Comment on Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation by Ron.
Lydian: As I understand Genesis 1, 2 the only “spiritual truth” I see in it is that God not only created humans but everything else He said He did and He did it in six literal
days–just as the text says He did. If you don’t believe that, what is left that is “true and valuable”?
There are many spiritual lessons in Genesis 1-3 that have nothing to do with 6 literal days of creation. Here are only a few:
1. God created you, and loved you enough to create a special garden just for your pleasure.
2. God is interested in you personally and wants you to spend the 7th day of the week resting and enjoying the garden with him. (Note that from Adam’s perspective, how God created the world, and how long it took is really irrelevant. If God wants to spend every 7th day with Adam celebrating what God has created, then for Adam, that is a good thing to do.) It is good to be thankful. It will make your life richer.
3. God created the Earth and put man in charge to take care of it, not to rape and destroy it.
4. There are boundaries to to rightful acquisition and ownership. Stealing is wrong and will lead to destruction.
5. Self control is good. You don’t need to have or do everything, just because it is good to eat, or will make one wise.
6. The proper response to abuse i.e. someone stealing from you, is to first confront the person. If the person does not understand the harm in what they did and repent (as Adam and Eve did not repent), then you must separate yourself from them.
7. Blaming others for your own actions is not taking responsibility, is not true repentance, and will not result in restoration of your relationship.
8. When there is repentance, then it is good to forgive, and make a way for those who have wronged you to restore their relationship with you.
9. Forgiving will cost you. It is the one who was wronged that must bear the cost. It may feel like you are slitting the throat of your own son, but you must still do it, and in the end it is worth the cost.
10. Some actions have evil consequences. One of our tasks in this life at least, is learning what those consequences are and developing wisdom to discern the difference between good and evil.
11. It is good to use that wisdom to avoid evil.
12. You can have innocence, or wisdom. You must choose, and you cannot have both.
13. Things, like the serpent, may not always be what they appear to be. People can lie to you, or you may draw wrong conclusions from what you see.
14. God has a work for man. Man has a purpose. That work is to study what God has created and to name what he finds. Note that to the Hebrew mind, to name something was to define its purpose or character. So man was to explore and determine how to use what God has created to care for himself and the rest of creation.
15. Man and woman are of the same flesh, and are to be equal partners. Sexual discrimination is wrong.
16. Be careful of your passions. Your love for your spouse can cause you to do things that are destructive.
17. Be careful of anger (Cain). It can lead to murder.
18. Pain and suffering are only temporary. There is a better day coming.
19. With the exception of the tree of life, everything that was in Eden originally is still here in the world today. Don’t be so grief stricken over evil that you fail to enjoy the Eden that is still here today.
I could go on, but this is probably enough for now. I think many of these lessons are more important than the argument over exactly when and how long it took God to create the world. I also think the lessens in the story would be valuable even if the entire story were absolutely and completely fictional.
Ron Also Commented
How much post creation evoltion is allowed?
I never even implied a proto life or anything other than a six day creation. I am talking about what happens after creation.
Sean thinks that at least some Darwinian evolution takes place now. How does that happen?. Did god create the mechanisms originally, and they now happen atheistically, or does He continue to be active in the process?
Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation
Sean, So I think I am hearing from you that a Biblical creation model would allow for basically any kind Is htof evolution there is, or which we might discover as long as it is destructive in nature, or is not too complex. is that right? You don’t believe that it is possible to believe that significant improvements are possible and still be a creationist.
Are you able to define that bounday between significant and minor theologically?
Recent Comments by Ron
Sean Pitman: No one is demanding that they “get out of the church”. . . . . anti-Adventist views on such a fundamental level.
You don’t see how characterizing a dedicated believer’s understanding of truth as “fundamentally anti-Adventist” would drive them out of the church?
I guess that explains why you don’t see that what you are doing here is fundamentally wrong.
Professor Kent: Nothing saddens me more than the droves who leave the Church when they learn that many of their cherished beliefs regarding this evidence don’t hold up so well to scrutiny.
I agree. I am sure that Sean and Bob don’t mean to undermine faith in God, but every time they say that it is impossible to believe in God and in science at the same time, I feel like they are telling me that any rational person must give up their belief in God, because belief in God and rationality can’t exist in the same space. Who would want to belong to that kind of a church?
Sean Pitman: and have little if anything to do with the main point of their prophetic claims
And by analogy, this appears to be a weak point in the creation argument. Who is to decide what the main point is?
It seems entirely possible that in trying to make Gen. 1 too literal, that we are missing the whole point of the story.
Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
Regarding falsifying the existence of God through the miraculous:
While it is true that one can’t falsify the existance of God and the Biblical miracles at a philosophical level, it seems to me that it is possible to falsify it at a practical level. For instance prayer for healing. How many families who pray for a miracle for a loved one in the Intensive Care Unit receive a miracle?
While the answer to that question doesn’t answer the question of the existence of God at a philosophical level, it does answer the question at a practical level. After 36 years of medical practice I can say definitively that at a practical level when it comes to miracles in the ICU, God does not exist. Even if a miracle happens latter today, it wouldn’t be enough to establish an expectation for the future. So at a practicle level it seems it is possible level to falsify the existence od God, or at least prove His nonintervention which seems to me to be pretty much the same thing at a functional level.
Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
Sean, what is your definition of “Neo-darwinism” as opposed to “Darwinism” as opposed to “evolution”?