At the age of 16 Joshua Phillips has distinguished himself as a world explorer who has surfed the great sand dunes of Peru, hiked the top of Mt. Saribachi with veterans of the Battle of Iwo Jima, climbed Ben Nevis in the highlands of Scotland, and summitted Huana Piccu, high in the Andes Mountains, temple grounds of the ancient Incas.A product of America's thriving home education movement, the eldest of eight children and son to Doug and Beall Phillips, Joshua has traveled on Christian ministry with his father to four of the earth's continents and more than half of America's fifty states. An avid reader, Joshua has devoured more than 90 historical adventure novels by 19th century boys literatary hero G.A. Henty, and more than forty by R.M. Ballantyne. His love of literature inspired him to found Ballantynethebrave.com, a web site which explores the importance of books which promotes Christian principles for young men. From his home town of San Antonio, Texas, Joshua has also served as a regular guest commentator on Christian radio station KSLR where to discuss boys adventure literature. This is the third documentary film project in which Joshua has appeared, the last of which was The League of Grateful Sons. Now, in The Mysterious Islands, Joshua joins his father and a team of scientists and fellow creation enthusiasts for a journey of a lifetime to "the enchanted islands" - the Galapagos archipelago. There he hikes, swims, climbs and journals his way through one exciting discovery after another, all the while sharing the perspective of a boy and a son, as together he and the team address the confusing and misguided legacy of Charles Darwin while examining the truth concerning the most important questions surrounding these mysterious islands.
The Mysterious Islands Project was birthed during a trip to the Andes Mountains in Peru when Doug Phillips heard of legends that ancient Incas may have visited the Galapagos. With the anniversary year of Darwin's birth and his magnum opus just around the corner, and with evolutionists from all over the world flocking to this "ground zero" of the Darwinian worldview, it was determined that a unique team of Christian explorers, scientists and filmmakers needed to be assembled to walk in the steps of Darwin, to see what he saw and to ask the question: "Is the Galapagos really a laboratory of evolution, or a glorious testimony of God's creation?"
But for Doug, the journey to the Galapagos really began close to thirty years before. As a young boy and committed evolutionist who dreamed of someday being an astronomer, Doug immersed himself in books and television broadcasts produced by well-known Darwinists like Carl Sagan and Jacob Bronowski. All that changed when Doug's father expressed his own commitment to the book of Genesis and began to introduce Doug to the writings of distinguished scientists who saw a unity between the truth of Scripture and the evidence of the scientific record. After reading The Genesis Flood by Dr. Henry Morris and Dr. John Whitcomb, and experiencing the transforming power of Gospel conversion, Doug prayerfully purposed to seek out unique opportunities to share the creation message with others. Nearly thirty years later, Doug is accompanied by his son Joshua for the trip of a lifetime as they take an unforgettable father and son journey of discovery with The Mysterious Islands team to a land of salt-spitting marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and giant tortoises.
Over the last twenty-five years Doug has traveled from battle zones in Africa and Central America, to the Islands of the Pacific, Japan, Europe and South America on missions of discovery and Gospel evangelism. For the last ten years he has led thousands on history tours around America and in Europe in search of the providences of God in history. Doug is the founder of the Christian Filmmakers Academy and the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. He has produced several documentary film projects including The League of Grateful Sons, which explores multi-generational faithfulness and honor in the context of the stories of veterans from the battle of Iwo Jima and their progeny. For many years Doug served as adjunct faculty professor of apologetics for the Institute of Creation Research where he teamed up with Dr. John Morris for the Back to Genesis conferences. In addition to his work in Christian ministry and as a filmmaker, Doug is an attorney and founder of the Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy where he also teaches constitutional law. He served for six years defending parental rights with the Home School Legal Defense Association. Doug has authored and edited numerous books including The Little Boy Down the Road: Short Stories and Essays on the Beauty of Family Life; The Letters of Teddy Roosevelt to His Sons; and The Birkenhead Drill. His latest project will be released in October?100 Books Every Home Educator Must Read Before Leaving Home. Doug's articles have appeared in numerous publications including The Washington Post, WorldNetDaily, Homeschooling Today, Acts and Facts, and Answers Magazine. Doug has keynoted at more than one hundred homeschool conventions across the United States and is best known for his work as President of Vision Forum Ministries, an organization dedicated to encouraging the Christian family in America through Gospel discipleship, apologetic and worldview training, and multi-generational vision. Doug is the husband of Beall and father to eight children: Joshua, Justice, Liberty, Jubilee, Faith, Honor, Providence, and Virginia.
Award winning producer and director Jon Erwin is no stranger to action-oriented filmmaking. Whether he is gunning and running, camera-in hand, tracking pro-athletes for ESPN, or filming 85 feet below the surface in the waters of the Galapagos, surrounded by more than one hundred white-tipped sharks, Jon is not satisfied unless he gets "the shot" every time. He is also a cinematographer known for his ability to harness new digital technologies. In addition to trekking into craters and over desolate beaches on the Mysterious Islands film project using the famous RED camera, Jon became one of the first pro-filmmakers to shoot the Galapagos on the new Canon 5D Mark 2, an tool which allowed him to track with penguins and flightless cormorants as they torpedoed beneath the surface of the ocean.
A devout Christian, husband, father and product of America's burgeoning home school movement, Jon began his career at the age of fifteen, and had performed professional work for ABC, NBC and ESPN before he had reached his twentieth birthday. As one half of the Erwin Brothers, Jon also specializes in writing and producing projects and co-directing them with his brother Andy. He now devotes a portion of his time to mentoring the next wave of Christian filmmakers in the technical aspects of professional filmmaking.
It's been a big year for award-winning filmmaker Andy Erwin. Fresh from his world-premiere success with the noteworthy "God Provides" film series where he directed veteran actor and Disney star Dean Jones in the role of Abraham, Andy, his brother Jon decided to take on the daunting task of challenging the theory of evolution right from ground zero of modern Darwinism---the Galapagos Islands. With less than one month to shoot a cinematically beautiful and substantively controversial documentary, Andy, Jon and the team from Erwin Brothers motion pictures joined Doug Phillips and a group of scientists for the journey of a lifetime, six hundred miles off the coast of South America to a land of ancient tortoises, salt-spitting iguanas and exotic creatures that appear to have little fear of man. Andy's clear, no-nonsense style and his vision for a strong story contributed significantly to the success of the project.?A Christian, husband, father and product of America's home school movement, Andy began his career as a camera operator for ESPN when he was still in his teen years. He became one of the youngest camera operators on the rosters of ESPN Primetime, Monday Night Football, and even the camera crew for the Super Bowl. At Erwin Brothers, Andy serves as the company's lead editor as well as co-director with his brother Jon.
|Dr. John Morris
After more than thirty years as one of the world's foremost spokesmen on the Bible and science, Dr. John Morris was able to realize a long-time dream when he traveled to the Galapagos Islands, the spiritual nerve center of the modern evolutionary movement. Dr. Morris brings his considerable experience and knowledge to The Mysterious Islands documentary project. An acclaimed geologist who has authored more than twenty books and hundreds of articles on science, faith, and origins, Dr. Morris is also known for his leadership as President of the Institute for Creation Research, and as the son of Dr. Henry Morris, the father of the modern creation movement. Dr. Morris is also one of the foremost experts on the search for Noah's Ark, having climbed Mt. Ararat in search of the Ark more than a dozen times. The mission to Galapagos reunited Dr. Morris and Doug Phillips for another great adventure after many years of working together in the field of creation apologetics as part of the Institute for Creation Research's "Back To Genesis" conferences.
|Dr. Tom Ford
Dr. Tom Ford III is a Ph.D. in biomechanics, an especially helpful discipline when examining one of Darwin's greatest errors?the belief that homology (or the study of comparative anatomies) is one of the gateways to proving evolution. One hundred and fifty years after On the Origin of Species, this foundational argument used by Darwin is broadly recognized as error. Dr. Ford's young earth creationist perspective and his extensive collegiate experience as a University Professor and second generation Ph.D. brought a valuable element to The Mysterious Islands expeditionary team. Tom explains his motivation for joining the team with this simple, but profound message:
"I am the son of Dr. Tom Ford, Jr., Professor Emeritus from Auburn University. After twelve years teaching in the academy, my father's faith in evolution was transformed through a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus as Lord. As he embraced the creator God, the Bible became the basis of authority on which he taught and conducted research. I remember the new struggles my father faced as he experienced persecution and discrimination because of his rejection of philosophy based on evolutionary thinking and because he was outspoken in his philosophy based on biblical thinking. My father was a champion in this battle of worldviews. I desired to go to Galapagos for my father and for my children to make a statement of the importance of this battle and to help set the record straight. Evolution is not unbiased science, as many pretend."
Peter Bradrick works on the side as an independent logistics consultant specializing in event coordination, executive protection, and personnel management. He spent 4 years working as executive assistant to Doug Phillips with Vision Forum Ministries, and currently works full time as operations manager for the National Center for Family Integrated Churches. He and his wife Kelly live in Wake Forest, North Carolina with their two sons, Triumph and Knox.