One reason why the debate about origins is relevant

By David C. Read

Jesus saves me because I have a trusting, committed relationship with him. I simply do not believe, on the Day of Judgment, I will find myself standing before Jesus to hear him say, “I know you loved me with all your heart and to the best of your ability; I know you took every opportunity to draw closer to me; I know you cared for the unlovable. But, because you did not believe in six recent literal 24-hour days of creation, you cannot enter into eternal life.” -Steve Moran

How is a conservative Adventist to respond to this line of reasoning? It is certainly true that the Bible teaches us salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ alone (John 3:14-18; Acts 16:30-31; Rom. 10:12-13; 1 John 5:10-12). The thief on the cross said only, “Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom,” and Jesus responded that the man would surely be saved. I’m glad that salvation is not hidden or complex, and that anyone who places their faith in the merits of Christ can be saved.

So why do Adventists place such emphasis on the doctrine of origins when it is not necessary to salvation? The answer is that Adventist doctrine fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. When all the pieces are put together correctly, a beautiful picture of God and His love, grace and mercy emerges. But when the pieces are rearranged, the picture is marred and we are not able to see God clearly.

Without the doctrine of creation, we cannot have a clear picture of who Christ is and what He accomplished for us on the cross. First, Christ is our Creator. The Gospel of John tells us that “all things were made by [Jesus]; and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). “In these last days [God] has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Heb. 1:2). The Bible clearly teaches that Christ is God and was with the Father from the beginning, and that the Father created all things through Christ.

Now think about the loving Jesus of the Gospels and try to imagine Him creating the world over the course of 600 million years, using death, predation, disease, and genetic copying errors as his tools, experimenting on countless thousands of generations of animals, as they struggled to survive in a remorseless contest of “fitness.” Does this sound like the Jesus of the Bible? What picture of Christ emerges when one believes that this is how He created the world? Thankfully, that is not how the Bible describes the creation. If we stay with the Bible’s description—a perfect creation in six days, in which there was no animal predation (Gen 1:30), which God declared “very good” and afterward rested—it is consistent with the picture of Jesus that we see in the Gospels.

Returning to the concept of salvation, that concept presupposes that humans need saving. But why do we need saving? Darwinism teaches us that we have been getting better and better, smarter and smarter, since our ape-like ancestors split off from the line of descent leading to modern apes. We don’t need saving; to the contrary, we are better now than we ever have been. In a Darwinian worldview, the concept of “salvation” is nonsensical gibberish. The concept of “salvation” presupposes, and only makes sense within, a biblical worldview.

We cannot get a true picture of God’s character without what theologians have come to call “the Fall.” What picture of God would emerge if He created us in sin, already in need of salvation? What kind of God would have condemned his creatures by building into them a fatal flaw that would necessitate such suffering and misery as this world has experience in its recorded history? But in Scripture we learn that we were created in the image of God, a little lower than the angels (Gen. 1:26, 27; 2:7; 5:1; Psa. 8:5, 6). God didn’t create man in a fallen condition: “God made man upright, but we have sought out many inventions” (Eccl. 7:29). It was Adam’s knowing and conscious decision to disobey that led to the fall of mankind (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1-7; Rom. 5:12-14; 1 Cor. 15:21-22).

We are now in a position to understand what has been “lost” and needs to be “redeemed.” We were created in the image of God, perfect and sinless, but through disobedience we lost our primal innocence and the possibility of immortality. Salvation means the chance to get back what we lost. Christ was the second Adam, who overcame where the first Adam failed (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22, 45-49). Christ lived in a sin-filled world without sinning; He could have sinned but did not, and thereby redeemed what Adam lost. We cannot understand the significance of what Christ won back for us, if we do not understand how far we have fallen, what was our heritage from Christ our creator, and how it was forfeited by Adam, the father of our race. This is why the Eden story, the first 11 chapters of Genesis, are necessary to a real understanding of what salvation means, and what Christ accomplished for us on the cross.

The concept of salvation from sin and sinfulness doesn’t work in a theistic evolution model. The Bible tells us that we must overcome selfishness, but if we were “created” by evolution, our selfishness was a necessary instinct that aided our survival and our evolutionary development. It was presumably God’s will that we develop this survival-aiding attitude, and it would seem very incongruous that we should now be expected to overcome it. (It has been argued that evolution selects cooperative behavior, but that just shows that Darwinian arguments “prove too much” to be scientifically useful; Darwinism can explain selfishness and altruism, competition and cooperation, anything and its opposite.) What picture of God emerges if one believes that He created the world by allowing His creatures to compete in a merciless struggle to survive and propagate, but now expects us to overcome and be “redeemed” from selfishness, lust and greed?

Yes, we are saved by a trusting, committed relationship with Christ. But with which Christ, the Christ of the Bible or the “Christ” imagined under assumptions of theistic evolution? They have very different characters. I would have a much more difficult time trusting and committing to the arbitrary and capricious creator who created through death and competition over the course of hundreds of millions of years, but now expects us to overcome the instincts he bred into us over thousands of generations and hundreds of millennia.

This is why traditional Adventists are so firm about rejecting compromise on the foundational truths of Scripture, the great truths of the creation, the Fall, the promise of a Redeemer, and the character of God. It is precisely because we realize that we are saved by our relationship with Jesus that we care so much about the picture of Jesus we offer to the world. We want to convey untarnished the Bible’s picture of a loving Jesus, so that everyone will want to have a trusting, committed relationship with Him. So we cannot consent to have the biblical Christ sullied with pagan notions of origins.

In order to facilitate discussion that is relevant to the thread, key terms are provided to act as categorical guidelines for comments: influence of theist evolution on salvation, gospel, justification, sanctification.

Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn0Tweet about this on TwitterDigg thisShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this to someone

23 thoughts on “One reason why the debate about origins is relevant

  1. It might go something more like this:

    Jesus saves me because I have a trusting, committed relationship with him. I simply do not believe, on the Day of Judgment, I will find myself standing before Jesus to hear him say, “I know you loved me with all your heart and to the best of your ability; I know you took every opportunity to draw closer to me; I know you cared for the unlovable. I am so surprised that despite knowing me that you would still beleive that I didn’t mean what I said through my prophet Moses nor what I persaonally said when I was there on earth. Why would you think that I would create the world using suffering and death – the very things that I came to destroy once and for all.” How well do you really know me?




    0
    View Comment
  2. The fact is, knowledge saves and it is absurd to try to defend the idea that knowledge does not save.

    “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea

    You could not possibly know if you were worshiping the antichrist or the true Christ without knowledge. How superficial is the argument that claims knowledge does not save?

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  3. Salvation is based on Love, not knowledge

    The fact is that salvation is not based on learned knowledge at all, but upon the Royal Law of Love that is written upon the hearts of all from birth. Upon this single Royal Law hang all the Law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40 NIV

    Paul himself notes that even if someone had “all knowledge” that it would mean absolutely nothing without love. 1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV Paul goes on to point out that, “He who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8 NIV – even without having “all knowledge” or understanding anything else about God or the plan of salvation or the life of Jesus. This is why Paul says that, “When Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.” Romans 2:14-16 NIV

    But how is it possible to love God if one doesn’t know God? Isn’t love predicated on some kind of knowledge of that which is loved? Jesus answered this question when He said, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'” Matthew 25:40

    Clearly then, it is possible to “know” Jesus through the person of our neighbor, even the humblest or weakest or most unlovable of our neighbors, and how we treat that person.

    In short, having an honest incorrect understanding of various truths is not a moral wrong. If honest and sincere ignorance, despite one’s very best efforts to know the truth, were a reason to exclude a person from Heaven, we’d all be in big trouble. None of us know all Truth.

    What then is the benefit of knowledge? After all, doesn’t Hosea say, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”? Hosea 4:6 NIV

    Those who quote this verse usually do not quote the rest of it. The rest of the passage reads, “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.”

    In other words, God is not talking about honest ignorance of truth, or even honest confusion regarding the truth when it is actually heard so that it is not recognized for what it really is. God is talking about deliberate ignorance of what is known to be true – a form of deliberate forgetfulness due to impure motives. In other words, God is talking about deliberate rebellion against the known Law of God. God is not talking about an honest ignorance of various doctrinal truths.

    So, I ask again, what is the importance of doctrinal truths if they are not the basis of salvation? Their importance, as David Read suggests, is that they are the basis of a more solid hope in a bright future as described in the Gospel Message that we Christians have to share with the world. They give a clearer picture of God and His character to the world – a picture that has the power to make peoples lives brighter and more hopeful, more bearable, here and now. They also have the power to give people courage to “fight the good fight”; to not become discouraged and give up on the fight during times of severe darkness.

    I’d say that’s something worth striving for – wouldn’t you?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




    0
    View Comment
  4. “just cannot believe ….,” Let us now consider the parable wherein many protested in shock, “Lord, Lord, have we not done many things – in thy name?” They simply could not believe they were hearing, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Could they not have rebutted yet again, with even greater incredulity and pain, “Yes, Lord, but were we not specially-enlightened Adventists lovingly accepting verily the latter-day science as revealed through your servant Darwin, as atheistic as he was, that You Yourself ordained to supersede scripture? And anyway did we not lovingly outreach by lovingly nonjudgmental film and loving blog and concert, and lovingly rock along with the whole world, and were we not lovingly compassionate and lovingly tolerant of everything, as unto the Lord?”




    0
    View Comment
  5. Well said, Roger, this is part of the big picture puzzle of which David Read speaks so well. I am very concerned about the approach taken by Steve at the moment. Perhaps we can expand the response by Jesus to Steve and to all of us before the time of the ultimate judgment along the following lines. I begin by quoting what Steve says:

    Jesus saves me because I have a trusting, committed relation with him. [So far so good.] I simply do not believe on the Day of Judgment I will find myself standing before Jesus to hear him say, “I know you loved me with all your heart and to the best of your ability; I know you took every opportunity to draw close to me; I know you cared for the unlovable, but [now we need to let Jesus speak more fully]:

    “But, and I say this with a broken heart, because you did not believe in six recent literal 24 our days of Creation, about which I lovingly and repeatedly told you about in the Scriptures, and which idea was not new to you but you had studied about it all your life, and the Holy Spirit had keep prompting you to believe this truth all your life, but you rejected His sweet voice to the end, you, and I say this with tears in my voice, cannot enter into eternal life. Why? Steve, I am the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). This means that I and my teachings are one which means that to reject what I say is to reject me. To not trust what I say, is to not trust in me. To not love and accept what I say is to not love me, and not to be in committed relationship with me.

    “All those individuals, Steve, who enter my kingdom, accept gladly, happily and eagerly whatsoever I have taught and have commanded them in both the Old and New Testaments (Matt 28:20). This includes my teaching about a six day creation, and the fact that I created humans both male and female at the beginning (Matt 19:4-6), even on the sixth day of Creation (Gen 1:27, and amplified in Gen 2:7, 15-18, 21-25).

    “I would love to welcome you into the kingdom, but if you were to come into my kingdom, and if you do not believe in a six day recent creation, you would need to change your mind and believe in my teaching about a six day creation, which, unfortunately, it seems you will not do, and which I neither can nor will force you to do because I respect your freedom. So I say this weeping, it is not I who have rejected you–if your absolute, ultimate, and final life position remains that you continue to disbelieve me in my teaching about a six day creation–it is you who have rejected me, my beloved Steve, whom I adore beyond words. Nevertheless, [before the Day of Judgment] I hold out hope to you, and invite you to believe my words. If you love me, please believe and obey me (John 14:15)”

    Perhaps we can imaging Jesus gently and with tears saying something like this to all of us human individuals before the final day of judgment?




    0
    View Comment
  6. I’m going to modify somewhat a paragraph from David Read:

    I would have a much more difficult time trusting and committing to the creator who allowed death and competition over the course of 6,000 years, but now expects us to overcome the instincts he bred into us over thousands of generations.

    Do we still have a problem with this?

    I’m sure that many of us are comfortable with the explanation that Satan is the cause of “death and competition,” and that God is not to blame. But there are many who look at nature and see the ugliness–virtually everywhere one looks–and decide that God, if real, must be indifferent and downright disgusting. It doesn’t help matters that when they turn to the Old Testament, they find passage after passage where God orders his people to do the very same thing that they see animals do in nature: pillage, plunder, butcher, kill some more; pillage, plunder, butcher, kill some more; pillage, plunder, butcher, kill some more.

    I believe in YEC myself, but I don’t really see how a literal 6-day creation only 6,000 years ago softens the view of God that many arrive at by studying both the Bible and God’s second book–nature. Just a thought.




    0
    View Comment
  7. The church manual holds that the first reason for church discipline is in the case of those in apostasy against the cardinal doctrines of our faith.

    Question – is the Sabbath a Cardinal doctrine for Seventh-day ADventists?
    (I think most people know that it is).

    And yet – Do we believe that people who cannot be saved if they are not keeping Sabbath today? (I think most people know that we do not believe such a thing). There is in fact no SDA doctrine saying that only Sabbath-keepers are saved.

    Question 2 – is it true that having your membership dropped from the Adventist church is the same as losing salvation? (I suppose that question is more difficult in some contexts than in others).

    In general we have to admit that this is not the case. The local church in business session is the mechanism by which a person’s name in dropped from the role of membership. We have never taught that the moment such a vote is cast – the person loses salvation.

    I realize that this is compounded by the fact that in many cases those names being dropped are for cases where members have gone back to living like the World and may care little for the Gospel at that time.

    But even in such cases – they would have turned their back on salvation long before the business session where their name is dropped.

    In any case – the point is that if the issue of church membership and the issue of Cardinal Doctrines of our faith is not always tied to “are you saved” then Steve Moran’s scenario is not valid in every case.

    On the other hand – “to him that knows to do right and does it not – to him it is sin”. The idea that Adventists can simply leap off the cliff of what Ellen White calls “The worst form of infidelity” and survive that leap in terms of their salvation – is kinda like saying “I can drink poison as it pleases me to do so and suffer no ill effects”.

    Those in the church who do “know right from wrong” should be taking such a bold and decisive stand for truth that we will not have an SDA-lemming effect of uninformed dilluded Adventists leaping off the cliff of “disguised infidelity” thinking that it is just another one of those “I’m ok — you’re ok” preferences under “the Big Tent”.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  8. “This is why traditional Adventists are so firm about rejecting compromise on the foundational truths of Scripture …”

    First of all, what is a traditional Adventist? Is that someone that believes in tradition? Why place some modifier to the term Adventist, other than Seventh-day?

    It is “Adventists who are firm about rejecting compromise on the foundational truths of Scripture.” This is Intrinsic to being a Seventh-day Adventist. This is being biblical, not traditional. Those who reject plain Scripture are not Adventists, whatever they call themselves or others call them.

    Second, I would like to thank Steve Moran for reminding us that we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.

    There is no reason to feel “shamed” by or apologetic to those who would turn the grace of God into license (Jude 4). God’s love in NO WAY means He is indulgent toward those who reject His word. Moran statement, which at the start seems to exalt God’s love quickly betrays its origins as it belittles belief in God’s word. Moran actually reduces God’s love to a mere sentiment and insults the genuine love of God. Moran’s portrayal of the love of God is exactly the type of “God’s love” that Satan loves to promote. “He enlists the affections by his eloquent portrayals of love and charity.” GC 553.

    It was this type of “God’s love” that was popular in the churches of Noah’s day. The antideluvians believed “it was contrary to the character of God to punish transgression; and they denied that His judgments were to be visited upon the earth.” PP 95.3.

    But we must never forget that God’s purification of the universe by fire, His destruction of the unbelieving, is a loving act. A God of love condemned Adam, Eve, and their children to a life of difficulty ending in death for disbelieving His word.

    Though Moran’s first statement, “Jesus saves me because I have a trusting, committed relationship with him” is theologically shallow, and not clearly biblical, for purposes of discussion here I will adopt it as essentially true.

    But note: If I have a trusting relationship with Him, I will trust what He says. If I have a committed relationship with Him I will be committed to what He says. If I reject what He says I have neither a trusting nor committed relationship with Him.

    Jesus wrote with His own finger, “in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.” He wrote this in stone miraculously. For me to reject this is to not having a trusting relationship with God.

    Moran than gives his statement of disbelief: “I simply do not believe, on the Day of Judgment, I will find myself standing before Jesus to hear him say, “I know you loved me with all your heart and to the best of your ability; I know you took every opportunity to draw closer to me; I know you cared for the unlovable. But, because you did not believe in six recent literal 24-hour days of creation, you cannot enter into eternal life.”

    Unfortunately, just because Moran doesn’t believe that creation is important, does not mean that Christ doesn’t think it is important. God’s word places it as very important. It is declared at the very start of the Bible. It is repeated in the very heart of the 10 commandments, and it is an integral part of the final gospel message to the world in the first angel’s message.

    We need not hesitate to say those who elevate the foolishness of “science falsely so called” above the clear word of God do not have faith, they have unbelief. And the Bible is very clear that unbelievers and scoffers will hear a God of love tell them sadly that He does not know them and cannot admit them to heaven. They will hear His sorrowful sentence of condemnation. And they will weep and gnash their teeth in the punishment that will cleanse the universe of sin and sinners.

    That is not simply my belief. That is the clear declaration of God. And since I have a trusting and committed relationship to Him, I trust Him to say what He means and mean what He says.

    In sum: If I have a trusting, committed relationship with God, I will trust my loving heavenly Father to tell me what is important for me to know to be saved. Based on Moran’s statements, I am not able to determine if He has the loving, committed relationship with God he feels is so important. It would be cavalier to say I wish Him well when He represents himself before the Judge and repeats his unbelief to His Creator. But since I need to make certain my own calling and election is sure, I will not try to examine Moran, but seek to examine myself, to see if I am in the faith.




    0
    View Comment
  9. In every case of those who deny the biblical account it is always with the argument that the bible is not sufficiently clear in its teaching on this point.

    The great controversy is at stake here. Has God sufficiently enlightened created beings so they can and will be held accountable for the truths God has communicated? The skeptics and unbelievers appeal again and again to ignorance as the reason they can not be culpable to God for the information He has given.

    Paul says, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked…..” You can pretend you don’t know what the bible says or means. And in the final judgment, God will simply point out that you have lied to no one but yourself. And Paul again affirms, “For this reason, God gave them up to strong delusion to believe a lie…….” Why? “Because they loved not the truth when they heard it and knew it was true.”

    This is a challenging reality for all of us. We need to ask ourselves day by day if there is any way we may be guilty of this sin that eventually is equated with the unpardonable sin.

    Anyone professing the SDA faith should be aware of the church’s position on origins. And since it is especially a fundamental issue, anyone denying the stated position of the church should in all honesty simply withdraw and confess they do not believe nor confess the faith of a SDA.

    I am sure that God judges duplicity in a more harsh way than someone who simply withdraws, even if they are wrong in their doctrine. To be wrong is one thing. But to undermine any organization you claim to support when you obviously don’t, will call for a judgment equal to the deception.

    And again, each of us need to carefully consider the implications of this reality.

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  10. Dear Bill

    Thanks for your comments.

    As an ignorant agnostic I am indebted to you and many others on this forum for education on the Bible and SDA faith. It has been a most illuminating journey thus far.

    After reading your post I wondered why it is even necessary for the SDA to support the teaching and research of science at its respective institutions, if the answers are clear enough from the Bible alone? Why does the SDA need science at all? Maybe, as Sean advocates, it might be better to shut down the GRI, cut off funding to LSU and get out of the science business all together. End of controversy between science and faith within the SDA!

    Please note – especially Shane, the tolerant editor- that I am not intending to be sarcastic or disrespectful with this observation. It just seems to me that the SDA is running into profound difficulties within, by the science being taught and researched at its institutions, hence the legitimate reason for this forum. If science is disagreeing with SDA#6, why teach science?; rather just be a faith based institution. Nothing wrong with that in my agnostic books.

    Respectfully
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  11. @Ken:

    After reading your post I wondered why it is even necessary for the SDA to support the teaching and research of science at its respective institutions, if the answers are clear enough from the Bible alone? Why does the SDA need science at all? Maybe, as Sean advocates, it might be better to shut down the GRI, cut off funding to LSU and get out of the science business all together. End of controversy between science and faith within the SDA!

    Please note – especially Shane, the tolerant editor- that I am not intending to be sarcastic or disrespectful with this observation. It just seems to me that the SDA is running into profound difficulties within, by the science being taught and researched at its institutions, hence the legitimate reason for this forum. If science is disagreeing with SDA#6, why teach science?; rather just be a faith based institution. Nothing wrong with that in my agnostic books.

    It is unclear to me that anybody here said that Avagadro’s number can be deduced from scripture or that it is in some way contrary to scripture to know the significance for that ratio. (Which is the strange area that your comment seem to leap into).

    By contrast I DO see a lot of posts here about the Bible teaching on the doctrine of origins being correct and the man-made alchemist fiction about “birds coming from reptiles” being less than trustworthy.

    So my question for you is – how do you equate “elephants come from fish” stories with something like “the atomic number for a stable form of Carbon is 12”???

    Seems to me that the doctrine on origins is a good home-base domain for a book that starts off with “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”.

    But if man’s-science is the subject – then it seems to be that a good home domain for that is “chiral orientation for the amino acid chains comprising proteins in eukaryote cells are all L – Levro”. Science appears to be that which we can validate in the lab. We can observe the fact that water tends to hydrolyze the peptide bonds of amino acid chains, but we do not observe birds coming from reptiles or elephants coming from fish or new genomes constantly coming into existence and less complex genomes acquire new coding genes in various eukaryote species.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  12. Again, if we continue to frame the debate as science versus reglion we do not do the debate justice. This is a competition between two world views. One in which everything must have a material explaination and never invoke a creator; the other involving intelligent design, namely Jesus Christ adding that it was done as described in Genesis.

    The word “science” is tossed around this site and elsewhere to mean the absolute evidence that is as hard as rock and as certain as facts in a never changing text book. Nevermind the fact that the theory of evolution itself has changed dramatically over the last few decades. That beast doesn’t exist – and it never will. For those that are truely familar with science in its real form understand that scientific facts actualy change with our understanding. F = ma but not really because this breaks down when you approach the speed of light. 10 years ago, medical science thought it was wise to give women estrogen replacement therapy (based on evidence that was more rigorous than evolutionists can perform today to show “evolution” (case-control restorspective data). Today prospective trials are the only thing that has dis-proved the estrogen replacement thinking – it is no longer done – no longer practiced. Why, because new evidence has come about. Science is not only about the weight of the evidence but it is also about the type of evidence. If the FDA approved drugs with the same type of evidence that evolutionists tell us that they are absolutely correct, we would be selling snake oil at the local office (based on expert opinion). Only randomized controlled trials with a priori criteria that are met with p values < 0.5 will ever be approved by the FDA for certain indications. Why? becuase lesser types of evidence are frought with bias. Yet, it is this bias frought evidence in evolution that is heralded as science. And it is this science that we are supposed to lay down our long held religious beliefs at the core of SDAism.

    Regarding science: When an evolutionist can come to grips with the fact that red blood cells found in a "68 million year old T-rex fossil" means that it is not 68 million years old; is when I'll consider evolutionary "science" as bias free. Until then "evolutionary science" is a delusionary religion where the end conclusion justifies the procedureal means.




    0
    View Comment
  13. Re Bob’s Quote

    “Science appears to be that which we can validate in the lab.”

    Dear Bob

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    By your argument then I take it there cannot be any creation science or evidence of it, as creation cannot be proved in the lab. Why then does the SDA support the GRI, if it cannot prove or support biblical creation in the lab?

    Regards
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  14. “It just seems to me that the SDA is running into profound difficulties within, by the science being taught and researched at its institutions, hence the legitimate reason for this forum. If science is disagreeing with SDA#6, why teach science?; rather just be a faith based institution. Nothing wrong with that in my agnostic books.”

    Respectfully
    Ken Ken(Quote)

    Well, Ken, SDA’s are not anti-science. Science is incredibly helpful in many areas of living and helps raise the quality of life for everyone. But science is always incomplete and developing as research opens more and more vistas of knowledge.

    But science does not explain all their is to know about God, nor does it superceed God’s revelation of Himself in scripture. As historical Protestants, our confession of faith sets the bible above any and all other avenues of knowledge when it comes to knowing God and His will.

    The bible first of all, defines our need. Without this revelation, we could not even know exactly what our needs are especially in the spiritual realm. After the bible explains our need, it then gives us the remedy to fulfill the need. Again, something we can not know, except by way of scripture.

    So, the bible tells us who God is, and then tells us who we are and our true identity is explained.

    The devil has convoluted who God is, and thus, we don’t know who we are either. Thus, the whole world is confronted with a major “identity
    crisis.” And those who reject the bible are doomed to failure in discovering who man is and what his identity is.

    Who ever God is, the very first thing we learn from the bible is He is our creator. Nothing superceeds this reality and thus is affirmed from the very beginning. He goes on to reveal who we are and our relationship to Him and each other. Without this revelation, we are out in left field without a clue, and can only speculate concerning our origins and destiny.

    And every means we endeavor to use to find out who we are always ends up in a dead end street. More speculation, more confusion, and ultimate frustration. Ever notice how everybody is so irritated in the world today? Most of us live our life in some sort of frenzy of one sort or another.

    If people don’t know where they came from, and don’t know where they are going it can only lead to the continued frustration and irritation we see demonstrated in the world today.

    Now it is true, people receive massive doses of affirmation in their ignorance and deception. And in this way, they find some superficial peace that is not lasting nor satisfying. As Christians, we are also afflicted in many ways with the same problems. None the less, we still have “faith” and “hope” and as we build on God’s word, we find adequate peace and comfort. This the Holy Spirit brings to those of us who believe.

    By the way, for me the title of “Agnostic” is kind of a “cop out”, but if that is how you feel at the present, hang in there, if you seek truth, God will surely reveal Himself to you and like other Christians find the lasting peace built on the sure foundation. Namely, the word of God.

    This is my prayer for you, and myself as well.

    Bill Sorensen




    0
    View Comment
  15. @Ken:

    Bible believers are the best scientists because they are committed to truth and because they have a source of truth. Today people confuse naturalism, which is a belief that everything is best explained by natural mechanisms, with science. Evolution is not science, it is simply a belief about history, a set of fictitious stories made up by people who were not there to observe. A “just-so” story that changes frequently, but must have certain components, long ages, naturalist forces. History, with its singularities, cannot be discovered by science, it must have eye-witnesses. Science requires reproducibility.

    Bible believing scientists have a source of history that is reliable, defensible, and fits the available evidence. Naturalists, exclude evidence and potential solutions as a basic axiom. Fully committed naturalists cannot even honestly consider the evidence and strong arguments of the intelligent design community, many of whom are not young earth creationists.

    It is interesting to see the fruit of naturalism —>evolution—>communism, Nazism.

    Creationism creates great scientists because they expect the universe to be orderly, predictable, and under law, because it was intelligently designed.

    I read a recent study that showed how naturalism has spawned an increasingly metaphysical and non-scientific generation.

    The Bible is not the enemy of science, it is its best friend. It is the enemy of foolishness, even popular foolishness, which is why it is regarded as such a dangerous book by those who have a vested interest in keeping the multitudes in darkness and ignorance.




    0
    View Comment
  16. Dear Bill

    That was extremely well, and respectfully said.

    I appreciated your opinion on agnosticism and take absolutely no offence whatsoever. For me it is the best forum of objective inquiry, but I can only speak for myself.

    Thank you for your kind prayer and words on seeking the truth. Most appreciated.

    Best regards
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  17. Re Phil’s Quote

    “Bible believing scientists have a source of history that is reliable, defensible, and fits the available evidence.”

    “Evolution is not science, it is simply a belief about history, a set of fictitious stories made up by people who were not there to observe.”

    Dear Phil

    Thanks for your comments.

    I take it that Dr.Clausen fits the Bible believing mold and you would thus accept his science on the age of the earth?

    Do you consider Einstein to be a great scientist?

    From your analysis I conjecture that creation science can only simply be a belief as there were no people there to observe. Respectfully, I don’t think Darwin’s observations on his visit to the Galapagos Islands were fictitious stories, unless you think he made up the data.

    I don’t think the Spanish Inquisition was torturing people because they believed in Darwin, did they?

    Cheers
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  18. @Ken:

    I am not familiar with Dr. Clausen, to be honest, I have never heard of him (I assume it is him, since you later refer to his). Neither do I have the slightest knowledge of what his Dr. means (MD, PhD, specialty, area of expertise, etc).

    Your question about “his science” shows a misunderstanding of science. The same sort of misunderstanding of people who talk about “his sabbath”, “his interpretation”, etc. Truth is not owned by any one person. We either hold truth or we don’t. But it is never “our” truth. It is simply true or not true. Furthermore, I am sure there would be truth that Dr. Anybody holds. There is also error that Dr. Anybody holds. One has to analyze the data as well as the source of the data to know if Dr. Anybody’s is utilizing facts or simply opinion; if he is relying on accurate data, or flawed methodology. (Of course, if a person is truly a fully committed agnostic, careful science is a waste of time and effort since you can never know truth anyway. Certainly agnostics don’t need to have science in schools, but for truth seekers, careful investigation, using the scientific method is crucial.)

    To categorically say that Dr. Anybody “fits the Bible believing mold” is also a meaningless statement. What mold is that?

    Your conjecture regarding my analysis is incorrect on several accounts. Because there were no human observers does not mean there were no observers. That kind of thinking is in line with medieval earth-centric ideas. Furthermore, creation science, with its young earth, creation-fall-flood is a very credible explanation for the data.
    Having been taught by a biologist who had spent time on the Galapagos Islands studying the various interesting creatures there, I am familiar with a bit of the data. The issue is not with Darwin’s observations, (that is science), but he did not observe, and admitted he did not observe, evolution. That was simply his now rather thoroughly rejected explanations for the data. His theories were simply a refinement of the ideas he heard from his grandfather growing up.

    The inquisition killed people for the same reason the evolutionary-based Nazi’s killed people. Inquisitors really were the same mentality of the evolutionary-believing communist killers. They were neither Bible believers nor truth seekers. The inquisition has the same source as Darwin. When the Bible came it emancipated the people from such problems. The Bible gave us the freedoms we now enjoy, but are soon to lose, because we do not value it.




    0
    View Comment
  19. Phil, Thanks for the discussion of what “truth” really is. Jesus said He is the truth. Most SDA’s believe God’s Word is the truth. [edit]




    0
    View Comment
  20. I’m going to modify somewhat a paragraph from David Read:
    Do we still have a problem with this?I’m sure that many of us are comfortable with the explanation that Satan is the cause of “death and competition,” and that God is not to blame. But there are many who look at nature and see the ugliness–virtually everywhere one looks–and decide that God, if real, must be indifferent and downright disgusting. It doesn’t help matters that when they turn to the Old Testament, they find passage after passage where God orders his people to do the very same thing that they see animals do in nature: pillage, plunder, butcher, kill some more; pillage, plunder, butcher, kill some more; pillage, plunder, butcher, kill some more.I believe in YEC myself, but I don’t really see how a literal 6-day creation only 6,000 years ago softens the view of God that many arrive at by studying both the Bible and God’s second book–nature. Just a thought.  

    This is where the Adventist understanding of the “Great Controversy Theme” is important. “Why does God allow suffering?” (now, after sin) is a different question than “Why would God create using suffering?” (prior to any sin).

    Adventists believe that the latter question is based on false premises. We believe the answer to the former question started in Heaven, when Lucifer convinced a third of the angels that God’s government was faulty. Revelation 12:7 says there was war in Heaven (the word for “war” is “polemia”, where we get “polemics”). In other words, an argument. We can see the gist of the argument in the opening chapters of Job, as well as in Zechariah 3. Revelation 12:12 calls the devil “the accuser of our brethren”.

    God had a devil on his hands, not by His own creation, but because of “the mystery of iniquity”. One (perfectly just) solution would have been to destroy all dissenters and be done with it. But that wouldn’t really solve the problem, would it? It would only multiply the dissent, pushing it into the recesses of the minds of the (formerly) loyal angels.

    God has wisely chosen to counter the mystery of iniquity with the Mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3:4,9-11). His wisdom is now on display to the principalities and powers (loyal angels), by which He will accomplish His purpose: To make a complete end of sin. Not by force will He convince the universe, but by a demonstration of His love. Yet, those who refuse to see the truth will eventually, sadly, be given up to their own devices.

    Just as God allowed Job to suffer in order to demonstrate his loyalty in spite of incomplete knowledge, God has allowed the devil to demonstrate his government to the universe. The loyal angels were convinced at the cross that God’s way was right, but they still need to be convinced that we humans are safe to save (one purpose of the heavenly judgment going on right now). As we allow God to work in our lives, changing us from within, we can be part of God’s forces, helping prepare the way for His coming.

    2 Peter 3:11-13 (New King James Version)

    11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.




    0
    View Comment
  21. Simply put; the idea that anyone can deny the plain statements of Genesis 1 and 2, and then fully believe the conditions the Bible sets for salvation is absurd.




    0
    View Comment
  22. Simply put; the idea that anyone can deny the plain statements of Genesis 1 and 2, and then fully believe the conditions the Bible sets for salvation is absurd.  

    It may be absurd, Steve, but that is just what we have out here in our SDA Church in California!




    0
    View Comment
  23. Simply put; the idea that anyone can deny the plain statements of Genesis 1 and 2, and then fully believe the conditions the Bible sets for salvation is absurd.  

    Quite true, Steve, but liberals have what is called “buffet” Christianity. One simply picks from the “beliefs buffet” what appeals or feels correct, and then they either deny the rest, or more commonly, “reinterpret” so it fits their personal belief.




    0
    View Comment

Comments are closed.