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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cheng an Embarrassment

Gordon, our old sparring partner, wrote somewhat recently in praise of Michael Ruse (see 'Dawkins an Embarrassment', Media Watch, The Briefing, 7th June 2007). Gordon reports that Ruse is convinced that many evolutionists are just as “religiously ridiculous in their zeal as the most swivel-eyed creationist could ever be.” Whether these are Ruse’s or Gordon’s exact words is irrelevant because Gordon obviously sympathises fully with the sentiment behind them. Nothing new here.

What should be embarrassing and cause for concern for the Sydney Diocese is that one of their ministers would then go on to misrepresent his supposed brothers and sisters in Christ by manufacturing an outright lie against them. If this isn’t in itself a travesty of what it means to be a leader in the Church then think about the flow-on effect for those who, as a result of reading his mendacious piffle, are drawn away from the historically orthodox truth. (Hopefully, Gordon has become so obnoxious that very few people would bother and that it’s only the sycophantic tare of the diocese who champion his miscreant ravings. Maybe little or no harm done!) What did our Lord say about a millstone, brother?

The offending paragraph is the following:
“Most creationists and evolutionists tend to distract themselves away from considering the man Jesus Christ, the only son of God, by turning to debate minutiae of sub-amoebic proportions. Small things are not unimportant, but when they stop us thinking about the gospel, they start to matter out of proportion to their size.”
First thing that needs pointing out is Gordon’s hyper-hubristic and omnisciently use of “most”. Well, even I, a now very much long-in-the-tooth creationist, have not met or read “most creationists”, and so I cannot conclude that Gordon would have super-humanly managed the impossible.

But what makes Gordon’s words so foolish is that every – let me repeat – every, creationist I’ve met or read, at some time, somewhere, will over and over again raise the absolute importance of the Gospel and the world’s need for Christ.

London to a brick, Gordon would never have heard of A.E. Wilder-Smith’s pioneering work, let alone read any of it. Wilder-Smith was quite arguably more instrumental for putting the creationist project on firm footing than any other person before or after. Contrary to Gordon’s insane libel, this triple awarded PhD scientist (sorry, Gordon, how many scientific PhDs have you earned?) never stopped talking or writing about the need for all men and women to know about the redemptive work of Christ’s death on the cross and his resurrection.

But if Gordon were an honest man and had wanted to know what creationists actually believed he would have at least browsed the world’s leading creationist magazine (published here in Oz!) and seen that creationists do raise the issue of the Gospel even in an ostensibly scientific publication.

Gordon is manifestly a liar or a fool, but not both. His own article clearly demonstrates this.

6 comments:

sam drucker said...

The lean view of the Gospel held by Gordon Cheng and accomplices will lead to a lean Church such as the lean cattle that came up out of the Nile in the dream of Pharoah.

As John Owen said, and I have recorded elsewhere on this blogspot "Scripture, the Trinity, Christ and his offices, justification by grace and all the other great truths of the gospel are weighed and examined in the defiled, tottering scales of bold, irreverent sceptical discussions. They may be teachers of religion, but they show their ignorance of the fundamental difference between truth and error. They cannot see the glory, beauty and power of truth, so it is all one to them whether it is truth or whether it is error"

The office of Jesus Christ is defiled by their attribution to him of a befuddling creative process contrary to his activity Incarnate and activity promised.

In taking the course they have taken, Gordon Cheng & Co do not give glory to the One of whom they speak. They rob the Gospel of part of its truth.

Sam

Critias said...

The irony of Cheng's statements is that he would oppose Paul! I've read it enough times on this blog that Paul uses 'creation' in his evangelism with pagans, and refers to it explicitly and implicitly through his writings. In Hebrews there is similar reference to creation, in terms of the new creation, and Christ being what man failed to be because of the fall.
Adopting Cheng's position completely disables engagement with those who are kept from Christ by the 'pain and suffering' they think God has brought to the world. No, from Genesis 1-3 we know that man has frustrated God's 'very good', but God has out-loved man, as he promised in Gen. 3, by coming himself as saviour.

Critias said...

Oh, and another thing, when I read the work of modern commentators: in the newspaper, quality magazines, and other blogs, I never see a reference to the 'god' of theistic evolution. I either see 'creation' and thereby its God, pilloried (thanks for the publicity chaps) but at least recognised and given air time, or hats doffed to evolution, its requisite materialism and our finality in dust. Well, no one extends their argument to its nadir, because the materialist has nowhere to take us; but they certainly pay no attention to the mealy mouthed compromise of theistic evolution. They are comfortable with it because it shares first base with them. It is no threat. It saves no one.

The threat to the materialist world view, and the only point for evangelical intervention, criticism and rescue is origins. If the world-story is not as the materialist tells it, then they are undone, and the greatest barrier to the gospel vanishes. I refer to Paul in Acts 17 as the paradigm.

Good one, Gordon. You are shoring up irrelevancy and undoing evangelism and I never read a reference to SADist views in secular commentary. You are invisible.

Ktisophilos said...

Cheng is being deceptive, but what's new? One of the leading creationist organizations in the world, Creation Ministries International, says right at the beginning of their Statement of Faith:

(A) PRIORITIES

1. The scientific aspects of creation are important, but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer and Judge.

2. The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But attacking viewpoints without bothering even to try to inform oneself about them is par for the course for the AngloCompromisers.

neil moore said...

Ktisophilos, it is a recurring theme for the SADists that they will go to the enemies of God for their doctrine on origins rather than go to those who love God.

Can you believe that the Church established by our Lord Jesus Christ would degenerate to this level? Sorrowful, Sorrowful!

Neil Moore

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