We now come to what one helpful museum employee described to me as “the climax of the museum.” The previous exhibits took us through the first four of the seven C’s (Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion). Now, with one further fifteen minute movie, we would get the final three (Christ, Cross, Consummation). The film was entitled The Last Adam, which is a reference to 1 Corinthians 15:45:

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

Short review: Where’s Mel Gibson when you need him?

After the build-up of the previous exhibits, the film is a terrible disappointment. Men in White may have been a load of shameless ignorance-peddling, but at least it held your interest. This humdrum bit of dreck, by contrast, never manages to get going.

The film opens with a man sitting in front of a campfire. He shows a fossilized tooth from a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Just a relic of the past now, but at one time it resided in the mouth of an actual living creature. He sets the tooth aside and picks up a Bible. Caressing it lovingly, he says:

Of this book, some think it’s just an old relic, too. Tales and stories from another time and place. Not to me. This is written by someone who was actually there.

A voiceover now reads 2 Timothy 3:16:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

The man now continues:

Right from the start in the book of Genesis, the Bible tells us about the origin of all things. Matter, light, Earth, Sun, moon, animals. Some people say that none of it is true. Well, that’s not what I believe. I believe all of it is true. And everything I’ve learned just keeps confirming how true it is. How true it always has been. The Bible even helps make sense of the hard things in this world. Things like pain, suffering and death. These were not part of the original creation.

There follows several more minutes of this, as the fellow recounts the familiar story of Adam’s sin and the subsequent corruption of the world, and the significance of Abraham and Moses. Periodically the man is interrupted so that the familiar, ominous voiceover can spout a Bible verse in our general direction.

This is where things started getting creepy. We now learn about the need for a perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. For this purpose, the Israelites sacrificed an innocent, perfect little lamb. Did the man condemn this barbaric practice? Certainly not. He says:

So through Moses God revealed his law, and the people’s need for an unblemished sacrifice to atone for sin. So in obedience to God the Israelites shed the blood of spotless lambs over and over again for the forgiveness of sins. We see now that their sacrifices symbolized what was to come in the Messaih. The one who would provide the ultimate and perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world.

Follow that logic? Humans sin, so God commands animal torture. What charming folks.

It gets better. We next meet Mary who, we are told, knew something about sacrifice. Cut to Mary. She tells us a pleasant little anecdote about how her parents forced her to watch the sacrifice of the lambs. It might have been more convincing if they had gotten Jodie Foster to play the role. It broke her heart, but her parents felt it necessary to impress upon her the awfulness of sin and what it costs to cover it.

Life proceded to get very interesting for Mary:

One day, after I was engaged to Joseph, I was visited by an angel of God. She told me not to be afraid, and that I was to give birth to a son and that I should call him Jesus. I asked how this could be since I was still a virgin. The angel told me that the power of the most high would overshadow me and that my son would be called the son of God. One day later he would be called something else. Lamb.

This little monologue closed with the pleasant baaaaaing of a lamb.

Jesus grew up, began his ministry, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, preached the good news to the poor, and told the people that the Kingdom of God was at hand. Judas betrayed him, and Jesus was handed over to the Jewish and Roman authorities. Cut to a Roman centurion straight out of central casting.

He was just doing his job, you see. Jesus is crucified, implores His father to forgive them, and dies. Our centurion becomes persuaded somehow that he truly was the son of God.

Back to campfire guy.

Look, we’re all sinners. We’ve all rebelled against God, and we’re all worthy of death.

The wages of sin is death, intones creepy voiceover guy.

The good news, the gospel, is that the lamb of God is given for our sins, yours and mine, to restore us to a right relationship with our creator. Throughout history God unfolded his plan, and it doesn’t end with death at all. Not for Jesus. Not for His people. Not for His creation. The power and plan of God were demonstrated when Jesus conquered death. He rose from the dead, he didn’t remain in the tomb. His resurrection was witnessed by over five hundred people.

After another four minutes of similar blather, the film lumbered to a close.

So there you have it. The climax of the museum is the chance to watch a video of some guy telling you about the gospel story. What a letdown!

A friendly museum employee informed us that if we felt the need to talk about anything we had just seen, there were counselors available for that purpose. Since I don’t think my kind of conversation was what they had in mind, I declined the invitation.

Comments

  1. #1 David D.G.
    June 27, 2007

    One question: When did the word “museum” become synonymous with the word “mission”? I missed that memo. This is no museum by any definition I’ve heard; it’s nothing more nor less than a slickly decorated religious indoctrination center.

    My general reaction to all I’ve heard and read about this place can be summed up in one syllable: “Bleah!”

    Thanks for having the fortitude to deal with this sort of stuff personally on our behalf, Jason, whether it’s books, lectures, or full-bore monuments of propaganda like this one. Your own sacrifices of time, energy, and peace of mind are thoroughly appreciated!

    ~David D.G.

  2. #2 Jason Rosenhouseq
    June 27, 2007

    David-

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. #3 arensb
    June 27, 2007

    Follow that logic? Humans sin, so God commands animal torture.

    Yeah, that made no sense to me either. I guess it just goes to show that Human Reason is no match for God’s Word™.

  4. #4 Gork
    June 27, 2007

    Try as I may, I can’t find in the Bible any guidance on three-phase circuits, ordinary differential equations, or even something so simple as predicting eclipses.

    BTW, there are no good recipes either, so don’t bother looking.

  5. #5 Rugosa
    June 27, 2007

    Granted I was brought up Catholic, which means I’m not really a xtian by wingnut standards, but according to the Bible I read, no one witnessed the resurrection. The women found the tomb empty the morning after the crucifixion.

  6. #6 Alex, FCD
    June 27, 2007

    The wages of sin is death, intones creepy voiceover guy.

    No, the wages of sin are death. Subject/verb agreement, fundies.

  7. #7 Paul T.
    June 27, 2007

    “So in obedience to God the Israelites shed the blood of spotless lambs over and over again for the forgiveness of sins.”

    Wouldn’t this thin out the gene pool for spotless lambs? Over time there’d only be spotted lambs, wouldn’t this piss God off?

  8. #8 The Ridger
    June 27, 2007

    When the Bible was written – in English – you could do subject inversion. Long before that, in fact. Chaucer could write “It am I” without blinking, or causing blinks.

    Of course, the KJV was deliberately written in archaic English, even for the time – all those “haths, doths, saiths” and so on.

  9. #9 richCares
    June 27, 2007

    Adam & Eve violated a rule and god got so mad he punished them, and the animals and all men from that time. That’s why “..we are all sinners”

    Pathetic, what a pathetic god they have. the all time great smiter of the bible. the 4th commandment requires the death penalty, (the one about honoring the Sabbath) what a god.

  10. #10 Carolina
    June 27, 2007

    Is there a Part 6? If not, this is the moment to write that I was extremely curious to learn more about this museum. I even tried to persuade a friend in Louisville to go and take pictures. Thanks for the account, I enjoyed reading it a lot.

  11. #11 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 27, 2007

    Memo to Campfire Guy:

    T. rex tooth – old relic of something that would rip your body to pieces and devour it.

    Bible – old relic of something that would rip your mind to pieces and devour it.

    That is all.

  12. #12 Andrew Wade
    June 27, 2007

    Granted I was brought up Catholic, which means I’m not really a xtian by wingnut standards, but according to the Bible I read, no one witnessed the resurrection. The women found the tomb empty the morning after the crucifixion.

    I was brought up little-a atheist, and still am, so I’m definitely not a xtian by wingnut standards. I think they’re confusing the resurrection with the ascension. But then the illusion of an infallible Bible does rather depend on not actually reading it carefully; for instance the accounts of Mary finding the tomb empty are inconsistent between the gospels.

  13. #13 llewelly
    June 28, 2007

    Rugosa:

    Granted I was brought up Catholic, which means I’m not really a xtian by wingnut standards, but according to the Bible I read, no one witnessed the resurrection. The women found the tomb empty the morning after the crucifixion.

    Jesus had a webcam in his tomb. His Resurrection was broadcast across all the intertubes.

  14. #14 Susannah
    June 28, 2007

    Thanks for the comprehensive report.

    So they build an expensive Sunday School and call it a museum. And then don’t even order any new Sunday School material, except for a few visual aids.

    And then they have the effontry to charge you to attend!

  15. #15 Blake Stacey, OM
    June 28, 2007

    We now come to what one helpful museum employee described to me as “the climax of the museum.”

    The. . . hee hee. . . the cli. . . hee hee.

    Well, now we know that I have a filthy and juvenile mind.

  16. #16 dogmeatib
    June 28, 2007

    I still have a problem with the whole “turning Jesus over to the Romans for judgment.” Wasn’t that a violation of the basic tenants of Judaism (which Christianity was still part of at the time). Didn’t that act boil down to turning a Jew over to non-Jews for judgment and punishment, IE a big no no?

  17. #17 pwe
    June 28, 2007

    Gork said:

    BTW, there are no good recipes either, so don’t bother looking.

    You haven’t heard about Ezekiel bread? Please read Ezekiel 4:9-12:

    9 “Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side. 10 Weigh out twenty shekels [b] of food to eat each day and eat it at set times. 11 Also measure out a sixth of a hin [c] of water and drink it at set times. 12 Eat the food as you would a barley cake; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel.”

  18. #18 Heleen
    June 28, 2007

    using human excrement for fuel
    Does human excrement burn?

  19. #19 Doc Bill
    June 28, 2007

    Jason,

    Didn’t the museum offer you a free lunch, seeing as you’re famous and all?

    I understand they do a fine deep-fried cheese on cheese bread with extra cheese. It comes with a cheese dipping sauce served in a bowl made of cheese that you can eat.

    It would have been a fitting end!

  20. #20 Drew
    June 28, 2007

    I still have a problem with the whole “turning Jesus over to the Romans for judgment.” Wasn’t that a violation of the basic tenants of Judaism (which Christianity was still part of at the time). Didn’t that act boil down to turning a Jew over to non-Jews for judgment and punishment, IE a big no no?

    Actually, the Jews did judge Jesus, they turned him over to the Romans for PUNISHMENT. And Pilate washed his hands of the whole dealio.

  21. #21 Jason Rosenhouse
    June 28, 2007

    Doc Bill-

    Judging from the smell emanating from “Noah’s Cafe” (the museum snack bar), I think you have their menu nailed.

  22. #22 AJS
    June 29, 2007

    using human excrement for fuel
    Does human excrement burn?
    Yes, although the heat capacity of the moisture it initially contains is usually too great for the energy liberated in combustion to maintain a sufficient temperature to sustain the reaction. (In other words, you need to dry it out.) Some sewage treatment plants burn dried human excrement to generate electricity.

    I would expect that somebody who could eat and eat and not put on any weight would have a higher calorific value in their shit than someone who only has to look at a cream cake to put on three kilos.

  23. #23 Ken
    June 29, 2007

    A friendly museum employee informed us that if we felt the need to talk about anything we had just seen, there were counselors available for that purpose.

    “Counselors”? Can you say “Altar Call”? As in “PrayTheSinnersPrayerAndAcceptJesusChristAsYourPersonalLORDandSaviour”?
    It’s “Christ as Sound Bite/Christ as Party Line”…

  24. #24 Ex-drone
    June 29, 2007

    So in obedience to God the Israelites shed the blood of spotless lambs over and over again for the forgiveness of sins.

    In biblical times, the faithful sacrificed what was valuable to them — livestock — in order to demonstrate their devotion. In current times, the “museum” illustrates that the faithful are now sacrificing good reasoning for the same purpose.

  25. #25 Leni
    July 4, 2007

    Creepy Campfire guy said:

    Look, we’re all sinners. We’ve all rebelled against God, and we’re all worthy of death.

    Wow, what a nice way to finish the day off. I’m sure at that point a lot of people did feel worthy of death.

    If not worthy, then at least openly begging for it.

  26. #26 MartinM
    July 5, 2007

    In biblical times, the faithful sacrificed what was valuable to them — livestock — in order to demonstrate their devotion. In current times, the “museum” illustrates that the faithful are now sacrificing good reasoning for the same purpose.

    Don’t be daft. They’ve made it abundantly clear that good reasoning isn’t valuable to them in the least.

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