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Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Genesis of Nothing

Robert Lewis Dabney was a 19th Century Theologian, Chief of Staff to Stonewall Jackson and author. One of Dabney's works was Sacred Rhetoric, published in 1881. In this work Dabney, in addressing the subject of Preaching, said that the state of the pulpit may always be taken as an index of that of the Church. Oh, how Dabney would lament the sorry state of the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney when so-called evangelicals can speak up a paper called The Genesis of Everything. This paper, by someone who presents himself as some sort of historian, drains the creation account in Genesis 1 of its historical content.

How can a Christian trust what the author of the paper says about New Testament history when he puts as much credibility on a contrary and pagan creation account as that contained in the Word of God and then proceeds to invoke a range of misappropriated literary devices to remove Genesis 1 of its historical narrative genre?

It is almost as if Robert Lewis Dabney had this day's underwhelming historian and theologian in mind when writing about historical sermons and said:

But, for the tyro, the chief difficulty of historical sermons is to catch correctly the precise didactic scope of the sacred narrative, and to limit himself to it. Certain schools, of even Protestant preachers, have given us deplorable examples of error here. They have used the plain histories of the Bible as though they were riddles for the exercise of an ingenious fancy. They have formed allegories where the Holy Ghost has warranted them in seeing none. They have interpreted these histories as though any analogy which a vagrant imagination could invent between a Bible fact and a supposed moral were a perfect demonstration that this was the truth which the Spirit intended to teach in that place. Your own good sense should show you that a mode of interpretation cannot be correct which enables different men to extract the most variant meanings from the same words. It is utterly condemned by what has been established concerning the preacher's mission. He has naught to do save to deliver God's message out of the Scriptures; his only concern is with the meaning intended by the Holy Ghost in the place expounded.

The author of The Genesis of Everything contravenes all principle espoused by Dabney just so he can accommodate the errant and idolatrous theistic evolutionists within his Diocese.

I'll leave the final word to Lauren S. Bottomly who wrote Concluding Thoughts on R.L. Dabney: The Sensualistic Philosophy, 2006, and made the following comment: Evolution theory is maddening to a Christian. It affronts God; it denies his work and perfect intelligence, and it cancels man’s promised destiny of glorious liberty with him.

Sam Drucker

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