Category Archives: Covid-19

‘There is no pandemic’ – Mythbusting John MacArthur’s claims – Premier Christianity

John Macarthur is pastor of a megachurch in California.

John F. MacArthur - Wikipedia

He has recently increased his notoriety over Covid by insist on opening up his church to vast numbers and insists there is no pandemic. Below I reblog an article from Premier which seems very balanced – to some that means I agree with it!!!

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Along with the church is the Masters Seminary who gives out degrees. (I ought to try and get a D.D. from my published work from his seminary.) He’s written loads of books which are widely used  including in Britain/

MacArthur can only be called a fundamentalist with a literal view of the bible.

He does not regard Roman Catholics to be Christian, but I’m not sure of his views on Anglicans.) He’s strongly creationism and a good example that Creationism is symptomatic of other errors.

When it comes to creation, um, well, believe it or not he insists on a 6 day creation a few thousand years ago. When you search is website “Grace to You” http://www.gty.org you’ll find lots of it, looking to such fantastic scholars as Scott Hulse and Douglas Kelly  Ph.D. (Cantab)

https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/90-212/the-how-why-and-when-of-creation-part-2

So these people who say everything has always continued as it was from the very beginning have forgotten that there was a time when the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, and another time when it was destroyed by being flooded.  In other words, Peter is pointing to the fact that everything has not continued through a uniformitarian process since the beginning, but rather there have been two cataclysmic events…one, creation, and the other the universal global flood.  There have been immense alterations in the earth as we know it.  Creation itself was cataclysmic.  Originally the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water…and we’ll comment more on that when we go back to Genesis.  And there was a time when the entire globe was destroyed, being flooded with water, which had immense cataclysmic impact on the surface of the earth.

This earth has not gone on in a uniform kind of existence; rather two immense cataclysms have effected its current condition, one being creation itself, and the other being the Flood.  Uniformitarians claim that the strata in rocks, the strata sediment, the fossils and the companion chemistry of geologic dating based on uniformity demand an earth that is billions of years old.  During the early nineteenth century, the central presupposition of uniformitarianism was that the present is the key to the past.  That is that everything went always the way it’s going now, popularized by James Hutton and Charles Lyle, who in turn influenced Darwin.

This is not even wrong! I love the mispelling of Lyell – a sure sign of incompetence. It comes up in Creationist Bingo. To claim that his misrepresentation of Uniformitarianism demands an ancient earth is simply false. Geologists gradually worked to an ancient earth following the evidence from the rocks. His grasp of geology is a trifle shaky and flaky. 

Uniformitarianism is the belief that the origin and development of all things can be explained exclusively in terms of the same natural laws and processes seen operating today.  Uniformitarianism has been the backbone of modern historical geology and is responsible for the current widespread assumption that the earth is billions of years old.  The uniformitarians insist that all geologic features and formations once attributed to geologic cataclysms can now be satisfactorily explained by ordinary processes functioning over immensely long periods of time.  That’s basically their view.  Scott Hulse, writing in The Collapse of Evolution, gave us that definition.

He does it again falsely claiming the current widespread assumption that the earth is billions of years old.  

False statements like that do not give credibility

 Scott Hulse summarizes some of this evidence – just give it to you briefly.  “Creationists maintain the uniformitarian principles simply cannot account for most of the major geological features and formations.  For instance, there’s the vast Tibetan plateau which consists of sedimentary deposits which are thousands of feet thick, located presently at an elevation of three miles above sea level.  The Karoo formation of Africa contains an estimated 800 billion vertebrate animals.  The herring fossil bed of California contains approximately one billion fish within a four-square-mile area.  The uniformitarian concept is equally incapable of explaining the Columbia plateau in northwestern United States, which is an incredible lava plateau several thousand feet thick covering an area of 200 thousand square miles.  Uniformitarianism also fails to offer a reasonable explanation for important geological concepts such as mountain building,” and it goes on and on, and I won’t bore you with it.

Facepalmingly hignorant!

All of these things require sudden and dramatic change, rapid burial, and lithification, as it’s called, are essential to the formation and preservation of fossils.  The only possible way you can have seashells on the top of mountains thousands of miles from the sea is if there was once water there.

This is just daft. It’s utterly clueless on geology especially as Niclaas Stensen aka Steno explained seashells on mountain tops in de Solido in 1669, and seashells on everest are due to uplift due to India crashing into Asia!!

Recently he has also totally rejected climate change, as Paul reminded me in a comment

All this is simply standard Creationist fare of the worst sort. In itself it may seem harmless but it is symptomatic of something more serious and sinister and that is the problem of MacArthur and  Grace Church.

It is a carefully-argued anti-science and anti-intellectuallism, used to control people and along with shunning exclusivism  – as with denying Roman Catholics They well-substantiated views of anyone can be dismissed.

Edit; Now Trump has given MacArthur a bell!

MacArthur said he then told Trump that “any real, true believer is going to be on your side in this election.”

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/john.macarthur.says.trump.thanked.him.for.taking.a.stand.over.church.closures/135489.htm

This blog gives more on the matter.

https://thewayofimprovement.com/2020/09/01/how-john-macarthur-politicizes-science/

This is what MacArthur does over Covid-19 as he dismisses all the scientific evidence. It could kill some . He says

“In truth, 6 per cent of the deaths that have occurred can be directly attributable to Covid, 94 per cent cannot. Of the 160,000 people that have died, 9,210 actually died from Covid. There is no pandemic.”

The blog explains how wrong he is

As a result they fall for the American Dream Nightmare, opening themsleves to any-kind of reactionary view, now expressing itself in the denial of the seriousness of Covid-19

It is classic sect behaviour and as Jenkins concludes

Avoid foolish controversies’

The Apostle Paul instructs a young Titus, “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned” (Titus 3:9-11).

I’m praying this scenario will not be true of Pastor MacArthur related to the division and confusion he is causing during this pandemic.

I’m praying he’ll repent of the false witness he is bearing. For his own sake, his church’s sake, the greater American evangelical church, and all of our communities affected by this great trial.


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The pastor of a Californian megachurch has claimed there’s no pandemic, and told his congregation there’s a ‘great effort’ underway to ‘shut down churches’. DJ Jenkins, who pastors a church in the same city as John MacArthur, explains why he strongly disagrees

Source: ‘There is no pandemic’ – Mythbusting John MacArthur’s claims – Premier Christianity

Engaging Faith with Science amid a Pandemic | Psephizo

A useful blog on science and religion issues by a fellow Anglican Priest who was initially a chemistry teacher and thus a chemist!

His persepctive is much more on the physical sciences than mine which usually tends to matter geological and the implications there.

The second part is on Christian attitudes to Covid Augsutine

Source: Engaging Faith with Science amid a Pandemic | Psephizo

The Post-COVID-19 Blueprint (Part 3.2): The Seven Key Steps of Risk Management

Risk management vs Precautionary Principle.

The latter stops us doing anything because of the pssobilities of things going wrong.

It would have stopped almost everything electricity, bicycles, planes, trains and solar panels

The Risk-Monger

Risk management is a process, not a decision. In any situation involving an exposure to hazards (risk), there are a series of steps that should be taken to manage the process. These steps are taken on the basis of information, trust and agency. The goal of risk management is to protect the vulnerable (those most exposed to risks) while ensuring that the benefits (why the risk is taken) are delivered.

Section Two of the third part of my Post-COVID-19 Blueprint for a stable risk management strategy looks at seven key steps in a basic risk management process. It seeks to establish a clear alternative to the precautionary principle which has guided risk policy for much of the last two decades and which has failed catastrophically (as seen in our incapacity to manage the recent coronavirus pandemic risk in most Western countries).

Risk taking is something we do intuitively. Every step…

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COVID Update – Focus on Vitamin D

 

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Is vitamin D , or lack of it , a factor in the seriousness of Covid-19.

Us Brits make little vitamin D

An additional paper https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.24.20075838v1

VitD3

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick

28th April 2020

I have found, I suspect like almost everyone else, that it is almost impossible to keep track of what is going on with COVID. Stories swirl and multiply, and almost everyone seems to be trying to get something out of it. People are claiming miracle cures and success – but it is difficult to verify any such claims.

The normal rules of research (flawed though they often are) have completely flown out of the window. It is like the wild west, with snake oil salesmen announcing wonderful products that not only cure COVID, but every other disease… I mean every other disease, known to man.

You sir, you look like an intelligent man, a man who understands science. A man who can see that my wonderful potion can cure almost every ailment that befalls man. Baldness, wrinkled skin, impotence, COVID…

‘A vaccine you say sir, of…

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