Dr Carl Wieland retires after four decades
Tribute to ministry founder as CMI enters new phase
Published: 2 March 2015 (GMT+10)
For the informed creationist it’s hard to imagine anyone who will leave a greater legacy on biblical (‘young-earth’) creation in recent times than Dr Carl Wieland (b. 1950). He will retire from full-time creation ministry on 6 March 2015. While it had been the historic view of the church for its first 1,750 years or so, the geological uniformitarianism of Charles Lyell and its descendant Darwinian evolution had intimidated the conservative church into compromise.
In 1961, the tide turned with the publication of The Genesis Flood by John Whitcomb (b. 1924) and Henry Morris (1918–2006). This book kick-started the creationist careers of so many, including modern-day pioneers such as Carl Wieland and Ken Ham who caught the wave of this tide to advance the cause of biblical creation. For a long time, there was hardly any more information to be found for biblical creationists to go more deeply into the issue. There were more books from Dr Morris, and the British Commonwealth countries had the benefit of the brilliant English triple-doctorate A.E. Wilder-Smith (1915–1995), one of only two creationists ever to debate Richard Dawkins. But young creationists today, with such a wealth of creationist literature and videos, have little idea how it was lacking in those days, or perhaps have little appreciation of the efforts of the early creationists.
So enters a young atheistic medical student called Carl Wieland. Christians on campus would try to witness to him, but he would point out that they believed in billions of years due to their interpretation of the geologic strata being millions of years old. Therefore, it was clear that they didn’t really believe their own book, the Bible. Yet they were appealing to this same book to present Jesus as the One who died for our sin, while contradicting the New Testament teaching that sin and death entered the world through Adam’s sin.
So, when Wieland became a Christian, he could see the great importance of the early chapters of Genesis—and that there was no need for those campus Christians to lose the intellectual battle. And because there was so little information available, he was determined to provide some. This led Carl to found a new quarterly magazine in 1978, now called Creation. However, at first he called it Ex Nihilo, short for Creatio ex nihilo, meaning ‘Creation out of nothing”’ (cf. Hebrews 11:3, Revelation 4:11). Then the English word ‘Creation’ was added, so it was Creation ex Nihilo. Today, only the English word remains.
Carl first produced the magazine at home, and copied them in his doctor’s surgery. He wrote all of the articles, covering a range of scientific disciplines and used many pseudonyms in the process.
The magazine has come a long way in 37 years, not just in the name. Now it presents cutting-edge creation information to over 100,000 people spread over 100 countries. We believe there is no other magazine that can match its content or impact. Moreover, because Carl always wanted it to be a ministry tool, he (and we) have resisted numerous offers over the years to include advertising. This also ensured that our overall ministry thrust and the promotion of the magazine in churches could never be construed as the ministry being ‘in it for the buck’.
As a testimony to its effectiveness, we have received many hundreds of letters and emails from people who came to Christ through this magazine (of course, the Holy Spirit is really the one who enables belief, but He uses means—including Creation magazine—to achieve His ends).
Since 1984, Creation magazine has been supplemented by our technical publication, which Dr Wieland described as ‘Creation magazine in depth’. Like the magazine, the second publication went through some name changes from Ex Nihilo Technical Journal to Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, then TJ, and now Journal of Creation.
Even with a relative lack of creation information, various people and groups gallantly taught this important information. However, they largely followed the ‘creation club’ model still popular today, and Dr Wieland did as well. However, it must be said that they usually ‘preach to the choir’. What was missing was recruiting new ‘choir members’.
Building on the ideas of others, he developed what he called the linking and feeding ministry model. This recognizes that potential new ‘choir’ members are mostly to be found in churches, and that most people come to Christ via one-on-one witnessing by Christians. However, even in the church, many people don’t realize the importance of Genesis 1–11, and how disbelief in the early part of the Bible is a stumbling block for many due to their exposure to evolutionary teaching in the public realm. Many are ‘switched on’ by the creation message, and become much bolder in witnessing thanks to this tangible model of reaching the believers first, and where they are, which is in the church. Even more, their passion once switched on is augmented by the creationist resources (aka ‘little thought bombs’) we make available, and which are shared with others. In one of Carl’s articles, this was called the ‘ripple effect’.
Further, as he pointed out, this has the further effect of producing good works, including charity—people are far more likely to follow biblical commands, such as helping your neighbour, if they trust the Bible in its entirety (see his article answering a critic who said, “You should be feeding the hungry”).
Today, this ministry model is followed in seven countries where CMI has a presence, and they also outreach to many other countries. Most likely, this weekend somewhere in the world, someone’s faith will be ignited due to having creation ministry in their local church. This is the result of the basic ‘CMI model’ that is just one of the legacies of Dr Carl Wieland.
Another problem in many creation clubs, including his own for a while, was ‘evidentialism’, often expressed in a ‘two-model approach’. That is, let’s present evidence for design in living creatures, abrupt appearance in the fossil record, and for large-scale geological catastrophe. Certainly, we would expect creation evidence to be superior, because Romans 1:20 states that people are “without excuse”. And we know of people won over by the evidence, e.g. ‘Sonia’ and even CMI’s Shaun Doyle, who became a creationist before he became a Christian.
However, this method had serious limitations because both creationists and evolutionists have the same evidence, but it is interpreted differently. The reason for this difference is that both sides have different unprovable initial assumptions, called axioms or presuppositions.
From the axioms, we deduce different world histories to explain how the current evidence came to be. In reality, evolution is a historical idea deduced from the assumption of materialism or naturalism—matter is all there is. Another way to put it, as he did in a profound article back in 1988, was that evolutionists exclude creation a priori not because of evidence, but because it violates their arbitrarily decreed materialistic ‘rules of the game’.
Thus CMI has adopted a basically presuppositional approach, which Dr Wieland championed. That is, we show that while evolutionists claim evolution follows from the evidence, it is really a deduction from their worldview. This has also made our ministry attractive to non-scientists as well as scientists, whereas the evidentialist ‘creation club’ model would attract mainly the latter. The presuppositional approach affirms the veracity of Scripture, and ultimately the Gospel. In contrast, a pure evidentialist argument from design, for example, could leave the door open to speculative ideas like aliens being our creators. It also leaves people vulnerable to what CMI’s Andrew Lamb called the “evidentialist roller coaster”—where one’s faith goes up and down depending on the status of the latest ‘evidence’. Or, to paraphrase Ephesians 4:14: “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of evidence,” cf. the article Swaying in the breeze.
To adopt presuppositionalism, CMI needed to avoid certain pitfalls. For example, CMI has avoided the error of fideism, which maintains that the Christian faith is totally disconnected from logic/reason and evidence. For example, we show that only the biblical axioms provide a self-consistent worldview with a rational basis for morality and indeed for science itself, while atheism must postulate certain unprovable beliefs that go against observable science, as shown in this reply to an atheist.
We also refute post-modernism, which denies an objective reality that exists independently from what we think about it. However, during Creation Week, God created mankind at the end of this week (which, compared to thousands of years hence, would still be at the beginning of creation), after He had created the rest and declared this “good”. This implies that much of the created order exists, and that God had objectively assessed this, independently of man’s opinion about it.
A behind the scenes stalwart
It is patently obvious that many Christian ministries are strongly tied to a single powerful personality. In a personality-driven culture, it is also easier to build and grow a ministry with a powerful identity as a figurehead. This can work well while that person is healthy, but if he dies or steps down, the ministry can die with him (one might also argue that focusing on a mere mortal might detract from a focus that should be directed solely at the Resurrected One). In contrast, Dr Wieland recognized that he would not be on this earth forever, and tried to make sure this ministry could function effectively without him.
This was apparent to the two of us soon after he recruited each of us. At the time, the ministry stocked video tapes of its other speakers, but none of Dr Wieland, even though he was almost always very well received as a speaker, and had also debated evolutionists successfully. At the time, he thought that he was not ‘animated’ enough to justify spending money to make video tapes of him. In addition, there were initially no books by Dr Wieland. But it would be fair to say that in the early days just about every article or book that we published was vetted by him to ensure accuracy and ensure that it did not veer away from our core ministry mandate of origins. Today there are a number of his books and DVDs, but it showed at the time that he was not trying to turn CMI into ‘Carl Wieland Ministries’. And this is true today: with CMI offices in seven countries, there is no danger of focusing on a single dominant personality. Due to Carl’s selfless and insightful forethought, CMI will always be recognised for its message and not the man who was the real engine behind it for many years.
This also applied to Creation magazine. As the founder, it would be most understandable for Dr Wieland to maintain a hands-on editorial role. However, about 10 years ago he released the reins, so four Ph.D. scientists1 took turns, one every quarter, to be editor for an issue, while he took more of a role as an advisor/adjudicator—still very valuable.
Dr Wieland has also seen the ministry through some of its most difficult times, and for him, personally, some of the most painful life experiences he has endured. Long before either of us had joined the ministry, one powerful personality had ‘gone off the rails’, and denounced personal opponents as witches, with ‘evidence’ as flimsy as the ‘spectral evidence’ used in the Salem witch trials in 1692–93 (and denounced by the Bible-believing Puritans2). The results were loss of some staff and many supporters. The Board of Directors brought Dr Wieland in as CEO to lead the ministry through this hard time, which meant giving up his successful medical career. This proved an excellent choice.
A second major attack on the ministry was by an Australian atheistic geology professor, Ian Plimer, who wrote a deceitful and inflammatory book, which was fêted by the biased media. Once again, too many people (including Christians) didn’t bother to check his claims. But Dr Wieland arranged a complete rebuttal of the book and an independent inquiry led by the honoured corruption-fighting Chief Magistrate of New South Wales, Clarrie Briese, and composed of church leaders of impeccable reputation. The inquiry showed that the accusations were completely without foundation. When Christians realized this was nothing more than a vexatious attack by a God-hater, the ministry’s support grew substantially.
All of this was before the Internet era, so our opponents had a virtual monopoly on the public ‘microphone’ via the mass media. After our website was established, we demonstrated that we could refute false accusations quickly and thoroughly, and reach the public readily as well. After that, Prof. Plimer largely left creationists alone and has taken up refuting global warm-mongering alarmism. Dr Wieland noted that Plimer “[is] now the pariah of the leftist media who once cheered him on in his attacks on creationists,” and sent him a note of commiseration.
But the Plimer episode was by no means the end of testing trials, and of course problems from ‘outside the camp’ are never as painful or damaging as those from within. From his and the ministry’s direct experience, and from observing other Christian organisations and churches frequently suffering painful splits to the detriment of their supporters, Carl initiated our Federation of ministries, known as CMI Worldwide.
Rather than have a duplication of infrastructure in each of our offices, the sister ministries work synergistically to contribute resources for the benefit of all partner offices. And to avoid painful splits as experienced in the past, each of these offices is accountable to each other via a charter document that binds us (so no one office can leave the Federation and take ministry assets with them). Any disagreements, for example, can be sorted out democratically by the members of the Federation, who are representatives of each CMI office. Once again, this was an example of Wieland divesting himself of power (rather than grasping for it, as some claimed). A strong CMI is good for the future of the creation movement as a whole.
In the very earliest days of the ministry, Carl suffered a horrific car accident in the Australian outback that caused a huge amount of bodily harm, the effects of which he bears to this day. Indeed, we can remember him doing ministry with a walking stick and having to sit down on the stage due to disablements. This is a whole other story, explained in Beyond the Shadows book and Walking Through Shadows DVD—very worthwhile resources. These are semi-autobiographical but also feature extensive biblical and logic teaching about how to understand death and suffering in a world created by a God of love.
While the above approach to ministry would be Dr Wieland’s highest impact contribution, he made a number of points to advance the fledgling creationist science as well. Although Carl does not have a Ph.D., his scientific knowledge on a wide range of disciplines is comprehensive.
The most foundational was the approach to science. Dr Wieland pointed out back in 1989 that it was vitally important to hold Scripture as non-negotiable—both explicit propositions and clear logical deductions from these propositions—but ‘hang loose’ on scientific models, which could change over time as new scientific discoveries were made. At the time, one of the models was the ‘canopy theory’, then almost the only Flood model among creationist scientists. But he advised that “it is not and never can be regarded as a direct teaching of Scripture.” Readers familiar with our material will know that all the major creation groups and almost all informed creationists now reject the canopy model.
One reason for the popularity of the canopy theory was that it supposedly explained the decreasing longevity after the Flood. That is, the collapse of the supposed vapour canopy caused a marked worsening of the environment, which led to people dying much younger. However, Dr Wieland seems to have been the first to recognize intractable anomalies in this model, e.g. no actual evidence that the environment could drastically shorten lifespans, and the fact that Noah had the third-longest recorded lifespan while living a third of his life in the ostensibly life-shortening post-Flood world. He pointed out a theological problem as well: there is no evidence that the antediluvian world was a paradise; rather, paradise was ruined at the Fall about 1,600 years before.
So back in 1994, Carl proposed that the real cause was ultimately genetic, not environmental, and the most important genetic difference was the population bottleneck at the Flood. He first proposed this in our Journal of Creation, then a few years later in Creation magazine for mainly lay readers.
This has now been vindicated by groundbreaking research by Dr John Sanford, inventor of the gene gun, and his colleagues, including our own Dr Robert Carter. They showed that mutational load leads to an exponential decay of fitness. Using supercomputer modelling of a large population going through a bottleneck, they found that the population would undergo a large decrease of fitness compared with the pre-bottleneck population because of harmful mutations that reached fixation during the bottleneck. This would be especially drastic with the bottleneck at the Flood, down to eight people. The fitness decay curve worked out in the simulations matches the decay of human lifespans after the Flood recorded in Genesis 11. ‘Genetic entropy’ is a problem for living creatures at the best of times, and far more drastic after a bottleneck.
Applying information to define created kinds
“Dr Dr Dr Wilder-Smith”, as he was affectionately known, pioneered the vital concept of information in creationist apologetics. This was most important for the Intelligent Design movement as well, as its leading intellectual Bill Dembski has acknowledged (incidentally, see CMI’s views on the Intelligent Design Movement by Dr Wieland).
Meanwhile, creationists had long pointed out that we support variation and even speciation within created kinds. Note: this was true of creationists even before Darwin; it was his deist mentor Lyell who had rejected this biblical concept in favour of the Aristotelian view of ‘fixity of species’—see this discussion.
However, evolutionists complained that creationists had not defined the term ‘created kind’. Now, there is no reason why the ‘kind’ needed to match the inconsistently defined modern (and man-made) taxonomic definition; evolutionists themselves can’t agree on a definition of ‘species’ let alone ‘genus’, ‘family’, etc.
So in 1991, Dr Wieland invoked the information concept to produce an operational and biblical definition of created kind: Variation, information and the created kind. This Journal article was published many years before CMI developed its website, so for a long time, it was unavailable online.
Publication online was prompted by Philip Bell, now CEO of CMI-UK. He had joined the ministry in 2001, 10 years after this paper was published, and was unaware of its existence. But he discovered it in 2004 while reading through back issues of the paper journal, and was surprised that the concepts CMI now takes for granted were taught so long ago, saying:
Frankly, I was surprised at how totally bang-up-to-date the article is, including discussion of ‘micro-’ and ‘macro evolution’ (why we should avoid such terms), issue of info’, the direction of change, why mutations don’t help evolution, the ‘created kind’ and how creationists need to be careful about how we apply the concept etc. Of course, this just goes to show that the basic issues don’t change but I want to encourage you to consider posting it on the web. …
[A]lthough this is now 13 years old, the same arguments still stand. I also think it is very noteworthy that the points raised on the information concept and the inability of neoDarwinian ideas of mutation theory (to account for uphill change of the type that increases functional complexity) pre-date IDM [Intelligent Design Movement] books like Behe’s and even Werner Gitt’s In the Beginning was Information book [updated to Without Excuse]. This is quite powerful I think, because it sends a clear message that it wasn’t just that [CMI] jumped on the ‘no-new-information bandwagon’—rather, these later, influential writers provided detailed logical and experimental/observational arguments that confirmed the points already made. …
Frankly, it’s so contemporary-sounding and makes such pertinent (albeit oft-stated) points that I wouldn’t have thought it out-of-place if I’d read it in the current [Journal of Creation].
This has been a topic that has been badly misunderstood by both evolutionists and creationists alike. For example, evolutionists often trot out the ‘earth is an open system canard’ as if that explains anything relevant, while too many creationist authors indefensibly taught that the Second Law began at the Fall.
Fortunately, from time to time, Dr Wieland had given specialist talks at creation camps that lucidly and accurately explained a proper biblical and scientific understanding. At the 2012 Creation Super Conference in North Carolina, there was a chance to fine-tune the talk with good PowerPoint slides (the conceptual outline went back to the days of overhead transparencies), and to make it into a DVD, Understanding the Law of Decay.
Then other colleagues realized that this clear explanation needed to be in writing for maximum benefit to the creationist world. The result was the book, World Winding Down, where simplicity did not mean sacrificing accuracy, as Dr John Hartnett, a Ph.D. physicist and cosmologist, says:
“A very clear, concise layperson-level description of the most powerful law of physics. The author provides strong arguments from this law why the universe demands a Creator.”
Races and the Bible
Dr Wieland’s book One Human Family is a great advance on previous creationist books on race. In fact, we think it is the Rolls-Royce of creationist books on this subject, because it not only discusses the scientific and biblical aspects of this issue, but even the social and political aspects. His landmark book demonstrated the importance of common Adamic descent for the doctrine of the Kinsman-Redeemer or the Last Adam. It rejected racism as unbiblical, and refuted pseudo-biblical arguments about Babel and the non-existent ‘curse on Ham’ (actually it was on Canaan), and showed that objecting to inter-racial marriage was as crass as objecting to inter-marriage between people from different language families. Totally rejecting political correctness, it tackled such contentious subjects as apartheid, the world-wide nature of slavery (including that in the antebellum American Southern States and the Confederacy that formed from them), welfare, affirmative action, the biblical equality of opportunity versus the antibiblical equality of outcome, the evolution-inspired Nazi racial holocaust, and much more. A great lesson from the book is that worldview and culture are far more important than ancestry.
Conclusion. The end of an era?
The authors of this article were fortunate to have written some quite popular creation books. For example, Sarfati’s Refuting Evolution remains the largest-selling creation book of all time, and Bates’s Alien Intrusion is the only creation book to be an Amazon best-seller. But we can honestly say that without Carl’s approaches for us to join the ministry, and the subsequent mentoring of our ‘creation’ careers, such resources, plus the many outstanding contributions to the creation movement that followed from many of our colleagues, would simply never have occurred. It’s an understatement to say that for many of us it will be difficult to imagine Carl not being around, especially to call on for advice. And although it might be the end of an era in some ways, it is also the beginning of another, mainly due to his foresight. So many of the leading lights in CMI today can testify to Carl’s gentle leading, guidance and wisdom, and this leaves the ministry in really good shape. This includes Dr Wieland’s successor, our friend and co-mentor, Dr Don Batten, who will take over the reins of the Australian ministry, and who will also be Australia’s representative at CMI’s global Federation.
Carl, we may have written this article but we know it represents the tip of the mountain of respect and appreciation for all you have done. Your colleagues and no doubt many thousands of Christians around the world thank you for your tireless and selfless efforts to advance the Gospel and honour your Creator.
Get some well earned rest in your retirement, “Thou good and faithful servant.” You deserve it.
For more, see Dr Wieland’s CV
References and notes
- Don Batten, David Catchpoole, Jonathan Sarfati, and Tas Walker. Now that our valued colleague Dr Catchpoole has retired (although he still writes articles), Lita Cosner, herself a beneficiary of CMI ministry, has taken over his slot. Return to text.
- Muehlenberg, B., On the Witchcraft Trials, billmuehlenberg.com,19 January 2015. Thanks to Christian opposition, the death toll was kept to 19. Return to text.
Dr Carl Wieland is one of those whose name strikes fear in the ears of arrogant atheists. His sanctified logic is so clear and unanswerable that many an atheist is secretly forced to admit that they are not atheists at all, but God haters. With an enormously able team including Jonathan Sarfati and other geniuses Dr Carl Wieland has not only unmasked the God haters masquerading as atheists, but he and his team have led a multitude of doubters to seek and find the Lord Jesus Christ without Whom nothing was created and Who, indeed before Time was created, brought the Universe into being by the power of His word, and sustains it by the word of His power. Carl Wieland has retired, but his work endures. We thank the Triune GOD and take courage! I acknowledge my own Creator thus: http://bit.ly/cRrZ0s.
So sad to hear this news. In my first taste of CMI was on a Virgin atlanic flight to Nigeria. I was reading the in-flight magazine and a summary of the One Human Family book. I was captivated and took this magazine home with me. The first thing I did when I got home was to look up CMI and Carl. I ordered the book without hesitation and learnt a lot from it. May God bless Carl in his retirement and keep doing the good work CMI
“Au revoir” and “Bon Voyage” but not “Goodbye”, Dr Carl, as you journey into “retirement”. I hope you take the time to have a good rest before the next stage of your ministry.
As the above article and tributes testify, you have touched the lives of many and have been the ambassador who has won many for Christ. You have packed so much into the four decades spent in the service of the Lord especially in gathering and presenting the information that supports so well your claim that the Scriptures are to be trusted right from Genesis 1:1. I believe that you could not have achieved all that you have without the continual strengthening and guidance of the Lord Whom you love and serve and Who loves you dearly.
May God continue to bless you and your family.
Dear Dr. Wieland,
Thank you for your dedication to this Ministry.
As an Engineering student in the 1980s I was a “want to be atheist" looking to science to prove that God didn’t exist. Thanks to a Christian classmate (one-to-one witnessing), creationist publications (you were working behind the scenes) and the Holy Spirit, I became a Christian instead. Today I can say that Romans 1:20 states the obvious.
May God bless your retirement.
What a great man and wonderful ministry. Thank you Dr Carl for all that you have done for Creation Ministries and for the Kingdom of God.
Every blessing, Carl and Margaret, I doubt that you will be inactive. I hope that you will be able to make visits to Europe, and particularly the U.K., if at all possible. Your counsel will no doubt be greatly valued by your successors.
The particularly valuable contributions may be developments on the theme of 'Walking through shadows' in other areas of the Christian life.
Yours in His service .
Dear Carl and Margaret
My wife and I have very fond memories of your visit to us. I particularly valued the fact that you made the effort to talk to us in spite of the extremely heavy workload you had at the time. Thank you.
I praise God for the wonderful example you have been to so many people. These tributes are well deserved.
Thank you for publishing this article and speaking of Dr Carl Wieland’s influence. It is my distinct pleasure to have a friendship with him that began as a simple set of emails on a creation issue just a few years ago. It followed with time at a conference in the Philippines where we got to know each other between presentations both of us were giving.
More recently I had the pleasure of working with him. His editing skills and encouragement to me to complete a free creation study for a Philippine federation of Christian schools only served to deepen our friendship.
I cannot forget his patience as I had assembled 2 pastors and 2 teachers for a five day intensive review of the first draft. He not only corrected critical points, made key contributions, and edited, he personally encouraged the other team members and patiently answered many questions. Now that same study is linked on your free resources pages and is going places I will probably never be able to visit. I cannot underestimate the value of his encouragement during the process of getting the study published.
But it does not stop there. His personal side touched my wife’s life. As he got to know us and my wife’s advanced case of cancer, he made it a point to greet her when there was opportunity. He prayed for her and relayed her needs to other staff members who also prayed.
I will miss this man’s presence as part of your ministry, whose resources continue to be important for what we do. But our friendship continues. Thank you for your article that recognizes his contribution over the years. I can only say, “Amen.”
Thanks so much for the article as well as for Carl Wieland’s wonderful hugely impacting ministry that so benefited the Kingdom of God. Praise God for the sacrifice you have made and that you have persevered through it all. God Bless.
Thank you Carl for your work. Old dogs never retire, they just change the way they do service.
Love in Christ from the uttermost part of the earth.
From the first time I met you Carl at the new town of Leigh Creek South, S.A. during the early 1980s, until just a few months ago at Kadina, S.A., and several times in between, I’ve been blessed by your gentle and godly spirit as you’ve taught CMI principles, especially believing the Scriptures from the first verse. Over the years of receiving and reading CMI materials it seems just so many of life’s jigsaw puzzle pieces have fallen into place. Thank you Carl for being a part of that. You have been a good and faithful servant and I’m sure you will continue being so even in ‘retirement’. I will miss your active involvement in CMI but know the baton has been securely passed on. I look forward to meeting you again some day brother. The best is yet to come!
Dear Carl, praise to the Lord Jesus for your amazing contribution for His kingdom!
With much love from Italy,
Paolo and Salvina
Have a long and happy retirement Carl. We will never forget your trip to Northern Ireland and your ministry in South Belfast. Enjoy. R&A.
Thank you for this wonderful article about the impact of Carl’s life … God be praised for Carl Wieland. Carl is to be commended for the honorable way he demonstrated God’s call on his life.
i was a member of a church in Coffs Harbour when the book Telling Lies For God was published and the principal of the Anglican college wrote a book review for the local paper, highly praising the book’s contents. It caused such a furore in the town that Carl Wieland journeyed to Coffs to defend God's word. As I listened to his defence and his peaceful and Godly manner, I thought, “here is a man God-sent.”
Heartfelt thanks for being such a courageous earthly defender of our Lord and Saviour. While your exploits in defense of our Creator may eventually fade from the earth they are however recorded in heaven's eternity for all to remember and savor. God bless you Carl.
Thanks Carl. This website has helped my faith strengthen. Great work, and may its outreach grow even further. Cheers.
As someone who first came to a confident faith in Biblical Christianity as a ‘creation convert’ in 2010, I appreciate the history lesson this article provided.
I was especially encouraged by the inclusion of mentions about Dr Wieland’s foresight with respect to genetic entropy, etc.
The fact that we use ‘old arguments’ is a good thing; it proves our beliefs aren’t ‘reactionary’, a common claim by dismissive college-aged peers in my experience.
I, for one, am among the countless people who benefited from Dr Wieland's dedication to God and His Word and his “linking and feeding”. He was also kind enough to send me resources which enabled me to proclaim boldly the truth of creation and the Gospel, and they’re still useful to me to this day.
Thank you so much for everything. The Lord Jesus will reward each of us according to his deeds, and your reward will be a great one. One day, it may even be said that you and your ministry indirectly caused a true Christian revival.
Wow! It is through this amazing ministry that my beloved wife first was challenged to find out more about Christianity. Some 31 years later her faith is so strong and a real blessing to those around her. How can I ever say thank you enough. God bless Carl and all the ministry team.
I have never met Carl, but have heard him on DVD and can say that his legacy deserves a thorough round of applause. A ministry that is based on the Bible, is not based on man or any one man, and that has a genuine concern, yea love for the church. Thanks partly to this ministry I am a Christian today. If no scientist were to stand up and teach what he taught, with the risk of getting sacked and struck off his registration, then the church would lack severely in power. Thank God for true Christian heroes like Carl Wieland!
God Bless you Dr. Carl! you are greatly appreciated for standing for truth! You have made a great impact on today's Christians! Many blessings!
I am saddened to know that Dr Carl Wieland is retiring from CMI. I first heard Carl speak at a conference at Sydney University back in 1988 and was very impressed. I have liked reading Carl's articles in the Creation magazine over the years and hope he still uses his fine mind to contribute to the creationist cause in his retirement. A mighty warrior for Christ. Thanks and God bless, Carl.
Happy retirement, Carl.
I have been an observer over the years as the creation movement in Australia has grown and been through ups and downs. As the authors have articulated, Carl Wieland has been exemplary in his conduct and intent to build a ministry that feeds into evangelical outreach and point people to the Creator Jesus Christ.
Everyone involved in the ministry appears to do so at some sacrifice, particularly the scientists some of whom have given up lucrative (in money and prestige terms) careers to serve Christ in this particular way. Dr Carl himself gave up his medical practice and the Lord has greatly used him and many others who have grasped the importance of creation evangelism. I suspect Dr Carl may feel a little uncomfortable with all the praise but for me it's about appreciating what he has established and that he sees the Lord as One Who made it all possible. All glory to His name and thank you Lord for giving the world Carl Wieland.
Thank you Dr Wieland for your sacrifice and faithful service to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am sure He will bless you with a deeper walk with Him as you take more time to sit at His feet, but, as “there is no discharge in this war”, I am sure He will continue to use you mightily—perhaps your greatest ministry is yet ahead!
You have taught me so much through your writings and at seminars and strengthened my faith for which I am eternally grateful.
I look forward to enjoying your company in a better world where there is no pain or suffering, and no more tears forever and ever. Amen.
P.S. Until then keep fighting the good fight !
Dr. Carl, Thank you so much for all you've done. As someone with a passion for creation, I am so glad for the education I've had and am getting from people like you. Your work has been infinitely important. Have a very blessed retirement!
CMI is such a world-shaking, changing ministry. “The tip of the mountain” is an apt description in regard this great article about Carl Wieland. I am so glad he has directed CMI as a personality-free ministry. Pleased to hear Don Batten is taking his place here in Australia.
I have known Carl for many years since I lived in Australia in the early 1980s—though we never met. I consider him a true Defender of the Faith. I doubt that he will truly ‘retire’ but God may give him a rest before giving him the rest of the story or plan for his life. God bless He and his wife.
I'm going to miss Dr. Carl Wieland. He was gracious enough to personally respond to a couple of my emails. Always the Christian gentleman!
I do hope that his retirement won't mean the end of all articles. Either way, well done, Dr. Carl. Enjoy a well-earned rest.
I just wanted to say thank you to Dr. Wieland. It was only in the last few years I discovered CMI but have had my faith so strengthened by the writings of all the authors here, on the website, in the journal of creation, and in their books. Thank you so much Dr. Wieland, you've earned your rest and may God bless you and your legacy.
Enjoy your retirement..
I am encouraged to have found your website and other creationist publications.
It was an answer to prayer.
What you do is important.
Thanks for all you do.
Dear Dr Wieland,
What more can I say than what all the other tributes before mine have already said? Let me just say that I consider it a privilege to have met you in person a while back when you came to speak at a church almost a 2- hour drive from where I live. Thank you for the opportunity of a good chat also after the presentation, and I will always consider that ‘almost 2-hour drive’ a worth while investment in my Christian life.
You have been a godly influence on a host of others as well, I know. Thank you for your faithfulness and leadership, and your determination to “Buy the truth, and sell it not” (Proverbs 23:23 KJV).
May I add my thanks to Dr Wieland and to the authors of this article and the many people who have known him and commented here. This website and Creation and the organization have provided me with much spiritual blessing and knowledge. Thank you for your faithfulness and for your unwavering commitment to Our Lord who ultimately receives all the praise. Dr Wieland, I agree that a “Well done, good and faithful servant"” reward awaits you. God's continued blessings on you, sir.
The information provided by CMI has strengthened my faith tremendously knowing that God’s word can be trusted in its entirety. Thank you Dr Wieland for starting this marvelous work, job well-done.
I never liked reading books … until I read By Design in 2009 followed by Alien Intrusion. Since then, I’ve read many others and just finished World Winding Down and One Human Family (not to mention Creation magazine, currently reading Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels). I love reading CMI’s non-compromising accreditation of God’s word which also leads and includes God’s Love and grace via the Gospel. Thanks Dr Wieland and I hope we will hear more.
I thank the Lord for you, your integrity, wisdom and humility. Reading this tribute I recall my first exposure to the Creation \ Evolution issue was reading a copy of Ex Nihilo at the library of University of WA and the "Stones and Bones". My study was in Commerce but I had a keen interest in Science and sincere questions with regard for Truth (to be able to love God with my mind also).
I also recall as a supporter of CMI (then AIG) some of the difficult times mentioned. Your integrity and example have been a real witness that spoke to me. Indeed I find that CMI is a great resource for all those who want to examine, be informed and up to date with developments in this very relevant area of understanding (Biblical Christian worldview)
God bless you on your retirement and may God continue to bless CMI and guide Dr Batten and all those at CMI in upholding the veracity of the Bible from the very first verse and leading others to Jesus (who is the Way the Truth and the Life).
Well done Carl. God has used you mightily (and I'm sure will continue to do so). Your wisdom and humility are an example to us all, and we have all been blessed as a result of your ministry.
As a former Tanunda (Barossa Valley) boy myself, I congratulate you, Dr Carl, on how God the Holy Spirit has used you in this ministry. We'll only know in eternity how many people have been saved through CMI. I reckon I’ve got a couple Ex Nihilo magazines filed away somewhere in my collection.I first heard about creation and Ex Nihilo at a church camp for singles—Lutheran—at Coolum some thirty years ago.
I never believed in millions of years or evolution but this mag has been a big help in my faith over the years.
May God continue to bless and enrich you in your retirement. I know you will continue serving Him in many ways.
What a great job you have done for the Kingdom of God, and the large numbers of people you have affected and will affect in the future, you have been an inspiration and an example to me.
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Thank you, Dr Wieland.
What am appropriately lavish tribute to Carl, and his extensive ministry, in CMI and its antecedents!
My wife and I would wish to heartily thank him for such a wonderful contribution … and also thank the Lord for raising him up and equipping him for such a task.
As always, the good deeds of the Lord’s servant shall one day follow with him!
Thank you Carl, well done!!
God Bless you
To my dear friend, Carl. Words cannot express my deep gratitude to you for all that you have done in my life, in the defense of the Biblical Worldview, and in impacting the world for Christ. When I brought you in as a speaker for my YWAM school in Canberra, ACT in 1986, I knew that God was going to do something amazing through your ministry. Time has proven this correct. CMI has developed into a powerful witness for the truth of God’s word, and continues to be a light upon the hill, standing firm against the foolishness of Secular Humanism, and bringing down many of the philosophical ‘fortresses’ of Scientism. I stand with the many others who have contributed to this page to say thank you for your friendship all these years, and for your example of a Godly leader, full of grace and wisdom. Your legacy will continue to impact the world through the thousands of individuals who have been taught, and built up in the faith through your life and teaching. God Bless you!
Dear Dr. Wieland,
Many thanks to you and to God for your dedication and commitment to Christ and His creation. I have enjoyed reading the Creation magazine for many years and give thanks for the excellent material it contains.
Thanks and God Bless
Dr Carl. Thank you for adding a sharp point to the spear of Evangelism.
It was very interesting to read of the combined things going on here—Carl’s humble approach to CMI in ensuring that its work might be carried on by others (as it no doubt will!) and the many difficulties he and his colleagues have had to face during the journey this far.
My gut reaction was one of sadness because like so many people, I feel Carl’s work has had a huge influence in helping me to discover logic and reason apply to our amazing and mysterious God and His Word, once the foundation of faith is laid. I am very grateful for that.
However I have seen a few great and talented people of late change or retire from the position they held. Every time I have thought to myself, ‘there is someone who knows they are not indispensable to the world in the sense that God couldn’t make things happen without them, but they are indispensable to God, in the sense that they need to be where He wants them to be.’ I look forward to seeing what God does with Carl Wieland and with CMI from here, and will be keeping you all in my prayers.
Dear Dr Carl,
You might have passed the reins but you remain a soldier for Christ.
May God continue to bless you in ‘retirement’ as you will probably find that you’ll be busier than ever!
Blessings to Margaret too,
Great ‘tribute’ article, Jonathan and Gary, and like the many other correspondents who’ve commented here, Carl’s positive influence on my life has been enormous, too. From the time that he and Don Batten at a joint seminar in 1997 showed me that the Bible could be trusted from the very first verse, right through to the present. (How appropriate that Don should now be taking over the reins at CMI-Australia; the ministry is in very good hands!)
If I had to point to just one outstanding legacy that Carl’s tireless efforts have helped to provide for Christians today (and for everyone else, actually!), it would be that from this beginning [I'm quoting from the article above] …
“And because there was so little information available, he was determined to provide some.”
… we’re now at the point in an increasingly internet-accessible world where a free-for-users website has surely every relevant question regarding origins covered. (I remember Carl recently gently and diplomatically responding to an email enquiry about a pretty basic question. Before answering it patiently, he wrote to the correspondent: “The search engine can be your friend, if you’ll let it. :-) ”)
Actually I note that this apt tribute is article #10,033 on creation.com (see the bottom of the page, if anyone doubts it). Ten thousand articles concerning the creation/evolution issue, on a free website, accessible worldwide. What an awesome tool, and a legacy that Carl probably didn’t envisage when he first embarked on “providing some information” all those years ago. Long may it continue!
While I’m sorry to hear that Dr. Wieland will be retiring, I’m glad his “departure” isn’t for worse reasons—i.e., I’m glad he’s still with us! I don’t think I ever met him in person, but I’ve definitely felt his impact, although I’m sure I’m familiar with only a small fraction of his work. I was a longtime subscriber of both the layman and the technical versions of Creation magazine (under several of their titles). I appreciated the time he took once to engage in a relatively in-depth e-mail conversation with me (i.e., more than the typical, brief form letter I might have expected), his kind comments making my day.
I’m sure I couldn’t begin to list all the ways he’s contributed to my Creation knowledge; but one I specifically remembered (and was going to note even before reading this article and seeing it mentioned) was his explanation of genetic “bottlenecks” and loss of genetic information as being better explanations than the “vapor canopy” idea for the difference of longevity before and after the Flood. As a much younger and less-experienced follower of Creation science and apologetics, I too originally held to the vapor-canopy hypothesis. I was glad to have answers to questions about the “vapor canopy” idea that I wasn’t even knowledgeable to have at the time; and I’ve since made reference to the genetic bottleneck idea frequently, when I’ve come across others that I still find promoting the “vapor canopy” idea.
From my occasional interaction with him through e-mail I’ve gotten the same feeling as the description I’ve heard others give: that he’s a humble and polite, though very knowledgeable, man of God who’s done much good for the creationist cause. I hope God will continue to use him in some way or another even while he’s enjoying a well-deserved retirement.
clearly you have known our Lord and Saviour, because He is the one with whom you identify, and whom you present so adequately.
CMI has brought this same knowing of Him to me and mine, and I thank God for your ministry, and for His ministry to us through you and CMI together.
May all your days be blessed with knowing and seeing Him more clearly as the Day approaches. Looking forward to your saintly company in due course, along with all His people.
Thank you, and may God bless you and yours richly.
God bless you Dr Carl. Enjoy your retirement. I trust the wisdom and leadership you demonstrated will continue and be strengthened in the ministry.
My greatest memories of Carl are the way he directed what used to be Creation Science Foundation to the point where CMI is today and the obvious (although I was at a distance, it was still obvious) gentleness, humility and respect he displayed.
I was particularly taken by his testimony of suffering and trial when travelling from Adelaide to Cairns and God amending his plans.
A very poignant element of this article is how his colleagues have commended his attitude of teamwork and vision for the future, his selfless, God-glorifying, long-term Kingdom focus. And intelligence.
May God continue to be glorified (and like the apostles), He continue to place the living stones as He wills to build His organism of believers.
And Don, I wish you all the best and pray that God will richly bless and use you as He did Carl. May you continue to demonstrate the gifts God has blessed you with.
Thank God for CMI and the many people who contribute in such a useful and necessary way to the furtherance of the Truth.
Thank you so much Carl. May God richly bless your retirement.
It has been a great privilege for me to assist at church ministry over many years when Dr Wieland was speaker.
Our LORD has blessed His Church with a man of capacity and warmth of fellowship in Dr Wieland.
It is sad that Christians have to adopt a classification of ‘Biblical Creationist’ but such has been the absorption of the world into the Church that distinctions have to be made.
Dr Wieland has been an instrument in the hand of our LORD helping Christians maintain faith and ‘go on the front foot’ in an important battlefront.
I have confidence in those who remain in CMI ministry but will miss Dr Wieland.
A big AMEN to the concluding statement of this well written article, Gary and Jonathan! In his very gentle and mild manner Carl has inflicted a lot of damage to the evolutionary worldview by demolishing those arguments at the many talks he has given.
I am very grateful for Carl's ever patient guidance and for having a heart and passion to see the creation message take root in Singapore over the last 15 years or so, with many fond memories of ‘cheonging’ and ‘kopi-pings’, our meatings after the meetings!
Enjoy your retirement Carl!
Thank you Dr Carl!
To have known you and been influenced and blessed by your ministry personally and to my friends and colleagues is a very great privilege.
God bless you every day! And Congratulations on your great race thus far!
With my very great appreciation -
As one who has personally received your mentorship and guidance, I can only say that it continues to be a humbling experience to be given the opportunity to stand on your shoulders. I asked for an opportunity to help serve, and you gave me that chance. I cannot describe how thankful I am to the LORD in how He has used you and CMI to touch me, and help me find my calling.
Nor can I put it in better words than what the LORD has written down so long ago. Congratulations on finishing the race and reaching your retirement, “good and faithful servant”!
Dr Wieland was the first creation scientist i ever heard speak, i think it was on GOD TV, i remember looking at him as he was preparing to speak and thinking 'whatever this guy is about to say i believe it' he then started talking about how fossils have to be formed fast not slow and how that was evidence of Noahs flood. Thank you Dr Wieland for your time and effort in the ministry.
Have a wonderful time in retirement Carl.
I can still imagine you carrying on in some capacity, speaking the truth about creation/evolution even in "retirement". More power to you as you continue to serve Him.
Congratulations Carl on a mighty marathon of declaring God’s creation truth. I highly value the magazine and DVDs that I share with my young grandchildren.
Many blessings in your retirement.
My goodness, Carl, what can we say?
I can truly say I bless the day I met you, and have for 21 years now, have been blessing the day I was introduced to the ministry of CMI through Peter Sparrow in Mackay in 1994.
We thank God for you, Carl, your wisdom, your graciousness, your gentle spirit, your ministry, your example. What a legacy you have left for the Body of Christ.
Imagining Creation Ministries International without you? I will try to word this sensibly—yes, I can imagine it, because through your wisdom and foresight you have ensured the longevity and continuity of the ministry by always ensuring that the ministry did not depend on one person, and that others were being mentored and equipped for all that is needed to follow in your footsteps. You have raised up others to keep on fighting the good fight, long after you will lay aside your sword in this battle (which personally, I think, you really never will :-).
Thank you Carl, for so much more than we can put into words.
Thank You, God Bless You … now go and have a well earned rest!
May God richly bless your much earned, much deserved retirement Carl. I'm sure that only when you stand in the presence of our Lord will you know the true extent of your ministry.
Having received the magazine since the days of it being Ex Nihilo and as an active supporter of this ministry for nearly as long, I support everything in this article.
I still recall from many years ago a CMI ministry coordinator telling me that around ninety percent of requests for ministry made to a particular well known organisation were for the figurehead, but with this ministry, ninety percent of the requests for ministry were for “a creationist speaker”, naming nobody in particular. I knew then that CMI would survive the departure of any particular personalities.
I have numerous memories of Carl’s talks that stand out. One is his revelation that ribs can regrow, and his oft-repeated (but rarely taken up) offer for people to see him after the talk and feel his regrown rib.
Another was the illustration that we live in a fallen world, spinning a tale of a person suffering various afflictions in nature, including being stung by poisonous plants in a tropical Queensland forest, stumbling down to to the beach and entering the water to relieve the pain, being further stung by box jellyfish, then disappearing into the jaws of a salt-water crocodile, but not before having time to hum a few more bars of “All things bright and beautiful”.
Then there is the way he often starts his talks, taking a few minutes to explain how it is good for speakers to start by immediately grabbing the interest of the audience with an interesting story, then expressing the hope that they found that story interesting!
All the best for your retirement, Carl.