ICR Creationism and the 1990s
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
In spite of increasingly hysterical opposition from our humanist-dominated educational establishments and news media, scientific Biblical creationism is very much alive and well as we enter the last decade of the 20th century. With the modern revival of creationism barely three decades old, traditional Darwinism and neo-Darwinism are in retreat, rapidly being replaced by "New-Age" evolutionism (a curious mix of pantheism, punctuationism, neo-catastrophism, neo-Lamarckianism, and, often, even occult mysticism).
Just as the decade of the '80s was beginning, ICR issued an anthology book entitled The Decade of Creation, reviewing the exciting developments of the first decade of ICR, which was first established in 1970. But now we can see that the '80s were still more exciting, and the decade just ahead should break all records!
THE DECADE OF THE '80s
It is well first to look back thankfully ten years into the past, before we attempt to look bravely ahead to the next decade. We do not intend this as a recital of accomplishments, but as a testimony to what God has done with such a seemingly inconsequential and controversial organization as the Institute for Creation Research. Its first ten years had been spent as a division of Christian Heritage College, which had also been formed in 1970, as a distinctively creationist liberal arts college.
In late 1980 and early 1981, ICR became an independent institution, primarily in order to start a graduate school teaching the key sciences in a completely creationist and Biblical context. At mid-decade, a new ICR building was constructed to house its laboratories, museum, library, and other facilities. This unique school and its M.S. degree programs have attracted the attention and wrath of evolutionists from coast to coast. The pressure and propaganda of the American Humanist Association and other such groups finally caused Bill Honig and his coterie at California's Department of Education to attempt to close down the ICR Graduate School but we are confident this type of school is too urgently needed for God to let its testimony be stopped.
Apart from the ICR Graduate School, all other aspects of the ICR ministries have grown explosively and are having a worldwide impact. The creation-evolution debates, which created so much excitement in the '70s, have continued strong, in spite of efforts by the evolutionary establishment to stop them. As before, Dr. Duane Gish has been the most active debater, but many others, in and outside of the ICR staff, have also been involved.
Attendance at ICR meetings—especially the Back-to-Genesis conferences spearheaded by Ken Ham—has been remarkable, with 2000 and more registrants quite common. The children's meetings, reaching the next generation for Christ and creation, attract up to 4000 and more (see the report on the Detroit Conference in this issue). More churches, more schools, more pastors, more students, more Christian leaders, and more people everywhere are becoming convinced of the vital importance of creation and committed to its cause than ever before. ICR speakers also lectured during the 1980s in Japan, Korea, India, Hong Kong, Australia, England, Ireland, Canada, the Caribbean Islands, Central America, the South Pacific, and other countries.
Furthermore, resources for sharing the creation message with others are far more abundant now than ten years ago. ICR scientists alone have published over 35 books in that period, including such key references as What is Creation Science?, Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record, The Biblical Basis for Modem Science, and others, in addition to more than 20 creationist videos. Other organizations (e.g. Films for Christ) have produced a number of outstanding creationist films. The Creation Research Society, the Bible-Science Association, Australia's Creation Science Foundation, and other groups are publishing excellent journals and other materials.
The ICR Acts & Facts, with its news, its "Impact" article, and "Back-to-Genesis" section, is read by 80,000 people or more each month, and its Days of Praise devotional booklet (started just five years ago) by perhaps twice that number. The latter, featuring Bible study on a wide range of Christian concerns, helps to show that creationism is not a fringe doctrine but is central to the whole body of Christian faith and practice.
Although only 18 graduates so far have received their M.S. degrees from the ICR Graduate School, many are making significant contributions in their current ministries. A number of very bright students are currently finishing their theses. In addition to the thesis research by the students, faculty scientists have conducted significant research on Mount St. Helens, the Grand Canyon, Mount Ararat, radiocarbon, isochron dating, catastrophic sedimentation, education methods, geochronology, and others.
A strong emphasis on science education in Christian schools and home schools has been developed by ICR's Curriculum Division under Dr. Richard Bliss, with workshops held in all parts of the country. ICR's Museum of Creation and Earth History has hosted thousands of visitors annually, and its radio network has been greatly expanded. The extremely popular Grand Canyon and Australia tours also became an effective special ministry in recent years.
A number of key staff members joined the ICR team in the past decade. Dr. John D. Morris, now Administrative Vice President, returned to ICR from his faculty position at the University of Oklahoma, and Ken Ham, founder of Australia's Creation Science Foundation, came to greatly expand ICR's speaking ministries. Dr. Gerald Aardsma came from Canada to strengthen our teaching/research capabilities, Mark Looy came as our badly needed Public Information Officer, Jim Stambaugh, as Librarian. Two important additions have been made just this year—Dr. Larry Vardiman as Head of the Physics Department (also Associate Dean, under Dr. Kenneth B. Cumming) and Dr. Dick Lumsden, as Head of the Biology Department. Dr. Steve Austin continues his fine work as Head of Geology. ICR has been blessed with an outstanding team of God-called scientists, highly qualified academically, strong in faith and doctrine, and dedicated in Christian life. They are supported by an equally dedicated team of co-workers behind the scenes. We are thankful for each man and woman on the staff, in company with the host of concerned Christians across the country who provide financial and prayer support.
1989 ANNUAL REPORT
This past year (except for the attacks on our Graduate School) has been by far the best year of the past decade. Amazingly successful Back-to-Genesis conferences have been held in many key areas (New England, Alaska, Ohio, Oregon, Michigan, Illinois, California, Missouri, Arizona, Washington, and others). Many, many other meetings were held in schools, conventions, churches, and elsewhere. Dr. Gish held six debates, Dr. John Morris three, Dr. Richard Bliss one, and Ken Ham one radio debate. Dr. Bliss conducted 16 Good Science Workshops.
Week-long Summer Institutes were conducted in North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, and British Columbia, and School Science Workshops in California, Texas, and numerous other places. Altogether, it is estimated that, in 1989, ICR speakers lectured approximately 1100 times, to audiences totaling about 300,000 people, not including radio and television audiences.
The ICR weekly broadcast, "Science, Scripture, and Salvation," is now heard on over 350 outlets in over 40 states and around the world. ICR speakers also appeared on approximately 60 television programs and 185 other radio programs during the year.
Important books published in late 1988 or during 1989 included Noah's Ark and the Lost World (by John D. Morris), an enlarged edition of Science, Scripture, and the Young Earth (by Henry M. Morris and John D. Morris), The Genesis Solution (by Ken Ham), and finally, The Long War Against God (by Dr. Henry Morris). Dr. Austin's Mount St. Helens video also was released in 1989.
THE DECADE AHEAD
Much more could be written about the past, including multitudes of thrilling personal testimonies from readers and listeners, but space limitations preclude. But now, what are prospects for the future?
In the first place, we need to be looking for the return of Christ, though without falling into the trap of date-setting. Biblical prophecy and world conditions (AIDS pandemic, drug culture, environmental destruction, move toward a one-world government, and other dangers of worldwide imminence) all indicate that the return of the Creator/Savior to His hurting world must be near. While there is time, we must do all we can to call people back to Him.
Thanks be to God, ICR and its ministries seem stronger than ever, in terms of staff and resources (though, on a worldly scale, they are still very small). If we stay close to God and His will (for which we ask your prayers), many times more people should be reached with the message in the '90s than in the '80s.
Lord willing, we would like for our Graduate School to be offering M.S. and Ph.D. programs in every key field of science. We would like to see text and reference materials, at every level, bringing all fields of study under the true framework of God's Word. It would be wonderful to see a consortium of Christian, creationist schools and colleges at every level working together to provide Christ-centered education in every field to those who desire it, operating not under secular (which is, necessarily, anti-Christian) accreditation, but under a truly Christian, Biblical, creationist association, such as TRACS (the Trans-National Association of Christian Schools). The whole world needs to be won, and the young to be trained in the knowledge that this world and all its inhabitants were created by the great God and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore are the objects of His holy standards, His saving love, and His coming Judgment. The Lord has raised up ICR for such a time as this—not only ICR, of course, but also many other creationist ministries in these latter days, and all must be involved.
Yet there is strong opposition, growing more bigoted and insistent all the time, directed not only against creationism, but against every sphere of true Biblical faith and practice. Modern skeptics may ridicule the idea of Satanic influence over the world system, but the Devil and his hosts of wicked spirits are very real and he "is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (Revelation 12:12). He "deceiveth the whole world" (Revelation 12:9), and "hath blinded the minds of them that believe not" (II Corinthians 4:4).
As never before, therefore, in this final decade of the 20th century (or until Christ comes), we must "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:10, 11), for "ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" (I John 4:4).
* Dr. Henry Morris is Founder and President Emeritus of the Institute for Creation Research.