Search This Blog

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Is there anything wrong with “biting at the heels of men far greater in the Kingdom” than we?

Like Heidegger, who regarded it as “the fundamental question of metaphysics”, the philosopher Robert Nozick concluded that it impossible to answer why there is ‘something rather than nothing’. Both men’s voluminous writings were complex, distanced from the concrete and actual that this “something” primarily referred and, in their own peculiar way, became increasingly attracted to an abstruse mysticism.

Christianity, in its orthodox version, is eminently up to the task of answering this question. Its centerpiece discourse with the world is an historical event in which God, as man, allows himself to be murdered and by this sacrifice of love is able to effect reconciliation of the whole cosmos to himself. Far from being “foolishness” in which rationality departs, the Christian argument is that this act of God freely exposes itself in order to be understood. Unfortunately, one scion of Christianity has been recently performing public sleight-of-hand artifice and replaced comprehension with nonsense. Almost Marcion-like in its approach to Old Testament history, the Sydney Anglicans have deracinated the apotheosis of God’s appearance in the world from its historical backdrop. Now robbed of meaning and significance, these men try to convince their followers that their mystical theology is Christianity’s genuine article while ignoring the voluminous weight of historical testimony and rational argument that stands in opposition to their claims.

I’ve previously referred to Bishop Rob Forsyth’s address to ISCAST on the putative dangers of looking to science to prove God. The problem, Rob says, “is that this attempt to directly derive strong grounds for the existence of God from the existing state of science, usually by postulating a point at which ‘then a miracle occurs’, has some very significant dangers for the Christian faith.” The main “danger” is the god-of-the-gaps-argument which, as knowledge about our physical world increases, leaves less room for God as Creator. Traditionally, so Rob believes, God was regarded as principally transcendent, though of course immanent in that he somehow held everything together. As science developed and causes of the phenomena were given physico-chemical explanation, and naturalism began to be synonymous with the scientific method, Christians in their apologetics had to place God somewhere at the beginning of a line of cause and effect situations. With this increase in knowledge God was pushed farther and farther away as more material causal factors were discovered. Thus, the ‘then there was a miracle’ moment of invoking God became more and more irrelevant. Eventually, as can be appreciated from the scientific enterprise to develop a Grand Unified Theory for everything, God has become but a reminder of our society’s primitive past, a mere invocatory lucky charm for those who are superstitiously religiously inclined.

Rob’s address, it may be demurred, is a doleful harbinger of Christian bad times ahead. On the contrary: he actually hints at a solution. Rob wants us to return to the good old days when God knew his place in the scheme of things and respectfully allowed man to get on with his business of making scientific discovery. It’s horses for courses with Rob: No more God talk in the lab because science is science, and theology, theology. Science has limits and in order to understand God the religious person must down the tools of his trade, take a running jump across some mythical epistemological divide, and only then experience the transcendent. Rob believes that the universe, the world of scientific investigation, is just a “brute fact” and that it does not fall under science’s terms of reference to evince evidence for the things around us being ultimately explicable by God. Fair enough if you’re into a form of mysticism. By stating this, however, Rob’s church sits astride a pagan epistemology and cannot help but tether itself to an equally pagan worldview.

In his paper to the pagans at ISCAST, Rob favourably cites William Placher’s ‘The Domestication of Transcendence’. Placher’s argument is that if Europe had followed Calvin’s and Luther’s respect for God’s sheer otherness and left science to its own business rather than finding a place for God in the creation, atheism wouldn’t have the hold on the Western mind as it now enjoys. Although I may quite speedily be accused of “biting at the heels of men far greater in the kingdom” than I (surely to go down as one of Sydney Anglicans’ humblest self-assessments!), I want to suggest that Placher, Rob, Calvin and Luther are really part of the problem of why there is far too much atheism in the West.

These men’s two-tiered epistemology is a thorough-going Greek view of knowledge and is not the one presented in the Bible. The compartmentalization of reality into separate realms of transcendence and immanence reflects the Aristotelian and Platonic belief structure in which, notwithstanding their idiosyncratic differences, God was irreconcilably distinct from the creation, if creation is indeed even the appropriate descriptor. Both Greek philosophers could never manage to somehow bring everything together. Aristotle, arranging everything in concentric spheres according to the degree of materiality, had “God” outside and omitted any worthwhile explanation how the things of this world began. This world, our world, may have been “created” by God, but Aristotle’s philosophy could not provide true causality because of God’s being ultimately transcendent and other. Plato, on the surface, appears to be saying something far different to Aristotle. However, world of Ideas and Demiurge notwithstanding, the argument and effect were intending nothing different from his pupil: God and the source for creaturely blueprint were taken as a matter of faith to lie across a metaphysical and epistemological divide.

Both Calvin and Luther held a disparaging attitude to any attempt to understand God. For Calvin, God did not speak clearly about himself and what knowledge he did divulge was merely an accommodation to our “slight capacity”. Despite his acceptance of a young world, Calvin held, like the Sydney Anglicans, that the ancient Jews were primitive and did not have a sophisticated mind for understanding higher order truths. As a result, he believed that God did not speak “according to how things are” but lisped for the ordinary people. Faith for Calvin did not involve knowledge and understanding but a mystical tautology of the “mind ha[ving] to go beyond and rise above itself in order to attain [faith]. Even where the mind has attained, it does not comprehend what it feels. But while it is persuaded of what it does not grasp, by the very certainty of its persuasion it understands more than if it perceived anything human by its own capacity.” (Institutes 3.2.14)

Luther, a chap occasionally and favourably quoted on various Anglo-blogs, was less abstruse and cut to the chase by declaring reason a whore. Speculation about God was dangerous because Luther’s was a “hidden God” and “must therefore be left to himself in his own majesty”. (There is a line in Rob’s address to the ISCAST heathen which reflects this Gnostic elitism. Rob primarily lays the blame for the rise of atheism in Europe on “a desire to make all the reasons for the belief in God publicly accessible”. Once more Rob’s sacerdotal mien wants to shut the door, lock it with the key of knowledge, stand guard and keep the unworthy out.)

As is well known, Rob and his followers’ first and only response to atheist attacks on the orthodox understanding of Genesis 1 is to capitulate. The modern (as well as ancient) creationist, in contradistinction, does not fear contemporary views on origins and does not compromise the Bible’s historical accuracy by performing tendentious and unwarranted linguistic gymnastics, as is demonstrated by the Sydney Anglicans’ cowardly retreat of recategorising narrative as poetry or some other figurative form. Rather, creation apologetics encourage the thinking Christian to meet the challenge head-on and speak out with confidence about the plethora of scientific data that support a young, created earth.

In further support for his attack on contemporary creation apologetics the bishop’s address also pusillanimously relied on Michael Buckley’s ‘At the Rise of Modern Atheism’. Rob attempted to demonstrate that when early modern creationists, like Newtown, proposed a natural theology from their scientific discoveries this inevitably led to a viable and convincing atheist backlash. The atheists countered that there was increasingly less role for God to be God in his role as Creator and sustainer because the data could, with equal rationality, be understood through a materialist model. However, the good bishop shortchanged his listeners by overlooking the finer details of what this atheist “backlash” consisted. Two incidents mentioned in the book, and the reaction to them, are significant.

It was reported in 1741 to the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris that a Swiss zoologist, Abraham Trembley, had split a hydra in half and watched as both halves grew their missing pieces. Creationists, in opposition to the chance-filled universe of the then Epicurean influenced materialist world-view, had been arguing that life can only arise from seeds which contain the design for their final form. The materialists unwisely and unscientifically viewed Trembley’s work as evincing the wholesale pagan idea that matter had some sort of internal vital force that produced life. By doing this they ignored the much earlier evidence of Francesco Redi and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek who had overturned and replaced the deductive proclamation of Aristotle that life arose from decaying matter with their experimental work that correctly demonstrated life cannot arise from non-life. These two creationists were resolute that science supported the biblical assertion that life can only come from life, God being the ultimate giver of all life. Equally importantly, they challenged, rather than ceding to, the then widespread pseudo-scientific pagan worldview of life having ontological independence. (As an aside, it is clear, too, “from “[Leeuwenhoek’s] stand against non-Christian superstitions such as the doctrine of spontaneous generation, that he held to a Biblical doctrine of creation. He believed it foolish to think his little “animalcules” could have formed by chance, and he worked diligently to prove that all things reproduce after their kind, as the book of Genesis teaches. For example, after working for weeks observing the propagation of insects, Leeuwenhoek stated confidently, “. . . This must appear wonderful, and be a confirmation of the principle, that all living creatures deduce their origin from those which were formed at the Beginning.”” Schierbeek, A., the Editor-in-Chief of the collected letters of Leeuwenhoek, p. 137.)

The other incident centered upon the blind genius Nicholas Saunderson, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. Saunderson vociferously argued for an atheist worldview which substantially centred its attack upon his predecessor Newton and his idea that the mathematical arrangement of the cosmos clearly demonstrated design. Like most atheists who make it a life’s pursuit to loudly deny the existence of a Creator, there frequently lie personal reasons for this career choice. Saunderson, as a baby, had been attacked by the smallpox virus which not only took away his sight but had actually removed his eyes. Saunderson, brilliant as he was, used his deformity and misfortune to bolster his belief that the universe was nothing but the result of eons of blind chance tossing up endless possibilities and permutations of matter that eventually formed life. The key for Saunderson was his own disability. He argued that if a creationist is going to argue design from nature’s exquisite beauty and remarkable intricateness, then he has to find a place for monsters like himself: if God exists, he must have permitted the horror of Saunderson. Saunderson’s argument was but a more pointed version of why there was something rather than nothing. His atheism quite reasonably argued that an evolving universe has to churn out beauties and beasts for no other reason than the interplay of chance, time and matter. Now here is something entirely ironic.

The Sydney Anglicans, represented by men like the bishop Rob Forsyth and his boss Peter Jensen, have declared that God has purposed the principle of evolution as the guiding hand in nature. God is now responsible for Saunderson’s misery and unbelief because, according to their Christian version of evolution, God from the start wanted the mutations and deformity caused by evolution to be a part of his “very good” world. Rather than tackle the validity of evolution being a genuine scientific description of the world, the Anglicans have been seduced by it, accepted it, and then stated that it is “a fatal mistake amongst Christians…to try to attempt to make the Christian faith believable or defensible within the limits imposed by science.” By artificially opening a divide between theology and science, one area of knowledge cannot converse with another. One can talk scientifically, but to talk on matters of God, one has to take off the lab coat, take a running jump across a chasm and land in the theology box, then, and only then, begin a separate discourse. What would have been our good bishop’s best response to Saunderson’s argument if the two had been contemporaries? Not much that would have made a whole lot of sense, I’d imagine.

On other entries I’ve contended that the Anglo-heretics present a quasi-Gnostic view of Scripture and the world. One latest version of this departure from orthodoxy is found over at our old mate Mark Baddeley’s site. Mark writes that, “[t]he point from this is that Creation Science is a natural theology par excellence….Creation Science tries to move to God’s glory by reading it off those things that we find glorious, and explain away those things that offend our notions of good and the like (like suffering).”

One distinguishing outworking of Gnostic thought is a disdain for the creation and Mark’s proposition is nothing more than a veiled version of this. (A less oblique attack on God’s creation, the reader may recall, comes from the Anglican minister Gordon Cheng who found in the koala clear evidence of God’s incompetence. Gordon’s armchair observations discovered that baby koalas have a tendency to fall out of their mommas’ pouches when climbing through the trees because evolution made the koala’s pouch the wrong way around.) Creationists on the other hand, involve themselves in the creation in order to discover the wisdom of the Creator, believing that there will be a plausible direct link between the creation and the Creator (after all, He made it!). Furthermore, creationists have no need to explain the evil in the world away – we actually search for reasons why, knowing that God is not responsible and that there will be indirect scientific argument for evil’s being non-natural (e.g. Haldane’s Dilemma or the clear scientific data which demonstrate the truth of a young world.). It’s actually the theistic evolution heretics who explain it away either falsely and indirectly attribute it to God, or, as is so often the case, present an insipid theodicy by shrugging their shoulders and claiming it’s all one big mystery.

As is the case in their compromising commitment to long ages and evolutionary mechanism, the Anglo-heretics have also joined with the atheists in other matters. One such noteworthy aspect is seen in Baddeley’s subtle distinction in his italicising the ‘we’ in “those [created] things that we find glorious”. What this obscures is the Anglo-heretics’ widespread criticism of the validity of analogous reasoning, part of the logical machinery that drives so much of the philosophy within the creationist and intelligent design. Analogous reasoning is a perfectly reasonable way for the mind to rationally secure a bridge from creature to Creator. Of course, the heretics inevitably end up dismissing this example of rationality as salvation based on our own efforts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Taking our lead from Genesis 1’s “made in the image of God”, creationists hold that logos is one of the components of this “image”. As a result man can rationally adduce from the things that are made, which are obviously not eternal, to the eternity of the Maker of these things. (Analogous reasoning allows us to establish that just as we utilise our wisdom, knowledge and understanding to plan our houses, construct our machines and to, “out of nothing”, bring forth our inventions, God also creates by using the same attributes. When we apply our intellect to our constructive tasks in effect we are following God’s own method of applying his intellect in a three-fold way. The pagan searches for wisdom; the Christian has been given this jewel; yet the Sydney Anglican heretics bury it when they replace God’s creative method with a pagan worldview.)

This raises the other reason why Baddeley stresses the ‘we’. Generated and sustained by his non-biblical belief system is his acceptance that the creation, from the beginning, had the good, the bad and the ugly. As a consequence of routinely ignoring or sophistically reworking the wisdom and knowledge of Genesis 1, Baddeley accuses creationists of only seeing God in the beautiful aspects of the world while explaining away the not-so nice through fanciful aetiologies resulting from the Fall. As someone profoundly influenced by evolutionary thinking this is to be expected; for why else would Baddeley hold that carnivorous animals were what God originally created.

But at this point there is an even more reckless outworking of his pagan theology, his downplaying of the intrinsic evil of suffering. Sure, he does commit to a pain-free world in eternity; but the concern I have is his acceptance of it in the present. He writes, “I still want to claim that our obsession with pain is wrongheaded. We elevate it way too high in the ‘evils’ that exist in our world (and I say that as someone who has an embarrassingly low pain threshold). When Romans 8 looks at the ‘good’ for God’s people, suffering is actually an instrument in accomplishing the good…Pain is not the great evil we make it out to be, even though it is part of the glory of the new creation that there will be no suffering. It’s part of the parochial patheticness of our day and age that our existence is getting increasingly defined by the attempt to avoid deprivation at all costs.”

Well, here we have it on his expert testimony that suffering is jolly well good. Note his astute theological underpinning, as well as the objective disinterest, almost stoic in its acceptance of pain being good for the soul. Do tell us Mark, ol’ chap: Just how many visits to the children’s oncology ward have you recently made? Watched anybody die a lonely, painful death this weekend? Been on the receiving end of any beatings lately for giving a testimony for Christ? Been in jail for Christ? Death threats? Spied on? Had your house burned down lately? Or what about your family executed in front of you? I guess not, eh? (Let me help you out. How about you bend over son and I’ll give 6 of the best, you take it like a man, and then I’ll consider you better equipped to write further theologically profound comments on your blog.)

But I digress. Let me conclude with the following.

Of course, such a god of the Sydney Anglicans was completely unknown to the Apostle Paul. In opposition to the Bishop of South Sydney and his supporters, Paul declared that from a deep knowledge of the creation and its components one can reason to some fairly dependable and accurate information about the Creator. Indeed, Paul argues that our minds are sufficiently perspicacious to comprehend something about the dunamis, or miraculous element, in creation and God’s deity and nature. (Paul quite astutely had also observed that some men attempt to foolishly argue away these facts but the truth is inescapable because it is the truth and God’s creation makes it quite plain to them.) The Sydney Anglicans have long ago swapped their inheritance of gold and pearls for atheistic dross and in the process emptied the scientific world of God. They have accomplished this by bringing into the Church a belief that the world is ancient and that God used an unscientific and ungodly method of creating called evolution.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

ABANDON SHIP!!! ... Episcopalians First, The Rest Can Make Their Own Arrangements!

In the comments section of a recent blog I asked a person named Geoff to indicate where in the Bible he got support for a long age view of the world. His short reply was "Nowhere."

This blog attempts to outline how the Church in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries came to overthrow the Scriptural chronologies which support an earth commencement date measuring something in the thousands of years. Space prevents all players being mentioned but sufficient are included to fairly represent the course of events. Remember, I take up events from the late eighteenth century because prior to that contrary views to a young earth (under 10,000 years) were not influential.

William Whiston (1667-1752) was Isaac Newton's successor in Mathematics at Cambridge University. He argued for a global Flood but added 6 years to Archbishop Ussher's earth commencement date of 4004BC because he held that each day of creation week was of one year's duration. His interpretation of Creation week was later used by those who supported a day-age theory for Genesis 1.

Alexander Catcott (1725-79) used geological arguments to defend the Genesis account of a recent creation and global Flood which produced the geological record. However, John Whitehurst (1713-88) argued that the earth was much older than humans and that, although the Noachian flood was a global event it was not responsible for most of the geological record. Certain geologists on the continent denied the global Flood and argued for a much older earth. Comte de Buffon (1708-88), Pierre Laplace (1749-1827) and Jean Lamarck (1744-1829) developed philosophically naturalistic explanations for earth history, each accommodating a long age for the earth.

The faith of Christians in a straight-forward reading of the biblical narratives concerning Creation and the Flood was under attack. Deists worked with atheists to shake the confidence of Christians in the Genesis cosmology.

In the years 1790-1820 geology became a separate field of scientific study. Also at this time the Neptunist-Vulcanist debate emerged . Neptunists believed water was the principal cause for geological change whereas Vulcanists held to internal heat of the earth being the major factor. Abraham Werner (1749-1817) of Germany and James Hutton (1726-97) of Scotland were the respective founders of the two positions. Each mostly studied the rocks in their own locality and developed their 'world view' of geology from this. Hutton's work remains most influential because of its uniformitarian proposition ie everything in the rock record can be explained by present day processes such as erosion, sedimentation, volcanoes and earthquakes. Hutton was a deist. His work allowed for a very long, virtually limitless, age of the earth.

In 1807 the Geological Society of London was established. The 13 founding members were wealthy, cultured gentlemen, who lacked geological knowledge but made up for it by their enthusiasm to learn. From the outset the Society was dominated by men who held to a long-age view of the earth. This then introduced the stage when dismantling of Christian faith in the Scriptural chronology of earth history really accelerated.

In the early 1800s George Cuvier (1768-1832), working from the study of fossils in the Paris basin, developed a theory which sought to reconcile science with religion but only from a post Flood history. He regarded the fossils to be the remains of creatures created then subsequently destroyed by catastrophic events prior to the Flood. By necessity he believed the earth had a long antiquity prior to the Flood. William Buckland (1784-1856) was a clergyman of the Church of England. He was also a leading geologist as well as lecturer in mineralogy and geology at Oxford University. He spread the catastrophist message initiated by Cuvier. Two of his students, Charles Lyell and Roderick Murchison went on to be leading geologists and destroyers of faith in the Genesis record.

Initially, Rev Buckland held that geology was consistent with Genesis and that there was a global Flood. However, his position was weakened by accommodation of 'day-age' but preference for the 'gap theory' of origins. Later, after criticism, he abandoned his initial weak attempt to reconcile Scripture and his observation of the world. His position now became that of relying on geological 'evidence' over textual evidence (Biblical) because, as he disclosed in personal correspondence, the latter was susceptible to deception or error.

Rev Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) was Buckland's counterpart at Cambridge University. He too was a strong advocate for old-earth catastrophism. They were supported by Rev William Conybeare but catastrophists were 'knocked for six' in the period 1830 to 1833 when Charles Lyell published his three volume Principles of Geology which was strongly uniformitarian in its approach to geology. Lyell had a supporter in Presbyterian Minister Rev John Fleming. It is Lyell's (and Hutton's) uniformitarian view which prevails in most circles although the Church still has those we would call catastrophists, particularly those who are gap theorists.

Perhaps few in the Church who support Lyell's uniformitarian view are aware of his disclosure in correspondence 11 Aug 1829 to his ally Roderick Murchison "I trust I shall make my sketch of the progress of geology popular. Old [Rev John] Fleming is frightened and thinks the age will not stand my anti-Mosaical conclusions and at least the subject will for a time become unpopular and awkward for the clergy, but I am not afraid. I shall out with the whole but in as conciliatory a manner as possible."¹ and to fellow uniformitarian George Scrope on 14 June 1830 he said "... If we don't irritate, which I fear we may (though mere history), we shall carry all with us. If you don't triumph over them, but compliment the liberality and candour of the present age, the bishops and enlightened saints will join us in despising both the ancient and modern physico-theologians. It is just the time to strike, so rejoice that, sinner as you are, the Q[uarterly] R[eview] is open to you."²

The Church was not without clergy and laymen who defended the Scriptural chronology of earth history. Some were both theologically as well as geological trained and experienced. However, they lacked support and the 'day' was carried by the long agers. The 'ship of faith' in the word of God had been dealt a serious blow. Significantly, it was clergy of the Church of England (call it Anglican, call it Episcopalian) such as Rev William Buckland, Rev Adam Sedgwick, Rev William Conybeare, Rev George Stanley Faber, Bishop John Bird Sumner and E.B. Pusey who aided and abetted, who abandoned ship. The sorry state continues today with Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia churning out old earth believers. They are aided and abetted by an Archbishop and Bishops who think likewise. As occurred in the past, they are quick to run with deists and atheists to reject theologians and scientists who point to Scripture and geology demonstrating an earth only thousands of years old.

I close this blog with some insightful words of Rev Granville Penn (1761-1844), grandson of William Penn of Pennsylvania fame. Rev Penn was an upholder of the Scriptural chronology. For those who profess to have a reasonable theology of God and yet propose an old earth chronology he said "The vast length of time, which this sinistrous choice is necessarily obliged to call in for its own defense, could only be requisite to the Creator for overcoming difficulties obstructing the perfecting process; it therefore chooses to suppose, that He created obstructions in matter, to resist and retard the perfecting of the work which He designed; whilst at the same time he might have perfected it without any resistance at all, by his own Creative act ... To suppose then, a priori, and without the slightest motive prompted by reason, that His wisdom willed, at the same time, both the formation of a perfect work, and a series of resistances to obstruct and delay that perfect work, argues a gross defect of intelligence somewhere, either in the Creator or in the supposer; and I leave it to this science, to determine the alternative.³"


1. The Geologic Column - John K. Reed and Michael J. Oard, Creation Society Books, 2006, p17
2. Ibid, p18.
3. Comparative Estimate - Granville Penn (1825) Vol. 1, p124-127

Sam Drucker

Friday, December 21, 2007

Purpose is what purpose does.

Another interesting quote from a management book (well, interests me . . .).

Now, why I'm doing this is to show examples of how thinkers outside our particular debate appreciate, understand, refer to and use the idea of 'evolution'. I also note that their implication of evolution never (so far in my reading) leads to the awe of God.

From Ansoff again (op cit p. 127), talking about adaptation in organisational development:

"The concept of adaptation used here is much richer than the one used in association with the theory of evolution. In that theory, adaptation refers to only involuntary responses to external changes, and the responses consist of internal changes. This restricted connotation of the concept derives from the fact that the theory of evoution is preoccupied with nonpurposeful systems, and when it deals with purposeful systems it is not concerned with their purposfulness . . ."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Who's A Hypocrite Then?

In his blog of 10 December 2007 at reflectionsinexile.blogspot./ the author, Mark Baddeley, offers another disclosure of his view on position of Biblical Creationists.

As with his earlier posts he misrepresents Scripture and Biblical Creationists. He really should leave the subject alone.

His exposition of the words of our Lord (as recorded in Matthew 19:23-24) concerning a camel passing through the eye of a needle is fundamentally flawed. That his sycophantic supporters at his blogspot have not picked him up on this shows they are similarly theologically lame.

Mr Baddeley's suggested interpretation that our Lord might have been referring to a (hitherto undiscovered) real "Needle Gate" is inconsistent with the wording applied to the text by most bible translators. If there was in the mind of our Lord a real "Needle Gate" then 'the' would replace 'a' preceding the word 'needle' in verse 24.

The context of our Lord's words here is the need to address the misconception in the then Jewish culture that wealth is a demonstration of God's blessing and thus being right with God.

Calvinists such as Mr Baddeley (albeit he is part-time) have traditionally accepted that neither rich or poor can enter the Kingdom of God without intervention from God and Calvinists have believed that this is what our Lord is teaching in this incident.

Discard Mr Baddeley's argument on this point and therefore take no notice of his supposition of how Biblical Creationists might apply the reading of our Lord's teaching here.

Next Mr Baddeley asserts Apostle Paul's advice to Timothy (1Timothy 5:23) to "... use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses" is a prescription for Biblical Creationists to "hold that regularly taking a little wine is an important aspect of dealing with frequent ailments." I won't spend much time on this foolishness. The text does not disclose the nature of Timothy's health problems. We must accept that Paul knew more than we know about the complaint. I'll just respond by suggesting that if we found a doctor's script for Joe Bloggs to take aspirin for his throat complaint we wouldn't assume that all throat complaints are to be treated by aspirin. Perhaps Mr Baddeley, the fount of all wisdom, would! It begs belief as to what level of thinking Moore Theological College lets loose on unsuspecting students.

Then Mr Baddeley raises that old chestnut - 'the sun standing still' (Joshua 10:12-14), deemed to be 'a nail in the coffin' of Biblical Creationists. It draws from the geocentric/heliocentric controversy in Galileo Galilei's (1564-1642) time. Skeptics run this argument and compromisers in the church do as well. What these people fail to mention is that, initially, Roman Catholic authorities accepted Galileo's assertions as compatible with the teachings of the Church. However, Jesuit university professors later mounted opposition to Galileo and the momentum went with them.

What doesn't appear to be known by such poorly read people as Mr Baddeley is that Galileo interpreted the account of the miracle of the long day of Joshua 10:12-15 as literal history, though he explained the stationary position in terms of Copernican theory and the language of appearance ie to the eyewitnesses and recorder of the event it appeared as if the sun stood still in the sky. Much has been written about the Galileo affair. I draw from "The Great Turning Point" pages 20 and 21 written by Terry Mortenson, published by Master Books. In the book Terry Mortenson cites several references.

Next Mr Baddeley dangerously uses words of Deborah's song found at Judges 5 to set it against an elsewhere historical record. He forgets that caution needs to be used in the use of poetry to thoroughly understand history. Many compromisers have sought to regard Genesis 1 as poetry so that they can justify not accepting this testimony as describing a historical event. Funny that to dilute the Genesis 1 testimony of its historical worth Mr Baddeley sets poetry up as having equal historical worth.

In closing I would like to comment on the tendency of the world and those in the Church who love the world, to selectively use the writings of influential people of the past. Flimsy citing of a writer presents a flimsy argument. I allude to this concerning abuse of Galileo Galilei. It has been said by me and others elsewhere concerning Martin Luther and John Calvin. I mention it now concerning Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626).

Those within and outside the Church who oppose Biblical Creationists draw from Bacon's work "Novum Organum" (1620) to argue for the separation of the two books - Scripture and Nature. Bacon's earlier work "Advancement of Learning" (1605) is also much drawn upon - indeed the term "the two books" derives from this. Mr Baddeley comes to mind here.

But little attention is given to a section of "Advancement of Learning" p43-44 (Book 1, part VI.9-11) wherein Bacon affirms the merit of Scripture in expounding on issues of health, natural philosophy and history. Earlier in the book (p. 40-42 Book 1, points VI. 2-8) he seems to express his belief a literal six-day creation, after which the creation was complete. He also believed that the Flood and the confusion of the languages at Babel were judgements of God. Some of these beliefs were expressed in more detail in his "Confessions of Faith", first published posthumously in his "Remains" (1648), but written some unknown time before the summer of 1603. This eight page confession reads like a detailed, orthodox creed. Again I draw from "The Great Turning Point" (pages 21-23) for help in addressing this.

I urge those who purport to represent God to trust God. Greats of philosophy, science and theology such as Bacon, Galileo, Luther and Calvin made statements in the past which today are applied against their faith in the Word of God and on interpreting (thus believing) Genesis 1 teaching God created the heavens, the earth, the sea and all that is in them in six days around 4,000 years BC. Mark Baddeley is a serial offender here. He abuses the mind of those of the past.

We have a principle applying in life. It was affirmed by our Lord Jesus Christ and it is this - If a person says something but acts in a different way then that person is a hypocrite.

God is the author of Scripture. God is the author of Nature. If you like - two books. Whatever God says in Scripture must be consistent with what God has done in Nature and vice versa. Christians do not believe God is a hypocrite. The hypocrite must then be the person who applies the two books differently.

Neil Moore

Monday, December 17, 2007

Machine-Age God

This was written in Ackoff, R, Creating the Corporate Future (John Wiley 1981:19)

[following a discussion of the use of ‘systems’ as means of thinking about relationships, and mention of Heisenberg as destroying confidence in being able to comprehensively explain anything]

“This means that we are free to believe or not in an all-containing whole. Since our understanding will never embrace such a whole, even if it exits, it makes no practical difference if we assume it to exist. Nevertheless, many individuals find comfort in assuming existence of such a unifying whole .Not surprisingly, they call it God. This God however, is very different from the Machine-Age God who was conceptualized as an individual who had created the universe. God-as-the-whole cannot be individualised or personified, and cannot be thought of as the creator. To do so would make no more sense than to speak of a man as creator of his organs. In this holistic view of things man is taken as a part of God just as his heart is taken as a part of man".

Just thought it interesting; as it always is to see how people use the ideas of 'God', 'creation' and (sometimes) evolution as springboards for discussion.

Monday, December 10, 2007

More Bad News For Moore Theological College

In recent blogs at his site (in exile,) Mark Baddeley continues his muddying of the waters on Scriptural interpretation to enable lovers of the world to keep a foot in both camps viz the Kingdom of God and the world. The Moore Theological College of today might be proud of him but those true to the Word of God past and present would rebuke him.

Again he selectively uses Martin Luther to mount an argument against Luther's position on the interpretation of Genesis 1. Just quickly, to dismiss some irrelevant arguments made by Mark Baddeley against a straightforward reading of Genesis 1, I cite him and respond hereunder. Mark Baddeley says:

"1. The deep waters of verse 2 existing before God says anything in verse 3.

2. The fact that in verse 2 ‘darkness’ exists before God says anything in verse 3 to create anything which could be dark. (After all, you can’t have darkness without space, and space—physical dimensions—is one of those things that is created in verses 3 and following).

3. The firmament separating the waters above from the waters below in verses 6, which is an expanse in which floodgates are opened in 7:11 to bring about the Flood.

4. The fact that all celestial objects only exist to give light and regulate human time in verses 14-18.

5. The fact that the seventh day doesn’t end. It’s quite noticeable, if you have your eyes open. Every day has the same refrain:

And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
And there was evening and there was morning, the seventh day.

No wait. My mistake. Scratch the last one. The refrain is not repeated on the seventh day, the day when God rests from his labours of creating. It is repeated six times and then missed out on the seventh day."

In response, I say:

1. So what! There is no problem here unless you are mischievously trying to invent one. If you can accept that verse 1 is a summary statement (as Bill Dumbrell, a once favoured lecturer at Moore College allows) and verse 2 identifies a stage of the creation as God begins to fill the earth then verse 3 and following is the account of God speaking to fill the earth and make it a habitation for man and creature.

2. Same again! As a sign of Mark Baddeley's inattentiveness he makes no mention that in verse 2 the earth, water and hovering of the Spirit of God suggest space as well.

Nothing in my aforesaid two points should be seen to deny (and certainly Scripture does not deny it) that verse 2 identifies a circumstance occurring on the first day of creation week. Hebrews 11:3 and 2 Peter 3:5 are certainly not against it.

3. Not an issue. Biblical Creationists have differing views as to whether verses 6-8 refer to a water canopy within or beyond earth atmosphere or whether the verses refer to cloud cover or whatever. Little is known about the physicality of the present universe let alone being precise about the universe at the end of creation week. Does much hang on this?

4. Like other issues raised, this is making a mountain out of molehill. There is no reason why the seasonal and time functions of the celestial bodies couldn't be principal functions with other intended functions not identified in verses 14-18. On the other hand we are, today, experiencing a world somewhat different to that which was first created and later altered due to the Fall and subsequently destroyed in the time of Noah. Proponents of the canopy theory might argue that the warming effect of the sun's rays would have been less demonstrable on earth prior to the Flood.

5. Another instance of majoring on the minor or making a mountain out of a molehill. As if the description of events on the seventh day deny the unity and veracity of events described on the previous SIX days? Biblical Creationists have only ever argued (from Scripture) that God created the heavens, the earth and the sea and all that is in them in six days - not seven days. Extrapolating Mark Baddeley's (and others) argument, is it contended that there was no eighth or ninth day after God commenced creating? Are we, today, in no point of time since God created the world?

Greater Hebrew scholars (both evangelical and liberal) than Mark Baddeley have no problem believing the author of Genesis intended the reader to understand God created in six days as we experience the duration of a day eg Luther, Calvin, Archer, Waltke, Sailhamer, Hamilton, Barr, Leupold, Wenham, Kidner, Arnold, Speiser, Young and Davis. The scientist Sir Isaac Newton, regarded roundly as the greatest scientist to have ever lived, had no problem believing the world was created in six days as we experience them.

People such as Mark Baddeley really tie themselves into knots when they try to reinterpret Scripture to 'run with the hounds' ie to suck up to the world. He makes the claim "First and foremost we need to grasp that the word of God is self-interpreting." However, he denies this principle time and time again. Exodus 20:8-11 and 31:15-18 give unequivocal endorsement to Genesis 1. How foolish one can make oneself out to be when they setting oneself up against God and those God has used to give life and vigour to the church such as Luther and Calvin.

He has his devotees, however, those who love this world. They go on his blogspot urging him on and in this they act like Saul of Tarsus holding the cloaks of those who would put down those holding to the truth. Their own capacity to see the truth is blinded by their hatred of us. We are not of this world as they are. They hate us for this and they hate us for speaking out strongly against them. Some of them forget that the Sydney Anglican Heretics blogspot only arose after they insulted and derided gentle Biblical Creationists on the Sydney Anglican Forum - 'Peace With Evolution'. This site then is only a product of their making. With some petulance they criticise commentators here for getting tough with their deceptive ways. Yet one of them, Gordon Cheng, said on one of their own supporter's blogspot that there must be some scope for Christians to go so far as Apostle Paul and say such strong words as "I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves." Strong words indeed. Okay for Apostle Paul, something of the like okay for Gordon Cheng but lesser words by commentators here deemed vile. Hypocrites!

They hate better than they love.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sydney Episcopalians Fall Moore

Mark Baddeley, on staff at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia, demonstrates a low standard of theological scholarship required these days at that institution. Episcopalians around the world should note what damage awaits if they are entertaining thoughts of their son or daughter enrolling at Moore College.

Neil Moore in a recent blog identified one characteristic of a cult as being that of taking bible texts out of context. Mark Baddeley grossly commits that offence in a blog at when quoting Romans 8:28-30 and 35-37as making the case for suffering being part of God's creation prior to the Fall.

The Apostle Paul's letter to the church in Rome is almost entirely about the i) corrupted creation after the Fall of Adam, ii) God's gracious reconciliation through Jesus Christ and iii) life thereafter for those receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Only Romans 1:20 makes any direct reference to a pre-Fall situation (note this also has application post-Fall). The suffering referred to by Paul in Romans 8 is therefore within the context of the fallen world not the pre-fallen world. As shown throughout the bible and therefore in earth history God works out his plan of salvation using consequences of the Fall eg suffering and death.

Hebrews 2:5-18 further explains well enough that consequences of the fallen state of man viz lost place, suffering and death are reversed by Jesus Christ in his office as Saviour. Pre-fallen creation was not in need of a Saviour because there was no sin, no suffering, no death. Adam, the son of God and the rest of creation were in their odered place (Hebrews 2:8a,b). Only after the Fall did the circumstance of Hebrews 2:8c arise.

A potential world-wide audience is not the place for Mark Baddeley to air his ignorance and expose Moore Theological College to criticism.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Making of a Cult

Cults are exclusive. Cults using the Bible as their authority selectively use Scripture for their end. Cults tend to almost, if not completely, deify their earthly leader.

In my view there is something cultish about on Mark Baddeley's

Only allowing certain commentators to comment on his blogs. Selective use of Scripture to the exclusion of that which undermines his point. His almost worship of the present Archbishop of Sydney.

He extends himself to protect the Diocese and its Archbishop from criticism. He will not have mention of on his blogspot. You will note I have no difficulty mentioning his blogspot. We have no fear of people going and seeing what he writes. Our case will always stand on its merits. It is not really a case we can claim of our own. It is the case of Luther and Calvin and other faithful Christians of the past.

For many years the Diocese has been cautious of anyone not trained at Moore Theological College. This can be a sign of a problem within the Diocese if it thinks that all truth resides in the Diocese.

Mark Baddeley's attempts to theologise against Creation Scientists will I suspect be dealt with here in coming weeks. Funny how he calls us Creation Scientists. I am not a scientist nor are one or two others I know who contribute to sydneyanglicanheretics blogspot. Mr Baddeley falters at the very beginning by applying an incorrect label to those he criticises.

What is more disturbing is Mr Baddeley's elevation of the man, Peter Jensen over other men. It is almost cultish!

A lesson from history is needed here to help the reader understand what is going on in the Sydney Anglican Diocese.

Some, perhaps only a few, who read this will have encountered a man in Sydney called Mark Kay. He seems to be everywhere, especially around universities in Sydney. I have seen him at the University of Sydney. I got into a conversation with him one day. He informed me of an incident once when he was in conversation with two young women who were members of Evangelical Union (an Anglican inspired outreach on campus). Mark Kay told me the topic got onto the belief of Peter Jensen in a Theistic Evolution. As is reasonable, Mark Kay was critical of Peter Jensen on this matter. The reaction of these young women to any notion of criticism of Peter Jensen was astounding. There were no raised voices but criticism of Peter Jensen reduced one young woman to tears - to tears! There is something very wrong here. It was almost as if Mark Kay was destroying her Christian faith by pointing out a doctrinal fault held by Peter Jensen. I may be wrong on the following point but, as I recall the story, I think following the incident another Evangelical Union person tried to have Mark Kay banned from the University of Sydney even though he was a registered student there.

This is worrying but it sheds light on something working itself out within the Diocese and thus the motivation driving Mark Baddeley's baseless interpretation of Scripture to defend a) the position of his Archbishop on origins and b) the (proud) name of Anglican Diocese of Sydney.

It is almost cultish.

Just a quick word about one of Mark Baddeley's blogs, the one about 'death and suffering as a good' (part ii) in his musings.

One must remind oneself that the multitude of words contained therein are the thoughts of Mark Baddeley laid over the word of God. Also, I say "The multitude of words smothers wisdom."

Let a few words of Scripture suffice as reply - "When Jesus saw their weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 'Where have you laid him?' he asked. 'Come and see, Lord.' they replied. Jesus wept." John 11:33-35.

Neil Moore

Polemic is as polemic does

One of the comments on the previous post mentioned the view that Genesis creation accounts are a polemic against other creation accounts.

This got me thinking.

Here's a polemic against the bombing of Hiroshima (apologies to any Japanese readers who may find this touches on some unwanted memories).

"In my aviary I have a bird. Its called Enola Gay. The bird has been trained to drop seeds on the cavy I also keep in the aviary. The cavy is called HIroshima.

From now on, we can be content that the story of Enola Gay dropping an atom bomb on Hiroshima is a myth, because our polemic uses a different story but features the same names."

There, its done. The polemic crafted!

Now, try telling that to a victim of the atom bomb. Think they'll thank you?

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Baddeley Award

Mark Baddeley, recently a commenter on this blog, has posted a number of long pieces on his own blog (Reflections in Exile) in critique of what he terms 'creation scientists'.

I think he means 'biblical creationists' but let's not quibble.

He's put a fair amount of work into his posts, which is very encouraging to see. Something to actually engage with! For this he receives the inaugural Baddeley Award. No other of our interlocutors gets an award, regrettably, as they've not bothered to address issues, no matter how obvious the discussion is.

Now, to much of what Mark says, we would take alternative views, and reason to those views. We would like to take up the discussion on his blog, but as internal commenting may be the way to go, we'll do it on this blog instead. Hope you don't mind, Mark.

Eric, and the rest of the team here at SAH.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The boy asked!

Last night, my wife was talking to our son (not quite 4) about being a friend of God. She asked if he wanted to be a friend of God, and he said 'yes'. So my wife prayed with him on that basis.
The ensuing conversation went like this:
S: where is God?
W: God is everywhere.
S: who is God?
W: God made us, he made everything
S: even me?
W: yes, even you.
S: and my mummy and my daddy?
W: yes, daddy and I too.

That's the heart of it for here.

Interesting that the chief credential (as I put it) is that God is our creator. This recurrs throughout the OT as well; as does God being the one who brought Israel to the promised land: both, it would appear, anchored in the same historical continuity of events in time.

So on the one hand my son is convinced that God is our creator and can be our friend. He even talk about being 'at God' and having 'new life'; then on the other, he's going to hear at school (probably) that the story of the world is nothing like the story of the world in the Bible; the world-story, and the accompanying ontological framework he will be taught will not be about God as creator, or our dependence upon him, or that reality is finally personal (and here's the evidence: God was there first, spoke and the material creation occured); but that material was there first, and that over untold aeons, random material action produced the world.

If we don't deal with this, and he learns that the Bible is just 'stories' that do not have a real space-time reference, and that the 'real' stories with space-time reference are about a non-creation, then where is God's self-representation as 'creator'. Up the creek, I'd say.

The distinction God makes, taking his word at its direct meaning, is that his action in creation, by his word, and not out of other things, is very different from what appears being made from what is visible (Heb 11:3).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Over here in the real world ...

All this talk about origins is fine: the back and forth of discussion is great, but what is the connection with our work for the gospel?

We read of the die-hard Sydney Diocese boosters downplaying the significance, and indeed, the evangelical efficacy of anything to do, really to do, with origins.

So, in this context, the morning tea discussion at church today.

I joined the conversation of an elderly Christian man and a younger fellow (a professional engineer). They were chatting about atheists and their reliance on 'random evolution' to produce language, disdaining the atheist assertion that language arose from apes by a few mutations.

My minor contribution was that it wasn't just a few mutations, but a huge number of coordinated mutations across a number of systems. They agreed but waived the comment aside as being so obvious as to not warrant further discussion, and got on with the conversation about atheists pushing God aside by their reliance on evolution.

This was endorsed by the elderly fellow who related his journey from atheism to repentance, referring to the older belief, his materialism, being displaced by knowledge of the Creator-God.

Evolution drives atheism. Might not in the etheral world of Anglican theologising, but just like the Howard government's 'Workchoices' was really good for all of us, we just didn't know it , so in the real world, no atheists thinks that evolution can be neatly explained as God's way of working.

Simply put, the difference in the real world between 'evolution' as dogmatised by the atheist, and 'evolution as the method God used' is absent. There is no difference, in the real world, between the two. But Paul tells us that the real world is different.

In Romans 1:20ff:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing to be wise, they became fools,

and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

But, I guess the SAHs know better.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quote on time (just in time)

Reading the comments on my post on the Finnish shoot up, it seems that the notion of Genesis 1 as being about time is a point of some issue. One commenter (Geoff) was indicating that one could attest the words of Genesis 1 while denying their truth status! I don't know how, and I wonder if the author has really thought out the implications of this bifurcation of meaning.

In this connection, I read today in the latest issue of Creation (21(3)) p. 97 f. in Kay, M "On literary theorists' approach to Genesis 1: Part 2"

" "This belief that the concern of the Genesis' author is atemporal is one replete with irony. It is ironic because such a misunderstanding opens the door to nothing less than a full revisitation by a pagan world-view. As several authors have extensively indicated, the removal of real time or chronological history is a marker for paganism. It cannot be an outlook informed by Jewish concerns because a biblical, Hebraic mindset was deeply and inextricably attached to 'the march of time'. Indeed, God himself was 'in time', so the writer of Genesis could not but reflect this also. Meir Sternberg calls this the 'grand chronology' and says that this interest with orderly sequence pervades the Bible and is Jewish to the core: ".. .chronological sequence is the backbone of the bible's narrative books, their most salient and continuous organizing principle. It figures not as a time-line that we reconstruct from some entangled discourse to make sense of what happens . . .[but is] an unfolding of events from prior to posterior, from cause to effect. So for the Bible to communicate is to chronologize the surface itself, the narrative as well as the narrated sequence of events . . . the order of presentation in the biblical text follows the order of occurrence in the biblical world. In this the Bible contrasts with the entire tradition of large-scale temporal disordering, fathered by Homer's plunge in medias res and widely elevated ever since into the repository of artful arrangement . . . what could be more ab ovo than beginning with the very beginning of the world, hence of time, indeed with the word "beginning" (bereshit) itself? What could make (and herald) a more orderly sequence than the march of Creation from the first day to the climactic sixth, then to the seventh with its sense of rest and arrest, fulfillment and closure? Beginning, middle, end -- each finds its proper place and value in this paradigm of order. Indeed, the books from Genesis to Kings, all likewise conceiving of story as divine history, follow suit both individually and in canonical series." "

References in this passage are:
Eliade, M. Cosmos and History: The Myth of the Eternal Return, Jaki, S. Science and Creation, and Sternberg, M. Time and space in biblical history telling: the grand chronology.

Quote of the moment

I'm reading "The Leader's Handbook" by Peter Scholtes; note not 'leader' as in "we don't have ministers any more, but leaders" in the church (man, talk about lapping up the world and its ways), but 'leader' as in, I'm trying to do my day job better and better: a recommended read for anyone in business.

From page 18 a telling quote:

"a list of revolutionary thinkers that includes, among many others . . .Darwin (we are not specially created, only the most advanced of the life forms)"

I think he gets it. The direct implication of Darwin's legacy (and he is the beneficiary of the Epicurean's legacy) is that the specialness implied in Genesis is erroneous. He gets it, zillions of others get it, humanism relies upon it, Finnish teenagers act on it. Sydney Anglicans . . . but, but, but, they can only "but" along while they fail the test and keep the liberating truth from people! Makes one wish they were a Baptist!

By way of reference: Evolution and Epicureanism

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So like a Buddhist

In the current issue of 'Go' the Interserve magazine (let's all support Interserve!!) there is a fabulous article about an Interserve worker discussing the Bible with a Buddhist monk.

In precis, the monk was confounded by God's care for the poor, the weak and the suffering. In Buddhist lore, people suffered because they had bad 'karma', and they prospered becuase they had good 'karma', thus the strong the powerful, the rich, represented 'god's' favour (I know, no 'god' in Buddhism).

So in Buddhism, as it appeared from the article, it is the strong who triump. In Christ, it is the poor in spirit; quite the contrary!

So, knowing that fruit of the Spirit ("But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness"), along with this ("Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth . . ."), it seems odd that one could entertain that 'evolution' which is right up there with, "kill the weak" would have any part of a non-fallen reality.

The internal contradiction of theistic evolution, and all similar forms of pagan syncretism, is that on the one hand, we've got God, declaring his characteristics (see above), presumably having made the creation consistently with these declared characteristics, but evolution working in opposition to God's declared characteristics! How amazing, God is like . . . love, evolution is like . . death and destruction, but (in the demented TE view) God somehow used evolution!!

Notwithstanding that the idea of evolution has a pagan history, a recent genesis on the assumption that their is no god, and no real evidence for it occuring (aside from question-begging and equivocation: that is confusing adaptation for transmutation of kinds of life forms with growing genetic information), TEs see some sort of consistency in reality between a cosmos grinding down the weak (and heading for dissolution) and God who is love.

Mad and madder.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

This boy knew his Darwin

The Finnish teenager who killed other children at his school (8 Nov 2008) was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying: "I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection".

Now there's someone who knows their Darwin.

I wonder what his view would have been if he'd been taught that he is in the image of the God who is love and who spoke the cosmos into existence, with us for eternal relationship with him? That he and his fellows are of great value and their lives, actions and beliefs are eternally significant.

Of course, if he'd been exposed to the Sydney Anglican mainstream he'd have been told none of the above, because the kick in the tail would have been: but God did all this by the mind numbing meanness and waste of evolution and its aeons of disease and death constituting the 'very good'. Great eh?

He, Geoffery Dahmer, Adolph Hitler and Stalin are great examples of 'sow evolution, reap death'.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Dear Dr Newman

This letter has just come into the office. I thought it expressed some great sentiments, so here 'tis, with slight edits (apologies to RG, the author).

Dear Dr Newman,

It was a great encouragement to hear you speak at Leura on Sunday. Unfortunately, I was not able to hear your subsequent talks, as prior business commitments prevented my attendance at them.

Today, so many Christians seem to be intimidated by science, or what is presented as science. But without coming to grips with what science is, and that much which is passed off as science is more philosophising in scientific language and terms than actual science.

Even further, there are those Christians who have been so overwhelmed by the prestige of science that they have gone beyond recognising it as a valid occupation of the mind, it being our work of coming to grips with the creation God has set us within. They have instead allowed the philosophising underlying all modern life, which is largely dressed up as science, to displace the word of God!

I am referring, of course, to the questions that cluster about origins, and the contest often and erroneously created between the words of holy writ and the current beliefs of scientists, popular apologists and public commentators; usually relayed by the press or television programs.

It quite distresses me that Christians have been swept up with the press of contemporary opinion, without due reflection, in my view, and adopted the idea of evolution as providing the means God used to create. It was therefore very pleasing to hear you clearly explain that science is about what is, not speculation on unique events such as our Lord’s miracles, or indeed his acts in creation; which must constitute his grand miracle.

The Holy Spirit, in the Bible, sets out our relationship to God between the two poles of creation and re-creation. To allow the speculative ideas of ‘evolution’ with their origin in pagan thinking, and mid 19th century ideas that sought to disconnect God and his creation, to intrude on the Biblical revelation as if to supplant it (which I must say, it has done in many minds) is grievous. It removes God and his loving brooding Spirit from the scene. After all, evolution is the doctrine of the universe making itself (Roms 1:25) and can only rely on myriads of errors and dead ends. It is riven with death and destruction. This is the very antithesis of the God who is love creating in love, to bring forth those in is image. After all, he said it is “very good” not “marred and troubled!”

The scriptures I reflect on in this connection are these.

I start of course with the creation account in Genesis and see no reason to depart from the straightforward reading of the text (also Ex 20:11), the tradition of the early church and the reformers, that God created in six days. The widespread view of the current church, that we can set aside the revelation with all sorts of strained interpretations shows more the influence of a world that starts its thinking without God than the church making a prophetic confrontation on the basis of God’s word with the deceiver. If there were a view apart from the direct meaning of the Scripture, the early interpreters would have relayed it, as even in their day there were pagan doctrines of a very old cosmos that had created itself.

Of course, Paul’s direct and indirect references to creation, and his reliance on this teaching in his instruction about the new creation always influlences my thinking, but the capstone is Hebrews 11:4, where we are told the means of God’s creation: his word, out of nothing and without intermediary processes (“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible”). Faith here is not what the world thinks of faith, as ‘wishful thinking’ but is reliance on God’s word for that information otherwise not available.

Once more, thank you for your work and your helpful sermon. I pray all the best for you.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sydney Episcopalians and the Harlot

In the book "The Chronology of the Old Testament" by Dr Floyd Nolen Jones, published by Master Books in 2005 reference is made to the work "The Two Babylons" by Alexander Hislop, published by Loizeaux Bros in 1916, Dr Jones gives background to the decision of church fathers in AD 440 to settle upon December 25 as the day to celebrate the birth of the infant Christ. The day was selected to coincide with the Roman heathen festival of Saturnalia which was held annually in honour of the birth of the son of Semiramis, the Babylonian "queen of heaven" (see Jeremiah 7:18, 44:15-30).

Dr Jones goes on to say "The origin of this can be traced back to Babylon at the time of the Tower of Babel. The Tower was under the direction of the founder of the world's first kingdom, Nimrod-bar-Cush, the son of Cush ("the black one") and grandson of Ham ("the dark or sunburned one"). Secular records state that Nimrod (Orion, or Kronos [a corona or crown] "the horned one") married the infamous Semiramis 1. She is reputed to be foundress of the Babylon "Mysteries" and the first high priestess of idolatry. Tradition also ascribes the invention of the use of the cross as an instrument of death to this woman.

Apparently when Nimrod (a black) died, Semiramis became pregnant out of wedlock. The child, like its father, was white. Semiramis acting to save the moment declared that Nimrod's spirit had become one with the sun (incarnated with the sun) and that he had come to her in the night so that she had miraculously conceived a god-son. As the first mortal to be deified, Nimrod thus became the actual "father of the gods." Semiramis presented the infant to the people and hailed him as the promised "seed of the woman" - the deliverer. Thus was introduced the "mystery' of the mother and child, a form of idolatry that is older than any other known to man. ... The whole system of the secret Mysteries of Babylon was intended to glorify a dead man while Semiramis gained glory for her dead husband's "deification." The people did not want to retain God in their knowledge, but preferred some visible object of worship. Wherever the Negro aspect of Nimrod became an obstacle to his worship it was taught that Nimrod had reappeared in the person of his fair-complected, supernaturally conceived son (Hislop p 69: Chaldeans believed in transmigration and reincarnation): thus the father and son were one. It was Satan's attempt to delude mankind with a counterfeit imitation that was so much like the truth that man would not know the real Seed of the woman when He came in the fullness of time.

Eventually this mystery religion spread from Babylon to all the surrounding nations. Everywhere the symbols were the same. It became the mystery religion of the seafaring Phoenicians and they carried it to the ends of the earth. It was known as Baal (Nimrod, the sun-god) in Phoenicia where the mother was known as Astoreth and the child as Tammuz (Tammuz Adonis). In Egypt the cult was known as that of Osiris, Isis and Horus. The mother and child were worshipped as Aphrodite and Eros in Greece, Venus and Cupid in Italy (in Rome the child was formerly known as Jupiter). The Chinese called the mother goddess Shingmoo or the "Holy Mother." ... Among the Druids, the "Virgo-Paritura" was worshipped as the "Mother of God." In India she was known as Indrani. In and near India, the mother and child were known as Devaki and Krishna; in Asia they were Cybele and Deoius.

The mystery religion of Babylon, which had begun under Nimrod's direction until its dispersal at the Tower of Babel (Gen. 10 and 11; Isa. 47), continued over the centuries to flourish in the "land of Shinar." When Babylon fell in 539BC, the high priest fled with a group of initiates and their sacred vessels and images to Pergamos (Rev. 2:12-17; see J.D Pentecost, p 365-267, where he cites H.A. Ironside). There, the symbol of the serpent was set up as the emblem of the hidden wisdom. From there, many of them crossed the sea and settled in the Poe Valley of northeast Italy where the Etruscans lived. When Rome conquered the Etruscans, the Etruscans brought their Babylonian cult religion to Rome where the child was known as Mithras (the mediator). Thus, when Christianity came to Rome, the whorish cult, the counterfeit, was waiting to join in an unholy union with it.

Well, Dr Jones provides a helpful insight into the title written on the forehead of the woman referred to in Revelation 17:5:


JC Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool, England in the 19th Century, gave caution in his work "Warnings to the Church." He rightly said heresies start out with a seeming small departure from Scripture or doctrine.

What seems a reasonable and harmless absorption of a tradition of the world soon turns to poison. For the Church of Rome it seemed harmless, even beneficial to absorb the mother and child pagan legend - after all, it had so many elements of truth as pertaining to the blessing bestowed upon Mary by the angel and the subsequent birth of the Son of God. Neverthless, it is a corruption of the Will and Word of God. As in the Garden of Eden, it was a slight distortion of the Word of God, it was seeing that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also for gaining wisdom. Sad for the partaker, it is a breach of trust in the Lord God - it is a destroyer!

The Church of Rome has lain with the harlot.

But surely the Episcopal Diocese of Sydney has, with the Reformers, rejected the mother and child heresy initiated by Semiramis and later absorbed into Romanism? Yes, this is true. But what does the Evil One, the Father of Lies do to lure the Diocese to become one with the harlot?

Again, the seduction comes via the world. Those who knew not God proposed a theory on the origins of life contrary to the Word and Nature of God. The proposition spread throughout the world, so prevalent that it has become a tradition. One is ridiculed for not adopting the tradition. One will not be accepted by the world if one does not absorb it, if one does not lay with it! What to do? Well, just a minute - the tradition does look good for gaining wisdom, it does seem to conform well to the world as it appears today and absorbing it will sustain us well in the world. After all it is only a slight revision of the Word of God isn't it?

Yes, I, the high priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Sydney, shall take and eat. Others will follow.

And so, if the high priest of Sydney has not lain with THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH he has been intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, October 7, 2007

09 As A Derivitive of 10%

Don't just stand there ... do something! Anything! Even if its the same old thing.

Leaders of Sydney Anglicans are whipping themselves and their flock to achieve their 10% growth by the ten year target date. 'Connect 09' is the jingoistic slogan adopted to inspire pew sitters to get out there and get results.

Having abandoned trust in God's Word written from the very first pages of the Bible, leaders are bereft of new ideas that will work. As such they must resort to things tried previously in the wistful hope it will work.

Oh, that they would take God at his Word rather than insulting him by saying that he doesn't mean what he says. Why should the Lord God accede to those who reject his very utterances? Why should he answer their prayer requests for success in this venture? They are only after an empire built on their devices - not on trust in the Word of God.

So they shall be confused to employ strategies which are a mix of that which has not worked in the past. Remember the bicentenary (1988) evangelistic enterprise whereby New Testaments were printed and purchased by the churches to hand out in door-knocking encounters? It's on again for Sydney Anglicans with the jingoistic 'Connect 09'. Remember the 'funnel' analogy of making contact, relate and feed into evangelistic events? It's on again in the jingoistic 'Connect 09'.

Oh, that they would remember the words of the Lord God uttered to Solomon (1 Kings 9:6-7) "But if you or your sons turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples."

Sydney Anglicans have made up a god who is not the God who has spoken in his Word written. They therefore render themselves objects of the same judgment spoken of by the Lord God to Solomon.

Sydney Anglicans may well put prayer central to their endeavour but if they are not prepared to listen to him why should he listen to them? Indeed, just who or what are they praying to anyway?

Neil Moore

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Atheists are sweet reasonable people with good ideas.

JD Harding misses the mark (Letters SMH 8 Sept 07) [His letter asserted that no atheist had ever killed for his beliefs!]

I’ve heard of plenty of murders justified on atheistic grounds. Including fascist and communist regimes that killed believers in a number of faith: because of their belief. Total murders? Around 250 million, according to some.

Take Stalin, for instance. Once a seminarian but he tossed that over after reading Darwin convinced him that godless competition explained the world: he proceeded to be godlessly competitive. Similarly Hitler. He used the word ‘God’ for political and rhetorical purposes, but despised the idea of a deity. Mao, Pol Pot, the North Koreans were other big players in the ‘trust us, we’re atheists’ game.

This bunch, in a few decades, has between them, in pursuit of their avowedly atheistic agenda, murdered more people than all the even vaguely ‘religious’ conflicts ever!! Then add the Caesars, Napoleon, the Paris Commune, all godly? All murderous!

Even most so called religious wars were simply political wars with glib or misplaced religious references.

Now I haven’t even started on the modern holocaust of aborted babies: most I would guess, aborted because of atheist thinking or its implications. That would rack up a few tens of millions annually. OK, only half were atheistically motivated: a few fives of millions. Last century estimates I’ve read put it near a billion abortions! That’s lots of dead babies, but not, I suspect because their mothers sought prayerful lives of devotion to God.

Atheism might not always be a clearly stated religious position, but practical atheism is blood red from tip to toe. And why not? It has no reason in its implicit materialism for any strictures.

To sum it up:
"If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then—then what’s the point of trying to modify your behaviour to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we, when we died, you know, that was it, there is nothing…"
Jeffrey Dahmer, in an interview with Stone Phillips, Dateline NBC, Nov. 29, 1994
[Dahmer was a mass-murderer who ate his victims. He subsequently turned to Christ]

Friday, September 21, 2007

Always be prepared to mystify and stupify

A chapter from a seminar booklet: “Always be prepared to give an Answer” St James Seminar (which St James, is unknown).

If this is how Anglican Christians are equipped for discussion with people in the world, then no wonder the 10 year plan of Peter Jensen is, at year 5, less than half baked (an article in a recent Sydney Morning Herald revealed that in the five years Anglican numbers had risen by 5,500 against a 10 year goal of 10% of Sydney in ‘bible believing [and there, I take it, not Anglican] churches. Now, let it be said. Any increase in Christian numbers is welcome. I just wonder how many more could be in that number if the Sydney Anglicans were attentive to all the scriptures, rather than seemingly disdainful of parts of them?).

I say this because, as you will find below, we have in the chapter quoted a mix of half-truths, distortions, illogicality, and misunderstanding, dressed up as ‘the fact’s, ma’am, nothing but the facts’. Selling facts and delivering wind is the predictable result.

The chapter is quoted below. Following are comments against selected sections.


5. Hasn’t Science Disproved Christianity?

Notes: Key issue for readers of Dawkins, The God Delusion
Well answered by A. McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion

Recommended book: K. Birkett, Unnatural Enemies

Key idea: no necessary conflict between science and Christianity.
Science attempts to explain the “How?” but cannot explain the Why? or Who?

As you begin, acknowledge that in the past Christians have created an unnecessary divorce between science and Christianity, often based on a misreading of the Scriptures – e.g. Nicholas Copernicus (16th century) proposed a heliocentric solar system – rejected because of misreading of Ps 19:6.

This approach is perpetuated by some Christians – e.g. Creation Science movement – Nowhere in the bible does it say that Noah’s flood is the explanation for geological strata

“Two Books approach” – Galileo (citing Cardinal Baronius, 1598) “The Bible was written to show us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.”

The earliest scientists were believers in God. The whole scientific endeavour got off the ground because people believed that God had made an ordered world, which operated according to his laws.

Science rests on the empirical method – developing and testing theories against observable results. It assumes a uniformity of cause and effect – every time I throw an apple up, it will come back down.

The limits of science
cannot answer ‘why?’ questions
cannot speak about ‘singularities’

Distinguish between science-as-method and science-as-philosophy. As a method, science relies on the predictability of natural laws and forces in the world. Science-as-philosophy turns this into a ‘closed system’. Everything that happens in the universe can (and must) be explained in terms of natural events.

Science cannot ‘disprove’ or ‘prove’ Christianity, because it cannot speak about non-observed, non-repeatable events. (e.g. the first supernova…). For example, focus on the resurrection of Jesus. The results of science tell us that people don’t rise from the dead … But if Jesus resurrection was a singularity . . .


“Recommended book: K. Birkett, Unnatural Enemies”

1. This book is good as far as it goes, but it just doesn’t go far enough. It fails as a critique of naturalism, it fails as a history of science (the author, who is a PhD in the history of science, doesn’t mention either Milne-Edwards or Edward Blyth (see "The Darwin Papers", "Darwin and the search for an evolutionary mechanism", by Noel Weeks, "Variation and Natural Selection" or "Darwin's illegitimate brainchild" and Blyth’s papers themselves are available here. Note, I don’t vouch for these sites, necessarily, just that they have content on Blyth) who were important pre-cursors of Darwin’s ideas).

2. Birkett also fails to deal with the Godless source of Darwin’s ideas and the religious tendentiousness of his whole project.

3. As the Chaser would say (ABC-TV satire): Book road test: FAIL

“Key idea: no necessary conflict between science and Christianity.
Science attempts to explain the “How?” but cannot explain the Why? or Who?”

4. No, no, no. There is absolutely no conflict between science and Christianity; just like there is no conflict between bicycle repair and Christianity. This answer starts to give the farm away right at the start! The first distinction that must be drawn is between science and scientific discourse stolen by religious naturalism. Now, that’s where the conflict is; and it is a religious conflict: between naturalism and Christianity, just like between Christianity and Islam, Hinduism and Voodoo. Check out "Philosophical Naturalism and the Age of the Earth" and Norman Geisler's article in JETS "Beware of Philosophy: A warning to biblical scholars"

5. It is meaningless to mention that science cannot explain the ‘who’ because the premise of naturalism (which is what the question is really about) is that there is no ‘who’ Perhaps they don’t teach this at Moore College!

6. In fact, science (natural science as we know it today) sets out to understand how the physical world works. It is done following the instruction of Genesis 1 for us to ‘subdue’ the earth: to know, understand and manage/master/care for it. The genesian source of the impulse to question is ironic as it is indeed the explanation as to why people investigate to understand the world answering the ‘why?’ along the causal system.

“As you begin, acknowledge that in the past Christians have created an unnecessary divorce between science and Christianity, often based on a misreading of the Scriptures – e.g. Nicholas Copernicus (16th century) proposed a heliocentric solar system – rejected because of misreading of Ps 19:6.”

7. The problems in the past between science and Christianity have been because the ‘science’ was pagan. The debate between the Roman curia and early astronomers rested not primarily on the Bible, but on the acceptance of Aristotelianism. Pagan philosophy wanted a ‘perfect’ world that they explained as a geocentric solar system with all the heavenly bodies in circular orbits on the faces of so many spheres. This of course was not workable, so they kept adding circles to get to the elliptical orbits seen.

8. A similar thing was a problem in zoology. The later Aristotelians thought that ‘species’ were unchanging and then they blended that with God’s created “kinds”. So we had the silly dogma that species (a human idea) were unchanging (a pagan idea) and so the Bible got tossed when it was noticed that species do change! Today the church repeats its mistakes, accepting pagan views of the world and retrofitting them into the Bible (I refer to the attempt to meld the naturalism of evolution with Genesis 1)

“This approach is perpetuated by some Christians – e.g. Creation Science movement – Nowhere in the bible does it say that Noah’s flood is the explanation for geological strata”

9. Well, naturally this is a highly contestable, and I would suggest, ignorant, statement. The ‘creation science’ movement starts from the premise that God has spoken truth, meaningful in our world whenever he has spoken (Meaningful in a total manner; if only some of his statements are meaningful in our world, we set out on a journey of ‘pick and choose’, a journey that is fraught with disaster and is more likely to lead away from God than to him. It is the separation of ‘meaningfulnesses’ that marks the fork in the road between the ‘biblical realist’ and the neo-Platonist in biblical interpretation). The naturalist bent in science starts from the premise that “if there is a God, he has not spoken, but there is probably no God anyway, so let’s forget about such a being”.

10. So here we go, agreeing with the naturalist premise to try to argue against the logical conclusion of that premise: that’s on a highway to hell, my friend!

11. The end of the silliness is the dismissal of the logical conclusion of the geological history of earth in a biblical framework because the bible (sic) doesn’t say that Noah’s flood explains geological strata. It doesn’t need to, just like it doesn’t need to explain the physiology of Christ’s resurrection to establish its credibility!

12. A quick read of the description of Noah’s flood would show that it was accompanied by tremendous geological catastrophe. And then, it doesn’t take much to figure that if a flood drops sediment all over the world, then sedimentary strata all over the world, full of fossils of dead things (noting that fossils do not form in the normal course of events, dead things decay and disperse) is consistent with Noah’s flood. The statement is juvenescent smugness making an obvious straw man that falls over its own naivety.

“ “Two Books approach” – Galileo (citing Cardinal Baronius, 1598) “The Bible was written to show us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.” “

13. Danger upon danger! So there are two books are there? To adapt the previous paragraph. “Nowhere in the bible does it say that” there are two books which we are to use to understand the revelation of God”. It is very clear that God’s creation (not a book, note) points to God. (Ro 1:20: For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.). But this does not make the creation a second revelation by which we are able to interpret the propositional revelation in the scripture.

14. The very notion of two books fails at every point. And it fails because the ideas that are derived from the ‘book of nature’ are not the facts of creation, itself, but ideas about those facts, ideas conveyed within the context of religious naturalism. How can that form an interpretive grid for Holy Writ? Again the Anglicans teach and promote heresy.

15. God’s word is truth, and Paul reminds us of its value in teaching. We are never told to glance at the ‘creation’ to pick up ideas about God’s revelation.

“The earliest scientists were believers in God. The whole scientific endeavour got off the ground because people believed that God had made an ordered world, which operated according to his laws.”
16. A silly statement. Better to say that modern (natural) science flowered in the community of scholars who were convinced that God created in 6 days about 6000 years ago. The link between early modern science and belief in quick recent creation has been well documented by Peter Harrison in “The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science”.
17. One reason one could apply to this connection is that their belief provided a robust epistemology and ontology that enabled their curiosity to break away from the pagan bounds they had inherited from Classical Greece.

“Science rests on the empirical method – developing and testing theories against observable results. It assumes a uniformity of cause and effect – every time I throw an apple up, it will come back down.”

18. Wrong. Science rests on testing guesses made because of the failure of previous guesses to explain things. There is no ‘scientific’ method, per se, at the macro level. It is a micro method of observing, repeating and then drawing conclusions against the hypothesis being tested. If the test points to failure, then another guess emerges. Of course, the length one can go in guessing is constrained by one’s religious commitment: either to naturalism (and that punches against evidence when the evidence points away from it) or to (Christian) theism.

“The limits of science
cannot answer ‘why?’ questions
cannot speak about ‘singularities’

Distinguish between science-as-method and science-as-philosophy. As a method, science relies on the predictability of natural laws and forces in the world. Science-as-philosophy turns this into a ‘closed system’. Everything that happens in the universe can (and must) be explained in terms of natural events.”

19. At last, some real help. But it’s not ‘science-as-philosophy’; its naturalism-as-religion. That should be singled out.

“Science cannot ‘disprove’ or ‘prove’ Christianity, because it cannot speak about non-observed, non-repeatable events. (e.g. the first supernova…). For example, focus on the resurrection of Jesus. The results of science tell us that people don’t rise from the dead … But if Jesus resurrection was a singularity . . .”

20. And, finally, the comedy. If the resurrection, a singularity, is outside the purview of science, then so is creation, anther ‘singularity’; or unique and unrepeatable event.


Where does this all ‘hit the road’ so to speak? The same booklet from which the above quote is taken has a chapter on the subject of suffering. Of course that chapter says that the world is not as God created it; but on the basis of the quote above; how would they know? They deny the facticity of the only part of the Bible that would tell them that the creation (whatever that is, in their concept) was once ‘very good’ and is now fallen! So where the Bible touches the real world, they must have it that the endless suffering of evolution and/or a long age earth was part of God’s very good. The fossil record tells us that if this is very good, it is identical with the very bad (the last enemy) which God vanquishes in Christ!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Prophecy Fulfilled

"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Tim. 4:2-4)

This prophecy of the Apostle Paul is well and truly upon the Church today, if it has not already been in times past. The Sydney Anglican Diocese, through its theological institution, Moore College, is making shipwreck of people's faith.

It has been said and implied many times in this blogspot that those within the Diocese who hold to a Theistic Evolution and Long Age view of origins have capitulated to the world. They allow the world to tell them how to interpret the Word of God. It does not bother them that they have to contort the clear meaning of language contained in the early books of the Word of God. They wouldn't dare do the same to the language in the accounts of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Well, not yet anyway!

Further testimony to their itching ears has been the acceptance of chronology of the Old Testament according to Edwin R. Thiele and William F. Albright. These 'princes' themselves have gone outside the Word of God to establish a chronology of the kings they could make sense of. Their inability to overcome 'perceived' difficulties in the Holy Writ led them to put their trust in the Assyrian Eponym, thus placing the Assyrian Eponym over the Word of God. Many today use the Babylonian account of origins to interpret the Biblical account. Aren't these instances akin to Israel going after other gods for rule of life? It was an offence to God then as is this latter day version.

Thiele and Albright were perhaps on the wrong track initially when placing too much stock in the Greek Septuagint over the Masoretic Text on the matter of chronology of the kings.

There are, no doubt, some difficulties yet to be resolved with the Masoretic Text but it seems to me that Dr Floyd Nolen Jones has done a very good job of setting right the chronology of the kings in his book and charts 'The Chronology of the Old Testament' published by Master Books. The remarkable thing is that Dr Jones has, as an aside, demonstrated how astute (the much latter day derided) Archbishop James Ussher was in his work 'Annals of the World'.

The 'perceived' problem of discordant chronology of kings dissipate in the light of the dominant (there is a good reason for the one exception) 'accession' year dating of kings in Judah and the 'non-accession' year dating of kings in the Northern Kingdom. Dr Jones presents a very neat fit of the dating of the reign of a king in one kingdom against the reign of a king in the other kingdom.

This is not to say that there aren't difficulties yet to be resolved because it is clear that Holy Spirit did not inspire writers of what we call the Old Testament to record an absolute chronology of times and events contained therein. However, Dr Jones brings the reader to a confidence that he or she is within ten years of an absolute chronology. I also appreciated his God honouring and commonsense explanation of the 'perceived' problems of some missing names in Matthew's genealogy of the Lord Jesus and Luke's inclusion of an 'additional' name.

The sharp observation for me was that of seeing once again how those who Sam Drucker calls biblical creationists of today are in step with those who God elevated to positions of good influence in the time of the Reformation viz Luther, Calvin and Ussher among others.

Sad to say, many in the Sydney Anglican Diocese today stand not with the good influences of the Reformation but more with idolatrous and calamitous Israel.

Neil Moore

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Trading Places

Not far from the University of Sydney is an attractive sandstone structure that has a dark past. It was many times the scene of much funereal dress, grieving and sadness as the bereaved gathered to board the funeral train to convey dearly departed on their final earthly journey to Rookwood Cemetery.

The mortuary station no longer fulfils that purpose. It is heritage listed and the subject of cultural interpretation for the heritage minded.

The role of facilitating darkness and sadness has shifted a little further to the west, to the University of Sydney, where an organisation called Evangelical Union conducts its agenda of death and darkness. This is evident from the latest in a long line of sad episodes involving Evangelical Union.

A friend this week shared with me his experience on campus with some Evangelical Union people - one paid employee and two devotees.

As I understand it, Evangelical Union (EU) had a stall operating to make contact with passers-by. My friend was on campus and stopped at the stall to inquire of a man, who turned out to be a paid EU staffer, what sort of approach he would take in dealing with people of humanist/naturalist beliefs. The response exposed an inadequate understanding of reality so my friend delivered some words of help but, all the while, felt the staffer was not taking it in. The staffer made a discrete departure but standing nearby were two young women who had been participants in EU activities.

My friend engaged the two young women in conversation and soon the topic of origins came up. The women remarked how ironic it was because earlier at the University they had been in situations where the biblical position on origins had come under criticism from evolution and atheist minded people. The young women related how they had felt inadequate to respond to the criticism. My friend then proceeded to explain the biblical creationist position and observations from the world which destroy the argument for evolution. He could see the light come into the eyes of the young women and the joy on their face as they gladly received the message. They wanted more and he gave more. Eventually time was against him and he had to take his leave but not without giving the young women some helpful websites to obtain more information.

This day was one where one of those biblical experiences of light and life coming coming upon two of the Lord's people. They had received confidence in the Word of God, were keen to learn more so that they were equipped to give an account of the faith in which they believe.

The next day my friend was on campus again and the EU stall was assailed by a young man criticising Christianity. My friend decided to engage the critic in conversation. He asked the critic what was his central argument for rejecting Theism. The reply came down to the naturalistic/evolutionary world view. My friend saw that the disinterested EU staffer from the day before had joined the stall. My friend immediately called to him and said "See, this man with his naturalistic world view is just what I was addressing with you yesterday!" The staffer responded curtly with words to the effect of "I have no interest in going over that again!"

The humanist critic was being left by EU to maintain his unbelief and anti-Christian state. My friend then engaged in friendly dialogue with him, sensitively demolished his arguments for naturalism and explained Information Theory. Time again was against my friend and the two had to end their conversation but not before the critic had become a listener and inquirer. They exchanged names, shook hands and the man thanked my friend for sharing the information with him. He went away uplifted in spirit.

My observation of all this?

Its a matter of dark and light. In the EU staffer and the humanist there was darkness. In the two young women EU devotees darkness turned to light. In the humanist, a little light eventually shone in him but it did not come from EU. It was only the EU staffer who remained in the dark, sad and bitter.

The great fear I have now is for those two young women. They are about to have their light assailed by the darkness of EU. Any light they share will quickly be smothered by EU's cultish practice of disengaging with reality and demanding the 'party line'. How do I know? The scene described above has been just a replay of similar incidents before.

Sam Drucker