Comment on LSU leaves out key facts by Denver Fletcher.
I’d first like to say that this problem – of teachers teaching what is completely opposed to the intentions of their employer – is a problem of employment law and policy. It is complicated by what seems a reluctance on the part of the administrators to openly admit that the employment contracts and conditions of teachers at LSU are insufficient to ensure that parents and students are not being defrauded in paying for an Adventist education at LSU, and further complicated by a reluctance on the part of those same administrators to openly declare their own position on the crucial issue at hand. My understanding of employment law in the US is limited, so I have nothing else to say on that question, except to echo the sentiments of other parents who will not continue to pay anyone to defraud us.
My other observation is that, in his debate with Sean, Carl has forgotten that science is merely a tool to explain what we see (or can perceive in other ways, directly or indirectly). It cannot ever explain – or even express an opinion – on that which is beyond our perceptions. Furthermore, it deliberately excludes, by definition, the possibility of supernatural explanations.
That doesn’t mean that science **demands** that everything we perceive has its origins in itself: many of the greatest scientists were not merely theists but Christians. It simply acknowledges that we do not learn anything if we continue to fill in blanks in our knowledge or understanding with “God did it” any more than we once wrote “Here be dragons” on blank parts of our maps of the earth. Doing this does not dispose us to go and look, which is what a scientist does. God was, of course, the very first scientist, which is why HE said “test Me, and see” (Malachi 3: 10).
Carl’s basic problem is that he thinks/believes that science produces objective, unbiased (i.e. not predisposed), conclusions. As a consequence of this basic problem, he suffers from several others, notably that he **believes** these conclusions produced by an explicitly atheistic culture of “science, so called” in preference to believing God.
But, as the first proposition is completely untrue, so too is the second erroneous.
Science ties axioms to conclusions by means of testable logic. These have a simple primary construction: “IF A, THEN B” (although there are many, more complex, iterations that are possible, they all proceed from this basic construction).
The element “A” in this debate is “There is no God”.
**IF** this statement is true, then B equals “all that we perceive came about by other means”. By purely naturalistic and material means. By the “self organising properties of matter”.
But, that little word “IF” is the key. IF the statement (A) that “There is no God” is NOT true, then nor is (B) true.
Carl believes that this argument is about conclusions, but it is not. It is about axioms. But it is axiomatic that our primary axioms cannot be proven as the conclusion of some earlier argument. At some point we are obliged to accept that some things simply are, and cannot be disproved scientifically. In other words, we are obliged to CHOOSE our axioms, since they cannot be tested. God cannot be reproduced in a laboratory, and nor can the putative cause of the “Big Bang”. Neither history, nor archaeology, can be re-produced. We do not have a “scientific” method for examining these things. What we have are statements from (biased, flawed) witnesses, leftover artefacts, and networks of arguments connecting these together.
We also have some ongoing processes that we can examine, and that may teach us useful things about the other elements of our science.
As Christians, SDA’s believe as our primary axiom that “There IS a God”. We have the statements of (equally flawed) eye witnesses, we have artefacts, and we have arguments connecting these together. We also have ongoing processes (the miraculous changes in the lives of former unbelievers, for example) that we can examine, and that may teach us useful things about the other elements of our faith.
That some people find these unconvincing is not surprising, nor that some of these should appear among us. Were we not warned that this would be so?
Finally, I am puzzled by the attitudes of some on this issue. Do these people think this hasn’t happened before? Do they really think they have anything NEW to offer? Do they really think that scholars and scientists and believers – intellectual giants, many of them – have not pondered these questions for many centuries? Do they really think that these “objections” are novel? That their claims to scientific integrity are new? That they haven’t been themselves disproven over and over again?
Such people appear to think that they can simultaneously believe that God exists while demanding that everything else is independent of Him. That He is not necessary for “life, the universe, everything”. But both science and history tell us that such people soon conclude that if God is not necessary then there is no necessity to believe in Him or to believe that He has said anything to us at all. The cognitive dissonance eventually overwhelms them, and Occam’s Razor does its work. They discard God as un-necessary to them. They cannot do otherwise, for their god, their science, demands it. That which is not necessary is redundant. Worse, it is “inelegant”. (Quelle horreur!)
Carl is, unfortunately, in the middle of a struggle to choose who he wants respect from: Man, or God.
He is vainly trying to maintain respectability in the eyes of both, by claiming to believe that there IS a God, while not believing what God has said, and preferring to believe what Man has said.
But since these cannot be reconciled, this effort must fail. His struggle must end, either with a return to God or a turning away from Him altogether. There is no middle path. Not according to our God, nor according to Man.
Give me an honest atheist any day.
Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. (The primary axiom of the atheist scientist: described by David over 3,000 years ago)
2 Peter 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (Uniformitarian assumption – actually PREsumption – described by Peter, 2,000 years ago)
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (The inevitable departure from the faith, described by John nearly 2,000 years ago)
Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (God’s judgement on those who lack the courage of their professed convictions, described by John nearly 2,000 years ago).
There is a tragic inevitability to all of this. The only proper response for us is to pity such a lost and confused people.
Recent Comments by Denver Fletcher
Mortenson says these leaders and scholars are teaching â€œthat science is the final authority in determining the correct interpretation of some or all of Genesis 1â€“11, or at least that science is the final authority in determining that the young-earth view must be wrong.â€
Science is an abstract ideal. It has, therefore, nothing to “say” for itself.
Scientists, on the other hand, are people. Humans. Flawed. Subject to all that flesh is heir to, as the Bard put it. That inlcudes the influence of money, power, and popular acclaim, and it’s opposite, public opprobrium.
Anyone who claims (A) to be a Christian (and in particular, an Adventist Christian) and (B) that a man or group of men is their authority to whom they resort for adjudicating Truth, has strayed far from the path of wisdom.
These two things simply cannot be simultaneously held without contradiction. But truth does not ever contradict itself, and therefore those who take this position are in grievous error.
We must pray for people so lost and confused.
Dr. Geraty clarifies his “Challenge” to literal 6-day creationism
The Ten Commandments are built on the principle of Love. each is an application of that principle to a specific circumstance.
We do not bear false witness against (call a liar) those we love.
There cannot ever be any reconciliation between loving God and calling Him a liar.
If this really is Mr Geraty’s position then he is a long way from the path of wisdom.
Matthew 5:19 “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Mr Geraty has a stark choice to make, however he may like to deny that the choice exists at all.
Video show LSU undermining church doctrine
I’m disturbed by the sophistry on display in this first video.
The formulation given (that knowledge = justified, (and) true, belief) seems both self-serving and over-reaching. Further, it violates the consistency principle, since the speaker goes on to say that certainty is not knowledge and that certainty is not even possible (yet he seems certain that his principle of non-contradiction is true). He goes on to say that knowledge changes over time, that what we thought was true yesterday we “know” today to be false. But if it is false, how then could it have been true? If it is false, it was never true. It could have been “justified” previously, but can never have been true, and therefore cannot have been knowledge according to his formula.
I’m also disturbed by the quoting of E G White to the effect that the truth changes over time (which is not what she said) without giving any reference to her use of the term “the eternal verities” and similar terms, and what these portend.
For example, in Acts of the Apostles, page 64, we read:
When the disciples first heard the words of Christ, they felt their need of Him. They sought, they found, they followed Him. They were with Him in the temple, at the table, on the mountainside, in the field. They were as pupils with a teacher, daily receiving from Him lessons of ETERNAL TRUTH.
Hmmm, eternal truth that changes? I doubt that is what she was trying to convey. Leaving out such essential data is, in the scientific context, a lie.
These students are being set up by their teachers who, far from having in mind a free-ranging enquiry into the truth, have in mind a specific conclusion. A conclusion which is not truth or knowledge, but merely in conformance with their own opinion.
This is not even education, let alone an Adventist education.
It is only indoctrination.
Silence of the Geoscience Research Institute
I’d like, with the website owners permission, to recommend the following, all books written by Jonathan Sarfati:
– Refuting Evolution
– Refuting Evolution II
– Refuting Compromise
Especially the latter, which speaks directly to the foolhardy attempt to reconcile biblical Christianity with evolution, and decisively refutes it in quite comprehensive and devastating manner.
I have no interest in the sale of these works other than the defense of our faith, which stands on very solid ground.
When the apostle spoke of spiritual wickedness in high places, he wasn’t only talking about places we consider “worldly”. The bible is replete with examples of spiritual wickedness within the family of God. What you have been exposed to is one more in a line of many. You are right to oppose it, and we all in the church ought to be vigilant in rooting it out of our insitutions wherever we find it, however much we recognise that we can never entirely succeed, in this life.
Unfortunately, there exists a class of people for whom the good opinions of other people are more important to their sense of self-worth than the good opinion of God. So, wanting to seem like “good people” to other Christians they live amongst, but equally wanting intellectual respectibility in the eyes of the world and its scientists, they have attempted to combine biblical Christianity with worldy theories.
To people who understand that God is the author of life, while the world follows the author of death, it is plain that this attempt can never succeed: the two things are inherently opposite and irreconcilable. Ironically, the attempt is fatal to both faith and respectability, because the world will not give them what they want – respect – while they remain Adventist Christians, and eventually they will sacrifice what little remains of their Christianity on this altar, in order to get what is not worth having.
I commend you for taking a very public, and at the same time modestly restrained, stand on this point. I know that God will honour and bless you for it.