Comment on “Don’t go backwards to interpret Genesis as allegorical or symbolic” by Michael Prewitt.
Re: Bobâ€™s quoteâ€œGalileo was not challenging the word of God â€“ he was challenging Ptolemaic astronomy. And where the problem came in was to the extent that Ptolemaic astronomy had been wrong-headedlyy â€œmarried to the Bibleâ€ by misguided RC tradition seeking to blend the bible with what they thought of as â€œscienceâ€.â€Bob, I appreciate the zeal and conviction with which you make your point and the distinction between the Word of God as interpreted by Catholics versus the SDA.
So why does what the Catholics thought of science, which evidently was wrong, differ from what the SDA think of science? In each case faith and interpretation of the bible over ride objective investigation. And in each case, whether it be Galileo or Darwin, the church vilifies the scientist.I thank you for improving upon my point.Regards
The problem with LSU is that they are doing what the Catholics in your story were doing: The church leaders tried to force a doctrine on the church on the basis of then-current science, just as some LSU teachers are trying to force a now-current scientific worldview on their students and supplying quasi-religious beliefs and philosophies to justify it. It didn’t work then, and it’s a bad idea now. Back then, new science came along, and proved the old-school science, along with the quasi-religious tenets based on it, to be invalid. I have faith that new science will do this to much of current evolutionary theory, and in fact already has challenged old Darwinist assumptions in many areas.
A better parallel to that story of Galileo’s is that the Roman Catholic Church (which held control on ALL education at the time) = the modern Darwinist establishment, dogmatically forcing their views on everyone and persecuting everyone who disagrees. (As in the video documentary, “Expelled.”) The RCC was not a Bible-focused community, it simply used religion as a convenient excuse to exercise power; the strength of the Reformers, by contrast, was their commitment to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.
Galileo himself said, “He [Copernicus, his intellectual forerunner] did not ignore the Bible, but he knew very well that if his doctrine [scientific theories] were proved, then it could not contradict the Scripture when they were rightly understood.”
Eventually science will vindicate what the Bible teaches, excluding subjects on which scientific information will never be available or conclusive. To that end we want LSU’s students to be ready and on the cutting edge, by taking God at His Word.
Michael Prewitt Also Commented
Dear Michael and BobThanks for your comments.
I appreciate the distinctions you are making between the Catholic Church and the SDA Church.
So it was not OK for the Catholics to strong arm Galileo because The Catholics were wrong about their science, but it is OK for the SDA to sanction the LSU biology professors, and perhaps Dr. Clausen, because the SDA is absolutely right about its science. Is that about the gist of it?Be brave Dr. Clausen and Dr. Bradley, you follow in the footsteps of giants of science, irrespective of their faith.Regards
The gist of my point is that it is a myth that the incident between the Catholic Church and Galileo is an example of what happens when Christians use the Bible as a filter for science. And conversely, the Bible can and should be an authority on every topic that in contains, including origins. The Bible SHOULD BE a filter for evaluating everything in life, including science, that is relevant to its claims; that, I believe, is the justification for this website and movement. If that filter were ever to prove false, we could as soon throw the Bible out. But in the case of that story of Galileo, that is not what happened. The RCC’s position was not derived from the Bible at all; it was derived from then-accepted science. One faction (the church) was using religious (but not Bible-based) and scientific excuses to persecute another person of another faction. If the church had stuck to what the Bible actually taught, the incident would never have happened. And insofar as we stick to what the Bible actually teaches, I don’t believe we have any fear of being blinded to any truth about the world we live in.
There is also the issue of the church back then being a civil power, as Sean pointed out. No one here is suggesting that the LSU teachers must not be allowed to teach millions-of-years evolution ANYWHERE; just not at LSU.
“Don’t go backwards to interpret Genesis as allegorical or symbolic”
I was privileged to hear Pastor Wilson’s message in person. What an inspiration it was! I was glad to hear a firm, unwavering message from the new president of our church.
“Don’t go backwards to interpret Genesis as allegorical or symbolic”
Bravus, it is not a worthy goal to keep people who are undermining the church within the church. Weak members, yes; sinning members, yes (that’s all of us); but people who are deliberately and persistently counteracting the very purpose and mission of the church (though they may not see it as such themselves, because they have an aberrant view of what the mission and purpose of the church is… yet it is still deliberate) … absolutely not.
Recent Comments by Michael Prewitt
@Shane Hilde: In other words, we want our professors to be uncredible instructors.We want to indoctrinate instead of teach.We want to start with the the end in mind and eliminate true research and discovery.We want to create clones of ourselves. We declare that there is nothing more to learn.We declare that medical doctors now dictate scientific approach.â€¦You can have it!Me and mine will not.
Corrected version: We want our teachers to be credible in heaven’s eyes, even if that means being not credible in the eyes of worldly accrediting bodies. We want our teachers to teach subjects in a way that is in harmony with Bible truth, instead of indoctrinating our young people with popular errors. We want to keep our youth out of areas of philosophy and ideology that God has forbidden, so they can blossom in every area of worthwhile research and discovery. We want to create a united body of believers. There is so much more to learn! We declare that God has laid the foundation principles that should guide all academic inquiry, including the pursuit of scientific knowledge.
Ted Wilson: “We will not flinch. We will not be deterred.”
I think Ted Wilson’s repeated and emphatic use of the phrase, “Go forward,” was a direct strike at the idea of “progressive” Adventism. Everything in his “forward” march is completely against the grain of “progressive” Adventism.
It is important to check the “progressives” in their word plays. Obviously the phrase “progressive” sounds forward-moving, positive. But to the other major segment of the church, it is anything but. Put another way, when a “conservative” (i.e, a member faithful to the church’s fundamentals) hears the word “progressive” these days, they are likely to think first “liberal” and then somewhere in the back of their mind another word along the lines of “backslidden.” This is because “progressives” are really regressives. Nearly everything they advocate is not post-SDA, but pre-SDA; not derived from our unique and biblical message, but rooted in philosophies and viewpoints that predate Adventism and that were rightly rejected by our spiritual forebears.
If/when “progressives” split from the church, I am suggesting this new, progressive name for their group: the Rainbow Diversity Movement of Post-Seventh-day Humanists (RDMPSDH). It’s a bit long, I know. They can go by just RDM for short. RDM members believe everything SDAs believe, except: the Bible is not a clear and trustworthy guide in all matters of faith and doctrine; Genesis cannot be taken as a literal and historical account; miracles may never have happened; Jesus may not have been divine, nor actually resurrected (except in the metaphysical sense); there is no sanctuary in heaven; the second coming may not literally occur; traditional SDA prophetic views are all wrong; we should have gay pastors; Ellen White was not inspired; you can do whatever “makes you feel spiritual or refreshed” on “whichever Sabbath works best for you”; the atonement is a myth, God (or whatever Significant Power you worship) simply wants to be your friend; sin is not really that dreadfully bad, but if anything lowers your self-esteem, you should quit it; no one should insist on belief in angels or demons, since we can’t prove they exist; you can eat and drink whatever you want, as long as it’s legal (or you do it very secretly and it doesn’t hurt anyone else); there is no biblical view of marriage, nor of “male” or “female” qualities, nor of appropriate sexual activity; and RDM members reserve the right to drop anything else deemed “unscientific” or “embarrassing” from their list of beliefs.
There seems to be prior evidence from this website that some of the teachers of evolution at LSU are less than forthcoming and open about what they teach; but certainly not all. Still, obfuscating is not the same as lying. And it is worth pointing out that it was never the original argument that they were a bunch of lying liars. The original argument was that people teaching millions-of-years evolution have no place teaching that in an SDA university, and that remains the major point today. Although it was first strongly argued that only a lunatic fringe of SDAs would insist that a literal reading of Genesis 1 is important to the church’s beliefs, the recent GC session votes clearly indicate that an overwhelming majority support this view, which is, despite what some revisionists say, the long-standing prevalent view in the church.
The LSU PR campaign has taken obfuscating and masquerading to a whole new level. “What a lovely bunch of Christian teachers and students we have here at LSU! Behold all the wonderful things they do! And we’re all creationists, too! *wink, wink*” Everything true, in a fashion, yet irrelevant to our concerns. It may be “millions of years” before LSU leadership will come out and admit that any theory of origins apart from the literally understood, historical account of Genesis was actually taught there â€”Â nor can we get them to say today in such clear language that the voted SDA belief is what they are committed to teach throughout their courses. All of which sets us up for an interesting ride ahead.
Literalists have a very simple and naive playbook â€“ it starts with rule 1: â€œpretend that the wording in Genesis that suggests literal days and a short-term chronology is supported in numerous places in the Bibleâ€. Please tell us what evidence is spoken of in Romans 1. Does this statement in Romans say anything about literal 24-hour days? Does it say anything about theistic evolutionists? Does it mean that our fundamental beliefs require a literal interpretation of every single word in Genesis? Or are you simply cobbling verses together to make your personal judgement of theistic evolutionists sound as if the Bible supports you.In your response, please leave Ellen White out of this unless you believe firmly she is canonical and that â€œsola scripturaâ€ is a fallacy Adventists should avoid.
You like that word, “literalists”, and like to have fun with it. But not one of the people that you argue with on this website believes that everything in the Bible is to be taken literally. They just happen to know that the wording of the Bible is so clear, and further references by later Bible writers are so clear, there is no other sensible way to understand Genesis 1. And moreover, there is certainly no other way to understand it that aligns with Adventist theology.
Genesis 1 is clear that they days were successive, evening-and-morning style days. Genesis 2 makes it clear that God rested on the 7th day, an obvious bridge to our current 7-day week, which has always been composed of literal, consecutive, 24-hour days. Exodus 20 makes it clear that the days in Genesis 1 correspond directly to the days in the time of early Israel, which by all accounts were literal, 24-hour days (“for in 4.5 billion years God made the heavens and the earth, therefore remember the seventh day to keep it holy” … doesn’t quite line up, does it?). References to Genesis 1 and 2 by Jesus, Paul, and other New Testament writers indicate that they understood the book in a literal, historical way. References in Psalms and Hebrews indicate that God created things by His word, miraculously, not out of things which currently exist by natural processes … which is very different from the evolutionary model, as well as to the naturalistic cosmological model to which is it closely tied.
Apparently you’ve already thrown out Ellen White as a reliable source, since you are no longer willing to hear her testimony on the subject. First Ellen White, next certain passages of the Bible, then the whole Bible, and then…?
La Sierra University Continues Deceptive Spin Tactics
It is a myth and poor policy that our schools should be academic neutral zones where students will hear all sides and make up their own minds from a neutral context (as if such a thing as pure academic freedom or neutrality existed). Every institution of the church needs to embrace the mission of the church, which is to make disciples of all nations and teach truth. Our universities teach other subjects besides the Bible because it is practical and necessary, but worldly educational values should never be embraced there.
And please, no more arguments that “it’s the parents’ job, the students should know before they come.” The fact is that not every student has good, spiritual, biblically grounded parents. Some students are not from Adventist or even Christian backgrounds. The university should have a goal to reach everyone who can be reached, and teachers chosen who will support this goal.