We have received so many questions about the Ark Encounter based on misconceptions about the project itself. Some come from people who are supporters and others come from critics and skeptics. These types of questions give us an opportunity to correct these misunderstandings, so we’ll devote several posts to addressing these issues.
Question: Why would you claim that your Ark is “larger than life” if you want people to think that you are building an Ark of biblical proportions?
The phrase “larger than life” is typically used to describe something much more interesting, captivating, and exciting than an ordinary thing or person. It is in this sense that we are using it as a tagline for the Ark Encounter. Compared to other wooden ships and other zoos, the Ark would have been much more impressive. Furthermore, when we look at local catastrophes today (like regional flooding), they pale in comparison to the global Flood of Noah’s day. Also, comparing the judgment of the Flood to the judicial sentences handed down in human courts, these human rulings are insignificant compared to the Judge of all the earth deciding to “destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life” (Genesis 6:17).
The Ark Encounter is designed to make a person think on these things: the great wickedness of mankind and the righteous anger of God at sin. In addition, the account in Genesis depicts the colossal scope of Noah’s task in building the Ark, making preparations for a long voyage and preserving animal life. It also celebrates God’s providential care of the Ark and all its passengers during a catastrophic global Flood and a year-long stay on the Ark. Most importantly, as the purpose of Noah’s Ark was to save life from destruction, so the purpose of the Ark Encounter is to point people to the only means of salvation from sin, the Lord Jesus Christ, who also is the only God-appointed way to escape eternal destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9). We think these things are indeed “larger than life”—they are essential.
I hope this adequately explains the reason why we have chosen to use the phrase as we have. Ultimately, our vision for the Ark Encounter is that it be a place designed to point people to the glory of God, who is very much “larger than life.”