SDA Darwinians compromise key church doctrines

David C. Read

By David C. Read

Adventists who want the church to compromise with Darwinism typically minimize the implications of their beliefs for the Church. But any compromise with Darwinism would strip the Seventh-day Adventist Church of its signature doctrine, the key to its prophetic interpretation, and its founding prophet.

This church takes the first part of its name from the fourth commandment, the biblical rationale for which is “in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.” God audibly spoke the Ten Commandments within the hearing of the entire congregation of Israel (Ex. 20:1-21; Deut. 4:10-13). God Himself inscribed the Ten Commandments on stone tablets, twice (Ex. 31:18; 34:1, 28; Deut. 4:13; 10:1-4). The tablets were placed inside the Ark of the Testimony (Ex. 34:29; 40:20; Deut. 10:5), the most sacred article of furniture in the sanctuary, above which was seen the visible manifestation of God’s presence.

The Biblical rationale for the Sabbath commandment—that God created the earth in six days and rested on the Sabbath day—could not be clearer. This rationale cannot be accommodated to Darwinism, which posits that life on earth evolved from a singled-celled organism over the course of hundreds of millions of years. Darwinism vitiates the biblical rationale for the Sabbath.

Seventh-day Darwinians (Cliff Goldstein’s moniker for Adventists who hold a Darwinian view of origins) typically respond by noting that the iteration of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5:1-21 does not include the creation rationale, but urges the Israelites to keep the Sabbath because they had been delivered from slavery in Egypt. But this is not the version of the Ten Commandments audibly spoken by God and inscribed by God’s own finger. In Deuteronomy 5, Moses is speaking to the Israelites, using covenant language that applies only to those people who were brought out of Egypt and were about to be led into Canaan, the land promised to their ancestor, Abraham. The rationale of deliverance from slavery in Egypt applies only to the Israelites as a nation, not to all of humanity.

Seventh-day Darwinians also point to the fact that modern Jews, such as Abraham Joshua Heschel, are Sabbath-keepers yet do not read Genesis one as being literally true. But Sabbath keeping is an essential characteristic of Jews and Judaism; it is an ethnic and religious identifier, and, for a Jew, needs no more rationale than that. By contrast, the Seventh-day Adventist Church calls everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, to return to the true Sabbath, regardless of culture or ethnicity. An ethnic or cultural identifier cannot support our mission. Our universal appeal to keep the Fourth Commandment demands a universal rationale, and only Genesis 2:2-3 and Exodus 20:11 provide that universal rationale.

The Sabbath doctrine is also central to the Adventist Church’s interpretation of prophecy. After the disappointment of 1844, when the early Adventists realized that the cleansing of the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 did not refer to Christ’s second coming to earth, they learned that there was an earthly sanctuary and a heavenly sanctuary. Moses was instructed to carefully follow the pattern shown him (Ex. 25:9, 40; 26:30; Acts 7:44) because the sanctuary he was building would be a representation of a sanctuary in heaven. (Heb. 8:5; 9:11, 23-24)

Revelation tells us that when “the time had come for judging the dead . . . then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant.” (Rev. 11:18-19) In the earthly sanctuary, the Ark of the Covenant was in the Most Holy Place, which was opened only once a year on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16; Heb. 9:7). So in Revelation 11, when the time had come for judging the dead, it was the Most Holy Place of the heavenly temple that was opened. The early Adventists thus realized that a heavenly judgment of the dead had been typified, pre-figured, or foreshadowed by the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

The Hebrew word Kippur comes from a root that means “to cover or hide”; a secondary meaning is “to obliterate or expiate.” So, in the judgment in Heaven typified by Yom Kippur, the sins of the sinner who has placed his faith in Christ are covered and hidden by Christ’s righteousness (Psalm 32:1-2; 85:2), expiated by Christ’s sacrifice, and will be forever obliterated. The determination of whose sins are covered and expiated by the blood of Christ is a process of investigation and of judgment.

When the early Adventists saw there was Ark containing the Ten Commandment law in both the earthly and the heavenly sanctuaries, their attention was drawn to the continuing force and validity of the Fourth Commandment. The investigative judgment and the Sabbath became the twin pillars of the Adventist movement, and this new light was the key to interpreting the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14. The First Angel’s message, “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” refers to both (1) our warning that the investigative judgment in Heaven has begun, and (2) our call to worship the Creator God on the biblical, Seventh-day Sabbath, which is God’s sign and seal as our Creator. The “mark of the beast” in the Third Angel’s message refers to the keeping of the false sabbath established by the beast power, Sunday, in place of the true Sabbath established by God at the creation. In short, our interpretation of prophecy is entirely bound up in the continuing validity of the Fourth Commandment, with its rationale that God created the world in six days.

There is also the issue of Adventism’s founding prophet, Ellen White, who received some 200 visions during the course of her prophetic career. As was demonstrated many times, these visions were supernatural occurrences; she did not breathe while in vision, and she possessed supernatural strength. She claimed to have been carried back in vision to the creation week, and to have been shown that it was a week just like every week since:

I was then carried back to the creation and was shown that the first week, in which God performed the work of creation in six days and rested on the seventh day, was just like every other week. The great God in his days of creation and day of rest, measured off the first cycle as a sample for successive weeks till the close of time. Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 90.

Seventh-day Darwinians typically shrug their shoulders and say, “Well, she made a mistake. She wasn’t inerrant.” But what was she mistaken about? Was Ellen White mistaken about what she was shown in vision? If so, how could she ever be trusted about anything she was shown in vision? Assuming that God was not wrong about how long the creation took, was Ellen White mistaken in believing that God was the source of her visions? If God was not the source of these manifestly supernatural occurrences, what power was?

In any “mistake” scenario, Ellen White’s prophetic authority is gravely impeached. To say that Ellen White was mistaken on this issue is tantamount to saying that the Adventist Church never really had a prophet.

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207 thoughts on “SDA Darwinians compromise key church doctrines

  1. Sean Pitman wrote

    If an individual cannot provide “a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation” then that individual would not be someone who could effectively fulfill the mission of the SDA Church in the capacity of a teacher within the Church’s employ.

    Who decides that which is thorough and balanced? And what, exactly, constitutes scientifically rigorous?

    Most SDA scientists concede the evidence affirming a literal, recent, six-day creation is weak at best, and accept it instead on faith. Where is an official Church position that states A, B, C, and D constitute the rigorous evidence that must be taught by faithful Church professors?
    Leonard Brand’s book might come as close as any, but he clearly and humbly acknowledges the weaknesses in the evidence. He completely disagrees with your position, and has much better credentials, I might add.

    You are the ONLY one insisting that overwhelming evidence supports our position, and declaring that those who teach any differently than your position are unfit to be employed by the Church. On second thought, let me rephrase this: you insist that ALL the evidence supports our position. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you concede that there is difficulty for our position. In short, you basically insist that no one is worthy to teach science in the Church except for … tada … yourself.

    Professor Kent
    Professing Christ until the whole world hears




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  2. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

    You’ve gotta be kidding. You’re going to tell us now that God’s word can be trusted ahead of empirical evidence and human reason? That sounds a lot like believing in Santa Claus, the Tooth Monster, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Sorry, but that’s not good enough. Every SDA knows that God wants us to use our God-given brains rather than accept God’s word at face value.

    Those who teach uncritical acceptance of God’s word ahead of our own understanding (the historical-grammatical hermeneutic), like Dr. Ben Clauson at the Geoscience Research Institute, are unfit for employment in the Church. EducateTruth has already established this, and quite forcefully I might add.




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    • @Professor Kent:

      “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

      – as quoted by Shane Hilde.

      You’ve gotta be kidding. You’re going to tell us now that God’s word can be trusted ahead of empirical evidence and human reason? That sounds a lot like believing in Santa Claus, the Tooth Monster, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Sorry, but that’s not good enough. Every SDA knows that God wants us to use our God-given brains rather than accept God’s word at face value.

      You’re not answering how one can recognize the Bible as truly being “God’s Word” to begin with, out of all the competing options, without using one’s own brain? – without the use of human reason to which the Bible appeals? without any appeal to the candid intelligent mind as the Word of God?

      Certainly once the candid intelligent mind is convinced, by the weight of evidence (as described by Mrs. White), then one can take the Bible as a Source of Divine Authority regarding those various points of which one might originally have thought differently than the Bible makes clear.

      Those who teach uncritical acceptance of God’s word ahead of our own understanding (the historical-grammatical hermeneutic), like Dr. Ben Clauson at the Geoscience Research Institute, are unfit for employment in the Church. EducateTruth has already established this, and quite forcefully I might add.

      The SDA Church has asked for teachers to fill teaching positions in the Church who can actively promote the Church’s position on origins from a position of scientific credibility. Consider, yet again, the very clear request of the SDA Church in this matter:

      We call on all boards and educators at Seventh-day Adventist institutions at all levels to continue upholding and advocating the church’s position on origins. We, along with Seventh-day Adventist parents, expect students to receive a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation, even as they are educated to understand and assess competing philosophies of origins that dominate scientific discussion in the contemporary world.

      http://adventist.org/beliefs/statements/main-stat55.html

      If an individual cannot provide “a thorough, balanced, and scientifically rigorous exposure to and affirmation of our historic belief in a literal, recent six-day creation” then that individual would not be someone who could effectively fulfill the mission of the SDA Church in the capacity of a science teacher within the Church’s employ.

      Not everyone is qualified to fulfill such positions within the Church. This doesn’t mean that those who are unqualified are therefore bad people. On the contrary, they may be very good people indeed who are sincerely honest in their respective positions. It is just that not all honest people can be effectively employed to do certain specific tasks within the SDA Church organization.

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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    • @Professor Kent:

      You’ve gotta be kidding. You’re going to tell us now that God’s word can be trusted ahead of empirical evidence and human reason? That sounds a lot like believing in Santa Claus, the Tooth Monster, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Sorry, but that’s not good enough

      What they do not seem to understand is that trusting in God does not mean ignoring empirical evidence. Such arguments only made by our fellow Christians will only serve to fuel the “hyper-skeptical” atheist community since they like to argue that “faith” is simply blind faith without evidence. –Even the Bible does not hold to the view that we should ignore the evidence. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says, “Submit everything to the test, and hold on to the good.” [1] — The Greek word for “testing” in this verse is dokimazō which means “to prove,” or even “to scrutinize.” [2] What this means to me is that we are to “scrutinize” the evidence and follow it wherever it may lead, irregardless of whether the conclusion is uncomfortable. We are not to “believe” based on no evidence; we are to believe based on a critical evaluation.

      Trusting in God should not have to mean dismissing evidence and human reason simply because “human reason is limited,” as some excuses say. Human reason is limited, that much is true, but that is no justification for ignoring the details if they are uncomfortable. Unfortunately, this seems to have become a cop out excuse to do just that.

      ________
      [1] I was translating out of a Spanish Bible, so if the wording is different than one is used to, it is for that reason. The Spanish Bible was the first one I could grab at the moment.

      [2] Strong’s G1381 – dokimazō, blueletterbible.com




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  3. Proof texts from the Bible are not enough. I always thought that SDAs subscribed to Sola Scriptura, but increasingly I am seeing hostility to this view by the very group–conservatives–that I expected to defend it the most.

    I’m not an SDA Darwinian, but I am confident there will be SDA Darwinians and Non-Darwinians alike in heaven. I just hope and pray that I will be among them.




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  4. Re Sean’s quote

    “Now, there are many serious scholars of Hebrew who don’t believe the Genesis author(s) got it right, but arguing that the author(s) got it wrong isn’t the same thing as arguing that they didn’t intend to write a literal narrative of actual historical events.”

    Dear Sean

    Good point.

    What is clear is that there was no human there to witness or record creation first hand. But that also applies to the big bang theory or the theoretical beginning of life by evolution.

    Thus we turn to empirical means to try to sort this out.

    When it comes to empiricism what is more reliable: individual prophecy or scientific methodology?

    Regards
    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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  5. Re David’s quote on % of YEC’s

    Hello David

    Thank you very much, that was very informative. I had no idea that YEC was that popular in the USA.

    Regards
    Ken




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  6. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.

    Prophecy is a gift from God:

    And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.

    Relying exclusively on human reasoning is potentially dangerous. The Bible warns against this:

    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    With that said, we know from Scripture that God said:

    Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD.

    Prophecy from God is always more reliable than exclusive reliance upon human methods, however helpful they maybe.




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    • @Shane Hilde:

      You wrote:

      Prophecy from God is always more reliable than exclusive reliance upon human methods, however helpful they maybe.

      Yet prophecy itself is determined to be reliable based on human reasoning abilities – based on the weight of evidence that appeals to the candid rational mind. It is for this reason that Biblical prophecy is so commonly used in evangelistic series as a basis to convince those who are unchurched of the Divine origin of the Bible. Fulfilled prophecy is a powerful empirically verifiable evidence, even to those originally unfamiliar with the Bible, of the Bible’s Divine origin.

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  7. Personally, I’m willing to accept Ellen White’s claim, but here is some sober reality for thought (lifted from an SDA website, no less: SDAnet.org):

    Although godliness was the usual direction of their lives, we do see the best of prophets stumbling and falling at times. We should be careful not to judge them on their worst times, which may be fleeting compared to the overwhelming amount of their lives which were godly. Note these: Abraham (the first person ever to be called a prophet) denied Sarah was his wife and told the half-truth that she was his sister (Genesis 12: 10-20). Samuel deceived Saul into thinking he was going out to make a sacrifice when in reality he was going out to anoint David as king (1 Samuel 16:2). David lied to the High Priest to get the consecrated bread (1 Samuel 21:1-9). He was also a mass murderer and an adulterer. Jeremiah lied to the people at the king’s suggestion (Jeremiah 38:24-29).

    Moses lost his temper and had to be disciplined by God because of his rash actions (Numbers 20: 9-13). Some of the most magnificent prophecies found in the Old Testament regarding the coming of Christ were uttered by Balaam who was an apostate (Numbers 22-24). Elijah fled in despair and wished to die (1 Kings 19: 3-5).

    In the New Testament, Peter is led astray in his judgment by the Judaisers and withdrew from eating with Gentiles. He was later rebuked by Paul for denying “the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2: 11-14). Earlier, though, he had been given a vision to show that all people were equal in the sight of God (Acts 10:9-48). After realising the significance of the vision and declaring it to others he later fails to live by what had been revealed to him and what he had proclaimed to others.

    Paul had a sharp disagreement with Barnabas about the future ministry of Mark. He did not think [Mark] worthy to go with him on his next missionary journey and they parted company. Paul went with Silas and Barnabas took Mark with him. Subsequent events showed that Barnabas showed better judgment than Paul. Mark performed well when given the chance (Acts 15:36-41).

    We must recognise that prophets are human, like the rest of us. They can make mistakes. They can follow poor advice. They can misjudge a situation. They can be discouraged and irritable. They may be well informed in some areas and not so in other areas. Even prophets used mightily by God are still very human. The danger is that we may expect them to have the perfection we see in Christ. The truth is that no one has lived as He lived. If they fail at times it does not make them false prophets because of their lapses.

    A simple question regarding time: did the New Testament authors believe they would live to see Christ’s second return? Was their understanding of temporal events correct?

    Regarding Ms. White: was she actually incapable of telling a lie? Was she ever mistaken in her understanding? Did she ever fail to practice what she preached (as in indulgence of appetite and the wearing of jewelry)? Let’s not make her any more inerrent than the prophets of old.




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  8. Kent –

    I am more than happy to stick with “one rotation” of the planet causing evening and morning such that IF it turns out in heaven that we find that the earth took 23.5987 hours to rotate on day 1 and it took 24 hours on day 4, I am still pretty much ok sticking with “1 rotation” and the “sense of the meaning” still carries.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  9. Ken: Re Sean’s Quote”Now, where I do side with Prof Kent, is I cannot see how the weight of the evidence favours creation, vs. evolution, at least not yet. To me, distinguishing between macro and micro evolution is an apologetic, creationist argument based on a presumption of life being created all at once. To my (‘candid’? ‘intelligent’?!) mind when I look at chimps I see a strong connection to humans. Similar genotypes support the notion of a common ancestor. As

    1. Duckbilled platypus “looks” in some ways like a duck – but no evolutionist worth his salt will claim that looking similar means that ducks come from marsupials or that marsupials come from ducks.

    2. Baseballs in some ways “look” like snowballs – but one does not come from the other. The “looks simmilar” argument has never been a “science basis” for “they must be cousins”.

    3. You say there is no difference between small changes within a genome vs massive transition up the taxonomic latter from simple genomes to complex ones. Have you really thought that one through?

    With a flex of a muscle I can move my hand from 0 to 40 mph in 1 second. Does that mean that “with time and more muscle flexing” I will be able to move my hand from 0 to a billion MPH in 2 seconds?

    You are taking something that has an observed science limit and pretending that it has no limit.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  10. Re Throwing a monkey wrench into the
    works and Bob’s quote

    ” 3. You say there is no difference between small changes within a genome vs massive transition up the taxonomic latter from simple genomes to complex ones. Have you really thought that one through?

    With a flex of a muscle I can move my hand from 0 to 40 mph in 1 second. Does that mean that “with time and more muscle flexing” I will be able to move my hand from 0 to a billion MPH in 2 seconds?

    You are taking something that has an observed science limit and pretending that it has no limit.”

    Dear Bob

    Thanks for your comments.

    Sorry to be picayune, but I don’t recall stating ” there is no difference within small changes within a genome..” Those differences are what make organisms unique ( even finches). The question is how did those small changes come about and why the similarities?

    And your respectful admonition about the limits of observed science is appreciated. It is simply not enough for my untrained eye, yet ‘candid’? mind, to look at a chimp and see a remarkable similarity between it and a human. Phenotypes might be helpful, yet not definitive clues.

    So what is the closest genome to that of a human?

    ‘Trying to think things through’
    Your agnostic monkey’s uncle
    Ken




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  11. BobRyan: It was my understanding that the H-G model was accepted by Sean and others here as valid, just like the rest of us would accept it. And after using that method to determine “what the Bible says” the next step was to note the confirmation or refutation of the Bible claims as presented in our objective observations “in nature” and compare the two…Did I miss something?

    Yes, you did miss something. You need to read more about the historical-grammatical hermeneutic. Here is a good starting point: http://biblicalresearch.gc.adventist.org/documents/interp%20scripture%20davidson.pdf

    The H-G hermenteutic and the official SDA Church (the Rio Document) make explicitly clear that the Bible is NOT to be subject to external validation. You just don’t get it yet.




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  12. Sean&#032Pitman: Exactly. I do not reject the H-G method of interpreting what the biblical authors were trying to say. I’m a supporter of this method of interpretation. However, interpretation of what was said isn’t the same thing as verifying the truth of what was actually said.
    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

    That is precisely the difference between heremeutics and epistemology.

    H-G is just the hermeneutic part of that discussion. It only deals with the objective accurate way to “render the text”.

    It does not argue for the methods used to accept the statement of scripture as being authorotative or accurate.

    That argument is in the realm of epistemology as Richard Davidson from ATS points out.

    Phil Brantley keeps arguing that H-G somehow needs to subsume and fully encompass the field of epistemology so as to claim that some people are rejecting H-G when they compare the Bible to observations in nature.

    I see a flaw in that argument.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  13. BobRyan: It is a standard method for letting the text speak for itself. And the most accurate application I know of is the Historical-Grammatical hermeneutic. The idea is to let the Bible speak for itself and then let the chips fall where they may…

    Yes, the historical-grammatical hermeneutic makes crystal clear that the Bible speaks for itself, and that we are not to judge its validity or interpret its meaning based on external evidence. Implicit is a very simple concept that the SDA Church formally embraces and which Satan seeks desperately to undermine: God’s Word can be trusted at face value.

    But I am learning that many SDAs outright reject this hermeneutic, including the administrators of this website. They ask, “how can we know the Bible is true without some form of external evidence to evaluate its validity?” They quote scripture and Ellen White to support their view that God expects us to put his Word to the test.

    One of the biggest challenges is to find evidence to support the Bible’s claims. What do we do if we fail to find evidence to support a young earth? Or a flood that covered 100% of the earth’s surface (and not 98%)? Or that an axe head can float on water? Or that a pile of dirt can be transformed into a living human? Or that a virgin woman can give birth to a child? Sean Pitman tells us that if we fail to find evidence for a young earth and global flood, that he would reject God’s word outright. Yet he seems blithely unconcerned about the lack of evidence for other claims.

    So here is the crux of the problem: if we insist that we must use our God-given brains to decide whether God’s word is trustworthy (Sean Pitman’s position), how do we select WHICH claims of the Bible must be supported for it to be believed? Obviously, some claims can be supported, and others cannot (which also happens to be true of the Book of Mormon and other supposedly inspired books). Do we accept the Bible because of the claims that can be supported, or do we reject it because of the claims that cannot be supported?

    Although Ken has not articulated the concern posed in this latter question, I believe it creates an enormous dilemma for those who reject the historical-grammatical approach and insist the Bible must be subject to external validition (the historical-critical hermeneutic). In relying on science, human reason, and falsifiable evidence (Sean Pitman’s clearly articulated position), the decision to accept or reject the claims of Scripture becomes an inescapably arbitary and capricious exercise. It also destroys Sola Scriptura.




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    • @Professor Kent:

      So here is the crux of the problem: if we insist that we must use our God-given brains to decide whether God’s word is trustworthy (Sean Pitman’s position), how do we select WHICH claims of the Bible must be supported for it to be believed? Obviously, some claims can be supported, and others cannot (which also happens to be true of the Book of Mormon and other supposedly inspired books). Do we accept the Bible because of the claims that can be supported, or do we reject it because of the claims that cannot be supported?

      I accept the Bible as having a Divine origin because of the weight of evidence regarding those claims that can actually be tested and evaluated. Those things that can be tested have proven themselves to be true. It is this weight of evidence that allows one to also trust those metaphysical claims of the Bible that cannot be directly tested.

      This is the reason why the Bible stands out as superior to other claimed sources of Divine authority. You mention the Book of Mormon. Why do you accept the Bible over the Book of Mormon? Well, for me, I see the Bible as superior because the testable elements within both books strongly favor Bible as being far more reliable and trustworthy.

      If you are honest with yourself, you do the very same thing.

      Although Ken has not articulated the concern posed in this latter question, I believe it creates an enormous dilemma for those who reject the historical-grammatical approach and insist the Bible must be subject to external validition (the historical-critical hermeneutic). In relying on science, human reason, and falsifiable evidence (Sean Pitman’s clearly articulated position), the decision to accept or reject the claims of Scripture becomes an inescapably arbitary and capricious exercise. It also destroys Sola Scriptura.

      What is arbitrary is your acceptance of the Bible without any appeal to rational thought or empirical evidence of any kind. You simply assert that one should pick the Bible as Divinely inspired based on an arbitrary choice, the luck of the draw so the speak, among the many competing options available.

      One cannot get much more arbitrary and capricious than this. It is far more rational and non-arbitrary to defend one’s conclusion that the Bible (or particular interpretations of the Bible) is in fact trustworthy as the Word of God based on the overall weight of empirical evidence that appeals to the candid intelligent mind.

      Sean Pitman
      http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  14. As for Day 1 vs Day 4 of creation week.

    The details “specified in the text” are these for day 1

    1. Light source,
    2. Sequence — with the time being the same for all other days.

    day 4

    1. Two Great lights made
    2. One to rule the day – the other the night. (one is the brightest light in the day – the other the brightest light in the night).

    ==================================

    The minimual “guesswork” then is that on day 1

    1. We have a single sided light source. (Whatever that is)
    2. The earth is rotating – once every 24 hours the same as for each day of the week.

    The Minimal for day 4 is

    1. God made the Sun and the moon
    2. The earth continues the same 24 hour rotation as from day 1.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  15. Re Sean’s Quote

    “It is far more rational and non-arbitrary to defend one’s conclusion that the Bible (or particular interpretations of the Bible) is in fact trustworthy as the Word of God based on the overall weight of empirical evidence that appeals to the candid intelligent mind.”

    Dear Bob, Krismith 777, Prof Kent and Sean

    Gentleman, thank you very much for your reply to my queries on biblical interpretation. This ignorant agnostic has a lot to learn when it comes to matters of faith and your collective help is invaluable in that regard.

    I’m not sure how any text can speak for itself without interpretation of some sort. I understand the concept of looking at the plain meaning of words in law as one method of interpretation. It seems to me that the historical grammatical method of biblical interpretation is akin to that. And I see nothing inherently wrong with different interpretations of texts, sacred or otherwise. That’s only human.

    However, with the greatest respect to Prof Kent’s eloquent defence of faith alone which I understand, I think Sean’s position as per his quote above puts meat on the bones of faith. To be credible to the modern educated mind this is imperative, or else Adventist doctrine may eventually be resigned to the mythological scrap heap. Not that I don’t enjoy mythology, I cut my teeth on Greek literature and philosophy.

    Now, where I do side with Prof Kent, is I cannot see how the weight of the evidence favours creation, vs. evolution, at least not yet. To me, distinguishing between macro and micro evolution is an apologetic, creationist argument based on a presumption of life being created all at once. To my (‘candid’? ‘intelligent’?!) mind when I look at chimps I see a strong connection to humans. Similar genotypes support the notion of a common ancestor.

    As I watch Sean brilliantly debate with many evolutionists on this forum. I realize I am very much out of my league to understand the data, let alone the arguments in layman’s terms. But what a joy and wonder to observe and participate in the debate! Great stuff!

    There is something, can’t comprehend it yet, that intrigues me about intelligent design. Is chance, randomness part of a design humans don’t understand yet? Ironically, Stephen Hawkings new book, which I expect did not come into being ex nihilo, is called The Grand Design.

    What I do know is that this site in which I am privileged to partake is very valuable. I have been treated with great Christian charity and tolerance which speaks volumes about your faith. It is my express hope that you of adversarial positions can be more charitable with each other. As I have tried to establish, we all think differently; that should not be a crime but rather an invitation to learn more from each other.

    Your agnostic monkey’s uncle
    Ken




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  16. Sean&#032Pitman: @Professor Kent: I accept the Bible as having a Divine origin because of the weight of evidence regarding those claims that can actually be tested and evaluated. Those things that can be tested have proven themselves to be true. It is this weight of evidence that allows one to also trust those metaphysical claims of the Bible that cannot be directly tested.

    Phil Brantley has stated over at Spectrum that Sean has admitted to rejecting the Historical-grammatical model.

    Nothing I have seen here suggests such a thing other than some of Prof Kent’s entertaining antics suggesting something like that.

    It was my understanding that the H-G model was accepted by Sean and others here as valid, just like the rest of us would accept it. And after using that method to determine “what the Bible says” the next step was to note the confirmation or refutation of the Bible claims as presented in our objective observations “in nature” and compare the two.

    NOT with the objective of “bending the Bible to fit whatever model of popular science thinking at the time” but rather to see where points in the Bible are being highlighted (or denied as the case may be) through direct observations in nature.

    To Reject the H-G model would allow you to simply “bend the Bible” every time one of your pet ideas about nature does not fit the Bible.

    Did I miss something?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  17. Dear Krismith 777, David, Sean, Bob, Shane, et. al.

    Re Biblical interpretation

    Gentleman, although I realize your discourse is tangential to the issue of evolution being taught at LSU, it is interesting and demonstrates a very important point. Well meaning folks of the same faith can differ on the interpretation of the biblical account of creation.

    Although I am humbled -and grateful for the education – of your biblical knowledge, I ask the following: Do you use human reason, consensus of others (i.e. church doctrine), faith, or a combination of these factors, to come to your own conclusions?

    Let’s say we were in a room together and you were all teaching me the correct interpretation of Genesis. Let’s say each of your as teachers had a different, albeit slight, interpretation. Would it be wrong of me as a novice to ask if there was an empirical methodology to resolve the issue. Isn’t this what science does without the bias of faith or non faith?

    Cheers
    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




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    • @Ken:

      Let’s say we were in a room together and you were all teaching me the correct interpretation of Genesis. Let’s say each of your as teachers had a different, albeit slight, interpretation. Would it be wrong of me as a novice to ask if there was an empirical methodology to resolve the issue. Isn’t this what science does without the bias of faith or non faith?

      It wouldn’t be wrong of you at all. In fact, I would encourage it.




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  18. Pauluc at Spectrum addressed this question to me – but since Spectrum has kindly requested that I not reply on Spectrum when someone addresses a question to me – and since Pauluc’s question illustrates a key point on this thread — I am answering it here.

    Pauluc makes the argument that it would be just as wrong to accept Gen 1 as it reads – as it would to accept Matt 17 as it reads because in his view Matt 17 says that miracles are the normative mode of healing, medical treatment is invalid, and all seizures are caused by demons.

    I claim that the H-G model is valid for interpreting both Gen 1 and Matt 17 “just as they read”.

    Pauluc said –
    After considerable vebiage we finally got to the point that you in contrast to most adventists apply the same H-G to the Genesis 1 as the new testament texts such as Matt 17 on healing.
    We can now move on to the supplementary questions in David Assherick style

    Do you use modern medicine in any form? yes or no

    If you had a car accident would you use a blood transfusion? yes or no

    Would you accept care and life support in an ICU? yes or no

    Would you accept a donor organ? yes or no

    Do you think that these things are based on miracles? yes or no

    Do you think that healing in the new testament was by natural mechanisms ? yes or no

    Do you think that naturalistic moden medicine is consistent with the divine explanations of healing described in the new testament? yes or no

    If you can answer no to all these questions then I do believe you are entirely consistent in you use of the HG througout the bible

    ” At no point did Matt 17 argue that no healing takes place outside of Christ or a disciple coming to your home to do a miracle.”

    The key point is that those who use H-C to “bend the Bible” in Gen 1 are claiming that the Bible is a compilation of some rather backwoods unsavory texts – and it needs to be “dressed up” by some polite H-C bending before you can show it to your friends.

    In this next round Pauluc argues that IF there is a both-and solution for Matt 17 (both miracles AND medical treatment or natural remedy) then the same holds for Genesis 1. Possibly there is BOTH a miraculous origins for some planets and for other planets – a natural origin.

    pauluc said

    on – Tue, 04/19/2011 – 06:49
    BobRyan says

    You are absolutely and entirely right. And that is I think the main point of comparing genesis 1 and Matt 17. Both Genesis 1 and Matt 17 give descriptions of events in terms of the supernatural. One the act of creation the other the divine act of healing. Both are rooted in supernatural explanations. As you indicate Matt 17 does not argue that healing cannot be based on a natural explanation but neither does Genesis 1.

    A prescientific supernatural explanation is offered but at no point does it indicate there can be no other explanation, indeed as if to underscore this Gen 2 goes on to describe a second and different account of the same events.

    Gen 2 does not provide a chronological time-boxed sequence, but Gen 1 does.

    Gen 2 is a narrative providing details not present in Gen 1, details that have to be inserted in context into the timeline created in Gen 1:2-2:3.

    But in any case – Gen 1 and 2 do not allow for life on two different planets being created, one via creationism and one via evolutionism.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  19. Ken wrote

    Should one subordinate one’s human reason to the consensus of Church leaders or the GC in this regard?

    The answer: depends on whether you want to keep your job.




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  20. Great Article Dave!

    Excellent discussion of the way that Seventh-day Darwinian errors directly undercut the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

    In Christ,

    Bob




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  21. Rev 21 does not say the planet has no light – it says the City has no NEED of light from the Sun.

    The inconvenient deatils point to the fact that the New Earth will have a Sun and Moon but the New Jerusalem will have eternal day due to the light of God’s presence.

    This is not the hard part.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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    • @BobRyan:

      I didn’t say that that Revelation 21 said that the earth had no light; just that it cannot work with the first three Creation days having both “morning and evening” because Rev 21:25 clearly says that in God’s glory there is NO night, and therefore no evening.




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