Comment on A New Endowment Program for Adventist Education by Professor Kent.
Sean Pitman: We’ve tried the “short-term” benefit approach for a long time and it simply isn’t working any more. Endowments most certainly have their value as is the case for anyone saving up for personal retirement. If you don’t believe in endowments, then you really shouldn’t be saving for your own retirement…
Retirement. Now there’s an interesting analogy. I didn’t realize your (or the conference’s) plan was to save up money for decades before dispersing it.
Sean Pitman: Endowments have the potential to allow education costs for parents to be significantly reduced if not completely eliminated all together on a permanent basis.
A select few parents. Get real.
Again, endowments have their purpose, but when derived largely from long-term accumulation such as from a monthly payment plan, their benefits are realized mostly or entirely by future generations. In all likelihood, disbursements will not begin until a target value is reached. If it takes 20 years to reach that target, and Jesus returns before then, well, I suppose no one at that point will be embarassed that they clicked a thumbs-down on this concern. No one will really care that their money accomplished nothing other than to incite a minor skirmish at a minor website and pay for a fund manager’s annual vacation to Jamaica, Tahiti, Sydney, and elsewhere. Well done thy good and faithful student.
Professor Kent Also Commented
Tom Harebottle: Even with the problems at SDA institutions, I still believe our children are much better off at these institutions than most other public/private schools (as witnessed in lurid detail by my wife teaching in the public school system.)
Why is your wife working in the public school system? Were the sacrifices too much to work in the SDA system — the sacrifices you think others instead should be making?
A New Endowment Program for Adventist Education
I fail to understand those who see evil everywhere they look.
What is “spiritual formation,” which so many of you fervently believe is inherently evil? Go to Wikipedia:
Spiritual formation is the growth and development of the whole person by an intentional focus on one’s spiritual and interior life, interactions with others in ordinary life, the spiritual practices (prayer, the study of scripture, fasting, simplicity, solitude, confession, worship, etc.).
While spiritual formation can be applied to any religious ideology, here is how it is generally applied within Christianity:
In Christian Spiritual Formation the focus is on Jesus. It is a lifelong process as a believer desires to become a disciple of Jesus and become more like him. This would be possible because of the divine grace of the Gospel and the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. Dallas Willard writes that “spiritual formation for the Christian basically refers to the Spirit-driven process of forming the inner world of the human self in such a way that it becomes like the inner being of Christ himself.”
Where is the evil in this? Every single Christian, including SDAs, should embrace spirtitual formation in these generally understood terms. If you think our SDA institutions are teaching it in different terms, how is it being done differently? And where do you get your “facts” from? What’s your source?
Sean Pitman: Such methods are now being preached from some of our pulpits and taught in some of our own schools
And your source for the pulpits and source for the schools is? When you make condemnations, you should bring facts to bear.
Recent Comments by Professor Kent
Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Nic Samojluk: No wonder most creationist writers do not even try to submit their papers to such organizations.
Who wants to waste his/her time trying to enter through a door that is closed to him/her a priori?
You have no idea what you’re writing about, Nic. As it turns out, there are in fact many of us Adventists who “waste” our time publishing articles through doors that open to us a priori. Even Leonard Brand at Loma Linda, a widely recognized creationist, has published in the top geology journals. I mean the top journals in the discipline.
The myth that creationists cannot publish in mainstream science is perpetuated by people who simply do not understand the culture of science–and will remain clueless that they do not understand it even when confronted with their misunderstandings. Such is human nature.
Your questions about conservation genetics are very insightful. I don’t understand how all these life forms were able to greatly increase in genetic diversity while simultaneously winding down and losing genetic information to mutations. Sean seems to insist that both processes happen simultaneously. I had the impression he has insisted all along that the former cannot overcome the latter. But I think you must be right: God had to intervene to alter the course of nature. However, we can probably test this empirically because there must be a signature of evidence available in the DNA. I’ll bet Sean can find the evidence for this.
I’m also glad the predators (just 2 of most such species) in the ark had enough clean animals (14 of each such species) to eat during the deluge and in the months and years after they emerged from the ark that they didn’t wipe out the vast majority of animal species through predation. Maybe they all consumed manna while in the ark and during the first few months or years afterward. Perhaps Sean can find in the literature a gene for a single digestive enzyme that is common to all predatory animals, from the lowest invertebrate to the highest vertebrate. Now that would be amazing.
Wait a minute–I remember once being told that SDA biologists like Art Chadwick believe that some animals survived on floating vegetation outside the ark. Now that would solve some of these very real problems! I wonder whether readers here would allow for this possibility. Multiple arks without walls, roof, and human caretakers.
Ellen White said, “In the days of Noah, men…many times larger than now exist, were buried, and thus preserved as an evidence to later generations that the antediluvians [presumably referring to humans] perished by a flood. God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired history…”
Sean Pitman said, “All human fossils discovered so far are Tertiary or post-Flood fossils. There are no known antediluvian human fossils.”
Ellen White tells us that humans and dinosaurs (presumably referred to in the statement, “a class of very large animals which perished at the flood… mammoth animals”) lived together before the flood. Evolutionary biologists tell us that dinosaurs and humans never lived together. You’re telling us, Sean, that the fossil record supports the conclusion of evolutionists rather than that of Ellen White and the SDA Church. Many of the “very large animals which perished at the flood” are found only in fossil deposits prior to or attributed to the flood, whereas hunans occur in fossil deposits only after the flood (when their numbers were most scarce).
Should the SDA biologists, who are supposed to teach “creation science,” be fired if they teach what you have just conceded?
La Sierra Univeristy Fires Dr. Lee Greer; Signs anti-Creation Bond
For those aghast about the LSU situation and wondering what other SDA institutions have taken out bonds, hold on to your britches. You’ll be stunned when you learn (soon) how many of our other schools, and which ones in particular, have taken out these bonds. You will be amazed to learn just how many other administrators have deliberately secularized their institutions besides Randal Wisbey, presumably because they too hate the SDA Church (as David Read has put it so tactfully).
Be sure to protest equally loudly.
So clearly you believe that science can explain supernatural events. Congratulations on that.