They say it happens in threes. Don Knotts, Darren McGavin, and Dennis Weaver all passed away. These beloved actors' deaths were noted, their careers lauded, their best screen moments replayed.
But I just learned to my surprise that another person died last Saturday. Not an actor, not a celebrity. In fact, if the circles in which the deceased actors heard of how this man spent his life, they'd doubtless reply with sneering, scornful wit -- or an indifferent shrug.
Henry Morris passed away at the age of 87, after a series of strokes. His name alone will equally bring fond smiles, or hateful sneers, to the faces of those who recognize it. He was a scientifically educated Christian who challenged the very foundations of Darwinism, from the perspective of a plain-sense reading of the Bible. Morris co-authored The Genesis Flood with John C. Whitcomb, Jr., as well as a host of other books, and founded the Institute for Creation Research.
Morris revived the meaning of plenary in the phrase "verbal, plenary inspiration." That is, he did not believe that the Bible's inspiration and authority was confined to "spiritual" matters, but that it was authoritative in every area on which it made pronouncement. He believed that too many had adapted their reading of Genesis from the most natural sense of the words, to a sense twisted to fit the current evolutionary establishment's consensus vote. He didn't think that Christians should hand over their worldview to white-coated "experts" who held their Lord's all-inclusive authority in contempt.
You may or may not agree with Morris' reading of Genesis, nor with his catastrophic reading of the geological record. (I do agree.) But I think you have to grant that he, by single-mindedly holding to the inerrancy and plenary authority of the Word, had a pioneering and revealing ministry.
His insistence on accepting the full authority of the Word revealed the heart of liberalism, quailing before the cultured despisers, eager to please and be friends with the world, accepting the dictums of a white-coated priesthood over God's Word, willing to sell their birthright just to escape the contempt of the elite.
At the same time, he revealed the charade of objective openmindedness behind which the scientific establishment hides. From the PR the Darwinian priesthood was putting out, one would expect that they would welcome alternate approaches and theories with great enthusiasm and open arms. Instead they were revealed to be narrow minded, arrogant, doctrinnaire oppressors driven by a particular philosophy.
It seems to me that if one reaches the end of his life loved for the reasons Dr. Morris was loved, and hated for the reasons he was hated, he has probably done well.
ALSO: read Doug Phillips' (no relation) warm tribute to Dr. Morris, as well as Ray Pritchard's.