The Big Question 71: Could the Story of Noah’s Ark Actually Be True?
Sep 1, 2021 177
Could the story of Noah’s ark actually be true?
One of the first thing an atheist often mentions, in order to ridicule Christianity is the story of Noah and the flood.
“You don’t really believe in Noah’s ark do you?”
They think the Loch Ness monster, or Big Foot, are more likely than the story of a world-wide flood.
If there is a story in the Bible that polarises opinions, it’s the story Noah’s ark! Even if you ask three different Christians, you might find one who believes that it’s a literal story, you might find another who says it’s kind of literal but it has to do with a massive flood that wasn’t really worldwide, and you might find another that says that it’s not meant to be taken literally at all because it’s just a myth. So which is it?
The idea that there was never a world-wide flood, which is of course what most people believe, is based on the widespread assumption that what we see in the natural world around is came about through very slow processes over millions and billions of years. In this worldview, what we see today is much like what existed in the past. Evolution and natural forces such as wind erosion and so on have gradually shaped our world and the life in it. That way at looking at the world is called “gradualism”, for obvious reasons.
But what if there were another possible explanation? The same evidence is there. But what if the past was not like today, so that instead, the world as we see it today was shaped by forces much more rapidly and powerfully than what we see today? This view is called “catastrophism.” It says that our world was principally shaped as the result of a series of tremendous catastrophies.
In this way of seeing the world, the geological features of the planet perhaps didn’t develop over millions of years, but instead rapidly as the result of cataclysmic forces. And the fossil layers weren’t laid down over long periods of time, but instead quickly, through a massive partial extinction event, which according to the Bible, would be the world-wide flood.
For example, the eruption of Mt St Helens in Washington State in the USA demonstrated the rapid formation of geological features such as coal beds, sedimentary layers, canyons, and new rock that was scientifically dated as ancient – all within a few years.
I know that considering the possibility of the existence of a world-wide flood and Noah’s ark is pretty radical for most people. I’ll just leave it for you to look into it further if you’re interested. But as for me, although this is a big question, it doesn’t really affect the biggest question of all, which has to do with the reality of Jesus and what he offers me… and you as well!