The Institute for Creation Research has become known for its attention to research. It's important to recognize that we don't try to "prove the Bible." The Bible doesn't need our help. Whether or not there is evidence, the Bible is true! In our research we assume the Bible, and conduct our investigations in that framework. We interpret all historical data within the model of true history given in Scripture.
For instance, we do a lot of research in Grand Canyon, a huge scar in the earth gouged out by moving water. We go there with the firm conviction that the world-restructuring flood of Noah's day covered Arizona, and that its processes and aftereffects would have left their mark. We interpret the data in that light.
This is not a naïve stance. Everyone has a perspective. Evolutionary naturalism has become such a worldview and is unquestioningly used by its adherents in their interpretation of data. We feel that of the two broad viewpoints of history, creation is the better choice. The Bible and its teachings have proven to be trustworthy, and a solid foundation for our faith. It handles the data better, with no inconsistencies or contradictions.
Since the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, there is no need to fear putting it to the test (I Thessalonians 5:21). Francis Schaeffer used to declare the Bible to be "true Truth." It is absolutely accurate in all matters on which it touches, and the worldview it presents is applicable in all areas. Research can fill in the gaps in our knowledge, for the Bible doesn't give all the details. Furthermore, in the Dominion Mandate of Genesis 1:28, we (i.e., all representatives of mankind) are commanded to study creation, in order to use it wisely for man's good and God's glory. The Creator instructed Adam to "subdue [the earth]: and have dominion over [it]." Furthermore, He is pleased when we learn more of Him through research into what He has done and give Him the glory. Research can answer questions which might have arisen in the minds of Christians, remove obstacles to salvation in the path of non-Christians, and show the superiority of the Biblical way of thinking. It can and should do all these things.
Nevertheless, some Christians think otherwise. They feel that the Bible is beyond such investigation, and doesn't even need to be supported. They are offended that we attempt to demonstrate its accuracy, and chastise us for trying. While this may sound "spiritual," it differs from Christ's example.
After His resurrection, He appeared to His disciples in the upper room, but Thomas was not present (John 20:24). When told by the others that they had seen the risen Lord, Thomas insisted that he needed to see the evidence. "Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails . . . I will not believe" (v.25). A few days later He again appeared. This time Thomas was present. Did Jesus upbraid him for his need for evidence? Not at all. He graciously invited Thomas to come and see the scars. The evidence was there, and his faith was well placed. Throughout Scripture we find God revealing Himself and validating the truth with evidence. Still, He requires faith, but that faith is a reasonable faith, based soundly on demonstrable fact.
* Dr. John Morris is President of ICR.