Sean Pitman: Is the Bible in the same predicament as …

Comment on Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation by Kip Coleman.

Sean Pitman:

Is the Bible in the same predicament as the Book of Mormon?If I thought so, I would not be an Adventist or even a Christian…

Why does any religious book, such as the Bible or the Book of Mormon, need to make any claims about the exact details of historical events anyway?

Just because I happen to believe that the Earth came into being over millions of years instead of six days, that doesn’t mean I believe that the beattitudes are lies.

Just because I happen to believe that languages evolved naturally through etymology instead of during an event involving an ill-conceived tower, doesn’t mean I believe that the parable of the Good Samaritan is worthless.

I have heard the arguments about picking and choosing from the Bible before, so if you’re about to warn me against the evils of that, you can save your keyboard a few keystrokes.

But I was also taught, by a religion teacher that I admire very much, to question everything for myself. I have learned how to use a concordance to perform in-depth analyses of individual texts or passages, and have done so on many occasions in order to find out as much as possible about the author’s intended audience, intended message, and the context of the time.

I have studied at great length a number of different instances in which the modern Bible appears to be contradicting itself between Old and New Testaments.

I have especially found a study of the end times in Daniel and Revelations to be quite inspiring. There are some great examples of how the authors in the Bible use statements of time that are not meant to be literal.
(With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.)

(And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.)

If you’d like, let’s return to the origins story itself. But first, how would you define a day? One rotation of the earth? From the time the sun rises to the time the sun sets?

Would it interest you to know that the Bible says there was no Sun in the sky until the fourth day?

Genesis 1

15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

19And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

At this point, I would go back to the original Hebrew and start breaking down the texts. What is the original word used here for “day”? What other meanings might it have?

Again, this all just brings me back to my original point. I no longer look to the Bible to provide me with insights about factual details of our planet’s past.

However, the moral lessons I learned from the Bible very much do apply today, and I would hope that anyone who reads the Bible can come away with the same life-changing lessons that I have.

Kip Coleman Also Commented

Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation
Let me make a clarifying statement.

My intent was not to come here and debate the individual points of specific texts.

Nor was it to debate whether or not God exists.

My point was to say that Walla Walla University, and other SDA institutions, should recognize that the knowledge we impart to our scientific students should be based on the scientific method.

If we allow religion– whatever that religion may be– to distort the truths that have been observed, tested, and utilized through the scientific method, then we are not teaching true science, and the degree holds less worth.

Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation
@Holly Pham:

Holly Pham: I’m disagreeing with you, since you seem to think there can be no “day” without a sun. There can be. The creation of the sun should have no impact on whether the earth had a “day” before the sun was created, seen, etc. since a “day” is based on the earth’s rotational spinning time.

No, I’m saying that you and I know that one Earth day is one rotation around the Earth’s axis.

No one prior to Galileo even knew that the Earth was round. So, now, what is the definition of a day in Genesis Chapter 1?

Walla Walla University: The Collegian Debates Evolution vs. Creation

Holly Pham: Yes!Doesn’t the “day” refer to the rotation of the EARTH? Suppose the earth rotated around for about 24 hours, and we couldn’t see the sun, like on a cloudy day. Would there be no “day?”

Isn’t a “day” on Mars the length of its rotational time? Same with other planetary bodies, correct?

I can see where there wouldn’t be a “day” if there were no earth, but not because there isn’t a sun, moon, or other celestial body.

I guess I can’t tell if you’re agreeing with me or disagreeing with me.

I would assume that since the author had no knowledge that the earth is round… their understanding of a day would be vastly different than our own.