I am so excited about this new book by Eric Metaxas. He’s a great writer who knows how to tackle a deep subject with a light touch. His new book, due out in just a couple of weeks, looks like another can’t-put-down-page-turner. He just published a sneak peek in Newsweek, which I read, and I’m telling you, it knocked me out. As Metaxas tells it, scientists have discovered an archaeological site that matches the Biblical description of Sodom. Take a look at this:
A group of scientists used the Biblical description of Sodom to find the geographic location of the ancient city. What did they find?
In 2006 he began excavating. When he and his team got down to about 1650 BC—when Sodom was believed destroyed—they uncovered a five-foot layer of soot. Randomly scattered throughout this vast “destruction matrix” were bits of melted brick, burned fragments of human bones and other baffling detritus. No volcanic eruption—or fire or earthquake—could have produced this.
The day they found it, Collins discovered the shard of a jar. A seasoned ceramic typologist, he tagged it instantly as from about 1700 B.C. But one side of it had a strange glassy green glaze. The technology to intentionally produce anything like that would not exist for another 24 centuries. What could it be? A lab in New Mexico concluded that the pottery had been melted by super-intense heat lasting a very short period of time. What would do that?
. . . .
What Dr. Collins came to believe—and what the recent Nature article corroborated in extraordinary detail—is that what happened was a “cosmic airburst/impact event” very similar to what happened in Tunguska, Siberia in 1908. That’s when an asteroid of about 180 feet in diameter entered the Earth’s atmosphere at 34,000 mph, and exploded a few miles above that largely uninhabited region. The equivalent of 1,000 Hiroshima bombs, the 1908 blast flattened 80 million trees, and so disturbed the upper atmosphere that for three days people in London could read newspapers at midnight. The Nature article says the Tall el-Hammam [Sodom] explosion was likely even more powerful.
The destruction it wrought is hard to fathom. The most powerful hurricanes produce winds approaching 200 mph, but this explosion may have generated winds of 700 mph. Walls 15 feet thick were utterly obliterated. The heat was such that nearly all of the thousands of inhabitants were vaporized. In fact, Nature tells us that the temperature at the center of the Tunguska explosion was 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit; the Tall el-Hammam explosion was perhaps even hotter.
The scientific findings agree with the Biblical account!
The article continues:
The Nature article concludes explicitly that what happened in 1700 BC bears inescapable parallels to what the Bible says about Sodom. And indeed, they are startling: “(i) stones fell from the sky; (ii) fire came down from the sky; (iii) thick smoke rose from the fires; (iv) a major city was devastated; (v) city inhabitants were killed; and (vi) area crops were destroyed.”
Is It Possible to Believe in God MORE?
Then I saw this amazing discussion between Eric Metaxas and John Zmirak about the book. RIVETING STUFF! I’m telling you, as a Christian, this book has given me a lift. (And I haven’t even read it yet!!!) With all the dark and dreary news and scandals, this book is the shot-in-the-arm I needed. All of a sudden, I’m walking taller as a Christian. I can’t wait to read this book!
Metaxas is reviving a sadly neglected debate.
Tragically, the subject of the new atheism has been neglected by the Christian media in recent years. I say “tragically” because we know from data that the New Atheists have had an enormous impact on our culture. It’s no coincidence that the rise in atheism in America followed so closely on the heels of enormous New Atheist bestsellers. When atheists are polled about their reasons for rejecting religion, invariably they intone the New Atheist mantra:
We need to see a debate between Eric Metaxas and Sam Harris
But as the Newsweek excerpt so aptly demonstrates, science actually supports many of the religious claims found in the Bible. Kudos to Metaxas for reviving this debate. People need to read Eric’s book and understand its important message—perhaps they would not be so quick to walk away from their churches.
Indeed, the claims of Christianity are eminently more reasonable than many of the favorite tenets of woke ideology, but, curiously, the New Atheists are silent. Even worse, these paragons of rationality marched for “science” against such sins as “transphobia.” As the New Atheists are wont to tell us, “Extraordinary claims call for extraordinary evidence.” But it’s a standard they fail to apply evenly. Hopefully a debate between Eric Metaxas and Sam Harris can clear up the inconsistency—and answer the burning question: What, pray tell, are Sam Harris’s pronouns? Inquiring minds want to know!