Comment on PUC Professor: The Noachian Flood was just a local flood? by BobRyan.
Regarding Professor Ness an Oct 2009 talk listed on the PUC web site.
Had I attended this devotional talk by Ness in let’s say 2004, and someone had asked me what I thought of it – I might well have said that he did a good job of holding the student’s attention and of presenting a positive focus on the Sabbath even though he made several blunders in the area of the text of scripture. I would have said that since PUC does not teach evolution as the right answer for origins – he must not be a Theistic Evolutionist so these were just “curious mistakes” from someone focused on science not paying close attention to the text of scripture.
Certainly all will agree even now that no student would have heard that 2009 lecture and come away thinking “well then I guess evolutionism is true and creationism is wrong after all”.
However Listening to that 2009 talk by Ness after being informed by his recent 2010 lecture to the theology students at PUC – makes it clear that those apparent “blunders” were in fact no blunders it all. They were well crafted nudges toward an unthinkable goal “down the road”.
In this audio clip
1. Ness first gets the students to think of themselves as “theists” vs atheists. The idea is to position them to one day think of “theistic evolutionists” as a form of creationist.
2. Ness then hammers abiogensis in the same fashion that both real Bible creationists and theistic evolutionists would do. So the listener is disarmed.
3. Ness suggest that pure evolutionism and pure creationism are “two extremes” and that nobody is really at those extremes.
4. He crafts â€˜the Bible creation storyâ€™ as one of many stories â€“ preparing the groundwork for describing the Bible “account” as simply another “creation myth”.
5. He suggests that â€œphysicsâ€ was created on day 1. Physics was “created” according to Big Bang cosmologists during the Big Bang. So the code here is that day 1 is not a real day 1 but is billions of years during the time of the Big Bang this is our next clue that he is not taking this “story” as literally true.
6. The Bible says that on day 4 God created “two great lights” but Ness states that the stars were created on day 4 to emphasize the non-literal â€œstoryâ€ aspect. He subtly introduces some details on day 4 about what times during the day that the moon and a few stars might appear – to argue the case that you should distance yourself from the details in the Bible otherwise the â€˜storyâ€™ does not make sense and is confusing.
7. He offhandedly suggests that Thursday probably lasted longer than one day.
8. Ness carefully deletes â€œevening and morning were the nth dayâ€ replacing that language with â€œSundayâ€, â€œMondayâ€ because he cannot explain that level of “detail” and still shoehorn this story into theistic evolutionism.
9. Ness artfully re-frames the Bible account into a story form that both the T.E and the Creationist might accept.
In short Ness was setting the students up for acceptance of the Bible account as no more than a â€œstoryâ€ that could then have details deleted to marry it with evolution. This is the eisegetical basis for the most common form of Theistic evolutionism among Christians.
Some might call this a â€œcandied Bibleâ€ presentation with well crafted tactics that would ultimately allow a downsized Bible to be married to evolutionism and yet walk away calling yourself a â€œcreationistâ€ or a Believer in God as â€œCreatorâ€.
But it was well done such that the audio tape by itself would not raise much interest — until you heard the 2010 class discussion with the PUC theology department. (Which of course is not likely to be the comprehensive sum total of all that Ness has done in this area.)
Notice that at no point have I claimed that Ness is not a nice person or that his students do not like him or that theistic evolutionists are not Christians.
“Caveat Emptor” my friends.
BobRyan Also Commented
Adventist kid: An interesting and pertinent art project at PUC:
I consider it very possible that the art department at PUC actually believes in a real 7 day creation week less than 10,000 years ago.
Paul Giem: The problem I have with La Sierra (my information is mostly secondhand at PUC, and I didnâ€™t even get to see the video, and so canâ€™t comment there), is that the above is not the approach of the (controlling) majority of the biology faculty, from all the evidence I have seen. Rather, they have repeatedly sought to keep evidence that might support YLC out of the discussion, and at least in some cases their privately expressed beliefs matched their public (or at least classroom) pronouncements. That is, they teach long ages and unguided evolution, while attempting to disallow any other point of view.
Which again points to the real heart of the problem. This is not a case of teachers that are either Creationist or simply neutral, presenting facts both positive and negative regarding evolutionism.
This is a case of evangelists for evolutionism discounting any thought in favor of God’s view on this topic and favoring every speculative unproven conclusion in favor of Darwin’s self-admitted anti-Bible position (“as if” they have been doing a good thing).
PUC Professor: The Noachian Flood was just a local flood?
As you watch and listen to that video clip – adding up all the reasons given not to believe the the 7 day creation week and literal world wide flood — you get such “nonscience” ideas as –
1. Did Noah know what the world was – Did Moses know what the World was to report a world wide flood.
1.B “So after our discussion here apparently it would not be too big a deal to make Noah’s flood local not world wide. In fact the only real objection I can think of for that is Ellen White. If you want to claim that Ellen White is accurate in evertyhing she says well then you have to deal with that point… the Bible can be interpreted in different ways.”
2. Bending the Bible defintion for World Wide Flood is the easiest problem to solve.
3. Some people in the SDA church like to insist on a literal 7 day creation week because they think “well that is just the way it was” –
4. Those who wrote out belief #6 were careful NOT to say it is a “literal 7 day week” because they did not want to box any SDAs into thinking that this is the only option and they knew many SDAs simply do not accept it.
5. If you want to change the World Wide Flood idea – another problem you have is Ellen White – so you need to decide whether she is really an authority.
Hint: NONE of that is “science” or “biology” or “news from the science department”. NORE is it a conversation in the form “let is look and see if the science claims being made for evolutionism really hold up”.
Thus the PUC “devil’s advocate” claim appears to be in the form of a supposed devil’s advocate trying to find ways to bend the bible and discount Ellen White, as well as a devil’s advocate making sweeping assertions about science claiming that it is beyond question — because in this talk Ness does not give 40 seconds of time to the idea that maybe his science claims on behalf of evolutionism “could be reinterpreted”. Rather it is only the Bible and our use of Ellen White that is suggested for “reinterpretation”. How “scientific” is that?
The objective unbiased reader using even a small degree of critical thinking when watching that video is going to get a very clear picture of what is going on. No wonder PUC wants to hide it.
Recent Comments by BobRyan
By definition, I don’t believe in miracles or apocryphal, anthropomorphic stories about same.Why aren’t scientists observing them today if they occur?
Circular argument. If they were naturally occurring we would expect scientists to see that they are still occurring today. If they are singular events caused by an intelligent being – that being would be under no obligation to “keep causing world wide floods” as if “to do it once you must continually do it”. Armstrong went to the moon.. shall we argue that unless he keeps going to the moon so each new generation can see it … then it did not happen?
Your argument is of the form “all eye witness evidence to some event in the past is no evidence at all unless that event keeps repeating itself so we too can witness it”. Seems less than compelling.
“Could it be that science is better able to detect hoaxes and false claims?” As a rule for dismissing every eye witness account in the past – it is less than compelling. (even when that event cannot be repeated)
Evolutionists “claim” that dust, rocks and gas (in sufficient quantity and over sufficient time and a lot of luck) self organized into rabbits via prokaryote-then-eukaryote-then-more-complexity. But such self-organization cannot be “observed” today.
(What is worse – such a sequence cannot even be intelligently manipulated to occur in the lab)
By your own argument then you should not believe in evolution.
Suppose you were at a crime scene … there is a tree limb on the ground and a bullet hole in the victim — “all natural causes”? or is one ‘not natural’? Those who say that nothing can be detected as “not naturally occurring in nature” – because all results, all observations make it appear that every result “naturally occurred without intelligent design” seem to be missing a very big part of “the obvious”.
What just God would allow an innocent child to be born guilty for the sins of a distant ancestor? …What if there was only One Commandment? Do Good. ‘Kant’ see a problem with that.
An atheist point of view is not often found here – but this is interesting.
1. God does not punish babies for what someone else did – but I suppose that is a reductionist option that is not so uncommon among atheists. The “details” of the subject you are commenting on – yet according to you “not reading” – is that humans are born with sinful natures. A “bent” toward evil. That is the first gap right out of the gate between atheism and God’s Word..
2. But still God supernaturally enables “free will” even in that bent scenario, the one that mankind lives in – ever since the free-will choice of the first humans on planet earth – was to cast their lot in with Satan and rebellion..(apparently they wanted to see what a wonderful result that poor choice would create). John 16 “the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and righteousness and judgment”. And of course “I will draw ALL mankind unto Me” John 12:32. (not “just Christians”). Thus supernatural agency promotes free will in a world that would otherwise be unrestrained in its bent to evil.
3.God says “The wages of sin is death” — so then your “complaint” is essentially “that you exist”. A just and loving God created planet Earth – no death or disease or suffering – a perfect paradise where mankind could live forever … and only one tiny restriction… yet Adam and Eve allowed themselves to be duped by Satan… tossing it all away. The “Just God” scenario could easily just have let them suffer the death sentence they chose. He did not do that… hence “you exist” – to then “complain about it”.
4. Of course you might also complain that Satan exists – and Satan might complain that “you exist”. There is no shortage on planet earth of avenues for complaint. But God steps in – offers salvation to mankind at infinite cost to himself – – and the “Few” of Matthew 7 eventually end up accepting that offer of eternal life. The rest seem to prefer the lake of fire option… sort of like Adam and Eve choosing disease and death over eternal life (without fully appreciating the massive fail in that short-sighted choice).
In any case – this thread is about the logic/reason that should be taken into account when a Christian owned and operated institution chooses to stay faithful to its Christian mission — rather then getting blown about by every wind of doctrine. Why let the alchemy of “wild guessing” be the ‘source of truth’ when we have the Bible?? We really have no excuse for that. As for science – we can be thankful that it has come as far along as it has – but no matter how far back you rewind the clock of our science history – we should always have chosen the Bible over wild guessing.
Perhaps Dr. Pitman would enlighten his readers what on earth “the neo-Darwinian story of origins” might be. Darwin did not address origins.
Origins of what?? the first eukaryote??
Or “origins of mankind”??
Darwin himself claimed that his own false doctrine on origins was totally incompatible with Genesis and that because of this – Genesis must be tossed under a bus.
hint: Genesis is an account of “Origins” as we all know — even though “bacteria” and “amoeba” are terms that don’t show up in the text.
The point remains – Darwin was promoting his own religion on origins totally counter to the Bible doctrine on origins. He himself addresses this point of the two views.
Here we go again.If the footprints upon close examination, are determined not to be from a hominim/hominid, I wonder if Educate Truth (sic) will announce that determination.Or if the date of the surface is determined to be much younger, will there be a notice placed on fundamentalist web-sites.If you believe the answer to these questions are yes, I have a big bridge that I would like to sell you for pennies on the dollar.
Here we go again … hope piled upon hope…no matter the “observations in nature” that disconfirm the classic evolutionary hypothesis
Reminds me of “What we still don’t know” by Martin Reese and Leonard Suskind