IS THE EARTH FLAT?
Kyle Justice of The Creation Guys asked me to watch their recent project, Faith On The Edge. This video examines the Flat Earth Model to determine if it is in line with Scripture and science as its proponents claim. I think this video was very well done, entertaining, and addressed most of the claims and arguments which Flat Earth advocates use to defend their model. If you are looking to learn about this controversy, I would absolutely recommend this video.
Before I get into my review, let me answer the question many of you are asking right now:
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?!?!?
Many of you are probably thinking, “There is a tiny minority of kooks who think the earth is flat, but it makes no difference to me or to the Christian Church in general.” However, the movement has been gaining steam thanks to the power of the internet. YouTube channels focused on giving credence to the Flat Earth model have hundreds of thousands of subscribers.
On a personal note, I took a survey of the middle school and high school students I taught a few years back. I asked every class to simply identify themselves as believing that the earth is round, flat, or other/don’t know. While the Flat Earth believers were in the minority, every class I taught had at least one.
Furthermore, many proponents have boldly insisted that the Bible teaches Flat Earth; and therefore, teaching a round earth is just as corrupt as teaching evolution. Unfortunately, many have used this issue to cast doubt on Biblical Creation. Yet again, a proper understanding of the science and Scripture involved is paramount.
DOES THE FLAT EARTH MODEL HAVE SCIENTIFIC OR SCRIPTURAL MERIT?
To its credit, Faith on the Edge delves into science and Scripture in order to both understand and answer the Flat Earth claims. There was no superficial glossing over of the issues and arguments; instead, it tackled the core arguments and pieces of evidence that are continually shared in this debate. The hosts, Kyle Justice and Pat Roy, approached the topic with a friendly banter like you may be used to seeing from MythBusters.
The Creation Guys first dug into the Scripture Flat Earthers use to defend their model. With the help of Dr. Steven Boyd (Hebrew Expert for Calvary University), they showed the differences in approach from the Flat Earth proponents and the Young Earth Creationists. The Flat Earthers’ use of Scripture is guilty of something I have been accused of as a Creationist: strict literalism, meaning the English text is simply accepted as matter of fact with no regard for the literary genre or context.
The Flat Earth proponents interpret the “four corners of the earth” text to mean that the earth is flat. As the Creation Guys point out, however, the Flat Earth model proposes a disk shaped earth which means it has NO corners. This immediately lands this approach in self-contradiction. After going through a handful of the common proof texts from a Flat Earth perspective, Dr. Boyd shows how the position, while perhaps well meaning, is ultimately flawed. The Bible does NOT teach that the earth is flat.
The Creation Guys also interview Dr. Danny Faulkner, one of the featured scientists in the animated 3D documentary, GENESIS: Paradise Lost. He digs into the model further with discussions about the sun and moon and how the model accounts for (or fails to account for) seasons, day and night, and eclipses. As an astronomer, he has been researching this topic for many years and brings valuable insight to the discussion.
The Creation Guys talk to a former astronaut, General Charlie Duke, Capcom for Apollo 11 & Astronaut for Apollo 16, who has seen the earth from outer space. General Duke discusses the connection between the Flat Earth model and the claims that the moon landings were faked.
DO NEW EXPERIMENTS PROVIDE NEW INSIGHT?
Throughout this video, Kyle and Pat do a series of simple experiments to show how certain assumptions necessary to defend the flat earth model seem to be refuted by observational science. In the final experiment, they send a weather balloon into space with cameras on board to determine the horizon’s drop-off. Victor Brewer of Aerial Image Solutions devised a test to determine if observational evidence could be used to verify the globe model and refute the Flat Earth model by going beyond the typical attempt to photograph the curvature of the earth. The scientifically, well thought-out experiment provides some powerful results.
THUMBS UP OR THUMBS DOWN?
In conclusion, I do recommend this video if you have questions about the Flat Earth model and the many ways in which this movement is affecting both the church in general and the Young Earth Creationist movement in particular. This is not a tiny fringe movement with proponents you will never meet. In fact, you may already know some people who believe this model, because they think the Bible teaches it. People in the church will have questions, and skeptics outside the church will use this movement to dismiss the trustworthiness of God’s Word. We are all called to give an answer, and I would encourage you to be prepared to do just that. The Creation Guys have provided a great resource which can equip you to serve others in this way. I give Faith on the Edge a hearty thumbs up.