I GOT ONE MEASLY COMMENT on my Facebook page when I posted a link to Wednesday’s blog article about Noah’s ark, with the accompanying new video: Noah’s Art, Looking for a boat 3 miles above sea level.
Here’s the comment.
“It’s just one of many flood myths, no reason to believe there is any validity to it.”
Almost 14,000 people saw my link, and this was the one and only comment I got.
Not that I’m complaining.
I’m thinking. The one and only comment says something about either Facebook or my blog article, or both. Whichever, it’s not good and I’m taking notes.
After I read the comment, I hit the “Like” button. Not because I agree with it. But because the dude took the time to respond honestly and politely. I like that.
So I responded honestly and politely.
“I think a counterpoint might be to ask how many cultures it takes to report a devastating flood before people believe there was a devastating flood.”
I absolutely understand why many thinking people doubt the Bible’s storyline of the Flood. There are questions we should all ask about that story because there are details and factors that deserve questioning.
- How literally should we take a story written by an anonymous source we know nothing about?
- Without satellite cameras in the sky, how could the writer know that “the mighty flood was so deep that even the highest mountain peaks were almost twenty-five feet below the surface of the water” (Genesis 7:19-20)?
- How could a pair of every species of land animal fit into a barge a little longer than a football field and half as wide?
People who are new to the Bible think about questions like this.
We should, too. And we should probably learn to talk about them without ripping each other apart over our disagreements.
I wonder. Could we treat with tolerance and patience the following folks?
- Christians who embrace the Bible alongside the science of geology and archaeology. Then they find a middle ground somewhere between believing all of the Bible’s Flood story as literal history and believing no part of it at all.
- Christians who read the story as reliable history. Then they argue, politely, that God created science and he can do with it as he happy well pleases.
- Souls new to the Bible who read the Flood story. Then they ask the obvious questions and they wonder out loud if the story is a myth or a mystery.
When souls wonder if the story is a myth, would it be okay to “Like” it, if for no other reason than because the Bible is on their mind?
Noah’s Ark, the 3-minute video
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Put me in the “God can do whatever he chooses” column, because he can. You should also put me in with the “If we agree that Jesus Christ is Lord, we may debate the rest of it,” group. Personally, I believe there is more literal truth to the stories of the Bible than is currently popular to believe, the flood story included. Did it happen exactly as the Bible says? Probably not, but do believe something along those lines happened. May I politely suggest, time has come for us to move back toward center and have a bit more faith in the Holy Bible.
Stephen M. Miller
Here’s a thought I find funny. I’m imagining you saying your last line. Then I’m imagining the counterpoint.
TOM: I politely suggest, time has come for us to move back toward center and have a bit more faith in the Holy Bible.
NOT TOM: I politely suggest, time has come for us to move back toward the 21st Century and have a bit more faith in the brains God gave us.
The challenge, I guess, would be to stay polite, respectful of each other, and tolerant of beliefs we can’t warm up to.
Most Bible scholars, including conservative ones, tend to favor a localized flood. I have no problem believing The story of Noah and the flood….other cultures have similar stories which probably means there was some kind of flood for them to be writing about.
Stephen M. Miller
I think you’re right, Wayne. A lot has changed in the last 20 years or so.
Tradition seems to be allowing a little elbow room for reason.
Still, that makes a lot of tradition-minded Christians uneasy. But it makes it easier for both sides to talk to one another kindly, and with more tolerance than we saw in years past.
I’be often wondered why Christ the Savior wasn’t available at that time, instead of a flood.
Stephen M. Miller
There you go, Wally, thinking outside the box again.
It’s good to think, though sometimes unsettling.
I wonder if people new to the Bible would ask: What if the Genesis writer got it wrong? What if he only presumed God was behind the flood when the flood was actually nothing but a natural disaster that the ancients attributed to God because he’s in charge of everything. So everyone back then figures God must have pulled the cork on the dike.
As a born again Christian I believe that The Holy Bible is the word of God and that everything in The Bible is true. (literally, with no exceptions) NOTHING is impossible with God.
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks Melanie. Many born-again Christians would agree with you. Many others would not.
For example, remember the story of Joshua praying for the sun and moon to stop in the sky? Many Christian say they believe it stopped, and that anyone who doesn’t believe that isn’t a Christian. Others wonder if the “stop” literally means “stop shining,” since storm clouds rolled in and hail killed most of the enemy. In that sense, those Christians probably believe the sun literally stopped shining.
I think we should all be careful that we recognize there are sometimes different ways of understanding what we’re reading.