Are we witnessing the fall of a mighty empire? There is plenty of support for that notion in this group of DVD offerings, which challenge in completely new ways the truth of three different branches of conventional science—archaeology, physics, and biology.
PATTERNS OF EVIDENCE—EXODUS:
A Filmmaker’s Journey
On a January evening in 2015, major theaters throughout the country sold out or were filled to near capacity as tens of thousands of people gathered to see the feature documentary: Patterns of Evidence: Exodus, and the positive reaction was overwhelming.
Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney co-wrote, directed, and produced this film, his first feature documentary. Building upon a successful career in advertising and media production, he created Thinking Man Films, a production and distribution company that encourages people to reexamine what they have been taught about science, history, religion, and culture. He also created Thinking Man Media, a multimedia publishing company that develops music, books, curricula, and educational materials for all ages.
Mahoney had one important question: Did the Exodus story as written in the Bible really happen? According to most scholars today, the answer is a resounding “no.” Many would say it is just a myth, a fairy tale. Shaken by these opinions, Mahoney decided to tackle this issue with a deliberate scientific approach. After identifying key details in the biblical text, he embarked on a 12-year journey across the globe, traveling to the very locations where the biblical events are said to have happened to see firsthand whether there is evidence for the Exodus, or not. After interviewing some of the world’s leading archaeologists, he came to a profound question: What if the experts have been looking for evidence in the wrong time period? The result is one of the most revealing and in-depth investigations into the Exodus ever captured on film, one that allows you to come to your own conclusions about an amazing pattern of evidence and what it might mean for today.
While many books become movies, this movie birthed a book of the same title, where Mahoney greatly expands the number and depth of interviews seen in this film. He shares further perspectives about evidence that has been overlooked for decades and that some have called a game changer in supporting the credibility of the Exodus story.
So, as the debate rages over the credibility of the Bible, this film unlocks the mystery of this ancient saga, combining a scientific investigation with a re-telling of the Exodus story to reveal an amazing pattern of evidence matching the biblical account that may challenge our understanding of history. It features stunning animations, narration by Kevin Sorbo (God’s Not Dead; Hercules—The Legendary Journeys), interviews with leading archaeologists, such as Israel Finkelstein, Kent Weeks, and David Rohl, and guest appearances by Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres.
Since David Rohl was a key interviewee, and his work contributed significantly to the new direction taken by this documentary, we need to know more about him. He is a best-selling author and historian and is recognized as one of Egyptology’s most powerful communicators. Mahoney also directed Rohl, in October 2013, on his own 2-disk DVD of his research on the Exodus: The David Rohl Lectures, where Rohl sets out in more detail to challenge the current consensus amongst academics that the Bible is predominantly a work of fiction. His obvious mastery of his subject, the clarity with which he lays bare the disturbing inconsistencies he is challenging, his impressive marshaling of facts, and the lucidity of his arguments, mark him as one of the most important voices in biblical archaeology today. Contentiousin his search for the truth, his thought-provoking lectures confront the status quo with compelling, brilliantly orchestrated evidence for the veracity of the Old Testament narratives.
Rohl’s ideas and research have played an important part in the debate over the Egyptian timeline and its relation to the events of the Bible. However, his initial approach was not to start with the Bible and then look to see if there was a fit to be found somewhere in Egypt’s history. He had begun his research decades earlier and had come to his conclusions about the timeline of ancient history from a purely Egyptological standpoint.
David Rohl regarded himself as an agnostic, initially with little interest in the biblical text. His passion, from early childhood, has always been focused on the extraordinary civilization of the pharaohs. Back in the 1970s he began to realize that there were disturbing anomalies in the Egyptian dating system when he first read a book by Kenneth Kitchen, entitled: The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (published in 1973). He studied that book, crammed with chronological data for the 21st to 25th Egyptian dynasties, and began the process of trying to work out an alternative chronology, which solved the problems that he saw in Kitchen’s reconstruction of the Third Intermediate Period. He felt strongly that the only solution was to propose a shorter chronology of Egypt, lowering the dates of the New Kingdom by around three centuries. Only then did he look to see if his revision of the Egyptian timeline provided fresh links to the Bible. What he found amazed him, and that same set of discoveries has subsequently led Mahoney’s team to confirm, at least to their satisfaction, a pattern of evidence in the Egyptian records and the archaeology of the Holy Land that appears to match the biblical account.
When asked who is David Rohl now, he replied that: “I am an Egyptologist and an ancient historian—a trained scholar with the proper degrees in his subject—but also a bit of a maverick, as some might say. I came to university with a lot of ideas, which I developed over decades of studying ancient Egypt, and gradually laid them before the professors, who responded in a very positive way. I had a great time in the scholarly environment of University College London and, upon graduation, was recruited as a tutor in the History Department. So I got on very well with both my tutors and fellow students. But the problem that I have subsequently had is with the scholars who don’t know me as an individual who, without that interaction, tend to think of me as a rebel because I have dared to question established orthodoxy. So, I’m fighting for a new way of thinking, and I’m getting the cold shoulder from some academic quarters because my ideas are just too revolutionary for them. If I had kept my head below the parapet and just nibbled at the ‘Orthodox Chronology,’ I might have been more acceptable to my peers, but because I am trying to change things in a dramatic way—not by just simply pushing the envelope slightly—I have this rebel, nonconformist label, which, I have to say, I wear with some pride! I have always wanted to go beyond the envelope and take us all to a completely new way of thinking.”
So, then, does the Bible give an accurate historical account of the Exodus? Can we treat the biblical story as a historical record? Rohl’s answer is a resounding “yes.” And he’ll show you why he believes that—see if you can agree.
DVD – 119 Min. • $19.95 • 1-800-228-8381
THE LIGHT BEYOND
A Talkumentary with Raymond Moody, M.D., on Life, Death, and the Pursuit of the Afterlife
Dr. Raymond A. Moody
Born in Porterdale, Georgia, the son of an agnostic surgeon, Dr. Moody (philosopher, psychologist, physician, and author), is widely known for his books about life after death and near-death experiences (NDEs), a term that he coined in 1975 in his best-selling book, Life After Life. He has widely published his views on what he terms near-death-experience psychology.
Moody earned a B.A. in 1966, an M.A. in 1967, and a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1969 from the University of Virginia. He also obtained a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of West Georgia (then known as West Georgia College), where he later became a professor on the topic. In 1976 he was awarded an M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia. After obtaining his M.D., Moody worked as a forensic psychiatrist in a maximum-security Georgia state hospital. In 1998, Moody was appointed Chair in Consciousness Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
This ‘talkumentary’ is produced and directed by author and filmmaker Paul Perry, and it is mostly Perry asking Dr. Moody questions, which he answers while sitting in a chair, with a few side trips added. It is still quite interesting, though, as Dr. Moody has a way about him that makes you pay attention when he is answering those questions. And he is honest and direct, candidly discussing his own near-death experience in 1991 after his attempted suicide (he discussed it in more detail in his his book, Paranormal), which evidently was the result of an undiagnosed thyroid condition that affected his mental state.
Over the years, he’s had criticism and, more than once, been told he’s lost his mind (in 1993 even his own family placed him in a mental hospital for his work with mirror gazing). But, he’s mostly been proven right, over time. He finally built his own ‘psychomanteum’ (for mirror gazing) in his own home in Alabama, which has been a success, drawing in people from all over the world, including other psychiatrists. For this, he was inspired by the Greek psychomanteums, where the ancient Greeks would go to consult the apparitions of the dead (which Moody read about in classic Greek texts that he encountered while a student at the University of Virginia. By staring into a mirror in a dimly lit room, Moody claims that people are able to summon visions of spiritual apparitions. In this film, one of the side trips takes you to his home for a viewing of this psychomanteum, and an introduction to some of the participants.
Much of the criticism swirls around the scientific view that “there is no reliable evidence that people who report such experiences have died and returned, or that consciousness exists separate from the brain or body.” And then, there’s: “these experiences can be explained by neurochemistry and are the result of a dying, demented, or drugged brain.” To this, Dr. Moody points out the many instances where the doctors and nurses, or relatives or others close by, share in the experience.
There’s another ‘outing’ where Moody and Perry have a discussion about God. And here Moody shares his unique concept of God. So, if you want to hear more of Dr. Moody’s incredible story, which he tells in this film, try this one out.
DVD – 80 Min. • $19.95 • 1-800-228-8381
FIRE-MAKER—HOW HUMANS WERE
Designed to Harness Fire and Transform Our Planet
From computers to airplanes to life-giving medicines, the technological marvels of our world were made possible by the human use of fire. But the use of fire itself was made possible by an array of features built into the human body and the planet. This film, written and produced by John G. West, features biologist Michael Denton as he investigates the amazing story of how humans and our planet were exquisitely designed to harness the miraculous powers of fire and transform our planet.
Michael Denton holds an M.D. from Bristol University, as well as a Ph.D. in biochemistry from King’s College in London. A Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, Denton has had a critical impact on the debate over Darwinian evolution.
Denton’s most prominent book, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, coined the phrase that evolution is a “theory in crisis,” and is credited with having inspired both Phillip Johnson and Michael Behe to investigate scientific problems with Darwinian evolution. His book showed that severe cracks exist in the foundation of Darwinism in areas related to homology, paleontology, and molecular biology. Although originally drafted more than 30 years ago, the core argument that much of the complexity of the biological world cannot be accounted for in terms of cumulative selection, has stood the test of time as witnessed by the growing skepticism by many in the scientific community that microevolution can be extrapolated to macroevolution. Following the work of historian of science Thomas Kuhn, Denton recounted that scientific revolutions occur when the dominant paradigm accumulates so many deficiencies that it reaches a “crisis” stage. According to Denton, Darwinism has reached that final stage. His 1998 sequel, Nature’s Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe, elaborates on the evidence for design in nature, showing that the laws of the universe are finely tuned not only for the existence of carbon-based life but even complex beings of biology close to modern humans.
Dr. Denton has published his work in journals such as Nature, Biochemical Journal, Nature Genetics, BioSystems, Human Genetics, Clinical Genetics, the Journal of Theoretical Biology, and Biology and Philosophy. He has presented his work at major universities throughout the world. His current research focuses on exploring the role and limitation of genes in the generation of cell form, particularly retinal cells and red blood cells, and examining the challenge posed to Darwinian functionalism by the apparently nonadaptive ground plans or types, which underlie much of the adaptive complexity of life. He rejects the metaphysical basis of the Darwinian framework, specifically the assumptions that living organisms are nothing more than machines and that all properties of organisms have adaptive significance.
This documentary is quite short at 22 minutes; however, also included on this DVD is the bonus feature: The Biology of the Baroque, which is a 21-minute documentary that explores the amazing patterns, order, beauty, and capacities found throughout nature that go beyond what can be explained by Darwinian evolution. One segment investigates the unique features of human language and why language remains an evolutionary mystery. This one is inspired by Denton’s book Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis (2016). For more detailed information about the science behind Fire-Maker, you may also want to check out Denton’s book of the same title.
This film, as all others from Discovery Institute, provides excellent photography and graphics.
DVD – 43 Min. (including Bonus) • $14.95 • 1-800-228-8381