Those who have no secondary interests to subserve apart from the truth only desire to know that they may believe and do. But where to know more would jeopardize the “vested interests” of a sect, and extort the confessions of its leaders and members that they were in error and knew not the truth, investigation is discouraged, and the things proscribed as too speculative and mysterious for comprehension, or, if understood, of no practical utility. In this way mankind infold themselves as in the mantle of their self-esteem. They repress all progress, and glorify their own ignorance by detracting from things which they fear to look into, or apprehend are far above their reach. 
So wrote John Thomas the founder of the Christadelphians. He decried any attempts any limiting open investigation of the bible and also rejected the notion of the bible being in conflict with the facts of God’s creation. He spoke plainly against the restrictions of free thought and investigation common to established organised religion.
Christadelphians who attended the 2018 Glenlock Bible Camp listened to numerous denunciations of the new ideas and investigations of unnamed Christadelphians. The audience were left in no doubt that those present were members of “The Truth” – an unchanging body of knowledge consistent with the first century beliefs. Progress? Not necessary! John Thomas was open to changing his ideas. Some of his thinking in Elpis Israel was incorrect and he changed his mind e.g. his explanation of the angels that sinned in Jude on page 21. In other instances time has proven his understanding of prophecy incorrect.
We could work together quietly on addressing the challenges of the created reality and varying interpretations (many of which have long existed in our community) over various passages. Or we could strongly discourage investigation, condemn those who do/have and ignore the evident and growing problems. The difference between John Thomas’ approach and that proclaimed by some sections of the community is stark.
 Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., p. 4). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.
One of the sadder spectacles is hearing conservative creationists express outrage that Evolutionary Creationists believe Cain married a hominid. It is a simple reminder that many earnest and passionate brethren have very limited knowledge about their subject. Sadly we have heard quite a few prominent speakers (particularly Australians) make this claim. No doubt it plays well as rhetoric. It sounds like Evolutionary Creationists might believe in bestiality or something weird. However such claims demonstrate those condemning evolutionary creation haven’t done their homework. Continue reading
Our community has a number of public facing material arguing against evolution. One example is neatly taken to task on this post Because Truth Matters…. By way of introduction the reviewer (quite gently in our view) points out numerous basic misunderstandings of the subject – like representing that evolution says humans are descended from apes. The argument from incredulity is also rightly called out – as if our imagination defines the limits of God’s processes!
A recent paper by Mark Allfree and Matt Davies (Is the Firmament of Genesis Chapter 1 Solid?, 2015) maintains that the firmament of Genesis 1 is not described as a solid dome but rather as an empty expanse. The authors also reject any suggestion that the creation account of Genesis 1 is written as a theological polemic against pagan creation myths. Their primary concern is the historicity of Genesis 1 and its consistency with a modern worldview. This article contends that Allfree and Davies begin with a false premise and arrive at the wrong conclusion via a series of misguided arguments. Continue reading
A staple of anti Evolutionary Creation articles is pointing out the complexity of some detail in creation. This is a bemusing argument from creationists which misses the point. Boiled down the proposition is ‘I don’t know how something so complex could have evolved therefore God must have made it in 6 days’. Continue reading
Evolution does not affect our understanding of the need for atonement; that all humans are mortal, prone to sin, and in need of salvation. Brother Thomas and brother Roberts originally believed Adam and Eve were created mortal and prone to sin.      This did not affect their correct understanding of the atonement. They changed their views on this subject  without being re-baptized. Continue reading