Adventist Review examines LSU conflict

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 California’s “Inland Empire,” 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 “Peace Week” 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 Church’s fundamental belief—“God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity”—what is being taught, or are some of La Sierra’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: “Every one of our science faculty share the goal of students experiencing a vibrant Adventist Christian faith while pursuing their education in the sciences. … 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.” (Read Article)

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