Beware Sinkholes and Other Failing Foundations | The Institute for Creation Research
Beware Sinkholes and Other Failing Foundations

The sudden falling of some Christian schools can be compared to tiankengs, the geological term used for sinkholes that are at least 300 feet deep.1,2 Smaller sinkholes are more common, such as those found in karst-limestone-dominated lands, such as the cenotes that permeate the cavernous areas of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.3 America has its own sinkhole regions in Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin, Missouri, and regions bordering the Chesapeake Bay.3

What is a sinkhole, geologically speaking?

A sinkhole is an area of ground that has no natural external surface drainage—when it rains, all of the water stays inside the sinkhole and typically drains into the subsurface.…Typically, sinkholes form so slowly that little change is seen in one’s lifetime, but they can form suddenly when a collapse occurs.…Sinkholes form in what geologists call “karst terrain”…a region where the bedrock [usually limestone, dolomite, or gypsum] can be dissolved by ground water.3

As we examine nature closely, parallels can be found between what we observe physically and what we observe spiritually (Matthew 7:24-27). Recently, one ICR scientist met with leaders of a well-known Christian education institution. In previous generations, this prestigious seminary was famous for training men and women in God’s truth and equipping them to serve Him responsibly all over the world.2 Although the number of students at this school has grown impressively over recent decades, the school’s distinctively Christian educational quality has diminished just as noticeably.

Sadly, that school is now compromised theologically, socially, and academically. It flies a flag of Bible-based Christian education, yet its programs now deliver predominantly worldly wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:19-20). Its educational courses focus on the academic equivalent of what C. S. Lewis called “being like [secular] folks.”4

Institutional scandals—unbefitting any Christian school—have become so common that they no longer are reported as news. What caused this downward trend? In other words, how did the once standing-tall-for-Christ school drop deeply into a sinkhole?

Like disintegrating soft limestone, unseen, the underlying foundation of the above-noted school’s teaching eroded away gradually, without anybody noticing.2 The school’s trust in the Word of God was slowly dissolved, being washed away by contra-biblical compromises here and there, often failing to affirm and adhere to the authority and relevance of Genesis (John 5:44-47).

Christian schools need to teach God’s truth—and real truth is recognized with certainty when it’s grounded on the specific teachings of Scripture (John 17:17). The Bible must be the bedrock foundation for all informational instruction,2 and the often-neglected creation account is a Bible basic. Christ’s role and actions as Creator must be taught alongside His identity as the death-conquering Son of God.

When that scriptural foundation disappears, unseen by those who only view surface activities, what will happen? When we examine the foundations of biblical education, earth science provides us with a helpful lesson: if accumulating subsurface dissolution isn’t remedied in time, the ground above will soon cave in, its weight falling in upon an eroded foundation, leaving a sinkhole of hazardous wreckage.

References

  1. Rare species of plants and animals discovered in sinkholes in China. Associated Press, May 7, 2018.
  2. Matthew 7:24-27; Psalm 11:3. Christian education institutions, as they teach God’s truth, can benefit from biblical apologetics, which involves verifying that God’s truth is true, i.e., how we can know what is God’s truth (and why it is reliable as truth). Some readers may try to guess which once-integrity-filled schools are described here. Actually, this article was written to describe the common/composite experience of five such schools. Sadly, this article describes many more such “Christian” institutions.
  3. Kaufmann, J. E. 2007. Sinkholes. Fact Sheet 2007-3060, U.S. Geological Survey. Numbers 16 reports how God once used a sinkhole to swallow up Korah and his rebel allies. This author first observed a cenote at Chichen Itza (in the Turquoise-browed Motmot habitat) in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula during a 1998 excursion of the Norwegian Star. For more on sinkhole geology, see Silvestru, E. 2008. The Cave Book. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 75-76.
  4. Lewis, C. S. 1977. The Screwtape Letters–Screwtape Proposes a Toast. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 76-79. Compare John 5:44.

* Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. 2021. Beware Sinkholes and Other Failing Foundations. Acts & Facts. 50 (4).

The Latest
NEWS
'Prehistoric' Paddlefish?
Evolutionists consider the freshwater paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) of the class Actinopterygii to be a prehistoric creature, a primitive bony fish “50...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Earth
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation...

ACTS & FACTS
To the End of the Earth
The book of Acts recounts the apostles’ journeys across the Roman Empire from Jerusalem and Judea “to the end of the earth,” preaching...

APOLOGETICS
Lightning, Soil Bacteria, and God’s Providence
Nitrogen is vital for human survival, yet few appreciate how lightning and soil bacteria contribute to Earth’s nitrogen cycle. That Earth’s...

ACTS & FACTS
The Bobtail Squid's Living Cloaking Device
Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) live among the sand flats and sea plants of the Hawaiian archipelago. Along with other bobtail squid, these...

ACTS & FACTS
Seeing Distant Starlight in a Young Universe
Many see distant starlight as an unanswerable objection to recent creation. Both creationist and evolutionist astronomers agree that distant galaxies...

ACTS & FACTS
Yellowstone National Park, Part 2: Canyons and Catastrophe
by Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Brian Thomas, Ph.D.* About three million visitors tour Yellowstone National Park’s 3,440 square miles each year.1...

ACTS & FACTS
How Did the Bat Get Its Wings?
Where did bats come from? Evolutionists presuppose that some kind of rodent received just the right mutations to over “a few million years”...

ACTS & FACTS
Biblical Insights into Today’s Violent Mob Mentality
Some scenes from the evening news get etched into our memories. I recall seeing a college professor step outside his building and become suddenly surrounded...

CREATION PODCAST
Are Dinosaurs in the Bible? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 26
If the Bible is true, wouldn't it mention dinosaurs? If God made dinosaurs, when did He make them? Did they live with humans? What ultimately happened...