Hundreds of articles, blog posts, and news stories have now been posted on websites/blogs about the Ark Encounter since the project’s announcement on December 1. With all the media attention (both mocking and embracing the project), one might imagine what was said about Noah when he began building the biblical Ark.
While the Bible doesn’t mention what Noah’s detractors said about his massive building project, the apostle Peter mentions how scoffers would overlook the fact that the earth was “flooded by water” (2 Peter 3).
Objections to the Ark Encounter project include the plans for the owners (the Ark Encounter LLC; Answers in Genesis will be the operator, but not the owner) to apply for tax incentives from the state of Kentucky and emotional arguments that somehow the theme park will be an embarrassment to the state. Newspaper editors have even been critical of the project saying that the jobs created will be low-wage positions.
Are tax incentives really the issue? The controversy made national and international headlines. For a more detailed explanation about the tax incentives from the state and how some opponents have misrepresented the project, see our “Feedback” article of December 10.
Are “low-wage” jobs really an issue as well? According to the past CEO of the theme park conglomerate Herschend Family Entertainment in Branson, Missouri, and lead consultant for the Ark Encounter, Cary Summers, the average employee’s career at Silver Dollar City lasts 15 years. Many mid- and upper-level jobs will need to be filled. According to an economic impact study, the park will bring 1.6 million annual visitors to the area. The possibility of new hotels, restaurants, and other venues will generate even more jobs in the local economy.
When it comes down to the real issue, the idea of a man building a giant ship to rescue humanity has been the subject of much interest throughout human history. From Ark-themed bathrooms and nursery accessories to irreverent portrayals in modern films, Noah and his Ark have been represented in many different ways. The Ark is a common target for those who wish to mock the Bible or turn its historical accounts into fables with maybe an element of moral teaching. Rather than taking the account in the Bible at face value, many allow a modern “scientific” mindset to impact their understanding of Scripture. And that’s one main reason why we’re building an Ark.