“You believe the Bible story about some guy who had to get every kind of animal on a boat?” That was a question young, atheist Calvin Smith used to ask his Christian friends. He wasn’t aggressively anti-Christian, but he was certainly skeptical enough to doubt all those “biblical fairy tales.”
But if you run into Calvin nowadays, you’ll find him sharing the Good News of Jesus and defending the truth of God’s Word, starting with Genesis. The former atheist is now executive director of Answers in Genesis Canada, where he’s busily creating a popular new series called The Genesis Account of Noah’s Ark.
Although the 10-part series recently started and is only halfway through its lineup, it’s already on Answers TV’s list of Top Ten Series! In honor of the show’s fifth episode coming out this month, we sat down with Calvin to find out what inspired him to launch the series, how it’s impacting people, and the work his team is doing in Canada.
Your Questions About Noah’s Ark—Answered
With each monthly episode, The Genesis Account of Noah’s Ark continues to gain traction. But what’s making this 10-part series so popular?
Perhaps the biggest reason is how compelling and easy to understand the content is. Each episode focuses on a common question Christians and skeptics alike have about the biblical account of Noah’s Ark, such as “Was there really a Noah’s Ark?”; “Where did all the water go?”; and “Where is the physical evidence for Noah’s Flood?”
These are questions Calvin has heard countless times from skeptics—both inside and outside the church.
“The account of the Ark is one of the most well-known historical accounts in the Bible—among believers and nonbelievers,” Calvin says. “And of course, you’ve got a skeptical world that’s asking, ‘Can you really trust the Bible?’ And that’s spilled over into the church.”
Calvin understands this skepticism because of his own atheistic upbringing. Before he gave his life to Christ at 26 years old, he encountered many Christians who couldn’t answer his burning questions about the historicity of the Bible. Some Christians told him Noah’s Ark was simply a metaphor for spiritual instruction, and those who believed it was a historical account couldn’t tell him why.
“I finally encountered a person who could stand up to me and say, ‘OK, you believe this story of evolution? How do you explain this, this and this?’” Calvin recalls. “When I asked him questions, he already had answers. And 1 Peter 3:15 says we’re always to have a response and apologetic [for our faith.]”
Having experienced the impact of well-researched apologetics, Calvin now wants to equip other Christians with answers, too. That’s why each episode of The Genesis Account of Noah’s Ark answers Christians’ earnest questions and equips them to share those answers with others.
Defending the Christian Faith in Canada
Calvin’s series on Noah’s Ark is only his team’s latest effort in their mission to defend God’s Word in Canada. That mission began four years ago when Calvin launched Answers in Genesis Canada with the goal of making creation apologetics more accessible in his nation.
As an apologetics teacher for 15 years, Calvin was a fan of Ken Ham’s content. But with over-the-border fees, he knew shipping American products to Canada was expensive.
So when Calvin met with Answers in Genesis US staff about launching a branch in Canada, it was a no-brainer. Calvin’s team now has a warehouse in Cambridge, Ontario, and has been hosting apologetics conferences throughout the year—at least until COVID-19 struck.
When the pandemic hit and forced Answers in Genesis Canada to cancel their conferences, they decided to start focusing more on video. “It was a complete retooling of my entire ministry staff,” Calvin says.
The result has been several powerful series on Answers TV. Calvin’s Creation Basics walks viewers through common questions about Creation in five-minute episodes. CT Scan, hosted by Patricia Engler, focuses on critical thinking for Christian students at universities and public schools. And G.R.E.A.T. Conversations talks about the gospel, relevance, evangelism, apologetics, and training relating to church and culture today.