Tuesday, December 31, 2013

His Grace's predictions for 2014


His Grace has developed something of a reputation for being 100 per cent accurate in his New Year predictions. It is, supernaturally, one of the advantages of existing incorporeally in the ether. While His Grace does not quite know perfectly or see God face-to-face (though he did bump into Thomas More last week - just in from Purgatory), the dim reflections in dark mirrors are certainly fewer. In celebration of His Grace's astonishing prescience, he offers the following predictions for 2014:
The Coalition will survive another year.

The UK will remain a full and compliant member of the EU.

Ukip will do very, very well in the Euro Elections.

The UK will be visited by more than a few Romanians and Bulgarians.

There will be wars and rumours of war (especially in the Middle East).

Some Christians will leave the Middle East.

The eurozone will experience further turbulence (but the moon won’t turn red).

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will receive some bad press from The Times.

The Telegraph will prophesy division within the Church of England.

Pope Francis will satisfy some and disappoint others.

In England, some homosexuals and lesbians will get married (not to each other).

Scotland will vote 'No' in their referendum for independence.

Alex Salmond will declare victory for having secured further powers from Westminster. 

Ed Miliband will announce some new policies.

Islamists will make the pages of the Daily Mail.

Some brave British troops will sadly die in Afghanistan. 

There will be a Royal engagement (for a wedding, that is; not to attend a function).

Israel will continue to be portrayed as a pariah state.

Taxes will rise and people will die.

Some politicians will receive knighthoods.

So will some political donors. 

Jesus will not return, and the Government will remain upon David Cameron's shoulder.
His Grace thanks all of his readers and communicants for spending another year upon his august blog of religio-political discussion and erudite debate. He wishes you all a happy and blessed 2014.

157 Comments:

Blogger Patrick said...

A slight amendment to one of them: "In England, some homosexuals and lesbians will PURPORT TO get married (not to each other)". An Act of Parliament cannot change the ultimate reality that of its essence marriage is between one man and one woman.

31 December 2013 at 10:32  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

"Some Christians will leave the Middle East"
Substitute "Many" or "Most" for "Some".

31 December 2013 at 10:57  
Blogger Flossie said...

A very happy New Year to Your Grace, and to all the communicants in this place.

Although I post only intermittently, I read regularly, and am entertained, amused, exasperated or informed by many of the commenters here. The blogosphere would be a poorer place without His Grace's august blog.

31 December 2013 at 11:03  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 December 2013 at 11:36  
Blogger Len said...

I would like to thank His Grace for all his articles throughout the year and for his forbearance with us posters.
It sounds very much like much more of the same for next year?.
What I would like to see is a mighty move of the Holy Spirit bringing many to a realization that Jesus Christ is their Saviour and without Him we are all lost and without hope.
I hope and pray this will happen soon.

31 December 2013 at 11:39  
Blogger Albert said...

Excellent post Dr C, which made me chuckle more than once (and of course, wince on the sadder predictions). Thank you for another excellent year on the blog, and as Len says for your forbearance with us posters.

Happy New Year.

31 December 2013 at 11:43  
Blogger ___________ said...

@Len

What I would like to see is a mighty move of the Holy Spirit bringing many to a realization that Jesus Christ is their Saviour and without Him we are all lost and without hope.
I hope and pray this will happen soon.



It won't.

31 December 2013 at 11:50  
Blogger David B said...

A Happy New Year to Your Grace and the other Regulars.

I am in no doubt that Your Grace's prophesies, based as they seem to me to be on the judicious use of observations of trends and common sense, will, in a years time, show a much better track record than those who base their predictions on stars, tea leaves, going into trances to supposedly talk to dead people, tarot cards and.....well, you get the idea.

David

31 December 2013 at 12:12  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
I wish you a very happy and prosperous new year.
I also pray that most of your predictions don't materialise.
Not that I wish to see you stoned as a false prophet, but it would be nice to see the Devils in Government removed.
Best wishes to all the other communicants, whatever their beliefs.

31 December 2013 at 12:13  
Blogger grumpyoldcl said...

A Happy New Year to you, Your Grace, and to your fellow communicants.

Whilst I was greatly amused when the company offering to look after pets after the last predicted second coming said that they didn't offer refunds, might I gently point out that in Mark 13:33 Jesus himself told us that nobody knows the time of his second coming. Therefore your last prediction just might be rash.

31 December 2013 at 12:44  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Israel will continue to be portrayed as a pariah state.

No shit Sherlock!

Happy New Year Cranny and thank you for the tremendous effort you put in to maintaining this blog - it is appreciated.

31 December 2013 at 12:51  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Your Grace,

A hearty thank you from me for all your excellent, stimulating and often erudite posts this last year, together with my most sincere best wishes for your continued health and flourishing, for you and yours, for the coming year. Long may that happy state continue.

Moreover a most sincere thank you and best wishes to all those, who like me post here, either often or occasionally. I hope that the coming year brings all His Grace's communicants much joy and fulfillment, and always in good and wholesome ways.

As for the predictions, well they look pretty safe stuff to me, so I shan't be discharging any rounds in their direction. So little sport there !

We travel on in hope.

Happy New Year one and all !

31 December 2013 at 12:58  
Blogger Martin said...

Patrick

All to true, a fake marriage is a fake marriage.

Len

It would be good to see God's mercy visited upon this land once more. Certainly the wickedness that is rampant would indicate that God is at work in allowing men their own head.

But then is the wickedness great enough that the Second Coming might be imminent?

31 December 2013 at 13:02  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Passing on a few predictions from King World News inflation will start ripping through the economics, the stock market bubble will burst, bond yields will soar, interest on government debt thus soar and money migrate to whatever solid goods are most popular, be it fine art, antiques, oil, commodities or precious metals. Gerald Celente also claims that internet learning will boom, creating real competition for institutions such as traditional universities, who will be fighting to retain their dominance whilst many will find the whole university experience prohibitively expensive and the market will move accordingly.

Sadly we will discover more "celebrities" than we had thought possible have abused children and more household names will be incarcerated. For some this will be erstwhile heroes, sometimes even claiming to be "Christian" and the Church will need to be ready, prepared and there to comfort and re-orientate those who feel let down and confused. The Church will also need to rethink its own attitudes to "celebrity" and distance itself from an endorsement of celebration of "celebrity" in a way it has not hitherto done. This will hopefully lead to greater maturity as a culture.

I also think traditional papers will become close to losing critical mass, and online blogs like this one will increase in readership, and increasingly news delivery will become less monolithic and controlled.

31 December 2013 at 13:08  
Blogger Nick said...

YG, as you stare into your crytal ball to make predictions for 2014, I suspect you are actually seeing a reflection of 2013?

The more things change, the more thtey stay the same.

I would like to add a few "predictions" of my own

(1) There will be some civil unrest in the UK as migrants from Eastern Europe arrive.

(2) There will be more attacks on Christians and their churches by Islamists (totally unreported by the BBC of course)

(3)There will further curtailment of free speech in this country (especially for Christians)

(4) There will be moves to legalis polygamy

(5) There will be moves to legalise paedophilia

(6) The UK will continue to be further divided along lines of race, culture, religion, and politics

(7)A celecbrity will make (repeated) news headlines over drug-taking

(8) Thomas the tank engine will resist pressure from the feminists and remain male, as will most of his friends

(9) Cameron, Clegg, and Milliband will try (unsuccesfully) to slander UKIP

(10) Gays will be protesting at the Sochi Winter Olympics (widely reported by the BBC of course)

31 December 2013 at 13:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Your Grace

Happy Jack wishes you and all your friends a very happy New Year too. Talking of which, Jack wonders if you can share who will win the Grand National this year? Jack promises to keep this information private.

*chuckle*

31 December 2013 at 13:35  
Blogger Nick said...

Happy Jack

If His Grace knew that, he might wish to keep it to himself :-)

31 December 2013 at 13:41  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Nick, Happy Jack says His Grace's needs are few and far between. Living in an urn can't be expensive and, let's face it, he no longer has to keep body and soul together or stay warm. Jack would only put a twenty on the horse and hope the odds stay long.

31 December 2013 at 14:14  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Thank you for your wonderful and stimulating blog Your Grace.

“Jesus will not return, “ Maybe not in person, but I think we will slowly start to realise that we need him and his teachings to help us through the challenges we have to face.

“and the Government will remain upon David Cameron's shoulder.”
I've got a feeling that before the coming year is out there will be a leadership challenge and a change.

Wishing Your Grace and everyone here
A Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year 2014.

31 December 2013 at 14:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Nick: "(5) There will be moves to legalise paedophilia"

No chance whatsoever.

31 December 2013 at 15:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Article: "There will be a Royal engagement (for a wedding, that is; not to attend a function)."

That'll be the lovely ginger one, I expect.

31 December 2013 at 15:39  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

DanJ0 said...

Nick: "(5) There will be moves to legalise paedophilia"

No chance whatsoever.

Moves to lower the age of consent plus various Mosques using Sharia law to marry under sixteens. Looks ominous to me, tip of the iceberg so to speak.

31 December 2013 at 16:25  
Blogger IanCad said...

How about:
Dodo will return!

For Happy Jack: An each-way bet on the smallest horse in the race may pay off.

31 December 2013 at 16:32  
Blogger Nick said...

Danj0

It's already been classified as an orientation instead of a disorder. It's only a matter of time now.

http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2013/12/22/is_pedophilia_a_sexual_orientation.html

31 December 2013 at 16:53  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Can we have some more cheerful predictions now please !

31 December 2013 at 17:04  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Certainly David H, how about the Conservatives sweating a few more buckets over UKIP success. And the Travesty of Marriage Act will come back and bite Cameron on the bum.

Ones research on the Roma suggests they will not abandon their beloved home countries in the main and only view the UK as a thieving mission. There will be a North-West / South East conveyor of valuables so obtained back to the old country. They use children, don’t you know, get in easily that way. Of course, the blighters under 10 will just be let loose if caught – under the criminal age of responsibility, you see. In doing so, the Roma will discover a very quaint English tradition. To wit, the way some lovely villages virtually empty of people in the morning five days a week, leaving the place to their mercy. Now that will be interesting, as those who rule us tend to live in very quaint traditional English villages. One can even picture the outrage these types will express on camera, having had, as one understands the underworld lingo, “their drum turned upside down”…

The Inspector expects the Scots referendum to go no too. And he thinks the vote will split 26% - 74%, with Salmond claiming victory, as His Grace says. Now, what odds would this man get from an ‘accountant’.





31 December 2013 at 17:17  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Nick: "It's already been classified as an orientation instead of a disorder. It's only a matter of time now."

Even if that were true then it hardly changes the fact that it causes significant harm to others, which is what legalisation would turn on. One might have a violent streak in one's personality but that doesn't give one permission to beat others up, does it? Hope that helps.

31 December 2013 at 17:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Cheese: "Moves to lower the age of consent plus various Mosques using Sharia law to marry under sixteens. Looks ominous to me, tip of the iceberg so to speak."

The age of consent necessarily implies a certain level of maturity. Pretty much by definition that rules the suggestion out.

31 December 2013 at 17:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

David H: "Can we have some more cheerful predictions now please !"

Unemployment will fall a bit more to just above 7%. Interest rates will go up by 0.25% towards the end of the year.

31 December 2013 at 17:29  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Inspector

" the Travesty of Marriage Act "

Very Good.

I will remember and use that one..

Phil

31 December 2013 at 17:41  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

DanJ0. Now now, you know damn well that seasoned bugger Tatchell wants the age of consent lowered to 14. If THAT isn’t a call to paedophilia, do say what it is...

31 December 2013 at 17:44  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

More cheerful predictions.

The weather will remain mild until at least the end of the first week in January !!

Robotics will gradually ease some of the medical staff shortages in the NHS.

Tooth budding will get closer to hitting the launching pad.

So few people will believe in the terrors of manmade global warming any more that the media will stop pushing it and there will be fewer unnecessarily scared people afraid to breathe too much/ light a fire/ keep warm or go to visit relations in hospital.

Goncalo Amaral will be found not guilty and left to get on with his life in peace when his trial resumes in January.

How about those??

31 December 2013 at 17:45  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

‘Travesty’ really is a marvellous word Phil R. It means exactly what its definition is, if you catch this man’s drift. As a student of English, one feels we don’t deserve the word somehow – far too explicit !

31 December 2013 at 17:48  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Oh and R.I.P. John Fortune, a great and telling satirist, who wittily revealed many of the travesties (for the OIG & Phil R.) of our age.

I predict that we will enjoy a tribute programme shortly and that their sketches will be repeated a lot over the next few months at least!

31 December 2013 at 17:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "If THAT isn’t a call to paedophilia, do say what it is..."

Two things: 1. That's ephebophilia of course; 2. AFAIK, Tatchell is not calling for a lower age of consent generally. No doubt you know more about 2 than I do given where you tend to hang out.

31 December 2013 at 17:54  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! I spoke to the Man at the Gate of the Year and he turned out to be Mr. Slope, oiling the screws. That man can turn his hand to anything - he's quite ambidextrous I do declare. I have been busy clearing away some of the detritus from the Cathedral Cloisters: the plaster statue of St. Rolf of Didgeridoo had to go, what with revelations in The Jupiter and all (apart from the fact that it seemed to attract all of Barchester's stray animals to it's plinth, with incontinent consequences) and the painting of the 12 Wise Virgins likewise was put under wraps,as being two concepts totally alien to modern teenagers...'Innit.' My Lord the Bishop is settled before a blazing fire with a good malt in front of him and we expect the Grantlys, Thornes and Stanhopes for supper. I shall serve tripe, as usual. It all remains to wish all my dear friends here a very happy New Year, and I look forward to many delicious conversations and correspondences in the year ahead.

31 December 2013 at 18:01  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Danjo.

That word "ephebophilia" seriously has no future with the great British public.

We know this in the church, as many trip up over the word "Ephesian" which is far easier!!

No word that complex gets taken on, unless it is the name of a rare and interesting disease, when it attracts those who like that sort of thing.

Otherwise as some wit remarked, " An ephebophile is a paedophile with a dictionary."

31 December 2013 at 18:04  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

DanJ0 dear boy. You completely misunderstand the Inspector’s mission. You see, he wants to HEAL the sick, and, failing that, keep them in their place, and away from children...

You need to update ‘AFAIK’ – his pronouncement made no concessions. His apologists might say he meant that grown men were excluded from tampering with ‘fresh meat’ (an unfortunate predatory homosexual phrase – sure you’ll agree) but if the Inspector is wrong, do say (...and substantiate your claim, that’s very important). You know how this man detests the idea of being a false witness...


31 December 2013 at 18:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lucy: "That word "ephebophilia" seriously has no future with the great British public."

It underpins the Sexual Offences Act which works pretty well now I think, so at least some people are smart enough to know the difference.

"Otherwise as some wit remarked, " An ephebophile is a paedophile with a dictionary.""

Perhaps if more people had a dictionary and a wider vocabulary then people like that paediatrician over Phil Roberts' way wouldn't have to suffer their ignorance.

31 December 2013 at 18:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I'd make a prediction that next year a bunch of Christians with 'issues' would be strangely obsessed with sexual matters but, well, it's a certainty isn't it?

31 December 2013 at 18:19  
Blogger William Lewis said...

I predict more of the same, but a bit quicker.

31 December 2013 at 18:47  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Danjo

I will beg His Grace's permission to place this link
www.pressgazette.co.uk/wire/8897

which deals with the big fat urban myth of the paedophile/paediatrician story.

As the article states:
"Ten years on it is time the strange tale of the paediatrician confused with a paedophile was finally put to bed", says Brendan O'Neill, who reported on the original story for the BBC.

St Paul suggests we should not even talk of such things, so I don't really see the necessity for people to swot up on the niceties of distinctions that can be drawn between different sorts of child abuser. They just want society to protect those who are vulnerable, young teenagers very much indeed included.

31 December 2013 at 19:06  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lucy, the incident happened and they don't know who did it. That's what you link actually says and contradicts nothing in what I said back there. Nice try, buttercup. As for you thinking people needn't know the difference, that's rubbish of course. There's a huge difference between the two types of crime and the types of offender are very different and require different handling.

31 December 2013 at 19:45  
Blogger Roy said...

Reluctant as I am to defend Peter Tatchell, I must admit that about a month ago I was flicking through the channels on Sky when I noticed him speaking in a discussion on one of the Christian channels - Revelation TV.

Although I did not agree with everything he said, he did seem surprisingly reasonable, as did his opponents. The discussion was conducted in a very civilised manner and everyone involved struck me as being sincere and likeable, even though they disagreed on a lot of things.

31 December 2013 at 20:17  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Many thanks to those courageous types including:

The Inspector, no less

DanJ0

Lucy Mullen,

and anyone else I missed who graciously offered seriously cheerful predictions for 2014, all being excellent prognostications (whatever that means! )

and on we go.....

David.

31 December 2013 at 20:33  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Danjo
Every night all sorts of graffiti gets scrawled on all sorts of people's houses and doors by young semi-illiterates with spray cans. Most of it does not fuel the arguments of those who would wish to defend segments of society from public criticism for 10 to 12 years afterwards, does it?

As for the idea it could ever have been a horde of angry mothers, that was always absurd, and just shows how little some people know about the average set of knowledge that mothers with babies possess.

I don't know why you call me "buttercup" but really it shows more about you than me so not really interested, but it is hardly appropriate.

I cannot get very excited about what is most likely a 13 year old with a spray can and an as yet unformed understanding spraying 5 letters on a front door. It sounds as though neither did the sensible lady doctor either. Yawn...

And yet there has been much melodramatic hoo haa about this ridiculous single incident.

I know people who have had severed goat's heads put in their gardens by occultists and pentagrams and upside down crosses. No report in the papers. But this silly little incident has been repeated everywhere , for 10 to 12 years???

Unbelievably absurd.

31 December 2013 at 20:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack says they are all forms of sexual abuse of infants, children and young people by adults with weird sexual drives that result in harm.

'Hebephilia' is a sexual interest for pubescent individuals between 11 and 14 years old. 'Ephebophilia', is sexual interest in children in late adolescence and can (should?) include mid-pubescent children. This is different for boys and girls as they mature differently - aged 14 to 16 years for girls, and up to 18 years for boys. Jack recalls that Thatchell did call for the age of consent to be reduced to 14 years of age. Really, it should be raised to 18 years of age and probably to 21 years for some things. At least there should be a minimum age gap of 5 years between so called "consenting adults" under this age.

Jack asks if you agree children and young people should be protected from all those who want to sexually exploit them? And a 40 year old man or woman having sex with a young boy or girl of 16 years of age is surely abusive?

Happy Jack predicts no such raising of the age limits will take place during 2014 and more and more young celebrities will "come out", probably "helped" by older people.

31 December 2013 at 20:40  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Chaps, let’s not see out 2013 arguing about homosexuality. Let’s instead give thanks that we are about to embark on a new year...

31 December 2013 at 21:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lucy: "Unbelievably absurd."

You're on one of those flights of fancy again, like you were with that B&B thing not so long ago.

31 December 2013 at 21:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack: "Jack asks if you agree children and young people should be protected from all those who want to sexually exploit them?"

Of course I do. Subject to the detail, and a tight definition of exploitation.

"And a 40 year old man or woman having sex with a young boy or girl of 16 years of age is surely abusive?"

Ah, now we're into the detail. If the 16yo consents and the older person is not in a position of authority over them then it's not abusive. However, it's quite possibly exploitative, in the loose sense of the younger person being used as a result of their inexperience in life, depending on the participants and the circumstances. That said, it's not something I'd be in favour of legislating over myself. Heck, that'd be a nightmare and a half to draft to make it just and workable.

31 December 2013 at 21:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Also, Jack. The Wikipedia entry for ephebophilia explains things quite well, in particular under the characteristics section. Note that it is the potential exploitation that is the main issue there if it is acted upon rather than the attraction itself as in paedophilia. Which is what I've been getting at really.

31 December 2013 at 21:56  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

hmmm. Despite this man’s objections, we leave this year with bum sex with 16 year old boys. That’s really going to appeal to parents and grand parents. No surprise then that homophobic violence has doubled this year...

Why, by jiminy, I’d join in...


31 December 2013 at 22:06  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector, it was you who brought that specific thing up, referencing Peter Tatchell as you like to do so often.

31 December 2013 at 22:11  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack has read Wiki and says its hardly healthy or well balanced for older men and women to have a predominant 'sexual preference' for teenagers. And the age gap is significant when youngsters are finding their way in the world and when they can be confused. Jack isn't sure but he believes its illegal to sell sex unless you're 18 years old and then you mustn't sell your body to anyone under 21 years of age.

Jack will continue the discussion tomorrow. The Inspector is correct, which is quite rare, *chuckle*, so let's end the old year without a long debate.

Happy Jack wishes you a Happy New Year.

31 December 2013 at 22:25  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack: "Happy Jack has read Wiki and says its hardly healthy or well balanced for older men and women to have a predominant 'sexual preference' for teenagers. "

I agree. Yet you'll have noted the rest of it regarding attraction too, which is where I suspect things differ regarding pre-teens for most people.

31 December 2013 at 22:45  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


DanJ0 The Inspector puts it to you that you are a placeman by some Big Gay organisation on this site.

Well sir, what have you to say to that ??


31 December 2013 at 22:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector, you half-wit. I'm defending the status quo of the law yet hoping for some social restraint. You're so homophobic and messed up that you probably believe that I'm actually advocating some of this stuff.

31 December 2013 at 23:06  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

(AHEM)
Inspector commented:
"Chaps, let’s not see out 2013 arguing about homosexuality. Let’s instead give thanks that we are about to embark on a new year..."

*chuckle*

Happy New Year Inspector.

31 December 2013 at 23:09  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

A New Year's Eve Haiku

thinking of exiles
drinking to you only with
mine eyes,come back soon

Happy New Year to

His Grace

Catholics
Protestants
Agnostics
Atheists
and
Other

who visit here.

31 December 2013 at 23:28  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you once more, Your Grace, for another year of your wonderful blog.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Happy New Year also to all communicants and other readers.

31 December 2013 at 23:43  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Happy New Year, everyone!

1 January 2014 at 01:47  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

For The Inspector

Barry Lyndon - British Grenadiers- You Tube

Enjoy!

1 January 2014 at 04:28  
Blogger Elwin Daniels said...

Well predicted Your Grace, although most of them are similar to my predicting that it will be raining tomorrow based on looking out of the window and noting it is raining today, as it was yesterday. Trends will be trends. However note 2 Peter chapter 3. The return of the Lord will only happen once, and without further warning.

I predict a fudged compromise by the bishops over the Pilling report, contributing to a continued leakage from the C of E's sinking ship to Evangelical churches, most of those who were going to swim the Tiber already having done so. They hardly need bother in the Anglican church I have just quit, where incense, candles, an icon and the Hail Mary have recently been introduced.

I also predict that Biblical traditionalists will continue to be portrayed as sex obsessed because we respond when prodded on the issue of SSM by sexual revolutionaries.

I further and with sorrow predict that Justin Welby's depressing slide into liberalism will continue.

Oh dear.

1 January 2014 at 10:15  
Blogger David Hussell said...

I am carefully avoiding issuing predictions, keeping mine to myself, since despite the heroic efforts of some here, which were all most gratefully received, predictions do tend to be depressing.

Moreover with a grey, leaden even, East Anglian sky outside, with January rain bouncing off the window sills, and wind soughing through our flexing trees, all outside : -

"I'm just not doing depressing today, I plain refuse, I rebel against that tradition, invent a new one, just smile !", and say, cheerily : -

Happy New Year ! To one and all, and especially to Your Grace.

1 January 2014 at 12:09  
Blogger Len said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 January 2014 at 12:11  
Blogger Len said...

Happy New Year Everyone!.

Now; let us Christians get on with the important job of restoring the foundations of the Christian Faith.
Charles Darwin has attempted to destroy the Christian Foundations of this once great Country and his 'theory' has become embedded into the foundations of our Society and even into parts of the Christian faith.
Many of those' Churches of Humanism '(our education system) challenge the Genesis account in the Bible with an unsupported theory to to try and undermine the Christian Faith and to supplant it with an unproven 'theory.'
Darwinism is taught as 'fact' in all our seats of learning and we as Christians need to go back to our foundations and to stand on them!.
This article by 'Ken Ham 'reveals how the Gospel has been undermined and how to present the Gospel today
(I beg His Graces`s permission )

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/wwtl

1 January 2014 at 12:35  
Blogger Nick said...

Happy New Year Everyone

I'll share my daily verse..


"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness"

Isaiah 41:10


Well said Len. I too am tired of evolution being peddled as a fact instead of a theory. It's about as unproven as the Big Bang theory, which a lot of eminent cosmologists are admitting doesn't add up and are abandoning anyway.

God allows us to see into His Creation up to a point, so I am not ridiculing science, a subject which I have always enjoyed. But when it is used as a weapon to disprove the existence of God, it becomes confused and based more on conjecture than observation

1 January 2014 at 13:37  
Blogger Preacher said...

Sorry I missed the party yesterday. Happy & blessed new year to all & especially to you Dr Cranmer for keeping up the good work of allowing us all to air our beliefs & views.

Len: Amen. keep your armour bright & your sword sharp. I predict it's going to be a busy year!.

1 January 2014 at 13:50  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Meanwhile down at the airport the peasants are arriving to a VIP greeting and free coffee!
All that is missing is the red carpet. Yep, there's going to be an earthquake in politics if not a revolution beforehand.

1 January 2014 at 14:39  
Blogger Guglielmo Marinaro said...

Len, you seem to assume that disproof of the theory of evolution – supposing that it could somehow be achieved – would constitute proof that the creation account in Genesis was historical. It would certainly do no such thing, any more than it would prove that Lucretius’s account of the origin of the world in Book V of “De rerum natura” was historical.

If the creation myth in Genesis were actual history it would demonstrate that the creator of the universe, although omnipotent and omniscient, was also either incompetent or malevolent, or even both.

1 January 2014 at 15:38  
Blogger Nick said...

Guglielmo Marinaro said

"Len, you seem to assume that disproof of the theory of evolution – supposing that it could somehow be achieved – would constitute proof that the creation account in Genesis was historical"

The point that Len is making is the arrogance and over-confidence of scientists when it comes to these big questions of the origins of life and the Universe. Evolution and Big Bang are theories and should be presented as such. The glib way that evolution is iused to explain everything physical charatersitics to behaviour is often based on little more than conjecture, and does no credit to the science.

I also think that much of what is called "evolution" is really more to do with adaptation. When science tries to explain the ultimate origin and nature of life and consciousness for example, they seem to be struggling to come up with anything convincing, to say the least

1 January 2014 at 15:58  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

“In what appears to be”...{Hahahaha}

{AHEM} I’ll start again.

“It has now become apparent”...{Haaa Haaaha, ho ho !}

Aghhh, it’s no bloody use. Just can’t stop laughing. Oh, let’s try again. Come on Inspector, think dead kittens, run over puppies, that kind of thing.

Right then. Here it is. “In what some Christian churches in the UK will pass off as an ‘act of reconciliation gone wrong’, a Palestinian official in Prague was checking on one of his explosive devices he’d hidden in his safe went it went off in his face, killing him”

{Haaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!}

{Collapses on floor, rolls around, and thumps carpets}

Where’s No Quarter when you need him ???

1 January 2014 at 16:29  
Blogger Elwin Daniels said...

Guglielmo. Your first proposition is correct. Proving that evolutionism is false (which can readily be done, just read Darwin's blathering work of imagination and then look at the laws of information and apply them to DNA. Stephen Meyer's book 'Signature in the Cell' does this very nicely) does not of itself establish that the Biblical creation account is true.

However your second assertion is incorrect. A straightforward reading of Genesis as history establishes that man is at fault, not God, for the fall from grace.

I sometimes wish that given the risks of giving men free will God had not gone ahead with the creation (so did He, see Genesis 6:6-7) but if He had not, there would be no me (or you) to have a view on this or anything else.

Happy New Year

1 January 2014 at 16:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

... or the device was part of the safe to destroy papers in the event of an intrusion?

1 January 2014 at 16:42  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

.... Czech police appeared to leave open the possibility that the diplomatic mission might have been storing explosives.

1 January 2014 at 16:51  
Blogger Len said...

The evolution 'theory' needs to be revealed for what it actually is which is not so much a desire to know scientific truth but rather to 'disprove' a Creator.
Secular Humanists regard Darwin`s theory as their' Bible.'Lets see how it holds up to a bit of scrutiny.
People have lost their jobs for just daring to questioning Darwin`s theory..What are Secular Humanists afraid of?.

1 January 2014 at 16:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Their bible? Len, the evidence falls across a large range of disciplines, and new evidence/ideas are presented and peer-reviewed in the scientific community. You have it pretty much about face if you think it's not being scrutinised or it's not open to change.

1 January 2014 at 17:11  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

“In what some Christian churches in the UK will pass off as an ‘act of reconciliation gone wrong’, a Palestinian official in Prague was checking on one of his explosive devices he’d hidden in his safe went it went off in his face, killing him..."

Good grief, Inspector, some decorum please. The man, after all, was...um...a respected diplomat of a government with UN observer status. Ehem.

An "unnamed Palestinian source" said that, "he moved an old case with him to the new house from the old house and when he opened it, the explosion happened.” It just happened, ok? Clearly, not all safes are safe. No doubt city squares and UNRWA-sponsored schools in Gaza and Ramallah will be named after him. My suggestion: The Jamal al-Jamal Sometimes-Shit-Just-Happens School of International Relations.

1 January 2014 at 17:24  
Blogger non mouse said...

PS, Your Grace:
(. . . though he did bump into Thomas More last week - just in from Purgatory) :))))))))))

And, on considering the omens (and poor old Darwin), here's my prediction:
-- in 2014, mankind will not evolve its learning capacities one jot, tittle, or iota: it'll just strut on regardless, making the same mistakes.

1 January 2014 at 17:26  
Blogger Len said...

Danjo
The 'evidence' of people being dismissed from their jobs for questioning Darwin`s theory is quite easy to find on the net.
Am I the one being 'scientific' here?.

1 January 2014 at 17:32  
Blogger Len said...

It is somewhat ironic that Darwin is buried in the foundations of the church he attempted to destroy?.


1 January 2014 at 17:35  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

“The police are not ruling out that the device was a part of the safe," Czech police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova told Reuters”

Indeed Avi. Looks like the official report following the lengthy enquiry into the incident is about to be writ, what !

1 January 2014 at 17:36  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Well, Inspector, one must never rule out anything. For example, if the unfortunate diplomat inadvertently forgot and locked a falafel sandwich in the safe, there would have been a dangerous build-up of volatile gases from the resulting decomposition. That's my leading hypothesis. We also can't rule out meteors, telluric currents, magnetic anomalies, solar flares or Haitian voodoo either and, give it a few hours until Hamas and the PA consult and hammer out a joint statement, the universal explanation for everything: the Mossad. We must be patient.

1 January 2014 at 17:55  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Well I see Genesis 1, 2 as essentially great truth, theologically, explaining the relationship of mankind to God, and creation, very clearly. It reminds us all of our common and equal origins , equal under God, and all equally imperfect.

Regarding the physical origins of the earth, well as one who has studied geology and geomorphology especially ( the formation of landscape) I see Genesis as an exceedingly helpful way of presenting the essential sequence of physical events, the bare bones of it, in a fashion that could be understood in a pre-scientific age. To read it literally was not wise. Fourth/ fifth century Augustine did not see it literally, but figuratively, but that insight was lost later.

It is also simplistic to regard evolution as a fact, but it appears to be a theory with much science to support it, but it's not proven fact. Like all science it is an explanation that sits there, dominant within the scientific community until a better one arrives.

It has amused me lately, how liberals who for hundreds of years have used Science as a thing elevated beyond its true status, as a battering ram to bludgeon faith. But now, in a number of fields, science is moving closer to faith, and traditional understandings of our nature, and that of the universe, liberals seem to be relying more on the aggressive assertion of their "doctrines" which are political, fashionable and increasingly legal (EU style). This applies in SS issues, the nature of reality and a few other areas I consider. Personally I find Science and Faith totally complementary, not contradictory, as naively portrayed by the media (seeking a simplistic right/wrong scenario) and those with little real understanding of the fragility of scientific laws, especially Arts graduates, which adds to my amusement.

1 January 2014 at 17:56  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


No doubt terrorism will be ruled out...

...and with indecent haste, you'll find...

1 January 2014 at 17:57  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Just heard on radio news the ‘safe’ had been sealed for more than 20 years !

See one’s above comment...

1 January 2014 at 18:03  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Terrorism? Oy. We must be careful with that word, Inspector. It's racist, I've been told. If I may upgrade your lexicon to progressive twenty-first century standards, the approved terms are insurgency, activism and my own neologism, freedom fighter consultation services.

1 January 2014 at 18:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "The 'evidence' of people being dismissed from their jobs for questioning Darwin`s theory is quite easy to find on the net.
Am I the one being 'scientific' here?."

No Len, you're not. You don't know how to be, I think. Being religious is not an excuse to ignore what's around you, or to not think rationally. Many other religionists seem to manage those things.

1 January 2014 at 18:11  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

"Just heard on radio news the ‘safe’ had been sealed for more than 20 years !"

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! No doubt established through the credible evidence provided by the Palestinian team of, um, "experts" which rushed to Prague in order to "assist" with the investigation?

1 January 2014 at 18:12  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

I am sure the bomb had been confiscated from a rogue individual who in no way should considered representative of Palestinian intentions and was simply being stored in the safe until it could be disarmed.

carl

1 January 2014 at 18:23  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Evolution?

As many have said before, if it were fact then you would expect species change to have happened in response to change in environment, due to man, or in response to the large number of experiments carried out by the scientific community that have tried and failed to "force" change of species, or the evolution of new ones, rather than adaptation within the same species.

Evolution?

Needs a new model. Doesn't work outside of existing species. Natural selection is only observable within species.

Phil

1 January 2014 at 18:42  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

One must ask the question.

What is rational about assuming that:

1. Something comes from nothing.
2. Life can spontaneously generate itself as a sophisticated chemical reaction.
3. An collection of chemicals can become self-aware and non-deterministic.
4. Information can be encoded into DNA in the absence of an intelligent encoder.
5. Irreducibly complex systems can blindly evolve.

Rationality doesn't have much to do with it.

carl

1 January 2014 at 18:49  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack agrees: "Being religious is not an excuse to ignore what's around you, or to not think rationally.".

Many Christians are scientists. Let's face it, evolution is the story of 'nothing' becoming 'everything' through an incremental, unguided process of random change and adaptation.

In the olden days people saw the world as run by the fates or by the whims of gods. Once investigators started to see the world as a creation — the work of a rational God and built on rational laws — they started to explore and discover these laws and principles.

1 January 2014 at 18:51  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Possibly, Carl. The PLO has gained well-deserved reputation for ridding the world of explosives.

But I'm working on another hypothesis based on a dangerous phenomenon involving tightly packed wallets which, in the case of safes, could bring lethal results. An illustrative link, with His Grace's indulgence:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwEmQNd6wMA

1 January 2014 at 18:55  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Phil Roberts @ 18.42

Well evolution has certainly be seen to happen in response to environmental changes, eg colour changes in moths in sooty industrial areas, industrial melanism. But sufficient change amounting to the formation of a separate species... hmm. Wouldn't evolutionists argue that it occurs so slowly that we haven't been observing it long enough to see speciation, two distinct types from one ? Which is a tricky argument to disprove isn't it ? A bit like a deist saying, prove that God, or god, doesn't exist perhaps ?

1 January 2014 at 18:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack: "Many Christians are scientists."

They'll be some of the ones that I mentioned in my last sentence, rather than the young earth creationists and other assorted oddballs.

1 January 2014 at 19:01  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

DanJ0 said...

Cheese: "Moves to lower the age of consent plus various Mosques using Sharia law to marry under sixteens. Looks ominous to me, tip of the iceberg so to speak."

The age of consent necessarily implies a certain level of maturity. Pretty much by definition that rules the suggestion out.

31 December 2013 17:24


You do make a valid point there but first of all how many 16 year olds are mature enough for sexual relationships? Some yes but I suspect more are not and so lowering the age of consent would be folly. The problem is it will be done not out of common sense but for political reasons. Also you don't really address the problem with Sharia Law and the age of some of the girls that it deems ok to marry off to some older guy.

Anyway Happy New Year to all that post and to His Grace.

1 January 2014 at 19:12  
Blogger Guglielmo Marinaro said...

Elwin Daniels:

“I sometimes wish that...God had not gone ahead with the creation (so did He, see Genesis 6:6-7)...”

So God, although omnipotent and omniscient, had to actually carry out his project in order to discover that perhaps it wasn’t such a brilliant idea after all?

Happy New Year.

1 January 2014 at 19:18  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Evolution and the age of the Universe. Oy. Here we go again.

This I address to fellow Yids who may be confused about what the "normative" position regarding these is in Judaism.

First of all, there is no explicit received doctrine or required belief on these topics. Appearances aside, where some Orthodox authorities have been inexplicably aping uncompromising Christian literalist attitudes, belief in a fifteen or so billion year old Universe or in evolution and natural selection as physical processes in the mysteries of Creation do not violate Jewish interpretations of scripture or religious philosophy. This has been established by a significant and respected minority of sources, from the time of the medieval sages up until rabbinic authorities of this day and across the spectrum, by rationalists and mystics alike.

What Orthodox Judaism, opposes is what is known as "social Darwinism," and the clearly unscientific triumphalist conclusions offered typically by secular non-scientists, that astronomy and evolution challenge God's role in Creation, if not His existence. 'Nuff said; the Jewish perspectives in the debate are all over the internet...go forth and browse.

A straight question, rather than a sneering challenge: Do those who insist on interpreting Creation in what they think is a straight-forward, literal way also interpret biblical cosmology literally? As in a flat Earth floating on water and with a solid firmament above, a geocentric universe, the Moon as a self-illuminating object? If not, what is the rationale for abandoning the plain literalism in those descriptions?

1 January 2014 at 20:14  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Avi @ 20.14

Your last paragraph..

You are referring to the Ancient Hebrew cosmology with a flat earth, supported on pillars (floating?) and with a dome above, with windows to let in rain, from the firmament, a sea in fact, above, perhaps ?

Of course there are the verses, "the circle of the earth" (Isaiah from memory)

1 January 2014 at 20:54  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Happy Jack, you said, let's face it, evolution is the story of 'nothing' becoming 'everything' through an incremental, unguided process of random change and adaptation.

Umm, no. Evolution science studies the process of evolving organisms, evolution theory attempts to provide a rational array of explanations and predictions of this process. Properly implemented, these do not, because they scientifically cannot at this time and with our tools, address ultimate origins, nor the question of whether the process is guided or random. Theist evolutionists can hypothesize a guided process, atheist ones an un-guided one. Under the fairly strict and limiting rules of science, both are beliefs or speculative positions.

1 January 2014 at 21:05  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hi David, yes, a biblical cosmology which appears to follow beliefs of the times. Christian scholars interpret khuv'g eretz as "the circle of earth" and assume this to mean a sphere, which is a stretch, because flat Earth cosmology was assumed by many extra-biblical sources and Hebrew already had a specific word for a sphere, kador.

1 January 2014 at 21:16  
Blogger Len said...

There is no indisputable proof for the big bang," "And there is none for evolution. And yet you accept those. Why hold the question of whether there is a creator to a higher standard?”
― Robert J. Sawyer, Calculating God

1 January 2014 at 21:18  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack says many people make up their minds beforehand and just repeat and repeat their positions.

Jack notes not all people do this. In a book Douglas Groothuis (a weird name) tells about a Russian physicist who told him: "I was in Siberia and met God there while working on my equations. I suddenly realized that the beauty of these equations had to have a purpose and design behind them, and I felt deep in my spirit that God was speaking to me through these equations." The scientist stepped over from atheism to theism. Len, Happy Jack asks if this man was he born again through numbers and sums?

Jack had a big chuckle at this too. An astrophysicist called Robert Jastrow warns materialists that their “story ends like a bad dream.” After their final ascent on the mountain of discovery and learning all their is to know, they peer over the horizon to see a group of theologians who have been awaiting their arrival for a long, long time.

1 January 2014 at 21:18  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Len, the Sawyer fellow you quote is muddled in his comparisons...apples to typewriters. Science is mostly a research strategy with fairly strict protocols and clear limits. It can provide lines of evidence, balance of probabilities, some tenuous, some overwhelming. But science, at least proper science, does not and cannot attempt a proof of God's existence. That's why we have faith and other ways of knowing.

1 January 2014 at 21:26  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

David

THE moths one is really interesting as it is a classic and is in all school textbooks with pics of black moths on dark branches and white on light ones.

THE problem is that this does not prove anything really. White moths will predominate when conditions favour them etc

No species are changed and nobody is saying that natural section does not take place. The problem is for Evolutionists is that they are still moths

Incidentally to get the pics for the textbooks they could not find any white moths actually on the light branches as they tend to rest under leaves or in different places on the tree. Not to be deterred they glued the white moths to the light branch to get the pics we are all told is "proof" (of nothing really) of "evolution".

It is a classic case of making the evidence fit the theory

Phil





1 January 2014 at 21:28  
Blogger Len said...

Evolutionists seem to get very vague when it come to 'origins' of life?. In fact origins of anything.

I wonder how long it will be before 'denying Darwin' will be a criminal offence?

Happy Jack, I was 'born again 'through an encounter with the Truth.Who is a person of course you knew that because we have spoken of this many times?.

1 January 2014 at 21:29  
Blogger Len said...

Avi(1 January 2014 21:18)

,The question is quite simple and straight forward I should have thought?.

1 January 2014 at 21:32  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Happy Jack, Groothius's encounter with God through mathematical formulas and realization of a Divine order to the Universe was clearly a spiritual experience.

However, it was not science. A common mistake many make nowadays is that experiences and knowledge outside of science are inherently wrong or inferior.

1 January 2014 at 21:32  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Cheese: "You do make a valid point there but first of all how many 16 year olds are mature enough for sexual relationships? Some yes but I suspect more are not and so lowering the age of consent would be folly. The problem is it will be done not out of common sense but for political reasons."

Lots of people aged 16 are having sex whether or not they are mature enough to handle the consequences. Some are having sex earlier too and I see no point criminalising couples of a similar age for doing so. However, I'm adament that 16 is the correct legal age for consent, and certainly no lower. I doubt very much that it will get lowered any time soon, though there may be guidance regarding the handling of younger couples.

"Also you don't really address the problem with Sharia Law and the age of some of the girls that it deems ok to marry off to some older guy."

You're talking about purely religious marriage without any civil recognition I suppose. That is, a contract between families. It's wrong to my eyes but it's part of our history too as I'm sure you know. Of course, Sharia Law can say what it likes but we operate English Law here and I can see no likelihood of English Law being changed to allow Muslims to marry earlier. On what basis would that happen? Personally, I'm happy enough with our marriage law as it is now as far as age is concerned.

1 January 2014 at 21:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi: "A common mistake many make nowadays is that experiences and knowledge outside of science are inherently wrong or inferior."

I daresay they are as a general rule if they're in the same 'knowledge domain' as science.

1 January 2014 at 21:44  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Len, the question I assume your referring to, is "Why hold the question of whether there is a creator to a higher standard?”

Incidentally, it follows an impossible request for some kind of an unspecified absolute proof of the Big Bang. Yet the high standard has already been met from a multitude of sources. Again, I will say that Sawyer is muddled in his thinking because he does not understand what science is. It cannot provide any standards beyond those it already applies in terms of rules of evidence, replication of experiments or theoretical consistencies. Science, as I will repeat again and again is a great, but limited research strategy. The conclusions people draw from it is another matter entirely.

1 January 2014 at 21:44  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

"I daresay they are as a general rule if they're in the same 'knowledge domain' as science."

Hi Danjo, I think I know what you mean but maybe you mean something else, and would appreciate an example or an elaboration.

1 January 2014 at 21:48  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Avi at 21:16

Is this the same word I’ve seen transliterated as “chug”, meaning “circle”? As in Chug ha-Gedi, “the Circle of the Goat”, i.e. the Tropic of Capricorn?

1 January 2014 at 21:48  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hi, Uncle Brian, yes, most likely. Seeing the Hebrew with the vowel symbols would help. I tend to transliterate as "kh" rather than the German "ch" as many people tend to mis-read this as "tch."

1 January 2014 at 21:57  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Avi,

Thanks for the flat earth angle.

Mathematical formulae and God. There is an incredible symmetry, balance and fine tuning in "nature" which I feel points strongly towards an intelligence behind it all, that we call God. The odds against it working just so, are immense. Take for instance the value of the Gravitational Constant, G, which explains attractiveness due to Mass. If it were slightly greater things would be impossibly heavy and implode. If it were any lower, gravitational force, a very weak force anyway, would become so weak that all matter would be free floating, never forming planets. It's just right.

Or the one that has always fascinated me as initially, a Physical Geographer, is the highly unusual property of water to be heaviest, not at the freezing point like other liquids, but at +3 degrees C , so life can exist happily at the bottom of a pond, the top being lighter, and colder at 0 degrees, freezes over, protecting the life forms below. It all ticks over nicely in a high latitude winter. Without those incredible properties in the most common of substances, water, at least being common on planet earth, those high latitude ecosystems couldn't possibly be anything like the vibrant one that they are. So water, the vital ingredient for life has a very special physics. It's pure poetry really.

There are countless other examples I'm sure accessible to those who know other disciplines. But it all points to an universe "set up" to bring forth life and sustain it. I find plenty of indication, pointers to God's existence in things like that, and there's so much more. Science is showing us all the time, increasingly how perfectly fine tuned it all is, and how unlikely it is, that it's just random chance. But many are blind, or just shrug their little atheist shoulders and say, without much wonder, that's the way it is, which is pretty unimaginative and unadventurous intellectually, not to mention dead spiritually. But I guess that's just one of the reasons I have faith.

1 January 2014 at 22:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 January 2014 at 22:15  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

David Hussell, broadly speaking, I agree with you. The fundamental question is could and did existence and its incredible details have come about by chance or through design. I believe in the latter. However, I am not aware of any evidence or theoretical model to date which could prove my conviction within the strict and limited rules of science. I can live with that, some cannot.

1 January 2014 at 22:16  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack says here's a good one:

1. If there ever was a time that absolutely nothing existed, nothing would exist now.

2. Something exists now.

3. Therefore, there was never a time that absolutely nothing existed.

So, in other words, there always was a time when 'something' existed. But what, Jack asks, has always existed?

There are two possibilities. The material universe of space, time, matter and energy? Or an eternal and spiritual God, who exists separately from the material universe?

Science tells us the universe had a beginning at the big bang. They argue about it and how it all happened, but say there was a moment when time and space all started.

Since this 'something' must be eternally self-existent and the universe itself does not qualify, the only logical conclusion is that a spiritual, self-sustaining God exists and has existed eternally.

Happy Jack says this is one cool argument.

1 January 2014 at 22:21  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

David H, I should add that even if we can concoct a statistical model based on cumulative evidence and balance of probabilities, it is a long, long way from even suggesting what kind of a Creator we are talking about, much less whose scriptures and interpretations are correct or most likely. Attempts to "prove" God's existence and one's own religion through science are futile and damage the credibility of religious thought.

1 January 2014 at 22:21  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Here you go Avi.

Christian philosopher William Lane Craig says that an explanation of an explanation (God’s existence) is logically unnecessary.

"This is an elementary point concerning inference to the best explanation as practiced in the philosophy of science.

If archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from.

Similarly, if astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there.

In order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't be able to explain the explanation. In fact, so requiring would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed. So in the case at hand, in order to recognize that intelligent design is the best explanation of the appearance of design in the universe, one needn't be able to explain the designer."

1 January 2014 at 22:29  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Happy Jack, yes, it is a cool argument. It is, essentially, the Judeo-Christian one, which rejects the Aristotelian one of an always existing Existence independent of a Creator. Still, as logical or "self-evident" as it may seem, it is not a scientific argument. The atheist can claim, quite logically, that Existence or the Universe have always been there, which is no different from the claim that God has always been there. Again, we are led to the same position we have always been in; the foundations of our beliefs and morality come from other ways of knowing than science and trying to come up with irrefutable "proofs" for our faith is futile. Probably by design, too.

1 January 2014 at 22:31  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Happy Jack, just saw the W.L. Craig. I'm familiar with this line of reasoning from Jewish sources as well. It's limits are that it may provide a good argument for a Creator which will encourage or satisfy us believers, but not a scientific one. Intelligent Design is a philosophical or a theological proposition, it is not scientific evidence or theory. Not as science understands evidence and theory. I am not disturbed by this; the sources of my beliefs in the Creator and in the mission of the Jewish people are to be found in Scripture, the Torah, and traditions passed down by our Sages...not in science or formal logic.

1 January 2014 at 22:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack: "Christian philosopher William Lane Craig says that an explanation of an explanation (God’s existence) is logically unnecessary."

Yet you've decided it's a god with certain attributes that has a specific interest in our species in the vastness of the universe. Presumably, Lane Craig is just building a set of pillars to justify the construction of his religion, with this being one pillar of many. But what if it was a process of another reality instead, where our universe is just a byproduct of that? Or there were multiple gods involved in the creation of our reality? Or any number of other things beyond our understanding?

1 January 2014 at 22:45  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack says its elementary, My Dear Doctor Barzel. (Jack has been watching Sherlock Holms).

Jack agrees it is a philosophical solution and not a scientific one. Empirical scientists are 'proving' the Universe has not always been there. Time, space, energy and matter had a beginning and came from nothing. Now they're coming up with a 'theory' about multiverses to avoid thinking about a Creator.

1 January 2014 at 22:49  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack says such questions are the beginnings of a theological and philosophical search rather than a limited scientific one.

1 January 2014 at 22:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

WLC: "Similarly, if astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there."

That'll be extra-terrestrial agents co-located in the same universe, living under the same universal laws, and doing design and manufacture like we do. We see order in time and space and interpret it as coming from a bigger, more intelligent, more powerful form of, well, us, really. Which characterises the stuff of religion quite well, I'd say.

1 January 2014 at 22:52  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

There you go, Jack, as you can see Danjo provided an equally logical counter-argument. It is unassailable from a scientific or formal logic perspective...although you can try. But I guarantee that in the end, you will be forced to refer to your convictions and to non-scientific sources. Does this mean Danjo is right? Of course not, but it does mean that under the rules of science his position is on safer grounds than ours.

1 January 2014 at 22:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack: "Time, space, energy and matter had a beginning and came from nothing."

Is that what they say? In particular, the nothing bit?

1 January 2014 at 22:54  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Jack, re 22:49. I have no doubt that there is an anti-theistic bias in the science community. But as long as the science is methodologically sound, it matters not what a scientist believes. The speculative cosmologies they come up with are part of a process of limiting predictions to physical materialistic models, which is what science is about. Again, I don't see how they threaten our beliefs in a just God and a purpose to our existence.

1 January 2014 at 23:01  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Avi,

Taking your responses to me and Happy Jack, as they are on the same area of searching,

I agree with you on all that, and think that we are seeing things in almost exactly the same way.

And on that harmonious note, it's
Good Night from me.

1 January 2014 at 23:05  
Blogger Owl said...

A happy new year to one and all.

Avi, it's a pleasure to read your thoughts/explanations.

"conclusions" seems to be the defining point.

William James stated that the measure of any hypothesis is "what is it worth". He turned to pragmatism as a alternative to the mysterious. Didn't help much.

Global warming was worth a great deal, in fact, billions if you were in the right place at the right time.

It might have made Al Gore very rich but it didn't make GW true.

As you mentioned, knowledge outside of science can be far more valuable.

If I know, then why should I try to prove it to someone who does not know. He/she will not believe it anyway, it's just "my" truth which was given to me.

1 January 2014 at 23:10  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack says you'll have to read up on the big bang and singularities. Before this there was nothing - no space, time, matter or energy - and nobody knows what caused it. Frankly, its all a bit beyond Jack as he is not a scientist or mathematician.

Jack's main point has been summarised by Avi. Truth about our existence cannot just rest on "sola scientia".

1 January 2014 at 23:20  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Absolutely Happy Jack

Science has nothing to say outside of space and time anyway. Nothing at all. Any measurements that science makes involves one or more dimensions of space and/or time and the notion of repeatability is clearly bounded by time. So what has science to.say about the existence of God? Nada.

2 January 2014 at 00:15  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Good night and thanks for the great gabfest guys. I'm doing my fatherly duty waiting with my youngest for the movie Frozen to start. She will owe me big time one day....

2 January 2014 at 00:17  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hi Owl, happy new year. O, time to slip on the 3 D glasses. 2 hours for a kitschy cartoon with glasses over my glasses. $29.87 Cdn and im still in line for drinks and whatever kosher junkfood they habe. Nominations for my beatification anyone?

2 January 2014 at 00:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

Frozen was a good movie right until the incredibly cheesy Disney-esque ending. It was all set up for a sterling conclusion. But you can just hear the Suits saying "We can't end it like that. The Marketing people would skin is alive. Make it happy."

Not too bad though. I give it maybe 6.5 out of 10 .

carl

2 January 2014 at 01:08  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

I take my churlishness back. Frozen is a masterpiece! Wow! I give it an easy 10 in its class...but I'm into graphics and animation and I wished I could have freeze-framed it to get a good look at the incredible detail, especially the ice and light interplay.

And you can't end a movie like that on a sad note, Carl, what are you thinking? You'll have a lot of little girls with broken hearts. My 12 year-old is already working on us for a third showing and I'll have to line up to get her the Elsa doll when they bring the next shipment to the Disney store.

2 January 2014 at 03:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

When a Script writer decides to resolve a plot line with "Love is the answer" it's time for him to hang up his word processor. I could only roll my eyes at the lack of originality.

And, yes, you are right that Disney would never end the story the right way because of all those little girls, and Disney's desire to sell them stuff. (That's why Han Solo wasn't offed in SW VI btw) But it would make for a better story. As it stands the sacrifice is vitiated because the consequence is taken away. We get the emotion of sacrifice without the suffering of loss.

Up until that moment, I really liked the movie. I especially liked the creation of the ice palace and the ship wreck scene. Not quite Up or Monsters Inc but still very good.

And anyways, females liked Titanic. That was allegedly a sad ending. If Leonardo disappearing into the ocean can be considered sad.

carl

2 January 2014 at 04:24  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

If Leonardo disappearing into the ocean can be considered sad. Pfft!

You're too hard on Frozen. Yes, the "love is the answer" motif is cliché, but I wasn't expecting that it would be a sister's love, instead of the banal beau of the moment. In an age of over-done romantic schmaltz that is refreshing.

An interesting point my wife read about is that this was the first or one of the few films where a leading female character interacted seriously with another female. I didn't realize this as I was watching, but I recall now being puzzled at an oddness of some sort, without cluing into why. A thing I noticed quite early on was the "Whiteness" of all the characters. PC aside, you would think that with the ethnic composition of the US and the international market, they would have more that one "coloured" character, a Black peasant girl who appears two or three times and briefly in the crowd scenes.

Anyway, what I think bothers you is that you are used to the complex morality tales which go back to the ancient Indo-European myths. But those were instructional tales, often compared to contemporaneous issues which we can no longer identify with and those didn't cost 150 mil to produce or bring in 500 mil in the second week of telling. This is a modern message for a culture which wants to banish unhappiness, ugliness, consequences and suffering.

2 January 2014 at 05:09  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Happy Jack @ 23.20

I like your "Sola Scientia" -- most amusing, and apt !
How blinkered people can become.

2 January 2014 at 09:25  
Blogger Len said...

I can see now why God had to give us faith to believe in Him as a gift.It is an act by the pure Grace and Mercy of God.

Which brings me back to my original post about how the Christian foundations have been under constant attack by Secular Humanists who have tried to supplant Christianity with the 'new religion' Secular Humanism' which has 'deified' man.The moral code of this new religion is Political Correctness which is proving to be unworkable.
Secular Humanism is another invention of man which will cause more misery and ultimately fail as will all other false religions.

There have been many attempts by man to form some sort of society which 'does away' with the creator and we are probably going to see fairly soon just how bad a' Godless Society' will be in reality.
It is tragic that man has learned nothing by History and we are going to have to learn and suffer by direct experience.


2 January 2014 at 09:36  
Blogger Len said...

Before the Humanists tell me that religion has failed to stop wars and suffering and in fact has caused wars and suffering I would like to say I agree with you!.
Religion has failed !.
BUT Jesus Christ did not come into this World to start a new religion but to gather up people who would follow Him and His Commandments.
Religion has tried to start a Kingdom on this World and has become a religion OF this World using the methods of this World system which was not God`s intention at all.

2 January 2014 at 09:53  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

David H, Happy Jack thinks atheism is a worldview that rests on assumptions that cannot be proven nor disproven. In this way, it is a faith system just like religious worldviews.

Jack sees the following Five Solae as their basic doctrine:

Sola Scientia
Sola Materialis
Sola Casuum Temeritati
Sola Evolutio
Sola Progredi

2 January 2014 at 15:24  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Carl, the Frozen saga continues. My daughter has been calling around to see if the new shipments of Elsa and Anna dolls have made it to the Disney stores and is requesting that I be ready to drive her at a moment's notice. I asked her what the big deal is, like, why can't she play with her Brave doll and what's the fuss, she's twelve anyway. She gave me that look which you, a father of a daughter know only too well I'm sure, you know the one that makes you feel like an insensitive moron. Turns out she has picked up the vintage collectibles bug, been checking toy trends and values on the 'Net with the phone we gave her and has been sorting, categorizing and carefully packing her older toys as an investment for her future kids, God-willing. Gosh, I don't even think past tomorrow's dinner. She plans to laminate and keep the receipts (thermal paper degrades, apparently) and the Frozen dolls in the original boxes, all properly wrapped against humidity, away from UV damage in her warehouse of a closet. They grow up so fast.

2 January 2014 at 15:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack: "Happy Jack thinks atheism is a worldview that rests on assumptions that cannot be proven nor disproven. In this way, it is a faith system just like religious worldviews."

But it isn't really, is it? You're talking about materialism. Also, I'm not sure that asserting your specific supernatural environment with all its implications is the same as asserting that the stuff of our reality is all there is.

2 January 2014 at 18:30  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, well you'll have to enlighten Happy Jack as to what else there might be if one rules out the 'super-natural' - in the sense of that which is above or outside time, space, matter and energy. What else could lie outside of our material, measureable 'reality'? Jack says we don't 'know' unless this is revealed, as it cannot, by definition, be discovered by science, and this is where philosophy, theology, grace and faith all come in.

And Jack is not asserting any particular supernatural environment here, just pointing out that scientific materialism that rules out a spiritual dimension, is a faith system resting on these doctrines:

Sola Scientia
Sola Materialis
Sola Casuum Temeritati
Sola Evolutio
Sola Progredi

(Happy Jack has actually forgotten what the Latin means now but it all made sense when he posted them first time around)

2 January 2014 at 20:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack: "And Jack is not asserting any particular supernatural environment here, just pointing out that scientific materialism that rules out a spiritual dimension, is a faith system resting on these doctrines:"

Except materialism (rather than a-theism) is not really a faith system like your religious worldview as you originally said. What it shares is that it rests on some postulates and assumes some metaphysics which influence our observations of our reality. When we talk about religious faith, we're talking about something more than that I think. There's all sorts of supplementary stuff that you need to introduce to get to something like Christianity or Islam. Stuff that doesn't necessarily follow at all from those basic postulates and assumptions.

2 January 2014 at 21:26  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack wonders what you mean. What postulates and metaphysics do you assume? And why restrict these to "observations of our reality"? Jack says if you do you are actually ruling out the 'meta' in metaphysical. These things by their nature cannot be seen or measured or studied materially in time and space.

And Jack also agrees you can't get to any specific understanding of a Creator via reason or logic. Jack's already said it needs revelation by the Creator and understanding will only come because He wishes it so. As a Christian, Jack has a view on how this all works. And because there are what Jack sees to be false religions, doesn't mean the Christian faith is not the Truth.

2 January 2014 at 22:34  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

You could ask for a cut of the royalties. Say 10% of the appreciated value. Of course it would just be for effect because she will give you that look again. But it is always fun to troll daughters. On the other hand, at least she isn't dragging you to artsy plays. She could be saying "Daddy, guess what? Mom told me about this new playwrite and you just have to take me. His latest work is called 'Evening in a Poetry Workshop.' It's the best four hours you will ever spend. Will you take me Daddy? Will you?" I beg you have seen the look that follows that kind of conversation as well.

carl

3 January 2014 at 04:09  
Blogger David B said...

It's off topic, I know, but during a discussion on the historicity of Jesus on my board we have someone saying, in effect,as I read him, that people who haven't looked carefully into a 'Hillel' are ant-Semitic, through a bit of convoluted reasoning that I haven't managed to fully follow, TBH.

I wonder of some of the Jews here would be kind enough to tell me what they make of the importance )or not) of Hillel to Judeism then and now?

Frankly, before this particular thread on my board, I don't recall hearing the name.

David

3 January 2014 at 05:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack:"And why restrict these to"observations of our reality"?"

Suddenly you remind me of Dodo again, who used to change arguments around to suit himself.

3 January 2014 at 07:36  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

David B,

Assuming that the poster is referring to Hillel the elder? Hillel was a Rabbi, who died about 10 AD, noted for a particular, more 'lenient' school of thought within Jewish law, which would later became written down in the Talmud (the other being 'the school of Shammai').

I can only assume that Hillel is being dragged into a debate about Jesus, because of the two men's similar 'golden rule' and that they were near contemporaries:

"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn."
—Talmud, Shabbat 31a

Jesus of Nazareth (after Hillel) :

'Do to others what you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets' (Matthew 7/12).

Although why not knowing Hillel or his arguments is anti-semitic is beyond me, but then I've not got access to that thread.

3 January 2014 at 11:46  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack isn't sure where he changed the argument around to "suit himself". Why would he want to do this as it isn't a competition? Jack thought we were just exchanging opinions, "chewing the fat", as they say.

There can be no conclusion to this debate. All Jack is really trying to say is that science can only take the quest for understanding our universe and our place in it so far. Happy Jack reminds you what he said very early on in this discussion:

An astrophysicist called Robert Jastrow warns materialists that their “story ends like a bad dream.” After their final ascent on the mountain of discovery and learning all there is to know, they peer over the horizon to see a group of theologians who have been awaiting their arrival for a long, long time.

Now you can either accept or reject this. Jack believes in intelligent design and a Creator God who has revealed Himself to us. You don't and that's up to you.

3 January 2014 at 13:19  
Blogger David B said...

Thanks for that, David

David

3 January 2014 at 13:27  
Blogger Len said...

IF you don`t wish to acknowledge the Creator God of the Universe you have to devise some other 'reason ' for the Creation existing and the more' scientific 'it sounds the better .'Evolution fits that nicely(well not nicely because there are gaping holes in the theory but lets just brush that aside because if the theory doesn`t add up what have we got left?.)

So there was this big bang when nothing went bang?.

4 January 2014 at 10:42  
Blogger Irv said...

USA - from Puritans to Impure-itans

Any connection between beautiful New England and predicted disasters?
Take same-sex marriage. I would have guessed that a "sin" city (San Francisco? Las Vegas?) would have been the first to legalize it.
Oddly it's been America's birthplace that's wanted to be the first place to end America and its values! It's been a Nor'easter of Perversion (helping to fulfill Luke 17's "days of Lot") that began in (you guessed it) Boston in 2004!
New England has gone from the Mayflower Compact to the Gay Power Impact, from Providence to decadence, from Bible thumpers to God dumpers, from university to diversity to perversity, and from the land of the Great Awakening to God's Future Shakening that'll make the Boston bombings look like Walden Pond ripples by comparison!
The same Nor'easter has been spreading south and as far west as Washington State where, after swelling up with pride, Mt. Rainier may wish to celebrate shame-sex marriage by having a blast that Seaddlepated folks can share in lava-land!
The same Luke 17 prediction is tied to the Book of Revelation which speaks of the cities that God will flatten because of same-sexism - including American cities - a scenario I'll have to accept since I can't create my own universe and decree rules for it.
I've just been analyzing the world's terminal "religion" that has its "god," its accessories, its "rites," and even a flag. It's an obsession that the infected converts are willing to live for, fight for - and even die for!
Some claim that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. Well, when gays have birthdays they don't say what they don't want but say positively what they do want.
Likewise Jesus didn't get negative and mention every sexual variation that He knew mankind would invent, but stated positively that marriage involves only a man and a woman!
Want more facts? Google "God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up," "Government-Approved Illegals," "FOR GAYS ONLY: Jesus predicted," "Filthy Still Club (Rev. 22:11)," and "The Background Obama Can't Cover Up."

8 January 2014 at 07:04  

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