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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Terror in Idyllic Blue Mountains of NSW

Thousands of wheat and tares gather annually in Katoomba, NSW, during the early weeks of January for the CMS (Church Missionary Society) Summer School. It is a popular event and will likely attract similar numbers from 7-13 January 2012.

I have been handed a brochure promoting the upcoming event and I was struck by the promotional statements contained within it - all surrounding the Speaker and topic. I restate a couple of paragraphs:

Who's Speaking?

Dr Peter Jensen has been the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney since 2001. A key leader in the worldwide Anglican Church, he has written a number of books on Christian doctrine, including "At the Heart of the Universe" (1991) and "The Revelation God" (2002). Prior to his election as archbishop, Peter Jensen was Principal of Moore College and lectured in systematic and biblical theology. He is a gifted preacher and teacher. Peter Jensen will be speaking on the first 11 chapters of Genesis.

This summer join us as Archbishop Peter Jensen takes us back to the beginning. The beginning of the world, the beginning of grace. Be inspired as he opens up the first 11 chapters of Genesis. Be challenged as he draws out the relevance of these ancient stories to modern mission

What is in store for attendees? Will it be erosion of faith or encouragement of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in all His "offices"? It is terrifying to contemplate the former. Yet it is not without good reason - unless the Archbishop has had a sort of "Damascus Road" experience such as Theologian R.C. Sproule had in recent years. Without such a change we are left to be terrified because of past declared Theistic Evolution sentiments expressed in PTC notes, the appointment to staff at Moore College some years ago of a strong advocate of Theistic Evolution and its mouthpiece in the Church - ISCAST, and the rampant spread of belief in Theistic Evolution within the Diocese of Sydney in the years since.

"the beginning of grace" What grace exists in such a monstrous process of Creation?

Sam Drucker

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Church and its Heresies

Search the dictionaries and you will find 'nature' defined as something corresponding to "Thing's essential qualities, person's or animals innate character". On another level, you think, speak and act according to your nature. As our Lord Jesus Christ put it "Each tree is recognized by its own fruit." (Luke 6:44)

It is important to remember this as you consider heresies which have arisen in Christ's Church since Pentecost. I am going to identify and comment briefly on some of the early heresies here following (much of the commentary is direct quoting from "Know The Truth" by Bruce Milne; Inter-Varsity-Press, 1981):


Derived from Jewish Christianity and attempted to solve a perceived problem of the relationship of humanity and divinity in Christ by effectively removing the divinity. Jesus was simply the human, though divinely appointed, Messiah who was destined to return at the end of the age to reign on the earth by God's sovereign power. In effect this left the gulf between God and man unbridged.


Dates from apostolic times. In contrast to Ebionism it solved the problem by excising the humanity of Christ. Jesus only seemed human (Gk. doceo - seem). Its roots lie in Graeco-Oriental convictions that matter is inherently evil and that God cannot be the subject of feelings or other human experiences. Docetism was unacceptable because it cut the bridge between God and man at the other end; God did not really come to us, hence no effective sacrifice was made for our sins.


The thought-world of Gnosticism has been said to be loaded with bizarre speculations, and it is unclear how far it was a unified system of thought. Christ is seen by some Gnostic writers as descended from the heavenly stratosphere or 'fullness' (Gk. pleroma); he united himself for a time with a historic person, Jesus, whose body was formed of a psychic substance, the two elements being loosely linked in him. Gnosticism clearly reflected a strong Docetic tendency. It effectively cut the bridge at both ends; neither true God nor true man, Christ was unfitted to be the mediator.


Revolved around the views of Arius (256-336), a presbyter of Alexandria who had been influenced by the great teacher, Origen. Arius came to hold that 'the Son was created'. Arius had imbibed Plato's division between the tangible world of sense experience and the intangible world of ideas. God, the absolutely unique and unoriginated source of all things, belonged to the second of these worlds, so was radically separated from the created world. Once this framework is accepted there is obviously great difficulty in fitting the Son (Logos, the Word, Jn. 1:1) into the picture. Arius concluded that the Logos must belong to the creaturely side of being; hence he is not eternal,al5 but is himself a created being: 'there was a time when he [Christ] was not'. Christ is the most exalted of all creatures certainly, but ultimately only that.


Apollinarius (310-390), an over-enthusiastic supporter of Athanasius, held that in Jesus the eternal Word (Logos) took the place of the human soul. At the incarnation God the Son took up residence in a human body, so that Christ did not possess a full human nature. The position, obviously Docetic in tendency, was rejected since it in effect denies that God truly became man.


Nestorius was appointed Archbishop of Constantinople in AD 428. In the interests of preserving the full manhood of the mediator, Nestorianism taught the separation of the two natures in Christ to the extent of rendering questionable his authentic personal unity; this rendered the incarnation invalid and imperiled salvation. Many scholars today believe that Nestorius himself did not hold many of the views attributed to him by his 'orthodox' opponents.


Eutyches, an outspoken opponent of Nestorianism, championed the unity of Christ's person and claimed that, while there were two natures before the incarnation, there was only one composite nature after it. This implies that Jesus is a third sort of being, neither true man nor true God, hence unable to act as mediator. Eutyches was condemned at the Synod of Constantinople in 448, but reinstated somewhat dubiously at Ephesus in 449. Clearly matters could not continue in this manner and a major council was summoned at Chalcedon in 451 to resolve the debates once and for all. The statement of the Council of Chalcedon, which was deeply influenced by the more pragmatic theology of the West, failed to please all the parties but has been the basis for orthodox formulations of the person of Christ ever since.

So ends the examples of heresies I am going to recall from the early church. There have been others but sufficient are provided to make the point.

It should be noted that, for all intents and purposes, these heresies arose from people purporting to be Christian. It should also not escape the reader's attention that, at its root, each heresy was a corruption of the 'Nature' of Jesus Christ. Proponents did not think they were maligning the 'Nature' of Jesus Christ. Instead, they likely hoped to be a help toward a right understanding in believers as to the true 'Nature' of the Jesus Christ.

It is clear that in some instances, and probably all, that their world view influenced proponents in the formulation of their doctrine cum heresy.

It is also evident from closer study that some heresies had large following, had been influential in the life of the church for a long time and incurred great pain and diligence to remove them from Christ's Church. Even today, at least one of those heresies has life in religious bodies considered now to be non-Christian.

We should note from this sad history of the church that the 'Nature' of Jesus Christ is not something to be taken casually because it has far reaching consequences for the Gospel of Jesus Christ i.e. His 'Nature', the condition of Man, His work on the Cross for Man and His Resurrection. Clearly, the 'Nature' of Jesus Christ is intrinsic to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the faithful of old saw this, fought for it and won the battle.

For more than a century another heresy has gained momentum within the church and is proving very difficult to dislodge. Like those heresies of old it corrupts the 'Nature' of Jesus Christ. It is that heresy which ascribes to Jesus Christ a method of creation that is bloody, frustration filled, intelligence lacking, disease and death-riddled and it is that called Theistic Evolution. All those characteristics are necessary components of the Theory of Evolution proposed by Charles Darwin and advocated by Neo-Darwinists today. These same characteristics must therefore be similarly acknowledged by those in the church who seek to super-impose Jesus Christ over the process to arrive at their 'dog's breakfast' - Theistic Evolution.

In their rush to embrace the prevailing world view on Origins, Theistic Evolutionists lose sight of the 'Nature' of Jesus Christ borne in His Incarnate Being. Demonstrating their foolishness these heretics inconsistently recognize the 'Nature' of Jesus Christ in his communications and activities when Incarnate yet are obliged to divorce Him from that same 'Nature' in His creative works at the beginning of Creation. This has to be the consequence of ascribing a bloody, frustration filled, intelligence lacking, disease and death-riddled process to Jesus Christ in His creative works.

Compare for a moment that 'survival of the fittest' principle pregnant in the ordering of life according to the theory of (Theistic) Evolution. Is that principle to be found in the 'Nature' of Jesus Christ? Who:

"being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in the appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross." (Phlp. 2:6-8)

and said "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt. 5:5)

and "Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy" (Matt. 5:7)

and "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God" (Matt. 5:9)

and "Do not resist and evil person. if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well" (Matt. 5:39-40)

and "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" Matt. 5:44)

Theistic Evolutionists, I have some questions for you.

Just who is the Jesus Christ you profess faith in?

What is the 'Nature' of this Jesus Christ you profess faith in?

How long will you espouse to the world the monster deity that you do?

How long will you continue eroding faith in Christ's Church?

Sam Drucker

Monday, August 15, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 62 verses 29, 30

29, 30. And God said: Behold, I have given you all herbs yielding seed which are upon the face of all the earth, and every tree upon which there is seed-bearing fruit--to you it shall be for food. And to all the wild beasts of the earth, and to all the birds, of the heavens, and to all the land reptiles in which there is a living soul (I have given) all the green herbs for food. And it was so.

Such basic directions as man needs for guiding his steps in this world which is entirely new to him are here given in the matter of food (v. 29), and at the same time it is revealed to man what manner of food is to provide sustenance for beasts (v. 30). Besides being a very welcome direction, this word is also another indication of the rich and abounding love that the Heavenly Father bears to His creatures, made in His image.

The opening "behold" imparts a certain vigour to this gracious bestowal. The verb "I have given" (nathsstti) stands in the perfect, the usual construction in ordinances or abiding decrees. The perfect gives the impression of a rule firmly fixed and already unwavering. (G. K. 106 m; K. S. 131). Man is permitted to use a great variety of things comprising a vegetable diet. Two great classes are laid open to him: "herbs yielding seed" and, "fruit trees which have seed-bearing fruit." The classes are indicated and the distinguishing marks that are to be observed are stated. This marks two of the three classes of v. 11 as adapted to man's use. Since there is the possibility that since the Fall vegetation may have suffered a very material change, perhaps we are no longer in a position fully to appreciate how apt the descriptive marks mentioned really are. However, the word "all" is indicative of the rich bounty bestowed. In a marvellously rich and beautiful world the rich bounty of very many different kinds of herbs and trees provided the finest proof of the Creator's goodness.

Without a doubt, this word covering what food is permissible was intended to be a complete guide as to what man might eat. If 9:3 be held at the side of this word, the contrast implies that animal food was not permitted. It will hardly do to point to man's dominion over the beasts of the field, over fowl, and over fish (v. 26), for this word (v. 29) very definitely shows man what he may use for food. We believe that sincere regard for the very letter of God's command will have led our first parents to stay strictly within the limits of this word. As to the question, whether any men ventured before the Flood to eat animal food, we can only offer surmises. Not all men continued in the right relation to God, and so there may have been some of the ungodly who ventured to transgress this original permission. But we cannot venture to call such procedure common. Least of all could any true believer have disregarded the restriction implied in this word.

Certainly, a measure of latitude is allowed to man in respect to what may be permissible and wholesome food for him. This broad allowance was never tended to be exhaustive. So it has been pointed out (Dillmann) that nothing is said, for example, about the use of milk and of honey, which may be thought of as lying on the borderline between animal and vegetable food. The critically minded should not forget that a being endowed with the high intelligence that we find in the first man needed no more than a broad outline to guide him to a choice pleasing to God and beneficial for himself.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Signpost on the Road to Irrelevance

Youthworks is the name given to a Diocese of Sydney Episcopalian ministry to youth. Earlier in 2011 Ruth Lukabyo, Church History and Evangelism Lecturer, Youthworks College, reported on the results of a survey she had undertaken with 208 Scripture students aged 11 to 14 years.

In State schools in NSW, Australia, parents can indicate on the student's enrolment form whether attendance in Special Religious Education i.e. instruction provided by certain religious organizations, should be available to their child. The format is commonly called Scripture and it allows various religious 'faiths' to sustain or 'evangelize' students in the respective faith. Atheists, Sceptics, Humanists (and their ally - the NSW Teachers' Federation Union) want Scripture removed but are frustrated because it is enshrined in an Act of Parliament.

Ruth Lukabyo was surprised at the result of her survey because she believed that earlier Scripture exposure and a likely proportion of students having come from Christian homes would have produced greater understanding of Christian basics. The four survey questions attracting most attention from students were:

1. How can I know that God exists?
2. How could a good God send people to hell?
3. How can I believe in a good God when there is so much suffering?
4. Doesn’t evolution prove that God doesn’t exist?

The survey also allowed students to pose their own questions outside the range provided. In this aspect of the survey the four most asked questions were:

1. Where does God come from?
2. Why did God make us?
3. If the Big Bang is true does that mean God is not?
4. What is heaven & hell and how do you go there?

Amongst other things Lukabyo goes on to say was: At this age adolescents are being taught the scientific law of cause and effect at school as well as the theory of the Big Bang. They seem to take to heart the maxim that every event has a cause: if the cause of the universe is God, then where did God come from, who made God? If the Big Bang is the ultimate cause of the universe, does this mean that we no longer need to believe in God? We need to clearly engage with these scientific questions of causation and show that a scientific explanation of the world and its origin does not rule out belief in God. The importance of this is shown by the number of children who grow up to give up their childhood faith. Mason et al show that the biggest reason for giving up faith at 16%, was “doing further study, especially science" Are we adequately dealing with the questions of origin to give children a coherent Christian worldview that can stand the test of time?

Sadly, most Sydney Episcopalians let loose in Scripture classes fail students at this point. Having syncretized the foundational Christian belief in Origins with the world's view of Origins they present an indigestible message to students. Even more questions arise. For one thing: How could a good/loving God use a bad means of Creation such as the mechanism of Evolution? For another: If the Creator used a process of death and struggle to create what would a future in Eternity with this Creator involve?

Such is the malaise within the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney that an affirmative answer to Ruth Lukabyo's question: Are we adequately dealing with the questions of origin to give children a coherent Christian worldview that can stand the test of time? is not to be found in the present order. Only a Reformation from the Hand of God will bring the necessary change. In saying this, I might also validly assert that the Reformation of five centuries ago did not go far enough. While key proponents such as Luther and Calvin upheld the traditional rendering of a six day Creation occurring only thousands of years prior they and others did not go far enough to remove the pagan influence of Aristotle from Christian thought. Perhaps then, the Reformation of centuries past is not yet complete and we ought to pray to God that He will raise up men who will take the Reformation forward to fulfilment. The tools are there on the matter of Origins. There are Christian men and women researching and publishing research which exposes the failings of the Evolution theory of Origins and the alleged Long Age for the Earth. If only alleged Christian brothers and sisters would read the research material and learn the shallowness and futility of the current world view.

If such a Reformation does not occur the increasing irrelevance of Christianity, particularly in the State school system, will hasten the day when provision for Special Religious Education is removed from the Act.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, August 7, 2011

When Talk Is Cheap.

Amid the deplorable decline in trust in the Word of God within the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney, and it is accelerating under the 'young guns' being given more print and lectern space than merit warrants, is the devious shift toward literary devices to explain away the original intent of the author of Scripture.

As pertaining to the Creation account, undue worth is given to pagan creation myths, even to suggesting that the Biblical Creation account is influenced by pagan accounts.

In their whoring after the world these Sydney Episcopalians literally adopt the position of the whoring wife which prophet Hosea symbolically married to expose an adulterous Israel. Their dilution of the authority of the Word of God has no boundary and the effect, while noticeable now, will have devastating consequences for the Episcopalian Diocese of Sydney in years to come.

I wonder whether the world, in its own strength, is showing Sydney Episcopalians something of the wisdom the Diocese is abandoning. The inheritance from the fathers of the Protestant Reformation is being cast aside and, to some extent has been taken up by the world.

This thought was reinforced in me recently when reading "Facts and Values - An Introduction to Critical Thinking For Nurses" written by Stan van Hooft, Lynn Gillam and Margot Byrnes and published by MacLennan & Petty Pty Ltd, 1995.

On the subject of Elements of Communication the following extracts provide principles which Sydney Episcopalians, especially the 'young guns', have long abandoned when approaching the Word of God. I cite some of these principles herewith:

Even in the event that the text has not been read by anyone, the writer can still be assumed to have had an audience in mind when he or she wrote it .....

Knowing how to send and receive communications includes knowing how some statements imply others and how certain things cannot be logically coherent. It includes knowing that if something is green it must be coloured, and that it makes no sense to say that it could be not green as well. (Logicians call this the law of non-contradiction.) .....

Also relevant, but more difficult to specify, are shared attitudes. Parties to successful communication must share attitudes in order to understand one another fully .....

A fifth element in the context of communication is difficult to describe in abstract terms. It is the ethics of communication. Parties to a communication have certain responsibilities in regard to it. Somebody who tells me something has an obligation to tell the truth. And I have an obligation to pay attention and to take what he tells me seriously. Authors and audiences must have appropriate intentions for a communication to succeed, and these are requirements of an ethical kind. There are values inherent in communication. It is important to notice that these sorts of requirements can make a difference as to whether a communication succeeds .....

This seventh and final element in communication might be described as levels of meaning. Most of the time we take what people say and write at face value. What the text says is what the author wants to tell us

I would suggest the aforesaid snippets of understanding are a legacy of Judeo-Christian influence of times past whereas the 'young guns' of the Sydney Episcopalian Diocese derive their thinking and application to that vaccuous proposition of thought - Post Modernism.

Sam Drucker

Monday, August 1, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 61 verse 28 Subdue

"Subdue," the new word in the account of man's dominion, is kabhash, and it differs from "have dominion" (radhah) in that its root rather implies "to knead", or "to tread," whereas the latter is the stronger according to parallel roots, meaning "to stamp down." Yet this difference is not to be pressed. The statement of the things to be ruled is a bit more condensed than in v. 26, for the last statement summarizes, "every living creature moving about upon the earth." This expression covers everything beyond "birds" and "fish," namely everything mentioned in addition in v. 26 with the exception of "all the earth." Again the text needs no correction or addition of "over the cattle" as Kittel suggests after the pattern of the Septuagint and of the Samaritan Pentateuch. This would merely secure a kind of wooden uniformity plus an idle. repetition. The statement in the text covers all this. This broader meaning of the verb ramas, "to move about," (B D B) is assured by the passages: (Ge 7:21; 8:19; Ps 104:20). "Subdue it," the verb with the object suffix (kibhshuha). offers the only. instance in this chapter of an object without the sign of the accusative ('eth).

A very important institution is brought into being at this point, the institution of marriage. Here is another point of correspondence between chapter one and chapter two, though the latter gives greater detail. After v. 26 has now given the summary account of the creation of one pair, "male and female," v. 27 proceeds to have the divine command laid upon this one pair: "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth." The primary purpose of marriage is here indicated. On "fill the earth" Whitelaw remarks: "This clause may be regarded as the colonist's charter"-- a very proper observation.

More Light Shines in the Dark

Heard about a panel discussion on Origins at a Egyptian Coptic Church in my neighbourhood tonight. I was free so I thought I would go along.

On arrival I learned that there was to be one each of a Biblical Creationist, a Theistic Evolutionist, an Intelligent Design and an Atheist speaker on the panel. The priest of the church had organised the event as part of the Apologetics stream of church teaching and preparation for the English speaking young congregation. The priest was quite an articulate and most affable man. He announced that every effort to secure an Atheist speaker from the nearby university failed. However, six to ten Atheists (or at least Humanists) turned up to be part of the audience and ask questions. The biblical Creationist was from Creation Ministries International; the Theistic Evolutionist turned out to be skeptic of evolution (but no fan of Biblical Creationism) who taught evolution at a Catholic institution because the curriculum required it; the other speaker was, I think, a member of the Coptic Church who was a medical student, an Intelligent Design advocate and a little antagonistic toward the Biblical Creationist. My rough count put the audience number at eighty plus attendees.

Another member of the church gave a half hour run-down on the different views and laid down guidelines for the audience to watch out for by way of errors of logic in the position to be espoused by panel members.

Each panel member was given five minutes to state their belief then, after a ten minute break, we got into the panel discussion. Most questions were directed at the Biblical Creationist both from other panel members and the audience. He handled it all gently but a little softly for my hearing.

While the priest carefully guided order there was a little disjointedness about the questions asked and answers given. I thought too that some questions and answers were a little over the head of the audience.

One Atheist when asking a question made a preliminary statement observing that this was the friendliest church he had been to. I agree as to the friendliness of the church. I also considered the Atheists to be polite and orderly.

I later overheard the priest in conversation say that his intention of having such an event was to help the young people of the church hear just what the Biblical Creationist position because there had been some animosity toward them from within the young and it was the priest's desire that his young ought not rely on what their opponents say about them. This is commendable but I felt the format did not provide the best means for the Biblical Creationist to state his position with clarity and completeness.

After the event I went to the table in the foyer where the Biblical Creationist's helpers had a table with some of their wares for sale. Notwithstanding my reservations at the format for the event, as I looked at things I heard young members of the church on the way out expressing warm thanks to the Biblical Creationists for coming along. Just politeness or appreciation of what they heard? - I think I read it more the latter. What convinces me most of this were two Sisters/Nuns (in habit) who came to the table while I was there. They were aged in their twenties or thirties and they had a very gentle and earnest manner in desire for more information on the Biblical Creationist position. I listened with interest as they spoke to a helper searching for help. They said they didn't want literature too heavily scientific because they were just starting out exploring the subject. I detected most of all in them that they trusted God, they believed his Word and they had not heard before that there were good reasons to maintain this trust from observations of (empirical and philosophical) science. There was a simple desire to understand their Lord more and this was the highlight of the night for me but close behind that was observing from afar the Biblical Creationist and the Intelligent Design medical student in prolonged discussion after the formalities of the event and then the two going over to the table of wares and the Biblical Creationist handing a book to the Intelligent Design medical student with it being accepted with genuine reception. From antagonism to inquiry - this is information transfer.

May it be that our Lord waters the seeds sown tonight. I'm glad I went and I wish more power to Biblical Creationists in their endeavours in the Name of our Lord.

Sam Drucker