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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


John said...

Jensen: "Myth is a literary genre which may describe actual historical events."

Notice the heretical son of the heretical archbishop doesn't give any examples. He, typically, wants everyone to just accept the authority of his word while ignoring the authority of His Word.

sam drucker said...

Noteworthy that flowing with the assaults of Higher Criticism, Modernism, Liberalism and Post-Modernism on the reading of the Word of God that the use of the word "myth" had another interpretation applied to it.

Earlier rendering was -
"primitive tale imaginatively describing or accounting for natural phenomena especially by personification, tale of gods or demigods, old wives' tale, prevalent but false belief, person or thing falsely supposed to exist."

And so it goes that those infiltrating the Church who are prepared to allow worldly thinking to guide their theology will readily adopt new applications - all to the detriment of the Church.

Sam Drucker

The Greens said...

I like you calling Jensen Mr. I don't have much truck either with paid Christians grabbing titles to themselves. In church, as in politics, I regard everyone as Mr (gender adjustment as necessary). They can save their PhD post nomial for the small type bio at the end of their articles.