[Editors’ note: This is a special anniversary year for the growing worldwide movement to boldly proclaim the reliability and authority of the Bible beginning in Genesis. 2011 is the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the apologetics masterwork, The Genesis Flood, by Drs. Henry Morris and John Whitcomb.
This book touched off the modern creation movement, from which Answers in Genesis can partially trace its own origins. Ken Ham, co-founder of AiG, has often declared that finding a copy of The Genesis Flood in an Australian bookstore in the 1970s was used by God to equip him with answers to defend the account of Noah’s Flood. He then started a creation-apologetics ministry in Australia, and eventually co-founded Answers in Genesis in the USA.
Among the thousands of Christian leaders and hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of laypeople who have read and been blessed by The Genesis Flood is Jeff Guimont, our guest commentator today. Jeff also experienced the personal influence of the book’s co-author, Dr. Whitcomb, on his life. As we prepare to honor the remarkable impact of the book with special events at the Creation Museum on October 14–16 (which will feature Dr. Whitcomb giving a few talks, plus presentations by Dr. John Morris, the son of Dr. Henry Morris), here are Jeff’s thoughts about the book and the man, Dr. John Whitcomb.]
There is no other way I can say this: The Genesis Flood radically changed my Christian life.
In 1975, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, sovereignly invaded my life and called me to Himself. My first act was to dedicate my infant son to Him. My second act as a Christian was to devour the New Testament in the following months.
Not knowing where to start, I pursued, with great vigor, various radio preachers. Oliver B. Green, J. Vernon McGee, and others brought new teaching to my life. We were involved in two churches, but as I read more over time, I became somewhat disappointed with both. One lacked depth of teaching, and the other lacked fire.
In 1978 I found The Genesis Flood by Drs. Whitcomb and Morris. I clearly remember the first day I started reading it. I was at my job with little work to do and no customers, so I began to read—and I was astonished. My first joyous response was, “Now this is more like it! This is what God’s Word deserves.”
I saw scientific explanations, scientific calculations, in-depth exegesis, answers to the evolutionists, and an effort to treat the Word of God seriously (and relate it to the world), and I was enthralled.
At that time I looked into who the authors were and began the thought processes that eventually took me to Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana to study under one of the book’s authors, Dr. John C. Whitcomb.
I was able to obtain some tapes of Dr. Whitcomb’s teaching and thoroughly enjoyed his approach: in-depth, but amusing and interesting. I knew he had a gift, and I was ready to learn. Through the providence of God, I stopped pursuing a career of professional golf and made plans to move from Florida to Indiana to attend Grace.
I had classes with Dr. Whitcomb for five of my six semesters at Grace, and I grew to know and love him greatly. His approach to pre-suppositional apologetics was something I had not known previously, but with his tutelage it has become the basis of my understanding of Scripture. For that I will be forever grateful to our heavenly Father and Dr. Whitcomb.
Late in my first year, I received a note in my mailbox that said, “Dr. Whitcomb would like to see you in his office, if you are available, between 2:00–4:00.” My first thought was, “What did I do? Am I in trouble?”
When I went to his office, Dr. Whitcomb asked me if I would mind driving Mrs. Whitcomb and himself to the airport in Ft. Wayne. “Would I? Let me think—uh, yeah, okay!” It was as if Jack Nicklaus had asked me to drive him to the airport.
Dr. Whitcomb is a humble man who has been privileged by God to be in His service and teach His Word. He was my mentor, my “prof,” and one of the authors of the book that transformed my Christian life. I would do just about anything for him. So of course I replied, “Yes, it’s my great privilege to take you and Mrs. Whitcomb to the airport.” My wife and I loved every minute of it.
Since seminary, I have devoted my life to the study of apologetics and what could be called creation principles. All of that study is borne out of the approach of The Genesis Flood and from what I and my fellow students learned while studying under Dr. Whitcomb. Many of the things I heard him say in messages and teaching have stuck in my mind. I owe much of what I have become as a Christian to this man of God.
I can think of no greater legacy a Christian could leave than to know that he has helped others to know and trust Jesus Christ and His Word. For me—and for many others, I am sure—Drs. Whitcomb and Morris have opened “doors which no man can shut.” For that, thank you, Dr. Whitcomb. Thank you for being faithful to the One who called you.
For information on next month’s celebration of The Genesis Flood book here at our Creation Museum, (including an anniversary banquet with Dr. Whitcomb, AiG President Ken Ham, Dr. John Morris of ICR, and others), see “The Genesis Flood—Celebrating 50 Years.”
To watch a video of Dr. Whitcomb’s recollections about writing the book, visit our media section.