This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Genesis Flood, by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb. This was, perhaps, the most influential young-Earth creationist book of the twentieth century, and was listed at #22 on Christianity Today’s Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals.
Morris (a hydraulic engineering professor at the time) and Whitcomb (a theologian) made a serious, scholarly attempt to demonstrate that the Bible requires a young Earth and global flood; and that this global flood provides a better explanation for the world’s sedimentary rocks than does the standard geological explanation.
Henry Morris, who passed away at age 87 back in 2006, was committed to the truthfulness of the Scriptures and to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That in itself puts me on his side rather than on that of his opponents. I may strongly differ with Morris’ Biblical interpretation on a secondary issue (he would have said it was a primary issue), and on his geological thinking (the Flood geology model presented in the book didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work now after fifty years of refinement), but he was a faithful servant of Christ, and for that I am thankful.
In his New York Times obituary, one of his opponents (Eugenie Scott, humanist, director of the National Center for Science Education) described Morris as cordial and gentlemanly. Morris exemplified the words of 1 Peter 3:15-16:
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (NIV 1984)
Morris went to be with our Lord and Savior the same month I started writing this blog. I aim to have the same gentle and respectful attitude Morris had towards those with whom I differ. I am sure that at times I fall short of the Scriptural standard.
Grace and Peace