“Have you not been paying attention? Have you not been listening? Haven’t you heard these stories all your life? Don’t you understand the foundation of all things? God sits high above the round ball of earth. The people look like mere ants. He stretches out the skies like a canvas— yes, like a tent canvas to live under. (Isaiah 40:22 The Message).”
A recent survey found that a third of millennials living in the U.S. are not convinced that the world is round. (1) This really is a growing belief today that is quite surprising to see arise in the information age. They are not alone, professional athletes such as Kyrie Irving, Geno Smith have expressed their belief in this theory publicly. Mike Hughes is a 61-year-old limo driver who built a rocket and launched himself nearly 1,900 feet up to raise awareness and to prove that the earth is flat. (2) Painted on his rocket is the phrase; “RESEARCH FLAT EARTH.” Hughes and others claim that evidence by NASA, such as Apollo 8’s famous “Earthrise” in 1968 is fake.
You don’t have to live in these modern times of empirical evidence to understand that the earth is a globe. Nearly three centuries before Christ was born the Greeks demonstrated this fact by comparing the shadows of sticks in different locations at the same time with differing lengths of shadows cast. (3) They proved then that the world was not flat and came to within 10% of the earth’s true curvature with their ancient methods. Five centuries before that Isaiah wrote by inspiration of the sphere of the earth (Isaiah 40:22).
Some have even tried to attribute the origins of this belief to the Bible, such as Psalm 104:5, saying that the earth does not rotate and revolve around the sun but they misinterpret the poetic elements for prose. It is we might say, “The sun RISES in the east and SETS in the west” but really as the earth rotates it only seems to rise and set.
The evidence for the spherical shape of the earth is overwhelming for those who really care to “research” the matter. Lunar eclipses demonstrate that the curvature of the earth’s shadow advances across the face of the full moon. (4) Apologetics Press recently ran a series of articles addressing this growing theory and offered as evidence the Australian and New Zealand flags. How can these flags provide proof of a round earth? Both feature the constellation the Southern Cross, prominent in the southern hemisphere but never seen by those at 26 degrees or greater north of the equator. (4) Similarly, those south of the equator cannot see the North Star Polaris. Were the world flat we would all see the same night sky. God positioned the heavenly bodies (Genesis 1:14) to give us understanding.
So why do so many choose to persist in their belief of a flat earth despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary? Why do so many persist in denying that there is a God? Why do so many misquote and despise the Bible? Why do so many refuse to obey the gospel? Those reasons are legion but Paul says that men are without excuse (Romans 1:19-20) because sufficient evidence has been provided. During the period of the Exodus God demonstrated His power and presence repeatedly but they persisted in disbelief (1 Corinthians 10:1-11, Hebrews 3:16-19). In Christ’s days on earth He performed many undeniable miracles but some stubbornly refused to come to the logical conclusion that He was the Messiah (Matthew 9:24). In the end it is because men are lovers of pleasure and continue to resist the truth (1 Timothy 3:6-9) always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.
Faith is the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). God has provided enough evidence for us to reach out for Him and He remains near to each one of us (Acts 17:27).
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts (2 Peter 1:19).”
- Branyon May, Ph.D. & Alana May, M.S., Reason & Revelation, September 2017, Vol.37, No.8, pp.88,95-95.