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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sydney Anglicans Must Listen to Satan!

"Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, 'You know nothing at all! You do not realise that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish." (John 11:49-50)

"He shouted at the top of his voice, 'What do you want with me Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you will not torture me!' For Jesus had said to him, 'Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" (Mark 5:7-8)

It is amazing how the words of the enemies of God have been taken by God to bear testament to his being and purposes. Evil spirits and evil men said things for their own interest but God turned their words to a better use.

Another insightful incident is recorded as follows: "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, 'If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.' Jesus answered, 'It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' " (Matt. 4:1-4)

The aforesaid incident is the subject of an article by Russell Grigg, M.Sc. (Hons.) in the latest 'Creation' magazine (vol. 30 No. 2). Looking at the page inside the cover of the magazine I notice that the Creation Ministries International people say "Readers who broadly share our ministry aims may freely photocopy the text of the articles herein for genuine, non-commercial Christian educational purposes ..." I believe this blogspot meets that requirement so I am going to venture reproduction of much of Russell Grigg's article as follows:

"This is surely the most unusual testimony to the truth of Genesis Creation that we will find anywhere in the Bible or for that matter in the whole wide world - that of Satan himself. What Satan said in effect was: If you are God, create ...! Create the required organic molecules, organize them into the needed complex carbohydrates, proteins, fat, fibre, etc.,with appropriate nutritional content, and impart the necessary chemical changes normally caused by cooking. Do all this instantaneously, and do it by word of command.' (emphasis mine)

Why instantaneously? Well, suppose Christ had found a few grains of wheat somewhere, planted them in the ground and watered them while they grew. Then, several months later, He had harvested them, crushed the harvest into flour, mixed the flour with water, and baked it in an oven. This would hardly have complied with Satan's request for a miracle. It certainly would not have been the immediate alleviation of Jesus' hunger that was the motivation for the temptation.

Why by a word of command? And how would creating bread (whether from stones or ex nihilo) prove that Christ was God?

Answer: One of the attributes of God is his omnipotence, i.e., He is able to do whatever He wills (consistent with His own holiness). During Creation Week, the Creator God willed that certain events should occur by the power of His spoken word. For example, on Day 1, He commanded the light to appear. On Day 2, He commanded that there be an expanse. On Day 3, He commanded the land to appear and produce vegetation. On Day 4, He commanded the sun, moon and stars to be. On Day 5, He commanded that birds and sea creatures exist. On Day 6, He commanded that the land animals be, and He created the first man and the first woman.

All of these miracle had two things in common. They happened in response to God's will expressed through a spoken command and they happened immediately. They did not happen via any 'natural' processes over millions of years.

In the temptation, Satan was challenging Christ to duplicate in miniature form the instantaneous and fiat creation that happened during Creation Week. And of course, for the temptation to have any meaning at all, Christ must have the ability to do it. Why? Because it would have been no temptation at all for you and me! So, truly, this is a remarkable testimony by Satan, not only to the truth of Genesis 1, but also to the fact that Christ was the Creator Son of God.

In the event, Christ did not accede to Satan's challenge to use miraculous means to satisfy His own physical needs. Instead He quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'.

At the right time and for the right reasons, Jesus did create. The Apostle John describes seven miracles by Christ which he calls 'signs', and in his Gospel he shows which way these signs point. He writes: 'These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name' (John 20:31). The seven signs recorded in John's Gospel are:

1. Turning water into wine (2:1-11);
2. Healing a nobleman's son (4:46-54);
3. Curing a paralytic (5:1-15);
4. Feeding 5,000 people (6:1-15);
5. Walking on water (6:16-21);
6. Giving sight to the blind (9:1-41)
7. Raising Lazarus from the dead (11:1-44).

These all show Christ's sovereignty over creation. They all have two aspects in common. They all happened in response to Christ's command (whether spoken or just willed); and they all happened immediately. Did any of these miracles occur by chance random processes or over long periods of time? No, not according to the eyewitness records. Christ, the creator of time, was not bound by time."

Writer, Russell Grigg, reminds us of seven eyewitness accounts of miracles recorded by the Apostle John which demonstrate our Lord Jesus Christ's creative capacity. The Apostle John also records another miracle of our Lord Jesus Christ - his creation of all things (John 1:3). There were no human witnesses to this miracle. In this we have to trust God's word recorded in Genesis 1 and summarised in Exodus 20:11.

Also, Russell Grigg reminds us and lends support to arguments I have read here and in other places by various people - that for God to be God he has to create quickly and not by slow and gradual processes. Satan knows this. He also knows that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and that to lure Jesus into submitting to his will he invited a corrupt use of Jesus' creative capacity.

Conversely, Satan has misled many in the world to believe a corrupted theory of origins which requires a slow and gradual process. Rightly, the atheist believes a slow and gradual process of origins dismisses the need for a Creator God. Sadly, those who purport to believe in Jesus Christ foolishly submit to the will of Satan when they attribute the same slow and gradual creative process to Jesus Christ. It is a corruption of his creative capacity. To compound their foolishness, in their witnessing, they accommodate the slow and gradual creative process which reinforces the atheist's rejection of any notion of God.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: ... a time to embrace and a time to refrain, ... a time to keep and a time to throw away, ... (Ecclesiastes 3:1,5b,6b). There is a time to take heed of what the enemies of God are saying. The measure is always how what they say sits with the word of God. Failure to discern this has disastrous consequences.

Neil Moore

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The short run to Nihilism

Last quote from Scruton, p. 157 (its a short book):

...nihilism is the other side of religion: it is the disappointed howl of the believer on discovering that God is dead. The true nihilist is incapable of settling for a world of compromise [he speaks here of politico-religious things]...since it is a world deprived of absolutes. The death of God leaves only one remaining absolute, which is Nothingness. The duty to annihilate is the last remaining glimpse of the transendental in the heart of the one who has lost all belief in it and who cannot live with the loss.

I couldn't help but connect this wonderfully succinct analysis with that which lies at the heart of evolution, its negative engine: death. Read, and feel the irony.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sydney Anglican, Gordon Cheng, Runs Hard .... Into a Ditch!

Gordon Cheng has previously attempted to negate the argument of YEC's by alleging a faulty design of the koala pouch.

In so doing, he was levelling an insult at God's creative activity at the beginning of creation.

This insult prompted an earlier rebuke from John of this blogspot and John,only a few days ago, had cause to remind us of Gordon Cheng's insult to the Lord.

As I recall, John had previously observed the need for the koala to have rear-opening pouch to protect the pouch and possible infant inside from bark, spiders and other insects falling into the pouch while the mother koala crawled about trees. Such a requirement is not similarly required for kangaroos which have a forward-opening pouch.

Further testament to Gordon Cheng's ignorance of the subject is contained in a worthy article by scientist, Dr David Catchpoole, in the latest Creation magazine (this writer is a subscriber).

I quote part of what Dr Catchpoole said in his article:

"And now the discovery of a most amazing feature of the koala's pouch makes it even harder for evolutionists. While kangaroo mothers lick their pouch clean in preparation for a new joey, it's physically impossible for koala mothers, with their rear-opening pouch, to do that. But it turns out that prior to the birth of a koala, a remarkable self-cleansing mechanism kicks in. The crusty 'wads of brown stuff' evident in the non-breeding season disappear as the 'pouch becomes a completely different place', according to Professor Elizabeth Deane of Macquarie University, Australia.¹

'It becomes glistening, pristine and almost translucent. You can go in and the back of it is almost see-through and you can see droplets of clear material on the pouch,' she said. The secret to the pouch becoming squeaky-clean is in these clear droplets oozing into the pouch - the liquid contains powerful proteins that kill microbes."²

Gordo, stop insulting God!

Neil Moore

1. Salleh, A., Koala pouch may have its own bug buster. ABC Science Online, , 31 July 2006

2. Deane's team of researchers is analysing koala pouch secretions prior to birth to identify which of the proteins are responsible for the antimicrobial action. Bobek, G., and Deane, E., Possible antimicrobial compounds from the pouch of the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, Letters in Peptide Science 8 (3-5): 133-137, 2001.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Religion the Jumble

From Scruton, p. 102:

...religion simply as a set of doctrines concerning the origin of the world, the laws that govern it and the destiny of mankind will think of faith merely as a substitute for rational argument, destined to crumble before the advance of science or to persist, if at all, as a jumble of tattered superstitions in the midst of a world that refutes them.

Interesting the connections made by those outside the evangelical fold about religion, the world and its interpretation in science.

Much could be said about Scruton's analysis, but that the analysis is made is itself of significance, I think. Particularly that he can see religion as being concerned with a view of the real world, a view denied, I would suggest, by our SADist friends.

Monday, March 10, 2008


From my current read:

The West and the Rest, by Roger Scruton (ret'd professor of philosophy)

p. 39:

To remove the violent core from human societies is no easy task, for the urge to violence is planted in us by evolution, and war is a fact of sociobiology.

[then talks about the Christian experience and its grounds for hope, but lovely slide over to this analysis a few pages on:]

p. 43:

[the Enlightenment had given us an abstract God and] had collectively remade the God of Christianity as a creature of the head rather than the heart. God retreated from the world to the far reaches of infinite space, where only vertiginous thoughts could capture him. Daily life is of little concern to such a God, who demands no form of obedience except to the universal precepts of morality. To worship him is to bow in private to the unknowable. Worship conceived in such a way offers no threat to the Enlightenment . . .As God retreated from the world, people reached out to a rival source of membership . . .

Along which way the Sydney Anglican Diocese is the unwitting, but very willing midwife. I remember the Lord Archbishop extolling the virtues of "Christian values" some years ago; when of course, we know the core Christian value: "all our righteousness is as filthy rags". I suggested this to Peter, but received no reply: I guess that's a predictable response from a neo-evangelical to the word of God.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Against God

From Before Darwin:237

...since time immemorial, the most obvious argument against God's existence and source of doubt about his unique and universal goodness has been the manifest imperfection of nature, and especially the misery of a great deal of existence that tells of nothing but a bleak purposelessness. As Darwin wrote: 'it revolts our understanding to suppose that [God's] benevolence is not unbounded, for what advantage can there be in the sufferings of millions of the lower animals throughout almost endless time?'

This is from the chapter that deals with evil, goodness, and natural theology. Both the author and the natural theologians he studies are oblivious to the problem of the fall and its central position in Christianity.

Did I write 'problem'? Rather, the fall is the great rend in creation, it is the obliteration, the undoing, of the very-goodness declared by God, and rejection of relationship with God; it is man ejecting God from his life and world. If our theology of God is deficient because of a failed hermeneutic of creation (and I suspect it is in neo-evangelical circles), then our understanding of the fall and the radical besmirching of life with death that came in its train is also inadequate.

Oddly, I don't think that atheism or its materialist cousin has a helpful position on this.

What contemporary 'natural theology' is doing, (and Thomson touches on this, albeit without really understanding it, in my estimation) is to go behind the results of the fall and look at the structure of life and earth history, reading it in the knowledge of history in the Bible, but also seeing, on its own terms, its dependence. Materailism claims that life has its life in itself, finally, but it is not evident! Ironically, materialism now relies upon a certain extended 'vitalism' to explain life, the very thing for which it criticises pre-modern biology!

I met some clients of my employer recently who are profoundly disabled. It was heartbreaking to think of the frustration and bitterness of their experience, and of their parents. The materialist can offer them only dust and blank-faced emptiness in the despair of their position; our Creator God offers new life; restoration to the 'very good' and acknowledgement in Christ that all is not just not well, with the creation but that it is broken; yet his grace shines through to the re-creation.

Darwin's transformation

From Before Darwin: 232

Charles Darwin's transformation from Christian believer to agnostic 'crept over [him] at a very slow rate'. For a long time he held on to a position as a theist, being prepared to believe in the existence of a God but rejecting both the Old Testament, 'from its manifestly false history of the world ... and from its attributing to God the feelings of a vengeful tyrant', and also the miracles of the New Testament.

Darwin trod the path that many individuals, and indeed the broad social sweep has and is treading.

Gosse's Dilemma

From Before Darwin: 230

"When pressed, people often revert to believing two things at once. The evidence that the universe is huge and ancient can be assimilated seemingly without shaking the conviction that the earth itself is 6,000 years old and that all living creatures were created over a two-day period. For example: 'The school books of the present day, while they teach the child that the earth moves, yet assure him that it is a little less than six thousand years old, and that it was made in six days. On the other hand, geologists of all religious creeds are agreed that the earth has existed for an immense series of years.' These last words were written in 1860 (Godwin, C. W., On the Mosaic Cosmogony in Essays and Reviews, Longman Green, London 1860) and appear in a work that arguably presented a greater threat to the Established Church than the evolutionism of Erasmus Darwin, Lamarack, Robert Chambers or even Charles Darwin. Essays and Reviews is an example of the enemy within, a compilation of extremely liberal theological views by noted churchmen and academics. Among their targets was the unnecessary and outmoded belief in miracles and the biblical account of the days of creation."

How days change, but change not!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Musing on Moses

I'm working my way through Hebrews these days. What a rich book it is. I wonder if in our day we downplay the status of Moses? He is the most signficiant figure of the OT and is of such stature that he makes it into Hebrews (ref ch. 3). He was an apostle: one sent from God as a messenger. Part of his message is the first 11 chapters of Genesis: we seem today to adopt an attitude of insufficient awe of God's word and the work of his messengers. I don't want us to be uncritical or not do hard work with the word; but it would be good if we submitted to the word received, rather than play it like a football.
I speak, of course, to those who discount Moses' work on origins as something less than it really is; to those who think that this part of God's revelation is to be treated with less seriousness, or with less significance than passages in the NT. Sad, but true, I suppose. Partly why our doctrine of God is so insipid these days, I suspect.

Was Phar Lap Poisoned in America? Was Mike Paget Nobbled in Katoomba?

"Grace and peace to y'all. If I can hit an internet cafe up in Katoomba, I'll respond, but otherwise, see you in Feb. Can't wait."

Those were the words of Mike Paget just before leaving for CMS (Church Missionary Society) Summer Camp at Katoomba in January. If language means anything then Mike was telling us that he looked forward to dialoguing further on this site in February 2008.

Well, I have waited patiently but February has passed. We are now into March and my expectation is being eroded by continued silence.

Was I wrong, was there some discrete symbolism, or some chiasmus, or some parallelism in his message that I didn't see but which actually meant he'd had enough of us and was "giving us the flick"?

Was it Mike's genuine intention to return but something or someone happened along at Summer Camp and poisoned Mike's mind. Even worse, did something or someone influence Mike to be dishonest to the point of not being true to his word?

Mike, where are you? I am willing to continue dialogue - if only you will return. We have unfinished business!

Neil Moore

Saturday, March 1, 2008


In Before Darwin, much is said about fossils and the biblical flood.

Most of it is typically question-begging; and amusingly, the question begged is begged in a hollow flourish, as though some evidence is provided. Never the case!

The book's discussion about the flood and fossils is typical.

There's lots of material on the net on these topics, so I won't labour the point.

But I will say this. Both in Before Darwin, and in the older sources cited, there seems to be a concept operating that views the global flood as a relatively calm affair, not the overwhelming catastrophe it was. This is one reason the ark would be designed as it was: best for stability in very rough water (sea state 10...for a year?). The flood would have been of such immense proportions that the tectonic, volcanic and hydraulic dimensions would begger our imaginations.

Look at the tiny volcano at Mt St. Helens in the 80s: canyons carved out in hours, trees flatted over vast areas, etc. Imagine what it would be like with huge vulcanism over the entire earth! Big stuff, indeed.

Then look at the gross geology of the earth, with features than could not be formed by current processes at current rates: hundreds of square miles of lava sheets, sedimentary beds of similar size, fossil beds with millions of creatures jamb-packed together, smashed, bent and twisted.