Skip to main content

Radio Interviews 2

Another radio interview that intrigued me was that with Dr. Geoffrey Burnstock, an Australian Neuro Scientist. In the year 2000 he was awarded the Royal Medal (also known as the Queen's Medal, which was commenced in 1826) for his research into neurotransmission pathways. To cite the actual wording of the award: "In recognition of his development of new hypotheses challenging the accepted views on autonomic neurotransmission, leading to new advances in the understanding of purinergic neurotransmission." Presently in retirement, apart from mentoring Doctoral graduates in this field of research, Dr. Burnstock related how difficult it was to introduce his findings to the established scientific fraternity. He spoke of the ridicule that he experienced at the hands of other bio-medical scientists, some even going as far as to say that they would dedicate their lives to destroying his hypotheses. In that context he gave actual examples of the alienation and underhanded defamation that occurred in the 20 years of wilderness he experienced for daring to challenge the entrenched beliefs of that era.

Hearing this gracious Professor speak of the negative reception of his thoroughly researched and documented hypotheses reminded me of how difficult it is for egalitarians to make their case in the present church climate that is predominantly influenced by complementarianism. 

Two things in this scenario are a standout. 

Firstly, in the wording of the Royal Medal award, Dr. Burnstock, "... challenging the accepted views..." That is exactly the position that egalitarians find themselves in, that of 'challenging the accepted views'. It took 20 years for the legitimacy of Dr. Burnstock's research to be recognised and in the meantime he suffered intense opposition from those who labelled his hypotheses as 'magician's tricks'. Egalitarians are confronted with the same kinds of personal attacks and ridicule. One of the most damaging accusations is to suggest that egalitarians have abandoned the testimony of Scripture and have embraced liberalism or  are modern day 'gnostics.' No matter how much sound Biblical evidence and universally accepted interpretive methodology egalitarians employ the accusation is upheld because the religious establishment has spoken. As egalitarians we have dared to challenge the age old accepted interpretations of key hierarchical texts. Dr. Burnstock persisted in publishing his findings over two decades until finally his work was recognised as  scientifically sound and accredited. Egalitarians cannot but continue to put forward their beliefs until they too are recognised as having a legitimate and, in fact, more God honouring interpretation of Scripture.

Secondly, some of Dr. Burnstock's critics vowed to make it their life work to disprove his theories. At that time the good doctor was given some sound advice by an eminent mentor who said, in so many words, "be courageous and patient Geoffrey, when your theories are finally proven your detractor's names will never be remembered." It took a long time, a lot of patience and steadfast courage, but in the end these words were proved to be true. In Christian parlance, 'prophetic.' Egalitarians too, because they have challenged entrenched patriarchal beliefs, have made some arch enemies. Even today there are some prominent christian leaders who are determined to destroy the efforts of egalitarians in making their case. Such stalwart patriarchalists write reams of anti-egalitarian material to persuade their followers that true Biblical equality was never in the mind of God. They cannot conceive that it could ever possibly be that God intended otherwise than that men should be leaders of both the church and  home. We too are encouraged to be patient and courageous because there will come a time when all of this is behind us and those outspoken detractors are long forgotten. In the meantime we keep on graciously making our case for Biblical equality through a high view of Scripture.   


Popular posts from this blog

Disappointment - AW Tozer

I was really excited when I got hold of one of the latest AW Tozer books that was compiled by James L. Snyder, "The Crucified Life". When I began pastoring some 40 years ago I had everything that Tozer had written and they were incredibly formative in my approach to ministry. So to come across fresh material of Tozer's reignited the passion and got me looking at some of the other classics, like "The Pursuit of God" and "Knowledge of the Holy." Not content with that I started hunting around for anything Tozer on the internet and discovered that there is a biography out written by Lyle Dorsett, titled, "A Passion for God: The Spiritual Journey of A.W. Tozer." Then I read some reviews, of which there were many, but I was struck by the recurring theme that Tozer was a loner who was not even close to his wife and 7 children. This spiritual giant of a man was as alone in his death as he was in life. One of his colleagues noted that one of the last…


We are sorry to have to say that we are not going to post any more blogs on this site. The last post has been deleted because we couldn't alter the text size and colour, no matter how often we edited it?

We understand that it is virtually impossible to remove a blogsite from blogger so the site will be dormant. Sorry if you have visited and found it disappointing. We may blog again at a future time.

50th ANNIVERSARY - Trevor's Story

On the occasion of our 50th wedding anniversary we both had the thought of writing a post about our journey from our own perspective. Liz has covered a good deal of that in her post and I had written a post too but before mine could be published the computer somehow confused the two and mine disappeared? Have had several goes at finding it but it looks as though I am going to have to revisit my thoughts and write the whole post again.

I think that the key thing to the longevity of our relationship has been its genesis. We had both decided before God that we would not enter into a relationship, on a dating basis, unless we were sure that God was in it, or had orchestrated it. For Liz this came about when she was in her mid teens, so she busied herself in work and church life waiting for God to bring someone of his choosing along. For me it was a little different. I was in the Royal Australian Navy and for a time was a typical sailor with a girl in every Port. My Christian life and convi…