New NAD president: ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean we won’t deal with issues



By Shane Hilde

Newly elected North American Division president, Dan Jackson, was interviewed in Adventist World (September 2010) by Bill Knott and Mark Kellner. Jackson says he is a “dogmatic believer in a short-term, literal, six-day creation” and he anticipates this discussion will not “go on and on.” Spectrum reported that during a press conference following his election as NAD president, Jackson said he would visit LSU to tell the faculty he loved them:

Jackson said that he had just told LSU President Randall Wisbey that he wants an opportunity to come to LSU to tell the faculty that ‘we love them.’

Given La Sierra’s status at the center of the denominational debate on creation, Jackson may be sought to play a peacemaking role.

However, it seemed Spectrum’s hopes for Jackson disappeared when he gave his support for the change to fundamental belief #6. Two days after Jackson’s press conference, Keith Lockhart at Spectrum wrote:

Even Dan Jackson, newly elected president of the North American Division, who raised hopes in a press conference two days ago of a more tolerant approach to La Sierra University, which has been under fire for allegedly teaching evolution in science classes, said he was in ‘full agreement’ with the change.

The buzz surrounding Jackson’s comment must have caught his attention, “The fact that I say ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean that we won’t deal with issues.” It’s beginning to sound like we have a few leaders who are capable of addressing the La Sierra conflict.

[Excerpt from Adventist World]

KNOTT: In addition to the systemic needs for institutional strength, financial support, and enrollment, there are the issues that we recently discussed at the General Conference session, particularly the science curriculum on Adventist campuses in North America. You’ve probably already begun sketching some process by which those issues come to fruitful discussion. What process will you be following?

JACKSON: We need that discussion; I don’t think we should run away from it. I feel very keenly that one of the things we need to do is to embrace our institutions. They need to know that the crew in Silver Spring is saying to them, “We believe in Christian education.That’s part of the core teachings of our church. We’re not going to back away from that.” We need to let our educators know that we love them, that we want them, that they are a significant part of the ministry force of this organization.

“But while I say that, I don’t want anyone to mistake my own resolve. I am by faith a dogmatic believer in a short-term, literal, six-day creation. While I say that, and while I believe that, I don’t believe that we will resolve issues by alienating individuals or institutions. The fact that I say “I love you” doesn’t mean that we won’t deal with issues.

KNOTT: When do you see that process beginning? Many members are a bit wary that the church will tend to put things off three, four, or five years, hoping that something will change. Are you talking about a conversation that starts within six months, or is this something that will stretch out over several years? I have two university-bound Adventist young people in my family, and they’re going to be in those classes this fall and beyond. Our kids are in the crucible right now.

JACKSON: Let me make this point right now: I stand very close philosophically with our General Conference president. We have already set in motion a discussion to be conducted sometime this summer at General Conference headquarters with some of the leaders of our institutions. I would not anticipate that this discussion will go on and on.

KNOTT: Many parents will be encouraged to hear that you have a short chronology of moving to address these issues.

JACKSON: I’ll tell you why I have no softness [on this issue]. A precious child of mine, many years ago, went through an Adventist institution and had some challenges. I have no difficulty understanding the angst of parents; and my commitment is to do all I can to assist whoever is dealing with the issue to bring it resolution.”

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279 thoughts on “New NAD president: ‘I love you’ doesn’t mean we won’t deal with issues

  1. Amen Pat!

    On a side note – Spectrum said

    Even Dan Jackson, newly elected president of the North American Division, who raised hopes in a press conference two days ago of a more tolerant approach to La Sierra University, which has been under fire for allegedly teaching evolution in science classes, said he was in ‘full agreement’ with the change.

    Notice how coy libs are becomming when it comes to admitting publically that LSU even TEACHES evolution much less endorses it as the right answer for the doctrine on origins.

    They claim that someone is alleging that LSU “teaches” evolution. This is amazing given that ALL of our Universities TEACH evolution in terms of telling students what it is. The problem is with those that promote evoluitonism as the religion with the right answer for the doctrine on origins. But the Spectrum author quoted above apparently can’t be moved to honestly admit that LSU “teaches” evolution. And yet they express dismay that Elder Jackson might not favor evolution as if that is not a good thing for a university that only “allegedly” teaches evolution.

    Amazing!!

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  2. “Truth”, what is it? When this is settled, if it is, what will have changed? Those who oppose Bible truth and the Spirit of Prophecy remain in positions of leadership in the schools and the church. We have been given a glimpse of who will do what in an emergency. There is a line drawn in the sand. Some stood on God’s side. Many did not.

    It is left with each of us to decide whom we shall serve. Jesus is coming soon and we are only just now beginning to be tested in ways that will not decrease, but rather increase until probation closes. Let us love the erring, but let us not choose them over Christ. The truth will cause division. This division must take place before Jesus can come.




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  3. Sounds like God has answered our prayers and has put the GC and NAD presidents in place to rein in the runaway buggy.

    From what I can infer, they will be dealing with the issue at LSU (and elsewhere) shortly, decisively and dogmatically. I have a smile of satisfaction.




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  4. I was rather shocked that Elder Jackson said this:

    I am by faith a dogmatic believer in a short-term, literal, six-day creation. While I say that, and while I believe that, I don’t believe that we will resolve issues by alienating individuals or institutions.

    By faith? No! Surely he jests.




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  5. And he does not believe in “alienating individuals or institutions!” Now he’s talking like my kind of guy; I like him and respect him already…

    Amazing that we can all be agreed on his approach.




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  6. When Jackson said:

    “I’ll tell you why I have no softness [on this issue]. A precious child of mine, many years ago, went through an Adventist institution and had some challenges. I have no difficulty understanding the angst of parents; and my commitment is to do all I can to assist whoever is dealing with the issue to bring it resolution.”

    It tells me that he has experienced some things that we have been seeing for all too along. It takes people who have been through the mire to understand. I believe he does. There appears to be a resolution on the horizon at last.

    Spectrum’s use of the word “allegedly” caught my attention also. Certainly they know what is being taught at LSU as well as the rest of us. Using such phraseology is deception and deceiving is lying. Have they no shame? Don’t they realize that there will come a time when they will have to give an account for such as this? Pointedly, Heaven or Hell? Which?

    Bill




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  7. Praise God that we have leaders who are following this admonition:

    “The want of the world is the want of men,– men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right thought the heavens fall.” Colporter Ministry p. 54.




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  8. As an individual who has grown up in the church and church schools, the whole contemplation of evolution as a rule in our institutions was shocking. I am pleased, as well as my family, to see President Ted Wilson and his staff address these issues in short order. Yes, the shaking is in progress, and yet, all must be done in love, as referenced by our new NAD President. We each will be judged individually, and held accountable. We must Stand Firm on those precepts which the Bible makes absolutely clear, and remove those who support otherwise. Let us look to the cross, and behave likewise. The Bible states in Ecc. 4:10 “For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” when one falls, to have others standing by to pick them up, and that is what each of us, in Christian love, are charged to do. Let us not just have the mark in our foreheads, but move forward with postive, deciding action. 1 Thes. 5:16-17 Rejoice evermore (because God is always in charge!) and pray without ceasing (for forces unseen are at work, which we, as humans cannot battle except through prayer).

    Prayerfully,
    Kevin Manestar




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  9. Some of us have been around the church for a long time. I’m in the middle of 5 generations of SDA’s. Many seem to feel that for sure, now something positive will happen in defense of bible Adventism. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but when you have been around as long as I have, you know that “talk is cheap”.

    Like some of you, I am “optimistically hopeful” but I don’t hold the same assurance that some of you seem to exude. The line between politics and truth is often blurred with politics winning out. Again, I hope this is not the case with LSU and our responsible leaders.

    Just a parallel that may be relevant. After Jesus death, the political elements in the Jewish society realized a significant split was developing in the nation. A politician has far less interest in what is right and wrong, than in holding unity and harmony for the sake of their own influence and power.

    The Judaizers who followed Paul all over the world were a part of this scenario. The purpose was to hold “the kingdom” together. And if Christanity could be initiated into historic Judaizism, their goals would be accomplished.

    Paul believed in unity. But it was to unite both Jew and Gentile into a true biblical Christ centered religion. In this context, Paul had no interest in political unity and “truth” stood head and shoulders above being “nice” and patronizing and telling everyone “I love you.”

    As Christians, we should and do love all mankind with the goal of being redemptive to bible truth.

    So, as you can see, I am optimistically hopeful that our leaders will hold truth above any political expediency. But having experienced and witnessed the past, I am not holding my breath.

    We should all continue to pray for our leaders that they will stand up and discipline where discipline is necessary. But a split is coming, (it is already here) and nothing in heaven or hell will stop it.

    If God sending His Son could not heal the apostacy in Judaism, it seems more than likely that such will not happen in Adventism. In fact, we are told it will not. “Two parties will be developed”, EGW. And it seems likely the majority will abandon the true bible faith and only a “remnant” will remain.

    I did not post to discourage anyone who hopes and prays for a true and viable biblical outcome. But don’t put your head in the ground and “over-expect”. It could lead to a more discouraging experience than being ready for a more realistic outcome.

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




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  10. “We have already set in motion a discussion to be conducted sometime this summer at General Conference headquarters with some of the leaders of our institutions. I would not anticipate that this discussion will go on and on.”

    Since “this summer” is now over, the “discussion” should already have taken place. Has anyone heard anything about the “discussion”?? Or did he mean next summer, which doesn’t begin for nine months?

    And what are these discussions supposed to be about? I recall that the church had a three-year series of “discussions” on this issue from 2002 to 2004. The upshot of these discussions was that the church affirmed its doctrine of creation, but the rogue professoriate was essentially confirmed in the notion that it can hold and teach heterodox positions without consequences. Further “discussions” along those lines will only make the problem worse.

    I would advise everyone to wait and see what happens, otherwise you are setting yourself up for a “Lucy and the football” moment.




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  11. @ Bill Sorensen, You are correct also. A “split” IS coming, and most, on both sides know that is has actually been here for decades, just not “official.” I don’t believe the liberals will back down one inch.

    And, the majority of bible-believing SDA’s are not going to let this go on forever, despite what the LSU Board is trying, and what Knott may be inferring.




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  12. During my long years of service to this Church as a Pastor/Bush-Pilot/RN in the South American jungles, I learned this phrase: “Hechos no palabras”.

    That means: “Action, not simply words”. I’m looking with some anxiety on the future in this discussion/conflict.

    We pastors are trained to be “compassionate”, “long suffering”, but we misuse those virtues if we simply say “understanding things” and don’t deal decisively with difficult issues.

    I’m praying that this matter will promptly be resolved to God’s satisfaction, and hope other readers of this site will join me.

    Kindest regards,

    Pastor Richard Gates/RN
    (Retired GC Mission Aviation Bolivia/Peru)




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  13. The MOST fundamental of Adventisit beliefs is to seek truth, no matter where it is found or where it leads. Sadly, it seems to me that the denomination is about to abandon this most fundamental of principles in favor of “faith” and orthodoxy.

    There may be split comming, but which side is committed to truth?




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  14. While I’m mildly optimistic the “proof of the pudding will be in the eating.”

    As someone indicated — talk is cheap. This scandal has been long enough evident and proven that at least preliminary steps *must* be taken very soon. Lip-service alone is ineffective. I’m quite certain there are powerful forces that will support the status quo of LSU and its president.




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  15. Even Ervin Taylor recognizes that the liberals time is short. His agreement on Spectrum (Sept.12 2:28)to the statement, “Conservatives are fighting and winning the denominational war” shows that he admits the liberals are in trouble.

    Taylor says either the liberals “deny” or “don’t care.” The real truth is that liberals don’t have the “numbers” to “fight” very well (despite their academics trying their best such as at LSU, and on Spectrum and AT.) And the SDA Church is spreading most abundantly in areas outside the U.S. where most new members are more conservative.

    Taylor and his cronies know that their time is short, as we are seeing more SDA’s become aware of what has been going on “behind closed academic doors” for decades at LSU and other places. They will, I believe, continue their fight, as they have much more passion than most bible-believing SDA’s.

    Despite the false argument that liberals have a “better way” to evangelize (using solely the social gospel) their “fruits” aren’t keeping up with the “fruits” of the traditional, more conservative evangelistic methods.




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  16. The MOST fundamental of Adventisit beliefs is to seek truth, no matter where it is found or where it leads.Sadly, it seems to me that the denomination is about to abandon this most fundamental of principles in favor of “faith” and orthodoxy.
    There may be split comming, but which side is committed to truth?  

    @Ron Nielsen, So, where does most of your “truth” come from? Human wisdom, cultural beliefs, how you feel? Most of the “orthodoxy” find their truth (and faith)in the Bible.




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  17. A most refreshing breath of conservative air seems to be blowing in the Adventist Church in the likes of Elders Jackson and Wilson. However, if the history of the Jewish church is any guide, and if the Spirit of Prophecy is to be believed, the reigns of Josiah and Hezekiah served merely to postpone the inevitable judgments of God against a nation with deep seated rebellion in its ranks. We need to always remember that not everyone professing Adventism will stand on the Sea of Glass someday, singing the Song of Moses and the Lamb, but only the “remnant” who will have endured the apostasy. May God grant us grace to be numbered among this “small company.”
    As an aside it might be mentioned too that Elder Jackson’s reference to “faith” in his “dogmatic” position on the Genesis account of creation, is nothing more or less than his being totally honest and rational. Those who espouse Evolutionism, of whatever stripe, even while appealing to “science,” take a quantum leap in rationality and logic beyond anything that Bible based faith calls for. Since there were no human witnesses to the origins of the universe, we are inevitably forced to have “faith” of one kind or another. And I don’t have enough “faith” to be either an Atheist or an Evolutionist!
    May God bless Elders Jackson and Wilson and all the leaders of their genre.
    Sudhir




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  18. Amen Pat!On a side note – Spectrum saidNotice how coy libs are becomming when it comes to admitting publically that LSU even TEACHES evolution much less endorses it as the right answer for the doctrine on origins.They claim that someone is alleging that LSU “teaches” evolution. This is amazing given that ALL of our Universities TEACH evolution in terms of telling students what it is. The problem is with those that promote evoluitonism as the religion with the right answer for the doctrine on origins. But the Spectrum author quoted above apparently can’t be moved to honestly admit that LSU “teaches” evolution. And yet they express dismay that Elder Jackson might not favor evolution as if that is not a good thing for a university that only “allegedly” teaches evolution.Amazing!!in Christ,Bob  

    Bob, This type of trick was first used by Ervin Taylor in one of his articles about EducateTruth. He claimed we were all complaining because LSU was teaching “about” evolution.

    Interestingly, Taylor also claimed that this website was running out of steam and would probably soon be kaput. We all can see how perceptive Taylor is in his predictions!




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  19. ‘twould be a sorry eventuality to be caught in a tit-for-tat discussion, even of a vital topic, when “a cloud about the size of a man’s hand” appears. I’d be guessing a lot of even clever arguments in defense of the truth will be feeling suddenly stale on the tongue.

    Oneness with Jesus Christ, that means one Life shared by two, is what He’ll come to affirm or to deny in the lives of the professors (academic and otherwise). Without this first in place, chances are we’ll spend time posting words at each other that He would never post. With this in place we may find ourselves deeply attracted to the needs of the widows, fatherless, poor, captives of sin, with…sorry…just not enough time for argument.

    These are the real new clothes…do all the emperors in the room have them on?

    “But go and see what this means… …that the life of Jesus might be manifest in our mortal bodies.”

    “…and beginning at the eldest…”




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  20. There is nothing wrong about teaching evolution in our schools. What is wrong is teaching it as the scientific TRUTH to the point of refusing to consider adverse scientific data which tends to support the biblical view of origins. My understanding is that at LSU, science teachers routinely ignored the contributions of Adventist creationist scholars arguing that only peer reviewed books were allowed in their curriculum.

    I learned about the theory of evolution from Adventist teachers in Academy over six decades ago and saw nothing wrong with this because it was presented as an erroneouis theory which contradicted the clear teaching of the Bible about origins. I believe that this is the correct approach to the teaching of evolution in our schools.




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  21. “True, believing Seventh-day Adventists” accept the premise that he “Bible–and the Bible ALONE is our rule of faith”–and one can prayerfully read and reread the Bible from cover to cover and never find a single instance (unless you “twist” the wording to suit your fancy) where evolution is even hinted at.

    Also, “true, believing Seventh-day Adventists” NEVER accept the premise that the Spirit of Prophecy (as given by Ellen White) is an addition to–and therefore part of–Scripture. Ellen White herself vehemently rejected any such idea. Rather it is the “lesser light” given to God’s people in these final days of earth’s history to “lead them to the greater light”–the Scriptures. It is a blessing from God who knew that the nearer we came to the end of time, with all the additional firey darts thrown out by the enemy of souls, the harder it would be for His true people to under-stand and remain faithful. It does not in any way contradict, or add to, what the Bible says–rather it reinforces and supports “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” It has helped me immeasurably to build my faith on “the solid Rock”–Christ Jesus. And I, personally, am grateful to God for it.

    Satan hates the Bible and does every thing possible to lead us away from the truths of Scripture. He knows we are living in the last days of time as we know it and he is desperate to lead every soul possible to disbelief in God and His Word and their ultimate destruction. God knew all we would have to meet in these last days and He graciously gave us the Spirit of Prophecy to redirect our minds to the plain words of Scripture which will be our only safeguard in the troublous time ahead.

    Unfortunately, Satan has placed men (and women?) in some (hopefully not all) of our institutions and, as a result many of our youth have been deceived and lost their faith in the plain words of God in Scripture. And we must never forget that “whoso ever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” Mark 9:42. (KJV)) Some day these “deniers of the faith” will have to stand before the judgement seat of God and answer for what they have done.

    Meanwhile those of us who believe in what Scripture says must, with the help of God,do everything in our power to cast out these evil doers (this is what GOD calls them and He judges a tree by it’s FRUIT and bids us do the same–so it is not me–but Him–that is judging them) and restore our institutions to the Bible-based foundation upon which they were originally built.No one ever said it would be easy–fighting the devil is never easy but we must not falter, we must not be faint–we must press forward in faith till, in the strength that God alone can give, this evil is rooted out.

    Yes, some–if not many–will suffer from their efforts to help remedy this evil– consider the three members of the LSU board who are having to meet the scorn of the faculty and other board members! But God sees their tears and their broken hearts and THEY WILL BE REWARDED SOME DAY. However, they need to know NOW that there are those of us who support them in our prayers–which may be the only way we can help at this point. And let all of us who know how to pray remember them each time we pray! We must not for one minute think that there is nothing we the “peons in the pews”) can do–that it is up to the “leaders” to do it all.It is true that they are in a position to do things we cannot do but our prayers and support are a very necessary part of this conflict!

    I am a great lover and collector or stories–and one come to mind right now that illustrates what prayer can do–even prayers from many miles away.

    [edit – short illustrations are desired. Longer stories, while interesting, are not the purpose of this particular site or directly relevant to this particular topic]




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  22. There is nothing wrong about teaching evolution in our schools. What is wrong is teaching it as the scientific TRUTH to the point of refusing to consider adverse scientific data which tends to support the biblical view of origins. My understanding is that at LSU, science teachers routinely ignored the contributions of Adventist creationist scholars arguing that only peer reviewed books were allowed in their curriculum.I learned about the theory of evolution from Adventist teachers in Academy over six decades ago and saw nothing wrong with this because it was presented as an erroneouis theory which contradicted the clear teaching of the Bible about origins. I believe that this is the correct approach to the teaching of evolution in our schools.  (Quote)

    Hey Nic! Good to see you here. You’re absolutely correct. Learning “about” evolution and its weaknesses don’t seem to be taught at LSU. Can anyone refute this? So far, nobody has come on to “defend” LSU’s pokicies.




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  23. ‘twould be a sorry eventuality to be caught in a tit-for-tat discussion, even of a vital topic, when “a cloud about the size of a man’s hand” appears. I’d be guessing a lot of even clever arguments in defense of the truth will be feeling suddenly stale on the tongue. Oneness with Jesus Christ, that means one Life shared by two, is what He’ll come to affirm or to deny in the lives of the professors (academic and otherwise). Without this first in place, chances are we’ll spend time posting words at each other that He would never post. With this in place we may find ourselves deeply attracted to the needs of the widows, fatherless, poor, captives of sin, with…sorry…just not enough time for argument.These are the real new clothes…do all the emperors in the room have them on?“But go and see what this means… …that the life of Jesus might be manifest in our mortal bodies.”“…and beginning at the eldest…”  (Quote)

    Sounds like you need to join Steven Daily. Or are you a member already? Those of us following this matter are also spending some time for the “poor” etc.–just not ALL of our time!




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  24. RE Lydian’s quote

    “True, believing Seventh-day Adventists” accept the premise that he “Bible–and the Bible ALONE is our rule of faith”–and one can prayerfully read and reread the Bible from cover to cover and never find a single instance (unless you “twist” the wording to suit your fancy) where evolution is even hinted at.”

    Hello Lydian

    It is obvious you have a great strong faith and I respect that. I admire people of conviction,

    However, if I may point out the obvious, the theory of evolution did not exist at the time the Bible was written so I don’t think it would be logical for it to appear there. We do know that every culture seemed to have its own version of creation, often times bearing striking similarities. At that time science was in its infancy.

    For example, if the Bible were being written today I suspect there would have be references to cell phones, cars, websites;, and perhaps a more contemporary story of creation.Perhaps Moses would have received the Ten Commandments via computer! Like Sean Pitman has opined. perhaps God is revealing more and more present truth all the time, which causes mankind to recalibrate its understanding of creation.

    Take care
    your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  25. Hi, Ken–

    Thanks for your comments. I’m not a “young thing” any more and do not claim to able to understand and use most of the new technology…just a very old lady whose known God for a long, long time, and this is how I see it:

    If the Bible were written today (regardless of whether or not God “text-messaged’ it or used some other modern means of communicating with us) it would STILL say, “In the beginning GOD created…”

    It’s the MESSAGE, Ken–not the METHOD that is important.. Believe it or not, my God DOES know all about the new (to us) technology and He is smart enough be able to get His message across regardless of what man can come up with! To me, the question is, “Are WE smart enough to truly understand (and BELIEVE) what He is trying to tell us?”

    Sometimes I wonder??????…Lydian




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  26. Me again, Ken…

    No, the theory of evolution did not exist then–but that doesn’t mean God didn’t know about it. (After all, none of the rest of us with our “theories” were around to “enlighten” Him–so it’s HUMAN “science” that wasn’t around then!) And He didn’t address it because He was presenting TRUTH.

    Even today, “science” is continually changing some of its information as new things are “discovered” – and scientists frequently don’t agree with each other on many things. Even Darwin isn’t considered infallible any longer! So how can one really KNOW who or who not to believe concerning what, or what not is truth? Maybe you can find peace and confidence in trusting modern human beings but I can’t.

    No, I don’t understand a lot of things in this old wold but I’ll take God at His word every time. So far, He has never let me down (I just wish He could say the same about me!)

    You Bible believing friend,

    Lydian.




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  27. Sounds like God has answered our prayers and has put the GC and NAD presidents in place to rein in the runaway buggy.From what I can infer, they will be dealing with the issue at LSU (and elsewhere) shortly, decisively and dogmatically. I have a smile of satisfaction.  (Quote)

    “We are living in the time of the end. The fast fulfilling signs of the times declare that the coming of Christ is near at hand. The days in which we live are solemn and important. The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth. The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world and the final movements will be rapid ones” 9T 11

    In this episode, Pastor Bohr discusses signs of the times in our own church. Just as ancient Troy was invaded by trickery from the inside, after all outward warfare failed to bring down the walls of that famed city, so the devil has planted Trojan horses inside of our church and hopes to deceive many thereby.

    Satan is “wroth with the woman” and is out “to make war with the remnant of her seed which keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.” Rev. 12:17. In this war he is primarily attacking those very two pillars by which the remnant is identified in Scripture, by downplaying the importance of God’s law, and by attacking the true gift and interpretation of prophecy, as some members are becoming embarrassed and ashamed of our distinctiveness and differences with other churches.

    “We have more to fear from within than without”. This also happened in ancient Israel as the prophets often were hated and rejected by the religious people they were sent to. Jesus warned of “wolves that would come dressed in sheep’s clothing” that would arise from within the church and Paul said that in the last days there would be a form of godliness that denied the power of living holy lives. Even the Antichrist would be a believer and not some atheist from the outside. So we must look at the fruits of their lives and teachings. Many will point to their good works and names on the church books and say “Lord, Lord” in the judgment, but their hearts did not submit to obey.

    The tide of worldliness and lax standards entering our churches is also discussed. He closes by reading Elder Pierson’s concerns from his last address as General Conference President.

    Will we be of that class of church members in the end that “As the storm approaches a LARGE class who have professed faith in the third angels’ message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition”? (GC 608) Who will stand when the coming flood of the “river Euphrates” pours upon us from the mouth of the dragon as he tries to shake us and drown God’s people? May this message inspire us to remain true and firm on the solid Rock of truth.
    Excerpt from: Secrets Unsealed ~ Present Truth for the Last Generation




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  28. Dear Lydian

    I was touched by your comments. You are young at heart and have great grace.

    I am very glad you have found peace and comfort with God. No one can change that and you are blessed.

    Love
    Ken




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  29. What does one think about this, especially given that most scientific information comes from those who are not guided by God’s word?

    “It may be innocent to speculate beyond what God’s word has revealed, *if
    our theories do not contradict facts found in the Scriptures;* but those
    who leave the word of God, and seek to account for his created works upon
    scientific principles, are drifting, without chart or compass, upon an
    unknown ocean. The greatest minds, if not guided by the word of God in
    their research, become bewildered in their attempts to trace the relations
    of science and revelation. Because the Creator and his works are so far
    beyond their comprehension that they are unable to explain them by natural
    laws, they regard Bible history as unreliable. Those who doubt the
    reliability of the records of the Old and New Testaments, will be led to go a step farther, and doubt the existence of God; and then, having lost their anchor, they are left to beat about upon the rocks of infidelity.”
    (Christian Education, p.193)




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  30. Scientific research has, as all research has, a confirmatory bias: You find what you’re looking for (or you don’t find it). Nothing else. Then you start over again. But (I reiterate) the results of scientific research are not the same as the scientific data. Data is interpreted according to
    presuppositions. Some call these presuppositions, if they are very
    systematic, hypotheses. It’s just the way science is done.




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  31. J. A. Sylmar wrote

    Scientific research has, as all research has, a confirmatory bias: You find what you’re looking for (or you don’t find it). Nothing else. Then you start over again. But (I reiterate) the results of scientific research are not the same as the scientific data. Data is interpreted according to
    presuppositions. Some call these presuppositions, if they are very
    systematic, hypotheses. It’s just the way science is done.

    What you are describing is the very worst of science in highly stereotypical terms. One could offer similar stereotypes for many other disciplines, including theology, though it wouldn’t be charitable to do. Then again, charitability does not appear to be a common attribute among those who post here.




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  32. Re J.A.Quote

    “Begging the question,
    If a theological truth were to contradict a scientific fact, would that
    damage your faith in science? J. A., Sylmar(Quote)”

    Dear J.A.

    That’s an excellent question.

    What is the theological truth in question and who determines its truth: Catholics, Muslims, Buddists, Mormans, progressive SDA’s, fundamental SDA’s etc.? Even within your very own SDA ranks there is considerable dissension on theological truth. That is why this site exists!

    So you see the dilemma, who determines theological truth? On the other hand science operates independently of faith or non faith as an universal tool of objective inquiry. That is why I trust its non biased focus. If Sean Pitman can prove scientifically the the Genesis account of creation is more credible than evolution then I can accept that. I don’t think he has done that yet. For example, when it comes to the age of the earth I don’t think Sean has offered any plausible explanation to SDA Ben Clausen of the GRI who says the evidence demonstrates the earth is old.

    Hope that helps.

    Regards
    your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  33. @J. A., Sylmar:

    My faith is based on the living Word of God–not on human “science.”

    Human science today is often vastly different from what it was just a few years back. What was “fact” then is now, in many cases, considered obsolete. Even Darwin is now discredited in some areas. Only God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

    What He showed Moses many centuries ago is still truth today. The prophecies of Daniel and John, also written centuries ago, have never been proven wrong. The “spade” continues to unearth evidence that shows the Bible was correct but was for years considered by “scientists” as “proof” that the Bible was “wrong!”

    We are at war with Satan, the enemy of souls, and his wrath against God and all who follow Him is only increasing as the years go by. He knows he is wrong and that the time when God will finally hold him–and all who follow his leadings-accountable is drawing very near. For now, mercy still lingers, and the truly “wise” will head God’s warnings and see the deceptions of Satan and his followers and“come out of spiritual“Babylon.”

    Our youth MUST be made aware of the dangers they are facing–regardless of the difficulties we must face in getting rid of this–and other–evils that have been allowed to infect our institutions. We have shut our eyes on these evils far, far to long. Yes, we need to be loving and kind, but the time comes when evil must be called by it’s right name and that time is here, NOW! Our “loving kindness” must be for our children who are being led astray–not for the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” who are leading them astray!! The longer we allow this evil to continue the more young souls God is going to hold US accountable for.




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  34. People don’t want and don’t like an intense and confrontational religion.

    We are all inherently lazy and seek the course of least resistence. The result is compromise in every area of life. Technology has played an important part in leading people into a lazy free and easy life style.

    But technology has stimulated sin in principle. What we are finding out is this, technology can’t out run sin. The more we deal with sin by way of technology, the greater the fall when sin eventually overtakes it.

    All the ease and wealth in the world won’t cure the sin problem. Science seems to think so. The human mind is never content for we never have enough “stuff” to assure future security.

    In the realm of salvation, it is God against science. And those who try to harmonize science with the creation story will never accomplish their goal.

    The natural world and the spiritual world are not against each other, but can not be described by reason alone. For a Christian, revelation transcends science. And the bible is the revelation we place our faith in.

    Spiritual reasoning and natural law reasoning are not one and the same thing. Spiritual reasoning goes beyond natural law and accepts the God of natural law Who is not subject to natural law. If He created it, He is not subject to it. It is subject to Him.

    The axe head floats. The dead are raised. God creates. None of which can be explained by natural law.

    The old testament believer worshipped the creator God. All false religions worship creation itself. The principle and the conflict between the two is alive and well in the world today, and even in the SDA church.

    The technoligical “tower of Babel” is about to come down and the confusion is intensifying daily. The lines are being drawn and the final battle is about to begin.

    We better know what we believe and why and be ready to stand in defense of bible truth or we will be swept away by the flood of infidelity.

    Bill Sorensen




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  35. @Bill Sorensen:

    In the realm of salvation, it is God against science. And those who try to harmonize science with the creation story will never accomplish their goal.

    The natural world and the spiritual world are not against each other, but can not be described by reason alone. For a Christian, revelation transcends science. And the bible is the revelation we place our faith in.

    The natural world shows the distinct signature of its Author (Psalms 19:1 NIV and Romans 1:20 NIV). It is through the works of God that we can recognize Him. The Bible, along with His other works, is recognized as having a Divine origin because of the presence of the same Signature that we are able to recognize through our God-given reasoning abilities.

    Human reasoning is not the enemy of Christianity, but its very base. God wishes to appeal to our mind; our reasoning ability. He does not wish to appeal to emotion or faith before He appeals to our reasoning mind. Our faith can be and should be based on a thoughtful reason that would appeal to an honestly searching mind. – 1 Peter 3:15 NIV

    There are many “revelations” – some true, most false. How does one tell the true from the false without the use of a reasoning mind? – without a basis in empirical evidence that has general appeal to the reasoning candid mind?

    You’re aversion to science and empirical evidence as a basis of faith works to remove Christianity from its proper place as a rational, even scientific, religion where physical evidence really has no place in the Church. This is contrary to biblical teaching…

    I think you confuse a desire to avoid recognizing the truth with the dangers of science. It isn’t because Lucifer didn’t understand the truth as truth that he rejected the physical evidence. He rejected the evidence because he didn’t want what he knew to be true to actually be true. The problem was a lack of love for the truth that he knew; not the evidence for the truth itself.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  36. @Lydian Belknap:

    My faith is based on the living Word of God–not on human “science.”

    And how do you know that the Bible is the “living Word of God” without the use of at least some form of human reasoning from the available evidence? – i.e., a form of scientific reasoning? How can you know that you have accurately picked out the true Word of God from the many competing options? Upon what is your choice in the Bible based?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  37. @ken:

    I don’t think he has done that yet. For example, when it comes to the age of the earth I don’t think Sean has offered any plausible explanation to SDA Ben Clausen of the GRI who says the evidence demonstrates the earth is old.

    What do you do with the following among numerous other evidences favoring a recent arrival of life on Earth?

    * Continental erosion rates: Time constraint: < 10 million years * Mountain sedimentary layer erosion rates: < 10 million years * Ocean sediment influx vs. subduction: < 5 million years * Detrimental mutation rate for humans: Extinction in < 2 million years * Radiocarbon in coal and oil: < 100,000 years * Preserved proteins in fossils: < 100,000 years * Paraconformities: < 10,000 years * Erosion rates between layers: < 10,000 years per layer * Pure thick coal beds: < 100 years * Minimal bioturbation between layers < 5 years per layer * Worldwide paleocurrent patterns: < 1 year http://www.detectingdesign.com/geologiccolumn.html#Counter

    Such time constraints are far more consistent with catastrophic events vs. mainstream thinking which seems to be off from the maximum allowable ages suggested above by several orders of magnitude…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  38. * Pure thick coal beds: < 100 years
    * Minimal bioturbation between layers < 5 years per layer
    * Worldwide paleocurrent patterns: < 1 year

    My, my, the earth seems to get younger and younger the longer we have EducateTruth to keep us on the right track.

    And for those of you who don’t trust science, the Keeper of Truth will continue to set you straight, so be careful what ye write.




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  39. @Professor Kent wrote:

    My, my, the earth seems to get younger and younger the longer we have EducateTruth to keep us on the right track. And for those of you who don’t trust science, the Keeper of Truth will continue to set you straight, so be careful what ye write.

    I really shouldn’t post such pejorative and sarcastic comments that add nothing else of substance to the conversation. I only do so in this particular case to question Prof. Kent on why he claims to believe in the SDA Fundamentals while scoffing at evidence in support of these fundamentals? – and even claiming that there is no Biblical support for the notion of a world-wide Noachian Flood or for the recent creation of all life on this planet? – despite the testimony of most mainstream Hebrew scholars to the contrary? – such as late Oxford Professor Dr. James Barr?

    Probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark. Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the `days’ of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know.

    – James Barr, Oxford University

    From an SDA perspective, add to Barr’s testimony the testimony of Mrs. White – which is also very clear on this topic…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  40. Sean said…..

    “Human reasoning is not the enemy of Christianity, but its very base. God wishes to appeal to our mind; our reasoning ability.”

    Sean, I have never suggested that God is opposed to human reasoning. I stated plainly that “human reasoning” is subject to revelation first, and natural law is secondary as it is a field of its own.

    God and natural law are not one and the same, neither are they on the same page. God transcends natural law.

    “Canst thou by searching, find out God?”

    Apparently, you think so.

    Prohecy validates the bible more than any other singular “proof” or evidence. It proves that God can see, past, present, and future. And this is the same God who claims He has created everything that exists.

    Much of science is faulty evidence at best. Sin has warped science and natural law. “The heavens declare the glory of God” because He has claimed He is the creator of it. What god that we can preceive of, is there who can create? None. We can not even preceive a creator god except the true God tell us so and how it is possible.

    We can learn aspects of God and about God by way of His creation, but only as we first learn and hear of His power and existence by His “self revelation.”

    Some knowledge of the true God has been passed on from generation to generation even in heathen lands. They did not learn it by way of speculation nor by examining science. Yes, the heathen have some knowledge of the true God because it was passed on to them from generation to generation. God preserved it through Abraham, Issac and Jacob, and their decendents.

    Moses wrote it down and we hold his testimony as the ultimate authority as God’s revelation of Himself to the human family. If the devil can obscure this revelation or destroy confidence in it, then he knows he can destroy the one true faith and deceive all humanity about who God is and/or if there even is one.

    Science is at best, a vague and misunderstood revelation of God. You must move people from science to the bible if they show any interest in origins. And if the Holy Spirit is present, they will soon see how faulty science is in determining origins. A scientist may ponder the mystery of life, but he won’t find the answer in nature. Nature may create questions, but it will not give the answers. Only the bible can do that.

    I would never deny the necessity of human reasoning in comprehending the reality of God and His self revelation. But human reasoning must stand still and wait for God to speak before anyone can know what is the truth of the matter.

    “The power of Christ alone can work the transformation in heart and mind that all must experience who would partake with Him of the new life in the kingdom of heaven. “Except a man be born again,” the Saviour has said, “he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that can lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the Divine Spirit. This will lead to watchfulness. It will purify the heart and renew the mind, and give us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship.”
    38
    {CD 37.3}

    Notice especially……”The religion that comes from God is the only religion that can lead to God.”

    Now maybe you believe all this, Sean. But if so, you don’t communicate it well in your posts. You leave the impression that science is an equal revelation of truth and the bible is not the final authority. I personally reject such an idea, and apparently more than a few who post do to.

    Now I believe a person has a right to qualify and re-qualify as many times as necessary in explaining what they mean and what they believe. The human language is not adequate to convey a perfect thought or idea about anything. So we use many words, stated many ways, until the main thought is clearly preceived.

    And this goes for the bible as well. Jesus told many parables, and each was to convey some thought or idea about the kingdom of God. No one parable, or singular thought or idea could convey an adequate understanding of truth. Yet each thought and idea was in harmony with what had been communicated before.

    Having said this, I choose to believe that in at least some aspects, I am not understanding the points you are making. On the other hand, when you keep repeating the same thought patterns again and again, there will come a time when a person must conclude they do understand your points, and then must simply reject the conclusions.

    And finally, God has said He created the heavens and the earth in six days and rested the seventh. Nothing outside this statement can “prove” it. Not science nor any other evidence. This is how I, and I think many other Christians understand it and believe it.

    Bill Sorensen




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  41. 9-19-10

    Ken says:

    “On the other hand science operates independently of faith or non faith as an universal tool of objective inquiry. That is why I trust its non biased focus.”

    Sean says:
    “And how do you know that the Bible is the “living Word of God” without the use of at least some form of human reasoning from the available evidence? – i.e., a form of scientific reasoning? How can you know that you have accurately picked out the true Word of God from the many competing options? Upon what is your choice in the Bible based?”

    Ken: as I have said before, I am NOT a scientist and I’m not going to even begin to try to convince you (or Sean) about anything from science. To begin with–I can’t, and if I could I wouldn’t. My faith is not founded on “science” but on the living Word of God. (And, to be honest, the statement that science has a “non biased focus” is questionable from my point of view.)

    (I originally wrote this to Ken last night and when I was getting ready to post it Sean’s question popped up.)

    (Sean, as an Adventist, I’m sure you are familiar with the following prophecy–as well as many others in the Bible and, frankly, i’m am somewhat surprised at your question but I’m sure you had a good reason for asking it. I have no way of knowing how much of Bible Prophecy Ken is aware of so wrote it from the viewpoint that he is not familiar with these prophecies so tried to write it with that in mind. Since it was originally written for Ken I’m going to post it just as I wrote it.)

    My answer to both of your questions is founded on one thing–Bible Prophecy– and I hope you will humor a very old woman by finding a Bible and following along what I have to say. (I use a NKJV study Bible)

    Turn to the book of Daniel, chapter 2. (In Chapter 1 Daniel and his three companions were taken captives by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon–a person long ridiculed by scientist as never have even existed until archeology, once again, proved them wrong.)

    Please follow along in the Bible:

    The four young men had since been educated in the best schools of Babylon (Chapter 1) and were now considered part of the “wise men” who attended the king.

    One night the king had a dream which he could not remember but it impressed him so much that it woke him up from a sound sleep. He was sure the dream was something important but he didn’t know what. He immediately summoned all his wise men to demand that they not only tell him what the dream MEANT but what the dream WAS. (verse 5) For some reason Daniel and his three friends were not among those called. (I can understand why God kept him away from that first meeting with the king.)

    The wise men protested that no king had ever asked such a thing and anyway, “only the gods could know that.” The king was furious and commanded that ALL the wise men (including Daniel and his three friends) were to be put to death. (Vs. 13).

    When the soldiers came to get Daniel he went before the king and asked for time and he would tell the king his dream. (Vs. 16). This was granted and Daniel and his three friends held what was undoubtedly the most urgent prayer meeting of their lives! God answered, gave Daniel the dream, and prayers of thanks and praise ascended to heaven. (Vs. 20-23).

    The next day Daniel went before the king and not only told him what the dream WAS–but also what it MEANT. “There is a God in heaven who reveals secrets and HE has made known …what will be in the latter days.” (Vs. 28)

    God had shown the king a huge image–the head was of gold, the chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze and legs of iron (Vs. 32), its feet of iron mixed clay. (Vs.33).

    While the king watched, a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and it struck the image on its feet and broke it in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff…the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. and the stone…became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” Vs.34,35.

    Daniel went on to say that “YOU, O king…are this head of gold.” Vs. 37, 38-40. (that this meant the kingdom of Babylon under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar is shown in vs.36–38 “after you shall arise another KINGDOM inferior to yours, then another, a third KINGDOM, of bronze…and the fourth KINGDOM shall be strong as iron, inasmuch as iron beaks in pieces and shatters everything, and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and be crushed with all the others.”

    Look in any history book of ancient history and you will find that these four great empires were Babylon followed by Media-Persia, Greece and the “iron kingdom” of Rome. Amazing, isn’t it–in 4 short verses (37-40) God revealed to a heathen king a “timetable’ of history that has come to pass just as God said it would!

    But the dream didn’t stop here–Vs. 48-42 show that the mighty Roman Empire would NOT be followed by another “world kingdom” but it would be divided and even though there were many who tried everything within their power to reunite Europe into one great nation again it would never happen! And it never has. Instead, the kingdom of Rome was broken up and smaller nations took its place.

    These ‘divided kingdoms’ would continue in one form or another until the “stone” struck the image on it’s feet, destroyed every earthly kingdom and “filled the whole earth.” That this “stone” represents the return of Jesus who will have a kingdom that WILL “fill the whole earth” is amply verified by other Bible verses. Since I need to keep this as short as possible, I won’t go into those verses here.

    So far, every part of this prophecy has been perfectly fulfilled and I can find no real reason to doubt that the rest of it (and others) will also be fulfilled in their order. (Prophecy has a much better “batting average” than evolution has as for as I am concerned!)

    This is only one of many great prophecies of the Bible that give us an understanding of where we stand in the line of history–and if my God can foretell the future so exactly I have full confidence that He can be trusted to tell the past–regardless of what puny man may say–or whatever “science” he can bring forth to “support” his claims!!

    I am no enemy of true science–which (from which I have read at times but haven’t felt the need to really dig into it.) I believe it fully supports a young earth but I, personally, can’t see me, at my age, spending hours studying into it since prophecy fills MY need to “know” where truth lies… Bible prophecy (and there is a LOT more of it–some of which I may post at another time) may not answer your questions but it does mine and so is good enough for me to plant my faith on.

    Personally, from my view point, I can’t see arguing all these “scientific points” back and forth (and back and forth again and again and again) has done much good. It takes up a lot of time and space on this site and I, for one, haven’t seen that anyone has changed their mind on how they see things as a result. What I have written may not change any minds either. After all..“a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” But (hopefully) at least you may better understand how I see things–and why. (And I feel quite sure there are a lot of other folks out there who see things the same way!)

    All the best……

    Lydian




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  42. @ Sean Pitman

    @…to question Prof. Kent on why he claims to believe in the SDA Fundamentals while scoffing at evidence in support of these fundamentals? – and even claiming that there is no Biblical support for the notion of a world-wide Noachian Flood or for the recent creation of all life on this planet? – despite the testimony of most mainstream Hebrew scholars to the contrary? – such as late Oxford Professor Dr. James Barr?

    I haven’t called into question the SDA Fundamentals, which I believe in. I don’t put my faith in Dr. James Barr or other “mainstream Hebrew scholars;” after all, they reach other conclusions very different from SDAs. And I certainly do believe in a world-wide Noachian Flood. I just don’t believe the Bible supports the interpretation that it covered every single inch of land, for the inescapable reasons pointed out at the Ravi Zacharias thread.

    From an SDA perspective, add to Barr’s testimony the testimony of Mrs. White – which is also very clear on this topic…

    Yeah, it’s a shame that SDAs don’t take sola scriptura more seriously. But I do appreciate your frank admission.




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  43. Bill, I liked your statement:

    “God and natural law are not one and the same, neither are they on the same page. God transcends natural law.”

    However, I’m getting the feeling that our shared view on this is a minority opinion here.




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  44. Ken said
    So you see the dilemma, who determines theological truth? On the other hand science operates independently of faith or non faith as an universal tool of objective inquiry. That is why I trust its non biased focus. If Sean Pitman can prove scientifically the the Genesis account of creation is more credible than evolution then I can accept that. I don’t think he has done that yet. For example, when it comes to the age of the earth I don’t think Sean has offered any plausible explanation to SDA Ben Clausen of the GRI who says the evidence demonstrates the earth is old.

    You may choose to believe that “birds come from reptiles” and that “cells pop into existence from abiotic substances” and that dust and gas will eventually “become a human mind” due to the properties of dust and gas alone — all of known science to the contrary. (A story that even Isaac Asimov admits would need a “vast decrease” in entropy).

    I choose to believe that an all-knowing all-powerful God – the Creator of all, would have to “paint that complex painting” and that it wont just “pop out of a rock”.

    In my opinion both are religious by-faith-alone arguments.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  45. Here is a portion of a posting at Spectrum Magazine by George Jaspers:

    Science goes against everything and anything in the Bible.

    Rivers can’t part to dry land.
    Fireballs don’t come out of heaven and destroy 2 cities.
    Flood can’t cover the earth.
    Donkeys can’t talk.
    Walls don’t fall with marching and a shout.
    Can’t live standing in flames in a furnace.
    Can’t survive in the belly of a big fish.
    Can’t ignite an altar sopping in water.
    Chariots don’t come out of the sky.
    Ax heads don’t float.
    Dead people are not raised.
    A jar of flour and oil must run out.
    Ravens don’t bring meat.
    Sun does not go backwards.
    Unattached hands don’t write with fingers on a wall.
    Long hair can’t possibly make a man have super strength.
    Manna does not appear every morning to eat.
    Can’t cure leprosy by dipping in the river.
    Water does not turn to wine.
    Can’t feed 5,000 with a couple of loaves and fishes.
    Virgins don’t get pregnant.
    The world was not created in 6 days.

    If Sean Pitman contends that all of these extraordinary events can be explained by science, then the God of Seventh-day Adventists is much smaller than Bill Sorensen, or I, or essentially any reader at this website wants to believe.

    Basically, Sean’s claim is that if we accept these events by faith, without confirmatory scientific evidence, then our God cannot be more powerful or meaningful than the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Astounding.




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  46. David Read says:
    September 15, 2010 “We have already set in motion a discussion to be conducted sometime this summer at General Conference headquarters with some of the leaders of our institutions. I would not anticipate that this discussion will go on and on.”
    Since “this summer” is now over, the “discussion” should already have taken place. Has anyone heard anything about the “discussion”?? Or did he mean next summer, which doesn’t begin for nine months?

    Wasn’t there a post on this board in the last month or so saying that Elder Wilson has recently talked to Graham and Wisbey letting them know that the problem needs to be solved?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  47. Re Sean’s Quote

    “Continental erosion rates: Time constraint: < 10 million years
    * Mountain sedimentary layer erosion rates: < 10 million years
    * Ocean sediment influx vs. subduction: < 5 million years"

    Dear Sean

    I just want to make sure I understand you correctly. Are you putting forward the above as estimates you agree with? How old do you think the extant universe is?

    Regards
    Ken




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  48. @Professor Kent:

    If Sean Pitman contends that all of these extraordinary events can be explained by science, then the God of Seventh-day Adventists is much smaller than Bill Sorensen, or I, or essentially any reader at this website wants to believe.

    The formation of a chocolate cake can’t be explained by mindless natural mechanisms either. Yet, there are very good reasons, scientific reasons, to believe that chocolate cakes can be formed by at least human level intelligent manipulation of physical elements.

    The same thing is true of many features of the universe – features which reasonably demand the input of a very intelligent mind and creative power.

    The fact is that claims to extraordinary historical events are not unique to the Bible. The Book of Mormon makes such claims, as does the Qur’an and innumerable “cunningly devised” moral fables. How then do you come to recognize the Bible as being at all representative of true historical fact while doubting the fantastic historical claims of all the others?

    How is your appeal to a form of faith that needs no evidentiary support or basis in empirical evidence supposed to appeal to the rational candid mind when it comes to your claim in the superior historical credibility of the Bible vs. all other options? Would you believe that the Earth was flat if the Bible said so? Would you believe in Garden Fairies of the Bible said that they existed? How does your choice to have “faith” in one particular book, vs. many other competing options, make any rational sense?

    Basically, Sean’s claim is that if we accept these events by faith, without confirmatory scientific evidence, then our God cannot be more powerful or meaningful than the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Astounding.

    Why is your God more powerful or meaningful than the Flying Spaghetti Monster if your God does nothing which can be recognized by the rational mind as requiring a God or at least a God-like power to explain? – using at least a form of scientific reasoning? Is this not a valid question?

    I haven’t called into question the SDA Fundamentals, which I believe in. I don’t put my faith in Dr. James Barr or other “mainstream Hebrew scholars;” after all, they reach other conclusions very different from SDAs. And I certainly do believe in a world-wide Noachian Flood. I just don’t believe the Bible supports the interpretation that it covered every single inch of land…

    The majority of Hebrew scholars don’t agree your interpretation of the Biblical account of the Flood. The majority of Hebrew scholars believe that the author(s) of Genesis very clearly intended to portray a truly universal flood that wiped out every living land-dwelling creature on the planet. I’m sorry, but you happen to hold the minority interpretation of the Biblical text on this particular issue.

    Also, I find it very strange that you can claim to believe in a world-wide Noachian Flood while still claiming that this world-wide Flood, which you yourself believe killed off all human beings and all land animals, didn’t actually affect the entire planet. How does this notion of yours make any sense? To what purpose do you even propose such seemingly conflicting statements?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  49. @Lydian Belknap:

    My answer to both of your questions is founded on one thing–Bible Prophecy

    Biblical prophecy is based on the reliability of our understanding of real history – an understanding that is based on historical science (a true form of science that uses abductive reasoning among other forms of scientific reasoning to produce predictive power).

    In other words, you are basing your faith in the Bible on a form of scientific reasoning. You don’t have to be a career “scientist” to use scientific reasoning. The appeal to biblical prophecy as evidence is an appeal to a scientific apologetic argument.

    In short, you don’t believe in the Bible based on blind faith alone. You believe based on a form of scientific reasoning that is based in the historical sciences…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  50. @Bill Sorensen:

    “Canst thou by searching, find out God?”

    Apparently, you think so.

    Indeed. By searching we can indeed find out what God has made us able to discover about Himself (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV, Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV and Psalms 19:1 NIV). In fact, many of the founding fathers of modern science believed that by studying nature they were in fact studying the very mind of God.

    The fact that God’s mind is infinite and we are finite does not mean therefore that we can’t discover anything about Him. It seems to be His intention that by studying we will discover more and more and more, while still having infinity before us yet to discover…

    As Sir Isaac Newton once said, “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

    Prohecy validates the bible more than any other singular “proof” or evidence. It proves that God can see, past, present, and future. And this is the same God who claims He has created everything that exists.

    Indeed. And, prophecy is based on historical science which is itself based on a form of human reasoning.

    Much of science is faulty evidence at best. Sin has warped science and natural law.

    Sin as reduced our mental abilities to be sure, but a reduction in mental ability is not needed for sin to arise. After all, Lucifer was and still is brighter and more intelligent than we are or than Adam was before the Fall. Yet, he still fell victim to rebellion against what he knew to be true – i.e., “sin”. It is the desire itself to rebel against known truth that warps the mind.

    However, if one’s heart is set to earnestly and sincerely search out the truth and follow truth wherever it may lead, the mind and human reasoning will lead one toward a more and more rich understanding and appreciation of the Creator of the mind and of true science and natural law.

    “The heavens declare the glory of God” because He has claimed He is the creator of it. What god that we can preceive of, is there who can create? None. We can not even preceive a creator god except the true God tell us so and how it is possible.

    Not true. People who have no concept of the true God or of any God at all have been led to believe in at least the necessity of a God or God-like Creator simply by studying nature and natural law. This is exactly what Paul says when he notes, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20 NIV

    We can learn aspects of God and about God by way of His creation, but only as we first learn and hear of His power and existence by His “self revelation.”

    I still don’t know what you mean by the term “self revelation”. If you mean “the Bible”, then you are mistaken because many people throughout history have learned about many aspects of God through the study of nature without ever having access to the Bible or to historical information about God.

    Some knowledge of the true God has been passed on from generation to generation even in heathen lands. They did not learn it by way of speculation nor by examining science. Yes, the heathen have some knowledge of the true God because it was passed on to them from generation to generation. God preserved it through Abraham, Issac and Jacob, and their decendents.

    This is simply not true. There are and have been entire cultures where historical knowledge of God had been completely lost. All that was left to such cultures was the study of God’s signature in the works of His hands – i.e., in nature…

    Your notion that one cannot appreciate anything about God or His creative power without first knowing Him in some sort of mystical way or through some sort of historical knowledge is clearly mistaken my friend. It is because of the obvious creative power and intelligence needed to produce the universe and life on this planet that I’m still a Christian. The same is true for many scientists who have found God only through the study of nature and natural law – and nothing else. You discredit a very significant aspect of how God draws intelligent thinking people to Himself. Do not think God is restricted to only one method of attracting hearts and minds to Himself and His Glory and that science and rational thought and study never play a primary part in this process…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  51. @ Sean Pitman

    The majority of Hebrew scholars don’t agree your interpretation of the Biblical account of the Flood. The majority of Hebrew scholars believe that the author(s) of Genesis very clearly intended to portray a truly universal flood that wiped out every living land-dwelling creature on the planet. I’m sorry, but you happen to hold the minority interpretation of the Biblical text on this particular issue.

    Nice appeal to authority. The majority of Hebrew scholars either don’t accept the Seventh-day Sabbath or the divinity of Jesus. Are you going to trust them as well? Why not be consistent? I’m sorry, but you happen to hold the minority interpretation of the Biblical text on the issue of the Sabbath. Who is worse off–you or me?




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  52. @ Sean Pitman

    Also, I find it very strange that you can claim to believe in a world-wide Noachian Flood while still claiming that this world-wide Flood, which you yourself believe killed off all human beings and all land animals, didn’t actually affect the entire planet. How does this notion of yours make any sense? To what purpose do you even propose such seemingly conflicting statements?

    I believe in a world-wide flood that killed off all human beings but likely did not kill off all animals (marine, aquatic, or land–everything having the breath of life in it).

    Is it unfathomable to believe that a flood could impact an entire planet without killing off every single lifeform? Is it unfathomable to believe that a glaciation event could effect an entire planet without killing off Where, exactly, is the conflict?




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  53. @Ken:

    I just want to make sure I understand you correctly. Are you putting forward the above as estimates you agree with?

    I propose that these are very reasonable maximums for the age of these particular features. These features could, of course, be produced much more rapidly and are therefore consistent with life on Earth being less than 10,000 years old. These features are not, however, consistent with the mainstream view of life on Earth being hundreds of millions of years old…

    How old do you think the extant universe is?

    Probably very old indeed. I see no evidence to suggest that the mainstream view on the age of the universe itself is unreasonable. My real contention with mainstream science is over the presumed age of life on Earth.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  54. @Professor Kent:

    Nice appeal to authority. The majority of Hebrew scholars either don’t accept the Seventh-day Sabbath or the divinity of Jesus. Are you going to trust them as well? Why not be consistent? I’m sorry, but you happen to hold the minority interpretation of the Biblical text on the issue of the Sabbath. Who is worse off–you or me?

    You’re the one who said that it is that the Biblical authors were not clear in their description of the Biblical flood as being truly universal in nature. Yet, their description is quite clear to the majority of Hebrew scholars – even those Hebrew scholars who don’t believe in the Bible as anything other than a moral fable. These same liberal scholars still believe that whoever wrote Genesis clearly intended to convey to their readers that the Noachian Flood was universal in nature – covering the entire planet and killing off all land-based life on Earth.

    I believe in a world-wide flood that killed off all human beings but likely did not kill off all animals (marine, aquatic, or land–everything having the breath of life in it).

    Is it unfathomable to believe that a flood could impact an entire planet without killing off every single lifeform? Is it unfathomable to believe that a glaciation event could effect an entire planet without killing off Where, exactly, is the conflict?

    The author of the Genesis account does not say that the Flood killed off all marine/aquatic life. The text specifically says that, “Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.” – Genesis 7:22 NIV

    And yes, it is unfathomable to me to believe that all human life, and all land animal life, could be wiped out without the entire globe being involved in the Noachian Flood. I’m rather surprised that you do not see what appears to me to be a rather obvious conflict in your statements…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  55. 9-19-10

    I hope I didn’t give the impression I don’t believe in true science in the post I just made because I wholeheartedly DO. I do believe the evidence is THERE and I think our young people should be able to find it, understand it, and give an answer to anyone who questions them.

    But I ALSO believe that they should be learning to know the true God of science, the One who knows the end from the beginning, the One who created them, the One who died for them, the One who can transform them into His likeness, help them fulfill the mission He has for them, and make them fit for a place in the kingdom He is preparing for them. Our textbooks–especially our Bible text books–should thoroughly ground them in the truths we hold dear (or do we truly hold them dear anymore?)

    I know dedicated teachers who long for more meaningful Bible and science textbooks–and some who “sneak them in” when the conference isn’t looking! Very early grade school is not too early to start giving them the spiritual “roots “they so desperately need in order to face life successfully and come out God-fearing and God-enabled missionaries for Him in whatever place they go or whatever place they work..

    Thankfully, we DO have a core of young people who are willing to stand up for truth (Thank you, Louie Bishop and others like you! May your tribe continue to increase.) Unfortunately, we do have many who are confused and without a compass to guide them to the right way. This condition must not be allowed to continue! We must stop our bickering and put all of our powers behind solving the problems that confront us. The same God who parted the sea for Israel can–and will–work with us and for us when we prayerfully dedicate our feeble powers to His strength and might!

    Lydian




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  56. Re Sean’s Quote

    “Probably very old indeed. I see no evidence to suggest that the mainstream view on the age of the universe itself is unreasonable. My real contention with mainstream science is over the presumed age of life on Earth.”

    Dear Sean

    Thanks, that helps to clarify matters. I understand your position as to life on earth being recent. May I ask for a bit more clarification so I clearly understand your position. Are you saying the age of the earth is less than 10,000 years, or only life thereon?

    Thanks for your patience with your inquisitive, agnostic friend!
    Ken




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  57. Re Sean’s quote

    “However, if one’s heart is set to earnestly and sincerely search out the truth and follow truth wherever it may lead, the mind and human reasoning will lead one toward a more and more rich understanding and appreciation of the Creator of the mind and of true science and natural law.”

    Dear Bill and Lydian

    As you know, as an agnostic, I don’t agree with Sean’s conclusions. However I am in absolute agreement with his universal sentiments expressed in the above quote. We should not be in fear of science or subjugate it to any particular faith or non faith. We do not always agree on the conclusions of science but that should not impugn its universal virtue to hunt for the truth. I applaud Sean’s efforts to try to show a credible, scientific basis for young, recent life on earth. If he can convince rational minds of this he will have achieved a monumental milestone for the SDA faith.

    Bill and Lydian, you have wonderful faith, but I think Sean has great faith as well. You all believe in the Bible and the SDA church. Perhaps God is speaking to you in His own unique way according to your own nature?

    And all this from this spiritually, impoverished guy who likely doesn’t have a clue about the Creator!

    Cheers
    Ken




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  58. @Ken:

    Thanks, that helps to clarify matters. I understand your position as to life on earth being recent. May I ask for a bit more clarification so I clearly understand your position. Are you saying the age of the earth is less than 10,000 years, or only life thereon?

    Only life on Earth. The material of the Earth may be and I think is far older than 10,000 years. I also think the Bible suggests the pre-existence of the material of the Earth before the beginning of “creation week”. It was during creation week that the material of the Earth was ordered and structured so as to allow for the support of complex life. At the start of this creation account the author notes that the Earth before creation week was “formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” – Genesis 1:2 NIV

    This statement strongly suggests the pre-existence of the material of the Earth before the creation week started. It is just that this material was not properly ordered or structured yet, before the creation week. God had to do a lot of forming of the actual material of the Earth before it could be inhabited by and support complex life…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  59. Re Sean’s Quote

    “Only life on Earth. The material of the Earth may be and I think is far older than 10,000 years.”

    Dear Sean

    Thanks very much, that helps to narrow down the issues. I did go to your website and read the excerpt on C 14 and coal. Interesting stuff.

    I’ll focus on the age of life on earth.

    Regards
    Ken




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  60. 9-20-10

    Maybe I’m showing my not-very-scientific mind here but I’ll chance it anyway.

    We must remember that God did NOT create tiny babies–either human or non-human animals, birds, etc. He did NOT create tiny saplings of trees and bushes and wait a long time for everything to “grow up.”

    Adam and Eve were created full grown adults and the trees and bushes were also full grown when God created them–some no doubt already producing wonderful fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, etc. for food for Adam and Eve and all the creatures He had made, to eat.

    So why should the “fact” that fossils “appear” to show the earth was “very old” be a surprise or a problem?” What else could we expect to find?

    The God who can tell us centuries in advance what will happen in the future (Daniel 2 and many others) can be fully trusted to tell us all we need to know about what happened in the past–at least that is what my not-very-scientific mind tells me.

    (Now I await the massive response reminding me of how ignorant I really am!)




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  61. Sean said……

    “Indeed. By searching we can indeed find out what God has made us able to discover about Himself (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV, Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV and Psalms 19:1 NIV). In fact, many of the founding fathers of modern science believed that by studying nature they were in fact studying the very mind of God.”

    I suggest this is either Pantheism, or pretty close to it. At any rate, after reading many of your posts, I simply do not agree with your conclusions. Nor do I think the bible supports your conclusions.

    You build your theories, in my opinion, on obscure passages and ignore the clear and plain teachings of the bible. When you deny that some knowledge of God has been preserved even in heathen cultures, and people can “find out God” simply by nature would leave us to wonder why God destroyed nations of people and closed their probation when their children (at least some) could and would no doubt eventually find the true God in nature.

    The fact is, there was no “means of grace” available so they could learn and know the true God. Even nature could not enlighten them. As for Romans one, Paul says of the heathen, ….”because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God.” Vs. 21

    No one can find out God by science, unless God the Holy Spirit is present and in this way, God reveals Himself. Nature and science can only be a “means of grace”, if and when God Himself acts in them and uses them for His self revelation.

    But you have already made it plain that you do not believe the bible is the final authority to test any and all other ideas of truth. So you place nature on the level of the bible as a teaching tool. And then try to convince people of the God who is creator by way of science.

    Nature and science are faulty and fallible. The bible is infallible.

    Again, I doubt that your meaning is clear, even to yourself. As we near the end, we will necessarily be required to be very clear and definitive in exactly how we understand the bible’s authority vs. any other revelation.

    Bill Sorensen




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  62. Dear Sean

    I just read about Dr.Mary Schweitzer’s research on finding soft tissue in dinosaur bones. Fascinating stuff!

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems as if mainstream science is accepting rather than repressing her research.

    I also read that, notwithstanding she is an evangelical Christian, she believes in evolution. Do you know much about her or her work?

    Regards
    Ken




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  63. Dear Sean

    I finished that last one too quickly. I wonder if anyone did any C14 dating on the soft tissue that Schweitzer found and compared it to the surrounding bone?

    Regards
    Ken




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  64. 9-20-10

    Another thought: The earth–which was without “form and void” –was also apparently around for who knows how long before God turned it into paradise and put life on it. So, to me anyway, arguments about the age of the EARTH are worthless and a waste of time. We will spend eternity learning more and more of the wonderful works of our Creator God! I can hardly wait!




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  65. Dear Sean

    Below is the reference to Dr.Schweitzer’s paper, I thought would interest you.

    “Proc Biol Sci. 2007 January 22; 274(1607): 183–197.
    Published online 2006 October 31. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3705.

    PMCID: PMC1685849
    “Copyright This journal is © 2006 The Royal Society
    Soft tissue and cellular preservation in vertebrate skeletal elements from the Cretaceous to the present
    Mary Higby Schweitzer,1,2* Jennifer L Wittmeyer,1 and John R Horner3
    1Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
    2North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, 11 W. Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA
    3Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
    *Author for correspondence (Email: schweitzer@ncsu.edu)
    Received July 7, 2006; Accepted August 10, 2006.”

    Regards
    Ken




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  66. @ Sean Pitman

    The author of the Genesis account does not say that the Flood killed off all marine/aquatic life. The text specifically says that, “Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.” – Genesis 7:22 NIV

    I’m amused by how you have to qualify the writing.

    Genesis 7:4 says, “Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

    What is it about “every living creature I have made” that you do not understand? Do you believe that God did not make the marine and aquatic creatures? Killing every human outside of the ark was one thing, but what was the point of killing every creature on dry land, but sparing those in the marine and aquatic systems? What kind of logic is this?




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  67. Sean Pitman most inexplicably wrote:

    The material of the Earth may be and I think is far older than 10,000 years.

    Heresy! Heresy! You’ve joined the ranks of the infidels!

    May I remind you of what Sister White wrote:

    Infidel geologists claim that the world is very much older than the Bible record makes it. They reject the Bible record, because of those things which are to them evidences from the earth itself, that the world has existed tens of thousands of years. And many who profess to believe the Bible record are at a loss to account for wonderful things which are found in the earth, with the view that creation week was only seven literal days, and that the world is now only about six thousand years old.

    Every reader here knows that SDAs believe the earth is only about 6000 years old, so you are undermining our fundamental beliefs to even suggest any other possibility. Exactly how old do you think the earth is, Dr. Pitman? Since your faith is not enough to accept Genesis at face value, or even Ellen White’s unmistakable word use, exactly how old does your science tell you the earth is? Inquiring minds want to know.




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  68. I’m amused by how you have to qualify the writing.
    Genesis 7:4 says, “Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

    I am amused by your endless efforts to “game” the text simply to come up with another way to say nay.

    Genesis 7:21-24

    20Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

    21And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

    22All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

    23And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

    24And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  69. @Bill Sorensen:

    I suggest this is either Pantheism, or pretty close to it.

    Then you have a very strange understanding of Pantheism. The study of nature with the goal of better understanding the Author of nature is in no way a form of Pantheism – i.e., that Nature is God. That’s not true at all.

    At any rate, after reading many of your posts, I simply do not agree with your conclusions. Nor do I think the bible supports your conclusions.

    You build your theories, in my opinion, on obscure passages and ignore the clear and plain teachings of the bible.

    Some of the passages I quote are among the most popular in the whole Bible. Most would hardly call them “obscure”. They are very clear and make perfect sense to the rational mind. Why wouldn’t one be able to discover truths about the author by studying the author’s works? Both the Bible and Mrs. White are very clear on this topic…

    When you deny that some knowledge of God has been preserved even in heathen cultures, and people can “find out God” simply by nature would leave us to wonder why God destroyed nations of people and closed their probation when their children (at least some) could and would no doubt eventually find the true God in nature.

    You are confusing knowledge with motive. Having empirically-based knowledge of God doesn’t mean that the heart will love God. Lucifer has far greater empirical knowledge than you or I will ever have in this life. He knew all the facts. He had first-hand knowledge of what we can only theorize about. Yet, he will not be saved.

    The fact is, there was no “means of grace” available so they could learn and know the true God. Even nature could not enlighten them. As for Romans one, Paul says of the heathen, ….”because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God.” Vs. 21

    Exactly. The knowledge of right and wrong was there, but that isn’t enough to change the hearts of some people who have been so steeped in rebellion from birth that they have learned to actually love the lie. Additional empirical knowledge will not change a heart that is bent on rejecting the truth that is already known – the truth regarding what is right and wrong as far as how to treat one’s neighbor (which is intuitively known by all mankind – even the heathen who have never known anything else of God).

    Again, this has to do with a problem of motive, not empirical knowledge of God’s existence or anything else about Him and His plan for our salvation.

    No one can find out God by science, unless God the Holy Spirit is present and in this way, God reveals Himself. Nature and science can only be a “means of grace”, if and when God Himself acts in them and uses them for His self revelation.

    You continue to think that empirical knowledge is somehow linked with salvation. It isn’t. Motive is the basis of salvation. Knowledge, gained through a form of scientific investigation of the natural world and of the written Word as it matches the real world in which we live, does not save a person. Such empirical knowledge has the power to give a person hope in the future, but it does not affect the motive directly. Only the Holy Spirit can convert the heart – and that only if the individual is willing to listen to the calls of the Holy Spirit on the heart.

    But you have already made it plain that you do not believe the bible is the final authority to test any and all other ideas of truth. So you place nature on the level of the bible as a teaching tool. And then try to convince people of the God who is creator by way of science.

    The Bible’s authority is based on its reasonableness as it is tested in what it says about the reality in which we live against that reality. There is no other way in which you can determine that the Bible is the true Word of God vs. other competing options unless you do at least some form of scientific testing of the Bible against physical reality.

    Nature and science are faulty and fallible. The bible is infallible.

    You would be unable to come to that conclusion without first investigating the Bible and testing it to see that it is in fact reliable in what it says about reality. In other words, if you happened to have been born into a Mormon family, you would have grown up using the very same arguments you’re using now in defense of the Book of Mormon as the only true Word of God. You would have no basis upon which to determine your error and accept the Bible as the real Word of God since your basis of faith is entirely emotion-driven by what you call “self-authentication” – – a circular form of reasoning…

    Again, I doubt that your meaning is clear, even to yourself. As we near the end, we will necessarily be required to be very clear and definitive in exactly how we understand the bible’s authority vs. any other revelation.

    I appreciate your support of the Bible as the Word of God – which I also believe. But, it is also important that we understand why we, as Seventh-day Adventists, believe the Bible to be the Word of God. It isn’t because we have some deep feeling that our Book is true, as the Mormons have for their Book. Rather, we have, or at least can have, a much more thoughtful, rational, even scientific, religion that appeals to the candid mind. In other words, in our religion that heart can in fact follow the mind. The mind comes first, and then the emotion follows…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  70. @Professor Kent:

    Every reader here knows that SDAs believe the earth is only about 6000 years old, so you are undermining our fundamental beliefs to even suggest any other possibility. Exactly how old do you think the earth is, Dr. Pitman? Since your faith is not enough to accept Genesis at face value, or even Ellen White’s unmistakable word use, exactly how old does your science tell you the earth is? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Neither the Bible nor Mrs. White speak of the material of the Earth as being young. Rather, they clearly speak of life on Earth and the structure of the Earth needed to support life as being young. The Bible actually suggests, as already noted, that the basic material of the Earth had already been created, way back “in the beginning” before the start of the “creation week” where God transformed the Earth into a place that could actually support complex life.

    Try not to take the biblical statements out of context or make them say what they do not clearly say…

    I’m amused by how you have to qualify the writing.

    Genesis 7:4 says, “Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

    What is it about “every living creature I have made” that you do not understand? Do you believe that God did not make the marine and aquatic creatures? Killing every human outside of the ark was one thing, but what was the point of killing every creature on dry land, but sparing those in the marine and aquatic systems? What kind of logic is this?

    What kind of logic is it to take a passage out of the context of the rest of the author’s comments on the topic? Why do you pluck a single statement out of the context of the authors further qualifications on what exactly took place? You know as well as I do that the author of Genesis was very clear in noting that every living thing on the land that had “nostrils” died in the Flood. In other words, those things that lived in the water could survive outside of Noah’s ark – as well as those things on land, like plant life that don’t have nostrils.

    Try to use some common sense here…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  71. Ken said –
    I just read about Dr.Mary Schweitzer’s research on finding soft tissue in dinosaur bones. Fascinating stuff!

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems as if mainstream science is accepting rather than repressing her research.

    I also read that, notwithstanding she is an evangelical Christian, she believes in evolution. Do you know much about her or her work?

    Atheists that “believe in” evolutionism are not going to let this part of their religious conviction go without a struggle.

    After Schweitzer’s first paper appeared in Science, some critics suggested that she published it before conducting enough analysis. Schweitzer agreed with this claim at least in part. She explained that the team published its findings as step to securing funding for later work [source: Yeoman].

    A response to Schweitzer’s 2007 paper — the one reporting the presence of protein — points out several questions about the findings, including the likelihood of contamination. The comment, written by Mike Buckley and an array of co-authors, notes:

    •The likelihood of collagen breakdown
    •Tests that should have been performed but were not
    •The inability to perform standard analyses on fragmented peptide sequences [source: Buckley et al.].
    In their response to the comment, John M. Asara and Schweitzer assert that Buckley and his co-authors misinterpreted the data [source: Asara].

    Schweitzer’s 2008 paper describing protein sequences adds some weight to the idea that the tissue belonged to the T. rex and not an unrelated contaminant. But some critics remain unconvinced. For example, researcher Christina Nielsen-Marsh was quoted in by National Geographic as saying that the sequences described “make no sense at all” [source: Norris]. In the minds of many, the presence of peptides in a specimen as old as a T. rex is impossible. This means the only option is that the protein came from another source.

    In an article published in the journal PLoS One on July 20, 2008, researchers Thomas G. Kaye, Gary Gaugler and Zbigniew Sawlowicz argue just that. This team conducted more than 200 hours of scanning electron microscope analysis on a variety of dinosaur fossils. It came to the conclusion that Schweitzer’s samples contained bacterial biofilm, not T. rex tissue. The paper argues that while the T. rex bone acted as a protective layer, it preserved bacteria, not dinosaur protein. According to the paper, the objects that looked like red blood cells were spherical collections of iron and oxygen called framboids, and the apparent soft tissue was essentially pond scum. Through carbon dating, the team also determined that the material was modern, not prehistoric [source: Kaye et al.]. In statements made to National Geographic, Schweitzer stood by her findings, noting, among other things, that Kaye’s team did not address more recent protein studies of her T. rex samples [source: Roach].

    Their main “remaining” argument is the idea “If the tissue is less than 100,000 years old then it is not Dinosaur because they lived before that time”. And is an effort to avoid “our dating of Dinosaur fossils is flawed as can be proven by this soft tissue find where tissue that should not have survived is still present”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  72. @ Bob Ryan and Sean Pitman

    According to God: “For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made” (Genesis 7:4 NIV).

    So you are telling me that “all” in this passage does not mean “all living things?” ALL simply does not mean ALL? It means only those animals that move on the land and have nostrils?

    According to God: “[The waters] rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.” (Genesis 7:19 NIV)

    So you are telling me now that “all” in this passage can only mean ALL? ALL can only mean ALL? The waters covered ALL of the mountains, even those on the other side of the world where, perhaps, no humans had ever lived?

    In the majority of instances in the Bible, the Hebrew “kol erets,” meaning “whole earth,” does not refer to the entire planet earth. Of the 205 instances of “kol erets” in the Old Testament, it might refer to the entire planet just 40 times, and even some of those are questionable. So do you really insist that we are going to form the bedrock of SDA theology on taking this one phrase in this one instance literally, and dismiss other uses of the very same phrase?

    I find it quite amusing how you can pick and choose to your own liking when a word is literal and when it is hyperbole. And without consistency. Sorry, Bob, but I think you’re the one playing games with God’s Word–not me.




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  73. Sean Pitman wrote:

    Neither the Bible nor Mrs. White speak of the material of the Earth as being young. Rather, they clearly speak of life on Earth and the structure of the Earth needed to support life as being young.

    Excuse me. Was Ellen White not clear enough?

    Infidel geologists claim that the world is very much older than the Bible record makes it. They reject the Bible record, because of those things which are to them evidences from the earth itself, that the world has existed tens of thousands of years. And many who profess to believe the Bible record are at a loss to account for wonderful things which are found in the earth, with the view that creation week was only seven literal days, and that the world is now only about six thousand years old.” (3SG 91.1)

    Where did she say in this passage, or elsewhere, “The world is much older than six thousand years old, but life on it is only about six thousand years old.” Please help me out here, Sean. Personally, I think you’ve let your science get in the way of your faith in a simple “thus saith the Lord.”




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  74. For those infatuated with the notion that Dr. Pitman become a biology professor at La Sierra University, he has clearly disqualified himself for becoming an SDA employee in any capacity. He actually believes the earth is older than 6,000 years.

    Who else reading or contributing to this website believes Ellen White was simply wrong when she wrote “the world is now only about six thousand years old.?” (3SG 91.1) Bob Ryan? David Read? Paul Giem? Rich Constantinescu? Roger Seheult? I think folks should come clean about this.




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  75. Re Bill’s quote

    “Nature and science are faulty and fallible. The bible is infallible.”

    Dear Bill

    For sake of argument let’s presume your statement is correct. Let’s say as an agnostic I am evaluating your’s and Sean’s interpretation of the Bible. Whose interpretation is right? Logically both cannot be infallible. Possibly one could be infallible, or – both may be fallible.

    I’m sure you see the dilemma. Even if the Bible is infallible how does rational man decide whose interpretation is so, as exemplified by yours and Sean’s profound disagreements.

    Let’s look at another issue being debated here amongst FB’s SDAs: the age of the earth. Sean thinks that the material of the earth is far older than 10,000 years. Lydian at first thought that the earth, without form or void, was around before paradise was created, then recanted and said the earth if only about 6000 years old. ( that’s OK Lydian, no one- definitely not me- is faulting your honest change of mind ). Prof Kent, by his interpretation of the Bible, alleges that Sean has committed heresy and has joined the ranks of the infidels.

    Yet, I think you are all in agreement that what is being taught at LSU’s biology department, is contrary to FB #6.

    My observation is that you all appear to have strong SDA faith. But who is right, if anyone? As an agnostic I don’t know, but your dilemma in a teapot is indicative of the greater macro dilemma of faith in general. Faith, even inter denominational faith, is highly subjective. Thus, for me as a rational agnostic, I need an objective barometer to evaluate the question of the origins of life. And that is science, which looks at the issue dispassionately, objectively, without bias – or mixed interpretations – of faith, or bias of atheism.

    That is why I applaud Sean for attempting to use empirical evidence and science to support the Genesis account of creation. He is trying to put meaningful flesh on the bones of faith to make whole the SDA body. That greatly appeals to the rational mind. And – I say this somewhat tentatively so as not to insult anyone – if God did not mean us to examine issues rationally then the converse is that faith has an irrational component. Frankly I think this latter notion of a god is mysticism and superstition.

    As always, I am most grateful to be able to share my thoughts with all of you. I believe in service to mankind, even if my agnostic mindset serves to clarify or strengthen your faith. That is all good!

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  76. @Professor Kent:

    So you are telling me that “all” in this passage does not mean “all living things?” ALL simply does not mean ALL? It means only those animals that move on the land and have nostrils?

    What do you do with the author’s own qualification? Why would the author only describe, specifically, the land animals being destroyed by the flood? Why not mention the sea animals as well?

    Come on now. The story is internally consistent as it reads. It wouldn’t make sense to save whales or dolphins and other sea creatures in the ark when they would be able to ride out the storm on the outside.

    Do you have a point here? Or are you just trying to be obtuse?

    For those infatuated with the notion that Dr. Pitman become a biology professor at La Sierra University, he has clearly disqualified himself for becoming an SDA employee in any capacity. He actually believes the earth is older than 6,000 years.

    Who else reading or contributing to this website believes Ellen White was simply wrong when she wrote “the world is now only about six thousand years old.?” (3SG 91.1) Bob Ryan? David Read? Paul Giem? Rich Constantinescu? Roger Seheult? I think folks should come clean about this.

    Given the Genesis narrative and the description of Earth’s creation beginning with a pre-existing planet that was, “without form and empty [of life]” (Genesis 1:2) as well as Peter’s comment in the New Testament that God created the structure of Earth “out of water and by water” (2 Peter 3:5 NIV), and even the statement in Job where the author claims that, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7), it is quite reasonable in this context that Mrs. White was talking about the creation of the structure of the Earth that is now able to support complex life.

    This structure and the life upon the Earth is clearly described in the Bible as being produced over six literal days. This is the basis of SDA FB#6. The idea that the universe itself and perhaps even the material of the Earth existed before the Creation Week is not out of the question given the Genesis account or the statements of Mrs. White. This is why the SDA Church has not taken a fundamental stand on the gap theory or the age of the universe itself. The Church has only taken a stand on the age of life and the structure of the Earth needed to support complex life. That’s it.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  77. @Ken:

    I just read about Dr.Mary Schweitzer’s research on finding soft tissue in dinosaur bones. Fascinating stuff!

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems as if mainstream science is accepting rather than repressing her research.

    That’s correct. Her research is so simple and obvious in regard to the flexible, even elastic, soft tissues and sequenceable proteins that it is impossible to deny. The only problem for mainstream science is that there is no known mechanism that would allow for the maintenance of such soft tissues and intact proteins over 100,000 years much less many tens of millions of years. Prior to Schweitzer’s discoveries, the mainstream consensus, based on kinetic studies of protein and DNA decay, was that no intact DNA or protein sequences would be able to survive beyond 100,000 years under ambient temperatures and no more than one million years under colder conditions.

    I also read that, notwithstanding she is an evangelical Christian, she believes in evolution. Do you know much about her or her work?

    I have written several essays and put together a short video clip of her work and its implications:

    http://www.detectingdesign.com/fossilizeddna.html#Fresh

    I wonder if anyone did any C14 dating on the soft tissue that Schweitzer found and compared it to the surrounding bone?

    The non-fossilized remains of dinosaurs and even coal and oil have significant amounts of radiocarbon when none should be left at all. The usual arguments for this particular curious finding is that it must be the result of contamination or in situ formation. Neither of these arguments seems very convincing to me. Rather, it is far more likely, given all the information in hand currently, that these remains simply aren’t very old.

    Below is the reference to Dr.Schweitzer’s paper, I thought would interest you.

    Your references are a bit outdated. At first Schweitzer’s discovery and conclusions were aggressively challenged in literature. Some suggested that the soft tissues might be nothing more than biofilms produced by modern bacteria. However, these challenges have all been falsified and Schweitzer’s conclusions confirmed – which is very problematic for mainstream science…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  78. Ken comments…..

    For sake of argument let’s presume your statement is correct. Let’s say as an agnostic I am evaluating your’s and Sean’s interpretation of the Bible. Whose interpretation is right? Logically both cannot be infallible. Possibly one could be infallible, or – both may be fallible.

    I’m sure you see the dilemma. Even if the Bible is infallible how does rational man decide whose interpretation is so, as exemplified by yours and Sean’s profound disagreements.”

    Ken, Sean and I are not discussing the validity of the bible. We are discussing how anyone can know if it is the authority, or even the final authority to test everything else.

    I claim the bible is self validating by appealing to its prophetic utterances. Of course we examine history to see if what the bible claims by way of prophecy is true. The God of the bible claims to be the creator God. He validates His authority by demonstrating His infallible knowledge of past, present, and future.

    Sean claims we can validate His authority and the claims of the bible by science and nature. What does God state about science and nature that proves He created it? Even if He could demonstrate that He knows about every thing that exists, it would still not prove He created it.

    And I don’t deny that science and nature are a “means of grace” that God uses to help us validate His existence and authority. He also uses a thousand other avenues as a means of grace. A believer’s witness is one of the most powerful “means of grace”. Along with prayer, Christian fellowship, worship services…..etc.

    But as Sean has pointed out, Mormon’s and/or any other religion can appeal to these types of communication and claim they are worshiping the true God.

    Miracles and healing will not prove anyone’s religion is the true one.

    And no book but the bible can “self-validate” its claims by way of prophecy. It is infallible proof that no one can deny.

    As for harmony in interpretation of all the bible teaches, this is not the issue. Let any group of people unite if they will on a consistent biblical basis, and if they continue to hold to the bible, they will continue to agree. If division comes, someone is moving away, and whoever that is will eventually admit they are giving up the bible.

    Rome is classic. After the challenge of Protestantism and its claim of biblical authority, Rome had to eventually admit they had abandon the bible for spiritual revelations contrary to scripture.

    And so, Ken, I don’t worry about honest differences of biblical interpretation. The bible interprets itself. And those who are drawing wrong conclusions will either “repent” and confess they are mistaken, or, they will eventually challenge the bible itself.

    I believe God has made the bible clear enough so that “Wayfareing men, though fools, need not err therein.” Isa.

    I think it was Mark Twain who said, “It is not the things I don’t understand in the bible that concerns me, but the things I do.”

    Simply put, those who attack the biblical account of creation, will eventually admit they are abandoning the bible, if they haven’t already said so. Meaning, the bible is plain enough.

    And let me add, Ken. Everyone who is lost in the end, will simply admit they knew they were wrong all the time when confronted by God as they endeavor to take the Holy City after the 3rd coming.
    “Be not deceived, God is not mocked.” Or, as Luther said, “You can’t fool God.” He knows you know you are wrong when you attack Him and all you can do is “lie to yourself” until “God gives you up to strong delusion to believe a lie”. Why? Because people want to believe a lie and vainly hope they may “pull it off in the end.”

    I don’t want to be one of those, and I hope you don’t either. I know none of need be, it is our decision.

    Bill Sorensen




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  79. @Ken:

    Even if the Bible is infallible how does rational man decide whose interpretation is so, as exemplified by yours and Sean’s profound disagreements.

    This is a very insightful comment Ken. Given that the Bible is infallible, we all agree that we humans are still fallible. Therefore our interpretation of that which is infallible remains subject to the potential for error.

    This is why I say that, while I do believe the Bible to be the Word of God, infallible as a whole, I recognize that my own conclusion is limited by my own subjective nature – a nature that is subject and even prone to error. Therefore, the best I can say is that the evidence seems to me to strongly favor the conclusion that the Bible is in fact Authoritative. Yet, I cannot claim absolute perfection for this conclusion since I do not have access to or understand all knowledge. There is still the potential for error and falsification given the limitations of humanity – especially my own humanity…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  80. Re Bob’s Quote

    “Through carbon dating, the team also determined that the material was modern, not prehistoric [source: Kaye et al.]. In statements made to National Geographic, Schweitzer stood by her findings, noting, among other things, that Kaye’s team did not address more recent protein studies of her T. rex samples [source: Roach].”

    Dear Bob

    Thanks very much, very interesting.

    I’m curious whether they tried to carbon date the bones and compare that to the tissue. What if that yielded different dates or no dates at all on the bones. That would suggest different ages for the tissue and bones right?

    I also read Schweitzer’ paper where she speculated that somehow the tissue might have became preserved within the bone. I guess that is another possibility.

    The beauty of science is not always in its conclusiveness but in its ongoing relentless search for the truth.

    By the way, were you referring to Schweitzer as an atheist? She is a proclaimed evangelical Christian isn’t she?

    Regards
    Ken




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  81. @Bill Sorensen:

    Ken, Sean and I are not discussing the validity of the bible. We are discussing how anyone can know if it is the authority, or even the final authority to test everything else.

    I claim the bible is self validating by appealing to its prophetic utterances. Of course we examine history to see if what the bible claims by way of prophecy is true. The God of the bible claims to be the creator God. He validates His authority by demonstrating His infallible knowledge of past, present, and future.

    An appeal to history is not a “self validation”. The claim is validated against something else – real history in this case. And, the study of history is based on a form of scientific investigation and reasoning – i.e., human reasoning. It is therefore subject to the potential of falsification. Our understanding of history is not “infallible” as you claim. However, the science of history does become an external reference point to use as a basis to support the claim of the Bible’s superior credibility…

    Sean claims we can validate His authority and the claims of the bible by science and nature. What does God state about science and nature that proves He created it? Even if He could demonstrate that He knows about every thing that exists, it would still not prove He created it.

    There is no such thing as absolute proof. However, a being who is able to demonstrate knowledge about everything that exists and the power to produce certain features of the universe and of life itself would in fact be demonstrating creative power that would be indistinguishable, from our perspective, as a being with God-like power.

    The same thing is true of prophecy. Just because one can demonstrate very accurate foreknowledge doesn’t mean that this individual is really God. It just means that we can’t tell the difference between someone with such power and what we would recognize as “God”.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  82. Dear Sean

    I posted my comments to Bob on Dr.Schweitzer before I saw your reply. Thanks very much, I hope I haven’t wasted your time as obviously I am not up to speed on her work or criticism thereof. I will follow up on your comments and see if I have anything of value to add.

    I appreciate your candid admission on the limitations of subjective natures. Hence my agnosticism to ‘attempt’ to look at everything objectively, without a non faith of faith bias. Not being smug here as I recognize the realistic limits of idealism. Humans seldom, if ever, reach that level. I like the climb though, each step seems a little firmer than the one below.

    Cheers
    Ken




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  83. Dear Bill

    Thank you for your profound, sincere thoughts.

    Noting the differences between you and Sean, I am confused how the Bible can interpret itself. Aren’t you and Sean interpreting aspects of it differently? How or where does the Bible interpret itself without human commentary? Sound like a tautology to me.

    Regards
    Ken




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  84. For those infatuated with the notion that Dr. Pitman become a biology professor at La Sierra University, he has clearly disqualified himself for becoming an SDA employee in any capacity. He actually believes the earth is older than 6,000 years.Who else reading or contributing to this website believes Ellen White was simply wrong when she wrote “the world is now only about six thousand years old.?” (3SG 91.1) Bob Ryan? David Read? Paul Giem? Rich Constantinescu? Roger Seheult? I think folks should come clean about this.  

    I think Sean will say she did not mean the actual “physical world” (rocks, dirt, water, etc.) Right Sean? Only the “living” stuff? The idea that we can “age” something by using only our human reasoning seems wrong.

    The paralytic had been “paralyzed” for many years, with the subsequent atrophy of tissues that would occur. When Jesus “healed” the paralytic, did the nerves, muscles, and other tissues suddenly become “whole” (normal) immediately. It seems they did–he got up and actually walked away.

    However, we have no known scientific explanation of “how” this could occur. When cells, tissues, and organs “heal” it takes time. (Sean, being a pathologist, is an expert at understanding this) More time than “suddenly” is needed. When the people looked at the former paralytic, would his body show the “sudden” healing or be in the phase of gradual healing?

    If someone had looked at his muscles and seen the normality, would they have “misinterpreted” the healing as not having “enough time” to take place?




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  85. “The same thing is true of prophecy. Just because one can demonstrate very accurate foreknowledge doesn’t mean that this individual is really God. It just means that we can’t tell the difference between someone with such power and what we would recognize as “God”.” – Sean Pitman

    Obviously, Sean, no one can know everything in the bible or everything the bible claims is true in and of itself. And we both agree that science and nature are “evidence” of certain biblical claims.

    I guess my main concern is how I understand your whole theory of faith and evidence. This is what I hear you saying, “If and when someone can prove the bible isn’t true, then I will reject it.”

    In this creation/evolution debate, those who oppose the bible appeal to nature and science to invalidate the bible. It would seem you are willing to meet them on their own terms, and then try to prove the bible is true by the means they claim it is not. All for the purpose of supporting your faith in the bible. I think you are in a losing battle. And if so, then you are walking on thin ice concerning your own faith.

    You don’t meet the devil on his own ground, nor argue with him on his stated basis for a conclusion. He is the master of his art and used this method to deceive Eve. Logic and human reasoning apart from divine revelation is a losing game.

    As bible Christians, we start with God’s revelation and then use reason to understand what He communicates.

    Logic tells us God created us and is solely responsible to give and maintain life. No amount of “logic” could understand why God would create us and then put us on trial. And then threaten us with destruction if and when we rejected His test. But this is exactly what the bible teaches us. And this is exactly what Satan opposed in heaven and continues his attack on God here on earth.

    Who is responsible for sin? Satan says it is God. God, in the end, accuses Satan. We see from the bible account, few in this world side with God.

    So, the argument goes, “God created me, He is responsible for me.” And not a few “so-called” Christians take this position. But God has delegated authority, and to this extent, we are responsible for ourselves. And our eternal life is dependent on the right decision in this controversy of good and evil.

    My point is this, we start with God’s self revelation and then use reason to affirm His claims. If we use reason first, we will reject God’s claims about Himself and His kingdom.

    For example, the teaching from the bible on forgiveness and how it is available is not rational. The human mind could never rationally accept the fact that an innocent man can be charged with guilt in behalf of another. There is no justice in it. Biblical revelation alone can explain in what way it can be just. Love is the key, isn’t it? But love is not logical nor rational by pure human reason.

    At any rate, Sean, you won’t beat the devil on his own ground. And as for myself, I wouldn’t even try. And as a church, I doubt we have much real success in debunking evolution by nature and science. Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.” This goes beyond nature and science. Ask Nicodemus.

    Bill Sorensen




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  86. Re Bill’s quote

    “Logic tells us God created us and is solely responsible to give and maintain life. No amount of “logic” could understand why God would create us and then put us on trial. And then threaten us with destruction if and when we rejected His test. But this is exactly what the bible teaches us.”

    Dear Bill

    That is a very, honest, candid admission regarding very problematic theodicy. It exemplifies one of the reasons rational minds struggle with biblical faith.

    That is why death as part of nature makes more sense to me. Organisms live and die as part of an ongoing natural life cycle. Does that mean humans don’t have souls or once upon a time were immortal in the Garden of Eden? I don’t know that, but I have not seen, understood, critically read, had revealed or otherwise experienced anything to remotely suggest that is the case.

    I fairness, I find no logic in atheism. We exist or stem from- at least in a Cartesian sense I think we do – from some original cause. I don’t think humans can rationally grasp infinity. Do I think evolution is the most rational theory for the emergence of life on earth? Yes. Do I think that rationalism can explain the cause behind the big bang, at least the inaugural big bang that may have initiated metaverses? No, I have not seen a rational explanation for that yet, although Stephen Hawking alludes to one in his new book: The Grand Design. I haven’t read that yet. Could there possibly be a transcendent god? Possibly, but it could be some force that we do not remotely have the capacity to wrap our limited human minds around- hence an explanation for the conundrum of theodicy.

    I understand and appreciate your argument regarding prophecy but so many people make predictions. Is Nostradamus a prophet for example?

    Those are some of the reasons why I remain an agnostic.

    Respectfully, your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  87. Dear Bill

    Thank you for your profound, sincere thoughts.

    Noting the differences between you and Sean, I am confused how the Bible can interpret itself. Aren’t you and Sean interpreting aspects of it differently? How or where does the Bible interpret itself without human commentary? Sound like a tautology to me.

    Regards
    Ken Ken

    The bible is not “one” book, is it Ken? It is 66 books over many years of time in putting it together. And then we must remember each book and/or statement and concept is not written in a vacuum. It is built on many other books and statements.

    So that the later writers make comments assuming you already know some things that have been stated before. If we keep this in mind, we are less apt to read something and wrest it from its true meaning and purpose. Or simply put our own personal private interpretation on the statement.

    But, sad to say, this is how many read the bible and not a few commentaries miss this important point. And this is why some people think the old testament is one “religion” and the new a different “religion” altogether. Defined as “despensationalism”, by some. This idea has many twists and turns but always in the end, play off law and gospel in opposition to each other.

    The bible can be a difficult book, or not, depending on how you preceive the various concepts presented. In almost every case, every concept is discussed in the format of parallel and contrast. So that how the concepts agree is important, but how they disagree is equally important. Here is a list of examples…..

    Old and new covenant
    Law and grace
    Justification and sanctification
    faith and works
    Jesus as God and man…..etc.

    I could easily list a dozen more “enigmas” and paradoxes. But as I said before, the bible will interpret itself and explain itself to any mind open to the mind of the Holy Spirit. And ultimately, no one need accept anyone elses interpretation unless and until they see clearly the point any one is making from the bible itself. So, the bible “is of no private interpretation.”

    What I don’t understand, I am not required to believe. This is contrary to Rome who declares we must accept the church’s interpretation whether we understand it or not. Sad to say, more than a few SDA’s are willing to sell their accountability to the church by saying, “Well, if the church has decided, then we should go along.” And such statements are made without any consideration of the right or wrong of the church’s decision.

    Now it is true, other people can help us understand the bible as they explain their understanding of scripture. Every Christian is a “means of grace” and an avenue ordained of God as a witness to bible truth. But this in no way means they are always right, so we must investigate for ourselves.

    But the most important point is the bible is a self revelation of God to the human family, communicated by “holy men of old” as they were instructed and inspired by the Holy Spirit. Each building on what had gone before, so that, ultimately, Moses is the final authority. Even Christ being subject to “Moses and the prophets.”

    Listen to everyone carefully, trust no one completely. and affirm and confirm everything finally by the bible. For it is by the bible that the Holy Spirit creates and sustains the Christian community.

    And this too, is a confession of faith.

    Bill Sorensen




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  88. @Ken: I’ve read some of Nostradamus’ predictions. They’re about as accurate us your daily horoscope, and people get paid to come up with that junk. All this is a far cry from say Daniel 2, which is one of the more obvious prophecies in the Bible. Admittedly there are some difficult ones, but many many are made clear through a careful study of the Bible, since it is its own interpreter.




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  89. Can’t “beat the devil on his own ground”? Recognizing, valuing, and presenting evidence is the devil’s ground? Why give the devil any ground, much less the high ground? While his generals went on and on bemoaning that the high, middle, and low ground was Bobby Lee’s, General Grant saw it more clearly, and let loose with, “Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault.” Gen. Pitman can be heartily tired of hearing that Evo owns the evidence. The evidence is as much Creation’s as Evo’s.




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  90. @ Sean Pitman

    The non-fossilized remains of dinosaurs and even coal and oil have significant amounts of radiocarbon when none should be left at all. The usual arguments for this particular curious finding is that it must be the result of contamination or in situ formation. Neither of these arguments seems very convincing to me. Rather, it is far more likely, given all the information in hand currently, that these remains simply aren’t very old.

    Ancient samples are notorious for their contamination. Do some more reading.




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  91. @ Sean Pitman

    What do you do with the author’s own qualification? Why would the author only describe, specifically, the land animals being destroyed by the flood? Why not mention the sea animals as well? Come on now. The story is internally consistent as it reads. It wouldn’t make sense to save whales or dolphins and other sea creatures in the ark when they would be able to ride out the storm on the outside. Do you have a point here? Or are you just trying to be obtuse?

    In Genesis 7:4, God says “I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” But you insist that, to be “internally consistent,” you must advance 17 verses to read that “all living things” had to refer, instead, to “every living thing that moved on the earth.” Fine.

    In Genesis 7:19, God says “[The waters] rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.” You insist that “every inch of the earth was covered,” but to be “internally consistent,” you need to advance only 14 verses to Genesis 8:9, which reads, “But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark” (NIV). And from Genesis 8:5, we know that the tops of the mountains were visible 40 days before this! So if you are honest in being “internally consistent” with your interpretation of the coverage of water, you would recognize that you have been deceived. That, or perhaps you are simply intellectually dishonest.

    If you are going to demand being “internally consistent” in identifying which life forms died, then you are being internally inconsistent–and patently dishonest–in describing the extent of the flood waters, and in demanding that others share your inconsistency and dishonesty as well.

    Admit it: your interpretation of scripture is prejudicial and biased by what you have been brainwashed by the Church, and its culture, to believe it tells you.




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  92. @Sean Pitman:

    9-22-10

    “The same thing is true of prophecy. Just because one can demonstrate very accurate foreknowledge doesn’t mean that this individual is really God. It just means that we can’t tell the difference between someone with such power and what we would recognize as ‘God’.” – Sean Pitman

    Sean, you have me completely confused. If you can’t base your belief in God because of prophecy what can you base it on? You certainly can’t base it on human science.

    (As someone once said to an extremely intelligent friend of mine: “Sir, you need to put the “cookies” on a lower shelf so the children can reach them!”)




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  93. @Professor Kent:

    In Genesis 7:19, God says “[The waters] rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.” You insist that “every inch of the earth was covered,” but to be “internally consistent,” you need to advance only 14 verses to Genesis 8:9, which reads, “But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark” (NIV). And from Genesis 8:5, we know that the tops of the mountains were visible 40 days before this! So if you are honest in being “internally consistent” with your interpretation of the coverage of water, you would recognize that you have been deceived. That, or perhaps you are simply intellectually dishonest.

    There really isn’t any need to “insist” that every inch of earth was covered. The Bible makes it absolutely clear that it was covered.

    “And the waters have been very very mighty on the earth, and covered are all the high mountains which [are] under the whole heavens; fifteen cubits upwards have the waters become mighty, and the mountains are covered;” Genesis 7:19, 20

    Not only did the water cover all the high mountains by about 15 cubits, but there is the absent qualifying verses. Thus we’re left with a simple, but clear statement that all the earth was covered by water. Is there any verse to the contrary?

    Now it appears you’re claiming that because the Bible says there were mountain tops showing 40 days before Noah sent out the dove this somehow shows that the earth was not completely covered, right? How you didn’t mention that in the beginning of chapter 8 it says:

    The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased.” Genesis 8:2, 3

    The waters were receding and decreased. So the water level goes down, revealing the mountain tops. Dove is sent out but finds no life yet.

    In regard to whether the all the animals died on the earth with exception to those on the ark, the Bible says this:

    “And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit[a] of life, all that was on the dry land, died. 23 So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth.” Genesis 7:21-23

    This does not contradict 7:4, which says, “for after other seven days I am sending rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and have wiped away all the substance that I have made from off the face of the ground.” Other translations use earth instead of ground. Did he wipe away all the animals on the face of the earth? Yes. And what exactly did he mean when he said face of the earth? It’s all clarified in verses 21-23.

    You’ve pointed out no inconsistencies in the idea that all the land on earth was entirely covered by water and that only the land animals, birds, surface animals died.




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  94. @Professor Kent:

    Ancient samples are notorious for their contamination. Do some more reading.

    Not when it comes to radiocarbon in materials that have supposedly been sealed off from atmospheric radiocarbon for millions of years. For example, how are you going to “contaminate” coal or oil that has been buried under thousands of meters of sediment with significant quantities of radiocarbon?

    Perhaps it is you who needs to do a bit more reading on this topic…

    If you are going to demand being “internally consistent” in identifying which life forms died, then you are being internally inconsistent–and patently dishonest–in describing the extent of the flood waters, and in demanding that others share your inconsistency and dishonesty as well.

    I don’t think I’ve run into anyone as seemingly obtuse as you are, deliberately so, in quite a while. Flood waters do not remain at maximum level forever you know. Also, the energy released during the Flood formed mountains very quickly via tectonic continental movements – very high mountains that did not exist before the Flood.

    Admit it: your interpretation of scripture is prejudicial and biased by what you have been brainwashed by the Church, and its culture, to believe it tells you.

    This is a very strange statement coming from someone who claims to believe everything that the SDA Church teaches based on faith that is blind to all opposing or even potentially opposing empirical evidence. How could someone who actually believes like you claim to believe make such a statement? It seems almost likely you’re just posing as an Adventist for rhetorical purposes. You really don’t believe any of it do you? Who’s being deliberately dishonest here? Hmmmmm….

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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