@Ricky Kim: Also, there are further speculations as to the …

Comment on Jay Gallimore comments on evolution conflict by Sean Pitman.

@Ricky Kim:

Also, there are further speculations as to the validity towards the parting of the “Red Sea” versus the parting of the “Reed Sea”, in which case the parting of the waters is a natural phenomenon and the only miraculous thing about the event would have been the timing of the crossing.

Don’t forget about the drowning of the entire Egyptian army in the shallow waters of the Reed Sea 😉

Your statement regarding Nebuchadnezzar also runs into trouble for there were more than one Nebuchadnezzar present within the lineage of kings in Babylon. Unless you were referring to a specific one for your example.

As far as I’m aware, there were only two “Nebuchadnezzars” in the line of the Babylonian kings. Nebuchadnezzar I was king of the Babylonian Empire from about 1125 to 1103 BCE. He is not to be confused with the more well-known Nebuchadnezzar II of biblical fame who reigned from 605 to 562 BCE. It is kind of hard to confuse these two kings.

Beyond this, it was completely forgotten for most of modern history that Nebuchadnezzar II is the one who actually built the famed city of Babylon and the famous hanging gardens during the time of Daniel (6th century BCE). For example, according to early Greek historians and those living during the Hellenistic era (beginning after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE), King Nebuchadnezzar was thought to have played a rather insignificant role in the affairs of ancient history. In fact, many scholars didn’t even believe that he was a real historical personage much less a prominent King of Babylon. He is never referred to early Greek literature as a great builder or as the creator of a new and greater Babylon. In fact, this honor is generally ascribed to Assyrian Queen Semiramis who was given a rather prominent place in the history of Babylonia by classical Greek historians.

The problem is that relatively recent discoveries of cuneiform records from the 6th century B.C., (unearthed by archeologists during the 1800s) have entirely changed the picture derived from classical writers. At the same time these early records have corroborated the account of the book of Daniel – which credits Nebuchadnezzar with the rebuilding of Babylon at the height of Babylonian power (Daniel 4:30).

But, what about Queen Semiramis? As it turns out, Queen Semiramis (SammuDramat in cuneiform inscriptions) was a queen mother in Assyria – regent for her infant son Adad-nirari III. Contrary to the claims of the classical sources, she was not a queen over Babylonia at all. The cuneiform inscriptions have shown that she had nothing to do with any building activity in Babylon.

The Greek historians were also silent in regards to the “Belshazzar” mentioned in the Bible. Yet, the cuneiform tablets note that Belshazzar (grandson of Nebuchadnezzar II) was the eldest son of King Nabonidus (son of Nebuchadnezzar II) who reigned with his son and entrusted the rule of Babylon to him while he was in Arabia (on a spiritual journey). Historical documents continued to reference his name only, but his son was the crown prince, heir and ruler while his father was absent

Obviously then, no one could have known and detailed the information written in the book of Daniel except for someone living during or immediately after the Neo-Babylonian age. Anyone living too many years later would simple not have had access to this forgotten information which had been completely lost by the time of the Hellenistic era. In fact, the presence of such information in the book of Daniel seems to puzzle at least a few critical scholars who do not believe that Daniel was written in the 6th century (BCE), but rather in the 2nd.

A typical example of their dilemma is found in the following statement from R. H. Pfeiffer, of Harvard University:

“We shall presumably never know how our author [Daniel] learned that the new Babylon was the creation of Nebuchadnezzar . . ., as the excavations have proved” (Introduction to the Old Testament [New York, 1941], pp. 758, 759).

It seems to me that many of your facts are either clearly mistaken or pulled out of thin air. You also pick and choose the data that you wish to present and present it as if there is no debate or any other reasonable alternative position debated among mainstream scientists or historians. You can be skeptical all you want, but at least be honest about what the currently available data can and cannot clearly support…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Jay Gallimore comments on evolution conflict
@Ricky Kim:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

As others have already noted, Epicurus, though perhaps quite brilliant in many other ways, evidently didn’t understand the concept and risks (to God) of providing us humans with real moral freedom… which includes a real freedom to rebel against God’s will…

Hence the source of evil – human freedom in rebellion against a good God who never desired us to rebel in the first place, but gave us the freedom to do so…

Yet, you argue that God’s foreknowledge should have given him the heads up – that he is responsible for the choices we made because of his own foreknowledge. You write:

In this paradigm, [G]od is completely and totally responsible for everything that happens in this universe.

Consider the limitations of this argument. If God changed everything that would happen, in the beginning, so that it would match His will instead of how He knew things would naturally develop if He did in fact create creatures with access to true moral freedom, that would be a form of removing true freedom. If God didn’t create you, for example, because of his foreknowledge that you wouldn’t always be perfect, and would rebel, on occasion, from what you knew was right (as we all have done), that would have been a form of altering true freedom.

Since only God knows if he is actually playing the game fairly, our true freedom is really only known, for sure, by God. It really only matters to Him, ultimately, if we are really free or not. The best we can know is that God has told us we are in fact free to make moral decisions and that he will not interfere with those decisions with the use of his powers of foreknowledge or by any other power of force to change our actions, outside of our own will, to match his own will.

That’s a big risk for God because it means that he is actually setting himself up for the potential for his creatures, you and I, to rebel against his goodness and his ideal for us and our lives…

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Jay Gallimore comments on evolution conflict
@Professor Kent:

To those you are conversing with, understanding and practicing “truth” seems to transcend everything else (in my opinion). Unfortunately, many contributors to this website have a knack for strongly expressing their views and pejoratively labelling those who disagree with them.

This may be true of a number of contributors (you are no stranger yourself to strongly expressing your views against those who don’t agree with you). However, not all in this forum, certainly not the staff of EducateTruth, wish to entertain or express pejorative statements against anyone who is sincerely searching for the Truth… regardless of his or her current position along the path. This particular sentiment of yours is strongly supported by EducateTruth.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Jay Gallimore comments on evolution conflict
@Ricky Kim:

I guess where we ultimately differ gentlemen is that we don’t see eye to eye in matters pertaining to scripture because I don’t necessarily see it to be inspired.

Indeed. And, your arguments might carry more weight if you got most of your facts right. So far, most of your arguments and claims have been quite easily falsified. That doesn’t cause you the briefest pause when coming to your conclusions? – that most of what you thought was true really isn’t true after all?

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?