Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
GTJ 6:2 (Fall 85) p. 457
History of Modern Creationism, by Henry M. Morris. San Diego: Master, 1984. Pp. 283. $8.95.
The modern creation movement has reached a stage where historical analysis of the movement has been undertaken by several authors. Davis Young in Christianity and the Age of the Earth traced creation views through church history. Walter Lang and Ronald Numbers are completing separate studies on the growth of creationism. This review, however, concerns the definitive work of one who has been involved with the rise of modern creationism more than any other person. The dedication of Henry M. Morris to the cause is evident from his two dozen books, his own organization (The Institute for Creation Research), and a lifetime of “battle scars” gained in defense of a literal approach to Scripture. The foreword to this latest contribution from Morris is appropriately written by John C. Whitcomb. It was these two men who “catalyzed” the modern creationist revival with their 1961 work, The Genesis Flood. The science world is still reacting to the challenge of that book.
In ten non-technical chapters, the History of Modern Creationism details past, present, and future efforts to promote a strict (recent) creation view of origins. Morris declares that there has always been at least a remnant of creationists, and an abundance of historical names and publications are presented to prove his point. Even obscure books that address origins are fitted into the overall picture. A thorough name index with 550 entries insures the book’s permanent reference value. There are eight appendices, including a list of more than one hundred creationist organizations, many in other countries.
The “Voices in the Wilderness” chapter describes creationist efforts between the Scopes trial (1925) and the Darwin centennial (1959). George McCready Price (1870–1962) is credited with much early writing. His Adventist successors have continued in a strong creationist tradition, showing the broad appeal of the cause. Having shared creation interests with Adventists for many years, Morris concludes that they are “closer to the truth” than the liberal churches (p. 80). The thorough research by Morris is evident from the obvious familiarity with creationists Byron Nelson, Harry Rimmer and dozens of their contemporaries. Henry Morris is charitable toward others whose styles are different from his own as long as they are dedicated to a strict creation view. Regarding one still-active speaker, Morris graciously concludes that the individual has “compensated in quantity and sincerity for what may have seemed lacking sometimes in quality and consistency.” Throughout, the book is honest in pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of various groups.
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