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The Sky Is Falling!

You’re used to it by now. Bad-news-for-the-Christian-faith stories seem to break with purposeful, timely precision. Assaults on Christianity are nothing new, but what’s an appropriate response when the pounding appears relentless? Two recent examples illustrate the onslaught. The media has all but ensured that anyone with any social awareness whatsoever knows about The Lost Tomb of Jesus. Less-publicized, but well-known to science watchers is the report of a “new” theoretical cyclic model for the universe that obviates the need for the big bang. In the case of the first news story, no less a doctrine than the Resurrection is at stake. In the second, the rigorously tested, biblically consistent big bang model, which forms a major part of RTB’s creation model, stands to go the way of the Edsel. RTB’s Kenneth Samples responded briefly on Creation Update when the Lost Tomb first broke. And Jeff Zweerink assessed the “new” (but apparently recycled) cyclic model on CU. For much more on the Lost Tomb, Bible scholars Dr. Ben Witherington and Dr. James White do more than an adequate job of refuting the documentary’s claims in their blogs. But when the news first hits, it stings, and prior to consulting experts for evidence and analysis, how should a layperson react? Do we hide in fear and hope to ride out the storm? Do we respond defensively? Offensively? And if so, what does that look like? I asked Ken Samples and Hugh Ross for advice. Ken says that “the truth-claims of historic Christianity have nothing to fear from the facts of history and archeology. But we must first ask if we have been given the facts or is this just another sensational claim. It is appropriate to ask critical questions: What exactly is the claim? Has it been adequately confirmed? What does it mean?” And Hugh says, quoting the Apostle Paul: “Test everything. Hold fast to the good.” That is, don’t be swayed by propaganda. Ask what the relevant scholars think about the current “evidence” for the hypothesis. Does it contradict other evidence that is well-founded and undisputed? What kind of research can we marshal to subject the claims to a better test? Sounds like good advice to me. Sometimes it takes a while before the “news” as reported goes through a filtration process and emerges as tested truth or untruth. It helps to know that the next dispatch that the sky is falling-might only be a passing shower.