August 18, 2004

The Baptist's Cave

This story has been getting a lot of attention lately. Maybe with good reason. After all, finding the cave that tradition says John the Baptist lived in could lead to verifying historically that the Baptist was an actual person, and validate the Biblical record, right?

Well, yeah. Shimon Gibson has said as much, in his press release. Of course, that press release was four years ago. He found some "cave paintings" of John the Baptist, but those were dated to the Byzantine era. There's pottery there, too -- but that has dated as early as 200 BC. WAY too early for John the Baptist.

Take a look at this story in Christianity Today. Gibson has made some remarkable discoveries -- enough to make cynical people suspect him.

Am I that cynical? Maybe. Don't get me wrong -- I love archaeology. In fact, I almost chose Midwestern over Southern because they have a Masters in Biblical Archaeology. I want to get involved in digs in the Holy Land. I believe that there are some remarkable things out there, waiting to be found. I think that there is a LOT for us to learn, buried under the sand and soil in Israel, Turkey, Greece, and other places.

But I also know that it doesn't matter if we prove that the Bible is accurate. Those who believe it will believe anyway, and those who don't believe will find a reason to not believe. I can't approach finds like this as a Christian who desperately wants them to be real -- I have to approach them as an historian who wants to make 100% sure that they are real before I base anything on them, even though 100% sure is not really possible. Maybe I am cynical, but I prefer to think of it as a hopeful cynicism -- a cynicism that wants to believe, but that has been suckered before, and is cautious about it happening again.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 11:12 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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August 15, 2004

Happy Birthday Montgomery

Yesterday was my daughter's third birthday. We celebrated it in Louisville at Olive Garden, and she loved it when they sang to her. She loved the chocolate cake even more ...

I'm going to put some pictures of her up on my web site, one of these days. For now, if you click here, you'll see her and her Daddy at this year's prom. I was thinking on Friday about how much life has changed in the last three years, and I was surprised to find that it hadn't really changed in too many major ways. We still like to travel, though now it takes us a little longer to get packed, and we make a few more stops. We like to read, and she reads right along with us. OK, she doesn't so much read as look at the pictures and say "What's that?" every so often, but she loves her books as much as her mother and I love ours. The things we've had to change have seemed insignificant, even though at one point in our lives, they'd have probably been major.

If you ask her, she'll tell you she's Daddy's girl. Of course, she'll tell you she's Aunt Sarah's girl, Grandma's girl, Mommy's girl, Grandad's girl -- whoever you say. She has the most infectuous smile that I've ever seen on a little girl, and people seem naturally drawn to her. I figure she's got a great future in PR or politics, unless she joins the LPGA first. Yes, she wants to golf -- every Monday when I leave for my league match, she wants to play too. I've told her when she gets big and strong, she can play golf with me. Who knows, maybe she'll be the next Nancy Lopez or something, and I can caddy for her.

Right now, she's cleaning up the floor where she dumped packing peanuts all over the place. Not a problem -- she'll grow up soon enough. At least she's cleaning up after herself.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 09:21 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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