Volume 1, Issue 10
October 16,  2011

  The Bible's most outlandish story
The real "problem" of NAMI's discovery

This week, my mother noted her shock at all the negative responses to NAMI's discovery. Christians and Creationists who she expected to be in jubilant delight have instead attacked the find. Sure, there are reasons to be cautious. But unlike all those Ark claims that need help from the imagination here are photographs and videos that do really look like the biblical description of Noah's Ark. Even NAMI's accusers acknowledge its location near the top of Mt. Ararat. NAMI is inviting the world's top scientists. If they are mistaken, that can be quickly and easily determined. Why this hostility from "believers" as well as skeptics? 

Aside from their being end-time evangelicals and having been led by prayer to a find that has eluded so many, the hostility of the world has not so much to do with NAMI or their discovery. For them, it is the amazing story of Noah's Ark in the Bible. It is so different from the scientific world in which we have come to believe, with which even Christians have made peace. 
The God in whom we believe, we may have supposed, does not make himself known in the world where we now live. If true, this is not just another interesting fact. It challenges everything. It turns the world upside down, inconvenient if we are comfortable. 


Some may wonder how this explains the opposition of the Creationist and Ark searching communities? The answer is the same as with other Christians and unbelievers. They are no longer in charge. God has taken over the teaching pertaining to Creation and Noah's Ark. Many declare that even if true, it makes no difference: they 'just believe the Bible.' We should not mistake religious pride for faith. This discovery means that we must all humble ourselves to the one true God. Otherwise, we will attack or dismiss the discovery.  


We see the same story throughout the Bible. Whatever God does incurs the opposition not only of the gentiles (the world), but even from God's own people. Only when safely dead are prophets and apostles honored. From the time of the Apostles, every revival has encountered the same opposition. We should not be surprised by the immediate false charges of fabrication. Did not the first reports from the women about an empty tomb also seem outlandish?


Unlike most religious texts, the Bible recognizes the ordinary order of the world, making its extraordinary stories stand out all the more. But we don't need the God of the Bible to explain the ordinary. For that, philosophy, science, and theology do fine. To explain design, a Deist God who no longer involves himself with the world is suitable!

The "trouble" is that the God of the Bible is too great to touch the world without changing it, or touch us without changing our nature. His involvement is both disruptive and creative. Too great to be understood, he is the God whose name means that he will be what he will be. That in a nutshell describes the exceptional words and stories in the Bible.

Through the ages, rationalist Christians and Jews had difficulty with the extraordinary accounts in the Bible termed wonders or miracles. We don't ordinarily see miracles. If we did, they would not be miracles. Augustine of Hippo (see more below) tried to explain miracles as the influence of some higher but unseen philosophical order. That makes miracles more apparent than real. Borrowing from a long line of Islamic and Jewish rationalists, Isaac Newton (see below) tried to explain the Bible in such a way as to entirely eliminate miracles and unseen spirits, giving rise to the modern Enlightenment. 
God's miracles do not make science impossible, but rather possible. They provide the helpful starting point, the boundary conditions necessary for computing the ordinary according to the rules of science. But science can never explain how the world began. Neither can it explain consciousness or the freedom of conscious beings. The world was created by a Spirit who is far greater than what he created. 


God did other extraordinary things that changed the created world and directed human history. He is doing it again. As NAMI's wondrous discovery shows, he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is wonderfully good, but far too great ever to be explained. To enter his Kingdom, we must all humble ourselves and become as little children.

Best regards to all,

Philip Williams
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In this issue
Bible's most outlandish story
The ignoble debt modern science owes to the Flood
Cessation of miracles
Banishing the spirits
The ignoble debt that modern science owes to Noah's Flood
Basic principles were founded on attempts to explain away(!) the manifest evidence of the Flood 


It is no accident that modern science fails to see the evidence of the Flood. I am not referring to the seashells and fossils proclaimed as evidence by young earth Creationists. They contain scant evidence of wicked humans whom God sent the Flood to destroy. 


I refer to the vast and advanced civilizations all over the earth that perished at the exact date of the biblical Flood and to new migrations evident from both archaeology and language. I refer to the great extinctions and changes of fauna, and to changes in rivers and climate that occurred at the same time.


Early in the 19th century, the world's top scientists recognized much of this as evidence of the Flood. Charles Lyell laid the foundations of modern geology specifically to re-interpret these massive deposits as coming from long passages of time. His declared aim was to eliminated any notions of origins or using Noah's Flood in the service of geology.


Lyell convinced Christians to adopt a local Flood. The chronological periods by which scientists interpret ancient human history were created to fill the gaps created by Lyell's great expansion of time. Our current use of the word science came to be used for this type of knowledge. A foundation principle of science was its prohibition of the Bible! Believers take note: secularists are correct when they say the Bible is not scientific. 


If not scientific, the Bible does happen to be true. With regard to origins and ancient history, it is science that is myth. Radiocarbon dating could perhaps fix the problem should a new study be conducted with proper supervision. The problem is that no form of dating is independent of archaeological interpretation. Archaeologists have never been inclined to look at the evidence in the light of Noah's Flood. 

The cessation of miracles 
And their continuation from the early church to the gifts of modern Charismatics
Lambert Lomard's Seven Loaves & Fishes
Lambert Lomard's Seven Loaves & Fishes

The God of the Bible used exceptional wonders and miracles as a witness to his prophets and servants whenever he used them to introduce a new order of instruction. It is not surprising that the first great miracles of the Old Testament were done by Moses., the last  by Jesus and the Apostles. Following  epochs of revelation were  significant attenuation if not cessation of signs and wonders.  The great Augustine noted this fact, but he was soon noting and approving a great revival of miracles and wonders. 


The Dark Ages beginning at this time was an era full of miracles,  the supposed power of relics giving rise to pilgrimages and leading to abuses.  The problem is that when miracles are common, they are no longer miracles. Due to patronage, they are easily captured by the wealthy and reigning powers. Not being systematically challenged, false claims abound. Belief in witches, spirits, and relics peaked in the Renaissance, soon to be corrected by the Reformation and the scientific revolution that followed. 


The Reformers attributed Catholic miracles to diabolic sources. With the advance of the scientific revolution, they would  claim that all supposed miracles were simply fake. That included many well attested miracles. The skeptic David Hume used their denial of well attested modern miracles to challenge those of the Bible.  Hume notwithstanding, Reformed Protestants began making the argument that miracles had completely ceased following the completion of the Bible.  For them, God no longer works in the exceptional ways as found in the Bible. 
This brought them into conflict not just with Catholics but to Protestants such as Pentecostals and Charismatics attesting to continuation of the gifts of the Spirit.  We were amply warned by Jesus and the Apostles that signs and wonders are subject to abuse.  Claims must be investigated. The great miracles of the Bible were not done in secret, but before such witnesses as they could not be reasonably denied even by enemies. Even so, the Egyptians thought that Moses was a sorcerer. Jesus enemies among his own people thought the same of him.
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How the secret Isaac Newton banished both souls and spirits
The Protestant hero rationalized the Bible to harrow souls and spirits from both earth and Heaven
Musaeum hermeticum reformatum et amplificatum (Frankfurt, 1678)
Images of copper engravings.  Musaeum  hermeticum reformatum et amplificatum (Frankfurt, 1678)
Some notable 17th century scientists lamented that nothing inspires disbelief in the Bible so much as ceasing to believe in spirits. Robert Boyle (founder of modern chemistry) declared the evidence solidly for the existence of spirits. Cotton Mather quoted these publications of the Royal Society in support of the Salem witch trials. Unknowingly, the problem originated with one of their own, a secret practitioner of the very alchemy that Boyle made obsolete.
Sir Isaac Newton is famous for his contributions to modern physics. Some also know him as an expositor of the books of Daniel and Revelation. Until the recent publication of his private papers, few believed the suspicions that Newton secretly practiced alchemy and denied the divinity of Jesus. Newton distinguished Jesus from what he and the Deists began calling the Supreme Creator. Adopting a Neo-Epicurean interpretation of the Bible developed by the Sephradic Jew, Moses Maimonides, Newton also denied the existence of souls and spirits aside from fleshly bodies.
The result of this materialist interpretation of human beings was the effective banishment of the concept of soul and the survival of humans following death until their future resurrection for judgment. Luther had emptied Purgatory, but Newton emptied Heaven. Angels, demons, and Satan himself were likewise banished as Newton put forth a rationalized explanation for passages in the Bible referring to these entities. Despite his secrecy, Newton's views spread throughout Europe and America as the teachings of freemasonry, creating the modern Enlightenment and influencing Unitarians and several American Christian sects.
NAMI's Ark documentary
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Christian Leaders & Scholars is the newsletter and publication site of Philip Ernest Williams, author of The Archaeological Evidence of Noah's Flood (2011). The site is also a ministry not only to Christian leaders and scholars but all who are interested in the more difficult issues pertaining to the Bible and its implications for science and history. (Read more)