Comment on Faith without Evidence: Are we really a bunch of ‘Flat Earthers’? by Victor Marshall.
Regarding Chuck Scriven’s Spectrum article dealing with “… the threat of Fundamentalism.”
He makes this statement:
“Fundamentalists read the Bible with erratic, or capricious, literalism, and although this is meant to protect the Christian message, it can instead divert attention from it. Fundamentalismâ€™s focus on the arithmetic of the creation story, for example, all too often goes hand in hand with negative (and essentially pagan) feelings about the material world that God has made.”
Mr. Scriven implies that a focus on the ‘arithmetic’ of the Creation account is ‘capricious literalism’ and ‘pagan.’ The implication is that an effort to uphold the arithmetic of the Creation account is nothing more than a hallmark characteristic of ‘threatening fundamentalism.’
Why would anyone say that unless they wanted to leave the door open for theistic evolution and a non-literal, poetic reading of Genesis?
Haven’t we seen a specific focus on the ‘arithmetic’ of the creation account in the decisions of:
1. The Organizing Committee for the International Faith and Science
â€œIn order to address what some interpret as a lack of clarity in Fundamental Belief #6 the historic Seventh-day Adventist understanding of the Genesis narrative be affirmed more explicitly.â€
2. The Annual Council 2004
â€œWe affirm the historic Seventh-day Adventist understanding of Genesis 1that life on earth was created in six literal days and is of recent origin.â€ â€“ Affirmation #2
3. The General Conference Executive Committee Response to the Affirmations:
â€œIn order to address what some interpret as a lack of clarity in Fundamental Belief #6 the historic Seventh-day Adventist understanding of the Genesis narrative be affirmed more explicitly.â€ â€“Recommendation #1
4. The General Conference in Session motion to amend belief #6 to read more explicitly.
Apparently Mr. Scriven views these efforts by leadership of the world church to explicitly define the arithmetic of Creation as ‘threatening fundamentalism.’ David Read gives a good summation in his recent response to Scriven’s Spectrum blog:
“As a practical matter, we are fundamentalists, and running down fundamentalism is just a proxy for running down Adventism. But what else is new on Spectrum.”
The bottom line is that Scriven and his ilk are in opposition to the denomination at large. The denomination’s emphasis on ‘fundamental’ beliefs (fundamentalism) is contrary to their ‘progressive’ agenda to liberalize and radically alter the church’s theology.
Their liberal theology is contrary to the theology of the majority of the church’s membership and leadership. Theirs is in fact a dangerous movement which proclaims Orthodox Adventism to be dangerous!
Recent Comments by Victor Marshall
“The deepest students of science are constrained to recognize in nature the working of infinite power. But to man’s unaided reason, nature’s teaching cannot but be contradictory and disappointing. Only in the light of revelation can it be read aright, ‘Through faith we understand.’Heb.11:3” – Ed.134
As if all of your previous statements were not enough – here you come with this outrageous statement:
But I do deny that the Bible is the final authority. I donâ€™t think that it is the final authority.
I think it is plain enough now for all to see that the founding scientist of EducateTruth, who has vigorously been seeking to have LSU tow the orthodox Adventist line – is himself heterodox when it comes to the most foundational of Adventist beliefs!
Not only have you equated science with faith, you have supplanted Biblical authority with scientific authority. Isn’t this exactly in essence what theistic evolutionists do?! Is it possible that one who incessantly declares others to be ‘blind’ would himself be blind to his own hypocritical presuppositions?
Seventh-day Adventists are ‘people of the book.’ They claim the Protestant principle of ‘Sola Scriptura’ as the very foundation of their faith. You are not a Sola Scripturist. By your own standard, if you were employed by the Adventist church, you yourself should consider employment elsewhere.
This is indeed a most grave and serious ironic twist.
If the issues are not yet clear enough I will here quote one of the denominations most preeminently orthodox theologians. You will find that his clear and definitive statements are diametrically opposed to your own:
“A fundamental principle set forth by Scripture concerning itself is that the Bible alone is the final norm of truth, the primary and absolute source of authority, the ultimate court of appeal, in all areas of doctrine and practiceâ€¦ The principle of sola Scriptura implies two corollaries: the primacy and the sufficiency of Scriptureâ€¦.”
“Paul likewise rejects human â€œknowledgeâ€ (KJV â€œscienceâ€; Greek gnÅsis) as the final authority (1 Tim 6:20). Both OT and NT writers point out that since the Fall in Eden, nature has become depraved (Gen 3:17-18; Rom 8:20-21) and no longer perfectly reflects truth. Nature, rightly understood, is in harmony with Godâ€™s written revelation in Scripture (see Ps 19:1-6 [revelation of God in nature] and vv. 7-11 [revelation of the Lord in Scripture]); but as a limited and broken source of knowledge about God and reality, it must be held subservient to, and interpreted by, the final authority of Scripture (Rom 1:20-23; 2:14-16; 3:1-2).”
“2. The Sufficiency of Scripture. The principle of sola Scriptura implies the further corollary of the sufficiency of Scripture. The Bible stands alone as the unerring guide to truth; it is sufficient to make one wise unto salvation (2 Tim 3:15). It is the standard by which all doctrine and experience must be tested (2 Tim 3:16-17; Ps 119:105; Prov 30:5, 6; Isa 8:20; John 17:17; Acts 17:11; 2 Thess 3:14; Heb 4:12). Scripture thus provides the framework, the divine perspective, the foundational principles, for every branch of knowledge and experience. All additional knowledge and experience, or revelation, must build upon and remain faithful to, the all-sufficient foundation of Scripture. The sufficiency of Scripture is not just in the sense of material sufficiency, i.e., that Scripture contains all the truths necessary for salvation. Adventists also believe in the formal sufficiency of Scripture, i.e., that the Bible alone is sufficient in clarity so that no external source is required to rightly interpret it.”
“Adventists maintain the rallying cry of the Reformation–sola Scriptura, the Bible and the Bible only as the final norm for truth. All other sources of knowledge and experience must be tested by this unerring standard. The appropriate human response must be one of total surrender to the ultimate authority of the word of God (Isa 66:2).” – Richard M. Davidson, ‘Interpreting Scripture According to the Scriptures:Toward an understanding of Seventh-day Adventist Hermeneutics.’ BRI
Not only do you seem diametrically opposed to foundational Adventist theology. You also appear (for all intents and purposes) to be fundamentally opposed to the purposes and goals of EducateTruth itself.
â€œ4. More important than all of these is that the Bible find its place as the ultimate authority on all it touches upon within the classroomâ€¦â€¦ The bottom line of this controversy is not about creation vs. evolution, but authority. Does the Bible inform our science or does science inform the Bible? This question lies at the heart of this controversy.â€ – Shane Hilde
In light of this further unfortunate irony – perhaps you should seek employment on another web site.
I encourage you to reexamine the basis for you faith and prayerfully surrender it to the Word of God – not scientific reason.
“When we come to the Bible, reason must acknowledge an authority superior to itself, and heart and intellect must bow before the great I AM.” (SC 110).
More â€œsureâ€ than what? More sure than Peterâ€™s testimony. Peterâ€™s testimony is helpful and helps us believe that Jesus is the Messiah. But even Peterâ€™s testimony is not adequate to affirm Jesus and who He is. We must necessarily turn to â€œMoses and the prophetsâ€ and validate Jesus as the Messiah based on their testimony.
Simply put, Moses is the final authority in all matters of doctrine and faith. If it is not in harmony with Moses, it is false. And this includes Jesus and His ministry.
Very good Bill.
I like to look at it this way as well. Moses said that, “at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” We have the two witnesses of the Old and New Testaments – each one establishes the testimony of the other – both are further established by a third witness – the Holy Spirit. These three witnesses are sufficient to establish truth.
The bible affirming itself as the final authority is the same as God affirming His own authority.
Another interesting parallel passage in the Bible is, “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.” In this passage we have the concept that God is a sufficient witness for Himself. Of course, in a sense, He is also actually three witnesses isn’t He!
The bible presents its own evidence. It is self affirming.
If you deny the bible is the final authority on its on self affirmations, then you are simply not a bible Christian.
The bible does not try to â€œproveâ€ everything. Something are simply stated as a fact. Especially things that are not â€œproveableâ€ by science and/or human experience.
Science and human experience may be helpful, but they are not the final word and it is a mistake to try to affirm every jot and tittle of scriptual teaching by such â€œproofâ€.
Well stated Bro. Sorenson.