Separately, critics have seized on a changing mission statement of the museum from its earliest days, when founders said they aimed to prove the authority of the Bible, to a new, more neutral goal of inviting people to learn more about the Bible. Museum president Cary Summers described the change as a natural progression as the project moved ahead.
But John Fea, a historian at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, points to the family’s goal of helping people “engage with” the Bible as a telling indication about what the Greens hope to achieve. He said the “Bible engagement” concept was popularized by the American Bible Society in the 1990s amid concern that people who owned copies of the Scriptures weren’t necessarily reading them.
Fea said advocates for this strategy ultimately hope the Bible will inspire a desire to learn more and maybe accept Christ.
“There’s a public face to this Bible engagement rhetoric and then there’s a private aspect of what it really means,” Fea said. “It debunks the whole notion that this is just a history museum.”
Green’s response to such arguments: Visit the museum and decide for yourself.
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