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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dawkins Deceived?

As many of us know, Dawkins, a few years back, was left speechless by a simple question that asked him to provide one unambiguous example of an observable mutation adding new information to the genome. The I-could-hear-a-pin-drop silence is truly a spectacle. Peter, our now very much absent atheist friend, had earlier tried to explain away Dawkins' fatuous confusion by claiming....ohh, I can't remember what Peter's excuse was but it amply demonstrated, once again, how keen evolutionists are to assist their spiritual high priest out of his tongue-tied moments.

Well, anyway, here's what the film-maker had to say after Big Bad Baz Williams, our very own Aussie-bred arch-sceptic and all-round atheist bother boy, fulminated and cast down fire and brimstone against us creationists, charging us with deceit and all sorts of other nasties. Baz tried to come to Dawkins' rescue but, alas, he didn't get his facts right so he kind of came off second best.

The point of this question is clear to anyone who isn't a knucklehead. If evolution is truly happening, it requires trillions of zillions of novel information adding mutation events to occur. If amoebas have become man, so to speak, it takes an awful lot of new information to get from there to here. Photocopying 'Mary had a little lamb" a billion times will not give you Bleak House. Similarly, "photocopying" an amoeba a billion times will not give you a grasshopper, a redwood or a cow. Furthermore, evolution has obtained the status of law and so must be an on-going "fact". It must be happening as we speak. Any evolutionist should be able to point to quite a large number of these potentially observable phenomena.

If you haven't seen the video it's well worth the watch and has become a classic.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Darwin's Devilishly Dangerous Idea

Here's a valuable little piece from the 'Science and values' people analysing a new BBC production commemorating, [yawn]once again, Darwin's birth.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Who Cares About Sydney Anglican Diocese and Church of England?

History is once again a great teacher. The late J.C. Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool, England, wrote in 1890, a book called "Light from Olden Times".

Bishop Ryle sought to bring to his readers' attention the faith and works of Protestants who suffered, some even to death, for the sake of the truth. He devoted the final chapter of the book to "James II and the Seven Bishops". I have referred to the activities of James II in a recent comment to Gordon Cheng and I now wish to draw out a deeper lesson from the incident of James II and the seven Bishops. I apologise to those who know the story but for others it may help them gain a brief summary of the event.

To reestablish Popery into the Church of England in the 17th Century, James II had proclaimed the "Declaration of Indulgence". The sweetener was that it suspended all penal laws against the Nonconformists (those Protestants who would not submit to the infamous "Law of Uniformity"). Further, the Declaration authorised both Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters to perform their worship publicly. It forbade the King's subjects, on pain of his displeasure, to molest any assembly. It abrogated all those Acts of Parliament which imposed any religious test as a qualification for any civil or military office. As Bishop Ryle put it "To us who live in the present century, the Declaration may seem very reasonable and harmless. To the England of the seventeenth century it wore a different aspect! Men knew the hand from which it came, and saw the latest intention. Under the specious plea of toleration and liberty, the object of the Declaration was to advance Popery and give license and free scope to the Church of Rome, and to all its schemes, for reconquering England."

Little time presented for Bishops and Clergy to organise resistance to the proposed Declaration of Indulgence and to prevent its being read in churches around the realm. A marvelous thing occurred inasmuch as Nonconformists, who had suffered much under the deprivations of the Law of Uniformity, saw through this veiled offer of relief, as Bishop Ryle wrote "Young Defoe said to his Nonconformist brethren, 'I had rather the Church of England should pull our clothes off by fines and forfeitures, than the Papists fall both upon the Church and Dissenters, and pull our skins off by fire and faggot'."

In the end it came down to seven Bishops who were available in London and who bravely went before the King with a petition declining to present the Declaration to congregations. The angered King James II set in train the means for them to be prosecuted for libel and they were shortly committed to the Tower. In the interim, the petition of the Bishops had been published and distributed to the public. Clergy around the country had now been fully informed and rallied in support. Feelings of admiration for the Bishops flared higher and higher. From every part of England and from the Presbyterian Church of Scotland came daily words of kindness and approbation. Thousands rallied around the Bishops as they were taken from Tower to court and return and at least ten thousand waited outside the court for a well argued defence and the eventual decision of "not guilty" from the jury. Space limits me from detailing the reaction of joy across London. The whole incident presents great theatre.

The action of the seven Bishops and the resultant court case and decision were the means for the end of the reign of James II. Within twenty four hours of the court decision a letter, signed by seven leading Englishmen, left England for Holland inviting the Prince of Orange to go to England with an army to overthrow the Stuart dynasty. And so it was!

In concluding his chapter on the aforesaid incident, Bishop Ryle provides helpful instruction for Biblical Creationists today. We are seen as unwanted agitators, a threat to the good order and harmony of the Church. Peace and harmony are declared above all else. We are made to feel like offenders when we uphold the integrity of the Genesis account of origins. My friends, take heart, be strong of faith and noble in cause. I quote Bishop Ryle's concluding remarks:

"Controversy and religious strife, no doubt, are odious things; but there are times when they are a positive necessity. Unity and peace are very delightful; but they are bought too dear if they are bought at the expense of truth. There is a vast amount of maundering, childish, weak talk now-a-days in some quarters about unity and peace, which I cannot reconcile with the language of St. Paul. It is a pity that there should be so much controversy; but it also a pity that human nature should be so bad as it is, and the devil should be loose in the world. It was a pity that Arius taught error about Christ's person: but it would have been a greater pity if Athanasius had not opposed him. It was a pity that Tetzel went about preaching up the Pope's indulgencies: it would have been a far greater pity if Luther had not withstood him. Controversy, in fact, is one of the conditions under which truth in every age has to be defended and maintained , and it is nonsense to ignore it.

Of one thing I am certain. Whether men will come forward or not to oppose the Romanizing movement of these days, if the Church of England once gives formal legal sanction to the revived Popish Mass and the revived detestable confessional, the people of this land will soon get rid of the Established Church of England. True to the mighty principles of the Reformation, our Church will stand and retain its hold on the affections of the country, and no weapon formed against us will prosper. False to these principles, and re-admitting Popery, she will certainly fall, and no amount of histrionic, sensuous ceremonial will prevent her ruin. Like Ephesus, which left her first love, - like Thyatira, which suffered Jezebel to teach, - like Laodicea, which became lukewarm, - her candlestick will be taken away. The glory will depart from her. The pillar of cloud and fire will be removed. The best and most loyal of her children will forsake her in disgust, and like an army whose soldiers have gone away, leaving nothing behind but officers and band, the Church will perish, and perish deservedly, for want of Churchmen.

Clearly, Bishop Ryle was addressing the threat of Popery in a century past. However, the principle and argument he presents has vital application to other Reformation truths and the future of the Church in Great Britain and Australia.

It is not Popery taking over England it is Islam. While the Church of England continues its decline in numbers and relevance to Great Britain, Islam grows in both respects. The same is true in Australia. Something has happened within the Church for the Lord to withdraw his hand from the Church in such a demonstrable way. Where is the life that came upon the Church in the Reformation? Think about it.

Our Glorious Creator Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is defiled when those who purport to love and submit to Him stain Him with the cloak of a creative method far beneath His capacity and far removed from His attested works. If only Theistic Evolutionists had Mary's haste and devotion when she threw herself and her attentive ear at the feet of our Lord. Instead they have gone after and inclined their ear to Charles Darwin who, as Dr Sandra Herbert, Geology Historian, Library of Congress has said, was out to destroy the idea that Genesis was real history when he first set foot on the Beagle.

Biblical Creationists can give no peace to those who put on the stained raiment of Darwin and draw near to our Creator, Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Church of England has become defiled in laying the carcass of Charles Darwin within it at Westminster Abbey. The receiving of his remains takes on the semblance of the abomination which causes desolation standing where it does not belong. The man alive set out to bring down Christ. The man dead is alive in his teaching and continues his assault on Christ from within the Church.

The Church of England first and now the Sydney Anglican Diocese has admitted Charles Darwin. While this is not Popery there is a parallel. The desolation of the Church has commenced and an alien religion (Islam) is on the march. Remember Bishop Ryle's words " ... False to these [Reformation] principles, ... she will certainly fall, and no amount of histrionic, sensuous ceremonial will prevent her ruin."

Like with Gideon's three hundred men the hope of Church and nation rests with a few in the hand of our Lord. These few are Biblical Creationists who truly love and trust the Lord. Hold to 'Scripture interpreting Scripture', affirm the historical narrative of Genesis and stay with Luther and Calvin on origins.

May our Glorious Creator Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be free from stain and always lifted up on high. May His cleansed Church be the hope of the people of the land against a planned takeover by Islam.

Neil Moore

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Seven Stanzas

I found this poem on the SAD Greg Clark's site, the same fellow who is able to mock God with metaphor, analogy and sidestepping paganism, etc. It's called Seven Stanzas, and although it's about the Resurrection, this stanza is ironically germane and could be easily stated apropos the creation event.

"The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that - pierced - died, withered, paused, and then regathered out of
enduring Might new strength to enclose.
Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded credulity of
earlier ages:
let us walk through the door."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

An atheist stumbles over a poetic [non]hurdle

Occasionally some of us get momentarily sidetracked from our specific objective of exposing the stench of heresy within the Sydney Anglican Diocese that emanates from its leaders, priests (oh, btw, our cure of souls, Hosea has something to say: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for me, because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children [and Connect 09]”) and its putative intellectual heart, Moore College. It is not that we are unconsciously diverted from this aim; we do welcome setting any worthwhile issue aright.

Peter, a perennial atheist visitor to our blog, has recently attempted to undermine the monotheism of Christianity by isolating two verses in the Old Testament that, on his and a few theological hacks’ reckoning, most of whom are unapologetically Mormon, evince at first blush a polytheism with YHWH standing as some sort of celestial council overlord. Just 2 verses are supposed to undo 4000 years of Jewish-Christian history. That is, 10 seconds – the time taken to read these few lines – checkmates 4000 years.

Peter, our atheist fellow traveller, suffers from the opposite condition infecting, sorry, affecting, our SAD brothers and sisters. Whereas SADs are wont to draw malleable non-literal theological “truths” from the literal, Peter reverses this epistemology by deducing from the poetic, theological absolutes. Of course, there is nothing wrong per se with Peter’s practice – there’s much to learn from biblical poetry - unless of course there are a myriad of history passages which categorically rule out Peter’s polytheistic conclusion.

The two poetic passages of any consequence that Peter mentions are Psalm 82 and Deuteronomy 32. The latter, as Peter alluded, gains its far from perspicuous polytheistic purpose from the DSS and some versions of the LXX. I won’t be expressing any thoughts on this. On the other hand, Psalm 82 is considerably less ambiguous and is thus the more interesting.

Asaph, the author of this psalm, states that God judges “among the gods” and asks them why they haven’t pursued justice and protected the powerless in Israelite society. No where in Jewish writing is there, as far as I am aware, any prose that records that there are literally gods who serve on the Jewish judiciary. It is thus clear that this is a metaphor indicating the extreme high office that judges partake of in order to carry out the judicial responsibilities that any society, let alone a theocracy, demands. In any case, these “gods” are determined to die like men: only men die like men, certainly not gods, notwithstanding their non-existence, a fact the Bible makes clear in more than one place, something Peter conveniently ignores.

Jesus uses this psalm to prove that a certain group of Jews had yet another misunderstanding – though subtly different from the error in John 8 - about who he was. In John 10 this group took up stones because they thought he was identifying himself, a mere man in their eyes, with the Father. He then distinguishes himself from the Father by stating his Sonship with the Father and further that, though his office was eternal, they too had once shared in the transcendent by being “gods” in ancient Israel’s courts of justice.

That this is a metaphor, though serving in the judiciary was not, can be seen from Moses interaction with God. In Exodus 4:16 God calls Moses to speak to the children of Israel. God tells Moses he will be like God to Aaron and Aaron will be [God’s] mouthpiece. The other verse is Exodus 7:1 in which again Moses is God, but this time over Pharaoh. In both places Moses serves in God’s role of judge, the very role that Psalm 82 is discussing. Moses literally can’t be God and the judges of the Israelite kingdoms can’t be literally gods but both stand in for God in his role as judge because they were supposed to be acting as God would, impartially, wisely and morally.

Peter’s attempt to strip Israel of her monotheism fails principally because he is unable to distinguish between the poetic and the actual.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

From faith to gnosis

From a Christianity Today (I think) a couple of years ago:

What happens when this Christian witness wanes has been the subject of Ratzinger's extensive and uniquely insightful cultural analysis of Europe and Western civilization. The same themes that Ratzinger developed when responding to intra-Catholic debates about faith and reason, philosophy and theology, and the Church and the modern world are fully on display in his diagnosis of the ills of the West. He develops what Rowland calls a "double helix" genealogy of corruption "in which the Hellenic component of the culture was severed from the Christian and in which the Christian component was fundamentally undermined by the mutation of the doctrine of creation … . When faith in creation is lost, Christian faith is transformed into gnosis, and when faith in reason is lost, wisdom is reduced to the empirically verifiable which cannot sustain a moral framework.

Because the starting point of faith is creation (Heb 11:2) and faith here is of course, not the wishful thinking that Mormons, for instance consider it, but the sure hope of God's intervention into (well, creation of, in fact) our world for relationship with him. The 'empirically verifiable' ceases to be accessible without its own faith in the correlation of our sense experience and the external world, which, if not objectively real, evaporates.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Evil Genius

Over at the Evil Genius' blog (Gordon Cheng's oddly named effort) I came across this:

Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Genesis 1:28
And here, surely, is where creation is leading:

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Marriage has a purpose; to fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion.

The earlier post was:

Genesis 1
It has a beginning, a daily rhythm and a pattern, and a climax that is reached with the creation of the man and the woman, or really I think with the seventh day, a day of rest.

Now, I'm not quite sure why he would post this. Gordon, ol' son, you could have just linked over to us!

But no, that's beyond the pale for the oddly self-labelled 'evil genius' (peculiar nick-name for a paid christian!)

I guess it all come about from the earlier posts on marital relationships in local press articles. And Gordon, if you read this, I must support your conclusions about Arndt's completely destructive views.

Now, to my regular readers, I note a SADist making a reference to Genesis 1, as though it has anything to do with the real world! The problem the SADs face is that at once they remove Genesis 1 (etc.) from having a real world reference, then selectively apply it to the real world; but having evacuated it of contextual contact with the real world, it becomes a long shot, and one that is arbitrarily made, to say that there is an intersection between Gen 1 and the world we are standing in on any particular point.

Along similar lines, a friend asked me about the view of the Bible held by theistic evolutionists (a category that overlaps with SADs, sadly!).

He said, in discussion about a particular minister's views:

Maybe you should ask your minister whether he can find anything in the Bible that supports old age/evolution. If he can't find anything unambiguous, then to me it seems a surprise that the Bible has nothing, zilch, to say about how life came about. After all, the atheists spend an inordinate amount of time trying to prove there was lots of time in order to get God out of the picture yet the Bible, according to the TE view, doesn't discuss it. Now that is a strange state of affairs we have here.

I suggested the following:

I think the answer for the TE-ers would be that the whole question is not in the purview of the Bible; and they must say that because they are, at least incipient neo-Platonists, or some other brand of idealist: that is, they have mixed a paganised view of the world with the Bible, which makes the Bible float above the real world, only connecting at the incarnation (and this only for orthodox Christians, as this is also denied by large numbers of theologians, as we know). But, as the incarnation relies upon the world being as God said it is in Gen 1, and that the Bible structures a realist rather than idealist approach to the world of experience, their scheme will fall apart. In practical terms it has fallen apart already, with the belief widespread, at least in the intelligencia, that the world really is the result of material inevitabilities, and that the idea 'god' is produced from within that world. The whole unravelling that substitutes man for God is before our eyes.

In theoretical terms, the scheme falls apart because it must garner a basis outside the Bible, whereupon the question arises as to the source of that basis, if it does not have its authorship in God. A dilemma for the TE either way.

Similarly I remarked in a related context:

The problem a lot of paid christians have is that they've been trained within a philosophical framework that puts the matters of faith, including the Bible, in a different ontological boundary (or a different type of reality) from the one we occupy, which is a little perplexing, as throughout the Bible the whole point of the creation and incarnation is God's making a setting for covenant and its related communications, prior to the grand communication, which recognises and endorses the ontological credentials of the world we are in (because it is the one He created), the incarnation. I don't think this penny drops easily, or is necessarily easily communicated.

::end of quotes.

The world we are in, and our knowledge of it is referred to by God on numerous occasions as establishing the dimensions of our relationship: God is creator, as he reminds us throughout the prophets, telling us who we are, who God is and why we should trust, worship and seek him.

It seems that the SADs effectively set this aside and go for a 'god' of the philosophers whose link with his creation is basically non-communicable and finally non-credible. Connect09 you go!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A great read...

From Answering Islam

Webmaster's comment: Consistently, all of our Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean, etc. brothers and sisters continue to give their testimonies voluntarily and without any inducements whatsoever. This testimony of Hamzah is very special. He was a learned Muslim scholar. He was educated and shaped under Islamic and Quranic teachings since his childhood. After getting his Islamic education for more than 16 years he successfully obtained his Islamic School Certification. It is clearly evident that his knowledge of the Quran and Islam has already been sufficiently deep and well developed. Nevertheless after three years of struggling with his theological and spiritual questions - searching honestly within both Islam and Christianity, Hamzah finally surrendered his life into the gracious hands of Isa Al-Masih (Jesus Christ) - his most loving and compassionate Saviour!

An excerpt from the testimony:

I then went back to look for my Chinese friend and through him I got a Bible. I tried to read this Bible but at the beginning I felt afraid, so I tried reciting "ta'awuz" (nauzbillah...) before I read it! But as soon as I opened it I felt very comfortable and at peace, so I started reading from the book of Genesis.

It was actually great and very enjoyable reading! The plot is very clear, and has perfect interrelationships. The chronology is very complete and in sequence! Actually, the Quran is not as complete as the Bible. In the Quran the story of prophet Adam is found dispersed all over the place in bits and pieces e.g. Surah Ant (An Naml), Cow (Al Baqarah), Surah Spider (Al 'Ankabuut) and in Surah Thunder (Ar Ra'd) etc., but in pieces only. Even in its entirety, Adam's story in the Quran is still not as complete as the book of Genesis in Bible!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Leupold Genesis part 11 divine names

First of all, on the matter of the use of the divine names, are we not taking a higher and more reasonable ground if we assume that they were used primarily according to their specific meaning and not merely because the writer in question knew only the one or tried to reflect a period where only the one was known, or was addicted to the stylistic peculiarity of the use of the one rather than the other? A good parallel on the New Testament level is the fine distinction observed by all the writers between the personal name "Jesus" and the official title "the Christ." Surely, if the one or the other had used the one of these names exclusively, it would have been a failure to appreciate deeper and vital issues. So on the Old Testament level "Elohim" is the generic name for God from the root which signifies "to fear" or "reverence." Therefore Elohim is the divine being whose power and attributes inspire mortals with due fear. "Jehovah," more correctly written "Yahweh," signifies the Abiding, Changeless, and Eternal One, and therefore describes God as the one true to His covenant relationship in reference to His people. When the writer desires to express the thought that the one or the other aspect of the divine character was especially displayed in a certain event, he uses the name appropriate to this purpose. That does not say that the other aspect of the divine character was not in evidence at all. In fact, we might in some instances even have been inclined, but for the author's suggestive use of the divine name, to think the other of the two characteristics predominated. In the following exposition of Genesis we hope we have demonstrated the fine propriety that from this point of view is discernible in the use of the divine names according to their sense.

This approach of ours to the problem of the use of the divine names is by no means in conflict with Exod. 6:3: "I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob as God Almighty; but by My name Jehovah I was not known to them." For, in the first place, of course, "name" according to the Hebrew significance of shem means about as much as "character." The statement, however, though made absolutely, is meant relatively, as are many other statements in Scripture (Hos. 6:6; Matt. 5:34; I John 3:9 by way of example). The revelation of God's Yahweh-character given to the patriarchs is so far below the revelation of the same character that is about to be displayed in the Exodus that by comparison one would say that now this character is first really being manifested. The critics had better not press the literal meaning of this passage (Exod. 6:3) too much, for then it becomes a sharp two-edged sword. For when they use it to prove that there was an earlier period where Elohim was used and not Yahweh, this passage is having a new element foisted upon it by them. Exodus 6:3 does not set Eiohim and Yahweh in contrast but 'El Shadday (God Almighty) and Yahweh, a thought which the critical position cannot use at all, in fact, a very embarrassing thought. It militates directly against the earlier use of Elohim.