Friday, 26 September 2008

This Week's Moral Maze Howlers

Clifford Longley, specifically billed as a Catholic - "I am in favour of the separation of Church and State."

Michael Portillo (First in History from Cambridge, allegedly) - "the Church of England was set up to be an example of moderation and tolerance."

Steve Chalke - "Hellenistic thought is not Biblical thought" (I don't know in which language he thinks that the New Testament was written).

Joan Bakewell - "Seventh Day Adventists are against blood transfusions" (that is in fact Jehovah's Witnesses).

Where does the BBC find these people?

I have an awful feeling that this is going to become a weekly event on here.


  1. They must be the same ones who stated that Jehovah's Witnesses murdered 13 in Russia.

    That is not true.

  2. Steve Chalke - "Hellenistic thought is not Biblical thought" (I don't know in which language he thinks that the New Testament was written).


    just because the NT is written in Koine Greek, it doesn't mean it uses Hellenistic thought. This makes perfect sense - biblical thought patterns and worldviews are centred around a unified view of materialism and spirituality, something removed from platonic (hellenistic) modes of thought.

    Not really a howler.

  3. All three of the Old Israel, Hellenism and the Roman Empire are recapitulated in Jesus Christ (a Jew in what is now recognised as having been a profoundly Hellenised Roman province - although simply reading the Gospels and Acts would have told anybody that, anyway) and His Church. They are not distinct categories, anyway.

    God's Book of Scripture begins by recording the beginning of God's Book of Nature, presenting the Author of both as creating, naming and commanding: He is concerned with being, knowing and doing; with ontology, epistemology and ethics.

    Throughout the OT, God raises up priests, prophets and kings accordingly, corresponding to that with which each of these branches of Philosophy is concerned, until the Perfect Form of all three appears in and as the Person of Jesus Christ, Who proclaims Himself to be the (Ethical) Way, the (Epistemological) Truth and the (Ontological) Life, and Who commissions His Ecclesial Body to teach (epistemologically), to govern (ethically) and to sanctify (ontologically).

    The Septuagint (LXX) translators had no problem identifying that creating, naming and commanding Author of both Books with and as the Logos of their wider Hellenistic culture, while the NT writers had no problem presenting the Perfect Priest, Prophet and King as the Incarnation of that same Logos, recognised in their own (both the LXX translators' own and the NT writers' own) Hellenism by the Semites who compiled the LXX.

    One might add that "He saw that it was good", and that "Behold, it was very good." Beauty discloses being, truth and goodness: the really identical categories of being (i.e., of being created by God), of being true and of being good are in turn really identical with being beautiful.

    What could be more Platonic or more Thomist, not to mention more sane or more commonsensical?

    And what could be more Biblical, when one looks at the very first chapter of the Bible?

    Without Greek thought, the great Trinitarian and Christological doctrines could never have been read out of the Bible, because they would never have been written into the Bible.

    It is no wonder that it is only thanks to the Church that either Platonic, or Aristotelian, or Stoic texts were preserved at all from the Barbarian hordes. They are invaluable, indispensible, providential preparations for, and tools for understanding, the Bible, itself a product of their culture.