Search This Blog

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sydney Anglicans' Towering Erection of Babel Proportions

Sydney Anglicans led by Archbishop Peter Jensen who hold to the abhorrent Theistic Evolution view of origins are either wittingly or unwittingly contributing to one of the most flagrant acts of idolatry and usurping of the authority of God that the world has ever seen.

Their attributing to God of a creative process replete with frustrations, mutations, disease, suffering, survival of the fittest and death is an assertion that God could not or would not create pure and complete in the beginning.

These Sydney Anglicans have ventured out upon the branch of faith and commenced cutting the branch behind them. The Atheists see this and are just waiting for the whole Church to do likewise and come crashing down. Once the Church has done this the Christian faith will have no credible argument against Atheism. The very mechanism Charles Darwin saw as the ordering of life and which prompted him to reject the God of Bible will never pass muster as the way of a God of love and omnipotency.

Compounding the problem for Sydney Anglicans are developments in gene technology. Scientific advances in genetic engineering and cloning point to the day when man will create life leading to a living organ or being. We are talking here of tens of years of development not millions of years.
On that day of achievement, Sydney Anglicans must bow to the might of Man and surrender all credibility that the Christian Church had claimed for the 'God' of the Bible because Man will have done far more efficiently and timely what the Church had claimed 'God' had done over millions of years.

Advances in gene technology have all the potential to revisit upon the world the arrogance of man demonstrated at Babel (Gen. 11). The Church will be defenceless if it relies on a corrupt explanation of how God created.

However, the picture is not so bleak. The one true God is not the product of faulty imaginings of the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney and his followers. God will not submit to the elevation of man beyond his place. God will retain a remnant who will not bow the knee to Baal. Small it may be for a time but that remnant will survive and be blessed to multiply at the hand of the Lord. These are they who trust in the Word of God and will not reinterpret what God has clearly said.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Leupold Genesis part 2 author

Genesis contains no statement as to who its author was. Yet we hold very definitely to the conviction that Moses wrote Genesis as well as the rest of the Pentateuch, except (Deut. 34). In our day such a position is regarded as so utterly outmoded that we must indicate, at least briefly, what grounds we have for standing thus. Our grounds are those which have satisfied conservative scholarship in the church throughout the ages. Neither is the group of those who still accept these arguments so inconsiderable as critics would have us believe.

The internal evidence of the Pentateuch runs as follows. In Exodus the passages (17:14; 24:4; 34:27), if rightly construed, indicate that Moses wrote more than the specific passages that appear under immediate consideration, in fact, all of Exodus. In like manner the numerous statements of Leviticus to the effect that "the Lord spake unto Moses" ("and unto Aaron"), such as (Le 1:1; 4:1; 6:1, 8, 19, 24; 7:22, 28; 8:1), etc., again, if rightly construed, lead to the same result, in fact, cover Leviticus. For why should the exact nature of the revelation be emphasized, unless it be presupposed that this revelation was immediately conserved in writing in each case? In fact, the assumption that these directions were not committed to writing is most unnatural. The same argument applies to much of what is found in Numbers; but in this book the special portion that came by immediate revelation requires the background of the rest of the historical material of the book. (Nu 33:2) is the only passage that refers to the fact that Moses wrote, a statement inserted at this point in order to stamp even what might seem too unimportant to record as traceable to Moses. In Deuteronomy a comparison of the following passages establishes the Mosaic authorship: (De 1:1; 17:18,19; 27:1-8; 31:9; 31:24). If, then, on the basis of the evidence found in these four books we may very reasonably conclude that they were written by Moses, the conclusion follows very properly that none other than the author of these later four books would have been so suitable as the author for Genesis also. Certainly such a conclusion is far more reasonable than that Genesis--or for that matter the entire Pentateuch--is to be ascribed to another one of these genial Nobodies of whom criticism has a large number in reserve as authors.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Do the Sydney Anglican Heretics successfully wrest the epistemological highground from orthodoxy?

To all concerned, sorry for the delay but I have had to attend to some fairly urgent matters of health recently and this has eaten up my spare time. My mother, very early on, and doctor, most recently warned me about the dangers of reinserting my navel fluff. And now I reap the consequences.

1. I believe the following is a fair representation of Anonymous’ case against me.

a. I offered Kay’s paper as proof and argued that literary devices don’t
negate the claim of a passage to being history.
b. Dickson proposed the inclusion of so many literary devices means
Genesis 1 isn’t history.
c. I overlooked the subtlety of Dickson’s argument.
d. I‘m dumb as it’s not true truth.
e. QED, Dickson’s case is subtle and accurate.
f. Genesis 1 isn’t an historical report because of the large number of
literary devices
g. It is right to say that Kay’s case lacks a strong and sharp disproof to
Dickson’s thesis that Genesis is non-history.

2. To refresh everyone’s memory what Dickson wrote: “Genesis 1…is composed in a style quite different from the ‘historical narrative’ of, say, the Gospels in their accounts of Jesus’ resurrection, for instance…Genesis 1, on the other hand, is not written in the style we normally associate with historical report. It is difficult even to describe the passage as prose. The original Hebrew of this passage is marked by intricate structure, rhythm, parallelism, chiasmus, repetition and the lavish use of number symbolism. These features are not observed together in those parts of the Bible we recognize as historical prose…I will, however, draw attention to the number symbolism present in our passage. [John gives a number of examples of the number 7 and its multiples in the text and then concludes with] The artistry of the chapter is stunning and, to ancient readers, unmistakable. It casts the creation as a work of art, sharing in the perfection of God and deriving from him. My point is obvious: short of including a prescript for the benefit of modern readers the original author could hardly have made it clearer that his message is being conveyed through literary rather than prosaic means.”

So, clearly Dickson is saying from “the lavish use of number[s]” alone that one can conclude Genesis 1 is not historiography. I’ll address this in a moment but, as you stated elsewhere, what’s good for a goose is good for the gander, and so I think it was entirely reasonable for me to argue (as Kay had in his paper) that individually these literary devices do not necessarily convey non-history.

Furthermore, as you have implied, these devices are found in historiographic passages. (Although, Dickson, by not actually exploring this “incidental” detail, seems hell-bent on not providing examples for the reader so they can at least make up their own mind as to the strength of his case. After all, if, for example, a clearly historiographic section of one of the Gospels were to contain several literary devices, I would assume that even the most zealously sycophantic of Dickson’s backers would be less inclined to argue for the soundness of his thesis. Hmmm, maybe not so on second thought, given their hitherto lending of unconditional support for just about any old excuse that maintains their obduracy and love of heresy) I would obviously concur. So the problem for you and Dickson is this: If the inclusion of one device does not in and of itself transform historiography to non-historiography, and the addition of another similarly doesn’t, and another etc etc don’t, why would the inclusion of all 6 suddenly tip the scale? If you reply that this “uniqueness” is the very characteristic that does turn historiography to non-historiography, isn’t that just simply a case of question-begging? Wouldn’t one need to provide several examples from other sources, particularly non-biblical ones, which demonstrate the soundness of this proposition?

Looking at it in a not entirely different way, Dickson has tacitly stated that, all other things being equal,

(i) 1 Literary Device = Historiography,
(ii) LD+LD = Historiography
(iii) LD+LD+LD = Historiography
(iv) LD+LD+LD+LD = Historiography
(v) LD+LD+LD+LD+LD = Historiography

yet he contends that

LD+LD+LD+LD+LD+LD ≠ Historiography

I am at a loss how 1,2,3,4, or even 5 pluses add up to a plus but an additional 6th makes it a zero. Along with destroying biblical facts, you guys seem to have the same menacing attitude to maths. This reminds me of Dallas Willard’s comment: “[U]nsound arguments are not to be expected by their collective force to prove a conclusion which none can establish by themselves."

3. So since you’ve admitted that literary devices are utilised by the author in historiography, where does Dickson (and you) draw the cut-off line? It seems that since these devices are everywhere, in historical prose and poetry alike, then the answer must be, “Well, anywhere I damn well please!” This of course demonstrates the arbitrary nature of your argument. That, putatively, these devices only appear in such numbers in Genesis 1 and no where else is not the clincher you imagine it to be. After all, breathing over its neck is a passage of historical narrative that has one less literary device. If none of the ancients were bothered with their inclusion why should we listen to Dickson and a nobody called Anonymous. All this to me seems like something new to tickle those who are easily dissuaded from the plain, straightforward, uncomplicated historical truth of the first page of God’s revelation to us. That the common ploughboy has never seen this wolf-in-sheep’s clothing “truth” you’re presently serving up to the Church only strengthens our resolve to root you heretics out.

4. While we are on the subject, I’d like to point out that neither Dickson nor Anon never actually identify where these literary devices appear in the text. I suppose we’re to just take their word that all 6 actually appear in Genesis.

So, would either of these two heretics (or the Dickson sycophants over in the Sydney Diocese) change their view if just one of the mooted devices didn’t appear in Genesis 1? That is, based on Dickson’s thesis, if the sum total of these devices were 5, would these heretics accept Genesis 1 as history or can nothing falsify Dickson’s proposition?

5. Just on this issue, a few years ago an Israeli Oxford Hebraist academic informed me that sustained rhythm, the type that non-prose should contain if it does have rhythm, is not in Genesis 1. What rhythm there is, is far too brief to be important and is a chance by-product of speech in general. In other words, one would be drawing a really long bow to claim that rhythm is a salient literary device in Genesis 1.

6. But just to fulfil my epistemic obligation, let me provide you with a few passages where there is a preponderance of literary devices. To make it easier for me I’ll be borrowing considerably from Dickson’s paper.

The Flood Narrative

It is well known that in Hebrew thought the number 8 symbolises new beginnings, resurrection or regeneration and 13 betrayal. A well-known example for the former is many baptismal fonts are eight-sided, as is the baptismal cross, while the latter is the number of people at the Last Supper.

In the narrative of Noah, which contains the Flood account, multiples of 8 appear in extraordinary ways. For ancient readers, who were accustomed to taking notice of such things, these multiples of 8 conveyed a powerful message. Its omnipresence in many chapters of the Bible makes an unmistakable point about the ultimate authorship of the Bible itself. Consider the following in this account:

a. The “berit” (covenant) stem appears 8 times
b. The number of people saved on the ark was 8
c. The sign of the covenant, “qeshet” (rainbow) has a numerical value in Hebrew
of 800
d. The Flood was 40 days (i.e. 5 x 8) upon the earth
e. Noah waited another 40 days until he opened the window
f. He then sent out a raven, numerical value 272 (i.e. 8 x 32)
g. Noah’s name is occasionally spelled with a vav and thus his name has a
numerical value of 64 i.e. 8 x 8
h. From Adam to Noah’s Flood there were 1656 (207 x 8) years

And btw,
i. Indeed, Jesus’ very name in Greek numerical values has the value of 888,
which also equals in Hebrew Yeshoth Elohenu i.e. Our God’s Salvation
j. Jesus appeared to Thomas on the 8th day
k. Pistis (faith) has the same numerical value as Kurios (Lord) i.e. 800

As to the number 7,

a. The clean beasts were taken on in lots of seven
b. Assuming 30 days in a lunar month, the fountains of the deep were broken up
on the 2nd month, 17th day of Noah’s 600th year i.e. the 77th day
c. The Ark came to rest in the 7th month
d. The tops of the mountains were seen on the first day of the 10th month i.e. (
10 x 30) +1 = 301 = 43 x 7
e. The seventh occurrence of the name Noah is in Genesis 6:9 and here he is
called ‘perfect’. The Hebrew word here is thammim which has a numerical
value of 490 i.e. 70 x 7
f. The number of times that God spoke to Noah was seven.

Any other literary devices? Sure.

• A play on words: In Hebrew the name ‘Noah’ is an anagram of ‘Grace’. The first appearance of ‘grace’ is in Genesis 6:8: ‘But Noah found grace in the eyes of YHWH’. The numerical value of YHWH is 26. The word ‘grace’ is found in 26 (13 x 2) verses in Torah.

• Parallelism: In Genesis 6:9 "perfect in his generations" acts as a parallel thought to Noah being "a just man."
• Parallelism: In Genesis 7: 6-10, 11-16 this device can be discerned as re-emphasising and enlarging upon the same ideas.
• Chiasmus:
Genesis 7:10 – And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.
Genesis 7:12 - And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
Genesis 7:24 – The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
Genesis 8:3 – The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down,
Genesis 8:6 - After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark
Genesis 8:10 - He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark.

Here’s another:
Introduction (6:9-10)
1. Violence on the earth (6:11-12)
2. First speech: intent to destroy earth (6:13-22)
3. Second speech: go into the ark (7:1-10)
4. The Flood starts (7:11-16)
5. The flood rises (7:17-24)
Climax-God remembers Noah (8:1a)
5a. The Flood recedes (8:1b-5)
4a. Drying off of the earth (8:6-14)
3a. Third speech: leave the ark (8:15-19)
2a. Will not destroy earth again (8:20-22)
1a. Fourth speech: the covenant (9:1-17)
Conclusion (9:18-19)

There is a chiastic structure in the genealogy: Noah's sons are listed in this order: Shem, Ham, and Japheth; then they are discussed in reverse order.

• Repetition
(i) The destruction of life
(ii) Establishment of the covenant
(iii) The types of animals on the ark

What then can we at this blog conclude? All of this definitely will convince the heretics in the Sydney Anglo Fun Park that Noah’s story and the Flood specifically are not historical or historiography.

When I previously pointed out that the Flood account contains all the features Dickson has said tell the reader to think ‘non-history/non-historiography’, Anon’s remark was “ROFL.” In fact, Anon went on to suggest these chapters of Genesis were on the sae level as a fairy tale like Goldilocks and the 3 bears.

I suspect Anon will mock my argument, as he has done previously (he poured scorn on my comment and said I had a weak argument when I offered Jesus’ and Peter’s testimonies as proof that the Bible’s account of the Flood should be taken as history), but this behaviour is what one expects from heretics. As we progress through the Bible more and more chapters start to be transformed from historiography to myth or some other liberal nomenclature.


• Numbers

a. There are 613 commandments in Torah. Of these 248 are positive and 365 negative. Abraham, the first Jew, was called righteous before God and is regarded as the paradigm of perfection. His name has the number value of 248 (31x 8), the number of positive commandments.

b. The son of Abraham, Yizhak, has 4 letters to his name each with a numerical value of 10, 90, 8 and 100 respectively. The first refers to the 10 commandments, the second to the age of Sarah when he was born, the third, the age at his circumcision and the last to the age of Abraham when he was born. A miracle performed for a mother and father was for the sake of a child who would be circumcised and enter a covenant.

c. Concerning the number 13, circumcision for Ishmael was carried out when he was 13, the word for covenant, berit, is mentioned 13 times in Genesis 17, the chapter which sets out the circumcision command.

d. In Genesis 14:14 there are 318 men who went out to rescue his relative. Interesting, Eliezer the servant of Abraham, the “heir” of Abraham, has a numerical value for his name of 318.

• Chiasmus:

A Display of faith: Abram leaves his homeland; the first promise 11:31–12:3
B Abram sojourns in Canaan 12:4-9
C The stay in Egypt; Abram passes Sarai off as his sister 12:10-20
D The separation of Abram, who has the promise, from Lot, who does not
have the promise 13:1-18
E The rescue of Lot 14:1-24
F Abram’s fears of infertility are allayed by the promise of a
son; God makes a covenant 15:1-21
G Sarai’s attempt to get a son: Ishmael 16:1-16
H THE COVENANT; Abram’s new name,
etc. 17:1-10
G´ Circumcision; the rejection of Ishmael and the
promise of a son through Sarah 17:9-27
F´ Sarah is told of the promise of a son, despite her fears of
infertility 18:1-15
E´ The rescue of Lot 18:16–19:38
D´ The stay in Gerar; Abraham passes Sarah off as his sister 20:1-18
C´ The birth of Isaac; the separation of Isaac, the child of the promise, from
Ishmael, the child outside the promise 21:1-21
B´ Abraham sojourns among the Philistines 21:22-34
A´ Display of faith: Abraham is willing to sacrifice Isaac; the final promise 22:1-19

And there are chiasms within chiasms. For example, Genesis 12:16 appears as an inventory but has been arranged chiastically. So, if Dickson’s rule is true then Abram’s sheep are not referring to historic sheep but artistic ones.

There are also significant and lavish use of numbers concerning the other patriarchs etc

a. Adam is 130 when he begot Seth and lives another 800 years.
b. Jacob has 1 daughter and 8 sons from his wives and 4 sons from the
shefahot i.e. 13 children.
c. When Jacob’s name is changed to Israel by God, then last time he is called
Jacob is the 130th appearance of Jacob’s name in Torah.
d. Jacob’s age in front of Pharaoh is 130 while Moses was 80
e. The only ages given for Joseph are 17, 30, 110, gaps of 13 and 80
f. Sarah was at her death 127 years old = 100 + 20 + 7. The gaps here are 80
and 13.
g. Circumcision is on the 8th day.

And I am more than sure that if I could be bothered – which I am definitely not – I could find far too many examples of devices which Kay listed in his article, including, parallel plotting with its ostensible appearance of simultaneity, delayed action and outcomes, asymmetrical and ironic juxtapositioning, convergence and retrospective alignment, sequential twists, temporal shifts, the omitting or ambiguating of causal links, temporal gaps and blanks, analogous or repetitive themes and incidents, alternation whereby the narrative sequence zig-zags between objective simultaneities, suspense-driven episodes, deep interlinear polarities of theme, foreclosure or premature curtain-dropping which “jumps ahead” in absolute time in order to synchronize effects, the establishment of contextual hierarchies of importance, shifts in focus, complex word plays, parataxis, and interepisodic suspense.

Matthew’s Gospel

The first 17 verses of the New Testament (The Gospel of Matthew) deals with a single principal subject: the genealogy of Jesus Christ. It contains 72 Greek vocabulary words in these initial 17 versus. The following structures are supposedly found.
• The number of words which are nouns is exactly 56, or 7 x 8. The Greek
word "the" occurs most frequently in the passage: exactly 56 times, or 7 x 8.
• The number of different forms in which the article "the" occurs is exactly 7
• There are two main sections in the passage: verse 1-11 and 12-17. In the
first main section, the number of Greek vocabulary words used is 49, or 7 x 7 Of these 49 words, the number of those beginning with a vowel is 28, or 7 x 4
• The number of words beginning with a consonant is 21, or 7 x 3. The total
number of letters in these 49 words is exactly 266, or 7 x 38-exactly.
• The numbers of vowels among these 266 letters is 140, or 7 x 20. The number
of consonants is 126, or 7 x 18-exactly.
• Of these 49 words, the number of words which occur more than once is 35, or 7 x 5.
• The number of words occurring only once is 14, or 7 x2.
• The number of words which occur in only one form is exactly 42, or 7 x 6.
• The number of words appearing in more than one form is also 7.
• The number of 49 Greek vocabulary words which are nouns is 42, or 7 x 6.
• The number of words which are not nouns is 7.
• Of the nouns, 35 are proper names, or 7 x 5. These 35 nouns are used 63
times, or 7 x 9.
• The number of male names is 28, or 7 x 4. These male names occur 56 times or
7 x 8.
• The number of names which is not male is 7.
• Three women are mentioned-Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth. The number of Greek
letters in these three names is 14, or 7 x 2.
• The number of compound nouns is 7. The number of Greek letters in these 7
nouns is 49, or 7 x 7.
• Only one city is named in this passage, Babylon, which in Greek contains
exactly 7 letters.

Matthew’s sectional use of 14 generations has been mooted to reflect the then current belief of the number of High Priests from Aaron to the establishment of Solomon’s Temple, from the establishment from the Temple until Jaddua, the last High Priest mentioned in Scripture. Others have argued that in his 3x14 division Matthew is reflecting a then already widely-held belief of a universal world-week patterned after the seven days of creation (i.e. 6x7), six “days” followed by a Messianic age i.e. a Sabbath, or a pattern following the formula used in Daniel. Whatever the case may be, it was not accidental.

Matthew begins the Gospel with a chiastic form in 1:1,17 (ABC, genealogy, C'B'A') for the genealogy in vv 2-16. In this case each half of the frame summarises the significance of the enclosed genealogy. There is also a chiastic appearance of Abraham and David in his genealogy i.e.

Jesus 1.1b
David 1.1c
Abraham 1.1d

Breck holds that 3:1-17 and 4:1-17 form a chiasm centred upon John’s claim that Jesus will baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire, enclosed by 2 expressions of “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Fenton and Gaechter have argued that all of Matthew is chiastic, the latter also pointing out the numerical patterns that control the several parts of the whole. Others have stated that Matthew has complicated circles of chiasms within chiasms, and these too have chiasms controlling them.
Furthermore some have argued that there is a typological literary reflection in Matthew’s Gospel which looks something like this:

Matthew OT

1:1: Book of Genesis Gen 2:4; 5:1
(i.e. toledoth and sepher

1:1-17: son of Abraham Gen 12-26

1:18-25: Joseph the dreamer Gen 37

2:1-12: Magi Nations to Egypt for Joseph

2:13-15: Herod kills children Exod 1-2: Pharaoh
kills children

2:14: Jesus rescued, flees Exod 2: Moses rescued,

2:19-23: Jesus returns to Israel Exod 3-4: Moses returns
to Egypt

3:1-12: John announces judgment Exod 5-12: Moses/Aaron
bring judgment

3:13-17: Jesus passes through Exod 14: Parting of the
waters waters of the Red Sea

4:1-11: Temptation in wilderness Exod 17-19: Travel in Sinai

4:18-22: Jesus calls disciples Exod 18: Moses appoints

chs. 5-7: Sermon on the Mount Ex 19 ff Sinai and the
and various explanations of Law giving of Torah

Matthew also demonstrates a reliance on the number three throughout his Gospel: 3 temptations, 3 illustrations of righteousness, 3 miracles of healing, 3 miracles of power, 3 miracles of restoration, threefold ‘fear not’, threefold answer to the question about fasting, 3 complaints of the Pharisees, 3 ‘is not worthy of me’, 3 parables of sowing, 3 sayings about ‘little ones’, 3 questions, 3 parables of warning, 3 prayers at Gethsemane, 3 denials of Peter, 3 petitions in the Lord’s Prayer, 3 aspirations in the Lord’s Prayer. There is also a triadic structure to the Sermon on the Mount which reflects a well-known triad of Jewish piety preserved in mAb. 1:2 (446).

There are also 7 demons, seven loaves, seven baskets, sevenfold forgiveness, seven brothers and seven woes. As Marshall Johnson wrote, “Considered in the light of this tendency toward numerical structure, the arrangement of the genealogy into 3 x 14 or 3 x 7 x 2 seems entirely congruous. The evangelist draws attention to the form of the genealogy because it is a survey of pre-Messianic history intending to underscore the predetermined character of the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.”

From the list of additional literary device Kaye supplied, in the first few chapters of Matthew one can see the following utilised by the Gospel writer when composing the text: parallel plotting with its ostensible appearance of simultaneity, delayed action and outcomes, convergence and retrospective alignment, sequential twists, temporal shifts, temporal gaps and blanks, analogous or repetitive themes and incidents, alternation whereby the narrative sequence zig-zags between objective simultaneities, suspense-driven episodes, parataxis.

So, what would a Sydney Anglican Evangelical following the much-heralded Dickson rule be forced to conclude? Matthew is neither prose nor historiography. Of course, similar material could be raised with reference to the other Gospels and similar conclusions stated.

As a liberal Dickson looks toward structure and not content (i.e. Don’t confuse me with the facts!). Kaye pointed out that Hebrew prose can be identified by the use of particular grammatical constructs. Anon and Dickson are oblivious to this (maybe they don’t read footnotes?) or choose to ignore it because it would destroy their case. Kaye wrote: “The particles ’et (the sign of the definite direct object), ’ašer (the relative pronoun), and ha- (the definite article) all have been identified as prosaic elements, not common in or suitable to poetry....In general, these particulars occur six to eight times more frequently in prose passages than in poetic ones. Statistically the results are even more important, since they establish beyond cavil that the occurrence of these particles is a valid discriminant, and the difference in distribution reflects an intrinsic distinction between prose and poetry. All these elements are present in Genesis 1.”

7. I believe Anon misunderstood a statement I made or maybe I didn’t explain it clearly enough. I suggested that liberals saw various parts of the Bible as historiographic which were the very sections that contain the literary devices that Anon and Dickson trumpet as being indicative of non-history. My point was not that these liberals BELIEVED these sections to be actual history, but that they saw it had the form of history i.e. historiographic i.e it resembled history writing. What the majority of liberals then do is provide a reason, any reason, to give their liberalism a veneer of credibility. In like manner, Dickson and Anon throw up this specious and contrived link between literary devices and non-history and non-historiography. That both these people state their case in a circular fashion and never once actually give evidence for it is lost in the debate. Anon further arrogantly tries to make us orthodox prove our case, another clear indication of his liberal and heretical view of Scripture. Anon, like Dickson, never actually supply any evidence for their belief.

8. So that clarified, Anon wanted to see some evidence that liberals accept the earliest parts of the Bible as historiography.
(i) Meir Sternberg understood the Bible to “transmute even invention into the stuff of history”
(ii) Robert Alter, the well-known literary theorist, calls Genesis and Exodus “fiction in the guise of history” and “historicized prose fiction.” Elsewhere he writes concerning Judges, “It is perhaps less historicized fiction than fictionalized history – history in which the feeling and the meaning of events are concretely realised through the technical resources of prose fiction.”
(iii) In other words, even an uber-liberal like Alter can see that this writing possesses the appearance of historiography, though, of course, denying its objective factuality. Dickson, however, denies that Genesis 1 even takes the form of historiography because – and let’s take him at his word here – it’s lumbered with too many literary devices. At least Alter is a tad more convincing because he denies it’s true but says it was written to appear like history. This is not all that dissimilar to the High Priest of atheism Richard Dawkins who many years ago, speaking to Phillip Adams, stated something to the effect that he understood from the text that the writers of Genesis 1 believed that what they wrote was literal and had occurred, unlike the dishonest contemporary Christian interpreters who try to make days seem like ages.
(iv) Even Adele Berlin agreed that despite the Bible being fiction and denying the miraculous, the stories were presented in a realistic narrative. Go figure, Anon.

9. Just a comment on a rather confusing point Anon made. He said that I was “incapable…of escaping from the simplistic but entirely spurious disjunction [I]’ve sought to establish between literal history and non-history.”
Now, I may have misunderstood Anon’s point here, but it seems to me that this is exactly the liberal cake-and-eat-it-too doctrine that the Sydney Anglo Heretics are becoming quickly famous for. I believe it was Warwick who first pointed this out on the Blog. They call Genesis 1 truth but not true truth. Anon’s comment seems to be a variation on this.
In any case, this is begging the question that Genesis is not historiography and history, and is another example of the hubris of these heretics who, while denying the traditional Church’s statements concerning the historical truth of Genesis 1, maintain that theirs is the right and only view of Genesis 1. They throw in all the usual red-herrings like the Good Samaritan Parable and pose all the hollow questions like “Was there really a certain man on the road to Jericho?” etc, as though this actually nullifies Genesis 1’s claim to being an accurate record of the Earth’s history.
No, Anon, it’s you and your postmodern, neo-orthodox mates over there in Anglo ga-ga land which have to prove the novel idea that there is no disjunction between literal history and non-history.

10. In summation, it is apparent that people like Anon and Dickson believe that art in writing spells the death of historiography. Or it may be the case that too much art is incommensurate with the writing of history (neither ever flesh their argument out). Now, maybe this is the case in contemporary history writing – I am not sufficiently adept to pass opinion – but, and my case presented here is hardly exhaustive, it would hardly seem that this was true in antiquity. Why, then, would Anon and Dickson make such a song and dance concerning literary devices in Genesis 1 when these, and more, appear throughout Scripture far more abundantly and in exceedingly more complex application? The answer is hardly rocket science. They disingenuously are led by the conclusions of materialistic science, notwithstanding their protestations to the contrary. It’s heresy business as usual with these guys!
I want to finish this thread by quoting the arch-liberal Bultmann. He wrote that “the literary devices with which [the author of John’s Gospel] builds the discussions—the use of ambiguous concepts and statements to elicit misunderstandings—are indicative that he lives within the sphere of Gnostic-dualistic thinking.” These ambiguities and misunderstandings are not “merely formal technical devices. Rather, they are the expression of his underlying dualistic view.”

As we know, Bultmann did not really care for any talk of the Gospels being history, just as Dickson and his zealous supporters truck no argument that Genesis 1 is history. It is indeed one of those queer coincidences of history that both Bultmann and Dickson identify the catalyst for the removal of the historical as the inclusion of literary devices by the authors of the biblical text.

11. Conclusion

Let me borrow heavily from Dickson’s own argument and, mutatis mutandis, present a more likely conclusion:

The chronology of the chapter is stunning and, to ancient readers, unmistakable. It casts the creation as a work of history, sharing in the temporality of God and deriving from him. My point is obvious: the inclusion of a prescript for the benefit of modern readers would be unnecessary because the original author could hardly have made it clearer that his message is historiographic rather than literary and ahistoric.”

Moreover, one can’t but help be reminded of C.S. Lewis’ trenchant censure of these Anglicans who seek to present another Gospel, a Gospel that robs Christ of his nature and office:

“Whatever these men may be as Biblical critics, I distrust them as critics. They seem to me to lack literary judgement, to be imperceptive about the very quality of the texts they are reading…These men ask me to believe they can read between the lines of the old texts; the evidence is their obvious inability to read (in any sense worth discussing) the lines themselves. They claim to see fern-seed and can’t see an elephant ten yards away in broad daylight.”

Finally, a word from Peter, the disciple who was mocked by Anon:

"First of all you must realise that in the last days cynical mockers will undoubtedly come - men whose only guide in life is what they want for themselves - and they will say, "Everything remains as it was since the beginning of creation!" They are deliberately shutting their eyes to the fact that there were heavens in the old days and an earth formed by God's command out of water and by water. It was by water that the world of those days was deluged and destroyed."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Losing focus in a vaccine hocus-pocus

Article in the Daily Telegraph by Garry Linnell, Editor-at-large
October 10, 2008:

GO figure. We live in a time when science can tell us how old and large the universe is, yet the demand for psychics, fortune tellers and horoscopes has never been higher.

Oddly, what’s going hand in hand is that rejection of Christian theism brings with it the destruction of the rationalist basis for science; because its Christian realism that defeats superstition (because of its trust in Genesis 1, fundamentally) and not science! Science, as we know it today is the result of, amongst other things, Christian realism, as has been discussed elsewhere in this blog; so remove the basis, you remove the result, and end up with the unintended consequence: more superstition.

This is even evident at a popular level in Christian churches that have become enamored with the Enneagram, MBTI type ‘black magic’, NLP, the martial arts, yoga and so on. As they reject Genesis 1 and its grounded rationalism, they will more and more succumb to mysticism and fall under the influence of anti-rational superstitions.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Studies in Genesis 1

An Anglican church on Sydney's North Shore is studying Gen 1. If the sermons are any good, I'll give a link, if not...

But here's the study.

Let's discuss the answers.

1. For starters: How does our worldview/culture 'change' the way in which we interpret and understand texts?

2. Read Genesis 1:1-2
What was there before creation? How is creation initiatied?

3. What state of creation is verse 2 explaining? How does it help us understand God's creating as an ordered process?

4. Read Genesis 1:1-25
Looking through each of the 6 days of creation how do we see the following pattern repeated:

-+ An announcement: "God said"

-+ An imperative: "Let there be"

-+ A report: "and it was so"

-+ An evaluation: "And God saw that it was..."

5. What does this pattern tell us of the importance of God's word in creation?

6. What does this pattern tell us of God's involvement and purpose in creation? Is he pleased with it? Is it good?

7. How do the following days seem to correspond to each other in the creation process (what is created in each and what relationship do they have):

-+ 7a. Days 1 and 4

-+ 7b. Days 2 and 5

-+ 7c. Days 3 and 6

8. How does this relationship between the days answer the problem in vs. 2 of the earth being 'formless and empty'?

9. What picture of God begins to emerge in Genesis 1? How might this stand against current 'pictures' of God?

10. To discuss: What is the purpose of Genesis 1? How does our worldview help or hinder the way in which we read and interpret it?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"This is the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord!" (Jer. 7:4)

I note the most recent discussion pointing to many in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney corrupting the biblical revelation of God as Creator.

I once posted a blog asserting the danger of the Diocese moving along the path toward Apostasy from the Gospel in what may otherwise be seen as Partial Apostasy. In light of recent discussion it is apt to revisit the works of John Owen, Puritan, in "Apostasy from the Gospel", Puritan Paperbacks, Published by Banner of Truth Trust, 1992.

Speaking on the topic of "Apostasy from the Doctrine of the Gospel" on pages 92, Owen says "So none will remain constantly faithful to Christ who is not able to spiritually discern the glory of his person and his offices" and on page 93, "The whole foundation of all gospel faith rests in the glory of Christ's person and offices (Heb. 1:2, 3; Col. 1:15-19)".

It is clearly observed that John Owen makes the aforesaid assertions drawing upon Scripture passages citing the office of Jesus Christ as Creator.

Please, please, Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney, the alarm bells are ringing and you must awake to the dangerous position in which you are to be found. You do not listen to us but surely you will listen to the bells activated by sound biblical scholar and Puritan, John Owen.

Listen further. On the subject of "If we would defend ourselves from all temptations to apostasy, then we must beware of national sins" John Owen says (on pages 163 & 164) "... We must be led by Christ and his Word and not by popular opinion, which says 'Everybody does it!' God's Word is clear. 'Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you' (2 Cor 6:17) ... We must be among them but not of them and certainly not corrupted by them and by national sins."

"If Christians will immerse themselves in the world so as to learn their ways and be led by their opinions, they will be carried with them into eternal perdition."

"Under the Old Testament, God could not trust his people to live among other people, nor others to live among them, knowing how unable they were to withstand the temptations to conform to the ways of the ungodly. So all nations were to be driven out of Canaan (Lev. 18:30). The neglect of God's wisdom and the transgressions of his will by mixing with other nations and learning their ways led to their ruin."

"Under the gospel, God's true church is to be kept pure and holy by the Holy Spirit dwelling in them and among them. God now entrusts all that are called to the obedience of faith to live in the midst of the nations. Yet he still warns them of its dangers and requires them to watch and keep themselves unspotted from the world (James 1:27)."

"Objection. 'But if we do not conform in some things to the world's customs, we shall be despised in the world and nobody will take any notice of us.' Answer. What I mean is that submission to the world in yielding to its predominant vices, especially those vices which affect us in the place and time in which we live. Before we were converted, we did the popular thing, so now they think it strange that we no longer walk with them, and so they speak evil of us (1 Pet. 4:3,4). Do we really wish to renounce God and Christ in order to be popular with the world? (1 John 2:15-17: James 4:4)."

"What we must do is to outdo the world in honesty, kindness, gentleness, usefulness, moderation of spirit, charity, compassion and readiness to help others in their need."

Many and varied are the sins of the world and expressed all around us in what John Owen would call national sins. One of these national sins in our time is that of believing an interpretation of origins which is totally incompatible with the revelation of Jesus Christ Incarnate and in Word. Any attempt to marry the 'national' interpretation of creation with the revelation of Jesus Christ is nothing but that heinous sin of synchretism applied by Israel of old. It was an abomination to the Lord then and surely remains an abomination to Him now.

Don't do it! Don't dare do it, Sydney Episcopalians. Don't cast this warning aside with thoughts that John Owen and the Scripture passages he quoted refer to fleshly lusts and sins and have no relevance to the view that Jesus Christ used evolutionary processes to create. Idolatry is a sin of the flesh. It is man developing an image of God using elements of the world and is an inferior representation of the true God - man making his own god. To develop an image of Jesus Christ totally contrary to how he acted in His creative and recreative activity - as recorded in Scripture - and worse, to ascribe to Him a dead-end, suffering and death riddled process of creation is to ascribe to Him a beastly nature which is a great insult to Him. It is a vile sin of the flesh you engage in.

This is a serious problem. You must repent of it. As much as a Cancer has to be cut out early for life to be sustained so must this abomination be cut out early to prevent its course being fatal.

In closing, I draw everyone's attention to the final quote I have provided from John Owen. This subject in which we are engaged is extremely serious but let us conduct ourselves in a manner which outdoes "the world in honesty, kindness, gentleness, usefulness, moderation of spirit, charity, compassion and readiness to help others in their need". There is a lesson for me here as much as anyone else.

Sam Drucker

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sleeping with the atheists

Did anyone catch last Saturday’s Herald an article ‘When extinction becomes a heresy’? It was an edited extract from an essay titled ‘Empathy for the enemy’, which, as I’ll soon explain, is manifestly ironic.

The article was jam-packed with the usual maudlin and irrational animal “rights” rhetoric that is endlessly promoted nowadays in mainstream media. More outrageous was its attempt to compare the necessary elimination of rabbits and foxes from Australia with the barbarism of Auschwitz. This elevation of animal rights, I may add, is entirely consistent with Nazi practices and their obsession with all things green.

Notwithstanding this attempt to muddy the clear line of separation between man and animal, attention needs to be called to the only theoretical basis on which such a move can be reasonably postulated, that being the “truth” of evolution. In other words, all life has common ancestry, and this was clearly reiterated in the article.

As a related aside, the Evangelical Union of Sydney University recently had their perennial compromising science/religion lunchtime talk. One of the scientists on the panel of “experts”, when asked about evolution, gave it an unqualified thumbs up. I couldn’t help but notice the confused look on the atheist’s face who asked the question. Quite rightly she instantly realised the incommensurability and the procrustean explanation of a putative marriage between Christian theism and this materialistic worldview.

One last jibe at the essay’s author Clive Marks. Marks is blissfully and philosophically unaware that just because something is the case (i.e. rabbits suffer when exposed to Myxomatosis), that this is sufficient epistemic justification to derive moral condemnation concerning this fact (i.e. it’s morally reprehensible to expose rabbits to Myxomatosis because rabbits suffer). And certainly, on an evolutionary epistemic in which the fit win and the weak are removed, I can’t see how a reversal of nature’s norm is at all warranted.

Now to the real comment I wish to make.

What grabbed my attention was the article’s opening sentence: “Time and evolution have been detached creators”

This blog has endlessly pointed out that the heretics over in that other world of Sydney Anglicanism have robbed Christ of his glory and office by substituting another creator for Him. These wolves neither read the Bible properly nor listen to commonsense and advice and thus, in chasing after the world’s wisdom, they “are deluded by specious arguments…and fall prey to hollow and misleading philosophy.” Rather than wholeheartedly upholding Paul’s statement that “everything was created through him”, these rascals have deceived others that the gods of time and evolution can act as a surrogate for Christ. Not content with their own evil thoughts, they pour scorn on and try to silence any who oppose their ideas.

That atheists openly worship time and evolution as the “gods” of materialism only makes the SADs enlisting of these very same “gods” inexcusable.

In Nature...

Quote from the 'Big Questions' in Spectrum (SMH) Oct 4-5, 2008, in answer to the question "What's the point of the common cold"?:

" nature, nothing is for anything."


Now the typical SAD response: pained quizical expression casts over face, and the traditional 'well, yes, but" response is prepared..."you see, God really created, he tells us so in Genesis 1, but he doesn't tell us how, and that's where science steps in to tell us that we evolved..."

But, for the average person who has no commitment to the Bible, he just hears about evolution and doesn't see a need for the 'god hypothesis' and so just sits with "in nature, nothing is for anything".

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dawkins Does Dumb

Re-reading some old articles the other day I renewed my acquaintance with Dallas Willard's review of Dawkin's Blind Watchmaker (BTW, I recommend all his articles: of course I don't agree with them all, but Willard is reliably thought provoking).

Dawkins takes up the argument from personal incredulity: that is people who just 'can't imagine' evolutionary sequences occuring. Willard states it: "to the effect that current or similar species could not possibly have originated from vastly simpler life forms, and he discusses certain mistakes and alleged limitations of imagination that may prevent us from appreciating the possibility of biological evolution along Darwinian lines."

Now, instead of presenting an array of experimental evidence, or showing the microbiological pathways whereby the alleged 'descent' occured, what does Dawkins do? He counters with an alternative imaginative construct. And that's all! He doesn't have any evidence! All he's got is puffery, hope and inuendo. So if its just a battle of imaginative constructs, and all he can do is criticise an alleged imaginative poverty on the part of creationists (I use the term of all who eschew neo-Darwinist fantasies), and bring his own imagination against it, then he has nothing but a house of cards.

All Dawkin's attack amounts to is this: you can't imagine what I can imagine. Donnez moi un break Dick!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Leupold Genesis part 1

Exposition of Genesis by H. C. LEUPOLD, D. D

Professor of Old Testament Exegesis
in the Capital University Seminary
Colombus, Ohio

To the memory of my FATHER and to my MOTHER

The full work is available at

This is the first in a very multi part series. Its a great work, in my view, so, while its available on the net as a whole, it is serialised here for discussion.


Name of the Book

The name universally used in English for this book is "Genesis." This name is a transliteration of the Greek word genesis, which constitutes the regular title from of old in the Septuagint and was taken over by Jerome into the Vulgate--Liber Genesis. Luther made a new departure when he substituted in his German Bible the title "The First Book of Moses"--a designation requiring no further commentary. In the Hebrew Bible the book constitutes the first part of the Pentateuch. As a distinct part it so naturally stands out as a unit that there can be no doubt that it was designed to be just such a unit; and so even criticism from its point of view is ready to accept the division of the Pentateuch as a whole into five parts and that the book of Genesis in particular was a part of it at so early a date as at least four centuries before the Christian era. Though no evidence is available, we are inclined to believe that the Jews discerned the fivefold division of the Pentateuch from the time that the work was put into their hands. They are wont to refer to the book by the title of Bereshith, the very first Hebrew word, meaning: "in the beginning."

PBS does it again

Over in the USA, there's a bit of a buzz in the 'origins' community about a recent PBS (Public Broadcasting System) show that was a promo for Darwin. It pretended to be an 'expose' of 'Intelligent Design'. A website sprang up in no time flat that runs through Darwin's Failed Predictions. The slide show is worth a look...some of our SAD friends might slip over and take a look at how their great icon of creation has run up multiple dead much like the way the Roman church in its infatuation with Aristotle opposed Galileo.