Comment on GC Votes to Revise SDA Fundamental #6 on Creation by Victor Marshall.
However, this conscious Christian hope is only worthwhile when it is based on solid empirical evidence. Without the reality of this evidence, there really is no basis for the conscious Christian hope over the non-hope of the atheist â€“ besides a hefty dose of wishful thinking I suppose.
What ‘solid empirical evidence’ are you talking about my friend? I thought faith was the evidence of things ‘not seen'(not tangible, material, empirical). How is ‘our conscious hope in a bright future’ based on ’empirical evidence?’
The apostles may have been ‘eye-witnesses of His majesty’ when He was glorified on the mount of transfiguration. They may have handled His resurrected body. Paul may have seen Him on the Damnascus road. They may of had the same empirical privilege as doubting Thomas did – yet the lions-share of Christians since the apostles must take God’s Word for the reality of the resurrection – without empirical evidence. ‘Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.’ On what basis did the early Christians believe? Do you or I have ’empirical evidence’ that the resurrection took place? Did they? We may have circumstantial evidence, but not empirical. The prima facie evidence for the Christian is the Word of God. Other forms of evidence are only corroborating.
The final test will involve a host of Satanic miraculous ’empirical evidences’ presenting themselves in direct contradiction to the raw Word of God. Eve in the garden was presented with empirical evidence contrary to God’s Word. The serpent ate of the tree of knowledge without dieing and also spoke intelligently – both signal empirical proofs that the fruit would not kill you and it would also make you wise.
The inordinate emphasis on empirical evidence is the reason that we have theistic evolutionists who have lost faith in the prima facie Word of God.
Adventists are in the strictest sense of the term ‘Biblical Creationists’; not ‘Scientific Creationists.’ This means that our ‘a priori’ interpretation of reality is taken from Scripture, not from a scientific examination of ’empirical evidence.’ This does not mean that we are not also vigorously engaged in scientific endeavor to help corroborate the prima facie evidence. What it means is this. If a seeming contradiction arises between Science and Scripture – we place our faith in the Bible, not ’empirical science.’
P.S. I do consider myself to be far far less graceful and even ethical compared to many agnostics and atheists that I personally know or know of. The only sense that I think of myself as being more blessed is in the sense that I have a conscious hope in a bright future, as undeserving as I am, whereas they do/did not (though they may be saved anyway and be very surprised to find themselves in the reality of heaven someday). It is, therefore, my goal to share this conscious hope with everyone who does not yet have it because I think it makes life much more tolerable and bearable here and nowâ€¦
Few atheists will be in heaven since:
‘…without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Heb. 11:6
Hence the importance of our sharing the gospel with atheists so they might accept and be saved – not just so they may have a more tolerable life here.
‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’- Jn 3:3
The new birth should make a man more graceful and ethical – but it must also give them a new heart. The well-springs of our behavior must be cleansed and purified. The text doesn’t say you must be outwardly graceful and ethical to enter the kingdom. It says that you must be ‘born from above.’ Few atheists will experience the inner spiritual transformation that Jesus says is necessary to enter the kingdom. There will be few ‘born-again atheists’ in heaven.
Victor Marshall Also Commented
I agree that conspiracy theories usually lead down worthless rabbit holes of unsubstantiated paranoia. You must realize however that you are likewise implying a conspiracy by saying that so-called ‘evolution deniers’ must develop and coordinate conspiracy theories to prop up their movement.
There is one grand overarching great controversy conspiracy outlined clearly in the Bible for which we must be concerned:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise they became fools,…” – Romans 1:18-23
The natural tendency of fallen human nature in a fallen world, under the partial control of fallen entities in conscious opposition to the Creator, is to deny, suppress and reject the evidence for the Creator – to develop man-made theories to controvert the evidence for the Creator. 
According to this biblical text it is the natural tendency of human beings to deny and suppress the truth about God. Darwinism is only one aspect of this phenomenon. The materialistic evolutionary community is engaged in a concerted effort to suppress the truth regarding an intelligent 1st cause, even though the evidence is glaringly obvious to thousands of PhD scientists(saying the Darwin doubters are wrong because they are a minority is a worthless argument, since all revolutionary propositions begin as a minority opinion). The most vigorous proponents of materialistic Neo-Darwinian theory are engaged in just such an endeavor – to suppress and squash dissent. 
Everyone from Sagan to Hawking to Dawkins have admitted that so-called scientific endeavor involves the constant process of observing a living world that obviously appears to be designed – and despite this glaringly obvious phenomenon – constantly conjuring up a materialistic hypothesis that denies the obvious.
I think you give scientists too much credit to imply that they are selfless enough to be ready to resist the tendency of human nature to tenaciously defend a profitable dogmatic status quo. History does not support such a favorable view of human nature – scientifically predisposed or otherwise. Those in power in the scientific community do not welcome any challenge to their ‘a priori’ world-view. The godless world-view which is at the foundation of their materialistic theories.
Look at the mind-boggling resistance to hardcore empirical evidence that soft tissue and blood cells exist in dinosaur fossils. The cry of denial from many is still ‘contamination!’
Even those who have decided to believe their own eyes, are reduced to the incredibly unscientific conclusion that soft tissue can be miraculously preserved for millions of years. An act of blind materialistic faith of the highest order.
What we have here is enormous momentum in reconstructing the actual evolutionary trajectory. This provides an increasing volume of evidence that the flagellum was constructed piece by piece from materials that were already present in earlier bacterial species, involving processes that include gene duplication, horizontal gene transfer, and gene loss. You do not need to remind me that you think this is impossible (indeed, you use the same wording every time you say so). You just need to recognise that the evidence is building up against you.
So let me get this straight. An apparatus that Dr. Burg of Harvard calls ‘the most efficient machine in the universe’ was “constructed” by unintelligent processes using parts that were not originally used for this purpose?!
Let me remind you that this is a machine with at least 40 working parts which must be assembled in a perfect sequential assembly process by other complex machinery which are themselves constructed by other complex machinery. Let me remind you that this is a machine with a very effective environmental sensory unit built into it.
Let me remind you that this machine has an operating speed of 100,000 rpm. A machine that can stop within a quarter turn while travelling at that speed and completely reverse to full speed within less than a turn.
Forgive me. I’m just a poor layperson who happened to have been watching and stumbled into the Christ-less atmosphere of scientific skepticism. Since I am a Christian seeking to die daily and have my intellectual pride laid in the dust, I tend to view creation as created. I also tend to try not to bend logic to the breaking point in seeking to rule out God.
Is it possible that Jesus can help us both?
Recent Comments by Victor Marshall
“The deepest students of science are constrained to recognize in nature the working of infinite power. But to man’s unaided reason, nature’s teaching cannot but be contradictory and disappointing. Only in the light of revelation can it be read aright, ‘Through faith we understand.’Heb.11:3” – Ed.134
As if all of your previous statements were not enough – here you come with this outrageous statement:
But I do deny that the Bible is the final authority. I donâ€™t think that it is the final authority.
I think it is plain enough now for all to see that the founding scientist of EducateTruth, who has vigorously been seeking to have LSU tow the orthodox Adventist line – is himself heterodox when it comes to the most foundational of Adventist beliefs!
Not only have you equated science with faith, you have supplanted Biblical authority with scientific authority. Isn’t this exactly in essence what theistic evolutionists do?! Is it possible that one who incessantly declares others to be ‘blind’ would himself be blind to his own hypocritical presuppositions?
Seventh-day Adventists are ‘people of the book.’ They claim the Protestant principle of ‘Sola Scriptura’ as the very foundation of their faith. You are not a Sola Scripturist. By your own standard, if you were employed by the Adventist church, you yourself should consider employment elsewhere.
This is indeed a most grave and serious ironic twist.
If the issues are not yet clear enough I will here quote one of the denominations most preeminently orthodox theologians. You will find that his clear and definitive statements are diametrically opposed to your own:
“A fundamental principle set forth by Scripture concerning itself is that the Bible alone is the final norm of truth, the primary and absolute source of authority, the ultimate court of appeal, in all areas of doctrine and practiceâ€¦ The principle of sola Scriptura implies two corollaries: the primacy and the sufficiency of Scriptureâ€¦.”
“Paul likewise rejects human â€œknowledgeâ€ (KJV â€œscienceâ€; Greek gnÅsis) as the final authority (1 Tim 6:20). Both OT and NT writers point out that since the Fall in Eden, nature has become depraved (Gen 3:17-18; Rom 8:20-21) and no longer perfectly reflects truth. Nature, rightly understood, is in harmony with Godâ€™s written revelation in Scripture (see Ps 19:1-6 [revelation of God in nature] and vv. 7-11 [revelation of the Lord in Scripture]); but as a limited and broken source of knowledge about God and reality, it must be held subservient to, and interpreted by, the final authority of Scripture (Rom 1:20-23; 2:14-16; 3:1-2).”
“2. The Sufficiency of Scripture. The principle of sola Scriptura implies the further corollary of the sufficiency of Scripture. The Bible stands alone as the unerring guide to truth; it is sufficient to make one wise unto salvation (2 Tim 3:15). It is the standard by which all doctrine and experience must be tested (2 Tim 3:16-17; Ps 119:105; Prov 30:5, 6; Isa 8:20; John 17:17; Acts 17:11; 2 Thess 3:14; Heb 4:12). Scripture thus provides the framework, the divine perspective, the foundational principles, for every branch of knowledge and experience. All additional knowledge and experience, or revelation, must build upon and remain faithful to, the all-sufficient foundation of Scripture. The sufficiency of Scripture is not just in the sense of material sufficiency, i.e., that Scripture contains all the truths necessary for salvation. Adventists also believe in the formal sufficiency of Scripture, i.e., that the Bible alone is sufficient in clarity so that no external source is required to rightly interpret it.”
“Adventists maintain the rallying cry of the Reformation–sola Scriptura, the Bible and the Bible only as the final norm for truth. All other sources of knowledge and experience must be tested by this unerring standard. The appropriate human response must be one of total surrender to the ultimate authority of the word of God (Isa 66:2).” – Richard M. Davidson, ‘Interpreting Scripture According to the Scriptures:Toward an understanding of Seventh-day Adventist Hermeneutics.’ BRI
Not only do you seem diametrically opposed to foundational Adventist theology. You also appear (for all intents and purposes) to be fundamentally opposed to the purposes and goals of EducateTruth itself.
â€œ4. More important than all of these is that the Bible find its place as the ultimate authority on all it touches upon within the classroomâ€¦â€¦ The bottom line of this controversy is not about creation vs. evolution, but authority. Does the Bible inform our science or does science inform the Bible? This question lies at the heart of this controversy.â€ – Shane Hilde
In light of this further unfortunate irony – perhaps you should seek employment on another web site.
I encourage you to reexamine the basis for you faith and prayerfully surrender it to the Word of God – not scientific reason.
“When we come to the Bible, reason must acknowledge an authority superior to itself, and heart and intellect must bow before the great I AM.” (SC 110).
More â€œsureâ€ than what? More sure than Peterâ€™s testimony. Peterâ€™s testimony is helpful and helps us believe that Jesus is the Messiah. But even Peterâ€™s testimony is not adequate to affirm Jesus and who He is. We must necessarily turn to â€œMoses and the prophetsâ€ and validate Jesus as the Messiah based on their testimony.
Simply put, Moses is the final authority in all matters of doctrine and faith. If it is not in harmony with Moses, it is false. And this includes Jesus and His ministry.
Very good Bill.
I like to look at it this way as well. Moses said that, “at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” We have the two witnesses of the Old and New Testaments – each one establishes the testimony of the other – both are further established by a third witness – the Holy Spirit. These three witnesses are sufficient to establish truth.
The bible affirming itself as the final authority is the same as God affirming His own authority.
Another interesting parallel passage in the Bible is, “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.” In this passage we have the concept that God is a sufficient witness for Himself. Of course, in a sense, He is also actually three witnesses isn’t He!
The bible presents its own evidence. It is self affirming.
If you deny the bible is the final authority on its on self affirmations, then you are simply not a bible Christian.
The bible does not try to â€œproveâ€ everything. Something are simply stated as a fact. Especially things that are not â€œproveableâ€ by science and/or human experience.
Science and human experience may be helpful, but they are not the final word and it is a mistake to try to affirm every jot and tittle of scriptual teaching by such â€œproofâ€.
Well stated Bro. Sorenson.