“they are very good Bible students as well, and they have debated every issue you like under the sun, and they are very clever Bible students… you’re dealing with very very clever people, and don’t ever under-rate them, because they’re no fools” Ron Cowie 2015 – Study 11 [49:40] Continue reading
“I am committed to peace, but when I speak, they want to make war” Psalm 120:7 This blog (and related facebook page) started in response to ongoing misrepresentation and hostility towards evolutionary creation. We remain committed to accommodation. Have a literal reading of Genesis 1-3. Claim dinosaurs are a hoax. Whatever. But understand that magazines, interecclesial statements and high profile speakers making statements about evolutionary creationists are continuing the profile of the issue. Plus it provokes responses. It doesn’t have to be this way. Evolutionary creationists and accommodationists called for a truce in 2014 to enable calm private discussions. This was rejected by those who wish to make war.
When you obsess over Adam you might as well go the whole hog and make him foundational. Inserting Adam into the foundations is an odd choice compared to Jesus the second man, the last adam. One man is the purpose and pinnacle of creation, the other a dead sinner. Why don’t we stop seeking division over old man Adam and try unifying around the one foreordained before the foundation of the world.
Literalists wear their approach to Genesis 1-3 as a badge of honour – often insisting their way is the only way to read the text. We have no issue with those with firm opinions but generous attitudes to other viewpoints. After all, all evolutionary Creationists were once YEC or OEC. However Jesus warned a literal approach to the Scripture could disguise bad judgement. Caution is warranted. Continue reading
Christadelphian fellowship is based on (among other things) assent to the Birmingham (oft) Amended Statement of Faith. Clause one speaks about creation in clause 1 saying “He [God] hath, out of His own underived energy, created heaven and earth, and all that in them”. Nothing about methodology, timeline or prior situations. Simple and accurate. Too many people – including literalists – ignore God’s challenge to Job, which essentially tells us we don’t know – Job 38:4. While the evidence around us points clearly to long periods of uninterrupted life, the exactitude of God’s miracle is beyond us. Rather than fight about how God did something and obsess about Adam, surely time would be better spent acting out our calling as God’s new creation in Jesus.
The ACCE discussion paper on creation/evolution has dropped. Its called a Stimulus paper (access via link). Immediate observations? By denying any consideration of science there is zero fact checking of scriptural interpretation. The AACE committee includes many outstanding individuals of goodwill. They are dealing with the instructions given to them. Result? The paper is written for literalists and addresses predominantly their concerns and emphasis. The questions provide a platform for division not a process for understanding, a path to judgement and separation not a means of healing. Jesus is the centre of God’s plan, yet too many want to argue over old man Adam.
“you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” 1 Cor 3:3 (ESV)
We are not meant to be “in Adam” but “in Jesus” (1 Cor 15:21). That is a great and worthy challenge which needs all our attention. Instead we are focused on arguing about Adam and making inconvenient facts inadmissible. This is a potential step on the road to distraction, division and the destruction of faith for the young (in particular).
The process outlined by Motion 8 – the cause of this paper – has led to a black box process where constructive interaction is absent. Instead we have a secret subcommittee whose composition excludes any non-traditional views evaluating and summarising opinion. What certainty can any have that non traditional positions and evidence will be fairly evaluated without a voice at the table? We have nothing to say against the AACE members, or even the subcommittee. But the process shaped by literalists is biased towards the literalist conclusion from the outset. Hence the paper poses questions focused on division and difference without any addressing the reality of congregations who have already found a way to successfully implement unity.
A little over a year ago we discussed the Lampstand Magazine & Australian Christadelphian Bible Mission intervention in Taiwan. We compared the calamitous situation of the ecclesia pre and post the actions of Australian based brethren. Bro Jonathan Burke was disfellowshipped and his wife cut off (without a word) from the community as well. Today? An ecclesia of two (sometimes three?) remains affiliated with ACBM. Another group of sheep have no contact and the Burkes remain cut off. As the Australian community considers how to treat varying approaches to creation, it is worth remembering the fruit borne by literalist hardline actions. Continue reading