The summers of 1994 to 1996, I had the pleasure of studying under some of the pioneers of the modern creation movement at the Institute for Creation Research Graduate School. I was able to spend time both in the classroom and privately with Dr Henry Morris, Dr John Morris, Dr Gary Parker, Dr Larry Vardiman, Dr Steve Austin, Dr Russ Humphries, Dr Steve Deckard, Dr Ken Cumming, Dr Richard Lumsden, Dr Chris Osborne, and Dr Bob Franks. Of all these great and learned men, none was more energetic and enthusiastic than Dr Duane Gish.
Gish and his twin brother Don were born in Feb. 1921 in White City, Kansas. The Gish Twins were quite active in their community as one account has them greasing the railroad tracks when they were only 6 years old. Today they are still known as the White City Twins.
After attending high school and junior college in Dodge City, Gish found himself serving his country as an army officer in the south Pacific during World War 2.
Studying chemistry, Gish obtained his BS from UCLA in 1949 and his PhD in biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1953. He served as an assistant professor of biochemistry at Cornell University Medical College before returning to the University of California at Berkeley where he was an assistant research associate in the Virus Laboratory. Next he spent 11 years as a research assistant at the Upjohn Company.
From Upjohn, Gish felt the Lord calling him to use his talents and education for His purpose, so in 1972, he joined Dr Henry Morris and Dr Tim LaHaye at Christian Heritage College’s research department which eventually became the Institute for Creation Research.
From 1972 to his retirement in 2005, Gish has taught numerous classes and authored a number of books including Evolution: Challenge of the Fossil Record, Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No and the classic children’s books The Amazing Story of Creation from Science and the Bible and Dinosaurs by Design.
Most notably though are his apologetic debates where he has been involved in well over 300 debates. Taking the stage in a debate, Gish may not be the tallest person on stage at the beginning, but once the debate began he became a giant of creation apologetics. He wasn’t afraid of facing anyone when it came to defending his faith in our Creator God. His abilities earned him the nickname of the Thomas Huxley of Creationism and the Bulldog of Creationism.
When I first sat in a class at ICR taught by Dr Gish and Dr John Morris, it was the year before he had open heart surgery. You could tell that he was struggling with his health and stamina, but I never saw him shy away from any task or take a step backwards. He still had his bulldog tenacity.
After his heart surgery, I returned for another summer of intense schooling and was pleased to see him still around the hallways. One of the staff told me that the doctor had given him strict orders about rest and not returning to work until the end of the summer and that he was not to travel or do any more talks for another several months. However, I overheard him telling his secretary that he was planning on doing a September speaking engagement regardless of what the doctor said.
I was walking past his office one day and he called me in to ask me how everything was going not only with my schooling but with my family back home in Arizona. He asked what I planned to do with the degree from ICR and encouraged me to start speaking locally back home. I told him about the creation organization that I had started and he agreed to come and speak and only charge us for travel expenses. Sixteen years later, the Arizona Origin Science Association is alive and well with 3 different chapters and I owe a great deal to Dr Gish for his help and encouragement.
Others may have had their nicknames for him, but I fondly referred to him as the Little Giant. He may have been small in stature, but he was a giant in spirit. He reminded me of a shepherd boy in Scripture that was described as small in stature who was the only one brave enough to face the gargantuan warrior from the enemy. When it was all over, the shepherd triumphed over Goliath all because he believed in God and that God was with him.
Dr. Duane Gish, the Little Giant, approached everything in his life as did the little shepherd boy named David. So in this special year, his 90th year, I not only want to wish him a great and joyous year, but I also want to say thank you for caring for every one of us whose lives’ you touched and inspired. Our Lord God has used you mightily for His cause and I am sure that there will be many rewards awaiting you in heaven.
The Bible is the written Word of God, and it is treasured by many. But it is also an ancient book about people and cultures very different than us. Thus, while we know we should read it, many of us have a hard time understanding the Bible.
In this updated edition of Knowing Scripture, R. C. Sproul helps us dig out the meaning of Scripture for ourselves. The author says, “The theme of this book is not how to read the Bible but how to study the Bible.” He presents in simple, basic terms a commonsense approach to studying Scripture and gives eleven practical guidelines for biblical interpretation and applying what we learn. With a minimum of technical jargon, Sproul tackles some of the knotty questions regarding differences of interpreting the Bible, including
- discovering the meanings of biblical words
- understanding Hebrew poetry, proverbs and parables
- approaching historical and didactic passages
- being careful with predictive prophecy
- discerning how culture conditions the Bible
- choosing and using Bible translations, commentaries, Bible software and other helps
Knowing Scripture is a basic book for both beginning Bible readers and experienced students of Scripture.
“This little book should be required reading for any beginning student of the Bible.” Christianity Today
“Probably the best, most readable introduction to biblical interpretation available.” Knowing & Doing(Spring 2009)