@Professor Kent: If you were to read the thread on …

Comment on LSU student: ‘Apostates or Apostles’? by Sean Pitman.

@Professor Kent:

If you were to read the thread on Why Those Who Hate the Bible Love Blind-Faith Christians, you would see that Sean Pitman and Bob Ryan (and possibly Inge Anderson and David Read) also reject the official Church position as well. They actively promote subjecting the Bible to human reason and criticism, Sean Pitman especially.

Humans do not have access to anything other than human reason when it comes to determining the credibility of the Bible over any other claimed source of privileged information since we are, well, only human.

The Bible itself deliberately appeals to human reason in its efforts to support its own claims to a Divine origin. If it did not appeal to human reason at all, if it was actually unreasonable in its claims from the human perspective, it would be entirely irrational to accept the Bible as Divinely inspired. This is not the position of the SDA Church.

The SDA Church clearly promotes the idea that the Divine origin of the Bible is rational – built on a firm empirical basis. If the Church did not support this idea it would not be backing institutions that seek to find empirical support for Biblical credibility because there would be no need for such support from the position of empirically-blind faith in the Bible as God’s Word.

I don’t believe Shane Hilde is in agreement with them. Curiously, I have not seen a Michigan Conference statement on Educate Truth’s position in this regard.

Shane is also in basic agreement with us on this issue as is the Michigan conference and the SDA Church at large. It is quite clear that if empirical evidence played no part in our efforts to spread the Gospel message of the Bible, that no one would be up in arms over the issue of promoting evolutionary theories in science classes at LSU. It is quite clear that most people see at least some overlap between science and/or empirical evidence and useful Biblical faith – that science and the Bible shed light on each other.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com

Sean Pitman Also Commented

LSU student: ‘Apostates or Apostles’?
Please find my reply in the thread for “La Sierra University won’t Reject Creation Teaching:” @Sean Pitman:

There’s no point talking about the same thing in two different threads.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


LSU student: ‘Apostates or Apostles’?
@Professor Kent:

You wrote:

If I realized this deep down, I would take Noah for a fool when God instructed him to build a massive boat to escape a rain and a flood the proportions of which reason would dictate to be impossible. Why did Noah obey? Was it simple trust in God’s word, or use of his emotion-free reason?

Not if you had talked directly with God like Noah did and had hundreds of prior years of experience with God, experiencing his constant reliability and credibility.

Noah had abundant very direct empirical evidence of God’s existence and power – much more direct empirical evidence than we have today. His was not an empirically-blind faith by any means in the word of some stranger claiming to be God.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


LSU student: ‘Apostates or Apostles’?

Professor Kent:

You wrote:

“1) Do you agree wholeheartedly with Sola Scriptura and the historical-grammatical hermeneutic elucidated by the GC “Rio” document and the SDA Biblical Research Institute scholars?”

I believe that once one has established the credibility of the Scriptures to the level of having a very high likelihood of being of Divine origin, then it would be unwise to set them aside in favor of anything else…

You go on to ask:

“2) If so, do you continue to believe that those who accept a simple “Thus saith the Lord” are as duped as believers in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster?”

It depends on why they accept the Bible as their source of authority. Different people have different weights of evidence. What does it for one may not do it for another – only God can judge.

However, I do know that God does in fact desire us to make an intelligent decision in favor of His Word based on the weight of evidence – the weight of empirical evidence. He does not desire empirically-blind faith in His Word. He desires His children to have a thoughtful rational religion – not a religion based on mere emotion-driven blind faith that is devoid of any basis in empirical reality…

You realize this yourself, deep down, or you wouldn’t keep referencing consistency with historical data as one of your bases for supporting the Bible’s authority vs. other claimed sources of Divine authority. You yourself cannot help but present empirical evidences to support your own belief in the Bible’s Divine origin.

So, there you have it.

Sean Pitman
www.DetectingDesign.com


Recent Comments by Sean Pitman

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?


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
Then you have several different questions to explain. 1) How can a 6 month developed (but dead?), non-human being (from a human mother and father?) , being carried in it’s human mother’s womb, leap for joy because he (it?) recognized the mother of the World’s Savior? ”The dead know nothing, neither have they any more knowledge under the sun.” 2) How can anything dead even move? The opposite of alive is dead. Everything alive has life from God. Dead things don’t grow and they don’t move. Every SDA should know this. The Laws of God are not altered in order to justify killing unborn human beings that He has given life to.


Updating the SDA Position on Abortion
That’s just it. You say that, “The unborn think and feel”. However, an embryo in the earliest stages of development is just a single cell or an unformed ball of cells – with no apparent functional difference than a cluster of cells in my appendix. Such an embryo cannot think or feel or understand anything. There is no mind or intelligence at this point. If it isn’t murder to take out someone’s appendix, how then call it be truly “murder” to end a pregnancy at this point in time? How can you be so sure of yourself here? Based on what moral principle?

Also, people who are clearly “brain dead” need not be maintained indefinitely on life support. They’re just a shell of a body at this point and it is not “murder” to simply take them off the mechanical support of the empty shell of their body. This happens all the time in hospitals – and it is not considered to be “murder” at all… by most medical professionals (even most Christian ones).