My Goal for La Sierra University

By Sean Pitman

Transparency

Many, by now, have heard of the recent resignation of three faculty and one board trustee from La Sierra University (LSU) over the public release of a recording of a private conversation.  On April 20th, a board trustee, Lenny Darnell, turned on the record function of his cell phone in a private town hall-style meeting attended by more than 100 select LSU faculty and staff and two representatives from the General Conference, Elders Dan Jackson, President of the North American Division, and Larry Blackmer, Education Director of the North American Division.

The purpose of the town hall meeting, apparently, was to address the two year struggle over the evolution controversy that has been raging at LSU.  Reportedly, Darnell “wanted to be sure that he could recall all that transpired,” so he recorded the meeting.  The next day Darnell sent copies of his recording to several people including at least one LSU faculty member and Spectrum Magazine. What prompted Darnell to pass on the recording of a private meeting? Perhaps he thought there was something said at the meeting that would favor the efforts of some to turn LSU into a “progressive” Adventist institution rather than have it end up as some kind of “Bible college.” However, no one, except Darnell, really knows. And Darnell isn’t talking.

Not surprisingly in this internet age, the recording ended up being posted online for a time before being suddenly pulled (It has since showed up on numerous “torrent” sites).  During this time the recording made its way to the office of the North American Division. A transcript was made of the recording and subsequently passed on to Ricardo Graham, LSU Board Chairman.

Unaccountably, Darnell failed to turn off the recording function on his phone at the end of the town hall meeting.  While his phone continued recording, Darnell drove to a friend’s house where he met up with Jeff Kaatz, LSU Vice President of Development, Jim Beach, LSU Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Gary Bradley, LSU biology professor.  While watching the Los Angeles Lakers play the Denver Nuggets in an NBA basketball playoff game, the four men discussed that day’s town hall meeting. While occasionally using some rather colorful language, they expressed less than flattering evaluations of church leaders (including Blackmer and Jackson), board members, and others.

According to a Spectrum article, “Ricardo Graham received the tape and the transcription from Blackmer on June 1. Graham contacted University President Randal Wisbey on Thursday, June 9, and requested meetings with the three employees of the University on Friday, June 10, in Wisbey’s office. In separate meetings with each of the individuals, transcripts of the tape were shared. They were then given the option of signing a letter of resignation or having the material shared with the entire Board of Trustees. All signed letters of resignation.” However, only Dr. Bradley lost his teaching job and Mr. Darnell his position on the school board.  The two other men lost their administrative positions but retain their tenured jobs at LSU.

Some who have listened to the private conversation have wondered why all four men resigned from any position over what appears to many to be a relatively harmless private conversation?  Sure, there were some inappropriate comments and even a little alcohol consumption, but, really, what’s the big deal? right?  After all, the conversation was largely one expressing frustration over the evolution/creation controversy and what could be done to release LSU from the constraints of church oversight, especially the Adventist Accrediting Agency (AAA).  They argued against the required promotion of the faith positions of the church in science classes that, from their perspective, undermine the obvious discoveries of mainstream science and overwhelming empirical evidence on the topic of origins.

Frankly, I tend to sympathize with these men to a certain degree.  After all, neither LSU nor the church had asked them to substantively change what they were teaching since the controversy erupted. The problem is that the General Conference Executive Committee at the 2004 Annual Council had asked all professors in Adventist schools to also present a rigorous defense of the Adventist perspective on origins in all classrooms:

“We call on all boards and educators at Seventh-day Adventist institutions at all levels to continue upholding and advocating the church’s position on origins. We, along with Seventh-day Adventist parents, expect students to receive a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation, even as they are educated to understand and assess competing philosophies of origins that dominate scientific discussion in the contemporary world.”

It is this official guidance of the church, as an organization, that has not taken place at LSU for several decades now. For example, consider that Dr. Bradley, in an interview with the secular journal Inside Higher Education, made several very honest statements regarding his personal position on the topic of origins and how he intended to continue to teach his students:

“Bradley, who is semi-retired after 38 years at La Sierra, has seen evolution debates erupt on campus before and his traditional response is to ‘dive under the desk and wait for them to blow over.’ In this instance, Bradley says he has the backing of his president, who wrote a letter to faculty, staff and trustees affirming the university’s role in the ‘important conversation of science and faith.'”

Bradley says he’s felt no pressure to change anything about his course, and says bluntly that he doesn’t plan to turn his class into a theological seminar, or to present evolutionary theory only to then dismantle it for students. While he’s fine with helping students work through struggles of faith, Bradley says he won’t undercut decades of peer reviewed scientific research in the interest of religious consistency.

“I am not OK with getting up in a science course and saying most science is [b_s_],” he said.

“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.” In the Capstone Biology class for 2009, Bradley gave a 69-slide presentation entitled, “Hominid Evolution.” The fourth slide says: “Recent years have shown a dramatic increase in the discovery of hominid species that are intermediate between the great apes and modern humans.”

Clearly Dr. Bradley never intended to follow the educational guidelines of the church, past or present.  Beyond this, several other science and even religion professors at LSU have voiced support for Bradley’s position and intention. Somewhat surprisingly then (in light of past inaction) the AAA, in response to the current controversy, did not fully renew LSU’s accreditation, but granted a probationary period of one year for LSU to improve its promotion of the church’s position on origins in science classrooms.

What seems a bit strange to me, however, is that Bradley wasn’t asked to resign until he uttered, in a private conversation, a few negative comments about particular individuals in the church’s hierarchy.  It seems almost like the church leadership is more concerned over private comments against individuals than public comments and public actions that directly undermine the church’s “fundamental” positions and policies.

A few questions come to mind at this point: Why were church officials sent to apologize to LSU for the efforts of, for example, David Asscherick? Should not the situation that prompted Asscherick’s widely circulated letter have been addressed by LSU many years before? Why did Elder Jackson state, during the town hall meeting, that David Asscherick and the leadership of the Michigan Conference should be officially reprimanded by the church? – for trying to uphold the fundamental goals and ideals of the church within our own universities?  Has the Adventist world turned upside down?

If the church claims that certain doctrinal teachings are, in fact, “fundamental” to its basic goals and mission, why then does it align itself with those who are most emphatically opposed to those positions?  On the other hand, if the church is not really opposed to mainstream evolutionary theories on origins, or does not actually consider the issue of origins to be “fundamental,” why then doesn’t it make this new position clear to its worldwide constituents?

Do not the students and parents who are paying a great deal of money for a Seventh-day Adventist education deserve to know when a particular school is actively undermining one or more of the church’s doctrinal positions in its classrooms?  Calling the church’s position scientifically untenable? Believed only by the church’s “lunatic fringe”?  Don’t we all have a basic right to know what we are supporting with our tuition, tithes, and offerings?

In short then, my most basic wish for LSU and for the church at large is Consistency and Transparency.

That’s it.

If the church, as an organization, really does believe in a literal six-day creation week as fundamental to the gospel message of hope, then the church, and all organizations owned and operated under the name “Seventh-day Adventist,” should be active in promoting this basic message.  However, if the church does not really stand for these doctrinal positions, or if the church really cannot ensure unity on these basic issues within the various organizations that carry the church’s own name, then the church should be active in informing its worldwide membership of these facts. Those who send their children, their most precious possessions on this Earth, to a school that bears the name “Seventh-day Adventist” should not be misinformed or, worse yet, deceived as to what to expect from “Adventist Education”.

It simply isn’t right for the church, or a church school like LSU, to advertise one thing in order to draw students (and donations) from Adventist families, but then deliver something “fundamentally different.”  In anyone’s book, that’s false advertising. More than this, it’s a form of both deception and theft.  It’s wrong, plain and simple.

At the very least, let’s be consistent and transparent when it comes to what we stand for as a church organization and what anyone can expect from Seventh-day Adventist education…

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366 thoughts on “My Goal for La Sierra University

  1. Sean, great article! It succinctly sets out what happened, and what is wrong with what happened (at least from a conservative perspective).

    If Dr. Bradley’s on-the-record comments to a newspaper–in which he used profanity and derided the Adventist view of origins as being confined to the “lunatic fringe”–were not enough to justify firing him, nothing he said in the private conversation could have justified it.

    Sadly, what occurred in the meeting between Jackson, Blackmer, and the LaSierra faculty was not the high point of Adventist history. Jackson and to a lesser extent Blackmer spent most of the meeting apologizing to the faculty for the actions of Sean, Shane, David Asscherick, the Michigan conference and everyone else. But if AAA’s assessment that LaSierra had “deviated from the Adventist philosophy of education” is correct, those apologies were inappropriate. Jackson was simply engaging in common politics. He flattered the LaSierra staff, but in front of a body of traditional Adventist believers, he would have pointed to the AAA language to show what was being done to rein in an errant institution. Had I attended the meeting, then been recorded in private conversation afterword, I would have had no flattery to spare for for Jackson or Blackmer, either.

    The reason the LaSierra situation has gone uncorrected so long is that most of our administrators have exactly the sort of political instincts that Dan Jackson has. They are politicians and consensus builders; they want to keep the peace and make the trains run on time. But the circumstances call for men of principle, hard men who are willing to stand for the right “though the heavens fall,” i.e., regardless who is offended and loudly complains.




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  2. If what has been reported about Jackson is correct it is very troubling. Also, one can only wonder why he was selected as the NAD President.

    I’ve seen a thing or two which made me wonder about Jackson but this report, if true, has to be the worst. May the Good Lord help us!




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  3. You will never solve the wolves among sheep problem by insisting on “more presentable wolves”.

    The wolf behavior will just keep leaking out in situation after situation.

    Anyone wishing for Bradley to be Transparent and Consistent could not be happier with the results as they are today when you compare his statements to the press to his more recent proclamations. He has been nothing if not transparent and consistent in expressing his views.

    This most recent incident gives the careful observer a hint as to just how far this rabbit hole goes throughout LSU faculty so that they would have no excuse for “imagining” that Bradley is the only person (or that the 4 together are the only people) not in favor of promoting Genesis 1:2-2:3 or Ex 20:8-11 as they read when it comes to “what happened in nature” that resulted in all complex life on earth that is seen today.

    At some point leadership needs to take the initiative – “and lead” instead of simply “reacting” to each unfortunate incident with damage control-at-best solutions.

    Theistic evolution is not only opposed to the voted doctrines of the church – it is also a significant problem for Christianity itself according to 3SG 90-94 and that goes double for any institution upholding the actual creation “account” given in Gen 1-2:3 and summarized in Ex 20:8-11.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  4. Clearly Dan Jackson is an embarrassment to the NAD and the world church! David Asscherick should be commended from the highest levels of the church. David is clearly the type of person who is guided by principle and will stand up though the heavens fall. I can only imagine that God is disgusted by the wishy washy administrators that lead in many parts of our church.




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  5. Although one of the most salient benefits of the modern university is in its ability to birth and nurture needed changes in society (and church), I think Sean’s point should be carefully considered. Even if the scientific data is in fact stubbornly pointing away from a recent, six-day creation, that is not enough to justify such a view being slighted in Adventist science classrooms. A parochial institution has a different consitutency than does a public university. We believe and teach a number of things that are out of step with modern views. It seems that the proper place for presenting contrary evidence and airing altenative views on origins is in the board rooom, not the classroom. Although change is much more difficult to effect this way, it can be more thorough and complete.

    If the top administators will not hear you, then talk to the lower-level leadership. And if they will not hear you, go to the rank-and-file teachers and pastors. And if the teachers and pastors will not hear you, then go the membership at large. And if even the general consitituency will not hear you, then go to their children (who, agreed, have more open minds). But don’t hide what you are doing. That is unethical. Be willing to stand up for what you believe.

    I hope this doesn’t sound harsh. I have been guilty, too, of not being transparent, as a teacher. But it is the minimum requirement to be met in order for progress to occur. We all have much to learn here. (And I am afraid this situation will end up with many more lessons for our administrators and theologians to learn, than for our scientists. We see in Sean’s piece that the position of at least one LSU scientist was rather transparent.)




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  6. Thank you Sean. You could not be more clear and straight-forward in stating the issue. We, as a church, have brought a lot of this on ourselves by being wishy-washy. I wish Jackson would be more emphatic and stop trying to be friends with everybody. He will end up being friends with nobody.

    Chris.




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  7. As far as apologies go, when Luther was asked to recant at the Diet of Worms, he acknowledged that he had been too forceful in attacking some individuals, but refused to retract even those because it would give his enemies vantage ground.

    The shaking is supposed to be caused by some who rise up against the straight testimony, and another SoP quote talks about the straight testimony having died out in our churches.

    Now some things definitely do not qualify as straight testimony, but it seems to me that if many feel inclined to impose rebuking the teaching of evolution as fact in an Adventist institution, then we have arrived at the time foretold by Ellen White.




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  8. “Bradley says he won’t undercut decades of peer reviewed scientific research in the interest of religious consistency.”

    “I am not OK with getting up in a science course and saying most science is [b_s_],” he said.

    Good article Sean. What I’m hearing from Dr. Bradley is that if given the chance, he will continue to teach the peer-reviewed “false science” as if it were true; and I’m sure he thinks it is true.

    No one with Bradley’s beliefs should ever darken the door of a fully tenured (or otherwise) professorial study, much less receive a paycheck from the 7th Day Adventist Church for essentially teaching errors in origins.

    Although it is true that Christ died for all of the worlds inhabitants, each person must decide whether he/she will have the Lord reign over the life or not. It was Christ Himself that laid down the foundations of the worlds, creating the earth and all that is in it in 6 literal days, and He rested the 7th. Nothing could be plainer than Genesis 1 and 2.

    My suggestion for prof Bradley is to find himself a secular university to teach at–mine will do fine. However, I avoid all such classes and all my science is finished! Evolutionists are well aware of my position when I’ve been in their class.




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  9. Sean: “It simply isn’t right to for the church, or a church school like LSU, to advertise one thing in order to draw students (and donations) from Adventist families, but then deliver something “fundamentally different”. In anyone’s book, that’s false advertising. More than this, it’s a form of both deception and theft. It’s wrong, plain and simple.”

    Last night I was reading the comments posted by some of Bradley’s students and former students immediately after the resignations took place. How many of the rest of you noticed them?

    What I noticed was the absolute lack of SDA beliefs held by these students–or even fundamental respect for the church’s beliefs. I noticed them call all of us who believe in creation and the Bible and reject evolution “ignorant”. I noticed them using foul language (just like Bradley) and accusing Educate Truth of being evil and unchristian by bringing this issue out into the light of day so the general membership of the church can see what is going on at LSU–an institution the church supports monetarily.

    If this is a sample of Gary Bradley’s work, his firing has come way too late in the history of LSU. Far from convincing me that Bradley is a wonderful Christian teacher, they convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that he should have been removed years ago, in the interest of the salvation of his students.

    I’m sure that Gary Bradley is not the only TE prof in the school nor is LSU the only school in our denomination teaching this heresy. Theistic Evolution needs to be rooted out of all our schools and churches. Any SDA institution that teaches this tripe is cheating its students and their parents and their membership by delivering falsehood instead of the solid SDA Christian education/beliefs they advertise. I totally agree with Sean in this.

    I also agree with him that the GC needs to take a firm stand and quit being wishy-washy. Their main concern should be that the truth be upheld in the church and her institutions. Anything short of that is a betrayal of their sacred duty. Let’s not put the feelings of men before the truth of God. What God wants should always be the number one priority of all SDAs but especially that of the GC…our supposed shepherds.

    I will continue to pray that the leadership of our church will get the worldliness out of our beloved church. God help us, indeed!

    Faith

    I am greatly saddened at the thought of all the deceived souls that have been involved in this mess. How many souls have been lost already? How many more have to be lost before someone has the courage to do what has to be done and root out the problem for once and for all–throughout the entire denomination world wide. Nothing less will be acceptable to God and nothing less should be acceptable to the members of our church.




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  10. Reposted from Spectrum’s blog:

    City Lights – Wed, 06/22/2011 – 21:48

    And so the public verbal crucifixion and disembowelment of Jackson begins. It started off with a few whining voices the last few days but now the mob, provoked and instigated by Sean’s article, is beginning to gather and it is building up to another classic full-blown Educate Truth feeding frenzy. And as I predicted, they are crying for his resignation or firing.

    Sooner or later Dan Jackson is going to realize the caliber of hate-mongers he is dealing with. Let’s hope it doesn’t take so long he suffers for it professionally. The nice guy Canadian approach will not work with these jackals.




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  11. It is important to remember that Judge John E. Jones, who ruled in the Kitzmiller case that Intelligent Design is not science and may not be taught in public schools, received death threats from religious fundamentalists and was forced to avail himself of around-the-clock federal protection. Furthermore, this conservative Christian jurist, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, was branded by these agitators as a “fascist” and “activist judge.”

    There is a rationale for why Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders are not as vocal as they want to be in support of La Sierra University, Adventist Christian education, and the study of science. They do not want to be attacked and disparaged.

    Elder Dan Jackson and other Church leaders have on occasion earlier in their careers ministered to one or more tare-infested congregations. These leaders have personally visited troublemakers, tried to reason with them, and in the process learned that cerebral thought and rational discourse will rarely change hardened hearts. These leaders have learned that forging a political compromise is often more doable and expedient than resolving a controversy on the merits.

    I think Church leaders, who already know the correct approach to pursue for La Sierra, are instead trying to find a political compromise to the controversy in an effort to pacify the University’s critics. But what I fear these leaders do not understand is that the kind of political solution that might be doable in an egalitarian setting such as a local church is not viable in an institution of higher learning such as a Seventh-day Adventist college or university.

    I am confident that Dr. Pitman’s vision for La Sierra will eventually be rejected, but I am saddened that his militancy has unduly delayed a final resolution. And I am also saddened that he continues to incite unrest in those Church members who are lost in the weeds of “creation science” and the biblical hermeneutic of criticism.




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  12. Phil Brantley,

    Intelligent design is part of many mainstream sciences – to include anthropology, forensics, and even SETI. Are these not really sciences simply because they suggest that certain artifacts and features of the universe cannot be rationally explained without invoking intelligent design? Many modern physicists, to include a few Nobel Prize winners, are starting to declare that certain features of the universe strongly suggest the deliberate act of a God or God-like intelligence.

    So, to off handidly declare that the basic concept of Intelligent Design “is not science” is a bit premature – don’t you think? I really don’t think you grasp, to any significant degree, the very strong evidence for intelligent design being responsible for many aspects of not only the universe in which we live, but for many aspects of living things on this planet as well…

    Also, what part of my article don’t you agree with? – the request for consistency or for transparency from the church and LSU? Which one of these “visions” for LSU and for the church at large do you think should be “rejected”?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  13. I am shaken. I wish I could hear the tape myself. If I understand Sean’s report correctly, our leadership is making a grave danger even more perilous. I, me, dd k, am having troubled tho’ts about supporting with my time, money, and energy those who will not defend the teaching of God’s Word the Bible.




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  14. Sean, Great summary and analysis of the current situation. Another good review of this matter is in the Jan-March 2011 Elders Journal. It also goes into the 2004 evaluation and recommendations, as you have quoted.




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  15. GMF: If what has been reported about Jackson is correct it is very troubling. Also, one can only wonder why he was selected as the NAD President.I’ve seen a thing or two which made me wonder about Jackson but this report, if true, has to be the worst. May the Good Lord help us!

    Jackson was selected to replace Don Schneider, who was also very “passive” in his approach to this problem.

    Besides telling Wisbey to “love Jesus” Jackson did virtually nothing.




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  16. The reason the LaSierra situation has gone uncorrected so long is that most of our administrators have exactly the sort of political instincts that Dan Jackson has. They are politicians and consensus builders; they want to keep the peace and make the trains run on time. But the circumstances call for men of principle, hard men who are willing to stand for the right “though the heavens fall,” i.e., regardless who is offended and loudly complains.

    Dave, I agree with you. Jackson’s trying to play on “both teams” is not going to go well for him.

    Unfortunately, politics is the “SOP” of many of our SDA officials, Jackson being just one. “Political instincts” are the rule, instead of actually doing what is “right” according to what we know in God’s Word.




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  17. Sean: Thank you for continuing to have the courage to report things that most of us would not otherwise have access to. As an individual I cannot do much other than vote with my funds and that is why I continue to send my Tithe to the Michigan Conference whose leaders, so far, are the only ones to concretely acknowledge and address the problems at LSU. I attended La Sierra as did my sons but my grandson is attending Southern.




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  18. As expressed many times in the past, I trust Sean and his helpers will maintain “EducateTruth” (sic) in a safe archive for the future reference of historians. I’m sure many reasonable people will not believe some of the comments expressed here. They will need to be able to read the record to appreciate the types of people that inhabited various marginal parts of the Adventist Church in the late 20th and early 21st Century.
    As an example, this statement is a classic:

    “If life on earth was not created in six literal days a few thousand years ago, there is no reason for the Seventh-day Adventist Church to exist at all, and by extension no reason for LaSierra University to exist.”

    And to think that some of us thought that the Middle Ages were over. It is alive and well on the “EducateTruth” site.

    PS

    Please don’t delete “Ron Stone MD” or keep him from posting on your site. He has been barred from all of the responsible Adventist web sites. But we need his continuing diatribes to keep reminding us of the strange flavor of the radical right in Adventism




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  19. @Ervin Taylor: Every piece you write regarding this issue is a real blessing. You have no qualm about publicizing your anti-biblical/Adventist beliefs in a clear unmistakable fashion.

    You have done a tremendous job for the church in exposing the type of thinking of those subverting the church’s beliefs in the name of saving the church from the dark ages.

    I certainly don’t agree with every comment made here as I’m sure you don’t at AToday, yet you’re so keen in defining Educate Truth by the commenters. Why is that?

    The beautiful thing about you Erv is you don’t hide and I appreciate that about you. If La Sierra were as honest as you are, this issue might have been addressed years ago.

    It’s been said before, but despite being one of our greatest antagonists, you’ve done a great deal to further our goals. Please don’t mistake anything I’ve said as sarcasm, I’m being very sincere.




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  20. Thank you, Mr. Pitman. You are correct–the world church MUST be based on truth– NOT political correctness, subterfuge, and bait-and-switch tactics.

    Those who don’t accept the Fundamental Beliefs should simply be honest and leave the church, rather than trying to change it into what they want.

    I find it curious that many of the church leaders whom I’ve personally known over the years who tend to undermine faith in God’s Word rarely exhibit a truly Christian lifestyle. It’s dishonest to collect a paycheck from the church but use profanity and alcohol in when we think no one is looking.

    “The more private something that God asks us to do is, the more temptation there is to sin. The more private—the less people are aware—the more moral courage it requires to be faithful. What God wants most of all is honesty in our private life.”–Pastor Jim Howard, “Heart Religion”




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  21. “Rantings” And I thought I was being entirely logical and reasonable. Oh Well!

    “It sounds like the church is a little confused about whether its belief in a recent, literal six-day creation is defensible.” Bingo! Well said! Only be ignoring 98% of the scientific data and focusing on the 2% can young life creationists pretend to be “scientific.”




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  22. I have been saddened in the past few months since Educate Truth started, to see how many professing 7th Day Adventists have little or no understanding of the important issues and have chosen to put human wisdom and knowledge above the plain words of scripture. It’s heartbreaking to know that they will soon be blown away like chaff never to be seen again. Many others will become the bitterest enemies of those who continue to stand for truth. Evolution is a powerless religion – a religion of death and a direct attack of the enemy against the character of God. Those who believe and teach evolution will someday realize they have been fighting against God.
    Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:13, 14 NIV.
    No matter the outcome at La Sierra, God has promised that truth will prevail. A mighty angel WILL come down and the earth WILL be lightened with His glory which includes the truth about God’s character as seen in creation and redemption. (Rev 18:1).
    In view of His glory – His character of agape shown to me, I can only humbly say, Amen, even so come Lord Jesus!
    All of These
    by Craig Curry

    How vast His grace! How great His faithfulness!
    How deep His love! How rich His mercy!
    How high His thoughts! How sure His wisdom!
    And all of these, He gives to me.

    So I will praise Him with every breath
    For He has rescued me from certain death
    And now this life I live, I live in Him
    O let His glory shine, while mine grows dim.

    How just His ways!
    How good His discipline!
    How pure His truth!
    How kind His goodness!
    How calm His peace!
    How long His patience!
    And all of these, He gives to me.

    So I will praise Him with every breath
    For He has rescued me from certain death
    And now this life I live, I live in Him
    O let His glory shine, while mine grows dim.




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  23. Erv, from your post, I get the impression that you think that we are going to be here for a few millennia or more. So it would be a great idea to archive these websites so that SDA’s two thousand years from now can read history. Maybe that will be long enough for SDA conservatives to evolve into evolution-believing SDA progressives.

    Personally I see Bible prophecy and EGW predictions being fulfilled right before our eyes. I think our Lord is coming very, very soon! Maranatha.




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  24. Dr. Pitman, I have found that my efforts toward having a reasonable discussion with you are as futile as refereeing a prison basketball game. The referee cannot in all practicality call every foul, because all of the players foul on every play. Similarly, I cannot in several paragraphs correct every absurd statement that you make.

    I invite the unschooled and impressionable visitors to this website to read the Kitzmiller opinion and form their own judgments regarding Intelligent Design: http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf. Readers will find all of the answers to their questions in this 139-page court opinion.

    Dr. Pitman, we have previously discussed why the Seventh-Adventist Church must and will eventually reject your vision. The Church will never bond with the political, cultural, and social revolutionary movement called Creationism. And the Church will never formally adopt a biblical hermeneutic of criticism, notwithstanding occasional blunders in that direction and notwithstanding the agitation wrought by you and the theistic evolutionists.

    If you have helpful suggestions on how faith can be affirmed in students who are taught mainstream science that is accorded factual validity to the degree warranted by the natural evidence, then you might be able to make a contribution.

    I implore you to concede what you must concede, so that you can help move the discussion along.




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  25. Phil Brantley,

    I am familiar with the Kitzmiller opinion, and that’s just what it is – an opinion piece of someone with a legal background who doesn’t substantively address the various features of the universe or of living things that strongly speak for their origin in the mind of an intelligent God-like Creator. It seems like Kitzmiller, like you, simply hasn’t understood the arguments presented or at least their relative importance…

    It is quite clear to me and a number of prominent scientists, however, that whoever created these things had access to creative powers that cannot be readily distingiushed from those belonging to a God or God-like being.

    Consider, for example, the conclusions of Sir Fredrick Hoyle:

    From the beginning of this book we have emphasized the enormous information content of even the simplest living systems. The information cannot in our view be generated by what are often called ‘natural’ processes, as for instance through meteorological and chemical processes. . . Information was also needed. We have argued that the requisite information came from an ‘intelligence’.

    Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramsinghe, Evolution from Space (1981), p. 148, 150

    Or of his close associate and mathematician Chandra Wickramasinghe:

    It is quite a shock. From my earliest training as a scientist I was very strongly brainwashed to believe that science cannot be consistent with any kind of deliberate creation. That notion has had to be very painfully shed. I am quite uncomfortable in the situation, the state of mind I now find myself in. But there is no logical way out of it. I now find myself driven to this position by logic. There is no other way in which we can understand the precise ordering of the chemicals of life except to invoke the creations on a cosmic scale. . . . We were hoping as scientists that there would be a way round our conclusion, but there isn’t.

    Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, as quoted in “There Must Be A God,” Daily Express, Aug. 14, 1981 and Hoyle on Evolution, Nature, Nov. 12, 1981, p. 105

    Or of the Australian astrophysicist Paul Davies who makes the following argument along these lines:

    The temptation to believe that the Universe is the product of some sort of design, a manifestation of subtle aesthetic and mathematical judgment, is overwhelming. The belief that there is “something behind it all” is one that I personally share with, I suspect, a majority of physicists…

    The force of gravity must be fine-tuned to allow the universe to expand at precisely the right rate. The fact that the force of gravity just happens to be the right number with stunning accuracy is surely one of the great mysteries of cosmology…

    The equations of physics have in them incredible simplicity, elegance and beauty. That in itself is sufficient to prove to me that there must be a God who is responsible for these laws and responsible for the universe.

    Davies, Paul C.W. [Physicist and Professor of Natural Philosophy, University of Adelaide],”The Christian perspective of a scientist,” Review of “The way the world is,” by John Polkinghorne, New Scientist, Vol. 98, No. 1354, pp.638-639, 2 June 1983, p.638

    For more of these confessions see:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/detectingdesign.html

    You have consistently refused to even discuss this evidence – evidence that at the very least supports the conclusion that certain aspects of living things and of various features of the universe rationally demand an intelligent origin – as in the statement, “The heavens declare the glory of God”. Psalms 19:1 NIV and Romans 1:20 NIV

    I suspect that you are largely unfamiliar with these arguments because your training and primary interests do not include the biological or physical sciences.

    Now, I’m sure that there are those who find your arguments for empirically-blind faith in the claims of the Bible appealing. After all, it is impossible to falsify or even question such faith. You can’t be wrong by definition! That’s great! Of course, I’m not one of those who finds this kind of faith of any real value in times of crisis. In this respect I am, ironically, in actual agreement with the likes of Erv Taylor or even atheists like Richard Dawkins.

    To appeal to any book and claim that it has a Divine origin based only on the claims of the book itself without any reference to empirical reality to support that claim isn’t rational as far as I and may young people in our schools can tell. When pressed, even you appeal to historical prophecies and the like which are confirmed by empirical evidence to support your own belief in the superiority of the Bible vs. the Book of Mormon or the Qur’an as being of truly Divine origin.

    So, your arguments ring rather hollow to me and I suppose to many others like me. Otherwise, there really would be no dabate here – no real concern within the church organization over what is being taught at LSU in the science department. After all, if the majority in the church really thought that faith in the credibility of the Bible was entirely free of the influence of empirical evidence, there would be no reason to have any concerns at all over what the significant wieght of empirical evidence suggested – be that evidence in line or in direct conflict with the claims of the Bible.

    At the very least, however, you must acknowledge that whatever the church or its institutions decide to do, we all deserve consistency and transparency as members of this or any other organization – right?

    Now, back to the prison ballgame 😉

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  26. This article from Sean illustrates his lack of sound judgment in understanding and interpreting data. I have two concerns in particular about the use of statements from Gary Bradley:

    1. Pitman (plus Hilde and others here) has declared repeatedly that Dr. Bradley refers to those who believe in the SDA position on origins as the “lunatic fringe.” This is NOT accurate. If the quote attribued to him is to be believed, he is stating that the philosophy of those who insist on 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” constitutes the lunatic fringe, i.e., putting God in a box and insisting that Genesis can be interpreted in only one way. The quotes themselves do not actually reveal Dr. Bradley’s actual beliefs on origins.

    Second, the media is widely recognized for its inaccurate portrayals of statements, opinions, and facts. I know this from personal experience. I have been misquoted and misportrayed NUMEROUS TIMES by both the print media and on television. I have been credited with making statements and producing research results that were grossly distorted. Consequently, I would not put much faith in what the news story reported. And let’s be clear on this: one is absolutely relying on faith to believe what the story is telling us about Dr. Bradley. Perhaps David Read or Phillip Brantley, as lawyers, can tell us how a news story would be treated as “evidence” in a court of law.

    Sorry, Sean, but I don’t think your reliance on “evidence” can be trusted any more than your profound and oft-repeated dismissal of simple faith in God’s word can be trusted. You yourself have stated many times that implicit belief in God’s word is as useless as belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.




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  27. @Professor Kent:

    You wrote:

    “The quotes themselves do not actually reveal Dr. Bradley’s actual beliefs on origins.”

    You’re kidding – right? You don’t think Bradley believes in and teaches, as truth, the mainstream position that life has existed and evolved over hundreds of millions of years on this planet? and you think the media completely misrepresented what he said? You really think that, “one is absolutely relying on faith [empirically blind faith] to believe what the story is telling us about Dr. Bradley.” – really? You wouldn’t happen to be related to Sarah Palin would you? 😉

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  28. Bradley has had plenty of time to correct any statements that have been published by the media. In fact it would have been ideal for him to tell LSU admin that he really didn’t say it like it reads when they published their response to his interview:

    Dr. Gary Bradley, semi-retired biology professor in the Department of Biology of La Sierra University, gave an interview to an internet-based higher education news service on August 31, in which he shared his perspectives on the discussion of how creation and evolution are taught in La Sierra University classrooms.

    Perhaps they didn’t bother to check with Bradley first before confirming what the article said he said. They were quick to deny what he said though:

    Dr. Bradley does not speak on behalf of the university or the biology department. Some of Dr. Bradley’s statements as reported in the article posted September 1 do not reflect the views of the university. They are his views alone.

    They even expressed regret over his statements:

    Nevertheless, the university is saddened that some of his statements, as reported in this interview do not reflect the university’s commitment to help our students navigate the important issues of faith and science in the context of Seventh-day Adventist higher education.

    AAA made an interesting observation (page 6):

    La Sierra’s reputation on this issue was damaged by public statements by some biology faculty. La Sierra exacerbated the problem by using some of these same faculty to teach a course meant to help address the church’s view of creation. That further damaged the school’s credibility with respect to the teaching of the Adventist view of creation.

    They’re talking about Bradley. Interestingly enough he still hadn’t bothered to correct any misquoted statements. You would think that if he was damaging the schools reputation so much with misquotes, he’d correct that immediately.

    It would be nice if Bradley didn’t believe what he does or say the things he said. Your arguments just don’t hold up in the face of the observations of LSU and AAA.

    You should be well familiar with these types of comments from Bradley since you’ve listened to the accidental recording. Bradley has been quite honest and forthright about what he believes and teaches. More than I can say for the university.




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  29. Dr. Pitman, you should understand that the issue is not whether Intelligent Design possesses theological/philosophical merit. It does.

    The issue is whether Intelligent Design constitutes science. It doesn’t.

    And you should be able to differentiate between the science that is done by the scientists you reference and their theological/philosophical musings that you quote.

    You have not only rejected the scientific method as it pertains to origins, but you have rejected the method by which Seventh-day Adventists do theology. Consequently, your views are utterly bereft of moorings.

    There can be no consistency and transparency in the classroom if such a carefree approach to science data and biblical data is adopted.




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  30. @Ervin Taylor: You say: “Only by ignoring 98% of the scientific data and focusing on the 2% can young life creationists pretend to be “scientific.”

    Dear Professor Taylor, you thus, blessings on you, bless Genesis 1 with a whopping 2% scientific credibility, while our own Professor Kent, operating by faith, grants nada, nil, zilch, not one shreddy-shred-shred-shred. Lovely thy feet, for, as it said, with 100% credibility, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (Isa 52:7). Two whole per cent! Meanwhile our resident agnostic grants, I gather, even more.

    But seriously, professors (love you both, even as much as agnostics), who, individually or plenarily, determines and validates this percent, and to what decimal place and standard deviation, the FDA, Panda’s Thumb, Whoopi Goldberg? Agnostics? Professors? Consultants? Marketing directors?




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  31. Phil Brantley,

    You wrote:

    Dr. Pitman, you should understand that the issue is not whether Intelligent Design possesses theological/philosophical merit. It does. The issue is whether Intelligent Design constitutes science. It doesn’t.

    What is “science” in your understanding? Upon what basis do scientists, like anthropologists or forensic scientists or even SETI scientists suggest that one may be able to determine that a particular object or phenomenon is or is not a likely artifact? – i.e., the result of deliberate design?

    Do you really think that an anthropologist who picks up a stone and declares it to be an intelligently carved arrowhead is only dealing with philosophy/theology? or is this opinion based on something more than “faith” in the assumption of intelligent design as the origin for this particular artifact?

    Consider the thoughts of American astronomer George Greenstein:

    “As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency – or, rather, Agency – must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?”

    Greenstein, George. The Symbiotic, Universe: Life and Mind in the Cosmos. (New York: William Morrow, (1988), pp. 26-27

    I might be wrong, but it seems to me that you, like many scientists, are not opposed to the basic concept of science being able to detect the need for intelligent design to explain the existence of certain artifacts and features of the universe. You’re simply opposed to the notion that these same arguments can be applied to living things…

    And you should be able to differentiate between the science that is done by the scientists you reference and their theological/philosophical musings that you quote.

    The scientists I reference above do not see themselves as presenting theological/philosophical arguments for intelligent disign. On the contrary, they feel themselves compelled, often against their will or previous mindset, to such conclusions by the science itself – by the science that is often used in many different contexts by many scientists who detect deliberately produced artifacts every day as part of their job descriptions. It is just that they see the scientific evidence as very clearly pointing to the existence of an intelligent designer as being responsible for various features of the universe and even of living things.

    This conclusion is no less scientific, in their minds, than your conclusion that a chocolate cake sitting on your table when you get home strongly suggest the existence of an intelligent designer who was responsible for the existence of that chocolate cake. That conclusion is not just a philosophical conclusion. It has high predictive value as a scientific hypothesis/theory.

    You have not only rejected the scientific method as it pertains to origins, but you have rejected the method by which Seventh-day Adventists do theology. Consequently, your views are utterly bereft of moorings.

    I’ve not rejected common scientific methodologies that are used by many scientific disciplines to detect deliberately produced artifacts nor have I rejected what many Adventists view as the basis of rational faith in the credibility of the Bible as the Word of God (or there would be no uproar in the church over LSU’s teaching of evolutionary theory as the most scientifically tenable story of origins).

    There can be no consistency and transparency in the classroom if such a carefree approach to science data and biblical data is adopted.

    Sure there can. You just have to make people aware of what you’re going to teach in the classroom and if you are or are not going to be consistent with the views of your employer. While I would hope to be part of an organization that is consistent with itself, transparency comes first and is of greater importance than consistency.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.




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  32. Phillip Brantley: Dr. Pitman, you should understand that the issue is not whether Intelligent Design possesses theological/philosophical merit. It does.
    The issue is whether Intelligent Design constitutes science. It doesn’t.

    That is nonsense.

    Science simply makes “observations” based on what we observ in nature.

    Your argument above is that “science” has no way to “observe” that rock alone will never paint a Rembrandt.

    Your argument is that no scientist could look at a painting, or a building or a rocket or a car and say “I can tell you that based on my knowledge of geology and physics – rocks did not produce that”.

    The level of ‘non-science’ that goes into the stories used to promote evolutionism is almost as impressive as Dawkin’s “spaghetti monster”.

    As one atheist evolutionist put it “given enough time – you can get anything from anything”.

    Given that line of “fiction and storytelling” substituted in “for science” – then I.D is indeed “not scientifically verifiable”. But who in the world could be duped into beliving that “given enough time you can get anything from anything”?

    I suggest that is is only those with a desperate need to go to such measures – not Christians.

    in Christ,

    bob




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  33. Phillip Brantley: Dr. Pitman, please refer to pages 64-89 of the court’s opinion for answers to your questions regarding Intelligent Design and the meaning of science. http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf.

    When someone “feels the need” to appeal to the courts rather than address the point of science under discussion you know you have uncovered a weakness in their logic.

    At no point did our constitution suggest that our court system was supposed to sit as judge as to what is and is not science – nor did that constitution hint that every 7 sentence statement uttered in a science class must be censored by federal judges before being approved for the general public.

    Especially if such statements say such benign things as “there exists a book in the library”.

    Dark ages appeals to rank censorship – may suit the needs of atheist evolutionism – but Christians have no need to resort to such methods given that we now live in the light of day.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  34. Wesley Kime: @Ervin Taylor: You say: “Only by ignoring 98% of the scientific data and focusing on the 2% can young life creationists pretend to be “scientific.”
    Dear Professor Taylor, you thus, blessings on you, bless Genesis 1 with a whopping 2% scientific credibility, while our own Professor Kent, operating by faith, grants nada, nil, zilch, not one shreddy-shred-shred-shred

    Isn’t it amazing that as Christians we know that God created the world in 7 days – less than 10,000 years ago – which means we know “what happened IN NATURE”. Yet the diehard evolutionists want to argue that Science should not be able to know “what happened in nature” — as if such claims “made sense”??

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  35. @Phillip Brantley:

    You wrote:

    Dr. Pitman, please refer to pages 64-89 of the court’s opinion for answers to your questions regarding Intelligent Design and the meaning of science. http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf.

    I find it interesting that you refuse to directly address, with your own thoughts in your own words, any of my relatively simple and straightforward questions. Instead, you refer me to a court decision that also does not address any of the questions I’ve posed to you.

    But, just for fun, lets look at the opening lines on p. 64 of this court decision:

    We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation;

    Already we run into strawmen mischaracterizations of the basic concept of sciences that invoke intelligent design to explain various artifactual features of the universe. To argue that a certain level of intelligence is rationally required to explain a given phenomenon is not the same thing as arguing for a supernatural intelligence or any other kind of identifier of the nature of the owner of the required intelligence.

    You do realize, of course, that intelligence can be perfectly “natural” – right? No one has to appeal to the supernatural to know that an arrowhead, for example, was intelligently designed.

    Could the hypothesized agent who created the universe or even a relatively simple stone arrowhead be “supernatural”? – of course. However, can we humans scientifically hypothesize, to any useful degree, that anyone is actually “supernatural”? Of course not since such a demonstration is beyond our understanding and powers to demonstrate. The best we can do is demonstrate that an extremely high level of intelligence and creative power is rationally required to explain certain phenomena – that’s it.

    So, you see, this is a bad start to your argument already…

    (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980’s;

    The concept of irreducible complexity essentially says that different functional systems or meaningful sequences require different minimum structural components to be specifically arranged before the particular type of function/meaning can be realized.

    You do understand that this basic concept is the basis of anthropology, forensics and even SETI science? – right? For example, Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI institute has claimed, quite rationally I might add, that if a radio signal coming in from deep space were ever discovered prefaced by certain numerical tags, like the first fifty terms of the Fibonacci series, that such tags would clearly support the scientific theory of an intelligent origin for such a signal.

    Why did Shostak invoke the first 50 terms of the Fibonacci series instead of the first 2 or 3 terms? Because, the level of specified complexity involved is high enough at the level of 50 terms, in his mind, to provide useful predictive value in favor of the hypothesis of intelligent design.

    The same is true for systems that have minimum structural requirements beyond very very low levels. For example, there are no examples, in literature, of evolution in action producing any biological system that requires more than 1000 averagely specified amino acid residues working together at the same time.

    Why not? Because, at this level of functional complexity, the odds of any mindless mechanism producing anything are extremely remote this side of a practical eternity of time.

    This is essentially the same argument used by SETI scientists and anthropologists and forensic scientists. There is no fundamental difference as far as I can tell.

    and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. As we will discuss in more detail below, it is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research.

    Just because an idea is not the most popular idea among mainstream scientists does not therefore mean that the idea in question is therefore unscientific by definition. Valid scientific theories are not defined by popularity, but by their predictive value upon testing and their ability to avoid potential falsification. Also, the blocking of publications submitted by those with unpopular minority opinions is quite prevalent in mainstream science. Consider the recent global warming E-mail scandal for example, or the grief given to Dr. Richard Sternberg of the Smithsonian for publishing an ID paper written by Stephen Meyer as an other.

    In any case, now that I’ve address the three main points of your court decision, care to try to at least respond to my questions as to your definition of “science” and how an anthropologist is able to figure out how a rock is really an intelligently designed arrowhead vs. a product of some mindless natural process? – without using science?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  36. @Phillip Brantley: Quote: “Dr. Pitman, You should understand that the issue is not whether Intelligent Design [you mean Genesis 1?] possesses theological/philosophical merit. It does. …Utterly”

    Professor Brantley: Rhetorically exquisite, utterly, those balanced declarative sentences, those magisterial adjectives, those crystalline fiats,. those and the rest, the implied slow-wittedness summarily dealt with. Exciting! Utterly exemplary! May I try it? No? Really? Why not? Oh well, here goes:

    So it is to be understood [may I depart from the template and use the passive voice? A little less implied diss] that the issue is not whether Evo, theistic or orthodox, has theological/philosophical merit. It does. Reeks of it. More and more every day. Transparently, patently, compellingly, it is in a theology class, even a philosophy class, not in a scientific class, that Evo is be taught, especially at Harvard.

    And so on.




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  37. David Read: Deliss

    Charo posting at Spectrum:
    “Judging by these comments from Jackson, the church’s position on this conflict at LSU seems a bit confusing. Seems like they’re giving LSU kind of a spanking in the public eye, but behind closed doors they sound [like they are] almost comforting them. Does anyone else see this [as] strange behavior?”

    It seems strange to me, too, but I am afraid it might actually be a common modality. …

    At that meeting, the LaSierra faculty really needed to hear a bit more truth than Dan Jackson seemed willing to confront them with

    Since we do not have a true leadership hierarchy – what sometimes happens is that you have many points of view being expressed by different leaders – and at times they are not in full agreement with each other. It starts to look like “Fuzzy logic”.

    Jackson’s remarks unveil just how disjointed and fuzzy that logic can be. In this one instance he makes it appear that among our leaders there are times when politics becomes a more important motivator than the need to take decisive action in times of crisis.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  38. Sean Pitman: You’re kidding – right? You don’t think Bradley believes in and teaches, as truth, the mainstream position that life has existed and evolved over hundreds of millions of years on this planet? and you think the media completely misrepresented what he said? You really think that, “one is absolutely relying on faith [empirically blind faith] to believe what the story is telling us about Dr. Bradley.” – really? You wouldn’t happen to be related to Sarah Palin would you?

    I’m not kidding. I don’t have much basis for any firm conclusion on what Dr. Bradley believes, and neither do you.

    Has Dr. Bradley told you in person, “I do not believe it’s possible that God created life in only 6 days?” Has he told you in person, “There is no way I could accept a relatively young earth?”

    I have been blatantly misquoted and misrepresented by the media on multiple occasions, so from personal experience, I will guarantee you there is a very real possibility that the statements from Dr. Bradley may not be factually correct. In your naivity, you can choose to believe whatever you read in the print media, especially if it suits your desire to publicly besmirch one’s reputation, but I do not have your faith in accepting uncritically what someone else has to say about someone else’s faith. It’s called hearsay, Sean, and you know it.

    Yes, I share better than 99% of the genome of Sarah Palin, just as you do. Get over it.




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  39. Shane Hilde: Dr. Gary Bradley, semi-retired biology professor in the Department of Biology of La Sierra University, gave an interview to an internet-based higher education news service on August 31, in which he shared his perspectives on the discussion of how creation and evolution are taught

    That is the true. That is “what happened in nature”.

    Bradley and Erv Taylor have both been stellar in their willingness to be “transparent” on this issue as they both have been teaching at LSU and promoting their views without reservation.

    And of course we know that these are not the only teachers in the LSU biology and religion department inclined to promote belief in evolutionism. But they are among the few willing to tell non-students what believe and what they have been doing in the class room.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  40. Shane Hilde: Bradley has had plenty of time to correct any statements that have been published by the media.

    There is no point in engaging a lynch mob on what one believes or does not believe. There is a PUC professor who tried this and everything he stated was roundly rejected. I myself have repeatedly declared my beliefs here, and I have repeatedly been called a liar. As the saying goes, “In war, truth is the first casualty.” Your “Educate Truth” website is not about truth; in fact, it is more about rumor, innuendo, accusation, and ad hominen more so than “truth,” and therefore is little more than an oxymoron.

    Shane Hilde: Perhaps they didn’t bother to check with Bradley first before confirming what the article said he said.

    They very rarely do, Shane. I know this for fact, which is why I’ve been misquoted and misrepresented myself. Many times. Ask around and you’ll hear from others that reporters do not like to confirm what they put on paper or on TV.




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  41. Steve Shedell: Evolution is a powerless religion – a religion of death and a direct attack of the enemy against the character of God. Those who believe and teach evolution will someday realize they have been fighting against God.

    Your point is well taken. It is at the core of why we keep referring readers at Educate Truth – to 3SG 90-91.

    And it is why others come here to mock 3SG 90-91.

    The evidence this behavior reveals for the unbiased objective reader – leaves all “without excuse” if they continue to be duped into a misguided defense for the TE position among Christians in general, and even more instructive if they happen to be actual SDAs.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  42. Wesley Kime: our own Professor Kent, operating by faith, grants nada, nil, zilch, not one shreddy-shred-shred-shred.

    This is the typical misrepresentation that supposed Christians here are so prone to make. It’s deplorable, Wesley, so why do you persist in it?

    I have stated repeatedly that I believe there is evidence in both a fiat and recent creation. However, I also acknowledge that the evidence is limited to the point that I can accept many statements from the Bible, including those on origins, only on faith because the physical evidence is completely absent or the Biblical claims flat-out contradict scientific knowledge (e.g., 6 literal days of creation, the sudden appearance of a flock of sheep on a mountain pasture, the formation of a living breathing human from a pile of dirt, an iron axe head that floats on water, a human that comes back to life after being dead for three days, the virgin birth). You, Sean Pitman, and others loathe my faith and belittle it, whereas most Seventh-day Adventists uplift it.

    Again, “In war, truth is the first casuality.” I think you need to treat truth and faith with more respect.




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  43. @Professor Kent:

    You wrote:

    “I have stated repeatedly that I believe there is evidence in both a fiat and recent creation.”

    Indeed, but you’ve also said that faith is not dependent upon any empirical evidence whatsoever. In other words, even if there was no evidence in favor of your faith at all, even if all evidence seemed to go against your faith, your faith in the Divine origin of the Bible would still be able to prevail…

    I dare say that a great many people, especially young people, do not find that kind of faith rational or all that useful. I certainly don’t see that this kind of faith is the faith recommended by the Bible. God always provides enough empirical evidence to support a rational intelligent faith as a basis to trust in what He is telling us.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  44. Sean Pitman: It is just that they see the scientific evidence as very clearly pointing to the existence of an intelligent designer as being responsible for various features of the universe and even of living things.

    One huge problem with Sean Pitman’s reliance on “science” above faith in God’s word is the conclusion one reaches about the “intelligent designer” based on the physical evidence available. With nothing other than observations to guide us, we would more reasonably conclude that the designer of life is a cruel, cold-hearted individual who delights in or is amused by animals that taunt, harrass, mame, rape, and kill other animals. There is no physical evidence to suggest that a loving God created creatures that do not taunt, harraass, mame, rape, and kill other animals, and that sin through one man and one woman wrought about the changes that those of SDA faith believe have taken place.

    Sorry, Sean, but try as you might, you cannot rely on “science” that invokes “intelligent design” and escape “by faith alone” for many claims that you accept in scripture, no matter how hard you try.




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  45. Professor Kent: There is no point in engaging a lynch mob on what one believes or does not believe.

    Lynch mob? Jeff, you definitely have a flare for the dramatic. Bradley could have at least engaged with Becker to clear up any confusion. It appears that he didn’t because there was no need to.

    Professor Kent: There is a PUC professor who tried this and everything he stated was roundly rejected.

    I think he largely failed because he wouldn’t be upfront with people about what he believed. Based on comments in his lecture on here, there was little room to believe he did believe in the church’s position on creation. For example, he always carefully stated his position as supporting the Adventist position, but here’s a comment that clearly states he doesn’t buy into the SDA understanding of the biblical creation:

    I respect those who believe in a literal Genesis flood, but I also have to be honest about the scientific difficulties with such a belief.

    Professor Kent: I myself have repeatedly declared my beliefs here, and I have repeatedly been called a liar. As the saying goes, “In war, truth is the first casualty.”

    I don’t think you’ve been able to appreciate confusion you communicate to creationists. This is how you come across to me: you’re like a soldier in battle running from one side to other and just before the side you’re running to shoots you, you yell out that you’re on their side while at the same time pulling out your gun and firing on them. Yes, you make plenty of claims, but for all the claims you make there are an equal amount of arguments against creation that you make. Your approach is much like a politician who wants to be friends with both sides.

    Professor Kent: Your “Educate Truth” website is not about truth; in fact, it is more about rumor, innuendo, accusation, and ad hominen more so than “truth,” and therefore is little more than an oxymoron.

    Let me explain the name of the site to you. The truth we’re referring to is the truth of creation. We’re advocating that our universities/colleges teach the truth regarding creation, that they present the evidence for short life etc. You’d be hard pressed to find anything that has been published on here that isn’t true regarding LSU.

    Professor Kent: They very rarely do, Shane.

    The ‘they’ I was referring to was LSU. Are you saying you assume that LSU did not speak to Bradley before they released their statement about his comments? I think they did. I don’t have proof though. I would argue it more likely that they spoke with him prior to releasing that statement than not.

    One more not about the “rumor, innuendo, accusation, and ad hominen.” The allegations Educate Truth made in the very beginning and still does to this day were confirmed independently by both the LSU board ad hoc committee and AAA visiting team. LSU is guilty! It’s that simple. The “apology” from LSU probably would have never occurred had it not been for AAA. There is no argument over what LSU has been doing. That’s been made crystal clear. The question now is if they’re going to change.




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  46. Sean Pitman: Indeed, but you’ve also said that faith is not dependent upon any empirical evidence whatsoever. In other words, even if there was no evidence in favor of your faith at all, even if all evidence seemed to go against your faith, your faith in the Divine origin of the Bible would still be able to prevail…
    I dare say that a great many people, especially young people, do not find that kind of faith rational or all that useful.

    I have NOT stated things the way you portray them. My faith is not completely blind, which I have stated many times, and I am tired of you characterizing it as such.

    A great many people, like you and many theistic evolutionists, place their own reason ahead of God’s word. I can never do so, Sean. I long ago decided that God, and his word revealed in scripture, are real based on many evidences (as I’ve elucidated many times before, so please don’t demand this of me again), but there are many claims within scripture that I can accept only on faith.

    My faith is a Seventh-day Adventist faith, and you should show more respect for it rather than endlessly belittle it.




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  47. Shane Hilde: Yes, you make plenty of claims, but for all the claims you make there are an equal amount of arguments against creation that you make. Your approach is much like a politician who wants to be friends with both sides.

    I have been consistent in my defense of the faith ahead of human reason and science, my stated personal SDA beliefs (including a recent 6-day creation), my denunciation of the frequent claims (especially by Sean Pitman) that the “weight of empirical evidence” favors the SDA interpretation of origins (this is true only if data are cherry-picked), and that Christians should not engage in the rumormonging, cyberharrasment, and character assassination that goes on at this site.

    You know full well that I have been consistent. I have stated dozens of times that it’s not the message (that SDA employees treat SDA beliefs with utmost respect) but the method (cyberbullying) that I object to so vehemently at Educate Truth.

    I need to stop posting once again. The treatment of others at this website does nothing more than please our enemy. Good bye.




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  48. Professor Kent: I need to stop posting once again. The treatment of others at this website does nothing more than please our enemy. Good bye.

    If Jeff’s past commenting behavior is any indication of the future, he’ll be back. Forgive me if I have difficulty understanding a professed creationist, who by the way wouldn’t even admit he was a Seventh-day Adventist for quite some time, who thinks there is little evidence to support his belief. I find that down right confusing.




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  49. If Jeff Kent can accept the six day creation a few thousand years ago by faith almost alone (supported by a little “cherry-picked” data), then I say more power to Jeff Kent. Belief is the goal, and should never be dissed, dismissed or disrespected.

    I just wish Jeff could understand that most students, when confronted in an Adventist classroom by a an extremely knowledgeable, nominally Adventist professor who insists that our faith is unsustainable and even in the territory of the “lunatic fringe,” will tend to abandon the faith. They won’t continue to believe by faith alone when they’ve been taught–again, by an Adventist in an Adventist context–that their faith is risible nonsense unsupported by reason. If Jeff understood that, he wouldn’t oppose the mission of this site so vehemently.




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  50. A point of perspective –

    Prior to the 2010 GC session voting in favor of FB#6 – Geraty had this to say about the week of creation.

    Geraty said: “I wholeheartedly affirm Scripture but NOT the extra-Biblical interpretation of the Michigan Conference. Since when is salvation by correct knowledge anyway?”

    Now this is the thinking of the guy who at one time was President of LSU and who is still heavily involved in the evolution controversy at LSU.

    Those who wish to now “pretend” that LSU did not (and does not) have a culture protecting and promoting evolutionism – have no leg to stand on. History itself is clearly against their imaginings.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  51. David Read: If Jeff Kent can accept the six day creation a few thousand years ago by faith almost alone (supported by a little “cherry-picked” data), then I say more power to Jeff Kent.

    Indeed.

    But that should not deter us from admitting that it is not ONLY TEs and Atheist Evolutionsts that are trying to find ways to “circle the wagons in defense of Theistic evolutionism”.

    As has been demonstrated on this web site – time and time again.. some who “claim” to believe in creation turn out to “only have time” for attacking creation and defending evolutionist agendas within our denomination. They freely admit that when it comes to creation “they are not answer people” rather they are “the keepers of the problem lists” and when it comes to evolutionism they are not “insightful” or even prone to “critical thinking” — rather they claim we must abandon reason and believe the Bible no matter the fact that science clearly states that it is all bunk.

    At this point – none of that is news.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  52. The Discovery Institute is the “voice” of the I.D movement and is by far NOT a group out to “promote creationism”.

    However it is more than a little disingenuous for those who WILL NOT allow us to say “evolution is not science because an atheist believes it” – have the nerve to then turn around and claim that “ID is not science because someone who also believes in creationism accepts ID”.

    You simply can’t have it “both ways” and then expect to be taken seriously.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  53. Dr. Pitman, the Intelligent Design movement has its origins in the political, cultural, and social movement called Creationism. After the Creationists lost in court, they continued their campaign under a different label while fraudulently representing to others that Intelligent Design is materially different than Creationism. The architects of this rebranding of the campaign were lawyers.

    These lawyers understood that they could not argue that science incorporate the theory that God created life on earth, because such a theory is a religious belief that invokes supernatural causation. Accordingly, for tactical reasons they manufactured the argument that the Intelligent Designer need not be God. The Intelligent Designer could be a natural entity that is more intelligent and more technologically advanced than we are, an entity that accomplished by natural tools and mechanisms the creation of life on earth.

    The Kitzmiller court, understanding the origins of the argument, rightly rejected this disingenous rhetorical trick. To argue that a natural entity can do what God can do in the context of sudden emergence of life on earth essentially conflates and confuses naturalism with supernaturalism. It does not pass the laugh test.

    One of the great weaknesses of students of natural science such as medical doctors is that they often lack a comprehensive understanding of ideas. Ideas do not exist in a vacuum to be analyzed like a substance in a test tube. They have origins. They are shaped in certain ways to accomplish various objectives. Many ideas are protean; they can be easily manipulated and rhetorically disguised. It is much more difficult to evaluate the merits of an idea than it is to scientifically test a particular substance.

    I do take the liberty of observing that for a proponent of Intelligent Design, a Big Con if there ever was one, to be calling for ‘transparency” is a bit rich.

    I recognize that I have only addressed one of your points, but I do continue to urge careful study of the Kitzmiller opinion. It is well-drafted, easily understandable, and of great historical significance.




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  54. David Read: I just wish Jeff could understand that most students, when confronted in an Adventist classroom by a an extremely knowledgeable, nominally Adventist professor who insists that our faith is unsustainable and even in the territory of the “lunatic fringe,” will tend to abandon the faith. They won’t continue to believe by faith alone when they’ve been taught–again, by an Adventist in an Adventist context–that their faith is risible nonsense unsupported by reason. If Jeff understood that, he wouldn’t oppose the mission of this site so vehemently.

    Okay, I’m back for one more comment, in part to make Shane look good on his prophecy. We’ve been over this ground over and over again, David Read, so you must surely know that I totally understand and agree with you on your statement. I’m just not convinced that LSU biology recently (in the past year or so), or that Dr. Bradley ever, stood at the front of the class and declared the SDA position to be complete nonsense. I know you folks really, really, really want to believe that virtually every LSU biologist is a theistic evolutionist who peddles all-out evolutionism, destroys the faith of students, and therefore cannot be a Bible-believing Christian, much less an SDA. For some reason, this conviction you have actually seems to make you very happy–enough so that you enjoy coming online to gossip and smear these individuals’ reputations. But as I’ve stated repeatedly, I have it on very reliable sources that the university and the denomination HAVE addressed the situation and that the teaching has improved.

    I think the problem is that you guys desperately want to believe that nothing has changed and that the Church’s leaders have no spine or courage to make change happen. In reality, you become hypocrites in that you criticize the resigned foursome for making negative remarks about Church leaders in a private conversation when you yourselves have made negative remarks very publicly at this website, and now continue to do so unrelentingly and very gleefully.

    I’m sorry, but this is not the Adventism that readers should be encountering in the secular press or anywhere for that matter, yet you seem very pleased by all the negative attention you have brought on the Church and God’s cause. I stand by my point: your rumormongering and cyberharrassment are a disgrace to the denomination. I wish the leaders had the courage to publicly address you folks–and I suspect that, in time, they will do so.




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  55. Jeff, you’re in denial. Please go read Louie Bishop’s 2009 letter.

    http://louiebishop.com/welcome/Testimony.html.

    I came to La Sierra University knowing the popular scientific views regarding life on earth. I previously attended a secular university, where evolution was taught. That is one reason I chose La Sierra University to begin pre-medicine classes. The first day of General Biology 2 I sat down only to see Charles Darwin’s face on the first slide. In my opinion, there would be no problem with that, except for the fact that we were taught only evolutionary principles of life for the next several weeks, and were told they were the truth. In fact, we were told evolution “is the single unifying explanation of the living world, and nothing makes much, if any, sense outside of this unifying theory.”




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  56. Prof Kent said: “I know you folks really, really, really want to believe that virtually every LSU biologist is a theistic evolutionist who peddles all-out evolutionism, destroys the faith of students, and therefore cannot be a Bible-believing Christian, much less an SDA. For some reason, this conviction you have actually seems to make you very happy–enough so that you enjoy coming online to gossip and smear these individuals’ reputations.”

    Professor Kent, you can’t possibly believe that we, who are so deeply concerned about this issue, are happy about this situation. We are devastated with this situation. We would be really, really happy if this situation were 100% corrected and if LSU was properly representing the beliefs of the church in their classrooms. The reports unfortunately point in the other direction, however.

    The most convincing evidence I have found to date on this site is a current student of professor Bradley’s that, because she was so upset about Bradley’s resignation, posted a message that clearly showed what Bradley was teaching his students–and it most assuredly wasn’t to respect the church and her teachings. This student’s belief in evolution was glaringly obvious and she (I think it was a female) plainly denounced the belief in creation as something only the ignorant would believe. From what I gathered from one of her posts, she is currently in Bradley’s class (or at least was when she posted this message) so your claim that things have improved is a bit hard to swallow. This person is the “fruits” of her professor’s teaching. I am greatly saddened that any student would go through LSU and come out with no faith in God as Creator, the Bible, the church or her fundamental beliefs.

    We are not here to gossip–this is a real situation that needs to be dealt with post haste, in my opinion, and our call for reform is anything but gossip. We take no joy in discovering this horrific situation in LSU (and, no doubt other SDA institions)…rather we are appalled that our universities would be so duplistic as to teach what is heresy to the church under the guise of being a church institution. As members of the SDA church, we have every right to know of this and we have every right to call for it to be corrected. God bless Educate Truth for doing what the univeristy, the conference, and the GC should have done years and years ago–call for action. It should have been dragged out into the open instead of being protected, nurtured, and allowed to grow.

    If, as you state, you believe in Creation, whether through faith or evidence, you should be behind Educate Truth all the way.

    And, just for the record, I must admit, I had no idea you were SDA as you have been very confusing regarding your beliefs. After all, you can’t be agnostic, as you plainly and repeated signed yourself, and truly an SDA. One post would lead me to believe you were an evolutionist and in another you would declare your beief in a 6-day recent Creation. For heaven’s sake, Prof Kent, take a stand for the truth and quit trying to defend the professors and LSU. They are wrong in what they are doing, and if, as you state, you believe in a 6-day Creation and young earth as stated in the Bible, then lend your support to this site. It is championing truth. Isn’t that what all SDAs should be doing?




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  57. To doubt is Divine. Happy Sabbath everyone and may the Lord give you a spirit of tolerance and love for those who think differently. If the belief in God’s redemptive Creation saved us, we’d all be in heaven. But since Christ’s grace has covered us, I need not worry about explaining the trees and rocks that are thousands of years old which I saw @ Zion National Park today. I’m for Creation all the way in the most SDA way possible but it would be stupid to say that we or the church or even LSU have all the answers or explanations. Think about it, God wants you to doubt so that your faith may be strengthened. That’s where understanding evolution comes in handy.




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  58. “To doubt is divine”???

    Your opinion? Or the opinion of a “professor”?

    Hebrews 11

    1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    2For by it the elders obtained a good report.

    3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

    4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

    5By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

    6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

    8By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

    9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

    10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

    11Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

    12Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

    13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

    14For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

    15And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

    16But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

    17By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

    18Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

    19Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

    20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

    21By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

    22By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

    23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.

    24By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;

    25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

    26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

    27By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

    28Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

    29By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

    30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

    31By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

    32And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

    33Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.




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  59. Science and Faith

    The faith and belief that God created the world in six “literal” days is the fundamental teaching of the SDA church. Science has time and again put this belief under considerable pressure. This debate has raged on for centuries and will not be settled on this site nor at LSU.

    Personally I believe that the goal of our education system should be to promote SDA values and beliefs. However, we should teach ALL theories of the origins of life not just ones that make us comfortable. To be ignorant about the fossil record, the theory of evolution, or any other scientific data is absurd.

    I personally have many unanswered questions about the origins of life. Such as; why are there no human fossils with the dinosaurs? Where did the dinosaurs come from? If God created them then why were there none on the ark with Noah. (that would have been a huge ark to carry two brontosaurus.). These and several other questions will likely go unanswered until we get to heaven. Until then I will continue to eat my “Big Franks” and wonder about dinosaurs.




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  60. Ben Bartsch: Personally I believe that the goal of our education system should be to promote SDA values and beliefs. However, we should teach ALL theories of the origins of life not just ones that make us comfortable. To be ignorant about the fossil record, the theory of evolution, or any other scientific data is absurd.

    ALL of our universities teach the real creation account of what “actually happened in nature” AND they teach the evolutionist fictions invented out of thin air about “birds coming from reptiles” etc — so that the students will be aware of those stories.

    That is not what is being debated. The problem at LSU was promotion of “birds come from reptiles” fictions “As if they were true and the Bible account was wrong”.

    And IF LSU had had an ounce of integrity on that point when it came to the fossil record – they would have mentioned the atheist evolutionist observations given by men such as Colin Patterson (British Museum of Natural Hist) – stating that “STORIES” based on the fossil record about how one thing came from another are “stories easy enough to tell but they are NOT science”.

    Yet were is the “integrity” in the LSU biology and religion departments in their “sacrifice all for blind faith devotion to evolutionism” on that point?

    Clearly it is “lacking”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  61. fabian:

    Happy Sabbath everyone and may the Lord give you a spirit of tolerance and love for those who think differently. … it would be stupid to say that we or the church or even LSU have all the answers or explanations.

    That part of your post is true and agreed to by both sides of this discussion.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  62. Professor Kent: ’m just not convinced that LSU biology recently (in the past year or so), or that Dr. Bradley ever, stood at the front of the class and declared the SDA position to be complete nonsense.

    Sounds like a reading comprehension problem for someone who actually read the “Inside Higher Education” release much less someone who claims to have listened to the audio.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  63. Phillip Brantley: Dr. Pitman, the Intelligent Design movement has its origins in the political, cultural, and social movement called Creationism. After the Creationists lost in court,

    Evolutionism has its roots in atheism – does that “alone” prove that it is “not science”??

    Apparently those who insist that we not declare that “evolutionism is not science simply because there is an atheist that promotes it” cannot fathom that the same rule holds for cases where atheists try to attack ID.

    And Romans 1 points out that an attack on ID is a “distinctively atheist” argument since even pagans are “without excuse” according to God – if they claim they cannot see ID “IN NATURE” — IN the “things that have been made”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  64. Phillip Brantley: These lawyers understood that they could not argue that science incorporate the theory that God created life on earth, because such a theory is a religious belief that invokes supernatural causation.

    Hint: this is the part where actually reading the position on ID published by the Discovery Institute long before Jones had anything to say about it – would have been “helpful” if one was interested in making a compelling point on the subject.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  65. Phillip Brantley: fraudulently representing to others that Intelligent Design is materially different than Creationism.

    The fraudulent claim being made is that the ID movement is creationist – and that point is obvious to anyone objective enough to have actually read the material published by the ID think tank “The Discovery Institute”.

    The hypocracy in that argument Phil is making is that it is ok to discount ID as science IF it is promoted by anyone who is creationist – but it is NOT oke to discount evolutionism as being science – simply because its origins is atheist and its promotion is distinctively athiest when it collides with I.D.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  66. @Phillip Brantley:

    You wrote:

    The Kitzmiller court, understanding the origins of the argument [substituting intelligent design for creationism], rightly rejected this attempt to deceive. To argue that a natural entity can do what God can do in the context of sudden emergence of life on earth essentially conflates and confuses naturalism with supernaturalism. It does not pass the laugh test.

    The laugh test? LOL – good one! 😉

    Let me ask you, what’s wrong with science having religious implications for various people? How does this particular argument remove the obvious conclusion of design in certain situations and from certain artifacts from the realm of science?

    Beyond this, to argue that a mindless mechanism, given enough time, can go far beyond what would otherwise seem to require at least human-level intelligence (like producing a stone arrowhead or a chocolate cake) is much more laughable – don’t you think? Yet, for many, that’s “science”.

    What that is, is philosophy, not science. The assumption that mindless natural mechanisms are ultimately responsible for everything is a philosophical or religious position that is simply not a requirement of any basic methodology of science and is in fact in direct conflict with the basis of many scientific disciplines – like anthropology, forensics, and SETI.

    Consider a situation where one of our Mars rovers happened to come across a partially buried space craft under the sands of Mars, showing evident technology vastly superior to ours. Or, consider a situation where just a simple highly symmetrical granite cube were discovered on the surface of Mars. Are you telling me that scientists would be unable to detect that the origin for such a spacecraft or such a cube originated in an intelligent mind? Are you actually arguing that such a conclusion would not be scientific? – that such a conclusion would be nothing more than a religious or philosophical conclusion? Please do correct me if I’m wrong, but that seems to me to be what you’re in fact trying to say.

    At the same time, you seem to be telling me that science cannot detect that the most simple living single-celled organism, which is just as complex as any human-designed spacecraft, also required its origin in an intelligent mind as well? – just because some people might conclude the such a mind might actually be the supernatural mind of a God? – instead of the natural mind of some very bright alien life form?

    You see, it is quite clear to most people, even scientists, that science has no trouble at all detecting design behind many artifacts in this world and even the universe (given the potential discoveries of SETI and the various anthropic arguments presented by several well-known scientists) as long as the designer in question had nothing to do with the origin of life on this planet – – for fear that the rather obvious religious implications might be seriously considered by many if not most rational people.

    Again, what’s wrong with science having religious implications for various people? How does this particular argument remove the obvious conclusion of design in certain situations from the realm of science?

    Answer me just one simple question will you: Is it possible for scientists to detect design behind a rock that looks like an arrowhead? Yes or No? – or does this question have too many religious implications for you?

    It is noteworthy Dr. Pitman that you have often been forced to torture the meanings of ordinary words in order to make your argument. This should tell you something about the absence of merit in the arguments that you have pressed.

    Care to present an example of where I’ve “tortured the meanings of ordinary words?” As far as I can tell all of the words and concepts I’ve used in my discussions of this topic are well defined by scientists within mainstream scientific literature. Perhaps you are unaware of their meaning because your only real exposure to these ideas is from a single source – i.e., the Kitzmiller opinion.

    It is a bit rich for a proponent of Intelligent Design, a Big Con if there ever was one, to be calling for ‘transparency.”

    I fail to see how the suggestion that science can in fact detect the need to invoke intelligent design behind various features of the universe, like arrowheads, murder victims, polished granite cubes, Stonehenge, crop circles, sandstone pyramids, radio signals with mathematical tags, the basic structure of the universe, the simplest living cell, etc., are being deceptive. To suggest that such things cannot be detected as requiring the input of intelligent design does not pass your own very scientific “laugh test”.

    Now, if the conclusion of intelligent design in some cases ends up having religious implications for some people, why is that a problem for the basic concept of intelligent design as a real science?

    There is no trick here. All are being very open and honest about the limitations of the scientific aspects of intelligent design theories. It is just that Kitzmiller and popular scientists are concerned that the implications of intelligent design theories, when applied to living things and/or the origin of the universe, would be contrary to the popular personal philosophies of most mainstream scientists.

    In short, this really isn’t about science so much as it is a struggle between fundamentally opposing philosophies.

    It seems to me that it is for this reason that you will not respond to direct questions. Why won’t you answer a question as simple as how scientists can determine that a rock that looks like an arrowhead was or was not the most likely result of deliberate design? That, for me, is very telling. I’m sure you know the implications of your response. It is for this less than transparent reason, it seems to me, that you simply avoid responding to such simple, otherwise rhetorical, questions.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  67. Sorry to use an old cliche, but, “What Would Jesus Do?” Don’t forget 1 Corinthians 13 – otherwise there is clanging sounds and all this debate is wasted…what have we done lately for the poor and the needy? Also, Phil. 2:1-10. Check it out – have the same attitude of Christ…




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  68. Krystaldo: Sorry to use an old cliche, but, “What Would Jesus Do?” Don’t forget 1 Corinthians 13 – otherwise there is clanging sounds and all this debate is wasted…what have we done lately for the poor and the needy? Also, Phil. 2:1-10. Check it out – have the same attitude of Christ…

    Excuse me, Krystaldo, what about the poor students being led astray as a direct result of this controversy? There is room for caring for the poor and needy as well as standing up for principle. That is what this site is all about. We need to have the courage to stand for the truth and see that right is done in LSU and all our other colleges.

    What would Jesus do? What did He do when He came into the temple and saw the money-changers there? Do you think He said “oh, well,” and went out to see if the poor and needy were doing ok? Nope. Read the Bible account. He was more than a little upset at the heresy going on in the temple. And I am positive He is upset about what is going on in the instituions that He, through His church, has established to teach truth to the young people and prepare them to go out to spread the gospel. What type of gospel do you think an evolutionist is going to spread? I would bet my bottom dollar it wouldn’t be the gospel of Christ. This is an important issue–please don’t belittle it.




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  69. The Dover trial was a case of a dark-ages style witch hunt conducted by evolutionists seeking to crush any so-called heretic that might have enough common sense to admit to a book on Intelligent Design “existing in the library!”

    The “actual crime” of which the heretics were being accused.

    The “admitted” in a 2 minute statement – to a “book existing in the library” on the subject of I.D. which students where “informed about” in case they wanted to “read it”.

    That gross act of “heresy” was committed at the start of an all-evolutionist-pablum all-the-time biology class where students were informed that they would only be taught to believe in evolutionism and would not be taught I.D.

    But the “heretics” had clearly “crossed the line” when they “admitted” that the book on I.D. “Exists in the library” – and required that all teachers in that school district be willing to “admit that” as part of a two minute introductory statement to an otherwise “All evolution all the time” biology class.

    It was then demonstrated in the aclu circus trial “conclusively” that these were genuine “heretics” by pointing out that the heretics in question actually believed the Bible when admitting to the existence of the I.D. book in the libarary – and further that they might have been hoping to one day in some future course be able to admit to science evidence that did not contradict I.D.

    Surely our constitution strictly forbids such two-minute heresy err… um… somewhere.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  70. Bravo Faith, speak the truth with clarity! This is the straight testimony that needs to be heard for this time. Jesus is coming soon and it is time to stop the nonsense of politics as usual, overlooking things, sweeping things under the rug, white-washed facades, speaking out of both sides of the mouth, etc. It is time to bring the SDA church back home to being faithful to our message. Thanks. Maranatha.




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  71. I think the discussion is very important indeed, and it was not my intention (Faith) to “belittle it”. My problem is with the name calling, finger-pointing and “yelling” I am hearing/seeing from both sides by some. I think we can discuss and make our points clear, but doing so IN THE SPIRIT OF LOVE.




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  72. Dr. Pitman, your analogies do not work. You ask me if I were to find an object such as an arrowhead that is clearly designed by an intelligent mind, would I believe that it was designed by an intelligent mind. That is like asking me if I were to find an object that is red, would I believe that the object is red.

    The following are just some of the many theoretical explanations for the origins of an object, such as an arrowhead:

    1. The arrowhead is uncaused. It has always existed.
    2. The arrowhead was caused by non-intelligent natural forces.
    3. A natural entity such as a human being made the arrowhead through the use of natural tools and mechanisms.
    4. God made the arrowhead through the use of natural tools and mechanisms and dropped it into the woods at some undetermined point in time.
    5. God made the arrowhead by manipulating and giving direction to non-intelligent natural forces.
    6. God spoke the arrowhead into existence without any reliance whatsoever on natural tools and mechanisms.
    7. God cursed an unspecified object and it became an arrowhead.
    8. God made an unspecified object, such as a beach ball, but made it appear to look like an arrowhead.
    9. Some supernatural entity other than God, such as Satan, made the arrowhead in some fashion described in explanations 4, 5, and 8.

    The Kitzmiller loser rejects explanations 4-9 for the origins of the arrowhead, because of his or her theological/philosophical beliefs about the nature of God and the supernatural. He or she then says, “The arrowhead looks like it was designed by a human being.” And that concludes the inquiry.

    In contrast, the scientist does not take a position regarding whether explanations 4-9 for the origins of the arrowhead are true. Science limits its study of the world to natural tools and mechanisms, because absent this limitation, science is indistinguishable from theology or natural philosophy. Therefore, the scientist does not endeavor to determine if explanations 4-9 best describe the origins of the arrowhead, because the existence and actions of God and other supernatural beings are not, by definition, scientific questions.

    The scientist understands that because of this limitation he or she imposes upon the inquiry, the generated data may not necessarily be true. All the scientist can claim is that the data is factually valid to the degree warranted by the natural evidence. The scientist may occasionally step out of his role as a scientist and express a theological/philosophical opinion, because he is a person who might be interested in the perspectives from other disciplines, but that is not the work of science.

    Both the scientist and Kitzmiller loser conclude that explanation 3 is the most tenable, but the Kitzmiller loser arrives at the conclusion through theology/philosophy rather than science.

    The Kitzmiller loser argues that his or her inquiry falls under the umbrella of science, even though he or she expressly rejects most of what characterizes the field of science, principally methodological naturalism in the study of origins. And the Kitzmiller loser says, “I arrived at the same result as the scientist regarding the origins of the arrowhead. Therefore, my method of doing science is just as legitimate as the scientist’s method for doing science.”

    The scientist and Kitzmiller loser next see a bird. The Kitzmiller loser says, “This bird is a complex creature. Just like the arrowhead, the bird looks like it was designed. But I can’t design a bird, so it must have been created by a supernatural being.” And so he or she accepts one of the explanations 4-9 for the origins of the bird. And that concludes the inquiry.

    In contrast, the scientist once again takes no position regarding whether explanations 4-9 are true. Instead, he or she using natural tools and mechanisms seeks to determine how the bird originated. He studies the bird and finds that the natural evidence differs from certain theological/philosophical views. He or she might ultimately choose to defer to those theological/philosophical views. But the scientific inquiry has value and integrity, no matter where the data leads and no matter how strong and persuasive that data may be.

    Intelligent Design is a branch of theology/philosophy. It is not science, principally because it rejects the rules of science. The dishonorable Intelligent Design proponent is like a person who comes to the baseball game carrying a hockey stick and puck and demanding that the game be played under different rules. The honorable Intelligent Design proponent goes to the ice rink and does not object to what happens at the baseball game.

    It is time for transparency and consistency. Even the most cunning grifter will end the Big Con once he or she has been caught.




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  73. @Phillip Brantley:

    You wrote:

    Dr. Pitman, your analogies do not work. You ask me if I were to find an object such as an arrowhead that is clearly designed by an intelligent mind, would I believe that it was designed by an intelligent mind. That is like asking me if I were to find an object that is red, would I believe that the object is red.

    How do you know that a granite rock that looks like an arrowhead, or a highly symmetrical polished cube, was obviously designed by an intelligent mind? What if such an object was found on an alien planet, like Mars, by one of our rovers? How would you determine that it was the result of deliberate design vs. the potential production by some mindless process of nature? What mechanism would you use to make this determination? – that doesn’t invoke your concept of science? I’d really like a response to this question…

    You see, there is no automatic or “by definition” assumption of design for various objects like arrowheads or highly symmetrical polished granite cubes. In theory, such objects could be produced by mindless forces of nature. Though remote, the odds for such events are finite. In contrast, this in not the case for a red object being red or a circle being circular. A red object is red by definition and a circle is circular by definition. There is no testing or investigation necessary to demonstrate that a red object is in fact red or a circular object is in fact circular. In contrast, a great deal of investigation and prior knowledge of the potential and limits of both deliberate and non-deliberate forces of nature is necessary before intelligent design can be rationally invoked as being the most likely explanation for a given object or phenomenon. This is why the basic ability to detect design is dependent upon scientific methodologies with the potential for testing and falsification.

    Do you not understand the difference?

    The Kitzmiller loser rejects explanations 4-9 [see Brantley's list] for the origins of the arrowhead, because of his or her theological/philosophical beliefs about the nature of God and the supernatural. He or she then says, “The arrowhead looks like it was designed by a human being.” And that concludes the inquiry.

    Not if the arrowhead was found on an alien planet like Mars. What I’m proposing to you is a universal method for detecting design in any part of the universe… not just on planet Earth where humans are the obvious agents with access to intelligence.

    You see, if a highly symmetrical chipped piece of stone with a sharp end on one side closely resembling an arrowhead were found on Mars, or any other alien planet, that would be evidence of an intelligent origin regardless of humans were clearly not involved with its origin. The same would be true if a highly symmetrical granite cube were found on Mars by one of our rovers or if a radio signal were found coming from deep space tagged with the first 50 terms of the Fibonacci series.

    In contrast, the scientist does not take a position regarding whether explanations 4-9 for the origins of the arrowhead are true. Science limits its study of the world to natural tools and mechanisms, because absent this limitation, science is indistinguishable from theology or natural philosophy. Therefore, the scientist does not endeavor to determine if explanations 4-9 best describe the origins of the arrowhead, because the existence and actions of God and other supernatural beings are not, by definition, scientific questions.

    Again, you are missing the entire point. The identity of the intelligent agent does not need to be known, be that agent natural or supernatural. It doesn’t matter when it comes to the scientific determination of the need to invoke high levels of intelligence to explain the existence of a given object or phenomenon.

    The fact is that science can detect the need for intelligence, even non-human intelligence, to explain the existence of various phenomena. Therefore, your argument that the basic ability to detect intelligence is beyond the realm of science is clearly mistaken. This ability is an integral part of many sciences and always has been.

    You’re just upset that some people go beyond the basic ability to detect the need for intelligence and try to identify more of the identity of the designer – to the point of suggesting that certain levels of design cannot be readily distinguished from a God or God-like power by anyone from the human perspective.

    The scientist may occasionally step out of his role as a scientist and express a theological/philosophical opinion, because he is a person who might be interested in the perspectives from other disciplines, but that is not the work of science.

    Again, many scientists, to include modern Nobel Laureates, disagree with you in your claim that all efforts to invoke an intelligent cause for certain types of natural phenomena are, by definition, theological or philosophically based. That notion simply isn’t true.

    Both the scientist and Kitzmiller loser conclude that explanation 3 is the most tenable, but the Kitzmiller loser arrives at the conclusion through theology/philosophy rather than science.

    Your point #3 reads as follows:

    “A natural entity such as a human being made the arrowhead through the use of natural tools and mechanisms.”

    A human being isn’t just any “natural entity”. A human being who can make an arrowhead is a natural entity who just so happens to have access to a fairly high level of intelligence. There are many other mindless “natural entities” out there that cannot produce such things. The question is, can science help one to determine the limits of what mindless natural processes can do vs. what intelligent agents can do? – be those intelligent agents natural or supernatural? The obvious answer to this question is yes. Science can very clearly help one to determine when an object is a likely artifact – the product of deliberate design.

    The scientist and Kitzmiller loser next see a bird. The Kitzmiller loser says, “This bird is a complex creature. Just like the arrowhead, the bird looks like it was designed. But I can’t design a bird, so it must have been created by a supernatural being.” And so he or she accepts one of the explanations 4-9 for the origins of the bird. And that concludes the inquiry.

    I can’t make a snowflake either but I don’t think a snowflake is clearly the result of deliberate design vs. mindless natural processes. The difference between a living thing and a snowflake is quite clear in that a living thing cannot be produced by any known mindless process of nature while the at least human level design comes the closest to producing the informational complexity needed to approximate at least the most simple of living things. For examples, human engineering has now produced the first fully synthetic working bacterial genome. No known mindless process of nature comes remotely close.

    So, the most rational conclusion is that living things had to have been the result of a designer with access to higher levels of intelligence and/or technology than I currently can access.

    This conclusion caries with it far more predictive power than the popular suggestion that some mindless natural mechanism was most likely responsible… a mechanism for which there is no evidence and no illustration.

    In contrast, the scientist once again takes no position regarding whether explanations 4-9 are true. Instead, he or she using natural tools and mechanisms seeks to determine how the bird originated. He studies the bird and finds that the natural evidence differs from certain theological/philosophical views. He or she might ultimately choose to defer to those theological/philosophical views. But the scientific inquiry has value and integrity, no matter where the data leads and no matter how strong and persuasive that data may be.

    You’d have a point if in fact there were any reasonable evidence to suggest that the informational complexity needed to produce the most simple of living things, much less a bird, could be produced by any known mindless mechanism. If this were in fact the case, it would be much much more difficult to detect the need to invoke intelligent design to explain things like arrowheads or highly symmetrical polished granite cubes, Stonehenge, radio signals with mathematical tags, and the like. Why? Because some mindless natural mechanism could also have just as easily been responsible…

    The reason why science can in fact detect design so easily in certain cases is because of the very clear limits of what known non-deliberate forces of nature can do in a reasonable amount of time.

    Intelligent Design is a branch of theology/philosophy. It is not science, principally because it rejects the rules of science.

    Not my version of intelligent design. Again, the basic concept of intelligent design is in fact an integral part of many mainstream sciences. The basic process of detecting design can be universally applied throughout the universe. This concept isn’t mere philosophy or religion… despite the fact that the results of this scientific process may in fact have religious implications for many people.

    The dishonorable Intelligent Design proponent is like a person who comes to the baseball game carrying a hockey stick and puck and demanding that the game be played under different rules. The honorable Intelligent Design proponent goes to the ice rink and does not object to what happens at the baseball game.

    And you’re trying to turn baseball into hockey. The basic rules invoked to detect design are not outside the ballpark of science. You’re getting confused by the politics surrounding the debate and are not focusing on the actual rules of the game – which are in fact the same basic rules of science.

    It is time for transparency and consistency. Even the most cunning grifter will end the Big Con once he or she has been caught.

    Caught at what? What have I said that is contrary to the rules of science? All I’ve said is that scientific methodologies are in fact well able to detect the need for intelligent design to explain certain features that exist within the universe in which we find ourselves. That is a true statement that no one can rationally deny – especially given that many mainstream sciences are actually built upon this ability.

    The only real argument here, therefore, is not over if the ability to detect design is or is not within the realm of science (it clearly is), but is over the idea that intelligent design can in fact be detected by these very same scientific methodologies as being the required origin for various features of living things (vs. various proposed non-intelligent mechanisms).

    So, stop being so disingenuous and concentrate on the real issue in play here…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  74. I have looked at the various sites and have come to some conclusions.

    I read comment after comment from students of Dr Bradley’s. Very few students even mention what he taught, instead they say he was kind and gave them encouragement when they needed it. They felt cared for. I wish I was so devious in spreading my influence.

    This site is evidently dedicated to opposing people like Dr Bradley. There is a tremendous amount of anger and judgement here. Go read the comments about Dr Bradley with an open mind and ask yourselves who seems more Christian. People give him credibility because they know him by his love.

    This strange story of the tapes is full of ironies. The strangest irony of all is that this site has made Dr Bradley into a martyr and forced people to take sides. Just think how different it would be if you left the judging to God.

    Gayle




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  75. @Gayle Hori:

    You wrote:

    I read comment after comment from students of Dr Bradley’s. Very few students even mention what he taught, instead they say he was kind and gave them encouragement when they needed it. They felt cared for. I wish I was so devious in spreading my influence.

    What Dr. Bradley taught is the key issue here… not if he was or was not saintly or well-beloved by his students.

    There are also many saintly Catholics, Baptists, and Lutherans. There are also numerous famous cases of saintly agnostics and even a number of saintly atheists.

    This isn’t about how good a person may or may not be. This is about if a person is qualified to effectively represent the stated goals and ideals of a particular organization – the Seventh-day Adventist Church in this case.

    As saintly as Dr. Bradley evidently is, and however gifted a teacher he obviously is, it is quite clear that Bradley, along with several other professors of science, and even religion, at LSU, do not support certain fundamental goals and ideals of the church. Beyond this, they actively undermine the clearly stated goals of the church, their employer, in their classrooms.

    Now, I’m sure that they think they’re right and the church is wrong. I’m sure they think it their moral obligation to tell their students their version of the “truth”. The only problem here, of course, is that they also expect to get a paycheck from the very organization that they are attacking…

    That’s the problem. Bringing up the fact that everyone loves Dr. Bradley is essentially irrelevant to this particular issue. There are some excellent Catholic and even agnostic or atheistic teachers that are very lovable and act in a very Christlike manner as well – but would be unfit to effectively represent the SDA perspective in one of our classrooms…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  76. Gayle:
    You have totally missed the point. The fact that Bradley seems to have a good relationship with his students does not address the real issue. He is teaching these trusting students heresy. That isn’t a good return on their affections is it? You seem to be putting emotions before truth.

    As to judging, you seem to be doing the same thing you accuse us of doing. You have judged us as unchristian. Interesting…you laud the man who is teaching heresy in our church institution and claim that those who are standing for truth are unchristian.

    In my opinion, basing your judgment on Dr. Bradley’s popularity is a shaky foundation at best. Do you not care about the fact that he is sending students out of the church? And if not, why not? If you cared a fig for the students you would be just as concerned about this as we on this site are. I fail to see how this concern should be construed as being unchristian.

    If it was your son or daughter that you had carefully raised in the church for his/her entire life, how would feel if the very people you entrusted him/her to betrayed them into heresy? I would be heartbroken if I was a parent of these students.

    There comes a time for the soldiers of Christ to arise. Now is that time. Dr. Bradley is trampling on the truth of God. In my opinion, your sympathy for him is entirely misplaced. I know this is the straight testimony, and I know it isn’t always the sweetest pill to swallow. But it is necessary if we are to defend our church…which is what all SDAs should be doing right now. I hope you will reconsider you judgment and join the ranks of truth.




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  77. Faith: What did He do when He came into the temple and saw the money-changers there? Do you think He said “oh, well,” and went out to see if the poor and needy were doing ok? Nope. Read the Bible account. He was more than a little upset at the heresy going on in the temple.

    You are right. And in the case of the cleansing of the temple, He did it SO that the poor, needy and sick could come in and worship & be healed. They had been told they were not worthy to come in and they had been kept out because of the priests, rulers and money-changers. When the money-changers etc. left, they were free to come in and meet with Jesus (See Desire of Ages pp. 157, 162-163; 592-593).

    I just love how Jesus, when He rebuked, did so with tears in His voice (DA p.353). Let’s do the same, remembering that every human being is a son and daughter of God. Thanks for your thoughts.




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  78. Ervin Taylor:
    Only be ignoring 98% of the scientific data and focusing on the 2% can young life creationists pretend to be “scientific.”

    Erv, I’d like to call you on your statement above, which I believe to be a gross exaggeration.

    I would like to challenge you to support your statement with hard data: For every 2 bits of data on the creation side, I’d like to see you provide 98 bits of data in support of the delusive, pseudo-science, evolutionary theory of the unbelieving skeptics.

    And if you can’t maintain an output of data in that ratio, 98:2, then you really need to retract your exaggeration.




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  79. Faith and Sean,

    You missed my point. I wasn’t talking about popularity. I do think being liked because people felt valued is a valid point. Once I heard a saying along the lines, “You should look at where God is working, go there. ”

    And, actually I did encourage a child to attend La Sierra. The reason? I knew he would be encouraged to think and mature in his decision making process. The Dr Bradleys are why I thought it was the best Adventist College for him. At my son’s academy I met teachers from both La Sierra and PUC. There was a difference in how they approached teaching. Granted, it was a small sample and somewhat based on the subject taught. The PUC teachers tended to present material to be mastered. The La Sierra alumni teachers tended to encourage analysis. Knowing my child, I knew he would learn more (and be more likely to have faith) if he was encouraged to ask questions and discuss possible answers. I was and am very happy with his decision.

    I have sat in Sabbath School discussions with young adults who were taught not to analyze what they were saying. It was scary. I wanted more for my child. I don’t think I am alone.

    Gayle




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  80. Gayle Hori: And, actually I did encourage a child to attend La Sierra. The reason? I knew he would be encouraged to think and mature in his decision making process. The Dr Bradleys are why I thought it was the best Adventist College for him.

    That is wonderful Gayle that you found a school that would promote evolution as fact for your student in just they way you would like to have it done. Are you aware that this is also available to you at local universities in your area – and that people there are also kind and nice to students?

    No doubt there are some SDA parents simply looking for an SDA school that will charge private school prices to provide the “best public university that SDA tithe, offering and tuition dollars can buy” and I believe that Bradley’s world view and teaching perspective would fully meet and even exceed your goals in that case.

    I also know some SDA parents that actually choose to send their students to public universities (often local ones so the students can live at home) – and they do get a heavy dose of evolutionism that way but since they attend from home or have some other connection – they remain well grounded faithful SDAs – often starting SDA student groups on public campus. They have the benefit of discounting all the evolutionist pablum by simply tossing it into the “not-an-SDA-pov” circular file as needed.

    However the public university lacks the special feature that you have received from LSU. Which is that of having an actual SDA professor modeling belief in evolutionism. A key feature you just don’t get at most non-SDA universities — so that is special I admit. And since you seem to be looking for that benefit, I trust you continue to be pleased with the results.

    However – the small group of SDA parents in your category looking for that special niche may not be as large as the LSU admissions people would normally prefer.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  81. @Sean Pitman

    Regarding the discussion of ID and whether it is “science” or not…

    It’s interesting to note that many evolutionists, (not scientists per se), but the world at large, have no problem with ID as long as the designer isn’t the God of the Bible.

    A couple of minutes on Google using terms such as “Mars structures” or “alien DNA” brings up thousands of pages referring to the idea that objects or phenomena that can’t be accounted for naturally must be the work of some “highly evolved” alien race.

    Admittedly these are fringe topics, but these ideas are out there and spoken about off the record in many academic settings, even by high profile figures such as Richard Dawkins.




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  82. Phillip Brantley: In contrast, the scientist does not take a position regarding whether explanations 4-9 for the origins of the arrowhead are true. Science limits its study of the world to natural tools and mechanisms, because absent this limitation, science is indistinguishable from theology or natural philosophy.

    As usual Phil’s argument fails “in the details”.

    Scientists do NOT have some guy in a back room “producing birds from reptiles” or even “producing DNA from rocks, gas and an energy source” so as to “pretend to be confused” that anyone would suggest that “God did it”.

    In fact – Dawkins himself says on interview that he has no clue how something as complex as DNA comes into being – and claims to know enough about actual science to be certain that it is not merely the result of a reaction between water and rocks over time.

    Thus “options 1 through 3” don’t even “show up” on the “scientists radar” when looking at the design apparent in DNA.

    The sad fiction that some people try to “dream up” from the Dover case is that we DO have “observed solutions in nature” (akin to Philip’s options 1 through 3) for the “birds come from reptiles” or “DNA comes from rocks” fictions. They imagine solutions that would not require the element of design already so glaringly apparent in the end product.

    They imagine in essence that “God is wrong” in Romans 1 when he says that even pagans are “without excuse” when they try to “imagine” a way to ignore ID observed in nature.

    Oh well – if fiction is where they prefer to place their faith – so beit. SDAs on the other hand – know better.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  83. Steve Shedell: @Sean Pitman
    Regarding the discussion of ID and whether it is “science” or not…
    It’s interesting to note that many evolutionists, (not scientists per se), but the world at large, have no problem with ID as long as the designer isn’t the God of the Bible.

    That is true – and it is instantly apparent to anyone that actually takes the time to read the “Discovery Institutes” material and promoters.

    But all that is just so much “inconvenient detail” to be ignored by those like Philip who would prefer to trumpet the Dover trial’s dark ages style of extreme censorship as if it were a funny kind of “new enlightenment”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  84. Dr. Pitman, these are your analogies, not mine. Instead of the arrowhead, I could have discussed the “partially buried space craft under the sands of Mars” that you analogize to. In desperation you weaken your analogy to the arrowhead in your last comment by stating that it might just be an undesigned granite rock. How do you propose weakening your analogy to the partially buried space craft under the sands of Mars? What undesigned thing might that be?

    Your comment is full of theological/philosophical opinions and judgments. If God superintends nature, how can you say that any natural processes are mindless? How do know that God did not design the snowflake? Looking at nature from another perspective, how do you know some living things (or particular features of living things) were not caused by mindless natural processes? All of the answers to these questions are theological/philosophical.

    I understand why for purposes of this discussion you want to compare God to a highly-intelligent and technologically-advanced natural being while deemphasizing His supernaturalism. This is a tactical effort to place all of the theological/philosophical questions under the umbrella of science. Why not just admit that science self-limits its ability to understand the world, rather than butcher well-established boundaries that separate science from theology/philosophy? Why not just hold yourself out as a natural philosopher rather than a scientist?




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  85. Gail:
    And, actually I did encourage a child to attend La Sierra. The reason? I knew he would be encouraged to think and mature in his decision making process.

    I pity both you and your child. So you think that by teaching the students error and how to question the validity of the Bible is valuable to establishing his faith?

    I must admit I can’t follow that line of reasoning at all.

    To me, the best that can be done for any student is to fortify them with the word of God so that they can successfully achieve salvation. Those that teach them to question scripture are doing the absolute opposite of developing faith. As David Bee has shown us by example this afternoon.




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  86. I find it curious that so much of the discussion here is about debating our origin – whether it be in a few days by an all-powerful God or by some version of “evolution”.

    We are talking about a Seventh-Day Adventist institution. If it is truly SDA, then that discussion is not needed. Those who are truly Seventh-Day Adventists believe that this world was created in six literal days followed by a seventh day that was set aside for a memorial to God’s MIRACULOUS creative work.

    We embrace the Bible as being a literal account of how we as humans came to be here, why, and where we go from here.

    Thus we also accept by FAITH the promise that Jesus (the Creator) will be coming back to this earth very soon and will “harvest” those persons who have embraced His messages of salvation.

    The majority of those involved in higher education in the US and many other places in the world, have highly developed the scientific model. “Enquiring minds want to know”. Indeed, science has developed an understanding of much of our natural world. The extent of discovery and understanding has emboldened many to believe that there are no secrets which may not be discovered.

    Scripture has made it clear that while “knowledge will be increased” in the “time of the end”, there is still very much about our existence that we will never understand. The essence of what constitutes “life” is one of them. So called “science” cannot grasp even so much as an inkling of what life is. IT only knows when it is there, and when it is gone.

    So Mr. Scientist, I admire your diligence in discovery. What you discover is very surface compared with the realities of the universe. Never fail in acknowleding the unfathomable power and wisdom of He Who created you. If you cannot recognize your limitations, it will be to your eternal loss.

    The “ADVENTIST” message is that Jesus the Creator is coming in clouds of glory very soon, to take His people to a place called Heaven. This event is something that defies anything that “science” could begin to understand. “Natural laws” will be broken. Something that can only be described as a “cloud” will come near to the earth. It will have traveled more than 1000 light-years in a matter of days. And it will make the return trip to Heaven in just a week or so.

    Something else about this event: Millions or billions of people from the 6000 year age of the earth, will be raised back to life. They will be “caught up” to this great “cloud” from the earth. Their resurrection will include a vesting with “eternal life”.

    Nothing about this event can hardly be explained within the limited understanding of so-called “science” because what we know as “science” is merely a discovery of certain aspects of the reality of an OMNIPOTENT God. Such discovery does not even approach a state of being comprehensive.

    Adventists are focused on the great event of Jesus’ second coming and we believe it will be very literal and will unfold specifically as Jesus explained when He was here. Proclamation of this coming event ultimately is the reason for existence of the SDA organization. Our churches, schools and even our hospitals exist for the purpose of this message: “Jesus is coming soon. Get ready.”

    Any teaching within our organizations that contradicts this message in any way, is adverse to the purpose of the church, and represents the “tares” among the “wheat” that Jesus spoke of.

    Deceptions abound. I love you all and wish that all may come to a knowledge of truth.




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  87. Gayle Hori:
    And, actually I did encourage a child to attend La Sierra. The reason? I knew he would be encouraged to think and mature in his decision making process. The Dr Bradleys are why I thought it was the best Adventist College for him.

    “It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought” (Ed 17).

    And how is that done? From the chapter “Manual Training”:

    “An education derived chiefly from books leads to superficial thinking. Practical work encourages close observation and independent thought” (Ed 220).

    And so, the education offered at La Sierra would encourage independent thought if it isn’t derived chiefly from books, and if the curriculum includes practical work and manual training.

    Does La Sierra offer these things? If so, then its education truly does promote independent thinking.

    And if that is the case, then I would expect few students to imbibe evolution. If students are thinking for themselves, I can’t imagine very many of them swallowing such an absurd theory.

    But I seem to recall that students have allegedly had detrimental consequences for standing up for creation. If so, then La Sierra has discouraged independent thinking rather than encouraged it.




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  88. 2 Peter 3:8 say “a day is like a thousand years”

    There are many other references regarding how God perceives time and how it differes from ours. He was before time.

    Maybe just maybe the story of creation as we know it is a dumbed down version of what actually happened so our feably little brains could understand it.




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  89. Certainly the story of creation has been simplified so that all may understand. That includes a clear teaching of seven evenings and mornings…

    God clearly sent a comprehensible message to us about how we got here – a message supported by a weekly cycle still universally observed by all of humanity.

    God has given everyone the freedom of thought to believe what they choose. Again, SDA beliefs are based on a miraculous seven-day creation in the original week a very few thousand years ago. If you choose to doubt that, you are among billions of similar persuasion. Either you are a “Seventh-Day Adventist” or you are not. Just be honest about it.




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  90. I find it so interesting that so many people are so enamored with Gary Bradley. Sure, he is a nice guy. But is he the person that we want to mentor our children? Someone who publically uses profanity in discussing whether he is going to call science “BS” to students to support our beliefs on origins, who admittedly is not an active church member and probably does not go to church, who probably drinks alcohol, who had discussions behind people’s backs and puts down our leaders, and who knows what else. Yes, he is a nice guy. Is being a nice guy the point? Is this the kind of person we want to be the mentor to our children? It is a wider and bigger question than that. Do we want people who doubt and actively trash our doctrines to be our children’s mentors? Do we want these people to be planting the seeds of doubt in our children’s minds? Is that what University is about? This is about all of our professors in all of our colleges.

    My experience in the SDA educational system was very different. I chose people for my mentors who were very loyal SDA’s. People who love our church and its doctrines. They served and walked a higher path than what this world calls us to. They studied the Bible with me and led me to service with them. They taught me the ways of Jesus, the creator, who served and was self-sacrificing. They taught me loyalty to our church and its beliefs. From this education I have personally seen that this world does not have the answers to the vital questions that people have. This world is spinning out of control, the poor along with the supposedly educated Ph.D’s.

    So my point is, who do we want being the mentors of our children, loyal SDA’s who raise our children’s minds and thoughts above this world to Christian service, eternal answers, and stronger faith, or people who promote what this world says are the answers?




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  91. Ben Bartsch: 2 Peter 3:8 say “a day is like a thousand years”
    There are many other references regarding how God perceives time and how it differes from ours. He was before time.

    The text chopped in half – would promote your view – but the text as it reads would not.

    Anyone that took the time and exercised the computer mouse to the point of actually hovering over the text you quote – saw that it “really said” this

    8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

    #1. A 7 thousand year period where all complex life on earth from grass to humans suddenly appears is the same thing to an evolutionist as a literal 7 day week. It solves nothing!

    #2. The text actually statest the equation frontwards AND backwards – showing that this is not a rule for interpreting historic “accounts” nor even for interpreting prophetic timelines.

    hint: Christ is not ‘still in the grave’ waiting for his “3 days and 3 nights to expire’.

    Trying to bend 2Peter 3 into a solution for marrying the Bible evolutionism is only grasping at straws and cannot be taken seriously.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  92. Something is wrong here. Really wrong. It seems incomprehensible.

    I come to a site in which the discussion is supposed to be about whether or not a Seventh-Day Adventist institution is being faithful to the teachings of the SDA Church. Instead of that discussion, I find arguments going on about Creation vs. Evolution. To those of you participating in this forum and arguing for some form of evolution or trying to insinuate doubt: Do you all actually claim to be SDAs?

    I was born into this FAITH more than five decades ago. I attended SDA educational institutions for 18 years. I know what Seventh-Day Adventism is – and it does not include any form of the teaching of or belief in evolution (as the word is commonly used).

    My participation here is based on an assumption of a literal Creation – etc. I came here to try to fairly see for myself whether or not evolution is, in fact, being taught at one (or some) of our SDA schools. If everyone here claims to be an Seventh-Day Adventist, I guess I have my answer.

    I have a sick feeling about all of this. But I trust that God will work it all out. To my real Adventist brothers and sisters, the signs tell us that truly the end is near. Yes?




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  93. Phillip Brantley: I understand why for purposes of this discussion you want to compare God to a highly-intelligent and technologically-advanced natural being while deemphasizing His supernaturalism.

    You are begging the point by bending the term for “supernatural” – as if God peforms supernatural actions by “magic” power – not by wisdom (knowlege of what He has made and how it can be affected).

    Apparently you are not using critical thinking much in your arguments.

    As it turns out – God is “all knowing” and all powerful, not just all-powerful. In your argument you appear to pretend to know that God does somethings “by magic” without wisdom (supernaturally) and he does other things “by wisdom” (advanced science).

    Such a division of God is not supported by the Bible – but I can see why your argument “needs” to go to such extremes.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  94. Brantly said:
    Intelligent Design is a branch of theology/philosophy. It is not science, principally because it rejects the rules of science.

    Sean Pitman:

    Not my version of intelligent design. Again, the basic concept of intelligent design is in fact an integral part of many mainstream sciences. The basic process of detecting design can be universally applied throughout the universe. This concept isn’t mere philosophy or religion… despite the fact that the results of this scientific process may in fact have religious implications for many people.

    I.D. is true science in the version promoted by the Discovery Institute. Which is the version that the Dover people “carefully avoided” when bashing 3 or 4 select school board members.

    The ACLU circus in Dover – tried to limit its peoople bashing – to just the school board members, but then “smear all of science” with the results as if by NOT going “head to head” with the Discovery Institute on the subject of I.D. – they could “PRETEND they did” and then sell that fiction to the same public inclined to swallow key arguments for evolutionism!

    Not how Brantly falls for the ACLU ploy hook line and sinker. He pretends that the Discovery Institute is bound by whatever 3 or 4 school board members in Dover could be duped into saying in the well crafted ACLU machinations in Dover.

    At BEST – based on their limite scope in debate on the I.D side – they could come out with a ‘superior dance’ declaring victory over 3 or 4 board members because they did not actually provide a context for a full head-to-head debate with the Discovery Institue on the subject of I.D with neutral judges deciding the outcome.

    Having failed of that key element – they simply “pretend” success using judicial priviledge rather than demonstrating it in fact.

    How sad that even one SDA could be duped into following a “distinctively atheist” argument against ID – as Paul points out in Romans 1.

    How much worse that they would be duped into doing based on the dark-ages mechanisms and methods used in Dover.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  95. So I’m curious as to why some of the comment guidelines for this site are not upheld? There seems to be a lot of belittling and judgement, which only makes people want to defend themselves and not actually search for truth with open hearts. If we are truly Seventh-day Adventists, we need to have the mind, heart and attitude of Christ. Check this quote out from Desire of Ages of how He dealt with speaking truth:

    “Christ Himself did not suppress one word of truth, but He spoke it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact, and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He fearlessly denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. …Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He always bore Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with tenderest regard to every member of the family of God. In all men He saw fallen souls whom it was His mission to save.

    The servants of Christ are not to act out the dictates of the natural heart. They need to have close communion with God, lest, under provocation, self rise up, and they pour forth a torrent of words that are unbefitting, that are not as dew or the still showers that refresh the withering plants. This is what Satan wants them to do; for these are his methods. It is the dragon that is wroth; it is the spirit of Satan that is revealed in anger and accusing. But God’s servants are to be representatives of Him. He desires them to deal only in the currency of heaven, the truth that bears His own image and superscription. The power by which they are to overcome evil is the power of Christ. The glory of Christ is their strength. They are to fix their eyes upon His loveliness. Then they can present the gospel with divine tact and gentleness. And the spirit that is kept gentle under provocation will speak more effectively in favor of the truth than will any argument, however forcible.” -Desire of Ages, p. 353




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