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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Apostasy From The Gospel.

Correspondent, John, in a comment to my last blog presents his perceptions of two past correspondents to the yoursydneyanglican website. I am not prepared to go so far as John, except to say I see a serious theological error being propounded by those correspondents.

However, there is no comfort to be found for them in my perception. In a blog posted by me here on 14 May 2007 I quoted from "Apostasy from the Gospel" - John Owen - Puritan Paperbacks published by The Banner of Truth Trust - abridged and made easy to read by R.J.K. Law. It is a reliable translation of a portion of Owen's "Works". I draw from that blog and provide it hereunder.

Before proceeding further I urge readers to have in mind the various excuses for escaping the historical reading of Genesis 1 now accommodated within Moore Theological College (all designed to accommodate the monstrous theory of evolution) and set that against the errors and causes of error which John Owen says lead to "Apostasy" or "Partial Apostasy".

Speaking on the topic of "Darkness and Ignorance a Cause of Apostasy" and with reference to Sceptics on page 66 Owen says "Scripture, the Trinity, Christ and his offices, justification by grace and all the other great truths of the gospel are weighed and examined in the defiled, tottering scales of bold, irreverent sceptical discussions. They may be teachers of religion, but they show their ignorance of the fundamental difference between truth and error. They cannot see the glory, beauty and power of truth, so it is all one to them whether it is truth or whether it is error". The office of Christ as Creator is considered part of the gospel and ought not be subjected to assault just as Christ as Redeemer or other office ought not be subjected to assault.

Speaking on the topic of "Pride, Neglect and Worldliness, Causes of Apostasy" on page 79, Owen says "The corrupt mind exalts its own ideas. It loves, applauds, dotes on and firmly embraces its own ideas and opinions. This is the origin of all heresy," and on page 80 "The corrupt mind exalts itself as the sole and absolute judge of God's Word....... whatever the mind rejects as not in agreement with its own ideas and system of logic is scorned and despised". On the same topic on page 89, Owen says "(2) Secondly, God delivers up willful apostates to false teachers and deceivers. These, deceived and taught by Satan, are used by God to carry out his just displeasure on wicked apostates whom he delivers into their power. The deceived people exalt these false teachers and deceivers into high positions in the church and then submit implicitly to them".

Speaking on the topic of "Apostasy from the Doctrine of the Gospel" on pages 92, Owen says "So none will remain constantly faithful to Christ who is not able to spiritually discern the glory of his person and his offices" and on page 93, "The whole foundation of all gospel faith rests in the glory of Christ's person and offices (Heb. 1:2, 3; Col. 1:15-19)". Note that Owen specifically cites passages of Scripture addressing the creative work of Christ in this assertion.

Speaking on the topic of "Apostasy from the Commands of the Gospel" on page 103, Owen says "By the Word of God and the Spirit of Christ, multitudes have been made holy, and multitudes more are still being called out of this world to holiness of life. These shall never utterly and finally fall away from true holiness, but shall be preserved by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Yet even these may fall away from wholehearted obedience to the holy commands of the gospel and become for a while unfruitful in their lives. In every backsliding there is a partial apostasy, with much dishonour to Christ. Nor does anyone know whether his backsliding will not end in total apostasy".

These and so much more are sober words from John Owen for reflection on all aspects of our life and testimony to Jesus Christ. In connection with the full gospel of Jesus Christ, they have relevance to the glory that is His in His office as Creator and are a caution against diminishing the glory due Him.

Objective readers will observe that the Anglican (Episcopalian) Diocese of Sydney is in grave danger due to a shameful corruption of the glory of Jesus Christ as Creator and the roots of the corruption are to be found in its theological seminary.

Sam Drucker

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

For the Love of God.

The reaction of several Sydney Episcopalians (Anglican) toward Biblical Creationists leaves many of us to wonder just what is in play.

Newer readers may not be aware that the yoursydneyanglicans website had a forum thread some six years ago which expressed comfort with trying to hold to the integrity of the Bible while also holding to evolution as the means by which God created. That proposition was gently challenged by some who may have been Biblical Creationists but the reaction they got - to the point of ridicule and one correspondent insulting Biblical Creationists by accusing them of being parasites - was way over the top. That was the seed for establishing the Sydney Anglican Heretics blogspot and then commenced some strong debate here but not for long.

The existence of a blogspot which had the affront to criticize the Diocese and, by title, publicize a perceived problem with the theology of many within the Diocese was a dent to the pride. The recourse was to shut down any dialogue and not mention this site in public discussion so as to limit any airing of the 'not-so-evangelical' thinking in the Diocese. Some here took up discussion on blogspots managed by some of our protagonists who blogged on the subject of Origins. Again, it wasn't long before they shut down discussion and banned some here from their blogspot. Again, name calling occurred - we were labelled "Trolls". Go figure! They raise the topic of Origins, undermine the integrity of the Word of God, invite correspondence, know our views yet because we are prepared to debate their stance we are accused of being "Trolls". Again, go figure!

The whole history of engagement with Sydney Episcopalians is full of wonder for me. Why is it that so many Sydney Episcopalians are resistant to the Biblical Creationist position? Why are so many on the one hand declaring themselves evangelical, reformed and conservative yet abandoning (even aggressively) the historical evangelical, reformed and conservative interpretation of Genesis 1? Why won't they thoroughly investigate the scientific positions on Origins?

The answer to those questions have a range of answers and some have already been discussed here previously but there is one more answer/explanation which has not been addressed. It is my task to address that tonight. I draw the attention of readers to Judges 2:1-3.

To that scene I now quote an extract of a sermon by George Smeaton (1814 - 1889) of the Free Church of Scotland:

"Look at Israel, on entering the land of promise. Unmindful, after first success, of their work of vengeance on the doomed nations round them, they neither work for God nor in God; and when the angel tells them in Bochim, for their punishment, that they should not drive out those nations any more, such a day of weeping followed - such a day of repentance - as has seldom been in this dark world. But why did they not return to their first works? It seems that the courage once given them was not given again - the Lord was not with them in such measure any more. Is this a new thing in the earth? Ah! it is common to lose first love, but all do not regain their former place. Many are but blasted trees - melancholy monuments of what they were, or might have been. Some all zeal once are now lame in every effort, ..."

I just wonder about those Sydney Episcopalians we encounter who bear such a rigid resistance to the Word of God on Origins. Just how many are there who have come to Jesus Christ with something of the world still in their heart? Have they come not fully mourning, poor in spirit, meek and hungry because they have something of their pride in man's knowledge over the knowledge of God. As such, are they not like Israel at Boachim? Are they not left with that which will become a snare to them until they feel how uncomfortable that half-hearted faith is that they profess? Surely that is an uncomfortable existence? Is God not loving to leave them in such a condition in hope that they repent and submit in full faith to receive all the joy and comfort to be found in the Word that is Jesus Christ? Yes, God is loving. The Father's love toward the Son is the foundation of the gospel and for man to experience the love of God is to receive Jesus Christ, the Word of God, in all His fullness. So it is that God will punish by allowing such darts to discomfort them in hope they will cry out to Him for that which is true.

Sydney Episcopalians, the Word of God is true and everlasting. We who provoke such reactions of abhorrence in you may pass but others will arise by the Will of God and the spurs and snares of worldliness will continue to react within you and against what ought to be an encouragement for faith which leads to comfort and joy in the Lord.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, September 23, 2012

To The Glory of God.

That phase in Christian life we call Puritan Christianity was the product of the Holy Spirit responding to the Church of England having succumbed to a corrupt ministry. Puritanism is most identified with the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century.

Rev J. I. Packer once said "the Puritans were strongest just where Protestants today are weakest, and their writings can give us more real help than those of any other body of Christian teachers, past or present, since the days of the apostles."

The Puritans were concerned for the glory of God in all aspects of life. Rev Packer went on to say "They yoked their consciences to His word, disciplining themselves to bring all activities under the scrutiny of Scripture, and to demand a theological, as distinct from a merely pragmatic, justification for everything that they did. They applied their understanding of the mind of God to every branch of life seeing the church, the family, the state, the arts and sciences, the world of commerce and industry, no less than the devotions of the individual, as so many spheres in which God must be served and glorified."

In a paper presented to a conference at Westminster Chapel, Buckingham Gate, England, in 1958 to remember the work of the Puritans, Evangelical Pastor Paul Cook said, among other things, " Puritan thought on this [the office of a Minister], as on all other religious matters, was consciously based on and controlled by the Bible. It is essential for a right appraisal of the Puritans to realize that, for all their often immense learning, they depended for their guidance wholly upon the infallible revelation of God's will recorded in the Scriptures."

At the same conference Rev J. I. Packer presented a paper on "The Puritans as Interpreters of Scripture" in which he said "To the Puritans, Scripture, as a whole and in all its parts, was the utterance of God: God's word set down in writing. His mind opened and His thoughts declared for man's instruction. The content of Scripture is God's eternal truth, for the historical process which the Bible records and interprets is just the temporal outworking of God's eternal plan, formed before the world was.", and "To the Puritan Bible student, it was God who had uttered the prophecies, recorded the histories, expounded the doctrines, declared the praises, written the visions, of which Scripture was made up; and he knew that Scripture must be read, not merely as words which God spoke long ago, in the actual inspiring of the biblical books, but as words which God continues to speak to every reader in every age.''

A subject so controversial today, as it has been in times past, and which Puritans had to bring light in their time, is that task of Interpretation of Scripture. Again, Packer informs us of the approach of the Puritans - "The Reformers had insisted, against the Mediaeval depreciation of the 'literal' sense of Scripture in favour of the various 'spiritual' (allegorical) senses, that the literal - i.e., the grammatical, natural, intended - sense was the only sense that Scripture has, and that it was this sense that must be sought in exposition through careful attention to the context and grammar of each statement. The Puritans fully agreed. 'If you would understand the true sense ... of a controverted Scripture, then look well into the coherence, the scope and the context thereof (W. Bridge, Works, 1845, I. 454) .''

Packer commented that there were some places such as "Song of Solomon" where an allegorical reading had merit but he puts forward the qualification of James Durham, circa 1840, who, in speaking of the approach of the Puritans, said "there is a great difference between an allegorical exposition of Scripture and an exposition of allegorical Scripture."

Packer said the Puritans interpreted Scripture consistently and harmonistically and "If Scripture is God's word, the expression of a single Divine mind, all that it says must be true, and there can be no real contradiction between part and part." To demonstrate this point Packer again quotes William Bridge who, advises us of a helpful principle when considering external contradictions and occasions of seeming internal contradictory passages of Scripture: "When he [Moses] saw two men fighting, one an Egyptian, and another an Israelite, he killed the Egyptian; but when he saw two Hebrews fighting, now, saith he, I will go and reconcile them, for they are brethren; why so, but because he was a good man, and gracious? So also it is with a gracious heart; when he sees the Scripture fighting with an Egyptian, an heathen author, or apocryphal, he comes and kills the heathen ... the Egyptian, or the apocrypha: but when he sees two Scriptures at variance (in view, though in truth not), Oh, saith he, these are brethren, and they may be reconciled, I will labour all I can to reconcile them; but when a man shall take every advantage of seeming difference in Scripture, to say, Do ye see what contradictions there are in this book, and not labour to reconcile them; what doth this argue, but that the corruption of a man's nature, is boiled up to an unknown malice against the word of the Lord; take heed therefore of that (I. 459)."

Packer notes there a striking thought and an acute diagnosis.

I could go on citing other Puritans to substantiate my case but space prevents. That which I would have readers draw from this essay is that those today who are feted as evangelical scholars but who reinterpret Scripture in Genesis 1 to justify an external proposition on Origins are in breach of principles the Puritans laid down for interpreting Scripture. The absolute consistency between Genesis, Exodus 20:11 and 31:17-18 stands as a bulwark against that infidelity which interprets Genesis 1 as conveying any other view of God's creative activity but that which occurred over six days each of approximately twenty-four hours duration and all of which occurred only thousands of years ago.

The Puritans, aided by God's Holy Spirit, redirected the Church's attention to the glory of God and left a legacy of doctrine and means to interpret Scripture which stands the test of all ages. An age today when degenerate theology is overturning all that is good from the Church's past is an age in which faith in God's Word is widely undermined and the glory of God concealed.

Sam Drucker

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Division not Peace.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, at Luke 12:51-52, says: "Do you think I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three."

J. C. Ryle, Anglican Bishop, speaking to that utterance of our Lord said "Thousands of well-meaning persons nowadays are continually crying out for more 'unity' amongst Christians. To attain this they are ready to sacrifice almost anything, and to throw overboard sound doctrine, if they can secure peace. Such people would do well to remember that even gold may be bought too dear and that peace is useless if purchased at the expense of truth."

Richard Bernard, Puritan, once said "Too many Ministers are men pleasers, not the servants of Christ." William Gurnall, Puritan, said "A man who fears God will be bold first, in asserting the truths of the gospel ... and secondly in reproving sin, and denouncing judgment against impertinent sinners."

Indeed to preach the gospel earnestly, in all its fullness, is bound to stir passions in the heart of man somewhere on a scale between - agony of soul leading to full acceptance or to anger and outright rejection. Bernard wisely cautions against, for the sake of peace, trying to please all at cost to the truth of the gospel.

And so we must be prepared to stand firm on the truth of the gospel. Now, I remind readers of the words of Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones who said "The gospel does not commence at 'come to Jesus', there is a whole history which comes before." Dr Lloyd-Jones was speaking on the subject of Genesis as history. The good doctor was not suggesting, in evangelism, we should regale a hearer with the whole sweep of biblical history. What he did say was that there were facts contained within the first three chapters of Genesis which we should not shy away from in sharing the gospel.

I would now like readers consider recent events in two Uniting Churches in Australia - one in Sydney and one in Brisbane. I attended one event and someone I know attended the other. The first event, in Sydney, I wrote about a few weeks ago. A Christian woman of only four months, brought to the Lord with the aid of Biblical Creationist resources and speaker, organized a Biblical Creationist speaker for her church. It had to be outside normal church service times - a Saturday evening. The church Minister did not attend nor did most of the congregation. However, fifty adults did attend, most of whom were unchurched. In fact, most were Atheist. The event went very well.

The other Uniting Church, in Brisbane, has a long standing Christian man who felt the church needed to hear a Biblical Creationist speaker. The means to have such a speaker again had to be outside normal church service times. A Saturday morning church breakfast was the means. I am told about thirty-five people, males and female, attended. Again, the Minister was not present but three retired Ministers, three lay preachers and a Choirmaster were present.

The audience respectfully listened to the speaker until question time which became loaded with as many statements as questions from that grouping just mentioned. Despite Richard Dawkins being exposed by the speaker as weak on science one of the group went on for some time praising Dawkins' book "The Greatest Show on Earth". Again the speaker calmly and skillfully exposed the weakness of Dawkins and his book. One retired Minister, most surprisingly, said "Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God created the world in six days." The speaker gently pointed to the relevant passages of Scripture and declared that we Christians stand on the Word of God. More pointed questions/statements were aired and the deliverers of them got heated. One of the other retired Ministers, though not holding to the views of the speaker, tried to calm others down but received criticism in return for his trouble. Things continued to be tense so the Christian man who organized the event had to get up and bring things to a close. In closing, he urged people present to be always willing to examine themselves and what they believed compared to what God says.

Private conversations continued and the speaker was the focus of questions and opinion. I am informed that the speaker, when the organizer later privately apologized to him for the difficulties encountered, said "No, don't apologise, it was great!"

The next day, after the church service, one woman said to the organizer "You really set the cat amongst the pigeons yesterday!" The retired Minister who tried to take the heat out of the discussion at the breakfast told the organizer that he went through theological college with one of the retired Ministers who got heated at the breakfast and said that neither of them heard at College anything such as what the speaker had said.

For me, the two events demonstrate a few things:

1. The absence of the Minister from the event at each church shows they did not support the Biblical Creationist i.e. evangelical, interpretation of the Word of God in Genesis.

2. The Ministers, both serving and retired, are a product of liberal theology at theological college.

3. The means of bringing these churches under the teaching which had been the mainstream Christian teaching up to the last century was through lay members of the church.

4. Any retort that having a Biblical Creationist speaker in a church service is divisive is really an admission that Ministers (and others) are more afraid of men than of God and that such respondents do not have the courage to stand with our Lord Jesus Christ - the Word.

Readers, that assessment can be equally be applied to the bulk of Episcopalian (Anglican) churches in the Diocese of Sydney. The only difference being that the Uniting Church Ministers may be a little more willing to allow the lay people to 'do their own thing' whereas the Episcopalians are more inclined to control all events themselves and that they do this to keep peace with as many people as possible - Christian or not.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Test of a Christian's Great Interest.

No-one knows the mind of the man except the spirit which is in him. It is not for me to say with any certainty that someone other than myself is Christian or not. The issue of whether trust in God's Word is a characteristic of being Christian is perplexing at times.

For example, how does one consider the condition of a man who grew up in a Christian home, goes through all the experiences of church life, goes on through theological training to be ordained a 'Cure of Souls' and then proceed to lecture at a theological seminary only to write and speak in a manner which leads others to doubt whether God is actually saying, in the Holy Bible, what He (God) appears to be saying?

It is perplexing.

Puritan, William Guthrie, when writing "The Christian's Great Interest" knew of these complexities and wrote of those who had faith but were in need of assurance and of those who were "... living under the ordinances, pretending, without ground, to a special interest in Christ ...".

The best I can do is to lay before all what I believe Guthrie had to say about the latter 'hypocrites' and leave it for them to examine themselves to see if they need to cry out to the Lord in prayer for help.

(a) The hypocrite's conviction. Guthrie recognizes the difficulty of giving sure distinctions here; what follows the conviction is a surer test of its character. But he mentions three things rarely found in the stirrings of reprobates but generally found in the person who becomes a true believer.

(i) Hypocrites' convictions are usually either of a few gross transgressions only (as Saul admits no more than persecuting David, or Judas than betraying innocent blood), or else of sinfulness in general without any specific sins; but the law-work which has a gracious ending comprehends both (cf. 1 Tim 1:13).

(ii) Hypocrites' convictions seldom reach the recognition of inner corruption, inability and helplessness; so that they still 'go about to establish their own righteousness' (Rom.10:13) by works.

(iii) Hypocrites' convictions are often put right out of mind by other matters (Gain goes and builds a city and no more is heard of his conviction; Felix waits till a more convenient time and we hear no more of his trembling). Or if conviction grows, it produces utter despair of relief (thus Judas hanged himself).

(b) The hypocrite's faith. Hypocrites may reach a kind of faith; but:

(i) They never abandon works, forsaking every other ground of confidence to close with Christ alone.

(ii) They never receive Christ ' as anointed to be a King, to rule over a man in all things; a Priest to procure pardon and to make peace upon all occasions; a Prophet, to be wisdom, and a teacher and counsellor in all cases to man : so they do not receive Christ, especially in the first and third offices' (p.12).

(iii) They are seldom prepared to accept all the inconveniences that result from following Christ, but shy back at certain points..

(c) The hypocrite's reformation. Hypocrites may appear changed men, having much knowledge (Heb. 6:4), receiving the word with joy (Matt. 13:20 f.), eschewing the practice of many sins and giving themselves to religious duties (like the Pharisees, Luke 18:11 f.), and approving in some measure the things of God (John 7:46). They 'may have a great deal of profession,' talking of the law and the covenant (Ps. 50:16), confessing their sins (1 Sam. 26:21), humbling themselves (1 Kings 21:27), giving much, perhaps all of their goods to God and to the saints (Acts 5:2, 1 Cor. 13:3), and submitting even to martyrdom (1 Cor. 13:3). They may have great convictions, tremble at the word, and find peace and quiet in the hope of Christ's return (Matt. 25:1); and they may enjoy striking experiences and ' tastings of the good word of God' (Heb. 6:4), 'the powers of the world to come, working powerfully on them, with some flashes of joy arising thence (p. 93). They may have something very like the saving graces of the Spirit - a kind of faith (Acts 8:13), great fear of God, like Balaam, a sort of hope (Job 13:13), some affection for the godly (Mark 6:26) : indeed, ' they have counterfeits of all saving graces' (p. 93). But, says Guthrie, invariably ' they want the three great essentials of religion and true Christianity : (i) They are not broken in heart, and emptied of their own righteousness, so as to loathe themselves . . . (ii) They never took up Christ Jesus as the only treasure and jewel that can enrich and satisfy . . , (iii) They never in earnest close with Christ's whole yoke without exception . . . Therefore, whoever thou art, who can lay clear and just claim to these things, thou art beyond the reach of all atheists, hypocrites and reprobates, as having answered the great ends and intents of the law and gospel' (p97).

I do encourage all to test themselves and specially implore those who, in mangling the intent of the Word of God, demonstrate a lack of faith in the Word of God.

Sam Drucker

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Aging Disgracefully.

While most Biblical Creationists will be aware of Radiometric Dating's 'skeleton in the closet' concerning reliability of the method I think it beneficial to revisit it here. I am prompted to do so after reading an interview with Dr Brandon van der Ventel, Nuclear Physicist, in Creation Magazine this month.

Dr van der Ventel is just another scientist who, upon hearing a Biblical Creationist explanation of the world, abandoned his long held belief in Evolution and Long Age view of the age of the earth. Having taken up the Biblical Creationist position he has continued to have research published in peer reviewed journals.

On the subject of Radiometric Dating he recently had this to say:

"Radiometric dating does not measure the age directly, but rather the ratio of the radioactive (unstable) parent nucleus to the stable daughter nucleus, as well as the present decay rate. However, several assumptions need to be made to proceed with the calculation:

First, one needs to assume that here were no daughter nuclei present at the start; that is, the presence of the daughter nucleus is entirely due to the decay.

"Second, there had to be no leakage of either parent or daughter nuclei into or out of the sample. But how can we be sure of any of these assumptions if no-one was present when the rocks were
formed or if the change in the elements were not monitored over the entire geological history?

"Third, the equation is valid only if the decay rate
(λ) is a constant, and there is much evidence against this."

While each point is equally valid, that people can assert millions or billions of years age for a sample on the presumption of no consequential leakage of parent or daughter nuclei in all those millions or billions of years is just plain ludicrous!

Little wonder that Dr van der Ventel went on to say that a radiometric 'date' for rock layers near a fossil is accepted only if it fits into the grand evolutionary scheme of things. If this is not the case
then either new samples are taken or a different dating method is used. Notice, this is not akin to a system of 'checks and-balances' but rather a situation where results are 'reinterpreted' in order to obey the evolutionary dogma.

Also, radioactive 'dating' methods have also been known to give incorrect ages for samples of known age.

It is disappointing that Christians relinquish faith in the Word of God for such a flimsy explanation for dating rock samples and, indeed, the age of the earth.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blessing the West.

My sources inform me of a Biblical Creationist speaker addressing a large Western Sydney church this weekend on three occasions - Friday evening through to Sunday evening.

The report I have is that each event was very well attended and much enthusiastic responses from the several hundred attendees.

One man, Christian, who attended Friday night had been a science teacher in a State school who carried his science and Christianity in two boxes. He never delved into Genesis because he feared what it would say in contradiction to what he had learned in science. For some reason he made his way along to the Friday night event and was, so he later said, absolutely astounded at what he had heard and how credible the Biblical interpretation of Origins was as opposed to that of Evolution.

The man returned to hear more at the Sunday morning event and was elevated in spirit at the strengthening of his faith in the Lord he received over the weekend.

Apparently, a nine year old boy was in the audience on the Friday night and all the way home he was full of excitement and could not stop telling his mother about all he had learned about Cosmology. The next day he told his friend but encountered resistance through the suggestion of a limitless universe. He faltered but, upon speaking again to his mother he received wise advice (all based on what the boy had told her the night before). He was reassured and negated the suggestion of his friend. He was back again on Sunday morning growing all the more in knowledge, faith in the Lord and developing a passion for science.

My confidant did not get all the feedback from the weekend but I am sure there is much fruit to bear as Christians go on in faith in our Lord. Such an assertion is backed up by revelation of very many of those attending being well resourced through purchases of thousands of dollars worth of Biblical Creationist material.

Christendom is not dead. You just need to look in the right places.

Sam Drucker

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"What is Truth?"

About a week and a half ago I posted a blog about an article written on the Sydney Anglicans website by Michael Jensen, a current lecturer at Moore Theological College on the subject of Christ and Creation.

My concern was with most of the content of the Comments Section. I can't bring myself to let the matter go just yet and provide the comments of most concern hereunder and I draw readers' attention more particularly to those of the Moore College lecturer:

Mark Baines

Hi Michael,
Couldn't help but notice that you mention Adam in your article. Is it always necessary to go back to Adam when discussing the fact of sin in creation and the necessity of Christ for reconciliation? I'd have thought "yes" as to sin's entry into the creation, but "no" purely as to the fact of sin in the world. Could you have argued the same proposition without mentioning Adam?

Michael Jensen

Mark - The Adam/Jesus pattern is clearly important for Paul, especially. I could have made the same point without Adam, but the sense of the sweep of biblical history would be lost, perhaps.

Les Grant

I thought the majority of Christians who now accept evolution think of the creation story (inc Adam and Eve) to be more symbolic than literal. If this is correct, does your reference to the 'mythical' Adam weaken your argument? Also, if Adam is symbolic (or mythical), is not Adam's sin also mythical?

Les Grant

I see Adam as either existing or not existing. What other options are there?
I see Genesis (especially the first 11 chapters) as mythical, others may say is it historical. What other option do you see?

Michael Jensen

Adam may be poetically described, but actually historical. One suggestion, by Reformed evangelical scholar Henri Blocher, is that the name 'Adam' could be a way of representing the whole race at the time of the fall. 
Myth is not the opposite of historical. Myth is a literary genre which may describe actual historical events.

Michael Jensen

@ Les [asked] Would you agree that Adam either is or is not historical?
Do you believe that the story of Adam and Eve is historical fact or 'poetry'?

[reply] No I wouldn't.

And yes, Genesis may be entirely fictitious. I don't think it is.

You aren't really challenging my assertion, because you haven't understood what I am really saying.

Gentlemen, we are NOT going to be debating young earth creationism here. I have much sympathy with Les on this, actually.

So ends the comments upon which I draw readers' attention.

Mr Jensen presents to me to be seriously under influence of Post- Modernist thinking and dangerously applies that to the Word of God. All propositions seem possible unless it is one which asserts the Word of God makes absolute truth claims.

As such he is not of the select group of Christians (should I call him sa cholar?) who were blessed by God in the life of the Church to strengthen faith and resist the assaults of the enemy against the Church.

Just look again at Mr Jensen's comments and run them through this sieve of thought from W. S. Plumer:

"Of all the dispositions requisite to success in the study of religious truth, none is more important than a sincere, constant, and ardent love of truth. No qualification is before this. He who loves his own opinions because they are his, or is greatly attached to views which are of high esteem in his sect or partly because they are a Shibboleth, is a candidate for shame and error. Without strong love for the truth, no man has ever made any considerable progress in knowledge."

W. S. Plumer was Professor at Columbia Theological Seminary, South Carolina from 1867 to 1880 and, to my mind, spoke against a climate of thought to arise in the Church as much as 100 plus years after his time.

What the Episcopalian (Anglican) Diocese of Sydney needs today is more of the thinking of Mr Plumer and less of Mr Jensen.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Walk in the Park for a Biblical Creationist.

It was a lovely day to go to the park so there I was today and Biblical Creationist material is most times useful so I had some with me. Along came a young man who was open to conversation.

I was able to elicit from the young man that he regarded himself to be Christian but did not attend church. I cannot be confident he is Christian but the topic of Creation came up as one might expect it would if one knows me. The young man seemed really interested and commented that this was a subject he wondered about but didn't know where to find out about it.

A fulsome explanation was given to the young man and, given he had Chinese heritage, he was particularly interested to hear how the ancient Chinese language, in written form, has characters relating to the Trinity, the creation of Eve from Adam's side, and The Flood. He was interested in more so I gave him the resources I had and he gave me his email address and asked me to send him more information. He also indicated he would like to join with me during the week to see about obtaining a book dealing with the ancient Chinese language and Creation.

I am keen to pursue further discussions with this young man so that I can ascertain his discipleship needs and means to being firmly anchored in faith in Jesus Christ, Creator, Lord and Saviour.

This was an encounter which went somewhere in conversation and which has much follow up potential because of the introduction of a subject which he had keenness to pursue further - Jesus Christ Creator. This was an encounter which, according to Sydney Episcopalian (Anglican) methodology, should have not taken the course it did.

Let's see where it goes.

Sam Drucker