Illustration: “The Lost Day”

sundialI personally heard this illustration from evangelist Ron Comfort…

Once upon a time, an atheist scientist discovered that there was ‘lost time’ in the cosmic record. Through some unspecified process he learns that several hours have just gone missing. His Christian friend told him he would discover the reason for the lost time in the Bible. After reading the stories of Joshua and Hezekiah the atheist realizes that the Bible is true. He falls to his knees and is gloriously saved.

Well…you guessed it. It’s just not so.

Regardless of the amount of time involved, the discovery of a “missing” period of time remains implausible. If the sun had indeed stood still for a day a few millennia ago, we would have no way of determining that fact through astronomic observations today. We have no frame of reference, no “cosmic calendar” or “master clock” to check against to see if we’re overdrawn at the Bank of Time. The concept described here would be like giving someone a non-functioning clock and asking him to determine how much time had elapsed since the clock had stopped running. One could note the positions of the hands on the dial and make a reasonable guess about what the time of day was when the clock stopped running, but without knowing whether that time was A.M. or P.M., and without knowing the calendar date on which stoppage occurred, one could not possibly make any reasonable estimate about how long ago the clock stopped.

12 thoughts on “Illustration: “The Lost Day””

  1. Wow – next you’ll be telling us that scientists didn’t really dig a deep hole in Siberia, lower a microphone and listen to the screams of those in hell.


  2. It’s very important that teenagers go to a good Christian college to have their “faith strengthened” by stories like this!

  3. When you think about it even a little, it’s a logical impossibility.
    If there were time that didn’t happen, how would there be any proof of it? What could it even mean for time to stand still?
    And how could we know it centuries later? Time itself doesn’t leave fossils or anything.
    Even as fables go, this isn’t a good one.

  4. The effort to “prove” the historicity of stories like these rather than looking for meaning within the stories exposes the Bible to ridicule and is one of the many reasons people walk away from their faith.

  5. Yes! I remember being little at church, and someone had printed this out, and left several copies on a table for people to take. Even then I wondered, ‘if we can calculate the exact time of the cosmic record, why would we argue over evolution?’

  6. Yes, I heard about this nonsense long ago. It was just one part of the Christian nonsense about science that ultimately broke me away from Creationism and fundamentalism.

    Creationists seem desperate to have the miracles in the Scripture validated, especially since there are no reliable miracles today. How else could they demand that you believe in a God of Miracles?

    Mind you, I am glad when it appears that prayer is being answered. But I admit to being confused by the frequency of unanswered prayer, especially when the Scriptures promise an answer when we pray believing, with the right motives.

    I think what we need to ask fundies to point to some modern miracles that are completely verifiable and validated. The more questions that science answers correctly puts “faith only” at a disadvantage. God seems to be falling behind in the evidence department.

  7. What, you mean you don’t listen to “Coast To Coast” on the radio? They validate this stuff all the time! 🙄
    Seriously, I respect the Vatican’s stand on any miracles, official or otherwise; they are more than a little rigorous on what really is supposed to have happened. And for all the controversy over Galileo, it’s doubtful that anything like the earth actually stopping/starting would be ignored.

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