Monday, 20 October 2014

Christadelphian: Origins Discussion Back in Business

Some time ago, I posted both on the launch of Christadelphian: Origins Discussion, a new Christadelphian Facebook group dedicated to origins discussions, and its disappearance. Thankfully, it didn't stay dormant for long before starting again. Excellent news for those who want to see rational, informed discussion on this subject, particularly when the posts show just how far our community has shifted from its original rational, evidence-based approach. Just how much of a need that site meets is evident from a recent post comparing what we used to believe, with what we now believe, on  subjects ranging from the age of the Earth to textual criticism:

The author of this post notes:
The following list shows how far some modern Christadelphians have moved from original Christadelphian views. 
Original Christadelphian view
  • Geological evidence proves the earth is millions of years old.
  • Animal and vegetable life on earth appeared gradually over a very long time, as God created and destroyed many times in succession, creating animals and plants of increasing complexity.
  • The Pentateuch and books such as Daniel could have been written by more than one author, not necessarily by Moses and Daniel.
  • The Alexandrian manuscripts of the New Testament are the most accurate manuscripts.

New modern view
  • Geological evidence proves the earth is around 6,000 years old.
  • All animal and vegetable life on earth appeared instantly, completely formed, around 6,000 years ago; life did not appear on earth in successive stages of development. 
  • Multiple authorship is denied; Moses wrote the Pentateuch, and Daniel wrote the book of Daniel, etc. When considering the authorship of New Testament books, we must follow Church tradition and accept what the Church decided.
  • The Alexandrian manuscripts of the New Testament are the least accurate manuscripts.
That one needs to refer to Christadelphian magazines from the 19th and early 20th centuries to find material that is more informed and credible than what is found in many 21st century magazines shows just how far into fideism and fundamentalism our community has fallen. Of course, given that print magazines are dying, and the future lies with electronic and online media, the poor quality of material found in our traditional magazines is rapidly becoming a non-issue.