Review: Jonathan Park: Ep. 30 – The Temple of the Moon, Part 2

For more Jonathan Park reviews, click here.

Plot Summary:

A mysterious stranger offers to send the Park and Brenan families to the Royal Tombs in the ancient city of Ur. They have three days to find an artifact that will shed light on the Tower of Babel account in Genesis, but Eli Bennet has vowed to find it first! (Taken from here.)

The Study Guide for Episodes 29-30 can be found here.

Topics include:

  • Theories of Evolution of Language
  • Flavius Josephus
  • Tower of Babel Stories
  • Made in God’s Image
  • Tower of Babel (God vs. Man)

Background Information

The Jonathan Park CDs are produced by Vision Forum Ministries.  Through these CDs, VF hope to ‘provide children and adults with scientific evidence that is in harmony with the Word of God’.  [Which raises the questions, 'What does "in harmony" mean?' and 'What do they do with scientific evidence that is not in harmony with the Word of God?']

Tagline: This is our Father’s world, God created it; we can explore it, so live the adventure!

NOTE: The producers of this series neglect to reference their information in any form.  No references is ever given either on the CD or in the Study Guide for ANY information presented in the series.  Even the voice actors of the series are not given any credit anywhere.  We only know that the series is a production of Vision Forum Ministries.

Topics in this episode

Issues

Theories of Evolution of Language

The STORY: Dr Park has a huge problem with the evolutionary model for the origin of languages.

There are many evolutionary theories that try to explain how language evolved from animal sounds.

For the full list of theories mentioned in the program, click here.

After hearing the list, the YEC characters agree that the theories are all ‘ridiculous’.

Dr Park claims that none of these theories come even close to explaining how man came to speak with grammar, able to communicate complex ideas. Not only can language communicate what we feel with our senses, but also complex concepts like love, hate, and jealousy.  The evidence fits much better with the idea that language was given by a Creator. (1:21-3.42)

The FACTS: Vision Forum (as per SOP) did not cite their source, so I had to do the searching myself.  It appears that they got their information from the website linked above as the information is almost ad verbatim.

‘Language’ is different from ‘communication’ as one can communicate even complex concepts without speaking.  Non-verbal people, infants, and even animals can express their feelings without words.

There is nothing wrong with coming up with theories to explain things.  Saying that the theories are ‘ridiculous’ and claiming that the evidence fits Creation better is an example of an Argument from Incredulity.

[Click here to go to the list of Topics.]

*****************************************************************************************

Flavius Josephus

A bust said to be of Flavius Josephus

A bust said to be of Flavius Josephus

The STORY:Thomas Michaels discovers that the mysterious caller, Flavius, is really his father, Henry Michaels.  The older Mr Michaels is interested in archaeology and likes the writings of Flavius Josephus.  When Thomas realises that it is his father who has organised this whole mission, he is not impressed.

The FACTS: My sympathies lie firmly with Thomas on this. What Mr Michaels, Sr. did was sneaky and reprehensible, even if it was motivated by love.

On a more academic note, Flavius Josephus was a real life first century Romano-Jewish historian who wrote about first century Jewish history.  He also interpreted the Tower of Babel as a defiant act ordered by Nimrod.

[Click here to go to the list of Topics.]

*****************************************************************************************

Tower of Babel Stories

The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel

The STORY: There are stories similar to the Tower of Babel from around the world.  This is strong evidence that it was an actual historical event.  Of course, there would be some differences in the stories.  We can trust the the Bible’s account is accurate and without error because, well, it’s the Word of God. (16:00-18:10)

The FACTS: I think ‘all around the world’ is a bit of a stretch, but the Biblical account is certainly not the only one.  Some of the more well-known ones are on wikipedia: Tower of Babel: Comparable Mythemes.

Interesting point: The phrase ‘the Tower of Babel’ never actually appears in the Bible.  It is ‘the city and its tower’.

The earliest manuscripts for the book of Genesis are dated to 150 BCE.  The Sumerian parallel, Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, was written in c. 21st century BCE.  Why did it take so long for the account which was finally put down in Genesis to be written down?  The fact the the Genesis account was written later seems to point to the idea that the writers copied the Sumerian account and ‘adapted’ it to their audience.

[Click here to go to the list of Topics.]

*****************************************************************************************

Made in God’s Image

The STORY: Genesis 1:27 says that man has been made in God’s image.  This includes having language ability and is what sets us apart from the animals. (20:45)

The FACTS: The meaning of ‘made in God’s image’ is a theological issue and not a scientific one.  The Bible does not specifically say what ‘in God’s image’ means.

Having language ability is not the only thing that sets humans apart from the animals.

[Click here to go to the list of Topics.]

*****************************************************************************************

Tower of Babel (God vs. Man)

The STORY: According to Genesis 11:4,  Man wanted get together and make a name for themselves so that they could be like God. God didn’t like that, so he destroyed man’s plans.  Like the Titanic.  God will not tolerate man coming together to make a name for themselves and say, “We don’t need God.” ( 22:10)

The FACTS: Here is what Genesis 11:4 says:

4And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

It does not say that man wanted to do this so that they could be like God.  They wanted to make themselves a name, and they were afraid of being scattered abroad, which, ironically, is what happened when the LORD got wind of their plans.

According to Genesis 11:6-8, this is the LORD’s reaction when he discovered man’s plans.

6And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

8So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

A reading of this shows the somewhat confusing depiction of ‘the LORD’ somehow feeling threatened by man’s coming together to do ambitious things.  The implication even seems to be that man could achieve his ambitions: ‘now nothing will restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.’   ‘The LORD’, displeased with this prospect, scattered man abroad.  This behavior is similar to ‘the LORD God’ in Genesis 3 who felt threatened by the possibility that man would eat from the tree of life and live forever, so he had to banish them from the Garden of Eden.

That God could feel intimidated by man is disconcerting.

[Click here to go to the list of Topics.]

*****************************************************************************************

Conclusion

This episode ridiculed evolutionary ideas of the origin of language development, and concluded that the best explanation is the one explained in the Bible by providing supporting data from other myths.  This is not science; it’s only reiterating what Vision Forum (and the Institute for Creation Research) believe and teach, namely, that the Bible is factual and theories that involve evolution in any form are false.

Volume 3 of Jonathan Park seems to have taken a turn for the worse in the writing department.  While the regular characters seem to be developing nicely, they are still rather two-dimensional in that they are very clearly the ‘good guys’.  The ‘bad guys’ are clearly evil with their evil voices and accents, and their non-Creationist worldview.  This is okay for very young listeners, but older listeners may find these portrayals cartoonish and unrealistic.  (To be honest, I find Benjamin Park’s ‘grandfatherly’ voice really freaky.)

The subplot also focused heavily on repentance and reconciling with God.  This, too, is okay if the aim of the series is to evangelise the Good News, but entwining the ‘gospel message’ with a hard-to-believe adventure story coupled with bad ‘science’ is what makes this series hard to recommend with a clear conscience.

<< Previous: Ep. 29 | List of Reviews | Next: Ep. 31 >>

About these ads

Posted on Sunday, November 28th, 2010, in Bible, Creation vs Evolution, Jonathan Park, Jonathan Park Reviews, Vision Forum, Young Earth Creationism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 93 other followers

%d bloggers like this: