Search This Blog

Sunday, May 24, 2009

On Time #2

Slip over to the Anglican Origins site for this piece on time.

It's the question of time that the SADists don't properly deal with. They put to one side anything that the Bible has to say about time and the cosmos to keep up with the materialist vision of a cosmos that slowly made itself. But what this does to human self-view is neglected. It submerges humanity in the dust of death (to quote Os Guinness' book title) when the Bible sets out that 'it all has just happened'. Peter picks up on the question of time to when he deals with those who deny the flood: huge time periods put events out of mind and break links that we have with past events as their relationships disperse across eons.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Brother Ishmael

The content of my earlier posting about Islam reactivated a subject I have pondered in the past.

Do readers ever wonder what was going on in the lives of the greater number of inhabitants of the world after Babel? I mean descendants of those people who moved to different parts of the world and lived, procreated and died without any mention in the Bible.

Was God relationally active in their life as he was with decendants of Abraham or with those who had contact with the descendants of Abraham?

From where I sit it is difficult to form a clear picture of God relating to the unknown as He did with the descendants of Abraham. I guess I risk opening the debate on Arminiasm vs Calvinism but I don't wish to do that. I would just like to focus on the historical record of God's relational activity in the world contained within the Bible and which centres on the fulfilment of the covenant God made with Abram cum Abraham.

It is dangerous to be definite regarding the unknowns who had no knowledge of the Abramic covenant but the man Job, who is known to us, may be representative of others from nations or tribes unknown to biblical history but righteous in Jesus Christ. *

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that the Abramic promise is fulfilled in Jesus Christ and applies to all who belong to Christ, ie Jew and Gentile alike (Galations 3:29).

In light of the Abramic promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ we tend to view the activity of God in the world as being the incorporation of individuals into Jesus Christ. Therefore, there is only Christ and the world and the struggle between the two.

I wonder, though, is there another dimension to the world which is based in promise and will consume or significantly impact all that is the world?

There was another promise to Abram, who by this time was renamed Abraham, and it concerns lineal issue of Abraham but by Hagar, Egyptian maidservant to Sarai cum Sarah. It concerns Ishmael and Genesis Chs. 12, 15, 16, 17, 21 and 25 provide information.

As you know, Ishmael, was the product of either or all of misunderstanding, impatience and weak faith on the part of Abraham and Sarah. Sarah convinced Abraham that the Lord's promise of an heir for Abraham might have meant by agency of Abraham procreating with Hagar. This was not God's intended means of fulfilling His promise to Abraham yet it did not go without a blessing or promise on this son of Abraham albeit not the great promise that was to be established with Isaac and ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

The promise of God concerning Ishmael was that Ishmael would be fruitful and his descendants would be too numerous to count. He would be the father of twelve rulers and he will be a great nation. This promise certainly has some parallels with the promise established with Isaac and borne out through Jacob, son of Isaac, having twelve sons who were to be the nation Israel.

Another promise of God concerning Ishmael is found at Genesis 16:12, "He will be a wild donkey of a man, and his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers (or he shall dwell in the presence of all his brothers)".

It is interesting to note that after the birth and weaning of Isaac, Ishmael was seen to be mocking him (Genesis 21:8-9). Enmity existed, resulting in Ishmael and his mother, Hagar, being banished from Abraham's camp.

What does this mean to us today. Well, Ishmael became the father of the nomadic Arabs. Further, he is the ancestor of the 'prophet' Muhammad from whom ensues the religion Islam.

It is nothing new for me to inform you of the enmity that exists toward Jews by adherents to Islam. It does not stop there. Enmity also exists toward Christians and "infidels."

Are not the promises of God to Abraham concerning Isaac and Ishmael being worked out poignantly in their respective descendants viz Israel, Christ and Muhammad? Do we not see enmity in some adherents of Islam appropriated to the behaviour of a "wild donkey of a man" in so much as we can't rationalise the hatred motivating it?

Never, in the history of the world has Ishmael (in Muhammad) been better placed to make assault on Isaac (in Israel and Jesus Christ). Multiculturalism - man's attempt, without Christ, to undo the effects of God's judgement at Babel - has allowed Ishmael back into the camp of Isaac. The conflict has well and truly resumed. In some respects it reflects the bigger picture battle between the Lord Jesus Christ and Satan foretold at Genesis 3:15.

I can't help wondering whether all we see happening in the United Kingdom is, in miniature, the playing out of a world and celestial battle - the Christian Church once rich in blessing from God and triumphant in rule but since weakened through lack of trust in the Word of God now under assault from the march of Islam.

Could it be that, ultimately, future world events point simply to the fulfilment of God's promises to Abraham concerning both Isaac and Ishmael? Are all inhabitants of earth, with or without knowledge of these promises, just caught up in the consequences of these promises of God?


* There are some Scriptural passages which give cause to regard all others estranged from God (Romans 3:9-20 for one). Unless there were those unknowns who (sinners as they were) believed in the reality of the Creator God, were conscious of a broken relationship with Him, sought to be right with Him and had some sort of trust in the promise of God recorded at Genesis 3:15 (fulfilled in Jesus Christ), then they were dead in their sins. The man Job presents as an early Gentile without knowledge of the Abramic covenant, was deemed righteous and could say "I know that my redeemer lives." (Job 19:25) He, of course, is not an unknown but was he the only one of like nature and hope?

Friday, May 8, 2009

For the slow learners

It's come up at least once before on this blog: various SADs, have not wanted to repeat the church's mistake made when it rejected Galileo's work and so reject the truth content of Genesis 1, but here we go again, just for the slow learners in St. Andrew's House, Moore College and the rest.

In trying to avoid the church's mistake back then they are doing precisely what the Roman church did; repeating the mistake (thus 'slow learners'). They are adopting the current popular philosophical view and rejecting observational science!! They are absorbing the speculation and rejecting what refutes it.

Hop over to the ABC Morning Interview (big file) where Throsby adulates (as she does) Dr Peter Slezak of UNSW, a lecturer in the phil. of science.

The interview celebrates the restaging of the trial of Galileo. Slezak chats on about this and other things.

He tells us about the role of dissidents in advancing science, that Galileo ran up against the Aristoteleans (not the church) who wanted to stick with their 'common sense' view of the world (common sense then, but not regarded as common sense now, only going to show how even the ordinary person is influenced by the ideas of the day); and importantly makes this remark, paraphrased:

"it wasn't the church that was resistant, as is the popular view, but the philosophers who refused to take seriously his observations".

The problem was, the church had read the philosphers' presumptions back into the Bible, just like theistic evolutionists do, in their philosophical juvenescence. Just like the SAD does, reading the Bible and making their theology on the basis of a world view in basic conflict with that of the Bible.

The story is more complex, of course, but I'll leave that research to you, dear reader.

Good one!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Leupold Genesis part 13 g-w failings

There are other failings that mark the critical approach to the problem. The argument in a circle is, for example, employed frequently. We shall draw attention to quite a number of instances in the course of the following exposition. Passages having a certain type of vocabulary are assumed to belong to one source; when that type of vocabulary is discovered, the proof that there is such a source is treated as complete. Again, when added details appear that were not indicated at the commencement of a narrative, these added details, though they are merely supplementary to the original statements, are construed as being at variance with the original, and so evidence for the existence of two or more separate sources is manufactured, whereas, in reality, other sides of the matter are merely coming to the surface, as every unbiased reader can readily detect.

Again and again the critical approach gives evidence of being guided by purely subjective opinion instead of by valid logical proof. The critic expected that the writer would proceed to follow up a certain approach by a certain type of statement--at least the critic would have followed up by such a statement. The author's failure to offer what the critic expected is supposed to constitute sufficient proof that the case in point is an instance where two documents have been welded together rather crudely. Equally common is the critical practice of conjecturing how the Hebrew text may originally have read, especially if the Hebrew text offers material conflicting, with the critical theories, and the Septuagint happens to disagree more or less with the Hebrew. Strangely, in such cases the conjectures as to the original form of the text always offer support to the critical position.