Sunday, March 1, 2015

Project Review: The Genius of Ancient Man

Hello Everyone,

If you have read even one post on this blog, or talked to me in person for any length of time, I will have made some sort of mention to the Genius of Ancient Man Project. My passion for ancient history and my desire to write historical fiction has skyrocketed ever since I came in contact with this project. It's only natural for that to permeate into my posts here on the blog. Understandably it can be a bit weird to just jump into my world of writing and ancient cultures. So, I've decided to take a few weeks to sorta elaborate on why these things are so important to me and to share some of my personal goals.

This week I am going to further introduce you to the Genius of Ancient Man Project and the book itself. This is a book review, but it's also some personal testimony because I volunteer as a researcher for the project. For me this project, and the book, are incredible tools to better understand history from a Biblical perspective and to share the gospel. It has very simply changed my life forever, and I want to share that experience with you. Perhaps it will alter your perspectives too, and challenge you. I sincerely hope it does.
So let us begin.

The Book

"The Genius of Ancient Man: Evolution's Nightmare" by Don Landis was published in October 2012 by Master Books. Pastor Don (as students at JHBC call him) is the President of Jackson Hole Bible College and is Chairman of the Board for Answers in Genesis. He worked alongside the research team at JHBC to produce the Genius of Ancient Man Book. The results of the research are incredible.

"All over the world there are similar findings of ancient religions, cities and towers, global travel, advanced astronomy, and civilized government. Over the course of two years, a team of researchers from Jackson Hole Bible College has worked to bring together the different pieces of the convoluted mystery and history of ancient man" (Book Summary. Answers in Genesis.)

Pastor Don and the team still work on the Genius of Ancient Man project through further research and articles on the project's official blog.

The Project
What is the Genius of Ancient Man Project about?
If you check up on the official Genius of Ancient Man Blog, this is the summary you will find:

"In our book, we use presuppositional apologetics to describe how God's word is the ultimate authority on all things. Specifically we explain that the intelligence of ancient man only fits in the context of the Biblical timeline. With the right 'starting point' and Biblical worldview, history comes alive with fascinating Bible-confirming truth.

For many Christians, trying to fit their Christian beliefs into a secular interpretation of history is complicated and jeopardizing to their faith, but it shouldn't be! We have found such encouragement in the study of ancient man because the evidence confirms the account of the Bible rather than contradicts!

Satan has attempted to pervert and distort God's plan throughout history but even through the distortion, God's truth can be discerned. We hope to shed light on these distortions, point people to the truth and encourage believers to build their foundation on the authority of God's Word."

Don't be Intimidated!

I know there were some unusual words in there, but trust me, they're all very good words. They give us a mouthful like "presuppositional apologetics" right off the bat. It may sound complicated but it is actually very practical.

"Presuppositions are simply beliefs that everyone has that affect how they think, view the world, interpret evidence, and read the Bible." (David Wright, Answers in Genesis. Read the whole article on Presuppositional Apologetics Here)

So here presuppositional apologetics is starting off believing in the ultimate authority of God's Word. Think about that: the ultimate authority of God's Word, on all things. That includes history. We do not have to waste time trying to prove it, we can start off using it as our basis of rational thought. If you explore ancient history with just that one explosive idea, history really does take on new life in the eyes of a Christian. So don't be intimidated, be excited! The realm of ancient history need not be the playground of secularists and ancient astronaut theorists alone! Christians have the tools to be as big of a voice in explaining ancient history as anyone else.

If you weren't intimidated by the big words in that summary, then you might let some of these reasons keep you from reading this incredible book.
  • It's an obscure topic
  • I won't understand it
  • It's gonna be a boring read
If any of these reasons crossed your mind, then allow me to put you at ease.

Exciting and Important Topic

In the preface of the Genius of Ancient Man book the importance of this subject matter is explained: this is about a shift in paradigms.

An Evolutionary standpoint currently rules over the secular perception of history. They have their historical papers, their museums, their documentaries...they seem to have all the evidence needed. By comparison Christians will often offer no argument, and if they do it ends up a weak defense. The purpose of the Genius of Ancient Man book is to equip Christians to see the answers and to find them on their own.

Remember how I mentioned earlier that, using presuppositional apologetics, we can start off knowing that God's Word is the ultimate authority? If we believe that then Adam and Eve were literally the first Man and Woman. We can also believe that there was a Global Flood, and we can also stand by the fact of the Tower of Babel. At the Tower of Babel man was united into one great people and spoke one language. When God came down and confused their languages He caused them to disperse all across the globe.

Taking this as fact explains things like language families, genetic similarities, and so much more. What the Genius of Ancient Man book does is take another implication of this event and turn it into compelling evidence that everyone can see for themselves: technological, religious, and cultural similarities across the globe.

Think about it. When all those people dispersed from Babel, doesn't it make sense that they would have taken everything they remembered about life at Babel with them? Including things like technology, religious ideas, and cultural traditions? Yes, these things become diluted over time. But they are there! And that is what the Genius of Ancient Man book outlines. Learning this for myself and doing my own research on it has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life!

Just for a teaser, this book touches on intriguing topics like underwater cities, the ice age, ancient flight, world-wide legends, music and art, and much more.
So not only is this content important, its exciting!

Rated E for Everyone

In the Introduction of the book it's made very clear that talking about ancient man doesn't have to be an over-complicated or intimidating thing. It can be made to be understandable for everyone. The Genius of Ancient Man book is written to be understood at a Layman's level. Through twelve chapters and 108 pages the reader is easily guided from topic to topic while at the same time being exposed to perspective-changing ideas. If you are someone who is interested in deeper research, don't worry, there are footnotes, Scripture references, and a special section at the end of the book to encourage you as you move forward. Even if reading about history isn't your thing, and you're afraid this book will read like a research paper, you will be pleasently surprised.

Engaging Layout

There is not a single boring page in this book. That is the long and short of it. With every page comes a vibrant illustration or an informative graph to engage readers. I'm not joking, the illustrations are absolutely beautiful. The graphs and charts contain information from the Bible, historical timelines (with more pictures), maps, lists of commonalities, and so much more. My personal favorite part of the book visually is an eight page long gallery of sites around the world that display ancient technology.

Hopefully now some of you can share in my excitement for this awesome book and the project that goes along with it. As I've said before I still volunteer as a researcher for the team and I periodically write articles for their official blog which I re-post here. This project has turned me into more of an ancient history nut than I was before! And it has inspired me to theme my own historical fiction writings around what I have learned. In the coming weeks I hope to continue sharing more of my inspirations and goals, especially in my writing. As always I hope you enjoyed the read. Thank you for stopping by and if you have any questions or comments don't hesitate to let me know!

If you are interested in further exploration of the Genius of Ancient Man Book and the Project, or even Answers in Genesis (I can't even get started on how amazing AiG is), please visit the links below and enjoy!

Links to:
The Book
The Official Blog
Answers in Genesis
Jackson Hole Bible College
Visit their Facebook Page
And follow on Pinterest!

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