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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Gaia, or how I traded my Anglican heritage to a pagan goddess for 30 pieces of silver.

There are men who are sincere fools, while others are clearly dangerous. I’d really like to give the man the benefit of doubt but Bishop Rob Forsyth certainly hasn’t given us much of an option; for, quite adroitly, he manages to combine both these options in a single speech titled “Then a miracle occurs: The Blessing and Limitations of Science”. The again, I suppose I shouldn’t be too harsh on the man because the jury is still out on just what the proportions are. Is it more ass than enemy, vice versa or a surgical divide down the middle?

Unless I’ve misunderstood his most recent capitulation (read, suck-up; and, yes, this isn’t the first occasion he’s turned a trick!) to the boffins at the ostensibly Christian organisation ISCAST, Bishop Rob Forsyth has carried the Anglican Church a little further down the path of pagan worship. His incantation, delivered in October 2006 to the usual coterie of liberal wolves masquerading as orthodox sheep, is singularly startling due to its unabashed rejection for everything an evangelical is supposed to uphold.

The Bishop begins his case by asking whether we should “make the scientific way of knowing the only way of knowing?” Yes, Rob the bishop agrees there are limits to science but we shouldn’t hastily set them down in stone [like those creationists do] because, after all, “[w]ho can say today what it is we will know tomorrow”.

Rob, buddy, I wish you would come clean. Why don’t you admit that yours is just another disingenuous epistemological reliance on naturalism, a philosophy which limits explanation of phenomena to the material, holds to a reductionist view of things and thereby strives to silence God.

But of course the bishop couldn’t actually do that – he wouldn’t be a Christian, would he? So, in order to look like he really is a Christian trooper, he inevitably throws in the Sydney Anglican’s shibboleth: the resurrection. Rob, like the majority of SAs, believes that as long as you believe in the resurrection, you can believe anything you want to believe in, or not, as the case happens to be. For example, here’s old Rob, sounding more and more like a Jenkins of Durham fame, or Spong of Noiw Joisey, removing the miraculous from the crossing of the Red Sea by Moses: “By [genuine] miracle here I am talking not about events in which the remarkable timing of a natural event has significance, like possibly the wind blowing back the Red Sea in Exodus 15.”

‘Remarkable event’? ‘Remarkable event’! Are you mad or just plain illiterate, mate? Here’s ample proof that the bishop neither reads his bible too closely nor, like Gordon Cheng (Mr armchair naturalist who thinks that koala pouches are so poorly formed that babies must fall out of them all the time and that this proves God didn’t design them!), sees much of the real world.

It isn’t chapter 15, but the 14th chapter of Exodus which records the historical event of the sea’s crossing by the Israelites, another event, need I remind you Rob, that you or you ISCAST mates didn’t witness! If you’d actually read the correct chapter you would have noticed that it was God telling Moses to “lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it” in order to put the world on notice (‘cept Rob the bishop because he’s readin’ the wrong chapter!) that it was “the Lord [who] caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided” and that it was plainly bloody well obvious that it wasn’t reducible to a “[naturalistic] timing of a natural event” (whatever that means!), but plainly unobvious for the bishop because he was reading the wrong chapter.

Are you serious bishop Rob? Like, I get up on Sydney Head, wave my hand, a southerly buster rolls up, the waters between the two heads part, I walk across, the waters fall back into place, and you rationally conclude, “Great timing that wind eh John”?

Unlike the bishop and his side-kick Gordon Cheng, I’ve actually lived near the Red Sea and dived it on several occasions. Even off the shallow on-shore reefs, it’s quite deep and voluminous and I can’t conceive of any wind strong enough to naturalistically part those depths.

By why stop at a “little” miracle when you can claim all creation for naturalism. Why not debunk the whole idea of their being actual evidence for God’s designing the universe? Why not argue that it’s a waste of time and instead believe, as his hero Darrel Falk does, that given sufficient time we can explain all those scientific “mysteries” by science? That is to say, there cannot be any biological system in place that is so complexly irreducible that reductionism is unable to explain it.

Bishop, hate to be the one that first tells you, but you ain’t a theist. At this point in this sordid little talk of yours you’re maybe at best a deist, at worst, a pagan.

If you’ve accurately relayed Falk’s words, then I can say that Falk just hasn’t understood Dembski’s et al arguments properly. But then again, being virtually a full-blown naturalist, maybe Falk doesn’t need to and just believes like Cheng, Jensen and company, that God really didn’t do much apropos the creation. You guys aren’t even nobly ignorant – you’re all just out and out immitigably heathen!

I don’t want to complicate the matter excessively, but what followed in the bishop’s address is nothing short of a formal capitulation to pagan epistemology and its worldview.

The bishop believes that science, so-called, is the epistemic guide by which to check the accuracy of scripture. That is to say, if science definitely says scripture is wrong, then scripture is wrong. Perhaps ‘wrong’ is far too harsh…but maybe it’s not. Let’s hear what the bishop did say:

“[I]f, in fact, the earth was not old and life did not gradually develop, it would be a catastrophic blow to the [scientific] disciplines themselves. Quite a cost….One of the key assumptions in my approach…is that God does not teach what is false, and therefore the Bible, as the word of God, will not teach what is false. I think we can be certain that if the most basic observation tools or the most well-supported conclusions of science say that…[the earth] is very old and that life forms appeared gradually over a great deal of time, where the Bible appears to teach otherwise or to suggest otherwise, this cannot be what God is teaching. We have to change our interpretation of what God is saying to us in Scripture…It is much more certain that our interpretation of Scripture is open to question than the whole foundations of the entire discipline of modern science are faulty.”

No, ‘wrong’ really isn’t an exaggeration – it’s right on the money. The bishop believes that where the Bible speaks clearly concerning the world and this differs with human understanding of the world, human understanding trumps every time. Come on Rob, admit it, you’re really a humanist, aren’t you! What’s a humanist posing as an evangelical bishop for? I know. It’s that $100,000 a year, plus car, plus manse, plus, plus, plus. You cagey bugger you!

Finally, almost, Rob gives up on that other evangelical marker, the inerrancy of Scripture. Rob the bishop believes that if an author of scripture writes something that is scientifically at odds with our near-perfect knowledge of the cosmos, then this can’t be God speaking through this person but must be the person himself because God can’t be the author of a remark that is at variance with our near-perfect understanding of the cosmos. Therefore, the Bible is not inerrant. Well, Rob, you know where you can stick that bit of liberal and unevangelical BS!

And finally, like any true pagan, old Rob the Bishop, quoting that other well-known pagan, the Jesuit George Coyne, believes that the very articulation of whether human beings arose through chance or a designer is passé. Indeed, the bishop appears to tacitly approve of the Jesuit’s belief in the universe having a “fertility”, something of course every evolutionist upholds. All genuflect and sing praise to Sydney’s latest out-of-the-closet pagan bishop!

When are the rest of you Sydney Anglican leaders going to come clean as Rob the bishop has done? You have your cult leader Peter Jensen believing and promoting a pagan explanation of origins, your very own college teaching the atheistic and pagan view of the cosmos, umpteen ministers daily rubbishing non-evolutionary arguments, and goodness knows how many more pew sitters praying to the god(s) of chance and time, so why do you persist in this lie and subterfuge of pretending to be evangelical and orthodox Christians? Stand up and be counted the true liberal men that you are!


Monday, February 19, 2007

Knowing Christ

Thank you for the invitation to contribute to this blogspot. I agree with much of what has been said thus far although I wouldn't use some of the rougher expressions employed in some postings. John's recent observation of a discrete link between Marcion theology and current Sydney Anglican Diocesan theology is noteworthy.

I suspect a lack of faith in the Person of Jesus Christ is the root of the problem confronting the Sydney Anglican Diocese today. Sam Drucker in his/her posting "Did God Really Say?" touched very briefly on this when he/she mentioned the Lord Jesus Christ speaking to the Jews (John 10:25ff). In this scene the Lord revealed that either his words or his miracles (works/deeds) ought to be accepted as bearing testimony to his Person. Further, he says that he ought not be believed unless he does what his Father does. Here is the nub of the matter of faith that saves - faith in the Person of Jesus Christ as he has revealed himself by word and works.

His death and resurrection are works demanding our faith as are his words but Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons are with us on this so it must be faith in the Person of Jesus Christ which separates truth and falsehood in the faith that saves. Remember, the Apostle Paul said that when he was with the Corinthian church he resolved to know nothing except Jesus Christ (Person) and him crucified (works) (1 Cor. 2:2).

Among Jesus Christ's other works were what we call miracles. Acts that do not conform to the laws of nature as we understand them. While the liberal church tends to invoke natural means to explain these events, the evangelical church has, for the most part, regarded the events as occurring by supernatural means. This is no new insight for evangelicals but I doubt that most would be aware of a distinction some Sydney Anglicans are making today and it is a distinction which will continue to grow legs.

The hint lies in the address called "Then a Miracle Occurs" - The Blessings and Limitations of Science given by Bishop Rob Forsyth at an ISCAST event in October 2006.

In his address Bishop Forsyth seemed to reveal this distinction - "genuine miracles" and those miracles that can be explained by natural phenomena. For one of his examples of the former he cites the multiplication of the loaves and fishes recorded in the New Testament and his example of the latter is the parting of the Red Sea in the Old Testament. It is incorrect to make such a distinction because both instances involve the use of natural elements viz the bread (albeit elements brought together as a mix) and the fishes in the former example and the wind and the sea in the latter example.

Exodus 14 and Deuteronomy 34:10-12 make it clear that a supernatural event occurred at the Red Sea and God did this through Moses.

Bishop Forsyth's address disclosed the direction of the Sydney Anglican Diocese. Natural explanations will be increasingly sought for Old Testament miracles while New Testament miracles will retain supernatural explanation. This, of course, is an untenable position. Credibility demands this poor standard be equally applied to New Testament miracles. Natural explanations for the New Testament miracles of Jesus Christ will, in time, occur in the Sydney Anglican Diocese.

Perhaps this is occurring already. What is the first of Jesus Christ's miracles as recorded in the New Testament? The turning of water into wine is the usual response to this question but it is incorrect.

The first of Jesus Christ's miracles as recorded in the New Testament is the creation of the universe and all things in the universe (John 1:3). In speaking of this event the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews says that the universe was formed at the command of God so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible (Heb.11:3). Now this surely is a miraculous event! The Lord Jesus' healing of a paralytic (Mark 2:1-12) involved the instantaneous creation of muscles which had wasted away to nothing (if they were ever there) and the instantaneous giving of balance to enable the man to immediately get up, stand and walk away. If this event is regarded as a miracle how much more the creation of the universe out of that which was invisible and, presumably, previously non existent?

All miracles of Jesus Christ recorded in the New Testament reveal an immediacy of result (the two stage healing of a blind man is an inconsequential argument against the point I am making). At a word or action from Jesus Christ an event occurs in such quick time and of such unnatural result as to convince eye witnesses that someone with supernatural capacity was amongst them.

Very few evangelicals doubt that the Apostle Paul has it right when speaking to the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 15:51-58) and Thessalonian church (1 Thess. 4:13-18) of our instantaneous resurrection. Those who once lived and died and whose body disintegrated will be raised up instantaneously with a new body. This too is a miraculous event and on a global scale.

Graduates of Moore Theological College nowadays seem to accept the instantaneous and miraculous activity of the Lord Jesus Christ during his three year earthly ministry, his resurrection from the dead as well as the resurrection of the dead at the last day. However, they stumble badly at the Lord Jesus Christ's activity of creating all things in the universe instantaneously, at just a word, during a six day period as recorded in Gen. 1.

Why is this? Why such inconsistency? It is the same Lord doing his same work isn't it? The reason is fear, absolute fear! They fear man more than they fear God. They fear the ridicule of a world that does not know Jesus Christ. They want to keep in with the world and to do this they are prepared to deny the Person of Jesus Christ as he has revealed himself throughout Scripture. They depreciate his Person in Cosmogony and, instead, choose to cling only to that part of his Person in Incarnation and Return.

They depreciate his Person in Cosmogony by attributing to him evolution as the means of his creative activity. Evolution, according to the theory proposed by Charles Darwin occurs through natural selection working on mutations and this involves survival of the fittest - the weak making way for the strong. This notion is diametrically opposed to the Person, word and work of Jesus Christ. If he had used natural selection in his creative activity why did he, in his Incarnate being, heal the sick, the lame, the blind and why did he bring the dead back to life, even weeping at the mourning of those attending Lazarus' death scene? After all, these sufferings are his doing. Doesn't his sermon on the mount become nothing but hypocrisy in the face of his use of natural selection as his creative means? On the cross, did not the strong die for the weak rather than the weak die for the strong? Natural selection does occur but the Christian ought to understand this as a product of a fallen creation not as part of the "very good" creation. No, the Person of Jesus Christ as revealed in his works and word was the absolute reverse of natural selection and thus contrary to the theory of evolution. It is impossible to attribute to him evolutionary processes for the creation of life.

I ask Archbishop Peter Jensen who has declared his sympathy for the Theistic Evolution view of origins and I ask other like minded Moore College graduates - What would you have said to Adolf Eichmann in the last hours of his life? During Hitler's Nazi Germany regime mentally and physically disabled people were seen to be an unnecessary and unwanted burden on society. Adolph Eichmann was given the task of eliminating them. Some of them had come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ - a simple faith for the mentally disabled but faith nonetheless. Eichmann exterminated all the unfit. At the end of the war, Eichmann fled Europe but was located by the Jews and taken to Israel to be tried. He was found guilty of his crimes and sentenced to death. A chaplain was sent from England to minister to Eichmann in his final hours. Eichmann was asked would he like to get right with God before leaving this world. At this, Eichmann reared up and replied quite sternly "I have done nothing wrong, I have only done God's work, both the Catholic and Protestant Church in Germany taught me that God used just the same means of selecting out the weak in his creative work." This is a reasonable observation.

It has not gone unnoticed that the direction of the Sydney Anglican Diocese in the last twenty years has been driven by the three sided wedge that is Moore College, Evangelical Union/Sydney University and St Matthias/University of NSW. In the 19th Century observers in Great Britain bemoaned the quality of men entering ministry due to theological colleges pushing for academic status alongside secular institutions. If you want to rub shoulders with the world be prepared to carefully examine yourself and remove that which is impure. The dross of unbelief and Christ hating which exists in secular institutions in Sydney will in some way invade the Sydney Anglican Diocese because of the link between Moore College, those secular institutions, student ministries undertaken in those institutions and the often dangerous pride associated with the name Moore College.

As if to act on Dean Phillip Jensen's observation that a church with 10% of a community's population is seen as a threat by that community, a strategy was developed by Archbishop Peter Jensen and adopted by Synod whereby Sydney Anglican Diocese will strive to have 10% of the population in the church. Is this of God or of men? I would wish that God would act as he did in the time of Whitefield, the Wesleys, Rowland, Edwards, Fletcher and others of the 18th Century and at other times and in other places in the history of his church. However, I just don't don't see God using people who don't have faith in his Person and works as stated in his word. There is so much of this lack of faith in the "cure of souls" that they are likely to disease the flock. Therefore, I think it possible that a decline in Christians within the Sydney Anglican Diocese will occur. Numbers within the Sydney Anglican Diocese were boosted by transfer growth over the past fifteen years as the Uniting Church self destructed through liberal theology. Others have also entered the Sydney Anglican Diocese through the excesses of charismatic churches but both inflows present a false picture that all is healthy within the Sydney Anglican Diocese.

Consider for a moment the number of community festivals conducted around Sydney each year. Tens of thousands of people attend each festival. This is a great opportunity for churches of the Sydney Anglican Diocese to be there and reach the lost. But what happens? If the festival is attended at all by the local Anglican Church the church is so retreated and unable to engage the minds of people that it resorts to any one or more of strategies of giving out free balloons, free tea or coffee, free children's face painting, leaflets advertising church ministries and upcoming events. You can see the disillusionment and false smiles on the face of those staffing the church stall as people pass by time after time. When a conversation does occur it so often bears little or no fruit. Not on display is the engaging of the public mind as occurred with our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostle Paul. No, this is not the church triumphant, this is the church defeated.

There are so many valuable lessons to be learned from Israel's history. Some similarities exist between the Sydney Anglican Diocese's present state and Israel's first assembly at the verge of the promised land. For Israel, the land lay before them ready to be taken. Faith in the word of God was necessary and with this the perceived threats within the land would come to nothing. However, Israel believed the reports of those within their number who said the occupants of the land were stronger than they. This lack of faith angered God and he would not allow the adult generation of Israel to take possession of the land. Despite God not being with them, Israel then acted on their own volition and entered the land to take possession of it. Without God they were routed!

The Sydney Anglican Diocese seeks to gain a significant influence in the land by winning 10% of the population of Sydney. However, the Diocese does not fully trust the word of God. Instead it fears ridicule from the people of the land on the matter of origins. It puts more faith in the enemy than God and those who are of God. As such, the Sydney Anglican Diocesan strategy to take possession of the land must fail.

Operational science cannot prove the means by which the universe and all that is in it came into being. Operational science can only operate in the present. The emergence of the universe and all that is in it was a past event in history. A reliable eye witness to the event is necessary. Scripture says that the three persons of the Trinity were present and undertook the creation of the universe and all that is in it. Why then do so many graduates of Moore College run to Christ haters and those of inferior faith in Jesus Christ for their postulations on the origin of life. Their first call should be to understand the Person of Jesus Christ, trust in him and trust those who know him in his Person, works and word?

With whom would Moore College graduates identify in the following scenario:

"By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became an heir of righteousness that comes by faith." (Heb. 11:7)

Noah trusted the word of God and undertook a huge building project to protect his family (and animals) from an event which was outside the world view of that day. This act of faith was credited to Noah as righteousness. For the rest of the world population of that day, to deride or ignore the faith of Noah brought destruction. This is a lesson for the Sydney Anglican Diocese and its Moore College graduates to resist the world's thinking when it flies in the face of the word of God. And don't try to 'legitimise' your actions by reinterpreting God's words.

Neil Moore

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I’ve yet to work out if Gordon Cheng has had a cerebral bypass or if he is so full of himself that he just refuses to listen to the creationist argument flung at him. But quite possibly, because the dear lad doesn’t listen to anyone, he may have reconstructed his opponents’ argument inside his head quite differently to how they actually presented it. Straw-men are easy game, as we all know; it’s also a dishonest debate tactic.

Gordie says that if creationists take the days of Genesis as 6 literal days then they are bound by that hermeneutic to take all statements in Genesis literally. Thus, for example, the windows of heaven, as mentioned in the Flood history chapters, should be taken as actual glass windows sitting somewhere in the sky. Because creationists don't believe in glass windows in the heavens there is no epistemological warrant for taking the days of Genesis as 6 actual ones.

Son, if I were your teacher I’d fail you because you have misrepresented our argument. Listen carefully, dear lad.

Numbers are quantifiers. Subjects by themselves (i.e. without a quantifier preceding them) may or may not have a literal or non-literal take on them. Whether they do or don’t is irrelevant in the context of Genesis 1, Exodus 20 & 31. The reason is because quantifiers specify, and hence circumscribe, meaning. For example, if I enter a pub and ask the bar maid for 3 glasses of beer, I’m not met with a confused look and then asked are they literal or non-literal glasses. I’d be asked if I wanted middies or schooners, and then given 3 of them.

This is not rocket science, Gordon, though your difficulty in understanding plain language says something about your intellect (or possibly about the type of instruction you received at Boore, I mean, Moore College!).

May I suggest young man that you get a Cruden’s or Strong’s out and look up days and check all entries that have a number plus day. It’s the same in any language.

Actually, a thought just occurred that may go a long way to explain these men’s thick-headedness. Maybe, there’s a project underway at Boore, I mean Moore College, that wants to rewrite the language rules for all languages. They’ve begun with the one that says ‘a number plus an object informs you how many objects there are’ and they want to change it to mean ‘you don’t have to take it that way if one believes in evolution or that the world is 5 billions years old’. Man, are you guys brilliant or what! Can we come and sit at your feet?


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


The Sydney Diocese, headed by Peter Jensen, and its training and educational wing, Moore College, continue to promulgate views that resemble the dualist views of the early heretics. It is not so much that the Sydney ideology bares a one-to-one correspondence to, and thus is indistinguishable from, the much earlier heretical groups’ ideas, but rather they evince a more or less similar attitude to creation theology. It is because Sydney Anglicanism exercises an almost pathological disquiet over self-examination, particularly with regard to first principles, there is a real urgency to examine this common ground. After all, turning away from God’s revelation and refusing all dialogue, as the Sydney Anglicans clearly do, is ultimately self-delusion.

Marcion restricted true Christianity to the Gospel of Christ and Paul, and little else. Marcion’s enterprise was principally accomplished by deracinating the New Testament from its Jewish history. He further cemented his project by having someone other than Jesus as the universe’s creator. Both aspects are unambiguously identified in the contemporary apologetics of Sydney Anglicanism. The latter will be examined first.

(i) As a builder or architect applies his intellect, his word, so to speak, in a firsthand fashion to the materials he works with, so God analogously brings complex structures forth. Unfortunately, virtually all details of Jesus being creator are expunged or ignored, and certainly never overtly celebrated or proclaimed within the diocese. In place of Wisdom, the Logos who “was beside the Lord as a master craftsman and who was daily the Lord’s delight”, Sydney Anglicanism posits, as Will Durant ascribes to Plotinus in particular, an “intermediary deity who had done the work of creation”. No longer are thought processes or intelligence the link from God to matter, but another principle or emanation stands between the Creator. This principle serves to replace God’s direct participation, and so it must be another, lesser “god”. More often than not, this secondary god is proclaimed as the principle time and chance (i.e. evolution). By philosophically injecting this principle with an ontology, this other god does the creative work of the triune God. Time and chance as functionaries within a material world, oppose the hands-on-approach that intellect is characterised by. Furthermore, by inserting this “being” between God, the project of viewing the creation (i.e. science) takes on more and more of a naturalistic philosophical mindset. The creator thus becomes unknowable, a genuine dualist worldview. The Sydney Anglicans have returned Christianity back to the earliest of heretical theologies.

Whether you personify this principle of change and fruition and claim it is God’s method of creation is irrelevant. What Sydney Anglicanism has offered up as real is in fact not God but a lesser being or principle. God’s activity is no longer His mind or Logos, but a principle of the cosmos or matter.

On more than one occasion I’ve asked Sydney Anglicans whether they believe Jesus is Creator. I’ve become steeled to their characteristic response: silence, though sometimes a stammering and confused search for a coherent response that betrays the unaccustomed nature of the question. Their Jesus is purely the soteriological Jesus, but never the creator Jesus because another “god” is doing his work. With this enervation in place a robust theology of creation based on the triune work of all members of the Godhead is entirely absent.

As an aside throughout their Forum site and Anglican blogs frequent animosity is expressed toward creationist argument that creationists are promoting another Gospel and that they, the Anglicans, are the genuine Christians because they are, like Paul, “determined to preach Christ crucified”. Seldom do they notice that they have left out half the verse, omitting the conjunction which Paul deliberately included to let the reader know that he considers Christ to be both redeemer and creator.

Andrew McGowan, in summing up his paper, ‘Marcion’s Love of Creation’, writes,

“World-denial may be a presupposition for Marcion, but it is not the last word. The strangeness and power of Marcion’s theology came from its claim that the alien god saves human beings without having any affinity with them whatsoever. Salvation was not the restoration of a relationship with the Creator, but the creation of one with the Stranger. Marcion thus emphasizes not origins but destinies. “Just this one work,” Marcion said, “is enough for our God: that by his surpassing and unique kindness, which is worth more than any number of locusts, he freed humanity.” Marcion neither started nor finished with cosmology, but rather with soteriology, the one great and simple creative work that superseded, and sometimes transformed, the complex and banal reality of material things as they stood. Of course Marcion did not love the old creation as such, but heralded the new; but just as his higher god had acted to save Christians, certain things in the old world – or rather from it – could be loved, selectively, problematically, and passionately.”

(ii) Another clue, and the first feature of Marcion’s theology mentioned above, is his bowdlerization of Hebrew history. It has been noted that this censorship was a natural outcome of his theological system. Sydney Anglican disdain for the historicity of so much of Torah is also an epistemological outworking of their a priori worldview and their reliance on pagan and secular ideologies and beliefs. One can read on their forum incredulity toward, inter alia, a universal flood, the Exodus record of Canaanite expulsion by the Hebrews, the patriarchal genealogies and, of course, their favourite whipping boy, the creation history of Genesis 1.

Take Owen Atkins description of humanity’s first parent, Adam, the one being who historically separates us from the animal world (and belying evolution, distinguishes us from mushrooms, amoebas, dinosaurs and trilobites!). With a chutzpah that clothes itself in the faux humility of nescience, Owen says, “Truth to tell I simply regard Adam as metaphor or archetype. If the Jews at that time[sic.] believed him to have been real, well then that is reflected in the text. I’m not convinced I should follow suit...Paul apparently believed in Adam as a real person.”

Yes, Owen, those dumb Jews, and that dumbest of the dumb, Paul, all those years ago, just couldn’t distinguish the shadow from the reality. Yes, Owen, called by God, while on the 426 as it journeyed from Moore College and passed by St Andrew’s House, to enlighten us creationists that Paul was mistaken.

Hang on, even Jesus was in error, wasn’t he, Owen? Didn’t Jesus make several references to the first man? Crikey, mate, even the Being who gave life to Adam was delusional and couldn’t distinguish metaphor from mud!

And what about the Flood?

Watch out folks, here comes that ass-kickin’, Kung Fu warrior theologian Craig Schwarze who is “favourably disposed toward the flood being a local event.” Craig’s initial defence of the indefensible (Hey, Craig, reread the Genesis account. Over and over again it says, “all life died”, “all the earth”!) is that he knows “that someone saying ‘the world’ 5,000 years ago meant something different to what we mean today.”

So, what, Craig, are you saying that the Holy Spirit when He assisted Moses to write Torah really meant a few 1000 hectares of land was flooded but He got carried away into hyperbolic writers’ fantasy land (read, dramatic literary genre effect) and said “all the earth”? Or are you saying poetic license?

But perhaps more perplexing is Craig’s delusion that he has a hotline to 5,000 years ago. Hey, Craig, can you tell me what old man Noah ate for breakfast that morning?

The second of his apologetics for disbelieving a universal flood is…wait for it…”there is a fairly recent theory from credible secular scientists that is quite interesting. They believe that the…rising Mediterranean Sea…caused massive flooding of the area – around 150,000 square km!”

!50,000 square kilometres?! Squared out that’s a mere 400 kilometres by 400 kilometres. Why on earth would Noah bother putting a whole bunch of animals on board, in pairs, for a small flood? Why would you build a boat in the first place if you knew your little area was going to be flooded out? Why not just take the first flight out of there and kick back on a beach, martini in hand, and wait it out? Maybe he didn’t know and God was just being a right deceiver and telling Noah a whole bunch of porkies for decades and decades just to give Noah some work and to practise his carpentry skills? Maybe….?

What does Peter, under the persuasion of the Holy Spirit, say about beliefs like yours?

“[A]ll things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.” (2 Peter 3:4-7)

Then there’s Kevin Goddard. I won’t bore you with the details, but in order to understand the Flood and its after effects, he goes to the atheist and hubristic polymath Karl Kruszelnicki. Let’s not examine the credible evidence from specialists who have devoted their whole scientific career to investigating nature in order to understand the Flood, (Christians, I’m talking about, Kevin – no, that would be too asinine!), but rather let’s seek guidance from a man who denies the existence of practically everything a Christian stands for, from a man who once bragged to me that he had solved a problem that I’d said, sans exaggeration, a Noble Prize would be due if he had. In other words, let’s completely ignore the fact that the author of Scripture is God himself and suck up to a bloke who thinks you’re a turkey for even believing in God, let alone any flood that’s mentioned in the Bible. To borrow Perry Wiles’ words, have you blown your brains up, dear boy?

Their inflated sense of self-worth (and sense!) often ambiguates their arguments. I’m still not sure if Dave Lankshear is taking the piss or he is so far gone down the evolutionary chain that he has totally lost the plot, biblically speaking. Dave, dear boy, do you really believe that “God was upholding the entire universe and guiding every atom and quark and particle on its journey from supernova through to sentient, self aware neural network. We are “star stuff”, but we are also collections of self aware energy networks fashioned from the stuff of supernova”? Let me quote someone who lived near the beginning of Christianity’s rise to prominence. Hear what Theophilus of Antioch has to say about such blatherings:

"On the fourth day the luminaries came into existence. Since God has foreknowledge, he understood the nonsense of the foolish philosophers who were going to say that the things produced on earth come from the stars, so that they might set God aside. In order therefore that the truth might be demonstrated, plants and seeds came into existence before the stars. For what comes into existence later cannot cause what is prior to it" (To Autolycus 2:15 [A.D. 181]).

The lack of precision and ahistoricity which these Anglicans maintain are underlying the Genesis account is indicative of an anti-Semitic attitude. (This psychology also underpinned Marcion’s theology.) By claiming that these ancient Jews did not think conceptually like us and used basic words in a completely different sense, recalls the perennial view that seeks to transform Jewish culture to “other”.


Naturally, as I’ve stated, this is no complete mirroring of the earlier heretical program; but there is a distinct attitude of mind that sets it self up against traditional, orthodoxy. As a general principle, the Old Testament’s earliest sections, varying from individual to individual, are regarded as inferior, false (often stated as “unhistorical”, “figurative history” or some such euphemistic label!) or something to be reinterpreted through an eisegetical framework.

Throughout the Anglican Forum’s vast length (inexorably approaching 100 pages) are scattered ample indications that far too many of its contributors regard themselves, by their continual denigration of, and their sarcastic attacks upon, Christians who subscribe to a historical and literal 6-day creation, as superior and possessors of the true knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Bible.

How different were the early Christian apologists who were ready to, and did, defend God’s Word from the pagans and heretics who corporately robbed it of its accuracy and historical truth. They recognised in commonsense fashion that the days of Genesis clearly spoke of 24-hour days and that God’s revelation did not speak in riddles: it meant what it said and said what it meant.

a. Theophilus of Antioch: "All the years from the creation of the world [to Theophilus’ day] amount to a total of 5,698 years and the odd months and days. . . . [I]f even a chronological error has been committed by us, for example, of 50 or 100 or even 200 years, yet [there have] not [been] the thousands and tens of thousands, as Plato and Apollonius and other mendacious authors have hitherto written. And perhaps our knowledge of the whole number of the years is not quite accurate, because the odd months and days are not set down in the sacred books" (To Autolycus, 3:28–29).

b. Victorinus: "God produced the entire mass for the adornment of his majesty in six days. On the seventh day, he consecrated it with a blessing" (On the Creation of the World [A.D. 280]).

c. Lactantius: "Therefore let the philosophers, who enumerate thousands of ages from the beginning of the world, know that the six-thousandth year is not yet complete. . . . Therefore, since all the works of God were completed in six days, the world must continue in its present state through six ages, that is, six thousand years. For the great day of God is limited by a circle of a thousand years, as the prophet shows, who says, ‘In thy sight, O Lord, a thousand years are as one day [Ps. 90:4]’" (Divine Institutes 7:14 [A.D. 307]).

d. Basil the Great: "‘And there was evening and morning, one day.’ Why did he say ‘one’ and not ‘first’? . . . He said ‘one’ because he was defining the measure of day and night . . . since twenty-four hours fill up the interval of one day" (The Six Days Work 1:1–2 [A.D. 370]).

e. Ambrose of Milan: "Scripture established a law that twenty-four hours, including both day and night, should be given the name of day only, as if one were to say the length of one day is twenty-four hours in extent. . . . The nights in this reckoning are considered to be component parts of the days that are counted. Therefore, just as there is a single revolution of time, so there is but one day. There are many who call even a week one day, because it returns to itself, just as one day does, and one might say seven times revolves back on itself" (Hexaemeron [A.D. 393]).

The Bible unequivocally proclaims that God acted triunely to bring creation into existence. Paul tells us that Christ is not only Saviour but that his role as Saviour is inseparably linked to who Jesus as God is:

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:13-18)

In other words, Jesus’ significance as the one who saves cannot be understood without tying it to the one by whom the Creation was made. This theme appears elsewhere in Paul’s writing:

"And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)

Contrast this with the narrow, legalistically-slanted substitutional soteriology that characterises the Sydney Anglican gospel message. It routinely ignores the further importance of what God did on the cross, namely, it is through his physical resurrection that his credentials as the Creator are established and which guarantees our redemption from death. As Paul says,

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” (Colossians 1:19-20)

If death is inherent in the creation, as many Sydney Anglicans propose, then Jesus could not physically resurrect. Death is not natural to the creation because, as the second Adam, death could not hold him. If “all [created] things”, not just man, are reconciled to God, and death is inherent in the cosmos, God then is reconciling death, not life, to himself. Furthermore, if Jesus could not physically resurrect he is not the Creator because death, as a principle, would hold sway over him. That Jesus as the first-born of all creation did physically resurrect shows he is Creator.


Putting aside all the particulars of their heretical attitudes, the most disturbing aspect is that all these people are welcomed as genuine Christians (and Anglicans), their doctrines are never corrected, and as soon as someone expresses a traditional approach to Genesis they are sneered at, viewed as unequally yoked and endlessly depicted as deranged. That seals it for me.

Truthing and Loving

In the Sydney Morning Herald this morning, Lord Peter stated:

"It is not unchristian to have serious disagreement over truth. But
here is a biblical command for us all: speak the truth with love."

This from the bloke who called Christians who take an historical
orthodox approach to Genesis 1 and respond to the
Bible's 'philosophical realism' 'rednecks' and 'hillbillies'.

Good one, Peter.

I also reflect on his compatriots who on the Anglican forum have used
a range of disparaging terms for us. Now, I couldn't care less about
what the counter-orthodox call me: I'd be a little disappointed, in
fact, if they relinquished their shrill hubris, but I am concerned
that they move away from real debate to derrogation, and cannot
distinguish between the man and the argument (I think of Michael
Jensen's 'boo hoo' remark as a response to this line of complaint:
this of course says more about MJ than anyone else).

But the general direction of Lord Peter's article in the Herald is
ironically regretful of a rejection of the scriptures which he
himself does with respect to some teachings of Jesus and certainly
the teachings of Moses: syncretically combining religious naturalism
with the revelation of the Spirit, but attacking others for extending
the logic of this practice to human sexual conduct and ecclesiastical

Now, now Peter. Play nicely with your friends.

Monday, February 12, 2007

OOOOH, those Sydney Anglicans are never wrong – and when they are, they aren’t!

Yes, the young lads at Sydney Anglican have been asking and asking for the Lord Archbishop’s disparaging and unchristian remarks about us creationists. How impatient was their baying for blood, even accusing us of making up the whole affair. Of course, we can’t prove that now because they’ve (principally the son of the Lord of Sydney, Michael Jensen!) erased the majority of their posts and run off to hide behind their mothers’ skirts.

But it is the timing that interests us: How come someone – we have no idea who – posted Jensen’s ‘hillbilly’ quote, and “poof!”, they all run away? Was it all too much for you that we weren’t the liars you continually made us out to be? What a bunch of snotty-nose, unethical, unmanly, privileged kids.

OHHHHH! How sad. We’re really – no really – going to miss your reasoned and masculine arguments.

Well, here are those quotes. Read ‘em, and weep, lads!

1. “You may criticise fundamentalism as both intellectually disreputable and politically dangerous but the vacuous emptiness of secularism is no alternative.” [Jensen] added: “We must not allow ourselves to be dismissed as fanatics and fundamentalists, but have confidence in the integrity of our message and in the plain teaching of scripture.” (SMH, ‘Anglican leader takes on fundamentalists’, 27-28th October 2001, p. 9.)

Say what, Peter? What were those last words? ‘Plain teaching of scripture’. What plain BS! What Orwellian speak!

2. ‘I [Paul Sheehan] asked if creationism is making a comeback in scriptural studies at one leading Anglican school, which is what some parents have told me.
‘Peter Jensen replied: “We are evangelicals, not fundamentalists…The attitude of the media is to treat us like rednecks. I have a 12 and a half inch piano but I’m still treated as though I’m a small man.” Sorry, guys…just a comedic sidetrack. Peter actually said, “I’m a graduate of Oxford but I’m still treated as a redneck.” (SMH, ‘Derided, ignored and unstoppable’, 11th August 2003, p. 11.)

What an elitist prig! I would have preferred if he had cited his organ size…it would have made more sense!

Picture this, guys: “So John. You say all those things about your rabbi but you’re just some sort of fisherman, aren’t you? Unless you’ve attended the finest universities in Athens or Tarsus we are not going to listen to a word you say. After all, the validity of a man’s message is related to the size of his member, isn’t it? Sorry, Freudian slip. I mean, how many degrees he’s earned and the name of his university.”

‘Dr Peter Jensen…is restive about the usual fundamentalist epithet thrown at the Sydney diocese. He says the term derived from a defence of orthodox Christianity but, unfortunately, an impression grew that fundamentalists are anti-intellectual.
‘Defending Sydney and his college from such attitudes, he suggests that in the US “the fundamentalist badge was worn with pride by some Christians and may have represented an anti-intellectual and somewhat hillbilly type of person.” Jensen says not only is the term pejorative but many think fundamentalism “uses the Bible in a literalistic way, [and] adheres to…creation science.” (The Australian, ‘Heart and Soul’, 7th October 2000.)

I am not quite sure what he is saying, but my guess is that if you take the Bible, particularly at Genesis 1, literally, if you hold to God’s creating the earth in 6 24-hour days, that Jesus didn’t use evolution, then you are anti-intellectual, a hillbilly, couldn’t have attended Oxford and you probably have a small willy to boot.

In the same article as the above quote, Dr John Woodhouse believes that “the Bible is the word of God written, and by this word God makes known himself.” Really, John? Since you, like the Lord of Sydney and all of the Moore faculty, don’t take God’s words in Exodus 20:11 and 31:12-18 at their face value, it means that the Jews and the vast majority of Christians right up until quite recently actually misunderstood the information about God, written by God. What’s more, that hillbilly Moses would have misunderstood it because after all God was catering to a man of his time and not to any historical truth. That is, God failed to give details about himself clearly and it wasn’t until you guys came on the scene that we truly managed to understand what God was actually trying to say about his will and actions after all those years. Sounds a bit like the Mormon story. Well, what uneducated and hillbilly people those Jews and Christians must have been.

Let me relay just how happy we are that you guys have been put in charge of leading the flock.


Thursday, February 8, 2007

Ships Passing

Last weekend brought two items together to give a fascinating insight
into Sydney Diocese.

In my parish bulletin there was a promotion for Lord Peter's address
at Abbotsleigh Girls School (for those not in Sydney, this
prestigious school is part of the Anglican campaign to remove
Christians from the general community, and pander to the wealthy who
like to impress themselves). The topic was "Why I am Protestant,
Reformed and Evangelical". Great. Bring to the 21st Century the
concerns of the 16th!

In the Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum section, I noticed that
Dawkins' "The God Delusion" is a top selling book.

What this says to me is that Lord Peter has missed the point about
what is at issue in the contemporary religious scene; therefore he is
not evangelical. I will leave my doubts about his being reformed or
protestant to another time.

Found a review of Dawkins' The God Delusion at:

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

"Did God Really Say?"

"Did God really say?" (Gen 3:1) - the first words (generally) attributed to Satan in the history of his activity on earth. With the utterance of these words, albeit a question, a means of deception is laid which is to recur as a test for the people of God through history.

I would like to consider very briefly, a significant time in the history of the Church - the Reformation - and then move on to survey the direction of the Church thereafter.
With good reason, the Evangelical Church today claims as its heritage the Protestant Reformation.

The Reformation was an activity of God, through various people and events, redressing a combination of some helpful and much unhelpful means of understanding Scripture. Of course, the Reformation was more than this but it is the understanding of Scripture which is my focus here.

A simple and helpful summary of the Reformation approach to understanding Scripture is provided by Graeme Goldsworthy in "Gospel & Kingdom"1 - "It was the Protestant reformers who helped the Christian Church see again the importance of the historical and natural meaning of Scripture, so that the Old Testament could be regarded as having value in itself. .......... Protestant interpretation was based upon the concept of the conspicuous (clear and self-interpreting) nature of the Bible. By removing an authority for interpretation from outside the Bible - the infallible Church - the reformers were free to accept and use the principles of interpretation that are contained within the Bible itself."

I believe we can safely include "the philosophies and traditions of men" alongside "the infallible Church" as an outside authority.

To quote Graeme Goldsworthy again, "So the self-interpreting scriptures became the sole rule of faith - Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) was a rallying-cry of the Reformation."2

Well, there is our reformed doctrinal heritage. On heritage of faith, the Jews would claim "Abraham is our father." (John 8:39). On matters of doctrine or understanding Scripture, the Evangelical Church would claim the Protestant reformers as fathers. But was the faith of the Jews the same as the faith of Abraham? And is the doctrinal position of the Evangelical Church today the same as the Protestant reformers? On the former question, Abraham believed what God said but the Jews had more faith in the traditions of men (Mark 7:8) than what God Incarnate said and did (John 10:25).

On the latter question, the essay "The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative - A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics" written by Hans W. Frei provides the answer.

To quote Frei in his introduction, " Western Christian reading of the Bible in the days before the rise of historical criticism in the eighteenth century was usually strongly realistic, i.e. at once the literal and historical, and not only doctrinal or edifying. The words and sentences meant what they said, and because they did so they accurately described real events and real truths that were rightly put only in those terms and no others. Other ways of reading portions of the Bible, for example, in a spiritual or allegorical sense, were permissible, but they must not offend against a literal reading of those parts which seemed most obviously to demand it. Most eminent among them were all those stories which together went into the making of a single storied or historical sequence."3

It was not to remain this way. Many contributers to biblical scholarship and many complex threads brought about a great shift in how the Bible was to be read and understood.
Dr. Conyers Middleton, an English commentator with sceptical leanings, thought that it didn't matter whether Genesis 1-3 was allegory or fact, since its meaning was the same in either case - "that this world had a beginning and creation from God; and that its principal inhabitant man, was originally formed to a state of happiness and perfection which he lost and forfeited, by following his own lusts and passions, in opposition to the will of his Creator."4 Is this not a comfort to those who, today, point to the biblical creation account as demonstrating no more than the sovereignty of God?

Middleton goes on to explain his preference for an allegorical reading of Genesis 1-3, "I am the more readily induced to espouse this sense of it , from a persuasion, that it is not only the most probable and rational, but the most useful also to the defence of our religion, by clearing it of those difficulties, which are apt to shock and make us stumble as it were, at the very threshold."5 Now doesn't this resonate with many today?

Through the efforts of Johannes Cocceius, professor of theology in the University of Leyden, the two things - literal or narrative reading and historical reference - were beginning to come apart as the concept of "Salvation history" was advocated. Toward the end of the eighteenth century, "higher criticism" felt the crucial texts for the hermeneutical question in theology were the supposedly revelatory salvific narratives. Each narrative had to be examined in its own historical context and its own right. Gone was dogmatic unity and authority of the Canon. By this time, the story of Jesus Christ was apparently considered historical but not the Mosaic creation account. However, the story of Jesus Christ was not to remain immune.

Frei observed with the emergence of religious apologetics at this time, the loss of narrative reading. To quote him again, "It is no exaggeration to say that all across the theological spectrum the great reversal had taken place; interpretation was the matter of fitting the biblical story into another world with another story rather than incorporating that world into the biblical story. No one with any sort of theology or religious reflection at all wanted to go counter to the "real" applicative meaning of biblical texts, once it had been determined what it was, even if one did not believe them on their own authority. Hence the right-wing and mediating theologians agreed that the New Testament made the affirmation about Jesus being the Saviour literally, and that it was to be understood that way (though this agreement did not always cover either the miracles he was reported to have performed or those with which he was purportedly associated, especially the virgin birth; nor as we have noted, did it cover literal acceptance of such Old Testament accounts as the six-day creation or the fall, in the book of Genesis). And those on the left of course denied that one has to or can take this affirmation literally."6

The effort to relate faith and history came to an early but decisive climax in D. F. Strauss's "Life of Jesus", published in 1835. To again quote Frei "The explanation of the of the origin of the stories and the clue to their meaning is rather to be found in their author's consciousness, which was historically conditioned to the level of their cultural and religious context. It is finally the phenomenon of a premodern cultural outlook that serves both as historical explanation and hermeneutical clue in the reading of the gospels. This is the climactic reading of eighteenth-century inquiry, for which hermeneutics, and therefore explication, was the theory of exegesis - the text, and whatever its subject matter, being accessible to straight forward scrutiny by the properly trained investigator."7

Strauss was of the "mythical" school. Frei calls them mythophiles. The "mythical' school regarded writers of stories such as the Mosaic creation account and the life of Jesus Christ as having a literal intention but that this intention has to be understood historically, ie within the context of the general thought world of their times. Its meaning is the time-conditioned consciousness from which it was written and which it expresses. We ought to immediately see that to accept Strauss & Co is to open the door to denying biblical narrative of an absolute historical truth having the same meaning for all generations through history since Canon, even before, for redeemed Israel. The shift is away from God speaking to all with the same message - to man interpreting a past man's culturally conditioned experience and, dare I say it, being susceptible to doing this anachronistically.

Biblical hermeneutics underwent a significant change in the nineteenth century due mainly to the romantic and idealist revolution. Interpretation of biblical texts would be affected by the spirit of the day. Biblical narratives suffered at the hands of a new master. To finish with Hans W. Frei, "This has been especially true in the study of biblical narrative. All the more fascinating, in view of this hermeneutical revolution and its large affect on biblical interpretation, is the continuity of the fate of a narrative reading of biblical stories, a continuity that remained unbroken from the days of Deism through the first third of the nineteenth century - unchanged by whatever else happened in biblical study. The realistic narrative reading of biblical stories, the gospels in particular, went into eclipse throughout this period"8

Well, what does all this mean for Sydney Anglicanism today? What hermeneutics is practised today in the Sydney Diocese of the Anglican Church? This writer has observed it for some years but the writings of some clergy and other writers in a debate on the Peace With Evolution forum of website typifies mainstream thought.

Take the following quote from Martin Enkidu Shields on interpretation of Genesis 1 (but before I go on I can't help but express my distaste at the thought behind someone who claims to be Christian, who engages in a serious debate on the Word of God on origins and adopts the pseudonym Enkidu - a mythological being in a mythological account of origins within the "Gilgamesh Epic" that sets itself up against the Word of God).

Martin Shields says this, "This is also too simplistic. Genre effects how information is transmitted, so the genre has an impact on the way we should read the text. We've had considerable discussion previously on the genre of Gen 1 so I won't go over it here (except to say that it is not poetry, but it also is not historiography). One of the problems of Y[oung]E[arth]C[reationist] interpretations is that they treat it as historiography and so misread it. I agree that it contains true information, but not that it can be treated as a historical chronology of creation." Martin Shields again says this, "...because YECS misreads (sic) foundational texts like Gen 1-3, proponents of YECS miss what these passages do say about reality and instead extract from them things they don't say! Finally, I do not seek to reconcile Genesis with science, but instead my aim is to attempt to understand Genesis as its author intended and as the original audience would have received it." (emphasis mine)

Do the foregoing comments of Martin Shields sound familiar? They should, they fit neatly into the hermeneutic approach to biblical study espoused by D.F. Strauss in his work "Life of Jesus" and of others who 'blazed the trail' for higher criticism of Scripture.

It's my guess that Martin Shields does not empty Matthew, Mark, Luke and John's testimony of their historical integrity. But he sure does a thorough job on Genesis 1. He is not alone, however, because many in Sydney Anglican circles today have capitulated to the spirit of recent centuries which seeks to dilute the Word of God of its inspiration by Holy Spirit and thus absolute meaning for all generations of the 'descendants' of Abraham.

Perhaps what sets these Sydney Anglicans apart from others is that they are selective where they do this - principally in the Old Testament. They cannot honestly avow that God spoke (through Moses) clearly of his creation activity and that the heavens, the earth and the sea and all that is in them in a six day period, each day bounded by evening and morning. No, for them, the Author of language did not give a clear message on creation - instead he spoke a simple message but with intricate meaning so that all manner of propositions could be entertained generation after generation.

These Sydney Anglicans 'mouth' they are Reformed Protestants and would dare say they stand with Martin Luther and John Calvin. The reality is they have moved with the spirit of the age and no longer stand with Luther and Calvin on interpretation of Scripture and, consequently, the meaning of Genesis 1. Luther and Calvin allowed God to speak to them whereas Martin Shields & Co are guilty of anachronistic reading (although Shields protests YECs do this, he is the offender) of Genesis 1.

Martin Luther said this, "He (Moses) calls 'a spade a spade' i.e., he employs the terms 'day' and 'evening' without Allegory, just as we customarily do ... we assert that Moses spoke in the literal sense, not allegorically or figuratively, i.e, that the world, with all its creatures, was created within six days, as the words read. If we do not comprehend the reason for this, let us remain pupils and leave the job of teacher to the Holy Spirit."9 Luther also said, "We know from Moses that the world was not in existence before 6,000 years ago."10

John Calvin said this, "For it is not without significance that he divided the making of the universe into six days, even though it would have been no more difficult for him to have completed in one moment the whole work together in all its details than to arrive at its completion gradually by a progression of this sort."11 Calvin also said this, "They will not refrain from guffaws when they are informed that but little more than five thousand years have passed since the creation of the universe."12

These Sydney Anglicans may well be Christian (I cannot judge from here) but like many before them they risk keeping others out of the Kingdom of God as they dilute the Word of God of its power through continuing the tradition of men of the last two and a half centuries in the eclipse of biblical narrative. They cannot see the mighty hand of God in blessing upon the Church and humanity through the Protestant Reformation. Rather they take their cue from the Church and its 'scholars' in decline.

I do not expect to be heeded by many Sydney Anglicans in this posting. They are entrenched in their way. As a wise writer in the past once said "The worst chains are those neither seen or felt by the prisoner." I write this for the person who comes upon this website and inquires after the subject. Friend, don't judge the Church as you see it abroad today. It has been far healthier and more reflective of the glory of God in the past. Trust the promises of God and the assertions of God as Abraham did. He is worth it!

Beware of those who, in many and various subtle ways, on Genesis 1 most destructively ask "Did God Really Say?"

Sam Drucker

1. Graeme Goldsworthy - "Gospel & Kingdom" (Lancer) 1992, page 16
2. Ibid pages 16 & 17
3. Hans W. Frei - "The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative - A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics" (Yale University Press) 1974, page 1
4. Conyers Middleton - "An Essay on the Allegorical and Literal Interpretation of the Creation and the Fall of Man" Miscellaneous Works, 1752, vol2, page 131
5. Ibid
6. Hans W. Frei - "The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative - A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics" (Yale University Press) 1974, pages 130 &131
7. Ibid page 233
8. Ibid page 324
9. Martin Luther in J. Pelikan, editor, "Luther's Works, Lectures on Genesis" (St. Louis, MO) (Concordia Publishing House) 1958
Chs 1-6, 1:6.
10. Ibid page 3
11. J. Calvin - "Institutes of the Christian Religion" J. T. McNeill, editor ( Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press) 1960, 1.14.22
12. Ibid 2:925