Dr. Ness is to be congratulated for his intellectual honesty …

Comment on PUC Professor: The Noachian Flood was just a local flood? by Ervin Taylor.

Dr. Ness is to be congratulated for his intellectual honesty in explaining to students that while what the Adventist Church teaches should be respected and they should become aware of the theological, historical, and sociological reasons why the institutional Adventist Church teaches what it does, this does not mean that the scientific evidence supports the traditional Adventist position on earth history.

The vast majority of faculty at La Sierra University, Pacific Union College, and Loma Linda University are intellectually honest, appreciate the overwhelming weight of the scientific evidence about earth history, and understand the problems in classical Adventist theology concerning this topic. I hope the courage of Dr. Ness at PUC will inspire more and more to speak out publicly and expose the agenda of those such as the supporters of “EducateTruth (sic)” whose principal purpose seems to be to return Adventism to the “Dark Ages” of the 1930s.

Ervin Taylor Also Commented

PUC Professor: The Noachian Flood was just a local flood?
As others have noted, Sean continues to miss the point.

Anyone who has read any of the literature on the “Myth of the Flat Earth” is aware that a number of Greek intellectuals in the Hellenistic period had come to the view that the earth was a sphere and even made some calculations of its diameter–one of which was very close to the modern value assuming that modern estimates of the units of distance used by these Greek writers is correct. Medieval scholars who could read these works–mostly in Latin translations but some in Greek–also knew the world was not flat.

But this is not the point. We are talking about ancient Hebrew writers. Only the strained and special pleading by individuals such as Sean and other fundamentalists dispute the view that these writers viewed the world as essentially flat and fixed in space. So they were wrong. What is the problem? Only if you insist in Biblical inerrancy would this be a problem.

PUC Professor: The Noachian Flood was just a local flood?
“The time has come to take a clearly stated position and abandon all Orwellian language. Transparency is a must, and that is something we do not have.”

You want transparency? How about this?

“The Genesis narratives about “the beginning” are the sublime creations of a powerful literary and spiritual impulse which talked about the Hebrew God creating the entire world and everything in it in six days. Although the focus of attention for whoever wrote and/or edited these magnificent creation narratives was not about these specific points, the ancient Hebrews believed that these narratives said plainly that the world was created in six, 24-hour days, that the events related were real events and they were about real people and they all happened in the time frame that we would call less than 10,000 years ago–which to the Hebrews was a very long time ago. The Hebrews also believed that the world was flat and fixed in space. We now know that the world is round and moves in space. We also now know that God created the world and life over billions of years. The primary reason that the Adventist faith tradition officially must support the ancient Hebrew world view about “the beginning” is because Ellen G. White believed that and incorporated that idea into her master metanarrative—the Great Controversy.”

Is that “transparent” enough?

Of course, this is only my personal opinion. It takes large religious institutions hundreds of years to make even small adjustments in their corporate theological systems. They have a lot invested in maintaining a given theological system. Some never can bring themselves to make any changes—or to admit they have, even if they have. Once a specific theological idea—such as a recent creation in seven, literal, contiguous days—gets grafted onto and encoded within a theological metanarrative or world view, it is extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, for a faith community to admit that some misunderstandings about the details of that metanarrative is, from a factual perspective, wrong, even in the face of massive, empirical evidence to the contrary. This is especially difficult if its founding prophetic figure was responsible for creating the problem. This seems to be a reality no matter how long ago, under what conditions, and for what set of reasons the misunderstanding was generated. Typically, that faith tradition invests massive amounts of its resources to maintain its master world view—it must “save face” at all costs.

PUC Professor: The Noachian Flood was just a local flood?
May I again urge the EducateTruth organizers and supporters to make sure that all of the postings on this site from the beginning are archived in a permanent, safe place for the benefit of later researchers who will want to obtain direct quotes documenting the characteristics the ultra right wing of the Adventist Church. Later historians will not believe the hostility and vicious nature of their views unless they can read these postings for themselves.

Recent Comments by Ervin Taylor

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
I just noticed Sean’s comment some time ago that “John’s “Revelation” has very little to do with the Roman Empire.”

Perhaps Sean was just trying to be funny or something. If he was serious, then I guess I will have to revise my assumption about his knowledge of the Bible. That was the entire context of the Book of Revelation. But I guess someone who rejects evolution must also have some problems with history.

La Sierra University Hires Another Darwinist
LSU should be congratulated for standing-up against the reactionary forces who wants to turn it into a Bible College. May LSU live long and prosper — as it is doing now with enrollments continuing to increase and new buildings going up.

What does it take to be a true Seventh-day Adventist?
It would appear that Dr. Pitman aspires to be the modern Adventist version of Girolamo Aleandro.

For those a little hazy about the history of the Reformation, Girolamo was the individual appointed as papal nuncio by the Pope to be the theological point person opposing Martin Luther and his theology at the Diet of Worms. (The Diet of Worms was an assembly of churchmen and political elites of the Holy Roman Empire in Germany which met in 1521, not a list of things to eat to reduce your weight. And Worms was not an item on the menu, it was a town).

Girolamo argued that Luther had no right to challenge the church’s theology. That theology had been settled for hundreds of years and had been agreed upon by scores of theologians. It was the truth.

Girolamo wrote the denunciations of Luther that were embodied in the Edict of Worms which declared Luther to be a heretic.

After attending the Diet of Worms, Girolamo went to Brussels and was instrumental at having two monks who had adhered to the teachings of Luther burned at the stake.

Sean, like Girolamo, appears to view his role is to root our heresy where ever he finds it in the Adventist Church.

Fortunately for the rest of us, Sean,
unlike Girolamo, has no power to carry out what he would to see happened to those he denounces as Adventist heretics.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit
I’m sure that the vast majority of scientifically-informed Adventists will thank Dr.Kent for his every effective and rational approaches to the views expressed by Dr. Pitman and others on this misnamed web site. There is little that needs to be added. Dr. Kent has done a masterful job of exposing the misunderstandings of scientific data dealing with geology and evolutionary biology that has been offered by Dr. Pitman on this and his own web site.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit
I see that Professor Kent has been casting pearls of logic and reasonableness before certain types of individuals on the educate truth (sic) web site again. I share with him my amazement at the new insights about inspiration revealed here.