Sunday, October 19, 2014

#1184: Thomas M. Strouse

Far out on the fringes of the fringe you will encounter people like Thomas Strouse, member of the Dean Burgon Society and the dean at the Emmanuel-Newington Theological Seminary in Connecticut. Strouse is one of today’s leading … geocentrist. What is his evidence? Well, nothing, really, but a proper reading of the KJV chapters of Genesis suggests geocentrism. And if his favored reading of the Bible suggests this, then everyone else’s reading of the book of nature must be wrong. A priori. (A paper is here - and yes, it contains exclusively Bible interpretation – no discussion of data.) His book He Maketh His Sun to Rise: A Look at Biblical Geocentricity, deals with “geocentric verses in Scripture and exposes the fallacious arguments for heliocentrism and the unbiblical presuppositions that geocentricity's creationist critics labor under;” non-creationists aren’t even on the radar. (He also calls himself “Dr. Strouse”, but his “Ph.D.” is in theology from Bob Jones University, which gives him somewhat less credibility than if he had bought the degree online – for online degrees there are no standards and everything goes; Bob Jones is famous for correcting everything that might otherwise be correct among their students’ beliefs to ensure that the candidate is sufficiently delusional and fanatic – they have anti-standards).

What is really scary is that these self-professed fundamentalists, like Strouse, are organized and plentiful. And yes, they have their own conferences, journals and institutions – which are usually a closed book to those of us who care more about the real world. Geocentrism may be a fringe position, but it is considered a legitimate alternative in these environments. Evolution is, of course, not even under discussion (as you can see e.g. in Bob McCabe’s critique of Strouse here). At least – and as opposed to many ordinary creationists – they explicitly reject all of science and often proudly admit to not having any other evidence than Scripture to back up their positions. Take, as a random example, the Way of Life group here, and the literature they promote (e.g. David Cloud’s comments on “rock music” – or Jeff Royal’s discussion of whether country music is a “safe alternative” –  or his article “The Creation Museum: Many Infallible Proofs” – “The Creation Museum is the center for serious education,” according to Royal).

Diagnosis: Truly, profoundly scary. This fuming, unhinged fanatic has quite a substantial flock behind him, and he is surely not up to using it for the world’s benefit.

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