147 thoughts on “An appeal to our leadership

  1. What is necessary is to hire teachers who actually understand that the evidence can be interpreted within the framework of evolutionism or creationism — depending on our world view. And it is necessary to hire teachers with a biblical world view so that they can explainn how the evidence fits within the biblical framework.

    And I’d like to see a gathering of all Adventists on this forum that have a degree in science and believe that they can defend the Biblical worldview in the framework of science.




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  2. Eugene Shubert: And I’d like to see a gathering of all Adventists on this forum that have a degree in science and believe that they can defend the Biblical worldview in the framework of science.

    And, what might you mean by “Biblical worldview”? Here’s one possibility as expressed by scholars of conservative Judaism. (From the introduction to “Etz Hayim,” Torah and Commentary.)

    “The theme of Creation serves merely as an introduction to the central motif: God’s role in history. The opening chapters serve as a prologue to the historical drama that commences in chapter 12.” (Nahum M. Sarna)

    “What kind of world does the Torah envision God creating? The opening chapters of Genesis are not a scientific account of the origin of the universe. The Torah is a book of morality, not cosmology. Its overriding concern, from the first verse to the last, is our relationship to God, truth about life rather than scientific truths. It describes the world God fashioned as ‘good,’ a statement no scientific account can make.” (D’rash Commentary)

    Or, are you thinking of the literal historical interpretation?




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  3. Carl:
    And, what might you mean by “Biblical worldview”?

    Carl,

    Pertinent to the context of this thread and science in particular, I believe that the Biblical worldview, which is relevant to science and our debate, is unquestionably the supernatural creation of life on this planet in a fantastically brief period of time plus the Biblical account of the global flood. I think that covers most of it. I also believe that Clifford Goldstein presented an excellent interpretation of the fundamentals of Genesis recently. Did you ever catch his sermon, “God’s Man, Darwin”?




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  4. I believe it is important to understand and teach what is included in the theory of evolution to students in our colleges, and that it be taught by scientifically trained people who love God. The only way for our students to be able to meet people where they are is to understand them.

    Remember that we are a denomination who have changed course on a number of ideas through the years due to new scientific information. To use one example, who of our founders could have envisioned the idea of DNA and its implications? We have to be able to give the students room to make their own decision, as stated in Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 94. – “Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and teachable spirit; and all should decide from the weight of evidence.”




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  5. @Eugene Shubert:

    Eugene,

    Thanks for the clarification. I asked because most of the discussion here seems to assume that there is only one obvious interpretation of Bible passages. I like the conservative Jewish understanding that treats Genesis 1-11 as a non-scientific introduction that deals with “our relationship to God, truth about life rather than scientific truths.” Limiting Adventism to a literal historic interpretation of Genesis 1-11 strikes me as unproductive.




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  6. Carl: @Eugene Shubert:
    Thanks for the clarification. I asked because most of the discussion here seems to assume that there is only one obvious interpretation of Bible passages.

    I think it’s funny that you say that. It seems that all evolutionists that I’ve ever read or debated are persuaded that there is only one obvious scientific model of origins. And they all insist on limiting science to only one model.




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  7. @Richard Winslow:

    I believe it is important to understand and teach what is included in the theory of evolution to students in our colleges, and that it be taught by scientifically trained people who love God. The only way for our students to be able to meet people where they are is to understand them.

    A number of our universities are on record as offering course work that explains the false junk-science model we call evolutionism so that students will know “the story being told” by our atheist evolutionist friends when they go out into the world and seek employment.

    That is not the debate.

    The question is raised only in regard to the case of evolutionist evangelists that are preaching darwinism as “gospel” from within our own universities as if such junk-science bad-religion were somehow in keeping with the mission of the university itself.

    That is where a line must be clearly drawn.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  8. @Carl:

    Thanks for the clarification. I asked because most of the discussion here seems to assume that there is only one obvious interpretation of Bible passages. I like the conservative Jewish understanding that treats Genesis 1-11 as a non-scientific introduction that deals with “our relationship to God, truth about life rather than scientific truths.” Limiting Adventism to a literal historic interpretation of Genesis 1-11 strikes me as unproductive.

    I like the Jewish Hebrew scholarship that frankly and openly admits that the word for day in Ex 20:8-11 cannot be randomly “redefined” every time an evolutionist runs into trouble. Some of these Jewish sources themsevles are “believers” in evolutionism – and yet they are firm in pointing out that the eisegetical bible-bending exercise sought by the evolutionists to “solve their problems in the writings of Moses” are simply without any merit at all.

    If those non-SDA scholars see the problem for evolutionists – how much more so should the SDA scholars have the clarity of mind to “notice” these not-so-subtle details.

    As it turns out – Moses was not a Darwinist.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  9. As good as it sounds, I don’t think we should spend so much time trying to “defend the Biblical worldview in the framework of science” because if science itself is not true, then we have already destroyed ourselves in depending upon it.

    Many times, E.G. White was inspired to write upon this topic stating that science is NOT above the Bible because it’s faulty. Here are several quotes:

    “…human science cannot search out the secrets of the Most High.” {2MCP 742.1}

    “We are dependent on the Bible for a knowledge of the early history of our world, of the creation of man, and of his fall. Remove the Word of God, and what can we expect but to be left to fables and conjectures and to that enfeebling of the intellect which is the sure result of entertaining error.” {2MCP 742.2}

    “We need the authentic history of the origin of the earth, of the fall of Lucifer, and of the introduction of sin into the world. Without the Bible, we should be bewildered by false theories. The mind would be subjected to the tyranny of superstition and falsehood. But, having in our possession an authentic history of the beginning of the world, we need not hamper ourselves with human conjectures and unreliable theories.” {2MCP 742.3}

    “These persons [who disbelieve the Genesis account] have lost the simplicity of faith. There should be a settled belief in the divine authority of God’s Holy Word. The Bible is not to be tested by men’s ideas of science. Human knowledge is an unreliable guide.” {2MCP 743.1}

    “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.” {2MCP 743.2}

    “Human knowledge of both material and spiritual things is partial and imperfect; therefore many are unable to harmonize their views of science with Scripture statements. Many accept mere theories and speculations as scientific facts, and they think that God’s Word is to be tested by the teachings of “science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20). The Creator and His works are beyond their comprehension; and because they cannot explain these by natural laws, Bible history is regarded as unreliable. Those who doubt the reliability of the records of the Old and New Testaments too often go a step further and doubt the existence of God and attribute infinite power to nature. Having let go their anchor, they are left to beat about upon the rocks of infidelity.” {2MCP 697.1}

    “Let us go to the Word of God for guidance. Let us seek for a “Thus saith the Lord.” We have had enough of human methods. A mind trained only in worldly science will fail to understand the things of God; but the same mind, converted and sanctified, will see the divine power in the Word. Only the mind and heart cleansed by the sanctification of the Spirit can discern heavenly things.” {2MCP 697.2}

    “He who has a knowledge of God and His word has a settled faith in the divinity of the Holy Scriptures. He does not test the Bible by man’s ideas of science. He brings these ideas to the test of the unerring standard. He knows that God’s word is truth, and truth can never contradict itself; whatever in the teaching of so-called science contradicts the truth of God’s revelation is mere human guesswork.” {2MCP 699.2}

    “…even the greatest minds, if not guided by the Word of God in their research, become bewildered in their attempts to investigate the relations of science and revelation.” {2MCP 702.3}

    “Science! Christ could have opened door after door of science. He could have revealed to men treasures of science on which they might have feasted to the present time. But knowing that this knowledge would have been appropriated to unholy uses, He did not open the door.” {2MCP 702.4}

    “There are men who think they have made wonderful discoveries in science. They quote the opinions of learned men as though they considered them infallible and teach the deductions of science as truths that cannot be controverted. And the Word of God, which is given as a lamp to the feet of the world-weary traveler, is judged by this standard, and pronounced wanting.” {3SM 306.2}

    “The Bible is not to be tested by men’s idea of science, but science is to be brought to the test of this unerring standard. When the Bible makes statements of facts in nature, science may be compared with the Written Word, and a correct understanding of both will always prove them to be in harmony. One does not contradict the other. All truth, whether in nature or revelation, agrees.” {3SM 307.3}

    “Men of science think that with their enlarged conceptions they can comprehend the wisdom of God, that which He has done or can do. The idea largely prevails that He is bounded and restricted by His own laws…While they think they are gaining everything, they are chasing bubbles, and losing precious opportunities to become acquainted with God. They do not believe in the supernatural, not realizing that the Author of nature’s laws can work above those laws.” {3SM 308.4}

    — I think that Mrs. White makes it clear not to try and separate true science from true religion. But the problem is that too many of us have put science on a special level. A lot of this comes from just western society’s views on science and its exaltation of human science. But we should not lose focus on the gospel that saving power of faith in Christ.

    Thoughts,
    Cheng




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  10. “… because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

    “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse,

    “… and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools.” from Rom 1:19-22

    “Professing themselves to be wise” How accurately God’s word describes the (presumptuous) wisdom of man, who glorifies himself for his supposed intellect and “higher” education.

    “They became fools”, speaks for itself.




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  11. If you say what does it take to be a Christian I would say “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that God has raised Him from the dead, and repent – if you with your heart and mind, trust Jesus, I would say “You are a believer.”

    Then you come to me and you say what does it take to belong to your church? I say, “If you join this particular church where I am a member, there are certain doctrinal beliefs that you have to believe. For instance, you can’t believe that the Bible is 90% garbage and 10% nice and still be a member of that body. You can’t do that. There are certain doctrines to which you are committed. There is also a certain code of Biblical conduct to which you are committed. So if you belong to a community of believers, it is not just a belief in Christ but a certain harmonic expression of that belief that you are committed to.”

    Now, you say what does it take to teach at an Adventist school or our Universities? I say “Now you have to add even more. So with each line of affiliation you put the plus, plus, plus. Not because the second and the third make you a Christian but it places upon you a greater accountability and responsibility as a dispenser of truth to which you are held accountable by a community of believers.”

    It is both unethical and dishonest to receive payment from Adventists while weakening the Biblical faith of its children.




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  12. Carl: @Eugene Shubert:
    Eugene,Thanks for the clarification.I asked because most of the discussion here seems to assume that there is only one obvious interpretation of Bible passages.I like the conservative Jewish understanding that treats Genesis 1-11 as a non-scientific introduction that deals with “our relationship to God, truth about life rather than scientific truths.”Limiting Adventism to a literal historic interpretation of Genesis 1-11 strikes me as unproductive.  

    I get the impression you are conveniently choosing an explanation that supports your rejection of the literal word of God.

    If you believe in Jesus, however, you have only one choice and that is to believe in a LITERAL seven day week being discussed in Genesis 1 and 2.

    You have intelligence enough to understand and question things of science that are complex in nature then you have enought to understand the SIMPLE word of God.

    When God made thee world after the various days He said it was “good”…”good”…”good”…”good”…”good”…” VERY good”.

    These comments state that God did not make JUNK or things that were microscopic, unicellular, undecipherable or in need of improvement.

    The major point is based on Jesus comments on the creation of man – He anticipated the evolutionary garbage and prepared a stunning confirmation of what transpired.

    Matt 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

    Evolution cannot produce a model that has male and female appearing simultaneously at the start of life. Yet Jesus said MALE and FEMALE were present at the beginning. Chew on that! It would be disingenuous to try to fit this in an evolutionary framework.

    As reported elsewhere, Jesus dismisses evolution completely by specifically speaking about male and female being CREATED at the beginning.

    Mark 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

    Now whom do you believe? Jewish conservatives or Jesus. Jesus describes the Genesis account as CREATION and He confirms that FROM THE BEGINNING male and female were created. Jesus was confirming Genesis 1:27.

    Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    Not only was man created as male and female from the beginning, but they were the IMAGE OF GOD from the start. To then reduce them to apes, toads, or whatever phase they were supposed to pass through shows just what you think about God.




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  13. Cheng:
    As good as it sounds, I don’t think we should spend so much time trying to “defend the Biblical worldview in the framework of science” because if science itself is not true, then we have already destroyed ourselves in depending upon it.

    Cheng,

    Evolutionists want to hide the fact that scientific theories contain unprovable assumptions. That’s why Darwinists are pseudo-scientists. Sister White knew better and proved that she understood the nature of scientific truth when she wrote, “The theories of great men need to be carefully sifted of the slightest trace of infidel suggestions.” She meant that truth and error could be separated and that the false assumptions could be rejected.

    Eugene Shubert
    http://www.everythingimportant.org/science




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  14. We need to recognize God as the ultimate scientist and view all conclusions on the basis of His word. Scientists who consider their word above the word of God should be held accountable. They need to recognize that there is an intelegence beyond their comprehension.




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  15. I have had at least two former atheistic professors who taught evolution in many universities say, that on close examination of the many expert authors that they were told to use, much of the material was very confusing.
    Many of the books contradicted themselves and they found it confusing to teach the subject with any authority. I wonder how many more of the so-called experts have had this happen to them. Go to any library and take old and new books on the subject and you will find that opinions vary considerably. If there is no body of professors that can agree past and present, how can they say this is truth? The Bible is constant, oh, sure you can find contradictions there if you look hard enough but not on the scale that I have found in research of evolution.
    It seems to me that Bible based or evolution based beliefs is a matter of Faith, but in my humble opinion it takes more faith to believe in evolution than the Bible. God help our SDA universities in these last days.




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  16. I cannot imagine how it has gotten to this point. Why aren’t such professors dismissed as soon as they refuse to teach SDA truth? How many of our young people have been led astray by these teachers? God help us.




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  17. A Evans:
    Why aren’t such professors dismissed as soon as they refuse to teach SDA truth?

    It’s simply too difficult for ordinary Adventist leaders and most church members to understand profound truth and its advantages over error. And without faith, it’s remarkably easy to believe the world and the devil’s lies.




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  18. A Evans: Why aren’t such professors dismissed as soon as they refuse to teach SDA truth?

    Its very simple, we have allowed men like Randal Wisbey, who obviously believes the evolutionary theory himself, to lead these universities.




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  19. Pastor Bob: Randal Wisbey

    Wikipedia:
    Randal R. Wisbey is La Sierra University’s third president. He was elected on July 1, 2007. Before coming to La Sierra University, Wisbey was the president of Columbia Union College (now called Washington Adventist University) Takoma Park, Maryland. Prior to being the president of Columbia Union College, he was the president of Canadian University College in Alberta, Canada. Before working as a college president, Wisbey was an Associate Professor of Youth Ministry at Andrews University.

    Though this does not implicate the CUCs and AU, the question is: “What legacy did he leave at these places?”

    Is there a trail of apostasy to be followed?




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  20. Pastor Bob:
    Its very simple, we have allowed men like Randal Wisbey, who obviously believes the evolutionary theory himself, to lead these universities.  

    Apparently La Sierra has a board of trustees that continues to hire presidents that support evolution. Then the question must be asked “Who is it that elected the board?” Some would think that the school is separated from the church. I don’t think so, not yet. Count the number of ordained ministers on the board. And, most are in conference positions. Our problem runs much deeper than La Sierra. It is only the symptom of a larger problem. Let us pray for revival and reformation in the church, in our homes, and in our own lives. Jesus is speaking to us in this manner, wanting us to see His great sacrifice and love for us.




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  21. Richard Myers:
    Apparently La Sierra has a board of trustees that continues to hire presidents that support evolution. Then the question must be asked “Who is it that elected the board?”Some would think that the school is separated from the church. I don’t think so, not yet. Count the number of ordained ministers on the board. And, most are in conference positions. Our problem runs much deeper than La Sierra. It is only the symptom of a larger problem. Let us pray for revival and reformation in the church, in our homes, and in our own lives. Jesus is speaking to us in this manner, wanting us to see His great sacrifice and love for us.  

    You have identified a major issue here. Perhaps the real reason there is no action is because the people who oversee these institutions are THEMSELVES evolutionists, hiring evolutionists. Thus they will not fire evolutionists. Perhaps we must turn the focus on the board and see if they have to go first.




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  22. I picked up an interesting insight how our leaders and many church members think some time ago from a Spectrum article. The point that I picked up from a retired AU president was that there are two positions held by the church and its members. There is the “offical” position, such as a literal 7 day creation, and then there is the level of practice, what we as SDAs actually believe and practice. The article stressed we have the church position to maintain publicly, but the offical position is not to interfere with our private beliefs, such as a much older age of the earth (as the retired AU president said he believed it). The practical side of our beliefs would also include, I am adding this, how we keep the Sabbath holy, our opinion of Ellen White, movies, etc.

    Bringing this into focus, the offical position is being upheld- yes we have always offically beleived in a literal 7 day creation and a young age of the earth, but no that is not what we actually have to teach because that is not what we really believe. Being tainted with political correctness, liberal philosophies and politics (like gay rights, abortion rights, femininism) and a strong desire to be accepted by others outside Adventism as “normal” I can see how some church leaders are absolutely mystified by the uproar over what they have always seen and practiced as acceptable Adventism.

    What this letter to the GC is actually doing is asking that at all levels, in all ways, personal and institutional policy match our 28 fundementals. And this at a time when many have come to beleive that they are free to believe and practice what they want within Adventism. So we should not be surprised at the shock and bewilderment this call to accountability elicits from some of our administrators and educators.

    I can make a list of strange theology that has been harbored among us like “God does not kill.” And D. Ford is kept safe from church discipline by his home church, the list could go on. So how could the educational system be singled out for this kind of attention?
    Yes, what we are facing does go deep.




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  23. @Jonathan Smith:

    What they are is modern Adventists who have come to hold conflicting views at the same time and not recognize what they are doing. These are very strange times. But then, they could just be unconverted men in high places that really do believe in evolution. Its like going to some of our churches on Sabbath morning and looking at all the jewelry and wondering what we really believe any more. I mean, if standards change……?




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  24. Doug Carlson:
    I picked up an interesting insight how our leaders and many church members think some time ago from a Spectrum article. The point that I picked up from a retired AU president was that there are two positions held by the church and its members. There is the “offical” position, such as a literal 7 day creation, and then there is the level of practice, what we as SDAs actually believe and practice.

    I, for one, encourage the Seventh-day Adventist Church to stop showcasing the “28 fundamental beliefs” as if they really accept them as quintessential truths and to start being more honest publicly about what Seventh-day Adventists really believe.

    Doug Carlson:
    I can make a list of strange theology that has been harbored among us like “God does not kill.”

    There is no question that strange philosophy such as pan-Gnostic Adventist spiritualism and “God does not kill” pantheism runs rampant in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. And the reason that the Adventist Church is sheltering and nurturing these beliefs is strongly rooted in the prevailing sentiment of New Age spirituality that many Seventh-day Adventists have embraced: “To condemn evil is a greater evil than doing evil.”




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  25. Shane Hilde: I too would like to see more Adventist scientists on this forum or any forum defending a recent creation.

    Shane, I’m wondering if you might be able to invite some to write posts or articles here? You could have different categories such as biology, geology, etc. You could ask for them to also provide references for further reading. What a difference it might make in this effort! (Perhaps you might also invite non-Adventist creationist scientists to submit!)




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  26. Eugene said, “…And the reason that the Adventist Church is sheltering and nurturing these beliefs is strongly rooted in the prevailing sentiment of New Age spirituality that many Seventh-day Adventists have embraced: “To condemn evil is a greater evil than doing evil.”

    Eugene, that last sentence is stated about as well as I have seen it stated anywhere. One dear SDA saint told me recently that she believes “no one should be put out of the church for anything.” Tolerance for anything and everything has about run its course in our church, I hope.




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  27. Doug Carlson: Its like going to some of our churches on Sabbath morning and looking at all the jewelry and wondering what we really believe any more.

    Doug, Just thought I’d make an observation here. I have noticed that there is especially jewelry in our churches when the membership is doing its job–evangelising!

    The important thing is how we treat those wearing the jewelry, especially if we are a visitor and know nothing about the situation. It might be better to say that there is a belief among some Adventists that wearing jewelry is okay, rather than reference seeing jewelry in churches. Praise God if non-Adventists are attending and hearing the message!




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  28. @Doug Carlson:

    Eugene, that last sentence is stated about as well as I have seen it stated anywhere. One dear SDA saint told me recently that she believes “no one should be put out of the church for anything.” Tolerance for anything and everything has about run its course in our church, I hope.

    Tolerance is a virtue as long as it is not being bent to disguise apathy and runaway compromise.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  29. @Cheng:

    As good as it sounds, I don’t think we should spend so much time trying to “defend the Biblical worldview in the framework of science” because if science itself is not true, then we have already destroyed ourselves in depending upon it.

    Many times, E.G. White was inspired to write upon this topic stating that science is NOT above the Bible because it’s faulty.

    “Men of science think that with their enlarged conceptions they can comprehend the wisdom of God, that which He has done or can do. The idea largely prevails that He is bounded and restricted by His own laws…While they think they are gaining everything, they are chasing bubbles, and losing precious opportunities to become acquainted with God. They do not believe in the supernatural, not realizing that the Author of nature’s laws can work above those laws.” {3SM 308.4}

    – I think that Mrs. White makes it clear not to try and separate true science from true religion. But the problem is that too many of us have put science on a special level. A lot of this comes from just western society’s views on science and its exaltation of human science. But we should not lose focus on the gospel that saving power of faith in Christ.

    Very good points Cheng. Thank you for sharing that.

    Science is simply structured method for increasing our limited understanding of nature. By definition that is always “a work in progress”.

    However in addition to that basic attribute for this subject we have the ADDED problem of those who deliberately bend science to their usages – serve outside agendas — for example the agenda that “there is no god” (The primary doctrine for atheists).

    Once that alternate agenda takes hold inside places like the National Academy of Sciences – then “science” is “by definition” the measure of things that “God had nothing to do with”.

    And that means that junk-science “stories easy enough to make up but they are not science” (Colin Patterson: British Museum of Natural History) – become “the norm”.

    It results in happy fictions about “birds coming from reptiles” — the new assumed fact that is never seen and yet still “often imagined”.

    When that distinctively atheist model is then “married” to the Bible – the result is the overt effort to bend scripture for each new whim and fancy of evolutionist story telling. But the stubborn fact remains — Moses was no Darwinist. The Evolutionism-at-all-costs crusades have already been observed to create a “doubt the Bible first” paradigm that resulted in Europe’s post-christian age along with its grave yard of abandoned churches.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  30. @Christiane Marshall:

    Yes, I would agree. In the way you refer to jewelry I wish all our churches were full of it. Sadly, most jewelry these days is on members who see nothing wring with it. In fact, many members see very little that will keep them out of heaven these days. Of course, thinking that jewelry would keep one out of heaven would keep you of heaven. We are not what we once were. Some rejoice of that and some weep.

    But again, thanks for your correction.




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  31. Pastor Bob:
    Its very simple, we have allowed men like Randal Wisbey, who obviously believes the evolutionary theory himself, to lead these universities.  

    In this case, I don’t think the problem is the making of Dr. Wisby. I could be wrong, but it seems like that evolution was being taught at La Sierra before he became president. Correct me if I am wrong.




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  32. Doug Carlson: Eugene said, “…And the reason that the Adventist Church is sheltering and nurturing these beliefs is strongly rooted in the prevailing sentiment of New Age spirituality that many Seventh-day Adventists have embraced: “To condemn evil is a greater evil than doing evil.”Eugene, that last sentence is stated about as well as I have seen it stated anywhere.One dear SDA saint told me recently that she believes “no one should be put out of the church for anything.”Tolerance for anything and everything has about run its course in our church, I hope.  

    In my 23 years of ministry I have seen far more damage done in smaller local churches by ‘so-called’ conservatives than so-called liberals. A multitude of churches are crippled by legalism, rotting on the vine because they are unprepared to show agape to those the Lord would bring into the fold. While tolerance for sin is intolerable – I believe we are called to ‘err’ on the side of mercy and grace rather than justice. There are two ditches on the road to heaven. So many fall into the ditch of legalism to avoid the ditch of licentiousness. How often have so-called commandment-keepers neglected the ‘weightier’ matters of the law?! Hasn’t mercy trumped justice in a sense, in how God has dealt with each one of us. Aren’t we called to take a healthy dose of 1 Cor. 13 each day! Everyone knows that Christ’s sternest rebukes were reserved for the intolerant conservatives of His day who condemned the ‘evil’ ‘liberal’ publicans. We dare not forget that it was conservative sabbath-keepers who called for Christ’s crucifixion. These object lessons are more than telling. What passes for a righteous dealing with sin in the camp is so often nothing more than hypocritical mote picking.




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  33. One last caveat. Of course there are many who fall into the ditch of licentiousness in the name of avoiding the ditch of legalism. Especially in the liberal epicenters of Adventism. And so often what is done in the name of Agape is nothing more than compromise with the carnal. More often than not, those in one ditch or the other will globalize their view of the extremists on the ‘other side’ and brand the entire church as falling into said oppositional ditch.




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  34. I am sorry I didn’t state my position clearer. Jewelry in the church is just a sign that many SDAs have come to embrass obbosing views at the same time and don’t recognize what they have fallen into. There are some Victor my class as conservatives, but they would be in the same position as those who are very liberal. And those in the middle? They often cover themselves with the robe of tolerance and try their best not to rock the boat. But these are all perhaps meaningless generalities and mean nothing. I guess my real point is that we have not heeded John’s words in 1 John 2 and have not only come to embrass the world, but love it far too dearly and don’t even see we have been tainted with the condition.

    My suggestion is that we find the definition of the 144,000 in the book of Revelation and begin to study and live their characteristics.




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  35. Doug Carlson: But these are all perhaps meaningless generalities and mean nothing. I guess my real point is that we have not heeded John’s words in 1 John 2 and have not only come to embrace the world, but love it far too dearly and don’t even see we have been tainted with the condition.

    Hi Doug, You make an interesting point. We’re just all a mess, aren’t we? I remember once sitting at a table in my home with other believers discussing pets. I had been telling people we had no pets–and I really thought I was telling the truth. (We did not have a pet for a while, but had recently adopted a cat for my little ones.) To this day I have no idea why I was so blind! Except maybe My ‘status’ had changed, but I had not ‘updated’ the ‘file!’

    So here I am at my table and the discussion leads me to make this statement again. However, my cat was in my lap and I was petting her while I made the statement! I stopped and realized that I did indeed have a pet! Of course I exclaimed something about how silly I had been to have been making that statement!

    As adults, we don’t often update our files. As we were growing up, we sort of created a structure of how we think, who we are, etc. and we don’t feel the need to mess with it. As we change our beliefs, we have to be intentional in updating! You do make an interesting point how our beliefs and practices don’t always mesh. But it isn’t just ‘them over there.’ It’s ME too!

    Hopefully we are all allowing the Holy Spirit to bring our own minds into a unity. We can examine our own hearts and minds with the searchlight of God. How can we as believers be unified when our own minds are all a jumble?

    Doug Carlson: My suggestion is that we find the definition of the 144,000 in the book of Revelation and begin to study and live their characteristics.

    I don’t mean to be contrary, but I think we probably should study and spend time with Jesus. The 144,000 get to be that way because ‘they’ have done just that! Hopefully ‘they’ are ‘us!’




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  36. Christiane, yes, the 144,000 follow Jesus and do and believe as He did so they know Him very well. And for this discussion, Jesus believed in the literal week of creation and referred to it as a real historic event. The 144,000 will, too.




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  37. Doug Carlson: Christiane, yes, the 144,000 follow Jesus and do and believe as He did so they know Him very well. And for this discussion, Jesus believed in the literal week of creation and referred to it as a real historic event. The 144,000 will, too.

    I believe you’re right. By that time, for sure! I even think there’s that there’s a good possibility that evolution won’t be an issue at all! Since the last deception will be religious, there’s a possibility in my mind that some of the things we are arguing about now will be fully accepted by the ‘christians’ who will persecute.

    The end time ‘turning back to God’ trend might include some scientific discoveries that will prove evolution wrong beyond the shadow of a doubt. And who knows, maybe the ark will be discovered as well as other solid proofs of a world-wide flood.

    Of course this is just my own theory!

    It’s the “weightier matters” that will be neglected by the others (not the144,000)! Unfortunately, they will not know Jesus. I guess you might say the last will be a ‘one issue’ controversy!




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  38. The most profound intellects of the world, when enlightened by God’s Word, become bewildered and lost while trying to investigate the matters of science and revelation. The Creator and his works are beyond his finite comprehension, and they conclude that because they cannot explain the works and ways of God from natural causes, the Bible history is not reliable. Many are so intent upon excluding God from the exercise of sovereign will and power in the established order of the universe, that they demean man, the noblest of his creatures. The theories and speculations of philosophy would make us believe that man has come by slow degrees, not merely from a savage state, but from the very lowest form of the brute creation. They destroy man’s dignity because they will not admit God’s miraculous power.

    God has illuminated human intellects, and poured a flood of light on the world through discoveries in art and science. But those who view these from a merely human standpoint will most assuredly come to wrong conclusions. The thorns of error, skepticism, and infidelity are disguised by being covered with the garments of philosophy and science. Satan has devised this ingenious manner of winning souls away from the living God, away from the truth and religion. He exalts nature above nature’s Creator.

    Let others join us as we continue to call for reform in the teaching of science at La Sierra.




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  39. @Christiane Marshall:

    I believe you’re right. By that time, for sure! I even think there’s that there’s a good possibility that evolution won’t be an issue at all! Since the last deception will be religious, there’s a possibility in my mind that some of the things we are arguing about now will be fully accepted by the ‘christians’ who will persecute.

    The end time ‘turning back to God’ trend might include some scientific discoveries that will prove evolution wrong beyond the shadow of a doubt. And who knows, maybe the ark will be discovered as well as other solid proofs of a world-wide flood.

    Of course this is just my own theory!

    I used to think that way as well.

    But I always found “pause for reflection” in the fact that Satan has historically spent soooo much time on this evolutionism thing – to then simply “toss it out the window” in his end-game. It made no sense for him to build up a dead-end in “the last days” that he actually intended to go nowhere. Today the Catholic Church accepts and promotes evolutionism, so also the Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglicans – almost all protestant groups and even many Baptist groups.

    Then I came across some statements about “heathen deities displayed before the cities of the world” — statements about “lords many and gods many” — statements about a struggle between entities as in some kind of star wars scenario. Notice who easily Hinduism embraces evolutionism?

    If in the end – the goal is to present ” a story” about super powers fighting for countrol in our area of the Universe, or our area of the Galaxy (call it what you will) then an evolutionist scenario not very unlike the 2010 and 2001 space Oddessy film – is an example of combining evolutionism with some kind of galaxy agenda with conflict between advanced races.

    If Lucifer comes in a 2Thess 2 model claiming to be the rightful owner of our earth – then if he claims that some challenger is coming that needs to be repulsed with all our might — well what kind of “scenario” does that fit?

    It really does not fit a “I made everything and can zap anyone out of existence when they displease me” model. So then what is the “other model” that is left? The one that will be used to marshall mankind in to the Rev 19 army of men that is predicted to oppose the Rev 19 army of Christ?

    Something to think about.

    Something that does not entirely rule out evolution’s story telling.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  40. BobRyan: If in the end – the goal is to present ” a story” about super powers fighting for countrol in our area of the Universe, or our area of the Galaxy (call it what you will) then an evolutionist scenario not very unlike the 2010 and 2001 space Oddessy film – is an example of combining evolutionism with some kind of galaxy agenda with conflict between advanced races.

    Bob,Very interesting! Thanks for your thoughts. I suppose it could go in many different directions. We can only wonder what shape it will take. Either scenario might get the atheists onboard I suppose.




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  41. I am sorry, but I can’t help but point out that there are two here that do not appreciate truth. Now, maybe they just don’t understand, but my last post was straight from the Spirit of Prophecy. There are two who ticked the “dislike” box at the bottom of that post. I know I am preaching to the choir, but I just wanted them to know that they are rejecting inspiration. In other words they are giving influence to the enemies of God. To them and those on the La Sierra Board of Trustees, I suggest more prayer for discernment that they will be found on the right side of that line drawn in the sand. Have a blessed Sabbath!




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  42. Dear Doug:

    I appreciate the candor of your thoughts, but must offer a caution. Please do not confuse liberal politics with liberal theology. They are two very different thought systems. This discussion is about whether the church should tolerate departures from Bible truth within its teaching ranks, its pastoral ministry, and indeed among its members. Theological liberals wish to depart from strict Biblical faithfulness. Political liberalism involves an entirely separate discussion–one we truly don’t wish to enter into on this forum.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  43. Dear Victor:

    I am concerned that you seem to have bought into some dangerous perceptions as to the spiritual dilemma of today’s church, and are perhaps learning the wrong lessons from the experience of the Jewish nation in Christ’s time.

    It has long been popular, in modern and postmodern Adventism, to talk about how it was the “conservatives” who demanded Christ’s crucifixion, and to therefore assume that it is those seeking to conserve fundamental Adventism in the church today who are in fact the most egregious problem among us. The problem with such thinking, sadly, is that it confuses the issue with dangerously irrelevant comparisons.

    In Jesus’ time, the problem with the Pharisees was not strict faithfulness to the written counsel of God, as is the issue in Adventism today. Rather, the problem was that human tradition had supplanted the Scriptures, with Jesus seeking to bring His people back to strict Biblical faithfulness. Jesus never condemned the Pharisees for being too strict with God’s law. Rather, He condemned them for neglecting that law for the traditions of men.

    Those in this discussion, and in the church at large, who call for the removal of evolutionists and other betrayers of our faith from Adventist educational faculties, are not seeking to exalt human tradition over the written counsel of God. What they are seeking to do, by contrast, is to bring the church back–as did our Lord–to strict adherence to what God says, both in Scripture and in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy.

    What is more, we desperately need to get away from this mistaken idea that “legalism” and “pharisaism” are the big problems in the contemporary church–or indeed, as some promoters of this theory have insisted, that these have been the big spiritual problems in the church throughout history. There is no Biblical support, or support in the Spirit of Prophecy, for such a concept. The problem of pharisaic piety in the faith community has occurred but rarely in the history of the great controversy. Far, far more often has the problem of laxity, worldliness, and compromise been the dominant spiritual condition of God’s professed people. Read the Old Testament Scriptures, and this quickly becomes obvious.

    And when we study the writings of Ellen White regarding what will afflict God’s church in the last days, the overwhelming number of statements speak of worldliness, lack of sanctification, carelessness, indifference, and departure from strict faithfulness as the conditions which will cause the shaking out of the great majority. We never read in the writings of Inspiration that the major problem in the end-time church will be too much preaching of the law or too much emphasis on faithfulness to correct Biblical doctrine.

    Contemporary Adventism needs to get its Biblical priorities straight at last. And to stop reading so many scholars and theologians and spiritual counselors, and get back to immersing ourselves daily in the Bible and the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  44. Kevin,
    I thought my two previous comments were fairly balanced. The preponderance of positive marks seem to indicate they struck a cord with the experience of many.

    Ellen White spoke often of how many souls are unable to come into our fellowship because we are unable to receive them. Why? My experience has been because of cold legalism. Because sister so and so might condemn them for bringing cheese to potluck. Not because brother so and so might tell them it was okay to cohabitate. The Devil has agents in the church. Some tempt others by their example to sin in the area of lifestyle. Others are spreading ruin through backbiting, condemnation, accusation, evil surmisings and false conspiracies. It is this spirit which is driving our youth into the arms of the world. Not just the lure of the world.

    “There are in our churches those who profess the truth who are only hindrances to the work of reform. They are clogs to the wheels of the car of salvation. This class are frequently in trial. Doubts, jealousies, and suspicion are the fruits of selfishness, and seem to be interwoven with their very natures. I shall name this class chronic church grumblers. They do more harm in a church than two ministers can undo. They are a tax to the church and a great weight to the ministers of Christ. They live in an atmosphere of doubts, jealousies, and surmisings. Much time and labor of the ambassadors of Christ are required to undo their work of evil, and restore harmony and union in the church. This takes from the courage and strength of God’s servants and unfits them for the work He has for them to do in saving perishing souls from ruin. God will reward these troublers of Zion according to their works…. Satan exults when men and women embrace the truth who are naturally faultfinding and who will throw all the darkness and hindrance they can against the advancement of the work of God.” EV.371

    Which class do these extremely detrimental people usually fall into?

    Jesus never condemned the Pharisees for being too strict with God’s law. Rather, He condemned them for neglecting that law for the traditions of men.

    He said they neglected the ‘weightier matters’ of God’s law. They were strict observers of the Sabbath – yet they neglected acts of mercy and love toward their fellow man. Who hasn’t observed this extremely harmful phenomenon in Adventist churches?

    We never read in the writings of Inspiration that the major problem in the end-time church will be too much preaching of the law

    This was the problem in 1888 (a time when Christ could have returned). It is still the problem in many of our churches. Too little preaching of Christ – too much of the law. She said that God’s people had become as dry as the hills of Gilboa with preaching the law. This inordinate emphasis on the law had left them spiritually destitute. As a result her stern reproofs for the church leadership pointed them once again toward the ‘weightier matters.’
    These were her counsels then. I believe we should heed them now:

    “My burden during the meeting was to present Jesus and His love before my brethren, for I saw marked evidences that many had not the Spirit of Christ.” – MR 961 p.14
    “Evil speaking, and evil thinking are ruinous to the soul. This has been the current in this conference. There is nothing the church lacks so much as the manifestation of Christlike love.” – Sermon Oct.21, ’88 – Crisis Years p.284
    “The worst thing – the most grievous – is the want of love and the want of compassion one for another. That is what God presented in such a light before me…” – MS 26 – 1888 p.5
    “To have unity and love for one another is the great work now to be carried on…. There is altogether too little of the love of Christ in the hearts of those who claim to believe the truth. While all their hopes are centered in Jesus Christ, while His Spirit pervades the soul, then there will be unity, although every idea may not be exactly the same on all points.” – Letter Feb.18, 1887

    You notice she didn’t say the ‘worst thing’ was neglecting to uphold the importance of the law.

    Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t be posting on this site if I didn’t feel strongly that we need to uphold the law of God (particularly the 4th commandment) from ‘liberal’ efforts to destroy its importance through evolutionary and higher-critical theory. Please read my other posts.

    At the same time I cannot help but continue to emphasize the importance of the ‘weightier matters’, lest in the conflict we lose sight of Christ.

    Let us not forget that Calvary was a microcosm of the final crisis. It will be legalists (a movement to return to God’s law as misrepresented by Sunday observance) – promoting a salvation by works theology, who will call for Christ’s crucifixion in the person of his saints at the close of time.

    “It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. The same argument eighteen hundred years ago was brought against Christ by the “rulers of the people.” – GC 615

    Finally, you say:

    In Jesus’ time, the problem with the Pharisees was not strict faithfulness to the written counsel of God, as is the issue in Adventism today.

    I think the Pharisees would beg to differ. They were incredibly concerned about the the inroads of liberalism and compromise rampant in the church of their day. The Saducee and Herodian parties, at the highest levels of the church, were promoting the worst kinds of compromise and heresy. It was the Pharisaical spirit which Christ condemned most – not their traditions, or the apostasy of the Saducees. This spirit developed in response to the apostasy of their day.




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  45. Dear Victor:

    This is not 1888. It is 2010. Not even a cursory glance at First World Adventism would lead an honest observer to think that today we are preaching the law “until we are dry as the hills of Gilboa,” as Ellen White said in 1890. “Too much of the law” is most assuredly not a problem in the lion’s share of today’s church, at least in this part of the world. More than likely, were Ellen White with us today, she would say we have become “drippy as the swamps of Louisiana”!

    As a pastor myself, I neither doubt nor diminish the harm that can be done by people dividing a congregation over such things as cheese at the potluck, etc. I simply deny that this is the predominant problem in the Adventism of the developed world, even if it has been so in your personal experience. Vastly more common is the accepted perception that what we eat, how we dress, where we go for entertainment, and how we govern our personal relationships makes no difference to our salvation–that those who call these issues to our attention are “legalists” trying ostensibly to “work their way to heaven.” Such departures from faithfulness are sadly undergirded by unscriptural understandings of the gospel which secure the believer’s place in heaven apart from character transformation and victory over sin.

    This, at the bottom line, is the reason we have the evolution problem in the church, as well as the homosexuality problem and countless others. It is because long ago, in thousands of Adventist minds, correct theology and correct living were deemed “non-salvation” issues. If how we live does not affect our standing in God’s judgment, if correct doctrine has no bearing on whether or not we go to heaven, why not go with what feels good, seems right, or is presently popular among presumed “experts”? If in he end we’re found to be wrong in the choices we make, so this perverse reasoning goes, we’ll be neighbors in God’s kingdom anyhow.

    Thus have the misguided among us crafted their spirituality, individually unique and devoid of accountability. This glass house of falsehood must be shattered once and for all in the minds of our people, and with it every false gospel which assures believers of salvation apart from how they believe and how they live.

    And regarding the issues of the last days, while one might make a case that legalism will be at work in the passage of Sunday laws, we must be careful that we stick to the language of Inspiration in depicting the issues of the final crisis. The obsession with legalism so popular in many circles of the church too often forgets that according to God’s prophet, “Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes” (DA 763). Too much confusion has gone into the minds of our people because of theological agendas driven by experience rather than the objective counsel of God. It is time, at long last, that we make that written counsel our supreme, exclusive authority in all things spiritual.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  46. … Such departures from faithfulness are sadly undergirded by unscriptural understandings of the gospel which secure the believer’s place in heaven apart from character transformation and victory over sin.

    This, at the bottom line, is the reason we have the evolution problem in the church, …

    Of course, the physical evidence that we see around the world wouldn’t be the part of the reason. The mid-Atlantic rift, the now measurable continental movement that is consistent with the magnetic reversals across the Atlantic sea floor, the Chixulub impact crater (as well as many others), the dinosaur nests that don’t look at all like they survived a flood, the 800,000 years of ice core evidence, the Egyptian records that predate the Flood, Kennewick man (about 8,000 years ago), the Black Sea Flood about 7,500 years ago, the impossibility of locating Noah’s Flood in the geologic column, the Cosquer Grotto with its now-submerged entrance below the Mediterranean Sea and its artwork from about 27,000 years ago, the somewhat older artwork in the Chauvet Cave, the Yellowstone caldera (600,000 years ago) …

    How much physical evidence can we deny? Arguing about evolution misses the most difficult point: Either, the earth and living things are much older than 6,000 years, or God created nature to be highly deceptive while telling us that we should study it to learn about Him.




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  47. How much physical evidence can we deny? Arguing about evolution misses the most difficult point: Either, the earth and living things are much older than 6,000 years, or God created nature to be highly deceptive while telling us that we should study it to learn about Him.

    The trouble with such seemingly impeccable logic is that it excludes some other very valid options. It’s like offering a child either the blue shirt or the red shirt, as if those were the only two possibilities, when green, yellow, brown, and purple were all in the closet.

    One of the unmentioned options is that Satan created an extravagant lie that he pawned off on the majority of scientists such that fictions were called facts, theories became laws, and imaginations were called history. One of the options is that scientists are self-deceived, and have excluded God from their answers, thus succumbing to peer pressure and false science which make it appear that there are only the two options Carl mentioned. One of the options is that there are certain facts which have been erased in the course of sin on this planet which would make all things crystal clear if we were to know them.

    Let me give an example. I happen to know a little about that “Kennewick Man” Carl mentioned, as that was a relatively recent discovery, and there are probably still arguments from the local native Americans over the ownership and burial of the body, all in a region downwind of the Hanford nuclear reactor. The dating done on the remains was carbon dating, as is typical with organic materials. Had the dating used plutonium, uranium, etc., there would be a serious question of validity considering the body was found downstream of the nuclear facility. Yet carbon dating is known to be flawed when results exceed about four thousand years. In this particular case, Carl has become part of the “scientific community” which likes to exaggerate the facts. The following quote is from the journal Archeology, and can be found online.

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of the Interior have announced today the results of additional radiocarbon dating of Kennewick Man. The original 1996 radiocarbon date of 8410 ± 60 years has been corroborated by two samples which registered radiocarbon dates of 8130 ± 40 and 8410 ± 40 years. Two additional samples, however, have registered radiocarbon dates of 6940 ± 30 and 5750 ± 100 years; scientists noted that all of the samples dated contained very small amounts of carbon and collagen, making radiocarbon dating difficult.

    True to form, scientists often like to use the most extreme results as “fact.” They frequently do not mention the less pleasing results, in this case, at least one test showing less than 6000 years.

    Yet the world is a much different planet today than it was following creation week. The flood changed the planet significantly, and the very atmosphere, where carbon-14 is said to develop, has changed. Prior to the flood, the planet was encircled by a layer of water which would have protected it from extremes in temperature, as well as from the carbon-14 creating cosmic rays. Thus, there was much less carbon-14 before the flood. Scientists who do not take this into account get wildly inaccurate test results for any pre-flood items. It’s a bit like looking across the plane of incidence of light striking water…the angle changes. Put that plane of incidence squarely upon the time of the flood, determine the density differential, and one might be able to more accurately date pre-flood items. Hint: They will not appear as old.

    Do any of the LSU professors accept that the environment changed at the time of the flood? Do they properly instruct their students in these matters, including the fact that much remains “unknown,” and is far from being settled fact? If not, they are not teaching science. They are teaching theories. And those theories have excluded “biblical evidence.”

    Erik




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  48. Of course, the physical evidence that we see around the world wouldn’t be the part of the reason. The mid-Atlantic rift, the now measurable continental movement that is consistent with the magnetic reversals across the Atlantic sea floor, the Chixulub impact crater (as well as many others), the dinosaur nests that don’t look at all like they survived a flood, the 800,000 years of ice core evidence, the Egyptian records that predate the Flood, Kennewick man (about 8,000 years ago), the Black Sea Flood about 7,500 years ago, the impossibility of locating Noah’s Flood in the geologic column, the Cosquer Grotto with its now-submerged entrance below the Mediterranean Sea and its artwork from about 27,000 years ago, the somewhat older artwork in the Chauvet Cave, the Yellowstone caldera (600,000 years ago) …

    The rate of continental drift as it compares to magnetic reversal patterns has a lot of problems given the mainstream perspective. It is far more consistent with a catastrophic model where the drift started out much more rapidly and has since declined in speed. This theory is also far more consistent with current continental coastal erosion rates as well as surface erosion rates and the huge lack of ocean sediment given the mainstream perspective.

    The numerous impact craters are only evidence of huge catastrophes that occurred during the formation of the geologic record – a record which was largely produced during and after the Noachian catastrophe.

    Dinosaur nests are explainable many ways. They Noachian flood was not a simple rising and falling of water, but had periods of calm and even the local absence of water per periods of time due to huge tidal actions on a world-wide basis.

    Ice core dating is a huge problem and has many inconsistencies and contradictions – especially given the long hipsothermal period of global warming that was supposed to be several degrees warmer than today (where the Greenland ice-sheet is melting very rapidly). For more information on this topic see:

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

    Your other “dates” are based on the assumed reliability of radiocarbon and other forms of radiometric dating. These dates are calibrated dates, calibrated based on mainstream evolutionary assumptions.

    I’m sorry Carl, but you’ve fallen for a lot of very weak evidence. A large quantity of evidence does not equal quality evidence. A huge pile of junk is still just a bunch of junk – not solid science.

    Also, if you are still convinced that the SDA position on origins is clearly mistaken, why not do the honest thing and go work for a public university instead of posing as something your not and taking a paycheck from an organization with which you fundamentally disagree? Have some integrity…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  49. I have seen evidence from linguistics and computer science (data transmission) which proves beyond any doubt that there is intelligence behind life from the very origin and not random accidents. This idea is supported by the findings about DNA and the genome project.

    This evidence, however, cannot address the debate about the age of the earth. Also, there is evidence for micro-evolution (no one doubts this) but macro evolution is a sad joke, but I am not laughing.

    One engineer wrote this:

    Darwin, in his time, believed that random variation in heredity produced all manner of species. He said: most of the time it’s harmful, but occasionally it’s helpful and from these variations come all kinds of beautiful forms that appear to be designed.

    What is meant by “random variation”?

    Thousands of biology books say its accidental copying errors in DNA.

    They say, essentially, that it’s corrupted data that occasionally turns out to be beneficial instead of harmful.

    This is where Darwin and the biology books are wrong.

    As a communication engineer I know – with 100.000000000% certainty – that this is impossible.

    Nowhere in the vast field of engineering is there any such thing as “the percentage of the time that corrupted data is helpful instead of harmful.”

    It’s ALWAYS harmful. Always. Copying errors and data transmission errors never help the signal. They only hurt it.

    Now please do not misunderstand me:

    I AM *NOT* SAYING EVOLUTION DID NOT OR DOES NOT HAPPEN.

    Nope…. I’m saying: Evolution just happens a different way than Darwin said. Way different than you were told.

    I’ll get to the details of that in a minute. First I need to explain why randomness only destroys information.

    If we start with the sentence

    “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog”

    And randomly mutate the letters, we get sentences that look like this:

    The 6uHck brown fox jukped over the lazyHdog
    Tze quick bro0n foL juXped over the lazy doF
    Tae quick browY fox jumped oGer tgePlazy dog
    The iuick brown fox jumped lver the lazy dog
    The quiikQbKowSwfox .umped oveh the lazy dog

    You can apply all the natural selection to this in the world and you’ll never accomplish anything besides destroying a perfectly good sentence. You can go to http://www.RandomMutation.com and try for yourself.

    Why doesn’t this work?

    Because it’s impossible to evolve a sentence one letter at a time – even if you deliberately TRY.

    Technically, this is because random mutation is noise and noise *always* destroys a signal. Claude Shannon called it information entropy. Entropy is not reversible. Noise never improves a signal. It only mucks it up.

    The only way for this to work is: Evolution has to follow the rules of language.

    So…. successful evolution for this short sentence would look something like this:

    The fast brown fox jumped over the slothful dog.
    The dark brown fox jumped over the light brown dog.
    The big brown fox leaped over the lazy dog.
    The quick black fox sped past the sleeping dog.
    The hot blonde fox sauntered past the sunbathing man.

    In English, successful evolution requires precise substitution of verbs and nouns and following the rules of speech.

    DNA is no different. DNA has its own language. In fact thousands of linguists have made huge contributions to the Human Genome project by helping to decode the layers of the genetic code. Dozens of linguistic books describe the eerie similarity between DNA and human language.




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  50. I’m sorry Carl, but you’ve fallen for a lot of very weak evidence.

    You have come up with many objections to the standard model, but you don’t have a model that can possibly explain the evidence within 10,000 years. Objections do not make a model. You have never explained how the continents have moved, seas dried up, the Flood occurred, it got warm, it got cold, the fossils formed, etc, and this all happened in about 10,000 years. Objections to the standard model do not logically lead to such wild speculations.

    Also, if you are still convinced that the SDA position on origins is clearly mistaken, …

    I have never been talking about origins, which I thought I made clear before. I do not believe in abiogenesis. My point is that a literal plain-text interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is not compatible with the physical evidence. If God created the earth in a way that makes it impossible to trust our senses and interpret the evidence, then he is a deceiver. I can’t accept that, so I must look for an understanding of Genesis that is consistent with the abundant evidence of old life. I don’t like it any more than you do, but I can’t avoid it.

    … why not do the honest thing and go work for a public university instead of posing as something your not and taking a paycheck from an organization with which you fundamentally disagree?

    My understanding of Adventism is that our deepest value is a relentless search for truth. I will never accept that my search for truth should be limited by adherence to a creed. I stick around to encourage others who are also searching. Every once in a while, I even hear from people who appreciate my contributions.




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  51. “Yet the world is a much different planet today than it was following creation week. The flood changed the planet significantly, and the very atmosphere, where carbon-14 is said to develop, has changed. Prior to the flood, the planet was encircled by a layer of water which would have protected it from extremes in temperature, as well as from the carbon-14 creating cosmic rays. Thus, there was much less carbon-14 before the flood.” (Erik)

    PURE, UNADULTERATED SPECULATION. Nothing from the Bible requires us to believe or even remotely suggests that C-14 levels have changed since before the flood or that a “layer of water” ecircled the planet.

    “Dinosaur nests are explainable many ways. They Noachian flood was not a simple rising and falling of water, but had periods of calm and even the local absence of water per periods of time due to huge tidal actions on a world-wide basis.” (Sean Pitman)

    PURE, UNADULTEREATED SPECULATION. So Adventists are required to believe that the flod covered EVERY SPEC of land but now we have huge tidal actions creating dry land that (surviving?) dinosaurs could nest on?(where’s this in the Bible? where’s the data?).

    “Do any of the LSU professors accept that the environment changed at the time of the flood? Do they properly instruct their students in these matters, including the fact that much remains “unknown,” and is far from being settled fact? If not, they are not teaching science. They are teaching theories. And those theories have excluded “biblical evidence.”” (Erik)

    I AM CERTAIN THAT LSU PROFESSORS TEACH THAT MUCH REMAINS UNKNOWN. IT’S OTHERS HERE THAT FAIL TO DO SO BY INVENTING WILD STORIES THEY LABEL AS “SCIEBCE” AND “BIBLICAL EVIDENCE.”

    Come on people. Let’s not be so imaginative AND accusatory!




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  52. @Carl: You have said the following incompatible things:

    My point is that a literal plain-text interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is not compatible with the physical evidence.

    My understanding of Adventism is that our deepest value is a relentless search for truth. I will never accept that my search for truth should be limited by adherence to a creed. I stick around to encourage others who are also searching.

    If your “search for truth” just took you away from the Source of truth, and further, caused you to infer that God may have been deceitful in His manner of creation…

    If God created the earth in a way that makes it impossible to trust our senses and interpret the evidence, then he is a deceiver.

    …then it is clear that your epistemology and axiology are in conflict, or that you are but a woolly wolf. If your epistemology and axiology do not align, it is because you have not yet made a proper faith choice.

    Those of us who have faith in God, believe His Word to be true. It has never failed me yet. Genesis is fully in agreement with true science, notwithstanding your wishful thinking to the contrary. If you put your faith in wisdom of man (“scientific” theories), then you place yourself in another category. But you cannot properly hang on to both, for they are in conflict.

    There are many scientific theories. However, there are many possibilities beyond those theories…things that scientists simply haven’t come up with yet. It is hard to vision what something was like if it no longer exists. Science cannot know about those portions of the past which are unobservable today. If science cannot offer a reasonable explanation of the historical record given in the Bible, perhaps they have not spent adequate time attempting to do so. To be sure, most scientists today are purposefully rejecting both God and the Bible, and wish to scoff at those who have faith in them. (A cursory view of some online forums yields ample evidence of this.)

    While there are many possibilities for the means which God used to cause the flood, I have thought it quite probable that a very large meteor or an asteroid collided with the earth and tilted it on its axis. This would have simultaneously caused several things: 1) The layer of water in the upper atmosphere would have been disrupted and thrown out of its course, bringing it down; 2) the underground currents of water, with all of their natural momentum, would have burst up out of their channels, breaking through the earth’s crust; and 3) earthquakes would have added to the chaos and set up shockwaves that would weaken the inner framework of the earth and prepare it for a period of tectonic movement.

    Consider that prior to the flood, the people never experienced rain. The earth had a sort of underground plumbing which watered the earth, and rocks were not seen above ground, but were supporting the earth from below its surface. These details have come from the pen of inspiration. It was a vastly different earth back then, and yet no modern “scientific” theory comes anywhere close to conceptualizing such a state. Given that “science” is well off this path, scientists cannot be expected to come up with anything close to the Bible record. They are not trying to do so. Why should they? If they proved God’s existence, they would have to face their own guilty consciences.

    Erik




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  53. “The only way for this to work is: Evolution has to follow the rules of language.”

    UTTERLY RIDICULUS ON MANY LEVELS. Language rules apply to only to those who understand them because they benefit the interpreetation of word meaning. When random changes alter words, confusion obviously results and this is seen as detrimental. The DNA of living organisms, however, functions under a very different set of “rules”. Because environments in which organisms live are continually changing, the value (or “fitness”) of a trait also changes continually. So, when DNA base pair changes happen (similar to letters changing in words and sentences), the resulting trait may or may not be detrimental depending on what is going on the environment. Sorry Johnathon, this proves absolutely nothing.

    Why do creationsists have to contrive “so-so” stories?




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  54. “… why not do the honest thing and go work for a public university instead of posing as something your not and taking a paycheck from an organization with which you fundamentally disagree?” (Sean SPitman)

    Okay Sean, please tell us that you fundamentally agree with the UNMISTAKABLY CLEAR position that the Adventist church has on women’s ordination: it’s unscriptural and explicitly forbidden., Now if YOU just so happen to disagree with this fundamental official position of the church then please explain how YOU could honestly take a paycheck IF you happened to work for the Adventist church (which I believe you do not as you apparentyl work instead for the Catholic church).




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  55. PURE, UNADULTERATED SPECULATION. Nothing from the Bible requires us to believe or even remotely suggests that C-14 levels have changed since before the flood or that a “layer of water” ecircled the planet. (Geanna)

    Geanna, have you read what happened on Day 2 of Creation? How God made a “firmament” (atmosphere) to divide the waters which were above the firmament/atmosphere from those below it? How God named the firmament “Heaven?” In other words, there were waters above “Heaven.” Have you ever wondered what waters those were?

    Furthermore, read more clues in the following chapters. These are some good verses for more evidence:

    “…for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” (Genesis 2:5-6)

    “And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained.” (Genesis 8:1-2)

    So, first we have evidence that just after Creation, rain was not known, but rather the water for the earth came from underground in the form of a mist to water the earth. Secondly, we have a clear association with rain during and after the flood, and the “windows of heaven,” which had been opened, stopped after the flood. At that point, we also know that Noah saw the first-ever rainbow. The atmosphere had obviously experienced some major changes, since we have had rain ever since, in place of a mist from underground which waters “the whole face of the ground.”

    Given that there was a layer of water above the firmament which did not cause any rain until God brought the flood, that water must have been of a higher orbit, perhaps above the F1 and F2 layers, or else the water may have been of another form, entirely unlike the clouds we have today. It should be obvious to any scientist that such a layer of water would have an effect on the entrance of light and cosmic rays, and would have altered the formation of C-14 in the upper atmosphere.

    Erik




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  56. “Consider that prior to the flood, the people never experienced rain. The earth had a sort of underground plumbing which watered the earth, and rocks were not seen above ground, but were supporting the earth from below its surface. These details have come from the pen of inspiration.” (Erik)

    No rain, there was underground plumbing, no rocks were a bove ground? Really? All of this sounds as likely as a volcanic eruption resulting from coal underground catching fire.




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  57. Re the mechanism for massive geologic changes very quickly, check out Planetary Catastrophism and before you sneer, the evolutionists themselves believe the moon was formed by Earth’s collision with a Mars sized object. At an Astronomical Society meeting recently I listened to an expert speaking about extra solar planets and he mentioned “Floaters” or planets not bound to a sun. I asked what would happen if one entered our system and he became very wary and reluctant to talk about the possibility. Catastrophism has only recently been very reluctantly and selectively included into scientific thinking and was forced into the arena by the collision of comet Shoumaker Levy into Jupiter some years ago.




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  58. Geanna,

    I take it you openly reject Mrs. White as having been shown these things by God Himself. Thank you for being honest with us. For those who accept and are blessed by these messages from God, here is one of the beautiful statements describing the world before the flood.

    The Father and the Son engaged in the mighty, wondrous work they had contemplated, of creating the world. The earth came forth from the hand of the Creator exceedingly beautiful. There were mountains, and hills, and plains; and interspersed among them were rivers and bodies of water. The earth was not one extensive plain, but the monotony of the scenery was broken by hills and mountains, not high and ragged as they now are, but regular and beautiful in shape. The bare, high rocks were never seen upon them, but lay beneath the surface, answering as bones to the earth. The waters were regularly dispersed. The hills, mountains, and very beautiful plains, were adorned with plants and flowers, and tall, majestic trees of every description, which were many times larger, and much more beautiful, than trees now are. The air was pure and healthful, and the earth seemed like a noble palace. Angels beheld and rejoiced at the wonderful and beautiful works of God. {1SP 24.1}

    There is a good bit of information in that statement which could serve as clues and guidelines as to the geologic history of this earth for those scientists who would accept it. It helps to answer your earlier wonderment, Geanna, regarding the necessary height of the flood-waters in order to cover every mountain. Mountains were not “high and ragged as they now are.” They may have been significantly lower, and most certainly were sloped more gently. Nevertheless, today’s scientists would have you believe the reverse is true–that erosion has been occurring for millions of years, and that mountains were more jagged way back when than now.

    Erik




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  59. @Erik:

    Erik,

    Ellen White was quite human and wrote many things that are not correct, some of which are so obviously wrong that they are no longer printed. For many years, the White Estate attempted to prevenet access to some of these documents. Prophets are primarily leaders, not infallible sources of information. While I have never doubted that she honestly desired to know the truth, there are many things about her work that are hard to understand.




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  60. “Consider that prior to the flood, the people never experienced rain. The earth had a sort of underground plumbing which watered the earth, and rocks were not seen above ground, but were supporting the earth from below its surface. These details have come from the pen of inspiration.” (Erik)

    @Geanna Dane:

    No rain, there was underground plumbing, no rocks were a bove ground? Really? All of this sounds as likely as a volcanic eruption resulting from coal underground catching fire.

    When an evolutionist says that something “is not likely” what they mean is that it “it is not likely to have happened in nature on its own” – they never mean “God is not able to do such a thing”.

    And of course – bible believing creationists never argue that life arose on planet earth “on its own” or that “it never rained” because that is what happens when planets form as they orbit the sun having the right distance and amount of water (as we do). Creationists do not argue tthat –naturally you simply “don’t get rain” under such conditions.

    Rather the Bible believing Creationiist argument is that God supernaturally formed and formatted the environment on earth and all life on earth in a literal 7 day creation week. God did things “totally unlikely” to occur on their own.

    Bible believing creationists never argue that mankind “is naturally formed out of the dust of the ground” nor that “it is likely that nature did that”.

    I supposed that all sides (both creationists and evolutionists) were on the same page on those foundation points – but I may have been mistaken.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  61. @Carl:

    Ellen White was quite human and wrote many things that are not correct, some of which are so obviously wrong that they are no longer printed. For many years, the White Estate attempted to prevenet access to some of these documents. Prophets are primarily leaders, not infallible sources of information. While I have never doubted that she honestly desired to know the truth, there are many things about her work that are hard to understand.

    Many Adventists know that Ellen White claimed to be a prophet. That means she claimed the 1Cor 12 gift of prophecy that works just as Numbers 12 states that it works. Hence the “test” of a prophet is to see if the message that they claim as having come directly from God “is in error”. If that message is found to be in error – then the prophet is in fact a false prophet — NOT because prophets are “all knowing” but rather because GOD IS ALL KNOWING – and the message HE gives is without error in all cases.

    Hence the validity of the test.

    So far – just stating the obvious.

    The fact that evolutionist are “prompted” by their belief in the atheist-centric doctrines on origins (so basic to evolutionism) to go after Ellen White with “Ellen White was wrong” kinds of arguments – is therefore not too surprising. After all – Ellen White claims to have been SHOWIN the same literal 7 day creation week events that Moses was SHOWN in 3SG 90-91.

    I don’t see anything shocking or surprising in the evolutionist’s overt methods at that point. It is perfectly consistent with the dotrinal choices they have made up to that point in time.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  62. @Carl:

    You have come up with many objections to the standard model, but you don’t have a model that can possibly explain the evidence within 10,000 years. Objections do not make a model. You have never explained how the continents have moved, seas dried up, the Flood occurred, it got warm, it got cold, the fossils formed, etc, and this all happened in about 10,000 years. Objections to the standard model do not logically lead to such wild speculations.

    Several flaws in that response.

    1. Genesis 1-2:3 codified into LAW in summary form in Ex 20:8-11 does not say “Until you can explain all tha God does — not not believe any of what He says”.

    2. The evolutionist argument is that “guessing in favor of atheist-centric doctrines on origins found in evolutionism is valid – but any guesses in favor of the Bible are out of bounds”.

    Both evolutionist ideas are transparently flawed as it turns out.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  63. “If that message is found to be in error – then the prophet is in fact a false prophet — NOT because prophets are “all knowing” but rather because GOD IS ALL KNOWING – and the message HE gives is without error in all cases. Hence the validity of the test.” (Bob Ryan)

    Even the Ellen WHite Estate disagrees with you Bob, specifically your statement that “the message HE gives is without error in all cases. Hence the validity of the test.” You conveniently overlook the simple fact that God’s words apply to his immediate audience which always has limited knowledge.

    Consider Ellen WHite’s remarks BASED DIRECTLY ON A VISION in the presence of Joseph Bates regarding the number of moons around the planets Jupiter and Saturn. The number she gave was factually incorrect based on what we know today but apparently matched the number KNOWN TO ASTRONOMERS AT THE TIME.. Joseph Bates had doubts about her legitimacy but happened to know the number and knew she had no training that could provide her the information. Here is what the E.G. White Estate says about this:

    “Obviously, what Bates heard corresponded to his knowledge of what telescopes showed in 1846. Almost certainly this vision was given in Bates’s presence to give him added confidence in Ellen White’s ministry. If she had mentioned the number of moons that modern telescopes reveal, it seems clear that Bates’s doubts would have been confirmed.” (http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/faq-unus.html)




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  64. There is a good bit of information in that statement which could serve as clues and guidelines as to the geologic history of this earth for those scientists who would accept it.

    There is no imaginable way that these conditions could have existed within the last 10,000 years. Mountains in the east are smooth and well eroded; they are old. Mountains in the west are jagged; they are relatively young and still growing because the collision between the North American plate and the Pacific plate. That’s why we have more earthquakes California than in New York. We have volcanoes around the Pacific rim for the same reason. We can now measure the movement of the various plates, and it is very clear why we have mountains in some places but not in others.

    If you get a good book on the geology of land formations, you will find that it contains many convincing explanations that agree with the things that you see around you. The description that you have quoted has not contributed to scientific study. I don’t like it, but that’s the way it is.




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  65. “I take it you openly reject Mrs. White as having been shown these things by God Himself. Thank you for being honest with us.” (Erik)

    It’s never a good idea to make asumptions about what others believe. You are completely wrong with your assessment of me. We know from the Bible that inspired writers were mistaken at times, lied at times, and murdered at times. We know that Their words were also misinterpreated by sincere believers.

    Ellen White was far from infallible herself. Was every word she wrote and every word she spoke absolutely correct? If so then why was theer substantial editing of her writing over the years? (yes I know she aproved of it). Beyond the absolute inerrancy some of you require of her, you come to very specific conclusions that simply go beyond her statements and what she may have meant to say.. I believe she was a prophet like those in the Bible that were fallible and did not intend to have every single word interpreted literally and inerrantly and beyond the meaning they intended to convey.




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  66. @Erik:

    Here is but one problem with your approach. What does the Bible say and what does it not say?

    “When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens – and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground – the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (I’m using the NIV here)

    It says there were no shrubs or plants, there was no rain, and there was no man to till the ground. And then God made man. Does it say there were no shrubs or plants before the flood, no rain before the flood, and no man to till the ground before the flood? Of course not. But YOU pick just one of these three items and insist there was no rain before the flood, which is SPECULATION that cannot be supported from the Bible. And you go so far to call this SCIENCE and BIBLICAL EVIDENCE! Please, you are stretching scripture to meet your need to interpret the world in a very narrow and specific way.




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  67. Geanna, with regard to the supposed conflict between Genesis one and two, I suggest you look at Randall W. Younker’s “God’s Creation” chapter 6, “A Closer Look at the Creation Story: Contradiction Between Genesis 1 & 2?”

    More generally, I think BobRyan is correct is in his observation that you don’t want to allow someone working within a young earth creation model any room for supposition or speculation, yet you don’t seem to appreciate the extent to which the mainstream model is also dependent upon supposition and speculation.

    You are committed to trying to construe the Bible in a totally unnatural way, and dismissing altogether Ellen White’s relevant statements, in an attempt to accommodate them to mainstream theories that are founded upon naturalism/effective atheism. This is a project that no well grounded Adventist will have any sympathy for. As I’ve said several times before, you’re going to have to make a choice between Darwinism and Adventism. There is no way they can be harmonized, because they are founded upon opposite suppositions.




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  68. Geanna,

    Here is one problem with your approach: You take one part of the Bible and tear it to shreds, claiming it is no evidence, while ignoring other parts that stand very much in evidence along with the part you just shredded. For the sake of argument, let us suppose that you are right, and I am wrong, regarding there being no rain prior to the flood. What do you do with the water above the firmament?

    Start throwing out the Bible, one piece at a time, and pretty soon the whole book morphs into a lie.

    The following quotation in reference to the antediluvians is true today of our modern scientists. This is evidence that what Jesus said about the time just prior to the flood and the time just prior to Jesus’ Second Coming being alike is true.

    The world before the Flood reasoned that for centuries the laws of nature had been fixed. The recurring seasons had come in their order. Heretofore rain had never fallen; the earth had been watered by a mist or dew. The rivers had never yet passed their boundaries, but had borne their waters safely to the sea. Fixed decrees had kept the waters from overflowing their banks. But these reasoners did not recognize the hand of Him who had stayed the waters, saying, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further.” Job 38:11. {PP 96.3}

    This statement agrees with the Biblical record. Human nature is the same today. Scientists are limited by their observations such that they cannot conceptualize a state of things they have not themselves witnessed. Jesus will soon come and set the record straight on every level.

    Erik




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  69. @Geanna Dane:

    Here is but one problem with your approach. What does the Bible say and what does it not say?

    Genesis 2
    “When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens – and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground – the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (I’m using the NIV here)

    It says there were no shrubs or plants, there was no rain, and there was no man to till the ground. And then God made man. Does it say there were no shrubs or plants before the flood, no rain before the flood, and no man to till the ground before the flood? Of course not. But YOU pick just one of these three items and insist there was no rain before the flood, which is SPECULATION that cannot be supported from the Bible. And you go so far to call this SCIENCE and BIBLICAL EVIDENCE! Please, you are stretching scripture to meet your need to interpret the world in a very narrow and specific way.

    A number of inconvenient details do not fit your efforts there.

    1. The Genesis 2 statements are specifically about events and conditions before the fall of mankind in Genesis 3. The flood happens 16 centuries later.

    2. The idea that “God planted a garden” is to mean “there is still no shrub” even after God created man – does not fit the text as I am sure you would agree. We have details BOTH in the Genesis 1 “chronological sequence” to show us when green plants “came about” and we have details in Genesis 2 showing us when green plants came about.

    (However – as some have already pointed out the term for shrub in Gensis 2 may also be a reference to “weeds” pointing to the fact that they did not exist before the fall of mankind).

    3. You pick two details “no shrub” and “no man” arguing that if there was a time when there was “no shrub” and also “no man” then at the same time that “shrubs” were created and “man was created” God must have also meant to describe “rain being created” but just forgot to mention it.

    It is easily argued that your version is a bending of the text that exegesis does not allow, because the text actually DOES address the point of when green plants showed up and when mankind showed up — and it does so in a clear chronological sequence where each time the unit of time is given as “an evening and a morning” – and then summarized in Ex 20:8-11 “For in SIX days the Lord made…”.

    The problem is nowhere near as difficult for the reader as you have suggested.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  70. More generally, I think Bob Ryan is correct is in his observation that you don’t want to allow someone working within a young earth creation model …

    What “young earth creation model”? There are significant objections to the standard model, but I have never heard of any young earth model. I’ve tried to get Sean Pitman to present such a thing, but he hasn’t as yet. He just has a collection of objections. The old GRI Web site made a very clear statement that no such thing exists. Unfortunately, the new site is much less honest.

    you don’t seem to appreciate the extent to which the mainstream model is also dependent upon supposition and speculation.

    There’s a big difference between speculation based on data and speculation based on our imagination of what might have been. Radiometric dating is not very speculative. It isn’t always accurate, so you check it against other data. It’s good enough that the GRI Web site says the following:

    4. How can creationists explain radiometric dates of many millions of years?
    Creationists do not have an adequate explanation. Some possibilities have been proposed, but they are not compelling because they do not explain why the lower layers generally give older dates than the upper layers.

    Scientists look at the dating data and conclude that the lower layers are older. There’s some speculation involved, so they check against other things. What kinds of fossils do they find down there, etc? They find many extinct species. That makes sense.

    Now, let’s speculate about how the earth had an atmosphere with a huge amount of water, so much, in fact, that when it rained, there was enough to cover the mountains. An atmosphere much wetter than what we have now, but it never rained? Can we check that? Have you ever heard of any evidence to support that idea?

    So it rained until the mountains were covered, and the water disappeared. Where did it go? Not back into the atmosphere, because it isn’t that wet any more. Under the ground? Maybe it just formed the present oceans. But, how did the oceans get salty so fast? The Flood was only 4,000 years ago. Where’s some evidence?

    Let’s try a scientific approach. It turns out that there was a massive flood of the Black Sea about 5500 BC. It’s described in the book “Noah’s Flood” by Ryan and Pittman (not Bob and Sean). The geological evidence shows that the Black Sea was a land-locked lake about 300 ft below sea level until the oceans rose following the last ice age. Water spilled over at the Straits of Bosporus and filled the Black Sea, probably displacing a significant population. Maybe that has something to do with the story of the Flood. There’s some speculation, but it comes at about the right time and it’s based on evidence. Read the book and see what you think. It’s written for a general readership.




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  71. Bob said:

    Many Adventists know that Ellen White claimed to be a prophet. That means she claimed the 1Cor 12 gift of prophecy that works just as Numbers 12 states that it works. Hence the “test” of a prophet is to see if the message that they claim as having come directly from God “is in error”. If that message is found to be in error – then the prophet is in fact a false prophet — NOT because prophets are “all knowing” but rather because GOD IS ALL KNOWING – and the message HE gives is without error in all cases.

    Hence the validity of the test.

    So far – just stating the obvious.

    The fact that evolutionist are “prompted” by their belief in the atheist-centric doctrines on origins (so basic to evolutionism) to go after Ellen White with “Ellen White was wrong” kinds of arguments – is therefore not too surprising. After all – Ellen White claims to have been SHOWIN the same literal 7 day creation week events that Moses was SHOWN in 3SG 90-91.

    @Geanna Dane:

    Even the Ellen WHite Estate disagrees with you Bob, specifically your statement that “the message HE gives is without error in all cases. Hence the validity of the test.” You conveniently overlook the simple fact that God’s words apply to his immediate audience which always has limited knowledge.

    You have my complete attention when you make the accusation that the Ellen White estate does not believe that “God’s messages are without error in all cases”.

    Consider Ellen WHite’s remarks BASED DIRECTLY ON A VISION in the presence of Joseph Bates regarding the number of moons around the planets Jupiter and Saturn. The number she gave was factually incorrect based on what we know today but apparently matched the number KNOWN TO ASTRONOMERS AT THE TIME.. Joseph Bates had doubts about her legitimacy but happened to know the number and knew she had no training that could provide her the information.

    There are some inconvenient details missing from your summary.

    1. The message given by Ellen White never claimed anything of the kind about Jupitor or Saturn. Ellen White never said that God ever even mentioned those planets. She simply related what God showed her.

    2. When Ellen White came out of vision – she was asked for specifics about the planets – in terms of known astronomy — she said she had no information on that because she had no knowledge at all about astronomy.

    3. Bates and others close to Ellen White then INSERTED their OWN ideas into their own reports of the matter – claiming that THEY had sufficient knowledge to accurately identify the planets Ellen White described as being those in our own solar system. However the report that Ellen White actually gave is STILL faithfully preserved for us today and can be easily contrasted with the “comments” others around her were making over her statemetns at the time.

    4. Ellen White held firmly to her claim that she new nothing about the subject of astronomy and never argued even in later years “I was shown Jupiter” or “I was shown Saturn”.

    @Geanna Dane:

    Here is what the E.G. White Estate says about this:

    “Obviously, what Bates heard corresponded to his knowledge of what telescopes showed in 1846. Almost certainly this vision was given in Bates’s presence to give him added confidence in Ellen White’s ministry. If she had mentioned the number of moons that modern telescopes reveal, it seems clear that Bates’s doubts would have been confirmed.” (http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/faq-unus.html)

    A few “more” inconvenient details need to be emphasized to light apparently.

    1. When we claim that the BIBLE test for a prophet is that the message from God cannot be in error – we mean the actual message itself – we do not mean that the Bible is claiming that the White Estate has to be infallible when it comes along later and add their own speculation about what God was thinking why God did what He did.

    2. The value for the White Estate information is in terms of history — but when they fly off into speculation about why God said what He said – they are on their own.

    3. Their explanation is flawed in many areas – not the least of which is in glossing over the fact that Ellen White did not tell Joseph Bates that she saw either Jupiter or Saturn.

    One could easily argue that an observer standing on the surface of Saturn looking into the sky would not see all the moons at once – if the intent were to really go after Saturn as “the answer” even though God never said any such thing about Saturn through Ellen White.

    But regardless of what you do with the count of the number of moons orbiting Saturn – the “elephant in the living room” is that we now know that she was NOT shown ANY planet in our solar system — because there is no life there – no civilation at all – regardless of how many moons one wants to imagine or explain away.

    She was shown inhabited planets of some other sola system in who-knows-what Galaxy with real beings, real civilizations inhabiting them. But the non-inspired men of her day “did what they will” with the information that she reported instead of sticking strictly to the text of what was given to her – what she actually said.

    Inconvenient details all – for those who might wish to use the account for some other purpose. However details that will come to light in any serious review of the matter.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  72. @Carl:

    There is no imaginable way that these conditions could have existed within the last 10,000 years. Mountains in the east are smooth and well eroded; they are old. Mountains in the west are jagged; they are relatively young and still growing because the collision between the North American plate and the Pacific plate. That’s why we have more earthquakes California than in New York. We have volcanoes around the Pacific rim for the same reason. We can now measure the movement of the various plates, and it is very clear why we have mountains in some places but not in others.

    Hint – the “easy explanation” is that the “American continent moved westward”. That detail alone can account for higher impact lines of stress in the west and lower smoother mountain ranges on the trailing side of the continent. Pile driving into the pacific plates is a sufficiently massive process to account for high moutain ranges in the west.

    Not rocket science there – and certainly nothing that rules out anything we find in scripture.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  73. And I repeat – (with some obligatory editing of course)

    @BobRyan:

    1. God’s Genesis 1-2:3 statement on origins – codified into LAW and given in summary form in Ex 20:8-11 does not include the Theistic Evolutionist’s required disclaimer — of the form “Until you can explain all that God does on a given doctrine — do not believe any of what God says regarding that doctrine”.

    2. Another evolutionist argument is to claim that guessing in favor of atheist-centric doctrines on origins found in evolutionism is valid – but any guesses in favor of the Bible are out of bounds.

    Both evolutionist ideas are transparently flawed as it turns out.




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  74. “Hint – the “easy explanation” is that the “American continent moved westward”. That detail alone can account for higher impact lines of stress in the west and lower smoother mountain ranges on the trailing side of the continent. Pile driving into the pacific plates is a sufficiently massive process to account for high moutain ranges in the west.

    Not rocket science there – and certainly nothing that rules out anything we find in scripture.” (Bob Ryan)

    More convenient adhocery lacking any evidence other than imagination.




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  75. @BobRyan:

    Bob, thank you for the details regarding the planetary moons. Actually, they give me less confidence in the credibility of Ellen White’s contemporaries and the E. G. White estate. I do believe she was inspired but I don’t think my salvation hinges in any way on the correctness of her statements.




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  76. Erik and David Read- My comments have not addressed modern science. I’m simply pointing that creationists tend too overinterpret things. MOreover I don’t see the need to choose between YOUR version of Adventism and evolution. I thinnk Adventism thrived quite well before all thees so-called creation experts jumped on the band wagon and told us how we actually have to interpret not just every word in the Bible but also Ellen White, and how Fundamental Belief #6 is the one single most important doctrine that everything else, including our membership and Church employment, depends on..

    Carl- I’m with you and can’t fathom the whole “firmanent” thing either, or how we know with so much certainty wat was meant by the word.. Where did ALL that water go- if there really was all was all that water to begin with.




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  77. “My comments have not addressed modern science.”

    Yes, Geanna, that’s my point. You do not seem to be aware of the problems with the modern theory of evolution, and long-ages geology. To the contrary, these things seem so certain to you that you are willing to fold, spindle and mutilate the plain teachings of Scripture (and to completely toss out everything Ellen White wrote on the subject of creation and the Flood) in order to make the Bible fit with modern science. This is a project with which no believing Adventist will have any sympathy. (That there are many unbelievers who want to call themselves Adventists is of great concern to myself and others.)

    Your implied history of Adventism and creationism is exactly backward. Adventists have always been young earth creationists; this view is implied by our belief in a literal six-day creation in the not too distant past. Ellen White also confirmed this worldview in scores, probably hundreds, of very clear statements, which have no need of “interpreting.” If you are interested in the history of our denominational thought on this subject, the historian Ronald Numbers, a former Adventist, details it in several of his writings and books. The lineage begins with Ellen White, and continues through George McCready Price, Frank Lewis Marsh, Harold Clark, Harold Coffin, Ariel Roth, Leonard Brand, etc. The attempt to cobble together a biblical world view with an atheistic worldview by marrying Adventism and Darwinism is a very recent development, a product of the past 30 years or so. It has very limited support outside of LaSierra. This strand of Adventist thought basically begins with the initiation of the Associaton of Adventist Forums and its publication, “Spectrum.” The overwhelming majority of Seventh-day Adventists, both in North America and around the world, remain young earth creationists.




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  78. @Geanna Dane:

    Bob, thank you for the details regarding the planetary moons. Actually, they give me less confidence in the credibility of Ellen White’s contemporaries and the E. G. White estate. I do believe she was inspired but I don’t think my salvation hinges in any way on the correctness of her statements.

    You are welcome.

    If you were in fact falling down the slippery slope of wanting to blame Ellen White and God for everything her contemporaries said ABOUT what she wrote – (or every line of guesswork the White Estate might just so happen to engage in from time to time) then I am glad to help disabuse you of those ideas.

    I like to think of that small effort as a kind of public service on my part. 😉

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  79. “Hint – the “easy explanation” is that the “American continent moved westward”. That detail alone can account for higher impact lines of stress in the west and lower smoother mountain ranges on the trailing side of the continent. Pile driving into the pacific plates is a sufficiently massive process to account for high moutain ranges in the west.

    Not rocket science there – and certainly nothing that rules out anything we find in scripture.” (Bob Ryan)

    That was just a simple observation from the basic Force=mass*accel physics to note the force vector inline with the line of motion being applied along a stress line perpendicular to that line of motion. So just stating the obvious so far.

    @Geanna Dane:

    More convenient adhocery lacking any evidence other than imagination.

    Ok maybe I should not have implied that this would be obvious “to everyone”.

    But I continue to believe that the objective unbiased reader will find that inconvenient detail to be instructive on the point.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  80. Carl says:
    March 28, 2010

    I’m sorry Carl, but you’ve fallen for a lot of very weak evidence. (Sean)

    You have come up with many objections to the standard model, but you don’t have a model that can possibly explain the evidence within 10,000 years. Objections do not make a model. You have never explained how the continents have moved, seas dried up, the Flood occurred, it got warm, it got cold, the fossils formed, etc, and this all happened in about 10,000 years. Objections to the standard model do not logically lead to such wild speculations.

    I do have a model that can explain many of your “evidences” for long ages within a much much shorter time than mainstream conclusions. In fact, many features I’ve pointed out to you can only be explained by a far shorter time frame than that supposed by mainstream thinking… strongly favoring a catastrophic model within fairly recent history. In other words a time frame that is less than 10,000 years is not significantly countered by your “evidences”.

    Your main problem is that you take on the standard uniformitarian assumptions and forget that uniformitarian notions do not hold true in the face of evidence for non-uniform catastrophes on an almost unimaginable scale.

    Also, if you are still convinced that the SDA position on origins is clearly mistaken, … (Sean)

    I have never been talking about origins, which I thought I made clear before. I do not believe in abiogenesis. My point is that a literal plain-text interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is not compatible with the physical evidence. If God created the earth in a way that makes it impossible to trust our senses and interpret the evidence, then he is a deceiver. I can’t accept that, so I must look for an understanding of Genesis that is consistent with the abundant evidence of old life. I don’t like it any more than you do, but I can’t avoid it.

    The SDA position on origins is not limited only to the origin of life, but also deals with the diversity of all main forms or “kinds” of life. In other words, the SDA position on a literal creation week directly counters mainstream views on the origin and diversity of life which requires hundreds of millions of years of gradual evolutionary change via a very painful and cruel mechanism of “survival of the fittest”.

    Could it possibly be that you simply don’t know how to interpret the evidence before you correctly? That you are deceiving yourself instead of God deceiving you?

    What perspective is most consistent with the biblical view of God? A God that would deliberately use a very painful, even evil, mechanism of survival of the fittest to creation, then call it all “very good” at the end of hundreds of millions of years of untold suffering, pain, and death? All when he could have just spoken it into existence fully formed to begin with in an ideal non-predatory state?

    Come on now… What kind of God do you really believe in?

    … why not do the honest thing and go work for a public university instead of posing as something your not and taking a paycheck from an organization with which you fundamentally disagree? (Sean)

    My understanding of Adventism is that our deepest value is a relentless search for truth. I will never accept that my search for truth should be limited by adherence to a creed. I stick around to encourage others who are also searching. Every once in a while, I even hear from people who appreciate my contributions.

    A relentless search for truth is a personal value that all should have and cherish. However, if your personal search for truth takes you away from Adventism, what on Earth would make you think that you should still by paid by Adventists for proclaiming your truth against what they still think is truth? – on their dime?

    I don’t care if you think you have all the truth in the world, is it not still stealing of the time and money of the organization you are fundamentally opposing and undermining if you take their money while actually working against them? – on a fundamental level?

    Should the SDA Church pay people to teach and preach that the Virgin Mary is alive and well in heaven and that we should all be praying to her for our salvation? – even if they are really honest and sincere about it? Even if they really do believe that this is “the truth”?

    How are you not doing something very similar? – yet claiming that you are free to do whatever you want and still be paid by the SDA Church because you are not bound by creeds? Are you not bound by common honesty and integrity? – to not take time or money from anyone for doing contrary to what you are being paid to do?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  81. Sean said –
    Should the SDA Church pay people to teach and preach that the Virgin Mary is alive and well in heaven and that we should all be praying to her for our salvation? – even if they are really honest and sincere about it? Even if they really do believe that this is “the truth”?

    Indeed – whether it is the assumption of Mary or Mary as Co-Mediatrix, praying to the dead, or Mary as Queen of Heaven, or OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved), or some version of Calvinism, or eternal hell fire, or immortal soul etc There are a lot of doctrins that sincere non-Adventist Christians hold to – and yet amazingly enough – we do not pay our own University professors and Pastors to teach those doctrines “As IF” the Adventist church or it’s representatives in anyway enorsed them as being true.

    As it turns out – the study of doctrine is never biased by “yes but someone sincerely believes that doctrine”. Someone sincerely believes a great many things in this life. That does not make them true.

    We often inform students that those views that I listed above – “exist”, but we are always careful to contrast those views with the Biblically correct and sustainable view, so that the students are not deceived.

    Often – Parents and students refer to this as “An Adventist Eductation” instead of a non-Adventist education and certainly nothing like a public university Education.




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  82. MOreover I don’t see the need to choose between YOUR version of Adventism and evolution.

    Geanna,
    Bob Ryan and Sean Pittman and David Read etc. are not presenting ‘their’ version of Adventism. They understand very clearly what Adventism and evolution are. I agree wholeheartedly with David Read’s last assessment and I encourage you to study it more carefully.

    Those who want to cavil about the trustworthiness of inspired counsel, who want to revise the ‘orthodox’ foundations of our faith, who want to wed the Word of God with the science of men, are the ones trying to create their own version of Adventism.In doing so they even have the temerity to accuse those who are trying to uphold the pillars of the faith as, ‘Creating their own brand of Adventism’ – and that their own revised brand is more genuine. I agree with David Reed when he says, ‘The overwhelming majority of Seventh-day Adventists, both in North America and around the world, remain young earth creationists.’

    Your more recent posts are becoming more strident in tone:
    “PURE, UNADULTERATED SPECULATION”
    “PURE, UNADULTEREATED SPECULATION”
    “IT’S OTHERS HERE THAT FAIL TO DO SO BY INVENTING WILD STORIES THEY LABEL AS “SCIEBCE” AND “BIBLICAL EVIDENCE.”
    “UTTERLY RIDICULUS ON MANY LEVELS”
    “SPECULATION that cannot be supported from the Bible”
    “you go so far to call this SCIENCE and BIBLICAL EVIDENCE!”
    “More convenient adhocery lacking any evidence other than imagination”

    “Let’s not be so… accusatory!”

    I’m not quite sure what is motivating you to rail against Creationists and those who support a faith-filled Adventist understanding of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. I know that this is usually an indication that someone is fighting against the Holy Spirit.

    As Christians we are called to talk faith, not doubt. We are called to place confidence in the Word of God and inspired counsels, not cavil against their clear statements. There will always be hooks to hang your doubts upon. The fact that you seem so vociferously trying to find these hooks, and undergird them with ‘science and reason’ – is frankly disturbing. The fact that you seem so intent on proving these faith-filled Christians wrong – is likewise frightening.

    Often those who are raised in the Adventist faith arrive at the point where they find their own voice and strive to understand the faith for themselves. Its okay to ask the important questions, to study them out for oneself, to not accept everything one has been taught just because people said that’s the way it is. Its not okay to make clever and harsh jabs at the very pillars and foundations of the faith in the process.

    The Word of God is like the burning bush. We should remove our shoes when we approach it – it is holy ground. For our salvation’s sake it must take precedence over the word of man.




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  83. David Read says that “The overwhelming majority of Seventh-day Adventists, both in North America and around the world, remain young earth creationists.”

    Ask the Director of the Geoscience Research Institute (GRI), the General Conference institution funded to provide apologetic materials to support conventional Adventist creationism, about the “official” Adventist position. I think you will find that it Young LIFE creationism, not Young Earth Creationism. The idea that the earth’s rocks are very old has been stated in a number of GRI publications for many years.

    While it is correct that the majority of SDA lay members believe in Young Life Creationism (and probably Young Earth Creationism as well), a survey undertaken in 1994 of North American Adventist scientists teaching at Adventist colleges and universities documented that only 43% believe that “God created all living organisms during a literal six-day period less than 10,000 years ago.” About 7% agreed that “God created all living organisms over an indeterminate length of time over the last 100,000 years” and about 18% agreed that “God created life millions of years ago and over this period guided its development”

    Geanna has it right: “Adventism thrived quite well before all the so-called creation experts jumped on the band wagon and told us how we actually have to interpret not just every word in the Bible but also Ellen White.”




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  84. @Ervin Taylor:
    Romans 1:18-22 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

    We are not impressed with academics who turn from the word of God. We have no awe or respect for scholars who dismiss what the word of God says and try to argue from “science falsely called”.

    Fortunately, not all scientists have become fools, and there are many who dismiss the fanatical claims of the evolutionary religion. There are some who admit they do not know or understand everything.

    How sad it is that people who claim to be Adventists are at the forefront of tearing down the word of God! By the way, even if you succeed in convincing many, that does not change the facts one bit, and the fact is that earth was created just a few thousand years ago.

    I wonder if all the SDAs who claim to know so many things – even having professorships, distinguished or otherwise – know God?




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  85. Clearly the Adventist church is no longer what I thought it was. I used to enjoy copmanionship with fellow believers and had no idea what aa HUGE deal it would be if one asks questions. Everything here reinforces in my mind that I don’t think any of you really care about who I am or what my relationsship with God is like. It all seems to be about facts and beliefs- if I have those “right” I’m good and if I question them and am seeking truth outside of accepted norms I’m “fighting against the holy spirit.” I should hardly be surprised by all the conclusions you have made regarding my faith.




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  86. “How sad it is that people who claim to be Adventists are at the forefront of tearing down the word of God! By the way, even if you succeed in convincing many, that does not change the facts one bit, and the fact is that earth was created just a few thousand years ago.” (Jonathon Smith)

    Go ahead. Wound me deeper. Father forgive them for they know not what they do.




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  87. Clearly the Adventist church is no longer what I thought it was. I used to enjoy copmanionship with fellow believers and had no idea what aa HUGE deal it would be if one asks questions. Everything here reinforces in my mind that I don’t think any of you really care about who I am or what my relationsship with God is like. It all seems to be about facts and beliefs- if I have those “right” I’m good and if I question them and am seeking truth outside of accepted norms I’m “fighting against the holy spirit.” I should hardly be surprised by all the conclusions you have made regarding my faith.  

    The fact is, Geanna, that one who has true faith in God does not question His clear, unambiguous word.

    Was it not Satan who started to question God’s word with Eve? Has God said…?

    A true believer in God remembers what Jesus said to the devil who tried to replicate this in Jesus. Read Luke 4:4 and Matthew 4:4.

    The Scriptures are our only safeguard and when we cavil against them we are engaging in infidelity. There should be NO ACTION on the part of a professed follower of God to cause doubts to appear in the mind of any about God’s word.

    We may not understand everything, but the right thing to do is to accept God’s word and die in ridicule or shame if that is required.

    And I am not talking about things not clear. A recent creation, a global flood, etc are unambiguous and without debate, if we believe God. Thus anyone who departs from these and introduce questions that sprout doubt have in no doubt allied themselves (knowingly or unknowingly) with the enemy of souls.

    So if you believe God, get off Satan’s enchanted ground and stop playing his advocate. It is time to stop being impressed by rebellious scientists and fear God, give glory to Him, and worship Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water (recently), for the hour of His judgment has come.




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  88. “How sad it is that people who claim to be Adventists are at the forefront of tearing down the word of God! By the way, even if you succeed in convincing many, that does not change the facts one bit, and the fact is that earth was created just a few thousand years ago.” (Jonathon Smith)Go ahead. Wound me deeper. Father forgive them for they know not what they do.  

    BTW, I was responding to Ervin. But if the cap fits, wear it.




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  89. Geanna Dane says:
    March 30, 2010

    Clearly the Adventist church is no longer what I thought it was. I used to enjoy copmanionship with fellow believers and had no idea what aa HUGE deal it would be if one asks questions. Everything here reinforces in my mind that I don’t think any of you really care about who I am or what my relationsship with God is like. It all seems to be about facts and beliefs- if I have those “right” I’m good and if I question them and am seeking truth outside of accepted norms I’m “fighting against the holy spirit.” I should hardly be surprised by all the conclusions you have made regarding my faith.

    Facts and beliefs, while important, don’t make anyone “good” or “bad”. It isn’t knowledge that saves a person, it is motive – or an actual relationship with God.

    However, this doesn’t mean that knowledge, beliefs, and doctrines aren’t important. The Gospel’s “good news” of hope in a bright literal future is based on knowledge. While this knowledge does not save anyone, it does have the power to provide a solid basis for hope.

    I think you’re confusing the point of this website with your personal relationship with God. You can have a saving relationship with God without having a solid basis for hope or a clearer picture of who God really is. Jesus told the woman at the well that the time has come when God desires people to worship him, not only in Spirit, which is a very good thing, but in truth, or true knowledge, as well… which is even better ; )

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  90. Ervin Taylor says:
    March 30, 2010

    While it is correct that the majority of SDA lay members believe in Young Life Creationism (and probably Young Earth Creationism as well), a survey undertaken in 1994 of North American Adventist scientists teaching at Adventist colleges and universities documented that only 43% believe that “God created all living organisms during a literal six-day period less than 10,000 years ago.” About 7% agreed that “God created all living organisms over an indeterminate length of time over the last 100,000 years” and about 18% agreed that “God created life millions of years ago and over this period guided its development”

    Geanna has it right: “Adventism thrived quite well before all the so-called creation experts jumped on the band wagon and told us how we actually have to interpret not just every word in the Bible but also Ellen White.”

    If all these theistic evolutionists are truly “thriving” as real “SDAs” in our churches and schools, why are they being so secretive about their positions? Why their hesitancy about being open and honest and completely transparent about what they are saying and doing as leaders within the Church? Why is LSU threatening students with censure, poor letters of recommendation, permanent negative comments on their transcripts, and potential expulsion when a student thinks to present what is really being taught in the classroom to the Church constituency at large?

    Why hide in the closet if theistic evolution is so positive for the SDA Church? Why try to cover it up so earnestly? Why doesn’t LSU proudly advertise the truth of your observation that pretty much the entire science department at LSU, and much of its religion department as well, actively supports some form of God-directed evolution taking place on this planet over hundreds of millions of years? – and is not alone in this opinion as many other teachers and leaders in the employ of the SDA Church are of the same opinion? Yet, as hard as you look, you will not see a single LSU advertisement to this effect. Quite the contrary. LSU is desperately trying to give the impression, in its PR advertisements, that it is full support and actively promotes of all of the SDA fundamental ideals…

    Why the need for such deception given the truth of your comments?

    Sean Pitman
    DetectingDesign.com




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  91. A few missing details in Erv Taylor’s post.

    @Ervin Taylor:

    David Read says that “The overwhelming majority of Seventh-day Adventists, both in North America and around the world, remain young earth creationists.”

    While it is correct that the majority of SDA lay members believe in Young Life Creationism (and probably Young Earth Creationism as well), a survey undertaken in 1994 of North American Adventist scientists teaching at Adventist colleges and universities documented that only 43% believe that “God created all living organisms during a literal six-day period less than 10,000 years ago.” About 7% agreed that “God created all living organisms over an indeterminate length of time over the last 100,000 years” and about 18% agreed that “God created life millions of years ago and over this period guided its development”

    Hmm so we have “7%” of that small group in one case and “18%” of that small group in another case. Meaning that you apparently agree fully with David’s statement??

    Ok fine – we have your response of the form – a tiny minority reject what the Bible and Ellen White have said on the doctrine of origins.

    I believe it is correct to say that David’s statement allows for such a thing.

    Erv Taylor
    Geanna has it right: “Adventism thrived quite well before all the so-called creation experts jumped on the band wagon and told us how we actually have to interpret not just every word in the Bible but also Ellen White.”

    Erv,

    Is this where we are supposed to “imagine” that the evolutionists have been coming here quoting 3SG 90-91 and Ex 20:8-11 showing how evolutionism is being taught by Ellen White and Moses?

    Or is this another case where “we are not supposed to notice” the flaw in your accusation?

    Oh well…

    After all – “What else” was there to say in defense of evolutionism? Perhaps misdirection was all that the evolutionist argument had left.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  92. Ervin and I have already had this argument about YEC vs. YLC once. The executve summary is that, based upon arguments from radiometric dating, GRI once made an unwise and unhelpful concession about the age of earth’s inorganic material, and now Ervin is anxious to hold all traditional Adventist believers to GRI’s silly concession. Well, sorry, Dr. Taylor, GRI doesn’t do my thinking for me, and your fetish about the YEC/YLC distinction just isn’t interesting or significant to me nor, I supect, to many other traditional Adventist believers.

    The long version is that inorganic radiometric dating (using measurements selected by convention and tossing out thousands of other measurements) gives a date for the age of the earth of about 4.5 billion y.a. In order to explain this date, some creationists hypothesized that the earth, as a sphere of inorganic material, was already long in existence at the creation week, only it was “without form and void.” Then, during the creation week, God created life on this planet in 6 days, about 6 to 10 thousand years ago. In this scenario, the radiometric dates for earth’s basement rocks could be accurate.

    The problem with this scenario is that (1) it isn’t suggested by Scripture or the writings of Ellen White, and (2) it doesn’t help much in trying to blend radiometric dating into a creationist model.

    This theory is really a kind of modified “gap theory,” in that there is a gap between “In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth,” i.e., the creation of the sphere itself, and the rest of the creation narrative. All the linguistic arguments against the gap theory are applicable to this theory as well. In addition, some of Ellen White’s statements could be interpreted to mean that God called the earth’s matter into existence at the creation week, and not before. For example:

    “The theory that God did not create matter when He brought the world into existence is without foundation. In the formation of our world, God was not indebted to pre-existing matter. On the contrary, all things material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice, and were created for His own purpose.” 8T 258, 259

    “In the formation of our world, God was not beholden to pre-existent substance or matter. “For the things that are seen were not made of the things which do appear.” On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice, and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things that are therein, are not only the work of His hand, they came into existence by the breath of His mouth.” Ms 127, 1897.

    So this idea that God created the sphere, then waited 4.5 billion years, then created life on earth, is not a natural reading of Scripture and seems to be in conflict with Ellen White’s writing on the subject.

    Moreover, this modified gap theory doesn’t really help to accommodate radiometric dating. The age of the basement rocks is one small aspect of the radiometric problem. In any creationist model, the fossiliferous geological strata must have been formed after the creation week, because these strata contain so many fossils of plants and animals. In most creationist models, the great bulk of the fossiliferous strata were formed during the year-long Genesis Flood, and within a relatively few centuries thereafter. But there are many igneous intrusions into the sedimentary fossiliferous strata, and these intrusions are dated radiometrically, showing results in the millions and hundreds of millions of year b.p. They obviously grossly conflict with a “young life” scenario, regardless of how old the basement rocks are concede to be. Moreover, organic radiometric dating, or C-14 dating, routinely returns dates on organic remains (plant and animal life) back to 50,000 years b.p., far older than the biblical time frame of 6 to 10 thousand years.

    From the foregoing, it should be obvious that making this concession (that the earth is really very, very, very old, and only the life on earth is young) can address only a small fraction of the problems that radiometric dating causes for a creationist model, and does so at the very steep price of conceding the basic validity of the technique. It concedes that which should not be conceded, and gets only a mess of pottage in return. So the concession of some GRI staffers to this effect was both unwise and unhelpful; I don’t choose to be bound by it, and I doubt many other traditional Adventist believers would be either.




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