The Ark, sin, judgment and deliverance
Published: 26 July 2016 (GMT+10)
Photo: Marc Ambler
The writer at work on his 1/72 scale model of Noah’s Ark.
“I don’t believe they were capable back then!” This was the reaction of a stranger and fellow woodworker visiting my home when I showed him a scale model of Noah’s Ark I am building.
He went on to tell me how ‘they’ had proved that many parts of the Bible were not true. I challenged him for an example which led him to telling me what in his view was true—evolution.1 After each dogmatic claim of his I would ask for the evidence; which he repeatedly sidestepped by issuing his next ‘elephant hurl’. All the while he would still make the claim of being a Christian. I gathered that the reason for this was that his Christian wife was extremely distressed at his heretical ideas.
As our cordial but intense conversation continued, a pattern emerged. Besides the Ark, he rejected the historical reality of Adam and Eve, particularly the idea that God had placed the temptation of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in their way. He scoffed at Lot’s wife having been turned to a pillar of salt after her longing glance back at Sodom. He was scornful of the idea of God dying on the Cross as a substitute for our sin, and then went on to deny the reality of hell and judgment for sin itself.
I pointed out to him that since Christianity is based on the Bible, it is inconsistent to reject large parts of it while claiming to be a Christian. He responded, “I guess I’m not a Christian, then!” He did however profess belief in a god, but one obviously of his own invention that he stated was “far bigger than the Christian God”; a very typical retort of those who believe in a compromised view of the Scriptures.
It was at this point that I stopped him and said as kindly yet firmly as I could, “This rejection of the Bible has nothing to do with evidence does it? It is a spiritual objection.” He hesitated briefly and then acknowledged that this was so. As he is a lawyer, this provided me the opportunity to lend him my copy of Darwin on Trial by Philip Johnson, who is himself a jurist. He expressed his intention of reading it and then talking to me again.
This is exactly the type of witnessing opportunity that led me to start building a 1/72 scale Ark a few months back; I just had not expected it to start yielding results this early in the project. In his second epistle, Peter said that in the last days, scoffers would reject two things in order to deny a coming judgment by God: a supernatural creation, and the witness of the judgment Flood of Noah’s time (2 Peter 3:3–7). Every objection voiced by this man related to God’s judgment.
The Ark of course is an iconic reminder of that judgment; along with fossils, valleys, mountains, canyons and so many other evidences of a global, catastrophic flood found in the world today. A model of the historical Ark, showing its immense size and stable proportions, is an ideal symbol to provoke a response, and Lord willing, provide the opportunity to share the wonderful Gospel of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. The Ark is in fact a symbol of God’s deliverance from judgment.
In subsequent contact, the visitor has expressed a desire to continue the conversation (confrontation) and transparently let me know that, “It has been a long and traumatic journey for me which resulted in me leaving my faith about six years ago. I would like to befriend you and engage with you honestly and openly. I will be a difficult customer.”
I pray that this transpires. His faith struggle no doubt was at least partly precipitated by his acceptance of evolution, deep time; and the record of death and suffering before any possible human agent as responsible for that suffering, that is an integral part of such a worldview. The inescapable conclusion of such an interpretation of the world, is that if there is a God, He is the author of that dreadful process. How liberating a true understanding of the cause of death, suffering and evil, given us by the Bible, can be. These things are a consequence of man’s sin. But the Good News is that eternal salvation from those consequences is offered to us through faith in the shed blood of our Saviour.
One of our Australian CMI speakers, Rod Walsh, has had many opportunities to present creation messages open up through his Ark van ministry; not only in Australia but other parts of the world as well.
Our prayer is that, Lord willing, He will allow us to use this model Ark for creation ministry in our country South Africa, as well as other countries on our continent of Africa for which we are burdened. Wherever the Lord opens doors for us to go and share the biblical truth of historical creation, the Fall, judgment for sin, and the wonderful Good News of salvation from that judgment through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—we are ready.
References and notes
- He did give me one example of a perceived contradiction which I could not immediately answer. I subsequently went to the scriptures to examine the claim and found that the ‘contradiction’ was based on a very inattentive reading and that the answer was clearly within the text itself. I emailed him my response which he agreed had resolved the issue. This is the case for most claimed contradictions in the Bible. They are a figment of minds predisposed against God. Return to text.
What helped me in regard to the time issue was reading Rocks Aren't Clocks. I only read it once and it is not the easiest read but helped clarify the time issue nevertheless.
Once one understands the uniformitarian basis and assumptions built into the time issue, I think it is easier to accept the biblical time frame.
It also helps to read the bible itself. After reading it and seeing entire civilizations come and go in only a thousand years, it made me realize just how long even a thousand years actually is. Fact is, we cannot even find evidence for civilizations existing 3 or 4 thousands years ago or only tiny fragments of their remains. How is it that evolutionists find fossils of creatures like hollow boned bats that are over 60 million years in age?
I think people who buy into evolution don't realize just how long a period of time that actually is. It is a massive amount of time!
Another thing that helped was evidence for writing. Evolutionists claim man appeared over 200,000 years ago. Yet writing only appeared about 5 or 6,000 years ago. It seemed silly to me to imagine that it took the human mind 194,000 years to figure out how to communicate with written characters.
And we haven't shut up since that long silence either. Pent up expression I guess.
Hope this person responds. The good thing is he is being open to input and reflectively questioning. That is the hardest part of the process. The rest will be up to God in the end.
As a fellow woodworker, I can't wait to see your completed model. There is nothing quite like making something with your own hands to make you really have to think things through and at the same time contemplate what Noah was faced with and had to accomplish.
The idea that "they didn't have the knowledge" is based on the conception that men were less intelligent in the past than they are today. However, as a Christian we should completely reject this idea because the reality is that men are more likely to be less intelligent today than they were in the past.
It is reasonable to assume two things about the builders of Noah's Ark. 1. They were closer to the original creation and therefore more closely resembled the perfect man, this goes both for their mental and physical capabilities. 2. The longer lifespan most certainly would have allowed for increased knowledge beyond what any of us could imagine.
It's hard to say what Noah's world was really like and how far their technology really advanced. That world was completely buried by the flood. We think in terms of our technology today, but what if our technology, at least a lot of it, such as computers and cars are really compensating for what we have lost. The people in Noah's day likely used a higher percentage of their brain and had bodies that could work longer with less aches and pains. They probably had better focus and better memories. It's entirely possible they would seem like superhumans today.
We often project our limited understanding into the past as if we must know more than they, an inbuilt kind of arrogance or superiority.
No known physical evidence of the ark(true) but plenty of evidence of the great flood & the family of Noah.
But life from non living matter & molecules to man, which hangs on dubious science is swallowed hook, line & sinker like it is some kind of eternal truth.
The devil is just as much at work today as he was in the days & nights of Noah & his family.