One week after graduating from high school, my family went on one of the most miserable vacations I can remember. It wasn’t unbearable because of travel difficulties or because of a family tragedy or sickness. Instead, it was miserable because we went to the most boring place I could imagine: Washington, D.C. There were no beaches or roller coasters. There was only Mount Vernon and a “mall” with no movie theatre.
Most of you are probably gasping for breath as you read about my lack of excitement for the political and historical center of America. Rest assured, I have seen the light! And that’s why I’m even more excited about a new addition to the D.C. attractions.
The Museum of the Bible opens today. For the first time ever, the Bible will have a world-class museum effort to honor the best-selling book of all time. Isn’t it odd to think that we have premiere museums dedicated to all styles of art, key periods of history, many ethnic groups, and all major sports, but until now, there wasn’t a museum dedicated to the Bible?
The Bible has had an unparalleled effect on our society, even beyond the church. We have many of the institutions and freedoms we enjoy today because people were inspired and directed by the Bible. The MOTB exists to put a spotlight on all the positive ways the Bible has shaped our world in the past and continues to influence our everyday life.
This museum is one of the tallest buildings in all of Washington—at 150 feet tall (including the best view in Washington)—and one of the largest museums—at 430,000 total square feet. There are massive floors filled with interactive exhibits for all ages. It’s probably unlike any museum you have experienced. In January, CNN named Museum of the Bible as the most anticipated museum opening in America.
What would happen in our churches and our cities if people came to their own conclusions about the Bible’s message?
The objective of the museum is simple: encourage all people to engage with the Bible for themselves. We live in a time where individual Bible engagement is at an all-time low in our nation’s history, while skepticism of the Bible’s reliability and moral teachings is at an all-time high. But what would happen if we began to see the tide turn and people began to read the Bible? What would happen in our churches and our cities if people came to their own conclusions about the Bible’s message?
The MOTB has received a mix of positive and negative reviews from Christians and skeptics alike. It’s been criticized for not talking about Jesus enough. Yet at the same time, many skeptics are speaking out against the MOTB as being too evangelistic. Steven Friesen speculates, “My guess is that they’ve worked very hard at covering what they would like to do, trying to hide the agenda that is behind the museum.” Friesen admits later he has not seen MOTB for himself. However, we are thrilled to see there are some who do not self-identify as Christians that are responding to a historic approach to the Book of books. Rob Brunner from the Washingtonian admits, “Even as a non-believer, I was intrigued.”
The opening of the MOTB is only the beginning. Not only will you be able to come to D.C. for an amazing experience, but MOTB has plans to touch communities around the world. Today, we have a curriculum for private and home schools that teaches the history, narrative, and influence of the Bible. And the thing I am most excited about is our church engagement initiative where we take a sample of artifacts to churches and teach on the Bible’s history and impact.
If you’d like to support or stay up-to-date with the MOTB, here are a few things you can do:
- Pray for the MOTB to faithfully share the message of the Bible.
- Pray against the attacks from those that hate the Bible and those that love the Bible but do not understand our mission.
- Request the MOTB to bring a sample of the museum to your church for free! E-mail Michael.McAfee@mbible.org
- Plan to bring your family and your church to MOTB when you come to D.C. for Evangelicals for Life in January, 2018.
- Book your tickets now.
- Share MOTB on Facebook and Instagram, especially our new video highlighting the Bible as the common thread throughout history.
- Read along with one of our YouVersion reading plans.
We’re excited to see how God will use this museum to uphold the power and wonder of his living Word.