Thursday, March 08, 2007

Lost Tomb of Jesus: The Real Lesson

In an earlier post I briefly weighed in on the "Jesus' tomb" controversy where a March 4, 2007 Discovery Channel special alleges that the tomb of Jesus and his family has been found in the outskirts of Jerusalem.

The documentary, created by Titanic film director James Cameron, is being throughly dismissed as a shoddy theory sinking fast out of the harbor. At least the Titanic sailed four days before hitting an iceberg.

But before everyone forgets this shameless attempt to sink the Gospel, Dr. Dan Wallace offers some valuable reflection about our faith and the world we live in:

What are we to make of this lost tomb then?

On the one hand, Christians should never be afraid to pursue truth regardless of where it takes them. The incarnation actually requires us to do this, because Jesus came in time-space history; the gospels are full of specific historical data that could have been verified when written. The Christian faith is never against history; indeed, it embraces history. And our convictions are modified when genuine historical facts come to light. That is how it should be, because faith cannot be compartmentalized as though it did not relate to the real world.

On the other hand, The Lost Tomb of Jesus is bad archeology, bad history, and biased investigative reporting. It is sensationalist eye-candy for a bored generation. But make no mistake: this is not the end of the non-substantive attacks on the Christian faith. Jesus is big business these days, especially for those who have a Jesus in mind who is other than the one portrayed in scripture. The onslaught will continue to come, and unwary Christians will be caught off-guard.

It is imperative that believers integrate their faith with an understanding of the culture and history of the ancient world, because the only thing worse than being gullible to silly arguments is sticking one’s head in the sand, hoping that those who make such arguments will go away.

1 comment:

RKK said...

For more information on the history of sensationalism from Talpiot (ossuaries) and on the "chevron and circle" reference (refuting the Discovery channel site's departure into weirdness), see: