Tackling Controversial Topics with Dr. Georgia Purdom

By Leigh Harper, September 24, 2018

The Answers for Women conference is one of many ways Kentucky-based Answers in Genesis aims to present research that supports the authority of the Bible.

The organization, known best by its Ark Encounter and Creation Museum attractions, produces content like events for pastors, DVDs and study materials. It also operates a radio station.

Answers for Women, the organization’s apologetics conference for women of all ages, is the brainchild of Dr. Georgia Purdom, a molecular geneticist, researcher, author and speaker. Purdom, who directs the conference content, has a passion for demonstrating how science supports the Bible. She joined the Answers in Genesis team 11 years ago and had a revelation several years into her tenure.

“I realized there aren’t a lot of Christian conferences for women that focus on the meat of the word of God,” she says. “Many times, women are on the frontlines in their homes, churches and communities when it comes to educating the next generation of young people. Every conference has its niche, and I wanted one just for women that really asks how God’s word applies to the way [they] live.”

The first Answers for Women was held at the Creation Museum in 2011, and the 2018 event, April 6 and 7, was the seventh conference. The annual gathering provides a platform for Purdom and a team of experts to discuss biblical approaches to subjects, such as homosexuality, abortion, adultery, women’s leadership in the church and “heaventourism”—the books and media from individuals who claim to have died and experienced heaven.

Purdom says the goal of exploring these issues is to teach women how to defend their faith effectively to those who question it in both private conversations and public settings, and to understand what the Bible says about such subjects.

“We do not shy away from the hot topics,” she says. “We are going to hit those head-on because we need to know how to represent the gospel biblically and how to answer [questions about those subjects] to the outside world.”

Speakers for 2018 included Dr. Tommy Mitchell, whose talk was called “When Does Life Begin?” and Crossroads Bible College President Dr. Charles Ware, who discussed “Grace Not Race Relations.”

Along with speakers, the conference experience includes musical performances, panel discussions and an exhibit hall with vendors, such as frozen embryo adoption agency Nightlight Christian Adoptions and Camp Infinity, a STEM camp with a biblical worldview.

While some attendees make the conference experience a girls’ trip, others bring their families. Free admission for Ark Encounter and Creation Museum is included for conference registrants, along with a 20 percent discount to immediate family members of attendees within a week of the conference.

Average conference attendance has grown to approximately 500, which prompted a venue change from the museum to Florence (Kentucky) Baptist Church, 20 minutes from the ark, several years ago. Purdom looks forward to hosting the 2019 conference in a 2,500-seat auditorium currently under construction at Ark Encounter. Leadership of Answers in Genesis envisions using the space for all of its annual events as well as Christian concerts and speaking series.

Purdom and her team are finalizing the theme and subjects for 2019 now.

“It’s tempting to go into so many other directions, but I want to make sure we stay on course with what our ministry is about: The authority of God’s word,” she says.

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