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An Open Letter to the Evangelical Church about Vicky Beeching and ‘Gay Christianity’

Brothers and Sisters,

As you may be aware Vicky Beeching is currently doing the circuit in the UK and the US promoting her book Undivided. (See my review here) Undivided – An Open Letter to Vicky Beeching  Many in the church and in the wider culture are lauding her.   For example the blurb on her book cover includes this hyperbole from The Guardian.

“Beeching is arguably the most influential Christian of her generation….long admired by evangelicals on both sides of the Atlantic. Beeching can hopefully bring about an acceptance of homosexuality amongst Christians”

This article from The Independent is typical of the influence that the gay rights activists are hoping she will have.  The Times, BBC, PinkNews and numerous other secular publications offer the same kind of gushing praise and complete acceptance of her narrative.

In the Church we have the Archbishop of Canterbury giving her an award and The Church Times, amongst others supporting her position.  Their podcast interview with Vicky is fascinating.  All of this is an attempt to impose what is termed ‘Gay Christianity’ upon the evangelical Church.

Vicky herself seems to believe the Guardian’s take on her importance and is posting avidly on social media, doing numerous interviews, podcasts and articles in order to achieve their mission.  She is going into companies and promoting LGBT activism (which really means attacking and seeking to ‘re-educate’ and punish those who don’t buy into the whole programme).  She makes quite clear what her aim is –

 Wonderful to hear from church leaders who read @ChurchTimes & Undivided this weekend & said, “we will begin to prayerfully re-examine our views on LGBTQ equality”… “It’s clear conservative theology can damage lives & even cause suicide”. “Forgive us for not understanding sooner”


Her narrative is straightforward. She, and others like her are the victims. They have been damaged by ‘conservative theology’ and she is going to change us evangelicals so that we accept her position. Vicky even writes in Undivided that she ‘knows’ that a day will come when all churches will unanimously accept the LGBT position. So we might as well get with the picture.

Vicky thinks it is working.   She cites examples such as this tweet.

 As an evangelical pastor I would call upon my fellow pastors worldwide to read Undivided by @vickybeeching. It will soften your heart and acknowledge that all human beings are looking for love & shelter. #goodread#LGBTQ#ThankYou#weareone

It is my view that how the evangelical church responds to this is vital. It will call for courage, compassion and wisdom from all of us who profess the name of Christ.  As I read the various evangelical responses there are some that are excellent but others that leave a lot to be desired. Part of the reason is that some don’t understand what is going on, or how to respond to someone who says ‘your theology was the cause of my misery’. As someone who has unfortunately found myself in the frontline of this particular battle I hope you will forgive my presumption in offering the following suggestions.

1) We must not be abusive – we respond with compassion –

Those who wish to condemn and attack the evangelical church love every angry and abusive tweet or Facebook message.   It allows them to claim victim status and to virtue signal (‘we are not like these horrible people with their twisted theology’). But it’s not just because of image that we should avoid such abuse. It’s just simply that it is sinful, wicked and wrong.

However be careful…don’t let the fear of being accused of abuse prevent you from speaking truth. What Vicky calls abuse sometimes isn’t. She has a neat trick of pointing out the real abuse she has received (death threats, name calling and other disgusting things) and then equating that with those who say that Same Sex Marriage is wrong. In her eyes both constitute abuse. She is wrong. If that were the case then is it not abuse when we are accused of causing anxiety, depression and suicide because we hold these views?   Or is it only gay activists who can be ‘triggered’? When I hear Vicky say that teaching the Bible causes people to commit suicide I find that incredibly abusive (and manipulative).

2) We must not be afraid – we respond with hope

Some Christians are afraid because they see and feel the overwhelming pressure from society, media, their work, friends, family and even the Church to reject the Bible’s teaching.   But fear causes anger and does a great deal of harm. We don’t need to be afraid. We know how this all ends! One day every knee will bow before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

3) We must not be proud – we must respond with humility.

Pride is an emotion, like anger and fear, that does a great deal of harm. The ‘Lord I thank you that I am not like other people’ approach is that of the Pharisees. Ironically it is also the approach of the evangelical liberals. They boast and congratulate each other about how they are not like others – how they are for freedom, diversity and equality. They delight that they are not like nasty, fundamentalist evangelicals. A truly Christian approach is more; ‘there, but for the grace of God…”

4) We must not be deceived – we respond with truth

Undivided is a very deceptive book.   Vicky purports to be an evangelical but everything she espouses is classical liberal Protestantism. The teaching and methodology of evangelical liberals like Steve Chalke (who Vicky says is a respected theologian and academic!) is deceptive and manipulative. They are warmly welcomed by those who hate Christ, but rather than challenge the Christ haters, they accept their point of view and seek to bring it into the Bride of Christ. I’m not sure whether Vicky is someone who doesn’t know what she is doing and just being used, or whether she really is aware of the game she is playing. Only the Lord (and Vicky) knows but whatever the case we must respond in love with truth.

Just as we should not be the deceived nor should we be the deceivers. Vicky boasts about how her main work is having private conversations with us as evangelical leaders – and getting us individually to change our positions privately, before eventually attempting to change our congregations. That is deceitful. If you are an evangelical who has changed your views – be consistent and do the honourable thing. Go to a liberal church that shares those views and don’t take money to undermine what you are being paid to teach!

5) We must not deviate one iota from the word of God – we respond with firm adherence to the Bible as the word of God

That is an absolute. We do not have a choice. If we profess to love Christ and follow him, we cannot twist his word nor turn away from it.

6) We must not be divided – we respond together.

The tactic of the enemy is to divide and conquer.  It was wonderful to see how the recent GAFCON meeting in Jerusalem represented the majority of Anglicans in the world and displayed a unity that comes from sticking to Christ and his word.  When evangelicals in the West compromise on this we are letting down not only our Lord, but our African, Asian and South American brothers and sisters.   It is also surely right to point out that we have far more in common (on this and many other issues) with the Catholic and Orthodox churches than we do with liberal Protestants.

It really is not helpful when mainstream evangelical churches and publications present this as an in-house discussion within evangelicalism, like baptism or gifts of the Spirit. The “on the one hand this and ‘on the other hand that” approach sows division.   I’m tired of evangelical leaders who say ‘I accept the Bible’s teaching but we need to understand that there are equally faithful Christians who have a different perspective’.   They are not equally faithful and it is not just a different perspective – it is a different Gospel. “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” (Galatians 1:6-9).


7) We must not be foolish – we respond with wisdom 

Wise as serpents harmless as doves. There are a lot of traps that are set up for us. We need to understand the times, discern the devils tactics, develop media savvy, use the Internet properly and learn how to tell a better story. Let me commend to you two resources – Glynn Harrison’s book ‘A Better Story’ and anything by Rosario Butterfield (Look again at the clip I put in my review yesterday).

8) We must not be cowards – we respond with courage.

One person wrote and told me that after they posted a ‘like’ to my review on ‘Undivided’, they were reported to a British Government institution for being homophobic! This is the kind of intimidation that causes many to be silent. Vicky talks about British evangelical churches putting their heads in the sand and being silent.  She is right. We need to speak out against the intimidation and the lies….even, or especially, when it comes from those who are pleasant and plausible. Are you prepared to speak out with grace and truth?  And we need the courage to rebuke those who would take the same view as us but are abusive and full of hatred.

9) We must not be sidetracked from our mission – we respond with Christ.

Whilst we remain firm on the bibles teaching about sex and sexuality, that is not our primary message. Our aim is always to proclaim Christ. People could have all the right biblical views about marriage and still not know Christ. Our message is not morality but the message of the Cross – repentance, forgiveness, faith and grace.   The world seeks to sidetrack us, or get us to accept their agenda, but we will not be moved one inch from the Gospel.

One final lesson I have gleaned from Vicky’s book and interviews. In her woundedness and hurt she has become a very intolerant and demanding person.  She won’t attend churches that hold non-affirming theology, like HTB. She demands that churches she goes to should never have someone in the pulpit who says that marriage should be between a man and a woman – because otherwise she might be triggered. (I note in passing that there is not a great deal of humility or tolerance in her approach…’do what I want or I will condemn you’ is the mantra. She has also ‘unfollowed’ me on Twitter…which kind of gives the lie to ‘lets have respectful discussion’ – I find that most liberals are like that – we have to agree with them, or we are beyond the pale). She wants the warmth and friendliness of the evangelical church – just without the evangel.  My fear is that there are far too many of us evangelicals who are dangerously close to a similar position – in private if not in public.

I was once approached by a young woman who said that she loved the church and everything in it…’but can you not just have it without Jesus?”   That is in effect what Vicky Beeching and her friends are asking for – the Church without Jesus. Of course they deny that and say that they are the true followers of Jesus They are not stupid – they know that the idea of claiming to be a Christian without following Jesus is daft, but, given that they don’t accept the Bible, they find it remarkably easy to just invent their own personal Jesus, who amazingly, happens to share all their views!


Vicky tweeted these pictures as examples of the Church getting its act ‘right’.  

Liberal evangelicals want a God without judgement, a Cross without atonement, a Bible without hard things and a church without the Jesus of the Bible.  Those of us who believe in that Jesus must hold fast and not be intimidated or deceived into giving up on him. I leave you with these apposite words from that Jesus to the church in Thyatira – Words that today would see him accused of ‘hate speech’ and condemned by the liberal evangelicals of being ‘unChristlike’!

“ “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.

So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.  I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.”


Brothers and sisters, are we as evangelicals going to listen to the Head of the Church? Or are we going to follow the demands of the culture?

Yours in Christ


The Soft and Hard Intimidation of the Church – A revealing 24 Hours….


  1. I don’t agree with every person’s politics but as a committed Christian I am called to do them no harm and enabled to love them with the special love of God. “There but for the love of God go I. “ too late to put it the present controversy back behind closed doors but still feel that God’s aim for our happiness was one man, one woman and commitment to each other and Him. Some people are content with second best I suppose. ‘Nuff said.

  2. Thank you for those guidelines David. If we are to love each other as Christ loves us, then we ought to love the sinner but hate the sin. It is worth remembering that we are all sinners and Christ died for all sinners.
    Rosario Butterfield’s testimony is quite clear and she has articulated very well her struggles and her spiritual journey but praise God for His amazing grace and His mighty power to save.

  3. Let’s see how many of Scotland’s evangelical leaders (ministers, pastors, elders and deacons) are prepared to put their heads above the parapet and start contending for the faith against this onslaught. For those who have forgotten what their leadership responsibilities are, it means standing up for Christ in your local community in the local press online and verbally.

  4. We’re going to follow the Head of the Church – all other ground is sinking sand.

    Thank you for giving such a clear lead, David

  5. Dear Rev. David,

    I am writing from Northern Ireland just to ask if you had seen the latest from the AA (Auto. Ass), not the other!

    Apparently they have put ten vans on the road with rainbows painted on and then advertised to get people to drive them, which they got. Many people are not happy about this, including myself and husband.

    Why oh why would we need diversity for car insurance??

    They use the same arguments as Tesco, National Trust etc., except NT found they had shot themselves in the foot somewhat when they did it.

    There seems no end to this stupidy among companies and people in high places, never to name our educators, so much for education!

    God bless your speaking out and keeping us all abreast of these things,

    Derek & Christina Thomspon.

    1. I do agree with your comment about the AA.

      As a member for more years than I wish to remember I was most annoyed to receive an e-mail regarding LGBT.
      I have made it clear that if I receive anything like this again (first time ever) my membership and insurance will be moved elsewhere.

      Yes, the National Trust did shoot themselves in the foot. So did Tesco.

  6. Here is a small part of the egalitarian anti-Christian ambitions of neo-Marxism served up in a cultural package. This part of the project is to subvert Western and Christian culture and its traditional understanding of sex, gender and the family.

    You are so right,”Liberal evangelicals want a God without judgement, a Cross without atonement, a Bible without hard things and a church without the Jesus of the Bible”.

    Christianity lite is swallowing it , hook, line, and sinker.

  7. I have a few close friends who consider themselves evangelical gay Christians, and it is heartbreaking. I really appreciate the strength and the compassion of this article. Thank you for encouraging and sharing with us 🙂

  8. Well said. We that adhere to Jesus Christ, just want a fair hearing of an authentic Biblical view. Without anger and malice towards us. After listening to us then choose your option. That’s all, that simple. Jesus practiced that while in pre-resurrection mode all the time. He also experienced much hostility from many that disagreed – to the point of death. Hmmmm.

  9. Thank you for taking the time to write this. You have struck just the right tone & your thoughts are spot on. Those of us who hold on to a conservative view of Scripture must expound it faithfully & with as much grace & dignity as we can muster – & yet stand up courageously for what we believe. Gospel truth is being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness & expediency. It’s sad to see fellow evangelicals lose heart & confidence in wake of the current liberal tide. Yet, as your own article demonstrates, our position is not intellectually lightweight or foolish. Indeed it is both correct & profound. No body wants to cause offence, but in the light of such error we can’t afford to be timid. Thank you once again for writing this. You are not alone in your stance & defence of the Gospel. God bless.

  10. “When I hear Vicky say that teaching the Bible causes people to commit suicide I find that incredibly abusive (and manipulative).”

    Are you denying that is the truth David?

    Denying that it could even be possible?

    You have written post after post after post on your blog railing against transgender and homosexual members of our society and do so based entirely on your belief in the contents of the bible. Entirely.

    I understand you have a genuine belief in the truth of the bible but teachings from the bible that vilify and demonise members of the society you live in contribute nothing to that society.

    You may well rail and proclaim the truth of the word, Christ, the cross and all the rest of it – but if the teaching that comes from that is to label homosexuals and transgender citizens (amongst others) as sinners then how can you possibly expect those individuals themselves and those of us who do not subscribe to your supernatural being to react?

    You bemoan any attempts whatsoever to counter bullying of these minorities by the introduction of school based teaching strategies, you call it indoctrination – one can only imagine the sort of bible based approach you would like to bring to those same children.

    It is those very approaches that DON’T WORK. They DO NOT WORK….and they will not make these people DISAPPEAR.

    1. Yes – I am denying it.

      And I have not written posts railing against transgender and homosexual members – just as I have not written posts railing against polygamists and paedophiles. I am arguing that these things are wrong.

      Its not just homosexuals who are sinners – its hetrosexuals too….its all of us!

      And yes the Bible based approach would have real tolerance not the fake one espoused by ypu and your colleagues.

      1. You deny that teaching the bible has caused and continues to perpetuate wider societal negative attitudes towards homosexuals which can in turn lead to instances of self-harm and suicide amongst homosexuals?

        You also don’t even seem to realise that you constantly put homosexuals along side paedophiles as if they are on an even footing or somehow linked.

      2. I deny that teaching the Bible causes homosexuals to commit suicide…on the other hand I affirm that denying the Bible leads to social and human disintegration which is a major cause of suicide. I don’t equate homosexuals with pedophiles – but in terms of sexuality – both are sexualities – as is hetrosexuality. If you affirm that all sexualities are valid and should be treated the same – then its you that has the problem – not me.

  11. There’s a rather silly ‘law’ which says that if you ever mention the Nazis you have thereby lost the argument. (I think it might be more relevant to say that anybody who thinks that that ‘law’ is valid is needing some remedial education in the field of logic.) So, I’m going to start by mentioning the Nazis. When the Nazis were in power they attempted to unite all Protestants into a Church of their own creation. This Church, of course, supported all the racial and other aspects of Nazi ideology. Many Protestant ministers supported it and, no doubt, the Nazi establishment heaped its praise on those who did so. However, there were Protestant ministers such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer who rejected this Church and all it stood for. No doubt the leading figures in Hitler’s Church cast all sorts of unpleasant accusations against the Protestants who would not join. But who would now say that Bonhoeffer and the other members of the Confessing Church were wrong to stand out against the people they saw as betraying real Christianity? (Unfortunately it is necessary to have to say that this should not be taken as an accusation that those Christians who promote the LGBT agenda are Nazis.)

  12. 4) We must not be deceived – we respond with truth

    Then you must surely acknowledge that homosexuality is prevalent across the animal kingdom.
    That is the truth. Fact backed by irrefutable evidence.

      1. Murder and rape I would generally never condone.
        Incest and cannibalism would depend on the circumstances.
        Are you going to bother offer a single rational reason against homosexuality, David?

      2. But again you are missing the point. You suggested that because something is in the animal kingdom it should be allowed in human society….do you no longer hold to that position?

      3. A tendency toward early death, lopping body parts at this point, no hope for children (of a gay couple), spread of disease, and there are more excellent reasons to avoid and not push homosexuality.

    1. Fact based by evidence: humans are the only moral agents. But your dinosaur ancestors, Ark, show you are an exception, that proves the rule, and will result in extinction of humanity in homosexual couplings. But when has logic prevented you from making errors of categories, in your, frequent flying facile, kite flying.
      But your comments, do expose my sinfulness, for which I’ m thankful. Conversely, they are the manure from which grows patience as a fruit.

      1. Except its not a fact based by evidence (I assume you mean ‘on’ evidence). Its to put it mildly a newspaper headline and article which is described as controversial. Did you actually read the article? Do you think animals should be tried for their criminal behaviour then? Now that you appear to think they are moral beings!

      2. What on earth are you talking about?
        You would put a parrot on trial in a human court ,would you?
        If they can understand certain aspects of right and wrong then they can be considered to have a certain sense of morality. And this is what research has suggested.

      3. Ark,
        You neither know fact nor evidence, nor scientific anthropomorphism, nor how to read properly. But it’s all just chicken feed, to your Dinosaur ancestors and their sense of anthropomorphic justice!

  13. Yes David. Sometimes it means awful breakdown of family closeness to stay faithful to God’s Word. But didn’t Jesus say so!

  14. I’m sure that historically priests , ministers and so called Christians caused people who identified as ‘homosexual’ a lot of pain and shame and this is a stain on the conscience of the church. Although, surely not every Christian, priest and minister was cruel and condemnatory towards such people. Also, it was not only the church which stigmatised and condemned people engaging in homosexual behaviour. We cannot blame the church for everything! Surely the problem began with the ‘criminalisation’ of sodomy or whatever sexual practices were described as punishable by law. I don’t know anything about these laws. But surely adultery and fornication should have been punishable with the same force by law also? In fact, in Ireland, ‘fallen women’ were the scum of society and punished as such either by vile stigmatisation or, if they were pregnant (didn’t matter who the father was) were locked away for life in a ‘Magdalene’ laundry. Their children were stigmatised also. I don’t see the point, as a Christian, in differentiating between the ‘types’ of sexual sin. Sexual sin is simply sexual sin in God’s eyes. But I remember a time in Ireland when ‘queers’ were the scum of society and everybody could self-righteously sneer and judge such a person. I also remember being horrified when some middle class, privileged young men used to say “let’s go queer bashing” and go to the ‘toilets’ where reputedly ‘queers’ used to hang out and beat and kick them. A friend of mine who was rumoured to be ‘gay’ came to work one day (in the early 80’s) with 2 black eyes, his face all bruised and swollen, his lips bleeding and swollen and looking so downtrodden. When I asked him what happened, he couldn’t even look at me and said that he fell down the stairs and I knew it wasn’t true. I was so angry and outraged and guessed that he had been a victim of ‘queer bashing’. I knew those who did this were not pleasing to God and as far from righteous as they could possibly be and that he in my eyes was less of a sinner than them. He did subsequently come out as ‘gay’ and I subsequently came out as ‘Christian’. He enjoyed several relationships and a long standing relationship with a live-in partner while I all the while as a Christian was single. We remain friends.
    Society always has to have some group who is the ‘scum of the earth’. Currently it is the paedophiles. No understanding, or acceptable standard of living is to be afforded to the paedophiles. But if some of the activists have their way, very soon the age of consent will be lowered and possibly abolished, as some activists would have it. Then the scum of the earth will only be ‘the Christians’. Believe me it is coming.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I think the bible doesn’t actually identify ‘homosexuals’ or ‘transgender’ people at all. Any bibles that do may have incorrect translation.
    In Romans 1:26ff
    “26Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

    That is the NIV translation. It speaks only of behaviour, not an identity.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 English Standard Version (ESV)
    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
    11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
    (verse 9 above uses the Greek word “ἀρσενοκοῖται”. Apparently this word is made up of 2 words ‘male’ and ‘bed’. But it is not an identity, it is behaviour. I’m not denying the power that same-sex attraction can have over a person but is it necessarily stronger than any other illicit attraction? What of a man who loves only one woman and she marries someone else and he loves her all the days of his life, never marries anyone else. Doesn’t he have to live in self-denial?

    I’m sure if I was weak minded, or if someone hatefully used Scripture ‘against’ me and not ‘for’ me, I might want to commit suicide if I felt I was excluded from God’s kingdom for any of the reasons mentioned in verses 9 & 10 above, and actually I would be included in the ‘excluded’ for a few of the reasons above that I don’t care to admit in public.

    BUT I am not excluded from God’s kingdom because of the following verse 11: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

    I’m pretty sure that the Old Testament also speaks of BEHAVIOUR being wrong in numerous ways: Adultery; fornication; a man lying with a man as with a woman; lying with an animal; “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.” Deut 22:5
    Again, behaviour is what is condemned not an ‘identity”.
    I am slow to grant more leeway to people identifying as ‘gay’ than I am to any other person in terms of ‘sexual freedom’ or in terms of what is ‘wrong’ in God’s sight. There are numerous scenarios, too numerous to outline here, where a Christian might have to choose ‘self-control’ over sexual expression. They could even be married and be going through a bad period in their marriage and find themselves with an extremely strong and reciprocated attraction to a member of the opposite sex. Self-denial is required. When we are ‘tempted’ to act outside of God’s laws then that is what it is: temptation. Why should the church grant special leeway to anybody to give into temptation and not to others? How can we measure the pain of self-denial? Who says Vicky Beeching’s pain of self-denial is any more painful than mine, if I find myself single, or married and desperately attracted to a another single or married man? The stigma in church, of any form of sexual sin has to go, otherwise people are going to suffer shame in silence or act out in secret. People need to be able to overcome shame and disclose their struggles to wise and understanding Christians and ministers. The church needs to be able to engage in the conversation and offer people the free grace that Jesus Christ earned for us on the cross; forgiveness for any sin and cleansing from any sin. I don’t know the struggle of same-sex attraction but I have plenty of struggles. Sexuality from a Christian perspective must be debated on equal grounds for everybody. No special treatment for those identifying as ‘gay’. As regards the transgender issue, it is too much to go into that here. Compassion must be reserved for the few with a genuine struggle. But what about compassion for girls in swimming room changing areas if grown men turn up to get dressed? That issue is one of the most insidious and dangerous issues we are currently facing and has the potential to be exploited by the most cunning and evil.
    We ALL have fallen sexuality, nobody is exempt. God’s standards remain. Make way though for the ‘Christian bashing’!

  15. Ark,
    You neither know fact nor evidence, nor scientific anthropomorphism, nor how to read properly. But it’s all just chicken feed, to your Dinosaur ancestors and their sense of anthropomorphic justice!

    Purely out of curiosity, Geoff, if you are so keen on fact and evidence perhaps you would like to demonstrate both with regard your belief in the Resurrection and the Virgin Birth of the character Jesus of Nazareth?

    1. It can be a major problem, Ark,
      to do some scientific research and come up with results that seem to fly in the face of what is expected. It is, as far as I can see, seldom the case that the researchers themselves create publicity disasters but, to make up for it, there are others who are all too ready to queer the pitch for them. My understanding of the ‘cold fusion’ debacle is that the university authorities were so keen to get glory that they landed the researchers right into making an announcement that was more than just premature. It is for good reason that most publications that eventually turn out to be paradigm changers, do not initially draw the attention of the world’s press. The sad fact is —sad as far as sensationalism is concerned — that stability is something that develops with increased understanding. It is extremely unlikely that the animals-knowing-right-from-wrong findings that you reference will go anywhere.
      On the subject, I had a lecturer at Dundee called John Raven — — who was in those days notoriously slow to publish but I did notice that review articles in his field did tend to honour his contributions by saying that his experiments were particularly elegant. Now, that is a moral judgement made about the designer of the experiment and reductionism doesn’t begin to touch the differences between the researcher and the cells he studies.
      One psychologist once had the temerity to title a book, Beyond Freedom and Dignity. Yet here humanity remains; made in God’s Image.

      1. It is extremely unlikely that the animals-knowing-right-from-wrong findings that you reference will go anywhere.

        Yes …. such things have been said about a great many things, have they not, John?
        I suppose in the meantime it’ll make you as a human to feel a bit more special that you have morals and they don’t.

        Made in ”God’s” (sic) image? Where on earth /em> did you come up with that idea?

      2. Ark,
        here’s a quote from John Gray:
        Much of what passes as scientific knowledge is as open to doubt as as the miraculous events that feature in traditional faiths. Wander among the shelves of the social science stacks in university libraries, and you find yourself in a mausoleum of dead theories. These theories have not passed into the netherworld by being falsified. Most are not even false; they are too nebulous to allow empirical testing. … [C]od-scientific speculations linger on in a dim afterlife in the minds of many who have never heard of the ideas from which they sprang. [p. 13 of Seven Types of Atheism

        That we are all made in the Image of God is a theological concept taken from the first chapter of the Bible. By my reading the same chapter lists seven parts, those being:

        (incidentally, when you want to quote someone while indicating that you dissent from their usage, etc. the way to do it is to attach an * rather than [sic.])


      3. (incidentally, when you want to quote someone while indicating that you dissent from their usage, etc. the way to do it is to attach an * rather than [sic.])

        The sic was intentional in reference to me capitalizing the word God.
        But thanks for your concern about my grammar usage.

  16. David, I had hoped that captcha had identified Ark as a robot, as so lacking in personability were his comments. Or maybe that you had given him some ‘time out’, in view of the lack of any demonstration of empathy or rationality on his behalf, to engage in some ‘talking therapy’ for his sociopathic narcissistic borderline personality disorder or maybe to consult a medical professional for some appropriate medication to temper his insanity. Whatever the reason, the respite was brief and now he is back. I think I won’t be personally engaging with him. I suppose it is worth considering too that there might be method to your madness, as Jesus did choose the 12 and one of them was a devil.

    1. Not a robot but an NFA troll. Ark keeps getting upset that I don’t allow him to make endless posts every day attacking people. Personally I think I give him far too much leeway…

      1. Amen, to that David. But he’s not afraid to display his ignorance. How many times has the Resurrection been discussed on your blog and suggested reading material given to him?
        He’s enjoying himself, in his game playing, but from his own blog, he states dinosaurs are his ancestors. Perhaps hes demonstrating that there has been no macro evolution in dinosaur intelligence and comprehension, with his dinosaur droppings and like them he is on the wrong side of history.

      2. How many times has the Resurrection been discussed on your blog and suggested reading material given to him?

        Thanks, Geoff, but I really don’t need a Christian to tell me what to read on the Resurrection and I’ve read a number of accounts from several major scholars.

        It is interesting, however, that I have yet to read a single account of the Resurrection that included the Roman perspective: Pilate’s reaction, and why he did not arrest a single follower of Jesus and interrogate them? Not least of which being Joseph of Arimethea. After all, the body of Jesus was entrusted to his care by Pilate, and it apparently disappeared.
        Pilate was known for his brutality and this was the reason he was recalled to Rome – this is a matter of record – so even if the fairly widespread accounts of the Resurrection were only rumour why do you think Pilate did absolutely nothing?

        Any thoughts?

      3. As you probably know, Ark,
        the Roman Prefects of Judaea were only appointed because the Ethnarch Herod Archelaus was himself excessively cruel.

        Coponius, the first prefect, had to deal with the revolt of Judas the Galilean and his Zealot movement. The grounds for the revolt were the introduction of Roman soldiers and a census overseen by Coponius’s immediate boss, Publius Sulpicius Quirinius, Legate of Syria. (Archelaus’s father, Herod the Great, had depended on a network of secret agents to spy on his people so he had been able to carry out an earlier census required by Caesar Augustus, without the same unrest.)

        Marcus Ambivulus was the second prefect of Judaea.

        Annius Rufus was third.

        Valerius Gratus, the fourth prefect, was the one who appointed and disposed the High Priest at will so that Annas and Caiaphas et al formed a much stronger political force than would have been the case if each had succeeded to the role on the death of his predecessor.

        Pontius Pilate’s prefecture came to an end because of the particularly cruel way he suppressed an uprising among the Samaritans. The Zealots were still a force to be reckoned with in Judea but after the release of Barabbas — a terrorist pseudonym if ever I heard one — Pilate had become friends with Herod Antipas, his former rival. Moreover, largely because of the lifestyle of the followers of Jesus, Roman-controlled Jerusalem underwent an unprecedented period of peace. (Pilate seems to have faced no trial on his return to Rome because his arrival coincided with the death of Tiberius.)

        Lucius Vitellius Veteris, Legate of Syria, who deposed Pilate, appointed a friend, Marcellus to act as prefect, although he seems to have turned a blind eye to the execution of Stephen and may not actually have had the powers to intervene.

        Marullus, who replaced Marcellus was prefect during the time when Caligula was determined that a statue of himself should be erected in the Temple at Jerusalem. It was his boss Publius Petronius, Legate of Syria, who had the task of carrying out Caligula’s scheme but it was his eventual successor, King Herod Agrippa 1 who managed to pursuade Caligula not to go ahead. (It is likely that the persecution carried out under Saul of Tarsus was allowed as a sort of diversion but attacks on the actual Christian leadership did not take place until Agrippa was king in place of Marullus.)


      4. As David repeatedly deletes my follow up comments I seem no reason to engage you, John.
        Unless you are prepared to answer the question I posed to David regarding Pilate’s complete lack of response to hearing of the empty tomb and the Resurrection.
        But thanks for the (partial) history lesson. I am sure some of those who read along who were unaware of some of these details will have enjoyed it.

      5. Ark, – as I stated your comments are not posted if they are irrelevant, rude or don’t answer the question. You have far too many of them. Stick to the question or better still put them on your own blog…I’m afraid you can’t take over mine!

      6. I thought I had answered your question, Ark —
        which you posed to Geoff and not to David but never mind —
        I wrote, ‘Pilate had become friends with Herod Antipas, his former rival. Moreover, largely because of the lifestyle of the followers of Jesus, Roman-controlled Jerusalem underwent an unprecedented period of peace.’ As you say, it’s no more than a partial history lesson but you’ve now accepted it as such. Well done!

        (Incidently, I’m well aware that out of the scores of thousands who read David’s blog, there can only be two or three who read my replies to you, nevertheless, it is only fair to warn you that you have now accepted as history two or three points that you’d have denied if you’d had your wits about you. Maybe nobody else reads our little spats — other than David, of course — but I do and I suggest you ought to read what you yourself write more carefully or you will continue to yield ground without meaning to.)

        Similarly, the Pilate who said, ‘What I have written, I have written’ was highly unlikely to get himself involved in a matter that he had, as it were, well and truly buried. Especially not as he would have high-tailed it back to Caesarea as soon as he could, away from Jerusalem — most probably in the dead of night — because that’s what the prefects did and, as I understand it, that too is a matter of record.


      7. Your subtle condescension is becoming one of your more notable traits, John.
        But at least you are thinking.
        As you seem to be more than willing to teach me history, I’d be very interested to read you citation that Pilate left Jerusalem. Or at least the presumption that he did.
        Although this still does not explain why there was not a single contemporary witness to the post execution events described.

        By the way, have you heard of William Lane Craig’s evangelical utterings on the defense of Adam and Eve?
        Highly entertaining … and quite enlightening as well.

        I wonder why evangelicals Christians work so darn hard at defending such nonsense?
        One would presume, Jesus believed that A & E were real people and he certainly believed Moses was.
        Certainly Paul did, and also Augustine – from whence we can attribute the rather silly doctrine of original sin.

        Evangelical Christians really do not like the evidence of the Human Genome Project, do they?

      8. Well, Jennifer, sin per se is deemed any thing against your god.
        Thus, Original Sin is simply doctrine.
        Furthermore, the Human Genome Project has finally dispelled any notion of the biblical characters Adam and Eve being in any sense real historical figures.

        Now, where do you think this leaves Christianity as Paul most certainly considered Adam and Eve were real?

      9. Against my better judgement, Ark —
        because I have other things to do — I’ve had a cursory look at your Adam and Eve problem.
        Basically, we’ve been on a different page because of a category error. Evangelicals tend to be Creationists rather than Theistic Evolutionists and Theistic Evolutionists tend not to believe in the special creation of Adam from the dust of the ground nor in the subsequent fashioning of Eve from Adam’s rib. Since Biologos is a Theistic Evolutionist organisation, their ‘bottleneck’ problem, real as it is, doesn’t directly touch Creationist belief about Adam and Eve.

        However, it is on their behalf that I owe you another history lesson. As it happens the work has all been done by Dr. Richard Buggs — — so you can get the citations from him. I like that his outline falls into seven parts so I’ll use it:

        1. [’70s/’80s] Emergence of ‘Y-chromosome Adam’ and of ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ notions gave Theistic Evolutionists a use for the Biblical terms to denote the two individuals from whom we’re all descended.

        2. [1994, ’96] Apparent demolition of Adam and Eve bottleneck theory by ‘the huge allelic diversity of the human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene DRB1’.

        3. [1998] That ‘DRB1 alleles in humans have diversified more recently than suggested’ coupled with previously unaccounted-for evidence of convergent evolution served very quickly to put the Adam and Eve genetic bottleneck hypothesis back on the table.

        4. [2018] ‘the extreme human bottleneck hypothesis has not been rigorously tested in the modern genomic literature,’ says Buggs, ‘unless we have all missed something.’ The flurry of activity that led to this conclusion followed an earlier blog post — — in which Buggs critiqued the book that I now believe to be the ground zero of your Adam-never-existed challenge to us.

        5. Something called genome-wide allele frequency spectra (AFS) has been suggested as a possible way of rigorously testing for bottlenecks but there are problems with fitting predictions with data.

        6. genome-wide estimates of the time to the most recent four lineages (TMR4L) is something being worked on right now, with a possible view to publication.

        7. Introgression from Neanderthals and Denisovans makes everything more complicated and this complication provides another possible but much less likely ground zero for your statement.

        Whatever this is, it is far from the final dispelling you dream of; of any notion of the biblical characters Adam and Eve being in any sense real historical figures.


      10. Go read Jerry Coyne.
        I have no interest in Hugh Ross or anything at bio-logos or in fact anything related to creationism in any guise.

      11. You have my sympathy, Ark,
        for your lack of ‘interest in Hugh Ross or anything at bio-logos or in fact anything related to creationism in any guise’. Establishing that you have such a comprehensive lack of interest in creationism must have led you down some very weary paths and I’m grateful that you’ve admitted to it so that we don’t have to follow you down them.

        However, your professed lack of interest hasn’t stopped you from picking up a few things as you investigated the matter and you chose to bring up one such ‘nugget’ for our consideration. — I assume since you tell us to read him that your source was Jerry Coyne, it doesn’t matter. — You said: ‘ the Human Genome Project has finally dispelled any notion of the biblical characters Adam and Eve being in any sense real historical figures. | Now, where do you think this leaves Christianity as Paul most certainly considered Adam and Eve were real?’

        Coyne — if indeed you are paraphrasing him — is at best premature in his assessment, as the Buggs analysis of the ‘Who was Adam?’ debate shows. You, on the other hand, having raised up this non sequitur on a couple of occasions will not be able to do so any more, and nobody will be able to say that you were not answered.


      12. I was not paraphrasing Coyne at all.
        Go fead up on how William Lane Craig anbd his pals are trying to come to terms with the fact there is no historicity in the Genesis nonsense of creation.

        Buggs is a Christian and a defender of Intelligent (sis) Design and that precludes him from any serious discussion on the matter, Period.
        Don’t say you weren’t warned that willful ignorance won’t buy you squat at the grown-ups table

      13. Ark,
        when I wrote ‘the best reason you can give me for you being right is that someone is organising a conference‽’ I never for a moment thought that you’d agree! This isn’t just desperate unbelief; it’s frantic, nearly hysterical unbelief. So, your ‘Go read Jerry Coyne’ instruction was just as gratuitous as your statement of disinterest in Hugh Ross? I don’t believe that this is fake news that you just made up so why the obsession with William Lane Craig and his conference?

        As it happens Richard Buggs is Reader in Evolutionary Genomics in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London so is considerably more qualified to take part in any serious discussion than you or I. Moreover, he has a seat at the table. 🙂


      14. Buggs is a Christian and a proponent of Intelligent Design.

        If he is given the nod on his theories by secular biologists I’ll reconsider my position on the matter.
        Until then ….
        Me frantic?
        Good heavens’, what next John? Will you be castigating me for my ”unbelief” in Noah and Moses?

        Many mainline (non evangelical) Christian denominations accept the mythological aspects of Adam and Eve, so when it comes to ”desperate (frantic) unbelief” maybe you ought to put aside all your pre-suppositional beliefs, take a breather, and as they say in urban-parlance, get with the program?

      15. No problem, Ark
        Here is the current Google scholar list of citations:
        I’ll leave it to you to decide which of the papers that cite Buggs are written by Christians and which by Secular Scientists.
        My impression is that the opinion of one of the world’s top hundred universities is going to trump your personal opinion any time, even after your reconsideration, which I nevertheless, eagerly await.


      16. Let me spell it out for you, John as you seem to be having a difficult time grasping this simple fact.

        Buggs is a Christian and a proponent of Intelligent Design.

        And I note he features on a great many of the links you posted(
        Ergo, his Christianity will take precedent.
        If it didn’t, he would not be a Christian.

      17. Sorry, Ark,
        I assumed you would know how Google scholar works. Of course the links feature Buggs; they relate to papers he has written or co-authored and the number of citations are listed by each article. You said that you would reconsider your ridiculous ruling if he is ‘given the nod’ by secular scholars. Well, publication in peer-reviewed journals and multiple citations is a sizable nod in my book. I did not quote Buggs because he is a Christian or because he believes that there is such a thing as irreducible complexity. I found that he dealt with something that seemed to underlie an assertion you made — I still can’t believe that you just made it up — and I took the time to pass it on.


      18. Well, when we are talking about given the nod by secular scholars, I assumed you would take it as a given regarding his views pertaining to the subject at hand.
        I still cant believe that you would think for one second that any secular scientist would have any truck whatsoever with anything that had even the whiff of creationism.
        But then, I so often underestimate the debating techniques of evangelical Christians.

      19. Ark, You said

        ‘I assumed you would take [the nod by secular scholars] as a given regarding his views pertaining to the subject at hand.’

        but I find that strange since you have also said that Buggs on Genomics — specifically on your assertion about the Human Genome Project, the subject at hand — can be, indeed ought to be disregarded because he is a Christian. Yes I would have assumed that secular scholars will take his work seriously and — assumptions aside — the Google scholar listing of publications and his position at Queen Mary prove it.
        (you are not really saying that Google scholar is an ‘evangelical Christian debating technique’ are you?)


      20. Your delicious rhetoric fair oozes with sincerity.

        He is a Christian and a proponent of Intelligent(sic) Design.
        Can you cite me a peer reviewed paper he has written on the subject?

      21. Ark,
        that’s the point! You have been denying that a man’s work on Genomics could be given the proverbial nod and that him being a Christian would be suficient grounds. This is perhaps the pipe-dream and goal of Cultural Marxism but it is not yet a reality. Very few actual, practical biologists would be as fastidious as you are claiming for them, indeed, they would not get away with not citing Buggs on the grounds that he is a Christian.

        As it happens, Ark, on the Peer-reviewed front: my eye was drawn to this letter published in Nature, Ecology and Evolution
        The deepening of Darwin’s abominable mystery might not have been published when the fear of backdoor creationism was at its height but it seems that the storm is over.


      22. And again, you miss the point. He is a proponent of ID and Creationism.
        Read: Goddidit.
        And not just any god but the personalized version you genuflect to.

        So what is it you are simply refusing to understand , John?

      23. Let me try and simplify this for you. As a proponent of Intelligent Design, does Buggs accept evolution through natural selection.
        Yes or no?

      24. That’s the meaning of ‘evolutionary biologist’, Ark,
        so yes! What on earth did you think I have been telling you?

      25. So just to confirm: you can confirm that he accepts evolution through natural selection in the same manner that someone such a Laurence Krauss understands it?

      26. Wait up, Ark,
        Laurence Krauss is a physicist so I have no idea whether he understands any biological concept. You would have thought that Dawkins would have checked his credentials before working so closely with him but as I opened the alert that you were looking for confirmation of Buggs’s bioscientific orthodoxy, my browser was open at and I’d just noted the following paragraph about Dawkins’s recommendation of one of Krauss’s books:

        Dawkins is comparing the most enduringly profound scientific treatise in history to a pop-science book that recycles a bunch of stale ideas from physics and cosmology. This absurd hyperbole says less about the merits of Krauss’s derivative book than it does about the judgment-impairing intensity of Dawkins’s hatred of religion.

        This may only be evidence that the high water mark of the McCarthyesque anti-creationism witchhunt is past but to answer your question as best I can; you can rest assured that Richard Buggs understands natural selection in the same way that Richard Dawkins does.


      27. I meant to write Jerry Coyne, of course.
        I was watching a video of Krauss yeaterday.
        So, back to the question I asked.
        You can confirm that Buggs accepts evolution in the same manner that someone such as Jerry Coyne would, yes?

      28. Ark,
        I am at a loss to see how Eric Hedin’s case is relevant. I’ve been looking at Coyne’s work to see if he equates denial of evolution by natural selection with Intelligent Design. It seems to me that he is content to believe that IDers must be anti-evolution because he can label them to his own satisfaction as creationists and because he is lazy enough — or blind enough — to think that all creationists are the same.
        I know that Hedin stopped teaching a single course at Ball State but before he moved to Biola he was given tenure atBall State! Moreover, when he left Ball State his position was filled by another IDer which all suggests that it was not ID itself that was objected to within the university but an alleged inappropriate use of ID by Hedin. (Coyne himself admits that he did not want to get Hedin sacked.)


      29. Oh, and for what it’s worth, Buggs is a Christian and a proponent of ID, apparently.

        That doesn’t look so good to me.
        Ever read the Wedge Document?

      30. From where I stand, Ark,
        I am ‘with the programme’ but very much aware that he who stands needs to take heed lest he fall. Interesting that you should advise me to get with the program just a few days after asking if I’d read the Wedge Document. I hadn’t; I now have but I got to it through the wikipedia article: wow! — I’m being sarcastic now, by the way — we have been well and truly warned.

        Now, the programmatic aspirations of the Discovery Institute — if that’s what the Wedge Document actually contains — are obviously not the programme you advise me to get with. (Nor do you really want me to be conformed to the chaos of the so-called mainline churches who are off-loading their programmatic heritage hand-over-fist at the most astonishing rate, but that by the way.)

        But — to take stock of a very small part of a comprehensive programme of reclamation — the ideological, non-scientific reasons for not according Intelligent Design theory a place at the table are being countermanded by common sense. Take this quote from Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: why the Materialist neo-darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false ‘Even if one is not drawn to the alternative of an explanation by the actions of a designer, the problems that these iconoclasts pose for the orthodox scientific consensus should be taken seriously. They do not deserve the scorn with which they are commonly met. It is manifestly unfair.’ A Preview is available on Google books, and when I searched, the relevant pages (10-12) were there.


      31. Here you go, John …
        “There is just no evidence for intelligent design, it is pure religion and has nothing to do with science. It should be banned from science classes,” said Lewis Wolpert, a developmental biologist at the University of London. – AFP

        Or try this one …

        Richard Buggs appears to be an evolutionary biologist. But a bit of searching reveals that he may have a wild side. The Wikipedia article on a UK group named Truth in Science describes it as a group that wants intelligent design taught alongside evolution in school science lessons. That article mentions that Richard Buggs is connected to the group, and he’s a fan of the bacterial flagellum “mystery” so beloved by Discoveroids like Michael Behe. This bears further investigation.

      32. There wouldn’t be much point, Ark,
        in Thomas Nagel saying that ID has received manifestly unfair treatment from the scientific establishment if that ‘unfair treatment’ wasn’t being dished out by establishment figures such as Lewis Wolpert. It may or may not be relevant that Wolpert serves as a vice president of Humanists UK.

        The blogger you quote may also be part of the academic establishment but let us hope not. Does he give us Buggs’s academic position as a background to the revelation of his involvement with Truth in Science? No. What we get is ‘Richard Buggs appears to be an evolutionary biologist’. Nothing that follows rules Buggs out from being an evolutionary biologist but the innuendo is there that he is only masquerading as one.

        I’m not disputing that denial of design is the status quo position in the biological sciences, Ark, but making it a shibboleth is sooner or later going to bring British Science into disrepute.


      33. Ark, but making it a shibboleth is sooner or later going to bring British Science into disrepute.

        No it won’t, simply because ID is merely Creationism in a different party dress, as well you know, especially if you have at least perused the Wedge Document and that nonsense of Teach the Controversy or whatever their stand point is.

        Sorry, John, but anybody who preaches and teaches creationism, no matter what guise they present it, is, in the end, not teaching science as it is we generally regard it, simply because when it is whittled down to ground zero … well … oops there’s a god. And of course not just any old god, but the Christian version be it Yahweh as per OT or Yahweh in his Jesus disguise.

      34. Hegel said, Ark:

        We learn from history that we do not learn from history

        and you may be exibiting that failure to learn from something that happened very recently. As is famous, Fred Hoyle came up with a derisory name — Big Bang — for a theory he thought unscientific because postulating a beginning would be creationism.

        When someone succumbs to the temptation to show that some example of irreducible complexity is in fact reducible, the guilt-by-association ‘Creationism’ charge will be dropt so that science can get on with doing what science does. (Maybe, who knows?)


      35. Well, both Hawkins and Krauss have shown a creator is not necessary, but I am not able to argue the physics. My bad.
        Enough to say that, when you talk of a creator you add the capital ”C” and include the personal Christian god, and, seriously, such a claim is beyond risible.

        ,Let’s face it, after 2000 plus years since the biblical character purportedly strode around a tiny section of the Middle East flinging demons into piggies your religion has not advanced a single cause for the overall welfare of humankind one iota that could not have been accomplished without superstitious nonsense.

        I am just amazed you haven’t chucked the hydroplate theory into the mix yet, or some half arsed explanation for how Noah got dinosaurs, penguins and Tasmanian devils onto the Ark.

        So for now, John, I am afraid your ”Goddidit” answer holds about as much water as a Galilean fisherman’s net.
        Perhaps you should pray for the evidence to manifest itself in such a fashion as to be irrefutable? After all your god is omnipotent and all you have to do is ask and it shall be given, isn’t that right?
        I mean, we all know prayer works every time doesn’t it?


      36. Hawking’s law-of-gravity argument would not, IMHO, have consoled Hoyle, who wanted no beginnings to mar his steady state universe. Gravity may do away with the notion of the Big Bang being an absolute beginning but it cannot rescue the no-beginning-to-life implication in Hoyle’s Panspermia hypothesis. Anyway, apart from a few hold outs — e.g. Eric Lerner, The Big Bang never happened — most physicists dropt the idea that a beginning must mean creationism, long before Hawking’s book was published. That’s history.

        As you admit, Ark, the overall welfare of humankind has been greatly advanced by Christianity, and you rightly point out that everything could have been accomplished by secularists instead. Only, it wasn’t: Science, for example, was advanced by men who believed that since God is a God of order, it is possible to gain an ordered and sufficient understanding of how things work. Somewhere along the line the logical belief that God is in everything whether we understand the process or not was hidden from view behind the caricature of the God-of-the-gaps. That, I suggest, is not learning from history.


      37. Ark,
        you will find all the citations you could desire about Roman Prefects of Judea residing in Caesarea at .
        When you say ‘there was not a single contemporary witness to the post execution events described.’ you neglect to mention, for example, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 which contains an overwhelming list of eyewitnesses who could at that time have been called on to give evidence.
        However, the absence of highly-placed official notices of these events is exactly what is to be expected, as David explained in his talk to the Sidney lawyers — — you have no case and an admission of that would do you credit also.

        But instead you stumble to a challenge about the Human Genome project: ‘Evangelical Christians really do not like the evidence of the Human Genome Project, do they?’ Don’t they? I’m an evangelical; I worship with evangelicals; I correspond with evangelicals; some of my best friends are evangelicals; and I’ve never heard any of them mention this dislike of which you speak. I think you’re fishing, and that all you have is interpretation of evidence which you yourself cannot understand. What is it about the actual evidence that’s not to like?


      38. I am fully aware where the prefects resided. That was not quite the question I asked, now was it?

        The onus for any ”case” is with the claimant.
        If your evidence pans out then I shall apologise unreservedly.
        So, simply produce the verified contemporary evidence.

        By the way, surely you should understand by now that the bible is simply untrustworthy, and never stands up to serious scrutiny.

        Re: The HGP
        Go plead you case to Collins and while you are at it ask WL Craig why there is any necessity at all to convene any sort of conference to debate this matter?

        John, your slip is showing I’m afraid.

      39. I take it that the reason I’m supposed to have a problem with the genome findings, Ark,
        is contained in your post addressed to Jennifer:
        ‘Furthermore, the Human Genome Project has finally dispelled any notion of the biblical characters Adam and Eve being in any sense real historical figures.’
        I’m at a loss as to how the Genome project could do that but you obviously think they have, so congratulations. I’d not like it if the evidence does what you say it does but, as I say, I don’t see that it could and the best reason you can give me for you being right is that someone is organising a conference‽ Desperate unbelief once again.


      40. Pardon my ignorance, but what’s NFA? I hope it’s not New Fangled Apostles!

  17. Thank you David for your article, for standing up against the current tide of the culture. Elijah thought he was the only one but God had 7000 more people – you know the story.

  18. I had lost track of what this thread was about because Ark joined in with his anthropomorphic ‘rabbiting’ on about the same ‘evidence based reality’ in a most ‘parrotlike’ fashion and threw the discussion off course. Let me use the bible to remind us what the discussion was about:
    Revelation 18 New International Version (NIV)
    Lament Over Fallen Babylon
    18 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2 With a mighty voice he shouted:

    “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’
    She has become a dwelling for demons
    and a haunt for every impure spirit,
    a haunt for every unclean bird,
    a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
    3 For all the nations have drunk
    the maddening wine of her adulteries.
    The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
    and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”

    Warning to Escape Babylon’s Judgment
    4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:

    “‘Come out of her, my people,’
    so that you will not share in her sins,
    so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
    5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
    and God has remembered her crimes.
    6 Give back to her as she has given;
    pay her back double for what she has done.
    Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
    7 Give her as much torment and grief
    as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
    In her heart she boasts,
    ‘I sit enthroned as queen.
    I am not a widow;
    I will never mourn.’
    8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
    death, mourning and famine.
    She will be consumed by fire,
    for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

    Threefold Woe Over Babylon’s Fall
    9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:

    “‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
    you mighty city of Babylon!
    In one hour your doom has come!’

    11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore— 12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves.

    14 “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ 15 The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16 and cry out:

    “‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
    dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,
    and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
    17 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’

    “Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. 18 When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’ 19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:

    “‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
    where all who had ships on the sea
    became rich through her wealth!
    In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’

    20 “Rejoice over her, you heavens!
    Rejoice, you people of God!
    Rejoice, apostles and prophets!
    For God has judged her
    with the judgment she imposed on you.”

    The Finality of Babylon’s Doom
    21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said:

    “With such violence
    the great city of Babylon will be thrown down,
    never to be found again.
    22 The music of harpists and musicians, pipers and trumpeters,
    will never be heard in you again.
    No worker of any trade
    will ever be found in you again.
    The sound of a millstone
    will never be heard in you again.
    23 The light of a lamp
    will never shine in you again.
    The voice of bridegroom and bride
    will never be heard in you again.
    Your merchants were the world’s important people.
    By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
    24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people,
    of all who have been slaughtered on the earth.”

  19. New Fundamentalist Atheists

    I always thought an atheist was simply an atheist. No belief in gods. Period.
    What’s a Fundamentalist Atheist?

    1. Ark, lets us play the game of repeats, for someone who has a default setting of repeating what they “always believed”, (no doubt a product of childhhod indoctrination, which you’ve not grown out of) ad nauseam shall we? David has previously given you the answer which he repeats about atheists and John Gray. As usual, when you’ve backed yourself into a corner, and lost, you strike out in a different, but well worn direction. Feeble really, really feeble
      Here is my repeat,
      JUNE 19, 2018 AT 2:04 PM
      1 Where do you get your “should” from in your firsts sentence? Can you scientifically prove it? It is a statement of philosophy, not science.
      2 You ignore any teaching on law, morals, and ethics, even social sciences.
      3 Remember, from your own blog, that when your chickens come home to roost, you state dinosaurs are your ancestors!! What a great grasp of science you have!
      4 You might be amused to read “The Dawkins Delusion” by Alistair McGrath. It’s a good laugh.
      And the preposterous statement by Stephen Hawking that philosophy is dead, is more than well countered by polymath prof John C Lennox in his short book “God and Stephen Hawking” is Hawking’s statement is indeed a philosophical statement that can not be scientifically proved.
      Lennox : “A matter of logic: a self-creating universe? One of the main conclusions of(Hawkins book) The Grand Design is:” Because there is a law of gravity, the universe can and will CREATE ITSELF OUT of NOTHING” ….this key expression of Hawking’s BELIEF.” (emphasis mine)
      Let’s have a good belly laugh or chuckle at the least.
      “Could all of this be just a little too much ado about nothing”? asks Lennox, perhaps somewhat mischievously.
      And there is much more in 96 pages of his books. Other books of his include, “God’s Undertaker -has science buried God.”
      It is doubtful, that you will take up a challenge to read any of those books to be open-minded enough to be challenged, in your omniscience.
      5 Your often trite opinion pieces on this blog seem to be a compulsive knee-jerk contrarian statement of philosophy, unprovable by science and is, philosophically, a presupposed product of a fully functioning brain and perfect, infallible, thought processes, with blind scientific foresight and baleful tidings with an abnegation of the vicarious liability of science.
      6 You a clearly VERY RELIGIOUS-someone of great faith. Faith and trust do not form any part of your life, I take it? The great god of science in all its omniscience., omnipotence, omnipresence. A faith in scientism. Or faith in your own worldview, that it is the right one, your faith that there is no God. A non – god, a negative cannot be scientifically proven. It is a belief, a faith by which you live your life.
      Enjoy this short, 4 4 min by Andy Bannister:
      Or you could even splash out a buy his book, The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist.
      On your own terms, you keep banging on and on and on and on and on about what you have absolute faith in, your non-belief, about what you don’t believe. You spend so much time on this blog, waste so much time on your non-belief, seeking to convert others to your belief. Indeed it is So much Ado about Nothing, methinks.
      Goodbye, Ark. Your mind is as closed as is the closed world system/view/ belief from which it is a product, it is as you state in a childlike “always thought” indoctrinated, always taught, condition, out of which you have not grown or matured. “When I was a child I thought like a child”

      1. Go on Ark, I dare you! Dig deep and pay a few dollars for one the above tomes, and at least test your beliefs. I did with the “Blind Watchmaker”. Methinks it is like a pile of….

  20. Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
    there is none who does good.

  21. Romans 1:18ff The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

  22. Rosario is spot on. Original sin applies to all. And it is this that is missed, because it is only focused upon homosexuality, instead of all sexuality, including heterosexuality.

    Unwanted sexual desire applies to virtually everyone. It is not exclusively LGBTIQ. But among heterosexuals, it has become either accepted and approved, or hidden. There are forbidden desires are outlined in the bible, and apply to all. i.e. fornication, pornography, adultery, covetousness, lust, masturbation. etc.

    As a young man I experienced all manner of sexual desire for those of the opposite sex. But discovered the bible, in particular Jesus, forbade it. (Matt 5:27) It convicted me. It revealed my sin. It exposed the power of sin in my life.
    The bible does not approve of all heterosexuality, and only disapprove of homosexuality. It forbids all sexual immorality. First and foremost among heterosexuality. Paul also admitted he found himself subject to all manner of covetous desire, the power of sin in his life.

    The movement that Beeching and others endorse would have denied me salvation. It would have approved of my sin. It would have endorsed my desire. It would have hindered conviction, falsely informing me that God approved of my inordinate affection and that he loved me just as I was, with my desires as they were. This is a travesty. If Beeching and others have no need to face their desires, then nor does anyone else. Nor does the adulterer, the fornicator, the one engrossed in pornography and lust.
    Conviction is to bring about change, not condemnation. But to deny conviction, is to deny salvation, because without conviction, I have nothing to be saved from.
    If Beeching is calling for the church to approve of all her desires, then the same applies to my former unregenerate desires. The church should accept my lust for the opposite sex, for addition to pornography and masturbation. After all, God loves us anyway does he not?

    1. @gene515
      Exactly! That’s what I said over on the “Open Letter to Vicky Beeching” blog. Maybe we’re all guilty of looking on homosexuality as being somewhat ‘trendy’ and ‘cool’ and giving it far too much attention; like the naughty school children who divert attention away from what’s important.

  23. “So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds”
    Is striking children dead a Christian thing to do?

    1. Thats what Jesus says….I don’t think he is referring to Christians doing it….he is saying that is what will happen….I do know however that striking children dead is regarded as a human right in todays ‘liberal’ West….that is after all what abortion is…

    1. Hi Geoff, I read both articles, thanks, very interesting. I am getting so fed up of the LGBTQ issues. Life has gotten far too complicated. When I grew up in Ireland, being homosexual just wasn’t an option! For those who struggled in silence, it wasn’t an acceptable option and I genuinely feel for those people. But if I was a teenager today, I would surely have to consider that maybe I might be any or all of L,G,B,T. Surely there is the power of suggestion there? I might even experiment, and find that just because I ‘enjoyed’ something that it was part or all of my identity. Very dangerous I think. Our teenagers and children are living in treacherous times.

      I think Scripture is clear that the ‘law is written on our hearts’. But when people go to such lengths to not only deceive themselves (like Richard Dawkins for example) but to make it their life’s work to deceive others then they are so guilty of ‘suppressing the truth’ (Romans 1)? I would tremble to be in Richard Dawkin’s place before God. I believe Genesis 1 is foundational to Christian belief. If you take Creator/creation away, everything collapses. What are children to believe if evolution is what they are taught? I know Christians who believe in evolution. But that doesn’t make sense because we cannot have a God who just turns up somewhere along the line and demands that ape-men are answerable to Him.
      People are so deceived and self-deceived. Perhaps they just don’t want there to be a God! I believe Rev 8:11(“The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.”) includes evolution which is rooted in Darwin’s bitterness and perpetuated by the likes of Dawkin’s bitterness. Many will die eternally because of this.
      We have been moving so far away from what is ‘natural’ for an awful long time now, to the point that we are becoming ‘senseless’. People literally have no ‘common sense’. They don’t even know what it means. We are being told ‘how’ to think and ‘what’ to think. I believe all of this is the bad ‘fruit’ of evolution. The elites say ‘there is no God’. What they really mean is that they have taken God’s place and we all should listen to them.
      2 Timothy 3 English Standard Version (ESV)
      Godlessness in the Last Days
      3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.”
      2 Tim 4:
      3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

      Isaiah 5:20ff
      Woe to those who call evil good
      and good evil,
      who put darkness for light
      and light for darkness,
      who put bitter for sweet
      and sweet for bitter.
      21Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
      and clever in their own sight.

      Speaking of the civil law, is that not becoming corrupt too where the innocent are punished and the guilty go free? I heard of a case recently where a man was acquitted of a crime because he had a good lawyer who managed to prove somehow that the crime was an ‘act of God’.

      If I wasn’t a Christian, I would be in deep despair, as many are. Suicide rates have soared. Someone told me that there is a suicide a week in Motherwell, not reported. There is a murder a week in Easterhouse, not reported.

      But I believe God is going to judge and that the judgement has already started. The apostate church will be judged. I just want to be on the right side now and live for God because I don’t want Christ to be ashamed of me when He returns.

      1. Martha,
        you are right to draw a parallel between Christian teaching about Creation and procreation (because when it comes down to it all these issues that we are facing today are about procreation.) I want to counsel against two dangers which we can label as the Gospel + … and … instead-of-the-Gospel. The latter approach is endemic among more traditionally minded communities but, in my considered opinion, moving on to the apparently more evangelical first approach is to transfer from the frying pan into the fire itself.

        What I mean is that neither anti-evolution nor anti-gay is the Gospel and that trying to make one or both a prerequisite for the Gospel is to preach a different gospel [cf. Gal. 1:6-9]. (For examples of those who are preaching a different gospel we have so-called Christian Identity on the anti-evolution side and Westboro Baptist Church on the anti-gay side. Let them be anathema; but — [1 Cor. 10:12] — ‘Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.’

        Responsible for far more than just opening a door to preaching a different gospel, Respectability instead-of-the-Gospel has been as far as I can see, spectacularly counter-productive. Take the twenty-years-after, therefore probably-apocryphal account of Bishop Samuel Wilberforce’s crass request to know whether the monkey was on Huxley’s father’s side or his mother’s side. It doesn’t matter whether Wilberforce actually said it; the story epitomises that ‘pride of life’ that inconveniently forgets that we are made from the dust of the ground. Similarly, the backronym G.A.Y. [Good As You] reflects the holier-than-thou attitude that society as a whole used to have and that Christians still adopt despite the Isaiah 65:5 condemnation. We should not be surprised when the world changes its attitude and we must be ready to ask ourselves why we ever adopted the world’s attitude in the first place!

        I commend David’s open letters as models of good practice in this sort of issue.

  24. And there is another book out, hot on the heals: “Just Love” by Anglican Jayne Ozanne. If I understand correctly, she has/ had links to Steve Chalke and his teaching.
    I wonder/suspect that the undermining of scripture, particularly substitutionary atonement, and the renunciation of the Fall, is at the root of the osmosis of culture into the church.
    There is robust opposition in the CoE from at least one member of the ABoC’s Council, Rev. Dr. Ian Paul. This is an example of opposition to the Ozanne Foundation.

  25. David,
    A great couple of articles. Thank you.

    If peradventure Vicky were to read these articles and the comments section then please Vicky don’t hide but reply. Reply to the issues David has raised, this is more than about you or David, it is about the Lordship of Christ. His church, His love, His terms. There are two conflicting ways being presented here, therefore logically one is wrong. Open up a dialogue.

    Ps132 – [Zion] “Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy.”
    So conversely – if our ministers are unrighteous then we are in a bad way?

    David, I praise God for yourself, Gavin Ashenden and others like you who are prepared to stand up and take the flak for the sake of the faithful. Indeed fulfilling what a Bishop / Elder is called to do – faithful shepherds who fight for and protect the flock of God. I pray that more (many more) Bishops / Elders would step up to the mark and fulfill their calling. I do not say this to promote men but to encourage joy and godliness. It is hard enough being a Christian with the world, the flesh and the devil. It’s even harder when we are leader-less.

    So along with many others who read and appreciate your blog I would like to add my thanks to theirs.

  26. ” arguably the most influential Christian of her generation”

    Yes, and Francis Chan is the new Billy Graham. What?

    Is The Guardian on crack…

    No one in America at least even knows who she is.

    A big whatever.

  27. That Left wing rag, the Guardian, has lied to it’s readers again.

    The rag said, “Beeching is arguably the most influential Christian of her generation….long admired by evangelicals on both sides of the Atlantic.”

    Bald-faced as it gets. No one on this side of the Atlantic has ever heard of this Vickie.

    Therefore it beggars the imagination how she could be long admired.

    And, “influential”? How do the writers at the Guardian sleep at night?

    As for the imposter of Christianity, this so called Vickie, it is as you’ve laid out: Vickie wants church without Jesus.

    She can attend a local chip and dip club — they may not have Jesus.

    That Vickie demands Christians stop offering the truth of Jesus… this is nothing new. It is what sinners do. They reject The Messiah.

    And, Jesus has the answer. Jesus said that He is the only way to the Father, that one must believe in Jesus, and believe that the Father sent Jesus.

    It’s all about Jesus. It’s only about Jesus.

    This Vickie is just one more sinner doing what sinners do.

  28. We are living in challenging times and a whole new different cultural/ community than when Jesus and Saint Paul were around, attitudes have changed beyond those Biblical times. However what has NOT changed is the essence of what Jesus has said, Jesus has taught us that it is all about LOVE. When we read Scripture-I am currently studying Colossians- where it explains just who Jesus is, it makes it quite clear to me where, sometimes we as Christians, can go wrong. You see it we profess to follow Jesus-well surely we need to study and understand just how He works-who is He? what would He do? etc. I have learnt that Jesus never condemns BUT He does challenge. He will say something profound and then He gives us the choice to heed what has been said whether we like it or not .The choice is ours not anyone else, it is a personnel choice. .I also believe that to follow Jesus it is not through philosophy or through legalism but we should do it with LOVE and GRACE and follow the TRUTH of what Jesus is teaching us..Colossians chapter 3 verse 1: If then you are raised with Christ, seek those things which are from above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God..I will not deny that Scripture explains that homosexuality is wrong because in the beginning it was Adam and Eve and that we undeniably originate from there. But what has happened as we have evolved is mankind/humankind, attitudes have changed. We are ALL given the “free will” to choose which direction, in life, to go. So as a Christian I choose to follow the teaching of Jesus this therefore does not give me the authority to tell other people what to do, Jesus NEVER did this. He taught me to show LOVE and GRACE. So on the issue that we are talking about, Homosexuality, this is what we must do. I profess I have very good friends both male who live together and they are really lovely people. But I don’t like their life style it would not be for me..I am married and have a young son..BUT it is their choice, my choice. I must and do LOVE them..There should NEVER be any judgement on people’s lifestyles..feel free to comment as this is the only way we will learn how to deal with this wonderful challenge set before us as compassionate people.. Thank you for giving me this chance to express my feelings..I hope and pray that we can ALL live side by side with LOVE and respect for one another, Kind regards Bobby a Christian for many years..

    1. “…..this therefore does not give me the authority to tell other people what to do, Jesus NEVER did this……”
      I’d have said that he did it all the time, and judged people’s lifestyles, too.
      He loved them, but he left them in no doubt when they were getting things wrong.

    2. Stephen, you are correct in that we are called to love and compassion. It is the command to hate the sin and live the sinner. But this cannot be at the expense of acceptance of the sin. In doing so we re abandoning the person to death instead of life. The danger of people like Vicky Beeching is that she is drawing people away from truth and away from knowing the salvation of Christ.

  29. Please can I recommend this book, Journeys in Grace and Truth, which has not only helped myself, but also many others, to love and and support their brothers and sisters in Christ, who may be struggling with been accepted as a Christian who is also LGBT.

    Here’s the link and intro

    Is it possible to hold a positive view of same-sex relationships while being a biblically rooted evangelical? These writers believe so. Journeys in Grace and Truth sets out the path each contributor has travelled to reach this point, involving moving encounters, scriptural exegesis and personAl revelations. It is offered as a contribution to aid the discussion, and to broker deeper understanding between evangelicals and the wider Church.

    I hope it helps.

    Blessings, Martin

    1. No – it doesn’t. It is just yet another attempt to sweeten the pill. I would suggest you visit the Living out website or read some other materials.

    2. It is very telling that people consider themselves LGBT Christian. You are a Christian without any prefix or suffix. To be a Christian is to be a follower of Christ – to pick up your cross and follow him – to confirm to his will for your life. If that involves not lying, cheating, committing adultery, watching porn – that is what you have to do to align yourself with Christ. If you are attracted to people of the same sex or consider you are in the wrong body – then you must conform yourself to his will not yours. This is your cross you must pick up. He is Lord of all your life.

  30. You are doing the work of the devil. You are keeping people from Christ! Your judgement day will come and you will face the wrath of God almighty! How will you answer for a life spent driving people away from knowing the love of God? You preach hate, nothing more. You are a dangerous, toxic demon masquerading as a “Christian”. The devil is at work in you! Repent!

    1. Thanks for that loving and rational comment! You are of course right about repentance…each of us needs to repent on a daily basis! I would suggest you listen to my preaching found here and you can then decide if I preach hate…..after all I wouldn’t want you to be judging in ignorance!

  31. “Liberal evangelicals want a God without judgement, a Cross without atonement, a Bible without hard things and a church without the Jesus of the Bible.”

    I have read your blog with interest and the above quote particularly as I would think of myself as a liberal evangelical. It all sounds very straightforward but does not stack up form where I am standing.

    Far from wanting a God without judgement I long for the just and true judgement of the living God because human judgement is so partial and biased and laden with our own values, desires and preconceptions. In the whole debate that has been engendered by Vicky Beeching’s book the most unattractive thing has been the preponderance of people abrogating the judgement of God to their own opinions. Vicky in her book alludes to a wise Billy Graham quote, that its the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s to judge and mine to love.

    A cross without atonement. To be honest this is a complete oxymoron. I could understand if you were saying Christianity without the cross, ie a painless non sacrificial Christianity somewhat like the protestantism that Bonhoeffer is criticising in The Cost of Discipleship. Many Christians like Vicky who have struggled in honesty and love with the issues that their sexuality brings to them know a lot about the cross and the pain of crucifixion. Atonement is what Christ brings, it is of course an anglo saxon word at one ment. Being at one, or undivided in other words.

    A bible without the hard things. Personally I often preach on hard things in scripture, I find it dishonest to avoid them, but I always address them with compassion, sensitivity and within context. Scripture is one story and we do grave disservice to it when we pull out proof texts. Of course the hardest thing and the thing that Christians have constantly shown themselves most resistant to is Christ’s command to love one another.

    The Christ of the bible: Which brings us to your fourth point the Jesus of the bible. As a liberal evangelical I find I spend most of my time with this person, and of late in particular I have spent a lot of time reading about and seeing afresh the interaction between Jesus and ordinary people he encounters day by day in the bible. Like the financially dishonest tax collector, the excluded leper, the woman cast out as unclean because of a menstural problem… I could go on but we all know the stories. As a Christian minister my concern is that Jesus’ harshest words are always reserved for the religious and his most kind words for the broken and the oppressed and those on the edge of society.

    I am sure you will disagree with my analysis of your four phrases about liberal evangelicals, but seeing them repeated unthinkingly by others above I wanted to challenge them .


    1. Feel free to challenge…as I feel free to challenge your challenge! Yes we have God’s judgement – and it is set out for us in the Scriptures. You make a comment about abrogating the judgement of God – whilst at the same time writing a post that is full of judgements. And Vickys’ book and many TV appearances are also full of judgements. Do you really think it is not God’s job to love?

      Atonement is not Anglo-Saxon. It is the biblical teaching of how God and man are reconciled. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.

      I’m glad that you think you ‘always preach the hard things in the bible with compassion, sensitivity and within context’! I admire your humility! I agree with you completely about picking out proof texts out of context. Vicky’s book has many examples of that. And of course we are to love one another – but it is good for us to ask what that means…and what a Christian is.

      I agree also that Jesus does have his harshest words for religious teachers who go against his message – like Steve Chalke and Vicky Beeching.

      1. Wow, thank you for your kind words. We all judge don’t we, my concern is when people make their own judgements and then call them Gods, I completely accept that my judgements in this and my previous blogs are mine alone. Atonement is an Anglo Saxon word. Literally “At One Meant”. It is an example of Christian theology being enriched and our understanding expanded by the local language and culture, it of course expresses a deep biblical truth and one that I find really inspiring to meditate on. Thank you for your barbed comment about my humility, didn’t see the point but hey, I think what I actually said or certainly meant was I try to do this. I don’t know which version of Undivided you read but I was impressed with her biblical scholarship and it was certainly an improvement on people saying “the bible says” and then dropping one or two verses in. With regard to Jesus on religious teachers I would contend that his harsh words were more for their actions eg their hardness of heart re: the man with the withered arm or the woman caught in adultery rather than their teaching, it was Paul who had rather more to say about wrong teaching.

        I have to say that 30 years ago I probably would have agreed with every word of your blog, I have been on a long journey since then, part of which has involved a close relative who is gay. Last year she went to the same university that I attended and where I was president of the Christian Union. Sadly knowing what things are like in the church these days I advised her to stay away from the CU, because I didn’t want her hurt or damaged by Christians who would tell her that she was sinful for being herself. My journey on this also involved deeply meditating on John 10:10 and John 8:32. With regard to the former it seemed to me that strict evangelical theology on homosexuality was shutting a whole proportion of the population out of the sheepfold, and I couldn’t square that with the God that I encounter in Jesus Christ.

        Steve Chalke by the way is a good and honest man and I will sign off now as I won’t be part of any blog that is putting hate his way, or Vicky’s for that matter.

      2. Most English words are Anglo-Saxon…thats irrelevant. Atonement is a Jewish and Christian concept. The Bible was not written in English!

        Yes you did boast about what you did – glad you have now added the word ‘try’!

        Vicky’s ‘biblical scholarship’ as you call it – is embarrassingly bad. The notion that Peter’s vision is really teaching us about accepting homosexuality is just bizarre.

        Jesus had plenty to say about true and false teaching. The idea that you can separate the teaching from the actions which result from that teaching is illogical and false.

        I’m interested in this idea that you couldn’t advise anyone to go to a church or CU where they were going to be told that they were sinful for being ‘themselves’. That basically means you wouldn’t want anyone to join a biblical church – ie one which says that we are not accepted as we are but we need to be born again, become a new creation, repent and believe in Christ (not ourselves)! Would you suggest to a racist, or an adulterer, or a glutton that they should not go to a church which would not accept them as ‘themselves’?

        John 10:10- its interesting that you cite that verse and your deep meditation on it as you have gone on your journey away from your narrow fundamentalism into your more enlightened path…You seem to have missed that in this passage Jesus was amongst other things talking about false teachers – he is the true shepherd and his sheep listen to his voice…they don’t listen to the voices of the charlatans and the false teachers. ‘The other sheep’ are not those who don’t listen to his teaching.

        John 8:32 – Is also about teaching (strange how both these verses you have been deeply meditating on contradict your assertion that Jesus was attacking actions not teaching.).. Just before those words which you have picked out of context – Jesus says ‘if you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples’…

        Which brings us neatly onto Steve Chalke – given that he does not hold to the teaching of Christ according to the verse you mention it means he cannot be Jesus’s disciple. Strange how you accuse those who dare to critique Steve Chalke as being ‘hateful’. Critiquing the Bible is fine. Critiquing Jesus is fine. But critiquing Steve Chalke is ‘hate speech’!

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