Search This Blog

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Moore Theological College - Warning - Code: Red

Sad that I should have to write this but the truth must come out.

In the August, 2009 edition of Southern Cross, the Sydney Anglican newspaper, the Principal, Dr John Woodhouse, was given a double page opportunity to promote the Diocesan theological institution, Moore College.

No problem with that but some things said by John Woodhouse are frightfully wrong. Amid the spruiking of an alleged world wide fame and distinctiveness for Moore College are comments like the following:

"At Moore College the curriculum is not only permeated through and through by the Bible (it is that!), but God's written word is honoured by being firmly believed, and properly understood in relation to its climactic centre: Christ Jesus the Lord. The teaching at Moore is thoroughly 'biblical' in this important sense: each part of the Bible is understood in the context of the whole Bible."

In all frankness this is false. God's written word is not honoured because a student is not encouraged to trust God's word written and uttered in Genesis 1 and Exodus 20:11 respectively. On last report, a student could leave Moore College believing anything but the creation of all things by and through the Word in six days as we understand a day. More so they would be discouraged from accepting the biblical chronology which points to the creation event occurring something around 6,000 years ago.

What a student is more likely to be left with after time at Moore College is an adulterated perception of the glory of Christ which attributes to him a death, dead-end, disease and suffering riddled creative process and, if students thought hard enough, a question as to why it was necessary for the Word to become flesh to die on the cross if death was the instrument of His creative process.

Dr Woodhouse goes on:

"Furthermore Moore College is known around the world for standing firm, faithfully teaching and defending the evangelical and reformed Christian faith."

Either a serious error or a lie! Moore College has separated itself from the position of Luther, Calvin and the other Reformers on the doctrine of origins viz six day, young earth belief. I am not aware of one Reformer who would agree with what is presented to students at Moore College on this subject.

Moore College has cowered in the face of the world and left the Reformers to their own. So much for standing firm.

My last quote from Dr Woodhouse is:

"While students come to Moore from a wide range of educational backgrounds and academic abilities we are serious about learning well and thoroughly. Faithful servants of the gospel must have their thinking (about everything!) comprehensively renewed by God's word. We do not hide from hard questions and dodge difficult data. We must learn openly and honestly, humbly confident that faith and truth are friends, not enemies."

My challenge to Dr Woodhouse or his appointed representative is this:

Please come onto this site and dialogue with civility (it is our promise to respond likewise) and explain how it is that a student entering Moore College with an evolutionary long age view of origins does not graduate from Moore College with a six day, young earth view of origins?

Further, please explain why Moore College students are not encouraged to hold to the Reformers belief in a six day, young earth (ie approx., 6,000 years)?

Finally, please explain your basis for shifting Genesis 1, Exodus 20:11 and Exodus 31:16-18 from their traditional genre of historical narrative?

Without these matters being clarified here let the world understand that Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia, is a dangerous place for faith in the Word of God.



Critias said...

Not having read the Moore promo in Southern Cross (because I don't read Southern Cross: insufficiently biblical and overly self-promoting of the diocese for my taste), I have to take it that there's a bit of self promotion going on with Woodhouse! The big marks in Christian life go to humility, IMO. Humility is not served by trumpets, but by felt slippers, John! Now, if it had been said that all that is known of its graduates is the quiet prayerful diligence and encouragement of churches to grow as places where people learn to serve each other and their communities, I'd be on board; but that is, I think, too often not the case.

And when Moore people are behind organisations that seek to discredit the simple and direct meaning of the creation passages and laud the contemporary worldly alternative that naturalism has something to tell us about the real world that the Bible doesn't or cannot, how does that go to the line that Moore stands on the scriptures. No; as I see it, Moore tends to stand on its self proclaimed prestige, fearful of the epithet of 'fundamentalist' to avoid being truly prophetic in this world that has detached itself from its creator by removing him from our history and substituting the creature instead.

Duane said...

Yes, I sometimes wonder what it means to call yourself an evangelical bible believing institution these days. Especially when you can get guys like Hugh Ross (obviously nothing to do with Moore, but nonetheless...) saying that to interpret the days in Genesis as millions of years long is still a "literal" interpretation? Arguably, with the way the term "bible believing" is being used, you can believe any false doctrinal notion. But as long as you believe the bible teaches it, then you're bible believing, by definition.

I do thank God for Moore College, really I do. But I also ask God that Moore would restore the foundation (and by cause and effect, the consistency) of the Gospel beginning in Genesis.

Likewise I am thankful to the reformers who did indeed stand firm from the first verse. And likewise to guys like yourselves who continue to do it in the face of what appears to be an increasingly compromised church on this issue.

The term heretic - while somewhat tongue in cheek I'm sure - does seem to present itself the more one challenges the Anglican status quo on this issue, doesn't it?

Eric said...

Duane, thanks for your comments. BTW I enjoy your blog! Thanks for the work you put into it.

You are right in your surmise that the term 'heretic' is tongue in cheek. The reason we chose it is for impact and to touch on what we think is a truly heterodox, if not in truth heretical approach to the Bible. Not only on the text per se, but in the delineation of a philosohpy of world that governs the hermeneutic that can step past the direct meaning of Genesis 1, etc. to a meaning that places it's reference outside our world picture.

At one level we do have respect for Moore, and it is because of this we grieve; particularly over its regress since Broughton Knox, who some of us have fond memories of; in one way it is this respect that drives our concern. Thus, for instance, we don't give a hoot what happens at United Theol Centre!

neil moore said...

Word from our friend Gwen indicates that Dr Woodhouse has been informed of this blog.

I guess then, time will tell whether there is a defence for Moore College by Dr Woodhouse.


Eric said...

I'll just twiddle my thumbs until Woody does come on...

gwen said...

I haven't received a reply to my email to Dr Woodhouse yet but I expect it will come soon because courtesy is important.


neil moore said...

Well Gwen, there has been no communication from Dr Woodhouse or his representative on this site.

Have you received anything?


Duane said...

Thanks Eric. I completely join you in the grieving process for the reasons you offered.

The YEC's that I fellowship with at GPAC likewise feel the subtle weight of heresy to even think of discussing the issue with some of the leadership. On the plus side some of us are quite bold and I thank God for their courage.

On a brighter note, two of the ministry team came with some of us to Glenbrook last week to see the Voyage film by Fathom Media. You can pray for some changed hearts and opportunities for me to discuss this with them in greater detail. (sheesh, sounds like I am talking about the unsaved!)


gwen said...

In answer to your question Neil .... No! I haven't had a word back from the Principal or anyone else.

Ominous isn't it?


neil moore said...

Well, that just demonstrates the arrogance of the leadership of Moore Theological College.

Or is it that the faculty of the College are so ceremonially clean that, like the priest in the parable of the Good Samaritan, they cannot bear to become contaminated by contact with a site such as this for the sake of their 'position'?


Eric said...

I'm afraid it would be a long road for not only a biblical theology but also a philosophical underpinning that is based on the Bible, to overturn a view of life and culture that is derived from a worldy conceptualisation, which puts the mind of man (typically enshrined in the ungodly traditions of western philosophy) over the revelation of God. I don't think they've peeled back their thinking with any degree of critical reflection, or adhered to Paul's warning, to beware of philosophy (when it displaces thinking conformed to Christ).

John said...

Yes, you're right, Eric. It's not philosophy per se that's dangerous, but philosophies which undermine the foundation of Christian thinking. Moore College's upholding of any Origin belief, except the orthodox, destroys the obviously clear biblical teaching of who Christ is. That they so quickly flick over Genesis 1("The important thing is that God created" goes the trite kneejerk comment) provides insight as to what (?who) they seek their rest from. Take for example their recent Disconnect 09 booklet in which they put Luke's Gospel and then clip in a few brief sentences about God's creating. That will sure "Connect" with the people.

Eric said...

Trite is right: if they reject the only text that teaches God's creating, then they are hard pressed to maintain that he did.

A friend of mine (a minister) was bemoaning the fact the other day that he could talk to people about atonement, Christ etc. Well, I think it may be that if people are hearing about Christ with a world view that puts God within the creation (the 'evolved universe'), then of course, they'd have trouble understanding an act that only makes sense if the creator does it, and does it in the stream of salvation history grounded in the total reality of the universe's creation history. The two are intertwined and inseparable...unless you are a Greek in philosophy while trying to be a Christian in theology!

Eric said...

Of course, I left the 'kicker' out of my minister friend's quote: he talked about Christ, they glazed over...didn't get what he was the rest of my comment above follows on...

neil moore said...

I believe the presentation of the gospel to non-believers should include Colossians 1:17.


John said...

Yes, Neil, raises an important point: How many sermons have you heard where the speaker openly proclaims Jesus as Creator?

Eric said...

Well, not ever, I think. Now, I could be mistaken, but there seems to be a limitation of the connection between Christ and us to the events surrounding the incarnation, when it is him who is our maker, author of our salvation and will bring the new creation!

neil moore said...

Sorry to overhear a young Anglican man today utter "prehistoric" when referring to the time of dinosaurs. This young man is a product of nothing else but Anglican teaching.


Eric said...

I wonder if said young man realised that he was avoiding the Bible's historical structuring of our total interaction with God (and nose thumbed to post-modernists' disdain for totalising agendas!) and instead was resting his world view on a premise that starts with there being no God, rendering the Bible to be a collection of stories that occur within a godlessly structured world concept.

Imagine if the SAD really did teach that the Bible meant something in this space-time world, instead of apparently teaching that only bits of it (which bits?) have such meaning.

"Prehistoric" means to the world that the common a-theistic world concept is agreed as right!

Sad and Sadder!

(Sydney Anglican Diocese doing errors regularly)

Dannii said...

I too have become so frustrated with those who insist that the early chapters of Genesis must be interpreted ahistorically. Yes the theology it teaches is the most reason for God giving it to us, and yes it also is a polemic against the pagan religions of the day, but it also actually tells us a little about the historical realities of the beginning of time!

Those who insist otherwise must place their observational powers and intellects above God's revelation.

Michael Earley said...

I believe the subject is settled.

Here's how I like to talk about it:

The Bible is God's Word. God does not lie. Therefore what is written should be believed, whether we understand it or not. Take up issues of allegory and poetry if you like, but for me, I choose to believe in a God who is powerful enough to breathe out the stars, create the universe (Heb 11:3) and is still personal enough to love me.

If the God you believe in, who saved you and whom you continue to place your belief and faith in, is not powerful enough to create the world in six days AND do so in such a way as to confound the wisdom of this world's scientists, then why are you bothering? Why pretend that He is mighty to save? Why profess faith when you have no faith?

Just my take on it.