Comment on ANN reports on affirmation of creation and FB #6 enhancement by Victor Marshall.
The aim at the time that the belief on Creation was written was to employ biblical phraseology and thus unify believers in the biblical view of creation. Doesnâ€™t it seem strange for people to argue that biblical language is â€œopen, ambiguous, and in need of revisionâ€? As John Brunt got up to say at the floor mic (but time was called before he had a chance to speak), â€œOne would think that the Bible, mighty as the sword, could withstand delegates tampering with its wording.â€
Evidently many Seventh-day Adventists- including most EducateTruthers- feel the Bible canâ€™t be taken at face value and therefore more words must be added.Â Â
To claim that a more explicit Adventist expression of the doctrine of creation as the church has always understood it would do injury to the Bible itself, is indeed an under-handed defense of science falsely so-called. This is in essence saying that the specifically Sabbatarian understanding of a 24 hr. contiguous 7 day recent creation is unbiblical at worst, and ‘arguing from silence’ at best. Isn’t this exactly what Geraty implies with this statement?
“…a seven literal historical, consecutive, contiguous 24-hour day week of creation 6,000 years ago which is NOT in Genesis no matter how much the fundamentalist wing of the church would like to see it there.”
Don’t his own un-biblical and non-SOP roots show clearly when he also makes such a statement as this?
“Was the Genesis flood worldwide? There is no evidence for that as of now, but it certainly covered the world known to the authorâ€¦ It is the opinion of most experts, and little reasonable doubt remains (although some would dispute this) that the events of Genesis 6-8 must have taken place within a limited though indeed a vast area, covering not the entire globe, but the scene of the human story of the previous chapters.”
The 2004 affirmation states:
“2. We affirm the historic Seventh-day Adventist understanding of Genesis 1 that life on earth was created in six literal days and is of recent origin.”
“4. We affirm the biblical account of a catastrophic Flood, an act of God’s judgment that affected the whole planet, as an important key to understanding earth history.”
Let’s be honest, Geraty’s primary reason in continuing to support the current wording of belief #6 is not because it is the most biblical (He is proven to go contrary to the Biblical and Spirit of Prophecy position when it suits him). It is because it provides a tent within which evolutionists (and those that question the traditional Adventist interpretation of Genesis like himself) can feel safe.
“I am just challenging that that is the only way to understand the Biblical text.”
The 2004 Affirmation of Creation stated this:
” 4. Concern has been expressed regarding what some see as ambiguity in the phrase “In six days” found in the Church’s statement of belief on creation. It is felt that the intended meaning (that the six-day creation described in Genesis was accomplished in a literal and historical week) is unmentioned. This situation allows for uncertainty about what the Church actually believes. Further, it provides room for other explanations of creation to be accommodated in the text. There is a desire for the voice of the Church to be heard in bringing added clarity to what is really meant in Fundamental Belief #6, Creation.”
The reason that belief #6 must be revised more explicitly is not because the church must add to the Bible’s supposedly open-ended testimony in order to prop up a potentially faulty traditional interpretation which could just as easily be interpreted contrary-wise. It is because those within the Adventist church who seek to nullify, undermine, and misrepresent the most foundationally Bible-based Sabbatarian Adventist position on Creation must be prevented from continuing to do so.
No Sabbatarian in their right mind should harbor the idea that the ever so Biblically literal, 24 hr. weekly Sabbath day, commemorates indefinite ambiguous time periods harmonious with long-age evolutionism. None in their right mind would reasonably oppose a declaration that more specifically expresses the literal Bible-based Sabbatarian belief. Unless of course they want to entertain and support a contrary infidelity. To say that such an obviously needed revision would do an injustice to the Bible, only further reflects ‘the worst form of infidelity.’
Victor Marshall Also Commented
ultimately weâ€™re free to make our own choices.
This may be so, but the environment that one grows up in during their ever so vulnerable and impressionable formative years, has a profound impact upon what choices a they make. Parents have a major role to play in the formation of character. Even secular humanists agree on this point. Bad character produces bad choices. Good character produces good choices. How many of the men I work with in prison, who have made very bad choices, had a good family life? Very few.
Why are so many Christian and Adventist youth making the choice to leave Christ and/or the church? We can say, “Oh well, that was their choice.” Or, we can do something to help maximize the chances that they will make the right choice for Christ. You are absolutely right when you say we need to do something constructive. Nurturing aspiring educators would be an excellent pursuit. Making a career as an Adventist educator more attractive as a vocational choice would also help. These are long term goals.
In the short-term – pointing peoples attention to the evolutionary leak in the Adventist education dike, and trying to stop the potentially damning flow, is not a non-constructive activity.
I would argue that more young people have left the church because they were not properly prepared to leave the confines of a sheltered Adventist campus by not being exposed to the wide variety of views they will experience upon departing from our campuses. Robert Schwindt, retired Professor of Psychology at Columbia Union College, suggested to me more than thirty years ago that he felt more left because of the positive relationships students developed with esteemed professors in secular graduate school programs of non-Adventist universities. They had been ingrained as one of the marketing tools for Adventist higher education that only in an Adventist college would you find caring, loving professors, but found just as many in a non-Adventist setting who had good values and showed them great personal interest. Adventist researchers such as Roger Dudley have discovered that relationship issues in local congregations and a lack of intentional involvement by congregations of young adults is a much greater factor in young adults leaving the church than disagreement with Adventist doctrines.
Apparently the large majority of Christian students have begun to leave the church spiritually before they even get to college. The buck ultimately stops in the family. Have the parents been educated and intentional and spiritual in the formation of children with a genuine Christian experience, a Christian/Adventist/Biblical world-view – as well as world-knowledge and critical thinking skills. Even with the best parents however, an unloving and legalistic church can ruin a child for life. The home and church relationships are of paramount importance in the most critical time period before a student reaches college.
On another note. Since college is still such a critical time for the development of a mature, knowledgable, and productive Christian world-view and experience – why should we compound the problem already developing in academy days? Why should we expose students to a situation where they can bond in relationships with theistic evolutionist professors who are ‘such nice guys,’ yet hold a world-view that has proven to philosophically erode and undermine a Biblical world-view. If bonding with non-Adventist professors at secular universities who are ‘loving and caring’ can have the negative results you suggest – why would we want to engender such an environment in our own universities? Indeed, some of the theistic professors at LSU are loved by students they have mentored as being caring and interested in their welfare. However, if these same professors promote a world-view contrary to the one Adventists believe in – this is a dangerous combination indeed. Possibly even more dangerous than the one on secular campuses.
Recent Comments by Victor Marshall
“The deepest students of science are constrained to recognize in nature the working of infinite power. But to man’s unaided reason, nature’s teaching cannot but be contradictory and disappointing. Only in the light of revelation can it be read aright, ‘Through faith we understand.’Heb.11:3” – Ed.134
As if all of your previous statements were not enough – here you come with this outrageous statement:
But I do deny that the Bible is the final authority. I donâ€™t think that it is the final authority.
I think it is plain enough now for all to see that the founding scientist of EducateTruth, who has vigorously been seeking to have LSU tow the orthodox Adventist line – is himself heterodox when it comes to the most foundational of Adventist beliefs!
Not only have you equated science with faith, you have supplanted Biblical authority with scientific authority. Isn’t this exactly in essence what theistic evolutionists do?! Is it possible that one who incessantly declares others to be ‘blind’ would himself be blind to his own hypocritical presuppositions?
Seventh-day Adventists are ‘people of the book.’ They claim the Protestant principle of ‘Sola Scriptura’ as the very foundation of their faith. You are not a Sola Scripturist. By your own standard, if you were employed by the Adventist church, you yourself should consider employment elsewhere.
This is indeed a most grave and serious ironic twist.
If the issues are not yet clear enough I will here quote one of the denominations most preeminently orthodox theologians. You will find that his clear and definitive statements are diametrically opposed to your own:
“A fundamental principle set forth by Scripture concerning itself is that the Bible alone is the final norm of truth, the primary and absolute source of authority, the ultimate court of appeal, in all areas of doctrine and practiceâ€¦ The principle of sola Scriptura implies two corollaries: the primacy and the sufficiency of Scriptureâ€¦.”
“Paul likewise rejects human â€œknowledgeâ€ (KJV â€œscienceâ€; Greek gnÅsis) as the final authority (1 Tim 6:20). Both OT and NT writers point out that since the Fall in Eden, nature has become depraved (Gen 3:17-18; Rom 8:20-21) and no longer perfectly reflects truth. Nature, rightly understood, is in harmony with Godâ€™s written revelation in Scripture (see Ps 19:1-6 [revelation of God in nature] and vv. 7-11 [revelation of the Lord in Scripture]); but as a limited and broken source of knowledge about God and reality, it must be held subservient to, and interpreted by, the final authority of Scripture (Rom 1:20-23; 2:14-16; 3:1-2).”
“2. The Sufficiency of Scripture. The principle of sola Scriptura implies the further corollary of the sufficiency of Scripture. The Bible stands alone as the unerring guide to truth; it is sufficient to make one wise unto salvation (2 Tim 3:15). It is the standard by which all doctrine and experience must be tested (2 Tim 3:16-17; Ps 119:105; Prov 30:5, 6; Isa 8:20; John 17:17; Acts 17:11; 2 Thess 3:14; Heb 4:12). Scripture thus provides the framework, the divine perspective, the foundational principles, for every branch of knowledge and experience. All additional knowledge and experience, or revelation, must build upon and remain faithful to, the all-sufficient foundation of Scripture. The sufficiency of Scripture is not just in the sense of material sufficiency, i.e., that Scripture contains all the truths necessary for salvation. Adventists also believe in the formal sufficiency of Scripture, i.e., that the Bible alone is sufficient in clarity so that no external source is required to rightly interpret it.”
“Adventists maintain the rallying cry of the Reformation–sola Scriptura, the Bible and the Bible only as the final norm for truth. All other sources of knowledge and experience must be tested by this unerring standard. The appropriate human response must be one of total surrender to the ultimate authority of the word of God (Isa 66:2).” – Richard M. Davidson, ‘Interpreting Scripture According to the Scriptures:Toward an understanding of Seventh-day Adventist Hermeneutics.’ BRI
Not only do you seem diametrically opposed to foundational Adventist theology. You also appear (for all intents and purposes) to be fundamentally opposed to the purposes and goals of EducateTruth itself.
â€œ4. More important than all of these is that the Bible find its place as the ultimate authority on all it touches upon within the classroomâ€¦â€¦ The bottom line of this controversy is not about creation vs. evolution, but authority. Does the Bible inform our science or does science inform the Bible? This question lies at the heart of this controversy.â€ – Shane Hilde
In light of this further unfortunate irony – perhaps you should seek employment on another web site.
I encourage you to reexamine the basis for you faith and prayerfully surrender it to the Word of God – not scientific reason.
“When we come to the Bible, reason must acknowledge an authority superior to itself, and heart and intellect must bow before the great I AM.” (SC 110).
More â€œsureâ€ than what? More sure than Peterâ€™s testimony. Peterâ€™s testimony is helpful and helps us believe that Jesus is the Messiah. But even Peterâ€™s testimony is not adequate to affirm Jesus and who He is. We must necessarily turn to â€œMoses and the prophetsâ€ and validate Jesus as the Messiah based on their testimony.
Simply put, Moses is the final authority in all matters of doctrine and faith. If it is not in harmony with Moses, it is false. And this includes Jesus and His ministry.
Very good Bill.
I like to look at it this way as well. Moses said that, “at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” We have the two witnesses of the Old and New Testaments – each one establishes the testimony of the other – both are further established by a third witness – the Holy Spirit. These three witnesses are sufficient to establish truth.
The bible affirming itself as the final authority is the same as God affirming His own authority.
Another interesting parallel passage in the Bible is, “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.” In this passage we have the concept that God is a sufficient witness for Himself. Of course, in a sense, He is also actually three witnesses isn’t He!
The bible presents its own evidence. It is self affirming.
If you deny the bible is the final authority on its on self affirmations, then you are simply not a bible Christian.
The bible does not try to â€œproveâ€ everything. Something are simply stated as a fact. Especially things that are not â€œproveableâ€ by science and/or human experience.
Science and human experience may be helpful, but they are not the final word and it is a mistake to try to affirm every jot and tittle of scriptual teaching by such â€œproofâ€.
Well stated Bro. Sorenson.