Comment on The hinge of our faith by Ron.
BobRyan: Clearly â€“ when open minded objective students see the contrast between the clear statements in the Bible and compare them to what Darwin or Dawkins said â€“ they AGREE with both Darwin and Dawkins that the TWO are not reconcilable!
Bob, I am not willing to give either Darwin or Dawkins that much authority. I think Darwin and Dawkins are just as wrong in denying God, as are Adventists who deny Evolution. The statement that God made the Earth in six days, on its face, does not even imply that God has stopped creating, or that Evolution didn’t or couldn’t proceed from that time forward.
After carefully reading Mrs. White, I don’t think she was against the idea of evolution so much as she was against using the teaching of evolution to undermine belief in God. Notice in PP 103,104 she clearly states that it is the philosophers and theologians who are the culprits, not the scientists. Also note in GW 81 (1915) that Science is supposed to correct errors in Theology, not the otherway around.
You have to remember the context in which Mrs White wrote. These ideas were pretty rudimentary at that time. I think if Mrs. White were alive to day, she would have seen the distinction more clearly and would not have any problem at all with the idea that creation adapts, or evolves. One of her prophesies is that Adventists would have to change their fundamental beliefs over time as new evidence came forward. Once again Mrs. White is correct. This is one of those times, so now stop harassing the poor science teachers and get those lazy theologians off their butts and get them doing thier job.
Ron Also Commented
As God told Ellen White â€“ â€œto remain neutral or do nothing in a time of spiritual crisisâ€ is regarded by God as the worst kind of hostility against God. And yet you appear to even advocate it!
I don’t see how you can accuse me of advocating neutrality. I am decidedly NOT neutral. I oppose the purpose of this web site vehemently with all the power I can. I believe it is the very work of the devil within the Adventist Church. As I have argued before the spirit of coersion undermines everything that we as Adventists stand for. In my opinion Mrs. White would be in decided opposition to you.
The hinge of our faith
1. You are confusing two issues. One is the issue of whether the Bible is the ONLY source of truth. The other is the issue of whether God continues to create through a process that we recognize as evolution. Please don’t mix your arguments.
2. Regarding Sola Scriptura, as you said above, the Bible is the sole authority for doctrine. Science is not doctrine. Doctrine is not science. According to Mrs. White they are both books from God, but they are separate.
3. Your famous quote says nothing about evolution. Mrs. White is talking about using long chronology from GEOLOGY, not BIOLOGY, to undermine faith in God. Of course that is the worst of infidelities, because it corrupts the messages of both of God’s books, both science and the Bible. If you corrupt both, then you really do have a problem. How is God going to speak to you? Her problem isn’t with the science. Her problem is with people using science to undermine faith in the Bible.
4. As I recall, the fourth comandment commands us to work 6 days, and it points to God’s example in creation as the reason. It does NOT say that God did not resume working again on Sunday. In fact, Jesus specifically says in John 5:15 that God is working still. I am not aware of any place in the Bible that states that God ceased to be the creator when Adam and Eve sinned. In fact, I think that the Third Angels Message specifically says that we are to REMEMBER that God is the CREATOR. Yes, God created the world in 6 days, but that does not imply that he stopped. He is still the creator, now, 6000 years later.
5. The Bible does teach evolution. True, not a slow evolution like the modern evolutionists are teaching, but actually a very rapid evolution of large carnivors from the time of Adam to the time of Noah. Noah was afraid to leave the ark because of them. Again, in the story of Jonah, God created a new creature specifically for the task at hand. A very rapid evolution if you will.
6. RE: Nehemiah, I am not impuning Nehemiah’s work. All I am doing is following the outworking of the principles he initiated through the Bible history and what I see is that it didn’t work out so good. And yes, according to the standards that Nehemiah set, Jesus did in fact break the Sabbath law. Jesus himself said that he did it. John 5:17 “My father is working still, and I am working”. Jesus did it intentionally and for the very purpose of attacking one of their Fundamental Beliefs.
In Mark 3:1-6. Jesus here again breaks that Sabbath commandment according to the principles initiated by Nehemiah. Given your arguments for Sola Scriptura, I am suprised that you don’t see this point. This seems to be a major issue for Jesus. Mark 3:5 even says that it made Jesus “angry and sore distressed”. In fact breaking the law was exactly Christ’s intent, to show how wrong their fundamental beliefs about the Sabbath were.
7. Again, Sola Scriptura, Mark 3:1-6 addresses exactly what this web site is proposing. Like the Pharisees you are the accussor. You are going out and “holding counsel against him”. Jesus rebukes the “accussor of the bretheren”.
The hinge of our faith
Thank you for your graciousness. You also seem sincere to me.
Because I believe that God gave Adam and Eve two legitimate choices, does not mean that I think God is a Teddy Bear. I believe that evil is truely evil, and that our choice of Knowledge of Good and Evil, truely cost God, the death of his son. What I am saying is that God willingly and freely chose to pay the price. God and Christ both talked about it before they chose to create the world, and even in the face of all the tragedy of all the ages, God decided that it was worth it. God didn’t give Adam and Eve the choices blindly and he isn’t threatened. God was reconciled to all the evil we would create even before Christ ever started creating.
Adam and Eve could have chosen innocence and life without death and they never would have known evil, but neither would they have known the Goodness of God’s mercy. There would have remained a huge part of God’s character that would never have been revealed. Like the Angels in heaven, we would never have known God’s mercy, or his justice (remember the angels has no idea of God’s law until he spelled it out to man), his patience, his selflessness, his courage, or compassion. We never would have seen God’s love that wins our hearts at the cross. What’s more, Man’s character would never have become what it is. We never would have seen the patience of Job, the faith of Abraham, the courage of David, the faithfulness of Daniel, the joy of the Samaritan woman, the repentance of Peter, the boldness of the thief on the cross. None of those virtues could have been developed in the garden. Was it Mother Theresa that said, “Yes, I see the world filled with evil, but I also see the overcoming of evil.”? Christ has overcome the world. We don’t even need faith to know that. We see it every day, all around us. Good is overcoming evil.
The real choice God gave man was the choice between a simple good, innocence without death, or a larger and more complex good, death with wisdom (the ability to distinguish between good and evil). It is impossible to obtain wisdom without paying the terrible price of also knowing evil. Of course God could never have advised man to choose something so devastating, but the choice is still a valid choice, given to us by a loving God who just happens to have all the character traits we need to learn and develop in order to come out of the valley of the shaddow of death, on the other side victorious with a deeper knowledge of God’s character than would ever have been possible other wise.
Before the fall, God walked with man in the garden. After the fall, man has become a partaker of the divine nature. Before the fall, the Spirit moved on the face of the waters, after the fall the spirit lives in the heart of man. Yes, we all experience death, but we also experience rebirth, and resurection. God the creator, continues to create. Not just in nature, but also in the hearts and souls of men.
I am not immune, my heart also has been crushed and I know that I will die, but I am OK with that. Like God I am reconciled. I am thankful for the gift God has given. I for one think the risk was worth it. I am happy with the choice Adam and Eve made. I like the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in my heart and that I can partake of the very nature of God and sit with Christ on his throne.
Recent Comments by Ron
Sean Pitman: No one is demanding that they “get out of the church”. . . . . anti-Adventist views on such a fundamental level.
You don’t see how characterizing a dedicated believer’s understanding of truth as “fundamentally anti-Adventist” would drive them out of the church?
I guess that explains why you don’t see that what you are doing here is fundamentally wrong.
Professor Kent: Nothing saddens me more than the droves who leave the Church when they learn that many of their cherished beliefs regarding this evidence don’t hold up so well to scrutiny.
I agree. I am sure that Sean and Bob don’t mean to undermine faith in God, but every time they say that it is impossible to believe in God and in science at the same time, I feel like they are telling me that any rational person must give up their belief in God, because belief in God and rationality can’t exist in the same space. Who would want to belong to that kind of a church?
Sean Pitman: and have little if anything to do with the main point of their prophetic claims
And by analogy, this appears to be a weak point in the creation argument. Who is to decide what the main point is?
It seems entirely possible that in trying to make Gen. 1 too literal, that we are missing the whole point of the story.
Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
Regarding falsifying the existence of God through the miraculous:
While it is true that one can’t falsify the existance of God and the Biblical miracles at a philosophical level, it seems to me that it is possible to falsify it at a practical level. For instance prayer for healing. How many families who pray for a miracle for a loved one in the Intensive Care Unit receive a miracle?
While the answer to that question doesn’t answer the question of the existence of God at a philosophical level, it does answer the question at a practical level. After 36 years of medical practice I can say definitively that at a practical level when it comes to miracles in the ICU, God does not exist. Even if a miracle happens latter today, it wouldn’t be enough to establish an expectation for the future. So at a practicle level it seems it is possible level to falsify the existence od God, or at least prove His nonintervention which seems to me to be pretty much the same thing at a functional level.
Changing the Wording of Adventist Fundamental Belief #6 on Creation
Sean, what is your definition of “Neo-darwinism” as opposed to “Darwinism” as opposed to “evolution”?