JohnB August 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm “Sean and bill, …

Comment on Biblical Interpretation and Credibility by Bill Sorensen.

JohnB August 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm “Sean and bill, I hate to say this, but, well, you both have a zeal on this topic that is quite worthy of a real cause. God has it figured out, so you can quit making a big deal about it.”

Well, John, every bible scholar knows and understands that how you define sin will determine how you define the atonement and salvation. And there is no greater “cause” than this one.

Yes, “God has it figured out” and He has communicated it to us in His word. Jesus did not consider it a small matter when He said, “Ye must be born again.”

And Paul writes volumes on this issue as well as the rest of the bible. In one sense, the whole reformation was stimulated because of the misunderstanding of this issue of sin, how it is interpreted and finally, how it is applied in reference to the atonement.

So, you may not consider it a “real cause” but apparently the bible writers do. And by the way, much of the split in Adventism is precisely based on this issue as well. More than a few books have been published by SDA scholars on this issue of sin and its application. Not to mention the 1888 fiasco was stimulated by how righteousness by faith is the answer to this ongoing sin problem.

I suppose I could wonder what “cause” you consider more important? I personally can’t think of any.

I may not agree with Sean on all his conclusions about creation and how to view the evidence. And I certainly don’t agree with what I consider his limited view of sin. None the less, I can see he has thought through some of the implications, even how God may deal with the sinless angels who obviously make mistakes in judgment. Like us, they make decisions and judgments based on a limited knowledge just like we do.

And on the issue of rebellion, we agree the only sin that would shut someone out of heaven is the sin of rebellion.

If you feel comfortable with your present knowledge and understanding, that’s fine. For me, there is one question in the bible that always remains dynamic and that is, “What must I do to be saved?”

I hope everyone has a good week. I think many of us feel in reference to the final events, “It won’t be long now.” We must be on the verge of the little time of trouble.

Have any of you read the dialogue on Spectrum about the “Great Controversy Project?” For some, and perhaps many, the conflict between Catholicism and bible Christanity is little to be concerned about. Read the dialogue. You will see prophecy being fulfilled before your very eyes and not by the world necessarily, but by some “so-called SDA’s”.

Are we near the end, or what?

Bill Sorensen

Bill Sorensen Also Commented

Biblical Interpretation and Credibility
Sean Pitman wrote:

“I, personally, would have to go with what I saw as the weight of empirical evidence. This is why if I ever honestly became convinced that the weight of empirical evidence was on the side of life existing on this planet for hundreds of millions of years, I would leave not only the SDA Church, but Christianity as well…” []

Did you say this or not, Sean?

Bill Sorensen

Biblical Interpretation and Credibility
Sean said…..

“The lost are not lost because they don’t have adequate evidence.”

Sean, listen, I did not say they did not have adequate evidence.

I did say, “They claim they do not have adequate evidence.”

And I am not talking about what they finally admit in the end. I am talking about their attitude during their probationary time.

Have you ever read any of John Alfke’s comments on Spectrum? The man is a classic defender of sin.

His whole argument is the bible is irrational and can not be understood. Who then is he blaming for his unbelief and sin? God, of course.

He is simply an example in the raw of all of those who justify sin and blame God.

I only use John because he is so obvious an illustration of the point I have made. I doubt he is worse than many others who are not so clear in what they say and what it finally means. As in the case of Elaine Nelson.

Whether any of those people are saved in the end, I can’t say. But I can “judge” their theology and arguments against God and the bible. It is all the same, isn’t it? Some just more subtle than others.

God speaks through His instrumentalities and Satan speaks through his. If people don’t think this controversy is intense, they don’t read their bible much, do they?

Bill Sorensen

Biblical Interpretation and Credibility
Sean said…..

“”Personally, if I ever became convinced that there really is no scientific merit behind the literal seven-day creation week or the worldwide nature of Noah’s flood, or if Darwinian-style evolution one day made good sense to me, I would leave behind not only the SDA Church but Christianity as well.”

The crux of this statement is the fact we have no proof or even evidence that God is who He says He is unless we appeal to prophecy.

Even if you subscribe to ID, and are convinced it is the most rational explanation, you still don’t know who the intelligent being is who did the creating.

Science can not and will not even give you a clue. So how can we identify this “creator”? The God of the bible self affirms and declares His acts and authority and then predicts the future as evidence of His self affirmation.

So, first and foremost, we must identify God since there are “gods many, and lords many.”

So, to affirm ID and not know who it is in the final analysis, worthless. And science would never acknowledge or agree to some miracle power that does not fit the scientific model. Such miracles throw science out the window.

No one can “raise the dead”. or create by the “word of His power.” Science will never harmonize with this biblical affirmation.

Science is a “means of grace” only after the fact. It can tell you what was created but not who did it.

Bill Sorensen

Recent Comments by Bill Sorensen

Revisiting God, Sky & Land by Fritz Guy and Brian Bull
@Sean Pitman:

Since the fall of Adam, Sean, all babies are born in sin and they are sinners. God created them. Even if it was by way of cooperation of natural law as human beings also participated in the creation process.

Paul says, “Sold in in.” and “Children of wrath just like everyone else.”

You may not like this biblical reality, but it is true none the less.

And yes, God has also provided a way of escape so that all who He has created “in sin” can be “born again” spiritually and escape their heritage of sin and shame.

I know a lot of people don’t like this idea, but it is true anyway. We are born lost with the potential to be saved if we accept Jesus and His atonement that is provisional for “whosoever will may come.”

Cain didn’t like it either and resisted the exhortation of his brother, Abel, to offer a sin offering because he was a sinner. Cain says, “No, I’ll bring a thank offering, but no sin offering. Sin is not my fault. God created me this way.”

Most people will be outside looking in because they agree with Cain but a few will be inside looking out because they agree with Abel.

Bill Sorensen

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
@Sean Pitman:

Well, Sean, I was not as confrontational as Wesley who said, “Those who deny the doctrine of original sin are heathen still.” … [deleted]

[Oh please…

If you want to have a real conversation, great. However, unless you actually respond substantively to the questions and counter arguments posed to you, without your needless pejoratives, I’m not going to continue posting your repetitive comments on this topic in this forum…]

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
And the topic at hand is “What does it take to be a real SDA?”

It takes someone who is willing to follow the bible and its teaching in every particular. If you don’t believe this, you are not a “Protestant” SDA.

You then bring up the Trinity. Which is fine. But that is certainly not the only thing that qualifies for the topic of your thread.

So, here is what you stated to me…..”To be morally “guilty” of something, however, requires that one is consciously aware of what is right, but deliberately chooses to do what is wrong instead (James 4:17). Without the interplay of free will, there is no moral “guilt”.”

So a person is “born” selfish, proud, coveteous, vain….etc, but not “guilty” of being, selfish, proud, coveteous, vain….etc. Your limited view of “guilt” is not biblical. Half a truth is equal to a lie. There is certainly conscience guilt. But guilt is more than awareness of right and wrong. “Sin is transgression of the law”, and the law doesn’t care what you know, or don’t know. If you break the law, you are guilty of breaking the law.

Just admit the truth, Sean. But don’t accuse me of going outside the intent of this thread when it was not specifically stated as a thread about the Trinity.

Just “man up” once in a while and admit you are wrong. We are all born guilty in the eyes of God. And our ignorance does not free us from this fact.

Bill Sorensen

Science and Methodological Naturalism
Well, Sean, this article is about Dr. Taylor and his argument to negate the bible. Maybe you and Goldstein can persuade him with your arguments.

The evidences of nature function as a “law that is a schoolmaster” to lead us to the bible. “The heavens declare the glory of God…….” but still does not tell us who God is nor the function of His government concerning the moral law.

In fact, natural law is so convoluted by sin that “survival of the fittest” is the only logical conclusion.

At any rate, I wish you well in your endeavors to support the creation account in scripture.
Take care.

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
@Sean Pitman:

I read Kevin Paulson’s article and he “double talks” around the obvious to deny and/or ignore the reality of what the bible teaches and EGW confirms.

Babies are born guilty of sin because they are born with the spirit of sin. They have no power to do anything but sin unless and until by the special grace of God, they are given the ability to “choose”.

If you add God’s grace to the bible definition of original sin, you can make man free to act all you want. Original sin has to do with the fall of Adam and the results. It is not about God’s grace that has been added by way of the cross. So EGW has stated clearly in support of the fall and its effects on Adam’s children.

” God declares, “I will put enmity.” This enmity is not naturally entertained. When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity between sinful man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy. The apostate is never at rest, except as he obtains sympathy and support by inducing others to follow his example. For this reason, fallen angels and wicked men unite in desperate companionship. Had not God specially interposed, Satan and man would have entered into an alliance against Heaven; and instead of cherishing enmity against Satan, the whole human family would have been united in opposition to God.” {GC88 505.2}

Those who deny original sin and its effects on the children of Adam always appeal to the atonement and the grace of God. But we see that God “put” enmity between Satan and the human family.

As Luther said to Erasmus in their discussion on this matter when Erasmus claimed the will was free by way of grace,
“Once you add grace you can make the will as free as you like.”

Original sin is not about grace nor what man can do once grace is implied and involved. Original sin is about what man is after the fall apart from grace and/or God’s special action super-imposed in the situation. So, if there is no original sin, neither is there any need for grace.

Kevin Paulson convolutes the issue just like other SDA scholars by making no distinction between how man is after the fall with or without grace.

So, in light of original sin, David says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.” Ps. 58

David knows apart from God’s grace, no one can do anything but sin. Original sin highlights the necessity and value of the atonement and what it truly means to be “born again.”

Hear the words of Jesus, “That which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit, ye must be born again.”

Original sin is exactly why Jesus made this comment. No one can read and understand the bible who denies the reality of original sin and its effects on all the children of Adam. We are all born guilty of sin, even before we act. So Isaiah says, “Write the vision and make it plain, that wayfareing men, though fools, need not err therein.”

In closing, original sin is not about the atonement nor its meaning and application to humanity. It is about man as he comes from Adam lost and without hope, power, choice or any ability to do anything about his situation.