The ANN Highlights LSU’s Dr. Lee Grismer – An Evolutionary Biologist

Posted by Sean Pitman

Early morning of May 5, 2011
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On April 27, 2011 the Adventist News Network published an article detailing the thrilling exploits of Dr. Lee Grismer, an evolutionary biologist from La Sierra University, who has “discovered 80 new species of reptiles and amphibians during his 15-year career” at LSU.  The article goes on to twice describe Dr. Grismer as an “Adventist field biologist.” (Read the Article)

Notice: This article has apparently been pulled from the ANN website as of the afternoon of May 5, 2011 and is no longer available.

While there is no doubt that Dr. Grismer’s work is very exciting and thrilling indeed, I personally feel it unwise for the ANN to promote Dr. Grismer as an “Adventist field biologist” when he is one of several LSU professors who are ardently undermining the Seventh-day Adventist position on origins – in no uncertain terms.  Dr. Grismer is in fact an ardent evolutionist who believes and teaches his students at LSU that life has existed and evolved on this planet, in a Darwinian manner, over the course of hundreds of millions of years.  He teaches his students that the SDA position on origins, the literal six-day creation week in particular, is scientifically ludicrous and even morally dangerous…

In February of 2009, I gave an impromptu presentation at LSU on the topic of creation/evolution.  The very next week Drs. Lee Greer and Lee Grismer put together a presentation to challenge my talk on a literal interpretation of the Genesis account. Dr. Grismer in particular derided students who questioned his evolutionary view on origins, suggesting that those who hold outdated literal creationist beliefs are the same ones who “fly airplanes into buildings”.

Such statements are nothing new for Dr. Grismer who, according to former LSU students, really enjoys “making students and visiting professors look like fools, if they question the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution.” ( Link )

This is right in line with the public comments of long-time LSU professor, Dr. Gary Bradley, who declared that the SDA view on a literal creation week is held by the “lunatic fringe” and that he is not about to get up in front of his class and say that mainstream science is a bunch of “bs” – to quote Dr. Bradley in his interview in 2009 with Inside Higher Ed.

Such events and comments formed the basis for the rising concern over the promotion of mainstream evolutionary theories in our classrooms. This concern has increased dramatically over the past two years that this issue has gained a degree of public attention within the SDA Church at large. And yet, the ANN sees fit to present such professors as models of Adventist education?  the very same professors who have long been deliberately undermining the most basic of SDA fundamental goals and ideals in their classrooms?

Is this not equivalent of the ANN shooting itself in the foot? – promoting LSU’s science department by highlighting the truly thrilling work of one of its evolutionary biologists while failing to explain that this very same man is also boldly attacking the Church’s position on origins as a paid representative of the Church?  Does it matter how good and exciting the work may be of any pastor or teacher if this individual is, at the same time, attacking the foundational pillars of the Church?  Does the good truly outweigh the negative influence of such individuals when it comes to the primary goals and ideals of the Church as an organization? – or does the good simply act as capsule that helps one swallow the poison a bit more easily?

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392 thoughts on “The ANN Highlights LSU’s Dr. Lee Grismer – An Evolutionary Biologist

  1. Re Bill’s Quote

    “In the end, bible assurance is coupled with a holy fear and these two motivating factors create the Christian community. Either both motivating factors are continually active, or in the end, neither has any relevant power to change a persons life.”

    Hi Bill

    Thanks for your comments, always elucidating.

    I note that your quote doesn’t mention reason or science. So how does the Bible appeal to the open, rational, candid mind? Only through the carrot of salvation and the stick of damnation? If so why should Adventist institutions be in the business of teaching science at all, instead of just being bible colleges?

    I respectfully offer an alternative suggestion: that the advancement of mankind’s knowledge through science was not based on fear or hope but on objective, empirical inquiry.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  2. “Every human being who has ever lived has had to make this choice and the present generation is no exception!”

    Lydian

    If you read enough posts, Lydian, on all the SDA forums, you soon see how impossible it is for the “carnal mind” to preceive the word of God and its meaning.

    Some defend the law and others the gospel. Each group are sure the other group has a warped view of the kingdom of God. We can agree with EGW…..”Error is never harmless, error never sanctifies.”

    For the created mind, the paradox is unresolveable. It is the same old question Lucifer asked in heaven. “How can God be just and merciful and one and the same time?”

    Since the law continually condemns, who can be sure they are “saved”? If the gospel is in full force, why should we worry about salvation?

    The fact is, in our own limited comprehension, we could never know the answer and must necessarily accept the biblical revelation, just as we do about God and creation.

    The biblical revelation of law and grace resolves the paradox in theory, but not completely in practice. Meaning what? Meaning this, we have adequate assurance coupled with fear.

    Many want a “once saved, always saved” assurance that negates the full dynamic of the law and human accountability. They want God to be solely responsible for their salvation. There is no doctrine in the bible that supports this false idea.

    God saves us in such a way, that we save ourselves. God pays the penalty for sin, but not in such a way that it is universally applied and human accountability is negated. Rather, the human factor can resist, ignore and reject what God has done and make God’s grace non-applicable to the individual.

    So, God saves us to a responsible freedom that will determine our eternal destiny.

    Liberals want an irresponsible freedom that sets them free from any aspect of salvation whereby they are held accountable in such a way they can be lost.

    In the end, bible assurance is coupled with a holy fear and these two motivating factors create the Christian community. Either both motivating factors are continually active, or in the end, neither has any relevant power to change a persons life.

    Only as law and grace are coupled with each retaining its full dynamic, will the desired result be obtained. We must never try to resolve the paradox. We simple accept it and live within its continuing application.

    So, we are restrained from sin by a fear of the law and justice, and we are restrained from sin by an overwhelming awareness of God’s grace and forgiveness.

    Today, in modern Adventism, the emphasis on grace in opposition to God’s law is undermining the spirituality of the church. The bible is being attack and undermined in a thousand ways. This creation/evolution discussion is typical of the many problems that have surfaced because of ignorance of the biblical principle of law and grace.

    Law and grace coupled together creates an uneasiness in all of us that makes for a healthy relationship with God in the world of sin. People want a “comfortable” religion. There isn’t any in this world.

    So Paul says, “I fear, lest having preached to others, I myself, should be a castaway.” Paul has adequate assurance. But no “once saved, always saved” that frees him for a responsible ongoing decision in his relationship with.

    Many in Adventism today, seek an experience
    not offered in the bible.

    Bill Sorensen

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  3. 5-11-11

    If you will forgive me, Eddie, I have just one more “parting shot,” to give:

    God says:

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
    “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
    “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
    “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
    ” Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
    “Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
    “Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.” Isaiah 55:8-13;9:1,2.

    And this:

    “Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
    ” And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods (SCIENTISTS) of the (WORLD)Amorites, in whose (TIME YOU LIVE)land ye dwell: BUT FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!” Joshua 23:14,15

    Every human being who has ever lived has had to make this choice and the present generation is no exception!

    Lydian

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  4. BobRyan: Ron – very often editors are chosen for their ability to communicate and write effectively so instead of seeing people with degrees in theology you will sometimes see people with a degree in English writing serving at that post. In that case it is more the reviewers of the article that are accountable for the content being theologically or even scientifically correct, than the actual writer of the article.in Christ,Bob

    I agree with you, Bob. In any case, who exactly is responsible for this horrific blunder? Does “the buck” stop anywhere? Is ANN actually “in tune” with what is going on in our SDA Church? I have serious doubts!

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  5. Lydian&#032Belknap: Just one example: Cancer of the cervix:
    Two Doctors in two different hospitals began to study the lives of the women who had died from this disease to see if they could find anything in common. They were desperate to find a common cause.
    Suddenly it dawned on them that there were very few Jewish women among those who had died! This was in the early 1900′s– years after I was born!. What made the difference? Medical researchers now agree that the practice of circumcision among Jewish men is responsible for the difference.

    Sorry to be the “devil’s advocate,” so to speak, but why did God design men with a foreskin and then, because it turned out to be unhealthy, ask us to cut it off? Was it a flawed design?

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  6. Why is the reputation of a news reporter being clandered here? Lee Grismer is allegedly SDA, works at a SDA institution, and often makes headlines with his scientific discoveries. The author may have been simply covering the news story without grilling Lee Grismer about his views of origins and SDA fundamental beliefs. When Baby Fae became headline news back in the 1980s I doubt any SDA news reporter ever asked him about his personal views on abortion, physician-assisted suicide, cause of homosexuality, origins, or any other controversial issues–and even if he held a view conflicting with that of most SDAs I doubt that would have precluded them from reporting the story. If ANN reported news only from perfect SDAs, there would be nothing to report about–except, perhaps, a certain pathologist who understands science better than any Nobel laureate.

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  7. Dear Bill

    Thank you very much for your exposition on the good book. I greatly appreciated it and am that much better informed.

    I hope I was not being trite in my comments. The Bible is a important fascinating, book, irrespective as to whether one believes it is the word, or inspired word of God. Perhaps all sacred texts qualify in that respect as the authors seem to be inspired by something outside of themselves that speaks of the divine. Then again maybe that is just man’s fertile imagination at play.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  8. Ken asks…..

    “Re Bill’s Quote

    “In the end, bible assurance is coupled with a holy fear and these two motivating factors create the Christian community. Either both motivating factors are continually active, or in the end, neither has any relevant power to change a persons life.”

    Hi Bill

    Thanks for your comments, always elucidating.

    I note that your quote doesn’t mention reason or science. So how does the Bible appeal to the open, rational, candid mind? Only through the carrot of salvation and the stick of damnation? If so why should Adventist institutions be in the business of teaching science at all, instead of just being bible colleges?”

    Well, Ken, the bible’s main concern is first and foremost the issue of man’s relationship with God. In other words, what is sin and how is it dealt with?

    Certainly, the elements of natural law are relevant to some degree. After all, God said He created everything, and our physical life is sustained by natural law elements. So, there is some parallel and contrast between spiritual law and natural law.

    EGW said in the Desire of Ages, “Christ became one flesh with us (physical and natural law product) that we might become one spirit with Him (spiritual law and motivation).”

    Since we operate in both spheres continually, and can’t have one without the other, natural law science and spiritual law science are important. But it is imperative that we make a clear distinction between the two, even though they work together.

    How we determine parallel and contrast must be subjected to revelation first and foremost. That is, what does the bible say concerning the two sciences?

    The bible is the authoritative basis for all conclusions. And this should be obvious since no one can by natural law determine spiritual law conclusions. How could we know “God created the world in six days and rested the seventh” by examining natural law?

    None the less, we can learn many useful truths by a study of natural law. Health principles for instances. Healing arts, and other useful data are gleaned from natural law. But to try to understand all the basic elements of God’s moral government by natural law is futile.

    1. You could never know the seventh day is the Sabbath by natural law. It is a moral law revelation.
    2. You could never know that our relationship with God is based on the law of imputation by the study of nature.
    We can only approach God by way of Jesus His Son.
    3. Jesus is equal to God and we are not. Every false religion either destroys or blurs this distinction. So it will either make man equal to God, or, bring God down to the same level as man.

    Where are you going to learn this by way of natural law?

    Much more could be said, Ken. But this whole creation/evolution discussion is directly related to the issues I have stated above.

    It is simply not possible to “prove” spiritual law mandates and revelations by way of natural law. None of the ten commandments can be sustained solely by natural law.

    Adultery is not a “natural law” violation. People do it all the time with no penalty for doing it. Now it is true, if you violate some “natural law” factors in committing adultery, you will certainly suffer the penalty. But, if you remain in harmony with the natural law, there is no ill effect.

    You may ask, “Don’t people suffer guilt for doing it, and doesn’t this affect the physical well being?” Yes, it does. But not because of some physical violation of the commandment. It simply shows how the spiritual and physical work together.

    And when people have no sense of guilt, neither do they suffer a physical reaction.

    Now we see why there is a judgment by God to determine the punishment for violation of the moral law. No one is “punished” adequately by natural law for a moral law violation.

    This debunks those who teach God does not act against sin, but simply lets sin run its on natural law course and sin punishes itself by way of natural.

    “The wages of sin is death.” This is not a “natural law” declaration. It is a moral law judgment made by God who will inflict on the wicked the punishment they deserve.

    Bill Sorensen

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  9. BTW, Eddie, Next time you accuse me or anyone of “slander” please explain HOW I have slandered them. You seem to leave out the evidence of slander on your posts.

    I accused this reporte of sloppy reporting. Evidently, ANN agreed with me, as they pulled the article! Did they commit “slander” too?

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  10. Eddie: Can somebody explain to my why any Christian would want to fellowship with somebody who writes comments such as these about fellow brothers and sisters in Christ?

    I am a member of a large SDA church and many members have thanked me for my comments, including an Elder and an evangelist. No one, except you, have questioned whether others should “fellowship” with me.

    You may not like truth, and have accused me of “slander” but I have not seen or heard of those who have allegedly been slandered challenging what I have stated–because it is truthful although not “pretty.”

    We have very few SDA’s willing to challenge the problems our SDA Church faces by the infiltration of secular humanistic philosophies. Those that do are vilified–such as Dave Assherick, Sam Pipim, Doug Batchelor, Shane, Sean, etc.

    My comments have focused on public statements, actions, and lack of action of some of our leaders. Those that I have mentioned deserve to be scrutinized, as they are representatives of our Church, control many aspects, and draw a salary from our tithes/offerings or both.

    If you want to maintain a namby-pampy, “who cares” attitude about serious Church matters, go ahead. Others will have to take up the slack for you and others like you.

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  11. 5-0-11

    No, Eddie, it was NOT a “flawed design!”

    Nothing my God does is EVER flawed. Remember, God created Adam ‘perfect’ so there was something there that was intended for a perfect man and a perfect woman. Just what the purpose was for the way He made man we will not know this side of eternity. This is the work of the devil–NOT our GOD!.

    I hope you noticed that it apparently wasn’t until the time of Abraham that it came to be a problem because that was when God stepped in and provided a remedy.

    “God’s plans have no haste and no delay!”

    I really think you would find that book a real jewel. Diseases are the result of sin–things God never intended for His children to have to suffer like we do. Leprosy, the Black Plaguey, heart disease, cancer–you name it–are all the result of sin and were never intended to be a part of our lives.

    God gave the Children of Israel, through Moses, specific health instructions that, if followed, they would never have had to suffered from the diseases they met with in Egypt. If followed, God promised that “none of diseases” that afflicted the Egyptians would be seen among them.

    In these last days God in His mercy and love gave us the Spirit of Prophecy and in it are many, many additional instructions on how we should live, eat, dress, spend out time,–and much, much, more– to help us live healthy, happy lives. But how many of us really heed the information? It’s “so old fashioned”, “so restrictive”, so “uncool”–(and besides it “tastes good”, “looks good”, “feels good” etc. But, as my grandmother used to say, “If you are going to dance you will have to pay the fiddler!” How true that is!

    (When I was growing up all of EGW’s books had red covers and were lovingly called the “Red Books.” Whether true or not I do not know, but “the saying is” that the colors were changed because people were calling them “the Unread Books!”

    We have an awesome God who loves us with an “everlasting love” and who wants us to be healthy and happy. But if, like the Children of Israel and the world today, we disregard His instructions some day we will have to “pay the fiddler”!. We can’t blame God for our own stupidity and disobedience!

    Lydian

    PS: In no way do I want to imply that everyone who suffers from sickness and unhappiness are that way because they have disregarded God’s instructions and are “paying the fiddler!” That simply is not true in many cases. Many wonderful Christians are sick through no fault of their own. All of us are the decedents of those who have gone before and we have inherited weaknesses or diseases (or health, or strengths) over which we have no control. All who are sick and weak need our help, our encouragement, our prayers–NOT our criticism!

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  12. Eddie, I don’t know that every statement by Dr. Stone is completely “spiritual” in his evaluation.

    None the less, you could make the same accusations about any of the bible writers who “attack” the evil they preceived was apparent in the “Christian” community of their day.

    John the Baptist said, “You generation of vipers…….” Was that “Christian”?

    Luther called the Pope “the antichrist and the devil’s apostle.”

    EGW called some SDA pastor “Dumb dogs that won’t bark.”

    We could easily give a multitude of examples simular to this.

    I have certainly said many things that more than a few would consider less than “Christian”.

    Many may discern that I am not the church’s “favorite son”. But I assume that Dr. Stone and a host of others in the past have a high regard for historic bible Adventism and feel somewhat grieved by the lack of action by those who have the influence and authority to do something about it.

    There has never been any substancial reform without considerable opposition to it by the statis quo.

    Your phrase “brothers and sisters in Christ” is pretty generic, wouldn’t you say? Are all Catholics “brothers and sisters in Christ?” I would hope that at least some are, but such a blanket coverage is hardly the case.

    The same can be said for Protestantism in general and even SDA’s in particular.

    Anyone who has an interest in maintaining the historic faith of Christanity in general and bible Adventism in particular would do well to become more sensitive to many issues in the church today.

    Some of us discern what seems to be a stronger emphasis to maintain the political structure based on money, power and influence, than to defend the truth of God’s word and the honor of His Son.

    We may not know who will be on what side in the end. We do know that “two parties will be developed” (EGW), one for good and one for evil in the church.

    Indifference will necessarily place us on the wrong side by default. And apparently, this is where most will end up.

    Bill Sorensen

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  13. Shane&#032Hilde: @Ron Stone M.D.: Obviously the article was a slip up, or at least a PR stunt meant to give LSU some positive press. I doubt they’re living under a rock. In the end none of it really matters that much because the article was pulled.

    Shane, Please explain how a “news network” cannot be “living under a rock” when they do a story on a person who has been accused of undermining our SDA beliefs, and not even mention this fact.

    This story has been going on for years, especially during the past two years. Is ANN that far behind in what’s “up” in the SDA world?!

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  14. Eddie: Why is the reputation of a news reporter being clandered here? Lee Grismer is allegedly SDA, works at a SDA institution, and often makes headlines with his scientific discoveries. The author may have been simply covering the news story without grilling Lee Grismer about his views of origins and SDA fundamental beliefs. When Baby Fae became headline news back in the 1980s I doubt any SDA news reporter ever asked him about his personal views on abortion, physician-assisted suicide, cause of homosexuality, origins, or any other controversial issues–and even if he held a view conflicting with that of most SDAs I doubt that would have precluded them from reporting the story. If ANN reported news only from perfect SDAs, there would be nothing to report about–except, perhaps, a certain pathologist who understands science better than any Nobel laureate.

    How has this reporter been slandered? If ANN wants to be taken seriously, they had better get more intense scrutiny about what they are telling us.

    If they say they never heard of the controversy at LSU, then they definitely need to regroup and maybe get some more professional staff. How can anyone take these guys seriously? I certainly don’t!

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  15. ken: Speaking of prophecy and the merits of empirical observations, is there any corroborative, empirical evidence to support the testimony of Hiram Edson, that the Investigative Judgment began on October 22, 1844?

    No – events in heaven often take place without having a corresponding impact on nature around us at the time that those events take place in heaven.

    But when the Bible makes a claim about events on earth – that take place IN NATURE – well then the empirical model applies — with the result that there is no possibility of marrying the Bible to evolutionism (for example).

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  16. Fritz Guy has based a lot of his argument for finding error in our Fundamental Beliefs on this false accusation that our published statements of belief in the 1800 were in error on the Trinity.

    It is more helpful to expose the flaw in his false accusation than to avoid it.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  17. BobRyan: Your implied accusation that the prior statements of our Fundamental beliefs were in error, were not binding, or evolved from error to truth (etc) is not supported in historic fact (no not even in your own linked source).

    The ARTICLE, in the magazine called MINISTRY, published by the SDA CHURCH itself, makes abundantly clear that early Church leaders, including James White himself, were staunchly anti-trinitarian. I didn’t make things up; I actually quoted the article and the formal statements of beliefs. Not until 1980, a mere 31 years ago, did a single formally voted statement of beliefs even mention the concept of the trinity.

    I’m NOT arguing that error exists in the Church today; you’re twisting and manipulating my position once again. I’m merely pointing out that those on one side or the other of the trinity divide did not succeed in kicking the other side out of the Church prior to 1890.

    If you’re going to insist there is no fact in the quotes from the article, and that I’m making up those quotes which leave no room for doubt in the candid, rational mind, ask Shane for my email address and send me your objections privately. He asked us to drop the topic here. I’m going to respect that.

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  18. Shane said……

    “Sean is aware you can’t prove anything, but I think we can all agree that God provides us plenty of evidence on which to rest our faith. Our interpretation of what happened in 1844 largely depends on the historical accuracy of the Bible.”

    Well, Shane, apparently some people are not picking up on your point concerning Sean’s position.

    I for one, agree with the idea of evidence, but not conclusive evidence. People can be convicted of a crime by “circumstancial evidence”. And it is assumed that such limited evidence is adequate for a conviction.

    So, “evidence” has various meanings and applications. I agree that there is some evidence to support the ID idea. For some, the evidence is powerful and may be conclusive for them. Still, it is not “proof” beyond falsifiction.

    We don’t even have a human eye-witness to testify of its validity except by way of a vision from God or other God ordained method of communication. In which case, we have God’s word for it, but still no real eye-witness to the actual event while it was happening.

    And all this discussion on “evidence” by way of natural law is peanuts compared to bible prophecy. The words of Peter carry more weight in reasoning than any other “evidence”, in which he states,…

    “We have also, a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well to take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.”

    Even after Peter’s eye-witness account, he then states that prophecy is a more reliable source of “proof” than his eye-witness account. And then exhorts us to heed prophecy and prove his testimony by it.

    Certainly nature is some evidence and the bible affirms this reality.

    “The heavens declare the glory of God……..” But the heavens can declare the glory of God only if we accept the fact the God created them.

    And we accept the fact that God created them because He said so.

    And because He can declare the end from the beginning (prophecy) we can believe the testimony about Himself as the creator.

    And yes, we can “prove” prophecy by examining history and comparing it with the bible declarations.

    But you can not examine nature and prove God created it. Nature does not tell us how it began. Not a single clue of the “first cause” can be found in nature.

    Once we accept the fact that God created nature, then we can examine nature and learn something about God.

    If Sean is confessing that you can not prove creation by nature and that nature is only some evidence of the possibility of ID, even a rational and reasonable possibility, then I know I have no disagreement with him.

    I don’t know how others would view this conclusion.

    Bill Sorensen

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  19. From the ANN stylebook and information packet [http://goo.gl/TSb1Q]:

    What adventist news network is not:
    – ANN is not a promotional vehicle that advertises upcoming events.
    – ANN is not a forum for gratuitously airing controversial issues.
    – ANN is not the church’s “propaganda machine.”
    – ANN is not a print publication; it does not seek to replace
    established church publications, but rather to complement them
    by providing news stories they can reproduce

    The list of staff at ANN is on this page: http://goo.gl/7EmG6

    The article in question was written by Elizabeth Lechleitner, a 2006 communications graduate of Andrews University.

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  20. Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: One can be a Creationist and “discover” new species also. Simply get a panel of “experts” to agree with you that it is “different enough” from any known species.

    Yes I agree. The ANN connection of “Evolutionary biologist” to the discovery of any species – makes it appear that something about evolutionary biology would make someone better equipped to discover new species than say a zoologist.

    Imagine for a second that Grismer was an acomplished evolutionary biologist known for his groundbreaking work in debunking evolutionism and supporting what we “observe in nature” — which is that “birds come from birds not reptiles”.

    As a problem-solver and not merely a run-of-the-mill problem-promoter, his evolutionary biology background could have been a real asset highlighted in the article.

    But sadly – the context is very different from that ideal.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  21. LSU&#032Alum: No but any fundamental beliefs that say don’t eat meat and don’t drink alcohol are not fundamental beliefs based on Biblical teachings. They are made up my human’s and to think someone’s character is based on there legalism according to EGW’s rules is ridiculous. Being a vegetarian does not get you into heaven, drinking alcohol does not keep you out of heaven, at least I hope not because I would love to talk to Noah and the disciples ect

    Yes, drinking a “small” alcoholic beverage may not keep you out of heaven, (although drunkedness could) but,according to the LSU bylaws, it can get you kicked out of LSU!

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  22. Faith: This situation has been going on for 25-30 years now

    Slightly less than 21 years. It began in the fall of 1990 after the biology graduate program, under the direction of Dr. Leonard Brand, moved from the recently divorced La Sierra campus to the Loma Linda campus of Loma Linda University. And it gained steam with some subsequent hires. And more recently it has slowed down with some subsequent retirements.

    I wonder if those who voted for the divorce between the two campuses ever imagined what would transpire?

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  23. Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: Quite true–now that LSU has been exposed for what it really is, fewer “evolutionists” should be applying, since they cannot count on the LSU administration and the Board to “look the other way” as they expound their “evolution as fact” fallacies.

    What of the faithful creationists? Do you think they will be more or less likely to apply for future openings given the current climate at LSU (and within the Church)?

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  24. Professor&#032Kent: What of the faithful creationists? Do you think they will be more or less likely to apply for future openings given the current climate at LSU (and within the Church)?

    Why wouldn’t they apply, unless to not be associated with such an apostate institution, or fearing futher backlash from the evolutionists at LSU, the evolution supportive adminstration, such as Wisbey, or even to not be associated with the lackadaisical Pacific Union Conference leadership, which has shown no ability to monitor their own territory?

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  25. BobRyan: given your argument that our positioin on origins should not make appeals to confirming evidence observed in nature

    Your position on my position is an imposition on my position that improperly repositions my position.

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  26. well nothing about when the earth really came about is truly fact other than as a Christian I believe it was created by God. Now with that being said that doesn’t in itself rule out evolution as a way of looking at how everything in the world came to be. Now I think that logically we could have started from the big bang which was an event created by God and then after millions of years with God creating life in other places in our vast universe then God got to Earth and made man and other animals this would not detract at all from really what the Bible has to say because it is not a science book that describes in detail the story creation.

    secondly don’t qoute EGW because you don’t have anything from the Bible to support your view

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  27. BobRyan: Since when is “being civil” is the only standard for ‘value added’ in SDA teaching?

    No one has suggested this other than you.

    BobRyan: What did I miss?

    Geez…where do we begin?

    3SG 90-91 makes abundantly clear that SDA schools must not allow the teaching of theistic evolution. LSU cannot be teaching butterflies to birds as fact.

    Just stating the obvious. How many times do we have to go over this?

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  28. BobRyan: Kent represents a significant group opposed to the idea of exposing and fully dealing with the TE problem.

    Kent then puts on his creationist hat as follows.

    Kent said:

    Excuse me. I also wrote this:

    2. The university and regional Church leadership should have dealt much sooner and much better with the situation than they chose to do so. They should never have let the situation reach the point that it has.

    Given your actual arguments stating that the creationists arguments are not good science, that evolutionism is to be “big left tented” into Adventism because after all “TEs exist”, and given your argument that our positioin on origins should not make appeals to confirming evidence observed in nature, on what “basis” would you then be suggesting that the LSU problem “be dealt with sooner”??

    Just what kind of “solution” where you proposing??

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  29. Professor&#032Kent: The administration should have required the professors to respect all student viewpoints on religion and origins, including the official SDA positions.

    Since when is “being civil” is the only standard for ‘value added’ in SDA teaching?

    Value added for SDA schools is supposed to be much higher than just “respecting the religion of the students as if the SDA church is some other religion that you must tolerate with civility”.

    I thought everyone here was on the same page with that point.

    What did I miss?

    Those defending LSU make it appear to be some large achievement when it happens in their religion and Biology classes.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  30. Shane&#032Hilde: God’s grace does not = leaving people in positions of leadership who are undermining truth.

    Exactly Shane. Progressives focus on grace to the exclusion of anything else, including a “little” alcohol, an “occasional steak”– Smuts van Rooyan being the best (or worst) example of this I have ever seen.

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  31. The administration should have required the professors to respect all student viewpoints on religion and origins, including the official SDA positions.

    Just stating the obvious, as I have done many dozens of times (but without mention of 3SG 90-91, which makes clear that higher reasoning dictates that theistic evolution and the Bible cannot be married, which means that millions of Christians lack critical reasoning).

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  32. In this statement we have Kent’s reminder that the LSU profs were instructed to finally – at last — be civil towards SDA students.

    BobRyan: Professor Kent: The administration should have required the professors to respect all student viewpoints on religion and origins, including the official SDA positions.

    And so that begs the obvious question –

    BobRyan: Since when is “being civil” the only for ‘value added’ benefit in SDA teaching?

    Value added for SDA schools is supposed to be much higher than just “respecting the religion of the students as if the SDA church is some other religion that you must tolerate with civility”.

    I thought everyone here was on the same page with that point.

    What did I miss?

    Those defending LSU make it appear to be some large achievement when it happens in their religion and Biology classes.

    Kent “steps up his game” a bit by saying that he supports 3SG 90-94 and would insist that the TE position not be promoted at LSU (not just that the LSU profs need to be civil toward their SDA students while they teach evolution).

    Professor&#032Kent: 3SG 90-91 makes abundantly clear that SDA schools must not allow the teaching of theistic evolution. LSU cannot be teaching butterflies to birds as fact.

    That is as good as I have seen it get coming from Kent.

    Is this a new day or what??

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  33. To say that salvation is hinging on the belief in a 6 day creation in and of itself is completely ridiculous. Everyone’s salvation comes down to accepting God’s grace that was given through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ, period. There is nothing I can do to earn salvation, other than the saving grace that has been given to everyone which has nothing to do with what version of creation I believe in.

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  34. I agree with you Prof. Kent, it would be great if trying to be an example of God’s grace was our focus as a church instead of worrying about who is right about creation. To pour more resources to feeding those in need and loving those who society shuns. There would be no need for debate, just the need to express God’s love to his people through our actions.

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  35. LSU&#032Alum: Also I really hate the discussion about other people having to accept SDA beliefs, we need to focus on showing God’s character to others not trying to change their religion. If we show the true nature of God then it is hard for others to deny the truth.

    God’s character is part of our beliefs but not the whole thing. So, we should toss out our “Fundamental Beliefs?”

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  36. Professor&#032Kent: I would consider applying to LSU if it were not for the ugly politics that surround this issue.Among other things, if I was employed there, I would resent folks declaring me to be a theistic evolutionist without even asking me what I believe.And frankly, given the way I and others have been treated here, it’s pointless even to respond to such questions because I would be declared a liar. Sorry, but few people would want to work in such an environment.

    Quite true–now that LSU has been exposed for what it really is, fewer “evolutionists” should be applying, since they cannot count on the LSU administration and the Board to “look the other way” as they expound their “evolution as fact” fallacies.

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  37. No but any fundamental beliefs that say don’t eat meat and don’t drink alcohol are not fundamental beliefs based on Biblical teachings. They are made up my human’s and to think someone’s character is based on there legalism according to EGW’s rules is ridiculous. Being a vegetarian does not get you into heaven, drinking alcohol does not keep you out of heaven, at least I hope not because I would love to talk to Noah and the disciples ect

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  38. Also I really hate the discussion about other people having to accept SDA beliefs, we need to focus on showing God’s character to others not trying to change their religion. If we show the true nature of God then it is hard for others to deny the truth.

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  39. Re Bill’s Quote

    “People love sensationalism. So I would suspect Dr. Camping has a rather large following. And what do you think of his presentation?”

    Hi Bill

    Yes people do.

    Regarding Dr. Camping and the relative merits of end times biblical prophecy, I have an agnostic hypothesis. The predictive aspect of my hypothesis will require observations of the state of the world on May 22, 2011 and October 22, 2011.

    I’ll elaborate further on May 22, 2011.

    Speaking of prophecy and the merits of empirical observations, is there any corroborative, empirical evidence to support the testimony of Hiram Edson, that the Investigative Judgment began on October 22, 1844?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  40. Professor Kent said……

    ” Whether I can overcome sin or not, I can assure you that I am failing and have little confidence that I will EVER succeed 100%.”

    That is truly sad, professor. You deny the power of the cross to utterly and completely transform a life into “the moral image of God.” Of course, your view is not in any way shape or form in harmony with historic Adventism and certainly not supported by EGW.

    The whole probationary period is a time of test and trial, but by all who are obedient to Christ the words of the inspired John will be experienced: “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” The Lord Jesus came to strengthen every earnest seeker for truth, to reveal the Father. He allowed nothing to divert His mind from the great work of restoring to men and women the moral image of God. And every human agent must see that the great and important work for them in this life is to receive the divine likeness, to prepare a character for the future life. . . . {CTr 33.4}

    In the beginning God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” But sin has almost obliterated the moral image of God in human beings. Jesus came down to our world that He might give us a living example, that we might know how to live and how to keep the way of the Lord. He was the image of the Father. His beautiful and spotless character is before us as an example for us to imitate. We must study and copy and follow Jesus Christ, then we shall bring His loveliness and beauty into our character. In doing this we are standing before God through faith, winning back by conflict with the powers of darkness the power of self-control, the love of God that Adam lost.—Manuscript 6a, 1886 (Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, pp. 31-34). {CTr 43.6}

    “Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain.” “He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain.” In the East the former rain falls at the sowing time. It is necessary in order that the seed may germinate. Under the influence of the fertilizing showers, the tender shoot springs up. The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ. {TM 506.1}

    I assume by your testimony, you don’t agree with EGW?

    Bill Sorensen

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  41. Speaking of prophecy and the merits of empirical observations, is there any corroborative, empirical evidence to support the testimony of Hiram Edson, that the Investigative Judgment began on October 22, 1844?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    Not really, Ken.

    The bible is self validating and the real “evidence” of its claim are best supported by its prophetic declarations.

    I suppose Daniel and Revelation are classic in this area.

    Once you accept this “evidence” you are also impressed by its flowing continuity inspite of many biblical writers. They never negate the testimony of another. And this, in and of itself, is most amazing.

    If God had simply appointed one single individual to record the “whole ball of wax”, we could easily claim the continuity is because it is the product of one writer.

    What happened in 1844 by way of an historical event on earth was the confusion many had about what really happened in heaven. It was a logical mistake when it was assumed “the sanctuary” was the world. A false assumption will necessarily lead to a false conclusion.

    In the same way the people of Jesus’ day were looking for an earthly ruler and king to be the Messiah. This was so throughly ingrained in the minds of the people, even the disciples could not comprehend much of what Jesus was communicating.

    Even after His resurrection, they were slow to see the implications of His words. This was partly due to the fact the old testament makes little or no distinction of the several phases of the coming of the Messiah. So, they did not say, “At His first coming, He will do so and so…..and at His second coming He will do this or that, and then at His third coming He will finish up the whole mess and finally restore all aspects of the kingdom.”

    These phases were all run together and all the events seem to take place at one coming.

    For me personally, I find it more beneficial to still think of it as one coming divided into three phases. Instead of three comings and three events. And this is because all the phases are so inter related, they can be run together as one event. Just as the old testament does.

    Obviously, there is still a lot of confusion about the 2nd and 3rd phase of His coming. Some of us, at least, believe God raised up Adventism to make clear the events that parallel and contrast the 2nd and 3rd coming. The new testament writer still run the two phases together such as Peter’s description II Peter chapter 3. The book of Revelation does not always make a clear distinction between the 2nd and 3rd phase either. Such as Rev. 19-22.

    I am not shocked, nor amazed, nor is my faith challenged simply because those who were seeking an understand of Dan. 8:14 came to some wrong conclusions. They also came to some right conclusions, namely, a very important event was about to transpire in 1844.

    I see the perfect flowing unity in the explanation Ellen White gives of what happened and why. I also see their final conclusions are clearly revealed in the bible and so I don’t need to support the truth of the matter by EGW or anyone else.

    I never use EGW in a bible study on this subject. I do point people to the great Advent awakening in the 1840’s and tell how Miller and a host of others were seeking the meaning of the text in Dan.

    So, Ken, bible believing SDA’s don’t need EGW, we do appreciate the God given light she had on this subject as she showed from the bible its meaning. The bible speaks for itself and God creates the Christian community by way of the bible, not EGW.

    But I recommend you read the several chapters in the Great Controversy surrounding this subject. She laid it out so plain, that “wayfaring men, though fools, need not err therein.” Jer.

    Prophecy is the most powerful tool to vindicate the bible and its teaching. Nothing else even comes close.

    Bill Sorensen

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  42. Professor Kent, I won’t bicker with you about the Trinity and its historical consideration in the church. EGW never used the word.

    Hopefully, most SDA’s believe in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and this is three persons that make up the Godhead.

    EGW doesn’t use the phrase “original sin” either. But she supports the concept again and again in her writings.

    Phrases are made up to convey an overall meaning so when the phrase is used, knowledgeable people will know what it means. It saves time and effort to restate and redefine a whole series of ideas that make up a single point.

    So, as SDA’s, they made up the phrase “The investigative judgment”. While all that is comprehended in the phrase is not determined or stated, none the less, it conveys an overview of the final judgment of the church that preceeds the second coming.

    Certain elements can be defined and re-defined for clarification. But the overall meaning is non-negotiable.

    Simply this, believers are judged by the law to determine who will go to heaven, and who will not. This means no one is “saved” until the final judgment decision and all are on probation waiting for the final judgment.

    This simple concept has been attacked by more than a few in the past and is being continually attacked in the present.

    But the phrase defines the basic view and reason for the existence of the SDA church. It is the one unique doctrine that defines us in contrast to other denominations.

    We should expect church members to adhere to this concept and support it. If they have carefully considered it and its meaning, implications, and application and don’t agree with it, they should in all honesty and integrity leave the church.

    If they don’t understand it, then they should take as much time as necessary to consider it carefully until they do. At least its basic overall meaning.

    From this doctrine came our view of the necessity to keep the Sabbath of the 4th commandment. Also, the state of the dead, the thousand years following Jesus’ coming is in heaven and other details concerning the second coming.

    Today, we apparently can not even find a clear concensus of the doctrine of creation and affirm God as the creator in 6 days and resting on the seventh, without challenge and attack by liberals who undermine clear biblical statements and concepts. And whether people know it or not, it came of the Dr. Ford fiasco who attack the church and the 1844 IJ.

    I suppose you already know this……

    Anyway, many don’t.

    Bill Sorensen

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  43. Bill&#032Sorensen: ” Whether I can overcome sin or not, I can assure you that I am failing and have little confidence that I will EVER succeed 100%.
    That is truly sad, professor. You deny the power of the cross to utterly and completely transform a life into “the moral image of God.” Of course, your view is not in any way shape or form in harmony with historic Adventism and certainly not supported by EGW.

    Okay, brother Bill, perhaps you yourself have become completely transformed by now into “the moral image of God.” But I am not; perfection still eludes me, and I suspect I will remain far from perfect at death. Label me as you wish; you can get in line with David Read, Bob Ryan, Sean Pitman, and others who seem to delight in proclaiming that I’m not really an Adventist after all, and am just a cowardly liar with blind, circular reasoning who is actually a theistic evolutionist who applauds its teaching in our schools. That’s what this website seems to be all about–those who reflect the “moral image of God” telling others how wrong and dangerous and immoral useless their faith and beliefs are, and why they should just shut up and leave the Church.

    Nothing written at this extraordinary website comes as a shock any more. Next, I’ll probably be told that I promote the employment of drug-peddling homosexual child molesters in our schools. Wait a minute–surely we have such thieves on the Church’s dime already.

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  44. Re Bill’s Quote

    “What happened in 1844 by way of an historical event on earth was the confusion many had about what really happened in heaven. It was a logical mistake when it was assumed “the sanctuary” was the world. A false assumption will necessarily lead to a false conclusion.”

    Hi Bill

    Thank you for your thorough reply.

    Good point about well meaning religious folks making honest mistakes.

    Here is a sample problem that emphasizes Dr. Pitman’s position that biblical truth be supported by empirical evidence: how can one empirically decide between the commencement of the investigative judgment in 1844 vs. siding with Desmond Ford’s position, vs. siding with Dr, Camping’s eschatology?

    Well, by October 22, 2011 we will all be able, or not!, clearly witness the evidence regarding Dr. Camping’s prophecy.

    I use this example not to deride your faith, Adventist faith or religious faith in general. As you have commented well meaning, God fearing people make mistakes. No doubt William Miller did. We will soon find out about Dr. Camping.

    I use this example to point out that what Dr. Pitman is trying to do – support biblical creation and the Noachian flood with science – has merit. He is trying to bridge the gap between prophetic utterance and observable, testable reality. He is testing his Adventist hypothesis. He is using the drawbridge of intelligent design to breach the moat between the biblical God and a mindless mechanistic universe. He is trying to put empirical flesh on the Adventist bones of faith so the form becomes more viable.

    Although I admire what he is doing I am concerned that his objectivity is steeped in the Adventist teapot of faith. Dawkins dunks himself in atheist brew. Why not sample all the drinks without bias?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  45. Ken said…..

    “I use this example to point out that what Dr. Pitman is trying to do – support biblical creation and the Noachian flood with science – has merit. He is trying to bridge the gap between prophetic utterance and observable, testable reality.”

    And we see clearly that such is impossible, just like you can not prove the SDA interpretation of 1844 by scientific evidence.

    No one can “prove” that God created anything. Just as you can not prove nor explain how a miracle happened by “scientific evidence”.

    You either believe the bible that states there is a God that created by the means of a miracle, (He spoke it into existence apart from any scientific procedure), or, you don’t.

    Science proves nothing when trying to find out the “first cause”.

    Now we know that as we study nature, there are certain proveable concepts about nature itself and we use what we know for our benefit. And the complexity of it all lends itself to considering an ID as being a viable possibility. Even a reasonable and rational possibility. But after all is said and done, no one can “prove” it was by an ID.

    We must necessarily take God’s word for it. Just as Lucifer and all the angels of heaven did. No one saw God create. Apparently, He does not allow it for reasons we don’t know and don’t need to know.

    “The just shall live by faith”, and this includes all the unfallen angels and unfallen worlds.

    Just as a side note. How can you “prove” that Jesus’ death on the cross is adequate for the basis of God’s forgiveness? You can’t. We simply accept it by faith and rejoice that God claims it is and affirms it by way of the prophets and new testament writers.

    There is no “falsifyable proof” for God or anything He claims or says. And this is exactly why Satan can and will persuade billions to reject the scripture testimony concerning its testimony of God and everything He claims about Himself.

    Bill Sorensen

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  46. @Professor Kent: Even Abraham, when commanded by God to sacrifice his only son, relied on his faith in God’s Word, which was based on evidence.

    Abraham was tempted to think he had been deceived regarding the command to sacrifice his son. Abraham was tempted to believe that he might be under a delusion.

    In his doubt and anguish he bowed upon the earth, and prayed, as he had never prayed before, for some confirmation of the command if he must perform this terrible duty. (PP 148)

    After two days of traveling, God gives him evidence that it was God who had spoken to him the command:

    As they were about to begin the journey of the third day, the patriarch, looking northward, saw the promised sign, a cloud of glory hovering over Mount Moriah, and he knew that the voice which had spoken to him was from heaven. (PP 151)

    Afterward, he reflected on the evidence God had given him in the past to strengthen his soul.

    Even now he did not murmur against God, but strengthened his soul by dwelling upon the evidences of the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness.

    No he didn’t understand why God had asked him to sacrifice his son, but God gave him what he needed, the evidence he required, to rest his faith on in order to be obedient to God.

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  47. Faith: We are to test things by the scriptures–not by so-called scientific information.

    Dealing with divergent views is not an easy thing. Sean Pitman, for example, makes no apologies in rejecting your requirement. He not only subscribes to testing things by scientific information, but he calls for the dismissal of any employee who refuses to do so! Yet he is widely regarded as an exemplary SDA, and a hero of the Church. To be consistent, you’d call for his dismissal if he was an employee of the Church. I don’t think that is necessary, because he sincerely believes he is right and remains supportive of the vast majority of SDA beliefs. The Church will survive his heterodox views, just as it has many other heterodox ideas over the decades.

    Merikay Mcleod openly defied the Church. Eventually, the Church fought her in court against three branches of the U.S. government–and the Church lost. Was she wrong to work against the Church? To defy the leadership? Because of her, the Church was forced–yes, forced by law–to pay women the same salaries as men get for doing the same work.

    There are many who have divergent views who are steadfast, faithful members of the SDA Church. If they are going to work openly against the Church, especially after they are told to cease doing so, then yes, they should be fired. I agree with you. If they are willing to conform and no longer work against the Church, then God can still make good use of them.

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  48. @Professor Kent: I would agree with Faith’s statement, and I think Sean would to; however, what Sean is addressing is how do you bring someone to that point where they believe the Bible to be their ultimate standard.

    For someone who does not believe in the Bible, telling them that they must simply test everything by the Bible begs the question of why they should trust it in the first place.

    It is abundently clear from Scripture and Ellen White that God always gives us sufficient evidence on which to base our faith. In fact I believe he calls us to make our decisions based on the weight of evidence. Obviously the weight of evidence will be relative to each person, because each require varying amounts of evidence to be convinced.

    Some need to see the evidence in nature, some are convinced merely through the evidence of experience. Ellen White says this is an evidence available to all.

    We should know for ourselves what constitutes Christianity, what is truth, what is the faith that we have received, what are the Bible rules–the rules given us from the highest authority. There are many who believe, without a reason on which to base their faith, without sufficient evidence as to the truth of the matter. If an idea is presented that harmonizes with their own preconceived opinions, they are all ready to accept it. They do not reason from cause to effect. Their faith has no genuine foundation, and in the time of trial they will find that they have built upon the sand. Mind, Character, and Personality 536)

    If we don’t have a reason for our faith in God’s word, we’re in danger of losing our faith because it has no firm foundation. Ultimately we should put our trust in God’s Word, but Sean is speaking from the standpoint that precedes that decision.

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  49. Hi Bill

    Thanks for your comments.

    Trite? Are you saying that all other religious texts are trite Bill! Don’t you think there are strong people of faith in all religions that believe just as deeply as you do in their sacred texts?

    Bill, you may believe that the Bible is superior, that is your absolute right. But to say others are not equally inspired by their holy books is trite is incredible.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    You must know by now, Ken, that all “Christians” are bigots to unbelievers.
    We have no room for “other religions” except in the context of religious liberty.

    We are all free to believe what ever we want. This does not mean we are all right in what we believe.

    Can you imagine the consternation of people as they read and/or heard the words of Peter.

    “There is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

    Was and is that radical or what? Over the years, Christanity has lost much of its dynamic because many Christians refuse to acknowledge many things that if taken seriously, are scandalous. And let me make a serious comment here, Ken.

    Any and all religions are defined, not by what they hold in common with each other, but rather by what they hold in a radical opposition to all others.

    The world is trying to claim the radical Muslim’s are not really in harmony with that particular confession of faith. But in fact, the radical element in that faith is exactly what defines the religion.

    People don’t want to admit this truth, for if they do, they must deal with it. But if they can claim the radical element is not the true faith, they can ignore its true meaning and press for a one world religion that is generic without any particular dynamic. This is utterly false.

    The Catholic church has a radical dynamic confession of faith that truly defines its identity. Namely, the Pope is God on earth. Is this radical or what? But it is the real dynamic of Catholicism.

    And what they hold in common with Islam is this. All opposers must be converted, or eventually be put to death. They may not bring it up in the present political confrontations. But in this, they are exactly like the Muslim faith.

    So I say “yes”, Ken. Every concept that attacks or disagrees with the bible is “trite”. It is worthless drivel. It is Satanic and antichrist in content. Neither can it motivate people to be members of God’s kingdom. EGW has well said….

    “The only religion that lead to God, is the one the comes from God.”

    None of the false religions come from God. Therefore, they can not lead to God.

    And finally, Ken, we alone as historic SDA’s have the biblical truth that “leads to God” because it “come from God.” No one and no teaching can prepare people for the coming of the true Christ of the bible except the historic SDA faith. All other religions as well as apostate Christanity are preparing the world for Satan to personate the coming of Christ.

    Is that radical, Ken? You bet it is, and the true believing SDA’s don’t apologize for it, nor try to “dumb down” our message to patronize the world or apostate Christanity. You see then, that many, if not most present day SDA’s will join the world in attacking those “radical” SDA’s who will not yield to and patronize the “new world order” and its generic religious confessions that embrace all religions.

    Like Peter, we say, “There is no other confession of faith but our historic teaching that makes true believers who will be ready for Jesus to come.”

    By the way, Ken, I don’t know if I can find 100 SDA’s who agree with me. This is how badly the church has been corrupted by liberal sentiments and false teaching for the last few decades. I suspect 100 years ago, the vast majority of confessing SDA’s would agree, but not today.

    And this why the creation/evolution discussion has any relevant dialogue anyway. In the past, it would be less than a fart in the wind. Evolutionists would have been run out of town and would have had no influence on any true believing Christian and certainly not on any viable SDA.

    And now, hopefully, some of you will know why at least some of us are upset and even a little frustrated by a wimpy non-commital leadership that are to spiritually gutless to do anything but blow smoke and do politics.

    Of course, in the near future, they will surely “discipline” anyone who will challenge their self appointed authority. And let me say this in closing.

    “I have heard the dragon roar before, and it wasn’t Rome.”

    It was the SDA church.

    Bill Sorensen

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  50. Re Bill’s Quote

    “To compare the bible with other books as having some equal level of inspiration and/or authority is “trite”, Ken.”

    Hi Bill

    Thanks for your comments.

    Trite? Are you saying that all other religious texts are trite Bill! Don’t you think there are strong people of faith in all religions that believe just as deeply as you do in their sacred texts?

    Bill, you may believe that the Bible is superior, that is your absolute right. But to say others are not equally inspired by their holy books is trite is incredible.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  51. @Steve Billiter:
    Steve said, “My position is as always; if any Adventist church member denies any one of our Biblically sound 28 beliefs persistently so, then that person should be removed from the church rolls and invited to join another church that’s more comparable with his/her beliefs.”

    Amen, Steve. So few nowadays have the courage to take this stance. The truth is that if we continue to allow discord to continue within the church it will bring us all down. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

    After all, when we join this church, we take vows before God that we agree with the beliefs of the church. Anyone who then blatantly contradicts these beliefs does not belong in the church and should be disfellowshiped.

    The teachers and professors who do this should be held to a higher accountability than anyone else as they are entrusted with the minds of the students and they can do more damage in a shorter time than any other person.

    In my opinion, as soon as this deviation arose, there should have been an immediate cull of those who did not agree with the teachings of the church and openly taught their students from their own viewpoint. This issue does not involve mere personal opinion–it involves sin in one of its ugliest and most treacherous forms.

    God Bless you for having the courage to voice this, Steve.

    Faith

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  52. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

    There are some here who talk incessantly of the liberal/conservative divide, and the desire to divide the Church by removing all those on the liberal side. So what is it–do we want to divide ourselves or remain united?

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  53. A 2002 survey of Adventists worldwide showed that 86% accepted the sanctuary interpretation of 1844, though a whopping 35% believed there may be more than one interpretation of this doctrine. 81% accepted the authority of Ellen White, though a whopping 50% saw a need for a modern reinterpretation of White’s writings. Interestingly, 93% accepted a creation in 6 days. Personally, I am grateful that those who disagree with some of our message still want to hear and be a part of the remaining message. I praise God for their continuing interest, and the Church’s warm invitation (from most members) for their continued fellowship with us.

    A “Valuegenesis” study in 2000 of students at Adventist high schools in North America showed a generally high acceptance of the church’s beliefs. However, some beliefs, such as marriage within the same faith, the remnant, Ellen White’s gift of prophecy, and the investigative judgment, met with acceptance rates less than 63% percent. At what age should we be expelling our youth from among us? Should we allow the Holy Spirit to do his important work while they continue fellowshiping with us, or should we take it on ourselves to test their fidelity to “truth” and end the opportunity when it is clear they are not settled in it?

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  54. Re Bill’s Quotes

    “And finally, Ken, we alone as historic SDA’s have the biblical truth that “leads to God” because it “come from God.”

    “By the way, Ken, I don’t know if I can find 100 SDA’s who agree with me.”

    Hi Bill

    Well my friend, don’t let anyone say you pull your punches or don’t have conviction!I respect your forthrightness.

    If you are right and only 100 souls agree with you, does that mean only those 101 currently alive are to be saved? That’s not a very good track record.

    Bill, would Jesus be such a zealot to save so few if they believed in Him from a diversity of viewpoints? Do you have any doubts whatsoever that you might be wrong?

    Me, I haven’t got the foggiest notion. But it seems to me that if such a thing as Sean’s espoused Royal Law of Love exists as the ultimate determinant that would be divine.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  55. Hi Bill

    Well my friend, don’t let anyone say you pull your punches or don’t have conviction!I respect your forthrightness.

    If you are right and only 100 souls agree with you, does that mean only those 101 currently alive are to be saved? That’s not a very good track record.

    Bill, would Jesus be such a zealot to save so few if they believed in Him from a diversity of viewpoints? Do you have any doubts whatsoever that you might be wrong?

    Ken, I obviously could not know exactly who does or doesn’t agree with me. Hopefully, more than I would suspect.

    As to exactly how people should believe in Jesus, we have one rule to go by. What does the bible say? And one thing it says for sure is this, “Love does not take the place of obedience to God’s law.”

    Part of the Protestant confession of faith states, “spirit and form always agree.”

    That is, the motive of love is always in harmony with the form defined by the bible.

    Even some aspects of Adventism has abandon this part of the Protest doctrine.

    And yes, Ken, I could always be wrong, but the bible is not. If I wash my brain by the scriptures continually, and ask for the Holy Spirit to help me understand its teaching and meaning, then I believe eventually I will come to a concensus of what it teaches.

    For me personally, most of the bible is parallel and contrast. To know which is which will create a flowing unity that is in perfect harmony with the whole.

    Old and new covenant presents a classic example of parallel and contrast. For many SDA’s, it defines for us the proper function of law and gospel. But once again, even this is being erroded with some non-biblical dispensational philosophies that would imply that the old covenant is one religion and the new another.

    As though old covenant believers had to keep the law to be saved, while new covenant believers trust in Jesus.

    Old covenant believers had to keep the ten commandments and trust in Jesus. The ceremonial law was simply a sign of faith in the ministry of Christ to come.

    We also have to keep the law and trust in Jesus. We just don’t need to keep the ceremonial law as a sign of His coming. Obviously, He already came.

    And let me conclude by saying this Ken. I understand the Protestant reformation and its teaching. I understand EGW. And finally, I understand the bible. They all teach the same basic thoughts and ideas. But for the life of me, I confess I don’t understand most the stuff being presented by many modern SDA scholars. For me, it mostly a bunch of mass confusion and seriously doubt that many who write know themselves what they mean.

    So I understand Moses, Jesus, Paul, Peter and James. I find very little spiritual food in all the rest. Even our SS lessons are often more speculation than bible realities.

    Yes, I could be wrong, Ken. But as Luther said, “Show me by the scriptures where I am in error, and I will renounce all that I have written.”

    They couldn’t,…and he didn’t.

    Well, I am not Luther, but I like his stand on the bible. And he made mistakes too. But he wanted to be corrected by the bible, not human speculation.

    Bill Sorensen

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  56. Can somebody explain to my why any Christian would want to fellowship with somebody who writes comments such as these about fellow brothers and sisters in Christ?

    Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: the person who wrote it should either be fired or taught proper “fact finding” and background to their stories printed at ANN.

    Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: who exactly is responsible for this horrific blunder?

    Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: have these people been living “under a rock” for the past several years?!

    Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: Please explain how a “news network” cannot be “living under a rock” when they do a story on a person who has been accused of undermining our SDA beliefs, and not even mention this fact.

    Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: ANN is a classic example of working with your “eyes wide shut”

    Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: another terribly embarrassing example of how our SDA Church is working with their “heads in the sand,” being, as Sam Pipim states, “administrative ostriches” completely “out of it” when it comes to actually supporting our SDA bibliclal beliefs.

    Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: Grismer should be totally exposed for the complete fraud he is

    Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: ANN is probably what Stalin termed a “useful idiot” in regards to publishing this article.

    Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: ANN should have been actually looking at the real world, instead of having its head in the sand for the past several years.

    Ron&#032Stone&#032M&#046D&#046: What kind of an organization can these guys have? Are they “clueless?” Are our Church moneys being wasted on such articles as this?

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  57. Professor&#032Kent: Things are much better, Ron, at LSU. I have a source with unimpeachable inside knowledge who assures me of this.Your attitude sounds a bit like you don’t want things to improve. I hope that’s not the case.One of the biggest problems that EducateTruth is contributing to is the crisis of decreasing quality applicants for the increasing number of job openings in our biology programs. Don’t believe me? ASK ANY BIOLOGY CHAIRPERSON IF THEY CAN CONFIRM THIS CONCERN. Tell me how you think EducateTruth is improving this situation by creating an atmosphere in which every biologist at our universities is regarded with suspicion, and every applicant knows they are at risk of public judgment, ridicule, and harrassment.Do you want our biology programs stocked with faculty who lack PhDs?

    Who’s this “source”: Wisbey? Fritz Guy? How about a real NAME that we can identify with and question ourselves as to their so-called “unimpeachable” reputation?

    Your vague “all is A-OK at LSU” is pure pollyannaism. Let’s see some real facts, and not more of your “knock it off” philosophy.

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  58. Ethan: In defense of ANN, nowhere in the article does it mention that Lee Grismer is an evolutionist. However, that should have been pretty common knowledge by now for those work for ANN.

    Yes, ANN should have been actually looking at the real world, instead of having its head in the sand for the past several years.

    What kind of an organization can these guys have? Are they “clueless?” Are our Church moneys being wasted on such articles as this? Any answers?!

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  59. BobRyan: Ken – what you have described above is Jim’s hard and fast stand on the glaringly obvious point – that

    you cannot marry the Bible to the story telling for evolutionism.
    Gibson points out the fact that trying to find a way to delete out the literal 7 day week and eisegete (bend and wrench) millions of years into the text – does not work.
    Gibson is 100% correct in that regard.
    There is no way to “Bend the Bible” to fit evolutionist storytelling about life being created (evolving) over 100′s of millions of years of time.
    The choice is atheism or christianity as Gibson points out – there is no middle ground.

    ken: (From Jim Gibson’s Quote) “Faith has to be the key because “there is not enough evidence to resolve the tension between science and the Bible; one has to believe the Bible without the support of science.”
    Hi Bob
    Are you sure Jim Gibson is saying science supports 6 day recent creation?

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  60. BTW, I forgot who actually wrote this article. Do you have the name, Shane? Was it some “cub” reporter like Jimmy Olsen on Superman or someone who has some experience?

    Either way, the person who wrote it should either be fired or taught proper “fact finding” and background to their stories printed at ANN.

    Did this person actually KNOW anything about LSU, their Biology Dept. or even Lee Grismer’s background? I find it impossible to believe that a simple “mistake” was made.

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  61. I’ve read all of the comments given above (and hundreds of others during the past) but none address the question that remains uppermost in my “unscientific mind” and that is this:

    “Why can non-Adventist scientist find and joyful accept and preach ample evidence of God’s creative power in the creation of our world and so many Adventist have such great difficulty doing so?” (Don’t misunderstand me–we do have mny wonderful scientists in our midst but–it seems to this “ancient mind” that the higher we go “up the ladder” the harder it is to find good, solid scientist who see good evidence for Biblical creation and teach it and preach it.

    Two different fairly recently published books come to my mind–neither of which have I read yet. One I don’t really want to read–”The Greatest Show on Earth” by Richard Dawkins–often referred to as “the world’s best champion of both atheism and it’s intellectual underpinning. particles to people evolution.”

    The other is “The Greatest Hoax On Earth” by Jonathan Sarfati “who is no light-weight opponent; his Refuting Evolution (over 500,00 in print) is the biggest-selling creationist book ever. In his crisp, readable style trademarked by sheer competence, Sarfati calmly but relent-lessly erodes each of Dawkins’ claims. In the process, he repeatedly exposes logical fallacies–even dubious tactics–employed in Dawkins ideologically driven crusade.”

    (He deals with each point in Dawkins book so I think I’ll basically read Dawkins’ book in the process.) I only ordered and received this book a short while ago. Due to the flu, three deaths in the family and a slew of tornados that hit our area I’ve not yet found the time to do much reading– but what I have read so far sound very good.

    There were several tornados that hit our area at the same time and they were terrible–many lives and injuries were the result. Many homes had only their roofs on the ground to show where their homes once stood and vast areas of forest now have only a few, lonely trunks still standing. (A lot of those were close friends–but have heard of no deaths or serious injuries among them thus far.)

    But God was very good to us and one of my other daughter’s who lives several miles away–who was in the direct path of one of the tornados. We had one small tree fall across our drive way and, while they had numerous (very large) trees knocked over–which will take a long time to take care of– but both of our homes are still standing with no damage at all and none of my family was injured or killed.

    When the storms struck, the daughter I live with and three of her children (all grown now) were on their way to Atlanta to pick up her oldest son who was returning from a year’s stint in Africa as a student missionary. They stopped briefly at one spot before they reached Atlanta because of the driving rain–then decided to keep driving. 15 minutes later one of the tornados hit the place where they had stopped and virtually the whole little town was wiped out. If they had not left when they did they would doubtless have all been killed! While we are deeply saddened over the death and destruction all around us we thank God for His protecting care over us.

    Not one of us can count on a “tomorrow.” Right now is all we have so we need to make sure that our relationship with our heavenly Father is what it should be at any time.

    (Please excuse me for “wandering” but my mind is pretty full of “tornado’s” right now.)

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  62. Editing the above post:

    BobRyan said:

    Ken – what you have described above is Jim’s hard and fast stand on the glaringly obvious point – that

    1. you cannot marry the Bible to the story telling for evolutionism.

    2. Gibson points out the fact that trying to find a way to delete out the literal 7 day week and eisegete (bend and wrench) millions of years into the text – does not work.

    Gibson is 100% correct in that regard.

    3. There is no way to “Bend the Bible” to fit evolutionist storytelling about life being created (evolving) over 100′s of millions of years of time.

    The choice is atheism or christianity as Gibson points out – there is no middle ground.

    ken said: (From Jim Gibson’s Quote) “Faith has to be the key because “there is not enough evidence to resolve the tension between science and the Bible; one has to believe the Bible without the support of science.”

    Hi Bob
    Are you sure Jim Gibson is saying science supports 6 day recent creation?

    1. I have not seen anyone on this board post that science is dictating a 6 day creation week or an 8 day creation week or a 4 day creaetion week or a 4 month creaetion week.

    if someone has posted that — please provide the link.

    2. I have not seen anyone on this board post that science is dictating that when birds first appeared on planet earth – it was with the words “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens”

    My guess is that we agree on these points.

    3. Obviously – science (observations in nature 6000 years after the fact) can only go so far in pointing to the actual events that resulted in the appearance of all life on planet earth during creation week.

    That is a far cry from the wild claims that belief in evolutionism can be married to the Bible or that the Bible can be bent to serve the demands of the origins doctrine in evolutionism’s stories.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  63. David&#032Read: But what I like about your post is that, based upon honest Darwinian expectations, the concept of a “transitional form” makes no sense. If the fossil record really spanned 600 million years, and evolution was happening slowly and steadily the entire time, EVERYTHING should be transitional, and hence the term “transitional” should be essentially meaningless. In other words, the fossil record should consist of nothing but forms gradually changing and evolving; there should not be any stasis of form long-lasting enough for us to say, “okay, this one is ‘permanent’ or ‘complete’ and this one is ‘transitional’.”

    There is another problem which is that the generation of evoloving life forms should be like waves of the sea reaching a certain boundary (lets call it the 50 million year boundary). As it first reaches that boundary one generation crosses over with the desired mutation characteristics – but then it is followed by the next generation mutating as reaches that boundary.

    Whether each crossing that 50 million year milestone takes the form of a saltation or is simply one last mutation segment in a long string of mutations to finally end up as a new genome with new coding genes all in place and functioning – does not matter. Pick whichever story your evolutionism likes to imagine. The point is that the new novel “B” that follows “A” should be continually “mutating into existence” as each generation of “A” matures to the 50 million year milestone.

    It simply does not happen.

    So then comes the stories about why we should not expect to see evolution in real life even though evolution is supposed to be the mechanism all of real life is using.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  64. Dr. Stone said…..

    “Ron Stone M.D. Reply May 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm @Steve Billiter, You’re correct in believing that those who do not believe our biblically based ideas should leave and join some other denomination.

    However, the principal concept of liberals and progressives is that they not only want to “believe” differently, they want to change the SDA Church to comply with these new revelations they have so recently discovered!

    They will not leave, but instead want to teach, preach, and espouse these ideas to our students and members.”

    We should be coming to a clear revelation that the political power in the church transcends the need for spiritual purity.

    The “powers that be” would gladly support any spiritual concept that is biblical if they can do so and maintain the statis quo. But…..if such is not possible, then it is far more important to “hold the church together” by any means available.

    During the reformation period, many agreed with Luther and others about the need and necessity for spiritual restoration. But…..when the chips were down, as Father Staupitz told Luther, “I can not choose to destroy my church.”

    Sad to say, “the church” becomes an idol for many people and in most cases, they don’t even know it. They assume, “loyalty to the church, is ipso facto, loyalty to Christ”. We could wish this were true and in some cases, loyalty to the church is loyalty to Christ. But only if and when “the church” defends the word of God and demands accountability to the bible.

    We see this happening less and less in modern Adventism. Where the bible is more important than the political structure.

    How many know this statement by EGW and its implications?…..

    “In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the
    60
    sentence: “Found wanting.” By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. . . . {LDE 59.3}”

    Notice, EGW uses the word “she” in reference to the church. So this is not simply individuals that this statement applies to. We all know we will individually be judged by God, and the principle applies to individuals. But here, she makes it plain it is not simply individuals, but “the church” as a corporate structure.

    At any rate, this statement is not one most church leaders quote since it is not so flattering and assuring as some others that affirm the final victory of the church. We can only conclude that the bible message God gave the pioneers will “go through to the end” and not necessarily the corporate structure. In this context EGW has well said….

    ” Today, Sunday, I have not attended meeting, but have had to visit considerably. I am grateful to God for the strength and freedom and power of His spirit in bearing my testimony, although it has made the least impression upon many minds than at any period before in my history. Satan has seemed to have power to hinder my work in a wonderful degree, but I tremble to think what would have been in this meeting if we had not been here. God would have worked in some way to prevent this spirit brought to the meeting, having a controlling power. But we are not the least discouraged. We trust in the Lord God of Israel. The truth will triumph and we
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    mean to triumph with it. {3SM 178.3}”

    Hopefully, we all can agree with this statement, even if the corporate church is “weighed and found wanting.”

    Bill Sorensen

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  65. 5-9-11

    Dear Kent (and anyone else who cares to read it.)

    I really do appreciate your kind words. Having just lived through some real “tornados” I’m beginning to feel like I’m in the middle of a “scientific-religious” one and that everything I try to say is just blown out of my mouth and disappears into nothingness.
    I just cannot accept the–to me, anyway–helpless “science doesn’t support it….”,You just have to take it by faith…”, etc I hear over and over again on this site. As if our God isn’t “smart enough” to give us ample evidence of what He did in SIX DAYS! There are GOOD SCIENTIST “out there” who are shaking their heads and laughing at us for our stupidity!

    I’m not a “scientist” in any sense of the word (my late husband was but he passed away in ’05, just 3 months and eight days before our 60th anniversary) but I don’t think I’m a “dummy” either. I can still read and think and I not only read a lot on the internet but I also subscribe to two Creationist magazines as well as having bought several books on the subject. However, I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of it goes over my ancient head but I can understand enough to see the logic behind the things in their writings that I can understand.

    And another thing–Years ago I bought a book called “None Of These Diseases” by S. I McMillen, M.D. (now deceased) and it was one of those “wow!” books you don’t run across very often. It doesn’t deal with creation or evolution but he gives incident after incident where God gave Abraham and Moses–(that’s the Abraham and Moses of the Bible!) health instruction that “science” didn’t “discover” for centuries!
    Just one example: Cancer of the cervix:
    Two Doctors in two different hospitals began to study the lives of the women who had died from this disease to see if they could find anything in common. They were desperate to find a common cause.
    Suddenly it dawned on them that there were very few Jewish women among those who had died! This was in the early 1900’s– years after I was born!. What made the difference? Medical researchers now agree that the practice of circumcision among Jewish men is responsible for the difference.
    Open your Bible and see what God told Abraham CENTURIES earlier! Genesis 17:9-12. And please notice that God told Abraham the exact day when a baby boy was to be circumcised–the 8th day. (Hundred of modern workers labored at great expense over a number of years to discover the safest day for the circumcision. They finally discovered it was the 8th day–the very day God told Abraham over 4,000 years earlier that it should be done on!
    I won’t go into all the details as to why it is the best day–suffice it to say that is the first day in a baby’s life that it is safe to perform any kind of an operation because that is the first day that all of the necessary safeguards are in place in the little body. One is over 100% in place and on the 9th day it starts to fall back to “normal”.) Even as we appreciate all the hard work of so many for so long we can almost hear the pages of the Bible rustling. They would like to remind us that over 4,000 years ago when God initiated circumcision He said, “he that is eight days old shall be circumcised..;.’
    Just think of the thousands upon thousands of lives that have been lost because “science” was over 4,000 years “late”in their discovery. And this is only ONE of the diseases that have killed millions before “science” discovered a way to stop them–many of which could have been prevented by listening to the wonderful God who created us!
    I firmly believe mankind will discover some day in the not-to-far distance–future that the “scientist’s” at whose altar so many “worship” today will see that they are worshiping at the wrong one. I just hope they won’t discover this truth too late!

    If you are interested, the name of the book is “None of these Diseases.” I believe it was out of print for a number of years but is now available at Amazon and a few other places. Get the one he authored alone–not the one I think his grandson (or maybe son-in-law) revised. (It may be very good but I’ve never read it. And get the hard cover–the paper covered ones have very small margins and smaller print. (I think you will be amazed at what you learn.)

    We truly worship an awesome God. If He knows enough to give good medical advice–and is able to give us so many prophecies in the Bible that have been proven accurate in every detail He certainly can be trusted to tell us the real truth about origins!!!

    Lydian Belknap

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  66. Prof Kent said:
    “I’m a lifelong young-earth creationist (based to no small extent on faith in God’s word). I don’t doubt that there are some individuals who might be evangelistic in their desire to see theistic evolution established in the Church, so I share your concern.”

    I am glad to hear that you believe as I do, yet I am puzzled as to some of the posts you have put up on this site if this is so. I am also puzzled as to why you would want to keep the wolves in the fold, so to speak.

    You seem to be having some difficulty seeing that Creation and belief in the Bible as God’s Holy Word are such basic beliefs in the SDA church that if either of them is not fully accepted and supported, the member is not fully committed as an SDA–or even a Christian, for that matter. Taking his name off the books is a mere formality. He has already taken himself out of the church. Whether or not he warms a pew every Sabbath, his heart is not fully surrendered to God.

    Let me make myself clear here. I am not suggesting we investigate anyone. I am referring here to those who openly declare their unbelief. Anyone who believes in evolution in its accepted forms (including theistic evolution) is basically calling God and His word a liar. In my book that constitutes blasphemy. I believe God. I believe His word. I love God, and I want to serve Him with my whole heart. James talks about a double-minded man and I think that applies quite well to the theistic evolutionist.

    Do I care about the person in error? Of course I do. I would love to see everyone on earth saved–just as I am sure God would as well. But you and I both know that is not going to be the case.

    Satan is working hard to get us all so he won’t have to burn for our sins. He knows time is short and he is working overtime to ensnare us. And he can use what God cannot–deception. I know that there must be some pretty convincing deceptions out there for SDA professors to be so deeply convinced. As far as I am concerned, anything or anyone that contradicts God and His word is immediately rejected. We are to test things by the scriptures–not by so-called scientific information. If the professors had done this in the first place, this whole mess wouldn’t have come about.

    It is very similar to Eve questioning God’s word at the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Satan told her that God wasn’t telling the truth. Instead of contradicting him with what she knew of the Lord, she questioned if it may not be so. Isn’t it ironic that Satan has gained entrance to the church yet again through the pursuit of knowledge?

    BTW, I do know the church went through growing pains. But I also know that God cleared it all up for them in time. Don’t forget that these people all came from other denominations and sometimes had to unlearn what they were taught all their lives before they could learn the truth. Many times God is gentle with us when we encounter drastic change in our lives.

    I do have a bit of a problem with your date of 1980, however. I was taught from a child about the Trinity…and, trust me, that was long before 1980. (Perhaps that was a typo?) Perhaps it was only that it was adopted then formally to clarify things because someone started to question our belief. Wouldn’t surprise me. In any case, I believe that the term “Trinity” was the issue as the founding pioneers did not want people to become confused with the Catholic definition of trinity which is really wierd.

    In conclusion, I pray we will all fully surrender ourselves to God for there is no other way to be saved.

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  67. PK said…..

    “Fortunately, the Church did not vigorously expel those who disagreed with the early antitrinitarian views.”

    It was not a concensus stated position of the church one way or the other. You compare apples and oranges by considering an issue that was not agreed on nor declared one way or the other, and then try to apply this to present day positions that have been clearly defined and historically accepted as what the church believes and supports.

    And then use “the gospel” to defend Pluralism as a viable option. The stated positions are at least for the most part, non-negotiable.

    In one sense, “the church” has no official position on anything except one and that is this, the bible is the one infallible rule of faith and practice.

    None the less, over the years, certain concensus biblical positions are stated as accepted by the church in general, and people are expected to agree, or, at the bare minimum, show from the bible in what way any given position is in error.

    If people “distort what you say”, then qualify and re-qualify as many times as is necessary so there can be no mis-understanding as to your meaning and application.

    Even Jesus said, “Anybody can say ‘Lord, Lord’ but it has no meaning unless it is defined in its biblical context.”

    So, Jesus will say, “I never knew you.”

    What a shock to those who were sure they had a clear understanding of the issues. And even thought they were Christians.

    Not according to Jesus. But the challenge is to all of us, isn’t it? So, if you want to be defensive about what you believe, show us from the bible where you are right and those who oppose you are wrong.

    Is EGW wrong in defending and supporting moral perfection? If so, show from the bible where she is wrong. She calls for sinlessness.

    Do you suppose that after Christ gave His precious life to redeem the beings He created He would fail to give them sufficient power to enable them to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony? He has power to save every individual. At the time of His ascension He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” For our redemption all power is given to Him who stood at the head of humanity. For nearly six weeks the Sinless One fought a battle with the powers of darkness in the wilderness of temptation, overcoming not on His account, but on our account, thus making it possible for every son and daughter of Adam to overcome through the merit of His sinlessness. . . . {CTr 199.5}
    Only those who practice holiness in this life will see the King in His beauty. Put away all vain, trifling talk, and everything of a frivolous and sensational nature. Do not engross your mind with thoughts of worldly entertainments and pleasures. Engage in the work of saving your soul. If you should lose your soul, it would have been better for you never to have been born. But you need not lose your soul. You may use every moment of this God-given life to His name’s glory. Strengthen yourself to resist the powers of darkness, that they shall not obtain a victory over you.—Manuscript 110, 1901 (Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, pp. 174-176). {CTr 199.6}

    Those who believe on Christ and obey His commandments are not under bondage to God’s law; for to those who believe and obey, His law is not a law of bondage, but of liberty. Everyone who believes on Christ, everyone who relies on the keeping power of a risen Saviour that has suffered the penalty pronounced upon the transgressor, everyone who resists temptation and in the midst of evil copies the pattern given in the Christ life, will through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Everyone who by faith obeys God’s commandments will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression. {HP 146.5}

    Nobody believes these quotes anymore. It is not popular to teach a complete and final victory over sin. We don’t go around asking anyone if they have attained it. Such a question is not even relevant to the issue.

    Does the bible teach it is all we need to ask. Not, “Has anyone attained it?”

    God will decide that issue. But we can be certain of one clear fact, anyone who denies the possibility will never attain it. You can not do what you are convinced it is impossible to do. And even more deceptive, when you are convinced it is not even necessary.

    And it may well be that anyone who does attain it, won’t know it. But you can be sure of one thing, they won’t deny the possibility of such an experience.

    And we can be sure of one other fact, there is no “sinlessness” outside of Christ. No one is sinless in and of themselves. And we can know another certainty, neither was Adam sinless in and of himself. Nor are any of the unfallen angels sinless in and of themselves.

    This is the original lie Lucifer started in heaven and deceived a third of the angels by it. Sinlessness is by way of a relationship, not some inherent quality in a created being.

    Only God is inherently holy. Rev. 15:4

    But all believers are holy in Christ.

    Bill Sorensen

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  68. Bill&#32Sorensen: just like you can not prove the SDA interpretation of 1844 by scientific evidence

    Sean is aware you can’t prove anything, but I think we can all agree that God provides us plenty of evidence on which to rest our faith. Our interpretation of what happened in 1844 largely depends on the historical accuracy of the Bible. God has provided an abundance of evidence that the historical facts in the Bible are indeed accurate. Archeology and other ancient manuscripts attest to the veracity of the Bible’s claims about history. If there were absolutely no evidence of what happened in the past, we would be hard pressed to come up with 1844 as the start of the judgement. We might be able to come up with the fact that a judgement was going to start, but there would be no way of knowing when.

    Bill&#32Sorensen: No one can “prove” that God created anything. Just as you can not prove nor explain how a miracle happened by “scientific evidence”.

    I’ve already addressed this idea of proof. Neither Sean or I believe you can prove anything to be true. We don’t believe the miracles are true because we can recreate them, but because of other evidence. Obviously not all claims in the Bible can be verified through science, that should go without saying. The point is God gives us enough evidence on which to rest our faith to believe the testimony the biblical writers when they speak about miracles.

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  69. Ron, it’s an exaggeration to claim that there is nothing in the fossil record that Darwinists cannot point to as a plausible “transitional form.” On the whole, however, forms come into the fossil record, they stay the same for millions of years of hypothetical geologic time, then they disappear from the fossil record, showing no signs of having evolved into anything significantly different. As Stephen Jay Gould frequently pointed out, the fossil record is overwhelmingly a record of stasis or non-evolution. (I discuss this in my book, “Dinosaurs–An Adventist View”.)

    But what I like about your post is that, based upon honest Darwinian expectations, the concept of a “transitional form” makes no sense. If the fossil record really spanned 600 million years, and evolution was happening slowly and steadily the entire time, EVERYTHING should be transitional, and hence the term “transitional” should be essentially meaningless. In other words, the fossil record should consist of nothing but forms gradually changing and evolving; there should not be any stasis of form long-lasting enough for us to say, “okay, this one is ‘permanent’ or ‘complete’ and this one is ‘transitional’.”

    But since the fossil record is actually a record of non-change or stasis of forms, not evolution of forms, the phrase “transitional form” has meaning, which it should not have if were Darwin correct. Just an interesting point that I’d never thought of before.

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  70. Ken: As far as I can tell, none of these scientists propose the evidence supports a recent 6 day creation.(

    There is a huge difference between “observations in nature demand a seven day creation week” and “evidence supports evolution”.

    The fact is that “observations in nature do not contradict the creation account” when it comes to observing the fact that “birds come birds – not reptiles” or when observing the fact that group level genomes are static in terms of coding genes or when you consider the law of entropy (given Isaac Asimov’s summation of the need for a massive decrease in entropy for evolutionism’s storytelling to hold water).

    And that eeffectively shuts down all hope of macro-evolution.

    The less-than insightful claim that unless we have a video of a 7 day creation week to observe “in nature”, then we have no support from observations in nature for the creation account – is not the well-thought-out solution that one or two of the GRI guys may have at first imagined.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  71. Re Ron’s Quotes

    “Ken, I see you have missed my point. I never said that science cannot be empirical and that it must be biased.”

    “We explain the evidences of science from our own worldview;”

    Dear Ron

    Actually Ron, I could not understand your point more clearly or emphatically. The moment humans start viewing science from the perspective of faith or non faith it becomes biased and fraught with a lack of objectivity. Better to just observe and test and leave issues of God or lack thereof to philosophy or faith.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  72. Hello, Folks,

    Lest I be misunderstood let me clarify a statement I made in my previous post. The sentence is: “There is nothing in the fossil record that better highlights evolution than creation.” Sorry for the awkward clause. I meant to say that the fossil record does not highlight or support evolution in any way. Even Darwin admitted that the fossil record is the key to his theory. On the other hand, the fossil record supports creation much, much, more. There are no transitional forms found that are noteworthy(the few that are touted as transitional forms are just a bad joke). With the millions of different kinds of creatures that exist today and that existed in the past, there should be millions of transitional forms at every level to support them. On the contrary, those fossils found are all of complete forms that we know, or that may have existed. We must not and cannot allow scientists who call themselves Adventists to teach evolution as a fact in our institutions. They may believe what they wish; that is quite in order, but they are not honest when they teach these theories as though they were facts in our institutions they have pledged to uphold and support.

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  73. @Ken: “But Wes, do you think it is something bigger than Adventism?”

    What a no-brainer! What a set-up, Ken, of whom no one is better by far for either one-ups or set-ups! Something bigger? Yes, of course, by far, good grief yes: God. You are on to something big, Ken, our good friend; something big and exciting, a helluva lot more exciting than even blog quibbling, by far. But don’t even think about taking it on faith, which I don’t think you ever would, would you?

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  74. Dear Lydian

    I always enjoy your posts, especially their humananity, which gives great flavour to our doctrinal stew.

    If the kind editors will so permit, I want to wish you and all mothers out there the very best Mother’s Day.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

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  75. Dear Bill

    “Thank you very much for your exposition on the good book. I greatly appreciated it and am that much better informed.”

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken

    Ken, like Paul, I could wish you were not only better informed, but a confessed believer.

    I don’t think “agnostic” would be a very commendable confession in the mind of Jesus.

    In the end, it is simply a soffisticated way of saying “I don’t believe it,” without sounding antagonistic to Christanity. And Jesus says, “He that is not for me, is against me.”

    You said…..

    “I hope I was not being trite in my comments. The Bible is a important fascinating, book, irrespective as to whether one believes it is the word, or inspired word of God. Perhaps all sacred texts qualify in that respect as the authors seem to be inspired by something outside of themselves that speaks of the divine.”

    To compare the bible with other books as having some equal level of inspiration and/or authority is “trite”, Ken. I don’t think you meant it that way, but if you carefully consider the bible’s own declaration of authority over every other revelation, then you could see how the bible itself would judge your evaluation of it as less than it claims for itself.

    Of course, we judge the bible, don’t we? But we must see that in the end, the bible judges us. And in the very end, every knee will bow and confess its authority over all humanity. Sad to say, for many, if not most, it will be too late to repent and every lost soul will say, “I knew it was true, I just didn’t want to believe it.”

    So, Paul says, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked.”

    An intensely serious business, wouldn’t you say? One thing that impresses me about the bible is how intense the writers are. They are utterly consumed with the necessity to understand their testimony and take it to heart. I could only wish I could comprehend and grasp the same spirit that inspired their testimony and learn to appreciate more fully their import and application on my own life.

    I wish that not only for myself, but for you and every other soul seeking a knowledge of God and His will. The devil has had marvelous success in undermining this reality and destroying the intensity of the bible on the mind of modern man.

    We must be near the end.

    Bill Sorensen

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  76. @Ken: Ken, may I speak to that? Do I “ever take things on faith?” Never. Not faith alone, anyway.

    I take things on both faith and evidence working together in sync, one validating and empowering the other, like I use both my brain and heart, both my sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, one kicking in stronger than the other as the occasion demands, like when a fire alarm sounds my sympathetic kicks in, and when I see, salivate over, bit into, taste, digest lasagna (and finally, after duly processing it, dispose of it) my parasympathetic kicks in, as God engineered it – and only He could come up with a system like that!

    As to “anseeing a kvestion vith a kvestion,” as good Israelites, Socrates, all good practitioners of maieutics, and all good medical school professors on teaching rounds, are wont to do, how could I object? How could I when I used to pelt my interns and residents with questions. I learned that from Dr. George Thorn, chief of internal medicine, Peter Bent Brigham (Harvard) hospital, when I was a junior assistant resident there. The trick is not to get carried away with the joy of questioning, and to make the questions have a point. I remember (60 years ago exactly) as a junior medical student on rounds, and the professor asked, “What do you think of pain in the abdomen?” I still don’t know what to think.

    But the ultimate such questioner is our greatest example, Christ Himself. The most startling, and frankly rhetorical, of His questions, I think, was on the morning of His resurrection, near the tomb, and Mary Magdalene came there to grieve, and saw Him, but somehow didn’t recognize Him. “”Woman,” He asked her, whom He knew so well, “why are you crying? Who might you be looking for?” John 20:14 (paraphrased)

    Your colleague in askings, WK

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  77. Things are much better, Ron, at LSU. I have a source with unimpeachable inside knowledge who assures me of this.

    Your attitude sounds a bit like you don’t want things to improve. I hope that’s not the case.

    One of the biggest problems that EducateTruth is contributing to is the crisis of decreasing quality applicants for the increasing number of job openings in our biology programs. Don’t believe me? ASK ANY BIOLOGY CHAIRPERSON IF THEY CAN CONFIRM THIS CONCERN. Tell me how you think EducateTruth is improving this situation by creating an atmosphere in which every biologist at our universities is regarded with suspicion, and every applicant knows they are at risk of public judgment, ridicule, and harrassment.

    Do you want our biology programs stocked with faculty who lack PhDs?

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  78. Ken, I see you have missed my point. I never said that science cannot be empirical and that it must be biased. If you re-read what I said you will see that I am referring to ‘the interpretation of evidence.’ The issue is not science. As I said once, science is neutral. How science is explained is where the issue comes forward. We explain the evidences of science from our own worldview; especially do evolutionists try to hug the discipline as their sole jurisdiction. Those who do not agree with then are branded ‘ignorant,’ ‘religious,’ and so forth. I wish evidences were allowed to speak for themselves; but this is not permissible among the scientific community in our secular world. So while empirical evidence is fine in itself, sadly, the onlooker interprets it according to his worldview. Aren’t the great theories of Einstein being challenged today? I wonder why, Ken? Is it not true in our secular world, that when evidence points to God then that is religion and is unacceptable? but when it seems to point to the evolutionary model, then that is good science?!!

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  79. Faith: Prof Kent:How do you figure that this site keeps biology profs with integrity out of LSU? Any professor that is following the Bible, supporting creation, and the SDA church has nothing to hide and nothing to fear.When you say “quality” applicants, just how do you judge their credentials?As far as I am concerned, it is far more important that these professors have a firm grasp on the teachings of creation and the teachings of the Bible than any credentials the world can offer. If that had been the criteria used as a guideline for hiring, we wouldn’t be in this mess now. And that goes for all our SDA institutions.

    I agree, Faith. However, the type of leadership (Guy,Geraty,and Wisbey)LSU has had over the past two decades shows why we have evolutionists teaching “evolution as fact” at LSU and those supporting any type of creationism being intimidated, both students, and I would suspect faculty as well.

    Does the LSU Board even care about this deterioration in our biblical beliefs. Well, their inaction, ineptitude, and apathy in finding any solutions tell me they don’t, at least the majority who control the Board.

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