The Recusant: Fr Paul Robinson is still at it…
Taken from The Recusant - Issue 55 [w/ slight adaptations]:

All reviews are from the website (all publicly visible, for example, here).
The Realist Guide…” - A Review of Reviews

[Image: rs=h:500,cg:true]

We wish to show just how subversive and divisive this book is, but we refuse on principle to purchase a copy, not wishing to reward the author, his press or his superiors. Arguably the next best thing, then, is take a look at what a cross-section of people, who have read the book have to say, both positive (five stars) and negative (one star). Perhaps it will prove revealing. 
[NB: The Editor of The Recusant's words in italics following each review.]

DACKNB (Five Star Review)
[Giving a chapter-by-chapter summary of the book]
“… Ch.7 ‘Protestant Biblicism’ – when Luther invented his Bible alone religion, he wanted to leave reason completely out of it. This led him to an idealism similar to that of the Muslims: a sacred text that is not to be interpreted, a God who acts without consistency or reasonableness, a world that cannot be investigated by the human mind.

Modern Protestant fundamentalists (and the one-star reviewers of The Realist Guide) are faithful to this worldview when they attack science using the Bible. Fr Robinson shows that they are wrong about geocentrism, about the earth being only 6000 years old, and about the Flood covering the entire earth, instead of part of it.” 

A favourable review giving damning evidence. So it’s not that the wicked evil Resistance are inventing lies or exaggerating or unfairly criticising poor Fr. Robinson. He actually does say those things. Oh, and regarding the last point (“...about the Flood covering the entire earth”) that would be Genesis that says that, not us. So you mean he “shows that Genesis is wrong”..? Also, they don’t attack “science” since evolution is not “science,” nor are billions of years.

Martin (One Star Review)
“Fr. Robinson's work merely adds to a flood of novel propositions by Catholic authors that have served more to confuse than clarify Scriptural Revelation. … The Church and her eminent scholars have inclined to the notion of a young earth of thousands of years in age, not millions of years. This is more in line with genuine scientific and historical observations relating to, for example, the oldest trees, coral reefs, civilisations and languages, not to mention a perfect fit with the global flood and sudden extinction of the dinosaurs.”

Well said. Or the earth’s declining magnetic field, or the salt content of the oceans, the shrinking of the sun or the moon moving gradually further away from the earth, or even the very existence of comets… and much more besides. Is Fr. Robinson ignorant of these things, one wonders, or does he choose to ignore them? The same goes for the fossilised jellyfish, the presence of sea shells on top of mountains, polystrate fossils… the list could go on.

Artmarkit (Five Star Review)
“I am trying to be a faithful Catholic and I am cautious about publications from SPPX backgrounds, but I think there is much to merit in this book. Fr Paul writes from a Catholic perspective… You don’t have to accept everything he says as science moves on at a rapid pace…”

No, indeed it’s probably advisable not to accept anything he says, for precisely that very reason, that “science moves on at a rapid pace” which is a polite way of saying that scientists are prone to contradicting each other and hence one can never be entirely certain of anything. We already pointed out elsewhere that the universe was supposedly 20 billion years old in the 1990s whereas now it is a mere 13-and-a-bit billion years old. And really, “Fr. Paul”..? 

E. Bermingham (One Star Review)
“...Fr. Robinson gives far too much credit to fallible human hypotheses in natural science in thinking that a young earth and a global Flood have been disproven, contrary to the Bible. His acceptance of uniformitarianism, which was specifically condemned by St. Peter (2 Peter 3:3-6), is disturbing, especially in light of the anathema of Vatican Council I ten years after Darwin’s publication of Origin of Species against anyone who would say that ‘the progress of the sciences’ demands that any dogma of the faith be understood in a different way. At the time that anathema was handed down, Blessed Pope Pius IX made the Roman Catechism the gold standard for teaching the dogmas of the Faith throughout the world, and the Roman Catechism clearly teaches the fiat creation of all things at the beginning of time, in direct opposition to theistic evolution or progressive creation over long
ages. Natural scientists will not be impressed by his adding Divine intervention into their atheistic concepts of evolution.

It is ironic that Fr. Robinson’s main authority, Fr. Stanley Jaki, believed that special creation required God to intervene in the natural order, when St. Thomas and all of the Fathers and Doctors held that God created all of the different kinds of creatures for man in the beginning and then stopped creating new kinds of creatures. Thus, it is progressive creation - which requires that God intervene periodically to create new kinds of creatures - which confuses the supernatural order of creation with the natural order of providence, not the true Catholic doctrine of creation which clearly distinguishes between the supernatural work of creation in the beginning and the natural order which began when the work of fiat creation was finished. What is most disturbing is Fr. Robinson’s dismissal of the global Flood with his only defense being one quotation from Vigouroux, since the Flood is so solidly established by the Holy Bible, by all of the Fathers, Doctors, and Saints, and by the very words of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.”

Spot on, well said. 

Johann Wolfgang Koch (Five Star Review)
“Fr. Robinson’s book is a travel guide to this adventurous country, an intellectual frontier, waiting for its spiritual settlement: The Realist Guide to Religion and Science. With a smiling wink of the eye, the title alludes to a cult novel of the science and technology community, Douglas N. Adams' satirical science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 1979.”

You can keep your “intellectual frontier” thank you very much - there was a time when the SSPX was supposed to be about, you know, Tradition. Not “intellectual frontiers”! Douglas Adams worked for the BBC and was, in his own words, a “radical atheist.” And yes, of course, Fr. Robinson didn’t write this review and isn’t answerable for it. But it is perhaps a little bit revealing about the type of person (or one of the types) who is a fan of his book.

Christian (One Star Review)
“… Even though Fr. Robinson claims to be promoting progressive creationism (p. 253), his  position corresponds to cosmic theistic evolution because he says that, once God created the initial matter and energy of the Big Bang, the non-intelligent secondary causes of the universe did not require God’s direct and special causality and intervention to develop into galaxies, stars and planets. Progressive creationism, on the other hand, teaches that the physical universe and all life forms were created by the direct and special causality of God rather than by natural processes of secondary causes by themselves.

Fr. Robinson’s explanation of cosmic evolution actually coincides with the Deist explanation of the creation and evolution of the universe, which compares God’s act of creation to that of a watchmaker who builds a watch, sets it in motion, and then no longer intervenes in its actions. […]

The natural religion of Deism is the foundation of Freemasonry’s idea of God as the ‘Great Architect’ of the Universe. The emblem of compass and square used in Freemasonry supposedly symbolizes the mathematic and scientific principles used by God to design the universe - as if referring to Wisdom 21:11, which says that God ‘hast ordered all things in measure, and number, and weight.’

Thus, Fr. Robinson’s explanation of cosmic evolution tends to coincide with the Deist / Freemasonic idea that God should be seen as the Great Architect of the Universe, Who simply sets everything in motion for cosmic evolution after the Big Bang - by the ‘finetuning of the universe necessary for stars, galaxies and planets to form.’

Fr. Robinson’s idea of cosmic evolution is not possible according to the very principles of causality. For God’s natural causality moves secondary causes according to their natural mode of operation. As St. Thomas Aquinas says: “Whatever is received, is received according to the mode of the receiver.” But the natural mode of operation of secondary causes of the universe (matter and energy, e.g., atoms, molecules, gases, gravity, etc.), is
non-intelligent, for by nature they are blind forces. Thus, the natural motion they receive from God does not move them towards intelligent de-sign and complex order. It’s true that they possess a certain degree of intrinsic design (e.g., atomic structure, ordered mode of operation, etc.), but scientific evidence shows that they are not naturally predetermined, pre -programmed or “fine-tuned” to act intelligently and develop into the com-plex and beautiful design we see in the universe.

Consequently, even though secondary causes of the universe can produce various effects with beauty and simple design (e.g., the formation of mountains, landscapes, oceans, lakes and rivers, waterfalls, the Grand Canyon, etc.), they cannot give themselves intelligent design, i.e., organize themselves and develop into the complex order and intelligent design of stars, galaxies and planets, without the direct and special intervention of God. This supernatural/special action of God is precisely His “six-day” work of creation and formation of all things in the universe, as revealed in Genesis and explained by St. Thomas Aquinas and the Fathers of the Church.

...With regard to Creation Science and a young universe, St. Thomas Aquinas gives the reason why God can create the universe in a highly developed condition without the need of long periods of time to form into stars, galaxies and planets. He says: “God produces being in act out of nothing, and can, therefore, produce a perfect thing in an instant, according to the greatness of His power” (Summa: I,66,1,2). This principle applies to all being, whether organic or inorganic. Thus, if God created the universe this way, then even though it would have the physical perfection and development of an “ancient” universe, it would actually be very young.

...Fr. Robinson states that natural selection can-not produce macro evolution, i.e., one life form evolving into another (p. 456). But in another place he says: ‘Once God has created, for instance, animals with all five senses, like dolphins, then secondary causes - such as dolphins, natural selection, humans, and even good and bad angels - can modify dolphins to make other animals that are new to some degree’ (p. 405); and he also says: ‘Once a biologist admits the existence of formal causes outside the mind, he can then propose a coherent naturalistic evolutionary process for one life form changing into another’ (p. 449). These statements are contradictory and ambiguous.”

Very well said. So we’re not the only ones who can see that something is very wrong...
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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RE: The Recusant: Fr Paul Robinson is still at it… - by Stone - 04-10-2021, 09:42 AM

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