At La Sierra, Biology Faculty Affirms Importance of Teaching About Creation in Curriculum

The Adventist Review
By Mark A. Kellner

A statement by a group of biology professors and trustees at La Sierra University, a Seventh-day Adventist Church-owned school in Riverside, California to affirm and incorporate the church’s position on creation at the classroom instructional level alongside traditional scientific approaches has been welcomed by officers and educational administrators of the North American Division, the regional entity of the church which provides oversight and accreditation to church-operated institutions.

The joint statement, prepared and signed by six LSU biology professors and a group of trustees, offers hope of a peaceful resolution to tensions that have surrounded church and public media accounts of the curricular differences between the university’s teaching on origins and the doctrinal positions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

“We’re pleased to see the dialogue move to a new and constructive level,” says Larry Blackmer, vice-president for education for the North American Division. “When you’re trying to build a bridge, you pay special honor to those who help engineer the foundations and the architecture that will support future traffic, and we consider this development one that has considerable positive potential.”

In their statement, the faculty members and trustees said “two core principles” were behind their proposal:

First, “affirmation and incorporation of the Biblical concept of creation, including the Seventh-day Adventist understanding of Genesis 1 and 2, as a faith position at the classroom level, when questions of origins are discussed.”

Second, a “continued teaching and research in the various disciplines of the modern sciences according to the most up-to-date and rigorous standards of the published science, to which we contribute as practicing scientists and active faculty, including the data which highlight the strengths and weaknesses of various models.” (Read more)

Read the full texts of the both the LSU biology faculty/trustee statement and the response by the North American Division leadership.

Share on Facebook1Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterDigg thisShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this to someone

73 thoughts on “At La Sierra, Biology Faculty Affirms Importance of Teaching About Creation in Curriculum

  1. as a faith position at the classroom level, when questions of origins are discussed

    It should be taught as the position. We don’t just think our belief is just one of many interepretations out there.

    continued teaching and research in the various disciplines of the modern sciences according to the most up-to-date and rigorous standards of the published science, to which we contribute as practicing scientists and active faculty, including the data which highlight the strengths and weaknesses of various models

    This sounds strangly like business as usually at LSU. What exactly is the change that is occuring?




    0
    View Comment
  2. I agree Shane. What about the other four faculty members (Perumal, Sabet, and Bradley0? And the other Board members, around 20 that aren’t on the list? Do they not agree or oppose this?




    0
    View Comment
  3. They refuse to admit that some things are non-negotiable. And when you begin to negotiate these things, soon nothing is left to build our faith on.

    I think most of us know and realize the ultimate reality is an undermining of the bible, period.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  4. 10/6/11

    This response from LSU leaves me more than a little concerned.

    They will be teaching Creation as a “faith based position at the classroom level?” (Whatever that means) and at the same time “will continue teaching and research in the various disciplines of modern sciences according to the most up-to-date and rigorous standards of the published science, to which we contribute as practicing scientists and active faculty, including the data which highlight the strengths and weaknesses of various models.” Guess which position’s “strength’s” are going to be “highlighted” and those whose “weaknesses” are going to be pointed out in the class rooms!)

    What about “the most up-to-date and rigorous standards” abundantly available in favor of creation?

    Quote: “In our dialogue, we found a solution to be the teaching of Creation as a faith conviction, rather than as science. Creation is not a scientific construct. It is a faith construct. The conviction of Divine Creation lies beyond the purview of the methods of empirical science, and cannot be subjected to them” (Really? There is NOTHING out there that supports God’s Word? I take issue with that!
    “Nevertheless, faith and science can and should constructively interact.

    I also take issue with the following statement:
    “Creation is not a scientific construct. It is a faith construct.”

    As I see it–Creation is both of the above and I fail to see why the president of the NAD is apparently joyfully accepting this statement. For some reason a lot of reputable scientists “out there” can see a lot of science that supports both creation and a “young earth.” And many are devoting their lives to proclaim it. What in this world is wrong with US? (We need teachers who truly believe in this and who will teach it with conviction.) These folks appear to me (forgive me if I’m wrong) to be giving “lip service” in order to keep their jobs.

    Frankly, I fail to see GRI (or anyone else in our ranks) coming out with anything to present the Creation model from a scientific level while there are a number of non-
    Adventist sites that vigorously do so. (This is something I simply cannot understand.) Maybe we ought to hire sone of THEIR scientists to come teach at LSU–and any of our other schools who are teaching things contrary to what the Bible teaches and we as a people claim to believe.

    And I have a hard time understanding the president of NAD’s apparent delight at this letter from LSU. Whose side is he REALLY on in this battle anyway?




    0
    View Comment
  5. Pingback: Hope? Slim to none | Educate Truth

  6. We have the highest proof of the six-day creation that it is possible to get. God Himself, wrote it with his own finger on a table of stone and gave it to Moses. It is contained in the fourth commandment,”IN SIX DAYS THE lORD MADE HEAVEN AND EARTH, THE SEA AND ALL THAT IN THEM IS.” This stone tablet was kept in the sanctuary for hundreds of years. If you refuse to believe what God personally wrote, there is nothing that will convince you.




    0
    View Comment
  7. I’m in agreement that the acclaimed promotion of Creation is hedged with slippery slopes, to mix metaphors.
    Wouldn’t our science education in SDA schools at the hi school and above levels be enhanced by using the book by Ariel Roth — SCIENCE DISCOVERS GOD for a text?

    Isn’t it reasonable to surmise that both Blackmer and Jackson would like to rid themselves of this elephant in the room and go on to other things?




    0
    View Comment
  8. Well, isn’t that big of them? They agree to include the SDA belief of a literal creation in their classroom–but not as a science, as a faith belief.

    These people have totally lost sight of the mandate of the SDA university. They aren’t there to teach worldly science but to teach science in the framework of SDA beliefs. We believe in Creation as stated literally in the Bible. Period. Anyone who is uncomfortable with teaching this shouldn’t be on the university staff. There must be enough professors who believe in the six-literal-day Creation to teach the truth in our classrooms. If not, then it may be time to close down the department.

    Our professors in our universities need to have the courage to stand for truth in the face of peer ridicule. If not, then what is the point of having these institutions? Why send our young people to a place where they think they can trust they are being taught the truth only to be indoctrinated with worldly lies? At least if they were going to a worldly university, they would expect to be taught lies and be on their guard against them. Here they are being ambushed–brainwashed into doubting the Word of God.

    The whole situation is absolutely appalling! Our leaders need to do something about this NOW. They, too, need courage to stand for the right amid strong opposition. Stand for the truth and let God deal with the consequences–it is not beyond Him to take care of it.




    0
    View Comment
  9. Three items caught my attention. They are:

    1) “First, . . . as a faith position at the classroom level, when questions of origins are discussed.” “Faith position”? It takes a lot more “faith” to believe in evolution. Mere odds of it happening are astronomically impossible to start with. What’s this mean? “. . . when questions of origins are discussed.” Are they only open to discuss creation when questions arise? Sounds like a loophole to me.

    2) “Second . . . continue teaching and research in the various disciplines of the modern sciences according to the most up-to-date and rigorous standards of the published science.” Ok, so are they saying they are going to continue to teach evolution? That what it sounds like to me.

    3) In this “Education Summit” they propose, it is encouraged the “ongoing culture at Sierra University”. So much for being “open and transparent” in their dialogue if it remains status quo as it was before all this debate started.




    0
    View Comment
  10. Lydian, you said:

    “Creation is both of the above [scientific construct and faith construct] and I fail to see why the president of the NAD is apparently joyfully accepting this statement.”

    And…”I have a hard time understanding the president of NAD’s apparent delight at this letter from LSU.”

    It is not surprising since the NAD president was the one who chastised opponents of the La Sierra Biology Department’s teaching of evolution in his private speech to the La Sierra University faculty.




    0
    View Comment
  11. Lou Westphal M.D.: Lydian, you said:“Creation is both of the above [scientific construct and faith construct] and I fail to see why the president of the NAD is apparently joyfully accepting this statement.”And…”I have a hard time understanding the president of NAD’s apparent delight at this letter from LSU.”It is not surprising since the NAD president was the one who chastised opponents of the La Sierra Biology Department’s teaching of evolution in his private speech to the La Sierra University faculty.

    Dr. Westphal, If you have had a chance to listen to the La Sierra “secret” tape, you will notice one of the problems the four men had with President Jackson is that they thought he was playing both sides, depending on who he is talking to. He may simply be doing the same with this “acceptance” of this material.




    0
    View Comment
  12. In other words, the leaders still haven’t got the guts to stand up and be counted on the side of truth–how disappointing.

    However, sooner or later the Lord will get fed up with this and take a firmer hand than He has already in the exposure of the famous four. If something decisive on the side of truth isn’t done soon something will be done by the highest authority, mark my words. Review and Herald burned to the ground in just such a situation.




    0
    View Comment
  13. What I really like about the proposal these professors and trustees provided is that several people put their names to it that have been otherwise quiet about their positions heretofore.
    If the agenda exists as Shane believes (and adequately argues), then it gives a better idea of who is behind pushing that agenda at LSU.
    Those people are individuals we should watch, and definitely expect them to clarify and expound upon this proposal (and require them to completely define it in its broadest context, providing boundaries for what is and is not allowed to be taught).
    They are proposing a solution to this controversy they created. Perhaps they need to be more transparent about how they will implement their proposal.

    Actually, now that I think about it, I think they must be absolutely, and completely transparent about their intentions, and provide their course curriculum for review and approval, and provide a statement that they will voluntarily resign if they deviate from that approved curriculum, or if they teach positions contrary to Biblical theology.

    Furthermore, I think they should submit their entire lecture series to videotaped recording (for further analysis and to ensure that they do meet that commitment).

    For those contending that their lectures are copywritten, please note that typically lectures are actually work product (as employees of LSU), and that lectures generally belong to the university and not to the individual professor (analogous to a researcher conducting research in a laboratory owned by the school. Any and all discoveries belong to the university.)




    0
    View Comment
  14. “Our leaders need to do something about this NOW.”

    Faith, our “leader” in the NAD is the guy who looked at this thinly veiled declaration of intransigence and said,

    “In moments of challenge and crisis, the Spirit of God inevitably moves on the minds of individuals to frame creative and peaceable solutions,” he [Dan Jackson] said. “This is a helpful and much-needed start of a conversation at the level where it can do the most good in affecting what actually impacts the lives and faith commitments of hundreds of Adventist university students—and we consider that to be a good thing.”

    I’m not terribly surprised by this. He lived in Canada most of his life, and is probably thankful and surprised to have escaped that jurisdiction without having been jailed for carrying around a book [the Bible] so politically incorrect as be critical of homosexuality.




    0
    View Comment
  15. “In moments of challenge and crisis, the Spirit of God inevitably moves on the minds of individuals to frame creative and peaceable solutions,” he [Dan Jackson] said.

    “Creative” no doubt. Again we see the spirit of Rome. Who is more “creative” in defining and apply scripture than the Roman Catholic church?

    In religious matters, “outside the box” means “outside the bible.”

    Oink has it right,”California Creation Dreamin’”.

    We have one thing going for us as we defend the bible. Historically, God has a way of “forcing” those who abandon scripture to finally admit to the fact.

    One of the most important results of the Protestant Reformation, in all the conflict and dialogue, is the fact Rome eventually admitted she did not accept the bible as the “only rule of faith and practice”.

    God has a way of forcing unbelievers to declare their position. He forced Pharoah in the deliverance of the Jews.

    He forced the Jews in their conflict with Jesus to finally and eventually show their hand.

    And as we near the end of time, more and more people will eventually admit they have abandon the bible as unreliable to define faith and practice.

    You see these people on the Spectrum and A-today forum. Many are former SDA’s and some are on various levels of unbelief.

    Hopefully, some will yet repent and see they have been deluded by a “false gospel”. And in at least some cases, it is simply a matter of taking the true gospel outside its biblical meaning and context and applying it contrary to the scriptural norm.

    In more than a few cases, people simply can not explain what they really mean and after stating one position, find themselves trying to harmonize what they have said with another concept.

    We see this problem demonstrated in EGW’s letter to A. T. Jones when she warned him of mis-appling the word of God and not only confusing the people, but himself as well.

    The letter of warning applies to the whole SDA denomination today. And our new Quarterly lessons are a classic example of the confusion. In the end, it is a “God size problem” and He will solve it. But often, when people take a superfical or false position, they never repent. As in the case of A. T. Jones.

    Hope you all have a great week.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  16. This Adventist Review article is very disturbing – especially where the leaders of our church seem to happily accept the proposal of LSU professors to continue to do what they’ve been doing all along.

    The LSU science professors who signed the document are the very same ones who have been the most ardent in promoting mainstream evolutionary theories as the true story of origins while telling their students that the Biblical account is hopelessly out of touch with reality without the input of enormous amounts of incredibly blind faith.

    Why then are Dan Jackson, Richardo Graham, and Larry Blackmer so excited about this proposal for LSU science professors to keep doing what they’ve always been doing? – promoting evolutionism as the only empirically-rational scientific conclusion on origins while Biblical creationism is presented as being completely out of touch with empirical reality as a faith-only relic of Adventism and outdated Christianity in general?

    Back to square one we go…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  17. This discussion on EducateTruth(sic) has become a vivid, public testimonial to the true motives of EducateTruthers. Like Tea Party adherents, they have given ample evidence that they are not interested in reconciliation and peace inside the Adventist Church. They are extreme radicals interested in sowing discord and dissention. They are now the tares. Now that Sean has completely aligned himself with the party of the true believer EducateTruthers, there is no longer any question of his true intentions. Talk about “God [having] a way of forcing unbelievers to declare their position.” What an excellent illustration of that on the EducateTruth(sic) web site.




    0
    View Comment
  18. @Ervin Taylor:

    Now that Sean has completely aligned himself with the party of the true believer EducateTruthers, there is no longer any question of his true intentions.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been coy about my concerns regarding what has been going on at LSU for decades or my intentions to try to use all in my power to try to put an end to the undermining of the Adventist position on origins that has been taking place at LSU for far far too long.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  19. LSU’s ‘ reconciled’ position is indicative of the maxim that: the tail of faith cannot wag the dog of science.

    In order for Dr. Pitman to succeed he will have to empirically demonstrate that creationism is a more plausible theory than evolutuion. Even within the Adventist scientific community this appears to be a major hurdle, the GRI for example.

    I note as of late the scientifc criticism of Dr. Pitman’s theories has abated on this site. It is more of an expository form for the beliievers. That’s OK, I just think it is happening for a reason and the latest announcement at LSU is not a coincidence. Educate Truth is being marginalized and ignored by Adventist institutions and church leadership.

    Like Sean Connery asked Kevin Cosner in The Untouchables: what are you prepared to do about it? Just complain by blog or are there any of you that will step up to the plate and do the shaking that you predict is coming?

    Long ago when I was a boy questioning the logic of theodicy and multi faith beliefs in God I decided to rely on my own conviction and rational enquries to understand reality. I’ve learned that fear or desire can act as bias when trying to understand reality. That is why I believe in the objectivity of science rather than it being shoehorned into the Bible or any other faith for that matter.

    I think we can obtain a state of grace by living by our convictions, no matter what they are. I respect folks of faith and have many fine friends in that regard. However I often find people are in serious turmoil when they are most ardent about their faith. They attempt to enlist others to their cause or their iteration of faith. They attack others, quite visciously at times, rather than use reason and civilized conversation. Some claim a direct line to God – Harold Camping for example- in order to hold power over others. This is all so human and predictable.

    Too much focus is placed on who is right or wrong rather than rational process. The best thing one can ever ask is: Why do I believe as I do?
    Why are you Adventists? Did you come to that conviction by yourselves or culturally? What was the background by which EGW led the disappointed Millerites into Adventism. Why did EGW have ‘conditional prophecies’? Why did the prophetic ministries of EGW and Joseph Smith arise about the same time in American culture Why can’t the GRI, an Adventist funded organization, come up with a YEC/YEC model?

    Progressive Adventism is predictable in light of scientific advances. But where I agree with the Educate Truthers is that untenable under strict Adventist doctrine. But here is the hitch. Unless your church can become an unbending theocracy, as many of you would have it- throw out the bums who differ with us true Adventists! – then your church will be subject to majority rule of its members. And your leadership will try to hold the membership together by compromise and appeasement because their jobs- subsidized by the collective tithe- depend upon it.

    That is why I agree with Shane that Hope is Slim regarding reversing teaching evolution at LSU. That is why the naysaying on Educate Truth is abating. That is why you who are truly convicted will have to do a lot more than blog from the sideline if you wish to change the status quo.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  20. I would very much like to see an end to the politicking by the “officers and educational administrators of the North American Division” as mentioned by Mark Kellner in his Adventist Review article.

    Is it true that he used to be a member of the Salvation Army?




    0
    View Comment
  21. I. Affirmation and incorporation of the Biblical concept of creation, including the Seventhday
    Adventist understanding of Genesis 1 and 2, as a faith position at the classroom
    level, when questions of origins are discussed.
    II. Continued teaching and research in the various disciplines of the modern Biological
    sciences according to the most-up-to-date rigorous standards of the published
    science, to which we contribute as practicing scientists and active faculty, including
    the data which highlight the strengths and weaknesses of various models.

    I am trying to understand how this is substantially different to the statements of the “Clergy Letter Project”?




    0
    View Comment
  22. Ervin Taylor: This discussion on EducateTruth(sic) has become a vivid, public testimonial to the true motives of EducateTruthers. Like Tea Party adherents, they have given ample evidence that they are not interested in reconciliation and peace inside the Adventist Church. They are extreme radicals interested in sowing discord and dissention. They are now the tares. Now that Sean has completely aligned himself with the party of the true believer EducateTruthers, there is no longer any question of his true intentions. Talk about “God [having] a way of forcing unbelievers to declare their position.” What an excellent illustration of that on the EducateTruth(sic) web site.

    Man, do I ever hear the hiss of the serpent in this quote. So typical–those who accuse us of being trouble-makers are actually guilty of themselves.

    To be called an extreme radical for standing for truth tells me where Mr. Taylor’s allegiance lies. For Educate Truthers to be accused of sowing discord and dissension in the church is laughable. The people who have ignored the SDA doctrine and committed the heresy of teaching evolution as the truth are the ones who are divisive in this whole matter. Apparently Mr. Taylor believes we should compromise truth as if it is of no consequence. Shows his colors very plainly, don’t you think?

    Mr. Taylor, you should save your nasty little accusations for yourself and your cronies as that is where the discord and dissention is emanating from.




    0
    View Comment
  23. David Read: I’m not terribly surprised by this. He lived in Canada most of his life, and is probably thankful and surprised to have escaped that jurisdiction without having been jailed for carrying around a book [the Bible] so politically incorrect as be critical of homosexuality.

    David, please, why are you making anti-Canadian posts. I am free to carry around a Bible at any time. I agree that there is too much political correctness, and I am totally against homosexuality and abhor their agenda. But Canada did not originate political correctness and it is not the only one practicing it…I see lots of it in the US as well. (Believe it or not, we do get US TV channels and can keep up with the news down there as much as we’d like.) Dan Jackson isn’t the only one of these gutless wonders involved. He is one out of the 3 named above involved. His being Canadian has absolutely nothing to do with this.

    As a matter of fact, in my home church we have a retired American pastor who was our pastor in the past and decided to retire here because the climate is mild and his American money goes farther. When I first talked to him about this whole mess, he basically told me not to criticize the church and he didn’t want to hear anymore about it. I repeat, he is American, born in the US. When we look at this whole mess, it is happening in the US. Don’t make this about nationality. None of the other leaders who are not Canadian are doing anything either. And just for the record, I am not happy with Dan Jackson’s reactions to this any more than you are.




    0
    View Comment
  24. Faith, you’re right of course.

    Have you ever thought that someone who seems complacent and unmotivated might do something if he were angry? And have you ever insulted someone in the hope that it would make them angry? If so, then you’ll understand what I’m trying to do with Elder Jackson.

    I’m not sure how to get the leadership motivated to do the extremely unpleasant tasks that have to be done to save the church. Darwinism is obviously an existential threat to the church, and if they can’t get motivated to meet that threat, I’m not sure even dynamite would dislodge them.

    So I’m resorting to insults. I understand that it is a long shot, and probably won’t work.




    0
    View Comment
  25. @David Read: And perhaps not something Christ would do. I can understand your frustration though. I’ve been on the verge of quitting this whole thing many times. I’ve been guilty of letting that frustration control and influence things I shouldn’t have said.

    I have to remind myself to look at the big picture. In the end all those who are not supposed to be in the church will be sifted out. I pray I am not one of them.




    0
    View Comment
  26. Re Canadians and such

    Dear David

    I read your comments to Faith. It is good you recognize what you are doing. You do realize of course you are disparaging a whole country not just Elder Jackson?

    David, as you can see from the responses from your friends, you may be doing irreperable damage to your own reputation unless you make a full apology to your Canadian friends.

    I hope I have not offended you and if so you have my humble apologies.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  27. Faith: Man, do I ever hear the hiss of the serpent in this quote. So typical–those who accuse us of being trouble-makers are actually guilty of themselves. To be called an extreme radical for standing for truth tells me where Mr. Taylor’s allegiance lies. For Educate Truthers to be accused of sowing discord and dissension in the church is laughable. The people who have ignored the SDA doctrine and committed the heresy of teaching evolution as the truth are the ones who are divisive in this whole matter. Apparently Mr. Taylor believes we should compromise truth as if it is of no consequence. Shows his colors very plainly, don’t you think?Mr. Taylor, you should save your nasty little accusations for yourself and your cronies as that is where the discord and dissention is emanating from.

    Dr. Taylor not only loves to criticize ET, but many others, including Ellen White. How he remains a “member in good standing” at the Loma Linda University Church is amazing. I’ve asked Randy Roberts why, but no answer has been returned.




    0
    View Comment
  28. It looks as though this destructive hurricane of misinformation and closed-minded bigotry might finally be passing. I am heartened to see so much hand-wringing by the EducateTruthers over the fact that this door—which the NAD foolishly kicked open at the frothing insistence of pseudo-scientific radicals with hurt feelings and no substantive evidence—might be closed before the lunatic fringe was able to turn LSU into a useless backwater Bible college. Rational SDAs the world over are preparing to breathe a tentative sigh of relief. We can just hope that the Big Bus of Common Sense can run over this little pet project on its way back into the Garage of Reason, hopefully backing up and running it over a few extra times to ensure it doesn’t rise up, Friday-the-13th-style, to terrify us again. Until the paint on the tombstone dries, though, we’ll just keep a level eye, walk softly in the sanctuary and be on the lookout for EducateTruthers who seek to destroy our church.

    God bless!




    0
    View Comment
  29. Oh, and really? There are people in 2011 who are actually able to write the words “I am totally against homosexuality and abhor their agenda”? Maybe we should save our vitrol for something that:

    a) people have a choice about,
    b) actually matters, and
    c) is any of our business?




    0
    View Comment
  30. Why would anybody bother Randy Roberts with their bizarre and inflammatory questions? Don’t we think he has something better to do than politely smile at the voluntarily ignorant while listening to their drivel?




    0
    View Comment
  31. LSU Alumnus 1996 probably represents the majority of non-fundamentlist Adventists. May more of them speak up on all SDA web sites to beat back the “voluntarily ignorant” (love that phrase)!




    0
    View Comment
  32. @Ervin Taylor:

    LSU Alumnus 1996 probably represents the majority of non-fundamentlist Adventists. May more of them speak up on all SDA web sites to beat back the “voluntarily ignorant” (love that phrase)!

    I suppose both of you are indeed fair representatives of those who do not accept more than a handful of the fundamental goals and ideals of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as an organization but still wish to call yourselves “Adventists” anyway for social/cultural reasons.

    At least those whom you call the “voluntarily ignorant”[sic] are being consistent with the name of the organization they claim to support. Wouldn’t it be most ironic if those who consider themselves most brilliant turn out to be painfully wrong while those who are supposedly “stupid, ignorant, or insane” in your eyes turn out to be right after all?

    At the very least why not be consistent with your name? Why do you want to be part of any organization that is officially so voluntarily ignorant [sic]? You really aren’t and don’t want to be SDAs in any meaningful sense of the word anyway – at least not when it comes to what SDAs supposedly believe as an organization. It seems like you want to change the SDA church into a church that doesn’t remotely resemble anything that SDAs have historically stood for as a unique entity. Rather, you would like to turn the SDA church into a church that is not readily distinguishable from many other non-denominational churches that already exist. In short, you seem to want to destroy all that is really unique and special about Adventism without producing anything else that doesn’t already exist. Or, do I have you two brilliant non-ignorant expert people all wrong?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  33. I can only speak for myself, Sean – but you’ve sure got me wrong.

    Our church should (and has) evolved to accommodate scientific, social and theological advancements. The number of drugs dispensed at LLUMC in a single day undoubtedly has EGW spinning in her grave. Our “church fathers” would be aghast that our institutions allow (let alone encourage) the establishment of retirement accounts (could there be a more genuine repudiation of our deepest, core-est belief than to consider even momentarily that the world might be here for 30 more years?). Why, I’ve even heard of our good SDA students not just watching movies, but MAKING THEM!

    I’m consistent with the name of our organization. I worship on the seventh day, and I believe Jesus is coming back to take us home. I also realize that the 27FB are a snapshot in time, a necessary formalization of what it means to be an SDA – but the preamble to the 27FB specifically indicates that the 27FB are NOT God’s (nor even EGW’s) “law”—that they are indeed subject to change. So, by all rational measures, I’m comfortably within the nominal confines of our shared denomination.

    HOWEVER – and here is the salient point – I just don’t happen to be within the confines YOU want to artificially establish. That’s ok, your bigotry will fade, or you’ll establish some splinter group – either way, my prayers have been that this celebration of reactionary hypocrisy will be short-lived. Events seem to indicate an answer to my prayers, though I know better than to let my guard down just yet.

    The truth is, an SDA institution finding its own way to include both the myth of Creation and the facts of science in the curriculum does not in any way impair your ability to enjoy the particular pre-industrial revolution form of SDAism you prefer. The world is over-populated with people who share your ability to side-step logic and reason in search of blissful cognitive accord. I’m sure there’s a compound in Texas with a “for sale” sign up right now waiting for new occupants, and I reckon you could make quite a deal in this slow economy.

    Anyway, I’ll disappear again. I just wanted to poke this thing with a stick again. Looks like there’s still a bit of life in it (sadly), but I’ll check again in a few weeks.




    0
    View Comment
  34. I for one love the way the door was slammed shut on the “dump science and the bible” crowd when it came to a vote to evolution vs science and the Bible at GC 2010.

    The entire denomination essentially said they would not stand for the “evolutionism at all costs” nonsense any longer and wanted to go on record with that statement.

    Amen and praise the Lord my brothers and sisters!

    At a time when even atheist evolutionists are “running for cover” with their “multiverse stories” – this is a time for those who actually support science and the Bible instead of evolutionism-at-any-cost to stand and be glad we did!

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  35. David Read:
    So I’m resorting to insults.I understand that it is a long shot, and probably won’t work.

    Speaking of insults…

    “You idiots! You must be bewitched, to have lost the vision of Jesus Christ crucified.” [Galatians 3:1]

    It appears that Paul thought it was OK to use insulting language at times.




    0
    View Comment
  36. A statement by a group of biology professors and trustees at La Sierra University, a Seventh-day Adventist Church-owned school in Riverside, California to affirm and incorporate the church’s position on creation at the classroom instructional level alongside traditional scientific approaches has been welcomed by officers and educational administrators of the North American Division, the regional entity of the church which provides oversight and accreditation to church-operated institutions.

    Well that will certainly anger the enemies of LSU and the SDA church.

    The joint statement, prepared and signed by six LSU biology professors and a group of trustees, offers hope of a peaceful resolution to tensions that have surrounded church and public media accounts of the curricular differences between the university’s teaching on origins and the doctrinal positions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

    “We’re pleased to see the dialogue move to a new and constructive level,” says Larry Blackmer, vice-president for education for the North American Division. “When you’re trying to build a bridge, you pay special honor to those who help engineer the foundations and the architecture that will support future traffic, and we consider this development one that has considerable positive potential.”

    Larry Blackmer is once again outspokenly on the right side – ready to stand and be counted.

    And – he can be somewhat glad to know that this sort of direction is exactly the plan that he laid out for LSU in that in-house meeting he had along with Dan Jackson.

    Sadly however – his initiative will not sit well with those who are in dire opposition to the fundamental principles of the SDA church and its Universities.

    Lashing out – they simply strike out at those closest to them, to make their point known.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  37. David Read: I’m not sure how to get the leadership motivated to do the extremely unpleasant tasks that have to be done to save the church. Darwinism is obviously an existential threat to the church, and if they can’t get motivated to meet that threat, I’m not sure even dynamite would dislodge them.

    I have been pondering this for a while – given Ted Wilson’s statements at the “Yes Creation” seminar GC2010 just after he was appointed the job of president.

    I wonder just how much control he and others like him actually do have in a theologically divided, decentralized administrative structure such as we have today?

    It was a defense design crafted to stop one man from running off with the church down some misguided liberal/progressive road to mediocrity. And as much as it worked to prolong our life even out to these overtime-innings, ultimately it works against you as the whole system begins to fizzle down into the point-counterpoint lukewarm state – on its way to either rift or the wholly frozen state.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  38. Ervin Taylor:
    Wow!Faith hears the “hiss of the serpent.”She must have very good hearing.I guess I can’t fool her and will just have to just slither off.

    Ok I stand corrected.

    I had been thinking that Erv was bent on not revealing his full agenda when he posts here.

    my bad.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  39. LSU Alumnus 1996: Don’t we think he has something better to do than politely smile at the voluntarily ignorant while listening to their drivel?

    Apparently your drivel is coming through loud and clear. You obviously have no grasp whatsoever of what truth, rationality, or common sense mean. You seem to be one of those who has no problem with staying in a church and trying to destroy it from the inside out. That doesn’t come under the banner of truth, rationality, or common sense. If you don’t agree with the principles of our church you need to go elsewhere and leave us in peace.

    LSU Alumnus 1996: Oh, and really? There are people in 2011 who are actually able to write the words “I am totally against homosexuality and abhor their agenda”? Maybe we should save our vitrol for something that:
    a) people have a choice about,
    b) actually matters, and
    c) is any of our business?

    Yes, there are people who are still willing even in this corrupt age to stand for the truth and not care what anyone else thinks. I confirm what I said, I write the words without flinching, and I am not afraid of what you or your likes will say about me.

    If you were to use the common sense you think you have, you should realize that these people DO have a choice. If they didn’t, our wonderful, wise and merciful God would not hold them accountable for their choice. That you don’t think this actually matters is extremely disturbing. It shows a horrendous ignorance of God’s requirements on your part. Shocking! And, just for the record, truth is our business…”our” being Christians and SDA Christians more than most.

    These posts show such a lack of knowledge it would be laughable if it was not so sad.

    Ervin Taylor: the “voluntarily ignorant” (love that phrase)!

    You should love it, Erv, it describes you perfectly.




    0
    View Comment
  40. Dear all

    What does it say about your Christian faith when Adnentists in rightgeous indignation, claiming an absolute franchise on the truth, try to rip those of different opinion limb from limb?

    Can such behviour ever be viewed as Christian?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  41. Ken: What does it say about your Christian faith when Adnentists in rightgeous indignation, claiming an absolute franchise on the truth, try to rip those of different opinion limb from limb?

    Ken: I am glad that you recognize that it was righteous indignation–there is such a thing, you know. And it was well deserved by the people it was directed to. What does it say when people who have no regard for our God and His church whatsoever–its doctrines, its members, its truths–but who claim to be a part of our fellowship all the while trying their level best to destroy the church from within? Were they acting in any way, shape or form like Christians? I wouldn’t say so. They love to play this little game of poke the tiger in the eye with a stick and laugh when he roars. I daresay that isn’t inspired by God, is it?

    What fries my bacon more than anything is that they mock God, the Bible, and the Truth. If they don’t want to believe what the SDA church believes as it stands, then they are more than welcome to leave. No one is forcing them to stay. They are just diabolically trying to destroy what is good, and right, and true. I’m afraid that, come judgment day, they won’t be feeling as smug as they are right now.




    0
    View Comment
  42. Ken: What does it say about your Christian faith when Adnentists in rightgeous indignation, claiming an absolute franchise on the truth, try to rip those of different opinion limb from limb?

    In the Bible there is the “Thou sayest it” response when someone reveals a point of truth – even if in jest or in mock.

    And so it is not out of line when they come here and make some confession in jest – to acknowledge whatever aspect of truth may still be left in their response.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  43. Erv on his part possibly enjoys stopping by educate truth from time to time, just to stir the pot a bit. But for his part – I imagine he would be just as happy to ban those who post conservatively here at EducateTruth from posting on his AToday site altogether.

    Not that ignoring AToday is a bad thing. Just making an observation.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  44. Dear All

    Although I am a poor student of the Bible, this passage always had a profound effect upon me:

    Luke 6:31

    King James Version (KJV)

    31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  45. @Ervin Taylor: Thoughtful of you to drop by again, Erv, this time to inform EduTru that it is the Genesis 1 Tea Party. We’d love to chat more but we won’t hold you up — we know you have to rush over to Occupy LSU.




    0
    View Comment
  46. Hi Wes!

    How are you good friend?

    I woke this morning and had a revelation- I’m still here! Sorry Mr. Camping, or am I premature and do I need to wait until the end of the day to breath an agnostic sigh of relef? 🙂

    Glad Sean had a new baby. Makes me think he does not consider of the world to be quite nigh as well.

    From the empirical peanut gallery
    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  47. Re Wes’s Quote

    “the Genesis 1 Tea Party.”

    So glad I’ve been invited. No doubt factional debate will continue as to who is the Mad Hatter.

    Alice in agnostic Wonderland




    0
    View Comment
  48. Dr. Kime and Ken have come through yet again. Wes with “The Genesis 1 Tea Party.” And Ken with “Who is the Mad Hatter?” Both of these references are very appropriate since it seems to me that much of what is posted on EducateTruth(sic) comes directly out of the world of Alice in Wonderland.




    0
    View Comment
  49. @Ervin Taylor:

    Much of what is posted on EducateTruth(sic) comes directly out of the world of Alice in Wonderland.


    “First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come… But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

    For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.”

    If a belief in the what the Bible says about about historical realities is like living in Alice’s Wonderland, then so is a belief in the far more fantastic metaphysical claims of the Bible regarding the origin of Jesus, born of God the Father to a virgin woman, raised from the dead after three days, and taken to Heaven to commence with the rest of the Plan of Salvation for those who claim to believe in such fairytale nonsense! – like you!

    Why do you claim to live within one Wonderland, full of irrational baseless nonsense, but laugh at those who accept all of what the Wonderland Book has to say about the place?

    Again, you simply aren’t being consistent with yourself. You’re trying to fit within two “incommensurate worlds”. It simply doesn’t work… Mr. Hatter.

    2 Peter 3:3-6; Isaiah 5:21; Proverbs 26:5; 1 Cor. 1:18

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  50. Dear Sean

    You have absolutely nailed the absurdity of comparing faith based beliefs. How can any claim self riighteous superiority? How can any claim my prophet is better than your prophet? My interpretation of a sacred text is better than yours?

    Why is theistic evolution superior to literal Genises or vice versa?

    How can Adventists justify the Investigative Judgment based upon the vision of the disgruntled Hiram Edson?

    Is all faith madness, wishful thinking or a social control mechanism by the priest class of society?

    That is why what you are attempting to do is right: empirically prove your faith. The modern educated mind will continue to seek objective proof of the origin of the universe and life on earth. You have a tough row to hoe to proof YLC but your methodology is correct.

    On the other hand I see theistic evolution as an untenable concept as well and your point to Erv is well made. Pot should not call the kettle black.

    To be objective one should not examine the origins of the universe or life based on whether there is or is not a God. One should examine by science wherever that may lead. And yes one can be.neutral in that regard, I am proof of it.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  51. Ken makes good points. However, being called a “Pot” might seem to be a little on the harsh side, but I think I see his point. [By the way, this would mean that I’m now a “Hissing Pot” on the EducateTruth(sic) site]. The problem might be the definition of “theistic evolution.” Other individuals have said my feeble suggestions as agreeing with that position. All that was ever suggested was that all Christians are creationists by definition, but the majority of Christians are, as a factual matter, not—repeat, not-—YECs or YLCs. All Adventist Christians are creationists by definition and two surveys have shown that a small majority of Adventist scientists at SDA college and university faculties are not—repeat, not—YECs or YLCs. There has never been, to my knowledge, a professional survey asking for the opinions of the average SDA member on that subject. I suspect that church authorities would not like to do that for fear of what they might find out.

    Ken says he is an agnostic. Thus I assume he is not an atheist, meaning he is not sure because there is not being enough good evidence one way or the other. This seems to me to be a very reasonable position. I have always been attracted to the position of Christian agnosticism. (Many, many years ago, at PUC [for Ken, that’s Pacific Union College, an SDA school] I gave a talk with that title, as I recall, during a week of spiritual emphasis.) But Ken might see that as an untenable concept and contradictory by definition.




    0
    View Comment
  52. I was chuckling at the phrase “Christian agnosticism” when I thought about it realized that while it is of course an oxymoron, so is “theistic evolution.”

    Just as faith is the core of Christianity, naturalism is the core of Darwinism. If you cannot have a faithless faith, then in fairness you shouldn’t be able to have a supernatural naturalism.




    0
    View Comment
  53. Re Erv`s and David`s Quotes

    `Ken says he is an agnostic. Thus I assume he is not an atheist, meaning he is not sure because there is not being enough good evidence one way or the other. This seems to me to be a very reasonable position. I have always been attracted to the position of Christian agnosticism.`

    `I was chuckling at the phrase “Christian agnosticism” when I thought about it realized that while it is of course an oxymoron, so is “theistic evolution.” `

    Dear Erv and David

    Thanks for the astute comments, enjoyed them both.

    Firstly Erv I do apologize for my blunt apothegm. By the way, I don`t hear any hissing from the `pot` if that is of comfort. And I haven`t been smoking any notwithstanding my crude prose. 🙂 My point, rudely put, was the relative perspective of both your`s and Sean`s criticism of each other.

    As someone who thinks evolution presents the best likely explanation for origin of life on earth, naturally it would seem I favour progressive adventism. But I don`t because such progression still likely excludes other faith perspectives.

    As you know. I think Dr. Pitman`s efforts are laudable. but perhaps quixotic. in light of the vast volume of evidence supporting evolution. But progressive adventism may suffer from an equal degree of hubris by trying to unwind rather rigid doctrine and bend it into new adventist DNA. At what point does such new creature become a new religious species. (excuse my poor punctuation, my computer won`t make question marks this morning).

    David, I think I understand Erv`s point about Christian agnosticism and it is a good one. Here is my take. Let`s say God is truly trying to be Mankind`s salvation and attempts to reach all mankind through a variety of means and manifestation over time. Let`s say that Christ is the latest and greatest of those manifestations. Perhaps even agnostics can appreciate the goodness of the man and what he was trying to teach! But let`s say that scientific progress indicates that a literal interpretation of the Bible is hard to swallow as reality. So what is the conflicted person left with. A longing for the grace of Christology combined with the need to inquire about the objective truth of the universe. I`d say I come close to that but I like the Dalai Lama too, as well as Stephen Hawking as Gandhi, as well as Erv, Sean, Wesley….

    Then again this variant of Christian agnosticism may simply be a wishful construct of my feeble mind.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  54. @ken: Ken,

    Anent yours of this morning (10.23.2011, 10:53A), all in the same pot with you? Laudable Agnostic-Adventist [sic sic] Taylor? Laudable Gandhi Lama? Where’s Karma Dharma? Laudably quixotic Pitman? Laudably chortling Hawking? The usual suspects, diversity unequally yoked? Even waggish Wes? Must not ignore Christ, no, make that “Christology,” must we not? Exclude “disgruntled” Hiram Edson, indubitably?

    But seriously, seriously, your computer won’t make question marks this morning? Sad; may I say tragic? Isn’t depriving an agnostic his question mark like depriving an “Occupy Cucamunga” protestor her protest sign or Erv his odds (“Scientific evidence is, oh, maybe 1.8% not inconsistent with Creation”)? A blogger his pixel? A brave new scientist his peer review? Darwin his Galapagos? And LSU biologist his gecko?

    But seriously again, How could I keep from all this? What else did you sneak into that classic agnostic pot-pourri that sings and sighs and does not hiss?

    Your friend unquestionably, questioningly, W




    0
    View Comment
  55. Between Ken and Wes, this thread on the EducateTruth(sic) site is turning into something like rational discourse. Now I’m sure that this characterization will have to be modified when [censored] posts his/her comments on this thread.




    0
    View Comment
  56. Ken, it is a wishful construct. The “objective truth about the universe” if there is such a thing, is not knowable. You have to make a faith choice about what to believe. Without faith there is nothing. No theism and certainly no Christianity.




    0
    View Comment
  57. Re Wes’s Quote

    “What else did you sneak into that classic agnostic pot-pourri that sings and sighs and does not hiss?”

    Just enough spice to get Wes to lift the lid and have a sniff. Throw some Hiram Edson into the brew and let all investigate, but not be too judgmental, about the primordial soup.

    Loved the part about the purloined question mark. Talk about punctuated intervention rather than equilibrium. (I can hear Gould and God chuckling 🙂

    Indubitably -how ironic- your playful agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  58. Re David’s Quote

    “Ken, it is a wishful construct. The “objective truth about the universe” if there is such a thing, is not knowable. You have to make a faith choice about what to believe. Without faith there is nothing. No theism and certainly no Christianity.”

    But David, is it not more knowable vis a vis science? Don’t we objectively know more about the universe now than when Genesis was first penned? Isn’t it wonderful to be witnessing the birth of planets through a telescope?

    Is not all faith, vs. empirical observation, a wishful construct? Perhaps without faith or non faith there is clarity.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  59. Pingback: A “Christian Agnostic”? | Educate Truth

  60. Nobody is seeing a planet born – via a telescope. Takes too long.

    What is worse – what they are seeing is that the cosmological constant requires that the universe itself be designed right down to 10^120 points of precision!!

    Pretty hard to get around that one! (Except in pure blind-faith imagination of course).

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  61. ken: As you know. I think Dr. Pitman`s efforts are laudable. but perhaps quixotic. in light of the vast volume of evidence supporting evolution. But progressive adventism may suffer from an equal degree of hubris by trying to unwind rather rigid doctrine and bend it into new adventist DNA. At what point does such new creature become a new religious species. (excuse my poor punctuation, my computer won`t make question marks this morning).

    Evolutionism is dead – because its primary mechanism has never been “observed” to function.

    There is no such thing as a single species level genome “acquiring” new coding genes and progressing to the “next level” in taxonomy.

    Without a functioning mechanism – blind-faith-evolutionism never gets off the dime.

    Hence their constant appetite for ‘new fraud’ going from Piltdown, to Nebraska man to Simpson’s horse series, to the more recent Neanderthal hoax – etc.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  62. BobRyan: Evolutionism is dead – because its primary mechanism has never been “observed” to function.There is no such thing as a single species level genome “acquiring” new coding genes and progressing to the “next level” in taxonomy.Without a functioning mechanism – blind-faith-evolutionism never gets off the dime.Hence their constant appetite for ‘new fraud’ going from Piltdown, to Nebraska man to Simpson’s horse series, to the more recent Neanderthal hoax – etc.in Christ,Bob

    You’re exactly right, Bob. The “mechanism” as to how Darwinian evolution occurs has never been found, seen, discovered, or even conjured up, as to it actually functioning in reality. A real dilemma for all evolutionists.




    0
    View Comment
  63. Wesley Kime: @Ervin Taylor: Thoughtful of you to drop by again, Erv, this time to inform EduTru that it is the Genesis 1 Tea Party. We’d love to chat more but we won’t hold you up — we know you have to rush over to Occupy LSU.

    Dr. Kime, I’m actually surprised that the students and faculty haven’t tried such “critical mass” tactics, such as “Occupy LSU” at La Sierra. Does anyone know if it has even been considered? Has it been tried before?




    0
    View Comment
  64. As I noted before –

    BobRyan: Evolutionism is dead – because its primary mechanism has never been “observed” to function.There is no such thing as a single species level genome “acquiring” new coding genes and progressing to the “next level” in taxonomy.Without a functioning mechanism – blind-faith-evolutionism never gets off the dime.Hence their constant appetite for ‘new fraud’ going from Piltdown, to Nebraska man to Simpson’s horse series, to the more recent Neanderthal hoax – etc.in Christ,Bob

    Holly of course is free to admit to the obvious point – because she is not tied to blind-faith evolutionism (called the worst form of infidelity in 3SG 90-91) at all costs.

    Holly Pham:
    You’re exactly right, Bob. The “mechanism” as to how Darwinian evolution occurs has never been found, seen, discovered, or even conjured up, as to it actually functioning in reality. A real dilemma for all evolutionists.

    Next we will see cases where atheist evolutionist devotees to blind-faith evolutionism in the areas of both biology and cosmology are MORE FREE to admit to the problems with evolutionism than are the disguised-infidelity religionists.

    How sad that those inside the SDA camp must be more blind to objective fact – to science – than even the atheist evolutionists outside the SDA camp!

    Oh well – turning from light they call darkness light – as the Word of God says.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment

Comments are closed.