History is a great teacher. From time to time, it is helpful for ICR to review its history and refresh its memory about the Lord's blessings and direction that have brought us to where we are. Those "landmarks" are boundaries and historical perspectives that we should not forget or stray from (Proverbs 22:28). At ICR, there are three broad foundational pillars that guide us.
The absolute authority and integrity of the written Word of God. Encoded into ICR's very DNA is a total commitment to the plenary, verbal, and perspicuous inspiration of Scripture. Essentially, that limits what we do, what we research, who we hire, how we spend our money, and what we plan to do in the future--limited by the Truth, which sets us free (John 8:32).
An absolute commitment, therefore, to a recent creation, by and from the spoken word of the Creator-God, in six normal earth-days of time. That perfect world was designed for an eternal existence, set under the authority of man (who was directly made in the Creator's image), and pronounced "very good" by the omnipotent, omniscient, thriceholy God. All naturalistic and evolutionary efforts to ignore that recent beginning are both scientifically wrong and theologically blasphemous. ICR's cosmological and astronomical science researches the issues of origins.
A total rebellion ensued against the Creator by man, resulting in catastrophic destruction of "the world that then was" by the universal Flood of Noah's day. That fall from a sinless relationship continues to impact everything today, and the utter destruction of earth's kosmos in the global deluge has left vast amounts of evidence from which we can gain some insight into the ancient past. Much of ICR's geological and physical science researches the impact of the Flood. Much of ICR's biological and genetic science researches the impact of the Fall.
Sowing for the Future
Keeping our historical and spiritual landmarks in place is very important, but always looking to the past is not. "Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this" (Ecclesiastes 7:10). An organization must sow (invest for the future) if it is to reap (grow, prosper, and be successful in ministry). Maintaining the status quo is equivalent to that "wicked and slothful" servant who "was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth" (Matthew 25:25-26). Hence, ICR has made some major investments toward the future that will "pay off" in the days ahead.
The relocation of the ICR ministry to Dallas, Texas. Although costly in time, personnel, and energy, the move (almost complete now) has validated the three most critical reasons for making this decision. We have unlocked the significant assets of the California properties and purchased a much larger campus, with expanded laboratory and research capabilities. We have increased our travel and outreach efficiencies, reducing the cost and time involved in conducting national ministries. We have been able to recruit top-level faculty and operational personnel to an affordable and family-friendly environment in a region that still respects and desires Christian ministries.
The upgrade of our publications and our website. Those of our long-time ICR family will, of course, recognize the enormous difference in Acts & Facts, as well as some changes to Days of Praise. ICR's website, www.icr.org, may not be as familiar, but the use of that resource has grown exponentially over the last six months, with an average of nearly 125,000 visitors a month (not just "hits"). The Acts & Facts circulation is now growing at over 2,000 new subscriptions each month. Behind this growth and facial uplift are thousands of man-hours of detail work and planning--investment in new people, new vendors, and new ideas that are just now beginning to come to fruition.
The complete overhaul and design of ICR's educational efforts. After maintaining a traditional graduate school for some 25 years, ICR has converted its program to an online Master of Science degree with four minors. With that program, along with the non-degree Creationist Worldview online course for Christian leaders, ICR has become a major source for professional training in the conservative evangelical world. Both of these programs are growing and have the potential to make a worldwide impact for years to come.
The Battles Ahead
Having foundational landmarks and clear "sowing" fields, although necessary, are still not enough for Kingdom ministry. There must be a commitment to diligence and a vision for the future, as expressed by Paul: "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14). Furthermore, there must be stable faith in the many promises of God's supply and blessing: "let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galatians 6:9). Following are the main battles ahead for ICR and how you can help us.
Educational authority in Texas. As most of you know by now, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has rejected ICR's application to grant M.S. degrees in Texas. ICR has submitted a formal petition of appeal to the THECB, insisting that "viewpoint discrimination" (applied to academic freedom, and specifically the First Amendment-protected religious freedom to have a creationist viewpoint), plus the "extra" protection provided by the 1999 Texas statute supplementing those religious freedom protections, has been violated by the THECB. If you live in Texas, you might consider writing a graciously-worded letter to your state legislators and senators, Governor Rick Perry, and the U.S. representatives from your area, as well as Senators Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Cornyn. Elsewhere, please pray for God's intervention and our careful due process as we seek to right this wrong and pave the way for other Christian schools to function freely.
New science faculty and researchers. ICR is growing! We now need additional Ph.D. science faculty and researchers in geology (both soft-rock and hard-rock), astronomy/cosmology, paleontology, and science education. Thankfully, our life-science faculty is strong (and young), but we need to recruit and train those who will be the creationist scientists for the coming decades. The basic qualifications are: Ph.D. from a reputable school in the desired field, complete agreement with the ICR tenets (both biblical and scientific), and a "fire in the belly" for the creationist ministry. If you are such a person--or if you know such a person--get a resumé to us soon. We are ready to hire and are diligently looking for God's warriors to "stand in the gap" (Ezekiel 22:30).
Expansion of our publication outreach. The information that ICR produces and the impact of that data is only as effective as the numbers of people who know about our work and ministry. Acts & Facts is a wonderful magazine. Once you are through reading it, please give it to someone who might like to know about ICR. Ask us for extra copies to give to your Sunday School class or small group. We will be delighted to assist in any way (church handouts, convention tables, etc). But please don't send us a list of folks you think might be interested. Let others see our material, and then they can respond on their own. And tell others about our website, www.icr.org, which has a wealth of free material for all ages. Help us get the word out about ICR.
I hope that this has helped you see a bit of our heart and the issues that ground us and focus our ministry toward the future. If you are not yet sharing financially with us, I would ask that you consider including ICR as part of your Kingdom gifts. We don't appeal for funds very much, but without the Lord's people sharing their resources with us, we would be unable to function. Thanks for taking the time to read through this. May our Lord Jesus Christ honor your service to Him as you seek His face in your own ministry.
* Dr. Morris is CEO of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris III, H. 2008. Sowing the Creation Message. Acts & Facts. 37 (7): 4.