@Ron: “I do not believe that teaching about creation, the …

Comment on Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation by Wesley Kime.

@Ron: “I do not believe that teaching about creation, the Sabbath, faith in Jesus, the three angel’s message or any other fundamental belief is the primary purpose of the Seventh-day Adventist church. The primary purpose of the church is to help sinners to understand the truth and thereby develop a relationship with Jesus.”

Sounds exciting. Sounds refreshing, bodes well for our lethargic legalistic church, And your way is saying it is exceptionally articulate and magnetizing, kind of poetic, the version I always clip for reference. That’s a compliment.

And excited and glowing is how I felt walking into the new academically oriented Contemporary Issues Sabbath School class at one of our largest SDA medical centers 15 or 20 years ago when the new message was pretty much what you are giving now, though, as I remember it, not as endearingly presented, nor, being new, as polished.

But, alas, I’ve seen what came of it, that now familiar message, and it isn’t exciting and does not bode well.

At first, 20 years ago, the message of loving tolerance and nicer priorities was for debate. To be vibrant and vivified the church must debate its beliefs, not just swallow them, gulp. Debate is crucial.

Somehow in the process it emerged that the old priorities needed to be reinterpreted through hermeneutics, that unfamiliar but superior approach, and reconsidered in the light of unimpeachable new science. And thus restudied, questioned. And thus questioned, doubted. And thus questioned and doubted, inevitably disproven. Then there is no recourse but to frankly disown those old dubious, disproven, disreputable priorities. Drop them.

For (at first it was presented as questions, for debate) is it not true that literal Creation, legalistic Sabbath, phantasmagorical angelic messages, are repressive and stifling, downright embarrassing? Is it not true they do not appeal to educated people? Is not this why Adventism is not growing? Is this not why our youth are leaving the church in droves? [Or, which may be worse, not leaving, and emerging as loving, liberated thought leaders transforming the church?] Would not discarding it all be good riddance? What’s to debate?

Like T.S. Eliot’s Tiresias who had foresuffered it all, enacted on this same diven or bed (“The Wasteland”), I’ve seen how it plays out. Not well.

Why does it work that way? Whatever the answer, work that way it has.

Wesley Kime Also Commented

Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation
@Ron: And are you saying that to deny Darwin is to deny God; is to deny a very character of God (whatever it is); is to deny God His eonic creative tools; is to deny Creation; is to deny Intelligent Design; is to deny theism (why not deism?); is to deny Adventism; is to deny hermeneutics and Genesis as nice reads; is to deny that a tree grows in Brooklyn; is to deny particle and political science and women’s rights; is to deny dedicated professors their rightful smartphones; is to deny Sean; is to deny the holocaust; is to, is … where were we? Are we there yet? Anyway, Moses was a child and animal abuser.

Friend Ken Gilgamesh, why can’t you come up with stuff like that? Oh well, I’ll settle for question marks.

PS: Darwinian is to evo is to creation is to change as Einsteinian is to relativity, Japanese a maple tree. No more, no less.


Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation
@Holly Pham: And Pastor Bell is regarded as an “emergent thought leader” and regularly participates in progressive seminars and forums, when he’s not participating in protest marches or occupy-ins.


Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation
@Ken: Hi, Ken. May I join you in the bleachers, strange bleacher-fellows if not exactly mind-mates, thrown by circumstances together as refugees from, and spectators of, the recent deluge of posts, of Gilgameshian if not Noachian proportions? Beware of the sharks, undertows, and giant jellyfish.

The good old Reformation thing, indisputable but too mutable — justification vs faith vs grace vs justification by faith through grace, vs the just shall live by faith by grace — and the supremely incontrovertible premise and appended inevitable if questionable payoff, that Jesus, not doctrine, must be central (indisputable), best forget the doctrines altogether because Jesus is so central nothing else counts, even if Jesus Himself, after proclaiming the first part, affirmed and reaffirmed His having come to fulfill all doctrine nee “law”, and who understands all that anyway? Whew! Move over, Ken. Have some popcorn.

How often, over so many years, I’ve suffered all that in several of the odd enclaves educated Adventists find themselves in, and now it’s clogging our blogs. The Postadventist super-PAC, like Romney’s, and Obama’s, seems possessed of endless resources, running the same ads ad nauseum. Having heard it for so long, having become so weary of it, so disillusioned by the actual consequences thereof, and by nature, once having spouted off in rebuttal, averse to blithely and obliviously interminably repeating myself interminably, blithely and obliviously, I’m not up to the repetition-repetition that seems the soul and formula of political and theological debating nowadays. Don’t give up the fight, brother, I hear shouted from the arena. Never! But I need a breather – in the bleachers.

Hmmm… I think I feel less discombobulated here with you, gentle, friendly, steadfast agnostic, than with the adulterous Christian kind. Let the others do the posting and riposting. I apologize for our Christian agnostics’ stealing all your lines, to wit, more or less: “how can you know?” “How do you know you’re right?” “Buddha, Jesus, EGW are wonderful teachers, equally wonderful, and just teachers. I’m not so sure about EGW.” “What is your ultimate authority?” “Nobody believes that!” “The best scholars question that.” But now there’s Sean, always so admirably adequate and reassuring. He says it so well. And David Read. Let’s sit this one out, except for maybe a discrete peep or two, now and then, as, say, the spirit moves us, as it just did you, I see. I’ll keep your seat warm.

Heard any good hermeneutics lately?

Your ahermeneutical bleacher-bound friend, W


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Brilliant, beautiful, and so right! Speaking of your presentation at LLU recently. Great to see you and your family (especially my namesake, Wes. God bless! WK


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I accept that I must accept it, wholly, actively, even with agony, with my whole being.


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