David Read says: April 7, 2010 Shane, are you sure about …

Comment on Creationist students find little support from LSU by Sean Pitman.

David Read says:
April 7, 2010 Shane, are you sure about Warren Johns and “Temple Theology”?? You say that Johns “believes the six day creation is literal, but vast amounts of time transpired on earth before ‘creation’ week.” This sounds like some version of the “gap theory,” a very common device for trying to accommodate the Genesis narrative to long-ages geology.

I have also heard Warren H. Johns explain his “temple” theory of creation. In short, he believes that living things existed and evolved on this planet, with Divine guidance of course, over hundreds of millions of years, until finally some pinnacle of progress was achieved. At this point, there was a “week of commemoration” to celebrate all the “creation” that had taken place over the previous eons of time.

Johns also believes that the time periods mentioned in the Bible are largely symbolic, artificially divided up in the cyclic patterns of years that are divisable by 7 – i.e., 490 years, 70 years, 7 years, etc.

In this way, while having a literal component of some sort, the biblical time periods and events mentioned are still largely symbolic in John’s understanding… not to be understood as they are seemingly represented by the authors or how the authors themselves understood them.

Any way you look at it though, John’s ideas are directly opposed to the clearly stated SDA position on origins and the nature of the literal creation week. Yet he, along with almost all of the other speakers for the new LSU freshman introduction to science/religion class are asked to present their ideas that are known to undermine the Church’s stated fundamental doctrinal positions. No one has presented anything in direct support of the SDA version of a literal creation week in that freshman class or in any other of the science classrooms at LSU. How can they? How can a department that consists almost exclusively of theistic evolutionists present anything else, in a compelling manner, besides mainstream evolutionary doctrine with a theistic twist at the end to make it seem more palatable? How can anyone hope to suggest that theistic evolutionists can be counted on to “bring our young people home at the end of the day”? – home to the clearly stated fundamental SDA position on origins (as Pres. Jan Paulson put it)?

Such a hope is more than wishful thinking…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Creationist students find little support from LSU
@Lorelei:

I fear that if our schools do not teach evolution at all, more and more young people will leave the church as they become disillusioned when faced with the overwhelming evidence in support of evolution.

No one is suggesting that our schools not teach about the theory of evolution. Our schools should teach the very best that the theory of evolution has to offer. However, if this is the very best that a professor in one of our universities has to offer, it isn’t enough. A professor in an SDA university must be able to go beyond to show the students why the stated SDA position on origins is more scientifically consistent with the available facts than is the modern theory of evolution.

You may think this an impossible task, but that’s where you’re mistaken. It isn’t impossible. It is very possible. There happens to be a great weight of evidence favoring intelligent design theory as well as the young-life position and a catastrophic formation of the geologic column and fossil records – consistent with the SDA interpretation of the Genesis account and the intent of the author(s) of Genesis.

For more information on such evidence see: DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Creationist students find little support from LSU
@Beth Bishop:

I wonder if Professor Grismer who called Louie Bishop either ignorant or stupid is awarethat he not only graduated from the University of California Davis with a Bachelor’s degree in Business but was awarded “Student/Athlete of the Year” his Senior year. He was a standout both academically and athletically his entire four years at Davis.He is neither stupid or ignorant.How sad to treat young people in this manner.  

You wouldn’t happen to be related to Louie would you? If so, you must be very proud of him. He has done and is doing something very special here…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Creationist students find little support from LSU

From Advestist Today Blog
On April 5th, 2010 nicsamojluk says:

Erv,

I wonder how long it took you to fish those extreme comments from the Educate Truth website. Did you find many other similar postings from readers? To they represent the views of either Shane Hilde or Sean Pitman, the main individuals behind the Educate Truth project?

The short answer to that question is no, the comments posted by Erv and others do not represent my views or the views of Shane Hilde and do not reflect the position or goals of EdTruth.

Also, as Erv very well knows, the goals of EdTruth have been very clear and simple from the very beginning – the production of increased transparency as to what is really being taught at LSU. Despite the suggestion of Erv and others that LSU is only teaching “about” the theory of evolution, Erv very well knows that this is a lie. The LSU science department is in full support of the truth of the modern mainstream evolutionary view on origins and is vigorously proselytizing for this philosophical position. This effort is in direct opposition to the stated fundamental ideals and goals of the SDA Church and is thus a robbery of the Church’s time and money by the LSU “science” professors.

Reporting on this truth of this situation has always been the goal of EdTruth and Erv knows it…

Also, Erv know that the accusation of Larry Becker that EdTruth blocks comments in support of LSU is untrue since Erv himself is a fairly regular poster to EdTruth’s blog pages and several extensive comments from Becker himself have been posted.

The only comments blocked are the ones usually moderated by automation, like those that contain swear words, are of excessive length, spam, or those which the author has specifically requested to be removed…

Sean Pitman

www.DetectingDesign.com


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

The Sabbath and the Covenants (Old vs. New)
Response to a comment of a friend of mine posted in another forum:

    “Before the way of FAITH IN CHRIST was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, UNTIL the way of faith was revealed. The law was our guardian UNTIL Christ came; it protected us UNTIL we could be made right with God through FAITH. And now that the way of FAITH has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. For you are all children of God through FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS.” Gal3:23-26

Faith is certainly what saves. This has always been true since the very beginning. Even those righteous persons who lived before Jesus was born into this world as a human being, even Moses or David for instance, were not saved by the works of the Law, but by Faith. The purpose of the Law was never to save, but to convict the sinner of a need of a Savior – since all have sinned against the “Royal Law.” It is faith in the Savior that saves. The work of the Law, carefully considered, is to lead us to know that our only hope of salvation is faith in what Jesus, our Savior, did for us and is doing for us. Yet, this faith does not nullify the Law or make the Law pointless when it comes to its job to constantly remind us of our need of a Savior – a saving Power outside of ourselves. Rather, the Power realized through this faith actually enables us to keep the Spirit of the Law as it was originally intended to be kept – through selfless love for God and for our neighbors.

Paul, in his letter to the Romans, makes this point particularly clear:

Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law. – Romans 3:31

For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but it is the doers of the law who will be declared righteous. Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the work of the law is written on their hearts… If a man who is not circumcised keeps the requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? – Romans 2:13-15, 26

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! – Romans 6:15

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” … So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good… For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. – Romans 7:7, 11, 22-25

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit… The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. – Romans 8:3-4, 7

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. – Romans 13:8-10


Christians and the Sabbath
Response to a comment of a friend of mine posted in another forum:

    “Before the way of FAITH IN CHRIST was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, UNTIL the way of faith was revealed. The law was our guardian UNTIL Christ came; it protected us UNTIL we could be made right with God through FAITH. And now that the way of FAITH has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. For you are all children of God through FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS.” Gal3:23-26

Faith is certainly what saves. This has always been true since the very beginning. Even those righteous persons who lived before Jesus was born into this world as a human being, even Moses or David for instance, were not saved by the works of the Law, but by Faith. The purpose of the Law was never to save, but to convict the sinner of a need of a Savior – since all have sinned against the “Royal Law.” It is faith in the Savior that saves. The work of the Law, carefully considered, is to lead us to know that our only hope of salvation is faith in what Jesus, our Savior, did for us and is doing for us. Yet, this faith does not nullify the Law or make the Law pointless when it comes to its job to constantly remind us of our need of a Savior – a saving Power outside of ourselves. Rather, the Power realized through this faith actually enables us to keep the Spirit of the Law as it was originally intended to be kept – through selfless love for God and for our neighbors.

Paul, in his letter to the Romans, makes this point particularly clear:

Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law. – Romans 3:31

For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but it is the doers of the law who will be declared righteous. Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the work of the law is written on their hearts… If a man who is not circumcised keeps the requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? – Romans 2:13-15, 26

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! – Romans 6:15

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” … So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good… For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. – Romans 7:7, 11, 22-25

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit… The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. – Romans 8:3-4, 7

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. – Romans 13:8-10


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
Again, most people, including most non-Christians, consider late-term abortions (abortions within the third trimester of otherwise healthy viable babies) to be murder. There is relatively little argument about this. One doesn’t have to know the “precise point” to know that, after a certain point, abortion is clearly murder. The argument that a baby isn’t alive or really human until the moment that it is born is nonsense in my opinion.

Of course, before the third trimester, things start to get a bit more grey and unclear. Some define the beginnings of human life with the full activity of the brain’s cortex. Others define it with the earliest activity of the brain stem. Others define it as the beginnings of fetal movement or the fetal heartbeat. I might have my own opinions here, but the question I ask myself is at what point would I be willing to convict someone else of murder? – and be willing to put them in prison for it? For me, I wouldn’t be willing to do this until things are overwhelmingly clear that the baby is functioning as a full human being and is viable (which would include full brain activity).

As far as rape or incest is concerned, the resulting pregnancy should be terminated as soon as possible within the first trimester. Waiting for the third trimester is simply not an option because, at this point, it would still be murder to kill a fully-formed baby regardless of its origin…


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
I agree with you up until your last sentence. It seems very very clear to me that a baby becomes human before it takes its first breath. A baby born at 40 weeks gestation is not somehow inherently “more human” than a baby that is still inside its mother at 39 weeks gestation. At 39 weeks, such a baby is indistinguishable from a baby that has already been born. The location inside or outside of the mother makes absolutely no difference at this point in time and development.

I think, therefore, that we as Christians should avoid both obvious extremes here in this discussion. There are two very clear ditches on both sides of the road here. We should avoid claiming that a baby is not really human until it is actually born at full term, and, at the same time, we should also avoid claiming that full humanity and moral worth is instantly realized at the moment of conception…


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
Most would agree with you that the baby John the Baptist, before he was born, was, at some point, a real human being who could “leap for joy” (Luke 1:44). Even most non-Christians would agree that a third-trimester abortion is murder. However, this isn’t the real problem here. We are talking about if a single cell or a simple ball of cells is fully “human” and if ending a pregnancy at such an early stage of development is truly a “murder” of a real human being. After all, when conception first takes place a single cell cannot “leap for joy” – or for any other reason. It’s just a single fertilized cell that cannot think or feel or move and has no brain or mind or intelligence of any kind. The same is true of an embryo that consists of no more than an unformed ball of cells for quite some time. Upon what basis, then, is it “murder” to end a pregnancy at this early point in embryological development?