Today people across America are walking through their neighborhoods exclaiming, “Trick or treat!” and “Happy Halloween!” But we at Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum encourage you to think about Reformation Day instead.
Below is an insightful article by Dr. John Whitcomb on Reformation Day and the modern reformation of biblical creation. Dr. Whitcomb is heard weekly as the Bible teacher on Encounter God’s Truth, a radio and Internet broadcast outreach of Whitcomb Ministries, Inc. He has been a professor of Old Testament and theology for more than 60 years and is widely recognized as a leading biblical scholar. The book he coauthored with the late Dr. Henry Morris in 1961, The Genesis Flood, has been credited as one of the major catalysts for the modern biblical creation movement. Dr. Whitcomb’s broadcasts, sermons, lectures, and writings are available on SermonAudio.com/Whitcomb. To receive the very latest on his ministry, like the Whitcomb Ministries Facebook page or go to myWorldviewpage.com/WhitcombMinistries.
Dr. Whitcomb recently spoke to our staff at Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, and he was a speaker at our Answers for Pastors conference this year. Enjoy this excellent article by Dr. Whitcomb titled “The Creation Reformation.”
The Creation Reformation
By Dr. John Whitcomb
Why should we celebrate Oct. 31?
For hundreds of years, people of the western world have attributed spiritual significance to the last day of October and the first day of November.
But “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1, NKJV) governed the celebration of these days during the Dark Ages, until God brought light out of this darkness through the pen and voice of a humble monk and priest—Martin Luther.
Historians date the beginning of the Protestant Reformation at the day that Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany—October 31, 1517.
With the pounding of Luther’s hammer, the significance of All Hallows’ Eve was forever changed. A day dedicated to spirits, myths, superstition, and fear now reminds Bible-believing Christians of faith alone, grace alone, Scripture alone, Christ alone, and the glory of God.
With some similarities, many date the beginning of the modern creation-science reformation to 1961 and the publication of our 518-page volume, The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing) which I, a theologian, coauthored with Dr. Henry M. Morris, a hydraulic engineer. I thank our Lord for allowing me to have a part in this project!
In 100 Christian Books that Changed the Century (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 2000), William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen acknowledged the long-term impact of the book: “Creation science has been controversial within the evangelical community as well as in society at large, but there is no doubt of the impact of this book by Whitcomb and Morris . . . . By the end of the century the book had gone into its forty-first printing [over 300,000 copies] . . . creation science became a major force . . . and has substantial presence in the fields of science and education, all stemming from the influential book by Whitcomb and Morris” (pp. 135, 136).
Thus, we ask the question: Why did creation-science need a reformation? The answer is quite obvious. The overwhelming majority of evangelical Christians before 1961 believed that millions of years must have elapsed between the original creation of the world and the creation of Adam and Eve. This was the popular gap theory that postulated a vast time lapse between the first two verses of Genesis 1. I taught that view during my first two years at a graduate school of theology.
Other Old Testament scholars believed in the day-age theory, namely, that millions of years separated the six days of Genesis 1. Adam and Eve, then, were walking on a cemetery of plants and animals that had died and been fossilized long before our first parents were created.
A major event in world history had been practically ignored—that is, the magnitude and hydrodynamic effects of the Flood in the days of Noah. Dr. Morris carefully explained what should have been obvious to all Christians: a mountain-covering, year-long deluge of water would have fossilized billions of creatures in layers or strata of mud all over the world!
When I heard Dr. Morris lecture on this topic in September of 1953, I saw the tremendous error of reading millions of years into Gen. 1:2. My reasons for abandoning the gap theory are set forth in The Early Earth (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 2010), pp. 113-125.
Martin Luther posted 95 theses in opposition to the theological disasters in his church and, thus, under God, brought about a Reformation that continues to this day. Likewise, Dr. Henry Morris was used of God to post two theses: (1) the Genesis Flood was a catastrophe of stupendous magnitude and geological significance; and (2) we can therefore see more clearly why millions of years are not needed in Genesis l.
Happy Reformation Day! Let us celebrate by placing our trust in God’s Word, which is true from the beginning to the end.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,