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Monday, February 9, 2009

Big Day In(spirational)? I Don't Think So.

In comments to the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Charles Darwin on 7 February 2009, the Sydney Episcopalian Archbishop, Peter Jensen, said such things as "Does evolution exclude a God whose loving rule extends to the natural world? Some would say yes, but not because the theory of evolution requires it. Science neither proves nor disproves the existence of God ... Faith in a divine Creator and belief in an evolutionary universe can coexist."
If science, among other things, is the study of the creation then Archbishop Jensen has set himself against the Apostle Paul who at Romans 1:18-23 makes it clear that the study of the creation will reveal the Creator. I would throw myself into the camp of the Apostle Paul and leave the Archbishop to run last in his theology at this point.

As Neil Moore astutely observed in relation to Sir David Attenborough in a recent blog, there is no connection between a "loving rule" and a Creator who uses evolution as a creative process from the beginning.

There is no coexistence between the God of the Bible and a God who uses evolution as the means of creation. World history as recorded in Scripture makes this clear.

Connect 09 kicked off officially yesterday with live broadcasts into Episcopalian congregations around the Diocese. If presentation is a sign then I fear a flop. It was uninspiring. Words uttered were out of sync with lip movement. I hope this is not a symbol of the rhetoric of Connect 09 not matching action.

Sam Drucker

17 comments:

Eric said...

Nice one. I'd missed Jensen's comment in the Tele; but what a nightmare. He clearly hasn't moved over the decades and has a philosophical/theological split between God's verbal revelation and his creation. This is very Barthian and fails to make a theology of creation at the get go. We all know the story; it fails historically, theologically and in every other way: evolution is a pagan invention (it reaches back into Epicureanism, for instance) that sets out to disregard the gods and conceptualises the cosmos as ontologically independent. The very opposite of the conception that comes in the scriptures! It is this conception that Jensen must reject to sustain his blithe acceptance of evolution as an innocuous intellectual pastime; when we know and can see that its effects on people's behaviour and belief is indeed parlous. Paul's statement that you refer to is predictive of this and is another part of the Bible that Jensen sidesteps.

Jensen also waltzes through the wide door of philosophical idealism, another pagan invention that sets the material creation at odds with the world of 'spirit' and ideas. There is also a counter-biblical notion that springs not from scripture, but from a world that has rejected God; it is this type of thinking that underpinned Gnosticism and we see in neo-platonism. What strange bedfellows Jensen keeps.

I don't want to believe the Jensen can be so disdainful of scripture, so neglectful of the history of ideas and so philosophically inept and therefore so dishonouring of God. So much for D. Phils: book learning of no earthly or heavenly use!!

Eric said...

How something is done often gives an insight into the organisers and their views of the people they are organising.

Take the whole 'connect09' thing. I don't remember going to a parish, regional or diocesean workshop on 'are we failing our mission?'; or on connect opportunities, or on what our parish is doing, and what could it do to respond to local opportunities...nothing, nada, nil, zilch.

The whole thing is a top down imposition by a few on the many, which at once slams the many for doing what their parish servants (aka leaders) had encouraged in the first place, and rejects their having any contribution to make to remedying the problem the top-downers got us into by their own unbiblical efforts!

A real theological, ecclesiastical and church-political failure of the first order.

The church is not an organisation 'run' by a despot, it is a body of mutual service. Peter, just check what Paul says about the church; forget the fabric of deceit woven by the puritans using Romish (tongue in cheek use of puritan perjorative) thread.

I would have been happier if last year was spent in reflection, prayer and lots of workshops to tease out the issues and the opportunties. I hope some parishes did this. Mine certainly did not. We just got the top down feed. Some parishioners discussing this whole thing are quite discouraged by the autocratic and hide-bound approach; an approach which in itself contradicts the gospel.

So Peter, how do you proclaim the gospel in word, while contradicting it in method?

John said...

Clearly now we have evidence that Jensen, his clan and its adherents are idiots of the highest order....or they're all on drugs. Note that these fools never biblically justify their mad ravings but just suck up to the atheist world and make these facile and vacuous assertions. I mean, why on earth would an archbishop make such clownish comments if it wasn't to make himself look "hip" in front of the world

Critias said...

John, I agree. No surprises tho.' Even funnier is 'back to church Sunday', coming up soon. Now, it might just work, I grant, there might be people sitting at home thinking "Gee, I wish someone would invite me back to church" and when the parish door knocker comes along, they'll leap at the chance...maybe.

It reminds me of the previous pope with his [engage Polish accent] 'come back to the church' with open arms and cassock sleeves cascading. Imagine dear old Peter in that get up: purple cassock for him tho' being a bishop an' all.

No, in reality, the scheme is so out of touch with where opportunity and need is that it may as well be run on Pluto.

sam drucker said...

John, I wouldn't call the man a fool but it really disappoints me how he is sucking up to the world on origins. I just can't comprehend how God will honour whatever effort is put into Connect 09 if the Church is presenting a different God to the one true God.

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

Sorry Sam, but I would, and I have. Jensen and his circus have had a number of opportunities to explain their position but they are so arrogant they just wheel out these idiotically vacuous and non-biblical "justifications" for their pagan worldview. Just why shouldn't an archbishop be called a fool if he no longer listens to reason or anyone but his own dark thoughts, rigs Moore College so as to not hear another explanation i.e. the historically biblical one, slanders and libels Christians in the media i.e. from a position of power, and even lies to cover up his heresy? (I believe Warwick told an interesting story concerning this act.) What, because he's an archbishop? Even more reason to point out his stupidity!

Jase said...

Here is a link to a recent sermon on Genesis 1:1 from the Anglican church I used to attend (I left because this minister won't answer my questions or back up his arguments with scripture or respond to my concerns regarding Dr Jensen).

http://toms.podbean.com/2009/02/01/in-the-beginning-god-genesis-11/

There are few things of concern:

1. Early Genesis is written in parabolic form;
2. "(Early Genesis is) designed to communicate to us first and foremost not history or science [granted on science], but primarily meaning and understanding."

There is also an acknowledgment that God is the only one with the ability to speak of our beginnings with accuracy and authority. This is despite his belief that God could have used evolution (not stated in this sermon.)

sam drucker said...

Thanks Jase. I will have a look.

sam drucker said...

Jase is there a character missing in that website address you gave out?

I am drawing a blank with it.

Jase said...

Sam,

No, it's working for me.

Ktisophilos said...

Jase, evidently the inspired New Testament authors need instructions from this minister, since they were benighted enough to treat Genesis as historical: the people, events and even order of events.

It's absurd to claim that Genesis is a parable. A parable with what? Just look at the genine parables by Jesus: ‘there was a man with two sons’, ‘a farmer went out to sow his seed’, ‘suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one’... Note that the parables don’t name actual people, and they are clearly stated to be parables.

Ktisophilos said...

How do the Jensen boys reconcile Romans 1:18–22 with evolution. The former states that we are without excuse for not seeing the hand of the Creator behind what He has made. But if evolution were true, then according to the late Stephen Jay Gould, then there is no evidence for design, but ‘there’s nothing else going on out there—just organisms struggling to pass their genes on to the next generation. That’s it.’ So why does Romans 1 clearly state that people are culpable for denying a Creator, if the creation really reveals no evidence for one?

Also, Hebrews 1:3 states that the Son is the "exact representation" of God. What did the Son, by whom all things were made, reveal? One who is compassionate and clearly opposed waste (He told the disciples to gather up leftovers after He fed the 5000, as triple-doctorate Wilder-Smith pointed out and was cited on this site).

The late atheistic evolutionist Jacques Monod was hardly impressed by Jensenite-type compromise:

“Namely, selection is the blindest, and most cruel way of evolving new species, and more and more complex and refined organisms … .

“The more cruel because it is a process of elimination, of destruction. The struggle for life and elimination of the weakest is a horrible process, against which our whole modern ethics revolts. An ideal society is a non-selective society, is one where the weak is protected; which is exactly the reverse of the so-called natural law. I am surprised that a Christian would defend the idea that this is the process which God more or less set up in order to have evolution (emphasis added).”

Jase said...

I left some comments about the sermon a few days ago, and surprise surprise, they have been deleted. I kept a copy because this kind of reaction was expected. I just love copy/paste.

The next in the series is now available for our listening pleasure:

http://toms.podbean.com/2009/02/15/in-the-beginning-creation-genesis-13-23/

I haven't heard it yet, but the missus heard in person was not impressed.

neil moore said...

If the Jensen boys hold strictly to the Calvinist line then they regard Romans 1:18-22 as (according to Calvin): "[while] God is manifested by the creation of the world this manifestation has no further effect than to render us inexcusable"

Hardly makes sense and not well thought out by Calvin. How can you be without excuse unless you have committed a real offence?

Neil

John said...

Well spotted, Neil. And this is exactly why the Jensen clan have such a miserable view of creation and its theology. They believe it's merely there to condemn, but of course that's a non sequitur.

And of course this invites such idiotically pagan comments from our pal Gordon Cheng who believes the koala's pouch is upsidedown. It's also connected with that foolishness that is touted from SADs mouths that Genesis doesn't tell you why or how long. I just wish they'd read the Bible, something they've shown themselves quite incapable of.

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