In 2009, the Institute for Creation Research founded the School of Biblical Apologetics to provide training in biblical education and apologetics with a special emphasis on Genesis 1–11. ICR’s Dr. Jim Johnson recently interviewed Pastor Richard Corwin, who graduated from SOBA’s Master of Christian Education program in June 2015.
Q: Pastor Richard, how much attention did your first seminary program give to the importance of Genesis?
A: The Master of Theology degree in my first seminary required only a survey of the Old Testament and assigned other O.T. courses as electives. Their doctrine relegated the Old Testament to an allegorical-historical view with limited application to the modern church. The interpretation of Genesis depended on the individual professor, but most of the teachers appeared comfortable with the day-age hypothesis. It was only when I began my M.C.Ed. studies at ICR that I was introduced to the importance of biblical creation as a foundation for Christian doctrine and its bearing on the teaching and authority of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Q: How important is having a solid foundation in Genesis for a pastoral ministry?
A: The pastor is expected to preach the whole counsel of God without qualification, reservation, or equivocation. The pastor who doesn’t trust the history of Genesis 1–11 must spend a lifetime making excuses for the character and integrity of our Lord Jesus, who repeatedly quoted Genesis as true history. In addition, the doctrine of the Fall and sin, the need for redemption, the dignity of man, the Messiah foretold in Genesis 3:15, His genealogy, His insistence in John 8:56 that Abraham “saw His day,” and His appearance with Moses and Elijah in Matthew 17:2-3 crumble into the dust of fantasy if Genesis isn’t true history. The book of Genesis is the legs on which the whole doctrine of the body of Christ stands.
Q: Did you find SOBA’s class requirements easy to work with?
A: Because the ICR online program encourages the student to take one course at a time, I was able to pace myself and set aside two days a week for dedicated study. Resources included books by Dr. Henry Morris, Francis Schaeffer, and others familiar to me. The real challenge was research, but much of the material was available online or through libraries. Not only was the degree program worth my time, I now miss the research! Even though I graduated, there are a few subjects I haven’t taken that I want to study in the future.
Q: How has ICR’s M.C.Ed. online degree program helped you in your ministry and your life?
A: As a pastor and a homeschool father, the M.C.Ed program has provided articulate answers for the defense of the faith. It enabled me to communicate the historical, scientific, and doctrinal authority of Scripture to my congregation and to my children. The program gave me a more complete view of God’s redemptive plan that began before the foundation of the world. It filled in the theological vacuum that came from dismissing the Old Testament Scriptures and showed me the rich tapestry of Hebrew signs, symbolism, and prophecy that makes the interpretation of the New Testament more understandable.
ICR’s program also gave me a fresh look at my own life and the despair of being raised by an abusive, atheist father, and allowed me to see the redemptive hand of God. It allowed me to have a critical view of the church that has unknowingly adopted the “death image” of evolution into its doctrine in an attempt to appease the evolutionists. More importantly, it has introduced my country church to teaching that is usually limited to larger congregations.
For more information about ICR’s School of Biblical Apologetics, visit ICR.edu.
* Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.