Grand Canyon camping trip solidifies biblical truths


Drs. Nathan Crockett and Gary Weier marveled at God’s creation on a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. Submitted

Students weren’t the only ones traveling this summer. Some of the BJU faculty had adventures of their own.

Dr. Nathan Crockett, faculty member of the Division of Bible, and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Gary Weier had the exciting opportunity of participating in a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. The trip was sponsored by the Christian apologetics organization, Answers in Genesis.

“The goal of the trip [was] to help young-earth creationists who desire to build a better knowledge of what Scripture has to say about the flood and what the scientific evidence in the canyon is for the flood, and to encourage old-earth creationists to rethink their position on creation and the flood,” Weier said.

This summer’s trip was led by Tom Vail, a well-respected authority on the Colorado River section of the Grand Canyon. The trek lasted seven days and covered 190 miles of both river and land as the group made their way through the canyon. The group, consisting of 24 Christian teachers and preachers, two theologians and two geologists, traversed some of the biggest rapids in the U.S. A few rapids were class 10, the most difficult and most dangerous rapids in the Colorado River. Neither Crockett nor Weier had done serious rafting before, so the trip was entirely new to them.

The theologians and geologists were not just along for the ride. They traveled with the team to field all questions about how the evidence the group had seen in the canyon coordinates with Scripture.

As the group rafted through the canyon, Vail pointed out evidences for the flood and for a young-earth view of creation. Areas where there are several strata of sediment stacked on top of each other give evidence for the flood because they must have been laid down quickly. There are also fossils buried in the layers.

Both Crockett and Weier were looking forward to getting into the canyon to see the scientific evidence to back up what they believed. “Scripture is very clear that there was a worldwide flood,” Crockett said. “It was great to hear all these scientists affirming my view.”

“I think we all conceptually understand this, but to be in something as massive as the Grand Canyon, to see God’s power displayed in creation and judgment and to see them both there in that unique setting. It’s just hard to describe that,” Weier said. “There is one part of the trip where you are in the narrowest part of the canyon where the flood has carved deep enough into the earth that you can see creation rock. To be down there and hear Genesis 1 read is just an overwhelming experience, just to think about God’s power and how he has revealed His word through Creation.”

But some of the best parts of the trip went beyond rafting the Grand Canyon, both Weier and Crockett said. The fellowship with God and with other believers was encouraging. “Most nights we would sit around the fire and talk about what we believed and why,” Crockett said. “We didn’t agree on everything, but it was just a group of guys being frank with each other. I also loved getting away from the group, looking up at the stars and being in awe of God.”