Comment on Supreme Court Decision on Church Employment Case by Sean Pitman.
Yes, one can live a moral life according to the Royal Law of Love because God has written this moral law on the hearts of all mankind. Loving one’s neighbor at the cost of personal sacrifice is the very essence of God’s nature and therefore of the Law.
The Good Samaritan may not have known as much about doctrinal truth as the Jews, and leaders of the church of that day, who passed by without helping one of their own who was injured and in need, but it was evident that he was listening to and following the Royal Law that was written on his heart. Because of this, he was recognized by God as being more righteous than those who did have access to greater doctrinal knowledge or truths about God, but without any apparent effect on their actions of love toward their fellow man.
It is for this reason that knowledge, by itself, is not what makes a person good or bad. It is motive that really counts when it comes to morality and salvation. The only good that enhanced knowledge bring to the table is that knowledge has the power to bring hope to those who are suffering and dying in this world – to make their lives better here and now.
Such knowledge, if combined with love for one’s fellow man, will cause one to strive for more and more knowledge so as to more and more effectively minister to the needs of one’s fellow man…
Sean Pitman Also Commented
Yeah, that’s probably the argument that would have to be made – even though in reality evolutionism is no less a “religion” than is creationism.
From my perspective, of course, intelligent design and even young-life creationism are more empirically based and consistent with scientific methodologies than is Darwinian-style evolutionism…
Since all science is “faith-based” to one degree or another, a mix of both evidence and leaps of logic or faith into that which is not absolutely known or knowable, the only question that remains is what type of faith/evidence-based science should be taught at an Adventist school? You keep trying to draw a dividing line between science and faith when science itself is not independent of faith – of the need to make leaps of faith.
Given this understanding of the true nature of science and intelligent leaps of faith, why should popular secular ideas of origins that are directly opposed to SDA fundamentals be the only ideas taught in our schools as scientifically valid? Why shouldn’t we present scientific evidence that favors the SDA position in our own schools as well? – and why shouldn’t these ideas be presented by those who actually subscribe to the validity of the SDA position on origins as the most rationally tenable world view?
I discuss the evolution of the nylonase enzyme as well as other truly novel examples of evolution in action (which you might find interesting) at:
In short, it is much easier (exponentially easier) to accidently discover a new beneficial 3-letter word in sequence space via some random search algorithm than it is to discover a more functionally complex system, like a new beneficial 7-letter word, in sequence space. With each additional minimum size and/or specificity requirement of the novel system in question, the evolvability of any novel system at that level of functional complexity decreases exponentially…
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
Science and Methodological Naturalism
Very interesting passage. After all, if scientists are honest with themselves, scientific methodologies are well-able to detect the existence of intelligent design behind various artifacts found in nature. It’s just the personal philosophy of scientists that makes them put living things and the origin of the fine-tuned universe “out of bounds” when it comes to the detection of intelligent design. This conclusion simply isn’t dictated by science itself, but by a philosophical position, a type of religion actually, that strives to block the Divine Foot from getting into the door…
Why is it that creationists are afraid to acknowledge the validity of Darwinism in these settings? I don’t see that these threaten a belief in God in any way whatsoever.
The threat is when you see no limitations to natural mindless mechanisms – where you attribute everything to the creative power of nature instead of to the God of nature.
God has created natural laws that can do some pretty amazing things. However, these natural laws are not infinite in creative potential. Their abilities are finite while only God is truly infinite.
The detection of these limitations allows us to recognize the need for the input of higher-level intelligence and creative power that goes well beyond what nature alone can achieve. It is here that the Signature of God is detectable.
For those who only hold a naturalistic view of the universe, everything is attributed to the mindless laws of nature… so that the Signature of God is obscured. Nothing is left that tells them, “Only God or some God-like intelligent mind could have done this.”
That’s the problem when you do not recognize any specific limitations to the tools that God has created – when you do not recognize the limits of nature and what natural laws can achieve all by themselves.
Since the fall of Adam, Sean, all babies are born in sin and they are sinners. God created them. Even if it was by way of cooperation of natural law as human beings also participated in the creation process.
God did not create the broken condition of any human baby – neither the physical or moral brokenness of any human being. God is responsible for every good thing, to include the spark or breath of life within each one of us. However, He did not and does not create those things within us that are broken or bad.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?'” Matthew 13:27-28
Of course, all humans are indeed born broken and are in a natural state of rebellion against God. However, God is not the one who created this condition nor is God responsible for any baby being born with any kind of defect in character, personality, moral tendency, or physical or genetic abnormality. God did not create anyone with such brokenness. Such were the natural result of rebellion against God and heading the temptations of the “enemy”… the natural result of a separation from God with the inevitable decay in physical, mental, and moral strength.
Of course, the ones who are born broken are not responsible for their broken condition either. However, all of us are morally responsible for choosing to reject the gift of Divine Grace once it is appreciated… and for choosing to go against what we all have been given to know, internally, of moral truth. In other words, we are responsible for rebelling against the Royal Law written on the hearts of all mankind.
This is because God has maintained in us the power to be truly free moral agents in that we maintain the Power to choose, as a gift of God (Genesis 3:15). We can choose to accept or reject the call of the Royal Law, as the Holy Spirit speaks to all of our hearts…
Remember the statement by Mrs. White that God is in no wise responsible for sin in anyone at any time. God is working to fix our broken condition. He did not and does not create our broken condition. Just as He does not cause Babies to be born with painful and lethal genetic defects, such as those that result in childhood leukemia, He does not cause Babies to be born with defects of moral character either. God is only directly responsible for the good, never the evil, of this life.
Again, your all-or-nothing approach to the claims of scientists isn’t very scientific. Even the best and most famous of scientists has had numerous hair-brained ideas that were completely off base. This fact does not undermine the good discoveries and inventions that were produced.
Scientific credibility isn’t based on the person making the argument, but upon the merits of the argument itself – the ability of the hypothesis to gain predictive value when tested. That’s it.
Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Don’t be so obtuse here. We’re not talking about publishing just anything in mainstream journals. I’ve published several articles myself. We’re talking about publishing the conclusion that intelligent design was clearly involved with the origin of various artifactual features of living things on this planet. Try getting a paper that mentions such a conclusion published…