A Report on the Ark Encounter (Part 1)

The Ark Encounter at sunset on Monday, July 4. (Photo by Paul DeCesare; courtesy Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis and ArkEncounter.com)

From Dispensational Publishing House; used by permission.

July 5, 2016

Greetings from the Ark EncounterAnswers in Genesis’ life-size reconstruction of Noah’s ark.

In this first report following a very big day at the Ark, I want to emphasize a few simple points.

Just getting to the Ark proved to be quite a challenge this morning. My wife Lynnette and I thought that we were leaving early, but we ended up trying to take an alternate route when we saw traffic headed to the Ark on Interstate 75 at a near standstill. We entered the parking lot before 10 a.m., then stood in line until finally getting on a bus that was bound for the Ark and the ribbon cutting ceremony around 11:35. (The ceremony began at 11.) All this to say—the crowd was immense.

There were people everywhere—going in every direction—but especially going to see the Ark and desiring to be part of this historic event. According to a report from Answers in Genesis, the crowd numbered more than 7,000 people.

That number made me think of a familiar passage of Scripture, in which we read this Word from God to Elijah:

Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him (1 Kings 19:18).

In these strange days into which we are moving, could it be that many people—certainly not a majority, but a significant number—are hungry for truth and flocking to the Ark, specifically because it has much to teach us about these turbulent times?

As Jesus stated:

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all (Luke 17:26-27).

Dispensational Publishing House will be exploring similar themes all this month, so for now I will leave this as a rhetorical question. Certainly we can say that 7,000 people showed up today who are not ready to bow to the false gods of evolution and uniformitarianism.

Following the ceremonies, I left the Ark Encounter for several hours, then returned and spent about two hours touring the inside of the Ark. When I went back at 4 p.m., the crowd had thinned out to such an extent that I was the only one taking the bus bound for the Ark at that particular time. There were, of course, still many people inside taking the tour.

What did I see inside the Ark? I will give a detailed overview of my impressions in a later post. But first, I will describe some more personal highlights of my trip—particularly the opportunity to watch this historic event and spend time with one of several men who were honored today, Dr. John Whitcomb.

July 6, 2016

It was a great privilege to be invited to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Ark Encounter and to be able to tour the Ark twice before it opens to the public tomorrow.

I must admit that the opening events on Tuesday morning unfolded much differently than I expected. Since attendance at the ribbon cutting was by invitation only, I was envisioning a service that had some of the marks of the installation of a new president in a Bible college. What actually occurred was something more like—on a smaller scale—trying to get into a professional sports stadium for the game of the century. I wrote a little about this yesterday, and I truly hope that the crowds that turned out yesterday—and again today when we went back for the opportunity to tour the Ark at our leisure—are a sign of the kind of response that the Ark Encounter will continue to see on an ongoing basis.

The other very special privilege that I had during these days was to spend time with Dr. John and Mrs. Norma Whitcomb. I have assisted Dr. Whitcomb in his ministry for the past 13 years and contributed his bio in Coming to Grips with Genesis (Master Books, 2008). I have previously written about Dr. Whitcomb’s significant contribution to the beginning of the modern Biblical creationism movement, which, of course, is the backdrop to his inclusion in these events at the Ark.

It has been my desire for some time to be present when Dr. Whitcomb participated in the historic opening of the Ark. Ironically, I was still standing in a long line in the parking lot when it was time for his major place in the ceremony. But at least I was there on the grounds! And the Lord graciously gave me the ability to have this photo taken with the Whitcombs, and gave my wife and I the opportunity to spend a nice time at lunch with them and many of their family members who were on hand for the occasion.

At age 92, Dr. Whitcomb’s concerns during the time between ordering lunch and receiving it still focus upon the books he is writing and other ministry opportunities ahead. The Whitcombs were actually doing double duty this week, as the church fellowship that they are part of—the Conservative Grace Brethren Churches International—had planned their annual conference to coincide with the opening of the Ark Encounter.

DPH editor in chief Paul Scharf (left) with Dr. and Mrs. John C. Whitcomb following the Ark Encounter ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, July 5.

Dr. Whitcomb did not have any public speaking engagements during these days, but he interacted with countless people—some who have known him for years and some meeting him for the very first time. He began today at the Ark, where he met with some Conservative Grace Brethren pastors. The afternoon found him at the Creation Museum, where he signed books for an hour outside the bookstore and then did a recorded interview.

At an age when most people would not even consider making a trip to see these kinds of attractions, Dr. Whitcomb is an inspiration to all who come in contact with him.

This morning I met another member of the Greatest Generation—who is also a contributor to Dispensational Publishing House and a familiar name to many if not all of our readers. As my wife and I were on the ramp going up from the second to the third deck of the Ark, we saw Mark Looy, co-founder and chief communications officer of Answers in Genesis, speaking to none other than Dr. Tim LaHaye. Although I have interviewed Dr. LaHaye for Answers Magazine, and have worked with him on behalf of DPH, I had never met him in person.

Dr. LaHaye holds a special place in my heart—both because of his long and storied stand for Biblical truth and—in particular—Bible prophecy, and also because another beloved former seminary professor of mine, the late Dr. Ralph Turk, was once Dr. LaHaye’s right-hand man, and always spoke very highly of him.

As Dr. LaHaye shook my hand, he remarked on “what a testimony” the Ark offers to the world.

I am grateful to God for the opportunity to interact with Christian servants of the caliber of Drs. Whitcomb and LaHaye. The verse that comes to my mind is Phil. 2:29: “Hold such men in esteem.”

In tomorrow’s conclusion to this series of reports on the Ark, I will share my reaction to what I saw at this amazing apologetic endeavor.

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There are 40 Comments

dgszweda's picture

Or it might just be secular curiosity seekers?

 

Quote:
Certainly we can say that 7,000 people showed up today who are not ready to bow to the false gods of evolution and uniformitarianism.

I am also not sure we can call uniformitarianism a false god as a blanket statment.

Bert Perry's picture

For reference, the estimated visitors of 1.4 milllion to 2 million per year are equivalent to about 4000-6000 visitors per day; note that the article states clearly that highways were backed up with 7000 visitors, and buses are needed to get to the actual attraction.  Unless visitors distribute their visits through the day--and I'm guessing most will come in the AM and leave near closing--they are going to have a serious infrastructure problem here.  Kinda like trying to get to downtown when the Twins are playing--easier said than done.

Again, I hope that time and experience proves me wrong.  I'd love to see this be a huge encouragement to God's people and a good evangelism tool to boot, and I want to see it succeed.  I just don't see the business plan coming together with these numbers.

 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Don Johnson's picture

in the department of "tooting our own horn", you can hear two recent addresses by Dr. Whitcomb at our annual FBFI fellowship meeting here ... they will appear relatively near the top, or  you can filter by speaker on Dr. Whitcomb's name

Edit: Here are the individual messages

Dr. Whitcomb's Testimony

The Genesis Flood and Final Judgment

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Darrell Post's picture

"Or it might just be secular curiosity seekers?"

dgszweda, from Paul's report it sounds like the opening day event was by invitation only, so not sure how many secular curiosity seekers were invited for the opening day event.

Greg Long's picture

Bert, they have two shifts, a day and a night shift when you can visit, to spread out the crowds.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Bert Perry's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Bert, they have two shifts, a day and a night shift when you can visit, to spread out the crowds.

Not quite true; here are the hours.  Two shifts ends August 15, and then it goes to one shift where most visitors will be arriving in the first four hours of being open--say one car every 6-8 seconds if they get anywhere near their goal of 6000 visitors per day.  With the parking booths/toll booths that will be needed to get the parking fees, you're talking serious backup.  This is especially the case when you consider it will be fed by a two lane road.  Plus, even with two shifts, people are ordinarily going to favor daytime hours.  Also worth noting is that 1500-2000 vehicles appears to be about the "holding capacity" of their parking lot--you get lots of delays when parking is over 75% filled, too.

Moreover, three levels of 510x85' gets you about 130k square feet.  If we assume a visitor spends at least four hours on average there, that's about 40 square feet per visitor--when you carve out space "not amenable for people" and the ordinary space people give for reading and viewing an exhibit, you're getting into the realm of "fire marshal is going to have something to say", not to mention "people getting into other peoples' personal space".  

My guess is that attendance will be at nowhere near the 1.4 million to 2 million visitors per year, so this will probably not come to pass--I'd guess half a million the first year and 300k in following years are closer to reality.  But if I'm wrong, and it pokes up above a million a year, there are going to be some major infrastructure concerns, and perhaps also fire safety.  To draw a picture, the ~ 40sf/ person they'd have at the upper bound is about what the fire marshal allows in the auditorium part of 4th Baptist--and that's a concrete and steel building, and most people are sitting close together, not wandering through a museum.  

Love to be wrong on this, but this is more evidence that somebody at AIG didn't do their reckoning.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Greg Long's picture

Yes, I'm sure Bert that no one at AiG has given any thought to those issues that you hammered out in 30 minutes. Wink

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Bert Perry's picture

..how many times people that should know better miss the obvious in their business plans.  Two of my favorite examples involve my grandfather's company--he worked for Commonwealth Edison in Chicago, and before the 1933 World's Fair opened, he figured out that power to the Fair was grossly inadequate.  They brushed him aside, and then fuses and transformers popped like firecrackers on the 4th of July.  He ended up spending the week before his wedding (he honeymooned at the Fair) pulling cables and installing more power distribution.

Another example of not doing the math was when ConEd changed the lighting in their HQ from incandescent to flourescent--but the original design was for lighting to provide the heat.  So the pipes froze during a cold snap.  "Oops."

And as I've noted before, companies that get subsidies or tax breaks seem to be especially vulnerable here--like Obamacare exchanges, solar power companies, and the like.  This is, for better or worse, the category of Ark Encounter, and there are a LOT of things where the numbers they're using aren't consistent with comparable facilities.   Look 'em up for yourself; it's scary. 

 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Darrell Post's picture

To me it looks more like a work in progress, where they will hammer out some of the details as needed. Paul Scharf was there and gave us a report on day one, which involved the special ribbon cutting, and so that was a unique event. But I don't see any need to rush to judgment. Notice in Part 2 Paul mentioned things were still being completed. He said you park, wait for shuttle, and then get dropped off. Notice he didn't say there was a delay in this process in the last two days he was there.  

dgszweda's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Yes, I'm sure Bert that no one at AiG has given any thought to those issues that you hammered out in 30 minutes. Wink

 

The attendance at the Creation Museum is dropping rapidly right now, and has forced AiG into the red.  One of the reasons they started increasing ticket prices.  This museum is only attracting a little over 250K in attendance.  With that said, the Hudden report which was commissioned by the Kentucky Tourism board as part of the application process, indicated that the numbers from AiG were wildly inflated.  The report projected the attendance would probably be under 400K a year.

AiG's attendance numbers are based on the belief that 4 out of 5 people in America believe in the Ark, which is probably a big stretch.  If there first 6 days is extrapolated (i.e. the same number of people continue coming for the next year at the same levels as the first 6 days), they would not hit their target.

Greg Long's picture

I was talking more about the logistical issues to which Bert was referring.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Bert Perry's picture

Darrell Post wrote:

To me it looks more like a work in progress, where they will hammer out some of the details as needed. Paul Scharf was there and gave us a report on day one, which involved the special ribbon cutting, and so that was a unique event. But I don't see any need to rush to judgment. Notice in Part 2 Paul mentioned things were still being completed. He said you park, wait for shuttle, and then get dropped off. Notice he didn't say there was a delay in this process in the last two days he was there.  

OK, first of all, I've seen the claims of what David is noting, and I'm sure we both hope we're wrong--but I've got to trust him on this.  And since the CM was paid for in cash, if they're running in the red, they have some serious cash flow and visitation issues.  That noted, 250k/year is about what you would predict when you map out visitors/square foot in comparison with a lot of other museums like the Field and Science & Industry in Chicago.  

Regarding the logistical issues, there are some they can fix, and some they can't.  The one they can fix is road access--you simply ask the county to make it four lanes and widen the access to their parking lots, and you're good.  The flip side is--here is that visitors per square foot thing again--you can only put so many people through the 100k-130k square feet of the "Ark" before people start feeling seriously crowded or the fire marshal says "no more."  I'd like to think that if you did a little bit to motivate people to spread out their visits throughout the day, you'd be able to bend this a little bit towards the upside, but all in all, if they get more than 500k this year, I'll be surprised.

And I acknowledge I can be coming across as something of a "negative Nellie" or something here--as I noted above, it's something I may get from my grandfather--but at a certain point, we've got to get it through our heads that the ministries we support need to have a coherent business plan that takes into account comparable events.  Would you work with a realtor that ignored comps, or a financial adviser who ignored market history?  Same basic principle.  Again, I hope I'm wrong, but this could be really, really bad.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Darrell Post's picture

Bert,

Any Christian org out there could end up in a really, really bad situation. Most Bible colleges operate year to year hoping to stay afloat. Same for Christian camps. Without endowments, many of these organizations could fold. My comments above were restricted to the Ark Encounter. I haven't commented on the Creation Museum in this thread, though I have visited it and found it to be a great experience. But the cut ribbon at the Ark Encounter hasn't even made it to the dumpster yet, and they are still building the place, but already all sorts of worry and hand-wringing over logistical issues that may or may not exist? Why? Don't take this wrong, but your comments sort of suggest that you wish the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter were never built...is that true?

Jim's picture

Darrell Post wrote:

Don't take this wrong, but your comments sort of suggest that you wish the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter were never built...is that true?

Not every "Christian" endeavor is worthy of support.

Studying Church history bears this truth out. An example: The Children's Crusade[s]

Nicholas, a shepherd from the Rhineland in Germany who possessed an extraordinary eloquence, tried to lead a group across the Alps and into Italy in the early spring of 1212. Nicholas promised that the sea would dry up before them and allow his followers to cross into the Holy Land

[another] was led by a twelve-year-old French shepherd boy named Stephan of Cloyes, who claimed in June that he bore a letter for the king of France from Jesus. Large gangs of youth around his age were drawn to him, most of whom claimed to possess special gifts of God and thought themselves miracle workers

 

Where "things" go "off the rails":

  • Start with a truth
  • Elevate that truth above other truths
  • Have a proposal
  • Exaggerate the benefits
  • Excite the crowds (strong personalties with oratorical skills help)
  • Et cetera

I have a real story from being on a local Christian non-profit board:

  • There's a very great need
  • If we build it - will meet that need
  • The build proposal was very large (I know I am not being specific here ... too "close to home"
  • Capacity now in place
  • Expected "demand" for services has not materialized
  • The "leader" has some mystic-like tendencies ("God told him/her", et cetera)

With regard to the ark ... here's a question: if it's such a great idea why didn't Paul (or another apostle) envision it?

 

Bert Perry's picture

I'm all in favor of a Creation Museum, and I'm all in favor of doing things to demonstrate the feasibility of the Ark. So sorry, Darrell, but you're wrong.  I've even visited the former and enjoyed it.

The only thing I object to is is failing to "count the cost" on the viability of an enterprise, and that extends not only to AIG, but churches, Bible colleges, and people.  And may I suggest to you that one reason that so many organizations (and people) are living hand to mouth is because they did not count the cost?

Just for giggles, run the numbers on CR and AE.  The former cost $27 million, if I remember correctly, and is about 60000 square feet--about $450/sf about a decade ago($515/sf today).  AE has about 100-130k sf in the Ark and probably another 70k elsewhere--so the cost/sf is probably at least $500.  For what is basically a gigantic Amish barn.  

In contrast, typical housing cost is $50-$200/sf, and typical non-high-rise commercial is about $200/sf.  For museums, the inflation-and-cost-of-building-adjusted cost for the Field Museum in Chicago is about $170/sf, judging by what it took to build and then rebuild Soldier Field (a contemporary structure) across the street.  Science and Industry down the road is similar, and many of the exhibits in the Field were paid for with that money, too.

I don't know why AIG's numbers are so out of line with other attractions/museums, but if I were on their board, I'd be asking.  Christians need to get smarter about this stuff.  One extreme seems to be building things for $20/sf that look like an abandoned mining town in the Appalachians, and the other seems to be spending $500/sf and then wondering why we can't make the mortgage payments.  We seriously need to insist that ministries we support pay attention to the green eyeshades guys and the guys who know how to make an honest business plan.  Otherwise our "faith promise" means "brilliant dream after eating pizza too late at night."  It's fun, but don't make your budgets on it.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Darrell Post wrote:

Don't take this wrong, but your comments sort of suggest that you wish the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter were never built...is that true?

My concern is that despite the fact that the Creation Museum was starting to have some financial problems, they still chose to issue $55 Million in bond debt on top of the bond debt that they are holding on the Creation Museum.  They have created a static display for the most part at the museum which really doesn't drive a lot of people to revisit.  So you get your first 1-2 million people to visit the museum and they are not going to pay a lot of money to come back and see the same displays and the same story.  This is not how a museum is typically built.  So they added extra attractions like ziplines to bring people back or try to get new people to attend.  I am just not sure they have really thought this out.  I see the Ark Encounter really being an extension of the Creation Museum to help drive attendance and when the attendance begins to decline and the bonds become difficult to pay they will need to open something else up.  So to me, based on the last 8 years, it appears to be more of a pyramid type of approach to get more people to come back to attractions that are marketed to a small slice of the population and are for the most part fairly stagnant in terms of variety.

For me, while I am a strong supporter of AiG and a dogmatic 24 hour 6 day creationist, I do feel that the money could have been spent elsewhere and that going into debt over it probably wasn't the best approach.

Darrell Post's picture

Bert,

Fair enough...just wanted clarity on where you stood, as you were starting to sound a little like a "concerned troll" in regards to this.

Jim,

You would really compare the Children's crusade to the Creation Museum/Ark Encounter?

My take on the CM/AE is that they are basically in the same genre as a Christian camp, with the obvious angle of teaching about origins. Both the CM/AE and Christians camps are places Christians can go to:

1. listen to speakers and learn

2. enjoy the grounds/facility

3. enjoy Christian fellowship

Of course how well or poorly any para-church org accomplishes the aim of providing such a place is up for debate.

Darrell Post's picture

"With regard to the ark ... here's a question: if it's such a great idea why didn't Paul (or another apostle) envision it?"

Jim, of course I don't recall any of the apostles starting up Bible Colleges, or Christian day schools, or voting to install air conditioning in their sanctuaries. There was no point to Paul building an ark replica in his day because the gentile Romans wouldn't have a clue what it was about, and Jews familiar with their Old Testaments would simply take the story for granted. I am guessing that Ham's argument is that in our context, there are many weak Christians who could learn a lot about the accounts in Genesis and be better for it, and that in our secular American culture there are still plenty of people familiar with the Noah story, and might turn out to see such a replica, and again, benefit from it as Ham does give out the gospel. It is no doubt fair to assess whether or not this is a worthy endeavor, and whether or not Ham accomplishes worthy objectives, but introducing an anachronistic argument is silly.

Bert Perry's picture

Darrell:  :^).  Yes, there are definitely people out there who attack for the sake of attacking, and on the flip side you've got the "other ditch" of defending for the sake of one's own tribe.  Easiest way to avoid falling into (h/t Doug Maclachlan) either ditch is to watch out for genetic fallacies, IMO.

BTW, read David's latest comment carefully.  If indeed he's correct that after building the CM debt-free, AIG has been issuing bonds, they are in far deeper than my comments would lead you to believe.  I don't watch AIG closely enough to tell.  David also does a great job detailing how great museums work--they have their permanent collections (say the taxidermy and fossils at the Field, or the U-505 at S&I), but they also have temporary exhibitions to get people in the 2nd, 3rd, etc., times.  

Like Jim says, not every "Christian" idea is a good one, and the Children's Crusade and "Heritage USA" are great pictures of what can happen when people ignore good counsel.  Hopefully this doesn't end up like that, but there are some very ominous signs.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

2008: 404,000

2009: 310,000

2010: 305,590

2011: 282,000

2012: 282,000

2013: 256,000

2014: 281,000

Jim's picture

Darrell Post wrote:
I don't recall any of the apostles starting up Bible Colleges, or Christian day schools, or voting to install air conditioning in their sanctuaries. 

When groups of churches pull together to start a Bible College (or CDS) ... this is a godly endeavor!

Ark? I'm a skeptic. It's "Bible" tourism.

Bert Perry's picture

Now we might quibble on the specific form it took, but Paul certainly went to a 1st century "Yeshiva", the Jewish equivalent of a Bible college or seminary, and it's suggested that Christ might have as well.  Moreover, the very format of the group of disciples is akin to a yeshiva or the groups which would gather around a teacher in Greek academies, and Acts and the church fathers record many instances of the church, or portions of the church, gathering together for periods of time far longer than a sermon.  So while we might use different phrases to describe it and different organizational models, the Bible college and children's instruction are clearly drawn from Biblical evidence and the witness of the 1st century church.  Another point of reference; many Jews refer to their synagogue as a "shul", Yiddish for "school."

That doesn't mean an ark is wrong, but it does mean that it fills a different purpose , and one that is not as Biblically based, as a Bible college, seminary, or day school.  And it's a purpose where we--probably deliberately by the will of the Son of God--don't know a lot about it.  What was gopher wood?  How was it joined together?  Did it have prow and stern?  How does "type" match up to family, genus, species, and the like?  Were they full grown or juveniles?  AIG has done a lot of educated guesses, but that's exactly what it is. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Bert Perry wrote:
 AIG has done a lot of educated guesses, but that's exactly what it is. 

This is one of my concerns as well.  Many people get lulled into a vision of what something in Scripture looks like and use it to defend or interpret Scripture and we need to be careful.  In totality there is very little written about the ark.  We don't even truly know the real length of the ark, let alone what the Garden of Eden looked like or the dinosaurs, or.......

Larry Nelson's picture

 

"The AiG president further revealed that if public school students are booked as a group through their school to visit the Ark Encounter or the Creation Museum for educational, recreational, or historical purposes, then each child will only have to pay $1, with accompanying teachers coming in free."

http://www.christianpost.com/news/atheist-group-warns-schools-against-ken-hams-1-ark-encounter-field-trips-166553

 

Larry Nelson's picture

 

"It's unclear how much money the Ark has earned since opening. But in its first six days, a spokeswoman told NBC News there have been about 30,000 visitors.

Members of a documentary crew that joined Nye told NBC News the crowd appeared thin on the day he visited and the parking lot was mostly empty.

Ham hopes to attract close to 2 million guests in the attraction's first year."

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/absolutely-wrong-bill-nye-sc...

-----------------------------------------------------

Let's do the math:

To get 2 million guests in its first year , the Ark Encounter would need to average about 5,510 guests per day. (2,000,000/363 = about 5,510.)  It's closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, hence the 363 figure used for number of days.

But if its attendance in the first six days has been "about 30,000," in its very first week it has averaged about 5,000 guests per day: which is already below the daily average they would need to reach 2,000,000 in annual attendance.

Bert Perry's picture

Looks like last week, I made a mistake on estimating the cost of the Field and Science and Industry.  The Field cost $7 million in 1917, $8.5 million including exhibits, to build from 1917 to 1921.  The higher figure would be about $200 million today for the 480,000 square feet of the Field, which is not about $170/sf, but rather about $275/sf for the building and $333/sf including exhibits.  It's closer to AIG's work, but....if you've been to the Field, you know it's a completely different building, entirely clad in limestone marble with Ionic columns, sculpture, and other hints of Greek temple architecture like a gigantic main hall that would just about hold the Ark--the bow and stern would poke out over the north and south steps, but otherwise it would come pretty close to fitting.  

So the numbers are somewhat different, but the end story is that if you can't depend on ongoing support from the government or the owner of one of the biggest department stores in the Midwest and his friends (Marshall Field), you'd better be careful about costs or it's going to get ugly, and quickly. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

James K's picture

Jim wrote:

 

Darrell Post wrote:

 

Don't take this wrong, but your comments sort of suggest that you wish the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter were never built...is that true?

 

 

Not every "Christian" endeavor is worthy of support.

Studying Church history bears this truth out. An example: The Children's Crusade[s]

Nicholas, a shepherd from the Rhineland in Germany who possessed an extraordinary eloquence, tried to lead a group across the Alps and into Italy in the early spring of 1212. Nicholas promised that the sea would dry up before them and allow his followers to cross into the Holy Land

[another] was led by a twelve-year-old French shepherd boy named Stephan of Cloyes, who claimed in June that he bore a letter for the king of France from Jesus. Large gangs of youth around his age were drawn to him, most of whom claimed to possess special gifts of God and thought themselves miracle workers

 

Where "things" go "off the rails":

  • Start with a truth
  • Elevate that truth above other truths
  • Have a proposal
  • Exaggerate the benefits
  • Excite the crowds (strong personalties with oratorical skills help)
  • Et cetera

I have a real story from being on a local Christian non-profit board:

  • There's a very great need
  • If we build it - will meet that need
  • The build proposal was very large (I know I am not being specific here ... too "close to home"
  • Capacity now in place
  • Expected "demand" for services has not materialized
  • The "leader" has some mystic-like tendencies ("God told him/her", et cetera)

With regard to the ark ... here's a question: if it's such a great idea why didn't Paul (or another apostle) envision it?

 

Jim, why didn't Paul envision missions agencies or seminaries?

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

James K's picture

I see where others brought up the B/C comparison.  The only organization sanctioned by the NT is the church.  Beyond that, it is simply what Christians want to do.  If the ARK fails and closes, then that is the end of it.  It simply reflects a lack of interest.  Businesses open and fail everyday people.  Did Christ fail simply because Northland did?  No.  Same will be true of the ark if it fails.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Mark_Smith's picture

I have no dog in this hunt, but why are a few of you so interested in the Ark Encounter failing? And stop pretending you aren't.

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