Research Articles: All posts by Rick Lanser MDiv

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Revisiting the Peleg Event 11/25/2014 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

In the Spring 2009 issue of Bible and Spade, I wrote an article entitled "Making Sense of the Days of Peleg." In it I attempted to arrive at a biblically faithful and scientifically reasonable understanding of Genesis 10:25: “To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother's name was Joktan” (ESV).

Making Sense of the Days of Peleg 11/19/2014 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

Some very popular books today, such as Graham Hancock’s Fingerprints of the Gods, examine the evidence for a “mysterious” civilization in the ancient past. Among other indicators, this widespread culture left behind megalithic (“large stone”) buildings in such diverse places as Tiahuanaco in Bolivia, the Osireion in Egypt, and Baalbek in Lebanon. These structures, built of gigantic hewn stones that leave one wondering how they could have been quarried, moved and fitted together with a precision that challenges our understanding of the capabilities of ancient man, are either largely ignored by mainstream science or not considered within a biblical framework.

Some Ruminations on the Shroud of Turin 7/24/2014 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

Because the Shroud of Turin has received much public attention in the news, on television and on the Internet, it needs little introduction. However, there has not been much truly recent news about the Shroud in the popular media, so I thought it was time to see if anything had slipped under my radar.

Unfolding a Mystery: My Investigations into the Baris Question 8/22/2013 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

Research on biblical subjects is an ongoing labor. It is rare that a breakthrough in understanding comes out of the blue; rather, it is the end result of a great deal of reading, thinking, bouncing ideas off of others, and praying for insight. This article is the story of such a journey. As most of you who have been following ABR are aware, I have long had an intense interest in understanding as much as possible about Noah’s Ark and where its remains might be found...

Insights from the Animal Kingdom on the Scope of Noah’s Flood 1/23/2013 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

Some who claim to be biblical Christians nevertheless refuse to accept the straightforward sense of Scripture in every case. In particular, many who are steeped in the sciences say that it is impossible, scientifically speaking, for the Earth to have been created in six literal 24-hour days and for the Flood to have been a worldwide cataclysm. Notwithstanding the unambiguous, comprehensive language of Genesis 7:19, which states that the Flood covered “all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens,” they insist that, due to difficulties they see in reconciling certain scientific understandings with a worldwide Flood, it had to have been a local Mesopotamian event.

The Old Was Once New 10/11/2012 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

Have new artifacts and relics been discovered which "rock the foundation of Christianity"? inquires an ABR web visitor named Mary.

The Landing-Place of Noah's Ark: Testimonial, Geological and Historical Considerations: Part Four 10/26/2011 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

Previously, we looked in Part One at the general validity of testimony in establishing facts. Next, Part Two examined ways to reconcile the Ararat testimonies with general scientific concerns. Part Three considered ways geological data, in particular, can coexist with the Ararat testimonies. Finally, we turn now to address a matter of history.

The Landing-Place of Noah's Ark: Testimonial, Geological and Historical Considerations: Part Three 10/25/2011 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

In Part One of this study we looked at issues relating to the general validity of testimony as a tool for evaluating truth-claims, and in Part Two discussed ways to accommodate these testimonies in the search for Noah’s Ark without throwing science out on its ear, just exercising care to use it with minimal assumptions about unknown initial conditions. Since geology is supposedly an objective science rather than one that assumes unknowable initial conditions, in Part Three we now look at the claim that geological studies have proven that Mt. Ararat is a young volcanic peak that could not have existed at the time of the Flood.

The Landing-Place of Noah's Ark: Testimonial, Geological and Historical Considerations: Part Two 10/24/2011 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

There are a number of issues that frequently are raised as reasons for disregarding the body of testimony asserting Noah’s Ark has not only survived on Mt. Ararat, but has been seen by numerous eyewitnesses. We now turn to a consideration of several of these issues.

The Landing-Place of Noah's Ark: Testimonial, Geological and Historical Considerations: Part One 10/20/2011 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

The lack of success in finding Noah’s Ark on Turkey’s Mt. Ararat has prompted various researchers to search for the Ark elsewhere. Since the biblical “mountains of Ararat” cannot be exegetically equated with the single mountain known today as Mt. Ararat (Agri Dagh, “the painful mountain,” in Turkish), we cannot use Scripture to prove Mt. Ararat was where the Ark landed, nor that it was even in existence as the Flood waters were abating. This ambiguity has opened the door for suggestions that other peaks could have been the site of the Ark’s landing-place.

Rocking the Boat, Part Two: The Hydrological Model of the Flood 5/26/2011 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

I wrote "Rocking the Boat: The Value of New Ideas" for the May 2011 issue of the ABR Newsletter. It stirred up a surprising number of comments! It is gratifying to see people actually read and thoughtfully consider the information ABR provides. Such comments encourage us to believe our labor is not in vain in accomplishing two goals: first, strengthening the faith of those who already KNOW they are God's people, who trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins; and second, addressing the doubts that plague the minds of those who would LIKE to believe, but find their understanding of the Christian faith clashes with the concept of reality our culture has instilled in them. Living in a society that continually bombards them with a worldview which denies the existence of absolute Truth and objective moral standards, some have honest trouble giving unreserved mental assent to the Bible's teachings. We want to help these folks see how reasonable and satisfying, both mentally and spiritually, the teachings of the Bible are when properly understood, by clearing up the distortions of the media and secular academics.

Rocking the Boat: The Value of New Ideas 5/16/2011 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

In the realm of Creation Science, there are a few concepts which have taken on the status of virtual orthodoxy - the measuring rod by which new proposals are evaluated. These concepts include such ideas as the Flood being an event accompanied by massive horizontal earth movements and magma-outpouring activity all over the world, and that the Ice Age directly traces its origins to the Flood. Because these concepts are usually backed by well-known Christian organizations, there is an unspoken assumption that they know best and we should take them at their word.

The Influence of the Ancient Near East on the Book of Genesis 3/24/2011 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

At many Bible colleges and seminaries today, students are told to understand the book of Genesis as typical ancient Near Eastern (ANE) literature, sharing many features in common with them. Representative of scholars teaching this view is John H. Walton of Wheaton College. He proposes that, following a pattern scholars detect in ANE literature, Genesis 1 presents a cosmology that bypasses entirely the creation of the initial raw materials of the universe. Instead, it, regards them as preexistent, with their origin never addressed.

Creation or the Flood? A Study of Several Passages of Scripture 11/29/2010 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

I frequently take part in online discussions where the subject is some aspect of reconciling science and Scripture. These interactions frequently raise the issue of how to interpret certain passages of the Bible. After all, if our understanding of Scripture is faulty for some reason, how can we hope to properly relate the Bible and science?

From The Mailbox 3/18/2010 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

We frequently find that skeptics and atheists visit our website, read something that sets them off, and post a diatribe to the Comments area. Most of the time these remarks are never published, since they represent emotional outbursts rather than an honest wrestling with facts. But once in a while, even if we do not make the comments public, we nevertheless send a personal reply to the writer...

Is Biblical Archaeology a 'Farce'? 11/22/2009 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

As ABR approaches it, so-called "biblical" archaeology is simply applying valid archaeological principles to the archaeology of the lands discussed by the biblical writers, without the anti-Bible preconceptional bias that taints the research of so many archaeologists. The "storybook" perception you mentioned is part and parcel with this unexamined anti-Bible bias, which gets in the way of impartially evaluating the Bible's truth-claims...

Genesis 1 and the Raqia 8/5/2009 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

As we read the narrative of Genesis 1, we repeatedly encounter the word “expanse” or “firmament.” These words are used to translate the Hebrew term raqia, but carry baggage that tends to predispose how we English readers interpret these verses, hindering our ability to derive their meaning on purely contextual grounds...

Noah's Ark Update 9/26/2008 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

To date, the Ark has not yet been found. Several locations for it have been proposed: Mount Ararat in northeastern Turkey; Mount Cudi (Judi) in southeastern Turkey; the so-called Durupinar site near Mount Ararat; and several mountains in northern Iran, including Damavand, Sabalon, and Suleiman...

Of Testimonies and Models 6/24/2008 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

"I'll believe it when I see it!" How often have we heard those words? There are certain subjects that trigger in us an unwillingness to accept what others say. Over the years each of us has developed a penchant for taking some things at face value, while others cause us to demand extremely rigorous proofs before we will accept their factuality - if at all...

An Armenian Perspective on the Search for Noah's Ark 2/23/2008 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

The title of this paper, “An Armenian Perspective on the Search for Noah’s Ark,” was chosen because I believe that the case for Mount Cudi as the landing-place of the Ark is built upon data coming exclusively from a single Syro-Mesopotamian historical stream, and is thus self-authenticating...

The Bible and Human Nature 12/19/2007 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

From what we know of human nature, it is virtually impossible to accept the premise that the moral precepts of the Bible were the invention of men...

Noah's Ark in Iran? 7/19/2006 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

Since mid-June, 2006 there has been a flurry of reports in the media and on the Internet about the possible discovery of Noah's Ark on a mountain in northern Iran. Robert Cornuke has now focused on what is perhaps the biggest target of all, both literally and figuratively – Noah's Ark...

Of Peleg and Pangaea 5/10/2006 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

The Genesis 1:9-10 passage quoted above tells us that at Creation, all the waters of the sea were "gathered into one place." I think that the vast majority of commentators have overlooked the significant corollary of this statement - namely, that there was a single original landmass, likewise "gathered into one place."...

There Be Giants in the Earth 12/4/2005 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown" (Gen. 6:4, KJV). With this verse in Genesis the Bible introduces to us the existence of giants...

Of Facts and Faith 11/14/2005 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

Is this really true: "One must look for facts in Science not truth. Truth is for religion and philosophy. One must not use science to validate or make a point to others that their religion is right because as I said science must search for facts not truth. Otherwise faith will blind your eye"...

Subjectivity in Radiometric Dating 9/12/2005 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

The acceptance of radiometric dating has had a major influence on people's willingness to accept the theory of evolution. Most people feel that radiometric dating, having a reputation for scientific respectability, proves that the earth is many millions of years old, thus providing the time framework required for the theory of evolution to have plausibility...

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