The ‘Found’ World of Genesis 1: Is Theistic Evolution a Meaningful Option for Seventh-day Adventists?

Educate Truth shares the following article from Memory, Meaning, and Faith as a service to readers.

January 30, 2011
By Nicholas Miller (Department of Church History, SDA Theological Seminary, Andrews University)

Last weekend a scholar from Wheaton College, Prof. John Walton, came to Andrews University to share his thoughts on the question of how Genesis 1 (ESV) should be read and understood. The crux of his argument was a historical one, and thus worth discussing on this history blog. Walton is viewed in the larger evangelical community as a relatively conservative scholar who believes in the authority of Scripture in spiritual and moral matters, as well as in its claims of miracles and the supernatural. For those not at the event, a brief summary of his presentations and claims follows.

Prof. Walton’s Presentations and Ideas

On Friday night, Walton spoke to students and faculty in a lecture sponsored by the University and the Science Department. He dealt with the question of the general interpretive approach to the Old Testament. He argued that we can only understand the meaning of the stories in the Bible if we understand the worldview of its immediate intended audience. It was written to their worldview, not to that of the 21st century. While its spiritual and moral messages were also intended for today, we should recognize, Walton argued, that its authority does not lie in its claims about the physical world and material reality. He claimed that the Bible makes no scientific claims, i.e., that its observations on the natural and physical world were no different than the existing worldview(s) of the surrounding cultures.

On Sabbath afternoon, Walton spoke to the Adventist Forum group, and applied this model to the issues of Genesis 1. He observed that on day one, God did not actually create light, but rather put it to the use or function of marking off periods of light and dark. From this insight, he posited that the Hebrew mind was actually concerned about the function of things, and not their material origins. He argued that this was the model of all the days of creation, and that while he could accept that they were seven literal days of time, as we know them today, that nothing was necessarily materially created on those days. Rather, the functions of all these items—the earth, the sea, the sky, plants, animals, and humans—were instituted, and the whole was inaugurated as a temple, or sanctuary for God.

What was Walton’s view on when plants, and animals, and humans were actually, materially created? He did not say in his presentations. He suggested that one cannot answer these questions from Genesis, as it was not written for that purpose. In the Q & A sessions that followed both presentations, and from his writings on the topic, it appears that Walton is very open to accepting most of the current scientific evolutionary story. He is not a classic theistic evolutionist, in that he believes that God intervened directly in the evolutionary process, certainly at the development of life, and probably at other critical steps. But his model is essentially a modified version of theistic evolution, and very different from a traditional Adventist understanding of the creation account. Has he presented a package that should cause Adventists to reconsider their opposition to theistic evolution, or a meaningful modification of their seven-day, material creation model? I think not, for the following reasons. (Read more)

Adventist Forum has invited John Walton to speak at their “Genesis & Beyond: Celebrating Faith in a Polarized” conference Sept. 2011.

Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn1Tweet about this on TwitterDigg thisShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this to someone

61 thoughts on “The ‘Found’ World of Genesis 1: Is Theistic Evolution a Meaningful Option for Seventh-day Adventists?

  1. Walton emphasizes one truth in order to destroy another.

    Classic.

    Then when obvious questions with his paradigm are brought up that appeal to details in the text that so explicitly refute his thesis he simply “refuses to look at them” saying that the text does not have the “purpose” of stating the details – that it states!!

    He is apparently somewhat reluctant to apply the benefit of critical thinking to his own proposal!

    it appears that Walton is very open to accepting most of the current scientific evolutionary story. He is not a classic theistic evolutionist, in that he believes that God intervened directly in the evolutionary process, certainly at the development of life, and probably at other critical steps. But his model is essentially a modified version of theistic evolution

    Certainly there is a wide range of options available under the TE umbrella so they really don’t “need” to take the “distinctively atheist” positions that they often take against divine intervention and most notably to I.D.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  2. Walton’s idea that the Bible makes “no scientific claims” is totally false. When Jesus “healed” people, are we to think that the actual “healing” (lepers, paralytics, etc.) were not “scientifically” healed?

    They were told to go and present themselves to those who could make a “scientific” judgement.

    The Bible states that others, such as those actually present, could “see” the healing done. The lepers were not leprous anymore, the paralyzed were not paralyzed, etc.

    Is the Bible full of fairy tales?!




    0
    View Comment
  3. The “progressive” Adventists have really lined up behind John Walton’s cosmic temple inauguration theory of Genesis One.

    Last year on AToday’s website, someone kept after to me to read it, acting like it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I said I would only read it if I could post a review on AToday, which is here:

    http://www.atoday.com/article.php?id=501&search=The Lost World of Genesis One.

    The coordinated promotion of John Walton continued when he was invited to speak at Andrews, which led to Nicholas Miller’s blog.

    Now, I have just learned that AAF is planning to make Walton the centerpiece of its convention in Chicago over the labor day weekend. You can read the details at Spectrum:

    http://spectrummagazine.org/page/adventist-forum-conference-2011-%E2%80%93-genesis-beyond-celebrating-faith-polarized-age.

    He’s giving a presentation on Friday night and Sabbath morning, and responding to a presentation on Sunday morning.

    I get the sense that the progressives think that John Walton is going to be able to make headway against the traditional Adventist view of origins because he works at Wheaton College and signs something affirming his “high view” of Scripture. But the most important part of the high view of Scripture is the belief that it is inspired by God and thus has a truth and consistency that would not be expected if it were merely a human document. But his thesis that Genesis One is a temple inauguration text depends upon the assumption that the Bible is just like the religious writings of other ancient, near eastern civilizations. In other words, he claims to have a high view of Scripture but in fact takes a critical approach on the only issue that really counts.

    Walton’s thesis is not going to attract traditional Adventist believers, and the fact that the progressive wing has gotten so enthusiastic about it just shows how far removed their thinking is from that of mainstream Adventism.




    0
    View Comment
  4. Re Ron’s Quote

    “Walton’s idea that the Bible makes “no scientific claims” is totally false. When Jesus “healed” people, are we to think that the actual “healing” (lepers, paralytics, etc.) were not “scientifically” healed?”

    Hi Ron

    Are you saying that Jesus was a doctor and not a miracle worker?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  5. Ken,

    Ron will have to say what he meant for sure, but one way of looking at it is that if miracles happen (and I believe they do), they leave traces in the real world just like medical interventions do. To take one set of examples, we can do cataract surgeries, corneal transplants, etc. and at the end people who couldn’t see can now see. Miracles of restoring sight are recorded to have done the same.

    The healing may not have been done by scientific principles (putting clay on someone’s eyes is not a medically approved way of giving sight), but the results are equally testable “scientifically”. As a doctor and not (yet) a miracle worker, I know the difference, but the results affect the same world I inhabit, and were I there at Jesus’ miracles, I could have tested those healed for their visual acuity.

    I hope that helps.

    Paul Giem




    0
    View Comment
  6. I think the fact that this lecture was allowed at Andrews University is appalling. Our institutions have totally lost sight of the fact that their existence is for the purpose of educating SDA youth within the beliefs of the church. I personally disdain all this scientific nonsense. What God wrote is truth. We don’t have to make it comply with all the bogus philosophies of the world. I see so many in this controversy who have accepted education as their God and left the true God behind. He isn’t subject to our judgments. We are subject to His. Don’t ever forget that. These pompous individuals who dare to judge God and His word are modern blasphemers. They are not to be regarded as anything more or less. In my opinion, we as a church would be far better off with less worldly “education” and more Scripture.




    0
    View Comment
    • @Faith:

      Faith: What God wrote is truth. We don’t have to make it comply with all the bogus philosophies of the world. I see so many in this controversy who have accepted education as their God and left the true God behind.

      Faith: In my opinion, we as a church would be far better off with less worldly “education” and more Scripture.

      If you really think that, then you should focus your energy on promoting schools that agree with you rather than trying to force accredited schools to lose their accreditation. Try Hartland or Weimar.




      0
      View Comment
      • @Adventist kid:

        Turns out we don’t have a good reason to simply surrender all ability to think critically to the gods of junk-science evolutionism who proclaim that birds come from reptiles “no matter the observations in nature to the contrary”.

        not sure why that comes as a surprise to a few of our “give me Dawkins not Dr. Veith” SDA students on the west coast.

        in Christ,

        Bob




        0
        View Comment
      • @Adventist kid:

        Here is a related point for review.

        Sophistry of False Science—We need to guard continually against the sophistry in regard to geology and other branches of science falsely so-called, which have not one semblance of truth. The theories of great men need to be carefully sifted of the slightest trace of infidel suggestions. One tiny seed sown by teachers in our schools, if received by the students, will raise a harvest of unbelief. The Lord has given all the brilliancy of intellect that man possesses, and it should be devoted to His service (The Signs of the Times, March 1, 1898).
        {7BC 916.8}

        Hmm – I guess that quote turned out to be correct after all.

        in Christ,

        Bob




        0
        View Comment
      • BobRyan: (The Signs of the Times, March 1, 1898).
        {7BC 916.8}

        Bahahahaha. And why should we take seriously that individual again? I surely hope you haven’t been riding your bicycle, drinking milk, eating cinnamon, or taking showers on Saturday.




        0
        View Comment
  7. Hi Paul

    I think your distinction between science applying to the testing vs. the agency of the healing is fine.

    I suppose once upon a time the body healing itself, before we knew how it did so, was considered a miracle as well. The wonder of science in all disciplines is that it applies empiricism to cause and effect phenomenom rather than supernatural explanation.

    The problem with personal testimony is that it is fraught with the peril of inaccuracy or ulterior motivation. Just ask any lawyer who carefully cross examines his or her own client, before trial, as to their evidence. In almost every situation it is inaccurate to a degree, even if the deponent thinks they are telling the truth. And events recorded long after the fact tend to suffer from embellishment.

    Recently Ive been interested in comparing Sumerian/ Babylonian creation and flood stories to those of the Bible and examining the
    parallels. Fascinating how the number 7 keeps cropping up in both accounts. It appears as if one has influenced the other. Any ideas of which was recorded first in time?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  8. Adventist kid: I surely hope you haven’t been riding your bicycle, drinking milk, eating cinnamon, or taking showers on Saturday.

    This comment demonstrates a lack of understanding regarding what Ellen White has said on the issues listed. The opinion of the author is clear, he has rejected her as a messenger of God. That’s his choice, but is not representative of a Seventh-day Adventist which he keeps trying to present himself as.




    0
    View Comment
    • @Shane Hilde:

      Shane Hilde: That’s his choice, but is not representative of a Seventh-day Adventist which he keeps trying to present himself as.

      Apparently Shane thinks he’s the arbiter of what represents Adventism. I beg to differ.




      0
      View Comment
      • @Adventist kid:

        AK argues explicitly against the SDA FB 6 and argues a “Give me Dawkins instead” here on EducateTruth.

        Then innexplicably AK claims that anyone who argues in favor of SDA FB 6 is not accurately reflecting the published SDA position on origins.

        How self-conflicted that argument.

        How predictable.

        in Christ,

        Bob




        0
        View Comment
  9. BobRyan: not sure why that comes as a surprise to a few of our “give me Dawkins not Dr. Veith” SDA students on the west coast.

    But Dawkins is in complete agreement with Ellen White and 3SG 90-91. Dawkins and Darwin both tell us that we cannot marry evolution and the Bible, which higher reasoning also dictates. So maybe Dawkins is not so bad after all.




    0
    View Comment
    • @Professor Kent:

      By all means – when atheist evolutionists have more honest in “stepping up to the plate” and admitting the gap between the Bible and evolutionism – than TE’s do – we have to give credit where credit is due.

      Those who want to claim to be “more in the dark” than an atheist evolutionist like Dawkins – need to figure that one out for themselves.

      in Christ,

      Bob




      0
      View Comment
  10. Ken: Re Ron’s Quote“Walton’s idea that the Bible makes “no scientific claims” is totally false. When Jesus “healed” people, are we to think that the actual “healing” (lepers, paralytics, etc.) were not “scientifically” healed?”Hi RonAre you saying that Jesus was a doctor and not a miracle worker?Your agnostic friendKen

    From the descriptions in the Bible, He was both a “doctor” and a “miracle worker.” We, as SDA’s say He is the “Great Physician.”

    The Bible makes a “claim” that He did this, and healing is in the realm of science, isn’t it?




    0
    View Comment
  11. BobRyan: Sophistry of False Science—We need to guard continually against the sophistry in regard to geology and other branches of science falsely so-called, which have not one semblance of truth. (The Signs of the Times, March 1, 1898).
    {7BC 916.8}

    Now hold on a minute. This website employs a TON of geology and other branches of science to support “truth.” It may well be that we have to dig to find the 0.2% of science that supports a young earth and fiat creation, but that is what this website is all about. We can’t dismiss all of science while using it to reach the conclusion that the “weight of evidence supports the SDA position.” Without that science, there is no evidence. And without the evidence, our beliefs would be as useless as believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We all know this by now. 3SG 90-91 makes this clear.




    0
    View Comment
  12. Professor Kent: It may well be that we have to dig to find the 0.2% of science that supports a young earth and fiat creation, but that is what this website is all about.

    No, this website is all about the following:

    1. Transparency at LSU.

    2. LSU employing professors who are not representing the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in their classes.

    3. We would like to see a fair, supportive, and encouraging environment for students who believe in the church’s position on creation.

    4. The Bible find its place as the ultimate authority on all it touches upon within the classroom.

    A creationist who thinks the weight of evidence is in favor of evolutionary thoery, is no good to Adventist education. I would even go so far to say that they’re more harm than a straight evolutionist.




    0
    View Comment
  13. Faith: I think the fact that this lecture was allowed at Andrews University is appalling. Our institutions have totally lost sight of the fact that their existence is for the purpose of educating SDA youth within the beliefs of the church. I personally disdain all this scientific nonsense. What God wrote is truth. We don’t have to make it comply with all the bogus philosophies of the world. I see so many in this controversy who have accepted education as their God and left the true God behind. He isn’t subject to our judgments. We are subject to His. Don’t ever forget that. These pompous individuals who dare to judge God and His word are modern blasphemers. They are not to be regarded as anything more or less. In my opinion, we as a church would be far better off with less worldly “education” and more Scripture.

    Faith, There are a number of individuals at AU who are liberals and progressives as we see at LSU. Fortunately, the majority still hold to God’s Truth, as does Nicholas Miller, whom I met at the homosexuality conference at AU in Oct. 2009.

    Also, the Senior Pastor at AU seems also to be a strong supporter of God’s Word, unlike some of our other SDA institutions.




    0
    View Comment
  14. Shane Hilde: I would even go so far to say that they’re more harm than a straight evolutionist.
    You’re exactly right, Shane. A professor (or pastor) who has access to our SDA students and members is much more dangerous.




    0
    View Comment
  15. Ken: Hi PaulI think your distinction between science applying to the testing vs. the agency of the healing is fine.I suppose once upon a time the body healing itself, before we knew how it did so, was considered a miracle as well. Your agnostic friendKen

    Ken, Miracles still happen regarding “the body healing itself.”

    One personal example is my breaking both my tibia and fibula in 2002. They were displaced fractures, so I had screws, pins, and a plate put in.

    The doctor placed the appliances, gave me a cast, and told me to come back in 4 weeks.

    At that time he told me the bones had started healing great, and he put me in a walking boot for another 4 weeks.

    I went back, and the doctor told me the bones had healed themselves 100%. I then could walk on my leg as before and have been doing great ever since.

    Is that not an example of the “body healing itself?” I certainly give credit to God for “healing” me, even though the orthopedist helped out, by allowing the healing to take place in a position that would allow me to walk normally for the rest of my life.




    0
    View Comment
  16. Ken,

    :
    Hi Paul

    I think your distinction between science applying to the testing vs. the agency of the healing is fine.

    Glad that we can find common ground.

    I suppose once upon a time the body healing itself, before we knew how it did so, was considered a miracle as well. The wonder of science in all disciplines is that it applies empiricism to cause and effect phenomenom rather than supernatural explanation.

    We still don’t know completely how the body heals itself, although we have a few more clues than we used to. I agree that science applies empirical principles to cause and effect phenomena, but it has not been mechanistic since the days of Newton. Gravity in particular had no mechanism until Einstein, who solved it with a field warping space-time, only to start quantum mechanics which has no known or reasonably conceivable mechanism at present. Science as properly conceived has no objection to the supernatural in principle; it is just much harder to study.

    The problem with personal testimony is that it is fraught with the peril of inaccuracy or ulterior motivation. Just ask any lawyer who carefully cross examines his or her own client, before trial, as to their evidence. In almost every situation it is inaccurate to a degree, even if the deponent thinks they are telling the truth. And events recorded long after the fact tend to suffer from embellishment.

    The problem is that with history, as opposed to science, one has to depend on witnesses, particularly if there is no photographic or recording evidence. Thus, even though the testimony is “inaccurate to a degree”, it is often the best we have.

    Recently Ive been interested in comparing Sumerian/ Babylonian creation and flood stories to those of the Bible and examining the parallels. Fascinating how the number 7 keeps cropping up in both accounts. It appears as if one has influenced the other. Any ideas of which was recorded first in time?

    If P. E. Wiseman is correct, the Biblical account is first. That’s not a popular answer, but he’s got some pretty good arguments.

    Enjoy your reading!

    Paul




    0
    View Comment
  17. Hi Paul

    Thanks for your comments which are fairly and reasonably stated.

    Yes, quantum mechanics is very much a theoretical discipline but a fascinating one. The idea that a particle can take every conceivable between two points is a hard one to grasp. Maybe God is like that: everywhere at once 🙂

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  18. Re Ron’s Quote

    “Ken, Miracles still happen regarding “the body healing itself.”

    Hi Ron

    Thanks, I enjoyed your comments. I have known folks that somehow recovered from terminal cancer. Amazing stuff!

    Would you say that this type of unexplainable healing occurs even with agnostics and atheists as well? If so what does that say about the nature of miracles?

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  19. Shane Hilde: No, this website is all about the following:
    1. Transparency at LSU.
    2. LSU employing professors who are not representing the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in their classes.
    3. We would like to see a fair, supportive, and encouraging environment for students who believe in the church’s position on creation.
    4. The Bible find its place as the ultimate authority on all it touches upon within the classroom.

    I appreciate your clarification, as I support all four of these. I like point #4 in particular. After the hundreds of exchanges regarding the tension between faith and evidence, I’m glad that you and I can agree that the Bible rather than science is the ultimate authority, and not just within the classroom but within the denomination.

    (Not that 3SG 90-91 isn’t important; let’s be clear on this.)




    0
    View Comment
  20. Dear Paul

    I wanted to complement your on your respectful,Christian manner in gently dealing with old apostates like myself. You are a credit to your faith and a delight to dialogue with.

    I think we sometimes forget, that notwithstanding the strength of our convictions for which we should not be faulted, we can treat others respectfully without diminishing our position. You are a master of this. To me that charity was what I remember best from the stories I recall from Sunday school.

    Your preposition dangling agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  21. After AdventistKid came out against the SDA view of origins and in favor of Richard Dawkins’ version – I simply note how true this quote proved to be in that regard.

    Sophistry of False Science —We need to guard continually against the sophistry in regard to geology and other branches of science falsely so-called, which have not one semblance of truth. The theories of great men need to be carefully sifted of the slightest trace of infidel suggestions. One tiny seed sown by teachers in our schools, if received by the students, will raise a harvest of unbelief. The Lord has given all the brilliancy of intellect that man possesses, and it should be devoted to His service (The Signs of the Times, March 1, 1898).
    {7BC 916.8}

    The point above about teachers in our schools sowing seeds of doubt among the students – which then yields a harvest of “give me Dawkins not SDA views on origins” unbelief could hardly be ignored just then.

    At least by many readers here.

    Professor Kent:

    Now hold on a minute. This website employs a TON of geology and other branches of science to support “truth.”

    Indeed it does. The critical thinking that would be used to “note the details” in that quote I gave – would quickly see that it is the element of “lying” (fallacious arguments) that some choose to insert into science so as to promote the atheist agendan — that is being rejected, not science itself.

    Yet for many evolutionists “sophistry IS science”. They would argue that the fallacious arguments inserted to promote an atheist agenda are themselves the very “heart of science” and so without their favored storytelling science “just isnt science”. Now as much as that by-fait-alone position may be uncritically accepted by evolutionists, it does not fly so well among those inclined to some critical thinking in that regard.

    Regarding the “sophistries inserted into science” as identified in that quote – Kent said:

    Kent said:

    We can’t dismiss all of science while using it to reach the conclusion that the “weight of evidence supports the SDA position.” Without that science, there is no evidence. And without the evidence, our beliefs would be as useless as believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Indeed – science “good”

    “sophistry inserted into science” – “bad”.

    Thank you for providing a post that requires that this point be amplified and highlighted. Your check should be in the mail.

    😉

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  22. Ken: Re Ron’s Quote“Ken, Miracles still happen regarding “the body healing itself.”Hi RonThanks, I enjoyed your comments. I have known folks that somehow recovered from terminal cancer. Amazing stuff!Would you say that this type of unexplainable healing occurs even with agnostics and atheists as well? If so what does that say about the nature of miracles?Your agnostic friendKen

    The concept of “terminal” as applied to medicine, is a totally manmade idea. It usually means, “Hey, from what we have experienced before, you’re not going to be a “cancer survivor.”

    However, notice the doctors do not “guarantee” what will happen. The fight againlt cancer is mainly done by our immune system, to either prevent the abnormalities from forming in our DNA, repairing what has happened to the DNA, or killing the cancer cells.

    So, certainly this type of healing could occur in anyone, whether a “believer” or not. Is is “unexplained” sometimes because we cannot explain how this particular person did better than the previous persons who had a similare type of cancer, in the same stage.

    So, I would say that the simple fact that someone did not have the same result (death in a short time) would not necessarily be a “miracle” although it could be.




    0
    View Comment
  23. Paul Giem: Ken,Ron will have to say what he meant for sure, but one way of looking at it is that if miracles happen (and I believe they do), they leave traces in the real world just like medical interventions do. To take one set of examples, we can do cataract surgeries, corneal transplants, etc. and at the end people who couldn’t see can now see. Miracles of restoring sight are recorded to have done the same.The healing may not have been done by scientific principles (putting clay on someone’s eyes is not a medically approved way of giving sight), but the results are equally testable “scientifically”. As a doctor and not (yet) a miracle worker, I know the difference, but the results affect the same world I inhabit, and were I there at Jesus’ miracles, I could have tested those healed for their visual acuity.I hope that helps.Paul Giem

    Thanks Paul for your great insight. Do we ever find anyone questioning or denying whether Jesus actually did these miracles?The “traces” were plainly seen and experienced by others.




    0
    View Comment
  24. Adventist kid: Apparently Shane thinks he’s the arbiter of what represents Adventism. I beg to differ.

    I don’t have to be, but I do know what Seventh-day Adventists believe. You obviously disagree with several of their beliefs. So you may be a Christian, but to claim you’re an Adventist while rejecting several of their major beliefs seems a bit irrational.




    0
    View Comment
  25. My, Andrew’s presenter Mr. Walton really tickles me no end! I can sympathize with him; he is understandable because he is not a biblical conservative as we; he does not allow the Bible to be its own interpreter; he interprets the Bible from his own view point according to his research. We biblical SDAs allow the Bible to guide us in our understanding and interpretation of the facts. In other words, the Bible is our foundation and arbiter of our beliefs, not people, research, or ‘apparent’ scientific facts. We do not believe that there is any discrepancy between true science and the Bible. What shocks me more is why do we waste our time inviting people who are off bass in their beliefs? Have they invited Dr. Veith to speak yet? I am surprised and not surprised that they have not. Andrews is one of my alma maters, but I am again saddened to see that they continue to reach for the trees rather than for the stars!




    0
    View Comment
  26. Ron D Henderson: My, Andrew’s presenter Mr. Walton really tickles me no end! I can sympathize with him; he is understandable because he is not a biblical conservative as we; he does not allow the Bible to be its own interpreter; he interprets the Bible from his own view point according to his research. We biblical SDAs allow the Bible to guide us in our understanding and interpretation of the facts. In other words, the Bible is our foundation and arbiter of our beliefs, not people, research, or ‘apparent’ scientific facts. We do not believe that there is any discrepancy between true science and the Bible. What shocks me more is why do we waste our time inviting people who are off bass in their beliefs? Have they invited Dr. Veith to speak yet? I am surprised and not surprised that they have not. Andrews is one of my alma maters, but I am again saddened to see that they continue to reach for the trees rather than for the stars!

    I am also an Andrews graduate, and I also am disappointed in some of their actions.




    0
    View Comment
  27. BobRyan: Now as much as that by-fait-alone position may be uncritically accepted by evolutionists, it does not fly so well among those inclined to some critical thinking in that regard.

    Indeed, this is the problem we see in 3SG 90-91. Those who lack critical thinking remain unaware about the uncritically accepted by-fait-alone position that reptiles can fly so well tbat they become birds.

    This birds to reptiles happy fiction would not exist if everyone would just agree with Dawkins, Provine, Myer, Darwin, and Ryan that 3SG 90-91 reveals that theistic evolution cannot be married to the Bible. Even Colin Patterson recognized that birds to reptiles was happy fiction and infidelity of the worst kind that curious minds want to know but which higher reasoning rejects. And yet we know that TE’s exist, as if that’s an argument we haven’t overlooked.

    Just stating the obvious.




    0
    View Comment
  28. I am impressed with Kent’s efforts to try and state my position accurately.

    But for the sake of accuracy – a few corrections.

    Kent said:

    This birds to reptiles happy fiction would not exist if everyone would just agree with Dawkins, Provine, Myer, Darwin, and Ryan that 3SG 90-91 reveals that theistic evolution cannot be married to the Bible.

    Not correct. I have stated that Dawkins,Provine, Meyer and Darwin have no other choice but the myths and fables of evolutionism since they are determined atheists. It is pretty much the only option for the atheist, no matter the defects in that belief system.

    Next we have

    Kent said:

    Even Colin Patterson recognized that birds to reptiles was happy fiction and infidelity of the worst kind that curious minds want to know but which higher reasoning rejects.

    Hmm – a total munge, spin and misdirect by Kent. How “curious”. How “unnexpected”.

    Now the truth:

    Colin Patterson was until his dying day an atheist “with nowhere else to go” just like Dawkins and the rest.

    Patterson’s argument was not that the bogus thing that Kent stated – which is that the false religion of evolutionism is to be rejected.

    Rather, Patterson’s argument is three fold.

    1. No matter how flawed the argument for evol – he has nowhere else to go so he simply laments the problems that he sees.

    2. He argues that evolutionist religionists who insist on “evolution as revealed truth” and who “make up stories from the fossil record about how one thing came from another” are in that respect engaged in non-science. He claims this is the case since the fossil record “by definition” cannot serve that purpose.

    3. Patterson argues that the religionist dogmatism over evolutionism “as revealed truth” actually conveys “antiknowledge”.

    What is more surprising than these obvious problems with the story for evolutionism honestly stated by an atheist evolutionist – is how a supposed “creationist” (self proclaimed) such as Kent – fails to even state my objections to evolutionism all the while complaining that those objections are “too often” repeated.

    It is sorta like the Kent’s position that he has no time to work on answering challenges to evolutionism that are imagined by his favorite website “talkorigins”, he only has time to find new ways to complain about the creationist arguments.

    How curious.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  29. Ron D Henderson: My, Andrew’s presenter Mr. Walton really tickles me no end! I can sympathize with him; he is understandable because he is not a biblical conservative as we; he does not allow the Bible to be its own interpreter; he interprets the Bible from his own view point

    He is using eisgesis to bring “his agenda” to the text and see how far he can “bend it”.

    As I said in my first post here – when it comes to creation Walton insists that the text of Genesis does not have the purpose of making the statements that it makes — so we should ignore them.

    Clearly a great deal of critical thinking was thrown out the window if someone at AU was taking Walton’s idea seriously just then.

    I too am suprised that the level of AU initiative that would think to envite Walton – would not have first envited Veith!

    However what this shows is that our church Admin has a much larger problem lurding BEHIND the LSU fiasco and that a kids-glove soft-shoe less-than solution for LSU will be interpreted as “an opportunity” by those rising factions who promote similar agendas at almost all of our other schools.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  30. Re Bob’s Quote

    “However what this shows is that our church Admin has a much larger problem lurding BEHIND the LSU fiasco and that a kids-glove soft-shoe less-than solution for LSU will be interpreted as “an opportunity” by those rising factions who promote similar agendas at almost all of our other schools.”

    Dear Ron and Bob

    Bob, I think you are right.

    If this is happening in the open, without apology and with silence from the Church officials, what does this say about the leadership in your church to enforce FB#6.

    It is not enough to talk the talk, leaders must walk the walk or face a lack of credibility.

    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  31. Ken – good point.

    That is part of the reason that Church leadership was so decisive in the GC 2010 session to uphold FB#6 to the point of voting to make it more explicit.

    In one review of the GC session vote we have this observation –

    In the deliberations on the floor and in their vote for these two actions delegates essentially rejected the new views on Creation, arguing that theistic evolution:

    (i) undermines the authority and reliability of Scripture,
    (ii) attacks the character of God,
    (iii) overturns key aspects of the doctrine of salvation,
    (iv) overthrows the foundation for morality
    (v) seriously erodes distinctive doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

    The 2004 Affirmation of Creation Statement ensures that there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind about our church’s position. It was very clear that the representatives of the world church were very concerned that at a time when the Church needed resources to preach the gospel, we are actually paying some people to stand in our classrooms and pulpits to undermine our biblical teaching on Creation. I believe that the 2004 Affirmation Statement will ensure that our members and employees are held accountable.
    By recommending to the Church Manual Committee a rewording of our current Fundamental Belief #6 to incorporate the essential components of the Affirmation of Creation Statement, the delegates were seeking to bring a definitive closure to the claim by some that theistic evolution is an option for Seventh-day Adventists.




    0
    View Comment
  32. Dear Ron and BobBob, I think you are right.If this is happening in the open, without apology and with silence from the Church officials, what does this say about the leadership in your church to enforce FB#6.It is not enough to talk the talk, leaders must walk the walk or face a lack of credibility.Your agnostic friendKen
    Ken, You may not be aware of this, but our SDA Church in the Pacific Union Conference is actually a “rogue” division in a number of ways. One of which is they believe they can do whatever they want (ordination of women as pastors, support “gay marriage” etc.) despite the entire world church’s denying these as SDA biblical beliefs.

    You see this in the total lack of any supervision of the LSU Board which has numerous members of the Pacific Union Conference, including the President, as members. Thus, we see a “rogue” administration being supported (by lack of any supervision of the Board) by “church officials.”

    These so-called leaders are not “walking the walk” and have very little credibility in the minds of many members, including me.




    0
    View Comment
  33. BobRyan: (i) undermines the authority and reliability of Scripture,
    (ii) attacks the character of God,
    (iii) overturns key aspects of the doctrine of salvation,
    (iv) overthrows the foundation for morality
    (v) seriously erodes distinctive doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

    What?!? They apparently forgot to add:

    (vi) is the worst form of infidelity

    Based, of course, on 3SG 90-91, which every SDA must be made aware of.




    0
    View Comment
    • @Eddie:

      I agree the reviewer left out the 3SG 90-94 section however the summary statements as I quoted from the article and as you – requoted from my post – are actually in 3SG 90-94 as well… so you need not feel too bad about the quote itself missing.

      Thanks for bringing it up though. I think that some of our TE “friends and family” are starting to think about possibly of one day reading those few pages to see what they say.

      in Christ,

      Bob




      0
      View Comment
  34. Eddie: Based, of course, on 3SG 90-91, which every SDA must be made aware of.

    Good point, Sir Eddie. Some people actually state that “TE’s exist” as if 3SG 90-91 didn’t make this point clear.

    That is the easy part.




    0
    View Comment
  35. The main reason we need to rewrite FB#6 is because the plain language of scripture is not clear enough for some. That’s why the language for the belief must insert that each “evening and morning” is a continuous 24-hour day. This way, the TE’s and those who remain unpersuaded will no longer have to use critical reasoning to remain within the Church, and 3SG 90-91 will become more clear to them.




    0
    View Comment
    • @Professor Kent:

      1. Most TEs teaching in our schools do not even bring up 3SG 90-94 to their students lest a discussion of the points raised in that text ensue.

      I for one am very happy to see you now so fully accepting of the points we find there. Please continue.

      2. Another “obvious” point is that the Bible and FB#6 were plenty clear enough for the entire World church of SDAs as can be seen reflected in the GC 2010 vote fully in favor of the response to creation statement from the Faith and Sciences conference. But they also “admitted to the obvious” in pointing out the work of others who were trying to wedge devotion to evolutionism into the FB#6 framework.

      3. Thus the update for FB#6 does little or nothing for those who are already inclined toward the H-G model for rendering the text (which turns out to be th majority of SDAs in the world church). It does everything for those seeking to shut down the Fritz-Guy style loop hole that has been “imagined” for us in the FB6 text.

      4. Obviously a lot of mileage has been created out of Frit’s claims that the loopholes were deliberately crafted into the text. No sense in denying that those claims exist.

      in Christ,

      Bob




      0
      View Comment
  36. BobRyan: Most TEs teaching in our schools do not even bring up 3SG 90-94 to their students lest a discussion of the points raised in that text ensue.

    I thought 3SG 90-91 was adequate. Why are we now expanding the enforced teaching of Ellen White in biology curricula? I assume this has something to do with “TE’s exist,” higher critical thinking, reptiles-to-birds happy fiction storytelling, and a POV that inquiring minds want to know. Perhaps we could have another hundred exchanges explaining the nuances of 3SG 92-94, and how Darwin, Dawkins, Provine, Mayr, Patterson, and Clinton all agree with it. We are all looking forward to the discussion.




    0
    View Comment
  37. BobRyan: Most TEs teaching in our schools do not even bring up 3SG 90-94 to their students lest a discussion of the points raised in that text ensue.

    Professor Kent:
    I thought 3SG 90-91 was adequate. Why are we now expanding the enforced teaching of Ellen White in biology curricula?

    TE’s that insist on indoctrinating SDA students in favor of TE are morally obligated to mention 3SG 90-94 as you have pointed out in several posts so far.

    I thank you.

    I would argue that any mention of TE “existing” would of course include that insightful warning about the effects of TE as we find it in 3SG.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  38. Thanks to you (and in some small part me), we now understand the truths of 3SG 90-91. Can you please fill us in on what we need to understand about 3SG 92-94? As you have said many times, “inquiring minds want to know.”




    0
    View Comment
  39. Bingo! Bob Ryan and Professor Kent, keep on pounding the head on the nail! The loophole in FB#6 must be closed so that TE’s can no longer wriggle throughout it, because TE’s exist!!! Furthermore, 3SG 90-91 should be an integral theme in every SDA biology course! Why?!? Because TE’s exist!!! And higher critical thinking is required for TE’s, who actually exist, to understand that reptiles-to-birds is mere fiction storytelling! Otherwise, inquiring minds might wonder why SDAs allow TE’s to exist within the church!!!




    0
    View Comment
  40. It would be silly to suppose that our SDA biology courses, that at times must veer from pure science into the various belief systems for evolutionism, would never discuss the TE as contrasted to the more consistent atheist form of evolutionism.

    I simply point out that when that subject comes up they should give the TE discussion the benefit of the reveiw of 3SG 90-91.

    In other words — I am suggesting that SDA institutions would take the obvous step so that students can be fully informed.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  41. We should make sure that non-SDAs also become informed about 3SG 90-91 because this can help ensure that they actually believe in the Bible.

    Hint: if you don’t believe in 3SG 90-91, you cannot believe in the Bible. Even Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin agree with Ellen White on this.




    0
    View Comment
  42. While it is true that atheist evolutionists and Bible believing Christians are agreed on the fact that the bible cannot be married to evolutionism… the atheists are obviously not stating that in the same language as 3SG 90-94 nor do they fully embrace all the Christian views presented in 3SG 90-94.

    Which brings up the question as to why Kent thinks that Adventists do not read 3SG 90-94 with more insight than an atheist.

    And also makes us wonder how it is that the TE POV (that Kent is so now apparently once again so happy with ) could be more clueless than the atheist perspective on the obvious point that the Bible cannot be married to belief in evolutionism.

    Apparently Kent would like to argue that the clueless TE POV is “a strength” in that it is more befuddled than atheist evolutionists when it comes to admitting to the obvious contradiction between the Bible and belief in evolutionism.

    I suggest that we give the atheist evolutionists “credit where credit is due” — Kent “not the creationist” apparently feels it is better to mock both their valid observations and the position of 3SG 90-94.

    How “instructive” for the unbiased objective reader.

    Oh well – I guess we all knew that that short cameo appearance by Kent “the Creationist” was not going to last forever.

    😉

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  43. BobRyan: Which brings up the question as to why Kent thinks that Adventists do not read 3SG 90-94 with more insight than an atheist.

    Probably because most SDAs have never read 3SG 90-94, or even 3SG 90-91, or Educate Truth, but thanks to Bob Ryan this message is now spreading like wildfire throughout SDA churches, because inquiring minds need to know that TE’s exist!!! How “instructive” for the unbiased reader!!!!!




    0
    View Comment
  44. BobRyan said : Which brings up the question as to why Kent thinks that Adventists do not read 3SG 90-94 with more insight than an atheist.

    Probably because most SDAs have never read 3SG 90-94

    Agreed. Hence the misguided TE initiative suggested by some SDAs who pretend to be “more in the dark” than even Dawkins on that point.

    BTW – the open article poses the question as to whether the TE option is a valid one for SDAs. How “instructive” then that the one promoting that idea (Walton) is not an SDA.

    food for thought.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  45. BobRyan: Which brings up the question as to why Kent thinks that Adventists do not read 3SG 90-94 with more insight than an atheist.

    What made you think I think this? This is a good question if I think this, but do I even think this, and if I don’t think this, then why would it be a good question at all?

    What could be more insufferable than Bob endlessly repeating Bob? Hint: it could be Bob repeating Kent repeating Bob repeating Kent repeating Bob. The point remains.

    Food for thought.




    0
    View Comment
  46. Dear Editors of Educate Truth

    With respect,I think the comments portion of this site has devolved into a forum of those with personal axes to grind and little else. They simply can’t help themselves which is very unfortunate for your larger readership, if it any longer exists.

    I wish to thank all those well meaning folks I have had the pleasure to dialogue with over the years. I have learned a great deal and been treated gracefully and with respect. I wish you all the best.

    Good bye.

    I remain,
    Your agnostic friend
    Ken




    0
    View Comment
  47. Ken: With respect,I think the comments portion of this site has devolved into a forum of those with personal axes to grind and little else.

    Or evolved? How “instructive” for the unbiased objective reader!




    0
    View Comment
  48. BobRyan said

    “However what this shows is that our church Admin has a much larger problem lurking BEHIND the LSU fiasco and that a kids-glove soft-shoe less-than solution for LSU will be interpreted as “an opportunity” by those rising factions who promote similar agendas at almost all of our other schools.”

    Ken replied –

    Ken:
    Dear Ron and Bob
    Bob, I think you are right.
    If this is happening in the open, without apology and with silence from the Church officials, what does this say about the leadership in your church to enforce FB#6.

    As Ron points out – the phrase “SDA church officials” covers much more territory than the small click in the Pacific Union or the local SECC (South Eastern Calif Conf) that hosts LSU. The GC 2010 session points out that church leaders across the world in the SDA church take the creation statement of scripture very seriously and are not inclined to toss the Bible out the window in favor of blind faith in birds-come-from-reptiles evolutionism.

    Do not confuse the local SECC issues with the administrative POV of the entire SDA church.

    in Christ,

    Bob




    0
    View Comment
  49. Pingback: The ‘Found’ World of Genesis 1 Part II: How Does Science Inform Theology | Educate Truth

  50. Faith: fact that their existence is for the purpose of educating SDA youth within the beliefs of the church

    Actually, I think the purpose of our institutions is to teach young people the truth. And Mrs. White says explicitly that the purpose of our science programs is to correct errors in doctrine.




    0
    View Comment

Comments are closed.