‘Yes, Creation!’ at the General Conference Session

For immediate release – Geoscience Research Institute: An Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

The doctrine of creation will take center stage amid the hustle and bustle of elections, committees, worship and pageantry at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Atlanta this June. A major lecture series, “Yes, Creation!”, is to be held during noon and evening break times. “Yes, Creation!” will feature some of the best minds in Adventism exploring theological and scientific implications of creation. The thirty-three unique presentations will be short, informative and faith-affirming. Expert “Yes, Creation!” speakers range from theologians to scientists, pastors, graduate students and church administrators. A detailed schedule of talks is available at the General Conference Faith and Science Council website: fscsda.org.

“Significant effort has been made to ensure these presentations are accessible to all interested church members,” says Timothy Standish, a research scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute and organizer of the lectures. “This is not to be a dry scholarly discussion of theoretical issues. Confusing academic jargon is out, clarity is in. Those who attend these practical and inspiring lectures will leave better informed about the issues and empowered with more reasons for faith in and worship of our Creator God.” Standish emphasized that these presentations are for everyone: pastors, administrators, students, teachers, parents and anyone else interested in the creation.

Spanish, French and Portuguese lectures will be featured in addition to English. The diversity of languages reflects Adventists’ diversity, as do the twenty-five “Yes, Creation!” speakers who come from as far away as Africa, South America and Australia, and as close as the United States. Across the entire spectrum of Adventism, belief in the Biblical creation serves both as glue unifying the church and as an organizing principle on which other Adventist beliefs are built. This is why the Biblical creation is featured in at least seven Seventh-day Adventist fundamental beliefs. In “Yes, Creation!” pastors will share practical experience of how the doctrine of creation enriches their ministries, graduate students will relate why creation is essential to their worldview, administrators will affirm Adventist’s belief in a recent literal creation as described in the Bible, scientists will point out ways in which the creation testifies to its Creator.

“Yes, Creation!” will be presented in room B311 of the Georgia World Congress Center, adjacent to the Georgia Dome. Sessions will be from 12:10 to 1:50 PM and 5:10 to 6:50 PM. Each session will comprise three lectures and each lecture will be unique, with none being repeated. Those interested in the creation are also encouraged to visit the GRI booth located on Aisle 300, space 316 in the Exhibition Hall. Staff fluent in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese will be available along with limited materials in these languages and some fascinating fossils.

More Information:

Schedule of speakers and presentations
Follow Geoscience Research Institute on Twitter
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Learn more about the Faith and Science Council

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108 thoughts on “‘Yes, Creation!’ at the General Conference Session

  1. Dear Geanna:

    The Geoscience Research Inswtitute must be held to the same standards of Biblical integrity as every other entity within the church. I am glad they will be featured at the General Conference, especially Timothy Standish who is very strong for classic Adventist creationism. My only hope is that all the speakers featured for this series will be strictly faithful to Adventist creationism as set forth in Scripture and the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy.

    Perhaps this issue will, after all, come up in Atlanta on the floor. And if it does, let us pray the church will insert in Fundamental Belief No. 6 that the earth was created in six literal, consecutive, 24-hour days, followed immediately by a seventh day of identical duration on which God rested, thus sanctifying this day for all eternity.

    Crystal clarity–nothing less–is imperative at this time of crisis in God’s church. Ambiguity and pluralism have compromised our faithfulness, sundered our unity, and cripplied our witness. The church needs a Josiah who will restore the true faith, smash the altars of apostasy, and elevate once and for all the gold standard of strict obedience to the written counsel of God.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  2. Me too. Unfortunately that’s what happens when you play the blame game. Find and exterminate professors. Then administrators. Then institutions such as LSU and GRI. What next?




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  3. I contacted the Michigan chapter of the Adventist organization, to try to get the General Conference Committee to invite the leading expert in the world on the book of Genesis, to give his 62 minute presentation on “the Observations of Moses”. It proves that current creationism does not understand the Genesis text, and that early Genesis is historically truth.

    Herman Cummings




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  4. Pastor Paulson, I agree that our doctrines are important and should be upheld by our institutions, but the Adventist church and Christianity at large face far bigger crises than the exact wording of FB#6. The vast majority of Adventists have no idea what FB#6 states, nor do they care. Most don’t even know the exact number of fundamental beliefs that we have. Changing the wording is not going to fix much in the way of the ills of our church. But if it makes you and others feel better, then let’s change it.

    None of this does much to develop our spiritual connection with God. That is what I need more of in my life. Can you kindly offer suggestions on this?




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  5. The Seventh-day Adventist Church needs a dynamic apologetics ministry like Answers in Genesis and ICR. Our lay people turn to these ministries because we have nothing comparable in our own church. GRI never has really filled the bill, and likely never will.

    We need an outstanding apologetics ministry. It must be an independent ministry, that make its living from donations. It cannot be attached to the church at any level, or to any church affiliated university, or to any church affiliated hospital, or it will become corrupted almost immediately. I’m convicted of this like I haven’t been convicted of anything in a long, long time.




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  6. Dear Eddie:

    I am concerned about the language you are using. You speak of “exterminating” people, when all we are talking about here is simple accountability and godly church discipline. That is what the Word of God authorizes in situations such as these. When godly leaders throughout sacred history rose up to cleanse the faith community from disobedience and apostasy, God honored and guided their efforts. Never did he say to simply “tolerate” in the midst of the church those openly teaching false doctrines or engaging in wrong practices.

    Too many of us, I fear, have been so saturated by the “different strokes for different folks” mindset of this postmodern age, that the whole idea of holding others accountable for doctrinal or moral faithfulness has fallen upon hard times. But the Bible does not uphold this spirit of unfettered “tolerance.” Jesus certainly didn’t, as we see in Matthew 18:15-17, where He spoke of circumstances under which certain ones must be removed from church fellowship. The apostle Paul likewise was clear that severe discipline–even the severing of church ties–is essential at times when doctrinal issues are at stake (see Gal. 1:8; II Thess. 3:14-15; I Tim. 1:3).

    A major challenge for the contemporary church is to get out of the postmodern “tolerance” mindset and back to the Biblical worldview, in which absolutes are paramount and truth is transcendent.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  7. Well, Geanna, tell us what the GC is going to do about “evolution as fact.” Nothing? Something? Maybe something? Claim they did something? Or do you have any other possibilities?




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  8. Dear Geanna:

    I must strongly disagree with your statement that “the vast majority of Adventists” don’t care about their church’s position on creation vs. evolution. I would truly like to know on what basis you believe our people are so apathetic about so basic a Biblical issue. When I mingle with our people at the grassroots, I find that the “vast majority” (your words) can’t understand why this is even an issue. They can’t figure out what business anyone who believes in evolution has claiming to be a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church–let alone an employee of one of our institutions.

    As to suggestions of how to more firmly develop our spiritual connection with God, how about getting back to the Bible and the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, and leaving all the other stuff alone for a period of time? We have far too much “spirituality” in contemporary Adventism which refuses to let itself be defined and guided by the written counsel of God. Spirituality is not enough–the Dalai Lama is a very spiritual being, but I wouldn’t want him teaching at our Seminary! It is God’s transcendent Word–revealed both in Scripture and the writings of Ellen White–which must exclusively define our worldview, our beliefs, and our lifestyle.

    Nothing more.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  9. Geanna, Quite the contrary. It might be the appearance of “something” without anything actually being done! This is my guess.

    So, some will declare that something was done, while others will state nothing was actually done. The debate will then continue for eons of time.




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  10. Dear Geanna: I must strongly disagree with your statement that “the vast majority of Adventists” don’t care about their church’s position on creation vs. evolution….

    You’re correct Pastor Paulsen. The majority of bible-believing SDA’s are very concerned about this problem. How many in the Pacific Union Conference? How about a survey? Would be easy for conferences to do.




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  11. There should be no fear, paranoia, apprehension, or any kind of “us” versus “them” mentality regarding an open, candid, honest evaluation of both the biblical and scientific data regarding the creation/evolution issue. Truth has NOTHING to fear! If we truly believe in the power of the transcendent Creator of the universe, then there will be NO place for any kind of vindictive feelings. We don’t have to “VINDICATE” truth. Truth always vindicates itself. God does NOT need anyone to go on any kind of “witch hunt” for Him.

    Along with the Creator’s ability to vindicate Himself, we must also remember that Jesus Himself said that all men would know that we are are his disciples as we DEMONSTRATE LOVE to one another! Human nature being what it is, we shouldn’t be surprised that history documentss the fact that ALL religions–Christianity included and we Seventh-day Adventists, too,– have found it difficult to hold these two priciples together. Over and over again, we see that well meaning, religious people, in the pursuit of “truth” have treated their human brothers and sisters in very cruel, inhumane ways!

    Once upon a time religion believed that our planet, earth, was the center of the universe! And when Galileo, following on the heels of Corpenicus said the the sun, not the earth was the center of our solar system, the church would have EXECUTED him if he had not bowed to its wishes (at least, outwardly). He was put under house arrest and his works were publicly condemned and outlawed! Luckily, his writings were spirited out and finally saw the light of day. Finally, a few years ago, the church publicly apoligised and admitted it was wrong and Galileo was right! All the feelings of contempt, all the inhuman actions against a fellow human brother were totally unnecessary1 Truth always vindicates itself.

    So what can we learn from history now as we address the creation/evolution issue within our denomination? God does NOT need us to go to war with our fellow human brothers and sisters in order to ‘protect” truth. Let us GENUINELY, and in a spirit of BROTHERLY LOVE, LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE and let the SPIRIT OF CHRIST EXPOSE TRUTH. It is ironical that humans can become so jealous for “truth” that they become animalistic and INHUMAN in the way they treat one another! God does NOT need us to violate the golden principle of TREATING OTHERS THe way we would want TO BE TREATED!

    One more thing, and I know that to some of us this could sound like being “unfaithful” to “our beliefs”. But to be CANDID and HONEST and truly OPEN, we CANNOT come to the discussion table with a closed mind. Now, that is not saying that we should throw away what we believe. But it is saying that must be genuinely prepared to TRULY EXAMINE AGAIN ALL the data that is available–including that which is recent. This is NOT saying that we have to begin by saying that creation is incorrect. The caution is that we DON’T come to the table, as we hear happens in a non-demcratic settig, where the verdict of guilt is a foregone conclusion and the “trial” is simply a facade!

    Right now, I can hear some of my well-intentioned brothers saying:”What!DO YOU MEAN TO SAY THAT WE MUST DOUBT OUR BELIEF IN CREATION and believe in evolution?” I am most certainly NOT advocating that! Let truth speak for itself. By now, We Seventh-day Adventists, along with all other Christians should be humble and candid enough to admit that we have,sometimes, ALL interpreted the Bible in ways that were incorrect and we have had to update both some of our theology and practices! This did NOT mean that they had to discard the Bible. But it meant that they were INCORRECT in their INTERPRETATION and UNDERSTANDING of the biblical data. Sometimes religion tries to hide this, sometimes it just can’t be hidden.

    Look, we ALL must confess with the apostle Paul that now we know only IN PART. And it will ever be so UNTIL THE PERFECT DAY ARRIVES! So let us be HUMBLE, OPEN, CANDID, HONEST. Let us hold fast to that what is true but always open to the truth that “truth” is progressive.

    The Darwinians who hold blindly to what Darwin taught as truth get left behind and sadly out of touch with what is subsequently evidenced! And the religious community that REFUSES to examine what is subsequently evidenced, also remain sadly out of touch and left behind with the ONGOING search for what is true.

    So if all we do is come together to simply bolster and shore-up what we have been saying,–WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING AT THE LATEST, ONGOING SEARCH FOR TRUTH. YES, EVEN WWHAT WE BELIEVE TO BE BIBLICAL TRUTH, THEN WE COULD END UP LIKE THOSE WHO WOULD STILL BELIEVE THAT THE EARTH IS THE CENTER OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM AND THE SUN JOURNEYS AROUND THE EARTH TO CREATE DAY AND NIGHT!

    YOU DON’T COME TO THE TABLE TO ” SIMPLY THROW AWAY THE BABY WITH THE BATH WATER” BUT NEITHER SHOULD WE JUST COME WITH CLOSED MINDS! WE DON’T HAVE TO BE SCARED TO TAKE A GENUINE, OPEN, CANDID, HONEST LOKK AT ALL THE AVAILABLE DATE,INCLUDING THE LATEST. UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS TRUE IS AN ONGOING ENTERPRISE! If we deny this, then we should simply continue burning old women as witches as we did in Salem BECAUSE THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT WE SHOULD “NOT SUFFER A WITCH TO LIVE”!

    Let us pray that our intention to truly discover truth does NOT degenerate into a WITCH HUNT but rather serve to vindicat what is true!




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  12. Dear Geanna:I must strongly disagree with your statement that “the vast majority of Adventists” don’t care about their church’s position on creation vs. evolution. I would truly like to know on what basis you believe our people are so apathetic about so basic a Biblical issue.God bless!Pastor Kevin Paulson  (Quote)

    I am very sorry that you misunderstood me. I completely agree with your assessment about the church members interest in origins. What I wrote was actually this, and there is quite a difference:

    …the Adventist church and Christianity at large face far bigger crises than the exact wording of FB#6. The vast majority of Adventists have no idea what FB#6 states, nor do they care. Most don’t even know the exact number of fundamental beliefs that we have.




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  13. Dear Mahabir:

    I appreciate your concern that we love one another in the midst of this controversy. But you are quite wrong if you insist that human beings have no proactive role to play in the vindication of truth and the necessity of holding members of the faith community accountable for doctrinal and moral faithfulness. The Bible is abundantly clear that God does not do church discipline all by Himself. Those He has appointed guardians of His covenant community have this obligation, as both Jesus and the apostle Paul make clear (see Matt. 18:15-17; II Thess. 3:14-15; I Tim. 1:3).

    And please do not forget: if we accept evolution, love for one another ceases to exist. Evolution holds that “survival of the fittest”–the strong devouring the weak–is both the norm and the ultimate good in the saga of life. There is no room in such a scheme for the love Christ enjoins. So it makes absolutely no sense to ask the church to show “love” to an ideology which effectively means the love Christ taught is the opposite of progress and should thus be set aside.

    The “let go and let God” view of church affairs and how to deal with doctrinal error is just as mistaken as the “let go and let God” view of Christian living–which says that Christians must simply “let God do the work” of cleansing their lives of evil, while they simply keep out of HIs way. We have an active part to play–both in the saving of our own souls and in the purification of the body of Christ.

    The case of Galileo is such a favorite among those who would caution the church against exalting God’s Word over the findings of science. The problem in Galileo’s day was that the church hadn’t considered the Biblical evidence in confronting Galileo. The Catholic Church wasn’t concerned about Biblical faithfulness; when has it ever been? Tradition was their guide, not the Holy Word of God. To try and make it appear that Darwinism is in any way comparable to Galileo’s findings is to distort both history and the Bible.

    The most loving and intelligent–as well as the most Biblical faithful–action the church can take under present circumstances is to affirm before the world the six literal, consecutive, 24-hour days of the Biblical creation story, occurring approximately 6,000 years ago, and to require all its representatives to affirm the same as a condition of their employment. Classic Adventist creationism is grounded in the Word of the living God to His church. We set it aside, or allow it to be compromised, at our own eternal peril.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  14. @Mahabir Ramkhelawan:

    Mahabir Ramkhelawan says:
    June 15, 2010 There should be no fear, paranoia, apprehension, or any kind of “us” versus “them” mentality regarding an open, candid, honest evaluation of both the biblical and scientific data regarding the creation/evolution issue. Truth has NOTHING to fear! If we truly believe in the power of the transcendent Creator of the universe, then there will be NO place for any kind of vindictive feelings. We don’t have to “VINDICATE” truth. Truth always vindicates itself. God does NOT need anyone to go on any kind of “witch hunt” for Him.

    Are you familiar with “the Living Temple” by Kellogg?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  15. Pastor Paulson,

    When you write “Evolution holds that “survival of the fittest”–the strong devouring the weak–is both the norm and the ultimate good in the saga of life” are you suggesting there is some other explanation for antibiotic resistance in bacteria? Are you suggesting there is some other explanation for insecticide resistance in scale insects? Remember- your issue should be with abiogenesis and long-term change, not all forms of evolution.

    This is where things get so heated. Any Adventist who even uses the word “evolution” gets criticized in the manner Mahabir Ramkhelawan has expressed concern about. Look at me. I actually believe in Fundamental Belief #6, including a recent 6-day creation. But if I dare point out legitimate concerns, look how I get treated. I have been treated very poorly here as you must surely recognize!!! Professor Kent also accepts FB #6 including a recent 6-day creation. And he has been roundly kicked about. It’s not about belief. You people express vitriolic animosity toward anyone who has an open mind. How can you not see that?




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  16. @Geanna Dane: One reason people might be reacting the way they do toward you in regard to your comments using the word evolution is because you use it so loosely. You seem to give no heed to the connotative meaning. Once you can accept that the vast majority of the populace, within and without our church, does not use the word evolution to merely describe change, it might be easier communicating your ideas. For example, the following ideas are associated with evolution:

    1. simple to complex
    2. millions and billions of years
    3. common ancestry of al life

    You’re not being an effect communicator when you ignore the common connotative meanings of a word in favor of a less used meaning.




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  17. Shane, the usage and meaning of the word “evolution” is very different between how society uses it, especially real-life practicing biologists and other scientists, and how creationists use it. The tension will always be greater than need be when we creationists (and I’m including myself) continue to speak in our own dialect and refuse to engage the language of the real world. There is little recognition here that Adventist biologists and students of biology have their feet in both worlds, which makes it all but impossible these poor souls to be understand. We do need competent biologists, don’t we? Adventists and other creationists need to be able to relate to the real world, don’t they?

    I do agree with your assessment, however. For those who fail to recognize this distinction (most readers here), they will see me as something evil or at least to be mistrusted. My prayer is that there will be some understanding and willingness to learn. A little more grace and less condemnation. If I am throwing myself on an alter to benefit this need, then so be it. However, I’m afraid that I will eventually need to stop altogether because increasingly I run into a complete lack of charity from those who respond to my posts. It chagrines me, and I know it chagrines others.

    I’m a well-grounded Adventist who loves Jesus and the beautiful doctrines of our church. Am I really all that evil?




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  18. @David Read: While I agree with you that a strong program like IGR or Answers in Genesis would be most helpful, I disagree that it should be unrelated to the church. Because of this and other major issues swirling around the church these days, I have been spending a lot of time recently considering the early church, especially as it related to the apostle Paul. Both in the NT and in Ellen White’s book Sketches from the Life of Paul, there is strong indication of God working thru the church even when the church falls far short of what they should be doing and saying. It is also true that when the apostolic church leaders were making some bad policy calls that Paul and company protested at the first “General Conference”.




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  19. Does anyone know when Tim Standish is supposed to speak? I am going to be in Atlanta for the first week and would be very sorry if I was there and yet missed it.




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  20. Pastor Paulson,When you write “Evolution holds that “survival of the fittest”–the strong devouring the weak–is both the norm and the ultimate good in the saga of life” are you suggesting there is some other explanation for antibiotic resistance in bacteria? Are you suggesting there is some other explanation for insecticide resistance in scale insects? Remember- your issue should be with abiogenesis and long-term change, not all forms of evolution.This is where things get so heated. Any Adventist who even uses the word “evolution” gets criticized in the manner Mahabir Ramkhelawan has expressed concern about. Look at me. I actually believe in Fundamental Belief #6, including a recent 6-day creation. But if I dare point out legitimate concerns, look how I get treated. I have been treated very poorly here as you must surely recognize!!! Professor Kent also accepts FB #6 including a recent 6-day creation. And he has been roundly kicked about. It’s not about belief. You people express vitriolic animosity toward anyone who has an open mind. How can you not see that?  (Quote)

    No “vitriolic animosity” here Geanna, You came in here “playing hardball” and hardball is what you got!




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  21. Geanna,

    I’m but one of many Loma Linda University scientists, so I speak only for myself and not for others. As you probably recognize, most of us Adventist scientists refuse to engage this fray for the reasons you, Professor Kent, pauluc, and others have pointed out. The dialogue at this site lacks professionalism and is filled with frequent misunderstanding and animosity.

    As you are learning, there is little to nothing you can say to convince others here that their understanding of “evolution” (simply put, biological change) is weak or lacking. Moreover, the tolerance of many visitors here to the word and the many concepts associated with it will never change. Open-mindedness is as absent here as tolerance and basic levels of courtesy.

    In spite of this dilemma, the Adventist church remains the home of many faithful believers who encounter what matters most–a close relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Within the church you will find heartwarming, encouraging, condescension-free fellowship if you look for it.




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  22. Geanna Dane said: When you write “Evolution holds that “survival of the fittest”–the strong devouring the weak–is both the norm and the ultimate good in the saga of life” are you suggesting there is some other explanation for antibiotic resistance in bacteria? Are you suggesting there is some other explanation for insecticide resistance in scale insects? Remember- your issue should be with abiogenesis and long-term change, not all forms of evolution.

    “Antibiotic resistance in bacteria” and “insecticide resistance in scale insects” are merely examples of adaptation (or mutation, or micro-evolution) that never changes bacteria or insect to other species. They still remain as the same type of bacteria or insect. This is not the issue being discussed here.

    The issue is the “macro-evolution” that proposes the inter-specie leap – from a simple to complex specie morphing.

    What evolutionists – whether be they naturalistic or theistic – do mean by “evolution” is this macro-evolution, and they use the example of “micro-evolution” or adaptation to prove the case for “macro-evolution,” which is, if we think about it, a classic case of bait-and-switch.




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  23. A big meeting. It’s called a “World Session”. It’s something that happens every 5 years.  (Quote)

    Although rarely something comes up at these meeting, SOP is mostly “rubber stamping” various proposals.




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  24. Whenever in a discussion I hear someone say that we need to have an open mind what they are really saying is that we should agree with them. On hair styles and the food one eats a open mind is fine, on something as important and straight forward as “in six days God Created” I’ll stick with the Bible, and risk being accused of having a closed mind.




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  25. What evolutionists – whether be they naturalistic or theistic – do mean by “evolution” is this macro-evolution, and they use the example of “micro-evolution” or adaptation to prove the case for “macro-evolution,” which is, if we think about it, a classic case of bait-and-switch.  (Quote)

    Justin, I don’t know your background but it is probably not very different from mine. I once believed as you believe- htat “evolution” refers only to really substantial change. But if you would sit down with real science papers (in botany, in physiology, in marine biology, in evolution, or whatever the topic) and actually read them, as I was compelled to do as a student, you would learn that scientists speak all the time of evolution in a microevolutionary sense. I know you don’t want to believe this and I know there is probably nothing I can say to convince you of this but that is the way it is.

    Our church members are so frightened by the word “evolution” that they are terrified of learning anything about it as if learning what is really known would destroy their faith. But that’s not the way it has to be. I’m no expert on what evolution is all about but I have read enough and learned enough from my classes to understand it is very, very different than many of yuo people think. You’re simply not willing to learn. You’re hostile when soem of us try to point out legitimate issues. We’re quickly attacked. In spite of what I have read and in spite of the way I have been treated I am still a loyal and faithful Adventist. Some of us who have talked of the need to deal honestly with problems and have open minds have never sought to undermine “in six days God Created” and yet we still provoke hostile reactions such as the post by Richard Sherwin (I am sorry Richard, that we upset you so greatly).

    I would like to say I have love and tolerance in my heart but doing so actually seeems to provoke you people to speak out against love and tolerance, and to promote beliefs and doctrines ahead of these. I think we should also have open and teachable minds, but again that gets scoffed at. Why can’t we have ALL of these things? I pray that we all could seek to find more balance in our views.




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  26. @LLU Scientist:

    As you are learning, there is little to nothing you can say to convince others here that their understanding of “evolution” (simply put, biological change) is weak or lacking.

    When the evolutionist wants to avoid the pointy problems of 3SG 90-91 or anything like an actual Bible perspective in origins – he/she tries to hide evolution under the broad umbrella of “evolution is just change” (as if your fingernails growing or nails rusting are an example of evolution).

    Though they are very much married to the idea that “birds come from reptiles” – they don’t like having to say that this is what they really mean by “evolution is just change”.

    The more things “change” the more they stay the same.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  27. Bob, how many ordinary run of the mill research publications do you need to see before acknowledging that evolutionists use the word “evolution” very, very often to mean change in the microevolutionary sense far, far, completely removed from any sense of “birds come from reptiles?”? How many? Give me a number please.

    So tell me, am I an “evolutionist” if I beleive that one species of salamander might have evolved into more than 400 species? Or do you regard that as the type of change equivalent to your fingernails growing? (I can’t speak for you but it’s very different from my fingernails growing!) And since you understand so well what people really know or believe, please tell me if I actually believe that birds come from reptiles.




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  28. @BobRyan:
    Apropos of your favourite spiritual Gifts statement I would be interested to know if you take all of Ellen Whites writing as totally inerrant.

    In particular her writings on amalgamations come to mind. Do you follows FD Nichols interpretation or do you think Tim Standish’s more recent interpretation of these passages is correct?




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  29. Dear Geanna:

    I fear that some in this conversation, including perhaps yourself, seem to have difficulty understanding the key issues at stake in this controversy.

    For one thing, I believe it is most unfair to accuse those in this discussion who vigorously defend Biblical creationism of lacking Christian love simply because they refuse to believe Darwinian macroevolution has a legitimate place in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (Notice carefully how I say “macroevolution,” not the microevolution of which you have spoken which any sensible creationist recognizes as fact.) What is more, I am deeply troubled by the equating of the terms “love” and “tolerance.” These are definitely not the same. (If you have any doubt, ask a husband or wife if they would rather have love or tolerance from their partner, and you can see the obvious difference!)

    Unconverted people are capable of tolerating various persons or ideas merely for the sake of survival or social convenience. Love, by contrast, is a gift from God. And true Christian love involves not only self-sacrificing commitment, but also measures of discipline–even severity at times–for the sake of helping others recognize soul-destroying error. Anyone who has raised children understands the meaning of this principle.

    Vigorous disagreement and the condemnation of wrong ideas and practices are most assuredly not the same as a lack of love. It was Jesus Himself who declared, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent” (Rev. 3:19). Our postmodern age has completely sundered the idea of loving sinners while hating their sins, not to mention doing away with the Bible truth that what we believe and how we live have everything to do with our eternal destiny. This is perhaps the most basic problem we confront in First World Adventism today. The teaching of Darwinism is only a symptom of a larger mentality which insists that right and wrong are relative and that only a subjective “relationship with Jesus Christ” (whatever that means!) is what matters. This subjective spirituality is totally out of sync with the Biblical worldview. And if the Adventist Church in the developed world is ever to get back on track, this subjective spiritality must be condemned for the delusion it is.

    A question was asked in one of the above posts about Ellen White’s amalgamation statements, and also a query as to whether some of us believe Ellen White’s writings are free of error. I would invite anyone with an interest in this subject to go to the Web site and read my articles replying to a group of recent books which attack Ellen White’s credibility on this and other subjects. One of these articles is titled, “Prophetic Humanity: Comfort or Compromise?” in which I examine–among other things–the amalgamation statements. In another, much longer work–titled “The Loss of Transcendence”–I examine a wide variety of other issues relative to Ellen White’s work. The fact is that when the hard evidence is examined, it is Ellen White’s critics who have been the chief mythmakers in the church regarding her prophetic gift, its authority, and its alleged shortcomings.

    Finally, let me say once again to those who claim a “deeper connection with God” and a “personal relationship with Christ” are of paramount importance, in presumed contrast to doctrinal or moral integrity. First of all, let us remember it was Christ Himself who declared that man shall live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). That includes the early chapters of Genesis as much at it includes John 3:16 and First Corinthians 13. What is more, let us never forget that Darwinian natural selection has no room for love, grace, or forgiveness. In order for progress to occur, as I have noted repeatedly in this discussion, Darwinism says the strong must eliminate the weak. To claim one is seeking a “personal relationship” with the loving, merciful Christ of Scripture while affirming this brutal, merciless model for the sustenance and progress of life is an absolute, irreconcilable contradiction.

    Again I say, we must set aside the premises of relativism and postmodernism and return once and for all to the spiritual worldview found in Scripture and the writings of the Spirit of Propehcy. This worldview simply cannot peacefully work and worship alongside the worldview of postmodernism. We must accept either one or the other. We cannot have both.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  30. Justin, I don’t know your background but it is probably not very different from mine. I once believed as you believe- htat “evolution” refers only to really substantial change. But if you would sit down with real science papers (in botany, in physiology, in marine biology, in evolution, or whatever the topic) and actually read them, as I was compelled to do as a student, you would learn that scientists speak all the time of evolution in a microevolutionary sense. I know you don’t want to believe this and I know there is probably nothing I can say to convince you of this but that is the way it is.(Quote)

    Geanna,

    I do know evolutionists refer to small intra-specie “change” as evolution. However, this they do in express purpose of their attempt to postulate from it the validy of macro-evolution, which is non-existent and cannot be proven scientifically. That leap of the faith is what many of us do not buy.

    If what naturalistic/theistic evolutionists all mean by “evolution” is just and only this type of small changes within the same speices, there exists no problem. However, even you would not admit that’s the case.

    Do you honestly think what these LSU biology teachers have been teaching in their class is just the validity of this type of micro-evolution?




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  31. Whenever in a discussion I hear someone say that we need to have an open mind what they are really saying is that we should agree with them. On hair styles and the food one eats a open mind is fine, on something as important and straight forward as “in six days God Created” I’ll stick with the Bible, and risk being accused of having a closed mind.  

    You’re right on target again, Richard. The crux of secular humanistic philosophy is to be “open” to anything, so “everything” is equally valid and acceptable, at least to someone. The Bible is actually very “close minded!”




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  32. I have very child-like, simplistic faith. I am not a scientist, but I do not believe I need to be to enter this discussion. I am curious if those on this site that are promoting “evolution,” in all its various connotations, believe Ellen White was a prophetess of God. If the answer is yes, then this debate is over. Ellen White is very clear in her writings on the role of evolution in our classrooms. I am talking about the day-age theory, macro-evolution, and any other form of evolution that disregards a literal, six day creation period. Did King David not say, the Lord spoke and it stood firm? Is God so small in our minds that he is unable to breathe out stars the size of Canis Majoris and larger and make the stand firm in one day? If your answer about Ellen White is no, then respectfully I must ask, “Why are you a Seventh-day Adventist?”

    For me, I am not understanding the necessity of the debate. I believe Ellen White was a prophet of the Most High. This discussion is not about being open-minded. Liberals like to use this as a conversation stopper, as though historical Adventists are illiterate bumpkins. I may not have a degree in science, but I do hold three other degrees, and I have been taught to think, thanks to the educational system of this church. This conversation is about whether or not you are faithful to the complete, historical Adventist message. I call for all Adventists who believe in truth to not be tolerant, stand up, remain firm, and fight for God’s truth.




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  33. Geanna, I’m sorry if you took my post to be hostile. I was not meant to be. But it’s true that if I tell someone to have an open mind in a discussion I’m using that as a tool to get them to see something my way. Everyone does it.

    And I am the first to state that I believe wholeheartedly in micro-evolution. It apparently happens very fast, in fact I have seen it happen within a couple years in my yard. However micro-evolution is not an explanation for the origins of life, nor does it explain how a lizard can become a robin. I see no problem with a house cat evolving into a lion. However if you were to tell me a house cat involved into a dog I would see a problem, and so would my dog.

    I see nothing even remotely un-Biblical concerning micro evolution and it’s the only logical explanation for the flood account.

    However the evolution that is of concern on this web site and has become an issue in the church is not micro-evolution, it’s macro-evolution. Where one specie (not a biology person so don’t jump on me for wrong usage), like a fish, can become a dog over hundreds of millions of years. This is not a Biblical answer to our origins. On these and other boards considering this when someone speaks of evolution we are meaning it to be the theory of origins, macro-evolution, unless it’s stated otherwise.




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  34. @pauluc:

    I have a high degree of value for things like 2Tim 3:16-17 “ALL scripture is given by inspiration from God and is profitable for doctrine”.

    For things like 2Peter 1:20-21 “No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of ones own interpretation – holy men of old moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God”

    Numbers 12:6 “IF there is a prophet among you I will make myself known to him in a vision I shall speak to him in a dream”.

    1Cor 12 – the Gifts of the Spirit include that very thing – the gift of prophecy.

    And being a Seventh-day Adventist – I happen to believe that Ellen White was given that gift.

    When David asks Nathan for inspired advice on building the temple – Nathan pops off the answer “go for it” (paraphrasing).

    Then God updates Nathan on the correct answer. Now lets fast forward to some of today’s neo-Adventists who claim that even in that case — when Nathan comes to David with God’s “update” — that anyone who wishes can just “edit whatever Nathan says” as it pleases them because Nathan just does not know how to tell David what God just told him.

    In my opinion those people that choose to reject that case where Nathan actually is reporting what God has just said – are missing the entire doctrine on Spiritual Gifts as it relates to the gift of prophecy.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  35. @Geanna Dane:

    Geanna Dane says:
    June 17, 2010 Bob, how many ordinary run of the mill research publications do you need to see before acknowledging that evolutionists use the word “evolution” very, very often to mean change in the microevolutionary sense far, far, completely removed from any sense of “birds come from reptiles?”? How many? Give me a number please.

    They try the shell game of “evolution is change” so that they can get the idea inserted and accepted. AFter all “change happens”.

    Once in the door they put on the clown-costume and start talking about “well now we all agree that birds come from reptiles cause evolution is a fact”.

    It is wayyy too late in this dialogue to start pretending that the LSU evolutionists actually believe in a literal 7 day creation week, deny that birds come from reptiles and in fact like to call “change in fingernail length” — evolution, fully rejecting the birds-come-from-reptiles storybook.

    Surely we can agree to that set of basic points.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  36. Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    When I wrote my last post I seem to have forgotten the rule on this forum that links to other Web sites are not allowed. So if anyone is interested in the Web site where my material on Ellen White, amalgamation, and other topics may be found, please contact me directly.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson

    Links to other websites are allowed. I don’t know why you had a problem posting your link? – Sean Pitman




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  37. Dear Sean:

    I hope you’re right and I was wrong. The Web site of which I spoke is If it isn’t allowed through, someone should let me know and let others know they can contact me directly.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  38. You’re right on target again, Richard. The crux of secular humanistic philosophy is to be “open” to anything, so “everything” is equally valid and acceptable, at least to someone. The Bible is actually very “close minded!”  (Quote)

    Dr. Stone and Richard,

    Thank you. This was my point exactly! Have a blessed, joyous, and Christ-filled day. May Jesus and Him crucified be our theme!




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  39. @Geanna Dane:They try the shell game of “evolution is change” so that they can get the idea inserted and accepted. AFter all “change happens”.Once in the door they put on the clown-costume and start talking about “well now we all agree that birds come from reptiles cause evolution is a fact”.It is wayyy too late in this dialogue to start pretending that the LSU evolutionists actually believe in a literal 7 day creation week, deny that birds come from reptiles and in fact like to call “change in fingernail length” — evolution, fully rejecting the birds-come-from-reptiles storybook.Surely we can agree to that set of basic points.in Christ,Bob  

    Well stated Bob, Geanna’s bait and switch tactic regarding the “definition” of evolution is well analyzed by ID advocates. And, Geanna simply follows the evolutionary dogma of confusion of terms when discussing Darwinism.




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  40. Bob, Geraty and Wisbey, as well as the Biol Profs we have been discussing certainly believe in “creation.” Just creation over eons of time, as the “intelligent” evolutionists keep telling us!




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  41. Will there also be meetings where the professors from La Sierra will be able to present their side, in the interests of open discussion?

    Nevertheless, I will be present for at least some of the GRI’s meetings.




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  42. I asked Bob Ryan how many papers it would take to convince him that evolutionary biologists use the term “evolution” all the time in a microevolutionary sense far removed from the bigger picture of “reptiles-to-birds”. Rather than an answer, all I got was abuse.

    From Bob Ryan: Once in the door they put on the clown-costume and start talking about “well now we all agree that birds come from reptiles cause evolution is a fact”.

    From Ron Stone: Well stated Bob, Geanna’s bait and switch tactic regarding the “definition” of evolution is well analyzed by ID advocates. And, Geanna simply follows the evolutionary dogma of confusion of terms when discussing Darwinism.

    I fail to understand why the most faithful and devoted creationists resort to mockery and derision when it comes to treating fellow creationists who seek to be informed and honest. I’m accused of making things up and using the term “evolution” inappropriately, but consider the facts in my next post.




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  43. Thousands upon thousands of research articles use the word “evolution” in a microevolutionary sense. If you don’t believe me I suggest you spend some time learning facts for yourselves rather than making them up and accusing me of making inappropriate claims. Here are but a few recent examples:

    Title: ALTERNATIVE MATING STRATEGIES AND THE EVOLUTION OF SEXUAL SIZE DIMORPHISM IN THE SIDE-BLOTCHED LIZARD, UTA STANSBURIANA: A POPULATION-LEVEL COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
    Author(s): Corl A, Davis AR, Kuchta SR, et al.
    Source: EVOLUTION Volume: 64 Issue: 1 Pages: 79-96 Published: JAN 2010

    In this recent issue of the journal Evolution, “evolution” refers to how size differences between males and females have come about within a single lizard species.

    Title: Current selection for lower migratory activity will drive the evolution of residency in a migratory bird population
    Author(s): Pulido F, Berthold P
    Source: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Volume: 107 Issue: 16 Pages: 7341-7346 Published: APR 20 2010

    In this recent issue of one of the world’s premier journals, “evolution” refers to how a single population of blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) has evolved to become more stationary due to recent climate change.

    Title: THE ROLES OF LIFE-HISTORY SELECTION AND SEXUAL SELECTION IN THE ADAPTIVE EVOLUTION OF MATING BEHAVIOR IN A BEETLE
    Author(s): Maklakov AA, Cayetano L, Brooks RC, et al.
    Source: EVOLUTION Volume: 64 Issue: 5 Pages: 1273-1282 Published: MAY 2010

    This article explored how mating systems (monogamy, polygamy) influenced the evolution of age at first mating within a single species of seed beetles.

    Title: Quantifying Adaptive Evolution in the Drosophila Immune System
    Author(s): Obbard DJ, Welch JJ, Kim KW, et al.
    Source: PLOS GENETICS Volume: 5 Issue: 10 Article Number: e1000698 Published: OCT 2009

    This article describes how fruit flies have evolved an immune system that helps them survive better. The immune system genes have changed more rapidly than the rest of the genome.

    Title: The impact of clonal mixing on the evolution of social behaviour in aphids
    Author(s): Bryden J, Jansen VAA
    Source: PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES Volume: 277 Issue: 1688 Pages: 1651-1657 Published: JUN 7 2010

    This article describes how ecological factors and trade-offs between investing in social behaviour and investing in reproduction has influenced the evolution of aphid social behavior.

    Each of these articles uses the word “evolution” in the title, abstract, and elsewhere in the text in a microevolutionary sense. There is absolutely no inference to “reptiles to birds” or other high level types of change. If you guys insist that I am using “evolution” improperly, the burden of proof now shifts to you.

    By the way, I’m posting these messages for Geanna Dane. Sorry about the confusion.

    The issue isn’t over if mainstream scientists use the term “evolution” to describe changes in allelic frequencies which would be better described by the term “Mendelian variation”. This is done all the time. Darwin’s own observations of evolution in action were largely descriptions of Mendelian variation as well within the same gene pool of pre-established functional options.

    The real disagreement between creationists and evolutionists isn’t over the multitude definitions of “species” that are used quite subjectively by various scientists, but over the level of qualitative functional change that can be realized by a gene pool itself over time.

    So, all your arguments regarding the use of “species evolution” that are not based on qualitatively novel functional changes to the underlying gene pool of options are simply irrelevant to the creation/evolution debate…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  44. GRI was not designed to be like CRS and AiG, so don’t go blaming them for not being like them. They have been faithful to what they were set up to be. But do need something like CRS and Aig. Perhaps it needs to be grassroots.




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  45. The word evolution is used with several meanings; 1: simple change (which no creationist would have a problem with), 2: ordinary genetic variation (again which no creationist has a problem with), and 3: The development of all life forms from a single source over millions of years (which creationists have a big problem with). This is complicated by the fact that evolutionists don’t recognize any distinction. To them, evolution (simple change) is evolution (genetic variation) is evolution (Goo to you by way of the zoo). And they think that when creationists reject evolution (Goo to you by way of the zoo) then we reject all evolution (including simple change and genetic variation). As a result, they are clueless about what creationists really think. Also, evolutionists believe that the obvious truth of evolution (simple change) and evolution (genetic variation) prove beyond doubt evolution (Goo to you by way of the Zoo). They fail to recognize the HUGE difference between evolution (simple change) or evolution (genetic variation) with evolution (goo to you by way of the zoo), which is, in reality, a blind-faith belief (evolutionism) based on the religious philosophy Naturalism.




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  46. That’s a good, thoughtful and useful set of distinctions that helps to take the discussion forward. The language partly obscures a really good point: when evolutionists use the language in this way, they’re not doing it to be devious and hoodwink people. They’re doing it because that’s how they see it – as all one unified process happening at a number of scales of size and time.

    The challenge for creationists, of course, is to propose a compelling argument for why the commonsense notion that many small changes accumulating over a long period would not result in large changes.




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  47. @Allen Roy:

    The word evolution is used with several meanings; 1: simple change (which no creationist would have a problem with), 2: ordinary genetic variation (again which no creationist has a problem with), and 3: The development of all life forms from a single source over millions of years (which creationists have a big problem with). This is complicated by the fact that evolutionists don’t recognize any distinction. To them, evolution (simple change) is evolution (genetic variation) is evolution (Goo to you by way of the zoo). And they think that when creationists reject evolution (Goo to you by way of the zoo) then we reject all evolution (including simple change and genetic variation).

    It gets back to the shell game nature of this particular argument for evolutionism. They want to hide evolutionism under all three of those shells at the same time. Then when the Creationist objects to the “birds come from reptiles” shell – the evolutionist wants to “pretend” not to know what problem the creationist is addressing – and to then switch to the “evolutionism is only change” shell. (hint: Change also includes nails rusting and fingernails growing but evolutionists don’t want to use that kind of “change” as evolution when they say “evolution is change”. Funny out that works out.).

    As a result, they are clueless about what creationists really think.

    You give them too much credit when you say they are clueless on that point. They know exactly which shell the creationist is complaining about – and which one they are not complaining about. But the classic “playbook” of the evolutionist calls for them to “pretend” that they think creationists “object to change”. It helps them to make such pretenses when the goal is to hold creationists up to ridicule.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  48. I guess we’re all agreed now. Scientists use the word “evolution” on a day-to-day basis for all aspects of change, including microevolutionary change.




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  49. @BobRyan:

    To the question that I did not ask you have given some excellent answers with which I happen to agree. The question however was on inerrancy of the writings of Ellen White and the statements on amalgamation. Could you give a simple yes no answer to question I actually asked. Ie

    Do you believe in the inerrancy of the writings of Ellen White in the same way as you believe in fundamental of biblical inerrancy?

    I you answer yes then you can consider the supplementary question on amalgamation. ie
    What do you think of the amalgamation statements by EG White. According to Tim Standish’s public presentation and I have no reason to doubt him on this, if interpreted, as would her contemporaries, in the context of what was being written at that time then she was likely saying that the black races may well represent degenerate products of the amalgamation of man and beast.

    If perchance you are not familiar with this look at the White estate web site
    http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/amalg.html




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  50. @BobRyan: .

    To make it easy to answer the questions. This is the statement from spiritual gifts

    “But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere.” -Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 64, 1864.

    “Every species of animal which God had created, were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood. Since the flood there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the endless varieties of species of animals and certain races of men.”- Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p.75, 1864.

    And the original defence of it by Uriah Smith endorsed by both Ellen White and James White.

    “The visions teach, says the objector, that the negro race is not human. We deny it. They do not so teach. Mark the language: ” Since the flood there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men.” This view was given for the purpose of illustrating the deep corruption and crime into which the race fell, even within a few years after the flood that signal manifestation of God’s wrath against human wickedness. There was amalgamation; and the effect is still visible in certain races of men.” Mark, those excepting the animals upon whom the effects of this work are visible, are called by the vision, “men.” Now we have ever supposed that anybody that was called a man, was considered a human being. The vision speaks of all these classes as races of men; yet in the face of this plain declaration, they foolishly assert that the visions teach that some men are not human beings! But does any one deny the general statement contained in the extract given above? They do not. If they did, they could easily be silenced by a reference to such cases as the wild Bushmen of Africa, some tribes of the Hottentots, and perhaps the Digger Indians of our own country, &c. Moreover, naturalists affirm that the line of demarkation between the human and animal races is lost in confusion. It is impossible, as they affirm, to tell just where the human ends and the animal begins. Can we suppose that this was so ordained of God in the beginning? Rather has not sin marred the boundaries of these two kingdoms? But, says the objector, Paul says that ” God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth,” and then they add, ” Which shall we believe, Paul or E. G. White ?” You need not disbelieve E. G. White, in order to believe Paul; for there is no contradiction between them. Paul’s language will apply to all classes of men who have any of the original Adamic blood in their veins; and that there are any who have not this, is not taught by the visions, nor claimed by any one. But for this text to weigh anything in favor of the objector, he must take the ground that God made every particle of blood that exists, in any human being. Is this so? Then God made all the scrofulous, leprous, or syphilitic blood that courses in the worst transgressor’s veins! From any view which leads, to such a blasphemous conclusion, we prefer to be excused.

    But what has the ancient sin of amalgamation to do with any race or people at the present time? Are they in any way responsible, or to be held accountable for it ? Not at all. Has any one a right to try to use it to their prejudice? By no means. The fact is mentioned simply to show how soon men relapsed into wickedness, and to what a degree. But we are to take all races and peoples as we find them. And those who manifest sufficient powers of mind to show that they are moral and accountable beings, are of course to be esteemed as objects of regard and philanthropic effort. We are bound to labor, so far as in our power, for the improvement of their mental, moral and physical condition. Whatever race of men we may take, Bushmen, Hottentots, Patagonians, or any class of people, however low they may apparently be in the scale of humanity, their mental capabilities are in every instance the basis on which we are to work, and by which we determine whether they are subjects of moral government or not. Then what about all this ado over the charge, which is itself false, that the visions teach that the negro is not a human being? What does it amount to? It is simply an effort to create prejudice in the minds of the people, unworthy any one who makes any pretensions to being a Christian, or even a gentleman.”-Uriah Smith, THE VISIONS OF MRS. E. G. WHITE, A MANIFESTATION Of SPIRITUAL GIFTS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, pp.102-105, 1868.

    I particularly like the statement about where man starts and animal ends. Is this not relevant to the argument that has been carried on on this thread about the nature of species?




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  51. Roy Allen wrote a delightful explanation of evolutionary reasoning including this: “As a result, they are clueless about what creationists really think.”

    Of course they are. Creationists invent their own terms and language regarding evolutionary change and then accuse evolutionists of misapplying them. When an Englishman asks me for a pram, a plaster, or a nappy, he will quickly see that I am clueless. I have no idea that he is asking for a baby carriage, a band-aid or a diaper respectively. Sadly creationists are equally clueless about what evolutionists really think. Many of you have told me repeatedly and with conviction that I have been using the word “evolution” wrong- and I just proved to you from the literature that you folks are the ones who are wrong. At least some of you have now come around on that point which shows some integrity.

    Bob Ryan wrote: “They want to hide evolutionism under all three of those shells at the same time.”

    Evolutionists hide nothing about their views. They make no apologies about what they believe. The reality is that creationists fear there is evolution hidden under every umbrella because they fear the very word itself and fail to understand or appreciate the concept.




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  52. Dear Pauluc:

    There is no written evidence that I have seen which indicates Ellen White’s endorsement of this statement by Uriah Smith regarding amalgamation and the “certain races of men” Ellen White speaks of. Ellen White gives no specifics here, because it wouldn’t accomplish anything to do so.

    Again I urge you and anyone else in this discussion to contact me privately for Web information regarding the material I have written in defense of Ellen White and in opposition to her critics. I tried putting the Web site address on this site a second time, but was unable to. Just contact me privately, if you are interested, and I will send you the information.

    Regarding your question to Bob Ryan about whether Ellen White’s writings are as inerrant as the Bible, I would urge you to consider the reality that God does not have junior prophets. The Bible makes no distinction between prophets whose writings were later canonized and those which were not. Deborah, Nathan, Elijah, and John the Baptist were every bit as authoritative as Moses, Isaiah, and the apostle Paul. The Bible offers no contrary evidence.

    God bless1

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  53. As I have reviewed this stream of messages, I have felt rather uncomfortable with the personal nature that some of them seem to take. Most participants to the discussion have strongly held views, and that is to be expected, but a number of these messages seem to be emotive statements of the “you-just-don’t-understand-what-I-am-saying” type.

    Many years ago while preparing for doctoral research, I received some very valuable advice from my research methods instructor. “Don’t ever assume”, he exclaimed one day, “that the reader of your research will know how you are defining your terms. Be sure that at the beginning of your report, paper, or dissertation, you clearly and precisely define each of your significant terms, and then consistently use those definitions throughout your paper.”

    May I humbly suggest that if we would follow that advice each time we make comments on this website we might significantly enhance the communication process, diminish or eliminate misunderstandings and, hopefully, facilitate speaking more respectfully to one another. Instead of interpretation by inference, followed by the berating of one another for perceived misuse of terms, we could engage in a true dialog of ideas.

    There is nothing in this method that guarantees agreement on the issues–that is highly unlikely to happen unless we could all agree to start with the same presuppositions–but I believe it would lead to the generation of more light and far less heat.




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  54. @Kevin Paulson:

    You response was a little cryptic but I am interpreting you as saying that all prophets are equally inspired and that there is no distinction between canonical and non-canonical inspired writers such as Ellen white.

    You did not actually commit on the issue of inerrancy of the bible or EG White. Biblical inerrancy is the position taken by the fundamentalist movement in the early part of last century and posits that the bible in its original autographs is without error. I am assuming that this is the position that most on this website will assume and I suspect you would also fall into that group and extend this inerrancy to the writings of Ellen White.

    I agree with you on the issue of Ellen White and the bible writers in that there is no difference between the inspiration but I suspect I differ from you in that I take the Adventist position that the writers of the bible and Ellen White were all inspired by the spirit of God to write but in doing so they wrote in their own language and context and were not compelled to generate an inerrant text.

    In the case of the amalgamation statements they seem to have been dropped from Patriachs and Prophets a surprising eventuality if indeed this was the sin above all others that lead to the destruction of the earth in the flood as she wrote in SG. Rules of logic would suggest that she was either in error in including it in SG or was in error in omitting such an important issue from P&P.

    I do not have any problem with these statements as I suspect she like her contemporaries realized over the years that the whole concept was racist and incorrect and she simply decided to let sleeping dogs lie. Sound advice and a good paradigm for the protagonists at this site who are bent on the destruction of scientists at Adventist educational institutions.




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  55. @Professor Kent:

    evolutionary biologists use the term “evolution” all the time in a microevolutionary sense far removed from the bigger picture of “reptiles-to-birds”.

    Hint: The fiction that evolutionists never argue that evolution is the mechanism by which they imagine that birds came from reptiles — “needs some work”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  56. @BobRyan:

    Geanna Dane says:
    June 17, 2010 Bob, how many ordinary run of the mill research publications do you need to see before acknowledging that evolutionists use the word “evolution” very, very often to mean change in the microevolutionary sense far, far, completely removed from any sense of “birds come from reptiles?”? How many? Give me a number please.

    Bob replies

    They try the shell game of “evolution is change” so that they can get the idea inserted and accepted. AFter all “change happens”.

    Once in the door they put on the clown-costume and start talking about “well now we all agree that birds come from reptiles cause evolution is a fact”.

    It is wayyy too late in this dialogue to start pretending that the LSU evolutionists actually believe in a literal 7 day creation week, deny that birds come from reptiles and in fact like to call “change in fingernail length” — evolution, fully rejecting the birds-come-from-reptiles storybook.

    Surely we can agree to that set of basic points.

    The salient point being that while the Bible supports varation within a static genome (in terms of coding genes inside the genome itself) and so we have no problems with the “existence” of chihuahua’s and Irish Wolf hounds, the key point of difference in evolution vs creation is the by-faith-alone argument of evolutionism of the form “birds come from reptiles” or “whales come from Elephants” or horses come from the tree dwelling hyrax or .. .”take your pick”.

    Geanna said:

    I guess we’re all agreed now. Scientists use the word “evolution” on a day-to-day basis for all aspects of change, including microevolutionary change.  (Quote)

    Indeed – shell game “noted”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  57. When confronted with inspired statements such as “SIX days you shall labor… for in SIX days the LORD MADE…” Ex 20:11

    Or with the 3SG 90-91 statements about the earth created in 6 days and the first week in eden being the first week for mankind, and theistic evolution being the worst form of infidelity … we might get a response like the one below.

    @pauluc:

    To make it easy to answer the questions. This is the statement from spiritual gifts
    “But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere.” -Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 64, 1864.

    “Every species of animal which God had created, were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood. Since the flood there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the endless varieties of species of animals and certain races of men.”- Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p.75, 1864.


    Is this not relevant to the argument that has been carried on on this thread about the nature of species?

    Turns out – there is a big chunk of Dan 11 and Rev 6 that is a mystery – shall we throw out the Word of God every time we find something in it for which we do not have all the answers? Is that what you see as the Protestant principle of testing all doctrine “sola scriptura” or are you simply wandering off on a tangent and then supposed this might be an answer to Ex 20:8-11 or 3SG 90-91?

    Inquiring minds would like to know.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  58. Dear Pauluc:

    My position on the inerrancy of Scripture and the writings of Ellen White is the same as Ellen White’s herself. I believe in conceptual and not verbal inspiration. “The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen” (1SM 19). This is not the same as the verbal inspiration taught by popular Christian fundamentalism.

    Peripheral errors, like the Biblical discrepancy over how many of Jacob’s family moved to Egypt (Gen. 46:27; Acts 7:14) or the difference in Ellen White’s account of which bell tolled to signal the start of the St. Bartholomew Massacre (a difference reflected in successive editions of The Great Controversy), are acknowledged by all informed conservative Adventists. If, however, one is prepared to discount as errant such statements as the ones about short-age creationism, the universality of the Flood, even the amalgamation one you seem to hold as erroneous, then we are questioning God’s revelation.

    I flatly reject any notion that Ellen White’s amalgamation statements were racist, or that there is anything sinister or below-board in the fact that these statements do not occur in Patriarchs and Prophets. Perhaps Ellen White, working under divine inspiration, recognized that certain statements–if repeated too often–would generate distracting controversy. This hardly means she was retracting them or admitting error. The bottom line is that at no point does she ever identify any race of humanity as less than human, or that such a race of humans should be treated as second class. Regardless of the history of the various races of humanity, concerning which this is the ONLY statement in her writings, Ellen White’s record on race relations is a sterling one–stellar and principled far in advance of the conservative evangelicals who have decried hers and her church’s theology as “legalistic.”

    I am not saying Adventists have a perfect track record on racial issues. Most assuredly we do not. But our record (which includes support for abolition, a very radical stance in its day) is far supeerior to that of the vast majority of conservative Protestants who have routinely denounced the Seventh-day Adventist faith.

    One final thought on the amalgamation issue. The idea that crossing animals with humans is somehow scientifically preposterous has been debunked in recent years by such scholars as Jeremy Rifkin, in his book The Biotech Century, buttressed by a number of reports in the mainstream media on various advances in cloning technology. This is not science fiction, nor is it in any way laughable. If people today can make such strides in tampering with the basics of biology, what could be said of those of vastly greater intelligence, but a scant few centuries from the tree of life? It was our Lord, after all, who said that the days of Noah would be comparable to those just prior to His return (Luke 17:26).

    Those dismissing and scoffing at various Ellen White statements, on this and many other topics, would do well to hold their laughter. The last laugh may well be on them.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  59. @pauluc:

    To the question that I did not ask you have given some excellent answers with which I happen to agree. The question however was on inerrancy of the writings of Ellen White and the statements on amalgamation. Could you give a simple yes no answer to question I actually asked. Ie

    Do you believe in the inerrancy of the writings of Ellen White in the same way as you believe in fundamental of biblical inerrancy?

    Your question reveals a certain lack regarding the doctrine of inspiration. (I think there was a quarterly on this topic recently).

    2Tim 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration from God and is profitable for doctrine”.

    2Peter 1:20-21 “No prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation. Holy men of old moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God”.

    To the extent that Ellen White’s writings are a report of what God told her – and they pass the test of scripture – they are inspired of God.

    So if you think that sometimes God lies when he talks to Ellen White – but he always tells the truth when speaking to a Bible author – then my conclusion is that you are mistaken.

    If you think that sometimes when Ellen White says “God told me…” and then gives a statement – that she is really lying — and other times she is correct, then you think she is a false prophet – and are in fact asking me if I agree with your position. in that case I do not agree with you.

    If you think that we are to reject the Bible writers such as John until we fully understand Rev 6 or 8 or 9, or that we reject Daniel until we fully understand Daniel 11 – then again – you are mistaken.

    [quote]
    I you answer yes then you can consider the supplementary question on amalgamation. ie
    What do you think of the amalgamation statements by EG White.
    [/quote]

    I think it is inspired and the chimerah projects going on today – are a sign that the world is soon to end.

    Animal Farm: The recombination of man and beast.
    By William Saletan
    Posted Friday, June 22, 2007, at 6:31 PM ET

    http://www.slate.com/id/2168932/

    A news article from

    MEDICAL NEWS TODAY: May 2007

    Britain To Go Ahead With Human-Animal Embryos For Research
    Featured Article
    Main Category: Stem Cell Research
    Also Included In: Huntingtons Disease; Parkinson’s Disease
    Article Date: 18 May 2007 – 0:00 PDT

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/71376.php

    The British government published its draft bill to overhaul the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act this week and it differs from the White Paper introduced late last year in that research using part human part animal embryos is to be allowed after all.

    Some news reports are saying this is a major shift by government ministers after the angry reaction to the White Paper from scientists, MPs and patient groups that banning such research would impede medical breakthroughs.

    A spokesperson denies this is a U-turn on the part of the government and that while the original stance had been one of prohibition, a door had been left open to allow such research on a case by case basis.

    The government was criticized for its opposition to the research by a powerful lobby of scientists backed by Sir David King, the Chief Science Adviser to the government, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

    According to the Department of Health, the new bill, called the Human Tissue and Embryos Bill is intended to “ensure that the law remains effective and fit for purpose in the early 21st century and that it will take account of the latest scientific developments and changing public opinion”.

    The bill covers a number of areas, including research using three types of human-animal embryo:

    Cytoplasmic embryo or cybrid: where a human cell is inserted into an animal’s egg that has been stripped of nearly all its nuclear DNA. The embryo would be 99.9 per cent human and 0.1 per cent animal.
    Human-animal chimera: where animal cells are introduced into human embryos.

    True human-animal hybrids: where a human egg is fertilized by animal sperm or vice versa.

    The new bill will allow research to use cybrids and chimera, but not the true human-animal hybrids. If passed, the law will require all such embryos to be destroyed after 14 days; and under no circumstances would it be legal to implant them into a womb.

    Animal-Human Hybrids Spark ControversyMaryann Mott
    National Geographic News

    January 25, 2005
    Scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal by producing chimeras—a hybrid creature that’s part human, part animal.

    Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University in 2003 successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs. The embryos were reportedly the first human-animal chimeras successfully created. They were allowed to develop for several days in a laboratory dish before the scientists destroyed the embryos to harvest their stem cells.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/01/0125_050125_chimeras.html

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  60. I would love to respond the questions raised by Bob. If you look at Ellen White’s statement on amalgamation, she never said that the Africans came into existence as the result of amalgamation of humans with animals. She simply stated that amalgamation post-flood was responsible for the presence of “certain races of men.” Why is it that people automatically assume that she was referring to Africans and people of African descent in that statement? She was not a racist but, in my opinion, those who leap to this assumption (that she was referring specifically to Blacks) may have their own issues in accepting racial equality.

    To question the full humanity of people of African descent was useful back in the days when White Christians were looking for ways to excuse themselves for participating in the business of the slave trade. But fortunately we are now living in an age were “knowledge has increased” so to speak. For instance, I would refer anyone interested to check out http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/291798 where on May 10, 2010 a study is reported that reviews how an international team of scientists have successfully sequenced the neanderthal genome and the evidence shows that humans in Europe and Asia carry Neanderthal genes while African people are “100 percent human.” And I think it safe to say that genetic scientists agree that Africans are the most ethnically pure group and other races are more genetically diverse than the Africans from whom they seem to have come.

    I believe that Ellen White’s statements about amalgamation POST-FLOOD were meant to teach us how different racial or ethnic groups came into existence. My take on what she says is that people who tended to look more like each other married and produced offspring and so genetic material was strengthened in different ways in these different parent groups, thus giving rise to the hugely varied skin colors, eye colors, hair textures and body morphologies that we see today (after all there were only 8 people on the ark, right?). Really, DNA has proven that there really are no true, distinct racial variations between populations. Ethnic distinctions, of course, are more superficial and variable (please refer to the race section of Wikipedia for more info if you like).

    It is very true that scientists can now create organisms that are a mixture of different species (they are called chimera) and the techniques used to create them are largely high tech. If we interpret Mrs. White’s statement of amalgamation PRE-FLOOD to mean the intermingling of human genes with animal genes then yes, I can see how that would be possible as she describes the antedeluvians as being very advanced scientifically. And perhaps this intermingling explains some of the fossils that have been found that seem to somewhat but not fully human. But remember she also states that only those species created by God entered into the ark. Only now has mankind regained enough scientific knowledge to create chimeras- it simply was not doable in the laboratory until the most recent decades.

    So please, can we put to rest this amazingly incorrect, unfounded idea that Ellen White thought Africans were the descendants of some type of animal/human combination??

    Even Uriah Smith’s comments do not include any statement that Africans or “negros” were the result of amalgamation. Now, Smith is in no way a prophet, so we can ignore his erroneous suggestions about how certain ethnic groups came into existence.

    Speaking as a physician-scientist and as an Ellen G. White-believing, six-day-creation-accepting African American Seventh-day Adventist, let’s move on!




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  61. @BobRyan: Geanna said:

    I guess we’re all agreed now. Scientists use the word “evolution” on a day-to-day basis for all aspects of change, including microevolutionary change.

    Indeed – shell game “noted”.in Christ,Bob  (Quote)

    Exactly the smug response I expected.




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  62. @Kevin Paulson:

    My position on the inerrancy of Scripture and the writings of Ellen White is the same as Ellen White’s herself. I believe in conceptual and not verbal inspiration. “The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen” (1SM 19). This is not the same as the verbal inspiration taught by popular Christian fundamentalism.

    Indeed I agree entirely and consistent with that view would see Genesis 1 and 2 as “conceptually inspiration” and subject to interpretation.

    I do not see how you can believe the above and yet aggressively condemn those creationists with expertise in biology who are trying to reconcile the 2 accounts of origins in genesis with the body of knowledge that is modern science.




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  63. @Geanna Dane:

    Many of you have told me repeatedly and with conviction that I have been using the word “evolution” wrong- and I just proved to you from the literature that you folks are the ones who are wrong. At least some of you have now come around on that point which shows some integrity.

    You don’t use the word “evolution” wrong per se – since this word is often used so generally as to be pretty much meaningless. It is just that when you are in a discussion regarding the basic disagreement between creationists and evolutionists, your use of the word “evolution” is not meaningful and therefore not effective in contributing something substantive to the discussion because you do not qualify what type of “evolution” you’re talking about.

    Not all types of “change over time” are of the same quality. Creationists have no problem with some types of “evolution” or “change over time”. Creationists only have a problem with evolutionists proposing that these changes can produce high qualitative levels of functional complexity in just a few billion years (when trillions upon trillions of years wouldn’t be nearly enough time).

    And, your notion that “speciation” (as it is often defined without reference to qualitative functional differences) is equivalent to the creationist idea of “macroevolution” just isn’t so.

    Therefore, it would be very helpful if you would qualify your use of the word “evolution” so that people would know what type of “change over time” you’re talking about…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  64. @BobRyan:

    “So if you think that sometimes God lies when he talks to Ellen White – but he always tells the truth when speaking to a Bible author – then my conclusion is that you are mistaken.

    If you think that sometimes when Ellen White says “God told me…” and then gives a statement – that she is really lying — and other times she is correct, then you think she is a false prophet – and are in fact asking me if I agree with your position. in that case I do not agree with you.”

    I truly cannot understand why you must insist that any communication of error must have some sinister motive or be a lie. Your words like Kevin Paulson are in constrast to your evident understanding of the process of communication. You seem to talk of conceptual inspiration but you really seem to be communicating verbal inspiration and biblical inerrancy.

    I suggest that the communication of God with man is similar to human communication in that we as humans bring to this conversation certain suppositions and biases. It is never a communication with 100% fidelity. How do you think the words of God got onto paper through her pen? She was shown a vision or a dream. How do you understand a dream? Surely there is some level of interpretation even in the understanding of the images or dialogue. If she was in error it was not because God lied to her but because she did not understand the significance or interpret it correctly. How can you read Daniel and not appreciate that dreams and visions are anything but cryptic messages from God. Why do we allow that she was human and yet pretend that she were infallable and inerrant and that to suggest otherwise is to call her or God a liar.

    I believe in the power of parables and allegory and have a nuanced view of truth that allows for factual error or errors in interpretation that does not negate the truth.




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  65. @pauluc:

    My position on the inerrancy of Scripture and the writings of Ellen White is the same as Ellen White’s herself. I believe in conceptual and not verbal inspiration. “The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen” (1SM 19). This is not the same as the verbal inspiration taught by popular Christian fundamentalism.

    It is very clear from the writings of Mrs. White that she claimed to have been given much more than mere conceptual inspiration by God. She claims to have been shown, very directly in vision, true historical and future events as they really did or will occur. She claims to have been shown the literal creation week as it occurred over 7 literal days – the same as the days we now experience. It is very hard to get that wrong. Either she was lying about her visions or God was lying to her by giving her such clear yet false visions of reality. She also claims to have seen, in vision, Adam and Eve and their Fall and expulsion from the Garden of Eden. She claims to have been shown the Noachian Flood and the resulting world-wide devastation… etc.

    Now, either she is lying or she is telling the truth. You can’t deny her own claims and how she interpreted her own visions and yet accept her as a true messenger of God. It just doesn’t work like that. The very same thing is true of the SDA view of biblical inspiration. The SDA Church, as an organized body, does not recognize conflicting Genesis narratives, but complimentary narratives.

    You may disagree if you wish, but don’t expect to get paid for your views by the SDA Church. It simply is dishonest to think to take a paycheck from the Church while going around publicly undermining what the Church considers to be a Pillar of Faith on the Church’s dime…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  66. @cathy:

    I agree entirely. I believe that Ellen White was a very sensible Godly woman who while never actively contradicting Uriah Smith racist statements of which she could not possibly have been unaware nonetheless came to appreciate that her views on amalgamation were incorrect just as her ideas on the shut door had been incorrect and simply no longer spoke or wrote of them.

    The point in rehashing all this is to appreciate that Adventism is whether we like it or not a progressive religion. We have been wrong in the past and we will likely be wrong in the future but we are striving to understand and grow in a knowledge of God. From early in our history we have had a concept of “present truth” and “new light”. We as a church community grew out of a great error. The great disappointment. We have evolved in our understanding of Gods message and our response to it. We have accepted we have no creed but the bible precisely because we believe we must be the people to bring the message of Grace to a modern changing world and must every rely on the God and not our institutional interpretation.

    What we have now however is people within the church of a fundamentalist bent who would say we have all the pillars lined up. We cannot move even one. We have the truth, We have never ever been in error. We have the correct understanding of scripture and there can be no other. There is nothing new to learn or to change. To assume this position is to deny our history as a movement and as a denomination. It is to deny our vitality and the ever present spirit of God that is to lead into all truth.




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  67. @Sean Pitman:

    Sean you pretend it is all so clear. Direct from God. Perhaps you should read how she changed her views on the shut door.

    http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/shutdoor.html

    At every point her first vision was subject to interpretation and indeed it is suggested that her recounting of events leading to rejection of the shutdoor is selective.

    I would never suggest that she was lying but merely that she was human and fallible.

    Sean. Lets be real. You project an image of an iconoclast. Even discounting the postulates of TLE and conversion disorder there is reason to be sceptical that everytime she writes “I was shown” that she was refering to direct communication in a vision. You have medical training and know that REM sleep is almost invariably part of life and likely was part of the life of EG White. How did she know what was the recounting and rehearsing of events related to her life and writing in REM sleep and what was direct from God? Could she have ever mixed them up? She herself counselled against on basing anything on her writings alone. The bible was her guide and is the only basis of our life and conduct.

    What you are suggesting above as from the throne of God via Ellen White was the common views of her times. Have you not read Great controversy and Miltons Paradise lost? Much of what she says on origins is simply a reflection of these common views.

    There is no way that Mrs. White herself would agree with your view of her particular type of inspiration and revelation. Do you know better than she did how to view her visions? Please. Why not actually read what she said about her “shut door” vision? Why not read what she actually says about her visions on a literal creation week? If she couldn’t tell the difference between a vivid dream from her own mind and a vision from God, what’s the point in even suggesting that she was at all inspired by God? – when everything could have been simpy a bunch of dreams? God just doesn’t work that way…

    Come on now. Either you accept her as a prophet of God or you don’t. You can’t have it both ways…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  68. @pauluc:

    Pauluc: Just last year I published a 600 page book, entitled “Dinosaurs–An Adventist View” available for sale at Amazon.com and at your local ABC, that is largely an exploration of the amalgamation statements. I would encourage you to pick up a copy and read it thoroughly with an open mind.

    Ellen White clearly taught that there were two classes of animals in existence at the Flood: (1) those that God created, and (2) those that God did not create, that were the result of amalgamation, amalgamation being the main reason God was forced to bring the Flood. Those anaimals that God created were preserved in the Ark, whereas the amalgamated creatures were destroyed in the Flood.

    The fossil record confirms Ellen White in detail: there are many creatures that apparently existed before the Flood which do not now exist and never existed at any time following the Flood. These include the dinosaurs, the extinct marine reptiles, the extinct flying reptiles and the mammal-like reptiles. Moreover, these animals partake of a very obviously “amalgamated” character; mammal-like reptiles being combinations of mammals and reptiles and dinosaurs being combinations of several classes, most prominently birds and reptiles. Far from being evidence of Ellen White’s fallibility, the amalgamation statements are a stunning confirmation of her prophetic inspiration.

    It is important to understand that “amalgamation” is not a technical term, nor is it a term unique to the sin of the antediluvians. Ellen White speaks of Satan’s methods of amalgamation being what introduced tares and noxious weeds into nature. Likewise, regarding post-Flood amalgamation, Ellen White didn’t say that anyone did it, rather “there has been” amalgamation since the Flood. The only thing in common these three usages have is that they all apparently involve genetic manipulation or change. Please keep in mind that she was writing before DNA was discovered and almost a century before it was determined that DNA carries the genetic information, and that plants and animals can be designed and engineered by manipulation of their DNA.

    As Kevin Paulson and Cathy have indicated above, Ellen White never endorsed Uriah Smith’s view that living races were the result of a combination of humans and animals. But I believe it was precisely because the amalgamation statements were being used to support crackpot racist theories that Ellen White avoided using the term “amalgamation” in Patriarchs and Prophets. I do not think she abandoned the concept revealed to her, however, because she uses language in Great Controversy that is almost identical to that used in Spiritual Gifts. In Spiritual Gifts she wrote:

    “But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere.”

    In GC, p. 664, she wrote that the antediluvians “evil inventions, defiling the earth and defacing the image of God, caused Him to blot them from the face of His creation.”

    She clearly did not abandon the concept that the antediluvians brought the Flood on themselves by an evil invention that defaced the image of God.




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  69. @pauluc:
    Pauluc, I’d also be interested to know at what public presentation Tim Standish opined that Ellen White believed that some races of men were the result of human/animal combinations. I’m very skeptical that Tim Standish said any such thing, especially since you wrongly asserted that Ellen White endorsed Uriah Smith’s views on amalgamation.




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  70. I just wanted to add to my message above that while I did provide science journal references, I view that material from a Creationist point of view and so in no way meant to endorse any unproven, evolution-based theories that might be referred to in the references. thanks.




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  71. Biblical inerrancy is the position taken by the fundamentalist movement in the early part of last century and posits that the bible in its original autographs is without error. I am assuming that this is the position that most on this website will assume and I suspect you would also fall into that group and extend this inerrancy to the writings of Ellen White.

    Pauluc,
    You do greatly err in this inerrancy assumption. The major proponents on this site are seeking to uphold the orthodox positions upheld by the worldwide church, defined and articulated more thoroughly for decades, and expressed clearly from the churches infancy. The church does not believe in inerrancy and neither do the persons on this site. For you to make such a antiquated straw-man assumption means that you are poorly informed on this subject and have probably been listening more to progressive adventist attacks on orthodox Adventism than the well-honed Biblical theology of the church itself. I suggest you do some relevant reading to get up to speed on the issues of revelation and inspiration – as well as the most substantive answers to Ellen Whites critics (whose worn out attacks you wish to rehearse). see: “Ellen White Under Fire” and:
    ellenwhiteanswers.org




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  72. @David Read:

    Faith and science conference 2009, Avondale college, Australia. 0900 Sunday 8th February.

    “When prophets say strange things: Ellen White and the “Amalgamation” statements”.

    I do not have the transcript of the talk but you may be able to get it from Tim. I certainly am open to correction but as I recall he canvassed a number of possibilities including chimerism, interracial marriage and pollution theories. He concluded that we may never know what she really meant but it was clear from his talk that he did accept that at the time she was likely aware of the statements of Uriah Smith, and the contemporary use of the term. She never wrote anything in her defence or correcting his view which I would certainly see as racist when judged from our contemporary views. I do not think she was racist but I do certainly believe she was a product of her times and we are free to make a judgement just as we make a judgement on the concept of merciful genocide.




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  73. Dear Pauluc:

    Your statements about Ellen White’s alleged errancy, regarding science as well as her first vision and the shut door, have all been carefully refuted by research. For some reason I don’t seem to be able to state on this forum the Web address where I have written material on this subject. Just do a Google search with the names Kevin Paulson and Graeme Bradford, and you’ll find the material of which I speak.

    Sean may have misunderstood me when I spoke of conceptual inspiration. When I speak of conceptual versus verbal inspiration, I mean every concept and lifestyle standard found in inspired writings was dictated by the Lord–as opposed to each individual word. To try to explain the Genesis creation story as involving long ages of time as opposed to literal days, is not to endorse conceptual inspiration, but to dispute the very concept Scripture is declaring. The days of creation, as recounted in Genesis, are literal, 24-hour periods, which is why the terms “evening” and “morning” are used. This is not symbolic language or poetic literature, subject to varied interpretations. These are, by contrast, literal statements of historical fact. Which is where the basis of Sabbath observance is found. The Sabbath loses all meaning if these days are seen as symbolic of long ages. Not to mention the fact that no one has yet explained what the Bible should be read as saying concerning the Sabbath if these days are viewed as symbolic. When in fact did God rest, according to this theory? According to most theistic evolutionists, including liberal Adventists of this bent, they believe God has never stopped creating. So the idea of rest at any time following a completed creation is totally out of the question.

    It is quite clear to me and to others on this forum that your view, not only of Ellen White but of Scripture itself, is extremely liberal. Your statement about “merciful genocide” would clearly imply this. As Christians we have no right to judge God’s Word on the basis of human standards. It is God’s Word that judges us, not the other way around. This is the big problem with the various departures from our pillar doctrines now circulating among us. These revisionist views, which you seem to be willing to accept, leave us without a transcendent measure of right and wrong. And without such a measure, not only is Adventism doomed, so is the Christian religion itself.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  74. @Victor Marshall: @Victor Marshall:

    I am not sure you have reviewed the comments on this website recently else you may not be so convinced that there is universal support for conceptual inspiration in practice.

    Take from example one of the more prolific writers here Sean Pitman who writes;

    “It is very clear from the writings of Mrs. White that she claimed to have been given much more than mere conceptual inspiration by God. She claims to have been shown, very directly in vision, true historical and future events as they really did or will occur. She claims to have been shown the literal creation week as it occurred over 7 literal days – the same as the days we now experience. It is very hard to get that wrong. Either she was lying about her visions or God was lying to her by giving her such clear yet false visions of reality. She also claims to have seen, in vision, Adam and Eve and their Fall and expulsion from the Garden of Eden. She claims to have been shown the Noachian Flood and the resulting world-wide devastation… etc. ”

    Couple this with his expressed view that anyone who does not believe in a scenario of 7 day 24 hours, 6000 years ago is dishonest and should be expelled from educational insitutions and from church employ if not from membership and I think any reasonable person would have to conclude that literalism if not an acceptance of inerrancy of the bible and the writings of Ellen White is well entrenched on this site.

    Many the writers on this site are good honest people struggling valiantly to avoid change or standing back and taking an honest appraisal of the situation. They remind me of Walter Rea, who wrote of how astonished he was with what he found in the writings of Ellen White when he embarked on some research. What did he really expect? Inerrancy? He may have followed the party line of conceptual inspiration but in reality he expected inerrancy and was completely devastated, and accused all and sundry including EG White herself of dishonesty and deception, when he was no longer convinced it was there.




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  75. @Sean Pitman:

    Why do you also see things a black and white? You give no alternative; either she is inerrant or she is a liar. What about she was a human used by God despite her failings. She was inspired to write mostly about the Grace of God and provide a meta-narrative in the form of the Great Controversy that sees the actions of God and the evil in the events all around us and calls us to be involved in action for good. What is wrong with that vision even if there are inaccuracies or borrowings in the written word that makes this vision? You are altogether too much like Walter Rea in your certainty, and in your assumptions and expectations of inerrancy. I would think you would do well to continue your apologetics at the popular level, cherrypicking the scientific literature for errors that would bolster your position as I think any real involvement in original research has a high risk of ending poorly just as it did for him.

    Your view of Mrs. White’s inspiration is not her view – not even close. She didn’t claim to be personally inerrent, but she did claim to be shown visions by God of true realities, together with verbal explanations of these realities by her “angel guide”, which are very hard to interpret other than how she presents them. Therefore, either she was nuts, a liar, or she was who she said she was. There really is no viable alternative. You can’t say that she was a prophet inspired by God and pick and choose what was and what was not true yourself contrary to the prophets own claims of what he/she was shown in a very direct manner – to include commentary by the “angel guide”. You can’t just say, “Well, I don’t believe this or that so it must have been a regular dream or something from the person’s own mind in this or that particular case – not from God” – – and yet still call the person a “prophet” of God at the same time. That notion of yours simply makes no sense. You become the prophet in that case since you alone decide what is and is not really true regarding the “prophet’s” own statements of revealed reality.

    It’s all about establishing credibility. If your statements, which supposedly were revealed to you by God, keep getting falsified, the credibility of your claim to truly be a mouthpeice for God declines rather dramatically…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  76. BobRyan said:
    “So if you think that sometimes God lies when he talks to Ellen White – but he always tells the truth when speaking to a Bible author – then my conclusion is that you are mistaken.

    If you think that sometimes when Ellen White says “God told me…” and then gives a statement – that she is really lying — and other times she is correct, then you think she is a false prophet – and are in fact asking me if I agree with your position. in that case I do not agree with you.”

    @pauluc:

    I truly cannot understand why you must insist that any communication of error must have some sinister motive or be a lie. Your words like Kevin Paulson are in constrast to your evident understanding of the process of communication. You seem to talk of conceptual inspiration but you really seem to be communicating verbal inspiration and biblical inerrancy.

    I suggest that the communication of God with man is similar to human communication in that we as humans bring to this conversation certain suppositions and biases. It is never a communication with 100% fidelity.

    In 2Peter 1:20-21 God argues that they “speak from God” when the Holy Spirit speaks to them – and they speak to us.

    The Bible calls the result “the Word of God”.

    Ellen White also calls it “the Word of God”.

    In your model above it is merely the word of fallible men.

    The “reason” that a TEST of a prophet is doctrinal correctness – is that by the very nature of the communication being the “Word of God” – God cannot err. Thus if there is doctrinal error or even failed prediction in the message – then the Bible says they are a false prophet.

    The bible does not say “well that is just the nature of that form of communication after all people are flawed you know”.

    You seem to be going down a road that is not supported either in the Bible or in the writings of Ellen White.

    Pauluc said –
    How do you think the words of God got onto paper through her pen? She was shown a vision or a dream. How do you understand a dream? Surely there is some level of interpretation even in the understanding of the images or dialogue.

    Ellen White stated that she was just as dependant on the Holy Spirit for writing the vision as in receiving it to start with. God is “big enough” to insure that his message is accurately transmitted (as it turns out).

    So now let us take the 3SG 90-91 so often quoted here – show us how you propose that “prophecy works” such that it is totally unreliable in what it says.

    This I have to see.

    Pauluc said
    If she was in error it was not because God lied to her but because she did not understand the significance or interpret it correctly. How can you read Daniel and not appreciate that dreams and visions are anything but cryptic messages from God.

    At no point in Daniel – does Daniel “lie” or even becoming “untrusted” in what he says. He simply and accurately tells what he was shown EVEN in cases where he admits he does not understand the full meaning. EVEN in that extreme case – the communication is STILL accurately and reliably transmitted.

    for example in Dan 9 Daniel is given an explanation of Daniel 8 – but he does not say then “hey forget what I said I was shown in Daniel 8 — turns out that was all wrong”.

    Pauluc said

    Why do we allow that she was human and yet pretend that she were infallable and inerrant and that to suggest otherwise is to call her or God a liar.

    Your statement makes no sense – 3SG 90-91 is not about Ellen White eating lunch and passing on a few comments that happen to occur to her. You are grossly equivocating to get out of the tight spot that evolutionism has with Ellen White’s visions.

    Pauluc said
    I believe in the power of parables and allegory

    Same here – but I know the difference between parables, allegory and a simple plain statement of fact as we see in Ex 20:8-11 and 3SG 90-91.

    Notice that in your efforts to show something more – you avoid the text like it was the plague.

    That should tell you something about the line of argument you are following.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  77. @pauluc:

    I take that as a resounding yes yes yes to the question of inerrancy of the bible and EG White.

    You have a strange view of inerrancy. The visions shown by God to humans are themselves inerrant. The human description of these visions can err in small details or even in interpretations of certain features of the vision which may be difficult to evaluate. However, it is very difficult to err regarding certain obvious features – like noticing that each new “day” of creation week was marked off with an “evening and morning”. That sort of observation is very hard to “misinterpret”. Even a small child can get that much right.

    So, when you start going off suggesting that pretty much everything is open for re-interpretation aside from the prophet’s own observations and interpretations essentially removes the credibility of the visions as really being from God or being at all useful beyond mere human insight.

    You just can’t have it both ways…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  78. Dear Pauluc:

    You complain that those of us defending Ellen White’s prophetic authority are giving “no alternative,” that either Ellen White was “inerrant or she is a liar.”

    Guess what? That is precisely the dilemma Ellen White herself sets up for those confronting the claims of her writings. Consider the following:

    “Many times in my experience I have been called upon to meet the attitude of a certain class, who acknowledged that the testimonies were from God, but took the position that this matter and that matter were Sister White’s opinion and judgment. This suits those who do not love reproof and correction, and who, if their ideas are crossed, have occasion to explain the difference between the human and the divine.
    “If the preconceived opinions or particular ideas of some are crossed in being reproved by testimonies, they have a burden at once to make plain their position to discriminate between the testimonies, defining what is Sister White’s human judgment, and what is the word of the Lord. Everything that sustains their cherished ideas is divine, and the testimonies to correct their errors are human—Sister White’s opinion. They make of none effect the counsel of God by their tradition” (3SM 69).

    “God is either teaching His people, reproving their wrongs, and strengthening their faith, or He is not. This work is of God, or it is not. God does nothing in partnership with Satan. My work… bears the stamp of God, or the stamp of the enemy. There is no half-way work in the matter. The Testimonies are of the Spirit of God, or of the devil” (5T 671).

    “Yet now when I send you a testimony of warning and reproof, many of you declare it to be merely the opinion of Sister White. You have thereby insulted the Spirit of God” (5T 64).

    “In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me. I do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision—the precious rays of light shining from the throne” (5T 67).

    “You have talked over matters as you viewed them, that the communications from Sister White are not all from the Lord, but a portion is her own mind, her own judgment, which is no better than anybody else’s judgment and ideas. This is one of Satan’s hooks to hang your doubts upon to deceive your soul and the souls of others who will dare to draw the line in this matter and say, This portion which pleases me is from God, but that portion which points out and condemns my course of conduct is from Sister White alone, and bears not the holy signet. You have in this way virtually rejected the whole of the messages, which God in His tender, pitying love has sent to you to save you from moral ruin” (3SM 68-69).

    “In the testimonies sent to Battle Creek, I have given you the light God has given to me. In no case have I given my own judgment or opinion. I have enough to write of what has been shown me, without falling back on my own opinions” (3SM 70).

    “I have my work to do, to meet the misconceptions of those who suppose themselves able to say what is testimony from God and what is human production. If those who have done this work continue in this course, satanic agencies will choose for them.
    “Those who have helped souls to feel at liberty to specify what is of God in the Testimonies and what are the uninspired words of Sister White, will find that they were helping the devil in his work of deception” (3SM 70).

    “What reserve power has the Lord with which to reach those who have cast aside His warnings and reproofs, and have accredited the testimonies of the Spirit of God to no higher source than human wisdom? In the judgment, what can you do who have done this, offer as an excuse for turning from the evidences He has given you that God was in the work?” (3SM 70).

    In other words, my brother, the “all or nothing” dilemma which you seek to disdain is not the invention of some narrow-minded conservative Adventist, supposedly giving Ellen White’s writings more authority than she herself gave them. This is one of the great myths perpetrated by so-called “progressive” Adventists. The above statements are emphatically clear that Ellen White saw her writings as error-free as regards Biblical, doctrinal, and spiritual issues. It is she herself who says, as one of the above statements makes clear: “The Testimonies are of the Spirit of God or of the devil” (5T 671).

    There is no middle ground possible here. It is like what Josh McDowell says of Jesus. When confronting His claims He must be seen either as “Lord, liar, or lunatic.” With regard to Ellen White’s claims for her writings, they must be seen–on the basis of her own assertions–either as wholly from God or wholly from Satan.

    Perhaps a word should be said about Walter Rea’s work, since you have brought it up. Anyone who has read The White Lie, as I have, is well aware that this dear man’s work is suffused with bitterness not only at Ellen White and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but at Christianity as well. God and His dealings with His ancient people, along with heaven itself, are scoffed at in his book. I believe we are quite wide of the mark to assume that belief in the inerrancy of inspired writings was Rea’s problem, and that honest inquiry presumably forced him to reassess his stand. Even a quick peruse of his book is sufficient to persuade the objective reader that a deep-seated hatred of most (if not all) things spiritual lay at the foundation of his attack on Ellen White’s credibility.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  79. @Kevin Paulson:

    At least be honest with the character of Walter Rea. You impune him with all manner of perceived evils, I simply believe he was an honest man that had unrealistic expectation and had an awakening that was catastrophic for his faith. In his expectation he differs little from several that have expressed their views on this site. To believe in the inerrancy of Ellen White and to see her either as a liar or infallible is setting ones self up for a similar fall.

    See how he writes autobiographically in his prologue. Is this the word of a man with deep seated hatred of God?

    “Almost from the first time I heard of her, early in my teens, I became a devotee of Ellen G. White and her writings. I learned to type by copying from her book Messages to Young People. In high school and college, I often went from room to room in the dormitory, gathering Ellen White quotations from others to use in my preparations for becoming a minister in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was during those days that I conceived the idea of preparing an Adventist commentary by compiling from the writings of Ellen White all the statements pertaining to each book of the Bible, each doctrine, and each Bible character.

    Early in my ministerial life, which began in central California in the latter 1940s, I compiled two volumes of Old and New Testament Bible biographies, incorporating with each entry the pertinent quotations found in Ellen White’s works. …and a third volume on Daniel and the Revelation, all based on Ellen White’s works, and soon these books were sold in most Adventist Book and Bible houses and used in many Adventist schools and colleges in North America.”




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  80. @pauluc:

    I accept a dictionary definition of inerrancy. Freedom from error or untruths; infallibility.

    I do not accept that either the bible or the writings of Ellen White are without error. By error I mean any point at which you resort to interpretation or explanation beyond the clear reading of the text. You do not have to read far to find such instances. This however does not at all disturb me as I believe, as in parables, truth can exist without objective fact.

    Unfortunately even though I do understand your position as I have been there, you are dismiss my position as of the devil and we will forever by at an impasse in comprehension. I shall return to more spiritually nourishing fellowship and community but pray that the reality of the community of faith and the Grace of God is manifest in his people everywhere.

    All the best to you in your continued search. It is hard for me to imagine though how you can take much comfort in any of the promises of the Bible or of Mrs. White regarding a bright literal future when they don’t seem to be able to get some of their direct statements regarding physical reality even close to being right…

    The whole comparison to “I believe in the truth of parables” is equivalent to saying that I can believe anything I want to believe. When Jesus told parables about metaphysical truths, the reliability of the implication of these parables was based, according to Jesus Himself, on the evidence of the physical miracles he performed and on the evidence of the prophetic scriptures as they are fulfilled in a very reliable manner throughout history…

    Anyway, to each his own. You can lead a horse to water…

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  81. @pauluc:

    To believe in the inerrancy of Ellen White and to see her either as a liar or infallible is setting ones self up for a similar fall.

    There are two extremes here. Walter Rea fell into one extreme view that everything a prophet ever does or says is perfect. Just a quick look at biblical prophets, such as Jonah, will show that this view is obviously mistaken.

    The other extreme, of course, is your view that everything a prophet says or does is open to reinterpretation that is completely opposed to the prophet’s own view on what his/her inspiration was or meant. A prophet can be completely off base in many claims of what he/she was shown by God in no uncertain language, yet still be a prophet of God. This view is just as dangerous to the Christian Faith and Gospel Message as was Rea’s view of Inspiration. Again, it has to do with establishing credibility.

    For example, lets say that I told you that God had told me that you had a large malignant tumor in your liver. Let’s then say that you took me seriously for some reason and had a CT scan and relevant lab tests done which showed no tumor in your liver. What conclusion would that leave you regarding my claims to have been given privileged information by God? I may have been ever so sincere in my claim. I may have actually thought that God gave me a vision of your true condition. But, given the evidence of the error of my claim, what rational options are available to you regarding the true nature of my “inspiration”? What option do you have besides to conclude that either I was lying to you, that God was lying to me, that I was self-deluded (however honestly), or that I’m just plain nuts?

    Again, it all boils down to the credibility of the witness… to predictive power. The Bible itself claims that if the predictions or claims of a prophet do not come true, that prophet is not someone God has sent and to not be afraid or respect the claims of such a person any more. – Deuteronomy 18:22

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  82. Dear Pauluc:

    I am fascinated that you ignore all the Ellen White statements I have cited, which clearly indicate Ellen White’s own awareness of her prophetic role and its meaning. We can argue at length as to the reason Walter Rea ended up as he did. But the statements I quoted from Ellen White are absolutely clear as to the “all or nothing” nature of her authority. The fact that you have not responded to these statements gives evidence to all in this discussion that you cannot answer this plain evidence.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  83. Dear Pauluc: I am fascinated that you ignore all the Ellen White statements I have cited, which clearly indicate Ellen White’s own awareness of her prophetic role and its meaning.We can argue at length as to the reason Walter Rea ended up as he did.But the statements I quoted from Ellen White are absolutely clear as to the “all or nothing” nature of her authority.The fact that you have not responded to these statements gives evidence to all in this discussion that you cannot answer this plain evidence.God bless!Pastor Kevin Paulson  

    Paulac admits he believes the Bible contains “errors.” I guess he’s going to tell us where and how he can “correct” these errors? Well, Paulac?!




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  84. @pauluc:

    Pauluc, what you are saying is that Tim Standish canvassed the extant interpretations of the amalgamation statements without endorsing any interpretation. This is just as I expected. So you’ve now admitted that neither Ellen White nor Tim Standish ever endorsed Uriah Smith’s dictum about digger indians and Hottentots. But no one believes that Uriah Smith was prophetically inspired or “inerrant.”

    To try to show that Ellen White erred, all you can argue is that Ellen White didn’t correct Uriah Smith’s statement. But the thrust of Uriah Smith’s comments, which you have helpfully reproduced for us, was to defend Ellen White from the accusation that she had said the Negro race was not human, and to affirm that her statements cannot be used as an excuse for the mistreatment of any race. Those two main points are unquestionably true, so there was nothing for Ellen White to correct.

    Interestingly, Uriah Smith got into trouble when he deferred to the opinion of the naturalists of his day that the demarkation between between human and animal was “lost in confusion.” We all should be very cautious about deferring to contemporary science. But this was just dicta–an irrelevant aside–to his main points that the negro race is human and that the testimonies cannot be used to support racial prejudice.

    It is unfortunate that so many have focused on the sentence that begins, “Since the Flood, there has been amalgmation . . .” The other amalgamation statements, which teach that there were two classes of animals in existence at the time of the Flood–the created and the amalgamated–and that the amalgamated were destroyed by the Flood and not carried into the post-Flood world, are indispensible to understanding and interpeting the fossil the record along creationist lines. With the knowledge that there was a human-created, genetically engineered class of animals that was destroyed by the Flood, a huge chunk of the vertebrate fossil record suddenly makes sense within a creationist model.




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  85. U.S. Court Rejects Creationist School’s Lawsuit Over Bid to Offer Master’s Degree

    A federal judge has tossed out the Institute for Creation Research Graduate School’s lawsuit against the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board over the board’s decision, in 2008, to reject the institute’s bid to offer a master’s degree in science education. In a ruling issued last Friday, Judge Sam Sparks of the U.S. District Court in Austin, Tex., dismissed the institute’s lawsuit summarily, writing that it “has not put forth evidence sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact with respect to any claim it brings.” According to the institute’s Web site, its mission is to equip “believers with evidence of the Bible’s accuracy and authority through scientific research, educational programs, and media presentations, all conducted within a thoroughly biblical framework.”




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  86. @Sean Pitman:

    Well I should at least make a final parting comment on your false characterization of my position.

    It is true that I do not take everything a prophet speaks as beyond question any more than I accept that the bible should be taken literally without question. Unlike you and most on this site who quarantine the bible and the writings of prophets off from any critical examination or the process of scholarship I have a view that there is nothing that should not be examined and questioned as to its authenticity or value whether that be science, history of religion or any other field of human endeavour.

    Does that mean I am left all at sea with no compass. Not at all. I have a belief that there is an objective reality but we can never know but that we can approach asymptotically. I believe in Jesus as the revelation of God because I have taken Kierkegards leap of faith. I believe in a Holy Spirit as a active force in the world today. I believe it will convict of truth and compel our actions. One cannot have an understanding of scripture unless it is revealed through the Grace of God and by members of the church of God communicating that gospel message. What is the message of Acts 8:26- ? Christianity is the message of the good news of the incarnate God who has shown the very nature of a God of peace. It is communicated by people from the within the fellowship of God. Outside of that community you cannot understand. Sola scriptura was a polemic against the catholic heresy but the spirit of God is always in the Church and within that community we can understand the provenance of Holy writ and be able to receive new revelation of his will. I believe in the Church as the very body of Christ on earth. I believe that we should never hold a personal belief without subjecting it to the examination of the church community by peer review. I believe in the process of science which also is a community process that involves publication and the subjection of ones observations and views to scrutiny by ones peers. I beleive in scholarship in the bible, EG White studies and in science.
    As a devout Christian in University I wrote a creationist response to an essay question on human evolution knowing it would receive a failing mark or be discarded because I did not think it was honest to give the expected answer just for the sake of the marks. In my life since then have maintained that I should be completely open and honest to the leading of God whatever the consequences and implications. Have I never failed in this? I am a sinner forgiven by God and I fail daily in both omission and commission. If I have offended or misled in anything I have said on this site I would again apologize.




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  87. @Geanna Dane:

    Bob, how many ordinary run of the mill research publications do you need to see before acknowledging that evolutionists use the word “evolution” very, very often to mean change in the microevolutionary sense far, far, completely removed from any sense of “birds come from reptiles?”? How many? Give me a number please.So tell me, am I an “evolutionist” if I beleive that one species of salamander might have evolved into more than 400 species? Or do you regard that as the type of change equivalent to your fingernails growing? (I can’t speak for you but it’s very different from my fingernails growing!) And since you understand so well what people really know or believe, please tell me if I actually believe that birds come from reptiles.  

    As others have pointed out, you need to be careful with your use of the word Evolution. If you must use it, at least specify what you mean. For example, regarding “one species of salamander might have evolved into more than 400 species”, the diversification of a species by process of natural selection is not something any Creationist disagrees with! But I do have a problem with stretching that to another “kind” of animal entirely. Granted, the word “kind” is not well defined since only Creationists seem to recognize such a boundary (and they aren’t the ones in power in the world of science).

    Regarding your example of bacteria “evolving” resistance, the process of natural selection once again eliminated the strains that did not have resistance to a given anti-bacterial agent. Then, the other strains had less competition and were able to grow without constraint, and take over the host. That is no reason to use it as an example of how life came about on this planet.

    In both of these examples, there was “no new information” imparted by the elimination of weaker strains. In the cases of mutation, there is debate over whether a mutation constitutes new information, but with a deeper look at what is actually occurring at the DNA level, it becomes clear that you still have no new information.

    In summary: If you want to use the word “evolution” expect to find “resistance” because the immunity of the community has been increased to misuse of the word 🙂

    God bless,
    Warren




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  88. Dear Geanna: I must strongly disagree with your statement that “the vast majority of Adventists” don’t care about their church’s position on creation vs. evolution.I would truly like to know on what basis you believe our people are so apathetic about so basic a Biblical issue.When I mingle with our people at the grassroots, I find that the “vast majority” (your words) can’t understand why this is even an issue.They can’t figure out what business anyone who believes in evolution has claiming to be a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church–let alone an employee of one of our institutions. As to suggestions of how to more firmly develop our spiritual connection with God, how about getting back to the Bible and the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, and leaving all the other stuff alone for a period of time?We have far too much “spirituality” in contemporary Adventism which refuses to let itself be defined and guided by the written counsel of God.Spirituality is not enough–the Dalai Lama is a very spiritual being, but I wouldn’t want him teaching at our Seminary!It is God’s transcendent Word–revealed both in Scripture and the writings of Ellen White–which must exclusively define our worldview, our beliefs, and our lifestyle. Nothing more.God bless!Pastor Kevin Paulson  

    Amen Pastor Kevin, I like your strong stand for truth and uncompromising positions upon the revealed Word of God, and the SOP, especially in these times when a large part of Adventists either ignore or come out and attack Ellen White.

    For me, creation/evolution is a no brainier in terms of my most studied subject, however, I believe we all need the capability to refute evolution even on a scientific basis when called upon. Our young people certainly do not need one iota of evolutionary biology or any other course study that undermines growing faith. My prayer for the GC is that firm, unyielding resolutions will be created that eject all forms of evolution from our schools along with those who believe and teach them.

    My sincere thanks to Shane and Educate Truth for stimulating much needed godly actions upon a vitally important matter.

    Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    The Creation of the Earth

    The work of creation cannot be explained by science. What science can explain the mystery of life? {MH 414.1}
    “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3.

    “I form the light, and create darkness: . . .
    I the Lord do all these things. . . .
    I have made the earth,
    And created man upon it:
    I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens,
    And all their host have I commanded.”
    “When I call unto them, they stand up together.”
    Isaiah 45:7-12; 48:13. {MH 414.2}
    In the creation of the earth, God was not indebted to pre-existing matter. “He spake, and it was; . . . He commanded, and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:9. All things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, came into existence by the breath of His mouth. {MH 414.3}




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  89. Great point Professor Kent, I can also say that the evolution of my Bible and theological studies are progressing quite well, no thanks to Charles Darwin!




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  90. If she was in error it was not because God lied to her but because she did not understand the significance or interpret it correctly. How can you read Daniel and not appreciate that dreams and visions are anything but cryptic messages from God. Why do we allow that she was human and yet pretend that she were infallable and inerrant and that to suggest otherwise is to call her or God a liar.

    I believe in the power of parables and allegory and have a nuanced view of truth that allows for factual error or errors in interpretation that does not negate the truth.  (Quote)

    She was not in error; do you think that God knows what he is doing or not?In stead of doubting and caviling at God’s work,;I just want to understand it better.




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  91. Dear Pauluc:

    Your worry should not be about offending people. You should be worried about offending God. Your description of your spiritual worldview is classic existentialism–the kind of philosophy that in the end, despite your disclaimer, very much leaves the believer “without chart or compass.” How can there be “objective reality” when there is no transcendent measure for determining this? You are essentially in the same position as Martin Heidegger, the existential German philosopher who was estranged from Rudolf Bultmann because he (Heidegger) collaborated with the Nazis. What Bultmann failed to consider is that he himself had done away with transcendent absolutes by his higher critical approach to the Bible, thus leaving him no real grounds for criticizing what Heidegger had done.

    This is what happens when absolutes are overthrown. It happened to European Adventists as well during this same period, due to the baleful influence of L.R. Conradi and his agreement with the Kaiser that Adventists would take up arms and break the Sabbath. Doing away with the Spirit of Prophecy was also attendant to this disaster. Only strict, unerring faithfulness to the written counsel of God keeps our Christian witness consistent and our own morals intact.

    I continue to be both amused and saddened by your talk of “grace.” For the umpteenth time, I will say there is no room for grace if one believes in evolution. The brutal, merciless process of natural selection is the way nature and humanity (which according to evolution is a product of nature) advances and makes progress. No room for mercy, forgiveness, grace, or Jesus can be found in such a system.

    God bless!

    Pastor Kevin Paulson




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  92. I have found this blog interesting, appalling, in grace, disgraceful, argumentative, clear insight, ambiguous, focus, and all over the board…

    Can someone remind me of the purpose of this blog?
    A Was it meant to discuss the fact or fiction of “evolution,” which ever definition is meant?
    B Is it to debate the processes of Divine communication?
    C Is it meant to prove just how stalwart is the defender of TRUTH?
    D Is it meant to generate a concensus of opinion (possibly apart from prayer)?
    E Is it to determine just how “the problem” (which I consider HUGE)should be dealt with?

    I believe in absolute truths. I also believe in different facets of truth. I believe that individuals all approach “the ELEPHANT” blindly–blind to the “other side of the elephant.” No two descriptions will be totally the same.

    God CREATED us with different understandings, senses… It is divine to respect our differences. That is respect for PEOPLE.

    God created TRUTH. Micah 6:8 suggests that God would also have us walk HUMBLY–for none of us has a corner on truth, or the full viewpoint. Only GOD has a corner on TRUTH. It is our aim to all get in GOD’S CORNER–in other words, find and see TRUTH AS HE SEES IT. That includes a balance between LOVE and JUSTICE. The truth as it is IN JESUS comes with GRACE.

    I can appreciate the thoughts presented by Mahabir Ramkhelawan. He tried to introduce the balance between TRUTH and JUSTICE. I fear he was misunderstood.

    Some comments made were attacks on people, not concepts. We have every right to judge between TRUTH and ERROR. We should never judge the person, supposing that we “know” why a person is thinking along such “evil” lines.

    We should be sincere in searching for truth. We should suppose that every other person is just as sincere in that search. there is no room to pass judgment on the motives of the others.

    Our church, we must remember, was founded precisely because some people in other churches dared to be “open-minded” enough to investigate truth. Through prayer and Bible study they found TRUTH, and it was different from what they previously believed. That is the result of an open mind. That is the foundation of the Adventist church.

    How could they have found truth through being open-minded? How is it that they came out of error? Their hearts were RIGHT (motive) and the Holy Spirit was invited into their study.

    The JEWS defended “truth” to the point of murder. Jesus defended TRUTH to the point of death. I see a subtle difference here.




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