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From the Pastor

From the Pastor

The 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square is a fascinating example of messing with history. History is written (or re-written) by the victors. Perhaps the biggest re-writing of history is the story of Galileo. Apparently he and Copernicus concluded, through the natural sciences, that the earth was round and not at the centre of the universe. Whereas the Pope and church loathed science, and believed in a flat earth. Once we threw off religion science could flourish.

Google ‘spherical earth’. The Greeks theorised that the earth was round 400 years before Jesus. This theory was not lost but became one of two competing theories. Christian history is filled with leaders and thinkers who believed the world was round, including Ambrose and Augustine (4th C), John Scotus (9th C) and Aquinas (14th C).

In art and literature Dante’s Inferno and Divine Comedy (from the 14th C) both have a spherical earth. One historian notes that no author who had studied at a medieval university (which were usually born in Monasteries) thought that the Earth was flat. Another says that, since the 8th Century, “no cosmographer worthy of note has called into question the sphericity of the Earth.” The oldest round globe we have is from 1493, and Galileo wasn’t born until 1564!

Did the two Pope’s of Galileo’s era believe in a flat earth? Yes, but they would have known of both theories. One even asked Galileo to make a balanced case for both, instead Galileo publically called the Pope ‘Simplicio’.

The science versus religion narrative is a revision of history peddled by secular ‘enlightenment’ thinkers, in the 18th Century, to make the religious Middle Ages look dark. Believing that religion is inherently anti-science is like believing Tiananmen Square never happened.

David Rietveld

Senior Pastor