Friday, January 28, 2022

Paganism swallows the church

One of the quaint ceremonies of government, the ABC, of course, business and some community groups is to intone an 'acknowledgement of country' without a trace of mock seriousness before every meeting, scratch of chin, burp and cough.

No, the last bit is satire.

Churches? Some too, I've mentioned elsewhere.

My objection boils down to two aspects of church life tracked in the Bible and illustrated just to make sure we understand.

1. Galatians 3:28

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 6:14

Do not be mismatched with unbelievers; for what do righteousness and lawlessness share together, or what does light have in common with darkness?

The 'acknowledgement' apart from being anachronistic splits the church, makes two different classes of Christians; seeks to partition off parts of the body of  Christ from others. Given its reference to the historic animism of Aboriginal Australians it also brings this paganism into the very heart of the church: where we meet together and the Spirit is present, we defer, usually at the very start of our meetings, to the land 'totem' that possesses its inhabitants. WRONG.

I've got to ask, did Paul suggest that the Ephesians acknowledge they are in Diana's city and say 'hi' to the priests of Diana, giving that demon precedence over the gathering of Christ's church?

Did the priests when they entered the promised land first of all acknowledge the demon Baal and its priests? Did they acknowledge the priests of Moloch?

No. Here's what God thought of Baal: 1 Kings 18:25ff

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Conflict of visions

1. Comment in reply to another comment on Warner Wallace's video on the Old Testament's touches of knowledge about the cosmos.

The putative conflict between science and 'faith' is not about the ordinary facts, hypotheses or ever-changing theories of science. It is rather, about the modern underlying dogma of materialism that dominates the philosophical attitude of most modern scientists and indeed, ordinary people.

This is the conflict: has God spoken the cosmos into existence, or is is merely an unexplained 'given' that means nothing. At root the conflict is of worldviews. The worldview of metaphysical materialism (which undoes itself oxymoronically) on the one hand that tells us that nothing means anything (no one lives that way, by the way) and on the other hand the worldview of the Bible is that everything means something because it is the creation of the loving God.

2. The video opens with comparison of Genesis 1 and modern neo-Darwinian evolutionary synthesis. This comment also appears:

Some valuable material here. I would object to the idea that the creation order in Genesis 1 contains science, though. What it contains is a report of factual events. The only 'science' pretended is evolutionary dogma, and that is not science, it is a rehash of ancient mythology. In itself it is a non-credible attempt to say that life made itself by accident; that the vastly complex information system and its material carrier producing interlocking chemical processes 'just happened'. An assertion that has no basis in observation.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The risk of reading verses of the Bible

Some people seem to think that the Bible is a collection of verses. That is, of isolated sayings collected together.

No. The verses serve the purpose that numbering lines does in a legal brief. The system of verses and chapters is such that it preserves reference points across different formats of the text.

The Bible's books are generally just that, books. Usually of narrative (leaving aside the Proverbs and Psalms).

Thus we don't read 'verses' we read passages. Paragraphs or groups of paragraphs are the usual narrative units. Reading 'verses' will get you mislead.

Alongside misunderstanding the ancient world it leads to a few problems.

I read in The Daily Chrenk two typical such problems.

He talked about the horror of  'an eye for an eye' type of punishment for crime, and the equal horror of visiting the sins of a father down two generations.

What he missed was 'an eye for an eye' is a command for proportionate punishment. Punishment that fits the crime. So don't punish a poke in the eye with demolition of the perp's house, or incineration of his harvest, for example.

The three generations of inherited sin is contrasted with the 1000 generations of good. This is teaching that under God's covenant 'sin' dies out quickly, or its ramifications are dissipated across very few generations, whereas the good has an extraordinary enduring benefit to the descendants.

You can read more here: Leviticus 24:17-23 and Exodus 34:7.

The next one is about Noah's ark. Genesis 7:4. Noah and his troop had to sit in the ark for 7 days doing nothing until the flood came?

Nope. 7 days of frantic activity, storing and cataloging food and other stock, planning and trialing feeding and waste disposal systems, practicing ark management routines.

This was a static 'working up' period with the luxury of a stable platform. It's similar to the start of a long ocean yacht race. For a couple of days before hand the crew is on board 'working up' the yacht, their patterns of work and rig changes. Very busy periods in both cases.

Monday, January 10, 2022

The contents of an atheist's mind?

If an atheist claims that she merely doesn't believe in God, she must have a reason, or else she's made a blind 'leap of faith'.

If she merely doesn't believe in God, she must therefore entertain the possible fact of God's existence. That is, the claim that she has no belief about God's existence, on her account, has nothing to do with reality apart from the reality of the contents of her 'belief-set'. Thus she must entertain the possibility that in reality there is God.

So what would overturn that possibility? What would confirm the belief as being true to reality or disconfirm it as being untrue, or, on the balance of probabilities that it is not true?