As he sat at his desk, tapping away at his typewriter, no one, least of all himself, would have given him much attention. Salman Rushdie was practically unknown to the majority of the population. He was engaged in what he does best, writing books. This British -Indian author submits his finished manuscript to the publishers and by September 1988, his latest work, Satanic Verses was released. Soon afterward, this Muslim writer needed police protection for writing a book about the Prophet Muhammad which stirred rage within the Muslim world which spread right across the globe like petrol-fueled wildfire!
Then on the 14th of February 1989, dire threats came from the office occupied by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the then Supreme Leader of Iran. He issued the fatwa, an opinion that Rushdie must be put to death, and Muslims everywhere bayed for his blood as a result.
As Islam as a whole was baying for the blood of one man who wrote and published a book against the Koran, what a massive contrast when those mainly in the academic community began to dismantle the veracity of the Bible, particularly with the early chapters of Genesis. Hardly a stir or whimper of protest in the churches and British society as a whole, as great men of learning such as Jean Baptiste Lamarck, Charles Lyell and Charles Darwin, along with Georges Cuvier, William Buckland, John Fleming and John Pye Smith, all living within the late 18th Century into the 19th, either played down the full effect of the global Deluge or denied it altogether. Although British society then asserted itself as Christian, with a high percentage attending church on a regular basis, yet because these men were academics, their reasoning were accepted with hardly any challenges from the churches or from the Christian public. Rather, both began to accept these theories as truth, a gradual progression rather than a sudden upheaval like the one Salman Rushdie caused within Islam.
For a quick and simplified rundown on which role these guys named above played in shaping our way of thinking: Cuvier, Buckland, Fleming and Pye Smith all denied the truthfulness of the Noachian Deluge and its impact to the Earth's topography and the formation of fossils, a belief held by Jesus Christ, his Apostles and the Churches for up to 1,800 years. Cuvier and Buckland instead believed that it took a series of multiple floods to create the geological and meteorological phenomena that we see today. In turn, Fleming, a Scottish minister, taught that the Flood was so tranquil that it had no impact whatsoever in shaping the Earth's surface - even the trees were left intact. Fleming's theory could not stand up to the laws of physics, and was quickly abandoned, to be replaced by John Pye Smith's Local Flood Theory, that is the Biblical Flood being confined to within the Mesopotamian Basin, leaving the rest of the planet unaffected. This idea is still accepted in some Christian circles to this day.
In turn, English geologist Charles Lyell studied the fossiliferous rock strata and came up with a theory that these layers were formed by sediments carried by the flows in shallow seas, rivers and lakes, and were the result of gentle settling over millions of years. This theory became known as Uniformitarianism, and became the bedrock for Charles Darwin's theory of Evolution by Natural Selection (in opposed to Lamarck's theory of Evolution by Mutation, which preceded Darwin's.) It was to Lyell who Darwin gave much credit to in his book, The Origin of Species.
As the decades came and went, belief in the Biblical record of Divine Creation and the Deluge eroded, from the universities to the public, with Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection taking over as factual knowledge.
David Attenborough, the BBC's most famed and enduring reporter on Natural History, advocated Evolution above Creation for the last fifty years or so.
Then as if a sudden, Oxford professor Richard Dawkins exploded on to the scene with his book, The God Delusion, published in 2006. Alongside Dawkins, Sam Harris released his book on to the shelves, Letter To A Christian Nation, and Christopher Hitchens wrote, God Is Not Great.
What amazed me was that these three books were released pretty much at the same time. These books not only brought Genesis to the level of myth, but the whole Bible. The beat was on. Anti-Bible propaganda was in full swing. Dawkins even had blazing on buses plying the city streets, There is probably no God. Enjoy yourself.
Yet the pace accelerates.
Leading up to Easter 2011, two BBC2 documentaries were shown at the same time. One was Wonders of the Universe, presented by the lovable professor, Brian Cox. Although he talked much about the Big Bang which started off the existence of the Universe, there was absolutely no suggestion of Divine Creation mentioned at all in all four series episodes.
The other programme was Bible's Buried Secrets, presented by Dr. Francesca Stavrakopoulou, a lecturer at the Department of Theology and Religion at Exeter University. She graduated at Oxford where she studied Theology and also collected her Doctorate. Her speciality was the Hebrew Bible, and in her programmes she totally discredits the veracity of the entire Bible by means of comparing its record with some pottery and figurines found at various archaeological sites in the Middle East, and using carbon dating to test the age of the objects found, uses the age discrepancy as proof for the Bible's unreliability.
Then, just two weeks previous to this blog, the Daily Mail reporter Robert Hardman, refers to all Creationists as "crackpot Bible-bashers who stick doggedly to their beliefs of a worldwide flood and Noah's ark"
And now, the Daily Mail publishes another article, this time by Professor Bart D. Ehrman, who insist that Paul the Apostle did not write the first letter to Timothy nor the letter to the Ephesians. Neither did Peter write his second letter bearing his name. This guy also wrote three books, each discrediting the truthfulness of the New Testament: Misquoting Jesus; Jesus Interrupted and Why The Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are.
And so these two newspaper writers publish their work at the same time as the BBC broadcast the works of Cox and Stavrakopoulou all within the same month as we draw closer to Easter.
Why are the academics, those who have the highest intelligence and education, seem to be desperate to get us to stop believing in the Bible and its truthfulness?
Yes, I agree that Brian Cox does not discredit the Bible directly, as the others do, but his total lack of acknowledgement nevertheless hints at it.
But what is it about the Bible which academics despise? And why don't they discredit the Islam Koran? Or the Hindu Vedas, or for that matter, the works of ancient Greek authors such as Hippocrates, Plato or Aristotle?
Could it be that the Bible holds the key to the redemption of our souls, the forgiveness of sins, our salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus?
Or could it be what Peter says in his second letter, its authenticity denied by Professor Bart Ehrman:-
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of the creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters the world at that time was deluged and destroyed.
Sure, spot on, Peter...