This last month I was able to take an anniversary trip with my wife to Washington D.C. It was a great trip. We were able to see pretty much everything. Arlington, My distant relatives plaque at Gettysburg, all of the memorials, the White House, and the Capital Building. That was the impressive part of the trip to D.C. Then there are the Smithsonian’s.
Our first stop was at the Museum of Natural History. We were both pretty excited to see this because we are both fan’s of archeology, and wanted to see the dinosaur bones. Well, there were only a couple there, but far more disappointing was that the museum had wholly dedicated itself to evolution. Honestly, Smithsonian should rename the museum to The Museum of Evolution. We were both incredibly disappointed that the Smithsonian, rather than devoting the museum to facts and science, had decided to dedicate itself to a theory with significant gaps.
Next up was the Museum of American History. Another disappointment. There was a strong theme, a message, a commentary running through the museum. Rather than showing historical pieces throughout the history of America, this museum wanted to create a narrative. We didn’t stay very long. Next was the Air and Space Museum, which was overcrowded. It was okay, and it was more of a traditional museum, you know it showed pieces of history without any commentary about anything.
But it got me to wondering, have museums become nothing more than the extended commentary on the culture at the time rather than a study of history? Are museums now subject to the agenda of curators or donors who are in charge of what is being presented? Can we no longer depend on an unbiased view of history and science?
I’ll come back to that in a second. One of the things we did not get to see was the Museum of the Bible. We were bummed because it wasn’t open yet but excited that it was opening. However, an article from the Washington Post is now changing that excitement to gloom.
This article caught my attention because it implied that the museum had very little of Jesus involved. I said to myself, self, how can you have a Museum of the Bible without a lot of Jesus? So I read the article and very quickly found out why. Of course, it has plenty to say about the Green family and Hobby Lobby. And of course, the Washington Post wants the museum to comment on abortion and sexuality, both topics are agenda and biased based. Neither issue is in the museum, which is a good thing. Nothing could be more devastating to the message of Christ than a faith wrapped modern political drama.
The Post notes that there is a multi-saga room for the Old Testament, a movie about John the Baptist, but virtually nothing on Jesus, the crucifixion, or resurrection. Then I come to the heart of the issue. A Mark DeMoss is quoted as saying “I know no one person or two or three people are responsible for the story of how the Bible is being told in this museum. It’s the product of dozens and dozens of people from a wide range of backgrounds.”
And there is the problem.
God has given us the historical narrative of a redemptive history in the Bible. Not humanity. The Bible speaks for itself, all we are to do is read it. The history of the Bible is not up for discussion. Can’t we have a museum dedicated to God’s work and the message it tells? When too many theologians get involved, the ultimate message gets lost and watered down so as not to offend anyone. In fact, when you have a scholar refuse to sign a statement of faith to work at the Museum of the Bible, and they are brought on anyway to comment on displays, I would say that you are going to get a museum like the Natural History Museum.
It sounds like those involved in creating the Museum of the Bible overthought this or, as I suggested earlier, allowed this message to become watered down. There is nothing complicated about how the museum should work. Here is a free suggestion to the Green Family on how to revamp the Museum of the Bible in a way that can have a significant impact on future generations. If they need someone to execute this idea, I am available for a nominal fee.
- One wing dedicated to the historical narrative of the Old Testament. This wing will tell the story of the Hebrews and God’s work through them.
- One wing dedicated to the historical narrative of the New Testament. This wing will tell of the redemptive work of Christ. You can have an optional section that demonstrates the impact of the Old Testament scripture on the New Testament.
- One section dedicated to prophesy which would include Revelations and can include several discussion sections on its interpretations.
- The remaining wings can be devoted to moments in history where the Bible had an impact on society. Stories on God’s word during slavery in the United States, the effect of God’s word on the revolution, etc… can come into play. These can be changed over time.
If I were setting the museum up, this is what it would have looked like. Simple, clean and to the point.
I am sure that the museum will have some cool stuff, but based on this article from the Post, it appears to have missed the mark. This museum will have the opportunity to influence so many lives to God. We can’t afford to get this wrong.
If Satan were attempting to influence and prevent God’s message from ringing true through this Museum, I would say mission accomplished if Jesus’s redemptive work is not thoroughly represented.
My daughter and I just returned from a trip to Washington DC and Mt Vernon. The white house and High Tea at Trump International were outstanding…I recommend the night tour of the monuments, 4 hr. tour small group (11) great guide, we got out at each and spent 15 – 20 20 min at each..the archives and other bldg. were great…and THEN we got to the Smithsonian…the Castle was interesting because of its history…my daughter particularly wanted to see the dinosoars and the Egyptian display…She remembered visiting the Carnegie as a small child…this was not in the class of the Carnegie…both were about the size of my living-dining room…certainly not worth spending time on..they spent a lot of time on social issues…saving the whales and global warming etc. the Heard Museum in Phoenix has better displays than the smithsonian.. BIG disappointment…we also went to Mt Vernon..Great, Arlington, The Masonic temple etc…and loved it all….the only “downer” was the Smithsonian…