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Friday, November 27, 2009

Sydney Anglicans Gather Up Crumbs of Sin Under Adam and Abram's Table

Not long back I wrote about Abram, Sarai, Isaac and Ishmael. There is more to be said and I address it now.

To begin I cite Genesis 3:1 and use for all citations the New International Version of the Bible.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

The word crafty (ārûm) in its uses in Proverbs & Job suggests wisdom and ingenuity.

Here then was the wisest of the wild animals pitted against the woman in the garden and attempting to supplant faithfulness to the Word of God for the 'prize' of man's own wisdom - a wisdom to match that of God. Man had all the good for living provided through the Word of God. However, accepting the wisdom of the serpent was to result in curse.

The questions of the serpent were calculated to imply that God was withholding knowledge from man. It was the woman (Eve) who engaged in the conversation but it is reasonably deduced that man (Adam) was nearby and aware of the dialogue.

Here then, man came to a mind that there was something more in what God had said than the straightforward message conveyed by God. To the mind of man it seemed better to take advice from the creation and look for something 'behind' the Word of God.

The sad irony is that man already had wisdom for living, having been created in the image of God. The pursuit of wisdom by man's own means was an act of unfaithfulness which brought separation from God, thus death.

Consider now the much later scene in history when a conversation occurs between the man of promise - Abram - and his wife - Sarai. Two promises of descendants had been made by the LORD God to Abram before, as recorded in Genesis 15:4 - Then the word of the LORD came to him "This man [a servant in Abram's household] will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir."

It was clear now to Abram that he would father the child through whom the great promise would be delivered.

This leads us to the later conversation between Abram and Sarai which is recorded in Genesis 16:1-4

¹Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; ² so she said to Abram, "The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her." Abram agreed to what Sarai said. ³ So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.  He slept with Hagar and she conceived.

Note parallels in this incident with the incident in the garden recorded in Genesis 3:

16:2a (so she said [Sarai] to)

3:2 (The woman said to)

16:2b (Abram agreed to what Sarai said)

3:17 (you listened to your wife)

16:3a (Sarai ... took)

3:6a (she took some)

16:3b (and [she] gave her to her husband)

3:6b (she also gave to her husband)

The author wants us to observe these similarities in the incidents and there are more, including the declaration of curses.

Each situation arose when the characters were left to their faith for a time by the LORD. He had spoken and it remained for the characters to trust in Him despite their desired timing or deemed benefit from acting by themselves.

Instead of waiting faithfully for the Word of God to be fulfilled, Sarai trusted in the wisdom of the world through a custom of a maidservant being offered to the head of the household (tablets from Ur and Nuzi confirm the custom) for production of an heir. Notwithstanding Sarai's plan was an attempt at the fulfilment of God's promise of blessing it was, nonetheless, a revisiting of the sin of the woman in the garden as was the passive accepting of this world derived wisdom by the man in each situation.

Each attempt to achieve the mind of God was a disaster. Each attempt was nothing more than mingling worldly wisdom with the pure Word of God. It must therefore lead to failure.

Now move forward to the late 20th Century and the Sydney Anglican Diocese under influence of the errant Theistic Evolution belief of Archbishop Peter Jensen -a belief taking root in Moore Theological College since the term of Peter Jensen as Principal.

It is not a promise but a statement of fact by God recorded in Exodus 20:11:

For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Make no mistake, there is no way you can draw out a Theistic Evolution or Gap Theory model of origins from that statement of God without doing serious harm to the syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics of language.

The Genesis 1 account of creation is just as decisive. Yet the wisdom of man emerging within the Sydney Anglican Diocese concerning the creation account is that the author of Genesis 1 hides a hidden message through employment of literary devices, further, that God used a literary device in the Exodus rendering of the creation account. Such a school of thought throws the door wide open for all manner of interpretations of the creation account and Theistic Evolution is on the rise.

Here then you have the heretics of Sydney Anglican Diocese pursuing the same act of contempt via unfaithfulness to the Word of God displayed by Adam & Eve and Abram & Sarai. Further, the Archbishop's role is repetition of the insipid abrogation of headship by Adam and Abram to the spirit of the age. Such a course has resulted in disaster in the past and will do so again.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Creation or evolution, it’s just a peripheral subject

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a Sydney Anglican say something like, “God could have done it by evolution or creation…it doesn’t really matter”, I would have been able to retire long ago on the interest alone.

Apart from such sentiments betraying a really impoverished understanding of who God is and an even more defective ability to read plain Scripture, it also reveals an indifference to the cost of believing something which is patently false. Bad ideas have bad consequences, and the epistemological standard that there are some areas of thought about which one can believe anything, would seem to be a principle uniquely identified with the postmodern left rather than a tag attached to the supposed conservatism of the Sydney Anglicans.

Yet, here it is, the idea that God can do anything he well pleases to do because he is God. God, according to Peter Jensen, can even give up being Creator and allow non-being, chance, to run the universe. This is far worse than deism because at least with this proposal God is still sitting on his throne whereas, with Jensen’s idea, he vacates heaven and takes a holiday to goodness knows where and allows the pagan immanent no-thing to, somehow, bring things into being.

The unexamined insistence that belief in evolution poses no genuine threat to faith and that there is no parlous fallout from holding such an idea is perhaps even more disturbing than Jensen’s belief in the idea itself.

Herbert Spencer, the wicked mastermind behind Social Darwinism (the belief that the weak should die off for the strong), reveals in his autobiography that,

“Doubtless my intellectual leaning towards belief in natural causation everywhere operating, and my consequent tendency to disbelieve alleged miracles, had much to do with my gradual relinquishment of the current creed and its associated story of creation – a relinquishment which went on insensibly during early manhood. Doubtless, too, a belief in evolution at large was then latent; since, little as the fact is recognised, anyone who, abandoning the supernaturalism of theology, accepts in full the naturalism of science, tacitly asserts that all things as they now exist have been evolved…”

Spencer, it could be reasonably argued, was the intellectual drive behind compulsory sterilisation of the disabled, the Pro-Choice movement, disregard for Afro-American welfare and other less fortunate groups, and a belief that social welfare and community health programs were positively harmful. What sustained this philosophy was, in part, his disdain for the miraculous of the Genesis creation account and his upholding of evolution.

Peter Jensen and others in the Sydney Anglican cult believe that they can have God doing anything, even the inanely impossible, and not have it produce any inimical consequences. That, I wish to emphasise, demonstrates an arrogance and an utter absence of wisdom. As I previously said, all ideas have consequences and the idea that God could, would, use a principle in which the weak die off for the strong, can’t be an idea that would lead people to the God that was revealed in Christ.

“The proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that God died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Leupold Genesis part 22 chapter 1 intro


The Introduction--The Creation Account (1:1-2:3)

The object of this double title is to indicate that on the one hand, this is the Introduction which Moses has provided for the entire book of Genesis as well as, on the other hand, that this Introduction is given in the form of an account of creation.

It requires no deep insight to discern the basic character of this Introduction, both for the book as well as for all revelation. Man will go back in his thinking to the point where the origins of all things lie; he will desire to know how the world as well as all that is in it, and, most particularly, how he himself came into being. Here is the record, complete and satisfactory from every point of view, even if it does not perhaps answer every question that a prying curiosity might raise. He, however, who will ponder sufficiently what is here actually offered, will find facts of such magnitude as to stifle unseemly curiosity as to secondary matters.

Enthusiastic have been the comments of all who have read this account in an attitude of faith. Believing hearts are moved to devout praise of God and to adoration of His unbounded wisdom, power and mercy. Over against the criticism of our day even moderately critical writers offer comments such as Skinner (p. 11): "It is a bold thing to desiderate a treatment more worthy of the theme, or more impressive in effect, than we find the severely chiselled outlines and stately cadences of the first chapter of Genesis." Proksch, contrasting the basic thought of the chapter with all other literatures, advances the claim: "That the universe rises out of nothing by the almighty creative power of God is a thought so broad in its poetic as well as in its theological scope found nowhere in such clear-cut outlines in world literature before P."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sydney Anglicans at the Zoo

The progeny of a male ass covering a female horse is a mule; the progeny of a male zebra covering a female horse is a zorse; the progeny of a male zebra covering a female donkey is a zeedonk, zonkey or a zebrass. Similarly, a male African lion covering a female tiger can produce a liger while the reverse cross produces a tigon. A male camel covering a female llama can produce a 'cama'. A male false killer whale covering a female bottlenose dolphin can produce a 'wholphin'. The list of hybrids goes on and extends quite broadly into the plant world.

What needs to be understood with hybridization is that it has its limits as to which animals or plants can be mated. Furthermore, the result of the mating is not the production of new genetic information which the evolutionary paradigm requires for validation of its argument. Instead, the existing genetic information passed on from the parents will produce a 'compromise' of expression in the progeny i.e. some features of one parent and some features of the other. There is then, a loss of complete expression of each parent's genetic information.

Sydney Anglicans upholding a Theistic Evolution model of creation ought to learn a lesson by observing what happens in the animal and plant world. A loss of information will occur when one takes the LORD and God revealed in creation, word and incarnation and attempts a 'hybridization' with a god who is the product of man's imaginings.

Elijah the Tishbite confronted Israel with a challenge when it was evident Israel was wavering in faith toward the God who had rescued their forbears from slavery in Egypt and who had revealed Himself in such a great deliverance. Elijah said "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." (1 Kings 18:21a & b)

As if to mimic the Israel of today expressed in Sydney Anglicanism when confronted with its sin by sydneyanglicanheretics, the Israel before Elijah said nothing in reply. (1 Kings 18:21c)

Oh that each generation of Israel would mimic Joshua from days of old who said "But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15b)

Theistic Evolution is the Baal of today. It is the presentation of a god alien to the LORD who has revealed His nature threefold in creation, word and incarnation. Worse still, it is the worship of a false god mixed with worship of the one true God who is LORD. Herein lies a hybrid lacking the distinctiveness of the Holy One of Israel.

What have you done Sydney Anglican heretics?


Monday, November 2, 2009

What is Peter Doing #2?

Just so we don't loose track of this post about Peter Jensen's crazy talk at synod, here 'tis again.

A synopsis of the post is that PJ seems to think that you can have your materialist cake and eat it too, without undoing the biblical teaching on origins; but the Bible refers to origins as making this world that we live in; not an imaginary world for mystical contemplation. That is clearly the terms of the Biblical account in Genesis 1.

Creation, like the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection had space-time coordinates that we could relate to our own world of experience; making God's acts acts of history and the real world. Setting the world, this world, as the scene of the connection between us and God, and the place of covenant. Peter's remarks threaten to jettison this, and defer to a world view that relegates God to an idle curiosity, if having anything to do with us at all.

Why he does this is that he rejects the link that God makes between us and him and claims that it points to some other kind of link that is not in the Bible; so how that could be of biblical importance and worthy of a theologian's attention escapes me.

The Holy Spirit seems to go all out to align the creation as events that are delimited by space-time as is the world we experience, in fact, it is the same world and described in the same terms as the world we can identify. This tells us how we are related to God (consider the Lukan genealogy of Christ). Peter says this doesn't work, is not important in the terms in which it is set in the Bible, and other stories of the world are more significant for our self-understanding.

However, the terms he chooses to defer to are better at setting a self-understanding that dismisses God as creator and makes God cosmic spectator, if not absentee landlord. In doing this Peter risks becoming more of a deist that a Christian theist, IMO.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Leupold Genesis part 21 bibliography

10. Bibliography

A. Commentaries

Delitzsch, Franz, Commentar ueber die Genesis, Leipzig: Doerffling and Franke, 1872.

Dillmann, August, Die Genesis, Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 4. edition. 1882.

Dods, Marcus, The Expositor's Bible (Genesis), New York: George II. Doran Co. No date.

Gunkel, IIerman, Handkommentar zum Alten Testament, W. Nowak, editor. Goettingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht. 1901.

Jamieson, Robert, A Commentary Critical and Explanatory, (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown). New York: George II. Doran. No date.

Keil, C. F., Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament (Genesis), (Keil and Delitzsch), Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark. 1875.

Koenig, Eduard, Die Genesis, Guetersioh: Bertelsmann. 1919.

Lange, J. P., Bibelwerk (Genesis), Bielefeld: Velhagen und Klasing. 1864.

Luther, Martin, Saemtliche Schriften (Genesis), St. Louis, Mo. Concordia Publishing House. 1881. (2 vol.)

Procksch, Otto, Kommentar zum Alten Testament (Genesis), Ernst Sellin, editor. Leipzig: Deichert. 1913.

Skinner, John, International Critical Commentary (Genesis), Driver, et al, editors. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1925.

Strack, Hermann L., Kurzgefasster Kommentar (Genesis), Strack and Zoeckler, editors. Muenchen: C. H. Beck. 1905.

Vilmar, August Fr. C., Collegium Biblicum (Genesis), Christian Mueller, editor. Guetersloh: Bertelsmann. 1881.

Whitelaw Thomas, The Pulpit Commentary (Genesis), H. D. M. Spence, editor. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Co. 1882.

References to these commentaries have been made exclusively by the author's name, as Delitzsch. Quotations appear, of course, under the verse that is being treated. Consequently, reference to pages was consistently omitted.

As to the position taken by these commentaries, works such as those of Dillmann, Dods, Strack may be classed as moderately critical. Gunkel, Procksch and Skinner belong into the class of the extremely critical. Delitzsch finally yielded to the blandishments of the critical approach and accepted at least the source theory in its major features but still put the critical work into the category of secondary importance. Jamieson disregards critical issues. Keri, seconded in many a case by Lange, did very substantial work in the direction of establishing the validity of the conservative approach. Whitelaw works in a similar spirit. Luther's comments naturally have a very different purpose but are still to be read with profit. Koenig does the most constructive work among modern writers, but unfortunately, he yielded to the source theory, though even in this his position is moderate.