The Reptile King

By: Sean Pitman, Dr. Warren Ashworth, and Pastor Ron Cook

July 12, 2001

On the front cover of the spring 2011 edition of La Sierra University Magazine there is a wonderful photograph of Dr. Lee Grismer smiling at a gecko in his hand and titled, “The Reptile King”.  The article goes on to detail Dr. Grismer’s intense passion for nature and for God and recounts several of Grismer’s thrilling experiences discovering new species in exotic locations around the world.

The only problem, of course, is that the article says nothing about Dr. Grismer’s ardent opposition to the Adventist position on origins and his active support and promotion of mainstream evolutionary theories in his classes. While the article does describe Grismer’s love for God and his experience of God through nature (and even his baptism into the Adventist Church), all wonderful things indeed, what about the fact that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has asked all educators in all Adventist schools to “uphold and advocate the church’s position on origins”? and for our students “to receive a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation, even as they are educated to understand and assess competing philosophies of origins that dominate scientific discussion in the contemporary world”? (reference)

Dr. Grismer believes and teaches that living things on this planet have existed and evolved over billions of years through a process that involved the death and untold suffering of sentient creatures through countless generations. He teaches that modern birds evolved from dinosaurs and that whales evolved from land-dwelling mammals, etc… all in line with mainstream evolutionary thinking (see slide from one of Dr. Grismer’s LSU class lectures below). There is no mention in any of Dr. Grismer’s lectures of any counter evidence to mainstream evolutionary thinking, the age of life on Earth, or any empirical support for the Adventist position on a recent creation by God of much of the diversity and adaptability of living things within six literal days.

Given Dr. Grismer’s significant charisma and evident popularity with his students, his evolutionary beliefs and teachings carry a great deal of weight with nearly all of his students. Most come away from his classes shaken in their understanding and belief in the Adventist position on a literal creation week of all life on this planet within fairly recent history. Many leave Adventism behind, or, if they do stay in the church, do so as social Adventists who really do not believe in several of the basic doctrinal positions of the church. They somehow meld a form of theistic evolutionism with Christianity in line with Dr. Grismer’s own beliefs and influence.

I am well aware of the influence of Dr. Grismer’s teachings, and of several other science professors at LSU who hold and teach similar views. I’ve spoken with many students who have taken courses from these professors.  Even members of my own family have been dramatically affected by such teachings and have either left the church or no longer subscribe to various official doctrinal positions of the church.

It seems, therefore, rather brazen of LSU to actively promote a professor who is so actively undermining the bedrock fundamental positions of the Adventist Church within our own school system.  Does the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church take no notice of such subversive activity?  or is our leadership simply too powerless or intimidated by the intelligentsia within the church to do anything or even to say anything of any real substance to address this serious issue within many of our schools and universities?

While LSU has been among the most bold in its open defiance of the clearly stated goals and ideals of the Adventist Church, as an organization, this is by no means a unique situation to LSU. If the unique contribution of the Adventist Church to the reality of the Gospel message of hope is to remain viable, something must be done to address the magnetic influence of those who are most ardently opposed to our doctrines and who are undermining the order and government of the church from within.

At the very least the Adventist Church should be active in warning parents, students, and the church membership at large of these problems within our schools and of the risks involved with sending our young people to be placed under the influence of those like Dr. Grismer.  At the very least the members of our church deserve greater transparency as to what can be expected from so-called “Adventist Education” which is often purchased at great price and personal sacrifice by those who are entrusting their greatest possessions on this Earth into the hands of an institution that bears the name, “Seventh-day Adventist”.

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256 thoughts on “The Reptile King

  1. Can someone please tell me how Dr. Grismer was actually hired by LSU? Also, don’t birds and reptiles have completely different types of respiratory systems?




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  2. Also, is La Sierra purposely putting Dr. Grismer in the forefront of its publication to “thumb its nose” at our SDA beliefs? It seems to appear so.




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  3. I congratulate Dr. Grismer for his inspiring work in science. He is a credit to La Sierra University and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

    Let’s imagine what kind of news story would be written about a science teacher that is highly favored by the agitators at Educate Truth:

    Mr. Dimwit is a science teacher at one of our Seventh-day Adventist Bible colleges. This college is not accredited and none of its graduates are accepted in graduate science programs. He does not have a doctorate in any field of science. He has never published anything in a reputable peer-reviewed journal; he has a Hirsch score of 0. He teaches creation science and Intelligent Design, which according to the community of scientists are pseudo-sciences.

    Mr. Dimwit does not teach mainstream science. Instead, the most charitable description of what he teaches is natural philosophy. He argues that the only science data that has any credibility proves that life suddenly emerged on earth 6000 years ago. He argues that all science data to the contrary is wrong and the product of atheists.

    Mr. Dimwit rejects the historical-grammatical hermeneutic of biblical interpretation formally endorsed by the Church in 1986. He has publicly disagreed with the view of Mark Finley, Richard Davidson, and Phillip Brantley that to elevate God’s gift of human reason above God’s Word is catastrophic. Accordingly, he believes that the biblical account of creation is valid only insofar as it can be proven by science data. He feels the same way about the divinity, virgin birth, miracles, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Many of his students have left the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Upon learning that he has perpetrated a fraud upon them by representing that the material he teaches constitutes science, these students have protested by creating a website to expose his fraud. Many of my own family members have left the Church. They reason that if the Church is willing to commit fraud regarding matters of science, then the Church is probably willing to commit fraud regarding matters of theology.

    Mr. Dimwit is a nice man. He prays with his students. He teaches the Sabbath School lesson in church where he presides as an elder. He does not watch movies, listen to opera, or wear brightly-colored ties.

    At the college where he teaches, the English teachers do not teach fiction because the stories are not true. (One English teacher tried to teach Hamlet but was subsequently terminated for promoting ghosts). The college is nestled in a walled-in compound where every student is required to do chores, such as milking the cows and feeding the chickens.

    Church leaders are very concerned about Mr. Dimwit and the cultic influence that he wields in the community. They are embarrassed. They would like to disfellowship Mr. Dimwit, but because he has such a large following of people who are profoundly ignorant regarding science and biblical hermeneutics, he has been able for political reasons to survive.

    One wonders why the Church has tolerated Mr. Dimwit’s heresy for such a long period of time. Does the Church take no notice of this subversive activity? At the very least, his students should be warned that they will not receive a quality education in his classroom. If the Church is to remain God’s holy remnant people, then something must be done in opposition to the magnetic and charismatic heresy of this cultic science teacher.




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  4. Wow…

    It appears this discussion has evolved: It is now clearly NOT a discussion as to whether or not evolutionary THEORY has invaded the SDA church. The Missionaries of the religion of evolution have clearly invaded the Adventist church and now unapologetically denounce the “foolish” ideas of literal Biblical creationism in favor of notions of evolution, ect.

    Who has a greater “faith” – to believe what they believe? The creationist or the evolutionist?

    How have we come to this point?




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  5. Phillip Brantley: Let’s imagine what kind of news story would be written about a science teacher that is highly favored by the agitators at Educate Truth:

    No need to “imagine” that Walter Veith, Ariel Roth, SAU’s Dr Spencer, SAUs’ Dr. Chadwick and a host of others are “scientists” that are “favored” by those who actually accept the Bible as true. No need to “imagine” what observations in nature that those scientists might be making today, just go ahead and allow yourself to “read” their published material.

    But I suppose in the Evol simplistic world of “all is fiction” it is confined to nothing more than an “imaginary game” as Phillip seems to suggest in his comment above.

    Oh well – free will being what it is.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  6. Kenneth Christman, M.D.: And what is the origin of evolutionary theory? Isn’t it reptilian in origin?

    I believe that there is a reptilian suggestion in Genesis 3 that man has the ability to evolve up even to the point of being “as god knowing good and evil”.

    That evolution story has never entirely gone away.

    And then of course there is the more modern fiction about birds coming from reptiles in the endless storytelling among our evolutionist friends.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  7. The Grismer article illustrates the point that within our church – all forms of rebellion against our beliefs can be championed by individuals with the skills to do basic math, or see a reptile, or describe some aspect of nature. We can highlight those skills all day long – and it still does not justify their “surrender first” mentality when it comes to standing for truth and what actually happened in nature – when one accepts the Bible as a “trustworthy record” of God’s actions in history.

    And now many of them have backslidden so far down the path of befuddlement that they would even deny that God’s workmanship shows him to be intelligent at all! When they unwittingly embrace those distinctively atheist arguments against the God of creation – they expose the real heart of their belief system for all to see.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  8. I take the article as following:

    One of their “best” teachers is under attack.
    LSU is under attack.
    LSU supports Dr. Grismer and his positions.

    This article is one of the best ways to deflect these attacks in such a way that it appeals to the emotions but doesn’t deal with the issues.

    …and it will be fairly effective.




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  9. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. – Isaiah 8:20

    It is not for me to judge but if I am in a position of authority in an organization it is my responsibility to uphold the tenants of the organization and take whatever action is necessary to assure those employed by the organization are loyal to its belief.




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  10. From a an article published by the Press Enterprise in 2008:

    Colorful, buff and fearless with a penchant for profanities, Grismer takes pride in being compared to movie hero Indiana Jones. Instead of yelling “eureka!” while unearthing a new species, the reptile king admits he bellows “a string of expletives that would curl a drill sergeant’s hair.”…

    Typically, Grismer and company haul chopped beef, chicken and pork in plastic bags. Without refrigeration, the meat rots by the end of the expedition. So they’d boil it in oil to kill germs, add white rice and douse with soy sauce “to mask the decomposition smell,” Grismer said. “Then we’d hold our breath, swallow and plug our nose.”




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  11. @Holly Pham:

    Can someone please tell me how Dr. Grismer was actually hired by LSU?

    Dr. Grismer was brought to LSU by Lawrence Geraty, retired president of LSU who also subscribes to theistic evolutionism as the true model of origins:

    LSU Science professors hired under Dr. Geraty:

    Larry McCloskey: Full professor and biology department chair in 1996

    Lee Grismer: Biology faculty member since 1994

    http://www.lasierra.edu/departments/biology/faculty.html

    In response to questions from concerned individuals as to why he hired theistic evolutionists like Dr. Grismer to teach at LSU Dr. Geraty wrote:

    “I know he’s a creationist in terms of origins but believes God has used evolution as one of his processes since.”

    In this way, together with his own careful wording and interpretation of FB#6, Dr. Geraty somehow saw himself clear to tell all who called him with questions of concern that, “All LSU professors are creationists and in full support of the Adventist position on origins.” – a true statement in only the most deceptive sense of the term.

    It is largely for this reason that the General Conference is now looking to modify the wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 to include the concept of a truly literal creation week. For far too long those like Dr. Geraty have been less than forthright in their use of the current wording of FB#6 – using the current wording as a loophole to allow for the promotion of theistic evolutionism in our schools.

    Please also refer to the following article:

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




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  12. Mr. Brantley should be commended for taking time to post his accurate and insightful understanding about what happens when students and others who are taught the type of pseudoscience propaganda espoused at sites such as EducateTruth and at the schools described by him realize they have been tricked. As for Dr. Grismer, we should all be proud that an outstanding scientist teaches at LSU and for the courage of the LSU administration in standing up for scientific integrity in the face of fundamentalist-inspired attacks.




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  13. @Ervin Taylor:

    And what happens when you and your students one day find out that you’ve fallen for one of the biggest hoaxes in history? – that intelligent design and the Adventist view of creation isn’t just religion for dummies, but is in fact the empirical truth? – and that there was a great deal of evidence supporting this truth all along which you and the professors at LSU hid from your students in order to promote your own personal erroneous philosophies and beliefs under the assumed cloak of Adventist membership and support of the Seventh-day Adventist Church? What happens then?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  14. Ervin Taylor:
    Mr. Brantley should be commended for taking time to post his accurate and insightful understanding about what happens when students and others who are taught the type of pseudoscience propaganda espoused at sites such as EducateTruth and at the schools described by him realize they have been tricked.As for Dr. Grismer, we should all be proud that an outstanding scientist teaches at LSU and for the courage of the LSU administration in standing up for scientific integrity in the face of fundamentalist-inspired attacks.

    Erv, your claim that 97.5% of scientific data supports evolution, and then your unwillingness to support your claim, would that claim classify as pseudoscience propaganda posted at Educate Truth?

    I really think that your repeated and unsupported public attacks on Seventh-day Adventist beliefs should be grounds for church discipline.




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  15. @Ron:

    You overestimate my influence with cousins, uncles, and aunts! Besides, some of them left, because of what seemed to them the science against the Biblical model of origins, before I was born. It seems kinda hard, therefore, to pin it on my attitude – though some do say I was a pretty ornery baby 😉

    Sean




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  16. @Dr. Pitman, Thank you for your excellent explanation regarding the hiring of these evolutionary professors. It appears as though Dr. Geraty is at least partially responsible for this problem? Has President Wisbey explained his own personal beliefs on evolution?




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  17. opinions. all of them. both sides have fact and opinion to create their foundation. in this very simple discussion topic, the devil has so easily turned this into some huge crusade. look at yourselves. you’re pathetic. your god must truly be the size of a pea pod. don’t worry about what others are teaching or believing! worry about your own damn self! god is working it out for them, and he’s working it out for you if you’d stop nosing around in business other than your own.

    i guarantee you…evolutionists and creationists alike will eat together in heaven.




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  18. @Ron:

    “Ron,” your allegation, as whimsical and stylized as it is, raises yet again the whole, very tired, never seriously asked question of why people, anybody, leave this particular church. Surely it cannot but be recognized, but never is, that the question is open and multifaceted, and answers must include theistic evolutionary hermeneutically haughty, if whimsical, poses as well as legalistic fundamentalist attitudes, especially of ornery babies. Anyway, some of us (I am a distant relative of the accused) are more confirmed in the church than ever precisely as a result of not only Dr. Pitman’s attitude, and that of this site, but the facts and evidence he perseveres in presenting. Thank you for the excuse for inserting this.




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  19. @Wesley Kime:

    Anyway, some of us (I am a distant relative of the accused) are more confirmed in the church than ever precisely as a result of not only Dr. Pitman’s attitude, and that of this site, but the facts and evidence he perseveres in presenting.

    I really appreciate being part of your family too. Thanks Wes. Hope to see you next week if you’re around…

    Sean




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  20. These ad hominen attacks have become so routine [yawn].

    Curiously, the article is written in first person, but credit is given to three coauthors; the latter two are from the Redding SDA Church.

    I like Warren Ashworth’s work in Mexico (http://tinyurl.com/64s7wws), especially a quote from his letter, “Surely it makes the angels rejoice and the Lord too!” But why would he, a retired theology professor, and Ron Cook, a current pastor, engage in ad hominen attacks on others? What kind of ministry is this? Does this make the angels rejoice and the Lord too?




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  21. Wesley Kime: Anyway, some of us (I am a distant relative of the accused) are more confirmed in the church than ever precisely as a result of not only Dr. Pitman’s attitude, and that of this site, but the facts and evidence he perseveres in presenting.

    Speaking of evidence, there is a PowerPoint slide in the article from one of Dr. Grismer’s lectures, without any accompanying comments from the actual lecture itself. Last I understood, and certainly in my own practice, a “lecture” consists of talking, and a PPT slide is used for illustrative purposes. Often a PPT slide contains content that one is speaking against.

    My two questions: could this very same slide be used in a presentation on evolution at Southern Adventist University or at Southwestern Adventist University? And if I were to show such a slide used in their classrooms, would it confirm that they teach “that modern birds evolved from dinosaurs and that whales evolved from land-dwelling mammals, etc.?”




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  22. As a follow-up, let’s emphasize the importance of evidence, which Sean Pitman much prefers to hearsay (faith).

    * What exactly did Dr. Grismer say when he showed the slide? Do you have a transcript? Did he say, “This is what the evolutionary biologists tell us?”

    * How long ago was this lecture given? Does it say anything about how he taught this past year? What exactly did he teach last year?

    * Pitman, Ashworth, and Cook make the claim: “There is no mention in any of Dr. Grismer’s lectures of any counter evidence to mainstream evolutionary thinking, the age of life on Earth, or any empirical support for the Adventist position on a recent creation by God of much of the diversity and adaptability of living things within six literal days.” Do you folks expect your readers to believe that you have actual evidence–transcripts–of every lecture that Grismer has given the past few years? Or do you believe your readers are gullible enough to be persuaded by hearsay (blind faith in your word)?

    * When the claims continue that LSU teaches theistic evolution as fact, does it even matter what was taught last year, or what will be taught this coming year?




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  23. Dr. Pitman, you are being sneaky and disingenous. You bootstrap your absurd argument that mainstream science should not be taught in an Adventist university class to the allegation that you now raise that Dr. Grismer, Dr. Geraty, and others seek to promote theistic evolution.

    As I have demonstrated on numerous occasions, the rules and conventions of science together with the historical-grammatical hermeneutic of biblical interpretation formally endorsed by the Church prohibit the inference that the teaching of evolution in science class constitutes the promotion of theistic evolution.

    I am opposed to Adventist science teachers promoting theistic evolution for the same hermeneutical reasons that I oppose your criticism of the sacred text. As you have admitted on numerous occasions, your hermeneutical approach to Scripture is identical to the theistic evolutionist’s hermeneutical approach to Scripture. You merely differ regarding the science data.

    You have set forth abundant evidence that Dr. Grismer and others at La Sierra teach mainstream science. You have not, however, produced any probative evidence whatsoever that they seek to promote theistic evolution in the science classroom.

    I do not doubt that Adventist science teachers might inadvertantly stumble from time to time. If the 2004 General Conference Executive Committee in its statement on creation can utter language that is susceptible to being interpreted as criticism of the sacred text, certainly our science teachers might occasionally do so as well.

    Until you have examined yourself and come to understand and appreciate the hermeneutical method of doing theology embraced by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, brilliantly described in essays written by Richard Davidson and Mark Finley, you are in no position to be inciting rebellion against those science teachers who minister at La Sierra University.

    I think you should take Clifford Goldstein’s admonishments to heart: the Church should be a safe place for those who struggle with these issues. If we are going to fire, disfellowship, and disparage people who struggle with these issues, then Dr. Pitman I can only say ever so gently and respectfully that your name will be at the top of the list.




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  24. These are some of the things that are showing us that it won’t be long CHRIST will appear in the clounds.This brother must be a jesuit brother.For those students who have stopped believing the SDA beliefs i pray that you follow the bible only and believe in Jesus Christ.Do not follow the profs and Drs.Maranatha!




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  25. Mr. Phil Brantley, I notice that you have quite the facility to make upside down appear right side up, black appear to be white, and wrong appear to be right.




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  26. Dr. Westphal, you must be new to the discussion. Very few Seventh-day Adventists understand the rules and conventions of science and biblical hermeneutics. I recommend that you read the following to inform yourself about what we are discussing:

    1. My essay posted on the Spectrum Blog dated 10/24/10 and all footnoted references, particularly the Kitzmiller court opinion and the Andrews University Theological Seminary’s statement on creation.

    2. Jeffrey Kent’s essay posted on the Spectrum Blog dated 04/26/11.

    3. The essays on hermeneutics written by Richard Davidson that you can find online here: http://www.andrews.edu/~davidson/bibliography.html. The essay in which he gives his personal testimony is especially interesting, because he relates how upside down appears right side up, black appears white, and wrong appears to be right to critics of the sacred text.

    4. The essay written by Mark Finley in Adventist Review a couple months ago (I don’t have the cite but you can find it referenced on this website), giving careful notice to his hermeneutical focus.

    5. The essay written by Clifford Goldstein in Adventist Review a couple months ago (I don’t have the cite, but you can find it referenced on this website).

    I have been commenting on these issues for close to a year and my analysis has never been seriously challenged much less refuted. What I have advocated all along and do so again herein is orthodox Seventh-day Adventist theology. These are not open issues.

    What is an open issue is what strategies can be implemented to affirm the faith of students studying mainstream science.




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  27. And I take it that the common Adventists in the pews also would not be trusted to read the Bible by itself for edification and increased knowledge.

    …Roman Catholicism, anyone?




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  28. Ervin Taylor: Mr. Brantley should be commended for taking time to post his accurate and insightful understanding

    As I have said before – I believe that you and Phillip and Kent express a consistent degree of agreement.

    This can hardly be ignored by any readers here as much as one or two may not like the fact that I point that out.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  29. Phillip Brantley: Dr. Westphal, you must be new to the discussion. Very few Seventh-day Adventists understand the rules and conventions of science

    I am always blessed when Phillip offers his all-knowing perspective to rundown SDAs and then we have the opportunity to compare that with reason.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  30. Phillip Brantley: I recommend that you read the following to inform yourself about what we are discussing:
    1. My essay posted on the Spectrum Blog dated 10/24/10 and all footnoted references, particularly the Kitzmiller court opinion and the Andrews University Theological Seminary’s statement on creation

    I recommend that you observe Phillip’s “need” to ignore the glaringly obvious fact that the Dover trial was in fact a dark-ages attempt at censoring a two minute introction to an all-evolutionism all-the-time biology course where it was stated in those heretical two minutes that –

    1. Only evolution would be taught as an explanation for origins – no other option would be considered in the course.

    2. I.D. does not agree with evolution.

    3. Students should consult with their parents on the subject of origins.

    4. And most horrific of all – “there exists” a book in the library on I.D. that students can look at if they have an interest in that subject.

    The instructive value of contrasting these actual facts with Phillip’s need to pander after the atheist agenda for origins – cannot be underestimated.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  31. Phillip Brantley: 3. The essays on hermeneutics written by Richard Davidson that you can find online here: http://www.andrews.edu/~davidson/bibliography.html. The essay in which he gives his personal testimony is especially interesting, because he relates how upside down appears right side up, black appears white, and wrong appears to be right to critics of the sacred text.

    Indeed Davidson says that hermeneutics is limited to accurately rendering the text and does not include bending and wrenching scripture to meet the demands of evolutionists.

    hint: At no point does Davidson argue against I.D.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  32. Phillip Brantley: You have set forth abundant evidence that Dr. Grismer and others at La Sierra teach mainstream science. You have not, however, produced any probative evidence whatsoever that they seek to promote theistic evolution

    err umm – did you actually READ Brantley’s statements to the press about these “details” or do you simply not care to be taken seriously – as if that is some kind of proven strategy?

    Inquiring minds would like to know.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  33. Anonymous: article published by the Press Enterprise in 2008:

    Colorful, buff and fearless with a penchant for profanities, Grismer takes pride in being compared to movie hero Indiana Jones. Instead of yelling “eureka!” while unearthing a new species, the reptile king admits he bellows “a string of expletives that would curl a drill sergeant’s hair.”…
    Typically, Grismer and company haul chopped beef, chicken and pork in plastic bags. Without refrigeration, the meat rots by the end of the expedition. So they’d boil it in oil to kill germs, add white rice and douse with soy sauce “to mask the decomposition smell,” Grismer said. “Then we’d hold our breath, swallow and plug our nose.”

    Well at least his witness to the outside world is undiminished in its consistency if in no other way.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  34. Bob Ryan, the referee has thrown the yellow flag and penalized you fifteen yards for your personal foul.

    I appreciate Dr. Taylor’s warm comments and acknowledge that we agree that mainstream science should be taught in an Adventist university science class, but I do not agree with his hermeneutical approach to Scripture and have publicly stated so on his Adventist Today blog.

    His hermeneutical approach to Scripture is identical to the approach taken by Dr. Pitman and Dr. Pitman has publicly admitted this to be the case on numerous occasions. They merely differ about the science data.

    (Dr. Taylor can speak for himself, but I would hope that he disfavors the promotion of theistic evolution in an Adventist university science class, if not for theological reasons for academic and practical ecclesiastical reasons.)

    Rather than engage in the fallacy of guilt by association, I suggest that you adopt a more cerebral approach to advancing your point of view. Or you can concede.




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  35. @Sean Pitman: Not only does Geraty “subscribes to theistic evolutionism as the true model of origins:” He also states that those opposed to this storytelling of origins (conservative Adventism)are “the type that fly planes into buildings”. Scary that this man was the president of an Adventist Insitution. With this kind of thinking, I wonder if he would have locked up EGW and the rest of the pioneers in Gitmo if they were alive today?




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  36. Nathan, the liberals/progressives that we are dealing with are an interesting bunch. They are truly convinced that they are enlightened and that we are just stupid, ignorant, fundamentalists. They really believe it. That is how they can make such outlandish statements. Personally I think it is an arrogance that won’t quit. It is not unique to the SDA church. This type of enlightened arrogance is all throughout current politics too. It nauseates me. The liberals/progressives say that they are the open-minded group, but what I see is the most closed minded people around. That has been demonstrated plenty on this blog. They love to claim that the Bible is not clear on their pet subjects, then they can use “science”, their feelings, and current political correctness to arrive at a conclusion that does not step on anyone’s toes and allows people to live in their sins. What a neutered gospel. I believe in a God who can deliver people from sin! Maranatha.




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  37. @Ervin Taylor:

    Who represents the greatest threat to Adventist fundamental beliefs? Those who attack them from without? Or from within?

    “wolf in sheep’s clothing” – meaning of terminology becomes abundantly more clear as the “clothing” is removed…

    No one forces anyone to believe as SDA believe. If you think we are serious wrong or misguided, then reject us. If you claim to be an Adventist, then be one.

    P-L-E-A-S-E




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  38. @Phillip Brantley: Unfornate, the premise of your post is that a person can be a Seventh-day Adventist Christian and so openly and strongly oppose core Adventist doctrine.

    It’s been stated repeated here that if someone is an Adventist then by all means, be Adventist.

    But a person cannot claim to be an Adventist and stand in strong opposition to the very core doctrine upon which the Adventist church is founded.

    If anyone disagrees with the doctrine and values of the Adventist church there are two options.

    1. Follow a greivance policy (one which scripture dictates). Take up issue with the local pastor, the conference leadership, the union leadership, the division leadership, and even go so far as the General Conference.

    2. Leave the Adventist church.

    It is not the right of the for someone within the church to undermine the foundations of the church and bring the congregation into oppression.

    Nehemiah returned from captivity and rescued the commoners from oppression of various groups – including leaders of the Hebrew nation. It is high time that the leadership in the Seventh-day Adventist church begin to deal with the open apostasy of those who agreed to uphold and instruct our people in the ways of the scriptures and the doctrine of the church.

    IF they disagree so strongly with what the church believes then let them go work for the public sector.




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  39. @Phillip Brantley: Then affirm their faith! By all means. But don’t sully the names of the “orthodox Seventh-day Adventist” leaders who are doing so in an effort to defend the lack of faith-building that is taking place on this campus in these science classrooms.

    You don’t get to have it both ways.

    In Seventh-day Adventist school, everything should be taught within regards to the scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy.

    The problem is much deeper than theistic evolution. It is a matter of salvation. Not only for the student body at La Sierra University, but also for their faculty and staff.

    The AAA report made it very clear that a significant number of current and previous students did not feel that the biology department encouraged them to grow in their faith, their relationship with Jesus, or their knowledge of the scriptures.

    Stop taking offense because conservative, Bible believing, God-fearing Seventh-day Adventists disagree with you fundamentally and let’s get to the real issue.

    These teachers aren’t here to convert their students to becoming liberal Seventh-day Adventist or conservative Seventh-day Adventists (orthodox, in your words). These teachers are there to teach Seventh-day Adventist young people material relationship to the scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy.

    We have a Seventh-day Adventist educational system to train our young people how to share their faith and knowledge of God, become missionaries wherever they are, grow in a knowledge of scripture, learn how to experience the world around them in relationship to that knowledge, prepare them for eternity and foster a love of scripture, the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. HOWEVER, we also maintain Seventh-day Adventist educational institutions to ensure that our doctrine is being passed on to the next generation so that when it is time to pass that baton of leadership, they are prepared to take the helm.

    At this point, the question stands. Is La Sierra doing this or not.

    These individuals teach at a supposedly Seventh-day Adventist educational institution. Are they meeting the purpose of that institution and its students?

    The bigger issue is if they are wrong, they are the ones that have to stand before God and answer to Him. Where will you stand if that happens?




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  40. “Very few Seventh-day Adventists understand the rules and conventions of science and biblical hermeneutics.”

    Indeed, we are an organization of simpletons.

    Matt. 18
    3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    This discussion is wearying. The world is roiling in the fulfillment of prophecy – not the least of which can be seen right here – in this forum. NOW is the time to make your choice. Embrace your Creator for Who He says He is, or deny Him. It is a simple choice and does not require the use of “hiermuenitics” (whatever). And everything about His reality will make so-called “science” look foolish.

    Twelve Hours until Sabbath. I am looking forward to the Sabbath this week, for sure!




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  41. Charles: @Ervin Taylor: Who represents the greatest threat to Adventist fundamental beliefs? Those who attack them from without? Or from within? “wolf in sheep’s clothing” – meaning of terminology becomes abundantly more clear as the “clothing” is removed…No one forces anyone to believe as SDA believe. If you think we are serious wrong or misguided, then reject us. If you claim to be an Adventist, then be one. P-L-E-A-S-E

    Isn’t Dr. Taylor a “member in good standing” of the Loma Linda University Church? Does that church support his ideas?




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  42. I have no idea.

    In 5+ decades, I have listened to thousands of Adventist. This one (and several others here) does not sound like one.

    There are millions who for various reasons reject the Adventist message. But most of them are honest and don’t pretend to be SDAs while teaching something else.




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  43. Holly, Erv is probably a member at LLU Church. In our form of church governance, a person can only be disfellowshipped by the local church. That protects Erv, but it also protects Shane too. LLU is not going to kick out Erv. There are plenty of people just like Him there. That is why Southeastern California conference is like it is.




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  44. BobRyan: [at Phillip Brantley] hint: At no point does Davidson argue against I.D

    Hint: Davidson makes clear that Seventh-day Adventists place scripture ahead of human reason and science, something which Sean Pitman and you (through your repeated attacks on what you label as “blind faith”) subvert.

    Another hint: At no point does Phillip Brantley argue against I.D., nor did he remotely suggest that Davidson argues against I.D. Brantly merely argues that it’s not “science” as recognized by the conventions of science, something you take much umbrage at.




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  45. Phillip Brantley: His hermeneutical approach to Scripture is identical to the approach taken by Dr. Pitman and Dr. Pitman has publicly admitted this to be the case on numerous occasions. They merely differ about the science data.

    Phillip has touched on the single biggest irony of this website. This website officially embraces an approach that places human reason and science ahead of faith (as made abundantly clear by Sean Pitman’s numerous posts on the topic), and in this regard validates the basic hermeneutic of theistic evolution: that we must choose science when it departs from scripture.

    Most readers do not get this, and will continue to vilify me and Phil even though we make abundantly clear that we do not believe theistic evolution should be indoctrinated at LSU or elsewhere in the denomination.




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  46. Phillip Brantley: Dr. Taylor can speak for himself, but I would hope that he disfavors the promotion of theistic evolution in an Adventist university science class, if not for theological reasons for academic and practical ecclesiastical reasons.

    This bears repeating. For those who continue to attack Phillip Brantley for his arguments here, please take a closer read of what his actual position is, and understand that he does not support indoctrination of theistic evolution at LSU, and is instead an articulate defender of your faith!




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  47. Phillip Brantley [his suggested reading list]:

    3. The essays on hermeneutics written by Richard Davidson that you can find online here: http://www.andrews.edu/~davidson/bibliography.html. The essay in which he gives his personal testimony is especially interesting, because he relates how upside down appears right side up, black appears white, and wrong appears to be right to critics of the sacred text.

    4. The essay written by Mark Finley in Adventist Review a couple months ago (I don’t have the cite but you can find it referenced on this website), giving careful notice to his hermeneutical focus.

    5. The essay written by Clifford Goldstein in Adventist Review a couple months ago (I don’t have the cite, but you can find it referenced on this website).

    These are all outstanding essays by faithful Seventh-day Adventists who defend belief in scripture when science appears to contradict its claims.

    Unfortunately, this website and many of its defenders argue against such a hermeneutic, derisively labeling it a “blind faith” position that is “as useless as belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Flying Spaghettic Monster.” Sorry, folks, but this is NOT the SDA Way.




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  48. EMK, I agree with you that the purpose of a Seventh-day Adventist school is to develop educated and faithful Seventh-day Adventists. The eternal salvation of students should be the overriding concern of everyone.

    I also agree with you that Seventh-day Adventists should not openly and strongly oppose core Adventist doctrine.

    I also share your belief in the biblical account of creation, as traditionally understood.

    Notwithstanding our mutual agreements, I sense feelings of bewilderment reflected in the comments posted by you and others. You are all staunch and faithful Seventh-day Adventists, but no one has ever taken the time to share with you what biblical hermeneutics mean or explain the significance of what the Church at Annual Council did in 1986.

    If I were to opine that the most important teaching of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not one of the 28 fundamental beliefs, you would think I was crazy. But indeed, the Church’s hermeneutical approach to Scripture, reflected in all of the fundamental beliefs but not explicitly codified as a fundamental belief, is the foundation upon which all of the fundamental beliefs of the Church rest.

    As you read the essays I referenced in a previous comment, the relationship between science and religion will be less troubling to you. And if you do embrace the Church’s method of doing theology and completely surrender to the authority of the Word of God, you will concede that the allegation that Adventist science teachers err by teaching mainstream science is heresy.




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  49. Phillip Brantley said: You have set forth abundant evidence that Dr. Grismer and others at La Sierra teach mainstream science. You have not, however, produced any probative evidence whatsoever that they seek to promote theistic evolution

    BobRyan:
    err umm – did you actually READ Brantley’s ( I mean Bradley’s) statements to the press about these “details” or do you simply not care to be taken seriously – as if that is some kind of proven strategy?
    Inquiring minds would like to know.

    Freudian slip in the post above – I meant Bradley’s statements to the press – – not Brantley’s.

    I would also point out – that while Brantley observes LSU “at a distance” — Bradley and Erv Taylor both observe LSU “up close and personal” taking first-person first-hand participation in the program to promote evolutionism as fact on campus, admitting it to the public, and not once arguing Phillip’s idea that LSU is actually dismantling by-faith-alone belief evolutionism in their biology courses, or claiming that the class material is misleading you to think they promote evolution even though they oppose it.

    The obvious points of fact in the case dictate a conclusion opposed to Brantley’s smoke and mirrors efforts to the contrary.

    in Christ,

    Bob

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  50. Ervin Taylor said: Mr. Brantley should be commended for taking time to post his accurate and insightful understanding

    BobRyan:
    As I have said before – I believe that you and Phillip and Kent express a consistent degree of agreement.

    This can hardly be ignored by any readers here as much as one or two may not like the fact that I point that out.

    Phillip Brantley: I appreciate Dr. Taylor’s warm comments and acknowledge that we agree that mainstream science should be taught in an Adventist university science class,

    I do not question the fact of your argeement with Erv Taylor in my comments above.

    I also do not doubt that both you and Kent would offer some kind of rationale for why you do not go to the lengths of Erv Taylor in your arguments against what actually happened in nature when it comes to the creation of all life on planet earth.

    Phillip Brantley said:
    (Dr. Taylor can speak for himself, but I would hope that he disfavors the promotion of theistic evolution in an Adventist university science class

    Again you reveal the great distance from the issue from which you express your opinions. Erv Taylor is a guest lecturer at LSU – promoting T.E. in person and freely admitting to his agreement with that position here and almost everywhere he posts.

    How did this possibly escape your anti-I.D. anti-events-in-nature POV?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  51. Faithful Disciple: Holly, Erv is probably a member at LLU Church. In our form of church governance, a person can only be disfellowshipped by the local church. That protects Erv, but it also protects Shane too. LLU is not going to kick out Erv. There are plenty of people just like Him there. That is why Southeastern California conference is like it is.

    I don’t know that much about the Loma Linda University Church, but I’ve seen their broadcasts on LLBN. Is it a very liberal church? Dr. Taylor seems to attack our Church over on AT constantly.




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  52. Charles: Who represents the greatest threat to Adventist fundamental beliefs? Those who attack them from without? Or from within?
    “wolf in sheep’s clothing” – meaning of terminology becomes abundantly more clear as the “clothing” is removed…
    No one forces anyone to believe as SDA believe. If you think we are serious wrong or misguided, then reject us. If you claim to be an Adventist, then be one.

    Yes indeed.

    You have touched on the heart of the matter and it is at the core of Ellen White’s statement in 3SG 90-94 that the T.E. position is the worst form of infidelity – because it is “infidelity in disguise”.

    Others who object with the nonsensical “yes but it EXISTS in disguise so therefore it must be legit” are simply showing the level to which they have become befuddled in their thinking.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  53. Phillip Brantley said: 3. The essays on hermeneutics written by Richard Davidson that you can find online here: http://www.andrews.edu/~davidson/bibliography.html. The essay in which he gives his personal testimony is especially interesting, because he relates how upside down appears right side up, black appears white, and wrong appears to be right to critics of the sacred text.

    BobRyan:

    Indeed Davidson says that hermeneutics is limited to accurately rendering the text and does not include bending and wrenching scripture to meet the demands of evolutionists.

    hint: At no point does Davidson argue against I.D.

    Professor Kent: Hint: Davidson makes clear that Seventh-day Adventists place scripture ahead of human reason and science, something which Sean Pitman and you (through your repeated attacks on what you label as “blind faith”) subvert.

    Actually when it comes to hermeneutics – Davidson takes the position that hermeneutics deals with the process of “rendering the text”. At no point does he argue that you must render any written document according to the dictates of evolutionism (unless of course that document is written by an evolutionist or is written about evolutionism).

    Hermeneutics in the H-G model that Davidson supports – totally rejects the practice of some T.E.s who seek to bend-and-wrench the Bible as if to make Moses “an evolutionist” via “ripture alone”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  54. Professor Kent: 4. The essay written by Mark Finley in Adventist Review a couple months ago (I don’t have the cite but you can find it referenced on this website), giving careful notice to his hermeneutical focus.
    5. The essay written by Clifford Goldstein in Adventist Review a couple months ago (I don’t have the cite, but you can find it referenced on this website).

    These are all outstanding essays by faithful Seventh-day Adventists who defend belief in scripture when science appears to contradict its claims

    That’s a quote you will not find Kent making on Spectrum whenever Mark Finley or Clifford Goldstein’s published statements against by-faith-alone belief in evolutionism are brought up for pilloring al la Spectrum.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  55. Phillip Brantley: Notwithstanding our mutual agreements, I sense feelings of bewilderment reflected in the comments posted by you and others. You are all staunch and faithful Seventh-day Adventists, but no one has ever taken the time to share with you what biblical hermeneutics mean or explain the significance of what the Church at Annual Council did in 1986.

    Your spin is transparently flawed – because the SDA view of hermeneutics only deals with the aspect of accurately “rendering the text”.

    That is to say when Moses says “day” does he mean day or “unspecified period of time”.

    When Moses writes “for in Seven days the Lord created the heavens and the earth the seas and all that are in them” does Moses mean “seven days” or “3 billion years”?

    Hermeneutics is the science of accurately “rendering the text”.

    You have worked hard to conflate and obfuscate the point of heremenuetics by trying to blend it with epistemology – which is the art and science of choosig to have faith in this or that document.

    It is one thing not to even know what the Bible says – though its text is right in front of you.

    It is another thing to choose to believe the Bible.

    Hermeneutics deals with the science of accuracy in “knowing what the text says”.

    Your efforts to cloud that point with smoke and mirrors not withstanding.

    And as it turns out – most SDA are pretty clear on what steps are needed to get to first base – to “know what the text actually says” — your protestations against that point do not change it.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  56. From Dictionary.com

    hermeneutics: “the science of interpretation, esp of Scripture.”

    From the “Clergy Letter Project” (opening paragraph)

    “Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.”

    So, to the professor of “hermeneutics”, please provide the appropriate “interpretation” for Genesis 1? Take, for instance the “6th day”:

    24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

    25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

    30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

    31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

    Whats to “interpret”? It says what it says. It is either right, or it is wrong. If you can change the meaning of those texts to be anything other than 24 hour days, you could apply your hermeneutical talents to anything to make it say the opposite of what is meant.

    Ahem…Are you a lawyer or politician?

    Ohh…*sigh* What’s the point?




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  57. Professor Kent: These are all outstanding essays by faithful Seventh-day Adventists who defend belief in scripture when science appears to contradict its claims.
    Unfortunately, this website and many of its defenders argue against such a hermeneutic, derisively labeling it a “blind faith” position that is “as useless as belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Flying Spaghettic Monster.” Sorry, folks, but this is NOT the SDA Way.

    That is what we call “spin doctoring” by master Kent. It is Kent that proposes that the bible is pure nonsense – that real science is opposed to the Bible and that SDAs should proclaim a “spaghetty monster” form of belief (in line with Dawkin’s accusations against Christians) – so as to present our acceptance of creation as a pure “against all facts” form of lunacy.

    It is no wonder that Kent and Brantley and others work so hard to deny the I.D. element seen IN nature!

    And that they seek to avoid at all costs the I.D. argument of God himself in Romans 1 – where God claims that even pagans and barbarians are “without excuse” when they pretend not to see the evidence of I.D. “In the things that have been made”! God claims that I.D. is evident IN NATURE itself and any science dealing with “observations in nature” must therefore encounter it.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  58. BobRyan: That is what we call “spin doctoring” by master Kent. It is Kent that proposes that the bible is pure nonsense – that real science is opposed to the Bible and that SDAs should proclaim a “spaghetty monster” form of belief (in line with Dawkin’s accusations against Christians) – so as to present our acceptance of creation as a pure “against all facts” form of lunacy.

    It is no wonder that Kent and Brantley and others work so hard to deny the I.D. element seen IN nature!

    Bob, you know very well that neither Kent nor Bradley “propose that the Bible is pure nonsense,” and that neither promotes blind faith. You claim to be “in Christ” but I wish you could truly be more honest, charitable, and Christ-like. Please, for Christ’s sake.




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  59. Charles, I believe the best interpretation of the days of creation is that they are literal 24-hour days that follow each other in a consecutive and contiguous manner to form one literal week.

    I have not seen an alternative interpretation that I find persuasive.

    You are still missing the point about what we are discussing. So allow me to ask you some Socratic questions:

    1. Do you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God?

    2. If you believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, is one at liberty to criticize (put to the test, question, critique, seek to validate, seek to invalidate) it through the lenses of external science data?

    3. In other words, do you accept biblical data at face value on faith or do you require that the biblical data be validated by external science data? For example, are you willing to believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus based solely on the sacred text or would your belief require that there be science data that proves that a person can be born in this fashion? Do you believe that Jesus was not born of a virgin because absence of external science data but that the biblical description of His birth is merely metaphorical or symbolic?

    If you are able to understand that how one interprets the sacred text is inextricably connected to how one regards the sacred text, then you already have a much more advanced and correct understanding of hermeneutics than Bob Ryan.

    Think about these three questions in a dispassionate manner. Set aside your emotions. And then ask yourself this:

    If Seventh-day Adventists believe that external science data has no evidentiary basis concerning one’s interpretation of and regard for the sacred text [The Presupposition]…

    is it consistent with this hermeneutical presupposition to allege that the teaching of mainstream science undermines belief in the biblical account of creation?




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  60. BobRyan: Actually when it comes to hermeneutics – Davidson takes the position that hermeneutics deals with the process of “rendering the text”. At no point does he argue that you must render any written document according to the dictates of evolutionism (unless of course that document is written by an evolutionist or is written about evolutionism).

    Hermeneutics in the H-G model that Davidson supports – totally rejects the practice of some T.E.s who seek to bend-and-wrench the Bible as if to make Moses “an evolutionist” via “ripture alone”.

    No kidding. No one is suggesting otherwise. You’re stating the obvious.




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  61. BobRyan: That’s a quote you will not find Kent making on Spectrum whenever Mark Finley or Clifford Goldstein’s published statements against by-faith-alone belief in evolutionism are brought up for pilloring al la Spectrum.

    Excuse me, but I wrote my own essay at Spectrum on these very points (scripture elevated above human reason and science) before Finley and Goldstein came out with theirs at Adventist Review (which, by the way, were not dealing with “by-faith-alone” evolutionism; that’s your spin).




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  62. Larry Geraty really did a job on LaSierra. Personally I think it is way gone, compromised beyond hope. The SDA Church should just cut its ties to LaSierra, and cut its losses.

    As to the discussion on this thread, round up the usual suspects and their usual arguments.




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  63. @Phillip Brantley: I’m not suggesting that Adventist teachers err in teaching mainstream science. I have stated repeatedly that IF what we are being told is what is taken place. . .

    Let me recap here. . .

    That evolution is being taught outside the contents and basis of scripture and that these professors are defending their teaching of evolution in place of science and scripture because scripture can’t possible support science or vise versa . . .

    then YES, I have a problem.

    Phillip, I have not seen your posts in other areas where I have replied. So please allow me to give you some background.

    I have taught in the denomination and in the public sector for a decade and a half. And I teach the THEORY of evolution. However, while teaching in the Seventh-day Adventist church I did so in the context of the scriptures and in the discussion of a 7-day literal creation week.

    The teaching of mainstream science has its place in our schools. However, (at the risk of sounding like a broken record) these are Seventh-day Adventist schools.

    I have had to teach evolution in public schools. Therefore, I know that you can teach what you do not believe. IF these teachers respectected the church, the students and parents with whom they were dealing and representing then they could teach what they agreed to teach when they signed their contract.

    Unfortunately, our schools are not a battlefield for scientific debate on which theory or “religion” is right. We bear the name Seventh-day Adventist for a reason.

    Please let me reiterate for anyone questioning – and there are a few of you. The issue is not whether or not teaching mainstream science undermines belief in the Biblical account of creation. The issue is what teachers with a signed contract with the Seventh-day Adventist church is teaching about faith and scripture in those science classes.




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  64. @Phillip Brantley: and yes, you are correct that the hermeneutical study of scripture is the basis for all that we profess to believe. Which begs the question why are Adventist teachers in Adventist universities disavowing this very thing.




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  65. Charles,

    If you are supporting Educate Truth’s and Bob Ryan’s position that we must have evidence to believe the Bible’s claim of fiat creation, then you simply do not understand the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s official position. Don’t be misled by Bob “I know spin” Ryan’s unceasing ad hominen attacks. What part(s) of the following do you disagree with?

    RIO DOCUMENT
    In 1986, the SDA Church in its Annual Council approved the “Rio” statement on Bible Study. The official position of the SDA Church, which Educate Truth has repeatedly denigrated, is “Human reason is subject to the Bible, NOT EQUAL TO OR ABOVE IT. Presuppositions regarding the Scriptures must be in harmony with the claims of the Scriptures and subject to correction by them (1 Cor. 2:1-6). God intends that human reason be used to its fullest extent, but within the context and under the authority of His Word rather than independent of it (emphasis added).”

    This document goes on to state that it IS appropriate “…to explore the historical and cultural factors. Archaeology, anthropology, and history may contribute to UNDERSTANDING THE MEANING of the text (emphasis supplied).” However, science and human reason are NOT to be used to assess the VALIDITY of the scriptures.

    SDA BIBLICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
    Richard Davidson of Andrews University, a BRI board member and scholar, wrote Humankind’s mental and emotional faculties have also become depraved since the Fall; but even before the Fall, neither human reason nor experience could safely be trusted apart from or superior to God’s Word. This was the very point upon which Eve fell – trusting her own reason and emotions over the Word of God (Gen 3:1-6). The wisest man in history (who ultimately failed to heed his own warning) perceptively observed: ‘There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death’ (Prov 14:12)”.

    Davidson made explicity clear the following contrasts:

    HISTORICAL-CRITICAL METHOD (Educate Truth’s preferred hermeneutic)

    Definition: The attempt to VERIFY THE TRUTHFULNESS and understand the meaning of biblical data on the basis of the principles and procedures of humanistic historical science. (emphasis supplied)

    Basic Presuppositions: Secularism norm: The principles and procedures of humanistic historical science constitute the external norm and proper method for evaluating the truthfulness and interpreting the meaning of biblical data. Principle of criticism (methodological doubt): the autonomy of the human investigator to interrogate and evaluate on his own apart from the specific declarations of the biblical text.

    HISTORICAL-GRAMMATICAL METHOD (the official SDA Church hermeneutic)

    Definition: The attempt to understand the meaning of biblical data by means of methodological considerations arising from Scripture alone.

    Basic Presuppositions: Sola Scriptura: The authority and unity of Scripture are such that Scripture is the final norm with regard to content and method of interpretation. (Isaiah 8:20). The Bible is the ultimate authority and is not amendable to the principle of criticism: biblical data are accepted AT FACE VALUE and not subjected to an EXTERNAL NORM to determine truthfulness, adequacy, validity, intelligibility, etc. (Isaiah 66:2). (emphasis supplied)

    ELLEN WHITE
    Ms. White wrote, “The opinions of learned men, the DEDUCTIONS OF SCIENCE, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority–not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence FOR OR AGAINST any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord’ in its support.” GC 595 (emphasis added).




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  66. BobRyan: That is what we call “spin doctoring” by master Kent. It is Kent that proposes that the bible is pure nonsense…

    Poor Bob. When someone tells Bob “I know spin” Ryan that we can take God at his word, which I have stated many, many dozens of times, he becomes infuriated and resorts to ad hominen attacks and outright lies.

    I don’t have a problem if he wants to believe “Intelligent Design” is science and that it proves his “take” on the Bible is right, but I choose to believe in the Genesis account regardless of what the “ID” experts dole out as “evidence.” And because I disagree with him, not in belief but WHY I believe, Bob resorts to the worst tactic of all. And he will continue with it.




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  67. It is “DEDUCTIONS OF SCIENCE” or conclusions of science. Data is not what is opposed to Scripture. It is the false conclusions of scientists (science cannot “deduce” but scientists do) that is “science falsely called”, a warning widely issued by that same author who many times says that true science only brings forth evidence of the Scriptures’ truth.

    “In the study of the sciences also, we are to obtain a knowledge of the Creator. All true science is but an interpretation of the handwriting of God in the material world. Science brings from her research only fresh evidences of the wisdom and power of God. Rightly understood, both the book of nature and the written word make us acquainted with God by teaching us something of the wise and beneficent laws through which he works.”—CE 66.2

    God bless,

    Rich




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  68. David Read: Larry Geraty really did a job on LaSierra. Personally I think it is way gone, compromised beyond hope. The SDA Church should just cut its ties to LaSierra, and cut its losses.

    Is this your opinion, or that of God?

    If the Church cuts LSU loose through your advocacy and that of others here, what do you propose the Church should say to the parents of the majority of students who hear nothing of theistic evolution in their classes? After all, biology is but one of many LSU programs.

    Are you seriously suggesting that the nursing, phys ed, english, chemistry, physics, history, communication, psychology, art, music, business, education, sociology, computer science, foreign language, and other faculty and students are “way gone, compromised beyond hope?” I think your view is myopic and prejudicial in the extreme.




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  69. @Professor Kent: After doing as advised, you are correct . . .to a point. One comment, however, undoes all that was accomplished so swiftly in the previous paragraphs.

    This is not merely an issue of methodology as I am understanding it.

    I am all for students being taught to reason and dissect what they believe. They will come up against enough individuals that will challenge and plant seeds of doubt against God in their minds. They need to know how to study the Bible, work through a challenge and come to a complete and full understanding of the scripture and what it says.

    And if that is the method being used to teach evolution by all means keep at it.

    However, it is my understanding from several sources that it is questionable at best if this is truly what is occuring in these classrooms.

    I am not trying to destroy anyone’s career, and I have never sensed that it is the purpose or the intent of those who began this site to do so. The call has been for Adventist teachers in this Adventist university to teach Adventist doctrine in their classes.

    In 2000, CUC sued the State of Maryland to secure state and federal funds. The judge originally ruled against CUC stating that it was “pervasively religious” and this conflicted with the terms of the funding. During the appeal process, the same judge did some in depth investigation and determined that less than 100 of the non-religion department courses stated anywhere that the students would be looking at their subject matter through the “eyes” of scripture. (This was out of 540 puls courses.)

    The outcome? CUC was deemed a public school by the court, thus eligible for the funding.

    A public school? Shouldn’t we be “pervasively religious”?

    Time is short. Rather than smiling and gently bearing with open rebellion and arrogant disobedience, we need to be working toward the restoration of souls. We don’t have time to harpoon one another because we’ve hurt each other’s feelings.

    It’s time to set the emotions aside and begin the work of restoring our schools or closing them. We cannot much longer prey upon God’s grace, mercy and patience.




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  70. Rich Constantinescu: All true science is but an interpretation of the handwriting of God in the material world. Science brings from her research only fresh evidences of the wisdom and power of God.

    Yes, Rich, Ellen White has penned this, but what would you conclude about God’s “wisdom and power” if you devoted a full day to watching animals parasitize, poison, envenomate, rape, maim, terrorize, kill, and consume other animals if you had only natural science to guide your thinking on “the wisdom and power of God” without the benefit of scripture?

    How would YOU separate God’s work (“the wisdom and power of God”) from that of Satan using nothing but human wisdom and science as your guide? Are you suggesting that only the study which reveals God’s direct work is “true science” (because it shows the “wisdom and power of God”) and that the study of anything wrought by Satan and sin is something less than true science (because it does not reveal the “wisdom and power of God”)? Was God “wise” in creating aphids that consume their siblings before they eat their way out of their mother’s body? How literal do you really want to take Ms. White’s language?




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  71. EMK: Time is short. Rather than smiling and gently bearing with open rebellion and arrogant disobedience, we need to be working toward the restoration of souls. We don’t have time to harpoon one another because we’ve hurt each other’s feelings. It’s time to set the emotions aside and begin the work of restoring our schools or closing them.

    I completely agree with your sentiments. I have stated emphatically based on abundant “insider” information and the testimony of a handful of current and past students that the biologists have NOT been indoctrinating theistic evolution in the past 1.5 years.

    La Sierra and other schools, while imperfect, are doing God’s work in this latter time, and we should praise and encourage them to continue with the things they do best and cease the cyberbullying and cyberharrassment that reflect angry personal vendettas more than anything else.




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  72. Kent, you either missed or ignored the point. The point was and is, if someone would take EGW as saying “deductions of science” means there is no false science, just one true science that is totally contradictory to the Bible and we must choose to live in blind faith without it that is wholly inconsistent with the other many statements by the same author who talks about true science revealing God whereas false science doesn’t.

    Your knot is easily untied. An enemy has done this.
    God bless,

    Rich




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  73. @Professor Kent: I acknowledge that I am neither informed enough or smart enough to determine what is true in this situation.

    What I stand by is the AAA investigative report.

    While our schools may be trying to instill faith in our young people we are failing miserably.

    I am sorry that I do not (and probably will not) share your view on this.

    I have heard you suggest repeatedly that we can just be supportive and this will be okay. But we have a problem in our schools and hiding our heads in the sand so to speak won’t fix it.




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  74. Rich Constantinescu: if someone would take EGW as saying “deductions of science” means there is no false science, just one true science that is totally contradictory to the Bible and we must choose to live in blind faith without it that is wholly inconsistent with the other many statements by the same author who talks about true science revealing God whereas false science doesn’t.

    That’s your point? Glad you clarified it (though all I did was ask questions about Ms. White’s statement, not your point). So who exactly is this supposed “someone” whom you are suggesting believes Ellen White says we must choose to live in “blind faith?” (By the way, if you think I’m using Ellen White with such a perspective, you’re obviously very mistaken.)

    And your point still begs the so-obvious question: is it no longer “true science” if the findings reveal something other than “God’s wisdom and power?”

    I can ask more questions, this time about human manipulation of nature rather than our study of animal behavior. Was development and successful deployment of the atom bomb not “true science” because it revealed something far more sinister than “God’s wisdom and power?” Does development of biological weapons constitue something other than “true science” for similar reasons? You offered a simple untwist of the knot by saying “an enemy has done this,” so is it not true science if we study how “an enemy has done this” since it reveals something other than “God’s wisdom and power?” Again, how literal do you wish to interpret Ellen White’s comment? Did God tell her verbatim what to write in that passage because every single word in the quote is correct? Is there a reason you can’t answer these questions without pulling the you-missed-or-ignored-my-point card?

    Let me be clear, Pastor Constantinescu, I have utmost respect for scripture and Ellen White. But I don’t think she penned what she intended to become a rigorous definition for what is and is not science. And Ellen White makes clear that what we see in nature has been greatly marred, and does NOT fully represent God’s intent, design, or character. This is exactly why Satan can exploit reliance on human reason and science ahead of God’s word in scripture.




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  75. David Read: Well, Jeff, would it work better for you if we just closed the biology and religion departments? I’m open to that as a possible solution.

    I would like to see those departments remain open. I believe the Church leadership has and continues to address the situation. I think you’re welcome to advocate your opinion, but you should do so strictly adhering to Matthew 18. In this passage, Jesus makes it clear that, at some point when it comes to a disagreement, you “tell it to the church.” Nowhere in Matthew 18 does Jesus say you proclaim it outside of the Church, to the entire world, with loudspeakers, with billboards along highways, with airplanes trailing banners, with radio and television commercials…or on the world wide web.

    This website and your endorsement of it directly violates the express command of Jesus himself. No one–not you, nor Sean, nor Shane, nor Bob–would be writing what you do here if Jesus was sitting at your side, because you know this is not His way. Now own up to your unGodly work, confess, and make things right.




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  76. So God created man in His own image; . . . male and female created He them.” Here is clearly set forth the origin of the human race; and the divine record is so plainly stated that there is no occasion for erroneous conclusions. God created man in His own image. Here is no mystery. There is no ground for the supposition that man was evolved by slow degrees of development from the lower forms of animal or vegetable life. Such teaching lowers the great work of the Creator to the level of man’s narrow, earthly conceptions. Men are so intent upon excluding God from the sovereignty of the universe that they degrade man and defraud him of the dignity of his origin. He who set the starry worlds on high and tinted with delicate skill the flowers of the field, who filled the earth and the heavens with the wonders of His power, when He came to crown His glorious work, to place one in the midst to stand as ruler of the fair earth, did not fail to create a being worthy of the hand that gave him life. The genealogy of our race, as given by inspiration, traces back its origin, not to a line of developing germs, mollusks, and quadrupeds, but to the great Creator. Though formed from the dust, Adam was “the son of God.” {PP 44.3}




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  77. Kent, I was not primarily quoting EGW as an authority. I only noted that if someone quotes one portion of EGW writings as authoritative about the supposed disvalue of the “deductions of science” being evidence for or against a point of faith, they should be free to accept other parts of her writings which make it clear that science is not opposed to God’s Word. I do agree that the conflict is not between science and faith but only with the deductions of science and the conclusions of the natural, rebellious, un-renewed heart. EGW never opposed science. She opposed as the Bible says, “science falsely so-called.”

    Our colleges all have students from non-Adventist persuasions. The world is invited to and attends all our other schools. They have a right to know what we are teaching if we are bearing false witness.
    God bless,

    Rich




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  78. Professor Kent: And Ellen White makes clear that what we see in nature has been greatly marred, and does NOT fully represent God’s intent, design, or character. This is exactly why Satan can exploit reliance on human reason and science ahead of God’s word in scripture.

    Is this being taught at LSU?

    Herein lies the problem with this discussion.

    Is the biology department teaching that which is antithetical to the Biblical understanding of the Seventh-day Adventist church?

    There are too many who are trying to sully names of good men and women on both sides of this issue. It is time to step back, stop making excuses, and handle this issue for what it is.

    Are science and nature equal with scripture? Heaven forbid if anyone has EVERY suggested such a thing! (And I’m sure someone has.) Do science and nature support scripture? Of course. The Author of one is the Author of the other. While sin may have marred the creation, it cannot destroy the Creator.

    The issue remains (and we would all be wise to stay to the issue lest we cross some line in sin that we dare not cross) whether or not LSU is teaching that which is antithetical to the Biblical teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

    I realize that its not quite so black and white.

    But we have a rather significant document that states that former and current students do not solidly attest to the fact that their faith was strengthened by their time at LSU. This should be disconcerting at the very least.

    We don’t have time for side discussions about who’s the smarter person or who’s not catching on when two totally different things are being discussed.

    Prof. Kent, thank you for trying to heighten our level of understanding. However, the conversation is still about whether or not LSU is teaching antithetical material to the Seventh-day Adventist church.

    Insider information or not. . .the question begs a simple “yes” or “no” answer.




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  79. I agree with EMK, the issue is all about whether or not LSU professors are teaching science in a fashion that contradicts the SDA church. We have abundantly seen that this is the case. This site was not established to assasinate anybody’s character (in my opinion the professors have done a marvelous job of doing that themselves) it was not established to do anything but point out a problem that has not been dealt with by those in authority for decades and which has grown to monstrous proportions because of it.

    And I thank God for Shane and Sean, who have had the moral courage to do this distastful job. They have suffered many attacks on their characters because of this, but I hope they know that many of us out here support them in this fight…for this is a battle between right and wrong, and they are in the right.

    This issue needs to be dealt with immediately if not sooner. It has dragged on for far too long at the expense of the souls of the young people who have attended this university.

    Professor Kent’s postings seem to be getting more and more Rumplestiltskinesque as time goes on. He is trying to defend the indefensible and is left with nothing to float his boat.

    I can understand why Bob continues to point out that Kent spin doctors–that is exactly what he is trying to do. He claims he believes SDA principles, the Bible, and EG White; yet he is constantly trying to defend the corrupt practices of his colleagues. He tries to convince us that they are doing right, when we have seen abundant proof that they are not doing right.

    He tries to do this professorial tap dance whereby he clouds the issue with nonfacts that he apparently feels is so far above the poor and lowly ranks of the ‘uneducated’ SDA members, that we just can’t understand it. He builds his house on sand–relying on the quotations of mere men which directly contradict scripture. (EGW excepted–she doesn’t contradict scripture.)

    TE is error, but the professors, in their efforts to gain the applause and acceptance of the world, are willing to try to meld truth and error so that we, as a denomination, won’t receive the point-and-horse laugh from the world. Personally, I don’t care a hoot whether or not the world laughs at us for believing the “thus saith the Lord” creation account. They are the ones in error, not us. And in the not too distant future, this is going to become crystal clear to all. Then the evolutionists will be running to hide from the Creator they so defiantly denied. And the TEs will be right in there with them.

    I’ve seen a lot of ‘educated’ discussion on this site regarding creation. It has convinced no one. The TEs are still as firmly intrenched in error as ever and the rest of us just as firmly believe in Creation as before. No one has budged an inch. In my opinion, it is a side issue.

    Look above at David Dunkin’s post. (Excellent, by the way, David.) It makes it clear as day that God created man. There is no argument on earth that can change that. Either you believe the scriptural account or you don’t. That is the choice you have. I don’t think that we need to debate creation vs evolution. It is a done deal as far as the SDA church is concerned. Just in case anyone’s forgotten, we believe in creation as written in the Bible account and we don’t believe in evolution–theistic or otherwise.

    What we have come to discuss here is that many of the professors have decided not to believe and have decided to teach their classes in a way that disparages and discounts the SDA beliefs while still taking a pay check from the church and trying to appear as good SDAs, which only strengthens the evil influence they are disseminating. The profile of the above professor shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that there are negative influences at work here that should not be tolerated by the church for one minute.

    The issue we face now is how, and how soon, this is going to be stopped.




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  80. EMK: Herein lies the problem with this discussion. Is the biology department teaching that which is antithetical to the Biblical understanding of the Seventh-day Adventist church?

    Faith: I agree with EMK, the issue is all about whether or not LSU professors are teaching science in a fashion that contradicts the SDA church. We have abundantly seen that this is the case.

    Yes, this IS the crux of the problem. But “abundant” evidence? What a load of GARBAGE!!! How can you or anyone else claim to “know” what is being taught and not taught if you have not been in the classroom yourself? How can you know from a syllabus and a few PowerPoint slides what is being taught?

    Here are the facts: Educate Truth has presented as “evidence” well under 0.01% of the teachings of the biology faculty from several years ago, and exactly 0.00% from the last 1.5 years. No entire transcript of a single lecture by an LSU biologist–not one of thousands of lectures given annually–has been presented here. Yet based on this “abundant evidence” you folks are making very sweeping, malicious claims, and in doing so you are obviously violating the spirit of Matthew 18. SHAME ON YOU.

    There is nothing in scripture that gives license to your rumormongering and cyberbullying. Your behavior puts Christ back on the cross as a spectacle for the world to laugh at. Satan is absolutely ecstatic with your unChristlike zeal in persecuting fellow Christians–and you know it. Continue doing so at your own peril. Again, this is NOT the Adventist Way.




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  81. Faith: I can understand why Bob continues to point out that Kent spin doctors–that is exactly what he is trying to do. He claims he believes SDA principles, the Bible, and EG White; yet he is constantly trying to defend the corrupt practices of his colleagues. He tries to convince us that they are doing right, when we have seen abundant proof that they are not doing right.

    Where is your “abundant proof?” Give us ONE PIECE OF EVIDENCE, Faith, that an LSU Biologist has taught students this past 1.5 years that theistic evolution is the best explanation for life on this planet. JUST ONE PIECE OF EVIDENCE. I haven’t seen the evidence, and I don’t believe you or any other reader here has.

    If you cannot produce your “abundant evidence,” then you yourself are nothing less than a liar who is engaged in nothing but spin. You are doing Satan’s work as the accuser of your brethen. You really should reconsider your unfounded accusations based on abundant speculation and lies. I’m really tired of your whining.




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  82. Faith, since you are so good at interpreting evidence, how do you interpret this post from Greg (11-22-10, http://tinyurl.com/6ytmghe):

    I was checking on publications of faculty at Southwestern Adventist University, my alma mater, and was a bit disturbed to learn that the chairperson Suzanne Greer-Phillips is an evolutionist. Here is what she published in a research article:

    Alexandre G, Greer-Phillips S, Zhulin IB. FEMS Microbiology Reviews 28: 113–126 (2004) “In some cases, comparative genomic analysis may produce a reasonable prediction of the transducer specificity [106,108], however, in most cases it will not. This is due to a multi-domain organization of chemotaxis receptors and different evolutionary fate of sensory and signaling modules. The evolution of sensory domains is independent of that of the signaling domains, and the evolutionary changes in sensory domains appear to have much faster rates [110]. This results in a truly remarkable diversity of sensory modules in chemoreceptors.”

    Is Dr. Suzanne Phillips, the chairperson of biology at Southwestern Adventist University, an evolutionist? Does she believe that our sensory receptors have evolved? Does she teach evolution in the classroom? Should she, like the LSU faculty, “not be tolerated by the church for one minute” (in your own words)?




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  83. EMK, I invite you to read T. Joe Willey’s May 20, 2011 essay on the Spectrum Blog about the data compiled from the student surveys at La Sierra. His essay cites the raw data, which you can examine for yourself. I think you will conclude that despite press accounts to the contrary there is not much there that is disturbing.

    I have seen little to no evidence that La Sierra science teachers are promoting theistic evolution, although I accept Professor Kent’s representation that such may have occurred in the past. I do not think that any of us should assume the role of prosecutor or defender of the science teachers at La Sierra. This role is best assumed by Adventist Accreditation Association, which is in the best position to gather evidence, interview people, and work in a constructive way with the La Sierra science teachers. I believe that AAA is entitled to deference.

    Notwithstanding the deference I give AAA, I do opine that AAA has stumbled in effecting a resolution to the controversy. When you see the AAA site committee composed of Ted Wilson-quality conservatives recommend a full term of accreditation and the AAA board by secret vote reject that recommendation, then confusion predominates to everyone’s detriment.

    I believe our limited role is to discuss what an Adventist science teacher should teach in science class and what faith-affirming steps can be undertaken on behalf of science students.

    That Adventist science teachers should teach mainstream science and accord it factual validity to the degree warranted by the natural evidence is not an open issue. What is an open issue, something that someone with your experience can address, is what faith-affirming steps can be undertaken on behalf of students who study science.

    The reason there is so much hysteria is that many Seventh-day Adventists are uneducated, under-educated, and mis-educated about the relationship between science and religion. This is dramatically illustrated by the posted article in which a perfectly appropriate lesson about what science tells us about the origin of birds is erroneously represented to constitute the promotion of theistic evolution.




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  84. @Professor Kent: Thank you so much for the spiritual instruction. And the violation of the very text you are using.

    I am not, nor have I ever criticized LSU or the faculty.

    I am asking for information that I don’t have the privelege of gaining by being an “insider” and that the “insiders” either won’t or can’t share so in turn do the very same thing that y’all are so quick to condemn Educatetruth of doing.

    Neither of you have emperical evidence to claim that this is not happening.

    The founders of this site claim that they started this discussion to correct a doctrinal problem in one of our universities. Last I checked no human can read their minds – you included. Therefore, the suggestion that this is done out of anger or malicious intent is completely irrelevant and unfounded.

    You have not answered my question in any fashion but to tell me unless I can go directly to LSU and speak with someone there then I need to sit down and shut up. Yes, I realize that you haven’t used these words, but it was the gist of what you’re getting across.

    I need to blissfully and blindly trust men to know what is best.

    I have one thing to say to that:

    I have determined to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

    Seeing as how I cannot get answers that you claim you have, all I can do is work on the information that is being provided, use the brain that God gave me and pray for EVERYONE involved in this controversy. Because somewhere in the middle lies some semblence of truth.

    God help us all.




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  85. @Phillip Brantley:

    “Charles, I believe the best interpretation of the days of creation is that they are literal 24-hour days that follow each other in a consecutive and contiguous manner to form one literal week.”

    Do I understand correctly what it sounds like you are saying? Let me ask the question in a way that is clear to me:

    Do you believe that this world was miraculously created in six consecutive literal 24-hour days less than 10,000 years ago?

    And an addendum to the question:

    Do you believe that the earth was created in perfection and that today it is marred by less than 10,000 years of sin (or rebellion) against God. AND, do you believe that these few thousand years of rebellion against God is a continuum of decline From that event of creation?

    Sorry – I guess I need another question as well: Do you believe that the truth of these matters is absolute and not relative to the discipines from which they are studied?




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  86. Jeff, how about if I take you and Phil’s approach to Scripture and say that I believe by faith that Matthew 18 is true, but it has no application to anything in the real world. Moreover, to try to implement Matthew 18 in the actual practice of human relations would be to engage in impermissible “criticism” of Scripture. Because what if Matthew 18 didn’t work? I would have disproved the bible, and we can’t ever put Scripture to the test.




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  87. EMK: Neither of you have emperical evidence to claim that this is not happening.

    Look, I have conceded in other threads here at ET and at Spectrum that there is good evidence some of the faculty (including several retired individuals) were at times disrespectful toward the SDA position and students that defended it. This has been confirmed by some of my private sources. I think those individuals who disrespected the Church’s position on origins deserved correction, though in a manner strictly in harmony with Christ’s counsel in Matthew 18, and NOT using Educate Truth’s tactics of cyberharrassment and cyberbullying.

    As I have also pointed out on other threads, I have spoken to quite a few individuals with intimate inside information–individuals who spoke to me on condition of anonymity–who are concerned about the situation but now convinced that things have changed. I cannot divulge those details. You can assert I don’t have empirical evidence, but I am comfortable enough with what I’ve learned that I can denounce readily the charges that all I do is spin (which, in turn, are based on completely vacuous claims).

    To suggest that Church and university administrators have done nothing about the situation, and that nothing has changed, flies in the face of all evidence. We have seen official reports, official apologies, and individuals compelled by threat to resign from their positions. And to top it off, there has been no evidence of continuing disrespect in the past 1.5 years. None.

    If readers have ANY respect for Church authority, it is time to let the leadership continue addressing the situation in accordance with official SDA policy, Christian charity, and the principles of Matthew 18–which are all undermined by continued accusations at this website. It’s time to act like true Christians and put an end to the unseemly public attacks.




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  88. David Read: Jeff, how about if I take you and Phil’s approach to Scripture and say that I believe by faith that Matthew 18 is true, but it has no application to anything in the real world.

    Your suggestion is based on a preposterous assumption about my approach to scripture (no application to the real world) that I won’t even dignify with a response.

    I suggest we accept at face value Christ’s instruction and make a sincere effort to follow it without contriving to show why it makes no sense and why it’s okay to criticize the sacred text. Is a simple “thus saith the Lord” so offensive to conservatives like yourself?




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  89. PK 1: “Where is your “abundant proof?” Give us ONE PIECE OF EVIDENCE, Faith, that an LSU Biologist has taught students this past 1.5 years that theistic evolution is the best explanation for life on this planet. JUST ONE PIECE OF EVIDENCE. I haven’t seen the evidence, and I don’t believe you or any other reader here has.”

    PK 2: “Look, I have conceded in other threads here at ET and at Spectrum that there is good evidence some of the faculty (including several retired individuals) were at times disrespectful toward the SDA position and students that defended it. This has been confirmed by some of my private sources. I think those individuals who disrespected the Church’s position on origins deserved correction, though in a manner strictly in harmony with Christ’s counsel in Matthew 18, and NOT using Educate Truth’s tactics of cyberharrassment and cyberbullying.”

    Professor Kent–look at the two above quotations from the two postings you have recently put up. First you claim there isn’t a shred of evidence of wrong-doing and then you say you have admitted there is such evidence. Do you wonder why people get confused with your position?

    Now to address quote #1:

    I have seen the postings of the then current students of Professor Brantley telling us what a group of ignorant morons (my words–but the spirit is there) we are to believe in Creation. This is a student who graduated in 2011, from what I understand. That, to me, is proof that the problem is not fixed. I heard the tape which the famous four posted in error. Their attitudes show me that they have not changed in their beliefs, yet they retained their positions to that point–certainly within the 1.5 years you allow. That also leads me to believe that the problem has not been fixed. The very fact that evolution-believing professors are employed by the school leads me to believe that the problem has not been fixed. You don’t put the fox in charge of the hen-house and expect a full count of chickens at the end of the day. These are abundant proofs as far as I am concerned–certainly enough to call for action.

    As to quote #2:
    You seem to think we should all just believe the school public relations releases because they say so. Yet, this is the school that lied and covered up and refused to take action concerning this whole issue for decades. In order to regain any credibility in the eyes of the church, something drastic like hiring professors who actually believe in the priniciples of the SDA church and are willing to teach such is needed. I have not seen the personnel change that is necessary. Case in point the above article on the professor and the revelation that he eats pork, no less, in direct opposition to the standards taught by the Bible and the church(good example there for the student body) and this information:
    “Dr. Grismer believes and teaches that living things on this planet have existed and evolved over billions of years through a process that involved the death and untold suffering of sentient creatures through countless generations. He teaches that modern birds evolved from dinosaurs and that whales evolved from land-dwelling mammals, etc… all in line with mainstream evolutionary thinking (see slide from one of Dr. Grismer’s LSU class lectures below).” Since no one–not even you–denies this to be the truth, I take this as evidence. That a person of this calibre is teaching in an SDA institution is a travesty and this needs to be remedied.

    As to the “cyberbullying” you keep referring to, (and I have seen plenty of it from you) it is not cyberbullying to report the facts and expect it to be fixed. They are our tithes and offerings that go to help support these institutions. As members of the church, it is our right to demand that the institutions we founded and maintain teach our beliefs. If that upsets the rebellious clique that exists in the LSU biology and religion departments, then these individuals are in the wrong job. They should have enough intregrity to go teach where evolution is embraced–it should never be embraced by, or find sanctuary in, our institutions.

    And, tell me Professor Kent, how long would this continue on if Educate Truth had not lanced this boil full of pus here on the internet? I believe the founders had already tried to get satisfaction from direct communication with LSU and were totally ignored. It is too bad it had to come to this, but LSU is directly responsible for it. If they had done something about it when it was brought to their attention, this would not have been necessary. I can only draw the conclusion that they did nothing because the powers that be were complicit with this devious practice. I applaud Sean and Shane for having the courage to call out this institution for its error. And I believe anyone who is really interested in seeing truth practiced and taught by LSU or any other institution would feel the same as I do.

    I am now bracing for your next attack. 🙂




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