Thursday, February 15, 2007

Southern Baptist Takeover of Anglican Communion?

Fr. Greg Jones, aka the Anglican Centrist responds to the blog entry by Dr. Al Mohler which we posted last night.

Jones' full blog entry is here

Southern Baptist Takeover of Anglican Communion?

By fatherjones.com

Al Mohler is president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He is a well known voice for the American Evangelical movement, doing interviews and making public statements regularly. Not too long ago he argued in Time Magazine thatthe dominant scientific theory of evolution is incompatible with Christian faith. Mohler says: "... you cannot coherently affirm the Christian-truth claim and the dominant model of evolutionary theory at the same time. ... I believe the Bible is adequately clear about how God created the world, and that its most natural reading points to a six-day creation that included not just the animal and plant species but the earth itself."

I think it is a sign of rank intellectual inconsistency, and a deep lack of mental and spiritual integrity, that allows Mohler to say what he does -- given how he does it.

The very science which allows any of us to compose our little thoughts on an internet blog involves at the very least: general and special relativity, complex mathematics, quantum physics, materials, chemistry, electro-magnetics, space travel, and other stuff I barely can grasp at all. All of which affirm the prevailing theory of the evolution of the universe -- going back to the Big Bang. Mohler uses science to say science has nothing to say about the universe.

Mohler's view purports to be 'biblical.' But it is this in only the most two-dimensional way. It affirms a literalistic reading of Scripture, which itself is rooted not in ancient streams of Christianity, but in modern fundamentalism.

Even the Pope affirms that faithful Christians may believe in the prevailing theory of evolution -- as long they are clear that God created the universe. Clearly, Christians believe in the Creator and power of God Almighty. But, that doesn't mean we think Genesis 1&2 explain the full details of God's process -- or intend to do so.

At any rate, Mohler is a popular commentator, and has done a lot to comment on the divisions in Anglicanism. He has thrown his full weight behind the gSCAR, and has opined regularly on the heresies of liberal Anglicans. His latest comment says it all -- and indicates why moderate, liberal, and thinking conservative Anglicans ought to worry.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the article: The very science which allows any of us to compose our little thoughts on an internet blog involves at the very least: general and special relativity, complex mathematics, quantum physics, materials, chemistry, electro-magnetics, space travel, and other stuff I barely can grasp at all. All of which affirm the prevailing theory of the evolution of the universe -- going back to the Big Bang. Mohler uses science to say science has nothing to say about the universe.

Spinach. Not one of the things he talks about has any bearing on organic evolution. What he really means is, "Science is successful. Believe science. Scientists are expert in things I can't understand, so I believe what they say. If you believe science, you too should believe what scientists say, even on their off hours, about things far from their specialties."

Which of course is not a scientific view at all.

I'm a professional physicist, and a conservative Christian who believes in the Resurrection, in the Second Coming, and in dinosaurs. I have various reasons for those positions, but none of them is related to my scientific expertise--however great or small that might be. So what?

Cheers,

Phil H

(CryptoCatholic)

11:30 AM  
Blogger fatherjones.com said...

Phil H -- How does evolutionary theory have nothing to do with general and special relativity, complex mathematics, quantum physics, chemistry, electro-magnetics, etc? Did not evolution occur on the planet earth in the universe? Secondly, your attempt at saying what I really mean -- is not at all what I really mean. What I really mean is what I said. I also believe in the Resurrection and dinosaurs. To your point -- so what?

12:18 PM  
Blogger Richard M. Wright said...

I struggle with deep ambivalence whenever orthodox Anglicans cite Mohler as a supporter. I am a moderate Southern Baptist, which means I am labeled a "heretic" who "speaks with the voice of the serpent of old, whispering 'hath God really said'" (quoting a state convention president from 2001), who can never teach at an SBC school, can never work for an SBC agency, can never hold positions of leadership, and whose chances of serving as pastor of an SBC church are marginal. People like me have lost jobs, have had careers/lives thrown into turmoil because of Al Mohler and people like him.

And yet I totally identify with and support "orthodox Anglicanism". The (Southern Baptist) friend of my (orthodox Anglican) friends is not my friend.

I understand why my Anglican buds would see him as an ally. I really do. I just hope that when they point to Mohler and say "thanks, pal, what a guy!" that some of us have to look down at the ground and wish we were somewhere else. Mohler has a dark side which non-Southern Baptists might not be aware of, and they are not aware of the ways that Mohler has defamed and hurt many people within his own tradition.

One is reminded of Yalta.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Wright found a way to place Mohler's support, and Orthodox Anglican's appreciation of that support, in a proper perspective. And yet, he didn't have to resort to arrogance and insults to do so. I hope you took notes, FatherJones.

As much as you'd like to think so, fatherjones, conservative Christians are not mindless twits who need your enlightenment. Your post, both here and on your personal blog, seem to paint with a broad brush that places your average Southern Baptist in the same group with conservative Anglicans simply because they both follow similar, and traditional, Christian morality and teachings that go back, oh, say, 2,000 years.
Heck, you're only one step away from comparing them to Muslim terrorists/fundamentalists. Such generalization speaks to its own brand of ignorance which is no less in need of healing.

-Andy

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re #2:

Perhaps you could connect the dots for me, then...how, _exactly_, do you derive the necessity of organic evolution from Einstein's field equations or Kepler's theorems, for instance? Natural history is just that, a historical science, and not a deductive system. Your impressionistic picture of science is most unconvincing--you haven't got a shred of an argument there.

Archbishop Ussher, who placed the creation in 4004 BC, believed in physical causation just as much as you and I do. His argument was wrong, but you can't prove it by listing scientific theories you don't understand.

Cheers,

Phil H

(Cryptocatholic)

Cheers

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a sad thing that this priest who does not believe in the authority of the Bible is leading a parish astray in Raleigh, NC, pretending to be a "moderate". Thankfully, there are church options in that city where people can worship in spirit and in truth.

12:46 AM  

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