Comment on Mrs. White: “Don’t send your children to…” by pauluc.
You say with uncharacteristic candour
“As things currently stand, all of these thoughts are heavily based on a large dose of speculation without much solid evidentiary basis. I think this should be admitted up front. It does our position no service to claim too much or to base too much on such large leaps into very thin airâ€¦ claiming that this or that animal within the fossil record was the clear result of human genetic manipulation before the flood and for that reason was not saved on the Ark (esp. given that we have some pretty terrifying animals that evidently did make it onto the Ark (crocodiles, for example, can get pretty huge and ferocious you know â€“ and seem very ideally designed as cold-blooded predators).”
This is certainly not something I have seen before and I suspect I may have iminterpreted a quote or missed the sarcasm markup. Apropos of this statement I note my previous request for real testable hypothesis and some real science to test your proposal that there was vastly higher genetic complexity 4000 years ago seems to have disappeared from this site without any opportunity to see your response.
The amalgamation statements seem fairly simple to me compared to the issue of the Nephilim. In a plain reading of this statement in Genesis 6.
” 1 When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with [a] man forever, for he is mortal [b] ; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those daysâ€”and also afterwardâ€”when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. ”
The statement sons of God (bene Elohim) seems to have been used in 4 other passages
He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels [bene Elohim] shouted for joy?
6 One day the angels [bene Elohim] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan [b] also came with them.
1 On another day the angels [bene Elohim] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.
These statements are often interpreted in the same way as you interpret intermarriage between believers and unbelievers as . This is a convenient interpretation but I find it difficult to diregard the other 4 passages for conveniences sake. I would have to suggest that not only were there amalgamations of beast and man but by the plain reading you advocate the clear intention of the genesis passage is that the angels mated with the daughters of men to generate the Nephilim or giants that EG White suggested was the heroes and great men of the antedeluvian world.
I presume Nephilim this was an important component of David Reeds book. The last pseudoscience book I bought from Amazon by Sanford was underwhelming so I may may have to try to borrow it.
pauluc Also Commented
i agree entirely and am sorry I may have been a little too subtle on this one.
I am suggesting that it is no more logical to interpret Genesis 6 through the lens of a 19th century non-canonical writer [though you may indeed think her inerrant] than it is to interpret Genesis 6 in the light of another non-canonical text [albeit one that is indeed regarded by some Christians as canonical] that probably dates from the 3rd century BC.
At least the lens of Enoch whatever its timeline compared to the writing of genesis does do justice to the clearly implied and languistic identification of the sons of God as the angels or supernatural beings that mate with the humans that is present in genesis.
BobRyan and his ilk seem to imagine that there is no alternative but that the bible as we know it fell from heaven in the Kings English without spot or blemish and had no provenance or cultural context. I am suggesting that the context of genesis 6 is much closer to the account of the antideluvian crisis in Enoch than is to the 19th century world of EG White influenced as she likely was by Milton and others. But then again it is always a good policy not to spoil the good notion of inerrancy with consideration of any facts.
Nathan try to follow the logic. Sean Pitman you say;
“The notion of human-animal hybrids and even hybrids between humans and â€œthe godsâ€ is certainly part of mythology, but it is clearly not part of the thinking of the Biblical authors.”
Are you really certain of that?
1] I have frequently seen on this site the contention that in quoting the old testament the new testament writers and Jesus himself validates them as being entirely true. In addition it is proposed that the canonical writings and the writings of Ellen White are inerrant. I believe this does make it difficult to be consistent. Regarding the angels and the humans mating;
2] Look in your Bible to Jude 1:14-15.
14Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Is not this a reference to Enoch the antedeluvian prophet who is held responsible for the books of Enoch which are accepted as canonical by only the Ethiopic church but which was certainly part of the Dead sea scrolls.
3] This quote is taken from 1 Enoch 1:9
9 And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones
To execute judgement upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly:
According to the prevailing logic at this site this would validate the writings of Enoch as being inspired.
4] What else does this inspired man say about the time before the flood?
1 Enoch chapter 6 onward goes on to say
1 And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto 2 them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men 3 and beget us children.’ And Semjaza, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not 4 indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations 5 not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ Then sware they all together and bound themselves 6 by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn 7 and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal, 8 Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaq1el, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. These are their chiefs of tens.
1 And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms 2 and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they 3 became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed 4 all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against 5 them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and 6 fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.
1 Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spake, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, 2 and said to him: ‘Go to Noah and tell him in my name “Hide thyself!” and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come 3 upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. And now instruct him that he may escape 4 and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.’
What do we do with this account of the situation immediately before the flood and the precise reasons for needing to destroy the world?
Is Enoch inspired or not? Like Ellen White he is not Canonical except among a small subset of Christians. Might we conclude that the text of the canonical writings is correct and Enoch is not. This however would leave you in somewhat of a bind as you have already assumed inerrancy of the Bible and it is very clear that Jude regarded Enoch as a prophet otherwise why would he say he “prophesied”?
If you accept Enoch as a prophet however you have like Ellen Whites account of the creation a whole other account of the reasons for the flood and need to seriously consider the textual context of Genesis 6 to indicate that the writers of Genesis may well have been talking about angels mating with the human offspring that is the clear implication of the Hebrew words used. Indeed if you accept that Satan became a serpent to deceive the woman could not the evil angels have become human to mate with and deceive mankind? A recent commentary on Genesis by Laurence Turner indeed draws this comparison between the original deception and the fall and the new deception of the supernatural seeking to subvert the human as the basis for the destruction of the world in the flood. Why else would there need to be global destruction? Your interpretation of the sons of Cain and daughter of Seth intermarrying really seems apretty paltry basis for global destruction. Have not the people of God corrupted themselves throughout the history of Israel by intermarrying without ocassioning global destruction?
For me, I think it much more satisfying to accept the nature of inspiration as expressed in FB#1 that clearly teaches that the bible is inspired and is infallible for instruction in righteousness but does not claim inerrancy of the Bible in all areas of history or science. I can then accept that Jude can take the writings of the book of Enoch and use them to convey an important truth and allow him to consider Enoch was a prophet without accepting that everything Enoch wrote was absolutely correct.
I can also say that the writer of Genesis 6 indeed meant to convey that evil angels mated with the humans and created a cosmic crisis in the world and believe they were conveying a spiritual lesson on the spiritual interactions of the divine with the human without accepting this has to be absolutely factually correct. But then again more likely any attempt to have a coherent view of God and science would likely be dismissed by the prevailing group think as unAdventist and driven by the Devil.
I am only suggesting that faithful reading of the text would indicate the intention of the writer of this passage was to convey the idea that Nephilim were the result of supernatural beings mating with humans.
You may believe that this is preposterous because you are seeing the world from a modern naturalistic perspective but the issue is was it preposterous to the mind of the person writing this passage? If you think it was you have not been paying attention to much ancient or indeed more recent literature. What precisely were the centaurs and medusa in greek mythology? What of the animal human hybrids that we have captured in stone from the egyptian empire that were likely part of Moses heritage? Have you not read Miltons Paradise Lost a book with many parallels to the great controversy; what was the provenance of the guardian of the pit into which the Devil was cast after the war in Heaven? How did the devil look upon the first woman?
Recent Comments by pauluc
Bob Helm: With that said, I find your views to be spiritually dangerous and often scientifically weak. I detect a lot of smoke in your posts, but very little light. I hope you will continue to ponder these issues and try to have an open mind.
You are most welcome to your opinion and I know you would like nothing better than that anyone who takes Christianity and the Bible seriously but not literally to just go away. It is much better not to know of any possible problems with one current views. It very hard to get to the science when we cannot even agree on what is science. What passes as science on this site is so completely dismissive of its methodological basis and history and is entrained in a specific supernatural world view that allows arbitrary acceptance of any observation as miraculous. I think Roger’s paper may well be relevant to Adventist that believe that Christianity has and must respond to a careful study of physical reality by reconsidering its interpretations of the word of the Lord, but as Sean has indicated you are exception to that characterization. I still do not really understand why you should be interested at all in any science. It seems a bit messy to worry about facts. It really seems an unnecessary bother to argue whether the precambrian/cambrian boundary or the upper cenzoic (is that really what you meant?) as the evidence of a divine intervention.
Dont worry I do have an open mind which is why I still peruse this site to see how more knowledgable fundamentalist Adventists think. I wont worry you further.
Sean Pitman: So, you do see the need for a police force and a military to maintain civil society, but somehow Christians should not provide what is an otherwise necessary part of that civil society? I’m with Abraham Lincoln on this one when he noted the inconsistency of such a position – like Orthodox Jews paying others to turn their lights on for them on Sabbath
On that logic you should not have any issue with working on Sabbath in any profession serving 24/7. Be that computer support, utilities firefighters. Those giving up those jobs because of inability to have sabbath observance were all deluded. They as Christians should be prepared to “provide what is otherwise a necessary part of civil society”
You cant have it both ways. You cant because of a moral postion claim that Adventists should have exception from working on Sabbath and at the same time deny me the right to consider immoral some occupations that may be very utilitarian in a world full of selfishness and the human acts of evil that comes from that.
Lets for a moment step back from lala land. Where are we and where did we come from on this thread?
1] You posted a rehash of all your usual arguments in response to an article about the more mainstream Adventist positions that may impact the way Adventism reacts to conventional science. All very straight forward.
2] The contention was that Adventism has accepted process for the orgin and evolution of the inanimate world. The birth and death of galaxys and stars and planets in black holes supernova and impacts of spiralling planets. This is where it gets really strange.
3] You contend that Adventism has always accepted the conclusions of that process but then expand on your view of the process which involves a little bit of order and natural law but large amounts of magic. God waited a few billions years until the interstellar material generated by the big band condensed into planets onto which God created life mature and complete. This included Heaven the place of his throne-room which he populated with physical being angels which it is implied have both mass and composition and metabolism.
4] When it was suggested that the same processes and natural law resulted in life on this planet this was claimed inconceivable and would never be done by any process involving life and death. Instead the life we see now is in reality designed to live for ever and has be chemically changed because it is deprived of a particular form of nutrient from a tree that existed on the Earth some 6000 years ago.
5] The inconguity of practicing medicine by the principles of process of natural law and the technology resulting from both the processes of the innanimate and the animate world rather than accepting the much more important process of divine intervention seems to be completely obsure.
6] When someone says that the process of life and death that gave us the physical substance of our universe is also the basis of the creation of life here he must be animal hating sadistic psychopath who cannot belieive in a God of love and grace and is lying when he says that non-violence characterizes the children of the heavenly father for one must always recognize that peace and freedom are only obtained over the bodies of 1/3 of the angels of heaven and the eternal physical and violent struggle against those who would practice violence.
I really cannot understand you Sean. Your ways are way beyond me. I am just sorry that Bob seems to be drawn into your twighlight zone.
Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
@Sean Pitman: sorry but your curious amalgam of magic and biology is not really comprehensible to me as a biologist or as a Christian . it. is neither logical or biologically feasible
Sean Pitman: However, according to the Bible and Ellen White, before the Fall God specifically directed nature so that all sentient life was protected in a manner that there was no suffering or death. By eating from the “Tree of Life” God provided constant renewal and regeneration that worked against what would otherwise be inevitable entropic changes, decay, and death. It was by deliberately stepping away from the true Source of eternal life that mankind stepped away from God and into the full workings of mindless natural law alone – which does in fact inevitably lead to suffering and death.
And this interpretation is precisely why you need a theodicy. Where is the justice in killing all for the sake of the sins of one woman+man? It makes no sense logically. If they were conditionally immortal because of eating of the tree of life then did all the animals in all the world congregate around this tree like beasts around a water hole on the serengeti. how exactly do you as you are wont to do translate the account into a literal reality. And which beast had to come and eat. Or was it symbolic? Oh now that’s a thought.
Sean Pitman: Come on now. Even I can imagine limitations to reproduction or the turnover of sentient carbon-based life. Surely you can at least imagine something similar? I know God can since such a world is described in the Bible and in the writings of Ellen White. Think about it…
Of course I have. This is not simply about reproduction. That is trivial. This is about metabolic process. Show me a carbon based life form that does not grow or metabolize anything and I will show you an organism in stasis as a spore “living” millions of year in amber. That is; effectively dead.
Real life cannot exist without metabolic process in a carbon based world and God has sanctified all this by a process of making good out of evil from the death of one comes life for others. Just as in the biological world so in the spiritual. By his death we have life. Just as God sanctified the practice of sacrifice of appeasement practiced by most cultures for thousands of years before and showed that in the Judeo-Christian tradition these same acts of sacrifice were emblematic of a monotheistic God that would become incarnate and bring life from death. So also he took the preceding accounts of creation derived as they were of the mesopotamian valley and recast it as an account of the monotheistic God who is above all but comes and dwells among us to become one of us. Participating in our life and death but showing us the importance of the transcendent life of the spirit that supercedes carbon based life and its inherent death. It is no fairy tale of 6 impossible things before breakfast. It is not pie in the sky by and by. It is rooted in a real world and it is about the transcendence of love and grace that is acted out in a real physical world by the incarnate God and us as we follow as His disciples.
That is the message I get from the images and visions of the Canon and EG White. But of course I read it for the message that it conveys not as a scientific text. That is where we fundamentally differ.