What exactly is ICR's mission and purpose? Interest in creationism has increased dramatically since our beginnings in 1970, and many other creationist organizations have been formed as a result, so is ICR still needed?
These are reasonable questions, and this article is an attempt to provide at least a partial answer. But first we need to re-emphasize the vital truth of creation itself.
Why Creationism Instead of Evolutionism?
The conflict between creation and evolution is not merely an argument between two scientific theories of origins. It is a conflict between the only two basic worldviews of life and meaning—one centered in God and His purposes for the world, the other centered around man and his own personal and societal goals.
Evolutionism is a naturalistic philosophy of life and meaning, with human beings regarded as the highest achievement of billions of years of evolutionary development of all things by natural processes. Creationism, on the other hand, assumes that all the basic systems in nature were created supernaturally by God. Each theory is thus precisely the opposite of the other. The question is: Which theory is true and which is false?
There are three basic tests by which the two theories can be compared—the scientific test, the "fruit test," and the Biblical test.
As far as science is concerned, the scientific evidence is precisely what would be predicted from creationism. There is no known case of macroevolution (from one distinct "kind" of organism to another) in all the thousands of years of recorded history. Secondly, in the fossil record of the past, there is no known transitional series of fossils from one kind to another among all the billions of known non-transitional fossils. Finally, the universal scientific law of entropy specifies the "downward" tendency of all things toward decrease of organized complexity. Thus all the real scientific evidence (as distinct from similarities and other circumstantial evidences) strongly favors creation over evolution.
Consider also the fruit test. Jesus said: "By their fruits ye shall know them." The fruits of evolution include atheism, communism, fascism, and all kinds of harmful behavior and evil philosophy, but not one good fruit in the form of real scientific advance in either living standards or altruistic behavior. Belief in primeval supernatural creation, on the other hand, was the motivating conviction of practically all the founding fathers of modern science, of the American nation, and of the original education system of this country. All the basic doctrines of Christianity are founded on the truth of primeval special creation. Creationism certainly scores much higher than evolutionism on the fruit test.
Finally, there is not a hint anywhere in Scripture of evolution or the long ages necessary for evolution. On the other hand, the very first chapter of the Bible teaches the special creation of the space/mass/time universe and everything in it. This teaching is emphasized all through the Bible. See my book, Biblical Creationism, for discussion of every Biblical verse dealing with origins and earth history.
There is an abundance of documentation for these conclusions in the three-volume Modern Creation Trilogy ("Science and Creation," "Scripture and Creation," "Society and Creation") by Henry Morris and John Morris (Master Books, 1996, 774 pp.), and also in many other books published or distributed by ICR and numerous other publishers. The evidence for the truth of creation and the falsity of evolution truly is overwhelming.
Why Young-Earth Creationism?
In large part because of ICR there has been a significant revival of belief in creation during the past forty years. But there is still tremendous opposition from the academic, scientific, and political establishments directed especially at any commitment to six-day creation and the worldwide flood.
Because of this opposition to Biblical literalism, many creationists have felt it expedient to focus their arguments only against evolutionary naturalism. Various compromises have been proposed; the one receiving the most attention currently is a revival of what its proponents are calling the "intelligent design" movement. However, the evolutionary establishment opposes all such compromise views as dogmatically as it does literal Biblical creationism. Furthermore, the evidence for "intelligent design" in nature is just as compatible with Islam, Judaism, and many New Age religions as it is with the Bible.
The written word of God clearly reveals that the true history of the world begins with six literal days of creation followed later by the cataclysmic global flood of Noah's day. For detailed scientific and Biblical evidence proving recent creation and the worldwide flood, one should also read The Young Earth by Dr. John Morris (Master Books, 1994, 206 pp.).
Furthermore, any interpretation allowing billions of years of earth history also means allowing billions of years of suffering and death in the world before there was any sin. This compromise even undermines the gospel itself, making the atoning death of Christ for sin redundant and meaninglessly cruel. It also leaves the advocates of mere "intelligent design" without either a scientific or Biblical explanation for the fossil sequences and sedimentary layers as arranged in the geologic column.
Thus Bible-believing Christians should take the Genesis record literally if we really want to honor God and His Word and to win people to genuine saving faith in our great Creator and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other worldview which is true to all the facts of Scripture, science and history, and there is surely no Biblical reason to compromise on such a vital truth.
But Why ICR?
Although scores of creationist organizations have now sprung up in this and other countries, ICR was the very first with a full-time science and support staff, and it still has the greatest complex of programs and ministries of any of them. These have been planned and designed to reach as many types of people and their needs as possible.
However, this has never been our main goal. ICR's current structure and ministry is an important step toward implementing a long-range burden of mine developed over some thirty years of teaching, research and witnessing for Christ in five secular universities, capped by 12 years as Chairman of the large Civil Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. The permeating influence of evolutionism throughout the nation's educational system had convinced me and others of the urgent need for at least one university-type educational center (including research, undergraduate and graduate programs in many important fields plus extension ministries to reach the general public) developed in the context of Biblical creationism. At present, evolutionary humanism dominates all existing secular colleges and universities, even seriously undermining the curricula in most Christian colleges.
The opportunity to begin implementing this vision came when Christian Heritage College was founded in 1970 with precisely this goal. I was one of the three founders of the college, as well as formulating its doctrinal statement and first academic programs. Initially ICR was established as the research division of the college but became a separate institution in 1981 (through continuing to cooperate closely with the college) in order to develop key graduate programs in science and science education, along with relevant scientific research projects, books, seminars and other extension outreaches. Science was emphasized because, although evolutionism affects all fields, educators inevitably refer to science for their justification for assuming an evolutionist framework in their own fields. In spite of many difficulties, God has greatly blessed and used this beginning and its further growth. For a full discussion, the interested reader can refer to the writer's History of Modern Creationism (Master Books, 1992, 444 pp.).
The goal of a true creationist university, with all the appropriate graduate programs, extension ministries, research, publications, etc., is still ICR's vision. Even though this dream is far from being fulfilled in entirety as yet, the goal must still be the same because the need is still the same. In the meantime, the steps taken in that direction have already been fruitful far beyond reasonable initial expectations. We still have a long way to go to reach this long-range goal, but in the meantime, ICR's ministries continue to win many people to Christ and build them up in a sound Biblical creationist faith as we go.
Perhaps I should close by mentioning a few of our unique ICR distinctives as already achieved by the grace and leading of God.
- A wonderful staff of Bible-believing ( fully qualified professionally) scientists(about 50 altogether, including resident faculty, adjunct faculty, and board members).
- A dedicated and capable support staff, over 50 in number.
- The largest number of sound and substantive creationist books and videos produced by any organization—probably more than all of them together.
- The first and still most comprehensive museum of scientific Biblical creationism and world history in the world, drawing at least 20,000 visitors annually.
- Two helpful periodicals, sent out free (though only on request): Acts & Facts, now reaching 150,000 monthly; and Days of Praise (325,000 each quarter).
- Many research projects dealing with vital creation science questions, conducted by science faculty and graduate students.
- Greatest variety of creation-extension outreaches of any organization—seminars, summer institutes, conferences, church messages, school assemblies, workshops, youth camps, field tours, etc., as well as over 350 campus creation-evolution debates to date.
- Daily and weekly radio programs with over 2,000 total outlets in this and other countries. Many science specials have also been produced, as well as a unique adventure series.
- Many foreign mission outreaches, with ICR books already in over 25 languages and meetings that have been held in over 40 countries.
- Debt-free operation for over 30 years, despite very low-key fund raising methods. (ICR is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.)
- Two beautiful and functional buildings, with space for future growth.
- ICR website, with wide assortment of creationist and Biblical information, currently receiving over a million "hits" each month.
The above summary (which could be supplemented by thousands of personal testimonies) should be sufficient to illustrate God's great and continuing blessing on the ICR complex of ministries. I hope it will also encourage our supporters to keep up their faithful prayer and financial backing, knowing that it definitely "is not in vain in the Lord" (I Corinthians 15:58).
* Dr. Morris is Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.