"The heavens declare the glory of God" (Psalm 19:1). "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). "… the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein ... left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:15-17).
These and many other Scriptures unite in testimony to the spiritual impact of creationism. That is, the structure and processes of the created cosmos, properly understood and explained, bear irrefutable witness to the glory and power of God, as well as His grace and goodness ¾ even His very nature, His Godhead. This is as it should be, of course. There can be no conflict between the Creator and His creation and the proper study of the natural world must direct men to the true God.
Unfortunately, the wrong study of nature -- "science falsely so called" (I Timothy 6:20) -- has generated a serious dichotomy between cosmology and theology ("the study of the cosmos" and "the study of God"). The educational and scientific establishments today believe there are irreconcilable conflicts between science and Scripture, between God's world and God's Word. Unfortunately the same attitude prevails in the religious establishment. Consequently, even many evangelical and fundamentalist believers today have been so intimidated by this tension that they feel the study of science and Scripture must be strictly compartmentalized. The Bible is treated as a book of religion and morals, with little relevance to science and history. Even many who theoretically believe in its verbal inspiration and scientific accuracy in a practical sense tend to downgrade doctrine and objective truth -- especially topics related to science and history -- in favor of subjective evangelism and an introspective emphasis on the spiritual life.
The Great Commission, however, enjoins Christians not only to "preach the Gospel," but also to teach "all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20). In fact, the very emphasis of the "everlasting Gospel" is on the Creator of all things (Revelation 14:6,7). It is vital to preach the necessity of saving faith in Christ, who died for our sins, but it is essential to preach Christ as He is, not a Christ of one's subjective experience. The Lord Jesus Christ was Creator and Sustainer of the universe (Colossians 1:16,17), before He became its Redeemer (Colossians 1:20,21), and He must be presented in His fullness. A religious experience based only on an emotional decision without roots in objective truth will "wither away" when "persecution ariseth because of the word" (Matthew 13:6,20,21).
Because of the widespread belief that "science" has disproved Scripture, especially its accounts of Creation, the Flood and other great events of history, many Christians feel they should avoid such "controversial" questions in their witnessing. This tactic, of course, is tacit admission to the unbeliever that the Scriptures indeed are mistaken on these matters, and therefore not really reliable at all.
But this is all wrong. The Biblical records are completely true and there is no need for compromise or equivocation. Furthermore, instead of hindering the presentation of Christ to an unsaved person, or the spiritual growth of the Christian, the great truths of creationism, rightly expounded from both science and Scripture, will be found an invaluable foundation for true Christian faith and life.
The ICR Survey
In an attempt to evaluate this issue quantitatively, the Institute for Creation Research recently conducted a mail survey among the readers of its monthly publication Acts and Facts, asking them to respond to a brief questionnaire, "Spiritual Values in ICR Ministry." They were asked to indicate whether the science-Bible ministries of ICR (lectures, debates, books, radio broadcasts, literature, etc.) had been of definite spiritual help to them in any of the following ways: (1) "Instrumental in leading us to Christ;" (2) "Helpful in our personal spiritual growth as Christians;" (3) "Effective in helping us win others to Christ;" (4) "Other." Comments also were invited.
The readers of Acts and Facts come from a large range of denominational backgrounds. Most are either college graduates or college students, so that the educational level is probably somewhat higher than among people in general. A very large number are pastors or Christian leaders of one sort or another. Therefore, the results of the survey should be more meaningful than a typical man-in-the-street poll.
Over 2,800 questionnaires were filled out and returned, and they are still coming in! Almost half were accompanied by comments, some by long letters. The evangelistic effectiveness of the ICR ministry was clearly indicated by the fact that, to date, 80 people indicated it had been instrumental in leading them to Christ, while 850 said it had been effective in helping them win others to Christ.
As far as personal Christian life is concerned, 1,800 replies stated the ICR ministry had been helpful in their own spiritual growth. There were 325 who indicated it had helped them in various "Other" ways. Since normally only one questionnaire was returned for each family, all the above figures should be increased by some factor.
Perhaps of more interest than the numerical statistics are the comments. These were far too numerous to reproduce in a brief article, but typical comments appear below:
"Genesis Flood instrumental in leading me to Christ. Conference at Bibletown in 1974 was a great blessing."
"Although I am a Catholic, I commend you highly for the admirable defense of the Scriptures."
"Instrumental in our seeing the possibility of God and rethinking our naturalistic presuppositions."
"I was a hard-core skeptic."
"As a scientist I would not have understood the reality of God and Christ if it weren't for ICR."
"Your materials have helped me to gain assurance in the Word of God as authority for living a practical Christian life."
"The ICR ministry has helped increase my faith more than any other work."
"As a science teacher, I am very grateful for the information, which has opened my eyes."
"Your ministry had a lot to do with winning my wife to Christ."
"Really exciting Praise the Lord for your work."
"Before your information shattered my evolutionary beliefs, my chances of becoming a Christian were virtually nil."
"The search for Noah's Ark played a part in my conversion from atheism to Christ."
"Belief in evolution is the main factor that prevents many persons from becoming Christians."
"Apologetics is a very vital part of evangelism, and a must for building up Christians in the Lord."
"I was saved in a church I was visiting through the speaker's message on the Noahic flood."
"I passed your materials on to my (unsaved) husband, who was first outraged by your 'biased' opinions -- now he loves you!"
"The Genesis Flood broke the barrier (veil)!"
"Your message is clear -- a Christ-centered life means salvation! Your work in creationism is wonderful."
"This literature has helped some of my students to accept creation and to believe in Christ!"
"To a Christian biologist -- ICR is as vital as any other Gospel area, including Moody, Wycliffe, Billy Graham, etc."
"I saw one science teacher come to Christ through this."
"As a biological scientist (Ph.D.), I had almost overwhelming conflict with evolutionary 'law' as taught in our universities. ICR has helped resolve this conflict."
"I had been brainwashed by evolution while pursuing my biology degree, but have just finished reading Scientific Creationism and it was a real eye opener."
"As a Director for Child Evangelism Fellowship, I have found many opportunities to use the knowledge with young people personally, as well as with teachers."
"People are generally astounded when they find there is scientific evidence supporting creationism. They are quicker to find a personal Savior who has suddenly become tangible."
"I enjoyed the Santa Ann seminar immensely and use the scientific knowledge of creation I acquired in my witnessing regularly."
"Tremendous witnessing tool, especially to the college student."
"Especially helpful in the academic community in witnessing to other professional educators."
"I regard your ministry, along with the Christian school movement, as the most valuable spiritual ministry today!"
"The issue of origins is an exceptional tool in apologetics and evangelism. A very vital ministry."
"A debate with Morris and Gish -- was the most refreshing thing which ever happened in my scientific study. It helped me to worship God through what He has made."
"My opportunities to witness for Christ in a public classroom setting has increased from practically nothing to a common occurrence."
"Started out totally brainwashed in evolution… now use the material in my own teaching…virtually all in my classes have become creationists."
"This has helped me to realize the truth of God's Word. I am soon to enter a Russian Orthodox monastery."
"I doubted the Bible as being true until ICR. One year later I was born again!"
"One student was led to Christ by Morris' Bible and Modem Science."
"Dennis was a boy in our youth group to whom my husband made available several of his ICR books and Impact Series. As a result of this ... we have watched Dennis grow into an enlightened and bold witness.… He has led friends to Christ."
"I am a science teacher and find everything you write helpful to me personally."
"As an airline pilot, it has been used tremendously."
"Dr. Morris' book The Bible and Modern Science was very instrumental in my conversion."
"Accepted Christ as a result of your weekend seminar in Philadelphia."
"Dr. Gish's book Evolution the Fossils Say No helped give a confused young man faith to trust Scripture."
"His reading of Dr. Morris' books led him, occupied by geology, to Christ."
"A friend of mine committed his life to Christ as a result of Dr. Morris' book Scientific Creationism."
"The ICR is an answer to prayer."
"I as a science teacher have seen that students must see Christ as Creator before they will ever see Him as a ‘Purpose Giver.’"
"I was turned away from the Scriptures as a high school freshman when I was taught evolution."
"The work of ICR is so essential that it would be a great loss if it would ever be curtailed."
"Have seen many young believers greatly strengthened by use of your materials. One young man decided to go into the ministry."
"Helped me to accept the Bible as the Word of God."
"Words do not express the worth of Acts and Facts to our spiritual encouragement."
"You are doing what organized religions have failed to do."
"I have just completed a 13-week course using Dr. Morris' tapes, and it was a pleasure to see the growth in the lives of those participating."
"I am 63 years of age. Thank God and you, I’ve had the privilege to live to see this great, important ministry, finally." (From a foreign missionary.)
"This has given me a much stronger testimony to the saving power of Jesus Christ. "
"ICR -- one of the all-time great events of Christian Bible history."
"The Genesis Flood is the most exciting book (next to the Bible) I have ever read."
"I have found that, after they digest scientific creationism, they are very open to witnessing."
"My wife and I work with Campus Crusade for Christ, and are so grateful for your dedication to this ministry."
"Reading the ICR publications has had a great deal to do with my being a convinced follower of Christ."
"I have found it very helpful in my preaching and teaching ministry in the church."
"This material has been invaluable in my teaching and preaching ministry."
"Four years ago Dr. Gish and Dr. Morris were on the campus at Oklahoma University. I attended on a lark and was amazed…. God used that debate and subsequent material to change the direction and course of my entire life and ministry." (From a Methodist pastor.)
"I personally have had my own Christian life deepened and strengthened through the various ministries of ICR."
"Acts and Facts has enriched my life this year and added to my love for God's Word."
"I really appreciate your weekly radio broadcast. I just wish it were longer."
"I was a trained evolutionist, and I went to hear Dr. Morris fall on his face. He didn't -- instead I fell to my knees."
The above comments are only a very small sampling of all the encouraging testimonies received. There can no longer be any doubt that a creationist ministry does have an exceedingly significant spiritual impact on the lives of thousands.
In contrast, there were 24 replies that were negative or critical in one way or another. Most of these were from non-Christians whose names were on the mailing list inadvertently (ICR only adds names to its mailing list by request, but occasionally people will sign requests for friends to whom they wish to send Acts and Facts without their friends' consent).
Some might feel that the poll was biased in that the questionnaire only went to people already interested in creationism. As a matter of fact, this makes it all the more significant. That is, these are the people best qualified, in terms of knowledge and experience, to make an intelligent appraisal of the spiritual impact of creationism. Those who have not "tried it" are hardly able to evaluate it!
It is now evident, both from Scripture and from experience, that scientific Biblical creationism can and should play a vital role in evangelism and in Christian faith and life, as well as in true science and education. It is especially important when dealing with those who have been educated in public schools and colleges in recent decades.
In no way does this conclusion minimize the importance of prayer and the Bible in witnessing, or of the need of faith and the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration. It is not "either-or," but "both-and." It is a matter of being ready to "give an answer to every man" (I Peter 3:15), as need and opportunity arise, and as God has commanded.
*Dr. Morris is Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.