Lydian, there’s no question where Ellen White stood on this …

Comment on Creationist students find little support from LSU by David Read.

Lydian, there’s no question where Ellen White stood on this issue, and how strongly she felt about it. And to me, that is a large part of what is so troubling about the idea of a “Seventh-day Darwinian”: In order to get there, you have to have rejected the straightforward way of reading the Bible that Adventists have always accepted and you have to have rejected the prophetic authority of Ellen White. Seriously, what kind of Adventist is that?

David Read Also Commented

Creationist students find little support from LSU
Lydian, I sympathize with your frustration at the leadership. There are a couple of factors which I think go a long way toward explaining their seeming fecklessness on this issue.

First, church employees, including the paid clergy, are far more likely to hold unorthodox views than the average member in the pew, and hence to be in sympathy with LaSierra, or at least in sympathy with the need for a “diversity” of viewpoints on origins. I don’t think this is a big factor in the LaSierra situation, but it is a factor.

Second, the leadership at the higher levels–conference and union officers–are all fairly adept politicians who are practiced at keeping the peace and keeping everything running quietly. They are more likely to see their role as putting out fires, tamping down controversy, rather than taking a strong stand on issues. We see in this in the women’s ordination issue, with the leadership just trying to keep the peace, rather than trying to reach a doctrinal consensus.

In order to take on the situation at LaSierra, the leadership would have to be willing to alienate most of the faculty and the administration, as well as a significant liberal faction in the Southern and Southeastern California conferences. It goes without saying that alienating any sizable constituency goes against every fiber of a politician’s being. They’re naturally going to view the group calling attention to the problem with more suspicion than they do the LaSierra faculty. The LaSierra faculty is not asking them to do anything, not making their lives more complicated. We are.

Moreover, LaSierra and its apologists constantly muddy the waters by claiming that they are just teaching “about” evolution, rather than evolution as truth. Since no one has a problem with teaching about evolution, this argument causes some real and justified hesitation. First, the leadership has to be convinced that LaSierra really is teaching evolution as truth, and not just “about” evolution, and then they have to summon the intestinal fortitude to take on the institutionally entrenched Darwinists. I’m not making excuses for the leadership, I’m just pointing out that we are asking for extraordinary leadership with a strong backbone, a strong will, and no fear of a fight. This kind of leadership is rare.

Creationist students find little support from LSU
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.

By contrast, “Temple Theology” is something promoted by Margaret Barker, that, frankly, sounds quite unorthodox. It would surprise me if an Adventist theologian became a disciple of Margaret Barker. But please understand, I’m not saying you’re wrong, and I have no information one way or another, I’m just suggesting that you double check.

Recent Comments by David Read

The Reptile King
Poor Larry Geraty! He can’t understand why anyone would think him sympathetic to theistic evolution. Well, for starters, he wrote this for Spectrum last year:

“Christ tells us they will know us by our love, not by our commitment to a seven literal historical, consecutive, contiguous 24-hour day week of creation 6,000 years ago which is NOT in Genesis no matter how much the fundamentalist wing of the church would like to see it there.”

“Fundamental Belief No. 6 uses Biblical language to which we can all agree; once you start interpreting it according to anyone’s preference you begin to cut out members who have a different interpretation. I wholeheartedly affirm Scripture, but NOT the extra-Biblical interpretation of the Michigan Conference.”

So the traditional Adventist interpretation of Genesis is an “extra-Biblical interpretation” put forward by “the fundamentalist wing” of the SDA Church? What are people supposed to think about Larry Geraty’s views?

It is no mystery how LaSierra got in the condition it is in.

The Reptile King
Professor Kent says:

“I don’t do ‘orgins science.’ Not a single publication on the topic. I study contemporary biology. Plenty of publications.”

So, if you did science that related to origins, you would do it pursuant to the biblical paradigm, that is pursuant to the assumption that Genesis 1-11 is true history, correct?

The Reptile King
Well, Jeff, would it work better for you if we just closed the biology and religion departments? I’m open to that as a possible solution.

The Reptile King
Larry Geraty really did a job on LaSierra. Personally I think it is way gone, compromised beyond hope. The SDA Church should just cut its ties to LaSierra, and cut its losses.

As to the discussion on this thread, round up the usual suspects and their usual arguments.

La Sierra University Resignation Saga: Stranger-than-Fiction
It is a remarkably fair and unbiased article, and a pretty fair summary of what was said in the recorded conversation.