Robert Cornuke has led many to believe that he has found the route of the Red Sea crossing, the location of Mt. Sinai, the place of Paul's shipwreck, and, most recently, the Ark of Noah. Because of his failed track record, his imitation of the charlatan Ron Wyatt, and his own website
dubbing him as "Indiana Jones," I view Mr. Cornuke's claims with suspicion. Yes, by the world's standards, I am crazy: I believe the biblical account is historically reliable. But I'm not crazy enough to buy what Mr. Wyatt or Mr. Cornuke are selling. But now we find out that he's selling something else.
In an interview in the Colorado Springs Gazette
, Mr. Cornuke said,
I guess what my wife says my business is, we sell hope. Hope that it could be true, hope that there is a God.
The problem with this is that the standard needed to establish an item as justifying "hope" is substantially lower than establishing an item as actual, genuine, or persuasive. In the case of Noah's Ark then, Mr. Cornuke need only have something that looks like wood. It doesn't need to be wood; it doesn't need to be the right kind of wood; it doesn't need to be on the right mountain; and it doesn't need to be from Noah's Ark. It simply needs to resemble what Cornuke's audience is looking for. If it's possible, then you've succeeded. You've provided "hope."
The problem with this, of course, is that hope dashed is worse than hope never raised. There's perhaps no better example of this than Noah's Ark. Noah's Ark has been "discovered" so many times that the most devout Bible believer with any knowledge of the former "discoveries
" simply won't be taken in again. Some, no doubt, tire of the fraud perpetuated by "Bible believers" and choose another way. The world, perhaps at times curious if there really is some truth in the Scriptures, simply laughs at the foolish gullibility and rationalizes that such gullibility must also account for their belief in the Biblical stories. In the end, all are worse off for the perpetuation of fraudulent "discoveries."
There is an alternative. If there is a Noah's Ark that still exists, conduct the study carefully (1-2 years is not carefully!). Bring in well-regarded experts to study the relevant issues (geology, geography, archaeology, etc.). Do not let professional policemen promote Scriptural interpretations which run counter to the consensus of Bible-believing scholars (don't let that scholar word scare you: scholar means "professional" - it means they do this all their life; it means they know the sources and resources and are not easily deceived). And lastly, don't publicize. Yes, I know that you love the publicity. You love the book sales and you love the contributions. But wait. Make sure that everything is in order. Make sure that there are no holes. Make sure that you really have it this time. This is the test if what you really desire is truth or fame.
You see, we already have "hope." There are so many confirmations of the biblical record from the historical and archaeological sources that we have hope that Scripture is trustworthy. We have thousands of confirming evidences, and we don't need that extra one if it is in fact a false hope.