LSU Professor Doubts Christ’s Divinity

deceptionLa Sierra’s website says: You “[w]ill study with professors who will help you navigate issues of faith and science, in and out of the classroom, so that your faith in God is strengthened.”

Do Seventh-day Adventist parents want LSU biology professors who believe and teach evolution as the best explanation and doubt the divinity of Christ, helping their children navigate issues of faith and science?

This, the first of three public debates clashing the ideas of the Trinity vs. Biblical Unitarianism (not to be confused with Universalist Unitarianism), also called strict monotheism, was held in Riverside, California on Friday, December 30, 2005. This debate is a discussion between conservative Trinitarian and Unitarian Christians who both share a high respect for the grammatico-historical method of hermeneutics (exegesis and interpretation). Biblical Unitarian disputants in the debate are Lee Greer, director of The Jesus Institute Forum(http://www.jesusinstituteforum.org), Danny Andre Dixon, member of HungerTruth Christian Educational Ministries and moderator of the Disciples for One God discussion forum (http://4OneGod.net), and Dan Mages, director or Hunger Truth (http://HungerTruth.com). At the Trinitarian table are the three founding members of the Evangelical Debate Society (http://www.evdebate.com/), coached by Dr. Robert Morey of Faith Defenders Christian Ministry (www.faithdefenders.com). Disputants on the Trinitarian side are Gabriel Coleangelo (Pastor of DC Christian Fellowship, Moreno Valley, CA), Mike Sarkisian (Pastor of DC Christian Fellowship, Moreno Valley), and Edward Enochs, Reformed Presuppositional apologist in the tradition of Cornelius Van Til and prolific blogger for the society. This scholarly debate was lively and contains a lot of technical information relevant to the Trinity vs. Unitarian – Trinitarian vs. Unitarian discussion. Some irregularities in debate protocol are present when the Trinitarian side brings up new arguments in the last speech of the debate, but overall there is a lot of information in the discussion that will educate those uninformed about the major issues of the Trinity vs. Unity debate. The 2 hour 51 minute discussion was videotaped by Michael Hawkins and M.G. Dockery in the auditorium of the historic First Congregational Church 3504 Mission Avenue, Riverside, California (Rev. Jane Quandt, Senior Minister). Paul Millunzi did a masterful final edit for the Google video upload.

Lee Greer is currently a professor in the biology department at La Sierra University. In this video he defends the Unitarian position.

Unitarians believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the New Testament and other early Christian writings. Adhering to strict monotheism, they maintain that Jesus was a great man and a prophet of God, perhaps even a supernatural being, but not God himself. Unitarians believe in the moral authority, but not necessarily the divinity, of Jesus. Their theology is thus distinguishable from the theology of Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, mainline Protestant, Pentecostal and other Christian denominations which hold the Trinity doctrine as a core belief (Wikipedia).

Greer begins his main rebuttal at 00:59.

Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterDigg thisShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this to someone

15 thoughts on “LSU Professor Doubts Christ’s Divinity

  1. This is the type of Adventist professors we’re hiring at LSU:

    1. Rejects the historicity of Genesis 1-11
    2. Rejects the divinity of Christ
    3. Rejects the Spirit of Prophecy expressed in Ellen White

    He’s not even Christian much less Adventist.




    0
    View Comment
  2. Greer butchered both context and content for John 1, John 8 and then John 17 in his less than compelling response to the points raised there. One might choose to be lax with him for doing such a sloppy job with context and content given the stand-up fast-paced nature of the debate – but then when you recall that the entire POV he is arguing for is every bit as corrupt as his treatmet of John 8 and John 17, a pattern begins to emerge.

    The bigger problem here is that unsuspecting SDA parents and students who did NOT watch this video before spending time and money to have students trained by Greer – are subjecting students to Greer’s compromised POV when it comes to facts and truth.

    But Greer could not have done this on his own. Someone had to hire him and someone had to choose to retain him “at all costs”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  3. I tried speaking with Greer through email, but his wife refused to let me communicate with him. She did all the writing.

    Greer, I hear, is a really nice guy. But nice doesn’t cut it when you’re teaching theories contrary to your employer.




    0
    View Comment
  4. Far be it from me to claim that any of these people might not be “nice” in person. My argument is not that they are not nice – but that they are butchering the text to pursue a distinctively non-Adventist agenda at all costs.

    It is possible that they may all be sincere in their errors. But we need to give them some alone-time to figure their way out of that paper bag before standing them up in front of SDA students as if they will not just go ahead and lead our young adults down the same slippery slope they have chosen for themselves.

    In Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  5. This “nice” label reminds me of a book I purchased not long ago. The author is Timothy Smith and the book is entitled “The Danger of Raising NICE KIDS.” The Subtitle is “Preparing Our Children to Change Their World”

    “Nice” people can open the door for others to go through, help a disabled person to make it safely across the street, use good table manners, etc–and Mr. Greer may be all of this–but we need and want MORE than this from our leaders and institutions. We need honest, God-fearing men and women in charge of our most precious possessions–our children. And a person is not honest if he (or she) takes a paycheck from an employer while underminding the employer’s foundational principles.

    “The greatest want of the world is the want of men–men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” EGW, Education, pg. 57 (And this applies to women also!!!)

    Somehow I don’t see these characteristics in Mr. Greer or any of the other faculty members who are teaching “doctrines” that are destroying the faith of the young people entrusted to their care. Anyone who will take a paycheck from his employer while undermining the very foundation upon which his employer stands is certainly not the person who should be teaching our youth! They are welcome to their views but that does NOT give them license to undermine the very foundation of our church and indoctrinate young minds in error!

    Further, I also don’t see those characteristics in some of the “higher-ups” who have allowed this despicable situation to continue for so many years. I don’t care how “spiritual” they may appear or how many “wonderful sermons” they may preach or how high they are in the chain of command–they are also betraying their God and they, as well as the teachers they are defending, should be dealt with speedily and firmly.

    I, personally, am very grateful for the courage displayed by those who have spoken out and made these web sites available to the church at large. ‘Till I ran across these I was totally unaware that this was happening in our schools and other institutions (apparently LSU isn’t the only one–just the worst one). And I’m reasonably sure that a great number of our people are in the same situation. It isn’t preached from the pulpit and many, many of our people do not have access to a computer. (Many through choice, I might add–which absolutely amazes me.)

    It is past time for this to be cleaned up from top to bottom and I hope and pray that strong action will be taken this summer. May God give us the kind of men and women that will pick up the torch of truth an courageously “clean house!”

    Remember:

    The Lambs Follow the Sheep

    ‘Twas a sheep, not a lamb, that went astray
    In a parable Jesus told–
    A grown-up sheep that had gone astray
    From the ninety and nine in the fold.

    The Lambs will follow the sheep. you know,
    Wherever the sheep will stray,
    If the sheep go wrong, it will not be long
    ‘Till the Lambs are as wrong as they.

    And so with the sheep we earnestly plead.
    For the sake of the lambs today–
    If the lambs are lost, what a terrible cost
    Some sheep will have to pay!

    Author Unknown

    And God will hold those “sheep” accountable in the very near future–and the rest of us accountable if we fail to do something about the situation!




    0
    View Comment
  6. Apparently the debate above is not the only recorded evidence of Greer promoting the Unitarian position. In a documentary called “The Human Jesus” directed by Mark Dockery, he says:

    Source: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8436256589572340879&hl=en#

    To deny that he was a human being is to deny the historical evidences. The burden of proof should be on those who say he isn’t a human being. He was more than something else other than a human being to demonstrate that. Was he a great religious teacher? Did he claim to be messiah? Was he recognized as messiah? Within Jewish context those are very specific categories. Those are not the same as claiming to be God or being recognized as God or anything like that. so if one is interested in getting at the real Jesus there is every advantage to investigating the evidence that shows him very much in his biblical context not in his jewish context. Not as claiming anything like co-eternal, co-existence, with the Father, eternal pre-existence, all power, all those things. These are things which were bestowed on him. Various parts of these things. like it says all power is given to me in heaven and earth. He is given certain privileges but all of those powers privileges, and authorities are delegated. Even in the gospel of John they are all delegated by God to him. So I think that an advantage of taking Jesus in the strict exegetical sense from scripture is that you’re likely to get something very much closer to the actual Jesus rather then centuries of tradition about him. (19:48)

    Greer continues at 45:52.

    At 56:22 Greer responds to Isaiah 9:6 by saying, “In the context it seems obvious to a number of scholars that this is a reference to Hezekiah. And later on of course this was taken and adopted in a very homiletical sort of way by Matthew and applied to Jesus.”

    If you want to dig for the truth of a thing and risk being at odds, risk being a free thinker. You know that has its advantages; it also has its social burdens at times. People don’t like being dissented from particularly in matters where they should be the most tentative because we can’t see these things, they’re often the most dogmatic. (1:33:10)

    Here’s another one:

    If one wants to think of Jesus as a divinely empowered hero, divinely empowered messiah, an anointed son, etc. all these things that have deep roots in the Christian tradition, then one is standing on very solid ground. If one wants to see Jesus as claiming that he is God, then one is on the short end of the stick evidence wise. (1:49:28)

    For those within the Seventh-day Adventist Church who have forgotten what we believe, or Christianity for that matter, in regard to Christ, here is fundamental belief #4:

    God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God’s power and was attested as God’s promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things.

    Here are the facts about Greer, a biology professor at La Sierra University:

    1. Does not believe in the divinity of Christ.
    2. Believes all life shares a common ancestry.
    3. Teaches at LSU that Genesis 1 & 2 are allegorical.

    Does this have any bearing on how he presents the evidence? You better believe it! I am very troubled that a non-Christian, claiming to be a Seventh-day Adventist, is promoting evolution as truth at a Seventh-day Adventist university. It’s one thing to be a non-Christian, but it’s entirely different to be a non-Christian yet claim to be Seventh-day Adventist. Can we really afford to pay church representatives like this?

    How can we expect professors who believe and promote such blatantly contrary beliefs at our schools to “help you navigate issues of faith and science, in and out of the classroom, so that your faith in God is strengthened” as LSU claims its professors will/can do?

    How many students are we willing to feed through these classes before action is taken? Apparently 100’s if not thousands!!




    0
    View Comment
  7. I personally know of one young lady at one of our colleges who was told by a professor that she did not have to believe in the divinity of Christ to be a Christian. Yes, it is that bad. And there’s more.




    0
    View Comment
  8. This is it? From these remarks, you reach the damning conclusion that Lee Greer denies Christ’s divinity, and therefore you wish to “expose” him and subject him to public humiliation?

    Read this statement more closely:

    If one wants to think of Jesus as a divinely empowered hero, divinely empowered messiah, an anointed son, etc. all these things that have deep roots in the Christian tradition, then one is standing on very solid ground. If one wants to see Jesus as claiming that he is God, then one is on the short end of the stick evidence wise. (1:49:28)

    Hello?!!! Do you remember those 12 disciples who could not fathom that Jesus was the son of God, much less God incarnate? Jesus told them repeatedly He was the son of God. They saw abundant evidence–much more so than we have access to–but still could not understand his claims. You could very easily take passages out of the Bible itself and make the claim that some of God’s very elect did not believe in Jesus’ divinity.

    If you are going to lambast Greer, I want to see a direct quote in which he says, “I do not believe Jesus was divine.” Until then, I think you are digging, digging, digging for one purpose and one purpose only: to smear him.




    0
    View Comment
  9. Remember, Satan could appear as a human and cause miracles. Would that mean he is divine? Exactly what “evidence” would it take to prove that a human being–which Jesus irrefutably was–is truely “divine?”

    Wait a minute–did Professor Kent just say that he believes Satan is divine?




    0
    View Comment
  10. This is it? From these remarks, you reach the damning conclusion that Lee Greer denies Christ’s divinity, and therefore you wish to “expose” him and subject him to public humiliation?

    Professor Kent,

    If after watching the documentary and the debate, you still come away with “This is it?” then there really is no sense in trying to discuss much of anything with you. People who believe Jesus was God don’t go on documentaries and argue to the contrary. Look at what he says here:

    So if one is interested in getting at the real Jesus there is every advantage to investigating the evidence that shows him very much in his biblical context not in his Jewish context. Not as claiming anything like co-eternal, co-existence, with the Father, eternal pre-existence, all power, all those things. These are things which were bestowed on him.

    In other words the real Jesus is not co-eternal, co-existence, with the Father, eternal pre-existant, and all powerful. In the documentary and debate he does not promote Jesus as God, but as merely human who did not have any power etc at all, but was just given some by the Father.

    You really don’t think Greer thinks Jesus was not God?




    0
    View Comment
  11. I don’t claim to know what Greer thinks or believes, and it would be preposterous for me to do so based on what little we have heard from him. I don’t really understand what his argument is here, or whether he is taking a position he actually believes in. I simply don’t think his remarks are clear enough to interpret his beliefs with any certainty. His argument here is obviously muddled and difficult to follow. If he is saying that eternal pre-existence “was bestowed on him,” there is an obvious dissonance here that only he can clarify. But who am I to stop you from knowing and declaring with certainty what the man knows and believes in his heart?




    0
    View Comment
  12. The “clues” in the video are abundant. The first speaker states that they are presenting the views based on what each side “believes”.

    He complains that those opposing him on the other side “hold the positions that you do”.

    Clearly the participants THEMSELVES believe that each side is presenting their own firmly held beliefs.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  13. Again, I don’t know his views, and maybe they have changed. I’ve changed some of my views over time. I used to dislike spiders. They creeped me out. But now I think they are quite tasty with a squirt of lime and a little salt and pepper. Okay, I’m joking about the palate. But I now a pet tarantula that I admire.




    0
    View Comment
  14. At 35:30 in the video the unitarian in the center chair brings up the fact that they were identified at a ‘cult’ by the first speaker on the Trinitarian side. The Unitarian states “granted that WE ARE unitarian but you use the word CULT” – and asked the Trinitarians to “tone it down”.

    Clearly the Unitarians think they are arguing their own firmly held beliefs.

    At the 42:20-55 point – the Unitarians ask that the Unitarian position not be discredited (as some of the Trinitarian comments appeared to try to do) in a “guilt by association” model where the Unitarian position was associated with “Seventh-day Adventist” and “Christadelphians”.

    (At the 1:32:10 point the Trinitarian speaker clarifies the point stating that at one time Seventh-day Adventists were Unitarian but since then are Trinitarian. It should be pointed out – that our formal printed beliefs were first printed in 1872 and did not include the Unitarian doctrine – nor have they ever.)

    Greer is in fact enhancing that association idea – by arguing for the Unitarian POV as an SDA, even though our 28 Fundamental Beliefs are NOT unitarian.

    43:20 the Trinitarian response (from the 3rd chair) speaks to the point of “cult” and “false prophet” – trying to show that the subject is “truth vs error”. The speaker argues for the pre-existence of God the Son – Jesus Christ. He points out that the Unitarian position denies the pre-existence of Christ.

    1:04:20 Greer argues that the Word of God became Jesus Christ – but sets this up by saying that “by the Word of the Lord were the heavens made” is the meaning of Word – in John 1. Making the case that God made Christ as in the OT God’s Word made the World. Thus Greer argues not only that Christ is not God – but that Christ did not exist before his birth.

    (And then naturally at 1:07:00-1:08:10 Greer totally butchers John 8 in his attempt to bend and wrench “Before Abraham WAS – I AM” to mean “Before Abraham WAS – he looked into the future and saw my day”. Essentially Greer has to make total nonsense of the text to try and make his point.

    When asked to address John 17:5 (at 1:08:20) “glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee BEFORE the world WAS” — Greer responds that he would rather talk about John 17:3 instead. “this is eternal life that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent”. And while we can understand why a unitarian would prefer to ignore John 17:5 and only talk about John 17:3 – even at that Greer never addresses the problem that he ALSO has in John 17:3 which is that Jesus Christ was not SENT from God to earth – because according to Greer – he did not exist to BE sent before his birth on earth!

    And then of course there is the John 17:5 problem still hanging out there for him should he ever get out of the John 17:3 mess.

    It cannot be ignored that when you view the participants they are all arguing for their own firmly held beliefs. (See 2:11:19 – 2:12:19 for an example)

    2:27:52 – In the end Geer even goes to the wild extreme of insisting that the pagan Cyrus is the agent of the One true God and therefore is to be received as the One True God (Is 45:14-15) (trying to establish a precident for Greer’s less than biblical case regarding Christ). At this point you would think that the error is so stark that even Greer would wake up.

    2:24:20 the Trinitarian speaker again states that the Unitarians believe what they are saying – and that it is not exactly the same as Jehovah’s Witness position but it is a specific Unitarian POV believed by the people at the Unitarian table.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  15. Re Bob’s Quote

    “At the 42:20-55 point – the Unitarians ask that the Unitarian position not be discredited (as some of the Trinitarian comments appeared to try to do) in a “guilt by association” model where the Unitarian position was associated with “Seventh-day Adventist” and “Christadelphians”.”

    Dear Bob

    I’m wondering if they could add the sum of their views, divide by two, and become Doubletarians?

    Please excuse my agnostic humour.

    Interesting that faith has so many complex iterations. Is the Nicene Creed prophetic or a construct of man?

    Is this God or Man at work. Is it Man inspired by God or political agreement?

    Is the debate going on now between the YEC and OEC adventists of the same ilk?

    Cheers
    Ken




    0
    View Comment

Comments are closed.