In an interesting turn of events this week we have had massive rain storms in the Northeastern United States, resulting in flood evacuations in Pennsylvania, and an archeological team from Texas believes it has found Noah's Ark in the Elburz mountains of Iran. Good timing. The team which claims the discovery feels quite confident in identifying its find as the famous ship. "I can't imagine what it could be if its not the Ark," said Arch Bonnema of the Bible Archeological Search and Exploration (B.A.S.E.) Institute, a Christian archeological organization dedicated to looking for Biblical artifacts. Since the Ark truly was of Biblical proportions, about the size of a small aircraft carrier, and this ship is claimed to be similar in size and dimension, the B.A.S.E. team could be right. "The idea is, if we can prove that the Ark existed then we can prove that the story existed, and more importantly, we can prove that God existed," said Bruce Fellner, author of Where God Was Born.

With all due respect to Mr. Fellner, that type of logic would never fly with my high school geometry teacher if I had tried to apply it proving theorems in his classroom. Fellner's logic didn't fly with my friend either. She raised a number of solid questions. "What proof are they looking for? God is God, faith is faith. How can you document God's existence? And, most importantly, how will proving that this is Noah's Ark make the world a better place?"

She also pointed out that we have been down this road before. Remember the discovery of the Shroud of Turin a number of years ago? Publicized as the possible burial cloth of Jesus, testing eventually did prove that the shroud was old enough to have come from the time in which Jesus lived. But who is to say that another mother whose son suffered the same fate as Jesus didn't also lovingly wrap her son's body for burial? Unless Mary stitched a camp ID tag into the Shroud of Turin saying, "If found return to Jesus of Nazareth," we really don't know who was wrapped and buried in it. And, quite frankly, does it matter?

Consider your own faith for a few minutes. Why do you believe in God? Is your faith dependent upon archeological finds or tangible objects that you believe have put the power of God into the palm of your hand? If this is Noah's Ark, will your faith be altered? Do you think more people will discover their faith because there is proof God was around for the flood? Will the world be a better place if we can say we have visited Noah's Ark?

Fellner's logic doesn't fly with me either. The story of Noah's Ark is not dependent upon the Ark's existence being proven in this discovery, nor is God's existence, then or now. If they were we would not have knowledge of either. But both the story and God's presence among us have been spoken of and shared over and over through time, and both continue to be shared to this day.

What this all may come down to is gopher wood. The Biblical account of the building of the Ark indicates that it was made of gopher wood. In an interesting turn of events, we don't know what gopher wood is. Perhaps we will need to take its existence as a matter of faith.

Author's Bio: 

The Rev. Cory L. Kemp, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay with a double major in Communication and the Arts and Social Change and Development and a minor in Women's Studies, was ordained into the ministry of the Moravian Church in North America after completing her Master of Divinity degree studies through Moravian Theological Seminary. Over twenty-five years of experience in individual and community ministries gives Rev. Kemp an informed perception about faith, its implications and struggles in everyday life. Rev. Kemp focuses her work on helping people understand their faith and how faith can become transformational in their lives. Bring authentic, meaningful faith into your daily life by visiting