"The question of the historicity and the character of the Genesis Flood is no mere academic issue of interest to a small handful of scientists and theologians. If a worldwide flood actually destroyed the entire antediluvian human population, as well as all land animals, except those preserved in a special Ark constructed by Noah (as a plain reading of the Biblical record would lead one to believe), then its historical and scientific implications are tremendous."
This quote is from the forward to The Genesis Flood, written by Dr. John C. Whitcomb and Dr. Henry M. Morris in 1961. This February we celebrate the 50th anniversary of its publication.
This book re-defined the science and Bible debate in the 20th century. Earlier in the century, by the time of the Scopes trial in 1925, Christian scholarship had either embraced some form of theistic or day-age evolution, or had consigned the ages of evolution to a “gap” between the first two verses of Genesis 1. Creation was relegated to a “secondary doctrine”—not even included in the famous “Five Fundamentals of the Faith.” Science had become the purview of evolutionists, and Christianity essentially retreated from the scientific arena and capitulated to the intellectual pressure of academic secularism.
The two authors submitted the manuscript to every science-educated Christian they knew of, asking for a serious critique. But so strong was the grip of evolutionary thinking that few would even read the manuscript. Careers and reputations were on the line with any questioning of the status quo. Most preferred to look the other way and ignore the subject. Those who considered the issue at all had comfortably compromised with theistic evolution or the gap theory and did not think it necessary to take a stand.
The Genesis Flood propelled Henry Morris into such prominence that even his detractors refer to him as the father of the modern creation science movement. That book, in the sovereign plan of God, became the catalyst that opened the gates to the pent-up flood of Christian professionals who, like God’s loyal “seven thousand” in the days of Elijah, had not yet bowed their knee to the Baal of evolutionary compromise. A revival among scientifically trained Christians had begun.
Published by Presbyterian & Remormed publishers, The Genesis Flood has been continuously in print for 50 years, and the Institute for Creation Research, which was founded by Dr. Morris in 1970, celebrates the impact of this work and these men. The full impact of this book and these two men will not be known until eternity.
Countless individuals have told how The Genesis Flood changed their lives, giving them a new perspective on science and the book of Genesis. Many have noted that the Christian education movement would never have taken hold without the book, for now the whole Bible could be believed without apology. Certainly this is true for the homeschool movement, which flourished with its underpinnings. The case could also be made that the biblical inerrancy movement would never have gained traction without it, for until that time few held to an inerrant Genesis. It is also true that most of the signers of inerrancy documents did not and still do not hold to a literal and inerrant view of Genesis, yet rank and file Christians could not support inerrancy until Genesis could be defended. This undergirding was supplied by The Genesis Flood.
Many Christian leaders still vilify those who insist the great Flood was global and geologically significant, as is so well expounded in The Genesis Flood. But even evolutionary thinking has shifted in response to many creation challenges, such as catastrophism in geology, gaps in the fossil record, design in living things, etc. Today there are many thousands of creation scientists, hundreds of creation organizations, and millions of creation believers, a movement all catalyzed by the publication of The Genesis Flood.
Over a year ago, ICR published the authorized update to this book with the release of Earth’s Catastrophic Past: Geology, Creation & the Flood by former ICR science researcher Dr. Andrew Snelling. It updates the scientific data, and presents an updated and expanded look at the topic that many see as key to understanding biblical earth history.
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Lawrence E. Ford, Executive Editor, "Celebrating the Classics", Acts & Facts, February 2011, Institute of Creation Research.
Henry M. Morris III, A Flood of Influence: The Impact of Henry Morris and The Genesis Flood in Modern History, Acts & Facts, February 2011, Institute of Creation Research.
John D. Morris, The Creation Movement’s Firm Foundation, Acts & Facts, February 2011, Institute of Creation Research.