Comment on Elliot Sober: Just Don’t Call the Designer “God” by BobRyan.
In light of this Adventist Scientistâ€™s comments, is it not open to interpret FR# 6 as including the possibility of an old earth and creation occurring over 6 non literal days? For example the 2300 prophetic days are not interpreted literally
It may “seem” to a non-Christian that the Bible is so “bendable” that you can take any text you like (take Daniel 8 as in your example) then claim that “days are not really days” if it suits your bias or preference. In that model there is no real objective model of exegeting the text – just the “need” of a certain outside bias or preference that might “want” to take the text literaly in one case or figurately in another.
It makes perfect sense looking from the outside in – to suppose such a flexible text. But it is a bit like a musician looking at a calculus formula and supposing that a summation or integration operator is simply randomly inserted into the equation as may suite the one who writes out that formula. The historical grammatical method is the one we use to apply the rules of exegesis.
BobRyan Also Commented
Elliot Sober: Just Don’t Call the Designer “God”
Ken — I agree completely with you on the fact that different people can come to different conclusions on subject A or B. I also agree that within my own denomination people are all over the spectrum when it comes to actually knowing the Bible or having ever remotely tried to use solid principles of exegesis to render any text accuratly much less Genesis or Daniel 7.
I have seen questions on some of the other SDA”ish” boards that indicate that some of the people in my own denomination really don’t get out much in terms of being able to modestly much less accurately defend a given Bible position or doctrine with someone who genuinely knows their Bible and is of a different POV. (This is not true of all SDAs by any means – but sad to say I am finding that it is true of more than I would have hoped.)
So your point is well taken – there exists people even in my own denomination that are essentially clueless when it comes to having had any practice at all objectively exegeting the text of scripture using the historical grammatical method and showing that any given doctrine is validated “sola scriptura”.
However that level of “lack” on the part of some – in no way is a condemnation on the method itself. The fact that many people choose not to drink pure water is not an argument against the benefits of pure water.
I simply described an inescapable fact, that Adventists have historically had divergent views on fundamental beliefs, and any one side could have employed a creed to vote out individuals on the other side. One can read an extensive review of the development of SDA theology at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh-day_Adventist_theology. This website also offers some very interesting data on how divergent our views are currently (from a 2002 survey). I am saddened that there are SDAs today who would like to vote out members of the Church whose views disagree with their own.
Far be it from me to claim that all SDA members in all of time have always or ever had “but one thought” when it comes to doctrinal beliefs.
The point I was addressing is the more granular topic of cases where voted doctrine is disputed by Church leaders, teachers and then the suggestion that they are then supposed to be promoted and paid by the denomination for doing so.
Also – our Church Manual claims that the number 1 reason for Church discipline is apostasy from our voted statement of beliefs.
This in now way suggests that all Adventists always think alike on all doctrine – but it does show that “a limit” has always existed in tersm of calling for church discipline.
Even the 1950’s document “Question on Doctrine” pg 44-45 admits to this point.
Elliot Sober: Just Don’t Call the Designer “God”
The mythology and fiction that some of our evolutionist friends have been storytelling is that voted – Adventist Doctrine has changed or was in error such that Ellen White and others would be condemned in some way by holding to a prior voted statement of beliefs today.
All such fiction is merely storytelling. When you look at the actual voted and formally stated positions of the church from the 1800’s to this very day – they always build on each other. They never deconstruct tear down contradict.
Is that inconvenient detail there simply because the Adventist church just so happens to be infallable? I don’t think so – I prefer to think that God has had a hand in the history of this denomination.
Others may differ with me on that point.
But what is very clear – is that Ellen White herself never held doctrinal views that were in direct opposition to the voted beliefs of the church — no not at any time since the forming of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
This is an inconvenient details that some of the storytellers would have the reader sidestep.
Recent Comments by BobRyan
By definition, I don’t believe in miracles or apocryphal, anthropomorphic stories about same.Why aren’t scientists observing them today if they occur?
Circular argument. If they were naturally occurring we would expect scientists to see that they are still occurring today. If they are singular events caused by an intelligent being – that being would be under no obligation to “keep causing world wide floods” as if “to do it once you must continually do it”. Armstrong went to the moon.. shall we argue that unless he keeps going to the moon so each new generation can see it … then it did not happen?
Your argument is of the form “all eye witness evidence to some event in the past is no evidence at all unless that event keeps repeating itself so we too can witness it”. Seems less than compelling.
“Could it be that science is better able to detect hoaxes and false claims?” As a rule for dismissing every eye witness account in the past – it is less than compelling. (even when that event cannot be repeated)
Evolutionists “claim” that dust, rocks and gas (in sufficient quantity and over sufficient time and a lot of luck) self organized into rabbits via prokaryote-then-eukaryote-then-more-complexity. But such self-organization cannot be “observed” today.
(What is worse – such a sequence cannot even be intelligently manipulated to occur in the lab)
By your own argument then you should not believe in evolution.
Suppose you were at a crime scene … there is a tree limb on the ground and a bullet hole in the victim — “all natural causes”? or is one ‘not natural’? Those who say that nothing can be detected as “not naturally occurring in nature” – because all results, all observations make it appear that every result “naturally occurred without intelligent design” seem to be missing a very big part of “the obvious”.
What just God would allow an innocent child to be born guilty for the sins of a distant ancestor? …What if there was only One Commandment? Do Good. ‘Kant’ see a problem with that.
An atheist point of view is not often found here – but this is interesting.
1. God does not punish babies for what someone else did – but I suppose that is a reductionist option that is not so uncommon among atheists. The “details” of the subject you are commenting on – yet according to you “not reading” – is that humans are born with sinful natures. A “bent” toward evil. That is the first gap right out of the gate between atheism and God’s Word..
2. But still God supernaturally enables “free will” even in that bent scenario, the one that mankind lives in – ever since the free-will choice of the first humans on planet earth – was to cast their lot in with Satan and rebellion..(apparently they wanted to see what a wonderful result that poor choice would create). John 16 “the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and righteousness and judgment”. And of course “I will draw ALL mankind unto Me” John 12:32. (not “just Christians”). Thus supernatural agency promotes free will in a world that would otherwise be unrestrained in its bent to evil.
3.God says “The wages of sin is death” — so then your “complaint” is essentially “that you exist”. A just and loving God created planet Earth – no death or disease or suffering – a perfect paradise where mankind could live forever … and only one tiny restriction… yet Adam and Eve allowed themselves to be duped by Satan… tossing it all away. The “Just God” scenario could easily just have let them suffer the death sentence they chose. He did not do that… hence “you exist” – to then “complain about it”.
4. Of course you might also complain that Satan exists – and Satan might complain that “you exist”. There is no shortage on planet earth of avenues for complaint. But God steps in – offers salvation to mankind at infinite cost to himself – – and the “Few” of Matthew 7 eventually end up accepting that offer of eternal life. The rest seem to prefer the lake of fire option… sort of like Adam and Eve choosing disease and death over eternal life (without fully appreciating the massive fail in that short-sighted choice).
In any case – this thread is about the logic/reason that should be taken into account when a Christian owned and operated institution chooses to stay faithful to its Christian mission — rather then getting blown about by every wind of doctrine. Why let the alchemy of “wild guessing” be the ‘source of truth’ when we have the Bible?? We really have no excuse for that. As for science – we can be thankful that it has come as far along as it has – but no matter how far back you rewind the clock of our science history – we should always have chosen the Bible over wild guessing.
Perhaps Dr. Pitman would enlighten his readers what on earth “the neo-Darwinian story of origins” might be. Darwin did not address origins.
Origins of what?? the first eukaryote??
Or “origins of mankind”??
Darwin himself claimed that his own false doctrine on origins was totally incompatible with Genesis and that because of this – Genesis must be tossed under a bus.
hint: Genesis is an account of “Origins” as we all know — even though “bacteria” and “amoeba” are terms that don’t show up in the text.
The point remains – Darwin was promoting his own religion on origins totally counter to the Bible doctrine on origins. He himself addresses this point of the two views.
Here we go again.If the footprints upon close examination, are determined not to be from a hominim/hominid, I wonder if Educate Truth (sic) will announce that determination.Or if the date of the surface is determined to be much younger, will there be a notice placed on fundamentalist web-sites.If you believe the answer to these questions are yes, I have a big bridge that I would like to sell you for pennies on the dollar.
Here we go again … hope piled upon hope…no matter the “observations in nature” that disconfirm the classic evolutionary hypothesis
Reminds me of “What we still don’t know” by Martin Reese and Leonard Suskind