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Dr John C. Whitcomb (1924–2020)

May 2020 | by John Tredgett

Dr John C. Whitcomb
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Theologian, author, and forefather of the modern creation movement, Dr John C. Whitcomb has died aged 95.

Whitcomb co-authored The Genesis Flood in 1961, a landmark defence of flood geology which revived widespread interest and research into creationism.

Born in Washington, D.C., Whitcomb studied geology, palaeontology, and ancient history at Princeton University in the 1940s. He was converted to Christ in 1943 under the influence of Princeton Christian Fellowship.

Whitcomb saw active service with the US Army in Europe during World War 2, taking part in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944–5.

After the war, Whitcomb resumed his education. He attended Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana, earning several theology degrees in the 1950s. He joined the faculty and taught Old Testament, Hebrew, and Young Earth Creationism.

At a conference in 1953, Whitcomb was profoundly impressed with a defence of flood geology as given by Dr Henry Morris, a specialist in hydrological engineering. Whitcomb himself devoted his doctoral dissertation in 1957 to vindicating flood geology.

Collaborating with Morris, Whitcomb authored The Genesis Flood in 1961. The work has since been reprinted 29 times and translated into several languages.

Whitcomb continued teaching at Grace Theological Seminary until 1990. He died at home in Indianapolis and is survived by his wife, Norma, six children, 17 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

Dr Brian Thomas of the Institute for Creation Research summed up his legacy: ‘Dr Whitcomb helped construct the first modern comprehensive defence of early Genesis as history.

‘Until he came along, those who understood from Scripture that creation took six days and the Flood covered the whole world had few theologians to champion their view.

‘Now, because of this great pioneer, generations of believers have full confidence that God meant exactly what he said.’

John Tredgett