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Friday, January 13, 2012

Rob Forsyth, you've done it again!

In the Herald this morning there was a small column about the squabbles over in Manifest Destiny land between various factions in the Episcopalian Church. It concerned the issue of who owned church property when there is break-up, in this case, over the ordination of homosexuals. The piece ended with a few well-chosen comments by our old mate Rob Forsyth.

Rob was quick to point out that the Sydney Anglican Episcopalian Diocese stood back-to-back with their less liberal brothers on the matter. After all, he underscored, faithfulness to Christ was paramount and “at the end of the day, Christians must put honouring and following Christ ahead of everything, including their buildings.”

Sounds great: it's just what you'd expect a bishop to say. But don't forget this is the same guy who erases the immediate hand of Christ at every opportunity presented to him. Take for example his comments about the miracle of the Red Sea parting: "The same can be said of other genuine miracles. By miracle here I am talking not about events in which the remarkable timing of a natural event has significance, like possibly the wind blowing back the Red Sea in Exodus 15."

And: "One point of clarification. I do not think Exodus 14.21 is a miracle as such, but I do believe that the Lord did bring it about that the sea was turned into dry land, by providential use of so called 'natural' means." It sounds so nice, so,ahhh, pious, that you allow God some input at this point.

Let's see what else Rob shies away from:
(i) He has problems with the Virgin Birth.
(ii) Denies Adam and Eve were real people
(iii) He doesn’t believe that Jesus miraculously created the heavens and the earth
(iv) He believes that Jesus used secondary principles to create and not through himself.
(v) He believes that death is natural
(vi) He believes that death is Jesus' preferred method of creation
(vii) He believes that time and chance are the means by which things happen in nature
(viii) He doesn’t believe that God used wisdom in the creation
(ix) He believes that God incorporated errors into the creation from the beginning
(x) He believes that secular science should interpret the Bible
(xi) He doesn’t really take God at his word and prefers to make his own story up about how God did it, even mocking those who trust God and take his word as it is.
(xii) Rob parts company with all theologians prior to Darwin on origins, including Paul and the earliest of Christians, preferring to align himself with men like Spong and Dawkins.

But my favourite of favourite quotes is the following “[I]f, in fact, the earth was not old and life did not gradually develop, it would be a catastrophic blow to the [scientific] disciplines themselves. Quite a cost….One of the key assumptions in my approach…is that God does not teach what is false, and therefore the Bible, as the word of God, will not teach what is false. I think we can be certain that if the most basic observation tools or the most well-supported conclusions of science say that…[the earth] is very old and that life forms appeared gradually over a great deal of time, where the Bible appears to teach otherwise or to suggest otherwise, this cannot be what God is teaching. We have to change our interpretation of what God is saying to us in Scripture…It is much more certain that our interpretation of Scripture is open to question than the whole foundations of the entire discipline of modern science are faulty.” Says it all, doesn't it!

No, Rob. You're not changing our interpretation of Scripture – you're changing what Scripture clearly says. In fact, you're changing Jesus' own words : 'And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying....''for in six days I, the LORD, made the heavens and the earth.'' (Exodus 31:12,17). Let me think through this problem: the creator Jesus and his claim that he did it in 6 days Vs a 43 year old geologist, his expertise and his laboratory chock full of tools that are never-ever wrong and are so accurate they can take us back in time and know exactly how much K-40 and Ar-40 there originally was and if something, anything, happened along that putative 4.5 billion year journey that would alter the decay rate? Man, that is such a difficult problem. I guess I'll have to put all my faith in the guy with the white coat!

For the earlier thread on Rob see here.


sam drucker said...


John, I note that you were writing and posting this blog just as Dave Warner was cracking his quick-fire ton against India at the WACA.

Strange priorities aside, I appreciate your having pointed out another of the inconsistencies many of the notables within the Diocese make.

They lecture the Church on the importance of trusting the Word of God but, not so secretively, they fail their own test.

Just what sort of credibility do they have? Surely those who are presently running faster than them away from the Word of God will look back, laugh, point out how like travellers they are and expose their hypocrisy to the world.

Sam Drucker

John said...


Who says I can't watch cricket AND write about Rob at the same time?