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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"God is Not Your Dog"

Episcopalian Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, in the Feb 2010 edition of Southern Cross, wrote an article entitled "God is not your Dog."

The thrust of his article was a tendency for people to domesticate God as they would a pet dog.

His motivation for this article seems to have been summer vacation reading, with one author doubting the trustworthiness of the Bible because he, the author, found it difficult to accept that God would direct ancient Israel to destroy the Canaanites. To quote the Archbishop "The God this author believes in could not possibly order the destruction of a civiliation with all its people. Naturally I agree that this is a particularly confronting part of the biblical record."

In dealing with how people wrestle with the charge God gave Israel with respect to the Canaanites, Archbishop Jensen offers some helpful comments. He then writes "What we can say is that God has his own good and righteous reasons for what happens and what he brings to pass. The destruction of the Canaanites is a revelation to us of the reality and awesomeness of the day of judgement which lies before us all. It also throws light on the cross and the suffering the Son of God underwent as he bore the penalty of our sins. When we flinch from the story of the Canaanites and refuse to accept it, we are declaring that God will not judge the world and that there is no hell. We prefer to back our own sentimental notions about God and the world rather than the truth. We domesticate God."

Archbishop Jensen then declares the wonder of God drawing near to sinners through his Son and Spirit and establishing a relationship that we may call him Father. He concludes with, "We will always presume on this as part of our attempt to bring God to heel, unless we listen carefully to all he tells us about himself in the Scriptures. When we realise how great he is and how demanding is his righteousness, we will appreciate his grace and mercy. But the way forward is not to deny Scripture and make it conform to the idolatrous dog/god which we would prefer to construct."

Regular readers of this blogspot will know where I am going to take this. It is only right that I do so.

How can it be that the Episcopalian Archbishop of Sydney makes such an astute assessment and criticism of the author of the Archbishop's summer reading on one direct utterance of God i.e. concerning the Canaanites, and yet, when it comes to the direct utterance of God on Creation, the Archbishop commits the very same offence of his targeted author?

It is astounding how hypocritical all this looks and how much ammunition it gives enemies of the Gospel. Archbishop, please, consider what you are saying and what you are doing. There must be consistency.

God is consistent. In Genesis 1, Exodus 20:11 and Exodus 31:17, God gives a seamless instruction as to the creation process. In no credible way do these utterances of God allow for the imposition of "Theistic Evolution," "Day Age," Gap Theory" or "Progressive Creation" views of Creation.

Archbishop Jensen believes his author 'friend' domesticates God through sentimental notions about God yet, in holding to a Theistic Evolution view of origins, the Archbishop domesticates God in the same way a suburban resident domesticates the family dog to fit in, to give less offence to community expectations.

Our great, awesome and loving God is not to be reduced to the notions of "this age" concerning the origin of life. Creation was an event God alone instigated and he alone is to be trusted on its particulars.

Archbishop Jensen and others, God is not your dog!

Sam Drucker

1 comment:

neil moore said...

I wonder whether anyone tells the Archbishop when he commits an obvious inconsistency such as this or is he just surrounded by people who nod assent to all he says and does? If they just do the latter then they do him and Christianity a disservice.