IO 77: One-ism and Two-ism Goes To Oxford
In March, One-ism and Two-ism made its way to Oxford in my suitcase. After the chaos of London traffic, I breathed in the beauty of Oxford in the Spring: Medieval and Elizabethan colleges, surrounded by twenty-foot-high walls; soaring chapels; stunning wood-paneled dining halls; perfectly mown grass quadrangles that produce a sense of scholarly solidity and peace; and, on High Street, high-fashion boutiques designed with exquisite modern taste.
A great place to do a conference.
The Wilberforce Academy had invited me to give three hours of lectures to eighty or so Christian graduate students. We met where J.R.R. Tolkien had been educated—Exeter College, founded in 1314 by Walter de Stapeldon, Bishop of Exeter. The program was co-sponsored by two UK groups (Christian Concern and Christian Legal Centre), along with the US Blackstone Fellowship, where I have taught for a number of years. I was delighted to hear of the UK groups’ fearless witness in Parliament, in the law courts, and on BBC radio and television, about issues such as abortion, stem cell research, fostering, sexual orientation and end-of-life questions.
These Christian groups have an amazing reach. The first lecturer was the Rt. Hon. Professor, The Baronness Cox, of Queensberry, a dynamic Christian lady who was Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords in the British Parliament for ten years. Another speaker, James Dingemans, a “Queen’s Counsel” arrived directly from The Hague, where he had been pleading a case in the World Court. Josephine Quintavalle, a leading expert on stem-cell research and fetal development, exhorted us to keep up with the science and politics of this burning issue.
To my delight, speaking at the conference were two people I had read about in my preparation for the conference:
Eunice Johns, with her husband Owen, has been fostering children for twenty-five years, but the couple was recently denied the right to foster any more children by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), since “Children in such families risk being ‘infected’ by Christian moral beliefs.” (But will the royal wedding be infected by being celebrated at Westminster Abbey?).
Leslie Pilkington is a psychologist who was asked by a homosexual for counseling to help him leave his life style. Secretly, the counselee taped the interviews, and then denounced Leslie to her professional society, which withdrew her professional accreditation. These wonderful Christian ladies refuse to be silenced by the “brave new world” of commissions and professional societies.
The attendees eagerly absorbed the usefulness of One-ism and Two-ism in strengthening the worldview foundation for their courageous witness. I described the coherence of the One-ist worldview and how Romans 1: 25, written two thousand years ago, shows so clearly that one either worships the Creator or creation itself. This group, like others, understood and appropriated the terms easily. Whether as “unismo y dossismo” in Latin America, as “une-isme et deux-isme” in Mauritius or as “One-ism and Two-ism” in English-speaking countries, this simple expression describes the underlying conflict of all ages—a conflict that predates by far the elegant buildings of Exeter College.
While at Oxford, I supped in The Eagle and Child where C. S. Lewis, Tolkien and others used to sit and debate theological issues. Tolkien knew the stark contrast between the forces of good and evil, as is evidenced in his books. Tolkien’s friend Lewis said that there were ultimately only two religious systems–Hinduism or Christianity. Some may consider “One-ism and Two-ism” to be simplistic, but they are only terms that reflect the same stark choice the apostle Paul describes: worship of the Creator or of the creation.
I praise God that in this time of spiritual confusion, the simple message of truthXchange is helping Christians to discriminate between the truth and the lie. God has offered us a sunny path from the chaotic, dissatisfying land of One-ism into the sunny, quiet courts of heaven (more impressive by far than those of Exeter College). “Happy are all who take refuge in him.”
Thank you so much for your prayers and interest in our ministry. We so need your encouragement and support and we are thinking and praying hard, to know how God wants truthXchange to be of service to you as you stand courageously for the truth of God the Creator and Redeemer. There is plenty of new material going up on our new website, and I recently posted the paper I recently gave at the Evangelical Theological Society meeting, entitled Confronting Neo-paganism in the Culture and the Church, along with two respondents. Join the discussion on our blog!