The World that Perished

The World that Perished by John C. Whitcomb Jr. Baker Book House, paperback, 1973

Uniformitarians are yet attacking the Word of God. However, the truths of creation and the global catastrophe of the Genesis Flood are still maintained by many Christian theologians and scientists around the world. We as members of the Protestant Reformed Churches also still hold to a world-wide flood even though we are continually bombarded by the argu­ments of those who wish to elevate human insight, human reasoning, and human philosophy above the glorious truths of scripture.

It is therefore refreshing to read a book such as The World That Perished. It is the purpose of the book to simply and concisely state the basic Biblical and scientific evidences of a great world-wide flood. The author also spends considerable time answering certain published object­ions which have been raised against the book The Genesis Flood authored by Dr. H. M. Morris and Dr. J. C. Whitcomb.

It is striking that the author always begins with scripture and uses scripture to prove his contentions. I was especially struck by a number of points which the author made. In the first place, he makes the point that even though it may be commendable to search for such archaeo­logical data as Noah’s ark, such a find would not make the Bible any more trust­worthy than it now stands; “Would people who now reject the authority of God’s Word truly acknowledge it, even if remains of the Ark were discovered?” (p. 51)

Second, the author argues that faith does not depend on archaeology: “Mature Christians, who are adequately taught in God’s Word, have no fear of historical, archaeological, or scientific discoveries which appear to nullify any portion or any statement of infallible Scripture, ‘For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished’ (Matt. 5:18). One hundred years of archaeological research in the Bible lands—and this represents only a scratching of the surface of potential discovery—has more than vindi­cated those who have placed their con­fidence in the historical and geographical statements of Scripture. True faith in the Word of God does not depend upon such confirmations, but they do provide a certain sense of intellectual satisfaction and they do help to provide background illumination for various places, persons, and events in the Bible.” (p. 97)

Third, the author takes special care to provide working hypotheses consistent with scripture to explain such things as:

  1. a) The transportation of kangaroos from Australia to Noah’s Ark.
  2. b) The fossilization of dinosaurs.
  3. c) The formation of high mountains.
  4. d) The formation of the Grand Canyon.
  5. e) The frozen remains of mammoths in Siberia and Alaska.
  6. f) The presence of great coal deposits.
  7. g) The presence of petrified logs.

The book should be read by all the young people as well as by others who are studying the Genesis Flood or are concerned with evolutionary hypotheses. The book reads easily and is not directed primarily to scientifically oriented read­ers.