@Professor Kent: @ Inge Anderson, Ahem…this is actually the very approach that …

Comment on Why those who hate the Bible love blind-faith Christians by Inge Anderson.

@Professor Kent:

@ Inge Anderson,
Ahem…this is actually the very approach that Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias is pushing, which happens to be EXACTLY what Sean Pitman and Bob Ryan are pushing. What have you been reading? I suggest you go to the article above and see what Pitman actually says about this approach. Catholic? That’s an interesting observation.  

I believe you are mistaken. (Your posts sometimes seem a bit surreal — like insisting that black is truly white and white is truly black.)

The Catholic position is that the Bible and tradition (plus whatever) are on a more or less equal plane, which is similar to certain Adventist professors seemingly regarding science and the Bible as having equal authority, though, in practical terms, demonstrating that they see science as being more authoritative, because they reinterpret the Scriptures to match the current scientific paradigm … more or less.

By contrast, it is clear that Dr Pitman accepts a biblical world view (necessarily rejecting a naturalistic world view) and thus demonstrates in practical terms that he honors the Bible above the “scientific” interpretation of the evidence found in the natural world — no matter how vehemently he is accused of undermining the Bible.

I continue to regard the parable of the two sons in Matthew 21 as relevant to the current discussion.

Inge Anderson Also Commented

Why those who hate the Bible love blind-faith Christians
@Professor Kent

And here is yet another quote from the same source (Edward Zinke), published by the Review and Herald Publishing Association:

Also, I failed to grasp the authority of the Bible when I wanted to take the “truths” discovered in the natural world and synthesize them with the truths from the scripture.

It seems to me that Edward Zinke was attempting to do what the professors in some of our schools (notably La Sierra) have actually done – “synthesized” “truths” of science with the Bible, not recognizing that the Bible is, in fact, accurate in its historical narrative. In their “synthesis,” they reinterpreted the Bible to accommodate science (falsely so called).

It is highly ironic that anyone should attempt to use Dr Zinke’s confession to attempt to put down Dr Pitman’s spirited defense of the historicity of the biblical narrative.

Dr Zinke confesses to having used an approach that is foundational to Catholic theology — that of regarding tradition (or science) as being of equal authority as the Scriptures. That is actually a self-serving twisting of the true meaning of “primacy of the Scriptures,” which means that Scripture is “above all,” and that all other sources of spiritual authority must be tested by the Bible.

Dr Zinke makes very clear below that he was unconsciously using the Catholic approach:

Without realizing it, I was using a method that came from the major theologian of the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas. For him, theology rested upon the Bible AND nature, the Bible AND reason, and the Bible AND church tradition.

I believe Dr Pitman has been saying that if we reject the historical/scientific accuracy of Genesis, which other Bible writers regarded as accurate history, we undermine the very foundation of biblical authority. If the Bible is not accurate regarding the things we can see, how can we trust it regarding things we can not see?

So Dr Pitman has been actively defending the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible. It is ironic that those who actively oppose his defense appear to try to wrap themselves in mantles of “faith.”

Why those who hate the Bible love blind-faith Christians
Professor Kent cites statements from Edward Zinke as authoritative exposition of Adventist doctrine, but I accept Seventh-day Adventists Believe … “ as considerably more authoritative, considering that it results from the work of over 200 Adventist leaders and teachers, rather than just one individual. And I find that volume to corroborate the approach of Dr Pitman in statements such as these:

“[God’s] self-revelation stands rooted in real events that occurred in a definite time and place. The reliability of the historical accounts is extremely important because they form the framework of our understanding of God’s character and His purpose for us.” (p. 10)

This sounds to me very much like what Dr Pitman has been writing all along.

In the same source I read:

“the Bible’s writers viewed all the historical narratives it contains as true historical records, not as myths or symbols. Many contemporary skeptics reject the stories of Adam and Even, John, and the Flood. Yet Jesus accepted them as historically accurate and spiritually relevant.” (p. 11)

It is transparently obvious that it is impossible to accept both the origin-by-evolution scenario and the Bible as historically accurate accounts of our origin.

Dr Pitman has consistently defended the accuracy of the biblical narrative, in harmony with Adventist beliefs, and has been just as consistently attacked by certain posters for doing so. In the process Dr Pitman has been accused of not having sufficient respect for the Bible, not sufficient faith, etc.

That is high irony indeed.

Apparently these posters object to the rational/scientific defense of the biblical account, characterizing such defense as contrary to faith while also implying that the teaching of the evolutionary scenario as factual in our universities should not be questioned or even exposed to the public.

Jesus told a parable of two sons — the first at first refused to do as the Father wished, while the other appeared to obey. The first, in fact, did as the Father asked, while the latter did not obey.

It seems to me that those professing “faith” in the Bible, while arguing strenuously against Dr Pitman’s defense of the biblical account are very much like the second son who appeared to obey but did not. They characterize Dr Pitman as “heretic” (i.e. disobedient), which is an epithet that more accurately describes their own postings.

Perhaps those foremost in attacking Dr Pitman, could profitably reflect on what Jesus said to those who acted like the second son: “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.” (Matthew 21:31 NIV)

Recent Comments by Inge Anderson

Northern California Conference Votes to Act Independent of the General Conference
Sean, while I don’t currently have time to address all the issues in your post, one thing concerns me greatly – that, as head elder, you would recommend that your church members should use their tithe as a tool of political action.

If your recommendation were followed by others, hundreds of thousands of people would be justified in not turning in tithe at all because they believe that the General Conference is out of line, being manipulated and controlled by a very small number of people. (But that’s another story.) And, really, anyone who disagrees with something done in the conference or the GC would be justified to withhold or re-direct tithe, following your reasoning. I do hope that you will decide that you “just cannot go there.”

When Jesus commended the widow who gave her last two coins, the “church” was as corrupt as it ever was or will be. Yet God recognized the gift as given to *Him,* and He blessed her and millions of people since then.

When we return our tithe to the Lord, I believe we must do it in faith, letting go of any control of how it is used. If administrators misuse it, they must answer to God. When we don’t return to God what already belongs to Him, we must answer for it. The way I see it, since the tithe already belongs to God, it is not ours to manage.

Offerings are another matter. If you feel your local conference is out of line, you are free not to send them the usual percentage for the conference budget and send it elsewhere.

God, Sky & Land – by Brian Bull and Fritz Guy
The direct URL for Cindy Tutsch’s article is http://ssnet.org/blog/2011/09/does-it-matter-how-long-it-took-to-create/

God, Sky & Land – by Brian Bull and Fritz Guy

Lydian: There is something else I would like for someone to tell me—

Where in the world is the GRI in all of this? I have searched the internet and find virtually nothing there that would attract anybody to what it has to say–if it has anything to say.

Good question.

There are a number of Adventist sites that deal with science supportive of the biblical world view, Sean Pitman’s among them.

It seems that the only Adventist university that has a site supportive of a biblical world view in science appears to be Southwestern Adventist University.

Their Earth History Research Center features research papers as well as material quite understandable to lay persons. I recommend clicking through their links to see what is there.

Perhaps this is where we should look (and perhaps send our dollars) instead of the GRI. You will see that Ariel Roth, former director of the GRI (when it was more supportive of a biblical world view) is part of the Earth History Research Center.

May God abundantly bless the efforts of all who are connected with this project.

PS Currently http://ssnet.org is featuring an article by Cindy Tutsch entitled, “Does It Matter How Long God Took to Create?”

The Heroic Crusade Redux

Professor Kent: This is but only the faith of Sean Pitman’s straw man. This is not the faith of the Adventist who accepts God’s word at face value.

Sean is correct in his characterization, because that seems to be the kind of “faith” that has been championed here by a number of individuals who have faulted Sean for presenting evidence in favor of creation having happened just thousands of years ago.

If you accept the interpretation of evolutionists who believe (by faith) that life began on this planet some billions of years ago and then “by faith” believe that God created the world a few thousand years ago, you are essentially asserting “faith” in what you intellectually recognize as being a falsehood. That’s a good sight worse than a child’s “faith” in Santa Claus, because the child doesn’t “know from evidence” that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.

I do accept God’s Word at face value, and because I accept it at face value, I know that all the evidence, rightly interpreted, will support the historical account in God’s Word. It is an intellectually consistent stance, whereas asserting belief in both evolutionism and biblical creation contravenes all rules of logic and intellectual integrity.

If you really do believe that the Genesis account is a true account of history, why do you characterize Sean’s presentation of scientific evidence to support the Genesis account as being anti-faith??

La Sierra University Granted Window to Show its Faithfulness to Church’s Creation Belief
This is encouraging, IMO.

However, the survey of students probably presents a more favorable picture than is realistic, since a significant percentage of the students may not even know what the Adventist position on creation is — considering the kinds of homes they are coming from. But even if they all knew, a 50% rate of believing that SDA views were presented is pretty dismal. That’s a failing grade, after all ..