Tag Archives: Reasons to Believe

Noah’s Ark Comes to Kentucky

There is a good chance that you might be hearing quite a bit about Noah’s Ark in the near future…

Today, Answers in Genesis, will be opening a brand new museum, ArkEncounter, in Williamstown, Kentucky. Ken Ham, the visionary behind the project, believes that the story of the Bible teaches that a global flood cataclysm enveloped the earth less than 6,000 years ago. To drive home this interpretation of the Bible, Ham’s team has built a full-sized replica of the original ark, as a type of educational, Christian-themed amusement park.

Contrary to the quaint, Sunday-School description of cute giraffes sticking their heads out of the top of the ark, the primary message behind Noah and the flood is deadly serious. Humanity is sick with sin and rebellion against a holy and loving God, and apart from the Good News of Jesus Christ, we all deserve to perish underneath the waves of His holy judgment. While those who believe the Bible embrace these truths, not every believer interprets the scientific details of the flood in the same, precise manner as presented by ArkEncounter.

For example, ArkEncounter promotes the interpretation that the great mountains of the world, such as Mount Everest, were a great deal shorter just a few thousand years ago, prior to Noah’s flood. Therefore, God would not have needed five miles high of water to envelope the planet. Nor would have the animals required oxygen at such a great height, aboard the ark. This presupposes that once the great flood began to recede, a rapid series of plate tectonic movements resulted in the creation of mountains, like Everest, even though no such event is clearly described in the Bible, and no scientific evidence of such catastrophic tectonic movements has been found. Other Christians, on the other hand, believe that Noah’s flood was more local in scope to the Mesopotamian area, though sufficient enough to wipeout the then known, “world of the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:5). Such a large scale flooding event, though not global, does find support within current scientific research.

Several years ago, John Paine and I put together a bunch of posts examining the flood from a biblical point of view:

  • Noah, featuring the ministry of Hugh Ross and Reasons to Believe
  • Flood, Faith and Russell Crowe, a look at how different Christians view the biblical teaching on the flood.
  • Noah vs. Noah, more on the flood, and how Hollywood often gets the story wrong.

Also, Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman has a few blog posts, at Biologos.org, looking at the question of what is the ancient and proper literary genre of Genesis 6-9, as the key to understanding Noah and the flood. His answer, briefly? The flood story is “neither literal history nor myth.” It is something far more interesting.

Here is a flyover of the ArkEncounter exhibit:


Basic Islam – Part 6

 

Sharing Christianity with Muslims

For those of us who may be in a position to dialog with Muslim friends about our faith, here’s a series of thought-provoking videos that may be helpful.

Reasons To Believe scholar Fuz Rana, who had a Muslim father, interviews Abdu Murray, who converted from Islam to Christianity and now shares his faith with Muslims through several high-profile ministries.

Abdu has hard-won, firsthand insights about how to share the Christian faith with Muslims. Among his most powerful points are the value of respect for the individual and how bridges can be built in a positive way, without attacking the person or his worldview.

HT: Reasons To Believe, Fuz Rana, Abdu Murray, Embrace the Truth International

Additional Resources

 


Navigating the Young vs. Old Earth Debate

James Ussher (1581-1656), Ireland Archbishop who calculated from the Bible that the earth was created on Sunday, October 23, 4004 B.C.    Throughout   church history, most (but not all) Christians have embraced  such a   view of a "Young Earth" as taught within the pages of Holy Scripture (Wikipedia, painting by Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680).

James Ussher (1581-1656), Ireland Archbishop who calculated from the Bible that the earth was created on Sunday, October 23, 4004 B.C. In the 21st century, very few young people in the developing world still accept the concept of a “Young Earth”.  But is there a way to reconcile the teachings of the Bible today with the findings of modern science? (Wikipedia, painting by Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680)).

A recent informal survey at the social networking website, Reddit.com, was conducted that asked atheistic young people who left the Christian faith, what were their reasons for leaving the faith. By far, the most common response from over 50% of the respondents was concerning “Christian teachings that conflict with [the] findings of modern science.”    Though not a definitive be-all, end-all conclusion by any means, I find this to be an incredibly disturbing trend explaining what is draining people out of evangelical churches.  In my view, the heart of the controversy centers on the debate over the age of the earth.

So, how old is the earth? Is it relatively young, say between 10,000 to 6,000 years old as many Young Earth Creationists would argue? Or is it really old, some 4.54 billions of years according to many Old Earth Creationists?

Evangelical Christians are deeply (and rightly) concerned about the erosion of biblical authority undercutting the proclamation of the Gospel. Yet for many, any departure away from a specifically Young Earth perspective is a compromise of biblical authority. This is a serious claim. For if adopting the modern scientific consensus of an Old Earth is against the clear teaching of the Bible, then surely every Bible-believing Christian should reject that scientific consensus and embrace creation science, based on a literal six 24-hour day understanding of God’s creative act in the first few chapters of Genesis.

But is this the only way to understand the timing of creation as taught in the Bible?  The Old Earth Creationist, on the contrary, makes the claim that the teaching of modern science is instead compatible with a high view of the Bible’s divine inspiration. The Old Earth advocate argues that the Young Earth community is driving an unnecessary wedge between faith and science, thus harming the integrity of the evangelical witness of the church. Mmmm… Which perspective is the right one?  How does a Christian navigate through these competing ideas regarding the age of the earth?
Continue reading


Respecting Disagreement

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)

Two Apostles

Two Apostles by Carlo Crivelli, 1475

The apostles Peter and Paul had some famous disagreements.  Ultimately however, it was their shared, unswerving love for Christ that propelled their ministries.

I recently attended a lecture by Dr. Ian Hutchinson, a scientist with impressive technical credentials—and a Christian.  His topic addressed science-faith issues, and concluded with his belief that a Christian worldview is consistent with, and complimentary to, a scientific worldview.  I agree and am thankful that there are scientists of Dr. Hutchinson’s caliber who are willing to share their faith in public forums.  (Let’s be real—who am I to disagree?)

The first question from the audience at the end of the lecture involved the age of the earth and the six ‘days’ of creation.  Dr. Hutchinson’s response was along the lines that the universe is very old (13.7 billion years, again I agree), and that he believes we should not take the creation account in Genesis too literally—that the text is ‘figurative’.  And here we have a fork in the road.  I think it is somewhat dangerous to give up on the text in Genesis too easily, and to ascribe a figurative intent on the part of the author (Moses) when in fact there may be more to the inspired text than meets the eye.

In addition to his work at MIT, Dr. Hutchinson is also a lecturer for the BioLogos Foundation, founded in 2007 by another prominent Christian, Dr. Francis Collins.  These brothers and sisters in Christ adhere to the idea of theistic evolution, which—rather than have my take on this topic—you can read about directly from the BioLogos website.  There are many wonderful Christians who ascribe to the ideas of theistic evolution.

I’m just not one of them.  After studying the matter in detail, I have a different understanding.  I ascribe to old-earth creationism.

Hugh RossDr. Hugh Ross and his colleagues at Reasons To Believe have a great deal to share on this topic.  First, Moses never wrote that the universe was created in six days.  Excuse my provocative statement, but I did it to make a point— ‘day’ is an English word.  Moses did not write in English (which has a million or more words), he wrote in Biblical Hebrew (which only had a few thousand words), and the word that was written was ‘Yom’, which clearly has multiple meanings including the idea of an epoch or age. Continue reading


Book of Job

The Old Testament book of Job is a story about faithfulness through longsuffering, perseverance, and ultimately the love of God.  Right?  Right.  But what else might we glean from the text?

You might be surprised to learn that Job is arguably the most ancient book in the Bible—predating Genesis by as much as 400 years.  It also contains more information about the creation of the universe than most of us realize.  What might it tell us of ethics, purpose, right doctrine, obedience, redemption, and even Heaven?  Why does God ask all those specific questions?

If you’re interested in digging deeper, check out the book below.

Enjoy!

Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job


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