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Friday, December 30, 2011


Michael Jensen, singing, perhaps "maybe" at Christmas Carols service at St Andrew's Cathedral: Christ came for us...maybe?

Monday, December 26, 2011


"Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon. (1 Sam. 5:1-2)

[And it came to pass that the Israelites considered why they had failed to triumph against the Philistines even though the ark of God had been taken with the Israelites into battle. Eventually, many said it was because Dagon, the god of the Philistines, had much to say about how the world was made and how the world functioned. They said that Dagon should be honoured alongside the God of their fathers. Others cried that this was wrong and that Israel should hold only to the God of their fathers. However, these were few in number and the supporters of Dagon in the camp of the Israelites prevailed. It followed that Israel worshiped a new god, a god who had something of the God of their fathers and something the god of Philistines - Dagon.

In the years hence Israel became more and more like the surrounding nations though it seemed to Israel that it was successful in proselytizing some citizens of those nations. All the while, however, Israel was becoming less distinctive. The gods of the other nations were also seen to be as impressive as the god who was a mix of Dagon and the God of their fathers. So much was this so that these gods too were absorbed into the faith of Israel while the proselytes simply brought to Israel a faith in a god who was amenable to what they wanted to believe and how they wanted to live. As such, the proselytes were of no benefit to Israel.

The day came when a distant nation grew in power. Its people worshiped another god. It was the plan of the priests of this nation that their people should infiltrate all the nations of the world and establish the faith of their god so that their god would rule the world. These people were most prolific in producing sons and daughters within the nations of the world. Some priests of Israel saw the danger and urged the people of Israel to pray to their god. Yet the god they now worshiped was deaf, mute and without capacity to help Israel whatsoever. And so it was that the distant nation overcame the nations of the world including that once great nation Israel. Only a remnant remained in the world whose trust was in the God of the fathers of Israel. This remnant were persecuted with many afflictions but their hope remained in the one true God of their fathers. Their hope was not in vain for the God of their fathers had not forgotten them. He took them out of the world, destroyed the world and made a new Creation where there was no suffering or death, only everlasting joy in the presence of their fathers and suffuse with the glory of their God

Well might that have been the story but the time was not right for the God of Israel. The right number from all over the earth had not yet come in for establishment of His kingdom. The scenario described in parenthesis had a time for fulfilment sometime later.

What actually occurred in the temple of Dagon was as follows:

"And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again. And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. The head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands were broken off on the threshold; only Dagon’s torso was left of it. Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor any who come into Dagon’s house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day." (1 Sam. 5:3-5)

Nevertheless, the alternative scenario is in progress today.

Sam Drucker

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Those oh so hip Sydney Anglicans

I've just flicked through the latest edition of Southern Cross and was quite surprised to learn that Peter Jensen is now an avid supporter of creationism, well at least of one of its main historical planks. Peter says in his Christmas piece that "The coming of Jesus at the end of history will be sudden. It will catch people unprepared. Just as the people in the days of Noah scoffed and refused to heed his warnings"

Apparently, unlike his uber-postmodernal heir, Peter maybe, just maybe, believes that Noah was a real historical flesh and blood man, like he and I, and not some composite of far too many literary devices to number fashioned along a similar line to John Dickson's spineless, pseudo-academic and ultimately vacuous theory of Genesis 1 being neither history nor non-history because....hang on...wait...wait..wait...while John confirms this by way of his hotline to Moses, the one none of us has except him and all the other liberals...yes, yes, yes, thanks John for your well-connected transcendent insight...yes I can say on John's authority that Jesus didn't really mean Noah was an historical figure so it still leaves open the possibility that Peter may still believe in a literary Noah who, literally, I mean, literalistically, through repetition, chiasm, parallelism and rhyme, wrote that the world, all the world was not actually totally destroyed, despite Noah writing 12 times or so that it was.

If you're confused, Merry Christmas!

By the way Peter, I notice in your Christmas message there's not a single instance that you mention that God loves us. Some gospel you preach, Archbishop of death.

So what message of life did Southern Cross feel the need to impress upon the reader and the lost world? Hey, it's the Halloween message. Yes, dear Christians, the Sydney Anglicans believe that they are called by God to get...let the Holy Spirit inspired preacher of God's Good news and the rag's reporter tell it as it was:

'Jason Partridge, the assistant minister at St Mary's [says] "If the community does something for Halloween, it suggests there are [people who are interested in the spirit world. We've got a lot to say about death – [and here comes their dutiful “Christian” one liner] we've got the truth on death through Jesus Christ, so let's talk about that."

Have you Jason? No, really, have you really got the truth about Jesus? I doubt it, mate, I really can't see it anywhere. I digress..

'The evening congregation at St Mary's embraced the Halloween service positively by decorating the church, creating special Halloween snacks for supper and coming in costume. "We saw a range of dress-ups, from vampires to Supergirl to cats – and someone even came as Michael Jackson," Mr Partridge says.'

What a great time you apparently had Jason. I'm really sad I missed out. You know what, here's a suggestion. You do remember from your time at Moore that parable Jesus said about going out and searching the countryside for wedding guests to come to the celebration because the elect couldn't be bothered. Well, around about March next year why don't you go down to Oxford St, in drag of course, and invite all the gays and lesbians to come back to St Mary's to your Mardi Gras mass. And don't forget to send me an invitation and I'll do my best Divine impersonation, but I'll leave the pooch at home if that's alright with you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sydney Anglicans (Episcopalians) and Their Failing Hope.

"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself the the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:

'Death has been swallowed up in victory

Where, O death, is your victory?

Where, O death, is your sting?'

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
" (1Cor. 15:50-56)

God's act of Glorification of the saints on the final day cannot be the subject of a well thought out theology by Theistic Evolutionists. We have demonstrated here previously how defective is the Theistic Evolutionist's theology of origins. The defect is magnified when one considers future Glorification of the saints.

Theistic Evolutionists 'shuffle their feet' a bit and each gives a slightly different answer when you ask them to explain just what God did in creating man through an evolutionary process. However, their case generally involves God creating through 'simple' life forms to animals/primates to man with man being instilled with special features over the animals eg a soul and being created in the image of God.

A thinking person, knowing God as revealed in Jesus Christ, would wonder why God would use such a cumbersome procedure but space must be left to conclude that the god of the Theistic Evolutionist lacks the capacity to create, instantaneously, each life form as Scripture depicts in the six days of the Creation event.

As suggested already, to skip over to the New Testament and consider the various passages of Scripture dealing with the Resurrection of the dead and the Glorification of the saints - we have chosen Apostle Paul's first epistle to the saints in Corinth - one is confronted by the enormity of the task awaiting the god of the Theistic Evolutionist.

Glorification will involve considerable change. This change will be the greatest since the days of Creation and it will be more momentous in many ways even than Creation itself.

The act of Glorification cannot be viewed as entirely simple but must be recognised as complex. The circumstances in which the saints will find themselves when it occurs require that this should be so. For one thing, the disintegrated bodies of the saints who died long before will each require to be reassembled and reorganised. Their souls, which have for so long been in the glory of the Intermediate State, will need to be reunited with their bodies. They will then no longer be 'unclothed' but 'clothed upon' (2 Cor. 5:4). In the case of those believers who died, the act of Glorification will involve an operation of God's capacities upon an element of dead or non-existent material and, at the same time, upon the living soul. The soul will be ever after relocated in its house of clay, now glorified beyond all our powers of imagination in the resurrected body.

Surely, this is all beyond the capacity of the god of the Theistic Evolutionist to do instantaneously because that same god had to work over such a long period of time to create man in the first place using, ostensibly, pre-existing and 'live' material instilled with a soul? Can you see the difference in complexity between the first Creation and the later New Creation inhabited by Glorified man?

Theistic Evolution fails as an explanation for the Nature and Work of God in all respects.

"Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?"

Sam Drucker

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sydney Anglicans (Episcopalians) and Which Christ?

But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

'Which of the two do you want me to release to you?' asked the governor. 'Barabbas,' they answered.

'What shall I do then, with Jesus who is called Christ?' Pilate asked.

They all answered 'Crucify him!'

'Why, what crime has has he committed?' asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, 'Crucify him!'
(Matt. 27:20-23)

It takes only a moment's thought to realize that many in the crowd calling for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ were people who had called out "Hosanna to the Son of David" at the triumphal entry of Jesus of Nazareth to Jerusalem not long before. At the very least, a sizable proportion would have looked on at the clamour surrounding the triumphal entry and wondered with elevated spirit "Could this be the Christ?".

Clearly, their heart had turned for there is no record of a voice speaking for the Christ, bar Pilate, when the later crowd howled for his crucifixion.

How could such numbers with great joy and expectation one day, later call for the crucifixion of the Son of David or, at the least, how could they not speak on his behalf before his accusers if there had not been some turning of heart away from him following his arrest?

To put it simply, their expectation of the long awaited Christ did not fit a man who, to their mind, weakly submitted to capture and to the authorities, who obviously couldn't be a warrior Christ (or king). Barabbas had more qualification for what they sought of the Christ than did Jesus of Nazareth.

Though they knew enough of the Word of God to expect the Christ, their evaluation of his nature was too worldly. Their evaluation was so much shaped by the nature of their earlier warrior king David and the nature of past great leaders of nations around them that they could not countenance a weak, (by worldly standards) suffering Christ.

Their narrow, worldly view caused them to overlook those important parts of the Word of God which describe a much different Christ whose strength and victory was exemplified in suffering. Their resultant actions prompted Simon Peter to later declare "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:36)

The error of past Israel should be a lesson to today's evangelicals, including those who claim to be evangelicals of the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney, to not formulate a nature of Christ based on worldly views. Accepting so much of the nature of Christ contained in the Word of God but leaving out the rest opens the door to grave error.

To ascribe to Christ a nature which willfully uses an horrific and frustration-riddled process of Creation, such as Theistic Evolution proposes, is to impose on Christ a nature which is so counter to his nature attested by the Word of God that it falls firmly in the ground of heresy.

The horrors of suffering and death, along with the futility of a troubled Creation are the product of man's sin (Rom. 8:19-22) not the product of the nature of Christ the Creator.

Yet, this false view of the nature of Christ was promoted by former Principal of Moore Theological College, Rev Peter Jensen, several years ago in the Moore College PTC Notes and is tacitly endorsed in the later (2002) Doctrine 2 Notes jointly edited by the same Peter Jensen and John Woodhouse, present Principal.

Just as the the chief priests and elders in Jerusalem, some 2,000 years ago, persuaded a crowd of seeming believers in Christ to formulate an alternative and false view of the Christ - with serious consequences - so today, leaders in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney and other evangelical circles, are persuading believers and potential believers to formulate a false view of the nature of Christ, bringing with it dangerous consequences.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Providence in/as History

Just some quick words as follow-up to the two instalments of an article by Maurice Roberts in the August-September, 1989 issue of the Banner of Truth Journal under the title of "The Interpretation of Providence in History."

How many Christians today would agree with Roberts when he said "It is the duty of the church to interpret history."? I suspect the percentage would be less today than when Roberts made that statement and much less than would have been the case a couple of centuries ago. The majority of those reading this blog would also question the point of my continually making reference to the articles of people twenty to fifty years ago. It is all connected!

Our Lord Jesus Christ reprimanded the Pharisees and Sadducees for not interpreting the signs of the times (Matt. 16:1-3) and also cautioned His disciples to look for the signs of the times (Matt. 24). Interpreting the events of past and present is the duty of Christians and, in this regard, it is helpful for me to bring to readers' attention the issues writers of some decades or more ago were wrestling with so that we can relate them to our present circumstance.

Roberts rightly contends that "A man's theology always determines his view of providence." Events of the past two centuries have seen the church, by majority, giving over to the interpretation of our world and the events if history to secular reasoners. This has fed a foe weak at first but now monstrously strong. So much is this so that one is ridiculed if an attempt is made to present an interpretation of our world and its events from a theological perspective. Today you are seen as a religious extremist if you put a biblical perspective on any of the earth sciences, history, medical science (including psychology), politics etc. This scene is far removed from times long past.

In the face of such ridicule or potential ridicule many Christians and those who errantly purport to be Christian cower and retreat into a compromise with the weapons of choice of the secular foe eg anti-biblical interpretation of history, dating of early historical events, anti-biblical interpretation of earth sciences and deference to anti-theist intellectuals.

This brings to mind Roberts' citation of the contention between Elijah and King Ahab (1 Kings 18). The incident described in that passage of Scripture, an event of history, has similarity with the present situation of compromising Christians and purported Christians dealings' with Christians who remain faithful to God's Word on the matter of Origins (Biblical Creationists). The former grouping and the latter group see each other as the "troubler of Israel" (the Church). The former grouping regard Biblical Creationists as an embarrassment to the Church, the cause of division within the Church and a stumbling-block to people coming to Jesus Christ. The latter group regard the former as being encouragers of compromise and a hindrance to the Church by bringing judgement from God for unfaithfulness to His Word.

Looking to Roberts again, he said "A man's theology always determines his view of providence" and a reverse principle also applies viz. "The way a man interprets providence proves his real theology". To demonstrate this principle Roberts cites a book by Alan P. F. Sell titled "Defending and Declaring the Faith" which by title purports to defend and uphold the Christian faith practiced (in Scotland). However, the content of the book indicates the author admires and praises some men who, in earlier times, were disciplined for heretical views on Scripture.

Commencing in the earlier part of the Nineteenth Century and continuing with pace through the Twentieth and into the present Century, the providence of God in Creation is being interpreted by the majority in the Church in a way contrary to and, it is reasonable to presume heretically, by the Reformers and Puritans. Concerns such as reassigning the génre of Genesis 1, the non straight-forward reading of the passage, death in the world before the Fall and the consequent question mark over the meaning of Christ's death on the cross, the nature of Christ in Creation and Incarnate and the nature of the New Creation all arise from the way Scripture is being interpreted by the majority in the Church today. The stated concerns are riddled with heretical cancers.

Maurice Roberts, when writing more than twenty years ago, brought out some helpful points in interpreting the times for his readers then and for us today. The issue of concern over Roman Catholicism has waned in today's climate but Roberts' mention of the theological liberal's disdain for "Antediluvian confessionalism" seems to have gained greater weight of carriage today through "Antediluvian confessionalism" being subjected to disdain from so-called evangelicals.

Yes indeed, it is our duty to interpret history and to interpret the signs of the times. Declension has characterised the life of the Church in Western Society for at least a Century and this has coincided with the rise of heretical interpretation of Genesis 1 and a disjointed and exceedingly heretical understanding of the Nature of Jesus Christ in Creation and Incarnate.

A Reformation in the manner of that some 500 years ago can reverse the declension. Let's pray for that very thing, that God will be glorified, His Name lifted up and the doubters and compromisers brought to repentance.

Sam Drucker

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 69 (final) recap on facticity

Before leaving this initial account we must yet take definite issue with one problem involved in the account as a whole. On the one hand, is this a strictly factual account, reporting what actually transpired in the manner in which it transpired? Or have we here a picture devised by human ingenuity, which picture seeks to convey truth by its general outlines or by the basic thoughts which are here expressed in terms highly figurative? Though this latter view has come to be held almost universally, it is still by no means true. We have not in this chapter a marvellous product of the religious creative genius of Israel. Such efforts would merely have produced just one more trivial and entirely worthless cosmogony. The account as it stands expects the impartial reader to accept it as entirely literal and historical. The use made of it in the rest of Sacred Scriptures treats every part referred to as sober fact, not as a fancy-picture. Compare on this chapter the dozens of marginal reference passages found in almost any Bible.

By answering this question we have answered a second one: Does the value of this account lie "in the broad basic truths it embodies" (K. C.), or in the details by which these truths are conveyed? The form of this question is unfortunate. It should not postulate an "either-- or," but a "both--and." The details are truthful, exact and essential, being in all their parts truth itself. Only since this is the case, are the broad, basic truths conveyed by the account also of infinite moment and in themselves divinely revealed truth. Faith in inspiration, as taught by the Scriptures, allows for no other possibility.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


This is the second and final instalment of Maurice Robert's article in the August - September 1989 issue of the Banner of Truth Journal. I thought the second instalment would be much shorter than the first. Not so! Consequently, my observations/comments will have to appear over the coming weekend.


From what we have said, it follows that the way we interpret providence will determine the way we evaluate history, especially church history. And that, in turn, will determine the way we look at the great figures of church history and those who write about them.

It needs briefly to be said that providence and history are the same thing looked at from two different points of view. Both terms refer to the contents of God's eternal purpose or decree as that unfolds in this world. 'History' is the term we use to refer to the events of God's plan on earth when looked at from the standpoint of mankind. 'Providence' is the term we use when we are looking at the same thing from a theological point of view. Of course, many do not choose to accept that there is such a thing as providence. But that does not concern us here. Christians, at any rate, are committed to a belief in providence, which is just history, as God has ordained it and watches over it.

It is important to remember that a man cannot really understand history if he has no true concept of God's providence. It is true that he may be an expert in some details and therefore may be worthy of great respect for his erudition. But to be an authority in the details is not the same as to be competent to understand the overall significance of a period of history. An expert may, strange to say, 'miss the wood for the trees'.

One of the most remarkable examples of this is to be seen in Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which is justly regarded as an historical masterpiece. But as an overall explanation of the subject with which it deals, it is unsatisfactory. Gibbon attributes the fall of Rome to its abandonment of paganism and its conversion to Christianity! He was simply reiterating an old pagan view, advanced by such ancient enemies of the gospel as Celsus. Augustine long ago answered their case conclusively in the twenty-two books of his polemical work, The City of God. The pagan view had virtually disappeared till Gibbon revived it in late eighteenth-century England. It is a classic case of a timeless work of history marred by a false view of providence. In that case, there was no very great damage done to Christian faith. But in other cases, great damage can be done to men's faith.

Religious and philosophical assumptions always lie at the heart of the way men write history. This point is brought out very clearly in a helpful book by Dr David Bebbington of Stirling University, entitled Patterns in History. He shows that history has been viewed from various standpoints over the centuries. He mentions several of these views: the cyclical outlook of oriental writers; the traditional Christian view, which considers history to be a straight line; the idea of progress; the theory of historicism, and that of Marxism. Perhaps we today would need to include a further view, that of historical relativism. But the essential point which is made by Dr Bebbington's study is that there are not only the 'brute facts' of history. There is also the deeper question of how we understand and interpret those facts. If those who write about history do not have a biblical view of providence, they will scarcely be able to see the events they write about in their true light.

It is very interesting to evangelical Christians to note that historians who may not share their view of divine providence are nonetheless concerned about the interpretation of history. Sir Arnold Toynbee, for instance, in his monumental work A Study of History, speaks about 'metahistory'. He is evidently quoting from the historian, Christopher Dawson, who had earlier used the word, on an analogy with the familiar term metaphysics'. Toynbee explains the word in this way:

'Metahistory is concerned with the nature of history, the meaning of history and the cause and significance of historical change. It arises out of the study of history, and is akin to metaphysics and theology. The metahistorian seeks to integrate his study of reality in some higher dimension than that of human affairs as these present themselves to him phenomenally.'

At first sight it may not seem a very important matter how one interprets the events of the past or even of the present. But no one who takes the Christian faith seriously could adopt such an attitude of indifference to the providence of God and its meaning. It is the duty of the church to explain history. The Lord Jesus Christ laid it as a sin upon the Jewish leaders that they had failed to discern the voice of providence in their day: '0 ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?' [Matt. 16:3].

Events, especially events in which the hand of God is manifest, have a meaning which we ignore only to our loss or at our peril. Admittedly, there are vast areas of providence which we are not qualified to interpret. But that does not excuse men for their failure to interpret crucial periods of history, such as the life of Christ and the early church, correctly.

The question might well be asked, do we have a key in the Bible by which to interpret events in our day? We believe that we do. The great 'benchmark', so to speak, of modern church history is to be found in the Acts of the Apostles and its inspired account of what God did on and after the Day of Pentecost. In that narrative, along with the other apostolic writings of the New Testament, we have a golden key to the meaning of all subsequent events in the history of the church - and, to some extent, even of the world. The New Testament writings show us what real Christianity is, what the church should be, and therefore what we may confidently expect God to bless and to favour on earth.

Consequently, where, in history, we find that same doctrine taught and those same church ordinances practised, there we may be certain that we see the approval of God in his providence. Conversely, where, in history, we see serious departure from New Testament doctrine and practice, there we know we see God's wrath and curse. It seems impossible to escape from this view of the matter, if we grant the premise that the scriptures are the inerrant Word of God.

The application of the principle here stated drives us towards the conviction that the religion of the Middle Ages was a grave departure from God and that the Reformation was a glorious returning to God. So much is surely clear, whatever else in providence may not be clear. But to be convinced of that is essential and it is enough. It is enough to glorify God by and enough to be saved by, if we are brought in this way to believe in the Christ of the New Testament and of the Reformation.

It is precisely this interpretation of history, however, which is under attack in the western world in the twentieth century. The classic Protestant historians, whose names were once a household word in Christian circles, are now sometimes referred to, even by evangelicals, as biased and untrustworthy writers. This is the new Protestant judgment upon historians such as Knox, Calderwood, Wodrow and McCrie for Scotland, and Foxe, Burnet, D'Augibne and Wylie, who chronicled the events of the Protestant Reformation in England and on the continent of Europe.

The argument is used that a writer like John Knox, in his book The History of the Reformation in Scotland (and the same argument would apply equally to writers like him, some of whom we have named above), is guilty of prejudice. He identifies his own cause with the cause of God. What favours his cause is praised by him as the work of God and what hinders his cause is reported as that work of God's enemies. That, according to modern writers, is not good history. It is said to be too subjective a view of God's cause and it is thought to vitiate the canons of objectivity required in a reliable writer of history.

The objection sounds plausible enough. But it seems to us to leave the most crucial factor of all out of the reckoning. It fails to do justice to the New Testament scriptures. If that religion which the New Testament presents as the truth happens also to be the religion of Knox, then it is justifiable to identify it as the work of God, and its opponents as the enemies of God. The only way to invalidate this conclusion, surely, is to demonstrate that Knox's message and the message of the New Testament were not substantially the same. Knox believed that they were the same. Hence the explanation for his confidence.

The real reason why modern Protestants apologise for Knox's manner of writing history, we strongly suspect, is that they are no longer in sympathy with the theology which he held. It looks very much like being 'ashamed of the gospel' [Rom. 1:16], albeit in a sophisticated way.

There is a corollary to the claim made by early Protestants that the Reformation was a glorious work of God's providence. It is this, that God's blessing must be expected to rest on nations embracing the Reformation teachings and his displeasure to follow nations which turn from those teachings.

Whatever view one holds of the rights and wrongs of British Rule (and both were there) in the days when this country was in its prime, it cannot be denied that the collapse of our national power went hand in hand with the collapse of our Protestant religion. Sir Arnold Toynbee, to whom we have referred, lived to witness both the high water-mark of British power in 1897 and its decline by the year 1972, just seventy-five years later. The dates are significant in that they correspond closely with the decline of the British pulpit. This fact surely illustrates the proverb: 'Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach to any people' [Prov. 14:24]. The curse has not come without a cause. Do we need to look any further afield for our metahistory of the period?


Generally speaking, it would appear to be true to say that the backsliding of Britain (and probably of America and some other Anglo Saxon countries belonging to the Protestant family) has taken place in two Stages. As a nation, we rejected the theology of the Reformation about the time of the First World War, and the morality of the Reformation at, or just after, the Second World War. The New Morality and the 'permissive society' appeared in the early 1960s at about the same time. Since then, there has been a marked shift downwards in this country. That is not to deny that there has been, more recently, a recovery of the Reformed faith. But the impact of this movement, intensely promising as it is, is as yet only very small. The point we make here is that society as a whole, and the church as a whole, has sunk Steadily further from righteousness and from God. And, until God sends upon us the blessing of true revival, we can only continue to sink still further.

Of the many contributory causes to this state of national decline, we may here mention just three. We believe one to be the secularisation of our national school system after the passing of the Education Acts of 1870 (England and Wales) and 1872 (Scotland). After the implementation of these Acts, our day schools, many of which had before been in the hands of the churches and had taught the catechisms as well as the Bible, steadily moved towards a position of religious 'neutrality'. After the two World Wars, the pace of secularisation became accelerated. This has meant, not simply that religious education in the traditional sense is now only haphazardly taught, but also that the content of the history syllabus has become chronically anaemic in its treatment of the great spiritual conflict which raged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

So far do some educators today resent the New History, as it is called, that a society or movement has been started with the name 'The Campaign for Real Education'! No doubt they are dissatisfied with the modem approach to teaching other subjects too. But the new approach to teaching history is singled out in their very first pamphlet as desperately in need of improvement and modification. 'The pursuit of truth has been replaced by what is called "the form of knowledge approach", which means in practice that pupils are encouraged to arrive at confident judgments.. .while being dismissive of "facts".... That, like so much else in the New History, is wilfully perverse'. So writes the author of this pamphlet on behalf of this new society, which has the support of MPs, members of the House of Lords and other academics.

A second more powerful and harmful influence upon our land has come from eminent literary men and women, especially in the period since the First World War. Today we have almost come to accept that eminent literary persons must be irreligious. There are, of course. notable exceptions, such as C. S. Lewis. But this appears to have been the main direction taken by men and women of letters in the past sixty years.

A notable assault on Christian standards of behaviour was made about the time of the First War by the Bloomsbury Group. This was a brilliant set of young Cambridge graduates, including Lytton Strachey, Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, Duncan Grant and Bertrand Russell. They were later followed by D. H, Lawrence and others. These all had a profound influence on the country. The private morality of many of them was a shameless denial of earlier British standards of behaviour and morality. To read Michael Holroyd's biography of Strachey is to see how advanced practical ungodliness had become at that comparatively early date among some of our influential English intellectuals. It was a significant turning-point in the ethical history of this land in modern times. What we see today is not much more than the widespread adoption of their ideals and practices by persons of all sorts. But the lead was taken by these influential figures those many years ago.

The third factor which we may mention as a contributory cause of the present low ebb in our country is the rise of Roman Catholicism to a position of importance and influence unparalleled since the Reformation. This influence extends not only to many aspects of our national life but also to the life of churches and denominations. It is a sobering thought that many of the crucial discussions and heart searchings we face as Protestant churches in this country at this hour have something or other to do with our attitude to the dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. That is so whether one belongs to a church which is Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist or of some other denomination. It is a subject which we could ponder for a long time. But the fact is there and it must surely strike us as significant.

Our subject required of us that we should attempt to interpret the providence of God in history. Is there any one great practical issue which such a survey draws particular attention to? We believe that there is. The most urgent question of all for the present-day churches, in our considered opinion, is this: Were the old Protestant historians and theologians right to regard the Roman Catholic Church as no true church and to identify the Papacy with the Antichrist? Let us remember
that they were, for the most part, men of profound erudition and spirituality - men such as Calvin, Owen, Turrettine, Edwards, Cunningham and Charles Hodge. Let us further bear in mind that they claimed that their view of Rome was drawn from Holy Scripture.

Our reason for singling out this one issue is easily stated The twentieth-century Protestant church clung, by and large, to the anti-papal clauses in its creed. The present-day churches have, by and large, discarded them. This change in attitude appears to have begun somewhere around the First World War. The way Protestant churches view union with Rome is going to be momentously important from now on.

If the Catholic Church is not the Antichrist of Scripture as the old Protestant writers affirmed it to be, then there is ultimately no reason in principle why our Protestant churches should not return and reunite - if not this century, at least at some time in the future. But if the Reformers were right, then union with Rome is apostasy.

Precisely how and why Protestantism in this century came to hold a more relaxed attitude to Catholicism is one of the most intriguing, not to say burning, questions raised by the subject we have looked at.

It would make a good theme for research. Indeed, it ought to compel the attention of every Protestant who takes seriously the events of this hour."

Comments in a few days.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, November 27, 2011


The following is the first of two instalments of a helpful article by Maurice Roberts, Editor, in the August-September, 1989, issue of the Banner of Truth Journal (which was a lecture given earlier, April 1989, at the Leicester Minister's Conderence). Apologies for the length of the two instalments (of equal length) but it is helpful to see an Interpretation of the Times some twenty years ago, evaluate it in the light of the present situation and draw out some observations. The article follows herewith:

'And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, And thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim' [1 Kings 18:17-18]

The occurrence of the word 'interpretation' in the title of this paper informs us at once that we are in the realm of applied, rather than theoretical or abstract theology. All sciences have their theoretical and their applied aspects. This is true of theology, which, in better days, was regarded as the 'queen of the sciences'. What follows, therefore, is not so much a statement as an argument, or a case. It is an attempt to develop an interpretation of God's providence in history which is true to the scriptures and practically relevant to the pastoral needs of God's people in the times through which we are passing.

The general theme of providence is that of God's sovereign and perfect control of all events. There is a natural division of the subject into two aspects: the providence of God in the lives of individuals, and God's providence over nations and over civilisation as a whole. Perhaps it would be convenient to give descriptive terms to these two distinct, thought related, ways of studying God's providence. We could speak of micro-providence as that which concerns the individual, and macro-
providence as that which relates to the larger units of mankind in history. It is with the latter that we are concerned here, and especially with the Christian church in the Anglo-Saxon world.

It needs to be said that the literature which deals with this subject is at one and the same time vast and yet sparse. Whilst all works of history and biography have some tangential connection with the theme, yet books which deal directly and specifically with this subject are, to our knowledge, few in number. That is not altogether surprising because the exercise of interpreting providence is essentially a religious and spiritual, rather than a purely historical, one. It is a task which we can only begin with any degree of realism, once we have accepted the great (and nowadays highly unpopular) postulate, that God is truly known only in the Christian scriptures and that history has ethical and spiritual meaning because it is the unfolding of a divine purpose.

Such a great spiritual classic as Flavel's treatise on Providence, therefore, will not help us greatly, because it deals with the more individual aspect of this theme. Indeed, most treatments of providence naturally tend to look at it from the point of view of the individual, especially that of the Christian believer. This is not true of a recent valuable study entitled The Providence of God by Benjamin Wirt Farley, a contemporary American scholar, who teaches at the Union Theological Seminary, Virginia. Professor Farley's book provides us with a very thorough historical survey of providence. That is to say he works his way comprehensively, first through the views of providence held by the great thinkers of Greece and Rome, then by the early Church Fathers, and then by the Schoolmen, the Reformers and so on, up to the present day. It is a book to which one will turn again and again for information about the opinions of writers through the ages. But it does not set out to address itself directly to the type of application of the theme which forms the title of this paper. Rather than beginning with the books, therefore, it will be better to take our point of departure from the Word of God itself.

In the chapter of the Bible which was read to us this evening, we have the great discourse of the Lord Jesus Christ on the subject of the Last Things. There our Lord is informing his people of the most notable and significant events which would occur in the course of human history right up to the very end. More particularly, Christ predicts the fall of Jerusalem, which occurred in A.D. 70, and also the destruction of the whole world at the Second Coming. From our standpoint today, one event is in the past and the other in the future. And with regard to both these momentous events, Christ says that we are to 'watch' (v. 42). Clearly, the implication is that Christians are to be awake to major events in this world and they are to attempt to understand them, at least to some extent.

Failure to 'watch' and to be awake to what God is doing in the course of history is, according to Christ's warning, both foolish and dangerous. This is supremely true of the unbelieving world. But it is also true of God's own people. If we do not 'watch', then we are likely to become either complacent or, alternatively, discouraged. Events in the external world are integrally related to the words of holy scripture. To be ignorant of scripture is to be unprepared for what God is doing in history. To be unprepared at the end, when Christ returns, is to lose our soul eternally.

Furthermore, the view we take of events between our own day and the end of the world will inevitably have a considerable effect upon our whole state of mind as Christians. If we look for nothing in the future but gloom and declension, then we shall be pessimistic as to the degree of success which preaching and missionary endeavour will have on earth. But if we have an optimistic eschatology, we shall be correspondingly affected in our outlook and in our expectation of coming blessing. This is particularly true of the way in which we interpret the passage in Romans 11, respecting the 'mystery' of Israel. Admittedly, it may amount to no more than our state of mind as we set to work in the task of proclaiming the gospel and praying for its success. But our morale is very important. The overall view of providence which we adopt will have a close bearing on our morale and our degree of expectation in God's work.


The short passage of scripture from 1 Kings 18, which is provided at the head of this article, appears to be of considerable significance for the subject in hand. It consists of a snatch of conversation between the great prophet Elijah and the infamous King Ahab. There had been a serious state of drought in the kingdom for three and a half years. Each man, interestingly enough, blamed the other for the troubles, evidently for exactly reverse reasons.

Ahab's point of view was that Elijah had interrupted the peace and happiness of the land by praying down God's judgement. Elijah's opinion of the matter was that Ahab's idolatry had been the real cause of ruin to the land. It is an instructive exchange between a man of God and a man of the world. To the worldly man, it is the 'sour churchman' who spoils life. To the man of God, it is the reckless sinner who ruins the world by bringing God's curse upon a land. In Ahab's opinion, Israel was his kingdom and Elijah was a nuisance. In Elijah's judgement. Israel was God's theocratic kingdom and Ahab was a thorn in its flesh. It is a notable case of two opposing interpretations of providence.

There is a point of major importance to be noticed in this exchange between Ahab and Elijah. A man's theology always determines his view of providence. It must be so and it cannot be otherwise. What we think of God must determine our interpretation of what we see all around us, both in the church and in the world. This principle is to be found everywhere in the Bible. If we apply the principle to our modem situation, especially in Britain, we shall see that the principle is both a true and a useful one. Who, it might be asked, are the 'troublers of Israel' in Britain today? Every man answers instinctively in terms of his own theology. The Ecumenical finds the 'troublers of Israel' in those who will not lay aside every doctrinal difference and 'heal the wounds in the body of Christ'. The Charismatic blames the church's troubles on those who decline to seek the 'gifts'. The theologically liberal trace the modern church's malady to the presence still on earth of an 'antediluvian confessionalism'. The Evangelical and the Calvinist diagnose the church's ills as the judgment of God upon theological unfaithfulness and departure from Scripture.

This principle holds good also in its reverse form. The way a man interprets providence proves his real theology. This is illustrated interestingly by a recently published book, entitled Defending and Declaring the Faith. From the title, one would expect to find that the orthodox creed of evangelical religion was being set forth and defended. The author looks at the life and thoughts of eight well known Scottish theologians and preachers between 1860 and 1920. It is valuable as a summary of thought of such men as Kennedy of Dingwall. John Caird, A. B. Bruce and James Denney. But what is surprising to the evangelical reader is a comparison between the title of the book and the foreword, the author of which admires and praises John McLeod Campbell, Thomas Erskine of Linlathen, and Edward Irving. Yet all three of these men, far from defending the faith, were disciplined for unorthodoxy by the nineteenth century Scottish church to which they belonged. It is a remarkable instance of hiatus between the title of a book and its message. What today is being called the church's remedy was, in better days, treated as heresy.

This brings us to a further point in the church's duty in a time of judgment and declension - to enquire after the real cause of the trouble. A generation which makes a false diagnosis of the church's ills may land the church in apostasy. 'Whom God will destroy he first makes mad'. There are repeated warnings in the prophets against the folly of either not heeding, or else misinterpreting, the omens of providence. (Cf Isa. 22:12-14; Jer. 23:16-17; Ezek. 22:28-30). This is what Ezekiel caustically terms 'daubing the wall with untempered mortar' [Ezek. 22:28], which he defines as 'seeing false burdens and causes of banishment' [Lam. 2:14]. In the New Testament, Christ refers to this same sin as a culpable failure to 'discern the signs of the times' [Matt. 16:3].

Whatever be the true causes of the church's steep decline in Britain in our generation, there is no denying that the decline is there. There is a worm at the root of the tree which threatens not the leaf or the blossom only, but the very existence of the tree itself. Britain has no patent rights to the gospel of Christ. The church of Christ as such cannot be lost. But national churches can be lost. The Jewish church in Palestine was lost for hundreds of years after A.D. 70. Much the same happened to North Africa and Turkey at later periods in history. We had better diagnose the cause of our modem ills correctly. Failure to do so might plunge our nation into darkness for centuries. If we see the cause. there is hope that we may repent in time. But who will repent of unrecognised sin? The fearful possibility is that we may already be past hope, because God has given our church leaders over to a reprobate mind. God forbid that it should be so. But the situation is urgent. And it is made all the more urgent in that key concepts of God's providence are out of favour.


In the modern church, there are a number of concepts relating to providence which are in danger of being lost for one reason or another. They are concepts which are to be found in the Word of God and which were cherished in better ages of the church. Their loss in the modern church has made us spiritually weaker and less able to wrestle with God for a return of his favour. We may look briefly at four such lost concepts.

1. The concept of a 'model age'. Not in an absolute sense, certainly, but in a limited sense, there are 'model ages' of the church. By that, we mean that, in some ages, God is powerfully and wonderfully at work on earth in sending revival, reformation and influential preachers of the gospel. At other ages there is a dryness and a deadness, even on good and orthodox men. It is true, of course, that the church in apostolic times is the only 'model' church in an absolute sense. There we have the inspired men and the blueprint of what the gospel and the church ought to be. But if we see all subsequent church history as nothing more than monotonous shades of grey, we have a false idea of church history. The fact is that some ages have been rich in spiritual greatness while others have been lifeless and dead. It is possibly the influence of Brethrenism which has led to a disparaging attitude towards such golden ages of the church as the Reformation, the Covenanting and Puritan era and the period of the Evangelical Awakening. Such ages do come. If we do not believe in them, how can we begin to pray for such an age to dawn on our country again?

2. The idea that God must be glorified on earth. That God is to be glorified is a belief common to all Christians. But that God is to be glorified on earth, by our obedience and faithfulness, is by no means the common creed of all believers as it should be. The point is well illustrated in an anecdote which has come down to us from Scottish Covenanting times. A conforming Christian put the question to a Covenanter as to why he should suffer such 'unnecessary' trials. 'Because', as he put it, 'I shall have heaven as a Christian and you will get no more'. To this the godly non-conformist replied, 'Yes, we shall have more. We shall have God glorified on earth There is both great theology and also great heroism in these words.

The practical outworking of the point is that carelessness in our walk, worship and witness not only forfeits God's blessing but robs him of his declarative glory on earth - an incalculable loss. Universal obedience to God's written Word becomes, in the light of this, more essential than life itself. It is an aspect of the truth which needs to be recovered.

3. It belongs to the biblical portrait of God's church on earth that its history is like a wave, periodically rising and falling. This is the view of providence implicit in such passages, for instance, as Psalms 44, 78, 106 and 126. Christ himself made it clear that this pattern would continue to the end of the world. There would be times in history 'when the bridegroom' would be 'taken away' from God's people, so that believers would 'fast in those days' [Mark 2:20]. Again, the Lord speaks of times in the history of the New Testament church when believers would desire to see 'one of the days of the Son of man, and should not see it [Luke 17:22]. Periods of revival and declension, to use modern terms, will alternate in the life of Christ's church till the very end.

It is of great importance to believers to be thoroughly convinced of this aspect of God's providence. It kindles afresh our flagging hopes to realise that, however low the cause of Christ may fall, God is able to revive it again, even in a very short time, in answer to believing prayer. The wave that falls to its trough is destined to rise up again to another peak. This concept is essential to us if we are not to sink into despair in such a day as this.

4. The fourth aspect of God's providence which is in danger of being lost is the distinctive concept of the church's history which emerged at the Protestant Reformation. According to this view, there are three clearly-defined periods of the church's history: the early period, the medieval period and the modern period.

This three-fold view of church history is a more important part of our Protestant heritage than might at first appear. It serves to remind us that for a thousand years the church in the West wandered into darkness and superstition. This is not to deny that there were good and great men in the Middle Ages. But it helps us to see the immense debt of gratitude we owe to God for the Reformers and their work. We must never allow this view of history to be blurred in our minds. The Reformers not only gave us a new principle of exegesis and a new systematic theology but also a new way of looking at church history. This view of history is to be found implicitly in the three Reformation treatises of Luther written in 1520. It is also found more explicitly in the Fourth Book of Calvin's Institutes and in Foxe's Book of Martyrs, as it is popularly called.

There are today powerful influences at work tending to obscure this attitude to church history, which was once the commonplace view of Protestants. The Oxford Movement of the 1830s seriously challenged this view of providence which we are referring to. But, more recently, it has been blurred in people's minds by the misguided statements of some Protestant leaders, who are suggesting that the Reformation was something of a tragedy or, at least, an unfortunate mistake.

If the Reformation comes to be looked on as a tragedy, then Protestants will have ceased to be the real spiritual heirs of the Reformers. To give ground on a point of history is, in effect, to concede to a new theology. There are many who do not appear to see that this is the case. But it must be so. To recover out of the present state of decline, therefore, means that Protestants must go back to the older view of history which looked at the Reformation as a return from darkness to light. Post tenebras lux is more than a slogan. It is an interpretation of providence. Indeed, it implies a vital creed.

To be continued.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eternity and Its Pitfalls!

"God has revealed the true righteousness of his purposes in the just and merciful gospel of his Son."

Such are the closing words of the second of two related articles on Unbelief and Doubts by Rev Michael Jensen in the June 2011 and November 2011 issues of Eternity - a magazine distributed to churches from Sydney.

Taken on its own it all sounds good doesn't it? However, if you had read the content of both articles carefully you ought to have noted the sowing of seeds of tares along with seeds of wheat by Rev Jensen.

In the earlier of the two articles (Unbelief) Rev Jensen recalls a time in theological seminary when a lecturer asked students to rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 6 as to doubts of faith - a 6 indicating a considerable degree of doubt. Rev Jensen felt the only number he could circle with integrity was 6 and he did so. It is evident from the article that he still has doubts today and seems to take comfort in declaring "... there are many Christian leaders wrestling with doubt. " From this position he offers advice to (and appears to affirm) doubters, commencing with the assertion that "the Bible itself speaks from within the experience of doubt." I refute this assertion. There is a gulf between faith and doubt and there are degrees of perception in faith (Heb. 11:1,39). The authors of the books of the Bible had faith in God while not necessarily knowing all the mind of God. Psalmists expressing concern at a circumstance they experienced were not doubting God - for they appealed to God - but, instead, were expressing frustration at not knowing the mind of God in their situation and/or sought delivery from circumstance. The man Job was similarly placed.

Lack of faith is always associated with elevating worldly reason above what God has said (His Word). Those commended for their faith (Heb. 11) are commended for putting worldly reason in submission to the Word of God. They may not have perceived with their eyes (or their mind's eye) fully what God was going to do but they trusted God and will be rewarded with perfection.

Having manufactured a case for doubt from an errant premise Rev Jensen goes on to again disseminate his dangerous view in the November issue of Eternity. After introducing a spurious example of failed doomsday 'prophet' Harold Camping - who obviously doesn't trust the Word of God - Rev Jensen asserts an affinity with Camping and many Christians (obviously including Jensen himself). He alleges a widespread "disappointment and frustration with the uncertainty that necessarily accompanies faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Basically, we just want more certainty than we have been given. And yet, we cannot, we do not, have a knowledge of everything we would wish to know about. This leaves us - well, where does this leave us? Feeling insecure perhaps - or at least, with an insecurity that we seek to, fill with certainties. We would like to know because a little extra knowledge would surely anchor our faith more securely against the winds of doubt that come blowing through from time to time."

This is serious stuff! Moving in the circle of doubters and faithless as he apparently does Rev Jensen attempts to paint the majority of Christians as like-minded and moves on to, in some way, justify lack of faith whereas the Bible says otherwise.

I know, I know, some will accuse me of taking Rev Jensen out of context for, they will say, he goes on to say there is such a thing as "right doubting" (?) and he exhorts Christians to trust, ultimately, in the gospel revealed in Jesus Christ. However, it is the other things he says that dangerously affirm doubting the Word of God and this ought to ring alarm bells for others as it does me.

When he makes statements in the article like "We cannot explain history. In fact, to attempt to do so is a kind of blasphemy. If we could explain God in this way, or know his mind, he would not be truly God." Rev Jensen goes too far, particularly in respect to his discouragement of attempting to know the mind of God. The Apostle Paul encourages knowing the mind of God (Col. 1:9-10) and (Rom. 12:1-2).

Looking beyond Rev Jensen's rounding-off of his articles on Unbelief and Doubts with words of encouragement to persevere I fear what is really going is that Rev Jensen is attempting to justify his trust in worldly reason at the expense of trust in the Word of God. How could you not say that a man is struggling with trust in the Word of God when earlier this year on his blogspot an inquirer asked whether from the mention of Noah in the genealogy contained in Genesis 5 we can conclude that Noah was a real person, Rev Jensen replied with words to the effect of "not necessarily"?

Sadly, Rev Jensen is taking many people down a perilous path to unbelief. For his sake and the sake of others I encourage him to take heed of the words of Bishop J. C. Ryle more than a century ago in his work "Practical Religion" where he says on page 114 " ... the Bible no doubt contains hard things, or else it would not be the book of God. It contains things hard to comprehend, but only hard because we have not grasp of mind to comprehend them. It contains things above our reasoning powers, but nothing that might not be explained if the eyes of our understanding were not feeble and dim. But is not an acknowledgment of our own ignorance the very corner-stone and foundation of all knowledge? Must not many things be taken for granted in the beginning of every science, before we can proceed one step towards acquaintance with it? Do we not require our children to learn many things of which they cannot see the meaning at first? And ought we not then to expect to find 'deep things' when we begin studying the Word of God, and yet to believe that if we persevere in reading it the meaning of many of them will one day be made clear? No doubt we ought so to expect, and so to believe. We must read with humility. We must take much on trust. We must believe that what we know not now, we shall know hereafter, - some part in this world, and all in the world to come."

Eternity magazine, reaching into many churches as it does, has a responsibility to consider carefully what it puts into church buildings. The consequences are eternal when the subjects of doubt and unbelief in the Word of God are left so open-ended and inadequately handled as Rev Jensen leaves them.

Sam Drucker

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 68 Genesis 2:3

3. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, for on it He desisted from all His work which He had created by making.

Creatures have been blessed (v. 22), man has been blessed more richly (v. 28). The summary creation account which began at 1:1 is aptly concluded by an act of divine blessing, which, however, in this case attaches itself to the seventh day. The object of this rather unusual procedure is twofold: on the one hand, such an act serves as an indication to man that rest such as the divine rest is noble and holy and by no means to be lightly esteemed; in the second place, those blessings of the Sabbath that are later to flow forth for the good of than are potentially bestowed on it. For on the one hand, the verb "he sanctified it" (qiddesh), being a Piel stem, has the connotation of a causative--as the Piel often does (K. S. 95) and on the other hand, it at the same time has a declarative sense: "He declared holy, or consecrated." However, it should be well observed that no commandment is laid upon mankind at this point. Procksch remarks rightly and pointedly: "for the present the Sabbath stays in heaven." Yet this does not make the Sabbath a futile abstraction, but, as was remarked above, its connection with the divine rest or cessation from labour is made to stand forth as. a worthy divine act.

At the same time the entire groundlessness of the critical assumption becomes apparent, where the arrangement of works according to days is attributed to clever and purposeful manipulation on the part of the author. For, having eight major works, he (it is said) nevertheless compresses them within six days, to be followed by a seventh rest day, in order to secure a divine parallel to the Hebrew week. This is not a week ordained for man. It is entirely a divine week. Nor is there clever editorial manipulation, but simply an accurate and straightforward account of things as they actually took place.

With a certain fulness of expression this part of the account comes to a dignified close with the causal clause, "for on it He desisted," etc. The adjective clause "which He had created by making" conveys the thought that, though it was creative work (bara'), yet at the same time this creative work was accomplished by work which was done through successive steps: "by making" (la'asoth). This gerundival use of the infinitive is explained in K. S. 402 y and G. K. 114 o.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Richard Dawkins Triumphs Again!

It is embarrassing and discomforting when your opponent latches onto and exposes your "Achilles' Heel". Richard Dawkins did this recently when interviewed by Howard Condor on Revelation TV in the United Kingdom.

I recite parts of the interview here following:

Condor. "Was there a particular experience you had where you said, 'That's it, God doesn't exist'"

Dawkins. "Oh, well, by far the most important, I suppose, was understanding evolution. I think the evangelical Christians have really sort of got it right, in a way, in seeing evolution as the enemy. Whereas the more—what shall we say—sophisticated theologians who are quite happy to live with evolution, I think they're deluded. I think the evangelicals have got it right, in that there really is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity, and I think I realized that at the age of about sixteen.

Dawkins went on to question the interviewer saying: Why on earth would ... you believe in Genesis, given that the Archbishop of Canterbury is against it, given that the Pope is against it, any respectable bishop is against it ...?" [as, also, is the Episcopalian Archbishop of Sydney]

We must make a distinction here between Evangelical and that which is not Evangelical but, instead, a sort of faux evangelical. Dawkins obviously uses the term Evangelical in the traditional and true sense as one who trusts and espouses the Word of God. There are many today who just do not trust and espouse the Word of God fully yet they claim to be Evangelical. Many in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney are of this kind and are faux evangelicals.

Dawkins rightly sees the incompatibility between Evolution and Christianity and he stands as a ready victor in any debate against a Theistic Evolution.

Should Richard Dawkins venture to Australia again, please, please Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney, don't put up any Theistic Evolutionist (eg the Archbishop of Sydney) in debate against him. For the sake of Christ's Church here in Sydney, let's keep our embarrassments hidden in a corner.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Peace on Earth to All Men!

Very few who take to the pulpit in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney could be called Preachers. They are more aptly to be called Teachers. We are not in an age blessed with men who preach with power and unction. However, there are certain principles which ought to apply equally to Preachers and Teachers.

What Maurice Roberts, former Editor of the Banner of Truth journal, had to say on "Acceptable Service" in the July 1989 edition of the journal has as much importance to Teachers in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney today as to Preachers in any age. He said this:

"Preachers, more than all other Christians, are to be concerned with faithfulness in their service. They are stewards of the gospel 'mysteries' [1 Cor. 4:1] and hence they are to remember above all men that 'it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful' [1 Cor. 4:2]. To become a preacher is to become, at least in principle, a martyr. This must be so because the preacher's duty is to say to men what they most need to hear but least wish to hear. Men are intensely sensitive about their religious sins and they deeply resent exposure in those things in which they most flatter themselves that they are acceptable to God.

The preacher's task is to take the lion by the beard and the wolf by his ears. If the preacher is not courageous enough to do so, then he can hardly be said to render acceptable service to Christ, his Master. Shall Christ be faithful unto the death of the cross and yet his servants be too craven to annoy men's sleeping consciences? No preacher should let sleeping dogs lie nor sweep respectable religious sins under the carpet for others to deal with twenty years later. 'Fight the devil where you find him', is the motto of the true prophet.

It must be a sign that reformed preachers are rendering acceptable service when they are resented and resisted by the carnal in their congregation. This is not meant as a defence of ministerial indiscretion but as an encouragement to ministerial faithfulness. A young preacher is apt to blame it all on himself when the principal men and women of a congregation are aroused against him. It may indeed be that he is partly to blame. But the greatest sin might rather be in those who rise up against him because his application of God's word is all too true. Religious sinners, when cut close to the bone, can react with incredible fury and they can spit like fire at the hand which wields the sword in the pulpit.

When truth is applied faithfully, it is deemed by God to be acceptable service and a 'sweet savour of Christ' [2 Cor. 2:15], even when - indeed especially when - it brings unjust wrath upon the head of the preacher.

What a far cry from the 'club' mentality prevailing in Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney. Into the church come the goats with their carnal ideas of the world along with errant Christians clinging to carnal ideas of the world. Each fashion their own view of God. It is these who dictate the direction and order of the church. It is to these that Pastors and Teachers bow at the expense of the truth of the Word of God. There is no discomfort to be brought to their mind, no provocation of their senses. Harmony and ease of relations is the priority. The Word of God must take second place to an agreeable gathering of souls.

In ninety-five percent of the churches of the Diocese a suggestion of having someone speak to the congregation who holds to the Word of God on Origins, who maintains the position of the Reformers and Puritans, who honours the Office of Jesus Christ as Creator, is rejected as a device for division. Forgotten is the biblical principle of the Word being a sword which divides.

Peace on earth in the church is the goal, not the integrity of the Kingdom of God.

These Pastors and Teachers have forgotten what acceptable service to God is for their desire is acceptable service to men, men who submit to the world instead of to God and His revelation of Jesus Christ in Creation.

And so it is that the church continues its march to removing any distinction between itself and the world.

Sam Drucker

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 67 Genesis 2:2

2. And on the seventh day God declared His work on which He was engaged, finished, and He desisted on the seventh day from all the work on which He had been engaged.

After the first verse has plainly stated that all was finished, the statement of v. 2 to the effect that not until the seventh day God finished His work (A. R. V.) is, to say the least, misleading. A.V. evaded the problem by substituting "ended" for "finished" (v. 1), although the same verb root is involved yekkullu (v, 1), yekhal (v. 2). But the verb used in v. 2 is of the Piel stem, which is sometimes declarative in sense, as tiher means "to declare clean," Lev. 13:6- 14-48, and timme' means "to declare unclean," Lev. 13:8; 20:25. So here we may have the meaning, "He declared finished." Thus the difficulty, which prompted the Septuagint translators and many since (cf. K.) to alter "seventh" to "sixth," is satisfactorily removed. Cf. K. C. The pluperfect, adopted from Meek, "on which He had been engaged," is not a necessary translation. Pluperfect renderings should be employed with great caution. The meaning is the same when the imperfect is used: "on which He was engaged."

Since the primary meaning of the verb shabhath is "to cease" or "to desist," we are freed of all misconceptions which may attach to God's activity if we adopt this meaning. If God desisted from labour on this day, then no more work was done on it, then nothing had to be completed, then no unseemly thought about God's being weary needs to be rejected. The verse then amounts to an emphatic statement to the effect that just as on the preceding days a marvellous creative work was in progress, so now that type and that manner of working on God's part came to an end. He declared all finished, he desisted from all. The "work" that He desisted from is described by the term mela'khah, meaning a special task He had set for Himself and afterward "used regularly of the work or business forbidden on the Sabbath" (Driver quoted by Skinner) (Ex 29:9, 10; 35:2; Je 17:22, 24) et al. Incidentally, in this connection Skinner makes the very sane observation that "the actual Jewish Sabbath as we know it (is) without any point of contact in Babylonian institutions." However, the thing under consideration in these verses is not the Jewish Sabbath but the creation Sabbath.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Moore College Slumbers in Sleep to Death.

Our Lord spoke sharply to wake the sleeping church of Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6). "Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you."

Such a warning is not out of place with the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney and its theological seminary, Moore College.

I have been passed a copy of the Moore College Annual Report 2011. In the report the Principal intimates the theological seminary is at the forefront of upholding and encouraging students in the Word of God.

I restate some of the Principal's words here:

"We are here to serve God who wills to be known and honoured by all people everywhere. Our chief focus is knowing God who has spoken to the whole world by his Son through his word (the Bible). Hence we seek to prepare pastoral-hearted preachers equipped to proclaim the good news in any setting, gospel servants fit for service and mission wherever God might use them to build his church. We aim to equip graduates with a clear understanding of how the whole Bible and all of its parts bear witness to Christ so that they can faithfully teach and defend the evangelical and reformed Christian faith.

So that God's word can comprehensively renew their thinking (about everything!) we are serious about learning well and thoroughly

Readers of this blogspot will know that that is just not true with respect to our Lord Jesus' Office of Creator. The teaching of Moore College on Origins destabilizes faith in our Lord as Creator. As much as the church in Sardis was failing to hold to the Word of Christ so Moore College fails to hold to the Word of Christ i.e. Christ in Word Written and Incarnate. Whatever "renew[ing of} their thinking (about everything!)" is experienced by students cum graduates of Moore College it can be certain that on the matter of Christ's Office as Creator it is to the demeaning of faith by constraining faith to only part of the gospel. In this, Moore College has departed from "the evangelical and reformed Christian faith."

Surely, something along the lines of "writing on the wall" had been afforded the faculty of Moore College when the man appointed some years ago to instruct students in Theistic Evolution was later exposed to an experience which prompted him to take the serious step of relinquishing Holy Orders? But no, this was all missed.

Notwithstanding that, some later words by the Principal in the Moore College Annual Report 2011 shed light on why the College will have great difficulty returning to the evangelical and reformed Christian faith. Note the following:

In response to our changing world new and exciting patterns of evangelism, church and ministry are emerging. There are some who call for radically different patterns of theological education. At the same time as hostility to Christianity seems to be on the increase, government policies have made theological education accessible to more people than ever (through FEE-HELP and other assistance). This has come at the cost of much greater external regulation of the College's operation. These and other challenges are outlined more fully later in this report."

In its push to get as many people as possible through its doors Moore College has negotiated to put students on the "government welfare teat". Gone is faith in God for discernment as to suitable candidates, reliance on God for sustaining students through seminary and into ministry. Now it is faith in the government and the comfort that affords. Irrespective of the shift in to whom faith rests for needs, the "sting in the tail" is that government regulations are likely to influence what may be taught. When government requires the teaching of evolution in other levels of education it can be expected that funding of students through FEE-HELP will bring pressure against teaching a world view which excludes evolution.

Some key evangelicals in Great Britain last century warned against theological seminaries seeking accreditation with secular institutions. They were right and the church there and here is the worse for not heeding the warning. Moore College has bound itself and its students to compromise. It is faith that will suffer first followed by the death of the church here in Sydney.

What is needed is a reformation - a waking up to sweep through Moore College and the Diocese bringing with it faith in all the Word of God and a reliance on God to bring forward the right candidates for ministry and meet the needs of those students in training and later ministry.

Sam Drucker

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

And Another Atheist in From the Cold!

A recent blog concerning a man who left Atheism for Jesus Christ attracted some blind denial from an Atheist. I don't want to labour this blogspot with the multitude of similar accounts of conversion but just one more at this stage won't hurt.

John Sanford made a similar change. Wikipedia records he was formerly an Atheist but became a Christian following his observations in Genetics.

In his subsequent book Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome Sanford says:

"Late in my career, I did something that would seem unthinkable for a Cornell professor. I began to question the Primary Axiom [Evolution]. I did this with great fear and trepidation. I knew I would be at odds with the most "sacred cow" within modern academia. Among other things, it might even result in my expulsion from the academic world. Although I had achieved considerable success and notoriety within my own particular specialty (applied genetics), it would mean stepping out of the safety of my own little niche. I would have to begin exploring some very big things, including aspects of theoretical genetics which I had always accepted by faith alone. I felt compelled to do all this, but I must confess that I fully expected to simply hit a brick wall. To my own amazement, I gradually realized that the seemingly "great and unassailable fortress" which has been built up around the Primary Axiom is really a house of cards. The Primary Axiom is actually an extremely vulnerable theory. In fact, it is essentially indefensible. Its apparent invincibility derives largely from bluster, smoke, and mirrors. A large part of what keeps the Axiom standing is an almost mystical faith that the "true-believers" have in the omnipotence of natural selection. Furthermore, I began to see that this deep-seated faith in natural selection is typically coupled with a degree of ideological commitment which can only be described as religious. I started to realize (again with trepidation) that I might be offending the religion of a great number of people!

To question the Primary Axiom required me to re-examine virtually everything I thought I knew about genetics

I can recommend the book. It is a real 'eye-opener' on what confronts humanity.

Sam Drucker

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 66 Genesis 2:1


I. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished and all their host.

Though the first word literally reads "and they were finished," yet the idea of retrospect involved in the verse was caught, very beautifully by Luther, who rendered "and" also;" thus" is an equally correct rendering of A. V. Attention is particularly drawn to the elaborateness and completeness of this work by the added subject "and all their host" (tsebha'am). Without a doubt, this expression includes all the works found in heaven and on earth as a result of the creative work thus described. "Host" (tsabha') may refer to the stars; cf. (Ne 9:6; De 4:19; 17:3; 2Ki 17:16), etc. It may refer to angels: (2Ki 22:19; Ne 9:6; Ps 148:2). Here its connection determines its reference to the things just made. Since the creation account has up to this point said nothing about angels, it will hardly be safe to advance the claim that the angels are meant to be included in this term. The time of the creation of angels is as little fixed by this account as falling on this day as it is assigned to the fourth, We simply know nothing definite as to the time of their creation.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I saw this on the Anglican blog, so worth putting here: John Dickson opens mouth to change feet: if he's wrong here, why would he be right in saying that Genesis has nothing to do with the real world and its days passing!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Another Atheist Comes in From the Cold!

Following on from a similar testimony a couple of months ago I thought I might post the following extract of a newsletter from Creation Ministries International received this week:

"The really special, deep joy is of course whenever one finds out about someone brought from darkness into the marvellous light of the Gospel, as God is gracious to use us 'earthen vessels'.

One of these occasions involved one of our CMI speakers, prior to his retirement after 3 years ministry in Sydney—Warwick Armstrong. He told us recently of the exciting story of Sai-Chung C. who actually contacted CMI to get in touch with Warwick a few months ago. Warwick wrote":

'Sai-Chung was an atheist activist attending church to study Christianity — so as to be effective in undermining it! I gave a talk at this Chinese church ... in 2003. I vaguely remember a group of young Chinese University students coming forward afterwards, and asking many questions.'

"Warwick told us that the aim of this group was to challenge the creation speaker, but it was they who were challenged. In an email, Sai-Chung told us that this encounter was what God used to very quickly thereafter bring him to Christ. He is now a youth group leader in the Chinese Extension Church of one of the largest churches in Australia. As Warwick puts it":

'How extraordinary and exciting to be part of such a wonderful event! Truth is a mighty weapon.'

"But there is more. Sai-Chung's reason for contacting CMI to search for Warwick was to gain his assistance in polishing Sai-Chung's first-ever creation talk, to 70 high school and university students at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Warwick attended that presentation, along with CMI's Dr Mark Harwood, also based in Sydney. Warwick wrote that it was an impressive, God-honouring first-time effort, and said":

'What an overwhelming experience to listen to an ex-atheist holding forth on the truth of God's Word and the lie of evolution. What a truly emotional experience it was for me to see this regenerated man infusing hope and challenge to the young believers present. It was a bold, strong challenge placed before those yet to believe. Can there be anything more exciting and rewarding than this, to see this fruit which will be there for eternity? I doubt it. Definitely not.'

Events such as the turn around in this young man's life would not have occurred with responses given by Archbishop Jensen in a recent debate with Atheists in Sydney.

Sam Drucker

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 65 on sermons


There is so much matter in every line of this chapter that perhaps the chief danger encountered is the tendency to use too short a text. We personally believe that here for once it might be permissible to use as a text one verse such as v. 1 or v. 27. But to treat such a Scripture properly requires true homiletical skill. We feel that it might be best to treat the work of each of the creative days separately in six distinct texts, always stressing how each day's work displays primarily God's great power but then also very manifestly His wisdom and His mercy. The apologetic approach should be avoided. Attempts to harmonize science and religion lie too much in the realm of apologetics and usually are not handled very successfully. A warning should be offered here against allegorizing the chapter, as is done by all those who see in the successive stages of creation a picture of the successive steps in the process of conversion. Attractive as the parallel may be, it does not lie in the purpose of the chapter and should not be injected. In sermons on other texts it may be appropriate to use material from Genesis Chapter One incidentally as providing a kind of illustration--a use found in (2Co 4:6). But allegorizing as such does violence to the purpose of this chapter. Talley's A Socratic Exposition of Genesis as well as Rimmer's books tend toward this unwarranted allegorizing.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

An Element in Spiritual Declension of Sydney Episcopalian Diocese

Christians, over the generations, have had various passages of Scripture to wrestle with to understand the mind and intent of God. Understanding the mind of God through the writing of Apostle Paul at Romans 11:26 has been one such passage.

Maurice Roberts, Editor of the Banner of Truth Trust, wrote an essay in Issue 304 of Banner of Truth Journal, January 1989, titled "The Mystery Concerning Israel". In his essay, Roberts said:

There are three principles of interpretation which need to be applied to Romans 11:26, as to any other hard passage of Scripture:

(1) terms are to be taken in their plain and obvious sense unless there is good reason to believe the plain sense to be inappropriate;

(2) the immediate context in which words are found will normally determine the sense in which they are used;

(3) every particular passage is to be compared with similar passages of Scripture. The rule of comparing Scripture with Scripture is one of the most fundamental safeguards we have when searching for the meaning of hard passages

Roberts ultimately concludes that the Romans 11:26 passage indicated a future time when Jews 'come in'[my term]. His first of four concluding points warrants mention here:

First, we may be compelled to break the mould of our conception of the dealings of God with mankind. We all tend habitually to fall into a two-fold conception of the world's history: Old Testament and New Testament. This is natural enough because that is the form in which God has given his Word to us. But it appears from Paul's manner of arguing in Romans 11 that God in fact is purposing to bless the world by what may be termed a three-fold progression: first Jews, then Gentiles, then both together. Not till the Spirit is poured out on Israel in the future will the high-water mark of God's purposes be reached in his gracious dealings with fallen mankind.

Writers on this site have noted advocates of Theistic Evolution in the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney also advocate something of a replacement theology whereby the Israel of promise post Resurrection is Christians of Pentecost and beyond.

Theistic Evolutionists thereby demonstrate their failure to apply a formula for interpreting Scripture tried and proven for understanding the mind of God. Further, it exposes how they have fallen into the pit of ignorance which has brought them to their parlous synchretism of the world and God and resultant Cosmogony.

If Moore Theological College had been able to instruct them in the importance of applying all three principles of application to Scripture, as identified by Maurice Roberts and many before him, the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney would not be in the state of declension currently experienced.

Sam Drucker

Thursday, September 15, 2011

News Flash: Peter Jensen resigns his holy orders and becomes a Hindu

It had been the move many observers of this archbishopric had long been expecting. Having had problems knowing how to fit his view of origins with the biblical Christian data, Peter Jensen threw in the towel and began the debate with a mantra to Kali and Shiva. Of course this took the atheists by surprise but nevertheless they understood the man's stand as an apologetic for a schizophrenic god or gods of the far east and not the Christian orthodoxy handed down to us through the ages by Christ the Creator, the disciples and the early Church fathers.

In this week's debate Jensen, clearly demonstrating he's been “cheated through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ”, anaemically boasted that “it is not with evolution as science that I have a problem; it is with evolution as an idolatrous explanation of all things; it confuses mechanism with agency; science with theology.”

The atheist team perspicaciously responded to Pundit Jensen's calumny against the Creator by pointing out, “As we survey all the world's horrible circumstances, the endlessly varied kinds of excruciating pain, the deep suffering and sheer misery, inflicted on so many human beings and other vulnerable living things, it is not believable that a God of Love would have remotely adequate reasons to permit it all. And it's no use responding to such questions with talk of free will. If free will means anything, it means being able to act in accordance with your own nature and values. God is supposed to have free will, and yet we are assured by theologians that God will never act malevolently because it is not in his nature to do so. God will always freely choose to do good. Well, why wouldn't God create other beings with benevolent natures who will also freely choose to do good? Heaven is supposed to be like that, so why isn't Earth? And anyway, only a relatively small amount of the suffering there has been in the world over hundreds of millions of years could possibly have anything to do with the free choices of human beings. Why has an all-powerful, all-knowing God of Love brought about the world's current life forms through the process of biological evolution, which has, as God could have foreseen, led to untold misery in the animal world? Why would God choose this as the process to bring about beings like us? Biologists tell us that the evolutionary process inevitably produces design flaws - often painful or debilitating for the creatures concerned. These are present everywhere in the natural world, and in fact in the human genome itself. These flaws are just part of the evidence that life on Earth has diversified over time through the blind process of evolution, rather than being the product of a guiding intelligence. So why would an all-powerful, all-knowing God of Love choose a process that foreseeably produces so many atrocious outcomes for the creatures involved? Why would an all-powerful, all-knowing God of Love choose the cruel, brutal operation of evolution, in which species supersede each other? You can't reconcile the process of evolution with the existence of such a god.”

Well done, atheists! We salute you!

Jensen, you're an apostate knucklehead!

Leupold Genesis part 64 verse 31

31. And God saw all that He had made and behold it was very good. Then came evening, then came morning--the sixth day.

The writer says with emphasis that no imperfection inhered in the work God had wrought up till this point: For after all preceding statements to the effect that individual works were good comes this stronger statement to the effect that it was "very good," making a total of seven times that the word is used--seven being the mark of divine operation. The thought that God might be the author of evil and imperfection must be guarded against most strenuously (Strack). The "behold" moves the expression "very good" prominently into the foreground (K. S. 341V). Kol before 'asher lies on the borderline between partitive genitive and appositional genitive (K. S. 337 h). "The Sixth" has the article with the numeral for the first time (G. K. 126 w), meaning: "the sixth day,'" that last memorable creative day of God.

The next three verses had best be taken as the conclusion of the summary creation account of the first chapter, because the record of this account cannot be complete till all of the seven days have passed in review. More appropriate would have been the chapter division at 2:4.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


The Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney, having largely turned its back on the Word of God in Genesis 1, wrestles with how to reach the lost. To put it plainly, the Connect 09 strategy was not a blessed event, bringing only a patchy and mediocre (at best) result. Such as you would expect when the work is of man. Ought the Diocese expect better when it is the Lord's work to build His Church and is he likely to use blunt instruments?

The situation gets no better with the front page pronouncement in the Sept 2011 edition of Southern Cross (the Diocesan newspaper) that music is a vehicle for the Gospel. I wonder what someone like C. H. Spurgeon would say about this. Oh, goodness me, look here, some two centuries ago he had this to say:

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most short-sighted can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years it has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out as the Puritans did, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? 'Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.' That is clear enough. So it would have been if he had added, 'and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel.' No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to him. Then again, 'He gave some apostles, some prophets, some pastors and teachers, for the work of the ministry.' Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all His apostles. What was the attitude of the Church to the world? 'Ye are the salt,' not the sugar candy - something the world will spit out, not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance. "Let the dead bury their dead.' He was in awful earnestness!

Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into his mission, he would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of his teaching. I do not hear him say. 'Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!' Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them. In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of the gospel of amusement. Their message is, 'Come out, keep out, keep clean out!' Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon. After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but they did not pray, 'Lord grant unto thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are.' If they ceased not for preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They 'turned the world upside down'. That is the only difference! Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her and bring us back to apostolic methods.

Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the Church met them half-way, speak and testify. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment had been God's link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of
the hour for today's ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire

In addition to an unhealthy elevation of music you can add drama as an unhelpful introduction to the church.

Sam Drucker