This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blogs/deborah-haarsma-the-presidents-notebook/biologos-responds-to-the-ark-encounter
It will be interesting to follow the course of the Ark Encounter. While it has benefited from donations, I doubt it will be viable long term once the target audience has made a visit. I really cannot see the draw for long term tourism. How ironic if the ark sinks the AIG ship.
This ark really does sound amazing. It brings us back to the world of Noah. It’s made of gopher steel, is not floating in a body of water, and there are no live animals inside. Instead we have a restaurant, gift shops and plenty of cash registers.
Yes. The Creation Museum is already losing money and drawing off of general revenues. A petting zoo in an ark-shaped building is hardly all that convincing of anything. I have never understood it as an evangelism tool, as Ken Ham claims. Why would a non-Christian be attracted to it?
There is no reason for anyone to make a second visit to the Creation Museum. So why would anyone return to the Ark Encounter a second time? That is true of even some of the best museums: Unless they can afford to regularly introduce major new exhibits, many small museums struggle with this.
Yes, Ham has plans to add many more sections to his remote tourist attraction. I just don’t get it. And remember that ICR has a museum planned for Texas, and it has a much better location, if I recall.
None of my YEC friends have expressed much excitement about the Ark Encounter. (I have to push them to get much of an opinion. None has expressed plans to visit.) Some are bothered by the cost and the distraction from the Gospel message. But I have no idea what a typical YEC thinks of it.
I’m glad to hear news coverage saying things like “Not all Christians are enthusiastic about the project.”
I have been in the Barbershop Harmony Society for 30 years. A standard joke that quartets use is to say, after a song or two, “We have been asked to do something religious tonight, so we are going to take up a collection.”
I think the Ark Encounter’s most important purpose is to demonstrate that a literal interpretation of the story of Noah is clearly impossible. The idea that the story uses hyperbole is new to me, but makes sense. I have always seen the story as telling us that all life on earth is necessary, even the creepy crawly things we don’t like.
Young earth beliefs are heavy in homeschool circles even, inexplicably to me, among parents with science based backgrounds like engineering and medicine. It boggles my mind.
We live within a drive of it, and I have heard excited chatter within and outside of the homeschool community here. I have also encountered excitement in homeschoolers outside of my area–too far away to plan a visit.
I like the statement. I wish those around me could see the truth of it.
I hate the harm this teaching does. I pray those involved will have open eyes and hearts when it all, perhaps, comes crashing down.
Peanut gallery comment:
It strikes me as laudable that you ask what YEC friends think of this and really listen to their perspectives, instead of either (1) avoiding the topic entirely for the sake of peace or (2) just unloading on them about how horrible it is. We could all take a page from your book.
It seems that Bill Nye The Science Guy toured the Ark Encounter today. The footage will be included in his upcoming documentary The Bill Nye Film, to be released next year.
And a “Friendly Atheist” member toured the Ark on opening day and got a lot of video. It’s pretty funny/pathetic. Lots of animal noises coming from tiny cages with nothing inside except noise makers. Larger enclosures with animal models and no bedding on the wooden floor. Just perfect for the hoof stock, right?
Noah even has what looked like a hydroponic garden on the Ark! He was one smart guy! (I’m sure there was plenty of sunshine)
The whole thing was nuts, really.
So “this week in creation” was totally crazy-- we put a spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter AND opened an Ark park!
Yes, there is a sadness that will tend to become downright depressing after a few years and the crowds thin down—and the futility of the project becomes apparent. The folly of it all can only be maintained by a straight face and bold claims for a limited time.
The history of Christianity for many centuries has seen so many groups seize upon some secondary issue and obsess on it to make it “the very foundation of the Gospel”—instead of recognizing the foundation which is Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, the Apostle Paul said that he preached NOTHING but the cross of Jesus Christ. It is easy to see why there are so many dangers in introducing other foundations.
I have to limit my exposure to their propaganda websites. They are just so depressing. The self-contradictions and the pseudo-science nonsense is bad enough. But much worse is the contempt shown towards Christians who fail to agree with them. (Not that they are the only group guilty of that failure.)
The fact that ICR is raising money for a museum in Dallas makes me even more depressed.
Ken Ham wrote at AIG after Nye toured the Ark–
“We’re glad Bill Nye took me up on my friendly offer to show him the Ark. During his visit I was able to personally share the gospel with him very clearly. On the first deck, I asked him, before a crowd of people including many young people, if I could pray with him and was able to pray for him there.”
Too bad that when Biologos invited Ken Ham to share a meal and have a friendly discussion, he refused and expressed great vitriol toward Biologos. Looks like Ham could learn a thing or two from Bill Nye about Christian behavior.
Karl Giberson, formerly of BioLogos, is going to have an article on the Ark Encounter published in the Huffington Post. Hopefully soon!
If I recall, Ken Ham responded angrily to the Biologos invitation by saying “I’m too busy building the wall”, and comparing Biologos to the enemies of God who didn’t want the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt. I wonder why he doesn’t consider Bill Nye another such “enemy of God” who is a distraction from the Great Work.
I wonder: Is Bill Nye welcome because Ham can count on press coverage? Or are skeptics preferable to Christians who disagree with Him?
I get very depressed about the ways in which AIG has molded public impressions of Bible believing Christians.
Please don’t be depressed… it is as it is meant to be. To those who seek with humble hearts as like children, our Creator is revealed. The sins of we Christians are obstacles only to those who don’t wish to find in the first place.
I don’t know why I was so careful to pull punches on that. I guess I find Ken Ham’s antics so embarrassing to Christendom that I usually avoid stating the obvious.
I noticed long ago that the AIG related Facebook webpages censor reasonable Christians far more often than the nasty postings from angry atheists. They work hard to maintain their false dichotomies.
Need a laugh? Noah’s Ark Creation Museum Short Film - Noah The Manager
Now we know how they did it!
Did you know I interviewed him for BioLogos? http://biologos.org/blogs/brad-kramer-the-evolving-evangelical/biologos-interviews-bill-nye
I did not know that! Nice interview Brad. He was surprisingly friendly to BioLogos. Seems like he focuses his dislike on YEC. I did not know that. I wonder if you could get him to go to the next ECF conference?