ICR: It’s All About Death

Today we’ll visit the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. They have this new post at their website: Doubt Versus Unbelief. It’s by John D. Morris, Ph.D. At the end of the article we’re informed that “Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.”

Before we dig into the article we must pause for a bit of background, because there are so many people named Morris at ICR it can sometimes be challenging to know who’s who. ICR was founded by Henry Morris (1918-2006). The founder’s eldest son, Henry Morris III, is carrying on the family business as ICR’s Chief Executive Officer. His son, Henry IV (the grandson of ICR’s founder), is “Director of Donor Relations at the Institute for Creation Research.” He has a degree in Business from Liberty University. Verily, ICR is a creationist dynasty.

Another son of ICR’s founder, John D. Morris, is now president of ICR and is “best known for leading expeditions to Mt. Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark.” That one is today’s author. All clear? Fine, now we can get going. Here are some excerpts from his post, with bold font added by us and scripture links omitted:

Teachers and Christian leaders often encourage students to question things, for this can be a real impetus to growth. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions or even with having doubts, for they often expose wrong information and encourage further study.

We agree with that, but does ICR really want students to question creationism? That could mean the end of the Morris family business. Oh, no problem — the rest of the paragraph takes care of that:

As it relates to Scripture, there will always be a good answer, even if an initial lack of ready answers requires that we shelve the question for a future time. Our faith in the Word of God should be firm.

It’s permissible for students to ask questions, but only if their faith in ICR’s version of creationism remains firm. Let’s read on:

For a Christian, questions regarding evolution’s claims should lead to greater understanding, or a postponement of answers — not to disbelief. As they relate to evolution and the Flood, we have answers to many difficult questions now, and have reason to believe we’ll soon have more. We’ll never have all the answers this side of eternity, but there’s no need to disbelieve.

Right. Even if the Flood makes no sense at all, you gotta keep the faith. We continue:

Striving to accommodate long ages and evolution to Scripture, ardent Bible-believing Christians proposed various ways to incorporate them, concepts that still plague Christianity today. Those holding a higher view of Scripture gravitated to the gap theory, which places long ages between the first two verses of Genesis 1, followed by global destruction due to Satan’s fall and six days of re-creation. This allowed Christians to embrace both Christianity and long-age evolution.

Those blasphemous old-earth creationists! Here’s more:

Similarly, others succumbed to theistic evolution, for the same reason. Since in their minds science had “proved” evolution, they felt they salvaged Scripture by claiming evolution was God’s method of creation. … These accommodationist views compromised only Scripture — never was the evolution/long age/uniformitarian view altered at all.

Those wretched “accommodationists” made only one-sided accommodations. Moving along:

All such views suffer from the same weaknesses and can be refuted at length, as they have been in other writings. Suffice it to point out that all include a downgrading of the Flood to a local or tranquil flood that is not responsible for the rock and fossil record. They also weaken the doctrine of God’s creative majesty, substituting a trial and error approach for His sovereign, omniscient will.

How horrible! Those accommodationists will surely suffer an eternity in the Lake of Fire. It’s gotta be young-earth creationism, all the way. No compromises! Another excerpt:

According to all compromise views, death of conscious living things long predated man’s appearance, and certainly was present long before man’s sin incurred the Curse. But if physical death was here before sin, then it could not really be the “wages of sin” since it is indeed the key to man’s evolution. In evolution, death produced man by causing less fit types to go extinct over time. Thus, death is regarded as good, and by extension Christ’s death paid no such penalty.

Yes — it’s all about death! Evolutionists actually like death! Now that we see it spelled out so clearly, everything makes sense. Here’s the conclusion:

In this way, all compromise views negate non-negotiable doctrines. While it is not impossible for a Christian to believe in any of the compromises mentioned above, it is impossible for any one of them to be true if Christianity is true. And if any are true, then many of Christianity’s core doctrines are wrong.

So there you are. It’s all right to ask questions, but don’t question or doubt ICR’s core doctrines — especially about the role of death in the grand scheme of things. We’re so grateful to ICR for helping us understand.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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7 responses to “ICR: It’s All About Death

  1. An ironic position coming from a proponent of Christianity. No offense to the vast majority of well-meaning Christians, but Christianity was practically founded on a cult of death. Its symbol is a crucifix, a torture device designed to inflict slow, horrific, agonizing death.

  2. Christians of course are supposed to patiently suffer in this world to be rewarded in the next, an eternity of bliss. If that’s not idealizing death, I don’t know what is.

    And of course the Buddhist Nirvana, at least for some kinds of Buddhism, is the relief of actually being dead and not having to be reborn over and over.

    Any religion that thinks things get better when we die–the good rewarded and the bad getting punished–can be accused of it.

    but evolution doesn;t care if things get “better”. They get more suited to their environment but there is no normative aspect to that. An immortal being is presumably very well adapted to its environment. But that might be a very low standard–amoebas are effectively immortal.

  3. Per Christian fundies, death came into the world as a result of Adam and Eve eating a forbidden fruit. To me, that raises a dilemma. If God had not intended for there to be death in the world, then he could not have expected creatures to multiply (due to obvious overpopulation issues). In that scenario, he would have expected Adam and Eve to live forever, chastely, in the garden.

    On the other hand, he clearly made Adam and Eve male and female, a sexual pair, so he must have expected them to reproduce. That would mean, logically, that he fully intended – from the beginning – for humans and other creatures to suffer death. So if that was always his intention, why did he blame it on Adam and Eve?

    Imagine if Adam and Eve were without sin, and obeyed God completely. Imagine that they never ate the fruit. Would they still be here, today, just the two of them, living in a Garden for 6,000 years, going slowly insane? It might be a nice garden and all, but after a few centuries….

  4. Imagine if Adam and Eve were without sin, and obeyed God completely. Imagine that they never ate the fruit. Would they still be here, today, just the two of them, living in a Garden for 6,000 years, going slowly insane? It might be a nice garden and all, but after a few centuries….

    Well, I suppose you could argue that if they don’t die or get sick or starve, thanks to God’s power, then they don’t go insane either.

    Besides, we don’t know how big this garden was anyway. Might have been the size of Yellowstone–or Wyoming–or Alaska. And maybe it had pork chop trees and porno bushes. With God all things are possible.

  5. @Ed
    It might be a nice garden and all, but after a few centuries…

    They’d run out of conversation fairly quickly, I would think. Their socializing with other couples would pretty much be limited to an All-Powerful Being with dormant genocidal tendencies, and a sociopathic talking snake. A foursome like that couldn’t even get up a decent bridge game, since the omniscient one can see everyone else’s cards, and the other one doesn’t have arms.

  6. magpie61 says: “and the other one doesn’t have arms.”

    He had them before the Fall.

  7. John D got it right in his last sentence – “And if any are true, then many of Christianity’s core doctrines are wrong.” Of course he is assuming that his core doctrines are the true Christian doctrines. The bad thing about doctrines is that they almost always fail, sooner or later.