Comment on Common Arguments Against a 7-Day Creation Week by Jack Hoehn.
I’ve posted this reply at my article on Nature’s Clocks, on atoday.org:
Sean Pittman has devoted a great deal of attention to my articles, and his article is well worth reading for those interested in this topic, I strongly recommend it. He is one of the best of the clock deniers, and is very good at finding the problem here, the inconsistency there, and the “question” there, to challenge the whole world’s scientific consensus. He even found a photograph of me from somewhere to illustrate his article with!
He quotes scientists who point out that different radioactive clocks depend on one another FOR ABSOLUTE DATES, but not one denies that the clocks tick at a fixed and invariable rate of radioactive decay. So I hope I can assume that he agrees that although the absolute date of the rocks may be not certain, THE AGE OF THE ROCKS ARE IN BILLIONS of years, not thousands? So perhaps he believes in a Billions of years old earth and universe, upon which a 6 day recent creation 6,000 years ago happened? That would be a good start to having a discussion. But then does his Biblical Literalism insist that earth predated the Sun and Moon by 4 days?
I maintain that there are no serious scientific questions about the age of the earth in general terms, while the details are still subject to further revision and recalibration. But nothing in the past present or future can be imagined that will give us a 6,000 year old planet.
If we can all agree with an old earth, it is very hard not to agree with the shorter clocks that all agree on a much longer than, 6,000 year old life story. So I maintain again that there are no serious scientific issues for Adventists, only theological issues. And Dr. Pittman has suggested several times that I should leave his version of the church.
Sir I love God and Truth too much to walk away from this wonderful church, just because you don’t get it yet. It is not the science that is your problem, it is your 18th century theology that needs to be revisited.
Ellen White led me to Christ, and she has assured me she is fallible. We have enough proof to accept that as a fact. (See my tribute to our wonderful fallible prophetess, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.) So I accept her teaching that church councils have often erred in the past, like our recent one did in the present. I understand but don’t accept her account of how volcano’s form or the age of the earth. She was born before germs were discovered, and thought malaria came from bad air and that Orion was a few miles across. Not her fault, mine if I don’t contextualize her ministry, and reinterpret her messages to fit more up to date information suitable for faith in the 21st century. To let Ellen White keep our church in the 18th century is simply idolatry.
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Jack Hoehn Also Commented
Common Arguments Against a 7-Day Creation Week
Dear Brothers and Sisters. You wrap yourselves in a cloak of “the Bible says” and you are sure you know “what Jesus thought” about the age of the earth. I have looked long and find no dates in my Bible on creation, only assumptions and suppositions–interpretations. I find no statements by Jesus on the age of the Universe, only a promise that he had many things to tell us, but that his disciples couldn’t bear it at that time. It took his church about 70 years to accept that the Jewish Christian wasn’t superior to the Gentile, about 1700 years to accept that there should be no slave or free, and we are still struggling with the idea that in Christ there is no male or female. Your basic principle is that the Bible is always right, and must interpret science, but the weak underbelly of that position is what you are really saying is, “My interpretation, and the interpretation of my fathers in faith must be correct.” The alternative is to accept that all Bible believers must understand that in all things we only see through a glass darkly, we know in part, only. That the Bible is the introduction to truth, not a limit on truth, and as the Bible can help us understand what we learn by science, also science should help us understand how to interpret the Bible. I have had to cling to Ellen White’s statement that things we have always believed will not suffer from careful investigation, and her prophecy that we will have many things to unlearn as well as many things to learn, if we are to know the mind of Christ for us in this present age. If Adventism fossilizes it will become a relic. If you wish the Bible said, God so loved the Adventists that He gave his only begotten Son….then keep on holding dear your present understandings and close your mind to any challenge to previously held beliefs. But if you believe God so love the world, then some of you who are still flexible enough and in love with Jesus enough to give up your cherished opinions in the face of rather clear evidence, ask the Holy Spirit His opinion on this, not mine, Sean’s, or Ellen White’s. And let me be clear I don’t think it important that you change your opinion on the age of the earth. I think it only important that you don’t elevate your opinion or belief to status of a doctrine. That you refuse fellowship and blessings on fellow believers in the Advent Message and mission in this world, who feel that progressive creation and intelligent design are paths that bring us back to a place where we can become again useful in the conversations and issues of our age, instead of marginalized outsiders purifying our little lives while the world goes to hell in a handbasket without a Jesus they could believe in, untarnished by scientific feudalism and unsupportable chronologies. It is not your belief in a young life creationism that is the problem, it is your insistence that it is the only valid belief and exclude the considerable other interpretations of Scripture and understanding of science.