These past many months we have rehearsed ICR's past and explained its present make-up and operations. We now look forward to the future. Last month we looked at future research, discovering new truth about creation, and this month at future ways to communicate that truth.
Many avenues are presently being employed. Each needs to be expanded and improved, as well as supplemented by new methods. Throughout this article, opportunities for input and, in some cases, participation on the part of Acts & Facts readers will be mentioned. We welcome your ideas and partnership in this task of creation evangelism.
Seminars, Debates, and Other Speaking
Scientific and Biblical creationism have gained much exposure from ICR's community-wide "Back to Genesis" seminars. Typically, those well-attended meetings host individuals from scores of churches, who acquire sufficient information and creation materials to launch their own creation efforts. Many times, however, a "Case for Creation" seminar in one particular church allows more lasting ministry. The hunger for creation information has exceeded our ability to satisfy it, but more than ever, we are determined to serve the body of Christ in this manner.
Other speaking engagements are many and varied. For example, debates on university campuses occur more frequently these days. In each case, ICR's methods and speakers can improve and thus we are experimenting with ways to enhance our talks to make an ICR seminar a memorable one. Furthermore, we are always on the lookout for scientists and teachers with a firm grasp of creationist concepts who would make good debaters/speakers. In that light, Mr. Frank Sherwin, Professor of Biology at Pensacola Christian College, will be joining our faculty this summer, Lord willing, and others are being considered.
We have discussed the possibility of a "Back to Genesis II" seminar, a more technical presentation which would follow an initial seminar. This would help solidify creationist teaching and ministry in an area.
(In general, ICR seminars and lectures go where we are invited. In some cases, it takes over one year lead time, so now is the time to inquire.)
Ministry to Teachers and Students
While we minister to scientists and other adults, we must not neglect the millions of students. Home school families are frequently appreciative of ICR creationist writings, but our books are not always directly applicable to a home-school situation. My desire is to prepare teaching guides and lesson plans in a user-friendly format for home schools, using both new materials and by augmenting our existing books. (For example, the ICR book The Biblical Basis for Modern Science would be excellent for a home-schooled teenager, fully integrating scientific concepts and the Biblical worldview; but since many home school parents have little background in science, some help is needed.)
Similar classroom helps would enable science teachers at Christian schools to teach creation. Many such schools teach from secular science textbooks, with an inadequate creation apologetic. Creation thinking should be a strength to Christianity, but it is still perceived as a weakness by too many Christian leaders. This situation also exists in Christian liberal arts and Bible colleges and even seminaries. We must change that.
Within this last year, many states and school boards have considered implementing creation teaching in the schools. Some proposals are better than others, but the fact is few good creationist teaching materials exist. A realistic short-term goal might be to prepare critiques of existing evolutionary textbooks, showing other data which have been censored out, and giving teachers ideas of how to keep their students from falling prey to evolutionary brainwashing. How desperately our country needs the wisdom and knowledge of true creationism. We are now in the process of collecting preliminary materials already prepared by individual teachers and are looking for the best ways to write and implement an effective program.
In our own "Good Science" seminars for home schools, demand has far exceeded supply. Thus we are putting Fred Willson's entire program on video tape, so that home school parents can feel better prepared to teach science. Based on the six days of creation week, it really ministers to families while teaching science. Similarly, Dr. Steve Deckard, in his "Days of Discovery" programs, is nearing completion on a home school teaching series on creation and the Christian worldview. ICR's desire is to encourage Christians to think from a Christian/creationist basis in all areas of life. As we frequently say, "Creation is the foundation," but that foundation is in sore need of repair throughout much of Christendom. This program can help lay that foundation.
Primarily through the work of my father, Dr. Henry Morris, but also through the efforts of Dr. Duane Gish and others, the foundation has been laid for sound creationist thinking. Now we must build rightly on that foundation, and communicate it through lasting materials.
We have surveyed the various books and videos available through ICR and have identified some that need updating and many holes that need to be filled. We are working to do just that either by producing new works or identifying materials already in print. Unfortunately, in evaluating "creationist" materials, discretion is needed. I promise you that ICR will continue to meet the highest standards. You will be able to trust the Biblical and scientific integrity of all we make available.
One of my personal goals is to produce ICR videos in a documentary or dramatic style, rather than a lecture format. This endeavor is expensive and time consuming, but the hearts as well as the minds of our young people are at stake. The need is limitless and ongoing.
Within the last two years, we have received grants from individuals and foundations to translate our materials into Chinese, Spanish, and the languages of Eastern Europe-- a big project, but one vitally needed. In fact, the hunger in other countries exceeds all imagination. The harvest is great. ICR continues to be a missionary-minded Christian ministry.
An incredible mission field is opening up on the internet. ICR is nearing completion on the initial phase of a Home Page on the World Wide Web. On it will be many of our Impact or BTG articles, answers to frequently asked questions, books, and videos available (and a way to order them), and other ICR information.
We also desire to put some of our children's books on interactive CD ROM. This enormous project will take some time and cost a great deal to produce, but already creationist programmers have volunteered to assist.
The radio ministry of ICR continues to grow, both in the states and internationally. Several radio specials are in the planning stage in addition to our regular programs. Furthermore, our scientists are regularly interviewed for news programs around the country on both secular and Christian stations. A need exists for regular creationist answers to current events, and our plan is to institute an "actuarial line," with up-to-date comments available to stations on demand. We have also experimented with a live call-in program. There is no end to opportunities for creation ministry.
As you can see, much is being done, but much remains to be done. Over its twenty-five-year history, God has worked marvelously, and now the creationist voice is respected and accepted everywhere. But we need to consolidate our gains and move on to greater ministry.
As the new President of ICR, my passion is to see America, especially the Christian church, return to a belief in and submission to all of Scripture. Of course this must start with the precise Genesis record of creation.
To a great extent, science has become a stumbling block to Christianity, but it should be recognized as a strength. True science will always support and confirm God's word. The pseudo-scientific pronouncements of some scientists need to be exposed and refuted, but factual science always supports the Bible.
Christians need to be aware of the thrilling creationist answers to questions, so that their problems can be resolved. Seekers need to see reasons why they can trust Scripture, and the stumbling blocks to faith removed.
Thank you for standing with us in this endeavor, with your prayers, financial support, and sacrificial efforts. God is at work in our nation and we, in faith, expect Him to continue. Let me close with the words of a stirring Christian song which seems appropriate here:
We've come this far by faith,
Leaning on the Lord,
Trusting in His Holy Word.
He's never failed us yet
We can't turn back
* Dr. John Morris is President of ICR.