Our Journey Home Series
Youtube: Mystery Rocks
Some weeks ago, I mentioned a field of boulders I have observed in the desert area north of Grand Junction. I mentioned them because I couldn’t understand how they could have ended up where they are. Knowing there were a couple of geologists in a Facebook group where I often post photos, I asked if anyone had some ideas. I received many very interesting responses, including this one: “Read your Bible. The great flood of Noah’s time and its resulting runoff is responsible for most of the world’s geological mysteries.” I thanked the author, told him I’ve been a minister for 40+ years, and that I was familiar with the Bible. Then I added, “I won’t argue religion here, only to say that I cannot take Noah and the ark literally. However, the ice age floods could very well have inspired that story, since ocean levels rose 400 feet or so.” His response: “A minister who refuses to believe the word of God. Good luck with that.” In contrast, another reader wrote this: “You’re the first minister I’ve ever witnessed say something like that. I feel like you make me want to study the Bible again. Just wanted you to know.”
I share this story because it illustrates the firm belief in a literal interpretation of the Bible. I did not want to go into the fact that the flood story is a combination of two stories, one saying two of every kind of animal went into the ark, while the other says seven. Both stories appear to be based on a much older Babylonian myth – The Epic of Gilgamesh – written on clay tablets.
An important part of our journey home includes a willingness to open our minds to separate spiritual fact from fiction. As we have seen, the Bible is a rich source of spiritual truth couched in story, poem, and psalm. The writers use history as their framework for conveying their spiritual message, which always takes precedence over historical fact. As one scholar suggested, we should not confuse the writings of the Bible with journalism.
The geologists offered some fascinating explanations of how the boulders may have been placed. None of their explanations lessened my faith or undermined my interest in the Bible.