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Monday, August 11, 2008

Did NASA prove that Joshua's long day happened?

I received an e-mail forward a few days ago, which claimed that NASA had proved the story of the long day, told in the book of Joshua.

The Bible story is true, although I don't know how to explain it, but the story that NASA has proved it isn't. See my previous post, from over two years ago, on this subject. The false rumor is still out there, and still circulating. (See here and here) That's too bad. God's truth is not served by false information, whether circulated knowing that it's false, or not.



superrustyfly said...

I really wish Christian would let this be a trust issue. Sometimes science and the Bible have to be looked at differently. Thanks for posting about this.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, superrustyfly.

Someone knew that this was false when this rumor started, which is terrible, and some people are too gullible.

James F. McGrath said...

I think it is absolutely right to emphasize that "faith" as a Biblical term means "trust", but I don't think it then becomes appropriate to trust a book. This detail is no more reconcilable with what we now know about the natural world than the dome mentioned in Genesis 1. I don't think Christianity benefits when we ignore or attempt to sidestep such difficulties.

Why not simply acknowledge that there are things in the Bible that we cannot accept? This is not an "all or nothing" situation. If I share my testimony about my own experience of being born again, I don't become infallible or inerrant, but that doesn't mean that what I share will not be important, perhaps even true!

Martin LaBar said...

August 14, 2008: Thanks, James F. McGrath.

You have entered deep waters in your comment, or at least they are deep for me.

I don't trust a book, but the God who has guided humans to write it. There is, for me, nothing in that book that I cannot accept. There is a lot that I don't understand. The dome you mention is one of them (there are, I believe, a number of possible interpretations, some of which don't take it that a physical dome was meant) and Joshua's long day is another. If I can't accept these two events, then how do I know that I should accept Christ's resurrection? (Which mas also quite abnormal!) That's the problem with not accepting.

Thanks again.

James F. McGrath said...

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. My own view is that we do indeed have to go through the difficult process of evaluating evidence in the case of things like the resurrection. We cannot simply say "It is written, that settles it" and bypass the methods of historical inquiry. If the earliest Christians who actually had the Easter experiences could have doubts and uncertainties, the fact that we are in such a situation seems "Biblical" to me! :)

Martin LaBar said...

August 15, 2008: Thanks again, James F. McGrath.

True, we need to use all available evidence. As to the resurrection, however, Paul lays it out pretty well in 1 Corinthians 15, where he indicates that there were quite a few witnesses, including two (James, Jesus's brother, and Paul himself) who were definitely not expecting to be convinced. Then there's the amazing explosion of the early church, led by a bunch of unlikely leaders. Something caused that -- I believe that a large part of what did was their belief in the reality of the resurrection.

Historical inquiry can't rule out the possibility of miraculous events. True, there have been a lot of things that were called miraculous that weren't miracles, or that didn't happen at all, but to say that such things could never have happened, by definition, isn't warranted.

Bumchecks said...

A good explanation for why the NASA story is false is here:


Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Bumchecks, aka Brad.

I didn't realize that the story had been going around from before NASA even existed.