by Henry M. Morris III, D.Min. *
Every human organization has an inner core, a character that molds the way it functions. The Institute for Creation Research is driven by three ideals expressed in these words: Biblical. Accurate. Certain. As has been presented in two previous articles, these terms flow from one another, producing an end product that emboldens our mission and message.“Being Biblical” sets the parameters around our thinking.1 Being biblical helps us to direct and limit the ministry initiatives we undertake. The principles for being biblical are not complex:
- We do not doubt the written Word of God.
- We do not deny God’s capability.
- We will not denigrate God’s character.
With those biblical commitments surrounding how we think, we then focus on “Achieving Accuracy” in all of our global communications.2 Once again, although the processes necessary to achieve accuracy are sometimes complex, the principles are not:
- We insist on careful and comprehensive research.
- We are committed to peer review.
- We are dedicated to clear communication.
Certainty, our third distinctive, comes as a product of the previous two. If indeed we are careful to remain biblical in our ministry, we will strive to be as accurate (truthful) as is humanly possible through our research, external critique, and precision in the communication devices we develop. Both of those commitments will ensure a confidence in our delivery—a certainty of information, purpose, and effect.
There is a passage in Scripture that sums up why ICR seeks certainty in our efforts.
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. (1 John 3:18-21)
ICR seeks certainty in order to please God.
There are several tangential passages that focus on this principle, but they are all broad views of the same ideal: Our lives must represent and present truth as plainly as possible.
- Seek the Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33).
- Seek to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17).
- Seek God’s approval rather than man’s (Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4).
- Seek to do God’s will with all our heart (Ephesians 6:6).
As so perfectly stated by the apostle John, when our heart does not condemn us, then we can have confidence that our testimony is pleasing to our Sovereign Creator. Yet as we have seen, that confidence does not come without an unshakable faith in the authority and accuracy of the text of the Scriptures. And given the complexity of the intellectual needs of today’s skeptical world, our effort to achieve accuracy is inexorably tied to our biblical commitment. Confidence or certainty does not come by accident—nor does it come easily.
Biblical certainty is not the same as intellectual or scientific certainty. Perhaps it can be said that intellectual and scientific certainty are either unobtainable or too easily obtainable. Thus, ICR seeks to keep our ministry focus on biblical certainty, which ignites our drive for accuracy within the biblical framework. The result of that dual check yields a confidence that we have been careful to honor the One to whom we answer.
ICR seeks certainty in order to persuade men.
An “uncertain trumpet” (1 Corinthians 14:8) is no way to call an army to action. Neither does an uncertain presentation of information provide direction to the hearers. We are enjoined to “persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11) since we know what God is like. Not only are we aware of the awesome majesty and “terror” of the God of creation that drive us to declare His wonder, but we stand, as Paul did, “not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).
When our questions have been focused by the unalterable and inerrant Word of God, and our research has been carefully studied and evaluated by a “multitude of counsellors” (Proverbs 24:6), then certainty comes as a natural product of that process. The intent to persuade is driven by awareness that truth will “set free” the hearer and “open the eyes” of those who yearn for knowledge—the “speech” of every day and the “knowledge” of each night that declares “the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1-4).
Interestingly, our confident persuasion does not seem to bother the evolutionary naturalist. He or she expects Christians to speak with certainty about the creation described so completely in Genesis. Unexpectedly, ICR speakers receive the greatest “push-back” from some in the Kingdom family who are irritated at our unyielding stance on a recent creation.
It seems strange to ICR that those who name Christ as their Savior would seek to mix the clear message of Scripture with the atheistic philosophy of evolutionary naturalism.
ICR seeks certainty in order to speak boldly.
This was the prayer of the first church (Acts 4:29) and of the apostle Paul (Ephesians 6:20). This is not the boldness of arrogance or of pompousness, but rather the boldness of assurance and confidence that what is being communicated is the unshakeable truth of the Creator Himself.
Much of Scripture gives illustrations of bold prophetic declarations in the face of disbelief and ridicule. The New Testament is replete with exhortations to present the gospel boldly even in the face of many who will reject and scoff. It is that boldness that our ICR staff, scientists, and speakers seek to display whenever the Lord opens a door for us to minister.
Until the Lord rules during the Millennium, the message of biblical truth will always be resisted—in spite of the evidence. Unsaved man will “always resist” the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51). The gospel is founded on who the Lord Jesus is as well as what He did on Calvary. Even the resurrection power is most clearly demonstrated in the creation itself. Little wonder that the great “faith chapter” (Hebrews 11) insists that the primary demonstration of biblical faith “understands” the fiat creation so carefully articulated in Genesis.
ICR, therefore, is established (Colossians 2:7) in its mission by these three strong spiritual pillars: Biblical—Accurate—Certain. They flow in order of importance and in order of application. We are first as biblically careful and sound as we are able to be, then we set about to determine how best to research and ultimately present the accurate data derived from the biblical information. Once those two are clear in our minds, we are certain and will be pleasing to our Lord, and can be persuasive and bold in our global presentations, whether in person, through our writings, or through whatever media the Lord permits.
- Morris III, H. 2011. Being Biblical. Acts & Facts. 40 (4): 4-5.
- Morris III, H. 2011. Achieving Accuracy. Acts & Facts. 40 (5): 4-5.
* Dr. Morris is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris III, H. 2011. Communicating Certainty. Acts & Facts. 40 (6): 4-5.