Source: Adventist Review
To a visitor, the 100-acre campus of La Sierra University, an 88-year-old Seventh-day Adventist tertiary institution, seems a tranquil retreat amidst the gritty hustle of southern Californiaâ€™s â€œInland Empire,â€ a place where local commerce intersects with trucks headed from the ports of Long Beach and San Diego to Las Vegas and beyond. In January 2010, a banner proclaimed â€œPeace Weekâ€ at the school, which serves approximately 1,850 undergraduate and graduate students.
But beneath that calm exterior, contention is brewing over how La Sierra, owned by the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, presents its students with information on how the Earth, and life on the planet, came into existence. The stark question being asked by some alumni, parents, and church leaders: Is the Adventist Churchâ€™s fundamental beliefâ€”â€œGod is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activityâ€â€”what is being taught, or are some of La Sierraâ€™s biology instructors presenting evolution as the explanation of origins?
In a letter to trustees and the university community last May, La Sierra president Randal Wisbey refuted the charge: â€œEvery one of our science faculty share the goal of students experiencing a vibrant Adventist Christian faith while pursuing their education in the sciences. â€¦ At La Sierra University, we take seriously the challenge of how to best integrate science education and faith development. Ultimately, our goal is to help students develop a personal relationship with their Creator.â€ (Read Article)