It is good that there are documentaries about archaeological finds, because I would be far too lazy to ever become one of those archaeologists and painstakingly dig and sift through all that dirt myself, but I am positively fascinated by what they find.
Now, of course, we are getting closer to the beginning of school, and being an educational documentary, this DVD did not get quite the reception from my kids as the TobyMac CD did. Sorry, Patterns of Evidence, TobyMac is tough competition!
Don't let their faces fool you, though, this is a well-done documentary that held our attention while it revealed amazing and fascinating information. The only problem is that it was just, well, you know, educational. Sorry, kids, it's getting to be that time of year again!
Patterns of Evidence Exodus deals with one of the most controversial and fundamental questions of recent decades: Does my faith hold up in the face of mounting scientific evidence, and if not, do I still believe? You and I have both heard the same explanations since we were children: "Well, the Bible is not meant to be a document containing cold, hard facts. What is important is the teachings." I reject that whole-heartedly. It's either true or it's not. If the writers of the Bible made up a bunch of fairy tales and based a religion on them, I wouldn't be following them.
The other explanation that I totally reject is that God did not leave evidence because He wants us to believe based on blind faith. "If you had too much evidence, where would your faith come in?" Right? There is nothing blind about faith. Faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." For it to be real faith, there must be substance to it.
Think of it this way. I have faith in my husband, that he will not cheat on me. Why? Because he's my husband? Because if I believe he won't cheat, then he won't cheat? If my husband was openly cheating, my refusing to believe that fact would not make it any less true. In fact, I'd probably be regarded as foolish. The fact is, I believe - no, I know - that my husband is faithful to me for a myriad of reasons that have built the trust over time. He has always been faithful, I know that what he believes requires him to be faithful, I know his character, he has made promises to be faithful and he has never broken his promises to me, and I have no reason to believe he is not being faithful. If any one of those things changed, I would have to re-evaluate and determine whether or not he was still worthy of my trust. But as long as he has my trust, I do not suspect him of being unfaithful when he is not with me, even though I do not see what he is doing every minute of every day. He has my trust. I have faith in him.
Now, should God have to prove Himself to us, being that He is, after all, God? Of course not. Having faith, theoretically, should be enough. God knows, however, that we are human and fallible, and without having evidence of Him, we could have faith in Him but just as easily have faith in other religions, in other gods, and in leprechauns at the ends of rainbows. He gives us scientific and historical evidence not because He has anything to prove, but so that we know Who to believe.
In addition, if God does exist and the stories in the Bible did happen, then by the laws of cause-and-effect, physical evidence should exist. That's just the way He created the world.
The Apostles and members of the early church did not follow Christ by blind faith. In fact, Paul and the other Apostles spent much of their time proving that Jesus was the Messiah that had been prophesied, and that He was physically raised from the dead, in order to defend their faith. Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians: "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. . . . If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." (I Cor 15: 17, 19 NIV)
In Acts 2:22, Peter said, "Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know."
In John 15:24, speaking of people who refused to follow Him, Jesus said, "If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin."
I have been raised in the Church and have been a Christian for a long time. I do not plan to let any scientific evidence shake my faith in God. I do, however, believe that God and the Bible will certainly stand up to any amount of questioning, and I think it is important to look at scientific evidence for the benefit of those to whom we witness and for our children. Children hear Bible stories when they are little, and as they grow older, they hear all kinds of "scientific evidence" refuting those stories. No wonder so many leave their faith behind when they go off to college. Want to hear something surprising? The more I study "scientific evidence," the more I find that it supports the Bible rather than refuting it.
As Tim Mahoney says in Patterns of Evidence Exodus, the goal of both science and faith should be to find The Truth. When they both find The Truth, they will be in complete agreement.
In the past I have studied and written about the scientific evidence surrounding the story of Creation and the Flood. Patterns of Evidence Exodus, as the name implies, delves into the archaeological evidence surrounding the Israelites' arrival in Egypt, their rapid multiplication, their slavery by the Egyptians, the Plagues, and ultimately, their Exodus from Egypt and the collapse of Egyptian civilization that ensued, along with their conquests in Canaan. Many scholars say there is no archaeological evidence to support these stories. What is even more shocking to me is that there are so many Christians and Jews who believe that these events did not happen, yet they say it does not matter and that they still have "faith." How can it not matter? What would you say if I told you I was waiting for Prince Charming to come carry me off to his castle in the clouds, even though I believed that the story of Snow White was a fairy tale that never really happened? How can you base a faith on something that you do not believe is true?
Tim Mahoney describes his own journey through his crisis in faith. He was raised as a Christian and believed the Bible to be true, but wondered how he could continue to believe if it was proven not to be true. Would "faith" be enough? Rather than turn a blind eye to the facts, he decided to go to great lengths to investigate to their conclusion. Based on advice he had been given, he decided to present the facts he discovered on both sides of the debate in this documentary, so that the audience could make an educated decision. What he found was astonishing.
Whether you are homeschooling or not, if you want your children to learn how to strengthen their faith by thinking for themselves and evaluating the evidence, or if you want to do so yourself, you need to include Patterns of Evidence Exodus in your curriculum for the upcoming school year. If you do not believe the Bible is true and literal or if you are not sure, this would also be an excellent DVD for you. I highly recommend it.
To get you started, we are having a giveaway for a copy of Patterns of Evidence Exodus! Leave a comment here or on my Facebook page. Do you believe the Bible is literally true or that it is just a collection of stories? I will draw for a winner next Friday, August 14.
About Patterns of Evidence Exodus:For more than 50 years, the vast majority of the world's most prominent archaeologists and historians have proclaimed that there is no hard evidence to support the Exodus story found in the Bible. In fact, they say that the archaeological record is completely opposed to the Bible's account. This view of extreme skepticism has spread from academia to the world. The case against the Exodus appears to be so strong that even some religious leaders are labeling this ancient account as historical fiction. Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney begins with the questions, "Is the Bible just a myth, or did the archaeologists get it wrong?" He decides to tackle this issue with a deliberate scientific approach. After examining the details in the biblical text, he journeys across the globe to search for patterns of evidence firsthand. The result is the most in-depth archaeological investigation into the Exodus from Egypt ever captured on film. This scientific documentary's goal is to communicate the TRUTH of the Bible and help equip believers with defending their faith and the Bible.
The DVD features stunning animations and a cast including narrator, Kevin Sorbo (God's Not Dead, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), interviews with leading archaeologists including Israel Finkelstein, Kent Weeks, and David Rohl, and guest appearances by Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres.
Releases on DVD August 4, 2015 Run Time: 119 minutes Special Features: Cast Profiles & 17 Extra Interviews Documentary Rating: NR
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Official Website: http://patternsofevidence.com
Official Website to Purchase: http://shop.
Blog featuring interviews with director Tim Mahoney and an article by Anne Graham Lotz: http://patternsofevidence.
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.