"The Heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork." –Ps. 19:1 (Amplified)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Having seen Frederick "Rick" Larson's website, BethlehemStar.net, and having read a little of what he found about the Bethlehem star that appeared at the time of Jesus' birth, I was excited to watch the DVD. I can honestly say that I am not the same. My awe of God has deepened, and pure amazement at His desire to communicate poetically through the constellations about His Precious Son's birth and even death, has taken hold after seeing all that was revealed through this research. Especially at this time of year, I highly recommend watching Professor. Larson's presentation either in person, or on the DVD—you will be so glad you did. –Aimee Herd, BCN.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to watch the video, The Star of Bethlehem, and to interview the man behind the research, and the host of the presentation, Rick Larson. Below is that interview. For more information on the DVD and Prof. Larson's research, visit www.bethlehemstar.net, or click on the source link provided at the end of this article. (Click "play" on video to the left, to watch a short promotional announcement about the DVD.)
Aimee Herd: In the DVD The Star of Bethlehem you note that you're "not a scientist" but a lawyer... However, I think that your background actually made you the perfect researcher of the star. As you look back, do you feel like God had been grooming you for "such a time as this?"
Rick Larson: Well, as I look back, I'd have to say "yes," but I don't like saying that because it sounds like I think I'm important, which I don't. I used to question why in the world He would have me do this, but over the years it's become clear to me that it is because I'm not a scientist. But, I know how to research, I know how to present evidence and analyze evidence. And, I can structure an argument that people can understand. So, I think He chose me in part, for those reasons. I also think He may have chosen me because I just kept saying "yes" [to Him]. What I don't want people to think is that I'm some smart guy who thought all this up, because that's not true. What is true is that it was revealed to me. All I was, was just persistent.
AH: What you've found in researching the Star is fascinating... what kind of impact has it had on your life? What has this meant to you personally?
RL: Well, to be honest, it's clobbered my life! I had plenty to do without the star. I was teaching law at Texas A & M University, I was practicing law, teaching at my church, I had plenty on my plate. But, God thought differently.
I realized that He was taking over and that I was going to have to readjust my life, when I was returning from Kosovo after giving [a Bethlehem Star] presentation. On the plane, it occurred to me, when you give this presentation to a room filled with Albanian Muslims, and they get blown away, and every presentation I give is standing room only; I just don't have the option of not doing it. This is my life calling.
AH: In what ways did your picture and view of God change after your research... compared to your views of Him prior to starting?
RL: I was already teaching the Bible and had a relatively close walk with [the Lord]. But, you know everyone can say the words, "God is in control, He's sovereign." But seeing that He structured the universe to announce the coming and the passing of Messiah, that's being in control! So, one thing it did was to give me a new understanding of sovereignty that I don't think you can get any other way. I don't really know any other demonstration that is as powerful as this. The other thing that's changed is, before I would have said, "He's beautiful," but now I think He's stunningly beautiful. Now I think He's a poet in a way that I didn't really realize, and for me, that's an intimate view of God that I would say I lacked before. I've been doing [these presentations] for 10 years, I'm still stunned at what He did in the skies. At the end of them, half the time I'm still moved to tears too.
AH: Without giving away too many of the amazing things revealed in the DVD, can you give a little taste of what viewer's will see—to whet their appetite?
RL: Sure. What people need to understand is that with computer technology, we can actually reproduce ancient skies with perfect accuracy. We can recreate the actual star events that the magi saw. They will see what magi saw, but they will also find—and this is what really slays the audience—that the star is the beginning of a celestial poem. It ends with Christ's death on the cross. They're very interested to see the star, but they're even more interested to see there is a poem there.
Most audiences should anticipate feeling the awe of God. You see, there were a lot of tears involved with all these discoveries... He would reveal one thing and then the next thing, and I'd say, "My God what did You do?!"
AH: If you can go back in time per se, with the computer program and view the stars as they were thousands of years ago... have you ever tried "going forward" in time with the program, to see if the stars foretell Jesus' 2nd coming?
RL: It's not my calling. I'm not saying I never would, whenever anyone asks me that, I say, "Go get the program and try it yourself." I'm not called to do that. I know some things about future events, but I'm not released [by God] to talk about it. If He ever changes that, I'll jump at it, I'll do whatever He tells me to do. But I'm just not going there [without His release]. Jesus said even He doesn't know—just the Father.
AH: Has The Star project fostered interest in any other Biblical mysteries, or historical events in our modern-day history that you'd like to explore?
RL: The 1947 UN resolution and the return to Israel, I've not done that research, I should probably do it.
AH: What can people find on the Star of Bethlehem website?
RL: It's in even more depth than the DVD; it's heavily footnoted, and I don't just send them to ancient documents because no one will go, I quote the documents. It's all right there at your fingertips. The website there is a resource to the world. It's www.bethlehemstar.net, and that's also an easy way to get to purchase the DVD at a discount.
The more people who view this DVD, I believe the more will [come to the Lord and] be in the Kingdom.
AH: And, one thing I noticed on The Star DVD is that you didn't even have to preach at all, because just what you reveal, what God has written in the stars preaches.
RL: Yes! I have presented this in physics classrooms because it's such a scientific mystery, and it's just plain interesting. You don't have to add any words to it because the import of it is unavoidable. I've presented it at many universities, and in many different physics classrooms.
According to the bio on his website, Larson studied under the late Francis Schaeffer at the scholar's community, L'Abri, in the Alps above Lausanne, Switzerland.
He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California and went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California Law Center. For fourteen years he taught The Legal Environment of Business, one of the largest courses at Texas A&M University, where he was voted Professor of the Year multiple times by students.
Larson is actively involved in the local community. He teaches a continuing course entitled "Essentials: the Biblical Basis for the Core Beliefs of Christianity" at a local church, and is President of "The STAR Project," a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading word of Messiah worldwide.
If you are interested in having Rick Larson come to your school, university, or church to do a presentation of the Star of Bethlehem, he can be contacted via his website. To purchase the DVD, visit: www.bethlehemstar.net or follow the source link provided.