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June 30, 2006
A Discovery: Bob Cornuke and his Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration (B.A.S.E) Institute claim to have found Noah’s Ark. This is not the first time the ark has been found. Neither is it the first time Cornuke has claimed to find a biblical site or artifact. Styling himself as a real-world Indiana Jones, he has previously claimed to have found the Real Mt. Sinai (I reviewed a DVD account of this discovery) and anchors from the ship that was wrecked while the Apostle Paul was travelling to Rome. He has long been seeking the Ark of the Covenant, though to this point he has not claimed to have found it. Cornuke is generally regarded with some suspicion. While he makes great claims, he rarely adequately substantiates those claims.
His new venture, in which he claims to have found the ark, is sure to generate some controversy. An article at Worldview Weekend says this: “Led by explorer, adventurer, and featured Worldview Weekend speaker Dr. Bob Cornuke, a fourteen man crew returned this week from Iran bearing stunning evidence that theirs is the long-anticipated even coveted discovery of the remains of Noah’s Ark. Bob’s team consisted of a Who’s Who of business, law, and ministry leaders including Barry Rand (former CEO of Avis), the author and Christian apologist Josh McDowell, Frank Turek (co-author with Norm Geisler of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist), Boone Powell (former CEO of Baylor Medical Systems), and Arch Bonnema (president of Joshua Financial)” (link). You can see a small amount of video footage here.
The object the men found is “about 400 feet long and consists of rocks that look remarkably like blackened wood beams while other rock in the area is distinctively brown. And one visible piece is ‘cut’ at 90-degree angle. Even more intriguing, some of the wood-like rocks were tested just this week and actually proved to be petrified wood, and it is noteworthy that Scripture recounts Noah sealed his ark with pitch-a decidedly black substance. Upon being cut open, one of these ‘rocks’ also divulged a marine fossil that could have only originated undersea.” Also notable was the discovery of a great number of sea shells, noticeably out of place some 15,000 feet above sea level.
Only time will tell if this is truly Noah’s Ark. But as I suggested in my view of The Search for the Real Mt. Sinai, it should not much matter to Christians. We are to walk by faith and not by sight. If we allow our faith to be shaped by such discoveries, we will have little depth and will be easily swayed. It is “An evil and adulterous generation [that] seeks for a sign.” We know that the story of the flood is true, regardless of whether or not we ever locate the remains of the ark.
The Deck: I am quite sure that the rules of plagiarism do not apply to family members. Hence I am including today an account written by my biggest little sister of a rather terrifying situation that happened at their home earlier this week.
Tuesday afternoon, I had placed a sleepy Josh down for his nap, and had welcomed Anna’s friend, Macenzi over for a few hours to play. The girls promptly bolted for the playroom and I could hear them talking and giggling together, so I decided to throw in a load of laundry and clean the master bathroom. About 15 minutes into my chores, I heard loud sobbing- gauged it to be Macenzi, and found her, blotchy-faced and tear-stained, in my bedroom closet. She clutched her stomach and kept telling me: “I fell off the chair. I fell off the chair.” Upon further inquiry, I she told me that she had tumbled off one of the wooden chairs out on our back deck. Wondering what all the fuss was about (for a child who rarely cries), I laid her on the couch, fetched a blanket, and waited for the 5-minute restoration period.
Several minutes passed, and Macenzi started to sweat profusely. And the crying became more urgent, and the stomach-clutching more pronounced. After realizing that something was most definitely wrong, I called Macenizi’s mother, Luci, and had her come over in order to take Macenzi home.
As the door closed, I wondered to myself at the strangeness of a normally resilient child moaning over a minor tumble. When Anna looked up at me and asked, “Mommy, why did Macenzi fall onto the grass?” What grass? The deck has no grass. “What grass, Anna?” She explained: “The grass on the ground. Macenzi fell off the deck chair ONTO THE GRASS!” Oh God, I prayed. Call Luci. “Luci, Macenzi fell off the deck onto the ground. You need to call an ambulance right away. I’m coming over immediately to help.”
Ambulance arrives. As do paramedics: “Child has fallen from a 15-foot deck, onto her stomach on the ground below. She is sweating profusely. Her stomach is hard. We are concerned about internal injuries.” Luci sobbing. Maryanne sobbing. Anna sobbing. Josh saying :”Milk mommy. Milk and crackers.” (Nothing is sacred to that child). Firetrucks. Sirens. Lifelight helicopter landing.
And then, she is whisked away, I am left with Luci’s boys and my children, and we are left to wonder. Neighbors start dropping by, inquiring, worrying, and God bless the south- some to even pray in the garage and driveway with me.
A long afternoon and evening spent waiting for word from doctors as to the extent of Macenzi’s injuries. Finally, around 8pm, we receive word that doctors have run extensive tests…and there is NOTHING wrong with Macenzi’s body. ZIP. NOTHING. PRAISE GOD!
Yet the mystery: Macenzi had two compressed vertebrae in her back. Compressed vertebrae generally occur when a victim lands on his feet. But Macenzi, it seems, fell. Upon reviewing the situation for the hundreth time with Anna, she explains: She and Macenzi unlocked the back door, let themselves out on to the deck, whereupon Macenzi decided to JUMP off the deck, just for kicks. And actually wanted Anna to jump with her! Thank God Anna has yet to develop courage or the situation, already serious, could really have been very grave.
The old saying goes: “All’s well that ends well.” Luci called me yesterday morning and said: “I don’t know what happened Maryanne, but God or angels or somebody was watching over Macenzi yesterday.” And yes Luci, I could say with assurance, it was God. My God. If He is great enough to express concern over the fall of a sparrow, He is certainly concerned about the fall of your precious daughter.
So though the past few days have been drama to the nth degree, thanks to your prayers, I am coping and enjoying life…and even shakily laughing at the absurdity of a preschooler hurtling herself off my deck. And trying NOT to think too much about the might-have-beens. Because those are too terrifying. And reminding myself often that God sees. Always sees. Even when my back is turned.
Weekend: It is a long weekend up here in the Great White North, for tomorrow is Canada Day. We will celebrate the birth of our nation. Since the day falls on a Saturday, most Canadians will be taking Monday off as well. I will include myself in that crowd. But, of course, I’ll be posting on the weekend, so feel free to drop by!