The Rise of Theistic Evolutionism – The Salvation of Christianity?

By Dr. Arthur Chadwick and Sean Pitman

It used to be that the debate between religion and science was primarily over naturalistic evolutionism vs. Biblical creationism. No longer. Theistic evolutionism, once in the backseat in these discussions, has come to the forefront in no small part because of the efforts of Francis Collins. Collins was the director of the Human Genome Project, and is currently serving as the director of the National Institutes of Health, so he is no lightweight in science. Also, Collins claims to be an evangelical Christian. When a person of his caliber speaks on the relationship between science and faith, people sit up and listen.  And, in his 2006 best selling book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, Collins argues that anatomically modern humans emerged from primate ancestors perhaps 100,000 years ago—long before the Genesis time frame—and originated with a population that numbered “something like 10,000, not two individuals.”

In response to the theistic evolutionism of Collins and other prominent Christian scientists coming to the forefront, Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said:

“The moment you say ‘We have to abandon this theology in order to have the respect of the world,’ you end up with neither biblical orthodoxy nor the respect of the world.”1

So, why are conservative evangelical Christians like Mohler and others like him so upset by the challenge of theistic evolutionism? Perhaps it is because Dr. Mohler knows more than the average person about the relationship between science and faith?  Of course, Mohler isn’t the only one who sees efforts to mix any form of modern evolutionism with Christianity as misguided at best.  Consider, for example, the view of Richard Dawkins regarding this effort.  In his fairly recent book, The God Delusion, Dawkins suggests that the whole Gospel story of Jesus and the reason for his life and death fall apart if the Genesis account of Adam and Eve is not literally true:

“Oh, but of course, the story of Adam and Eve was only ever symbolic, wasn’t it? Symbolic? So, in order to impress himself, Jesus had himself tortured and executed, in vicarious punishment for a symbolic sin committed by a non-existent individual? As I said, barking mad, as well as viciously unpleasant.”2

For such reasons Dawkins pulls no punches when dealing with Christians who want to also hold to modern evolutionism:

“I think the evangelical Christians have really sort of got it right in a way, in seeing evolution as the enemy. Whereas the more, what shall we say, sophisticated theologians are quite happy to live with evolution, I think they’re deluded. I think the evangelicals have got it right, in that there really is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity … ”3

It seems that, given his starting premise, Dawkins makes very good sense here.  The effort to mix modern evolutionism with Christianity will end up destroying the very basis of Christianity.  It really does make Jesus appear to be the lunatic Dawkins makes him out to be.  The Gospel hope of Christianity, with regard to the futuristic claims of Jesus and the meaning of his life and death, simply don’t hold together in a rational way if the literal nature of the Genesis narrative is undermined.

1. Haggerty, B.B., Evangelicals question the existence of Adam and Eve,

………. NPR, 9 August 2011.

2. Dawkins, R., The God Delusion, p. 253, emphasis in original, 2006.

3. Howard Condor interviewing Richard Dawkins on Revelation TV, Feb 2011;

……… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfe4IUB9NTk.

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99 thoughts on “The Rise of Theistic Evolutionism – The Salvation of Christianity?

  1. Happy Sabbath everyone. I appreciate the work of the builders of this forum.

    Today, someone pointed me toward some quite profound guidance in the topic of the forum. I don’t know what the limitations are on size but will attempt to paste a portion of the text here. For anyone who wants to read it, it is written by EGW – with whom God entrusted with a great deal of his messages for this church. It is found in the “Testamonies” Vol 6, starting around page 141 and forward. Her words are plain and clear. Our institutions may reject them at their peril, but the meanings are clear and unmistakable.

    – BEGIN PASTE –

    We need now to begin over again. Reforms must be entered into with heart and soul and will. Errors may be hoary with age; but age does not make error truth, nor truth error. Altogether too long have the old customs and habits been followed. The Lord would now have every idea that is false put away from teachers and students. We are not at liberty to teach that which shall meet the world’s standard or the standard of the church, simply because it is the custom to do so. The lessons which Christ taught are to be the standard. That which the Lord has spoken concerning the instruction to be given in our schools is to be strictly regarded; for if there is not in some respects an education of an altogether different character from that which has been carried on in some of our schools, we need not have gone to the expense of purchasing lands and erecting school buildings. {6T 142.1}
    Testimonies for the Church Volume 6, p. 142.2 (EGW)
    Some will urge that if religious teaching is to be made prominent our schools will become unpopular; that those who are not of our faith will not patronize them. Very well; then let them go to other schools, where they will find a system of education that suits their taste. It is Satan’s 143purpose by these considerations to prevent the attainment of the object for which our schools were established. Hindered by his devices, the managers reason after the manner of the world and copy its plans and imitate its customs. Many have so far shown their lack of wisdom from above as to join with the enemies of God and the truth in providing worldly entertainments for the students. In doing this they bring upon themselves the frown of God, for they mislead the youth and do a work for Satan. This work, with all its results, they must meet at the bar of God. {6T 142.2}
    Testimonies for the Church Volume 6, p. 143.1 (EGW)
    Those who pursue such a course show that they cannot be trusted. After the evil has been done, they may confess their error; but can they undo the influence they have exerted? Will the “well done” be spoken to those who have been false to their trust? These unfaithful workmen have not built upon the eternal Rock, and their foundation will prove to be sliding sand. When the Lord requires us to be distinct and peculiar, how can we crave popularity or seek to imitate the customs and practices of the world? “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4. {6T 143.1}
    Testimonies for the Church Volume 6, p. 143.2 (EGW)
    To lower the standard in order to secure popularity and an increase of numbers, and then to make this increase a cause of rejoicing, shows great blindness. If numbers were an evidence of success, Satan might claim the pre-eminence; for in this world his followers are largely in the majority. It is the degree of moral power pervading a school that is a test of its prosperity. It is the virtue, intelligence, and piety of the people composing our schools, not their numbers, that should be a source of joy and thankfulness. Then shall our schools become converted to the world and follow its customs and fashions? “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye 144… be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1, 2. {6T 143.2}
    Testimonies for the Church Volume 6, p. 144.1 (EGW)
    Men will employ every means to make less prominent the difference between Seventh-day Adventists and observers of the first day of the week. A company was presented before me under the name of Seventh-day Adventists, who were advising that the banner, or sign, which makes us a distinct people should not be held out so strikingly; for they claimed that this was not the best policy in order to secure success to our institutions. But this is not a time to haul down our colors, to be ashamed of our faith. This distinctive banner, described in the words, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus,” is to be borne through the world to the close of probation. While efforts should be increased to advance in different localities, there must be no cloaking of our faith to secure patronage. Truth must come to souls ready to perish; and if it is in any way hidden, God is dishonored, and the blood of souls will be upon our garments. {6T 144.1}
    Testimonies for the Church Volume 6, p. 144.2 (EGW)
    Just as long as those in connection with our institutions walk humbly with God, heavenly intelligences will co-operate with them; but let all bear in mind the fact that God has said: “Them that honor Me I will honor.” 1 Samuel 2:30. Never for one moment should the impression be given to anyone that it would be for his profit to hide his faith and doctrines from the unbelieving people of the world, fearing that he may not be so highly esteemed if his principles are known. Christ requires from all His followers open, manly confession of faith. Each must take his position and be what God designed he should be, a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. The whole 145universe is looking with inexpressible interest to see the closing work of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. Every Christian is to be a light, not hid under a bushel or under a bed, but put on a candlestick, that light may be given to all who are in the house. Never, from cowardice or worldly policy, let the truth of God be placed in the background. {6T 144.2}
    Testimonies for the Church Volume 6, p. 145.1 (EGW)
    Though in many respects our institutions of learning have swung into worldly conformity, though step by step they have advanced toward the world, they are prisoners of hope. Fate has not so woven its meshes about their workings that they need to remain helpless and in uncertainty. If they will listen to His voice and follow in His ways, God will correct and enlighten them, and bring them back to their upright position of distinction from the world. When the advantage of working upon Christian principles is discerned, when self is hid in Christ, much greater progress will be made; for each worker will feel his own human weakness; he will supplicate for the wisdom and grace of God, and will receive the divine help that is pledged for every emergency. {6T 145.1}
    Testimonies for the Church Volume 6, p. 145.2 (EGW)
    Opposing circumstances should create a firm determination to overcome them. One barrier broken down will give greater ability and courage to go forward. Press in the right direction, and make a change, solidly, intelligently. Then circumstances will be your helpers and not your hindrances. Make a beginning. The oak is in the acorn. {6T 145.2}




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  2. From the article:

    The effort to mix modern evolutionism with Christianity will end up destroying the very basis of Christianity.

    And yet millions of Christians who accept theistic evolution (erroneously, in my opinion) continue to vibrantly witness for the Lord, our Savior. Unlike Seventh-day Adventist purists, Jesus has yet to denounce them and exclude them from his flock. He continues to pour out his blessings on them, and warmly bids, “come unto me.” And the millions continue to worship Him, adore Him, and praise His holy name.




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  3. Professor Kent: And yet millions of Christians who accept theistic evolution (erroneously, in my opinion) continue to vibrantly witness for the Lord, our Savior.

    Not in regard to creation, but I have no doubt God can use them to witness on points of truth they do have.




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  4. Many have not thought out the implications of theistic evolution, but it boils down to this: if God could not create you by the method recorded in the Bible, in a few minutes, then there is no hope of resurrection because it takes more power to recreate and resurrect than it takes to create originally as God did in Genesis. That being the case, then why do those who claim to believe in theistic evolution continue to claim that they believe in God and claim to have hope in God for a future life? It is contradictory. They have no logical basis for believing it at all and should give up on Christianity altogether because their God is too small. He obviously has very little power.

    I do not know how to explain some of the scientific evidence which certainly does seem to support evolution, but that does not mean that no explanation that supports the Bible as creationists interpret it does not exist. We just do not yet know of it. I do think that when God explains some of these strange puzzles to us, the light will go on in our minds about how blind the scientists were, even if done in ignorance. I seem to recall that there is a verse in the Bible where God says that he’ll make the wisdom of the wise into foolishness, or something to that effect. I know that God is no liar. What he said he did, you can be sure he did it just as he said. If not, then he is a liar and not to be trusted.




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  5. Nothing is more deceptive than to assume since God is still blessing us, we must be doing OK.

    The early church changed the Sabbath to Sunday and God still blessed the early church. It took years for the apostacy to come to a head in the reformation.

    God’s blessing is not the sole nor final way of determing truth nor what we should do about error.

    Bill Sorensen




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  6. I think contemplation of the concept of LOVE of the truth might be appropriate here. Someone who goes about proclaiming God’s word to the best of their understanding, tho flawed, is a whole different piece than someone who avoids or ignores the truth. And if someone just beginning to learn Bible truths is accepted as the Lord’s servant, it does not mean that we should set to one side all that we know.

    If someone is teaching bsic computation in primary school but has no knowledge of algebra, should a high school math teacher present no more than that? Would you consider him a good math teacher? No. It is his job to add to the basic skills learned in the first years.




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  7. My first inclination on the topic of theistic evolution is that it is a waste of time!

    Our real enemy, and I agree with Dawkins, is evolution, period. Evolution is Satan’s simplistic counter to creation.

    Theistic evolution is Satan’s Fifth Column within the Church of God to confuse the church and to retard the onward proclamation of the Gospel of salvation from sin and rebellion inherited from Adam and Eve in their original sin.

    Our battle is with evolution. Theistic evolution is a misnomer and a no no! Briefly again (for others have made this point ad infinitum), to accept theistic evolution we would have the following: 1) Would be to disregard, disbelieve, Genesis (and all other passages in the Scriptures that speak of creation by God or Jesus)as literal; 2) to reject the redemptive response of God through Jesus to man’s sin and rebellion; 3) would be to make biblical Christianity just a club for deluded devotees, no different from all other non-Christian religious organizations; 4) to disparage the second coming of Christ to redeem his people who have turned from their sins and accepted his offer of forgiveness, pardon, and salvation; 5) to make the Scriptures a book of purely man’s speculations on God, man’s origins, and the purposes of God for sinful planet earth.

    Theistic evolution’s attack on the biblical Christianity has the same goal as evolution: to undermine the literal interpretation of the Word of God and thus to undermine the truths of the Bible regarding man’s origin, Fall, redemption, and restoration.

    And as such it is just as sinister and destruction of the biblical Christian’s belief and experience with the Creator. In my way of thinking, not just as a Pastor, but as a biblical Christian, theistic evolution is an ‘inside job’ or attack on the church to cause mayhem, discouragement, and unbelief! And this is a strategy of the devil. Let’s not fall for it, folks. God bless.




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  8. Wendell: Many have not thought out the implications of theistic evolution, but it boils down to this: if God could not create you by the method recorded in the Bible, in a few minutes, then there is no hope of resurrection because it takes more power to recreate and resurrect than it takes to create originally as God did in Genesis. That being the case, then why do those who claim to believe in theistic evolution continue to claim that they believe in God and claim to have hope in God for a future life? It is contradictory. They have no logical basis for believing it at all and should give up on Christianity altogether because their God is too small. He obviously has very little power

    This is so powerful, it is too bad it is tucked down in the comments. Wendell, I have cut and pasted this to my profile on fb.




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  9. DeeDee,

    This thought came to me a few years ago when I was thinking about this issue. I have some interest in this because I have a degree in biology from Union College and remain a creationist within the SDA Church. I do not know how to answer all the problems posed by the scientific data that is available out there, but I do know that God has proven that his word is good and he does not lie, so I can trust the creation story even if I cannot explain the scientific evidence at present.

    Ultimately, however, it does boil down to what I said. Either God told the truth of what happened at creation, or else he is too small and has not the power to do what he said he did. And if he had not that power to do it the way he said he did in the beginning, then there really is no point to being a Christian because there is no hope of a resurrection at all. Such a person believing in theistic evolution should leave the church and go out into the world and enjoy the life that it offers because they are not helping the church by remaining and they are not helping themselves either. Yet I see them remaining within the church, determined to change the church to believing the way they believe. They are unwittingly doing Satan’s work by so doing.

    They say that they see the scientific evidence for what it is and imply that the rest of us are burying our heads in the sand. I have seen them quote Galileo in defense of what they say, because the Catholic Church then taught one thing about the universe, at least in part based on Greek philosophy, and on the other hand, Galileo directly saw what was going on in the universe through his telescope. But our church does not teach creationism based on Greek philosophy, but rather upon the word of God. Did God tell us the truth, or did he lie? If he lied, then there is no point to being Christians. If he told the truth, then we have a choice. Believe him and live forever, or not believe him and die in the end. It is that simple.

    There is a huge difference between direct, observable evidence and indirect, circumstantial evidence. Galileo had directly observable evidence in the sky. Macroevolution (complete change from say slime to a chimp) is something that is based on circumstantial evidence, not directly observable evidence. Nobody on earth was around to see creation and likewise nobody was around for millions of years or even billions of years to observe evolution so that we have an eyewitness account of what happened. But in the case of creationsim, we can take the word of God, which has proved true and is the word of an eyewitness to creation, or we can take the weight of indirect, circumstantial evidence, which sometimes proves not true because we don’t fully understand things as much as we think we do. I would rather take the word of an observer. God was here just as he said he was and he has not lied to us about what he did here.

    It bothers me that SDAs are falling for theistic evolution, but I can understand because I have a background in science. Yet it is something that must be resisted. It bothers me also because I know that we are within just a few years of the coming of Jesus and those who are caught up in believing this way within our church will leave it when the going gets tough, and that indeed will happen before the end actually comes. Such people will find that their beliefs are based on too small a God, one who cannot meet their needs, one who has little power in their lives, and they will leave and lose out on eternal life in the end. We are plainly told that strong faith is needed to get through to the end, and such will not have it when they need it because they have ignored the foundation of our whole faith and belittled the power of God.

    I have been told by others that this insight that I gained one day, which I firmly believe that God gave to me, is extremely powerful. It cuts right to the heart of the whole issue and puts it in a proper light. I am glad if it helps someone make the right choice.

    And thanks for your comments. I appreciate it.




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  10. Bill Sorensen: Nothing is more deceptive than to assume since God is still blessing us, we must be doing OK.The early church changed the Sabbath to Sunday and God still blessed the early church. It took years for the apostacy to come to a head in the reformation.God’s blessing is not the sole nor final way of determing truth nor what we should do about error.Bill Sorensen

    You are quite correct, Bill. The fact that the Catholic Church has more members than the SDA Church in no way proves that Catholicism is correct, because more people believe it, and Adventism is wrong, because we don’t have as many believers.

    The Magachurch idea is another example. Because Pastor So-and-So has thousands of members in his church says nothing about whether he is preaching biblically correct messages.

    All must be judged according to God’s Word.




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  11. Wendell: Many have not thought out the implications of theistic evolution, but it boils down to this: if God could not create you by the method recorded in the Bible, in a few minutes, then there is no hope of resurrection because it takes more power to recreate and resurrect than it takes to create originally as God did in Genesis. That being the case, then why do those who claim to believe in theistic evolution continue to claim that they believe in God and claim to have hope in God for a future life? It is contradictory. They have no logical basis for believing it at all and should give up on Christianity altogether because their God is too small. He obviously has very little power.I do not know how to explain some of the scientific evidence which certainly does seem to support evolution, but that does not mean that no explanation that supports the Bible as creationists interpret it does not exist. We just do not yet know of it. I do think that when God explains some of these strange puzzles to us, the light will go on in our minds about how blind the scientists were, even if done in ignorance. I seem to recall that there is a verse in the Bible where God says that he’ll make the wisdom of the wise into foolishness, or something to that effect. I know that God is no liar. What he said he did, you can be sure he did it just as he said. If not, then he is a liar and not to be trusted.

    Great post, Wendell, Do theistic evolutionists believe our change, at Christ’s Second Coming, will take millions of years? It seems to be a logical conclusion, since our creation took that long.




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  12. Holly Pham,

    Among the SDA theistic evolutionists I have communicated with, I have not heard them address this issue, but it seems to me that IF they do believe that the change at Christ’s Second coming is instantaneous, then their belief is contradictory to their beliefs that God created us by guided evolution. After all, if he was unable to create us as he said he did, then how could he have the power to change us at the Second Coming? But you conjecture is correct that they might believe that it could take milions of years. If that is what they believe, then how could they guarantee that they will be the end product of that process? I do not believe that they could do so.

    To me it is absurd to think that God created us by a process of guided evolution. They say it is true because the scientific evidence is there to support it. So? That scientific evidence is circumstantial evidence, which can always be manipulated and IS manipulated by many scientists in order to produce the results they want (that is not true of all evolutionists, but I know for a fact that it does happen). But if God did not create us as he said, then he is a liar. That being the case, why bother being a Christian? What if he is lying about eternal life? What if he is lying about the wonderful life we have ahead if we are faithful to him? What if he is lying about hell? What if he is lying about Jesus and his resurrection? Hey, how do we know that he isn’t just using us for his own purposes because of some local galactic dispute (as opposed to a universal controversy)? If he really is not powerful enough to do what he said, then perhaps he is just some local galactic warlord!

    You can see that their beliefs can open up a huge unanswerable area that will ultimately lead to distrust of God. Oh, maybe not for the person promoting such ideas, but many others who hear them will have these questions raised in their minds, and it will ultimately direct them away from God and eternal life. Those who support this theory are on good scientific grounds according to current data, but they are not on the side of truth in spite of their claims to the contrary. We have an eyewitness to what happened – God. They have no eyewitness, but do have circumstantial evidence that I admit is difficult to explain away. But that does not mean they have the ultimate truth. Our eyewitness is not like in a courtroom where witnesses are questioned and you discover a dozen different stories of what happened from a dozen different witnesses because none of them has the ability to see what happened from all angles all through the event. Only God can do that, so he is a reliable witness and has perfect recall of exactly what happened because he is God and because he says he did it.

    So, did God tell the truth or not? If he did tell us the truth, then their data is ultimately meaningless and they are misleading people and doing the work of Satan.

    I have studied the prophecies and have concluded that God precisely predicted the future, a future that the Godhead decided would be, announced it, and then preceeded to make it so over a period of thousands of years. That says he is not a liar. He does what he says. That benig the case, then I can trust what he says about the creation week, even if I cannot support it with large amounts of scientific data at present. God will someday explain the strange scientific data that exists today, of that I am certain. It is up to us now to learn to trust him so that when we really need that trust at the end, it will be there. Those who don’t do that will find themselves out in the cold because they will leave the church someday soon in most cases. I wish it not so, but know that it is improbable that faith built on such shaky grounds can stand the storms that are about to come upon them. I believe in what God has said, but even I worry about my own faith that it will stand. If I built upon what they are building upon, I know it will not stand.

    Your question is a good one and I will watch for any information about that when I have the opportunity.




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  13. Those who seem to want to laud the love for the Creator by Theistic evolutionists and attack the motives of those seeking evidence for Young Earth Creation might well consider the following:

    “God designs that men shall believe … because there is abundant evidence for faith.” ST 06/08/1882.

    Satan blinds men to this abundant evidence. He sends men of pseudoscience to gravely pontificate that there is no evidence for a young earth creation and that all who suggest this are not scientific. If bold assertions could prove these skeptics case, the case is proved. But careful, thoughtful, scientific study shows a completely different case. However, the doubter is never disturbed by facts. Sadly, professed believers too often agree with the science “falsely so called.”




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  14. The story of Judas contains a warning lesson for those who are against seeking for evidence of the truth of Christ’s words.

    DA 719.2 “While the disciples were SEARCHING FOR EVIDENCE to confirm the words of the Great Teacher, Judas would lead them almost imperceptibly on another track. Thus in a very religious, and apparently wise, way he was presenting matters in a different light from that in which Jesus had given them, and attaching to His words a meaning that He had not conveyed.”

    DA 719.2 “He expressed doubts that confused the disciples. He introduced controversies and misleading sentiments, repeating the arguments urged by the scribes and Pharisees against the claims of Christ.”




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  15. Phil Mills,

    Satan certainly does blind men to the truth. And science aids in it because of the way it is used.

    I remember that my father, who was a geophysicist, told me of a college professor he once had at a state college many years before. It seems that an oil company came into the area and drilled for oil. While drilling, a large human skull came out of the hole, one that was much larger than the heads of men today. They did not have a use for it, so took it to this professor at the local state college. This man was an evolutionist, and looked over the skull and asked if he could keep it. They gave it to him. He studied it for a few minutes, and then declared that this was impossible since it came from a rock layer that was long before man came along. He took it away and it was never seen again. Effectively, he hid the evidence that contradicted his ideas.

    Now, some years ago I took a course on California geology. I remember reading of a volcanic eruption that occurred in the high desert north of Los Angeles. According to the radiometeric dating (not by carbon 14), the lava flow was 16 million years old. There was a layer of dirt under that over which this lava had flowed and which also contained many fossils. Obviously, the dirt layer had to be there before the lava flow happened. How do you explain it? It appears as if the fossils had to have been there previous to the apparent 16 million year old lava flow. Well, I don’t know. Maybe I am just unscientific. The data says one thing, but my Bible tells me another. I’ll believe the Bible because I know that God does not lie. So, I am unable to explain it with our present understanding. But I am quite certain that someday when God explains how this could happen, it will make very logical sense and will be accountable with some mechanism that science either does not know of, or has never thought to be applicable in this situation. And we will find out that it was only a few thousand years old even though it looks to be 16 million years old.

    But now, contrast this with something that Walter Veith pointed out in one of his videos. If you have ever gone to the Grand Canyon, you have seen the rock layers that extend very deep in the earth. If you examine the rock layers carefully, you will see that they are very flat with little or no evidence of any erosion between the layers, contrary to what should be. This is something that directly contradicts evolution because there should be strong evidence of erosison between the layers and yet it is lacking. He showed a video which explains this in terms of a Biblical flood model in which underwater landslides create a movement of material that can travel very long distances underwater and lay down material that will become flat as additional layers are stacked upon one another. Such movements of material caused by underwater landslides are called turbidites or turbidity currents. To me this made good sense because I remember that when I took a course in marine geology years ago, I concluded that one mechanism that may have been a cause of the flood was that the magma under the ocean floor began heating up, which would raise the ocean floor considerably and cause water to flood out over the land to great depths (adding to the rain already falling in great quantities). This would easily create massive turbidity currents that would flow for hundreds of miles and lay down lots of material, including marine sediments. You find large amounts of marine sediments on land in many parts of the world and this is probably why that happens. This is a very logical explanation that can easily be shown to work. Yet evolutionists ignore it, even though they know about turbitidy currents and know from experience that they can flow for hundreds of miles underwater and lay down sediment the whole way.

    So, the point is that there are explanations out there for some of the things that have happened in the past. More work on this needs done. But I don’t think that we’ll ever have it all explained because the Bible does say that we understand creation by faith, and I think that will never be completely taken away from us this side of heaven.




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  16. @Wendell, Thank you for your explanation. Do we have any theistic evolutionists who can answer my question? Anyone from Spectrum? Adventist Today? La Sierra?

    Dr. Taylor? Dr. Geraty? Dr. Bradley?




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  17. Folks, theistic evolutionists cannot believe (should not believe) in the second coming of Christ. It’s a contradiction for them to do so.

    The second coming according to the Bible, is only for those who taking the Bible literally have accepted the redemptive acts of God through Jesus; they have surrendered their sinful nature to the reforming and redeeming act of Jesus.

    And because most of the present world will have rejected this redemptive act and refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Saviour of the world, and because these ‘rejectors’ of God’s salvation grace will seek to persecute and kill God’s faithful ones, Jesus will come to rescue them; he will come to destroy the wicked and at the same time remake the earth after dealing with Lucifer and all his cohorts.

    Now all of this is a direct result of the Fall which Adam and Eve incurred in the Garden of Eden after God made them and warned them about Lucifer’s intentions.

    If Adam and Eve theistically evolved, how and when did sin come about? And What is the nature of this ‘sin’ they committed? Why would Jesus have to come and die for their sin?

    Did Lucifer really cause Adam and Eve to sin? Is Satan real? Why are they subject to earth only? For biblical Christians the answer to these questions are in the Bible; for theistic evolutionists and evolutionists these questions are unreal and fantasy.

    No my friends, theistic evolutionists cannot believe in the biblical account of man and earth’s origin. So neither of them can believe in the Second Coming; Dawkins has already made that crystal clear.

    We biblical Christians know what we believe (and I do not say this arrogantly).

    Theistic evolutionists are only speculating and flirting with false science and evolutionists.

    Let’s stay faithful to the Word, buoyed up as it were by the gift of prophecy that God has given to his church in Ellen white. God bless.




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  18. 8-22-11

    Hi Wendell,
    I’m fascinated by your logic! I never thought of things just that way but I do think you have some very good points

    Your’s too, Ron.

    Lydian




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  19. Thank you Wendell, again. Another question I have for anyone is according to the biblical record in Genesis, we have a detailed record of Man’s genetic history.

    Where do Theistic evolutionists stop in the Genesis record. If Abraham was real, wasn’t his father, and his father, etc. all the way back to Adam as Genesis says?

    Do Theistic evolutionists believe Adam was a real individual person, as is described in the Bible, or not? And if he wasn’t just created as Genesis tells us, how was he made?

    Who was Adam’s “father” if he was not created by God as Genesis says? Some “missing link?” Part ape and part man?




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  20. 8-22-11

    Tonight is the first time I have read everything on this particular section and I think it contains more common sense than any I have come across before–and it is simple enough for even a child to understand.

    It is a very good question–If it took God eons to create the world then it stands to reason that recreating it would also take Him eons. Such reasoning blows the entire Bible story away and then we have nothing to base our hope of eternal life on–and we are “of all men most miserable.”

    Thank God for the Bible! Thank God for the Spirit of Prophecy! We have a solid rock of information to build or faith on–and when the “storms” come and the “rains beat down” we will be safe and secure in our “house on the Rock”–and that Rock is our God and Savior and the wonderful information He has given us!

    My faith has always been strong but tonight I think it has become even stronger! Thank you all!




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  21. Lydian,

    Thanks for your comments. I appreciate it.

    There really can be no future resurrection in the theistic evolution theory if a person is logical about it. God would be unable to do it, so their God is too small. It seems they need to find a bigger God! Ha!




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  22. Holly Pham,

    I seem to recall that a few months ago I ran into a few people who seemed to believe in theistic evolution over at the Spectrum Magazine web site. They ignored what I said at the time about God being unable to resurrect them if he could not have created man in the way that the Bible says he did, but I wonder if some of what I said hit home later? I do not know the answer to that, but it might have. I certainly hope so.




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  23. Ron,

    You logic is right on.

    But I got to wondering after I read it, is it still possible for a person who believes in theistic evolution to believe in the resurrection even if it is totally illogical? I think you are correct that it cannot be done. But that is true only if a person thinks through the implicationsn of their belief and realizes that belief in theistic evolution rules out a resurrection. They might still hold to the belief in the resurrection IF they have not thought these things out.

    I seem to remember that the Catholic Church has accepted evolution as the correct explanation of the origins of life. I assume they are accepting theistic evolution. But I have a question. Given that the pope a few years back declared that evolution was the correct source of life on this world, do they also believe in the Second Coming of Jesus? I do not know the answer to this because I do not know their beliefs very well. If they do believe in the Second Coming, then there is a contradiction if they claim that theistic evolution is true. They might do this without thinking it through. If so, then this would be an example of a group that holds to this belief without realizing that it is fatally flawed.

    Does anyone else know the answer to this question?




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  24. @Wendell: As I read through all these comments, the answer seems simple to me. Scientific data is based only on criteria “created” by man! God is the CREATOR, His WORD will stand the test of time.




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  25. @Professor Kent:

    And yet millions of Christians who accept theistic evolution (erroneously, in my opinion) continue to vibrantly witness for the Lord, our Savior.

    Those who do accept theistic evolution, however honestly they may do so, are not rationally considering the implications of their beliefs. They do not grasp what should be obvious – that theistic evolutionism makes Jesus out to be either a liar or insane. There really is no other rational option here.

    Of course, Jesus does love even those who hold to irrational beliefs and accepts their sincere efforts to serve him. He takes people where they are. However, He also desires us to worship Him intelligently, to put off these irrational ideas that really do undermine the logical consistency of His Gospel message of hope to a dying world.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  26. Wendell: Yes, it is possible for people to believe in things that contradict other beliefs they hold. However, what gives a man’s beliefs credence is the logic and consistency of his beliefs. If he realizes, or made to realize, that his beliefs are contradictory then he has to modify and sort out his beliefs. But that is not our problem, it’s his. However, we are to show (as we do here) that his beliefs cannot line up with scripture, and that he has not really given proper thought to the logical and coherent path of his beliefs. Our duty is to show that the incoherence of his belief system contradict and undermine the very foundation upon which we stand, the Bible. It all boils down to whether or not we accept the Word of God as foundational and our only rule of faith; and that all other thoughts and ideas must be judged by the sentiments of the Written Word, not the other way round as do evolutionists and theistic evolutionists.




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  27. Leona Peterman,

    I very much agree with you. God’s word will stand in spite of all the “evidence” that the scientists have available. The prophecies prove that, which is why I have chosen to believe the Bible rather than the evolutionists.

    The book of Daniel proves that abundantly. There are many who claim that the book of Daniel was written around 164 BC. But there are 2 major problems with that. First, whoever wrote the book of Daniel knew of king Belshazzar. I have read in history that he and his father Nabonidus were not well liked by anyone in Babylon at that time, so were quickly forgotten after Babylon fell. Within a few generations of them, it was thought that Nabonidus had some woman as co-ruler with him rather than Belshazzar, so that as a result, people thought that Belshazzar was a made up name in the Bible until it was proven from tablets of Babylon that he was in fact the second in command. Also, according to those who are experts in the ancient languagues, the Aramaic in Daniel was written in a form not used previous to the time of Daniel nor after his time, thus showing that only a person living in the actual time of Nebuchadnezzar could have written the book of Daniel.

    There are prophecies in Daniel that have been accurately fulfilled. Not only did we get the four kingdoms predicted, but also there is the prediction of the rise of the Papacy in Daniel 2 with the combining of church and state, and that is followed by the prediction of the Protestant Reformation and it predicts some separation of church and state to accompany that. In Daniel 7 and 8 it gives us additional details of the Papal power and its action. These prophecies have been accurately fulfilled thousands of years after the prophecies and long after 164 BC – even if the book had been written then, which it was not. Thus, only God could have done this. Assuming time were to last another, oh say, 2000 years, nobody could accurately predict what would happen a thousand years from now. Hey, we cannot even predict accurately more than a few days. Look how the Berlin Wall went down and NOBODY saw that coming until just a few weeks before it happened.




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  28. Ron D Henderson,

    I tend to agree with you on this. It is their problem, not ours.

    But I do wonder why some of those theistic evolutionists in the SDA Churhc I have dealt with in the past ignored the obvious when it was pointed out to them? I do not know the answer to that. I do know that some people maintain their beliefs in spite of abundant evidence to the contrary, so perhaps there is nothing that can be done.

    Yet, perhaps events of the future will shake them up and begin to change their thinking. We are near the end, and when they soon see the prophecies being fulfilled right before their own eyes, they may begin to reasses their very small god and perhaps find the real God, one that is infinitely bigger than the one they believe in.

    You know, I find it puzzling why these theistic evolutionists insist that they are right. Their god is very small and has little power. Yet think about it. Scientists have recently done some measurements concerning the fundamental structure of space itself and have concluded that the fundamental length unit of space is no larger than 10 raised to the minus 48th power – thats a decimal point with 47 zeros to the right of it followed by a 1. This means that the fundamental volume unit of space is 10 raised to the minus 144 power. God built stuff that small to make the space we live in. That being the case, then why would it be hard for him to manipulate atoms and molecules that are far larger? I wonder why they miss this point!




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  29. Holly’s question:

    “Do we have any theistic evolutionists who can answer my question? Anyone from Spectrum? Adventist Today? La Sierra?

    Dr. Taylor? Dr. Geraty? Dr. Bradley?

    +++++++++++++

    Relax, Holly, and face reality. None of those you put your questions to will ever answer them because there are no rational answers and, deep down inside, they know it.

    One runs into more questions than answers when one tries to get rid of God! He is just too much bigger, and much too much more powerful than any of us puny humans are. No matter which way we turn God is already THERE. In our innermost being we know this but humanity just does not want to recognize Him because that will make us accountable to Him and,face it, we just do not want to be accountable to any one.

    As long as there is the slightest bit of hope The “Hound of Heaven” will pursue us relentlessly but there does come a time when hope is gone and the voice of the Holy Spirit becomes fainter and fainter until we simply can no longer hear it. This is not God’s doing–it is ours. Hopefully, none of these folks have reached this point (and we have no way of knowing so we are not to judge them. That is God’s job–not ours.) We do need to pray for them, then leave them in God’s hands and refrain from harsh judgement.

    But this does NOT mean that they should be allowed to teach in our schools,our Sabbath Schools or preach in our churches!




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  30. The fact is that Richard Dawkins is right. If you take away a literal Adam and Eve and literal fall into sin, there is no making sense of the Christian religion. Without the foundation of the historicity of Genesis, the entire structure collapses.

    Even after one explains that to Christians who would compromise with Darwinism, they still want to compromise; such is the powerful hold that Darwinism has over their minds. And they do not really understand the philosophical foundation of Darwinism, that it is built more upon philosophical naturalism than upon evidence.

    Perhaps the saddest part of all is that the compromise will bring them no respect whatsoever in the scientific world whose respect they seem to crave. Theistic evolution, or guided evolution, has no more scientific respectability than creationism. Science insists that evolution was an unguided, totally natural process; natural selection acting upon random DNA replication errors, unguided by God or providence, is what mainstream science believes created the world. If you ever mention God in connection with an origins narrative, you’re just as far off the scientific reservation as if you believe that God created the world in six literal days 6,000 years ago.

    So why compromise, and in compromising destroy the foundations of Christianity? There’s no reason to.




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  31. Something important that SDA compromisers with Darwinism ought to acknowledge is that Adventists need Genesis to explain our doctrine of the state of the dead. We need Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Based upon this text, this is our formula for a soul:

    Dust of the ground + breath of life = soul

    Once the breath of life returns to God who gave it, and the dust returns to the ground, there is no more soul. The soul does not continue on, as a disembodied consciousness, because a necessary constituent of a soul is the “dust of the ground,” i.e., a physical body.

    But theistic evolution reverses this biblical formula. According to theistic evolution, a humanoid creature had been evolving for hundreds of thousands of years, and thus had had both a physical body and the breath life for hundreds of thousands of years. At some point when God was satisfied with the progress, he inserted a “soul” or “souls” into these beings and they became human. Under that scenario, the “soul” is clearly something external to both the physical body and the breath of life, so it makes perfect sense that, when the body dies, the soul just goes somewhere else, maybe to heaven, maybe to hell.

    So theistic evolution lends itself very naturally to erroneous ideas about the nature of man, the state of the dead, conditional immortality, and the annihilation of the unsaved as opposed to an eternally burning hell. Adventists rely upon Genesis 2:7 to come to a correct understanding of these issues.




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  32. David Read,

    Your last post make a point that certainly is true and one aspect of this that I had not given much thought to. Your previous post about the fact that Genesis is the foundation for all the rest of the Bible is also very true. That is something that the theistic evolutionists seem unwilling to admit.

    Sadly, I know of at least one SDA preacher in Washington state who is actually teaching theistic evolution in his church. I do not believe that he fully understands the damage he is doing. And I rather suspect that he is not the only one doing this, that there are others. Nothing is being done about this man that I know about. A women I know in his church told me about this and I have found articles about evolution by this guy on the Internet, promoting it. He has gathered the young people into the church to teach them evolution as the correct understanding of origins, completely contradicting the Bible. I suggested that she report this to the conference, but I do not think she has done so. Instead, I think she has simply changed churches because she wanted to get away from that. Such should not be permitted in the churches nor in our schools. If they want to believe that way, they are free to leave and believe it elsewhere.




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  33. @ Wendell, What is the name of this pastor and his church. He should be reported, if what you’re saying is true. To not report such behavior is an act of betrayal to our members.

    @ Lydian, I am relaxing. But, I thought it would be right to allow those who teach and preach evolution to have a chance to defend their beliefs and how their beliefs are supported or NOT supported by the Bible.

    Any volunteers?




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  34. Wendell, there are effectively two Adventist churches now, the traditional Adventist Church and the liberal church-within-a-church. Depending upon where this pastor is located, his boss in the conference office may agree with him, and hence reporting him will do no good. Or the conference president may not agree with him, but may not be able to do anything about him because he has a powerful protector higher up in the church structure.

    I once listened to a sermon by an Adventist pastor in an Adventist church in which the pastor very forthrightly denied the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement. Substitution is the doctrine pursuant to which Christ bore our sins on the cross and we are saved by His righteousness. I reported this to the conference president and nothing was done. That same pastor is still preaching in the Southern California Conference.

    There are effectively two Adventist Churches, and you might be surprised at which one is in control of the levers of power at your church, your conference, your union, your union-sponsored college, etc.




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  35. Holly, I may be wrong but It seems to me they have already had ample time to defend their beliefs but,as far as I have seen, nobody has been willing to step up to the plate and do it. I wonder why??? (And I am NOT trying to be sarcastic!) I suspect there are a lot of very confused folks out there who are struggling to know what to believe. They need our prayers and not our condemnation.

    I keep wondering why “headquarters” is so silent on these matters. I realize this is a very thorny situation for all concerned but a new school year has begun and I’m sure there are many parents out there wondering if they have sent their children to the right place. (My children are all grown, married,and have grown children of their on who are also grown and getting married–and one brand new beautiful great granddaughter so it really isn’t a problem for me right now but I really “feel” for those parents!)

    But we are living in what I believe is the “beginning of the end” and things are going to get worse as time goes on. If ever a people needed God it is now!




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  36. Lydian: I keep wondering why “headquarters” is so silent on these matters.

    I think they’re silent because they know how anything spoken or written gets dissected, transected, resected, vivisected, and completely disrespected here, at Spectrum, at Adventist Today, and elsewhere.

    We the members have neutered our leaders.




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  37. Lydian, I think Jeff Kent is right that church administrators prefer to work quietly, behind the scenes. But there are a couple of other reasons that I think are probably more important.

    First, as I noted above, there are effectively two Adventist Churches, and one of them doesn’t have a problem with what is happening at LaSierra. So you may not have an administrator who feels motivated to do anything. But even if the particular administrator is a traditional Adventist believer, his task will be greatly complicated by the fact that many of his constituents and fellow administrators are part of the other Adventist Church.

    Second, the church is not organized in a top-down chain of command organizational structure, like the military or a corporation. The church has elements of that, but also very important elements of local control and organization. For example, the local church controls its own membership. If the local church says someone is a member, she’s a member, and no one at the conference, union, or GC can do anything about it.

    The colleges are affiliated with the unions, so no one at the GC level can really do much about the colleges. (There are exceptions; I believe that Oakwood, LLU and the Seminary at Andrews may be General Conference institutions, not union, but most Adventist colleges are union colleges.) The colleges are controlled by their boards, and the board chairmen are the union conference presidents. The boards are designed to have a preponderance of church officers, ensuring indirect church control, but it is control at the union level, not at the GC level. The only leverage that Ted Wilson has over colleges is that Adventist schools (in addition to secular accreditation) are all accredited by the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA), and (I believe) the GC President can exert control over the AAA by appointments to the board. So the only influence that Ted Wilson can exert over LaSierra is the somewhat indirect influence of accreditation through AAA.

    A third factor is that in the modern Western world, including America and especially including California, it is very difficult and costly to fire people. And academic tenure adds another level of protection for teachers. So even if the stars align, and you have traditional believers at all the control positions, it will still be very difficult to make changes that involve changes of personnel.

    About a year ago, Shane posted an anonymous article that outlined the fact that what has happened at LaSierra is the result and fruition of more than 30 years of planning by a liberal faction of professor who wanted to take LaSierra, if not outside the SDA Church altogether, at least outside the effective control of the church. With Fritz Guy and Lawrence Geraty, they’ve had presidents who were sympathetic to their ideological perspective. (President Wisbey may actually be relatively conservative, compared to those two.)

    So, the bottom line is that making real changes to LaSierra is going to be a long, slow process.




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  38. David Read said….

    “…. the local church controls its own membership. If the local church says someone is a member, she’s a member, and no one at the conference, union, or GC can do anything about it.”

    This is true, David. And it is equally true that any SDA church, even if it is small in number, has the authority to throw anyone out of the SDA denomination who is presently a member of that church.

    Scary, ain’t it? A membership of say, 30 people can disfellowship you from being a SDA. And technically, the conference can do nothing about it. Such is the power of the local church.

    Bill Sorensen




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  39. Hi,

    I have been tied up all day, so had no chance to answer any of your questions until now.

    To be honest, do not think that the Conference where this pastor works will do anything about it, so I am not sure that sharing his name will accomplish anything.

    I tend to agree that the SDA Church is becoming two churches. But is that not what Ellen White told us would happen, that at the end there would be two classes within the church, which effectively will be two churches? When the shaking comes, the other church will be shaken out and will no more be among those who remain. I hope and pray that I remain and am faithful to the end. But I know that many will leave. All we can do is work and pray that everyone has the right information so that they hopefully make the right decisions when that time comes. I know it is coming very soon, far sooner than most believe.




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  40. To be honest, do not think that the Conference where this pastor works will do anything about it, so I am not sure that sharing his name will accomplish anything.

    Wendell, Whether or not the Conference officials do anything, shouldn’t you or someone notify them of this problem? If our young members are being taught unbiblical false doctrines, especially by an ordained SDA minister, shouldn’t someone speak up? Or should we all just keep quiet?




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  41. Bill Sorensen: David Read said….“…. the local church controls its own membership. If the local church says someone is a member, she’s a member, and no one at the conference, union, or GC can do anything about it.”This is true, David. And it is equally true that any SDA church, even if it is small in number, has the authority to throw anyone out of the SDA denomination who is presently a member of that church.Scary, ain’t it? A membership of say, 30 people can disfellowship you from being a SDA. And technically, the conference can do nothing about it. Such is the power of the local church.Bill Sorensen

    Bill, I don’t know what you mean by “scary.” Local church membership means nothing as far as your salvation. Couldn’t you still go there? Would they remove you?

    Many could simply go to another SDA Church. I knew of someone who did just that, even though they were not officially disfellowshipped.




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  42. To Holly Pham,

    You are right about that, of course. The woman who wrote me about this says that she was talking to someone about the work that Walter Veith has done (she believes what Walter Veith is doing is right) on teaching creationism and this pastor apparently made comments to the person she was talking to which effectively negated what she had just said. Aside from the issue of how this pastor handled this, there is the issue of him being plain wrong about it because he should not be doing that.

    I urged her to report this pastor to her conference, but she declined. I don’t know why. This woman lives in the Seattle area and attends a church in that area. I live in Southern California, so am not in the same conference. I have not attended this man’s church, so cannot vouch for what she is saying from personal observation, so I doubt that the Washington conference would pay much attention to what I say about him.

    I have done some investigation and discovered that this man has comoe to the attention of this web site before. He has written and published on the Internet a letter that was written against the letter that David Asherick sent out about the teaching of evolution at La Sierra, so you may well be able to guess who this person is. I did not realize that he had done this. I have read over his letter, and while some of what he says is partly true, there is a lack of understanding on his part of just what SDAs have been taught about creation and evolution.

    Given the notoriety that has already attended this man’s presence in that church (which I did not realize was the case before last night), my guess is that his conference is well aware of what he is doing and has done nothing so far to stop it.

    Unfortunately, this lack of action by the conference is not helping the kids in his congregation who have gone through his evolution class in church, nor does it help anyone else influenced by such thinking. To be honest with you, I think that someone needs to develop a more coherent plan of action on what to teach the children in the church about evolution and creation, and do so in a way that supports the Bible rather than the science. Science is good in so far as it can measure things, but it cannot know the whole story based on circumstantial evidence.

    Let me add this little story about circumstantial evidence. Years ago my father told me of a man who was dating a young woman (this event happened in the state of Nebraska). There was another young man who wanted this girl and was jealous of the young man who was dating her. One day this fellow went to the place where she was living and killed her. Before he killed her, he learned from her that the young man that she was dating was to see her a short while later. Knowing this, he left her purse outside her home, knowing that this fellow would come by later and find it, and apparently not finding her home, would likely take the purse home with him, expecting to give it to her later when he next saw her. That worked, because her boyfriend did find the purse and took it home after she did not answer the doorbell. Of course, the police were called and they went looking for the boyfriend, and finding her purse in his possession, they arrested him for having murdered her. Based on the circumstantial evidence that he had her purse and apparently was known to have been to her home at about the time the murder took place, put him up for trial, where he was convicted of murder. He was later executed for that crime that he did not commit. Years later the other young man finally admitted on his deathbed what he had done. Of course, it was too late for the state to do anything about it, but God will take care of it later.

    The point of this is that all scientific evidence of life having been here for billions of years is circumstantial in nature. It is the best that science, apart from the Bible, can do because we do not have time machines with which we can go back in time and witness the events happening and prove that they happened as they say they did. But circumstantial evidence can be misleading, just as it was in the case of that your fellow who was executed for a murder that he did not do. Circumstantial evidence can be misleading for many scientific reasons, but these would be reasons that science has failed to either understand or account for. Scientists do not know everything that has happened in this universe and even they are beginning to admit that there likely is a lot of physics that they do not at present know. Some physicists even say that we may never be able to actually know what reality is. There are just so many bizarre things that go on in our universe everyday that scientists cannot explain, even if we have mathematics that can quantify it. They cannot know all. That is the bottom line. They have no eyewitnesses to their proposed events of the long ago past. We have an eyewitness. Therein lies the difference.




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  43. Wendell said “The point of this is that all scientific evidence of life having been here for billions of years is circumstantial in nature.”

    Yes, this is so very true. This is why we trust what God says more than what science says. I don’t understand this torturus debate about evidence vs. faith. Theres no question which is more important, it’s faith.




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  44. Holly said…..

    “Bill, I don’t know what you mean by “scary.” Local church membership means nothing as far as your salvation. Couldn’t you still go there? Would they remove you?

    Many could simply go to another SDA Church. I knew of someone who did just that, even though they were not officially disfellowshipped”

    Yes, you could. And my wife and I do. I was threatened with censorship and I was head elder in the past. The conference president wanted me out.

    So, we eventually left and attend another SDA church. And you are absolutely correct that only church we must be sure to be members of is the one in heaven.

    When the church on earth reflects the church in heaven, Jesus will come and take us home.

    I doubt if many members really know the intensity of the evil that has infilterated the SDA church. We function pretty much statis quo.

    The evolution/creation discussion is in some sense small potatoes compared with the spiritualistic sentiments being taught continually in various ways. Far more subtle than the issue of creation.

    At any rate, we still think God can and will bless the church on some relative level until a final shaking will take place.

    People are in for a huge surprise in the near future, and I suspect that most of us are numbered among the “foolish virgins” who have little or no oil when the time comes.

    When it does, EGW has stated it will be “a terrible ordeal” and no one knows exactly what that means.

    Bill Sorensen




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  45. Re Wendell’s Quote

    “Circumstantial evidence can be misleading for many scientific reasons, but these would be reasons that science has failed to either understand or account for. Scientists do not know everything that has happened in this universe and even they are beginning to admit that there likely is a lot of physics that they do not at present know. Some physicists even say that we may never be able to actually know what reality is. There are just so many bizarre things that go on in our universe everyday that scientists cannot explain, even if we have mathematics that can quantify it. They cannot know all. That is the bottom line. They have no eyewitnesses to their proposed events of the long ago past. We have an eyewitness. Therein lies the difference.”

    Hello Wendel

    I’ve been enjoying your posts.

    I liked your comments regarding the risks of circumstantial evidence I presume you would agree that creation science is subject to those risks as well?

    There is another type of evidence that is even more prone to error: hearsay, as opposed to direct evidence. Let’s assume for argument sake that Moses, or his redactors, wrote Genesis. Can we agree that they never witnessed creation? If so the biblical account of creation falls into the category of heresay, not direct evidence by an eyewitness.

    Now the counter to that argument is that God gave Moses, the author(s)?, of Genesis a direct, eyewitness account. But how do we know that is the case? For example how do you know this is really Ken writing this, instead of a precocious child? – probably is because the child would have far more intelligence:)

    Similarily, regarding the Noachian flood, do we have a second hand versus an eyewitness account of the event?

    In a court of law, hearsay evidence, with some rare exceptions, is not admissible due to its inherent unreliability. That is because the truth of the eyewitness, cannot be tested. Circumstantial evidence, however, is admissible because it may be the only evidence available.

    I hope this helps the discussion.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  46. Re Ron’s Quote

    “It all boils down to whether or not we accept the Word of God as foundational and our only rule of faith; and that all other thoughts and ideas must be judged by the sentiments of the Written Word, not the other way round as do evolutionists and theistic evolutionists.”

    Hello my good friend Ron

    This is honest, sincere but unfortunately circular reasoning. It makes empirical methods, such as science and pure reason fit into a pre – cast mold of faith that cannot be honestly questioned. It means any objective observation of reality is biased by pre supposition of a particular world view. Atheism does the same thing.

    This is the exact type of reasoning that Dr. Pitman is fighting against because he understands it does not stand up to rational scrutiny.

    Hope you are doing well

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  47. James,

    I don’t fully understand this debate either. What I do not understand is why Seventh-day Adventists would ever consider theistic evolution to be true. I am saying that while the scientific evidence does appear to support it, there is the issue of the truthfulness of God and the Bible. If one accepts that God is true and does not lie, then why disbelieve what he says in Genesis? If one accepts that, then be a Christian. If one does not accept that, then go out and enjoy the world. There is no significant future for such, whether they be in the church or not because they do not believe God. The Bible says that salvation is by faith and if you don’t believe him, you have no salvation even if you are a Seventh-day Adventist.

    So, it is by faith. We have an eyewitness. Do we believe him or not?




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  48. Bill Sorensen,

    I think that it is a terrible ordeal because when this comes about, you are either ready or you are not. Those who are not ready become desperate to become ready, but find that they cannot do so. The result is a desperate realization that they are lost. Yet, they look for salvation, but in the end, they find that they are receiving the plagues and definitely are lost. Many within the church will leave and those around them who remain will feel the sadness of their leaving because of the reason behind it.

    The parable of the 10 virgins teaches exactly that this is what happens. Remember that there were 5 without sufficient oil and they were told to go out and buy more oil. So, they go looking for it. When they have found it, then they come knocking on the door, but they are not admitted because it is too late.

    The oil represents the Holy Spirit in the early and middle parts of the parable, but at the end, I believe that it represents the word of God because when the door is closed, that is the end of the investigative judgment. There will be no Holy Spirit for anyone not saved once this happens, and yet in the parable, the five foolish virgins show up at the door, apparently having found the oil. But this oil at this point cannot represent the Holy Spirit because it will be impossible for them to have it then. Rather, I think that what it must represent then is soem experience and knowledge that they have lacked, particularly some particular type of knowledge that is found in the Bible, and once they find it and understand it, they think they are ready, but find that they are not to be admitted and will never be.

    For whatever its worth, this is my understanding of this.




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  49. Thanks Wendell for your comments. No doubt at least some of your observations are correct. But many details of the parable still leave us uninformed.

    And neither can we judge the wise and foolish virgins today. We can certainly see a trend that portents the soon fulfillment of it.

    And of course, our first concern is to be sure we have a viable relationship with Jesus that will carry us through any and every trial and difficulty.

    None the less, we can all judge doctrine and teaching and evaluate its scriptural confirmation either for or against.

    Thanks again for your comment.

    Bill Sorensen




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  50. @James:

    I don’t understand this torturus debate about evidence vs. faith. Theres no question which is more important, it’s faith.

    They’re both vitally important since one cannot function well without the other. How can evidence be of relatively little importance to faith if faith that is completely blind to evidence is no better than wishful thinking?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  51. @Wendell:

    The Bible says that salvation is by faith…

    That depends on how you define faith.

    Faith isn’t just belief in the truth. The Bible also points out that the devils believe and tremble. – James 2:19

    Faith, as described in the Bible, is belief based on evidence combined with a love for what is known to be true. Note that it is love that is the greatest of the three – Faith, Hope, and Love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

    It is for this reason that “the heathen” can be saved by their love, as expressed in a selfless manner toward their fellow man – even if they never were given the chance to know and have faith in Jesus as a personal Savior in this life – Romans 2:14-16 NIV

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  52. Art Chadwick: Interesting that you mention an eye witness account to the flood. There are such accounts. Check out for example Luke 17:26 ff.

    How is this an “eyewitness” account? Are you suggesting Luke witnessed the flood???




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  53. To Sean Pitman,

    You are right about that.

    I define faith as just trusting God. You know that he isn’t a liar and will do as he says and is wise, so you can trust that he will make the right decisions for you. For this reason, faith is more than just knowing the truth, but rather involves the element of trusting your life to God, something that Satan and his angels are unwilling to do. And it isn’t always easy even for us humans to do!




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  54. Re Sean’s Quote

    “Luke didn’t witness the Flood; Jesus did. Luke also quotes Jesus as claiming to have personally witnessed other per-historic events – like Satan being kicked out of heaven. – Luke 10:18 NIV”

    Sean understands the point. It is only the eyewitness, him or herself, that can give the direct evidence as to the truth of what happened. Thus if Jesus saw the flood and wrote about that himself, that is a direct evidence of the event. But if Luke was reciting what Jesus said about the flood, Luke’s recitation is heresay.

    For example, any of the disciples that actually witnessed Christ’s resurrection and wrote about it, are giving direct, versus heresay, evidence.

    EGW’s visions of events that happened before her birth are heresay regarding the truth of those events, but not to the visions themselves.I appreciate that is a fine distinction but it is an important one when assessing the reliability of evidence. For example EGW: a)could have been shown those events retroactively by God, b)could have had a creative imagination, c) could have had a brain injury, d) or could have not been telling the truth. Any one of those is possible. But if a) is true, EGW’s statements as to the historicity of those events are still heresay, as she never personally witnessed them originally, but only a rendition of same.

    I hope that helps.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  55. @Ken:

    If the flood happened 4300 years ago and IF an angel had instantly taken EGW 4300 “light years” from earth and IF she were then given the ability to view that stream of light coming from earth in greater detail than would seem possible to us: Would she then be witnessing it for herself? Or would you feel that she was watching the equivalent of a recording?

    “A ridiculous idea”, I can almost hear your thoughts saying.

    We cannot begin to fathom God’s ways. We live our lives with all sorts of measurables. God’s wisdom, knowledge, power, presence, ability – are all without limit. Neither is He constrained by time – as we are. How does He do it? It is not a valid question and I will not ask it- or try to answer it. That is where faith must triumph over “enquiring minds” that “want to know”. God told Moses, I AM the “I AM”. That was for a reason. Not “I was” or “I will be”… but I AM. It a statement about God that we cannot comprehend. Nor should we try.

    He knows the end from the beginning. That was demonstrated in a small way when Jesus (Who is God – the Creator!) told Peter, “tonight, you will deny me three times…” Here is the exchange:

    Matt 26
    31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

    32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

    33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

    34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

    35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

    Then later…

    73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.

    74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

    75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

    Some who come to understand the power of God revealed by this ability to know what WILL happen (in detail) will insist on trying to have a human comprehension of this power of God. Human reasoning applied in this direction can cause one to believe that we are all just living out a recording – or the doctrine of “predestination”. (“what is to be, will be”). But that is wrong too. We each have a choice to make and are guided by our own power of choice. That fact is not changed by the fact that God knows what our choice is before we do. (as demonstrated in Peter’s experience above)

    It will probably be one of the last accusations hurled by Satan toward God with shaking fists just prior to his final destruction: “why did You make me this way?…”

    God knows all – beginning to end – before and after it happens. He has a way of keeping a very accurate record of all that has happened. His knowledge in this regard should not be confused with control. Our choice is our own to make, even though He knows what that choice is before we do. By definition, “LOVE” involves choice. What do we have that God desires above all else? And what do we have that God does NOT have the ability to take? It is our LOVE. The Creator of the universe cannot compel love. It must be willingly given by us to Him. That is why we have to go through this whole 6000 year demonstration of the result of disobedience to the perfect law of God. It is why God Himself made of Himself, the form of man – His creation – and came to die, thus establishing the importance of the law.

    All of this has its basis in LOVE. Even the need to be in perfect obedience to our Creator is established in love. When it is all over, the universe (including other worlds with intelligent beings) will know that God gives His law BECAUSE He LOVES us, not to be a controller.

    ====================================

    Soooo, what was EGW experiencing in a “vision”? I suspect that it seemed very real to Her. That is because I have read the descriptions. She was physically in the room with others sometimes when she had visions. Yet, clearly she felt that she had visited whatever and whereever she saw. Did God actually somehow move her through time (forward or backward) so that she was really there? Or did God re-create an indistinguishable reality for Her so that she only thought she was experiencing Heaven, etc? Just don’t ask the question. There is no answer for us to know about that. Just like everything else we talk about on this board, we live in greatly limited understanding of what really constitutes reality. Our focus should be upon that which our God has told us to focus, “Study to show thyself, approved unto God…” and “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and HE WILL DIRECT THY PATHS…”

    There is no substitute for FAITH in having a relationship with God.

    Good to see you here again, my “agnostic friend”. Did you read the chapter that you promised to read?

    Happy Sabbath, everyone.




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  56. @ James:

    “I don’t understand this torturus debate about evidence vs. faith. Theres no question which is more important, it’s faith.”

    FAITH is always the easy-way-out answer when someone does not know the real answer.

    The problem is that faith is always a supposition, a probability, something may-be-possible, not based on facts or evidence. In religion, when there is no supportive evidence or facts to substantiate an idea, people are told, “You have to accept it by faith.” (Or, in the SDA Church, “EGW said so!”)

    This was the RCC’s procedure for centuries, which is still used in our days, and in our SDA Church as well.

    Facts will finally supersede faith when they are found. Until then, faith will be a great tool to manipulate the crowds.




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  57. @George Tichy:

    John 20

    25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

    26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

    27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

    28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.

    29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

    30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

    31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.




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  58. George Tichy,

    I think you have a misconception. Faith is trust in God, but faith is also something you use everyday and could not live a normal life here in America (or many other places in the world) without it.

    There are all sorts of facts that you have to deal with which you cannot know, so you use faith every single day of your life. But you say, you do not do that? Yes, you do, even if you think you do not. You are told by others that there are some things you have to take on faith, and you indeed do just that.

    When you drive to a store, say, 10 miles away from your home, you use faith with every driver on the road around you. You have faith that the car you meet coming towards you on a 2 lane road will not cross the center line and slam into you. You do NOT know for a fact that the person behind the wheel of the oncoming car is not a nut case bent on suicide and has decided that your are their target. Based on trust of the other driver, which IS faith, you realize that such an outcome is highly unlikely. So, you continue to drive and usually the other person does what you trust him to do – follow the rules of the road and stay where he belongs in his own lane. And most of the time, it works. So, faith does work for you and you do use it everyday of your life.

    The department of motor vehicles in your state tells you that you have to accept it by faith that the other driver will stay in his lane. Is that really any different than what the SDA church tells you, that there are some things that you have to accept based on faith? I think not. The principles of action are identical in both situations. There are certain unknowns in every situation in life, and you have to use faith to get through those situations.

    Thus, your argument that the churches are just manipulating people to their own benefit is sometimes true, but there is truth to the fact that you cannot get away from using faith. You could not live life without it. Then, that being the case, why should you refuse to use faith with religious elements of life? There are unknowns there also that are unavoidable at present. You have then two choices, which are to either use faith with religious elements of life, which God tells us is necessary to be saved, or to refuse to trust God, in which case you will be lost. The Bible says that without faith, it is impossible to please God – a statement that is absolutely true because without that trust, God CANNOT change you into the person he meant you to be so that he can save you in heaven. The choice is yours to make.




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  59. Dear Charles

    Wonderful to hear from you again. I hope you are enjoying some ‘veranda’ time this summer.

    In answer to your question, I think if EGW remained physically on the spot she would not have been ‘present’ at the events she saw in her mind. We all dream, but when we wake we do not think we have physically visited the place of our dreams do we? Same logic applies to those on drugs or schizophrenics. Could God have created the vision in her mind? Could God be creating all our dreams or the experiences of schizophrenics? That’s a possibility but we know that we such types of experiences can be created with the stimulus of electrodes as well.

    My point was not disparage EGW but talk about the reliability of various forms of evidence, especially heresay which is not very reliable.

    Charles, most respectfully, I must disagree with your gentle admonition: “just don’t ask the question”. As free thinking individuals we should all ask lots of questions instead of just accepting the thoughts or words of others.

    Your thoughts on God’s omniscience are quite interesting. If God knows exactly what we are going to do, do we really have free will or is everything preordained? If preordained why worry about salvation or work towards it? If it is going to happen it will just happen independent of free will or choice. Kind of a rigged game don’t you think?

    Yes, we have a limited understanding of reality, but do we have a progressively better one than two thousand years ago before the advances of science? As we better understand the physics behind the beginning of the universe do we thus have a better understanding of the nature of creation? I’m optimistic that each generation is understanding reality a bit better through scientific advances.

    As for faith, I begrudge no one there own but think all should be tolerant of others. Maybe there are many paths to God, including that of the agnostic 🙂

    Take care
    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  60. When it come to evidence, that which I directly observe I can tell in a court room in a trial and it would be accepted as direct testimony of an eyewitness. If I hear something, it is the same thing – unless I hear a conversation, in which case it is classified as hearsay and is typically inadmissable in court.

    Yet, when you think about it, this is a bit ridicusous. What I see, smell or feel I can report in a courtroom as an eyewitness, and even if I hear something other than a conversation, I can testify to it. Or, at least, this is the way I understand the courts handle this. Yet, all of these are sensory things and all are rather unreliable. If I hear a conversation, then that eyewitness testimony is considered unreliable and not admissible. But studies by scientists have found that the same is true of eyewitness reports in other sensory areas as well. I seem to recall that someone did a study in which they had a person run into a room and grab a purse and then run out of it immediately. On questioning later, the students in the classroom reported a very wide range of observations about the “thief” (all prearranged, of course, with the person whose purse was grabbed). A number of the observations did not match the thief at all and the remaining ones were generally inaccurate. This was done repeatedly and the same results came out of it. From what I have read, other similar studies have been conducted by others and the same results have come out of it. What it points to is that eyewitness reports, whether by sight, hearing, smelling, feeling and tasting are all quite unreliable.

    This being the case, then why exclude conversations as being hearsay on the basis of unreliability when in fact all of the sensory reports are rather unreliable?

    But there is a difference between what we have with the Bible and a courtroom. The Bible says that men wrote as the Holy Spirit moved them to write. He did not dictate their words, but I rather think that if it was inaccurate, God would have had them rewrite it. Also, we have information where God was essentially quoted. We know that Moses wrote Genesis and God talked to him directly. Yes, Moses was the one who wrote down what God said, so it is hearsay information. But you cannot get closer to God than that. God does not talk to everyone like he did Moses. At some point, you are going to have to put some faith into it, or you will never discover the truth about God. We have enough evidence to know that God does not lie. That being the case, then his words, even if “hearsay”, should be reasonably reliable and we should be able to trust it.




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  61. Re Wendell’s Quote

    “We know that Moses wrote Genesis and God talked to him directly. Yes, Moses was the one who wrote down what God said, so it is hearsay information.”

    Hello Wendell

    But how do you ‘know’ that? Did Moses in fact write Genesis? Was it redacted after the initial writing? Was there more than one author as biblical scholars have deduced? If more than one author was each equally inspired?

    Respectfully, would it be more accurate to say you ‘believed’ that, rather than ‘know’ it?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  62. Ken,

    Rather than focusing on arguing about who wrote Genesis, which tradition says is Moses, the point I was making with this was that there are things which God is quoted as having directly said to some person. For example, you can look at the prophets such as Isaiah and he will have direct quotes of God having spoken to him. The point on this is that God did speak to someone, who then transmitted the information to us. Now, God will not come to you and speak directly to you, so you are going to have to take the word of the Bible that he said what he is said to have said. You have to validate that for yourself. You cannot change this any more than I can.

    You choose to be agnostic, a choice you have made. But I have seen enough evidence out there that I am convinced that God does exist and that he is involved in earthly history and is in control of its future. We each have a choice about whether or not we will be a part of that future.




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  63. Re Wendells Quote

    -The point on this is that God did speak to someone, who then transmitted the information to us. Now, God will not come to you and speak directly to you, so you are going to have to take the word of the Bible that he said what he is said to have said. –

    Dear Wendell

    Thanks for your adroit comments.

    I think you have nailed the essence of faith on its head. We may not know from evidence that God actually spoke to someone – because unless we were present and heard it that would be heresay – we just have to trust the Bible that is the case.

    The problem comes when the Word from different faiths conflict. How does one decide what is truly the Word of God in those instances. How do you decide if God spoke to EGW or Joseph Smith. Perhaps this can only be a matter of uncorroborated faith versus evidence.

    Oh by the way, how do you know that God does not speak to agnostics 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  64. Ken,

    First, let me answer the last question. Perhaps I did not clarify myself sufficiently by what I said. God may well speak to you in your mind, but you may or may not recognize that it is God speaking. But God does NOT directly appear to just anybody and talk to them. The Bible says that even then you may well die if that is done (it says that you may not see his face and live, though I do not understand why that is so). So, I did not mean agnostics, and I suppose you could also include atheists in this, are not excluded from having God speak to them. This also includes Christians in General (myself included). But God somehow or another does sometimes make exceptions and does appear to certain people whom he chooses as his spokespersons. I don’t fully understand why it has to be that way, but God has his reasons, and who am I to say that it must not be that way?

    There have been times when I do believe that God has spoken to me in my mind, but he does NOT appear to me in person and speak to me. And given what he said to Moses about seeing him and not being able to live, I probably would just as soon it remain that way for now because from what the Bible says, if you see him, you may well have one foot in the grave and the other one on a banana peel! I am in no hurry to be pushing up daisies from the bottom side!

    Now, my father was an agnostic. His father was a county judge, but died when he was 13. His mother was a member of a Congregationalist Church, but he eventually decided that there may or may not be a God and remained that way until one day he met someone who changed that idea in his mind.

    The way it happened was this. He was running a small radio repair shop at that time, and one day a man came in wanting to have his radio repaired (this is in the 1930s). While my father was working on it, they were talking and somehow or another, the subject of God and religion came up. My father told this man that he was agnostic, to which this man told him that he could conclusively prove to him that God did exist. Of course, my father felt that he should investigate this man’s claim to see if there is any truth to it, so challenged him to prove it to him. So, they set up a time to meet and this man went over the Bible prophecies with him during their study time together, which to my father was sufficient proof that there was an intelligence much greater than man’s at work behind those prophecies. To him this showed that there had to be a divine presence in this universe. So, because he felt that the man had proved his assertion, my father became a Christian.

    I will address the remaining parts of your question later today. I need to run to the store right now.




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  65. Ken,

    I have been thinking about your other questions. You want to know how I decide that God spoke to someone. That is a very good question, for sure, and answers to it are not easy to find sometimes.

    But you do leave me with a bit of a puzzle. You say you think that faith is simply that we take God’s word to be God’s word and that we have only hearsay evidence on which to base our conclusions on that God actually spoke to these people. And then you ask me to distinguish between the different interpretations out there and disclose how I know that God spoke to someone such as Ellen White or perhaps Joseph Smith.

    All points that should be addressed. And I will do so – next time I get a chance to post. But I do leave you with this: It seems to me that even after I answer these questions, you still have not resolved the question in your mind of whether there is a God or not. I just wonder if it would be more beneficial to see if an answer can be found to that first?




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  66. I am amazed (actually stunned) seeing how some people can explain God so well, offering details that one couldn’t ever guess. They know exactly how God is, who he speaks to, what he thinks, what he will do, and who he will save or not.

    For me, being an Adventist for all my life (ca. 60 yeras), the only solution for too many unanswerable questions has been to adhere to AGNOSTICISM. Imagine, an agnostic adventist!!!Yes, this is exactly it!Because I never developed the ability to speak in name of God, and those who do this are just fooling themselves.

    The wise say:

    “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” — Buddha

    “In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable” (Huxley, Agnosticism, 1889).




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  67. Dear Wendel

    A sincere thank you for your comments. I very much enjoyed the story about your father. I will say this: the search for God is a very important one in my estimation. But close to it is trying to understand the nature of a God that may exist. And, please do not take offense this, for me science and philosophy are more important than any sacred texts. Why? Because they are objective tools without a faith or non faith bias. Did you ever consider that a God might reach different individuals through different instruments? Perhaps human reason is the most divine of revelations? Perhaps Stephen Hawkings is a very religious man in his search for the beginning and nature of the universe.

    Dear George

    I am happy to find a fellow agnostic on this forum. I’ve been treated well here for years and hope you have the same experience.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  68. Ken,

    To answer your question about how to determine which beliefs are valid and who God spoke to is difficult to do in just a few paragraphs. But I’ll try.

    First, God is running a government, the territory fo which encompases at least the whole universe – and more if there are other universes out there that God has made.

    Second, like any government, it expects its citizens to respect certain rules and regulations. That is a given for any government. After all, if you were to move to, say, Italy, and take up Italian citizenship, I should think that you would want to know something about the laws they have so that you can be aware and not end up in jail because you did not know about some law or regulation. The same is true of God’s government. There are certain laws and regulation that its citizens are expected to know and obey.

    Third, according to the Bible, there is a rogue element in the universe, led by one called Satan, which happens to have claimed this world as its home turf. This power also has a goverment. It too has rules and regulations, the most important being that you will not obey God’s rules and regulations, but it only need be just one of God’s rules broken to qualify. It turns out that ALL of us have broken at least one of God’s rules, so we ALL qualify to be citizens of this rogue kingdom here on earth.

    Fourth, God has made arrangements whereby we may become citizens of his government and subject to his rules and regulations instead of being citizens of Satan’s kingdom and subject to his rules. It is a long and complicated plan called the plan of salvation, and everyone on earth is qualified to apply, except for Satan an his angels.

    Fifth, according to the Bible in Genesis, man became subject to the rogue kingdom because he failed to believe God and to trust him, so in order to become a citizen of God’s kingdom, one has to learn to believe God and trust him. That is a fundamental requirement and not easy for anyone to do, but without doing so, one cannot obtain permanent citizenship in the government of God when Jesus comes again.

    Now, what does all of this have to do with your question? Well, it boils down to this. God said in Isaiah 8:20 that “To the law and the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, there is no light in them.” The principle being laid down here is that what God has said before will not be contradicted by another statement by God later. But if someone comes along and claims that God spoke to them and said something that clearly contradicts what God said before concerning a rule or regulation that is not temporary in nature, then we are not to believe them and are not to believe that God spoke to them. Their statements make God into a liar one way or another. The reason is that either God lied when he first spoke concering this particular thing or he lied later when he spoke to the second person concerning it.

    For an example, in Genesis we learn that God set aside the seventh day of the week for a rest day for man. He rested on it and made that day holy for man, meaning it is set aside for time with God. Later he directly spelled it out in the 4th commandment of Exodus 20. This was originally given to all men. But centuries later, along came the Catholic Church which convinced the Roman Government to legally pronounce Sunday a rest day. The Catholic Church claims that by its own authority, which they claim is from God, they changed the day of rest. But this makes God into a liar. Because the Sabbath was a day set aside at the creation for rest and to renew our relationship with God, then it was given to all men and therefore was not a temporary thing given because of the entrance of sin, unlike the ceremonial laws and sacrificial system which was given because of sin and is a temporary thing.

    So, a simple principle by which to know the truth is to test it against anything against what God has said before. If it clearly contradicts that which came before and is a law or regulation of God and is not of a temporary nature, then it must be false. Thus, when I read in the Catholic Catechism that we may venerate images while worshipping the saints, this directly contradicts the law of God which says that you may not even so much as bow down to them, which is a form of honor to them that God says we are not to give to them. It says you are not to serve them, meaning not to give respect to them, obey their laws, reverence them, and so on. This tells me that the Catholic Teaching is invalid. Someone in their history decide that it was valid anyway and that they had the authority to authorize this in spite of what God has commanded. If their authorization is from God as they claim, then this makes God into a liar again.

    Anytime someone makes God into a liar concering his rules and regulation for his citizens, then you are not hearing the truth from that person. Anyone contradicting God’s previously established statements based on statements that he supposedly made to them has not been spoken to by God and they are a liar or have delusions.

    But, now, how do I know that God spoke those ten rules given in Exodus 20? Well, first, the Bible says so, but that is not good enough. To know that this is true, I need to know that God exists and what he is like. To know that, I have to go to the prophecies, which tells me that he exists. Second, I need to know that he is actually involved in our lives. Again, the prophecies fill that role because they make it clear that God is involved in the affairs of men (and women too). Once I have established in my own mind that God actually exists and is involved in our affairs, then I can know that he may have indeed spoken those ten rules to the Israelites in the wilderness.

    But how do I know that he actually did speak those ten rules? I cannot prove it because I was not there. I have the word of Moses writing in Exodus 20 (or his scribes and editors writing in his name for him) that the events described there actually happened. But how do I know that Moses spoke the truth about this?

    I think the answer to this boils down a little to the faith element. I cannot speak with Moses to find out what he saw and heard. I have only what he or his assistants wrote. So, I have to take the evidence at hand an evaluate it. Based on that, I find that what was reported is consistent with other things in the Bible. The mountain shaking should not be hard for God to do because the Bible says that he created the entire universe. The fire should not be difficult for God to do because he is the source of all energy. The rules spoken are consistent with the rest of the Bible because it constantly refers to the commandments of God and specifically mentions all of them in other parts of the Bible. We have the prophecies which show that God exists, is involved in our affairs, and finally, they also show that God is not a liar because he says that he declares the future and then we see it happen just as he said it would. Thus, we can trust that he is not a liar about that too. So, if he can be trusted, then when he declares that he is the author of the Bible and of the ten commandments, it seems reasonable to me to believe him. I find the evidence credible.

    Of course, we have only “hearsay” evidence in that those who wrote the Bible were often witnesses to events and things said that we cannot see and hear for ourselves. We have to decide for ourselves if the evidence is reasonable. If so, then we should follow it, and if not, then perhaps we should continue investigating until we are sure that we have found the truth. You sure would not want to miss out on this if it is true. The cost would be far too high.




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  69. Dear Wendell

    Thank you very much for your discourse. I know that took time and effort to write and that you are concerned for my salvation. I respect that.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  70. Ken,

    Hmmm. I would say from your response that I did not answer your question. Perhaps I do not know how to do that.

    But I would like to ask you this simple question: You say you are agnostic. What would it take for you to change your thinking to believing that God actually does exist?




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  71. Re Wendell’s Quote

    “But I would like to ask you this simple question: You say you are agnostic. What would it take for you to change your thinking to believing that God actually does exist?”

    Dear Wendell

    That is an excellent question that no one on this forum has ever asked me before. Please define ‘God’ and I will answer.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  72. Ken,

    Well, by “God” I refer to the God of the Bible, the creator of the entire universe, the ruler of the universe, a being not subject to its laws, unlike the Hindu gods, but rather one to whom those laws are subject. The Bible says that he is the creator of all that exists, so I guess that pretty well covers eerything that is, including space and time.

    I don’t know how else to define him. I hope this helps.




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  73. Re Wendell’s Quote

    “Well, by “God” I refer to the God of the Bible, the creator of the entire universe, the ruler of the universe, a being not subject to its laws, unlike the Hindu gods, but rather one to whom those laws are subject. The Bible says that he is the creator of all that exists, so I guess that pretty well covers eerything that is, including space and time. I don’t know how else to define him. I hope this helps”

    Hello Wendel

    That helps, I’ll try to answer as simply as I can.

    Your question is not only about the existence of God but about the nature of God. That’s good because I think the two issues go hand in hand.

    As George has aptly alluded to, agnostics don’t deny the existence God, we just don’t know. How does one know things? By personal observation, reason or belief (faith). I have never observed God as you have defined God. No voices, no visions, no revelations, just lots of questions. That leaves me with reason or faith. Reason is my faith.

    I have never seen any being or object that is not subject to the physical laws of this universe. Nor has science indicated such a being could exist. Thus my reason indicates that any such a ‘God’ would exist outside the universe. This would seem to make sense if your defined God created the universe.

    That raises two questions: 1. Why would such a God communicate with us? 2. How? Frankly I haven’t a clue only speculation. Science seems to indicate that our human existence is quite accidental (weak anthropic principle, human evolution). If so why would God be trying to contact humans, and humans specifically, if we might the mere product of a random quantum fluctuation? Again I have no rational answer for that, only philosophical conjecture.

    Which brings us to how. If one is to conclude the Bible is correct doesn’t that rule out the prophets of other religions? Why would God choose only to talk to certain individuals and not others? EGW vs Joseph Smith? Moses vs Muhammed? Why not talk to everyone? For example, on this forum, I’d not just writing to you but to everyone who does me the courtesy of reading my poor prose. Wouldn’t eastern concepts of meditation be a more democratic and fair way for all to attempt to communicate with the divine?
    Why rationally rule out any means of communication rather than arbitrarily limit such to biblical prophetic utterances?

    Let’s move on. Even if I don’t know why or how ‘a’ God would choose to directly communicate with just one of Its accidental creatures, is there any reason to think that God may exist. Well I’m Here aren’t I, as apparently is the Universe. ‘I blog therefore I cyber am’ – sorry Rene got to keep up with the technological times ole boy. And even if the ‘creation’ of our universe and its physical laws is the result of a random quantum fluctuation – fluctuations of which may have created an infinite number of meta universes with different properties – does this rule out God? Or does it mean our real quest is further understand the nature of that God?

    Wendell, if you would indulge me just a bit more, I’ll end with a bit of doggerel. Dr Kime enjoys this sort of thing and the kind editors of Educate Truth always extend their Christian charity and indulgence towards this ole reprobate.

    ROLL OF THE DICE

    Infinite numbers on infinite Dice
    One roll our universe, that was nice
    Does the rolling Hand stop to supervise?
    See the conscious Mind trying to surmise?

    Are all our efforts an ontological lark?
    To read the numbers when the Dice spark?
    But when seven turned up wasn’t it fine?
    To be at the Crap Table to see the Divine

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  74. George,

    I do understand the difference between atheism and agnosticism. But my question relates to defining the way to change the thinking from agnosticism, where God may or may not exist and whether he is is unknowable, to one of affirmation that he definitely does exist. One might think of it as sort of a contiuum with atheism at one extreme end and affirmation of his existence on the other end. Agnosticism fits in the middle of the contiuum line.




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  75. Ken,

    Thanks for your comments. It appears to me that your basic requirement for knowing for sure that God exists is for him to personally appear to you, and appear as he is so that you would know it is God. Am I understanding you correctly?

    The only problem with this is that were he to do that, according to the Bible, you would cease to exist. I doubt that is what you really want.

    This reminds me of an acquaintance of many years ago. this fellow decided to test whether there was a God or not, so, using his brain to put together a test and taking advantage of the fact that he lived in Colorado, he went up to the top of a high mountain in the middle of a strong thunderstorm with lots of lightning. He shouted at God, “If there is a God, then strike me dead with lightning.” Well, he did feel lots of electricity in his body, and the hair on his head stood up (a good sign that you are about to get zapped by lightning), but in the end, nothing happened. He was still very much alive and well and obviously not dead. So, he concluded that there must not be a God after all.

    But if you think about that test of his, how is God to answer such a demand? If he did strike him dead, then he would not know that he was dead and would not know that God indeed existed. And if God then resurrected him, it would be j ust as if he were asleep and would not know he had been dead, according to the Bible as I understand it. So, if God answered his challenge, there would be no way for this guy to know the answer. But by failing to answer his challenge, it does leave him alive in the hope that someday he would find a more rational way to figure out the answer to this question.

    As to why God wants to communicate with us, the Bible says that it is because there is a war going on and we are caught in the middle of it. God wants to save us from the results of that war, if possible. But he cannot do so by directly appearing to us because that would kill us. As to why he would involve himself with us at all, besides the war issue, the only reason the Bible gives for it is that God made us in the first place, and as a result, he loves his creation, including the creatures he made and wants to save them if possible. Man his the ability to communicate his thoughts to a far higher degree than any other creature on this world and has the highest brain structure of all. The dolphin is the next smartest animal, but it has not the ability to understand and communicate the ideas of God so far as we know.

    I don’t know why God chooses only certain people to speak for him. He is the sovereign of the universe and has the right to decide that. I cannot do that and demanding a more democratic way of doing it isn’t going to change it, though I don’t understand why. But he chooses things based on what he sees as best, given that he can see the end from the beginning, which I cannot do.

    Now, if the Bible is correct, then it does indeed rule out the prophets of other religions. That does not mean that their prophets taught no truth, for many of them did. But they have not the light from God because God is not the author of their works. You can go back and read the Babylonian books of wisdom and see some definite wisdom in their thinking, but that does not mean that God is the direct source of it.

    Are you willing to accept any other form of evidence other than God appearing directly to you to prove for sure that he exists? If so, what?

    The Bible does say that God wants us to reason with him. I think he is wanting us to use our heads to figure these things out for ourselves. That isn’t always easy! He gave us a brain to use, but we have to use it wisely. We have only so much time on this earth and then its over, so we have to use the time wisely.

    But let me pose something else to you. You seem to require that God appear to you. You say that you have only qusetions left and no observations to prove that God actually exists. Yet there are lots of things that you have never seen which you know exist. You have never seen an electron, but you know that it exists by the manifestations of its power. You have very likely never seen your own brain, but somehow or another, you do seem to know that you exist also. Now, God has told us that he exists, but that you cannot see him or you will die. So, it is not reasonable that you need to find another test other than requiring that he appear to you? What type of test would you propose? Stand on a mountain top and scream at God to strike you dead with lightning? I hope that you find some better way. But God has already proposed a test for you. He says that he has foretold the future far in advance. Nobody else can do that with accuracy. I can guess that the United States will still be here 10 years from now and have a reasonable chance that I will be right. But predict that it will be here 1,000 years from now? No way that I would likely be right. But if this type of test is not suitable, then what do you propose?




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  76. Ken,

    There are a lot of odd things that happen in this world. I have had an experience that is very strange that I’ll share with you. I would like your explanation for it.

    Here is what happened. I have been studying Revelation 17 for about 12 years now. A friend of mine found a new way to figure out the number 666 (since then I have found an even better way to do it). This involves Revelation 17.

    But what is interesting is that on April 19, 2005, I discovered a prophecy in Revelation 17 that tells me that the current pope is the last pope ever and that he will die when Jesus comes again the second time. Also, this prophecy indicates that he will change his Papal name to a new name never used before.

    Now, I made this discovery on that day at about 7:30 or maybe 7:45 in the evening. About 4 hours later I was going to write out an e-mail to a group telling them about my discovery. Just as I did so, something said to me that I should check my e-mail. So, I checked my e-mail and found among my e-mail a letter from a friend that I first met in 1971. This friend’s e-mail had only 2 sentences in it, but those 2 sentences told me that the pope will change his name someday and that I should make a note of it. I did not understand who he was talking about because of the way he worded it AND he had not been a part of the conversation earlier that evening in which I made that first discovery. So, in my mind, my friend did not know about the prediction of the name change. I did not know who he was talking about. Anyway, I wrote out my e-mail to friends telling them about my discovery. I went to sleep that night thinking about my discovery.

    The next day I got an e-mail from my friend again, but this time he detailed a dream he had 38 years before in which he was told that someday a pope would change his name and he was to tell people about it when the time came. He had forgotten all about it within a few days, but on the day that Benedict was announced in 2005, part of it came back to him and he was very strongly impressed to send that short message to me that I had received the night before. I learned from him later that something inside him really pressured him to send that e-mail to me the previous night, that waiting till the next day would be too late. He finally clicked on the send button and then instantly the remaining portions of the dream opened up to him, bringing back details that he had not thought of in 38 years.

    At the time my friend sent me his e-mail detailing this dream, he did not know that I had discovered in Revelation 17 that the current pope will change his name someday. Yet he was given that information 38 years ahead of time.

    One more strange detail. He said that when this dream occurred, he was actually in the process of having another ordinary dream, when he suddenly came half awake and this new dream started up. When it finished, the previous dream resumed right where it left off just as if it had never been interrupted. He said that the next day he sat on the edge of his bed and said to himself, “a pope changing his name! That does NOT make any sense?” So, within a few days, he forgot all about it. But the voice that spoke to him at the beginning of the dream said that he was being shown this so that someday he could tell people about it when it happened. It has not yet happened, but I think it will.

    But tell me, I have never heard from anyone else telling me of such a dream detailing this same thing. He knew what I had discovered in the Bible that night without being told anything by me. He knew it from a dream 38 years ahead of time and knew to send me that short message to notify me that he know. Yet he did not know of my discovery when he sent his message. He learned of my discovery AFTER he sent out his message.

    Now, how is this possible? Can you please explain this to me? It is a very strange thing that happened to me. Several people have tried to explain this, but nothing makes any sense of it except one: there is a God and he did this.




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  77. Re Wendell’s Quotes

    Dear Wendell

    Wow, you pose some doozies! Good questions.

    In deference to this being an Adventist site I’ll try not to do a full polemic on agnosticism but give brief answers.

    1. Re unexplained phenomenology. If 200 years ago you had talked on a cell phone, more than likely someone would have thought you were a) an alien b) a God c)the devil d) or a combination of the three. Who knows, maybe telepathic communication, intuition, clairvoyance, etc., may turn out to be just a very sophisticated mechanism of brain waves to convey non verbal information. Why does it necessarily have to be attributed to God?

    2. Predictions of the Bible: What literally was predicted that, without a shadow of a doubt, has come true? How many prophecies were self fulfilling with text written after the fact? With respect, when I read Daniel and Revelations, it appears as if a whole pile of interpretation was required to bend symbolic language into current or historical events. And if these predictions are absolutely true, why don’t all Christians agree so? If Christians themselves can’t agree, how can an agnostic treat such predictive claims as reliable?

    3. Test for Biblical God. I like what Dr. Pitman and Dr. Kime are trying to do: marrying science to faith to see if the Biblical God is credible. If they can satisfy my reason, I’d say I’d accept the biblical God. However, like Prof Kent and Erv Taylor, I think the vast weight of the scientific evidence favours evolution and old life. Pretty hard to convince an agnostic of a biblical God, when Adventists themselves can’t agree what the scientific evidence indicates. But I remain open to persuasion if Dr. Pitman can liberate himself from any faith bias and prove things on an objective, empirical basis. But to be fair, I think theistic evolution is a religious concept, not a scientific one.

    Well Wendell, I hope that helps to explain my position a bit better.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  78. Ken,

    Yes, what has happened to me is a very difficult thing to explain. Consider that there is more that I forgot to include.

    My friend did not know me when he had the dream in 1967, and did not meet me until 1971. Thus, this is interesting because there is a 4 year gap between when he had the dream and when I met him. So, if this is some type of brain wave transmission, its isn’t just across space, but also across time as well.

    I know that I was in grade school when this happened. My friend is 5 years older than I, so I should not have met him at all, but because of a mutual friend, we were introduced and became good friends anyway. Oh, and by the way, the fellow who introduced us is one of the brothers of the guy who went on the mountain top and yelled at God to strike him dead with lightning – if he is there.

    My friend lived in eastern Kansas when he had the dream and I was living at Loveland, Colorado, in 1967. I met him at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1967 I was planning to attend a different Adventist college when I reached college age, but just before I met my friend in 1971, my parents suddenly decided that they wanted to move to Lincoln, so off we went. It was a sudden change of plans that brought this about. Of course, with the college just down the street, I ended up attending Union rather than another SDA college when I reached that stage of life.

    If transmission of brain waves is possible, then assuming that it can also be done over time, then why can we not change the past at will? Why not will Adolf Hitler to be accidentally killed, or something like that and really change history? The trouble with this is that for every action that I might undo by such methods, someone else will not like it and will find a way to “undo” whatever it is that I have done in order to change the past. Now, that is important because if I am right about what the pope is going to do, then according to this prorphecy, when he changes his name, it will be done because he once again receives the power to prosecute people for heresy as he had until 1798. If I am right, this will alter the course of history and what I know about this will also help alter the course of the Adventist Church. This will result in things happening that the authorities will not like. So, why can they not just use brain waves and somehow or another alter events of the past so that I do not make this discovery at all, and that way save themselves a heap of trouble?

    Do you see where this leads? If one can do what you suggested as an explanation, then there is no restriction on someone else finding a way to do it also and that makes history so that it is forever unsettled. Is that the actual state of affairs in this world?

    I agree with you that there are many different interpretations of prophecy. But the prophecies are there and can be understood. Unfortunately, many do not understand them correctly. One reason for this is that many do not have the guidance of God to help them understand the Bible. A second reason is that each person is raised in a certain environment, which does make some diffirence in their ability to comprehend things of the Bible. A third reason is that because of this background and learning they do from their teachers, they cannot help but “hear” the commentary in their head when they read the Bible. They read the Bible, sure, but do not really read it. Instead, they read the commentary in their head and that is really all they hear. They don’t let the Bible speak for itself to them but rather they let their preconceived ideas that are in their head tell them what to think when they read it, ideas that are usually planted there by their teachers, who got their ideas from their teachers and so on up the line. But a principle reason for this failure to agree is that in many instances, they don’t want to know the real truth. They want a “convenient truth”, one that seems to support a theory they have, and will not go any further.

    A prime example of this is found in Daniel 9 where the angel told Daniel that 70 weeks were cut off for his people. Now, the word used there means to cut off or amputate, meaning it is taken off a larger time period. What many do is take the 70th week and apply it to the end of time. But that is a mistake because the 70th week is part of the larger whole, which began in 457 BC and can run no longer than 1844. Thus, any 70th week that is placed long after that is a false idea because the time period is gone and dead past history.

    In the prophecies of Daniel 2, 7 and 8, people claim that these were written after the fact. But not so. Daniel has some Aramaic writing in it, the style of which was written only at the time of the Babylonian kingdom and was forgotten afterwards. Nobody afterwards could have created that because they did not know the style later, in say 164 BC. Also, Belshazzar was the coregent of Babylon when it fell. That knowledge was lost within a few generations because he and his father were disliked. In later generations historians tell us that Belshazzar’s place was assigned to an Assyrian woman. Belshazzar was restored to his rightful place as the coregent of Babylon only in the discoveries made in the last century and a half. Thus, whoever wrote Daniel had knowledge that did not exist in 164 BC.

    But there is more. The four kingdoms of Daniel 2 are well documented. Even if you assume that they were written after the fact, there is the state of the divided kingdoms afterwards, the iron and clay. Now, I know that SDAs claim that these represent the strong and weak political kingdoms, but I have to differ with them on this issue. They define the clay as the weak political kingdoms because of some Bible verses that show that clay can represent political kingdoms. But they forget that just as the metals define a political kingdom, so the clay defines a religious kingdom. Clay is rock, and there is a rock which strikes the image and destroys it at the end, a rock which represents not a political kingdom, but rather represents a religious kingdom.

    Then it moves much later in time. The prophecy of Daniel 2 says that “they shall mingled themselves with the seed of men” which is an explanation that the state will go to the church and get together with it, which is exactly what Constantine did in 321 and later. And it then moves a thousand years later because it says that the clay and iron would not cleave together, meaning that the church and state would separate. This began to take place in the Protestant Reformation. These events are more than 1500 years after 164 BC. The Bible defines the symbols for you very clearly and need to be misunderstood by anyone. Daniel 7 clearly points to the Papal power with the horn that talked on the fourth dreadful beast. Revelation 13 reveals exactly the same power and described it with characteristics that mimic the life of Jesus, thus pointing to it as the Antichrist. It said that it would have the power of life and death over them and would have that power in all the earth, meaning the territory of the former Roman Empire. That did happen during the dark ages when the church burned a lot of people at the stake. How is it that this is misunderstood?

    Well. the Catholic Church sure does not want you to know this. So, they have come up with alternative theories to confuse people about this. Given their history, do you really want to believe their version of things?

    Well, I should stop on this and go to your point #3.

    I think there is a lot of room for more research into this area. But one thing I know from my own experience with science: things change. There is little that is really genuinely settled in science because it is changing all the time. Truth today is false tomorrow. More than one theory has bit the dust over the years. I would not bet on the theories that science has as the real answer. They know only what they know today. They don’t know what they don’t know. Tomorrow their theories will change in some way or another. I have seen this over and over again not only in science history, but in my own experience with science even since I got my degree in biology years ago.

    I know that I have sene that the prophecies are true. I know that if God is true, then the creation story is true. I cannot explain the creation story in light of the current evidence, but that does not mean it will remain that way forever. I know that the Bible says there was an eyewitness who I know does not lie. I’ll take the word of a truthful witness that has real objectivity over circumstantial evidence or that of witnesses who are not truly objective.




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  79. Wendell: I discovered a prophecy in Revelation 17 that tells me that the current pope is the last pope ever and that he will die when Jesus comes again the second time. Also, this prophecy indicates that he will change his Papal name to a new name never used before.

    Please elucidate.

    Wendell: So, why can they not just use brain waves and somehow or another alter events of the past so that I do not make this discovery at all, and that way save themselves a heap of trouble?

    I’m working on a different tact. I’m using my brain waves right now to change Darwin’s thinking and his book, The Origin of Species. If that happens, maybe it will also change some of Richard Dawkins’ writings. We’ll see. I could use some help; my brain waves are very weak this morning.




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  80. Re Wendel’s Quotes

    “I agree with you that there are many different interpretations of prophecy. But the prophecies are there and can be understood. Unfortunately, many do not understand them correctly.”

    “Now, I know that SDAs claim that these represent the strong and weak political kingdoms, but I have to differ with them on this issue.”

    “I know that I have sene (sic) that the prophecies are true. I know that if God is true, then the creation story is true.”

    Hello again Wendell

    Thank you for your interesting comments. You are obviously a person of deep faith and I respect that. Please don’t take any of my following comments as personal criticism as you may be absolutely right in your views on God.

    I thought your comments that not everyone agrees on the meaning of prophecies and that you differ from the SDAs on some respects, was honest and forthright. Is it fair to say Daniel cannot be taken literally to make sense? What kingdom are we presently in? Cyber? Same goes for the time frame of 2300 days being interpreted as 2300 years, right? Yet we know that conservative Adventists insist that the Genesis narrative and 6 twenty four days be interpreted literally right? Who indeed knows?

    Wendell, I appreciate that you think your interpretation of the Bible is correct. I realize that when Bill and Sean debate biblical points they feel the same way. Prof Kent and Bob Ryan do as well. And I would hazard that Dr Kime and Erv Taylor differ a tad.

    Certainly the Mormons, differ from the Jehovah Witnesses, who differ from the Adventists. all of which religions emerged about the same time. And all those Protestant denominations that follow sola scriptura differ from Catholicism.

    So who is a poor agnostic to listen to when deciding whether Wendell’s definition of a biblical God exists? The answer: everyone. The conclusion: there is no empirical method to decide who, if any, are right. Why?: because Man is constantly coming up with new iterations of faith and that process is perpetual: to wit, the current struggle between conservative and progressive Adventists, between YLC/YEC camps, between faith alone vs faith corroborated by evidence camps.

    That is why objective forms of empiricism, of which science is the most important, are vital when exploring the origins of life and the universe(God?). Because, as your comments indicate, faith can be a pretty subjective experience. That’s why I say Reason is my faith. That is why I support Dr. Pitman’s methodology, even if I don’t agree with his conclusions, to empirically validate the existence of a literal creation and Noachian flood. Got to put the flesh of reality on the bones of faith or else the skeleton will get locked in the closet of religious anachronisms.

    Ironically, both Dr. Pitman and Erv Taylor understand this when debating what the ‘weight’ of empirical evidence means regarding the nature of creation.
    Respecfully, I think they and Dawkins need to go further and view the evidence without a faith or non faith bias. Personally, I see nothing in reality that rules out the existence of God, but I don’t see credible evidence that supports the existence of the biblical God.

    I hope you. as well as all my Adventist friends enjoy their Sabbath.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  81. Re Wendell’s Quote

    “Wendell: I discovered a prophecy in Revelation 17 that tells me that the current pope is the last pope ever and that he will die when Jesus comes again the second time. Also, this prophecy indicates that he will change his Papal name to a new name never used before.”

    Hi Wendell

    I like that you had the courage to say that. You may be right. What will it mean to you if it turns out to be wrong? As the Pope is getting on in years perhaps we will not have too long to wait to test this prophecy.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  82. Ken,

    Hey, I am still chuckling over your comments about the brain waves. Well, I’ll see what I can do. Mine are not that strong either, so maybe with enough power hey, we could change the past! That’ll be wonderful if it actually worked. But my guess is that it probably won’t. It seems to me that if brain waves could go back in time, then why can we not go back in time too? There are a whole lot of stupid mistakes I have done in my life that I would sure like to reverse!

    Seriously, though, lets turn to your question about the prophecy discovery I made. I’ll be as brief here as I can because the whole explanation of everything behind this is rather long, which you can find on my web site on the home page (which needs revised to shorten it, but I have not had the time yet to do so).

    It works like this. The first beast in Revelation 13 shows a pattern after the life of Jesus. Jesus had a ministry that spanned about 3.5 years (about 1260 literal days). The beast has a time of power of 3.5 symbolic years (representing literally 1260 years). Jesus was baptized and came up out of water. The beast comes up out of water. The beast received a wound as to death, and yet lives. Jesus received a wound as to death, and yet was resurrected, so lived. Jesus has a ministry in the sanctuary in heaven, and the beast commits blasphemy against the sanctuary (which means the sanctuary in heaven because there is no earthly sanctuary now), meaning that it claims the same position as Christ, thereby saying indirectly that it is claiming the sanctuary services for its own and it replaces Christ in the services of the sanctuary. This also implies that it claims the power to forgive sins because that is what one goes to the sanctuary for, to obtain forgiveness of sins, and is what Jesus obtains for us in the sanctuary. It also is given power over the people of God, the power of life and death over them. This is the same power that Christ, as God, has over the people of God, only he uses it for good rather than evil, unlike the beast.

    There are several other similarities, but what this all points to is that the first beast in Revelation 13 is an imitation of Christ, meaning it is the Antichrist.

    There is only one power that fits all of these things, and that is the Catholic Church. It alone among Christian denominations of any size claims the power to forgive sins against God’s laws. And its popes have claimed to actually be Christ.

    Now, this beast has blasphemy written all over it. This blasphemy points to its claim to be able to forgive sins against God’s laws and to actually be God because it is the Antichrist and Jesus was accused of speaking blasphemy by claiming to forgive sins against God’s laws and to actually be God himself. The same pattern is followed here.

    In Revelation 17, there is blasphemy all over the beast. This tells me that the beast is Papal, both the body and its heads are Papal, just like the beast in Revelation 13. The horns, however, are different because Revelation 17:13 says that these hand their power and authority to the beast someday, which indicates that they are not Papal (it cannot hand power to itself, so they have to be different). Because the beast in Revelation 13 is Papal and the beast in Revelation 17 is Papal, then both beasts represent the same power even though they look very different. The horns of the first beast in Revelation 13 does not have, nor does it speak blasphemy, so these horns are not Papal, which tells us that the horns in Revelation 17 are not Papal either. They are the Protestant Religions that came out of Catholicism.

    Now, the pattern in Daniel is that for a beast with multiple heads and multiple horns, the body represents the first stage of the history of that power, the heads represent the second stage of its history, and the horns represent the last stage of its history. This same pattern applies in Revelation 13 and 17.

    Now, the 7 heads of the beast in Revelation 17 represents the 7 lines of popes by name since 1798. In Daniel, beasts are defined as kings (Daniel 7:17) and these “kings” in Daniel are also symbolic, in that they represent lines of individual kings, each of whose lines is named for their founder (something that you can learn in Daniel 2 from the statue). In the Papal system, since 1798 there have been 7 lines of popes by name, which are such as the lines of John Paul and Benedict.

    Now, here is where this comes together to explain what I found. In Revelation 17:11, it says this:

    Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

    The beast that was is the Papacy when it had the power to persecute people in other nations outside of Italy, a power that was largely eliminated in 1798. Right now it has little or no such power, but according to Revelation 13 and 17, this “beast”, the Catholic Church combined with the nations outside of Italy in Europe which give the church the power to persecute people, will return someday very soon.

    Now, it says that this beast is the 8th. This means that the one called the 8th is the returned beast, or in other words, the 8th is its leader – pope. But note that it never calls him a “king” (remember that the kings of Revelation 17 are the same type of kings as those of Daniel 7, they are lines of kings always), unlike the 7 heads which are also 7 kings and 7 mountains. A king is a line of kings and a mountain represents a groups of gods (a mountain is a large pile of rocks, see Deuteronomy 32:37 which equates a rock to a group of gods). Since he is not a “king” as defined in Daniel 7, then he is a single individual. Also, he is not a head and he is not a mountain, meaning he is not a line of kings and he is not a GROUP of gods, but he can be one invididual “god.”

    Now, what it says is that the 8th IS the beast and is of the seven. This phrase, that he is of the seven has puzzled people for centuries. But on April 19, 2005, the day that Benedict XVI was announced as pope, I was the first to discover that he would change his name. Here is how this phrase explain that detail. The “seven” are 7 lines of Papal kings by name which occur after 1798, which points to the names such as Benedict and John Paul. It says that the 8th is “of the seven”. The original Greek for the word “of” in that phrase means “to come out of or from a time or place”, and can also mean “after”, though that is much less commonly used. I suddenly realized on that day that what it is saying is that the 8th comes OUT OF the 7, meaning that the 8th, the pope who will be the leader of the returned beast, will come out of the 7 names previously used. But to be the 8th is to have a name never used before in Papal history. If it had a previously used name, it would not be called the 8th and would also be said to be a king because then there would be more than one pope in the line. This pope name will not be a line, but will have just one name in it.

    Anyway, what I finally figured out is that this 8th with the new name will come out of the seven names, so I realized that the logical explanation of that is that he will first start as one of the seven names (he chose Benedict), and will someday change it to the 8th name, a name never used before in Papal history. It says that the beast is the 8th, and we know that the beast is the persecuting power of the state and church combined as happened before 1798, so this is telling you that when this man gets the power to persecute people, THEN he will change his name to a new name never used before in Papal history.

    Now, I know that this is very brief and rather complicated, but other information related to this in our study fits Papal history exactly so far in what has happened. Whether this name change will do so remains to be proven by him actually doing it.

    But there is more.

    It turns out that there is a connection between Revelation 13:18 and Revelation 17:9 because it deals with the same power and says that there is wisdom in figuring out those two verses. There are several ways to figure 666, and people argue about that a lot. But here is what Revelation 13:18 tells us to do. It says to count the number of the beast. But beasts are kings, so count the numbers of the kings (it does not say to count the number of a title). But kings are lines of kings. Now, if you look at the list of popes that the Catholic Church has, you will find that there are 36 “kings” of the Papacy, that is, there are 36 lines of popes with more than one name to them. The last of those was made certain at the moment of the death of John Paul II. His death made certain that there was a “king” (a line of popes with more than one individual in it by the same name) by the name of John Paul. You could not know that until he died. Here is what is interesting. His was the 36th line.

    Now, make a list of these “kings” and then place count numbers by them (1, 2, 3 and so on, all the way to 36) with John Paul being the last on that list, the 36th. Now, add the numbers 1 to 36, and what do you get? 666. This means that at the moment of the death of John Paul, the number 666 came into being for the man who would next succeed him, Benedict XVI. This man Benedict XVI will become the 8th and it is he who will change his name to a name never used before in Papal history when he receives the power to persecute people through the law.

    Revelation 17:11 goes on to say that the 8th goes to perdition (which means he goes to destruction), which, because he is the head of the Catholic Church, matches up with what is described to happen in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 to the head of the Catholic Church. This man will die when Jesus comes again. And with his death, there will be no more popes after him.

    There is another way to count 666 and inidicate the same thing, but at present is less certain. The 7 lines of popes can also be counted if you count the individual popes within each line, and as of the death of John Paul II, the count stood at 665. Benedict XVI is the 15th Benedict (they skipped Benedict X), so he now brings the total to 680. But when he changes the name, the Benedict name will not count (it is at death that their line is apparently determined in the Bible) and the new name he chooses will have a count of 1, to complete the count to 666.

    I know this is rather complicated and longer than I want, but more detailed explanation is found on my web site at 666man.net on the home page. Down towards the bottom of the home page you can find tables that show how the count towards 666 is done. Both methods are shown.

    I hope this makes sense to you.




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  83. @Wendell & Ken: If the two of you would like to continue your discussion amongst yourselves via email, we offer to act as intermediary for your email exchange. We allow for a lot of latitude in the topics here at Educate Truth as long as they pertain to the topics that are addressed here.

    However, this isn’t the place for long comments and conversations about Bible prophecy etc. Let us know know if you’d like to exchange emails. -Educate Truth Admin




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  84. To Admin and Wendel

    I think the topic is pretty much exhausted from my point of view. Moreover I think it is tangential to the issue of faith corroborated by evidence.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  85. To Admin and Ken,

    Yes, we have probably gone about as far as we want, so will stop. However, I appreciate the offer because if we were not finished with it, I would not mind exchanging e-mails.

    Wendell




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  86. To Admin, Wendell, and Ken,

    My brainwaves have strained me greatly, but I am now at peace. I cannot change Darwin’s mind, nor Dawkins’, however much I try. I Googled Darwin’s book this morning and all remains the same. Oh well. Sorry if I added fuel to the epic off-topic psychic topic.




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  87. Ken and Wendell –

    Here is a great venue for discussing prophecy subject on a very large SDA discussion board.

    All points of view are welcomed.

    http://www.clubadventist.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/activetopics/7/1.html

    I have taken the liberty of starting a discussion thread there on your topic – using Ken’s “number 2 question” above in an effort to keep the topic focused to a specific point.

    go to this link –

    http://www.clubadventist.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/473263.html#Post473263

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  88. Not sure if this got published OK so I will try it one more time.

    I’m a bit late here but this subject is interesting to me.

    “It seems that, given his starting premise, Dawkins makes very good sense here. The effort to mix modern evolutionism with Christianity will end up destroying the very basis of Christianity. It really does make Jesus appear to be the lunatic Dawkins makes him out to be. The Gospel hope of Christianity, with regard to the futuristic claims of Jesus and the meaning of his life and death, simply don’t hold together in a rational way if the literal nature of the Genesis narrative is undermined.”

    I agree Christianity can’t coexist with the acceptance of evolution. If we evolved from ancient apes, and if supernatural magic was not a mechanism of this development, then every single Christian belief is nothing more than a childish idiotic fantasy.

    The good news is evolution has been an established truth for more than a century, and the more recent powerful evidence from molecular biology has made evolution the strongest fact of science.

    The solution to this conflict is obvious. Christians should admit their religion is nonsense and they should throw it out.




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    • @Human Ape: “The good news is evolution has been an established truth for more than a century, and the more recent powerful evidence from molecular biology has made evolution the strongest fact of science.

      The solution to this conflict is obvious. Christians should admit their religion is nonsense and they should throw it out.”

      Dear Ape,
      Are you aping Dave Barry or Chris Hitchins, RIP? No, seriously, which?




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  89. Human Ape: I agree Christianity can’t coexist with the acceptance of evolution. If we evolved from ancient apes, and if supernatural magic was not a mechanism of this development, then every single Christian belief is nothing more than a childish idiotic fantasy.

    At this point our Human Ape friend actually makes a good point.

    That is certainly the logical conclusion and apparently – even a Human Ape gets that point clearly. I say Bravo!!

    But sadly for the Human Apes among us – there is no such thing as prokaryotes turning into eukaryotes or amoebas turning in to horses. Such is not “the observations we find in nature”.

    “They are without excuse” who pretend to imagine that they do see amoebas turning into horses, or gas dust and rocks turning into amoebas.

    All such nonsense is confined to the hoax riddled junk-science system of religion known as evolutionism.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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