@Professor Kent: Consider what Ellen White said in Steps to …

Comment on Elliot Sober: Just Don’t Call the Designer “God” by Shane Hilde.

@Professor Kent:

Consider what Ellen White said in Steps to Christ page 105:

God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith. His existence, His character, the truthfulness of His word, are all established by testimony that appeals to our reason; and this testimony is abundant. Yet God has never removed the possibility of doubt. Our faith must rest upon evidence, not demonstration. Those who wish to doubt will have opportunity; while those who really desire to know the truth will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their faith.

If there is no evidence for what we believe, then we have blind faith. What hope can we have in something we have no evidence for? Consider Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

We are admonished to “thoroughly acquaint [ourselves] with the evidences of our faith” (Testimonies vol. 1, pg. 413). The Bible says this, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Faith is based on something (evidence). Our faith should be based on the word of God. Remember, “[God] gives sufficient evidence on which to base faith” (PP 432).

God tells us, “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isa. 1:8). God invites us to test his promises:

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. (Mal. 3:10)

We’re told in the Bible to test all things. Paul said in 1 Thess. 5:21, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”

In Faith and Works page 25 Ellen White said:

What is faith? “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). It is an assent of the understanding to God’s words which binds the heart in willing consecration and service to God, Who gave the understanding, Who moved on the heart, Who first drew the mind to view Christ on the cross of Calvary. Faith is rendering to God the intellectual powers, abandonment of the mind and will to God, and making Christ the only door to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Notice that when we yield our heart, understanding, and mind to Christ we are not left with a blind hope. He gives us evidence in the natural world and in his written revelation the Bible. Even things we have never seen before (i.e. heaven) are based on evidence that God has given us and we can with assurance believe the things we have not seen to be true.

How can you be sure of anything if you have no evidence, directly or indirectly, for your belief? I believe God has made it quite plain that faith comes from the word of God. In God’s word he has made many promises and claims. Many of which can be tested and confirmed. We have the sure word of prophecy (2 Peter 1:19).

Here is something to think about. 1 Thess 1:5 says, “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” The gospel came in “much assurance.” Assurance means certainty about something.

Hebrews 6:1 says, “And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.” So in conclusion, how can you have assurance of anything, if you have nothing to base it on? A faith without evidence is a hopeless faith.

Blind faith is not biblical.

Shane Hilde Also Commented

Elliot Sober: Just Don’t Call the Designer “God”
@Ken: I was alluding to the evolutionary world view. Personally I believe there is evidence to the contrary.

Elliot Sober: Just Don’t Call the Designer “God”
@pauluc: Yes, one’s worldview should always be consistent. I totally agree with you there. Perhaps you need to flesh out your point some more, because initially it seems like you’re comparing apples and oranges to me. You’re comparing God’s judgment of sin with God’s supposed intentional use of a mechanism for “creation” that negates his written revelation in every way. God judging sin isn’t contrary to God’s character as described in the Bible. I can understand how initially it seems contradictory to God’s plainly stated character of love, but I think a deeper understanding of the nature of sin and Christ’s character gives me an adequate explanation. All my questions won’t be answered till by God’s grace I am able to ask him in person in heaven.

Elliot Sober: Just Don’t Call the Designer “God”
@Professor Kent: I might be ignorant on this point, but isn’t all evidence subject to falsification. I would add that just because evidence is open to testing and falsification does not mean that it is false.

For example, Christ claimed to be God. I believe this claim is subject to testing. We must weigh the evidence. I believe there is really good evidence, but of course there will always be doubters who are not convinced by the evidence I’m looking at.

Do you have an example of a religious belief that you think is true but can’t be subjected to any testing? I understand that science has its limitations in what it can test, but there are other ways to verify and falsify things. I think that is the gist of what I’m saying. I’m not trying to differentiate between the different methods of testing truth claims.

Recent Comments by Shane Hilde

LSU student: ‘Apostates or Apostles’?

Defining just how we learn and how we teach, especially in the field of science at this institution is important. ‘Different people mean different things when they use the term evolution,’ said Dr. Gary Bradley, a professor of biology and genetics at La Sierra. He explained that for most conservative Christians, the word ‘evolution’ carries the usual anti-God connotation. However, for a scientist, the word represents the process by which all kinds of alterations and modifications happen in our world. Dr. Bradley believes that the Creator God designed the world with the ability for evolution to occur, and urges everyone to learn as much as they can about our Lord’s created universe. ‘There is abundant evidence that living things change. Thus evolution is well documented and well supported in the scientific world. It is unconscionable for a science student to remain ignorant of this fundamental aspect of life.’

What kind of evolution is Dr. Bradley speaking of when he says God designed the world with the ability for evolution to occur? Different people mean different things when they use the term evolution, says Bradley, but he doesn’t define what he means. This is exactly the type of vague, slippery language that is used in order to cloak what these professors believe and how they’re teaching evolution at LSU.

Indeed, the word “evolution” does mean many things to many people, so it suspect when Bradley makes his observation and then makes a vague, undefined comment about what he believes. Remember this is the same Bradley who was quoted in INSIDE Higher ED”

‘It’s very, very clear that what I’m skeptical of is the absolute necessity of believing that the only way a creator God could do things is by speaking them into existence a few thousand years ago,’ Bradley added. ‘That’s where my skepticism lies. That’s the religious philosophical basis for what I call the lunatic fringe. They do not represent the majority position in the Church, and yes I’m skeptical of that. But I want to say to kids it’s OK for you to believe that, but it’s not OK for you to be ignorant of the scientific data that’s out there.’

There is an obvious difference between what the Seventh-day Adventist Church views evolution and Bradley. LSU just doesn’t get it. Everybody already knows what’s going on there, but they continue to pretend otherwise.

Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’
@krissmith777: Do mean like mainstream papers, written by evolutionists are exclusively peer-reviewed by evolutionists? Yes, I’m aware that there are creationists that write for mainstream journals and get published and perhaps there a small handful that peer-review too, but the percentage, I would guess, is very small. So small in fact that the point would be moot.

The journal is created by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, so I’d be surprised if it was being peer-reviewed by evolutionists

Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’
@Alexander Carpenter: Great comment Alex! I’m trying to compare our journalism to an article you posted at Spectrum May 29, 2009, in which you, Bonnie Dwyer, and Jared Wright referred to David Asscherick as a “college dropout” twice in the same article (1). What was that all about? It was pretty obvious to your readership. A pathetic attempt to mislead and attack someone who actually supports and believes in the Seventh-day Adventist message. You then made the false assumption that he didn’t support Adventist higher education. I believe he took it upon himself to personally call you and point 10+ errors that were in the article. Do you remember that call Alex? Wow, that must have been embarrassing. Yes, we regret not contacting Dr. Ness before we posted his lecture, but at least we got the facts straight.

You’re really reaching with the old article hyperbole. I was personally aware of the article last year and I believe a few other readers here were too, because I remember it being posted in the comments. It’s particularly relevant now in light of the claims coming from PUC. Raising the “we’re creationists” flag high and mighty, when in actuality the impression these evolutionists had was quite different.

We average 32,000 hits per month. And that’s from this year. Sorry, people are still showing a very strong interest in this topic. Dwindling? Not by any amount worth clicking over here to leave a fish bowl comment. Come on Alex, you’re more connected to the church than this aren’t you? Your worldview in regard to origins is, aside from being unbiblical, a minority within the world church.

What’s ironic about the situation with PUC is that you work there and you’re not exactly a creationist. I wouldn’t be surprised if inwardly you’re ashamed to hear PUC ranting and raving about what a creationist Dr. Ness is and the rest of the biology department.

Sorry, you’re way off on this one. This issue is huge in the church and it’s not going away anytime soon. Chances are the underlying issues could cause a serious split, which is actually already occurring, in our church.

1. http://www.spectrummagazine.org/blog/2009/05/29/unravaling_witch_hunt_la_sierra_under_seige

Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’
@Professor Kent: “Old news” is a bit relative in this case. Yes, this occurred two years ago, but the professors haven’t changed nor has the way they teach evolution.

Your last paragraph only proves my point. You make wild assertions about there being no evidence while ignoring the evidence being presented. For starters what do you say to the testimony of 70+ students in 2004? Or the testimony of three students in 2009? The statements from the professors themselves. The syllabi?

You baffle me Kent, you really do.

No evidence? Common on. I’d say I hope you’re joking, but you’re not. You really believe that.

Panda’s Thumb: ‘SDAs are split over evolution’
This is almost funny. The world quite easily sees how evolution is being taught in our own universities, but a small, but quite vocal group, just doesn’t get it. It seems, more often than not, that those who just don’t seem to see things for the way they are at LSU tend to be more sympathetic toward a hermeneutic that is contrary to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.