'Though one rise from the dead'
As it turns out, the search has been continued longer than I thought and now someone claims to have found hard evidence.
But I remember once, when I was probably just 8 years old, speaking to my grandpa, a pastor, about the stories and books I had read by some of the explorers. He asked me an important question when I was done with my show and tell:
"Why do you want someone to find the ark?"
I was puzzled at the time. After all, it should be obvious that it would prove to skeptics and unbelievers that the Bible was true and I told my grandpa as much.
"No it won't," he said. I couldn't believe my ears.
But he went on to explain that God didn't need us to prove him true with physical proof, nor was it the way He has chosen to make diciples.
I've come to understand what he was saying much better now, obviously. He wasn't meaning to imply that faith is irrational. I've met some who did say that, saying they totally believed that the world was formed through evolutionary means, but that it didn't mean that they didn't have faith in Christ. The problem with this approach should be obvious to any careful reader of scripture, in that we can't claim to believe one part of God's revelation and not another. How trustworthy is God's "Word" if part of His special revelation is so blatantly false. More than this, Christ is Himself proclaimed to be present in the Creation account — How can we possibly trust HIS WORD about our redemption if we can't trust HIS WORD about our creation?
But I digress... My grandfather's point can best be expanded by looking at what Jesus said in his parable about the rich man and Lazarus, as recorded in Luke 16:19-31. In that parable, the rich man in hell begs Abraham to send Lazarus to his five unbelieving brothers, who, if they don't repent, will end up in the same place of torment.
"Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”Jesus' words are poignant since in the biblical account he does indeed raise the real-life Lazarus from the dead. The only response was more and more perverse unbelief.
So suppose Noah's Ark is discovered. Does that mean I don't think any could possibly, by God's grace, be drawn to Christ through such a revelation? I wouldn’t say that. What I do say is what God says in Romans through the Apostle Paul:
"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?"God's means of grace has been revealed. It is the foolishness of preaching the good news by which the Holy Spirit converts. And note Paul's rhetorical question about preachers being sent. This is the task of the church — to ordain and send preachers. So much to say about this, it's not even funny.
So what profit is it if we see everything in scripture proved in our sight and believe, when Jesus says “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”