hung in front of each square grid. There were excrement plates under the grid. Amazingly countless food reserves and water bottles were piled up on the side.
The second deck has more animal models, as well as dioramas of Noah’s workshop and family. Displays are lined up on the third deck, explaining what AiG believes might have happened inside and outside the Ark during the flood such as how many kinds of animals entered the ark, how to keep the air circulation in the ark, feeding the animals and disposal of their excrement, where the light comes from, etc.
A huge gate, as big as the real ark’s, was erected inside the Ark Encounter, with the inscription of what Jesus said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.” (John 10: 9). It nicely summarizes the purpose of the Ark Encounter. An elderly couple told us that they have been coming every year. They often came with their grandchildren because of the theme park and other attractions such as high-altitude ziplines, a virtual reality theater, and a zoo with zebras, kangaroos, and camels with camel rides, etc. Their two-story cafeteria in the park that can accommodate 1,500 guests is one of the largest restaurants in the world.
The purpose of this museum is to “exalt Jesus Christ as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer”, to “equip Christians to better evangelize the lost”, and to “challenge visitors to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord”.
The Creation Museum is about 45 miles from the Ark Encounter. Outside you can find a 5-acre lake, a lotus pond, small bridges with water flowing underneath, and flowers blooming. It feels like the Garden of Eden. There are ziplines, a zoo, and a butterfly park next to the lake for children to play. Besides the display of fossils, cultural relics, Allosaurus skeletons, and insects, the museum also has a 4D special effects theater and a planetarium (now showing “Created Cosmos” and “Aliens: Fact or Fiction?”).
The museum has about 300 employees, and all the long-term employees must sign a statement of faith, which has also attracted attacks from unbelievers.
Since its opening on May 28, 2007, this museum already reached one million visitors in April 2010. Even in its first year, more than 400,000 made their first tours there.
Then the opening of the Ark Encounter in 2016 became another attraction to more people, even from all over the world, and the number of visitors to the “Creation Museum” went up to more than 800,000 visitors that year.
During the pandemic, the closing of the museum turned into an opportunity to renovate the internal facilities, to expand the capacity of the planetarium, to upgrade its display equipment, and to improve its sound effects, etc. From the opening to April 2021, the two museums have a total of more than 10 million visitors.
AiG affirms that God-Jehovah is the only true God who has created the world and our first ancestors in 6 days. The actual age of Planet Earth is about 6,000 years old and dinosaurs did exist with mankind. Before the worldwide flood, all the animals were herbivores. Yet after the fall of man, sin found its way into the world. We all suffer from pain and wars and Christ is the only salvation for us. The museums actually affirm what the Bible says about Noah and the floods through fossils, cultural relics, history, scientific verification.
The two museums exalt God’s holiness. They presented the concepts of the “seven C’s of history”: Creation, Corruption, Disaster, Chaos, Christ, the Cross, and Consummation.
The Creation Museum uses three-dimensional portrait models to show God’s creation of Adam and Eve and the marriage of “a man and a woman” in line with God’s will. It explains how sin entered the world from the moment Adam and Eve sinned to the time when Cain killed Abel and why God destroyed the world with a flood. Later rebellious people were scattered from the Tower of Babel.
The display board of the Creation Museum clearly and succinctly introduces God’s plan:
- the redemption- the birth, death, resurrection and ascension of the Son of God, Jesus Christ
- the spread of the gospel (the journey of the apostle Paul)
- the arrangement and reliability of the Bible
The two museums declare that the only true God-Jehovah created the world and man, so that man can enjoy the fellowship with Him and the abundance and goodness of creation. Yet due to sin, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27). Therefore man must face death and the solemn judgment of the holy God.
Fortunately, our God is full of mercy. He has sent His only begotten son to the world to die for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Whoever believes in Him should not perish but will have eternal life.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:13). No other religions can give us salvation. Mohammad, the founder of Muslim couldn’t escape death and the Buddha, Sakyamuni did not dare to call himself a god, but only said that he “enlightened the Tao”.
Do you know that the Lord who greatly loves you has died and resurrected for you?