@BobRyan: The points I raised were about graduate education in …

Comment on Perspectives from alleged LSU students by David Kendall, BMus, MA.

@BobRyan:

The points I raised were about graduate education in general, in response to a post that made a blanket assumption about PhDs. LSU does not offer the doctorate in religion or the sciences, but only in education. At lower levels such as the baccalaureate and masters, students are required to demonstrate a synthesis of relevant material in their respective fields (high school is similar, just with a broader focus). In this sense only could students be thought of as conforming to their professors. This is as it should be, especially in the case of Adventist seminaries or schools of religion that offer the MDiv, where a certain amount of conformity is desired to ensure a relative homogeneity among pastors graduating from such institutions (at least as far as their knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, and general principles of pastoral care and counseling, etc.). Besides, conformity seems to be what is desired by many here; conformity to the principle of a literal six-day creation.

Pax,

David Kendall
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University

David Kendall, BMus, MA Also Commented

Perspectives from alleged LSU students

are all just fabricated fiction,

are all just second hand fabrications – no truth at all to them.

is all just “second hand fiction”.

Hi Bob,

The above are your own terms, I used “second hand” exclusively, without qualifiers.

Suppose all the first hand testimony from both parents and students that has been posted here about their being brushed aside when they were shocked to discover an “all-for-evolutionism” agenda at LSU

I do not deny that there may have been occasions in which faculty members did not respond appropriately to student complaints (I posted about that in another thread). However, if I am to take your “all for evolutionism agenda at LSU” seriously, I would need much more evidence than a couple of syllabus copies of biology classes or unsourced statements attributed to a religion professor. For such an agenda to be pervasive throughout the campus (and that would have to include me, by the way), I would need to see evidence from multiple faculty in multiple departments across the institution; and that such an agenda is pursued at the expense of all others.

The WHERE is the evidence? Given that we have had LSU members posting here from time to time. Why have they not brought to light their stellar creationist, 28 FB affirming Biology program evidence. Certainly THEY should have been “aware” of it.
Thus the – “there is no truth to the complaints” style argument never really gets off the ground.
At best you get “it is not nice to complain about evolution being in conflict with the Bible and the 28FB”. OR maybe even “when you complain about evoutionism some here do not always put the best possible face on it”.
If that latter form is the point you are making, then let me ask you this.

The fact that LSU members (I assume you mean students) have not shown overwhelming evidence of a creationist agenda is not evidence that such an agenda does not exist, or that it does (this is an example of the argumentum ad ignorantiam or “appeal to ignorance” argument). I am sure the students did not assume that providing such evidence was expected of them here.

The subsequent two arguments to which you refer is an example of a kind of combination of the straw man argument with contextomy. I did not make the arguments, but you were able to easily refute them with an extended quote. Note that I generally qualify my statements with “I speak for myself” or a similar disclaimer. My post was generally a response to specific points and questions by Pastor Carlson, and should be examined in that context (a post-modern concept!).

Solo Deo Gratias,

Pax,

David Kendall
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University

P.S. This is as confrontational as I ever get in writing or in person (just ask my students). If we want to make any headway on this issue or others facing the church today, we must hold fast to the principle of open and kind discussion with decorum. Otherwise we will devolve into armed camps flinging slings, arrows and broadsides at one another.


Perspectives from alleged LSU students

David, I do sympathize with your position. You sound like an honest, god-fearing teacher at LSU. I am sure there are others. How many, I do not know, but I am sure there are others. Is it possible for the honest faculty to petition the administration for a strict abherence to denominational standards by all teachers and removal of those who wander off into, I will use the term “offshoot” teachings? A few can and are jepordizing the security of those like yourself. This site is being shared with many SDAs. They know what is going on. It is sure to have an impact on enrollment eventually.

Hi Pastor,

Sorry for the long delay in answering. PhD dissertations do tend to obscure other considerations, especially when they are coming due!

My previous post does, I believe, address your question as to the numbers of honest, God-fearing faculty at LSU; that is, all of them that I know. One of the issues that saddens me when I read many of the posts on this forum is the questioning of motives, questioning of Adventist or even Christian credentials, and putting words into the mouths (or thoughts into the minds) of many committed, mission-minded faculty members that I know and respect and who have made positive, spiritual impacts in my own life (that is my “wild claim”). I am further saddened when such reports are often received at second hand, which is why I have made it a point to attempt to correct factual errors from time to time.

Regarding a petition to strict adherence to denominational principles (I am assuming you are referring to the 28), I tend to think that very few faculty members (though I speak only for myself) would support litmus or purity tests of that sort, due to a few reasons. One, we have (in Adventism) generally avoided prescriptive creedal statements, largely due to the negative connotations such statements have had (to us) in and from other Christian faith traditions. Two, how would we enforce such a set of standards (and what would be the proof)? And who would be tasked to enforce it? I would not even trust myself in such an position.

Regarding job security, I did not begin teaching at LSU seven years ago for the security (and certainly not for the money!). I teach at La Sierra because I believe in the institution and the positive impacts it has on the lives (spiritual, social, professional, musical) of the students that spend four or five years in the care of our dedicated faculty, staff and administrators. That is the knowledge I have at first hand, and if any of these faculty are purged from the institution and the church (as happened at Southern, PUC and Walla Walla in recent times), it will be Adventism’s deep, deep loss.

Pax,

David Kendall
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University


Perspectives from alleged LSU students

Doug Carlson, Pastor: I went to bed last night thinking about this testimony. The practice of using personal stories like this is used more and more by political parties to emphasize the need for whatever bill they are pushing. Democrcats right now are using a lot of personal stories as exhibit A in their call for a national health bill.

However, Mr. Kendall’s illustration, though very personal, is not the final answer.

Pastor,

You are certainly right, such illustrations are not the final answer, but are merely examples of the practical application of theoretical principles in real-world situations. Their use by political parties (of all persuasions, I will remind you) does not show that they are inappropriate, just that they are generally effective.

Doug Carlson, Pastor: I can bring forward a number of former SDAs who were sent off to academy or college by their parents who, at great cost, hoped to save their son or daughter from the world and tip them towards Jesus in a Chrisitan enviroment, but instead these young people were befriended by the “wrong crowd” and completely lost their way at one of our schools and never recovered.

The example I gave is an illustration of your point. We have no idea what happened to the boy in question; as far as we know, he was lost to the church. However, as I said, rebellion of some sort is a hallmark of the formative years in the lives of these children, whether inside or outside of the church. Parents sending their children to an academy or college for the express purpose of saving them from the world is, I am afraid, a misguided action. As parents are the leading sources of influence in the lives of their children, the “home years” (when students are living at home) are highly valuable in their character development. This is why I am not very keen on the idea of boarding academies for teenagers. At the college level however, students have generally reached adulthood (legally defined as age 18) and are eager to begin “cutting the apron strings”. At this time, it is the influence of Godly teachers, deans, campus pastors and staff that is so valuable to the formation of these young adults.

Doug Carlson, Pastor: If all we are trying to do is educate young people for a job, it is time to close our schools and invest our money elsewhere.

We are trying to educate young people for their future professions and vocations, by providing quality instruction and training in an Adventist Christian context. All of the professors with which I associate regularly see their work as both profession and mission. As both a graduate and as current faculty, I can attest to the effectiveness of the institution at accomplishing these goals. I can think of few better investments for the Lord’s money.

Pax,

David Kendall
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University


Recent Comments by David Kendall, BMus, MA

Clifford Goldstein: Seventh-day Darwinians, Redux
@Hope Sekulic

Goldstein, not to long presented a talk at Weimar Institute. I watched him talk, He appeared perplexed his subject of presentation was all mixed up and confusing. It had not foundation and point. He was jumping from subject to subject, he was moving all over the platform, scratching his head, looking in to his I-phone or what ever it was in his hand, passing up and down with a disruptive spirit.
I was sad to see him so discordant and so disorganized in his talk.

Hope,

Are you suggesting that Goldstein’s difficulties in speaking at Weimar are a result of Satan sowing discord and confusion in the church generally, or an attack on him specifically? I was not sure.

Read and see Who are the Wolfs in the Sheep’s skin and where they like to graze.

I am familiar with the theories stating that Jesuit infiltrators are everywhere, seeking to destroy the church. An SDA pastor friend of mine had his church’s website “denounced” by the “Adventist Liberation Front.” I am familiar with Fr. Alberto Rivera’s testimony that the Jesuit order is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Interestingly, I get testimonies from a number of friends who have left the SDA church asserting that Adventism is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Which am I to believe, as both sides have equally heart-wrenching horror stories to tell? Maybe both of them, or maybe neither. I am friends with a number of Jesuit and other Catholic priests through my research in the Philippines (my wife is Jesuit-educated), as well as very many Adventists of different backgrounds (having been a life-long SDA in Arizona, Southern California, Taiwan and the Philippines). I have to say in all honesty that when I look for Christ-centered attitudes, kindness and service towards one’s fellow man, I have often noted these attributes to be significantly stronger among the Catholic priests. Some have told me that this is their deception, their apparition as Satan as an angel of light. However, I have only Christ’s statement, to know them by their fruits. This does not cause me to want to leave my church, but rather expect it to be better; to bear sweeter fruit.

Pax,

David Kendall, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University


Dr. Geraty clarifies his “Challenge” to literal 6-day creationism
@BobRyan

unbiased objective readers

objective unbiased reader

Bob,

I have made this query before, but as I have noticed your increased use of the above term (and related variants) both here and in other forums, and I ask again: Who is this unbiased objective reader? How does this reader remain objective and free from bias? I understand that you are using the phrase as a rhetorical device to impart value to your arguments and responses vis-a-vis opposing arguments; by appealing to a supposed authority (objectivity). The only truly objective authority to which we can appeal is God, and as none of us can claim that identity, I am unsure as to the reasoning behind your continued and consistent use of the term.

@Ron Stone, M.D.

Professor Kent, You’re right–there is no point in your “sharing” anything here, as you are pointedly shot down whenever you do! Good bye!

Dr. Stone,

This statement does not, to my mind, seem to be a very efficient process toward convincing others of the rightness of your position. It is this very type of discourse that proves to non-Adventists, non-Christians, and other interested observers that our faith and the commands of Christ to love one another are of a low priority in our everyday lives. I am asking my delegate to the GC session to call for a broad-based, civil, open and honest discussion on origins in the Adventist church, without polemics, threats, and un-Christian language. This is the very minimum we should expect of ourselves and of others who call themselves by Christ’s name.

Pax,

David Kendall, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University


Catholic School Fires Math Teacher for Expressing Atheistic Views
Geanna,

I encourage you to go get a PhD, if you can find a good, supportive department (and some funding, hard to come by these days, at least in California), either inside of or outside of the SDA system. I found all of my graduate work to be incredibly rewarding and I strongly recommend it to my own students, though they should always be prepared to open their minds and question their assumptions, despite what others have warned about the dangers of such a route (reading infidel authors, engaging in philosophical debates in the religious sphere, etc.).

One suggestion for working at an SDA institution is to prepare a syllabus and approach a department chair and offer to teach an introductory class, a lab or something else in an adjunct capacity. Working for the church is likewise very rewarding (but not usually in a monetary sense!), though a bit less so in the current environment. Having the privilege of helping to guide and mentor students in an Adventist Christian environment (just as I was in turn guided and mentored) is enough for me. Go for it!

Pax,

David Kendall, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University


Dr. Geraty clarifies his “Challenge” to literal 6-day creationism
@Former LSU Student

I am interested in when you attended LSU, because it sounds like you must have been there around the time I was a student (1998-2002). I remember the land sale, etc. that you mentioned, though I may have been serving as a student missionary in Taiwan (2002-2003) when the sale was final. I also do not know what floor of Sierra Towers you lived on (I was on 2nd floor from 1998-2001, then South Hall), but my experiences there, as well as everywhere else on campus, were very different from yours.

Also, not to be confrontational, but it would not be wise to suggest that Dr. Geraty served at LSU due to his inability to perform in the public, secular academic world (if that is what you were suggesting). A cursory glance at his CV will show that he would be a very big fish in any pond.

Pax,

David Kendall, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University


Clifford Goldstein: Seventh-day Darwinians, Redux
@ Kevin Paulson

David Kendall seems to view the “teasing out” of various viewpoints in the present controversy as a harmless exercise–the necessary full airing of a particular concept in the name of fairness. This is fine if we are talking about human theories and philosophies or some debate in the secular realm (e.g. politics).

Pastor Paulson,

I did not mention that the “teasing out” of viewpoints is either a harmless exercise or that it is done in the name of fairness or for any other reason; I said simply that this is what scholars do as part of a venerable (or venerated) academic tradition.

In matters spiritual we are not dealing with the harmless interchange of ideas, where any number of varied conclusions might be embraced with innocence.

No mention was made of embracing varied conclusions, be they innocent or otherwise, but rather I advised that “we should keep in mind that philosophers and other scholars often discuss and theorize concepts at great length without necessarily espousing those concepts as truth.”

Do you consider certain lines of inquiry to be off-limits? What kinds of scholarship should be forbidden when our primary concern is the salvation of our souls? Is the very knowledge of “wrong ideas and wrong practices” that which can and will lead to eternal damnation? What do you propose we do about this?

Pax,

David Kendall, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Music
La Sierra University