What is being called one of the best new resources for understanding the biblical account of Noah’s Flood started out on a modest scale.
Larry Stone, author of “Noah: The Real Story,” originally was planning to write a magazine article, not a book-length treatment of one of history’s most famous stories.
“Eventually, I was asked to do this as a book, and while I was not making this a defense of the creationist position per se, I did want to give creationists a fair shake.”
Creation scientist Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, said if Genesis chapters 6-9 are taken as “naturally as written, as historical narrative, then you cannot conclude anything else except Noah’s Flood was a global/universal event.”
Genesis 7:19 says: “And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered … and the mountains were covered.”
Furthermore, Ham said, in 2 Peter 3, Noah’s Flood is discussed in the context of the second coming and the future judgment by fire.
“Both are global events in regards to the earth,” Ham said.
Stone believes Ham’s point about future judgment is significant, and it’s the main reason he wrote “Noah: The Real Story.”
“Use this as an opportunity to talk to your friends about the Noah story,” said Stone, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute. “Not just the guy in Sunday school, but the pagan guy, if you will, at the water cooler.”
Stone said the last chapter of “Noah: The Real Story” is “the most important, because it gives you an opportunity to say, ‘Do you know what Jesus said about Noah?’
“When the Flood came, it was too late. When Jesus comes, it’s too late to choose sides. It’s a powerful story, and Paramount Pictures is giving people an opportunity to talk about it.”
The final chapter of “Noah: The Real Story” is titled “Noah’s Secret for Surviving the End of the World.” It outlines the biblical view of salvation. It’s a discussion Stone expects to have with increasing frequency in the days ahead.
The film, “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins, has reached fever pitch in media coverage. Stone welcomes the discussion that has preceded the film, and he knows it will continue.
He pointed out that one reviewer of his book accused him of taking advantage of the movie.
“Well, of course I am! People are going to be talking about Noah, the Ark, the Flood, the animals … and most of us don’t know the backstory. My goal is, if you don’t know the story, read my book.”
“Should Christians go see this movie? Yes. Fabulous special effects, great acting. We get to see the waters of the deep, the rain coming down. Go as a group, then go out for pizza and talk about it!”
Stone has developed a discussion guide, which is available on his website NoahtheRealStory.com.
“The thing I’ve noticed so far with the book is that the reviews reflect – and people’s reactions to the book reflect – what they bring to it, what their expectations are. Some are criticizing that it’s only 176 pages, but those who understood what I was trying to do are real positive.”
One industry expert insists its brevity is a strength.
“The trend now in publishing, especially with apologetics books, is ‘smaller is better.’ In other words, most people are so busy with their lives and social media, that they are more willing to read smaller books. The bottom line is that these books will garner more readers, and that’s the point, isn’t it? To get more people to read and absorb information. It’s critical in the marketing aspect, as well. Larry Stone’s book fits these criteria perfectly.”
In his book, Stone shows that many of the modern searches for Noah’s Ark were myth or based on hoaxes.
“Opportunity for fame and fortune creates opportunity for scams, frauds and self-deception,” said Stone. “The search for the Ark is no exception. The stakes are high.”
Stone covers four hoaxes in his book, including the “Russian expedition of 1916,” which has become famous in Ark-hunter lore. The problem is, said Stone, it’s “a great story, but it’s 95 percent fiction written by an ‘off-center man’ with an ‘exaggerated imagination.’”
According to previous researchers and writers, before the Russian Revolution, the czar sent a team to Mt. Ararat, near Yerevan, Turkey, to investigate a pilot’s claim to have spotted a large wooden ship high up the mountain. After reaching the site, the team photographed the structure, took measurements and samples, and sent back a detailed report. Researchers long have hoped it survived in the dark rooms of the Kremlin.
Stone said, however, that the tale, carried from a retired lawyer to a newspaper reporter, was false.
“The story may have a kernel of truth in it, but it’s mostly fiction,” he said.
In “Noah: The Real Story,” Stone also discusses ancient shipbuilding techniques, flood stories from cultures around the world and the so-called flood geology. He was fascinated to learn of so many different views regarding the earth’s geological features.
“By the early 1900s most geologists had dismissed the idea that the world could be affected by a flood. Then a geologist found evidence that the terrain in Washington state had been formed by a flood,” he said. “But someone noted that you can’t see evidence for something you don’t believe exists.”
Russ Miller, founder and director of Creation Evolution and Science Ministries, is a leading speaker in churches and other venues, where people are clamoring to learn about the veracity of the biblical flood account. Miller understands Stone’s view of presuppositions forming the basis of one’s worldview:
“Today’s fossil record is exactly what we would expect to find following the worldwide deluge described in the book of Genesis,” he said. “The Bible foretells that in the latter days people will deny there was a global flood. Well, secular geology is based on the earth’s crust, those sedimentary layers which were deposited by water, having formed slowly over long ages of time. Thus they deny there was a global flood as such an event would explain how the strata layers formed quickly, undermining the secular geology’s misinterpretation of the world.”
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