Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation

By Sean Pitman

The Collegian, the school paper for Walla Walla University, just published an entire spread on the topic of evolution vs. creation with authors (primarily students) from multiple departments contributing.  An interesting survey was also published primarily reflecting the beliefs of WWU students on the topic of origins (a smaller percentage of faculty, staff, and alumni were also included in the survey).

While opinions both for and against the traditional Seventh-day Adventist perspective on origins were published in this issue (noting Alden Thompson’s positive article in particular), most of the articles seemed to undermine the importance of teaching the validity of a truly literal six-day creation week – despite the historical position of the Church that the literal nature of the six-day creation week is “fundamental” to the faith of Seventh-day Adventists.

For example, Katie Wittlake, a Religion Editor for the paper wrote in the lead article for this section:

To enforce a specific belief as necessary, especially one that is at odds with the general scientific community, is dangerous ground for Adventism. As I hear about the proposal to rewrite the 28 Fundamental Beliefs to include a more literal understanding of Genesis, I worry more about alienation from the larger community than I do about whether or not the belief is valid. Whether or not you take the Genesis account to be literal, figurative, or complete fiction, the message and mission of Adventism is not conveyed well if we put ourselves in a position of intolerance with disagreement (Read More).

In the lead article for the opinion pieces Jeff Ladish wrote:

I am horrified that the leaders of an Adventist conference would dramatically condemn fellow Adventists for teaching a standard scientific theory…  To the vast majority of biologists, questioning the explanatory power of evolution would be like questioning the existence of atoms…  While some Adventists believe that a literal seven-day creation week is essential to the Sabbath doctrine and Adventist belief as a whole, other Adventists don’t see the details of creation as a church-breaking issue (God can still make a day of rest even if He didn’t create the earth in 144 hours). I agree with the latter group of Adventists. The church shouldn’t dictate which precise interpretations of the Bible are “correct,” and it definitely shouldn’t decide which scientific theories are legitimate (Read More).

 

Even one of the main characters involved with actively promoting long-age evolutionism within our schools from the beginning, Erv Taylor, professor emeritus of anthropology at UCR and self-styled “Christan Agnostic“, was asked to write an article for this issue:

If we all agree that all Adventist Christians confess that God is the Creator, may I submit that the current debate within Adventism is about the details of how and when God did it? It’s about what processes were used by God in creating the world and life forms. It’s also about how long it took for God to create the world and living organisms…  Since the 2010 General Conference session, there are now a number of influential Adventist administrators who are publicly calling for the advancement of an Adventist shibboleth over this issue. This shibboleth would not be a single word, but a phrase. That phrase would be something similar to: “Creation in seven recent consecutive contiguous 24-hour days.” Regretfully, some are advocating the placement of some version of that code phrase into the statement of Adventist fundamental beliefs. If successful, this action would only create and foster even more polarization in our faith community (Read More).

In short, while the survey results did show that a small majority of students at Walla Walla still believe in the Adventist position on origins, a large number do not.   From this article it also appears that they are not getting much support from the professors at WWU when it comes to providing students with good reasons, scientifically valid and doctrinally sound reasons, in favor of the Adventist perspective on origins.

Clearly, La Sierra University is not the only Adventist school that has been challenged by the issue of origins. While LSU may have been the most blatant in attacking and undermining the Adventist position on origins, many of our other schools (with the exception of Southern Adventist University and Southwestern Adventist University where the Adventist position on origins is still strongly upheld and promoted) seem to be heading down the same path or are at least very weak in their active support of the Church on this issue.

Our Adventist Church needs to take a hard look at what it expects from our own schools.  In the mean time, both our church and our school system need to be very open and honest with students, parents, and the church membership at large as to what exactly is being taught to our young people on the topic of origins.  At the very least we should not be advertising one thing, the promotion of the official standards of Adventism, while actually undermining or even attacking certain of these basic goals and “fundamental” ideals.

More than ever it is time for the Adventist Church to take a clear stand on the importance, or non-importance, of its views on origins.  Either the Church’s “Fundamental Belief #6” on origins needs to be clarified to highlight the Church’s stand on the nature of the creation of all life on this planet in just six literal days, and hold its pastors and teachers accountable to this standard, or it needs to clearly and decidedly remove this concept from the fundamental doctrinal positions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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Follow up note (2/10/2012):

Mandi, a fourth year biology student at WWU, wrote a very interesting comment in response to this article:

If they had asked me to respond I would have shared my belief, which is the same as my major professors and I believe most of my fellow students, that I believe in creation and have been encouraged by all my professors to study not only my textbooks but my Bible as well. So often I get into conversations with fellow students and professors about complexities of cellular signaling or the fine balance of our universe… (Read More).

Also, R., a biology major at WWU, wrote:

The Biology department had no part in writing the survey and the majority of biology majors were both deeply saddened and offended by the published paper. It was neither an unbiased or fair look at any of the issues covered. If you are looking for a fair, realistic look at what the students and faculty of Walla Walla believe, this was not it. The staff at WWU is very conscientious to teach in ways that are in line with Biblical teachings. The school goes out of its way to teach students like me to grow in faith and knowledge. (Read More)

2/11/2012:

However, in a post by “Student at WWU” the following disturbing comments were made:

Ya’ll are being lied here at the request of the biology department. They set off the alarm this (Friday) morning and urged their students to defend them by talking about how their having faith and belief in creation had been affirmed at WWU to “prevent another La Sierra.”… The comments over at freethoughtblogs are much more accurate in relation to what the faculty at our school teach and support. (Read More)

Here’s a comment from a physics student at WWU:

When I arrived at the school [WWU] a few years ago, I was definitely Adventist. Now, as a result of my education (and also my friends), I am agnostic trending toward atheist. Yes, there are a lot of very religious people here. Yes, I used to be one of them. Now, I think I know the majority of my fellow skeptics here. We exist underground and the group is slowly growing… No one has yet lost their job over this, but I may be speaking too soon. Apparently the General Conference (the highest power in the Adventist Church, for the uninitiated), has been in communication with the school over this issue. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. (Read More).

From another WWU student, Beemack:

Most of the biology professors there [at WWU] do actually teach straight evolution, even though they’ll offer the qualifier on the first day of class, something like “whether you believe it or not, this is what you have to know to be a scientist”… What people who’ve never been part of this denomination may not know is that there is a big difference between what the SDA scientists teach/think/believe and what the mainstream student body (or mainstream church) believes – also between what the scientist can admit to believing and what they actually think.” (Read More)

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331 thoughts on “Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation

  1. Mack Ramsey: I don’t agree or even like everything you say, but I’m not going to tell you to shut up and do it my way because I believe that there is room for mutual understanding, even on a forum designed to attack fully one half the church if not more.

    A point of correction: The subject of this web site is not “should theistic evolutionists be allowed to post on the internet in Christian forums”.

    The topic here is “can SDAs be forced to pay those who reject SDA doctrine – to continue to preach/teach against our beliefs and undermine our mission”.

    Another point of correction: It was not at all apparent at the GC2010 session for the world wide church – that 50% sided with evolutionists. No it is more correct to say that it was hard to find 2 or 3% that did at that voting session.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  2. pauluc: I simply ask you why you still have not published your critique of current darwinian evolutionary models in the scientific literature yet? What is the problem? Do you doubt the scientific value of your model and its ability to withstand scrutiny by peer review? Do you think there is some conspiracy against you?

    Do you argue this point as if those atheists and agnostics that have challenged blind faith evolutionism in the past – got a fair hearing?

    Did you ever take the time to read Patterson’s own lament of the religious nature by which evolutionism is being promoted over science?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  3. BobRyan: ernet in Christian forums”.

    The topic here is “can SDAs be forced to pay those who reject SDA doctrine – to continue to preach/teach against our beliefs and undermine our mission”.

    Another point of correction: It was not at all apparent at the GC2010 session for the world wide church – that 50% side

    Yes. You should pay them. It’s that whole don’t muzzle the ox bit or deny a workman his wages in the bible. You’ve hired these men you pay them. You paid them to teach science they taught it. Just because in your opinion you disagree with your teachers is not an indication of bad teaching, but that you a bad student. It’s possible for a teacher to make mistakes, but who corrects the teacher? other teachers, not the students. You may want to cover your years and scream “nanananananana” but this does not advance our mission. Dedication to truth advances our mission and for teaching the truth the teachers at la Sierra were unfairly persecuted. But let’s use a different issue to clarify things. I don’t agree with the churches stance on the non-ordination of women. But I don’t feel as if I’m being “forced” to support this policy with my tithes and offerings. This is an issue that I disagree with and I hope it changes. May it will someday, maybe it won’t. But even if it doesn’t (and let’s face it it probably won’t) just because I don’t agree doesn’t mean I don’t support the church. Same goes for you. You can be “forced” to support positions you do not personally agree with. Your taxes go to programs you don’t like, your pathfinder dues to things you may not agree with, the church supports positions that are incorrect (both liberals and conservatives have their bugaboos) every society has things that each individual member doesn’t agree with. If you think the aggregate is on the whole a positive one than the sacrifice is worthy.

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    • @Mack Ramsey:

      I said

      A point of correction: The subject of this web site is not “should theistic evolutionists be allowed to post on the internet in Christian forums”.

      The topic here is “can SDAs be forced to pay those who reject SDA doctrine – to continue to preach/teach against our beliefs and undermine our mission”.

      Another point of correction: It was not at all apparent at the GC2010 session for the world wide church – that 50% sided with evolutionists. No it is more correct to say that it was hard to find 2 or 3% that did at that voting session.

      You claim that anyone who wrangles their way into a teaching office should be paid no matter how aberrant, how bible denying, how undermining their teaching.

      Yet in Acts 20 Paul calls these people “grievous wolves” that church leaders should protect the flock against.

      You argue that the flock and the administration should do all in their power to protect and promote the wolves of Ats 20 — as if that is a Bible based position under the guise “feed the ox in the field”. (A comment you take wholly out of context – a text in the bible about paying legitimate pastors – instead of making them work at some other job to get paid).

      in Christ,

      Bob

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    • @Mack Ramsey:

      But let’s use a different issue to clarify things. I don’t agree with the churches stance on the non-ordination of women. But I don’t feel as if I’m being “forced” to support this policy with my tithes and offerings. This is an issue that I disagree with and I hope it changes. May it will someday, maybe it won’t. But even if it doesn’t (and let’s face it it probably won’t) just because I don’t agree doesn’t mean I don’t support the churc

      I see – so when the church fires the teachers at WWU (as they did a number of years ago) for undermining church doctrine and teaching evolutionism “instead” of actual science and actual theology — you are more than happy to support the church leadership.

      Well I too was very happy to support them as they did that. And I support them telling LSU that it must desist from undermining the doctrines of the Adventist Church.

      And I support them as they declare in the GC 2010 session that evolutionism is nonsense.

      Perhaps we do agree on something after all.

      in Christ,

      Bob

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  4. Bill Sorensen: In short, the church can define anything it pleases, right or wrong, and demand that any and all who want to be members must adhere to that teaching.

    This may be true for any church except the SDA church, because the SDA church makes a unique claim to be at the margin, to be living at the advancing boundary of truth. We claim to be a safe place for people who are seeking and advancing in truth. It is our claim to represent Present Truth that makes it invalid for the SDA church to assert a creed. A creed by definition puts down stakes and tells the Holy Spirit, We will go this far, and no further. Whether, we are right, or wrong, it doesn’t matter, this is what we will believe. Anybody who believes this is in, whoever doesn’t is out. The effect of a creed is to stop discussion and prohibit movement. Such an attitude is death to the heart and soul of the Adventist Church. If the church takes that stand, then what would be the point of belonging to it? It is dead. It’s Salt will have lost its savor. It will have rejected the leading of the Holy Spirit. Leave it alone.

    If the church were to expel members, it should expel those members who are attacking and damaging other members. If teachers were not managing the discussion in such a way that every participant felt heard and respected, then perhaps there would be grounds to remove them for allowing an abusive environment, for failing to protect. I could see the church removing people like Bob, Bill, and Sean, not because of their views, but because they have crossed the line from vigorously promoting their views, to vigorously attacking people. Vigorously promoting your views is healthy and contributes to the growth of truth. Attacking individuals is destructive to the true aims of the church.

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  5. Bill Sorensen: I would paraphrase Goldstein who would say “Hit the road if you don’t like what we believe and teach.”

    A statement like this can only be made by a person who does not understand the unique mission of the SDA church. Goldstein is obviously a weaker brother who does not yet understand even the most basic milk of the word. We should pray for him.

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  6. Ron: I could see the church removing people like Bob, Bill, and Sean, not because of their views, but because they have crossed the line from vigorously promoting their views, to vigorously attacking people.

    I see…. so this means you have some quote from me that has “at least” as ad hominem a remark as what you just wrote?

    you have some quote from me saying “the church should expel people like Mack? Ron?”.

    If so – I would like to see it.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  7. @Mack Ramsey:
    Mack Ramsey: I think there is a very real threat of turning the bible into an idol …(I’m using 2 Tim 3:16,17 as my backup on this)

    The logical non sequitur in your posts are sometimes not so hard to find.

    So let’s take the case of your blind faith in evolutionism vs the Bible statement in Ex 20:11 that in Six Days God created the heavens and the earth the seas and all that is in them… you know “legal code”.

    According to 2Tim 3:16-17 wild aberrant blind-faith in evolutionism is to be informed and instructed and yes the text says “corrected” by the content of scripture.

    In fact in the Acts 17:11 mode you would be determining your belief “sola scriptura”.

    So how is it you toss the Bible under the bus and choose evolutionism “instead”??

    Darwin explained why he did it – but he did not make the self-conflicted argument that he did so because 2Tim 3:16-17 told him to – or that it was his backing for doing so.

    How about you?

    How is this all supposed to work in your model?

    The Bible says that we are not to ignore or despise messages that come from God to his prophets — such as what we find in 3SG 90-91 (if you happen to be SDA). How does this fit your model?

    Mack Ramsey: You paid them to teach science they taught it. Just

    We hired them to teach science – not the junk-science religious myths of evolutionism.

    Myths that even our atheist evolutionist friends are saying “should not be taught in high school” because it conveys “anti knowledge”.

    Not myths that directly contradict the message and mission of the SDA church. T.E. is explicitly condemned by church leaders from the earliest days of our church – see 3SG 90-91.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  8. Well, one simple statement of “the church” is this, “The bible trumps everything”. Period.

    Now you may “bicker” about several things the church teaches, but when you attack the bible, it is absolutely necessary for those who do so to be exposed as false teachers and dealt with accordingly.

    I think in my opinion and in the minds of others, both Ron and Mack are attacking the bible and its authority. This is typical of the liberal agenda. It is to undermine scripture in various ways so they can advance their own agenda.

    One of the main ways to do this is to claim the scriptures are not understandable. And another way is to claim the writers were not directed by God but simply stated their own concepts as they preceived them in their day.

    There are other ways as well, like claiming ongoing enlightenment trumps past revelations. But it seems obvious to me that the whole liberal agenda is to undermine the bible so they can advance their own agenda.

    Ron quoted me and then responsed….

    “Bill Sorensen: In short, the church can define anything it pleases, right or wrong, and demand that any and all who want to be members must adhere to that teaching.

    This may be true for any church except the SDA church,…..”

    This conclusion is ridiculous. To claim the SDA church has no duty or authority discipline apostacy is absurd.

    My conclusion is this is typical of liberal drivel that should be exposed and opposed in no uncertain terms.

    It would mean the SDA church has no authority to define itself and state any objective goal or mission and teaching.

    As I have said, I am personally willing that the church should “judge” me and decide if I am in agreement with its mission and identity. And I have equal freedom to do the same in my relationship with the church.

    To attack this principle is to bring complete and mass confusion that has already happened to some degree, and will continue until some definitive statements are made with the intent to discipline those who do not agree.

    For now, the liberals play “word games” with the hope of creating more confusion about basic issues.

    And yes, I agree with Goldstein on this issue, even though I don’t always agree with him on every issue. This one is non-negotiable with zero tolerance.

    Bill Sorensen

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  9. I would like to go on record as saying I, as a current WWU student, do NOT agree with the views and opinions of the Collegian. They are, in my opinion, those by an extremely liberal group of individuals who’s only goal is to provoke heated, unnecessary debate on our campus and abroad.

    It is my opinion that the administration on our campus should remove the student-officials from office and replace them with individuals who are in line with the mission of the Adventist church. Call me a “conservative”, a “zealot” or whatever name you so wish to give me, but I believe in the mission of our church. It does not need changed or debated. To those who disagree I would kindly show the door.

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  10. ron: I don’t know who Steven Bohr or Walter Veith are but Doug Bachelor is embarrassing.

    You know, Ron, the more I read your postings the more I see you are not an SDA in any way, shape, or form. How you dare to say such a thing about God’s workmen–especially Doug Batchelor, who is one of the best preachers around and true as the pole to God and His message–is beyond me. You should keep in mind the way God avenged the treatment of Elisha by sending the bears to rend the mocking children. You are putting yourself on very dangerous ground.

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  11. Ron:

    And just so you know, Walter Veith was a professor of evolution in South Africa who became converted when he started looking into the huge holes in the evolutionary theory. He blows the doors off evolution.

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  12. Ron: I see the mind of Satan reflected in the rigid intolerance of the conservatives. Remember, it was Satan that opposed the creation of this world due to his fears of spreading sin.

    Are you serious? Satan never opposed the creation of this world at all. He was just jealous that he wasn’t invited into the planning of it. And, “his fears of spreading sin”???? Whose fears? Satan’s? Spreading sin is his business. Where on earth do you get all this rot?

    Ron: It is Satan that is the accuser of the brethren and is trying to get people kicked out of heaven, and it is Satan that crucified Christ because Christ refused to bow the the orthodoxy of his time.

    Again, are you serious? Satan didn’t have Christ crucified because Christ refused to bow to the orthodoxy of his time. Where do you come up with this stuff? Satan is at war with Christ because he got booted out of heaven because of his unbelief. He was simply trying to overcome Christ in the hopes he could retain this world as his own kingdom and thus escape the punishment he knows he will be getting–the lake of fire.

    I don’t know what you have been studying, but is certainly isn’t SDA doctrine. Your ideas are way out there. They miss the mark by more than a mile. I rarely see anything in your posts that has a grain of truth in it. You need to study, study, study the Bible if you intend to gain salvation. And you need to take it literally!

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    • @Holly Pham:

      No, I’m real. I am born and bred Adventist. Some of my ansestors belonged to the Millerite movement before there even was an Adventist church. My parents were missionaries. I as trained exclusively in Seventh-day Adventist schools. In fact, I graduated with a Religion major.

      When conservatives did their hatchet jobs on Brinsmead, Ford, Larson, Standish et.al. I was too young to understand what was happening, and to speak out, but I am older now, and what has and is happening is wrong. Matt. 13:30 As Jesus predicted, this attitude has done incalculable damage to the church. And I will not stand by quietly and let you destroy my church.

      Re: Doug Batchelor
      I have heard him speak many times. He is certainly entertaining, but his attitude toward women and gays is evil. (I am old enough to say that without any risk of disrespect to my elders.)

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  13. Faith: You know, Ron, the more I read your postings the more I see you are not an SDA in any way, shape, or form. How you dare to say such a thing about God’s workmen–especially Doug Batchelor, who is one of the best preachers around and true as the pole to God and His message–is beyond me. You should keep in mind the way God avenged the treatment of Elisha by sending the bears to rend the mocking children. You are putting yourself on very dangerous ground.

    You’re correct Faith. Doug Batchelor preaches numerous evangelistic campaigns aroung the world every year. He is on 3ABN and Hope Channel probably dozens of times per week.

    He is invited to many conferences to speak, Camp Meetings, Week of Prayer’s, and youth meetings, not only in the U.S. but around the world.

    How is this an example of being “embarrassing?”

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  14. I forgot to mention that Pastor Batchelor also is the leader of Amazing Facts, which has its own TV network, tens of thousands of online bible study students, school of evengelism (training hundreds and thousands of people to serve God’s truth)and online websites, too numerous to mention, teaching God’s Truth.

    And “Ron” is embarrassed by this?

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  15. WWU Student: I would like to go on record as saying I, as a current WWU student, do NOT agree with the views and opinions of the Collegian. They are, in my opinion, those by an extremely liberal group of individuals who’s only goal is to provoke heated, unnecessary debate on our campus and abroad. It is my opinion that the administration on our campus should remove the student-officials from office and replace them with individuals who are in line with the mission of the Adventist church. Call me a “conservative”, a “zealot” or whatever name you so wish to give me, but I believe in the mission of our church. It does not need changed or debated. To those who disagree I would kindly show the door.

    @Student, Why doesn’t the WW administration do anything? Is it as impotent as the one at La Sierra? Why aren’t those involved “shown the door?”

    Isn’t one of the main reasons to keep the enrollment numbers high, no matter who or what is admitted to Walla Walla? La Sierra? Pacific Union College?

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  16. Holly, I think you know that money is a major factor in decision making in these higher learning institutions.

    No doubt, millions of dollars are involved that would or could be forfeited if evolution is not taught.

    Government gifts come with government conditions. Like Balaam, they hope to gain the financial benefit and still maintain some viable status with God.

    The final end will no doubt be the same.

    Bill Sorensen

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    • @concerned:

      3 Hints:

      1. In Genesis 1 God said that all the animals were initially designed to eat plants – not each other.

      2. God is the one who “invented hibernation” not evolutionists.

      3. Canidae family have breeding links.

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

      And of course — if you had intended on using any of that language in your vid – I am thankful you did not find the space to put those words on this thread.

      in Christ,

      Bob

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  17. To those so passionately defending their faith:

    What does all this legalistic pedantry get you?

    Christ condemned the pharisees for this type of behavior. Do you really think it’s okay for Adventists?

    Realize, you militant defenders of your faith, that your vitriolic and dismissive tone sets a stumbling block for many. This is just as dangerous to your cause as any amount of “liberals”, “evolutionists”, or whatever the threat of the day is.

    You’re ambassadors, each and every one of you. Remember that.

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  18. Tuma, this is basically and “in house discussion” with some “outsiders” who come and comment.

    An “outsider” is less apt to be chided and opposed, even though there will be opposition, than an insider.

    Those who profess to be SDA and totally mis-represent the fundamental confessions of faith should be exposed and challenged to reform, or move on to other places of fellowship.

    Jesus witnessed in many different ways depending on who he was encountering. Read Matt. 23 as well as many other places where He challenged in no uncertain terms those who claimed to represent the faith in leadership with scathing rebukes.

    His sermon on the Mt. was to a different type of people in general. The point is, there is no one specific way to witness in following the example of Jesus. We must consider the circumstances as He did, and formulate our witness to fit the situation.

    And finally, as you stated, we should always endeavor to “witness” with the goal of being redemptive. Not an easy task in many cases. And we should also keep in mind, that no one was ever won to Christ by way of scorn, ridicule, and contempt. Elijah learned this lesson the hard way after the Mr. Carmel experience.

    How we might confront individauls who attack the church from within, is probably not the way to witness to those without. We should at least know the difference, even if we often fail in “doing it the right way.”

    And finally, if a “perfect witness” were possible so that all would come to faith, it would have happened when Jesus was on earth, for His witness was flawless and still, few believed.

    Bill Sorensen

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  19. I believe that one of the issues that arises when a religious text recounts an historical event is that the significance of the message gets lost in a quagmire of interpretations of the setting.

    When studying the Genesis origins story, what should we be taking away from it? Was it the intention of the author to communicate that the Earth was created in six literal days, or was their intent perhaps to convey that this hunk of rock we call home is actually a beautiful, complex, and wonderful place that is perfectly suited to sustain our fragile lives?

    Do we really gain a reverence and respect for nature through an understanding of the time frame involved in its maturation, or is the significance perhaps simply that the reality we see before us exists in the first place?

    My hope for the Adventist community is that it can embrace scientific knowledge, facts, and truths when educating our youth to succeed in a modern world; and embrace spiritual significance in the messages of the Bible when those messages promote a healthy, loving, and spiritual lifestyle.

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    • The Basis of Biblical Credibility

      @Kip Coleman:

      The issue in play here is one of credibility. If the Bible can’t get a few very basic concepts right, how can it be trusted in those things that are more complex or metaphysical? – statements of realities that cannot be directly tested at all?

      You see, the reliability of the Bible with regard to its metaphysical statements of truth are dependent upon the credibility of those statements of the Bible that are subject to testing and the potential for falsification.

      This is what makes the Biblical statements as to the timing of creation and the nature of the Noachian Flood very important to a rational Adventist faith and to a rational Christian faith at large…

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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      • @Sean Pitman:

        The evolutionist’s argument (the T.E. in this case) is that even when the Bible is shown to be dead wrong – it is not detrimental to the Bible so long as you bend the Bible where and when you can get by with it so it is not allowed to mean what it appears to say. And where that is not possible then simply hold the Bible out at arm’s length – the proper distance from expected reality.

        Some call that “downsizing the Bible” or morphing it into the image demanded by traditions and preference.

        Others call it Theistic evolution.

        in Christ,

        Bob

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        • @BobRyan:

          Or this is something that everyone who reads the bible does. There’s no such thing as “sola scriptura” that’s a self-aggrandizing fiction that says we have the only correct interpretation. But even within Adventist circles we don’t read the bible the same way now as we did a few years ago, let alone a few generations ago. To ignore a person’s own biases and cultural perspectives is to embrace ignorance. We all bring our own selves when we read the bible. If “sola scriptura” was truly possible then humanity would have developed a single cohesive interpretation of the bible long ago. You say “liberals” are twisting the bible, that’s probably true, but then so are “conservatives”. If we can not live together then there is no point in having a church and the mission has already failed.

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        • @Mack Ramsey:

          To ignore a person’s own biases and cultural perspectives is to embrace ignorance.

          To rely on your bias, traditions, preference and culture – as a tool for “reading into the Bible” what tickles your ears – is to rely on gross eisegesis – not exegesis. It leads to distrust in the Word of God just as does Theistic Evolutionism.

          You need to rethink your choice to reject objectivity and exegesis when it comes to the Bible.

          in Christ,

          Bob

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      • @Sean Pitman:

        Sean Pitman:
        @Kip Coleman:

        The issue in play here is one of credibility.If the Bible can’t get a few very basic concepts right, how can it be trusted in those things that are more complex or metaphysical? – statements of realities that cannot be directly tested at all?
        Sean Pitman
        http://www.DetectingDesign.com

        I think that the issue is that you appear to be looking to an ancient religious text in search of scientific truths.

        The question is not whether you believe everything in the Bible is literally true. The question is: Why do you read the Bible?

        If you read the Bible to become a better person, then great. If you read the Bible to discover the details of the geological formation of our planet… then I would suggest other reading.

        I don’t tend to put much stock in the scientific credibility of an author whose idea of the universe consists of at most 4 elements.

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        • @Kip Coleman:

          If the testable claims of your ancient, or modern, religious text is shown to be false, what does that do to the credibility of those claims of the text that cannot be directly tested in a potentially falsifiable manner?

          The Bible makes a lot of wonderful claims about the existence of God and how he is going to solve the problem of evil in this world and make everything better again for those who love him. That’s great! However, what confidence can anyone have in such grandiose claims if the Bible is shown to be so far off based regarding those things that can actually be tested?

          It is for similar reason that I do not trust the claims of the Book of Mormon – because it makes so many claims about empirical reality that have been clearly, in my mind anyway, falsified. This calls into serious question the rest of its claims to be of Divine origin and what God is actually like.

          Is the Bible in the same predicament as the Book of Mormon? If I thought so, I would not be an Adventist or even a Christian…

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  20. Kip Coleman: I believe that one of the issues that arises when a religious text recounts an historical event is that the significance of the message gets lost in a quagmire of interpretations of the setting.

    When studying the Genesis origins story, what should we be taking away from it? Was it the intention of the author to communicate that the Earth was created in six literal days, or was their intent perhaps to convey that this hunk of rock we call home is actually a beautiful, complex, and wonderful place that is perfectly suited to sustain our fragile lives?

    Do we really gain a reverence and respect for nature through an understanding of the time frame involved

    Step 1. Look at the actual text – not at your own imaginative fictions about what you wish the text had said “instead”..

    Everyone agrees that it would have been far better for evolutionism if the text had simply said “The earth is wonderful and in some timeline not given to us – God made it in some way not given to us”.

    2. The next step is to “notice” the time element being highlighted by God Himself in Ex 20:11 as HE summarized the Genesis event. HE chose to tell us that the time element is the VERY thing that is most accurate in the story – making it alone the basis for the 4th commandment.

    What sad turn of events for the would-be hopeful T.E.

    3. Their solution? “Imagine” that the text did not place such importance on the time element when you read “SIX DAYS you shall labor…for in SIX DAYS the Lord MADE… and rested the seventh DAY”

    While such “use your imagination not the Bible” arguments may work well in some denominations where the Bible is gradually falling out of favor and being set aside as a “side dish” — it is not so likely a solution for Seventh-day Adventists.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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    • I have looked at the original text. A lot.

      You know what I found out? The word “day” may not mean what you think it means here.

      How would you define a day? By the rising and setting of the sun?

      When you go back to the original text, it says that the Sun was created on the fifth “day”. So, what is a day?

      Still think it’s literal?

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      • @Kip Coleman:

        It is quite clear from the original text that the author intended to convey the division of a week into literal days which were noticeably divided into “evenings and mornings”. Even secular scholars of Hebrew agree on this much.

        In addition, notice how it is possible to recognize evenings and mornings, or the presence or absence of light, without being able to actually see the Sun, moon, or stars (as when the sky is covered by clouds or haze).

        Sean Pitman
        http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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      • @Kip Coleman:

        I have looked at the original text. A lot.

        You know what I found out? The word “day” may not mean what you think it means here.

        How would you define a day? By the rising and setting of the sun?

        When you go back to the original text, it says that the Sun was created on the fifth “day”. So, what is a day?

        Still think it’s literal?

        The post of mine that you are responding to – ends with this quote..

        BobRyan said:
        2. The next step is to “notice” the time element being highlighted by God Himself in Ex 20:11 as HE summarized the Genesis event. HE chose to tell us that the time element is the VERY thing that is most accurate in the story – making it alone the basis for the 4th commandment.

        What sad turn of events for the would-be hopeful T.E.

        3. Their solution? “Imagine” that the text did not place such importance on the time element when you read “SIX DAYS you shall labor…for in SIX DAYS the Lord MADE… and rested the seventh DAY”

        Your response to this point reduces to “yes but the sun was made on day 4 so what were the other days?”. (Plants were made on day 3, the Two great lights – the Sun and the moon on day 4)

        Your claim is that 24 hours is unknown if all you have is a rotating earth that rotates once every 24 hours near a one-sided light source. Your argument appears to be that since all we know from the text is the rotation of the earth and the one sided light source and that it is a day just like the Ex 20:11 day — we should be confused about what a day is.

        1. It is not at all clear that your claim holds.

        2. The text that God gives in summary to Genesis 1-2 – found in Ex 20:8-11 explicitly argues for the real 24 day of each of those weeks. This is not some “Addition” by a conservative Adventist – it is rather – in the text itself.

        That is the part you did not address.

        in Christ,

        Bob

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  21. TUMA: To those so passionately defending their faith:

    What does all this legalistic pedantry get you?

    Christ condemned the pharisees for this type of behavior. Do you really think it’s okay for Adventists?

    Christ condemned the pharisees for something. No question about it.

    But you cannot simply take anything that is complimentary to the myths of evolutionism and then claim that this is what Christ condemned the Pharisees for doing.

    In John 1 Christ is said to be the Creator of the World – and all things in it. Just as we find in Ex 20:11 “Six DAYS you shall labor…for in SIX DAYS the Lord Made”

    What is the atheists answer (who denies intelligent design) to that point? “Not so-s you would notice”.

    Which is precisely the answer of the T.E. POV in the case of those who deny I.D.

    When the mob met Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane he said “this is your hour – the power of darkness” – and standing before him were both leaders of the Jews – and the rabble and the soldiers. He did not say “Just the Pharisees are in error this night” as many have supposed.

    Nor did he argue that rejection of evolutionism is the work of a Pharisee.

    In fact in Romans 1 Paul argues “they are without excuse” who choose to deny Intelligent Design. But then … Paul was a Pharisee – perhaps this is what you were referring to.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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    • @BobRyan:
      Again, Bob. The issue is not what you believe. The issue is what you intend to do about it. What was Jesus instruction in this situation?

      Matt. 13:30
      “Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'”

      Jesus is explicit here. The church is not be be in the business of weeding the field, or kicking people out. Jesus took that burden on himself.

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      • @Ron:

        Actually the Bible gives us a lot of instruction when it comes to false teachers within the church organization. For example – we have Paul warning church leaders by saying “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you not sparing the flock; men from among your own selves” seeking to draw away disciples after their own teaching. In Acts 20:28-31 Paul tells the church elders to be on guard against such men.

        Christ warns the disciples against accepting the false teaching of those bad teachers – Matt 16:11-12.

        Paul went so far as to wish that the false teachers of his day would do harm to themselves physically – Gal 5:12.

        And Paul said that any teacher that would come along – claiming to be Christian and yet teach doctrines contrary to the Bible should be “accursed” – Gal 1:6-11.

        But then – you probably already knew that.

        in Christ,

        Bob

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  22. Mack Ramsey: Or this is something that everyone who reads the bible does. There’s no such thing as “sola scriptura” that’s a self-aggrandizing fiction

    We hear that a lot from certain members of other denominations – just not from evangelicals or Luther or those who embrace Protestantism.

    So while you may have “wished” that we did not embrace the sola scriptura model – as a denomination and while you may be correct in saying that the sola scriptura model is not consistent with blind faith evolutionism (from a T.E. POV) – you are not going to get a lot of takers on that point on this web site — not even among certain ones of our non-SDA Christian friends.

    You are distancing yourself not only from Adventism – but also from Protestant principles in Christianity itself.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  23. In Rom. 3:18 Paul concludes his comments about the wicked with this statement…
    “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

    Nothing can be more destructive to bible faith than this evaluation by Paul. And nothing can be more definitive of the results of a “false gospel” than this conclusion.

    In the end, for those who embrace this idea, it matters not what you believe for God will punish no one no matter what the reason. And “no fear of God” is the final conclusion.

    This describes the people before the flood who were certain God would never destroy the world He created, or themselves who were in it. So, again, we see the false gospel also creates a “false security” that sets aside any threat and the law and authority of God is negated.

    The final deception is not creation vs. evolution. It is a side issue for the most part even though it has a negative effect on faith and has and will destroy bible faith in the end.

    It is the “false gospel” in Adventism that has set the stage for the creation/evolution discussion. As an example, when you keep telling people they need not fear the final judgment as long as they believe in Jesus, without any qualifying explanation of the continual need to “fear God and keep His commandments”, it eventually will surely be interpreted in a non-biblical context and “fear of God” from any perspective is abandon.

    True Christanity genders adequate assurance coupled with a holy fear. And the two concepts work together to create and nurture a viable Christian experience. So that the law and gospel work together continually and neither undermines nor negates the other.

    Since the Dr. Ford fiasco, we have been continually bombarded with a false gospel that advocates we should abandon fear and this inevitably undermines the law of God.

    Forty years ago, this creation/evolution dialogue would have never got off the ground. SDA’s in general were far more biblically literate and more than a few popular false ideas embraced today would have never made it to first base.

    So, for many, the bible is not known well at all, and EGW is practically none existant in her writings and understanding of the world today. Part of the reason may be this, many of the influencial individuals in modern Adventism were not born in the faith and not raised in our traditional message.

    Goldstein, Batchelor, Veith, Finley, Sequeira, Asscherick, Wohlberg, to name just a few were not SDA.

    This can be both positive and negative. God can and will use these men in a certain capacity, but the negative is they do not have a strong historical background in Adventism. Neither do they have strong Protestant roots that nurtured their faith.

    They know the Papacy is the antichrist system, they know apostate Protestantism still keeps Sunday. They know the state of the dead, and second coming issues.

    But they do not know law and gospel in its real dynamic biblical context. They were never taught how we are justified by obedience to the law, only, how we are not justified by obedience to the law.

    So, they can explain how we are not saved by faith and works, but they can not explain how we are saved by faith and works.

    It was observed several decades ago that “Seventh-day Adventists, hardly know more than what day to go to church on” when it comes to biblical theology. In some ways, we haven’t matured much beyond that as the confusion testifies to in our church today.

    The test will become more severe in the future, and the church will most likely get a lot smaller before it gets bigger.
    If a false theory of law and gospel is embraced as it is today, it will undermine every bible doctrine and the creation/evolution discussion is only one more obvious issue.

    The issue of false doctrine are far more subtle than the creation debate. So, while we are dealing with the obvious, the obscure is making constant inroads that will reap a greater harvest than many suspect.

    Bill Sorensen

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  24. KM: Coming from someone who is a Biology Major at a State School and am studying heavily on Evolution I can without a shadow of a doubt AND based on the scientific stand point say that Creation is the only possible explanation

    KM,
    Can you explain to me how this statement relates to the overwhelming evidence that there is ongoing evolution of the genome of all organisms?

    For example, the evolution of nylonase in bacteria, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon-eating_bacteria)

    or the fact that ape chromosomes 2a, 2b combined to create human chromosome 2,
    (http://www.science-news.eu/genetics-news/cluster43503/)

    or that there have been 34 beneficial mutations in the Tibetan genome in just the last 2300 years which improve their oxygen delivery and allow them to live at high altitudes. (http://www.science-news.eu/genetics-news/cluster43503/)

    Do you dismiss all the evidence there is for changes in the genome?
    Do you believe that this represents theistic evolution (Intelligent Design) as a result of God activity since creation, or does it represent natural (a-theistic) evolution?

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  25. If one claims to be a Bible believer, but does not accept the Genesis story of creation, and does not believe the words of the fourth commandment which clearly support the Genesis account, how can one say the Bible is anything more than a myth? And why do such persons continue teaching in an SDA institution of higher learning? Persons who dismiss the six day creation story and the institution of the Sabbath on the seventh day would likely question the story of the commandments being written on stone by the finger of God as well. It is ludicrous to believe one can question the written word and still believe that Holy men of God wrote the scriptures under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Are they saying the Bible is nothing more than a fairy tale? And do these Professors in our schools who do in fact question the Genesis account have a right to continue teaching this theory in disregard to the fundamental beliefs of this denomination? Most members who live in close proximity to many of these Colleges and Universities know full well that there are science teachers in many of the schools who do not, in fact, subscribe to the Genesis account. At some point, there has to be an accounting to parents and church members of why this has been allowed to fester for so long. Are we so caught up in the notion of academic freedom that we can no longer require that the fundamental beliefs of our denomination be taught in our own institutions?

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    • @Will Jones:

      Will –

      To carry your comments a step further – If one cannot accept the miraculous nature of the Genesis account, then why would they accept the promise that those who die in Jesus can be assured of an equally miraculous resurrection at His second coming?

      The need to be able to explain (in “scientific” terms) our existence is equal to the need to explain is similar terms how someone who is DEAD and decomposed back to original matter can come back to life and live forever.

      “without FAITH it is impossible to please Him”

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  26. Will Jones: how can one say the Bible is anything more than a myth?

    How can you say that the Bible is anything less than a myth? It depends on how you define a myth.
    In popular vernacular, the word implies a lack of historicity.

    As used by theologians and philosophers, it refers to a story that carries spiritual truth with or without regard to the historicity of the story. Much like the parables of Jesus. Most of them were mythical in that they had no basis in historical events, but yet carried spiritual lessons. Regardless whether you believe any given story in the Bible is historical, the real reason it was put in the Bible is that it has mythical qualities. i.e. It has an underlying truth that is being taught. An example would be the story of Abraham offering Issac. If this is considered only from a historical perspective, it is the story of horrible child abuse. It isn’t until we understand the mythical component, that the story is a foreshadowing of God’s gift of His son, that he story reveals its true spiritual substance. Not to diminish the historicity of the Bible, but that is not the main purpose of the Bible. The main purpose of the Bible is to teach us about God and spiritual truth. If you are not seeing the spiritual lessons, you are missing the true import of the scripture.

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    • @Ron:

      Ron: How can you say that the Bible is anything less than a myth? It depends on how you define a myth.
      In popular vernacular, the word implies a lack of historicity.

      No wonder then that our evolutionist friends like to refer to anything God says as myth – and anything blind-faith evolutionism claims as “science fact”.

      Surely this is not too difficult for the objective unbiased reader to “get”.

      in Christ,

      Bob

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  27. Will Jones: do these Professors in our schools who do in fact question the Genesis account have a right to continue teaching this theory in disregard to the fundamental beliefs of this denomination?

    Not only do they have a right. At least in the Biology department, they have a duty to teach science irregardless of any faith statement the church chooses to make. It is not up the biology teachers to reconcile science with theology. It is up to the theologians to reconcile the Bible to the science. Until that can be done in a convincing way, nobody has any right to be dogmatic in any way.

    If you really want to make the creation story get down and walk on all four limbs, I think one of the questions you have to address is why did God lie to us? Either he lied because he said he created the earth in 6 days when he didn’t, or he lied by making the creation look like it is billions of years old when it isn’t. Why would he do that? Until you can answer that question, you have no right to persecute fellow believers who struggle with the issue.

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    • @Ron:

      Will Jones: do these Professors in our schools who do in fact question the Genesis account have a right to continue teaching this theory in disregard to the fundamental beliefs of this denomination?

      Indeed they do not. They should rather teach science and leave blind-faith junk-science that defies clear observation in nature – the public universities pursuing the atheist agenda.

      But since they teach in a Christian university not ONLY are they obligated to NO teaching junk-science myths of evolutionism – but in the observations in nature that are pure science – they are also obligated to show “insight” and “understanding” of what nature teaches us about nature’s designer.

      Ron:
      Not only do they have a right. At least in the Biology department, they have a duty to teach science irregardless of any faith statement the church chooses to make. It is not up the biology teachers to reconcile science with theology

      In a public university an honest science teacher would not only teach true science but they would show the “antiknowlege” and junk-science nature of populist evolutionism. They would likely stop short of explaining how the design seen in nature speaks of the designer.

      For those whose goal for our own Christian universities is no higher than a public university – it may be that they would hope for a purely atheist POV in the science classes. And when they do that – they expose the flaw in their self-conflicted paradigm.

      in Christ,

      Bob

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  28. Will Jones: who do not, in fact, subscribe to the Genesis account.

    In which arena? In science or in theology? I would be willing to bet that most biology teachers hold two world views at the same time. As a matter of religion and faith they hold that standard Adventist teaching on creation, but from the scientific perspective they believe in the standard model of evolution. That doesn’t mean that they are bad people, it just means that as of this time in history, NOBODY can reconcile the Bible with Science, so they just have to do the best they can living simultaneously in two different worlds.

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    • @Ron:

      You admit to the problem of white-washing all of atheist doctrine on origins with the term “science” no matter how opposed that atheist religion is to the observations made in nature.

      Martin Rees and Leonard Susskind have perfectly demonstrated the flaw in your suggestion for us – perfectly here at Educate Truth in that video they created.

      Their task is apparently to deny the most obvious aspects of the observations being made in nature – whenever those observations lead to a conclusion that is not compatible with atheism.

      As you point out – two different religions – the Bible and atheism, both being held in the case of the T.E in a true self-conflicted manner. And so it is no wonder that Darwin himself was forced to admit it – and choose either blind-faith evolutionism or Christianity — but not both.

      in Christ,

      Bob

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  29. pauluc: Then do you or do you not accept that the same word for “sons of God” is used in Genesis 6:2 as in Job 1:6, job 2:1 Job 38:7 psalms 89:6 and in Daniel 3:25 and that it is in each case meant to indicate a supernatural being rather than a man.

    The flaw in the evolutionist argument – is consistent lack of familiarity with the text.

    6. Matthew 5:9
    “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

    7. Luke 20:36
    for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

    8. Romans 8:14
    For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

    9. Romans 8:19
    For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

    10. Galatians 3:26
    For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

    Here are some of the views of our non-SDA Bible scholar friends –

    John Wesley

    Gen 6
    Verse 1
    Men began to multiply upon the face of the earth – This was the effect of the blessing, Genesis 1:28, and yet man’s corruption so abused this blessing, that it turned into a curse.
    Verse 2
    The sons of God – Those who were called by the name of the Lord, and called upon that name, married the daughters of men – Those that were profane, and strangers to God. The posterity of Seth did not keep to themselves as they ought, but intermingled with the race of Cain: they took them wives of all that they chose – They chose only by the eye: They saw that they were fair – Which was all they looked at.

    Quote:
    Adam Clarke –

    Notes on Chapter 6
    Verse 1. When men began to multiply
    It was not at this time that men began to multiply, but the inspired penman speaks now of a fact which had taken place long before. As there is a distinction made here between men and those called the sons of God, it is generally supposed that the immediate posterity of Cain and that of Seth are intended.

    The first were mere men, such as fallen nature may produce, degenerate sons of a degenerate father, governed by the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, and the pride of life. The others were sons of God, not angels, as some have dreamed, but such as were, according to our Lord’s doctrine, born again, born from above, John 3:3,5,6 and made children of God by the influence of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:6. The former were apostates from the true religion, the latter were those among whom it was preserved and cultivated.
    Dr. Wall supposes the first verses of this chapter should be paraphrased thus: “When men began to multiply on the earth, the chief men took wives of all the handsome poor women they chose. There were tyrants in the earth in those days; and also after the antediluvian days powerful men had unlawful connections with the inferior women, and the children which sprang from this illicit commerce were the renowned heroes of antiquity, of whom the heathens made their gods.”

    Quote:
    JFB – Jamieson Fausset Brown
    2. the sons of God saw the daughters of men–By the former is meant the family of Seth, who were professedly religious; by the latter, the descendants of apostate Cain. Mixed marriages between parties of opposite principles and practice were necessarily sources of extensive corruption. The women, religious themselves, would as wives and mothers exert an influence fatal to the existence of religion in their household, and consequently the people of that later age sank to the lowest depravity.
    3. flesh–utterly, hopelessly debased.
    And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive–Christ, as God, had by His Spirit inspiring Enoch, Noah, and perhaps other prophets (1Pe 3:20; 2Pe 2:5; Jude 14), preached repentance to the antediluvians; but they were incorrigible.

    (Non-SDA quotes provided for those with an allergy to SDA sources.)

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  30. A futher comment on law and gospel. It is important to understand that any individual could articulate correctly a biblical definition of the gospel.

    And then….. simply lift that definition out of its biblical application and place their own carnal interpretation on how the gospel should be applied. So, a person could say, “Yes, I believe the gospel” and even define it correctly.

    This is what Ford did. But then immeadiately placed his own convoluted idea of how it should be applied in its relationship to the law.

    What we should see is this, not only does the bible articulate and define a given truth, it also tells us how this truth must be applied and related to all other bible teachings and doctrines.

    Isn’t this the issue in the creation/evolution discussion? Ron, Mack and others would have us believe we can actually abandon a clear biblical application of how to apply the gospel and use the gospel to claim liberty to teach anything they please. You can call it “pluralism” “academic freedom” or any other liberal label to define their agenda.

    Such a theory would have us believe the bible has abandon its own authority to human speculation and human reasoning above a clear biblical application.

    A parallel is Rome’s claim to have authority over the bible by telling us the bible has abandon its authority to the church. In fact, it is clearly stated, that God Himself has abandon His authority to the church and God has bound Himself to abide by any and all church decisions.

    Is this blasphemy or what? We know it is. But today the devil is more subtle in advocating the same principle. Those who claim freedom to advocate evolution in contrast to a clear biblical revelation are setting their authority against God and His word.

    Hopefully, as true Protestants, we still hold the bible trumps all human reasoning and/or finding in any other source such as nature or even, “common sense”. For, as Bob pointed out, there is no “common sense” in believeing in the resurrection of the dead. Or, any other miracle for that matter.

    And thus, we expect our teachers to confess this same faith and examine science in light of the bible, not visa versa. And teach their students this same principle as SDA Christians.

    Final point being, the gospel never claims we can abandon scripture to apply principles of “freedom” that transcend the authority of the bible itself. So, if and when we find “so called” evidence that does not “seem” to harmonize with the bible, we must conclude such “evidence” is misunderstood and/or misapplied.

    It is not the bible that is misunderstood, it is their so-called evidence. And those who try to reverse the order of authority should be corrected, and if not correctable, be first invited to leave and finally forced out if they still refuse to go.

    This is the biblical norm. And most of us know it.

    Bill Sorensen

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  31. BobRyan:But then … Paul was a Pharisee – perhaps this is what you were referring to.

    in Christ,

    Bob

    Actually, Bob, my points are quite aside from the main arguments jumping around this comment section. What concerns me isn’t the factual correctness of anyone, ID, evo, or otherwise. The only element that I felt compelled to comment on (and perhaps I should have been clearer) is the intent behind it. So much of what I read on here sounds like it was made with no purpose in mind but to be provocative and combative.

    Let me just give you a little context for me weighing in here, though. I am not a religious person in any capacity, but I am from an Adventist community, and I have a great fondness and respect for the church. And it is out of this fondness that I worry when the desire to be insular, and different, and “right” trumps the calling to love and to minister to others.

    I see a lot of young people trapped between lines of vehemently legalistic ideologies, and it’s sad. Perhaps the issues that rage in this comment section are important. Vital, even. But are they more important than the love and respect of others?

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  32. Sean Pitman:

    Is the Bible in the same predicament as the Book of Mormon?If I thought so, I would not be an Adventist or even a Christian…

    Why does any religious book, such as the Bible or the Book of Mormon, need to make any claims about the exact details of historical events anyway?

    Just because I happen to believe that the Earth came into being over millions of years instead of six days, that doesn’t mean I believe that the beattitudes are lies.

    Just because I happen to believe that languages evolved naturally through etymology instead of during an event involving an ill-conceived tower, doesn’t mean I believe that the parable of the Good Samaritan is worthless.

    I have heard the arguments about picking and choosing from the Bible before, so if you’re about to warn me against the evils of that, you can save your keyboard a few keystrokes.

    But I was also taught, by a religion teacher that I admire very much, to question everything for myself. I have learned how to use a concordance to perform in-depth analyses of individual texts or passages, and have done so on many occasions in order to find out as much as possible about the author’s intended audience, intended message, and the context of the time.

    I have studied at great length a number of different instances in which the modern Bible appears to be contradicting itself between Old and New Testaments.

    I have especially found a study of the end times in Daniel and Revelations to be quite inspiring. There are some great examples of how the authors in the Bible use statements of time that are not meant to be literal.
    (With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.)

    (And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.)

    If you’d like, let’s return to the origins story itself. But first, how would you define a day? One rotation of the earth? From the time the sun rises to the time the sun sets?

    Would it interest you to know that the Bible says there was no Sun in the sky until the fourth day?

    Genesis 1

    15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

    16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

    17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

    18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

    19And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

    At this point, I would go back to the original Hebrew and start breaking down the texts. What is the original word used here for “day”? What other meanings might it have?

    Again, this all just brings me back to my original point. I no longer look to the Bible to provide me with insights about factual details of our planet’s past.

    However, the moral lessons I learned from the Bible very much do apply today, and I would hope that anyone who reads the Bible can come away with the same life-changing lessons that I have.

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    • @Kip Coleman:

      Just because I wouldn’t be an Adventist or a Christian if I questioned the Divine origin of the Bible doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t strive to be a good “moral” person. Morality can be derived independent of the Bible. There have been a lot of “good” people who have lived on this planet who never heard of the Bible.

      The question is, what makes the Bible’s claim to be of a Divine origin, to have access to privileged information, any more credible than the same claim being made for the Book of Mormon or any other book that claims to have come from God? What makes the Bible any more special or credible than a collection of good moral fables? – which seems to me to be your view of the Bible.

      As an aside, the Bible doesn’t say that the Sun, moon and stars didn’t exist before the creation week. It says that they did not become visible from the limited perspective of the observer until the 4th day.

      In any case, it is quite clear from the text that the author intended to convey to his readers that the creation week for this planet was a literal week divided into identifiable “evenings and mornings”. On this point, there really is no argument – even among secular scholars of Hebrew.

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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      • @Sean Pitman:

        Sean Pitman:

        As an aside, the Bible doesn’t say that the Sun, moon and stars didn’t exist before the creation week.It says that they did not become visible from the limited perspective of the observer until the 4th day.

        In any case, it is quite clear from the text that the author intended to convey to his readers that the creation week for this planet was a literal week divided into identifiable “evenings and mornings”.On this point, there really is no argument – even among secular scholars of Hebrew.

        I would respectfully disagree with you when you assert that there is no argument about the translation of Genesis 1.

        You can peruse this article, which I found after a brief Google search, for more info on the debate there:
        http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/six_days_of_creation.html

        But aside from that, I would still like to know: Why do you read the Bible?

        Sean Pitman:
        The question is, what makes the Bible’s claim to be of a Divine origin, to have access to privileged information, any more credible than the same claim being made for the Book of Mormon or any other book that claims to have come from God? What makes the Bible any more special or credible than a collection of good moral fables? – which seems to me to be your view of the Bible.

        Those are very good questions to which I do not have the answer. It brings to mind a quote that I heard recently, though I would not necessarily call myself an atheist… nevertheless, here’s the quote:

        “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” – Stephen Roberts

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        • @Kip Coleman:

          I would respectfully disagree with you when you assert that there is no argument about the translation of Genesis 1.

          You can peruse this article, which I found after a brief Google search, for more info on the debate there:

          http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/six_days_of_creation.html

          Indeed, but consider that there is no serious argument among most Hebrew scholars – to include secular scholars of Hebrew. You must have missed my reference to Dr. James Barr further up in this thread.

          Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that: (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience. (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark. Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the “days” of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know.”

          Letter from Professor James Barr to David C.C. Watson of the UK, dated 23 April 1984.

          So, you see my point?

          But aside from that, I would still like to know: Why do you read the Bible?

          Because I think it was inspired by God.

          The question is, what makes the Bible’s claim to be of a Divine origin, to have access to privileged information, any more credible than the same claim being made for the Book of Mormon or any other book that claims to have come from God? What makes the Bible any more special or credible than a collection of good moral fables? – which seems to me to be your view of the Bible. – Sean Pitman

          Those are very good questions to which I do not have the answer. It brings to mind a quote that I heard recently, though I would not necessarily call myself an atheist… nevertheless, here’s the quote:

          “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” – Stephen Roberts

          Exactly. If one can’t tell the difference, why not be an atheist? If there is no rational reason for us to recognize the Signature of God in the Bible, or in nature, why believe in Him? Why read the Bible with any more interest or respect that you would read any other book of moral fables?

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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    • Kip @Kip Coleman: Coleman: s the Bible in the same predicament as the Book of Mormon?If I thought so, I would not be an Adventist or even a Christian…

      Why does any religious book, such as the Bible or the Book of Mormon, need to make any claims about the exact details of historical events anyway?

      Just because I happen to believe that the Earth came into being over millions of years instead of six days, that doesn’t mean I believe that the beattitudes are lies.

      Indeed. If the Bible were in fact nothing more than Matthew 5’s Beatitudes we would not be having this discussion. You would have the Bible at the right-size to fit your beliefs about origins and we would not have a Bible speaking to any topic that questioned evolutionism.

      But that is not the world in which we live – hence this discussion board.

      In our world the Bible speaks very specifically about the time element in Creation week in the form of legal code in Ex 20:8-11 telling us that the same 7 day weekly cycle known at Sinai – is the same one in Genesis 1-2 at creation week.

      And even more than this – making it a point of “law” to observe and honor that very fact (the one most doubted by evolutionists) every Sabbath – every week…52 times a year.

      in Christ,

      Bob

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  33. Kip Coleman: I have looked at the original text. A lot.You know what I found out? The word “day” may not mean what you think it means here.How would you define a day? By the rising and setting of the sun?When you go back to the original text, it says that the Sun was created on the fifth “day”. So, what is a day?Still think it’s literal?

    Yes! Doesn’t the “day” refer to the rotation of the EARTH? Suppose the earth rotated around for about 24 hours, and we couldn’t see the sun, like on a cloudy day. Would there be no “day?”

    Isn’t a “day” on Mars the length of its rotational time? Same with other planetary bodies, correct?

    I can see where there wouldn’t be a “day” if there were no earth, but not because there isn’t a sun, moon, or other celestial body.

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    • Holly Pham: Yes!Doesn’t the “day” refer to the rotation of the EARTH? Suppose the earth rotated around for about 24 hours, and we couldn’t see the sun, like on a cloudy day. Would there be no “day?”

      Isn’t a “day” on Mars the length of its rotational time? Same with other planetary bodies, correct?

      I can see where there wouldn’t be a “day” if there were no earth, but not because there isn’t a sun, moon, or other celestial body.

      I guess I can’t tell if you’re agreeing with me or disagreeing with me.

      I would assume that since the author had no knowledge that the earth is round… their understanding of a day would be vastly different than our own.

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  34. Also, aren’t the “days” on other planets, like Mars, measured by how long their rotation time is to complete? So a “day” on Earth is different than a “day” on Mars, Venus, etc. despite the fact that they all are going around the same sun.

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  35. TUMA: Let me just give you a little context for me weighing in here, though. I am not a religious person in any capacity, but I am from an Adventist community, and I have a great fondness and respect for the church. And it is out of this fondness that I worry when the desire to be insular, and different, and “right” trumps the calling to love and to minister to others

    In John 1 – the creation fact is the basis for the Bible teaching about the Gospel.

    In Ex 20:11 the creation fact in a real 7 day week is the basis for the real 7th day Sabbath.

    In 3SG 90-91 the T.E. position is said to be the “worst form of infidelity” as a message coming to God to us through one of His prophets.

    In Gal 1:6-11 Paul says that one teaching a gospel-destroy message – though they be an “angel from heaven” is in fact “accursed”. (His words not mine).

    Your argument is that no doctrinal difference is really all that important when compared to just melding in together into one happy group with the world. I agree completely with the statement that to stand for something – will always mean that there will be someone out there that will not approve.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  36. Kip Coleman: I guess I can’t tell if you’re agreeing with me or disagreeing with me.I would assume that since the author had no knowledge that the earth is round… their understanding of a day would be vastly different than our own.

    I’m disagreeing with you, since you seem to think there can be no “day” without a sun. There can be. The creation of the sun should have no impact on whether the earth had a “day” before the sun was created, seen, etc. since a “day” is based on the earth’s rotational spinning time.

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    • @Holly Pham:

      Holly Pham: I’m disagreeing with you, since you seem to think there can be no “day” without a sun. There can be. The creation of the sun should have no impact on whether the earth had a “day” before the sun was created, seen, etc. since a “day” is based on the earth’s rotational spinning time.

      No, I’m saying that you and I know that one Earth day is one rotation around the Earth’s axis.

      No one prior to Galileo even knew that the Earth was round. So, now, what is the definition of a day in Genesis Chapter 1?

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    • @Holly Pham:

      Holly, you seem to be in doubt as to when the sun was created. i.e. was it created on the 4th day, or was it there previously, but just not seen, kind of like most days in Seattle? It seems disingenuous to me that you feel free to pick and choose what to take literally and what not to.

      There is a rule in Biblical interpretation that the Bible should be taken as literal unless there is reason to think that it is not literal.

      I think your confusion is only one of many indications that the story is a story, and never intended to be taken literally. True, it is not sufficient reason by itself, but it is an indicator.

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  37. Kip says…..

    “No one prior to Galileo even knew that the Earth was round.”

    Talk about massive leaps of conjecture. By way of anything rational, how can you make this statement as though you are the final authority on the matter?

    People before the “dark ages” were probably well informed about the fact the earth is round like a ball. Do you suppose Noah was so dumb he didn’t know the earth was like a ball?

    But you assume that nobody until Galileo had a clue about this reality. I for one don’t buy it.

    I suspect, rather, that it was generally known by everyone until science was squelched and ignorance took the place of true knowledge and superstition reigned by way of Papal dominance.

    And Galileo simply re-discoved what was known long before him.

    Bill Sorensen

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  38. “No one prior to Galileo even knew that the Earth was round.”

    Kip, the ancient Greeks knew the earth was round and came very close to correctly calculating it’s circumference. This knowledge was never lost during the middle ages. Columbus wasn’t surprising anyone by holding that he would eventually reach the far east by sailing west; his critics knew he was grossly underestimating the earth’s circumference, and they were right: had he not run unto the Americas, he would have starved long before reaching China.

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  39. Kip Coleman: No, I’m saying that you and I know that one Earth day is one rotation around the Earth’s axis.

    No one prior to Galileo even knew that the Earth was round.

    Moses was shown the creation of the world – you seem to argue “oh no he was not”.

    Then you proceed to tell us what Moses did and did not know.

    How is that supposed to be compelling? Is there some point in science where we are assured that if Moses had some bit of knowledge – we would also have it today?

    In John 8 Christ said “Abraham saw my day and was glad”. However we do not have that information from Genesis — and could not have known that bit of what Abraham knew until Christ told us.

    There is no validity at all in the idea that we would know today everything that Moses or Abraham knew as if is established that their work was to make sure that we would not be uninformed about something that they knew while living.

    However it is pretty hard to argue that Moses seeing a day – would not know what a day is as he reports to his readers the things that he was shown.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  40. It is astounding to see the distractions to the real issues that confront us today. “Jesus is coming soon” – a belief that is the very core of the “Adventist” name. The SDA church was tasked with a singular primary mission by Creator: Proclamation of the three angels messages. We know that most of the world will not accept it but the proclamation MUST be made. Each person must have an opportunity to make a choice.

    “As it was in the days of Noah…”

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  41. I couldn’t help noticing in the E.G.W Notes for this quarter’s Sabbath school lesson this paragraph. It highlights the real problem with Educate Truth and other conservatives who put themselves in the place of God in the church.

    http://text.egwwritings.org/publication.php?pubtype=Periodical&bookCode=LUH&lang=en&collection=2&section=all&QUERY=Jesus+Christ&resultId=3&year=1908&month=December&day=23

    “Christ’s church on earth is to resemble heaven, a temple built after the pattern of things shown in the holy mount. Man must give up his ideas, his plans, and devices, and let God work out His original intentions. The great Designer must not be impeded in His work by human wisdom. His work and purpose have not been understood. Through the miscalculations of man, the church today is so misshapen that it can not be accepted by the great Builder. Human counsel has been so abundant, that individual experience is rare. Men are placed where God should be. God’s plans are turned aside, and men’s measures brought in to fashion and mould. But the great and perfect Designer pronounces the work imperfect. The temple that He is building after the pattern of things in the heavens must have the exact proportions assigned it by the Architect, whose pattern is without a flaw. He has brought the golden measuring rod from heaven, and every worker is employed only as he works under His superintendence, and according to His plans.
    There must be no human calculations. God will have as workers, only those who will be laborers together with Him, who will yoke up with Christ, and learn of Him meekness and lowliness of heart. His directions are,” Make everything according to the pattern shown thee in the mount.” Then a temple of heavenly design will be presented to the world, where the divine presence is manifested, and to which is affixed God’s seal.”

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  42. Bill Sorensen: Holly, I think you know that money is a major factor in decision making in these higher learning institutions.No doubt, millions of dollars are involved that would or could be forfeited if evolution is not taught.Government gifts come with government conditions. Like Balaam, they hope to gain the financial benefit and still maintain some viable status with God.The final end will no doubt be the same.Bill Sorensen

    You’re correct. Money and increasing student numbers to get that money! Everything else is secondary.

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  43. Charles said…..

    “It is astounding to see the distractions to the real issues that confront us today. “Jesus is coming soon” – a belief that is the very core of the “Adventist” name. The SDA church was tasked with a singular primary mission by Creator: Proclamation of the three angels messages. We know that most of the world will not accept it but the proclamation MUST be made. Each person must have an opportunity to make a choice.

    “As it was in the days of Noah…”

    Charles, political systems have a way of “wearing people out” until they get their own way without protest.

    We see this in our civil government as certain elements hold the main floor of the media and simply keep on keeping on with their agenda.

    The same works in our church. It is less than likely that anything will really happen in our church over the creation/evolution debate. The powers that be simply wait it out until people wear out and finally give up. And then, it is “business as usual”.

    As you know, our message is tied to the literal creation week. And most people know it. I don’t even know if abandoning the Sabbath will cause all that much stir in the church in general.

    The liberals will just keep gentle pressure on the church day and night and finally, most will simply yield to this tactic.

    Satan knows how to accomplish his goal as long as he has enough time and people are willing to sleep as he works.

    Hang in there.

    Bill Sorensen

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  44. Charles: It is astounding to see the distractions to the real issues that confront us today. “Jesus is coming soon” – a belief that is the very core of the “Adventist” name. The SDA church was tasked with a singular primary mission by Creator: Proclamation of the three angels messages. We know that most of the world will not accept it but the proclamation MUST be made. Each person must have an opportunity to make a choice. “As it was in the days of Noah…”

    You are certainly correct, but in the Southern California Conference, you have an SDA pastor, Ryan Bell, who spends most of his energy, not on proclaiming the “message” but on “social justice” and trying to shut down local banks, while Larry Caviness, President of the SCC, simply smiles.

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  45. Let me make a clarifying statement.

    My intent was not to come here and debate the individual points of specific texts.

    Nor was it to debate whether or not God exists.

    My point was to say that Walla Walla University, and other SDA institutions, should recognize that the knowledge we impart to our scientific students should be based on the scientific method.

    If we allow religion– whatever that religion may be– to distort the truths that have been observed, tested, and utilized through the scientific method, then we are not teaching true science, and the degree holds less worth.

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    • @Kip Coleman:

      Kip Coleman: My point was to say that Walla Walla University, and other SDA institutions, should recognize that the knowledge we impart to our scientific students should be based on the scientific method.

      If we allow religion– whatever that religion may be– to distort the truths that have been observed, tested, and utilized through the scientific method, then we are not teaching true science, and the degree holds less worth.

      The Educate Truth position is not for “less science” – it is for “honest science” at LSU and “good religion” at LSU where the school remains faithful to its charter and mission rather than sold out for “sacrifice all for blind faith evolutionism” kind of mission.

      We are calling for integrity at the school both in the area of sciences and religion.

      Undermining the church in both religion and science – and embracing junk-science evolutionism over observed factual science – is not the high standard to which we are called as Seventh-day Adventist Christians.

      in Christ,

      Bob

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  46. Kip Coleman: Let me make a clarifying statement. My intent was not to come here and debate the individual points of specific texts. Nor was it to debate whether or not God exists.My point was to say that Walla Walla University, and other SDA institutions, should recognize that the knowledge we impart to our scientific students should be based on the scientific method. If we allow religion– whatever that religion may be– to distort the truths that have been observed, tested, and utilized through the scientific method, then we are not teaching true science, and the degree holds less worth.

    So please explain how the SDA Church is distorting the truth about Creation. I’m sure millions of SDA members would like to be educated on this matter.

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  47. @Kip Coleman, It appears you are the one trying to distort the truth, in your statements that there was no “day” before the sun was created or seen, or that Galileo was the first guy to know that the earth was round.

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  48. Kip Coleman: Why does any religious book, such as the Bible or the Book of Mormon, need to make any claims about the exact details of historical events anyway?

    I think this is an important issue because it deals with the nature of Biblical authority. There is a wrong way to interpret the Bible.

    “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,” John 5:39

    The Jews were very literal in their interpretations. Jesus, and the disciples by contrast were not. Jesus and the disciples used the Bible like a case book. Not as prescriptive, but more like illustrative examples given to us to learn from. It is more like they used the Bible like a tool, to develop and teach new ideas, often in contrast to the literal interpretation.

    There is more than one way to view the authority of the Bible.

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  49. Ron, we at Educate Truth do not put ourselves in the place of God. The people who put themselves in the place of God are those who say that God’s word is wrong about our origins; who say that we, using unaided human reason, are able to come to more trustworthy conclusions about our origins than what God has told us in his “God-breathed” Scriptures.

    I find it highly ironic that in the passage you quote, Ellen White refers to God as “the great Designer” yet it is exactly this aspect of the divine character that is denied by some teachers at La Sierra.

    The “abundant human counsel” that has been so damaging in the case of La Sierra, and several of our other colleges, is the counsel that we must teach just what is taught in the public universities. That seems prudent from a merely human standpoint, but it is not God’s design.

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    • @David Read:

      David you suggest an approach to scripture that you think normative and consider anything else blasphemous;

      “Ron, we at Educate Truth do not put ourselves in the place of God. The people who put themselves in the place of God are those who say that God’s word is wrong about our origins; who say that we, using unaided human reason, are able to come to more trustworthy conclusions about our origins than what God has told us in his “God-breathed” Scriptures.”

      But do you not have a doctrine of the holy spirit. The spirit of God that acts within the community of faith the body of Christ. No Christian would accept that they are approaching God word by unaided human reason for we understand that God gives us the understanding.

      If you do preclude that God still speaks to His disciples through his spirit then you are negating the value of EGW as a prophet.

      I ask you one question. Who is the greater authority the one who decides what is canonical or the selected Canon? On this point the Catholics are likely correct. The body of Christ does have the authority to divine the truth.

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    • @David Read:
      “I find it highly ironic that in the passage you quote, Ellen White refers to God as “the great Designer””

      That’s why we need to enlarge our thinking. Part of the problem here is putting the subject matter in too small of a box. I am sure the teachers at La Sierra were teaching from too small a box as well. But thinking from too small a box doesn’t really make a person bad. It just makes them limited. You don’t persecute a person who is blind, or slow, you have compassion for their limitations, and strive to help them to grow.

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  50. Pauluc, it is not an either or. We make our own laws through our own elected representatives (or in states like CA that often use plebiscites or ballot initiatives, by directly voting on them). But once the law is passed and becomes law, we are not free to break the law. In other words, the fact that we made the law does not put us above the law. To the contrary, the fact that the law reflects a democratic consensus gives it greater authority and dignity.

    That the church selected the canon doesn’t give the church license to ignore the plain teaching of Scripture. The fact that the books that comprise the Bible were widely acknowledged by early Christians to be inspired by God, and clearly of a different quality than many pretenders deemed uninspired, gives greater authority to he Word.

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  51. I would ad that it is a false doctrine of the Holy Spirit that imagines that He will now contradict what He has previously taught.

    The Bible writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit, hence the Bible represents the teachings of the Holy Spirit. (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Thes. 2:13; 1 Cor. 2:9-13; Acts 4:24-25)

    The previous teaching is what we use to test subsequent teaching. (Isa. 8:20; 1 John 4:1) A new teaching that contradicts the clear previous teaching is not from Holy Spirit, but from another spirit altogether.

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    • @David Read: I don’t see in any of your texts where you are given permission to exclude believers from Gods community.

      Even the Apostle Paul, a liberal, tolerated the conservatives (Judaizers) of his time. He advocated strongly for his beliefs, but he did not go on a campaign to have them removed from the church. Notice also, how the apostle Paul did not accept the literal authority of scripture when it came to circumcision and other Biblical commands.

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  52. Wesley Kime: @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.

    You’re exactly right, Dr. Kime. He also writes a blog, not about religion, but about social and political issues, for the Huffingtion Post. He obviously has no time for actually doing his supposed “real job” which is to preach the gospel and the Third Angels Message, instead preferring to attempt to shut down the Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and others.

    Is this what our tithe money is supposed to pay for? Larry Caviness has been asked this, and he has no answer.

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  53. Charles: It is astounding to see the distractions to the real issues that confront us today. “Jesus is coming soon” – a belief that is the very core of the “Adventist” name. The SDA church was tasked with a singular primary mission by Creator: Proclamation of the three angels messages. We know that most of the world will not accept it but the proclamation MUST be made. Each person must have an opportunity to make a choice. “As it was in the days of Noah…”

    Well stated. Please email Pastor Ryan Bell to inform him of this. He evidently missed this information in his pastoral training.

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  54. “The liberals will just keep gentle pressure on the church day and night and finally, most will simply yield to this tactic.”

    At this point, what they would do they should do quickly. I do not think there is much time left.

    Ohhhh but there will be so much “weeping and gnashing of teeth” when that day comes. It is so very sad to see that so many have eaten of the forbidden fruit.

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  55. Charles said of the liberals…..

    “At this point, what they would do they should do quickly. I do not think there is much time left.”

    If they can win without confrontation, Charles, it is more advantageous as more are readily deceived without confrontation.

    Luther “forced” the Catholic church to admit openly they were not biblical. And only when the same confession is made in a clear and unambiguous way by the liberal movement, will the “war” become an open reality.

    Evil works best in obscurity with no definitive meaning of anything. In which case, it is more difficult to point out the error. They can simply say, “Well, we did not mean that.” When it is exactly what they mean, only don’t want to say so openly.

    Not to mention that perhaps thousands don’t even really know what they mean and as Jesus would say, “Worship, they know not what.”

    So, we must “press the battle to the gate” until the obscure is obvious and those things ambiguous are forced to be made definitive. Not for our sakes alone, but for those who “worship they know not what” that they may finally evaluate what they do believe and finally make a decision based on a clear understanding of the issues.

    Keep in mind, the present call for unity is unity in obscurity. Keep the people “fogged” until it is too late.

    It must eventually become a “whole church denomination” war and battle so that not one single soul can say, “Well, I don’t see the need for conflict.”

    Each side must conclude “zero tolerance” for the other side in doctrine and teaching. Meaning, absolutely no compromise and no unity. The liberals hate the idea of such a confrontation. For it will expose their real agenda to destroy bible Adventism and substitute their progressive agenda in harmony with the eccumencial and celebration movement.

    It must come and will come. Hopefully, we are truly biblically ready for it by God’s grace and will stand firm no matter what the outcome. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be pretty.

    Have a great Sabbath and defend the faith.

    Bill Sorensen

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  56. Sean, I guess I “bit off more than I can chew” when I subscribed to some of your other options.
    All I can handle is the ^way it used to be”–like this column still is. Please put me back to this mode of information and I will be very happy. Thanks.

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  57. I thought I would not comment here on specifics but decided I had something new to add. Firstly much of what was taught in science books when I was a child is no longer believed by anyone and there are additionally many documented frauds and misstatemnets kept in print long after their inaccuracy was admitted – so excuse me if I don’t go into spasms of belief over whatever is currently in print.

    Secondly if one must have gone thru advanced science classes to be listened to, best throw out Darwin and a host of others who were self-taught or taught in another discipline.

    Thirdly, there are some first-rate YEC SDA creationists with the best of credentials and experience, even by the world’s standards. I would like to mention two in particular: Colin Mitchell and Ben Carson. Colin Mitchell wrote his beliefs about faith and science in a book Creationism Revisited. It is very comprehensive. Also google “Ben Carson creation” and plan to spend a lot of time reading of his achievements and his faith. He not only was asked to be the keynote speaker for the American Academy of Science Teachers Convention but was asked to be on a panal on the subject of faith and science at the American Academy of Achievement Summit (of which he is a member.)

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  58. In a way, I hated to single out anyone for fear others who are also really good might feel slighted, but the list of schools attended, schools taught at, life achievements, and recognition of Mitchell and Carson, as well as their explicit support of Gen 1-11, leave their opponents no aspersions to cast on their intelligence and training. Check out Carson at http://www.icr.org/article/benjamin-carson-pediatric-neurosurgeon-with-gifted/ (friendly site) and http://www.proof-of-evolution.com/ben-carson.html (objecting to his YEC support)Reading of his witness to the brightest of the bright in our country was a comfort and encouragement to my soul. definitely an 7K Club member. 🙂

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      • @concerned: I don’t know. Are you referring to the article about the lizards that I posted? I don’t know why someone would thumbs down it. I guess they just don’t like having their beliefs challenged by facts. It seems simple enough to me, and I don’t think it even challenges belief in God. So, I have no idea.

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        • @Ron:

          The reason is because your article about lizard evolution is not an example of novel information entering the gene pool. It is an example of increasing the expression of pre-existing genes via Mendelian variation… not the novel evolution of new genetic elements which were not already in the gene pool to begin with…

          This is the very same mechanism that the variation in the size/shape of Darwin’s finch beaks was/is based on. There is no novel gene pool evolution here.

          As a doctor with at lest some background training in modern genetics, you should understand these concepts a bit better…

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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        • @David Read:
          @Sean Pitman:
          “The reason is because your article about lizard evolution is not an example of novel information entering the gene pool.”

          I never said that it was, and Darwin never said that it was either. But it is still an example of Darwinian evolution which fact you acknowledge in your reply. . . .

          “This is the very same mechanism that the variation in the size/shape of Darwin’s finch beaks was/is based on.”

          “As a doctor with at lest some background training in modern genetics, you should understand these concepts a bit better”

          I think I understand it pretty well, it is just that most creationists are totally illogical. They make the error of rejecting truth just because it is associated with error.

          There are several logical fallacies on both sides of the issue.

          On the creationist side,
          1. The fixedness of species. Just because God created something a certain way, it doesn’t mean that he can’t make it with the ability to change, or that he even intended it to stay the same. Maybe he intended it to be adaptable.
          2. Species: That isn’t even a Biblical concept. It came out of ancient Greece when Aristotle was watching the breeding habits of fish. As we know today, it is a pretty fuzzy concept, as there are no distinct genetic boundaries between species. There are many ways that genetic material is passed between even different species of advanced mammals. (Donkey>Mule>horse>Mule>donkey for example).
          3. Kinds: As far as I know, there is no clear understanding of what the Bible means by kinds. As far as I can tell according to the text, it is something like the difference between plants, fish, creeping things, mammals with mammalian sub types wild and domesticated. That leaves a LOT of room for genetic mixing.
          4. All or non-thinking. Just because we all agree that the Bible doesn’t support the rise of man from inorganic matter, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t ANY evolution. Even a casual reading of the Bible with an open mind shows that there is extensive evidence of evolution within the Bible. Both before, and after the flood.
          5. Whether evolution is constructive, or destructive, is a value judgement that says nothing about the existence or non-existence of the underlying mechanisms. Saying that evolution only results in degradation still requires the mechanisms of evolution to be in place, if only to facilitate the degradation.
          6. Even Mrs. White, in talking about “amalgamation” and the tremendous variability of species both before and after the flood, inadvertently acknowledges the principles of Darwinism. She just puts a different value judgement on it.

          On the part of Evolutionists:
          1. Just because we see changes occurring for the most part without the direct supernatural intervention of God, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t involved in the process anywhere or at any time.

          2. Just because we see that a huge amount of evolution is possible, that doesn’t necessarily mean that EVERYTHING is possible, that there are NO limits. (That is basically the argument you are making with your . . . what was it 10,000sss?)

          3. Even if it were possible for the universe to make energy into inorganic material, and eventually man, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that is what happened. It is still possible that God created the process, guides the process, or intervenes in the process to facilitate it, or even short circuit it altogether.

          My point is that the notion that Creation and Evolution are mutually exclusive, is just a terrible error in logic that has caused 150 years of useless and destructive debate. It is time for both sides to stop the non-sense and start talking to each other in a civil discourse.

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        • @Ron:

          But it is still an example of Darwinian evolution which fact you acknowledge in your reply. . . .

          Mendelian variation is not the same thing as Darwinian evolution since nothing new is evolved within the gene pool via random mutations. Mendelian variation is simply a variable expression of what already exists in the gene pool.

          Darwin didn’t know of Mendelian variation even though he lived at the same time as Gregor Mendel. That is why he didn’t understand the basis of the morphologic changes he saw in the finches he was researching… that they really weren’t evolving due to novel information entering the gene pool via RM/NS. Darwin really thought that they were evolving new information. He was mistaken. Mendel was right.

          There are several logical fallacies on both sides of the issue.

          On the creationist side,
          1. The fixedness of species. Just because God created something a certain way, it doesn’t mean that he can’t make it with the ability to change, or that he even intended it to stay the same. Maybe he intended it to be adaptable.

          There is no argument here. Of course God created species with the pre-programmed ability for variation or change over time. It is just that this pre-programmed variability allows for a limit to the degree of changes realized.

          2. Species: That isn’t even a Biblical concept. It came out of ancient Greece when Aristotle was watching the breeding habits of fish. As we know today, it is a pretty fuzzy concept, as there are no distinct genetic boundaries between species. There are many ways that genetic material is passed between even different species of advanced mammals. (Donkey>Mule>horse>Mule>donkey for example).

          Creationists, like myself, do not draw the boundary between “species” since this term is arbitrary and not well defined. Rather, I draw the boundary between gene pools that contain uniquely different functional elements beyond very low levels of functional complexity (i.e., beyond the 1000aa threshold level).

          As far as donkeys, horses, and mules are concerned, they are all part of the same gene pool. No Darwinian evolution is necessary to produce the morphologic differences between these animals since none of them contain unique genetic information.

          For more information on the genetics of donkeys, horses and mules see:

          http://www.detectingdesign.com/donkeyshorsesmules.html

          3. Kinds: As far as I know, there is no clear understanding of what the Bible means by kinds. As far as I can tell according to the text, it is something like the difference between plants, fish, creeping things, mammals with mammalian sub types wild and domesticated. That leaves a LOT of room for genetic mixing.

          There is indeed a lot of pre-programmed ability for dramatic phenotypic changes within the gene pools of most living things. However, there are also very clear limitations to the quality of change that can occur… as already explained for you.

          4. All or non-thinking. Just because we all agree that the Bible doesn’t support the rise of man from inorganic matter, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t ANY evolution. Even a casual reading of the Bible with an open mind shows that there is extensive evidence of evolution within the Bible. Both before, and after the flood.

          You are, yet again, mischaracterizing the creationist position. We all believe in various forms of “change over time” or “evolution” – even in low level forms of Darwinian evolution via RM/NS. Why then do you keep saying that we don’t recognize any form of evolution? That’s simply not true.

          The problem I have with the neo-Darwinian position is that it recognizes no limits to the type of changes that can happen or that slowly reproducing creatures are actually devolving, not evolving, over time (which is the type of evolution noted in the Bible). Thinks are getting worse over time, not better.

          5. Whether evolution is constructive, or destructive, is a value judgement that says nothing about the existence or non-existence of the underlying mechanisms. Saying that evolution only results in degradation still requires the mechanisms of evolution to be in place, if only to facilitate the degradation.

          That’s right. Devolution is in fact the result of random mutations building up over time. However, the decay that results is not just a value judgement. Do you think the difference between a 20 year old man and 90 year old man is just a value judgement? Aging and decay is very real and is the result of a build up of tens of thousands of mutations over time in your own body. They same thing happens to slowly reproducing gene pools…

          6. Even Mrs. White, in talking about “amalgamation” and the tremendous variability of species both before and after the flood, inadvertently acknowledges the principles of Darwinism. She just puts a different value judgement on it.

          Again, no one is questioning “change over time”. Various forms of evolution do indeed happen. However, evolution beyond very low levels of functional complexity does not happen. This is the key point of contention here.

          Please try to remember this distinction for next time…

          On the part of Evolutionists:
          1. Just because we see changes occurring for the most part without the direct supernatural intervention of God, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t involved in the process anywhere or at any time.

          And just because we’ve never seen garden fairies or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Santa Claus, doesn’t mean that they don’t exist… right?

          If you can’t demonstrate the need for the involvement of a God or God-like intelligence, or an intelligence of any kind for that matter, what good is this kind of argument?

          2. Just because we see that a huge amount of evolution is possible, that doesn’t necessarily mean that EVERYTHING is possible, that there are NO limits. (That is basically the argument you are making with your . . . what was it 10,000sss?)

          Exactly! And, this is the entire reason for the discussion in play – that there are actual limits to what can and cannot be evolved over a given amount of time. Neo-Darwinists see no limits while creationists and IDists, see very clear limits.

          3. Even if it were possible for the universe to make energy into inorganic material, and eventually man, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that is what happened. It is still possible that God created the process, guides the process, or intervenes in the process to facilitate it, or even short circuit it altogether.

          Again, back to Santa Claus and Flying Spaghetti Monsters…

          My point is that the notion that Creation and Evolution are mutually exclusive, is just a terrible error in logic that has caused 150 years of useless and destructive debate. It is time for both sides to stop the non-sense and start talking to each other in a civil discourse.

          Your error is that your arguments for the involvement of God are not based on any features that would clearly require the input of any kind of creative intelligence. However, once you start to realize the areas of limitation for the Darwinian mechanism (RM/NS), then anything that exists well beyond this limitation of any known mindless naturalistic mechanism, is a strong argument for an intelligent origin of that feature.

          This is the basic argument for Design being evident in the universe and in living things. The argument isn’t over the fact that evolutionary changes happen. They do. The argument is over the limits to what can happen via mindless mechanisms.

          Please remember this distinction…

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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    • @ron: Ron, creationists do not dispute the type of micro-evolution the article discusses, in which lizard hind legs grow slightly shorter. This would be in the same category as the variable beak sizes of the Galapagos finches, and many, many other examples.

      That this type of adaptive variation occurs, and happens very rapidly, within say ten lizard generations, is entirely consistent with the creationist theory of a rapid post-Flood speciation.

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  59. In 3SG 90-91 we find a very strong and explicit statement not only about evolutionism – but about Theistic Evolutionism.

    That statement comes to us from the gift of prophecy mentioned in 1Corinthians 12 as originating with the Holy Spirit.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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    • @BobRyan: Maybe, but she is talking about ideas, not people, and she never advocates removing people from the church.

      And I don’t think Mrs. White had the same thing in mind as we do when we use the term. If you were only applying your thoughts to what she was referring to, then I might even agree with you, but I think your are lumping more into the category than she had in mind.

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  60. I am appalled by the things written here. I too am a WWU student. I am not in the Biology department either, should that discredit my opinion. I am in the Health Science department. The views that were expressed in the Collegian were not representing the student body or school as a whole.
    The comments here that really shook me were not the ones made by unknown people but by the students themselves. I have taken classes within the biology department and have found that the professors teach from the perspective of a literal 6 day creation. Students are amazed by the wonderful things God has done, and continues to do, through nature and our own bodies. Condemning the whole school as being ‘infiltrated by the devil’ is very extreme.
    There is evil everywhere. Everyone sins, everyone makes mistakes on an individual level. How much more on an organizational level? Even within our churches there are problems. There aren’t many people who could say that no one in their church has ever had some crazy belief or opinion about something in the Bible. Those sorts of people are everywhere. We can’t beat that belief out of them! What we can do though is show them, through love, what the Bible says on the matter. You can’t treat WWU as one individual person or belief. This school is filled with different people with a very diverse background. Yes, there may be students (and even faculty) that have different beliefs about creation. If we didn’t get so caught up in these views and dug deeper we would see something else.
    There was outrage on WWU’s campus when this Collegian came out. I am saddened by the things written in it. I believe in a 6 day creation. God is all powerful. How can we, as sinful humans, limit His power by saying that He actually took much longer? The teachers I have had at WWU love God. They believe in the Bible and support the message of the Adventist church. However, more important than supporting the Adventist church is supporting the Word of God, that is the Bible. The hate and animosity that has been thrown toward Walla Walla University has been done without research. Just like writing a research paper for a professor you cannot just throw your opinion around. No, you must have accurate research to back it up. I will let you make your own decision about the belief of WWU but don’t make that decision until you are informed about the opinions of WWU as a whole.
    There are many students and faculty at WWU who are in love with Jesus Christ. They believe in the Bible and rejoice in the awesome power of an amazing God. Don’t label the majority based on the minority.
    Blessings and Peace to all,
    Sarah

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  61. BobRyan: In 3SG 90-91 we find a very strong and explicit statement not only about evolutionism – but about Theistic Evolutionism.

    That statement comes to us from the gift of prophecy mentioned in 1Corinthians 12 as originating with the Holy Spirit.

    Ron: @BobRyan: Maybe, but she is talking about ideas, not people, and she never advocates removing people from the church.

    And I don’t think Mrs. White had the same thing in mind as we do when we use the term. If you were only applying your thoughts to what she was referring to, then I might even agree with you, but I think your are lumping more into the category than she had in mind.

    I have an idea – lets quote the text in question and “see” just exactly what it says.

    Since this illustrates a good case in point regarding our difference in POV and since it is so easy to gain access to the text and copy-paste post it here for discussion – I suggest a quick exercise in comparing the details with the claims you and I have made here regarding that quote.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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    • @BobRyan:

      Ok, Let’s do that. Here is the relevant quote. I have searched several pages before, and after and
      a. I find no indication that she was advocating expelling anyone from the church.
      b. I note also that she is referring in INFIDEL geologists who are trying to use science to undermine belief in God. Not dedicated teachers in our schools.
      c. She grants the findings of science, she is here just disagreeing with the assertion that the findings prove the non-existence of God.
      c. She is attempting to do what myself, and many other Adventists are trying to do. i.e. find an explanation that addresses all relevant facts.
      d. She is referring to the position that the first week required vast lengths of time. She in fact endorses the concept that there has been a lot of evolution since the flood.
      d. While looking for this statement, I ran across another statement on the E.G.W. web site explaining her statements about amalgamation. See second quote below.

      Again. Just because species are not fixed, and do evolve, that does not imply the non-existence of God, which I believe was the main thrust of E.G.W’s argument.

      In it the author acknowledge that creationists have lost one argument they had with Darwin, the idea of a fixed species. I would argue, that Mrs. White in fact agrees with Darwin on this account, by her description of “amalgamation”. If the species were in fact fundamentally fixed, then “amalgamation” would be impossible.

      Just to be clear, I disagree with the author that there are still barriers that correspond to “kinds”. I don’t see any absolute barriers anywhere.

      First quote:
      “But the infidel supposition, that the events of the first week required seven vast, indefinite periods for their accomplishment, strikes directly at the foundation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. It makes indefinite and obscure that which God has made very plain. It is the worst kind of infidelity; for with many who profess to believe the record of creation, it is infidelity in disguise. It charges God with commanding men to observe the week of seven literal days in commemoration of seven indefinite periods, which is unlike his dealings with mortals, and is an impeachment of his wisdom.
      Infidel geologists claim that the world is very much older than the Bible record makes it. They reject the Bible record, because of those things which are to them evidences fromthe earth itself, that the world has existed tens of thousands of years. And many who profess to believe the Bible record are at a loss to account for wonderful things which are found in the earth, with the view that creation week was only seven literal days, and that the world is now only about six thousand years old. These, to free themselves of difficulties thrown in their way by infidel geologists, adopt the view that the six days of creation were six vast, indefinite periods, and the day of God’s rest was another indefinite period; making senseless the fourth commandment of God’s holy law. Some eagerly receive this position, for it destroys the force of the fourth commandment, and they feel a freedom from its claims upon them. They have limited ideas of the size of men, animals and trees before the flood, and of the great changes which then took place in the earth.
      Bones of men and animals are found in the earth, in mountains and in valleys, showing that much larger men and beasts once lived upon the earth. I was shown that very large, powerful animals existed before the flood which do not now exist. Instruments of warfare are sometimes found; also petrified wood. Because the bones of human beings and of animals found in the earth, are much larger than those of men and animals now living, or that have existed for many generations past, some conclude that the world is older than we have any scriptural record of, and was populated long before . . . ”

      Second quote: http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/amalg.html
      Darwinism and Creationism

      At the time she wrote her amalgamation statement in 1864, Darwin’s influence was only beginning to be felt in the world. Until he published his Origin of Species (Nov. 24, 1859), most scientists, and religionists generally, had held firmly to the view that the species are “fixed,” that is, they cannot be crossed. Darwin theorized that all creation is in flux, with no ultimate bounds on any form of life. He reasoned that natural law, expressing itself through natural selection and survival of the fittest, causes simple forms to become increasingly complex and to rise constantly in the scale of life, until man finally appears. His theory and the doctrine of the fixity of species could not live together. One devoured the other. To Darwin and those who agreed with him, it seemed that the chief obstacle to acceptance of his theory was the doctrine of species fixity. And to orthodox Christians belief in species fixity seemed absolutely essential to belief in Genesis.

      Thus when the battle began between the Darwinites and the believers in Genesis the fighting was chiefly over this question of the fixity of species. Creationists generally considered the term “species” as equivalent to the “kinds,” in Genesis, to each of which was given the divine order to “bring forth . . . after his kind.” Gen.1:24. Such an equating of “species” and “kind” we now know to be unwarranted.

      The outcome of such an uneven fight is known to all. Evolutionists had little trouble in proving that there are “endless varieties of species of animals,” if we might borrow Mrs. White’s words in her amalgamation statement. And whenever creationists have sought to make their stand on the point of fixity of species, as that term is generally understood, they have been put to rout.

      Present-day creationists who have any knowledge of genetics, which treats of the laws governing “heredity and variations among related organisms,” fare much better than did their fighting fathers. Genetics shows how endless varieties may develop within certain limits–the limits of the potential variations within the original strain–but no farther. In other words, the simple fact of variations in species does not, in itself, provide any proof for evolution. That much is certain. Thus we may believe in “endless varieties of species” after Ararat without believing in evolution. Mrs. White wrote in 1864 that these “almost endless varieties” “may be seen,” though creationists at that time, and for about a half century more, saw no such thing; they saw only fixity of species. Yet Mrs. White had no leanings toward Darwin’s theory. From the outset she spoke vigorously against evolution!

      (I disagree with this last assertion. I think she disagreed vigorously with using evolution as a reason to doubt God.)

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      • @Ron:

        OK – I made the following statement

        BobRyan: In 3SG 90-91 we find a very strong and explicit statement not only about evolutionism – but about Theistic Evolutionism.

        And who could doubt this after reading about Theistic Evolutionism “among those who profess to believe” the bible.

        But the infidel supposition, that the events of the first week required seven vast, indefinite periods for their accomplishment, strikes directly at the foundation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. It makes indefinite and obscure that which God has made very plain. It is the worst kind of infidelity; for with many who profess to believe the record of creation, it is infidelity in disguise. 3SG 90

        Ron responded with this

        Ron: @BobRyan: Maybe, but she is talking about ideas, not people, and she never advocates removing people from the church.

        And I don’t think Mrs. White had the same thing in mind as we do when we use the term. If you were only applying your thoughts to what she was referring to, then I might even agree with you, but I think your are lumping more into the category than she had in mind.

        Notice that in my comment above – I merely point out that Ellen White is talking about Theistic Evolutionism in 3SG 90-91.

        It is pretty hard to deny that.

        So I then suggest putting your suggestion to the test

        Bob said:

        I have an idea – lets quote the text in question and “see” just exactly what it says.

        And Ron then kindly follows up on that idea saying.

        c. She grants the findings of science, she is here just disagreeing with the assertion that the findings prove the non-existence of God.
        c. She is attempting to do what myself, and many other Adventists are trying to do. i.e. find an explanation that addresses all relevant facts.
        d. She is referring to the position that the first week required vast lengths of time. She in fact endorses the concept that there has been a lot of evolution since the flood

        (I disagree with this last assertion. I think she disagreed vigorously with using evolution as a reason to doubt God.)

        Let’s look at the carefully worded statement

        3 Spiritual Gifts pg 90

        http://egwdatabase.whiteestate.org/nxt/gateway.dll/egw-comp/section00000.htm/book05137.htm/chapter05149.htm

        Chapter IX. – Disguised Infidelity
        I was then carried back to the creation and was shown that the first week, in which God performed the work of creation in six days and rested on the seventh day, was just like every other week.

        The weekly cycle of seven literal days, six for labor, and the seventh for rest, which has been preserved and brought down through Bible history, originated in the great facts of the first seven days. {3SG 90.1}

        With even a little attention to detail one quickly gets to the literal 7 day week “shown” to Ellen White by God regarding Creation week itself.

        Unfortunately that part did not make it into your quote of 3SG90-91

        But the infidel supposition, that the events of the first week required seven vast, indefinite periods for their accomplishment, strikes directly at the foundation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. It makes indefinite and obscure that which God has made very plain. It is the worst kind of infidelity; for with many who profess to believe the record of creation, it is infidelity in disguise.

        It charges God with commanding men to observe the week of seven literal days in commemoration of seven indefinite periods, which is unlike his dealings with mortals, and is an impeachment of his wisdom. {3SG 91.1}

        It is very clear that infidelity in disguise mentioned above is not atheist evolutionism – for there is no disguise at all in the atheist claim not to believe in God.

        The disguised form above – only applies to one one who claims one thing while working for the purposes of another. In the case above it is the disguise within Christianity that argues against Christianity by promoting evolutionism from within.

        In the next section that you quote Ellen White no longer refers to disguised infidels – but rather open infidelity in the case of certain geologists in her day.

        Infidel geologists claim that the world is very much older than the Bible record makes it. They reject the Bible record because of those things which are to them evidences from the earth itself, that the world has existed tens of thousands of years.

        Then Ellen White switches from the case of open atheism to the problem within Christianity itself — the problem among those who profess to believe.

        And many who profess to believe the Bible record are at a loss to account for wonderful things which are found in the earth, with the view that creation week was only seven literal days, and that the world is now only about six thousand years old. These, to free themselves of difficulties thrown in their way by infidel geologists, adopt the view that the six days of creation were six vast, indefinite periods, and the day of God’s rest was another indefinite period; making senseless the fourth commandment of God’s holy law. Some eagerly receive this position, for it destroys the force of the fourth commandment, and they feel a freedom from its claims upon them.

        {3SG 91.2}

        Speaking of the fossil record Ellen White states

        But the time of their existence, and how long a period these things have been in the earth, are only to be understood by Bible history. It may be innocent to conjecture beyond Bible history, if our suppositions do not contradict the facts found in the sacred Scriptures. But when men leave the word of God in regard to the history of creation, and seek to account for God’s creative works upon natural principles, they are upon a boundless ocean of uncertainty. Just how God accomplished the work of creation in six literal days he has never revealed to mortals. His creative works are just as incomprehensible as his existence. {3SG 93.1}

        It is pretty hard to miss that last point.

        “But when men leave the word of God in regard to the history of creation, and seek to account for God’s creative works upon natural principles, they are upon a boundless ocean of uncertainty…”

        in Christ,

        Bob

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        • @BobRyan:
          Bob, I agree with you.
          I know you don’t believe it, but I do. I was laughing at myself because I was going to highlight and quote the same paragraph you did until I saw that you had already done it.

          “upon natural principles” Is this not a reference to science? To paraphrase, she is saying that you can’t use science to disprove that God is the creator. To do that is the worst kind of infidelity.

          Now in my words, it is the worst kind of infidelity because it is illogical. How can you use the creator’s works to prove there is no creator? If you abandon all logic, then there truly is no hope. There is no rational basis for . . . . What? – – Anything.

          But my point is slightly different. Assuming that we agree, that theistic evolution is the worst kind of heresy, the question becomes what to do about it when you see it in the church?

          My point is that Mrs. White does not say, at least here, what should be done about it.

          What I think you are advocating, is that we should create some kind of a test, and dis-fellowship everybody that doesn’t measure up.

          I am saying that that approach
          1. violates Christ’s direct command. Matthew 13:30
          2. It doesn’t accomplish what you are hoping it will accomplish, (keep the church safe).
          3. And it is the same method that was used by Roman emperors demanding that early Christian’s to just say a little prayer to him, so he would know they believed he was a god, or later with papal Rome, cleansing the church of heretics. The whole notion of trying to cleanse the church through any method other than prayerful study and reason ultimately results in abuse. That is why our church father, including Mrs. White advocated against developing a creed.

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        • @Ron:

          The founding fathers did indeed argue against creeds, organization, and church government of any kind. However, they soon discovered the impracticality of this position and changed their minds. They all, including Mrs. White, ended up supporting standards of church order and government, to include the adoption of rules of enforcement particularly in regard to who could officially represent the church in a paid capacity.

          Of course, those who were not considered to accurately represent the views of the early SDA Church did not receive “cards of commendation”. In other words, they were let go from church employment. And what was the attitude of such persons? – according to Loughborough?:

          Of course those who claimed “liberty to do as they pleased,” to “preach what they pleased,” and to “go when and where they pleased,” without “consultation with any one,” failed to get cards of commendation. They, with their sympathizers, drew off and commenced a warfare against those whom they claimed were “depriving them of their liberty.” Knowing that it was the Testimonies that had prompted us as a people to act, to establish “order,” these opponents soon turned their warfare against instruction from that source, claiming that “when they got that gift out of the way, the message would go unrestrained to its `loud cry.’ ”

          One of the principal claims made by those who warred against organization was that it “abridged their liberty and independence, and that if one stood clear before the Lord that was all the organization needed,” etc… All the efforts made to establish order are considered dangerous, a restriction of rightful liberty, and hence are feared as popery.”

          Loughborough, JN. Testimonies for the Church. p. 650. Vol. 1.

          It seems to me like you have the same attitude as those who where excluded from being paid representatives of the early SDA Church by our founding fathers…

          Also, the fact that Mrs. White clearly claimed to have been shown, directly by God, the literal nature of the Genesis account of the creation week, completely undermines any leeway you could possibly claim in her writings for the neo-Darwinist position. The neo-Darwinist position is fundamentally opposed to the SDA position on origins and always has been. It is also opposed to the rationality and credibility of Christianity in general.

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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      • @Ron: Ron, Ellen White categorically rejected the idea that life arose by any means other than special creation by God in a literal week a few thousand years ago. If you’re trying to contest that fact, you’ll only make yourself appear foolish.

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        • @David Read:
          No, I am not trying to any such thing. I am perfectly content with the idea that God created life in six days, 6000 years ago, as long as you can agree to Darwinian evolution in the here and now. I think I have said that before.

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        • @Ron:

          Why then are you arguing against us? If you are perfectly content with a literal six day creation week, then where is your argument with us? We are all fine with the existence of very limited forms of Darwinian-style evolution occurring at low levels of functional complexity since the Fall. Our only problem is with those teaching in our schools telling our students that the neo-Darwinian story of origins, to include the existence and evolution of all forms of life on this planet, from a very simple common ancestor over hundreds of millions of years, is the true story of origins – that the literal six-day creation week is nonsense. That’s what we’re having a problem with.

          If you agree with us in this regard, what then is your concern?

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  62. concerned: @ron: why would anybody “thumbs down” an article that simple talks about something that happened? this happened, learn about it. think about it. just think.

    Why? Because most articles are writtten from a particular perspective or “worldview” as the postmoderns like to call it. The “facts” may be there, but usually there are also some “agendas” to support. Suppositions are usually also present, no matter how many “facts” there are.

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  63. David Read:
    @Ron: Ron, Ellen White categorically rejected the idea that life arose by any means other than special creation by God in a literal week a few thousand years ago.If you’re trying to contest that fact, you’ll only make yourself appear foolish.

    I think Ron has already succeeded in doing that.

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  64. ron:
    For those who claim we have not seen Darwinian principles demonstrated in modern times, here is a demonstration of natural selection that has occurred in only 4 years.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/17/BAGN1N4D6O.DTL&type=science

    This is a classic “strawman” argument, since even Creationists do not deny that animals can adapt, within their genomic capacity, to a new environment.

    Similar to the moths in England which adapted to polluted environments and then “readapted” later to a less polluted environment.

    All living things have a certain limited capacity to “adapt” “change” or “evolve” to a change in their environment. I don’t know anyone who denies that, since it can be seen today.

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      • @Sean Pitman:
        Actually, I am not trying to claim anything right now. What I am trying to do is find out what you believe in. I know you don’t believe in evolution in the broadest sense, of “amoeba to horse”, to use Bob’s term. Right now, I don’t really care what you DON’T believe in, I want to know what you DO believe in. I know you believe in some kinds of genetic change. When is genetic change “adaption”, and when is genetic change “evolution”?

        Darwin described adaption of finch’s beaks as an example of evolution, i.e. a change in response to selection pressures.
        Darwin called it evolution and he did not describe any particular mechanism. When he wrote, the Bohr atom hadn’t even been described, let alone DNA. So, when we talk about Darwinian evolution, we are talking about what ever mechanism causes finches beaks to change (and probably lots of other mechanisms as well). When you say that you don’t accept Darwinian evolution, without any further qualification, then you are saying that you don’t believe that any species has any ability to respond to selection pressures of any kind. That’s a problem.
        Is that what you think Mrs. White believed? If not, why not. (references please).

        I am not trying to make you say that you don’t believe in ANY change. I am not. I am trying to define what kinds of change/evolution, you believe in, and what kind you don’t. I want to get specific, concrete and as detailed as we can while remaining at a laymen’s level. However, I am having trouble finding any change that you will endorse. I am intentionally picking examples I think you would endorse, as being OK in a YEC model, but for some reason you seem afraid to actually say yes or no.

        Do you agree that changes in finches beaks, and lizard legs is evolution?
        If not, what is YOUR definition of evolution?
        Why do you chose to use a different definition?

        Do you believe that the color of populations of moths, (not individual moths) can evolve in response to the selection pressures of pollution?
        If yes, then is it not proper to talk about how the population curve evolves over time?

        Do you believe that the genome of the HIV virus can evolve differently in different population groups? This is likely a different mechanism.

        Do you believe Mrs. White when she talks about amalgamation, or do you believe that amalgamation is not possible?

        What do you think amalgamation means?
        Would you agree that it means at a minimum, the creation of new phenotypes due to hybridization? e.g. a mule.

        Is it possible that it could mean more than that? Maybe it even refers to inter-species gene transfer.
        We talked about donkey to horse gene transfer through the vehicle of (rare) fertile mules. Could this be an example of what Mrs. White refers to as “amalgamation”?

        Remembering that the term evolution makes no intrinsic judgment as to whether, something is good, or bad, but only that it is responding to selection pressure, wouldn’t this be an example of a “degenerative evolution”, i.e. a response to the selection pressure caused by the presence of sin?

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        • @Ron:

          I know you believe in some kinds of genetic change. When is genetic change “adaption”, and when is genetic change “evolution”?

          All forms of genetic change within a gene pool that are based on random mutations which were not present in the parental gene pool, are a form of gene pool “evolution”. However, not all forms of phenotypic change in different environments are based on changes to the underlying gene pool. Mendalian variation is one such example. Mendelian variation, as already explained for you, is based on the pre-programmed genetic potential of a given gene pool to produce various phenotypic expressions without the requirement of any novel random mutations or genetic elements of any kind being added to the gene pool. Such forms of phenotypic changes are not the result of genotypic “evolution” or change over time.

          Darwin described adaption of finch’s beaks as an example of evolution, i.e. a change in response to selection pressures.
          Darwin called it evolution and he did not describe any particular mechanism. When he wrote, the Bohr atom hadn’t even been described, let alone DNA. So, when we talk about Darwinian evolution, we are talking about what ever mechanism causes finches beaks to change (and probably lots of other mechanisms as well).

          Darwin did propose a mechanism for his changes which is slight modifications or “insensible gradations” adding up over time to produce bigger and bigger changes – all under the guidance of natural selection.

          What Darwin did not realize is that many phenotypic changes are not the result of any true change in the underlying information responsible for the phenotypic expression. In other words, Darwin didn’t understand the nature of genetic information. He didn’t understand the concept of Mendelian variation and the pre-programmed nature of the potential for phenotypic variability he was observing. He therefore did not understand the natural limitations that constrains this pre-programmed variability for living things – like finches.

          When you say that you don’t accept Darwinian evolution, without any further qualification, then you are saying that you don’t believe that any species has any ability to respond to selection pressures of any kind.

          Where did I ever say that I don’t accept any form of Darwinian evolution? Have you not paid attention to the many times I’ve explained, directly to you, that low levels of Darwinian-style evolution do happen all the time? – very commonly and very rapidly? Do you not remember the times I’ve explained to you that while Darwinian-style evolution does take place via RM/NS, that this form of evolution is limited to low levels of functional complexity that come well shy of the level of 1000 specifically arranged amino acid residues?

          I am not trying to make you say that you don’t believe in ANY change. I am not. I am trying to define what kinds of change/evolution, you believe in, and what kind you don’t. I want to get specific, concrete and as detailed as we can while remaining at a laymen’s level. However, I am having trouble finding any change that you will endorse.

          Oh please. I have a whole website on this topic which I’ve referenced for you many many times. I’ve also explained to you directly, in fair detail, the potential and limits of what the Darwinian mechanism can and cannot achieve in living things. What more do you want?

          I am intentionally picking examples I think you would endorse, as being OK in a YEC model, but for some reason you seem afraid to actually say yes or no.

          That’s not true at all. Many of your examples simply aren’t based on the Darwinian mechanism at all – to include your examples that require the input of intelligent design and those that are based on Mendelian variation. These are not valid examples of Darwinian-style evolution. Not even well-educated modern neo-Darwinists would recognize many of your examples of “evolution” as valid.

          Do you agree that changes in finches beaks, and lizard legs is evolution?

          No. These changes are based almost exclusively on Mendelian variation, not the evolution of anything new within the underlying gene pool.

          If not, what is YOUR definition of evolution?

          Evolution is defined as something new evolving into the gene pool that wasn’t already there to begin with within the parental gene pool of original genetic options.

          Why do you chose to use a different definition?

          Because, there are different mechanisms for phenotypic changes over time – not all of which are Darwinian. You have learned about Mendelian variation in your medical training, have you not?

          Do you believe that the color of populations of moths, (not individual moths) can evolve in response to the selection pressures of pollution? If yes, then is it not proper to talk about how the population curve evolves over time?

          The potential for differences in shades of light and dark for peppered moths already existed in the original parental population. Changes in the ratio of expression of these pre-existing genetic options is, yet again, based on Mendelian-style variation – not the evolution of anything functionally new within the underlying gene pool.

          This is really basic stuff here. It seems like you simply aren’t understanding the basic science under discussion in this forum.

          Do you believe that the genome of the HIV virus can evolve differently in different population groups? This is likely a different mechanism.

          Yes, this is a very different mechanism that is based on novel random mutations evolving over time in a Darwinian manner. This is a true example of Darwinian-style evolution via RM/NS. Of course, it is a very low level example of true evolution in action.

          Do you believe Mrs. White when she talks about amalgamation, or do you believe that amalgamation is not possible?

          Of course various forms of mixing of genes between different kinds of gene pools is possible via intelligent design – as in various forms of genetic engineering. However, the natural production of hybrids is not possible between different kinds of gene pools that were not originally derived from the same gene pool.

          What do you think amalgamation means?

          It depends upon the context in which this term is used – which is not always clear in the writings of Mrs. White. She seems to have used the term to refer to the mixing of peoples of different faiths or views of God through marriage as well as the attempted mixing or hybridization of different kinds of animals.

          Would you agree that it means at a minimum, the creation of new phenotypes due to hybridization? e.g. a mule.

          No, I do not think it means that since horses, donkeys and mules all share the very same gene pool of genetic options. They are not different “kinds” of animals since they share the same “kind” of pool of genetic options.

          I’ve already explained this to you a couple times before (Link).

          Remembering that the term evolution makes no intrinsic judgment as to whether, something is good, or bad, but only that it is responding to selection pressure, wouldn’t this be an example of a “degenerative evolution”, i.e. a response to the selection pressure caused by the presence of sin?

          Mendelian variation is able to respond to selection pressure, but it isn’t based on anything new evolving within the underlying gene pool. Therefore, it isn’t correct to say that all forms of change over time via natural selection are based on Darwinian-style evolution. That’s simply not true.

          Also, this the disagreement between creationists and evolutionists is not over degenerative forms of evolution, but over the notion that any mindless mechanism can produce novel systems of function beyond very low levels of functional complexity. That’s the entire disagreement here.

          So, for you to present examples of stepwise intelligent design or degenerative evolution is irrelevant to the point at hand – a strawman distraction.

          Sean Pitman
          http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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    • @Holly Pham:

      “All living things have a certain limited capacity to “adapt” “change” or “evolve” to a change in their environment. I don’t know anyone who denies that, since it can be seen today.”

      Ok, so I think I am picking up some agreement here with Darwin. Things do evolve; or change if you prefer, at least in the here and now, SINCE creation, and “within certain limits”. I mean, if you were to look at Darwin’s finches, you would see the different shaped bills, would you not? And that wouldn’t destroy your faith.

      That doesn’t mean that you agree with EVERYTHING Darwin said. There are limits after all. But if I am right, you and he at least agree on that much.

      Now there are some things that are attributed to Darwin, that you obviously disagree with. I am wondering if you can be a little more specific as to where the boundaries are. What kinds of changes are possible to believe in and still believe in god as a creator, and what kinds of changes would force you to abandon the notion of a creator?

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      • @Ron:

        Of course things change in real time, via random mutations and natural selection, in a Darwinian manner, within certain limits (limits which I have detailed for you numerous times now).

        How this has not been made clear to you before now is beyond me. Creationists do not reject all forms of Darwinian-style evolution! Where on Earth did you get that idea?

        If you really do want more detailed information regarding the limits of what Darwinian-style evolution can achieve, please do visit my website at:

        http://www.DetectingDesign.com

        Sean Pitman

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  65. Pingback: Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation, by Sean Pitman « adventlife

  66. Ron: @Holly Pham: “All living things have a certain limited capacity to “adapt” “change” or “evolve” to a change in their environment. I don’t know anyone who denies that, since it can be seen today.”Ok, so I think I am picking up some agreement here with Darwin. Things do evolve; or change if you prefer, at least in the here and now, SINCE creation, and “within certain limits”. I mean, if you were to look at Darwin’s finches, you would see the different shaped bills, would you not? And that wouldn’t destroy your faith.That doesn’t mean that you agree with EVERYTHING Darwin said. There are limits after all. But if I am right, you and he at least agree on that much. Now there are some things that are attributed to Darwin, that you obviously disagree with. I am wondering if you can be a little more specific as to where the boundaries are. What kinds of changes are possible to believe in and still believe in god as a creator, and what kinds of changes would force you to abandon the notion of a creator?

    On the contrary, the burden is on you to show how small changes, such as adaption of a bird’s bill, can lead to the change of magnitude that Darwin said could account for in the diversity that we see in the world today.

    Scientists have been working on this for many decades, with no mechanism that can be demonstrated to explain how organisms can change from one type of “kind” (as explained in the Bible) to another type or kind.

    Please show how you scientifically can explain it to us. The Bible states all living thing procreate “after their kind” which is what we see in today’s world.

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    • Sean Pitman: How this has not been made clear to you before now is beyond me. Creationists do not reject all forms of Darwinian-style evolution! Where on Earth did you get that idea?

      Well, Bob has been pretty adamant that any form of “theistic evolution” is the worst form of infidelity, and as I understand it, the whole pretext for the website is to agitate to get SDA biology teachers fired for teaching evolution, and there have been comments about driving liberals from the church as well.

      I have tried many times to get Bob and others to define exactly what they mean by evolution and what kinds of evolution are acceptable and which aren’t. Up until Sean’s recent comment, no one on this web site was willing to allow that even Mendelian variation was an acceptable form of evolution for creationists to believe in. I couldn’t even get Bob to allow that it might be OK for a Christian to believe that the tree outside my window evolves from year to year and that doesn’t involve a change in genetics at all! Only a natural response to the sun. You guys are so afraid of the word evolution, that up til now, you have been afraid to admit the obvious.

      So, now all of a sudden, you DO believe in Darwinian evolution. Have you talked to Bob about that? Is he going to allow you to stay in the church?

      Which side of the theistic/a-theistic divide do you stand. Do you believe in a-theistic Darwinian evolution, or do you believe in theistic Darwinian evolution?

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      • @Ron:

        So, now all of a sudden, you DO believe in Darwinian evolution. Have you talked to Bob about that? Is he going to allow you to stay in the church?

        There is no “all of a sudden” about it. We’ve believed in very limited forms of evolution via random mutations all along. Mendelian variation has also always been accepted as a fact of nature by creationists. I’m still not quite sure how you could have concluded otherwise?

        Sean Pitman
        http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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        • 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?

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      • @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.

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    • @Holly Pham:
      “On the contrary, the burden is on you to show how small changes, such as adaption of a bird’s bill, can lead to the change of magnitude that Darwin said could account for in the diversity that we see in the world today.”

      Nope, I don’t have any such burden of proof at all. Because as I have stated previously, I don’t think creation and evolution are mutually exclusive. In fact, I don’t think you can really tell them apart retrospectively. So as long as you don’t require me to disbelieve what I clearly see, I am good. Believe whatever you want.

      Even if it were possible for the entire tree of life to evolve a-theistically, that doesn’t mean that it did in actuality. God, being God could choose to begin the 6 days of creation at whatever stage in his imagination that he wanted, and he could have given all creatures the ability to continue development a-theistically thereafter. Or, as Mrs. White and the apostle Paul strongly imply, if not explicitly state, God can continue to . . . how do you prefer to say it? “continue to guide evolution”? or “continue creating”? I am good with that also.

      The only problem I have at this point is Bob’s insistence that theistic evolution is infidelity, because the only real alternative to theistic evolution is a-theistic evolution, and I really don’t want to be on Dawkin’s side of that divide.

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  67. Perhaps this has been stated before but I just came across it when looking up something discussed at church this week.

    “We need to guard continually against the sophistry in regard to geology and other branches of science falsely so called, which have not one semblance of truth. The theories of great men need to be carefully sifted of the slightest trace of infidel suggestions. One tiny seed sown by teachers in our schools, if received by the students, will raise a harvest of unbelief. The Lord has given all the brilliancy of intellect that man possesses, and it should be devoted to His service.–RH, Mar 1, 1898

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  68. Ron:
    @Holly Pham:

    Holly, you seem to be in doubt as to when the sun was created. i.e. was it created on the 4th day, or was it there previously, but just not seen, kind of like most days in Seattle?It seems disingenuous to me that you feel free to pick and choose what to take literally and what not to.

    There is a rule in Biblical interpretation that the Bible should be taken as literal unless there is reason to think that it is not literal.

    I think your confusion is only one of many indications that the story is a story, and never intended to be taken literally. True, it is not sufficient reason by itself, but it is an indicator.

    I do not have any doubts as to when the sun was created. The Bible speaks the truth. You claim no “days” could be possible before there was a sun. This is ridiculous as I and others have explained.

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  69. Sean Pitman:
    @Ron:

    Then you haven’t read much of what Mrs. White wrote.She did indeed advocate removing people from the SDA church who no longer supported its primary goals and ideals… who refused to do what they were being paid to do.She even recommended cutting ties with Battle Creek college when it started opposing the church’s position on various issues (Link).

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

    Well stated, Sean. The idea that we should accept and sit idly by while [some] attack our SDA Church from within is supported by those who wish to destroy our Church from the inside. And we have many, especially out here in California, who are eagerly and in some cases successfully doing it.

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  70. Ron: I couldn’t even get Bob to allow that it might be OK for a Christian to believe that the tree outside my window evolves from year to year and that doesn’t involve a change in genetics at all! Only a natural response to the sun.

    I think we both know that “the tree grows” and responds to water, air temp, sunlight etc. If you want to call every action of the plant “evolution” you are free to do so.

    I don’t call that Theistic Evolution.

    I also don’t call the idea that God created all life on earth in a real 7 day week as described in Genesis 1-2 “Theistic evolution”.

    As I recall at one time you appeared to claim that this was your idea of Theistic Evolution. If that is still your view then perhaps we need to find some area of agreement on the terms to start with.

    As for the finch beak argument – I have addressed it on EducateTruth

    http://www.educatetruth.com/news/monterey-bay-academy-employee-discourages-students-from-attending-lsu/

    The false choice that the Catholic Churh invented was the idea that every change withing a single genome is not possible and must have come directly from the Garden of Eden. Darwin used that idea to invent schemes about finches with different beak sizes each needing to be preserved on the Ark. The faulty “imagination of man” was then used to “discredit God” as if that was “wise”.

    It would be like saying that poodles short hair and poodles long hair, and German Shepherds … etc EACH needed to be preserved on the ark because no physical change is “possible” within a genome unless it comes right from Eden.

    Changes in phenotype can happen via the epigenome-genome system God designed without ever enabling an amoeba to turn into a horse, nor even half-horse.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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      • I don’t think we know how much has been allowed post-creation. God said very definately that there would never be another flood of water to cover the earth but He did not say animals would not be allowed to mix. In fact, the S of P seems to indicate some really bad news blending. This does not appear to be of the mindless sort, tho, but malicious intelligence. (that does not mean that there was no undirected mutation but it does seem to indicate some major confusion of God’s creation.) Following are some interesting quotes on amalgamation—

        But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere. God purposed to destroy by a flood that powerful, long-lived race that had corrupted their ways before him. {1SP 69.1}

        Every species of animals which God had created was preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood. {1SP 78.2}

        Those who profess to be followers of Christ, should be living agencies, co-operating with heavenly intelligences; but by union with the world, the character of God’s people becomes tarnished, and through amalgamation with the corrupt, the fine gold becomes dim. When worldly agencies are introduced into the church, it is evident that Satan is carrying out his devices, working through those who profess to be followers of Christ, making them ready at any time to engage with him in disheartening and discouraging those who are faithful, who would stand wholly on the Lord’s side. {RH, August 23, 1892 par. 3}

        Christ never planted the seeds of death in the system. Satan planted these seeds when he tempted Adam to eat of the tree of knowledge, which meant disobedience to God. Not one noxious plant was placed in the Lord’s great garden, but after Adam and Eve sinned, poisonous herbs sprang up. In the parable of the sower the question was asked the master, “Didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?” The master answered, “An enemy hath done this.” [Matthew 13:27, 28.] All tares are sown by the evil one. Every noxious herb is of his sowing, and by his ingenious methods of amalgamation he has corrupted the earth with tares. {16MR 247.2}

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  71. Faith:
    Shining:

    How could anything be more clear?Only those who want to be blind can not see the light in this statement.

    Those who choose to believe men’s philosophy over God’ Truth do not appear to be blind but have chosen the wrong “path” as Jesus stated in the Bible.

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  72. Ron, it seems to me that where you’re going with your extraordinarily tedious line of argument is that if creationists acknowledge limited post-creation evolution, then we have no reason not to admit that evolution could account for the entire creation, without the need of a special creation.

    I can answer that for myself. I believe in a creation in a literal week a few thousand years ago because that is what the Bible clearly teaches, and I believe that the Bible is the God-breathed word of the eternal, omniscient God.

    So even if it were to be proven that life could have evolved over the course of say a billion or so years, and there was a perfectly plausible biological mechanism to explain how this could happen, and the fossil record showed good evidence for this slow and gradual change, I STILL would NOT believe that that is how we got here. I still would believe the Bible.

    Now, as it happens, we do not have a plausible biological mechanism; the RM/NS paradigm can only explain minor functional genomic changes. And, as it happens, the fossil record is a record of major discontinuities, with relatively few plausible transitional forms. But, again, I believe what I believe because that is what God tells me in His word, not because a contrary scenario is impossible or extremely improbable. From what I understand of the evidence, Darwinism in the larger sense (molecules-to-man evolution) is improbable if not impossible, but I am not resting my faith on my understanding of its improbability.

    So, I’m not going to be confused by your line of argument, and I doubt very many believing Adventists will be confused by it either. The extent of possible biological change is simply not of earth-shaking importance to me, or other Adventists, because our beliefs about origins are based upon Scripture, not upon what might or might not be possible.

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    • @David Read: Of course we do not believe in the impossible. What we believe in is a God who uses the knowledge of how He has things set up in such a way that it might seem impossible to us. The most amazing item of this is being able to make our miserable selves fit for living next to in heaven.

      -Shining

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  73. ron: How much post creation evoltion is allowed?

    By “evolution” do you simply mean “change”??

    The answer is easy – how much do you actually see happening without having to imagine it??

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  74. BobRyan:

    Great answer, Bob. What we don’t see is what evolutionists want us to believe is really happening today and has been happening for millions of years. They can’t show it, show an actual functional mechanism for it, but still believe it has happened and is happening. What a wonderful fairy tale!

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