Babylon Rising, Chapter 7, Part 3
After neatly sidestepping the issue of Noah’s Ark (which will be easily solved in the second book of this series by LaHaye having his fictional hero fictionally find the fictional Ark), Michael Murphy gets down to the next bogus piece of prophecy evidence on his slideshow presentation: the James Ossuary—alleged “bone box” of Jesus’ brother.
The best that can be said about the James Ossuary, from a prophetical perspective, is that the whole thing is a big hot mess. This is part of the reason this post has been so long in coming—I felt the need to do some reading about the ossuary, and see if LaHaye/Murphy had a leg to stand on here.
The answer: not really.
Suffice it to say, each of these links provides the reader with approximately 30,000 times more archeological information than Murphy gives his students.
That’s mostly because Murphy is distracted:
He was somewhere else. Somewhere far away in time. … Murphy was experiencing a strange, disorienting feeling, as if the thousands of years separating him from this long-dead man had been swept aside, as if they were somehow present together in this timeless moment.
Hey, Mike? Murph? *waves hand in front of his dumb face* Murphy!! You’ve got a class to teach here, asshat.
Do I even need to bring up the fact that Murphy put this slideshow together himself, and has seen this picture thousands of times? Sheesh.
But this passage is principally important because it has two instances of Murphy being a lousy teacher.
Instance #1: Murphy asks how we can tell the age of the box. Some guy answers, “Carbon dating?” Murphy’s response: “Thanks, Paul. Anytime you want to step up and take over the lecture, let me know. It seems you have all the answers.”
Well, yeah, dude. He has the answer…to the question you asked him! Asshat.
Instance #2: Professor Doofus Won’t Say What He Actually Means. “Hey, class, check out this awesome bone box. It’s totes for reals. Oh, wait, no. It’s not. It’s actually totally fake. Or is that only what the evil atheistic scientists want you to think??? ‘Cause it’s really real now. Or it will be. Shown to be. In the future. I think.”
Then he has the gall to accuse real scientists, who do real science, of “crying fake” because they don’t want to challenge their own “preconceived doubts about Christ.”
Okay, LaHaye? And Dinallo? I’m not sure you understand what scientists do. Or how they think. Ya might wanna look into that. Just in case, oh, I don’t know, you ever want to write a book or anything.
And with that, class is over. I’m sure Murphy will be proud of the fact that there’s no way any of his students could possibly have learned anything. You’re a credit to your profession, bud.
The evil Dean Fallworth has been listening to Murphy’s lecture, and corners him after class to accuse him of holding an “evangelical clambake” instead of an archeology lecture. And he’s not too far off, really. He also reveals that he is not the only one who thinks the class is a joke: they’re calling the class “Jesus for Jocks” around campus. Sadly, all Murphy can come up with in response is a snide remark about Fallworth’s paper on historical buttons (which I still want to read).
But here’s the thing. Murphy has had a few “cable television specials” about his mysterious finds (read: presents from Methuselah, which had nothing to do with Murphy’s skills as an archeologist), but Fallworth is the one who’s been published in an academic journal. Is Murphy jealous of Fallworth’s academic success, and using snide remarks about his papers and accusations of “Christian-bashing” to hide the pain and obscure the real issue? Or is this just more of LaHaye’s anti-intellectualism shining through? Discuss!