In the January 1995 Acts & Facts, it was reported that Dr. Richard Bliss, Chairman of the ICR Science Education Department, Director of the "Good Science" curriculum project and workshops, had unexpectedly gone home to be with his Lord whom he had served so faithfully for so many years. He had just finished preaching at the Faith Bible Church in Robins, Iowa. We thought his many friends would appreciate reading an edited and shortened transcript of his last message as given at that church.
Dr. Bliss—"Science and the Bible"
Just recently a woman from Union, South Carolina, confessed to killing her two children. All the major networks speculated on what could cause a mother to do something like this. How could a mother do a thing like this?
Did you notice the opinion of a physical anthropologist reported on NBC? It was her primitive nature—that she evolved from an animal. This anthropologist said that we're all animals, and animals are known to destroy their offspring when they feel they interfere. This was just an instinct that came back and caused this mother to do this. Folks, that's what evolution produces—that kind of thinking. That is the sorriest thinking I could ever imagine that could come from the minds of intelligent people. But this comes from evolutionary thinking.
Now, I'm a biologist—my doctorate is in science education. But I'm also a creationist, a Bible-believing Christian, and I'm convinced we've got to think about everything, including science, from a Biblical perspective.
That isn't the way it was for me all my academic life. Every academic course in science that I've taken has been evolutionary based. I was a thorough-going evolutionist and an agnostic, and I knew that evolution had to be true! Why? Because I was doing invertebrate anatomy the way I was taught. So there was no chance for me to believe anything else, because that's the only way I was taught to think.
But then there came a time in my life when I met and married a beautiful gal named Lolly. Neither of us believed in the Bible, but we both had Christian parents who were praying for us. I had already been through World War II and the beaches in Normandy, and the Battle of the Bulge, but Uncle Sam called me back in, into the Korean War. On my wedding day, I got my summons to come back into the service.
I had told my wife, when we were still engaged, "Look, our parents are religious. Don't let them bamboozle you into any religious belief. But if you ever get to the point where you think you might want to become a Christian, just tell me about it. Don't bug me with it, but just tell me about it."
After I had been back in the service for about 15 months, Lolly went back home, pregnant with our first child. She went home and thought about this baby, "I don't want this baby to grow up and not have a Christian parent. . . . "
My brother invited her to a sawdust trail tent meeting—where she heard Merle Fuller tell about Jesus Christ the Savior, and she went forward. As soon as she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior, she did exactly what we had planned. She wrote to me, and told me that she had found Jesus Christ as her Savior. I walked into my tent, I got down on my knees, and I asked Jesus to come into my life.
My mother had given me a New Testament in 1937 for Christmas—cost her ten cents, that's all the money they had. This is all I got for Christmas. But I carried that New Testament with me all the time through the Second World War and on to the end of the Korean War. That night I dug that thing out of my barracks bag and began to read it.
This changed my life, but that other part of my life was still stuck with an evolutionary idea. I now believed what Jesus said in the New Testament, but I still couldn't handle the Old Testament because there was no possibility that God could create in six days. But I had a wonderful pastor. I had just found Jesus Christ, and this pastor began discipling me on Wednesday nights. He would come over to my house and stay till 12:00 at night discipling me into believing what God says—even the Old Testament. "Dick," he said, "you've got to believe the whole Bible. It can't just be the part that you want."
That always bothered me, because I was a theistic evolutionist. I would say that those days of creation were eons of time—evolution progressed and then at a certain point in evolution, a soul came into man.
Later, I got a position at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado; a four-year post-masters fellowship with the National Science Foundation. There I took a course on evolution. The whole purpose of the course was studying evolution. I was so confused. I asked my major professor, "Could I write my paper on questions regarding evolution?"
He said, "Dick, you're not going to find anything on that. There is no question. It's a foregone conclusion."
I said, "I know that, but I've got to sort this thing out in my mind."
He said, "Go ahead. Within a week, if you want to change your topic you can come back and do it."
As I walked into that library, God led me to a single book by G. A. Kerkut called The Implications of Evolution. In that book Kerkut explained seven basic assumptions that evolutionists must make. Note, these are assumptions—not conclusions demanded by the data. The essence of evolution is assumed, then the data are interpreted to fit.
(1) Non-living things gave rise to living material.
(2) Spontaneous generation could occur only once.
(3) Viruses, bacteria, plants, and animals are all interrelated.
(4) Protozoa gave rise to multi-cellular organisms.
(5) Invertebrates are interrelated.
(6) Invertebrates gave rise to vertebrates.
(7) All vertebrates are related.
He lists these as assumptions. Who knows about this? The assumptions of evolution are magnificent, but the evidence from science is zero. There is no evidence that demands an evolutionary idea. On the other hand, there is much evidence to show that a God of Creation had to be involved in this. [Discussion of some examples deleted here for space (ed.)].
Once I reviewed a book by anthropologist Dr. Geoffrey Goodman, an evolutionist. He had asked for a review by a creationist. My review was pretty favorable, although it pointed out some areas of disagreement. Years later Dr. Goodman got in touch with me. I thought, oh no, he's discovered something, and he's going to make me look stupid.
But I shouldn't have been concerned. He said, "Richard, I've got something to tell you! I found Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe that the Bible—every jot and tittle—is true!"
This man found the truth because he was honest. I say to any of you here that if you are honest with the word of God, you're going to find Jesus Christ. You're going to find the testimony of His Creation. You're going to be motivated to be a witness for Him every place you go.
I pray every time I get on a plane, "Lord, if you'll open the door, I will be ready to 'give a reason for the hope that is in me, with meekness and with fear.'" Once, on my way back from London, I was sitting next to a world banker. Soon he asked, "By the way, what do you do?"
I said, "Well, I'm a scientist with the Institute for Creation Research, and I write books and do research in science education, focusing on the creation/evolution issue."
He said, "I was with a guy just last night who was a creationist, and I was never so disgusted in my life as I was listening to what this Bible-thumper had to say!"
I said, "Well, I'm into this issue very deeply. But I believe that we should also be looking at the scientific evidence." And I went on to tell him that I was letting science speak in this regard. I said, "There is absolutely no chance for evolution to have occurred."
As we continued he confessed, "What's interesting to me is, why was I so angry with that guy last night, but now I want you to tell me more?" And so I got to tell him more and more about the scientific evidence and why evolution couldn't take place.
Soon he turned to me and asked, "By the way, does your religion have anything to do with whether you're a creationist or not?"
I said, "Well, I'm a Christian, but for a long time I believed in theistic evolution, that God used evolution to create. Now, I recognize that the scientific evidence demands Creation."
"You are a Christian?"
"Yes, I'm a born-again Christian."
"Tell me how you became a Christian."
So I told him how I found Jesus Christ as my Savior. I went through the whole story even in more detail than I've told you today.
When I got all through, he said, "You know, Dr. Bliss, I've got to tell you, I've never been into a church in my life. And neither has my wife. But I've got a little child, and you're making me feel as if there's something missing in my life. I need to think very seriously about this."
I never talk about creation without talking about the Savior, Jesus Christ, and how He relates to the Creation story. If you understand what's going on in scientific Creation, it will lead you into an evangelistic spirit.
Recently got on a plane in San Jose, California, and a woman sat next to me. She was quite talkative, but I had a lot of work to do. Soon it was obvious that I wasn't going to get anything done, so I just shoved my files under my seat. She asked about my line of work. "Let me tell you what I do. I lecture on Creation. I talk about a Creator-God, a Master Designer. And, I talk about the fact that evolution could not ever have occurred."
"You've got to be kidding," she said.
"No, ma'am, I'm not kidding. There is not a shred of substantial scientific evidence to support the evolutionary idea."
"I can't believe what I'm hearing. You're not here by accident." The night before she said she had lain across her bed. She had just been divorced from her husband and separated from her kids. As she lay there, she screamed out, "God, if you're real, show yourself to me!"
"You're not sitting here by accident."
I had a chance to tell her the plan of salvation. I had a chance to tell her about Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things.
The door is open for us. God is saying, "Here, I've given you all the scientific evidence. I've given you all the tools to tell others about Jesus Christ. I've given them all to you. Now, get out there and testify for me."
I want to read something to you that epitomizes where I am, as I leave you this day. A pastor in Africa who had endured severe persecution for his faith, stapled this on his door. I'm just going to read the last two paragraphs from this, because this is where I want Dick Bliss to be. And I want to ask you the question, "Where do you want to be for Jesus today?" Are you just going to sit in the pew, or are you going to go out and work and be a testimony for Him? What are you going to do?
This young pastor's testimony reflects my own.
"I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice—hesitate in the presence of the adversary—negotiate at the table of the enemy—ponder at the pool of popularity—or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Jesus Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes—give till I drop—preach till all know—and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear."
I want to tell you in testimony today, dear friends, I want my banner to be clear should Jesus Christ call for me today. I want Him to see Dick Bliss, and I want my banner to be clear. How about your banner?
Thus ended the morning worship service. After lunch with the pastor and an afternoon of preparation, Dick Bliss failed to respond to the knock on his hotel door to go to his evening engagement. Inside, it was discovered that Jesus Christ did indeed call for him that day. No doubt, his banner was clear.