The Institute for Creation Research has a number of magazines, the most famous of which is the monthly newsletter Acts & Facts, which is often featured on the ICR’s front page. Here’s a brief summary of the June 2012 edition. For future reference the magazine can be found in pdf form here.
The editor’s column for this month is by Jayme Durant, Associate Editor (and the author of last months). This months edition of Acts & Facts is all about repeatedly insisting that “Genesis matters.” They have, in reverse alphabetical order, “Why Recent Creation Matters,” this “What Matters Most” article, “Does Genesis Really Matter,” and “Do Origins Matter?” They also advertise for a ‘conference’ called “Your Origins Matter,” ads for which were present last month also. A little monotonous, but whatever.
As always, this article introduces what is to come. Their feature article “compels us to consider what God’s Word says about our beginnings,” while their impact article “discusses the essential nature of the doctrine of recent creation to true biblical Christianity.” Dr Lisle “highlights the reasons that the creation account in Genesis matters,” and Johnson “challenges us to test the claims of evolutionists and to approach the dilemmas of life with an open Bible.”
Not mentioned in this introduction are Morris IV’s traditional donations article, John Morris on Volcanic eruptions, Bergman on imitation, Tomkins on an alleged bias in “Human-Chimp [genetic] Studies,” and some more feather denialism from Thomas and Sherwin.
Still experimenting with formatting, I’m going to split this post up into parts. One part, which you are reading right now, includes all of the “Genesis matters” posts, along with all of the other, more boring theological/pleading for funds articles. The ‘science’ articles have already been published as their own posts.
|In this post (theology etc).||In other posts (creation ‘science’)|
Do Origins Matter? (link)
Morris III opens with a quote from his father, on the subject of the moral ills of the world:
An unprecedented confusion is now permeating the modern world. Everything has seemingly been turned upside down, and the older standards of right and wrong have been almost completely interchanged….the wide resurgence of paganism and occultism, the inexorable spread of the cancerous drug culture, giant crime syndicates in the capitalist nations, pan-Arabic aggression in the Islamic nations, and a worldwide breakdown of personal and governmental morality. It is no wonder that there is everywhere “upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity…” (Luke 21:25).
This is apparently a quote from The Long War Against God, a book published in 2000. The younger Morris claims that this was “originally expressed … over 20 years ago,” but that it is “even more relevant today.”
The article is in effect a long-winded rant about how the world is going to the dogs and how evolutionist worldviews are somehow important in that. Typical stuff, filled with rhetorical questions along the lines of “does it matter?” Moving right along…
All but the one of these events have now passed: The “Rebuilding the Foundations Conference” on June 30, to be attended by John Morris and Nathaniel Jeanson. Most of this page is an ad for the “Your Origins Matter” conference earlier in the month.
Why Recent Creation Matters (link)
Things are already getting rather repetitive, aren’t they? An article from the late Morris is dredged up and ‘adapted,’ beginning:
No aspect of creationism is under greater attack by evolutionists than the biblical doctrine of recent creation. The evolutionist, knowing the weakness of the scientific case for evolution, almost always directs his own argument not against creation per se, but against recent creation and its corollary, Flood geology.
An intriguing, but I suspect incorrect, claim. What are the alternatives that we should be attacking? Intelligent Design? Many already do, though YEC is certainly the easier target. ‘“day-age theory” and “progressive creation”’? They tend not to be worth arguing against, really.
The article contains some interesting gems. First:
In more modern times, Charles Darwin himself is a classic case in point. Starting out as a biblical creationist, his decline began with the acceptance of Lyellian uniformitarianism, the geological ages, and progressive creationism. He soon became a full-fledged theistic evolutionist and eventually an atheist. The same steps were traveled by many other scientists of that period.
The creationist revival of the first quarter of the 20th century was short-lived because it again tried to compromise with the day-age theory. This was Bryan’s fatal mistake at the Scopes trial.
Even if one does not accept the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, the concept of a personal, omnipotent, omniscient, loving God is fatally flawed by the old earth dogma. The very reason for postulating an ancient cosmos is to escape from God—to push Him as far away in space and as far back in time as possible, hoping thereby eventually to escape His control altogether, letting nature become “god.”
If this third claim is true then it would seem that such a God is completely impossible, as the God of the YECs seems not to be personal, omnipotent, omniscient (‘walking in the garden,’ anyone? Gen. 3:8-13), or loving.
Here’s something else that is interesting:
If God’s six work days were not the same kind of days as the six days of man’s work week, then God is not able to say what He means. The language could hardly be more clear and explicit.
You could similarly say that about any metaphor in the Bible – or is he claiming that such things do not even exist?
Letters to the Editor
Like any other month, all of these letters are positive (even so far as to be over-the-top). G.L. wants to give the ICR’s materials to their local Board of Education, while J & PF from Japan talk about evolutionist relatives who wanted them to leave the country after the 2011 earthquakes (there’s no helping some people – I am reminded of a joke about a man standing on the roof of his house during a flood…).
Bountiful Sowing Through Matching Gifts (link)
Morris IV wants money, same as every month. This time:
Perhaps not as well known is the fact that many corporations may match gifts made to ICR, essentially doubling some contributions to our ministry. Virtually all corporate matching gift programs allow donations to institutions of higher education, and ICR’s School of Biblical Apologetics, offering both bachelor and master degrees in Christian Education, meets most requirements. Other programs match gifts made in support of nonprofit scientific research—ICR projects in genetics, bio-origins, climatology, and cosmology usually qualify.
[…] And some technology companies such as Microsoft offer the additional choice to provide much-needed computer software to ICR at a fraction of retail costs. Either way, you will find no better opportunity to maximize the impact of your support with gifts you may already be making!
In just the last year alone, ICR received matching gifts from such familiar companies as General Electric, Boeing, Dell, ExxonMobil, Verizon, and numerous others.
I can think of far better causes to give your charity funds to: the Save the Dodo Fund* is just one example.
*Not actually a real organisation, surprisingly
Does Genesis Really Matter? (link)
For the final article Jason Lisle pitches in:
Our world faces enormous problems—violence, war, crime, disease, famine, economic collapse, natural disasters, and much more. We’re seeing attacks on the sanctity of human life and attempts to redefine marriage. We have witnessed a decline in Christian values worldwide, but it’s perhaps most disappointing that the United States—a nation founded on Christian principles—is losing its Christian base at an alarming rate.
How can these things be? Our nation is saturated with Christian bookstores, radio stations, television programs, and schools. And yet for all of this Christian influence, it seems that the United States is rapidly becoming a pagan nation. It’s tempting to think that we should be fighting social issues and not waste time on “academic” topics like origins.
Love it! This is probably the best of the lot, so keep reading. For example:
The Bible defines marriage as one man and one woman united in God for life. Jesus affirmed this in Matthew 19:4-6, and He quoted Genesis to prove His point.
The bible quote is:
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Not overly relevant, actually. The Genesis quote is Gen. 2:24, but the Skeptics Annotated Bible records numerous instances of Polygamy mentioned in Genesis which seemed to be ok…
The penultimate page consists of ads for books by Lisle, including the “Ultimate Proof of Creation”:
There is an argument for creation that is powerful, conclusive, and has no true rebuttal. As such, it is an irrefutable argument—an “ultimate proof” of the Christian worldview of biblical creation. Master the method outlined in this book, and you will be able to defend Christianity against all opposition.
“Buy my book and you too can…” That’s what it sounds like. Exactly what the argument is is not so much as hinted at.
The back page advertises for That’s a Fact:
Online video shorts that deliver fascinating facts about science, the Bible, and more—in two minutes or less. Catch new episodes and share these fun videos with friends via social media networks. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for new episode announcements and updates. Visit our website at http://www.icr.org to keep up with the latest news feed, events, and features.
For those who haven’t been paying attention there has been a rather significant gap in these videos: until the video that was posted just a few hours ago at time of writing there had not been one in two months.
The July edition is already up, and you’ll see some articles from that over the next couple of weeks. But first, about that video…