From: Iain Strachan (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Jun 16 2003 - 14:13:23 EDT
----- Original Message -----
From: "Howard J. Van Till" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
< ... on the idea that the bible might be wrong in places ...>
> Yes, that idea has occurred to many people. In major portions of the
> Christian community, however, that would be considered heresy of the
> order. For such folk, protecting the Bible from this form of critical
> examination is given top priority. Recall a suggestion I have made here
> before -- look at the 'statement of faith' portion of creationist or other
> conservative Christian web sites and note how often the very first
> is a declaration about biblical inerrancy, followed later in the list by
> statements about God and Jesus. Priorities are interesting things.
Now it's _very_ interesting that you should say that, because your post made
me go and look up the ASA "Statement of Faith", which can be found at:
which declares that our platform of faith has four planks. And what do we
find at No. 1 but:
1.. We accept the divine inspiration, trustworthiness and authority of the
Bible in matters of faith and conduct.
????? Wot? No God or Jesus ?????
Now, admittedly that isn't necessarily the same as "Biblical inerrancy" (or
it's debatable at least), but in the light of Howard's statement that
Priorities are interesting things, I find it astonishing that in the ASA,
Jesus Christ is NOT No. 1. I have been severely criticized on this list for
showing an interest in Vernon's numerics, but let me assure you, any
organization that does not put the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ
as the No 1 priority is _really_ on shaky ground. To me, without Jesus
Christ, the rest of the bible makes no sense at all!
What is even more disturbing is that Jesus Christ is not mentioned in ANY of
the "four planks" (only indirectly via the reference to the Nicene and
Apostles creeds). The name of "Jesus" doesn't even appear anywhere on the
page!! A alien looking at your page would'nt even know the name of the
Saviour you believe in! Come to think of it, that's another word that's
completely missing from the page (not even spelt the American way :-)
At the very least the page ought to contain a link to the creeds that are
affirmed in point 2.
I'm absolutely shattered that an organization of Christians doesn't even
proclaim what the Gospel is on its "Statement of Faith" web page!!
A few years ago I wandered into a Penetcostal church in Calgary while I was
there on business. It was just the nearest one to where I was staying and
it was Sunday morning. After a service that lasted around 2 and a half
hours during which we had a 20-minute set from a full scale rock band, the
statutory "mini" sermon (25 minutes) before the collection about how the
Lord loves people who give money, and then another spontaneous 10-minute
mini-sermon that the Lord apparently prompted the preacher to give about how
maybe we'd all like to give a bit more, then the real 75 minute sermon, I
spoke to someone in the congregation, a computer science student from
Calgary University. He told me that in his church they just like to "hit
'em with the Gospel". I thought back over the whole charade, which made me
very uncomfortable, especially the bit at the end when people went up to
have hands laid on them & then fall over (complete with beefy guy standing
behind to catch them as they fell and girl handing out blankets to shiver
in), and I tried to remember one single point where they had explained
clearly what the Gospel is. I could not. If I had been an unchurched
person walking into that service off the streets, I doubt very much if I'd
been any the wiser.
Now, c'mon guys, you can do better than that. In the past battles with
Vernon on what to believe about Genesis, people (George Murphy I think it
was) have said that Jesus Christ should be the centre.
I'll gladly say Amen to that. Why don't we make it so? Let's be serious
about "hitting 'em with the Gospel".
I would also add that I had to search really hard on the ASA home page even
to find a statement of faith, which seemed only to be at the bottom of the
My suggestion. Put the link to the statement of faith right at the top.
Put a clear and concise statement about the Gospel of Christ at the top of
the statement of faith page; perhaps in the introduction. In statement 2 of
the four planks of faith, put hyperlinks to the references to the Nicene and
Apostles creed, so that anyone "just browsing" who doesn't know what they
say can immediately find out.
Another idea; I'm sure it's possible for the list server to put a standard
footer on every email that is posted to the list (the other listserv I
belong to does this). How about putting a direct link to the new
gospel-proclaiming "statement of faith" in that footer. You never know
whether some non-Christians, or seekers are receiving these posts. We
should use every opportunity we have to spread the Good News, should we not?
... and just in case anyone sees this on the archive and accuses me of the
same thing; not saying what the Gospel is, or who wants to know it, here it
"For what I received I passed on to you as of **>>FIRST IMPORTANCE<<** :
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, ..."
(I Corinthians 15:3). (Emphases mine)
[BTW, Howard, I don't mean this as a personal attack; I realise that you are
not a spokesman for ASA, just a member; perhaps you also are as appalled as
I am at what I see on this page].
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