WASC Reviews LSU’s Accreditation

On July 19, 2011 La Sierra University issued a press release regarding an “action letter” from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in which WASC noted several points of concern over LSU’s handling of the recent resignation of four members of LSU’s board ( Link ).  WASC was especially concerned over the “divisions on the board concerning the controversy over the teaching of science” and the actions of the board chair (Elder Ricardo Graham) that were largely independent of the board.  WASC suggested that Graham “acted in his capacity as a church leader” rather than as part of an independent board – undermining “institutional autonomy.”  Therefore, WASC issued a “Formal Notice of Concern” to LSU with a scheduled visit to LSU in the Spring of 2012 to evaluate the steps taken by LSU to address the concerns raised by WASC.

The following is an excerpt from the WASC letter:

Based on the bylaws and the statements of the board chair himself, it appears that he did not have independent authority as La Sierra’s board chair to take these actions and was not acting at the instruction of the board. The board chair reported that he consulted only with a few of the Church-designated trustees, members of national Church leadership, and university counsel before asking for the resignations of the four individuals involved. The Commission could infer from these facts that the board chair acted in his capacity as a Church leader, which would be a clear violation of WASC standards on institutional autonomy.

Here is La Sierra’s response to the WASC letter:

Though the University’s eight-year regional accreditation is not affected, WASC has identified concerns regarding the role and composition of the La Sierra University Board of Trustees and issues related to institutional autonomy. Those findings have led WASC to issue a Notice of Concern.

The WASC Commission has requested a meeting between WASC leadership and the university president, provost, and full governing board within the coming 90 days to offer further information as to the reasons for their actions and to discuss the University’s response plan.  WASC has also indicated that they will return for a follow-up visit to La Sierra in Spring 2012 to determine whether appropriate progress is being made in addressing their concerns.

The La Sierra Board of Trustees, which met on July 18 to review the letter, stated that it “takes WASC’s findings seriously,” has reconvened the Articles and Bylaws Committee “in response to concerns noted by WASC”, and plans to meet again in August.

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576 thoughts on “WASC Reviews LSU’s Accreditation

  1. @Bill Sorensen:

    Suppose I speed through some town and I don’t see a speed limit sign that says 35 miles an hour.

    This is a very common example used by people who don’t understand the difference between committing an amoral mistake versus an action against one’s own conscience – a moral wrong.

    Just because someone can be convicted for doing something that they didn’t know was wrong doesn’t mean that they can also be convicted for sin. It is for this reason that only God can judge the moral state of a person because only God knows the true heart of a person – the true motive.

    When it comes to morality, everything is based on a person’s motive before God – everything.

    I repeat again, even in heaven it will be possible to make amoral mistakes due to a lack of infinite knowledge. Some of these mistakes may even have negative consequences for those we love – even in Heaven. Yet, these mistakes will not be considered “sinful” because they weren’t done with malicious intent, but out of ignorance.

    I dare say that even angels make such mistakes from time to time. Once the mistake is realized, one apologizes and moves on. There is no sin here. No moral fall has taken place.

    My final comment is that you have a warped view of guilt in reference to law. If you break God’s law, you are guilty whether you know it or not.

    And you don’t seem to understand that it is impossible to break the moral law without knowing it. One always knows when one breaks the moral law of Love that is written on the hearts of us all. It is for this reason that none of us have any excuse for breaking this law before God – because we already knew what it was and that it was right when we broke it.

    So Paul says, “At these times of ignorance, God winked at.” Not because people were not guilty, but because God took into account their ignorance of His will.

    They were guilty only of errors based on a lack of knowledge. They were not guilty of sinning against their conscience or “sinning”.

    And the only reason God can “wink” at sin or overlook sin is because of the atonement of the cross. So, once again, you have a convoluted non-scriptural view of sin, guilt, and the law.

    No cross was or will be need for mistakes that have taken place and will continue to take place in heaven that are based on a lack of knowledge. The cross of Jesus was only needed because of the sin of deliberately going against our conscience – against the moral Law of Love. That is why the relationship was broken between us and God and that is why the cross was necessary to re-establish this relationship.

    Our relationship with God was not broken over some honest misunderstanding. Our relationship was broken due to a deliberate rebellion against what we knew was true – against the Law of Love. That’s what broke the relationship.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  2. Sean said…..

    “No cross was or will be need for mistakes that have taken place and will continue to take place in heaven that are based on a lack of knowledge.”

    This is partly true like much of what you have to say. But “partly” is not sufficient to explain or describe all the elements of God’s government.

    First, let me say “The cross” is a revelation, not an inovation. The principles of the cross are an essential and eternal part of God’s government.

    The “sinless” angels are considered sinless only and precisely because they are accepted “in Christ”.

    This means Christ is first the mediator of creation before He became the mediator of redemption. That is, all created beings are accepted before God by virtue of the mediation of Christ.

    So, EGW can correctly say…..

    “As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. We respond to His invitation, Come, learn of Me, and in thus coming we begin the life eternal. Heaven is a ceaseless approaching to God through Christ. The longer we are in the heaven of bliss, the more and still more of glory will be opened to us; and the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness. As we walk with Jesus in this life, we may be filled with His love, satisfied with His presence. All that human
    332
    nature can bear, we may receive here. But what is this compared with the hereafter? There “are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Revelation 7:15-17. {DA 331.3}

    All approach God through Christ. This includes the sinless angels. And this is the principle Lucifer hated and warred against. If there were no law, there would be no need of mediation.

    In the final reality, the law demands equality to God. God can not create another “god”, but he can create moral beings who reflect His image. None the less, all “come short of the glory of God”, (even the sinless angels) and Jesus, being God Himself, is qualified to be the mediator between God and all created beings.

    So, as you suggest, even in heaven mistakes will be made because no one has all knowledge. But heavenly mistakes are still covered by the mediation of Christ.

    And I do commend you for thinking “outside the box” and beyond what many will do in considering the full implications of all the ramifications of God’s government.

    When we understand that rebellion is against God’s government of justice and mercy with the intent to do away with both, we can then understand that law and grace are eternal principles that reflect God’s character. His government is simply a reflection of this reality.

    We should be able to readily see that if there is no law, no grace is necessary. Since law is eternal and dynamic, so is grace.

    My illustration of a civil law scenario is very clear and reflects the moral law as it pretains to all moral beings.

    Sins of ignorance are damnable unless the intercession of Jesus is present. Your theory denies any need for the intercession of Christ in the context of sins of ignorance.

    You may be a good scientist Sean, but I know theology. I’ll listen to you on scientific issues, you would do well to listen to me on theological issues.

    I’ll give you any final word you may have to say on this issue. I have pretty well explained all I have to say about it.

    Bill Sorensen

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  3. @Bill Sorensen:

    “No cross was or will be need for mistakes that have taken place and will continue to take place in heaven that are based on a lack of knowledge.” – Sean Pitman

    This is partly true like much of what you have to say. But “partly” is not sufficient to explain or describe all the elements of God’s government.

    First, let me say “The cross” is a revelation, not an inovation. The principles of the cross are an essential and eternal part of God’s government.

    The “sinless” angels are considered sinless only and precisely because they are accepted “in Christ”.

    The sinless angels are considered sinless because they have never rebelled against their consciences – against what they knew to be right. This is the reason why they never needed a Savior to sacrifice himself on the cross as we did… even though they certainly made many mistakes along the way due to a lack of perfect knowledge. They never required redemption from a life of sin as we do.

    The cross is also not “eternal” since it was not always needed and never should have been needed in God’s ideal government.
    You see, the cross simply was not necessary before the Fall of Adam and Eve because there was no redeemable moral fall before Adam and Eve deliberately chose to rebel against what they knew was right for selfish reasons.

    There was of course a moral fall before Adam and Eve – i.e., the fall of Lucifer and those angels that chose to go with him in his rebellion in Heaven. However, this particular fall was unredeemable because they rebelled in the full knowledge of God and the implications of their own actions. There was nothing left that could be done or shown to these rebels that hadn’t already been done.

    Adam and Eve, on the other hand, rebelled against what they knew was right, and therefore sinned against their consciences. However, they did not rebel in the full light and understanding of God’s character or with the full understanding of the implications of their actions. Therefore, it was possible to re-establish the relationship between God and man given a further demonstration of the character of God and of the nature of Evil which would have the power to convert many human hearts.

    Did Adam and Eve make mistakes in Eden before the Fall? Of course they did, due to their lack of knowledge. But, these were not moral mistakes. Was it possible that Adam could have accidentally tripped Eve when she came around a corner unexpectedly? Of course! Could Eve have accidentally hit Adam in the face with a branch of a tree, not knowing he was directly behind her? Obviously. Clearly, however, such mistakes in action, due to a lack of knowledge, are not sinful. They are amoral mistakes. There is absolutely no need for Jesus to have died on the cross for such amoral mistakes.

    You don’t seem to understand that morality requires the conscious ability to make a choice. Robots are not moral agents because they are not free to choose between options nor are they capable of understanding the implications of options. The same is true for animals or even humans that have suffered enough brain damage so that they no longer understand the implications of their actions. A lack of knowledge produces the same effect – it removes moral responsibility to the same degree that there is a lack of knowledge.

    You may be a good scientist Sean, but I know theology. I’ll listen to you on scientific issues, you would do well to listen to me on theological issues.

    If you do know theology better than I do, you will have to do a whole lot better at explaining yourself in a way that makes much more sense to my simpleton mind.

    Just think about what makes humans morally responsible for certain actions while animals or robots wouldn’t be morally responsible for the same actions.

    It seems to me, and I may be too simplistic in my thinking to understand, that it all has to do with a conscious realization of what you’re doing and the consequences of your actions.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  4. Sean, you reason from a singular perspective and obviously make valid points from that perspective. None the less, you fail to see that many truths in the bible have a comprehensive perspective that goes beyond a singular one.

    When we put truth or some aspect of truth into a one perspective context, we will eventually embrace error by way of default.

    Just like your on-going dialogue and discussions with others on faith and evidence. In the end, faith is not eliminated by the evidence since the evidence is not proof beyond the rational possibility of doubt.

    Neither is faith “blind faith” since there is adequate evidence to confirm the biblical revelation. So you all go on and on apparently with no resolvable conclusion.

    In this issue of sin, I will simply return to one of the scriptures we have discussed and make a simple point. You can consider it for what its worth and draw your own conclusion as to its meaning.

    Jesus said, “If ye were blind, you would have no sin, but now you say ‘we see’, therefore your sin remains.”

    You claim there was no sin if and when they were “blind”. But notice how this text ends, “therefore your sin remains.”

    I simply ask, “How could it REMAIN if it was not present in the beginning?”

    My rendition of the text is obvious if you accept this closing statement as valid.

    That is, Jesus was saying, “If you were blind, you would have no sin that could not be pardoned, but, now you say ‘we see’, therefore, your sin is unpardonable.”

    That is, “It remains.”

    If you don’t see the point. At this time I have no particular evidence to make it clearer.

    Have a great Sabbath experience.

    Christian regards,

    Bill Sorensen

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  5. Sean Pitman: Plant protein does not have the negative effects that certain animal proteins have on the human system. Laboratory studies have shown that plant protein, even if provided at the same level in the diet of lab animals, does not have the cancer-promoting properties of certain animal proteins.

    I’ve searched the published literature on “animal protein” and “cancer” using the best search engine available and am not particularly inspired by what I found. I trust peer-reviewed literature more so than claims unearthed from Google searches. I’m pasting below some snippets from the most recent study I could locate that summarized what we know about the contributions of different protein types to disease. I think it’s premature to conclude with any confidence that animal protein is necessarily more deleterious than plant protein when consumed in similar quantities. Part of the problem is going to be the other dietary factors associated with the types of protein consumed that cannot be readily controlled in studies. I believe we need to learn more before making definitive claims.

    Halkjae et al. 2009. Intake of total, animal and plant proteins, and their food sources in 10 countries in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 63:S16-S36.

    [INTRODUCTION] Another issue that is still unclear is whether all sources of protein have the same impact on disease outcomes. As an example, one study indicated that plant proteins had a protective effect against coronary heart disease mortality compared with animal proteins, whereas no clear association with cancer incidence and mortality was observed for any subtype of protein (Kelemen et al., 2005).

    The association between protein and cancer risk has often been assessed on the basis of the food sources of protein rather than on the nutrient itself. Two of the main contributors to animal protein, red and processed meat, have been found to be consistently positively associated with risk of colorectal cancer (WCRF/AICR, 2007). The main explanation behind this association may, however, not be directly related to animal proteins, but to haem iron and endogenous N-nitroso components present in high concentrations in red and processed meat (Kuhnle and Bingham, 2007). In contrast, some researchers have suggested that other important sources of animal proteins, such as fish, may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer (Geelen et al., 2007) without being able to disentangle any specific beneficial effect of proteins.

    [DISCUSSION] Processed meat has recently been judged as one of the most cancer-promoting food items (WCRF/AICR, 2007), whereas fish is considered to have beneficial effects in heart disease (He et al., 2004; Whelton et al., 2004) and also potentially in some cancer sites (Norat et al., 2005; Geelen et al., 2007), although possibly because of factors other than protein. Studies of the association between (animal or plant) protein and disease incidence may consequently be less reliable if the contributing protein sources are not evaluated in addition to total protein intakes.

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  6. @Professor Kent:

    Studies of the association between (animal or plant) protein and disease incidence may consequently be less reliable if the contributing protein sources are not evaluated in addition to total protein intakes.

    The findings of Colin Campbell’s “China Study” did not show that all animal proteins are detrimental to human health. As far as I’m aware laboratory research (with lab rats) only seemed to confirm that one animal protein in particular, casein, is detrimental to human health in the form of the promotion of cancer cell growth. It is suggested that other animal proteins may also function in a similar manner to that of casein, but I don’t think that this has been confirmed in isolation with either animal or human experiments.

    Beyond this, of course, The China Study cites a lot of research, not just the one big study in China, all supporting the same conclusion: a plant-based, whole foods diet provides tremendous health benefits over traditional American/European diets. This conclusion also appears to be supported by the fact that Seventh-day Adventists are part of the longest-lived “Blue-Zone” peoples and are the only group of long-lived people that have a mixed ethnic background. This strongly suggests a dietary component to longevity.

    There are of course some seemingly valid negative critiques of Campbell’s methods and conclusions. In my opinion, there are most likely numerous contributing variables which tend to favor the vegetarian diet over the diet rich in animal products (as I’ve already noted above).

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  7. Sean Pitman: conclusion: a plant-based, whole foods diet provides tremendous health benefits over traditional American/European diets. This conclusion also appears to be supported by the fact that Seventh-day Adventists are part of the longest-lived “Blue-Zone” peoples and are the only group of long-lived people that have a mixed ethnic background. This strongly suggests a dietary component to longevity.

    Agreed.

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  8. I’ve been scanning the conversations / discussions / arguments here.

    Has anyone changed their position on the creation / evolution debate yet?

    Get to know Jesus personally (yes, it is possible) and you will have no doubt about how you came to exist. That is my simple faith. I don’t need any “science” that contradicts that.

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  9. Accreditation by secular athiestic authority is threatened? I am sure such a loss would be a blow in many respects.

    How does it compare to what we believe is coming? Or do we really believe it?

    From GC p. 604
    “Fearful is the issue to which the world is to be brought. The powers of earth, uniting to war against the commandments of God, will decree that “all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond” (Revelation 13:16), shall conform to the customs of the church by the observance of the false sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death. On the other hand, the law of God enjoining the Creator’s rest day demands obedience and threatens wrath against all who transgress its precepts.”

    It is a long steep continuum from where we are today, to where we are headed if the above paragraph is true. Do we really believe in the historic message of our church? That it will happen as we have always understood it will?

    I suspect many participants here do not really believe these things are coming.

    Do we grasp the “New Age” vision of so many in the world – the idea that we are marching forward in a grand and glorious conquest of the world, space, and scientific achievment – that will finally rid the world of disease, poverty, problems and lead us to a glorious conquering of space and realization of our destinies?

    What do we really believe? If we believe the historic faith of our founders, it will give us a wholly different perspective on all of this.

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  10. I take it Educate Truthers love this. They would rejoice at a showdown between LSU and WASC. The outcomes they might praise:

    1. Futher headaches for LSU administrators and added tarnish to its reputation.

    2. Forcing LSU to lose or abandon its secular accreditation to become transformed into a non-accredited Bible school. [I am stunned how many think accreditation is a bad thing.]

    3. Forcing LSU to leave the denomination (damning the many students who love and want to remain a part of the SDA church…and the non-SDAs who would no longer be exposed to SDA truth). [I am stunned that so many see this as desirable.]

    “Vengeance is mine, saith the…” Educate Truth crowd.

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  11. Charles: both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond

    This obviously doesn’t apply to this time since slavery/”bond” does not exist in the US at this time. Things will have to get a lot worse before the US re-institutes slavery.

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  12. Holly&#032Pham: Can someone explain something to me? Did President Graham act independently, on his own, or with the Board’s permission, when he fired the individuals?

    Apparently part of the benefit to the 4 who resigned – was not having the board members hear what they said in their self-taped audio.

    Now they appear to be trying to manipulate WASC so that they can “have it both ways”.

    Work to NOT have their own audio heard by the board- then whine because the board was not included in on the decision to have them resign.

    Oh well – no one ever said that the path of darkness made sense.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  13. JohnB: self-accreditations

    Is that kind of like a self audit?
    Are you serious? Why bother?

    I think WASC should be commended for defending religious freedom within our schools. I am still mystified how the church can claim to believe in religious freedom and persecute their teachers.

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  14. You are not actually taking the time to think about what you are saying.

    The upside down logic that would argue that a church run instition cannot be “run by the church” because to do so is to “deny religious freedom”, is not the kind of logic that lasts long in the light of day.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  15. I think it’s time that all christian (as well as any other religious college) universities in the region pull together and sue WASC for discrimination. Either WASC is especially picking on LSU using a double standard, or ALL Christian colleges in the region already submit their theology to WASC (which I highly doubt), or WASC is setting a precedent which will make it impossible for any Christian college to hold to whatever religious standards they may have.

    There are two issues at play here. One is how an Adventist College should uphold their teachings, that’s for the church to decide. The other is whether or not the WASC has any business interfering in religious issues.

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  16. @Sean Pitman:

    For those who seek “signs and wonders” as a basis for faith, Satan also has the power to perform miracles. And miraculous events will play a major role in end-world deceptions.

    I find my greatest faith-builder to be a study of scripture wherein I can clearly see God’s great guiding hand in the events of history as it has unfolded precisely according to His prophetic word. I find little that is more powerfully persuasive to me than the unfolding of the great 1260 year prophecy as given by Daniel and by John – centuries before it began.

    Even today, in my half-century or so of life, I have witnessed prophecy continue to unfold in fulfillment – such things as Daniel wrote about many hundreds of years ago about the “end of time”: “knowledge shall be increased”…. “men shall run to and fro”

    The way in which this information comes to us is miraculous in its delivery. As one starts to study it, there is a bit of evidence to support faith. As one digs deeper, the evidence builds more powerfully to deeply convict. As we realize that there is an almight God and that He is ultimately in control, we can intelligently choose “this day, whom we will serve”.

    “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord…” (CREATOR of all).

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  17. @Anonymosity:

    No where do our fundamental beliefs teach that our beliefs are valid only if there is empirical evidence to back them up. To denounce faith and declare it “useless” under any context shows ultimate disrespect for our fundamental beliefs. For God’s sake it is time to end the condescending remarks about faith. Adventists are people of faith and everything good in our church fails without faith.

    Faith is the evidence of things unseen. – Hebrews 11:1. The Bible doesn’t say that faith isn’t based on evidence – just the opposite in fact. God does not ask us to believe without providing ample evidence to support a rational faith.

    Remember when Jesus turned water into wine?

    “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” – John 2:11

    Notice that is was because of the evidence of what John calls a “sign” of who Jesus really was that they put their faith in him – and who in their right mind, after seeing something like this, wouldn’t? Evidence doesn’t remove faith, it strengthens faith.

    “Many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, “When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?” – John 7:31

    Notice again the referenced basis of faith – i.e., the miraculous signs. There simply would have been no reason to believe in Jesus as the Christ without some such evidence.

    As a Seventh-day Adventist, you’ll appreciate these thoughts from Mrs. White on this topic:

    “God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith. His existence, His character, the truthfulness of His Word, are all established by testimony that appeals to our reason; and this testimony is abundant. Yet God has never removed the possibility of doubt. Our faith must rest upon evidence, not demonstration. Those who wish to doubt will have opportunity; while those who really desire to know the truth, will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their faith.”

    – Mrs. White, The Great Controversy, p. 527. and Steps to Christ, p. 105.

    This is true for any rational belief – to include scientific beliefs. Science is based on evidence, not demonstration. The same is, or at least can be, true of faith.

    According to FB #10 salvation is based on ….. ahem ….. FAITH. No, not evidence but FAITH.

    Salvation is based on love – love toward our fellow man. The law of love is the Royal Law mentioned in James (James 2:8 NIV).

    Because the Royal Law is written on the hearts of all, all can be saved by living according to this law – even without having ever heard the name of Jesus and without knowing anything about his life, death, resurrection, or the plan of salvation or the hope of heaven to come.

    It is for this reason that Paul writes that even the heathen can be saved according to how they kept the Royal Law (Romans 2:14-15 NIV).

    How, having a hope in the reality of the Gospel message requires faith, true, but it also requires evidence.

    Faith without any basis in evidence of any kind is blind and not very useful when it comes to establishing a solid basis for a conscious hope that rational people are willing to die for (like Jesus’ disciples for instance). They didn’t believe without extremely good evidence. For example, did the disciples have more or less faith in Jesus after they saw Him raised from the dead?

    After all, fantastic claims require equally fantastic evidence to back them up. Especially if you’re asking someone to put his/her life on the line… wouldn’t you agree?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  18. Sean&#032Pitman: So, if the Bible claimed, in no uncertain terms, that the Earth was flat, or the Sun revolved around the Earth, or that humans originally lived on Mars only to migrate to the Earth once Mars became uninhabitable, or that the American Indians are descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, you’d believe the Bible?

    So, if the Bible claimed, in no uncertain terms, that a pile of dirt could be transformed into a living human body, that metal axe heads can float on water, that dead bodies can return to life days later, or that virgin women can give birth to babies, you’d believe the Bible?

    Sorry, but science has falsified both sets of claims. Millions of intelligent, rational, candid people reject the latter claims, Sean, and you are not going to win them over when you insist they should follow the evidence wherever it leads. Your emphasis on evidence sets aside the vastly more important appeal that Seventh-day Adventists have to share: a relationship with the living Word.

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  19. Sean&#032Pitman: It is for such reasons that the metaphysical claims of texts like the Book of Mormon carry far far less weight for me compared to the metaphysical claims of the Bible – because those empirical claims of the Book of Mormon that can be evaluated and tested have been convincingly falsified in my own estimation.

    Let’s look at just a few of the metaphysical claims of the BIBLE:

    – A living human can be formed from dirt – convincingly FALSIFIED by science
    – An iron axe head can float after throwing a stick in the water – convincingly FALSIFIED by science
    – A vigin woman can give birth to a child – convincingly FALSIFIED by science
    – The bodies of dead men can be restored to life several days later – convincingly FALSIFIED by science
    – A child’s portion of bread and fish can be divided to feed thousands – convincingly FALSIFIED by science
    – A man can ascend heavenword without benefit of visible propulsion – convincingly FALSIFIED by science

    And yet Sean believes in these things–based on evidence, he insists, rather than faith.

    So let’s look at some of the key metaphysical claims of the BOOK OF MORMON:

    – One gets a “burning in the bosom” upon learning of Mormonism – science actually supports an incontrovertible link between the mind and autonomic regulation that could easily result in such sensation, with possible links to synaesthesias, crossmodal perception, and multisensory integration; the possibility of this sensation is actually confirmed in Scripture (Luke 24:32; Psalms 39:3), so it is hardly unique to the BOOK OF MORMON.

    Oh, wait a minute; there is no “burning in the bosom” in the Book of Mormon. Sean confused this book with DOCTRINES AND COVENANTS by the same author. So…what ARE the metaphysical claims of the BOOK OF MORMON that lead Sean to reject it, and which make the metaphysical claims of the Bible irrefutably rejected by science look so much more appealing to the intelligent rational candid mind?

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  20. Sean&#032Pitman: Since when is true love, as expressed to one’s fellow man, arduous work? The motive of true selfless love is not self-generated, but is a gift of God – and is not considered “work” by those who actually exhibit true love. Those who reject this most precious gift, who will not show true selfless love to others, but desire a life of living only for self, will not be saved.

    We could build a lengthy list of gifts from God that we could reject, and actions we could fail to exhibit, which could disqualify us from salvation (or to be more accurate, reflect our rejection of salvation). But none of these represent the “basis” of salvation. Again, we are not saved by “doing to others” or our “love toward our fellow man” (your description of the basis of salvation). These are consequences of our salvation, not how or why we are saved.

    I was never taught your views in my years of SDA education. Where did you get this heterodox idea?

    Did anyone else reading this exchange learn that we can be saved by living according to the Royal Law of Love?

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  21. Sean, I suggest you read the chapter on salvation from the book, Seventh-day Adventists Believe. The plan of salvation involves much more than our hearing the Moral Voice of the Holy Spirit and responding to the Royal Law of Love.

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  22. @Professor Kent:

    “Salvation is about doing to others as you would have done to you.”

    “Salvation is based on love – love toward our fellow man. The law of love is the Royal Law mentioned in James (James 2:8 NIV). Because the Royal Law is written on the hearts of all, all can be saved by living according to this law.”

    – Sean Pitman

    Seventh-day Adventists do not teach or believe in salvation by works. Salvation is a free gift and is NOT procured by our actions toward fellow man (which is fortunate for Sean’s sake). So why does Sean undermine SDA fundamental belief #10? I am astonished by his heterodox theology. Wait a minute…I hear his supporters clamoring to claim he is (as always) correct.

    – Prof. Kent

    Since when is true love, as expressed to one’s fellow man, arduous work? The motive of true selfless love is not self-generated, but is a gift of God – and is not considered “work” by those who actually exhibit true love. Those who reject this most precious gift, who will not show true selfless love to others, but desire a life of living only for self, will not be saved. In fact, this is the only reason why there will be those who will reject the gift of Heaven when it is freely offered. This is the unpardonable sin because there is nothing further the Holy Spirit can do for those who consciously reject the beauty of Holiness – i.e., the Royal Law of Love.

    These facts have nothing at all to do with “salvation by works”.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  23. @Charles:

    For those who seek “signs and wonders” as a basis for faith, Satan also has the power to perform miracles. And miraculous events will play a major role in end-world deceptions.

    Indeed. The same was true for Pharaoh who held the Israelites as slaves in Egypt. Satan was allowed to demonstrate miraculous power. However, He was unable to trump the evidence that God provided.

    God always provides superior evidence so that even Pharaoh’s magicians came to a point where they themselves told Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” – Exodus 8:19 NIV

    God does not leave us without superior evidence upon which to rest our faith. Those who wish to doubt, as Pharaoh did, will always find a reason for their skepticism – even in the face of what would be for any rational candid mind, overwhelming evidence in favor of the truth.

    Once one reaches this point, the point where Pharaoh rejected all that God provided to him, it really isn’t so much a matter of adequate evidence, which God always provides to those who are honestly searching for the truth, but a matter of personal desire and pride in opposition to the clear will of God.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  24. Sean said…..

    “A deliberate rejection of what is known to be right is sin….”

    Sean, a biblical definition of sin is far more comprehensive than the one you have opted for.

    Simply put, “Sin is transgression of the law.” and according to EGW, this is the only biblical definition of sin.

    “Now, we want to understand what sin is–that it is the transgression of God’s law. This is the only definition given in the Scriptures. Therefore we see that those who claim to be led of God, and go right away from Him and His law, do not search the Scriptures. But the Lord will lead His people; for He says that His sheep will follow if they hear His voice, but a stranger will they not follow. Then it becomes us to thoroughly understand the Scriptures. And we will not have to inquire whether others have the truth, for it will be seen in their characters.” {FW 56.1}

    Now we are aware that God handles “sin” from various perspectives. There are sins of ignorance and sins of rebellion. None the less, all is sin.

    So, just because you don’t know something is sin, and you don’t wilfully transgress the law, does not mean you are not transgressing the law.

    Certainly, we are aware that willful and deliberate rejection of God’s commands is sin. This is a selective definition and not a comprehensive one. It is a human definition, not a divine definition. And the bible deals with both perspectives.

    If the human definition is the only one we confess to, then, if any one sins in ignorance, they are not guilty and need not repent for any sin committed in ignorance, even if later they are enlightened of the situation. They could simply say, “I wasn’t sinning since I didn’t know better.”

    Notice how EGW deals with the divine definition of sin and how it applies, even to the Christian community.

    ” As the ministration of Jesus closed in the holy place, and He passed into the holiest, and stood before the ark containing the law of God, He sent another mighty angel with a third message to the world. A parchment was placed in the angel’s hand, and as he descended to the earth in power and majesty, he proclaimed a fearful warning, with the most terrible threatening ever borne to man. This message was designed to put the children of God upon their guard, by showing them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. Said the angel, “They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image. Their only hope of eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, they must hold fast the truth.” The third angel closes his message thus: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary. The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living. It includes all who died trusting in Christ, but who, not having received the light upon God’s commandments, had sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts.” {EW 254.1}

    Notice the final atonement is not only for wilfull transgression and repentance for it, but also for sin of ignorance. People like Luther and others who never received the light on the Sabbath truth were “forgiven” their sin by virtue of the final atonement.

    Yes, ignorance is and was a factor in forgiveness, but ignorance does not mean you are not sinning.

    And in the final sense, you are correct in assuming that it is wilfull sin that will shut people out of heaven, for it is only rebellion that in the end, that God can not and will not forgive.

    And even rebellion can cover considerable ground since wilfull ignorance may be considered rebellion by God.

    Bill Sorensen

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  25. Sean said…..

    ” If anyone could claim ignorance of this law, such a person would not be guilty of sin since the insane self-destructive property of sin requires a deliberate rebellion against known truth.”

    Then people who keep Sunday in ignorance are not sinning? Is that your understanding, Sean?

    It doesn’t seem to harmonize with EGW’s view that Jesus makes atonement for sins of ignorance. In your view, there would be no need for atonement for sins of ignorance. At least this is what I am getting from your explanation.

    Now you quoted this text….

    “Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. – John 9:41 NIV ”

    But this is typical of the NIV. It distorts the true meaning of the text. In fact the text means this, “If ye were blind, you would have no sin that could not be forgiven. But now you say ‘We see’, therefore, your sin is unpardonable.”

    Totally different meaning than the NIV would have us understand this text. But the rendition I gave is in perfect harmony with the context and situation Jesus was addressing.

    Beware of the NIV. It may have some good thoughts on some passages. But is at times in total error on other passages. Such as Heb. 9. where they blatantly deny the real context that Paul is dealing with. And would negate the whole SDA movement if their explanation was correct.

    Sean futher said….

    “This is not to say that honest errors will not result in suffering and pain. They often do. It is just that honest ignorance, where there were no deliberately rejected opportunities to know any better, makes one guiltless of moral responsibility for such harmful acts.”

    Again Sean, you fail to see sin by way of an objective definition and limit sin to a subjective definition.

    In an objective sense, the law doesn’t care what you know or don’t know. The law pronounces guilty any and all who transgress it no matter what the reason.

    So as the saying goes, “Ignorance is no excuse and will be punished accordingly.”

    Now if we want to add grace to the law, (and the bible does this) we can state some elements of forgiveness based on various factors that activates grace. And a subjective application of the law and grace make redemption possible.

    But to claim no one is sinning unless they know better negates some aspects of grace and implies that grace is not necessary in these situations. And worst of all, it makes the atonement less valuable and negates some aspects of the atonement.

    It would have us believe Jesus did not pay for all sin, only the sins we committed when we knew better.

    When Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    It was with the implication that if they repented, they could be forgiven. There is no blanket forgiveness for the whole human family apart from the response of confession and repentance.

    Jesus said to Mary, “Neither do I condemn you,” but He was quick to add, (lest there be any misunderstanding on her part or ours) “go and sin no more.” And this was part of the condition of forgiveness.

    So, Jesus death, plus our response, makes up a complete reason for forgiveness.

    The main point is that sin is both objective and subjective. And both define all the aspects of sin as defined and applied in the bible.

    Bill Sorensen

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  26. @Bill Sorensen:

    Sean, a biblical definition of sin is far more comprehensive than the one you have opted for. Simply put, “Sin is transgression of the law.” and according to EGW, this is the only biblical definition of sin.

    Sin is a moral transgression against the only moral law there is… the Royal Law of Love – Luke 10:25-28. On this one Royal Law “hang all the law and the prophets” – as Jesus said. Since this particular law has been written on the hearts of all, no one can claim ignorance of this law. If anyone could claim ignorance of this law, such a person would not be guilty of sin since the insane self-destructive property of sin requires a deliberate rebellion against known truth.

    Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. – John 9:41 NIV

    There are “sins of ignorance” of course, but these are not moral sins or shortcomings. A moral sin is dependent upon a deliberate rejection of known truth. Otherwise, people would have a valid excuse before God.

    What makes a moral sin so insane is that it is a deliberate act against that which is known to be true and good. An act against an unknown truth is not insane and therefore not a moral wrong for the ignorant individual in particular.

    This is not to say that honest errors will not result in suffering and pain. They often do. It is just that honest ignorance, where there were no deliberately rejected opportunities to know any better, makes one guiltless of moral responsibility for such harmful acts.

    Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” – Luke 23:34 NIV

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  27. @Professor Kent:

    Sean, I suggest you read the chapter on salvation from the book, Seventh-day Adventists Believe. The plan of salvation involves much more than our hearing the Moral Voice of the Holy Spirit and responding to the Royal Law of Love.

    This is true from God’s perspective, but not from ours. We have a very simple choice to make regarding our salvation or loss. We either accept the gift, a selfless loving relationship with God and those that God loves, or we turn it down. Those who reject this gift, would not be happy in heaven (or anywhere else for that matter) and will therefore eventually choose oblivion by their own freewill. Sin is, by definition, ultimately self destructive and insane.

    Our only moral responsibility before God is therefore very simple: To respond favorably to the call of the Holy Spirit speaking the truth of the Royal Law of Love to the heart – the only sane option open to us.

    “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

    There is a difference between faith and belief. Even the devils believe and tremble (James 2;19 KJV), yet they do not have faith in God. Faith is belief combined with the love of what is known to be true. The wicked know what is true, but they don’t love the truth. It is the love of the truth that gives faith its advantage over mere belief.

    It is for this reason that the love of the truth is more important than knowledge itself… more important to God than our faith or a conscious hope in the future.

    “The love of Christ binds together the members of His family, and wherever that love is made manifest there the divine relationship is revealed. ‘Everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.’ 1 John 4:7.” – EGW, DA, p. 683

    At one time a lawyer came to Jesus and said, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus turned the question back upon the questioner, and said unto him, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” The lawyer answered Him in a way that made manifest that he understood what the law comprehended. He quoted the words found in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” And he said unto him, “Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” – Luke 10:25-28

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  28. Thank you, Sean. Your language (“diet mainly based on” and “high intake”) reflects agreement the more serious issue of quantity. I appreciate the info on quality and will have to look into the original literature when I get a chance one day. If you don’t mind my asking, are there any human data addressing the quality issue (casein), or is it all based on animal models? What is your source for the Cornell study on milk and cheese?

    Have the Adventist Health Studies revealed a quantitative link (proportion of meat in diet, while controlling for many other variables simultaneously, including body fat index) between animal protein and cancer? Of course, there are other differences besides protein quality in animal- vs. plant-based diets (e.g., fat and bioaccumulation of toxins in animals), so a causal relationship beyond a mere association in humans would be very difficult to demonstrate.

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  29. Sean, I checked your link to Cornell, and could not find refereed publications there to back his claims. I take it his conclusions have been disputed. Do you have references for refereed publications handy? I’m a vegetarian myself, so I do find this interesting–and with much more potential for SDAs to witness to the world than endlessly arguing “faith” versus “blind faith” and origins.

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  30. @pauluc:

    Further he argues that human compared to other non-mammalian animals have greater fidelity in somatic cell replication and so have a lower rate of somatic cell mutation. What do you suppose accounts for that? Perhaps error correction mechanisms that are present in higher mammals. Do we have a complete understanding of these. I think not but does your model allow for that?

    I’ve already argued as much in this very forum (see my commment from August 11, 4:52 p.m.). I myself have pointed out that animals with longer generation times have correspondingly slower rates of mutation over an absolute period of time. This is clearly due to better error correction mechanisms as you yourself surmise.

    The problem, of course, is that the per generation detrimental mutation rate still is and always was far far too high for natural selection to keep up (for creatures with few offspring per generation). Also, as already explained above, the relative strength of natural selection has absolutely nothing to do with this problem.

    We can argue on the math as much as we want but until you actually provide evidence of increasing deleterious gene accumulation over non-modern times I do not think we have a basis for your argument.

    We have plenty of evidence in the form of certain key facts that are clearly supported in literature.

    We know the detrimental mutation rate for humans and other slowly reproducing creatures. And, we know that this rate has not changed substantially over time.

    Arguably, the only thing that has changed a bit is the force of natural selection. It is reasonably true that human actions have lessened the impact of natural selection in modern times. There really is no argument here so far.

    The problem for the ToE is that it the modern relative weakness of natural selection doesn’t solve the problem at all – even if natural selection was much stronger in the past than it is today. The death rate would have been greater, but not nearly high enough to compensate for the known rate of detrimental mutations. Detrimental mutations would still have entered the human gene pool in the past far far faster than they could have been eliminated by a stronger force of natural selection.

    Consider that if natural selection where extremely strong, set at its maximum potential effectiveness for removing detrimental mutations, this would result in a death rate for humans of greater than 99.5% off all offsrping in each generation before they had a chance to reproduce.

    Humans do not reproduce enough offspring per generation to handle such a high death rate – and yet avoid extinction. Yet, this is the death rate that is required if natural selection were to eliminate detrimental mutations from the gene pool as fast as they are entering it.

    I would have no argument that humans are currently accumulating genetic damage but I would tend to agree with Lynch’s argument that this reflects human manipulation of the environment and removal of selection pressure that previously existed. Indeed he argues this is akin to Global warming.

    You make this argument because you really don’t understand that lessening the powers of natural selection doesn’t address the problem. The problem is not so much with the theorectical potential for natural selection to remove all detrimental mutations as fast as they enter the human gene pool.

    The problem is with the death rate that would be required to achieve such a result. This required death rate far outpaces any historical human ability for offspring production. The same is true for other creatures that cannot produce offspring remotely close to the rate needed for natural selection to effectively cull detrimental mutations from such gene pools.

    Your professor Lynch does not address these problems nor does he deal with the actual statistical elements of the problem. He doesn’t deal with the actual rate of detrimental mutations nor does he deal with the per generation death rate that would be required to deal with them. Therefore, there is no real science involved with these bald conjectures beyond their most trivial elements.

    I do not trust that you have the biology correct. As I more and more see how you read the literature I am no more sanguine.

    If I don’t have the biology correct, such as the rate of detrimental mutations per generation, by all means correct me. That would go a whole lot farther than trying to attack my reading comprehension or grasp of the literature. Prove me wrong with something that is actually relevant to the argument in play here (without misreading what I actually said as you have done in the past).

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  31. Sean, you reason from a singular perspective and obviously make valid points from that perspective. None the less, you fail to see that many truths in the bible have a comprehensive perspective that goes beyond a singular one.

    When we put truth or some aspect of truth into a one perspective context, we will eventually embrace error by way of default.

    Just like your on-going dialogue and discussions with others on faith and evidence. In the end, faith is not eliminated by the evidence since the evidence is not proof beyond the rational possibility of doubt.

    Neither is faith “blind faith” since there is adequate evidence to confirm the biblical revelation. So you all go on and on apparently with no resolvable conclusion.

    In this issue of sin, I will simply return to one of the scriptures we have discussed and make a simple point. You can consider it for what its worth and draw your own conclusion as to its meaning.

    Jesus said, “If ye were blind, you would have no sin, but now you say ‘we see’, therefore your sin remains.”

    You claim there was no sin if and when they were “blind”. But notice how this text ends, “therefore your sin remains.”

    I simply ask, “How could it REMAIN if it was not present in the beginning?”

    My rendition of the text is obvious if you accept this closing statement as valid.

    That is, Jesus was saying, “If you were blind, you would have no sin that could not be pardoned, but, now you say ‘we see’, therefore, your sin is unpardonable.”

    That is, “It remains.”

    If you don’t see the point. At this time I have no particular evidence to make it clearer.

    Have a great Sabbath experience.

    Christian regards,

    Bill Sorensen

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  32. Sean&#032Pitman: Now even the secular medical community is starting to realize that this advice was completely mistaken – that animal protein is actually quite harmful to the human system over time – resulting in markedly enhanced heart disease, a significantly increased risk of cancer, and numerous other medical conditions.

    It’s not quality; it’s quantity.

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  33. @Professor Kent:

    We are not saved by “doing to others” or our “love toward our fellow man” (your description of the basis of salvation). These are consequences of our salvation, not how or why we are saved.

    We are saved based on motive – the motive of selfless love. Have you forgotten that, “Everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”? – 1 John 4:7

    The free gift of salvation can be rejected you know. How does one reject this gift? By denying the call of that “still small voice” that speaks to the soul, telling us what is right and wrong. A deliberate rejection of what is known to be right is sin – equivalent to a rejection of the Holy Spirit. Once all efforts of the Spirit have been definitively rejected, there is nothing left for the Spirit to do but to leave the individual alone. Such is the state of the lost.

    In that day Christ does not present before men the great work He has done for them in giving His life for their redemption. He presents the faithful work they have done for Him. To those whom He sets upon His right hand He will say, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me.” But those whom Christ commends know not that they have been ministering unto Him. To their perplexed inquiries He answers, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” …

    Those whom Christ commends in the judgment may have known little of theology, but they have cherished His principles. Through the influence of the divine Spirit they have been a blessing to those about them. Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the spirit of kindness; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have befriended the missionaries, even ministering to them at the peril of their own lives. Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God.

    How surprised and gladdened will be the lowly among the nations, and among the heathen, to hear from the lips of the Saviour, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me”! How glad will be the heart of Infinite Love as His followers look up with surprise and joy at His words of approval!

    -EGW, DA, p. 637-638

    Therefore, we accept the free gift of salvation by listening to what the Law of Love is telling us to do. This moral voice or compass of the Holy Spirit has been implanted in the hearts of every one of us so that none are without excuse. We reject salvation if we reject this voice that is calling us to a life of selfless love toward others.

    We are miraculously given the ability to know right from wrong – i.e., the moral voice of the Holy Spirit. It is by listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, telling us to live according to the Law of Love, that we are saved.

    The only ones who will be lost are those who knowingly reject what they knew was right – who knowingly reject the calling of the Holy Spirit in no uncertain terms. This is what the Bible calls the “unpardonable sin”. The rejection of the call of the Holy Spirit is unpardonable because the individual does not wish to be pardoned. God respects the free will choice of the individual – even if that choice is a conscious rejection of what is known to be right.

    Such is the insanity of sin. If it could be explained in any kind of rational way, it would no longer be sin. It is for this reason that the Bible calls sin, “the mystery of iniquity”.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  34. Sean, I will just make one more comment and then you can believe what ever you want, even if you are wrong.

    Suppose I speed through some town and I don’t see a speed limit sign that says 35 miles an hour.

    A cop stops me and tells me I was doing 50 in a 35 mile an hour zone. “OH” I say, “I didn’t see the sign, so I am not guilty of speeding.”

    How impressed will he be with my defense that I am not guilty since I did not see the sign? He may show mercy and not write me a ticket based on his evaluation that I was truly ignorant of the law.

    Or, he may write me a ticket and tell me I should be more observant since a couple blocks earlier there was a sign clearly posting the 35 mile an hour limit.

    My final comment is that you have a warped view of guilt in reference to law. If you break God’s law, you are guilty whether you know it or not.

    Just so, God may forgive sins of ignorance based on grace, not because a person is not guilty.

    So Paul says, “At these times of ignorance, God winked at.” Not because people were not guilty, but because God took into account their ignorance of His will.

    And the only reason God can “wink” at sin or overlook sin is because of the atonement of the cross. So, once again, you have a convoluted non-scriptural view of sin, guilt, and the law.

    Bill Sorensen

    Hope everyone has a nice Sabbath.

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  35. Pauluc: “Nor do I suggest that I can comprehend the breadth of all science so that I can confidently reject the work of thousand of honest scientists that may conflict with my prejudices or presuppositions.”

    Translation: I put the work of scientists above the Word of God because I keep my science apart from my religion.

    Yet you seem to think you are a good SDA…how do you figure that? Whenever you put anything or anyone over God or His word, you place yourself outside of the SDA faith. As I said before, we are the people of the Book because we base all our beliefs on the Bible. The problem with you scientists, is that you don’t realize that our beliefs permeate our entire lives with no exceptions. We don’t separate anything out like you do your science. (Which really blows me away–how can intelligent, educated people be so blind!)
    God is in control of all aspects of life. Your scientific philosophy is so contradictory it is pitiful. If you can’t make God part of your science as well as every other aspect of life, you haven’t given God your entire heart. And as I pointed out before, God does not accept a divided heart. No matter how honest you see the scientists that contradict what God says, they are WRONG, and personally I would have no problem in contradicting them. You see, I have full confidence in God as my Redeemer and my Creator. I know that He knows vastly more about science than the brightest, most intelligent person on earth. I put my faith in Him, you put your faith in mere men. How sad for you.

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  36. Now LSU’s new “masters” are the public university overlords, public opinion polls, whatever the latest storytelling is among evolutionists – et al to use and do with as they please.in Christ,Bob

    Your are so right, Bob. Just getting the correct number of students from each race would be a nightmare for the La Sierra administration!

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  37. @pauluc: pauluc, your sarcasm and unsubtle attempts to attribute to me what I did not say diminish the joy of dialoging with you.

    I do not think there is anything inconsistent with plenary biblical belief in the teaching, studying or practicing of medicine. The incredible design of the human body testify that its designer possessed a genius far beyond mere human capacity. And the plethora of diseases and injuries that the body is subject to testify that an enemy has also been at work in the creation.

    In general, Western science has largely been the product of Christian men, who were typically also creationists. They had faith that the universe would be intelligible and work according to logical, understandable laws and principles, because such qualities were associated with the Creator-God they knew from the Bible. Now science seeks to separate nature from nature’s Creator, but the very principles that ensured that the creation would be intelligible and work according to ascertainable laws also demand that it had a creator. There is no free lunch.

    I think you vastly underestimate the extent to which mainstream origins science is warped by its rigid adherence to naturalism. The basic premise of abiogenesis, or life from non-life, was discarded some 150 years ago after conclusive experimentation and observation by Pasteur and several others; as the decades have passed, and we have learned more about the complexity and genius of life at the cellular level, the hypothesis of accidental self-organization has become even more absurd and anti-rational. It remains part of mainstream origins science only because of the warping effect of the rigid control of philosophical naturalism over origins science (yes, I know the difference between methodological and philosophical naturalism, and there is no difference when it comes to origins).

    To the extent that “education” is a threat to the church, it is only because modern origins science insists on telling only one side of the story, and effectively indoctrinating Darwinism, which is the new orthodoxy from which no deviation is permitted. This merely highlights the need to make Adventist colleges become centers for creation science and Christian origins apologetics. Having an “Adventist” college where the professors indoctrinate Darwinism is simply corporate suicide on the part of the SDA Church. It is saying, “hurry up and kill me, already!”

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  38. @Faith: I am not preparing to attack you on anything, I am simply trying to determine if you have the same disdain for all areas of human knowledge as you have for science. Or is it reserved only for the life sciences.

    I am pleased to see you do have a degree of consistency between your profession and action that escapes some who claim to take the bible literally.

    I am sorry if you think I was making fun of the water treatment that was not my intention. It certainly does have value but I do think it is limited compared to the armamentarium of more modern medicine as I understand even EG White herself recognized in later life.

    You did not give me your interpretation of miraculous healing as portrayed in Matt 17 and tell me if it is normative today.

    I do agree with you that He does know vastly more than any living person but the question is how does he impart it to us. Blasphemous though you may think it I happen to believe that science is one of those ways in which He does communicate it to us. Some scientists recognize this; Francis Collins – the language of God, Johann Kepler; thinking Gods thoughts after Him.

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  39. Ron: Maybe that isn’t such a bad idea, maybe all of our universities should separate from the church.

    Ron, Which of the other adventist schools do you think should be separated from our denomination. I can’t think of any except La Sierra, if it refused to change.

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  40. Really, Greg. It might interest you to know that when doing a drug study for one of my patients I found that the medication he was on for hardening of the arteries had the side effect of brain cancer. As I said, look in the PDR (Physician’s Desk Reference–the book they use to decide what medications to give you) you will find many medications with a little box that says: “Warning: causes cancer in rats and mice.” and other jolly little warnings. Oh, yea, I know what modern science has to offer.

    Deluded, am I? You are the one who is deluded. Ellen White clearly speaks against drug medications and advises us to instead use herbs, charcoal, and water treatments etc. to treat our illnesses. Unfortunately our medical profession has steered away from the natural treatments because it takes time to do them and that costs money.

    Personally, I don’t give a hoot if you have lost all respect for me. I speak the truth, whether it is to your liking or not.

    Pauluc and his cronies have sold out to the scientific community and put them above God. That is the bone of contention I have with him. Sorry if that isn’t to your taste either.

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  41. pauluc: @Faith: I am now most curious. Have you even been to a medical doctor for advice or treatment? Do you feel that is somehow a denial of the word of God as revealed explicitly in Matt 17?

    This is the logical fallacy of blind equivocation being employed by pauluc in an effort to pretend that we see birds coming from reptiles today – just like we see people catching a cold or getting a fever.

    How sad that evolutionists have to resort to logical fallacy after logical fallacy in order to make it appear that their storytelling has some kind of representation in real life.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  42. @Faith: I am now most curious. Have you even been to a medical doctor for advice or treatment? Do you feel that is somehow a denial of the word of God as revealed explicitly in Matt 17? How do you read that part of Gods word?

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  43. I was wondering if any of the right wing uber-conservatives that post so much on this web site are noticing that the Like or Dislike opinions are starting to be running against them.

    Could it be that the reasonable folk that are coming to this site are understanding more and more the lack of logic and sound reasoning which is typically manifested in so much of the right wing expressions of opinion?

    pauluc is only the most recent of those reasonable people who are speaking out.

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  44. Pauluc:

    I have, of course, been to a medical doctor at times. I have also been through nursing school at Portland Ad. I have long ago left the nursing profession as it is not in accordance with the principles taught us by the Lord through the SOP. Our medical field has also fashioned itself to be like the world. I saw you made a disparaging remark about water treatments in one of your other posts. You will note that the Battle Creek Sanitarium was a world-renowned institution that often cured the cases that the Drs gave up–and they used water treatments, sunshine, exercise, good nutrition, etc.–the very things that people who care about their bodies are starting to turn to now.

    Of course it is a lot easier to pop a pill to feel better, but EGW makes it plain that the drug medications, while they bring relief, will come back on the patient with a more serious disease. If you have ever looked at a PDR you will see how many of the drugs there have serious side effects–some even cancer-causing.

    So if you are laying the foundation to come at me regarding the medical profession, you can just save it…I know where the bodies are buried.

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  45. Pauluc:

    ah…no!

    What’s to understand? If He says He created the earth in six days when you are reading the Bible for religious reasons, then He is still saying the same thing when it comes to science. He is the God of science–unlike the scientific community who just think they are gods.

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  46. Pauluc: “I happen to believe that science is one of those ways in which He does communicate it to us.”

    If that were true, why would He contradict Himself and say He didn’t create the earth just when He is speaking through scientists?

    Another instance of swiss-cheese logic.

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  47. Faith: Of course it is a lot easier to pop a pill to feel better, but EGW makes it plain that the drug medications, while they bring relief, will come back on the patient with a more serious disease. If you have ever looked at a PDR you will see how many of the drugs there have serious side effects–some even cancer-causing.

    I can appreciate your vigorous defense of our SDA beliefs, Faith, but now I have lost all respect for you. You remarks I’ve cited here clearly reflect sheer ignorance. You have crossed a line.

    I know many people who have benefitted from medications. I myself, and my uncle, are good examples. We have bipolar disorder and without our medications we would be disfunctional in the extreme. Yet we can live fairly normal lives today. Ellen White in no way suggests that we would be better off without our medications. The benefits greatly exceed the side effects and you are simply deluded if you think cancer is a likely result. You don’t know what you are talking about.

    I think you need to get a grip on what modern science has to offer. Your total ignorance is no excuse for the way you judge other people. I don’t understand why you are so hard on Pauluc who is expressing legitimate concerns about your attitudes toward natural science.

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  48. When I wrote the above comments I indented each paragraph in order to save space on the column. I was somewhat horrified to see the indentations were not used when it was posted. I hope it makes sense to you readers. (I didn’t notice the option for editing it for some reason)

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  49. Erv:
    “…the Like or Dislike opinions are starting to be running against them.”

    And that brings me to a confession you now force on me. I have a number of times managed to hit the opposite button that I intended to–the finger is quicker than the mouse.

    Besides, Erv, truth is not judged by popularity–you should know that. The truth is based on God and His Word–something you have apparently ceased to use as your guide.

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  50. I hope everyone here will go to the Spectrum blog by Carpenter and his comments on “Is the killer a Christian.”

    Read the various comments by David Read and Cliff Goldstein and the responses made by the liberals who oppose fundamental Adventism.

    By the way, Spectrum’s ministry is endorsed by the official SDA church as they are freely allowed to spread their anti-SDA teaching at every general conference convention. Along with A-today and a host of other ministries who attack the SDA faith.

    So we must ask, “Who is more culpable for what is happening in the church? Liberal ministries who hate and attack EGW and the church, or church leadership that is too sissy to accept accountability and responsibility to make sure they do not have a clear voice that is approved and condoned by our church leaders?”

    What you refuse to oppose, you support.

    Bill Sorensen

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  51. Ervin&#032Taylor: I was wondering if any of the right wing uber-conservatives that post so much on this web site are noticing that the Like or Dislike opinions are starting to be running against them. Could it be that the reasonable folk that are coming to this site are understanding more and more the lack of logic and sound reasoning which is typically manifested in so much of the right wing expressions of opinion? pauluc is only the most recent of those reasonable people who are speaking out.

    Dr. Taylor, I have reviewed most of your posts, and I have come to the conclusion that virtually all are not only in the negative, but most overwhelmingly disliked.

    I noticed also that you predicted that this site would be kaput about a year or more ago, on the adventist today website. This doesn’t bode well for your becoming the new provider of Present Truth for our denomination.

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  52. calvin: Hello,I am a Seventy-day Adventist who happened to stumble over this site a couple months ago. I have one question. Really, what are you fighting over?Isn’t there a better way to deal with the issues that you (all) seem so torn over?

    Calvin, Please tell us how you would deal with the problems at La Sierra. Shane and Sean are doing a great job, but maybe you can tell us how to do better?

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  53. David&#032Read: Bill, you go too far when you say that the official church endorses Spectrum Magazine or its website. It doesn’t, and I imagine that Clifford Goldstein isn’t the only one at GC headquarters who is horrified by some of the things Spectrum publishes.

    David, If the general conference is horrified at Spectrum, why do they allow them to have a booth to continue to damage our church? I think Mr. Sorensen is correct in his statement.

    Cliff Goldstein may want to say more, but is being held back by those above him. I do believe he has been a great defender of adventism, as you say, over on Spectrum and on his TV show.

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  54. Sean&#032Pitman: @David Read: Giving a booth to any group or organization at our own GC sessions is certainly viewed as a form of endorsement by most people. I personally have to agree that it is very unwise of the GC to give valuable space at our own GC sessions to organizations that are most active in undermining the fundamentals of the SDA Church (while not giving space to supportive groups like ARISE). Why not give our own booth space to the Catholic Church or even to Richard Dawkins for that matter? Sean Pitmanhttp://www.DetectingDesign.com

    Sean, I also agree with you and Bob. Didn’t Adventist Kinship once get a booth at the Toronto general conference session under another name–“Someone to talk to?”

    I read this somewhere. And what happened to them? Did they have a booth at the Atlanta meeting? Were they banned?

    And why wasn’t Arise allowed to have a booth? Their group is one of the most bible-based organizations we have out here in California.

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  55. Greg: Ervin Taylor, I don’t think you have any business commenting on things here. No one pays much attention to your mini rants.

    Greg, I agree. But I think Dr. Taylor believes that he is gaining some ground by the few who support theistic evolution on this website, and they may someday take control over this website and have more likes than those who oppose evolution as fact.

    He could, for example, ask those over on adventist today website to barrage our site to show how his progressive thinking is really the mainstream and the traditional and conservatives are simply extemists. They would give all the people like Bob Ryan, David Read, Shane, Sean, etc. lots of dislikes and Shane and Sean would thus be embarrassed by the apparent lack of support.

    Dr. Taylor also has some support on Spectrum, and they could try to gather some others to dislike the above posters.

    Is that your plan or tactic or wish Dr. Taylor? It appears to be.

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  56. David Read said….

    “Bill, you go too far when you say that the official church endorses Spectrum Magazine or its website.”

    I never said on the SDA website.

    It is endorsed by allowing it to have a booth at the GC sessions.

    The SDA church is not supposed to be a clearing house for every Tom, Dick and Harry to express their opinion and challenge basic fundamental SDA teaching.

    Our pioneers gave us well defined bible truth and carefully articulated by EGW.

    Did EGW say about Kellogg’s book, Living Temple, “Well, let’s just spread it all over the church and let the people figure it out for themselves?”

    She seemed to be shocked and amazed that our leaders at that time didn’t know the difference between solid biblical exhortation and spiritualistic sentiments by Kellogg that denied a personal God.

    At any rate, personal accountability is at an all time low in the SDA church. And corporate accountability seems non existent.

    To tell people “you don’t have to keep the law to be saved”, you have just destroyed any identifying base to define the Christian community.

    It is true, we can’t keep the law before we come to Jesus. The purpose of coming to Jesus is so we can keep the law and be saved. So we sing “Jesus saves.”

    And this comprehends two things, not just one. He paid for our redemption, and now His love motivates the believer by His atonement to keep the law and be saved.

    What did EGW say…..

    ” When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, and every man shall be judged according to the things written in the books, then the tables of stone, hidden by God until that day, will be presented before the world as the standard of righteousness. Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God. None will find excuse for sin. By the righteous principles of that law, men will receive their sentence of life or of death.” {1SM 225.2}

    Notice especially…..
    “Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God.”

    The church does not teach this anymore. It is called legalism. EGW does not teach that we only keep the law because we are already saved. We keep the law to be saved. Our salvation is dependent on whether we keep the law or not.

    Her teaching of grace never undermines this truth. She follows the biblical norm on this point. Even Paul says, “The doers of the law shall be justified.” Rom. 2:13

    The function of the law is to justify or condemn. Paul says, “By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

    He obviously means, no one without Christ can be justified by the law. “Flesh” means carnal man without God and His spirit.

    To use this scripure to claim a believer is not justified by the law is blatantly false.

    And we wonder why the church is moving farther and farther from bible truth.

    Bill Sorensen

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  57. David Read said….

    “Bill, you go too far when you say that the official church endorses Spectrum Magazine or its website.”

    I never said on the SDA website.

    It is endorsed by allowing it to have a booth at the GC sessions.

    The SDA church is supposed to be a clearing house for every Tom, Dick and Harry to express their opinion and challenge basic fundamental SDA teaching.

    Our pioneers gave us well defined bible truth and carefully articulated by EGW.

    Did EGW say about Kellogg’s book, Living Temple, “Well, let’s just spread it all over the church and let the people figure it out for themselves?”

    She seemed to be shocked and amazed that our leaders at that time didn’t know the difference between solid biblical exhortation and spiritualistic sentiments by Kellogg that denied a personal God.

    At any rate, personal accountability is at an all time low in the SDA church. And corporate accountability seems non existent.

    To tell people “you don’t have to keep the law to be saved”, you have just destroyed any identifying base to define the Christian community.

    It is true, we can’t keep the law before we come to Jesus. The purpose of coming to Jesus is so we can keep the law and be saved. So we sing “Jesus saves.”

    And this comprehends two things, not just one. He paid for our redemption, and now His love motivates the believer by His atonement to keep the law and be saved.

    What did EGW say…..

    ” When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, and every man shall be judged according to the things written in the books, then the tables of stone, hidden by God until that day, will be presented before the world as the standard of righteousness. Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God. None will find excuse for sin. By the righteous principles of that law, men will receive their sentence of life or of death.” {1SM 225.2}

    Notice especially…..
    “Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God.”

    The church does not teach this anymore. It is called legalism. EGW does not teach that we only keep the law because we are already saved. We keep the law to be saved. Our salvation is dependent on whether we keep the law or not.

    Her teaching of grace never undermines this truth. She follows the biblical norm on this point. Even Paul says, “The doers of the law shall be justified.” Rom. 2:13

    The function of the law is to justify or condemn. Paul says, “By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

    He obviously means, no one without Christ can be justified by the law. “Flesh” means carnal man without God and His spirit.

    To use this scripure to claim a believer is not justified by the law is blatantly false.

    And we wonder why the church is moving farther and farther from bible truth.

    Bill Sorensen

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  58. @Greg:

    Greg: Whoa, back the truck up, buddy. I didn’t say anything about your medication. That is entirely your business, not mine.

    When I referred to the scientific community, it was in response to the fact that people like Pauluc have been stating that the scientific community–their peers– have judged that Creation is not scientific and therefore Pauluc and his cronies reject the science of Creation based on this judgement. Do you understand what I am getting at? They are taking the opinions of mere men over the “thus saith the Lord” in the Bible and SOP. That is my objection to the “scientific community” argument. By and large they are evolutionists–or at least they are the ones the TEs quote as their highest authority. I wan’t even referring to the medical community.

    As far as my interpretation of what Ellen White says about medicine goes, I think we could have a more intelligent conversation about it if you actually studied what she said on the subject. I have studied it for a long, long time. I would recommend to you a little book by EGW called, “The Uses of Herbs in Rational Therapy,” among others.

    I’m too tired to answer all your other posts right now. Later.

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  59. Faith: Pauluc and his cronies have sold out to the scientific community and put them above God. That is the bone of contention I have with him. Sorry if that isn’t to your taste either.

    Look, Faith, I agree with you that Pauluc has gone too far if he has rejected six days in six thousand years, and I do object to that. But you simply cannot dismiss all of science. Your hero, Sean Pitman, for example, has utmost respect for science. Has he sold out to the scientific community as well?

    Again, you are the one, not me, who is deluded to insist that science and modern medicine have nothing to offer. After all, you throw about the term “science”, quoting Ellen White, as something that supports a recent creation. You and I agree on that, so why would you be so dismissive of how science relates to medicine? Are you suggesting I put my medicine aside and trust in YOU and YOUR interpretation of Ellen White and see what comes with my bipolar disorder?

    Get a grip.

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  60. Ervin&#032Taylor: I was wondering if any of the right wing uber-conservatives that post so much on this web site are noticing that the Like or Dislike opinions are starting to be running against them.
    Could it be that the reasonable folk that are coming to this site are understanding more and more the lack of logic and sound reasoning which is typically manifested in so much of the right wing expressions of opinion?
    pauluc is only the most recent of those reasonable people who are speaking out.

    Evolutionists “believe” that birds come from reptiles and now we see (from Erv’s post above) that they also “beleive” that Educate Truth is part of the big-left-tent.

    Well I am not one to oppose your free will to believe such things – though I do not choose to join you in those happy fictions.

    You can lead a horse to water…

    How nice it is that the conservatives are the ones “not banning” opposing thought on websites such as this – and the libs are “still stuck” hitting the “ban” button over and over again, in their efforts to create a “big left tent”.

    And notice that on this not-ban conservative site – the libs do not fare quite so well — (though at times they may wish to imagine otherwise).

    There is a huge difference between the trend of posts on this site — and those over at the big-left-tent zones.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  61. Bill, you go too far when you say that the official church endorses Spectrum Magazine or its website. It doesn’t, and I imagine that Clifford Goldstein isn’t the only one at GC headquarters who is horrified by some of the things Spectrum publishes.

    It is true that Spectrum and AToday are allowed to have booths in the exhibit area of General Conference sessions, but many independent, unaffiliated organizations and ministries are afforded the same courtesy. It goes too far beyond the evidence to say that allowing them booth space constitutes an “endorsement.”

    I also do not appreciate your critique of Clifford Goldstein for supposed passivity. Cliff puts his faith into practice in editing the Sabbath School quarterly; why do you think that publication continues to stand firm for creationism and other Adventist doctrines? He also visits the Spectrum website and fights the good fight there. He has dynamically applied his faith, more than I and many others of us have.

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  62. Let me make something clear. Sean Pitman deserves nothing but praise for bringing this website to us. I did’nt mean to dis him. As a scientist and medical practictioner he has won my respect. I’m just shocked that Faith, who until this point was very reasonable, has shown disrespect toward the medical profession. I’m a product of Southern’s biology program and they teach with utmost respect for science and medicine (though the teaching itself isn’t very good). If Faith is saying that LSU should discard evidence based medicine from their teachings then she is clearly delusional.

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  63. Steve&#032Shedell: To rephrase the above quote and apply it to the present situation:
    “The time is not far distant when the test will come to every SDA Institution. The observance of the false sabbath will be urged upon our schools as condition for continued accreditation.”

    There are really only two reasons to want accreditation: (a) so SDA students can get government financial assistance; and (b) so SDA students can go on to other accredited schools. Maybe it’s time to urge that all our academies and colleges withdraw from accreditation and go back to the model originally used when the schools were formed. The cost to parents and students would be great, but the sacrifice would enable our schools to avoid compromising on these issues.

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  64. By the way, Spectrum’s ministry is endorsed by the official SDA church as they are freely allowed to spread their anti-SDA teaching at every general conference convention. Along with A-today and a host of other ministries who attack the SDA faith.Bill Sorensen

    Mr. Sorensen, Are you saying that the General Conference endorses Adventist Today and Adventist Spectrum? Both of these sites constantly attack both our adventist beliefs and church.

    Which other false ministries is the General Conference endorsing and supporting?

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  65. @Bill Sorensen:

    Suppose I speed through some town and I don’t see a speed limit sign that says 35 miles an hour.

    This is a very common example used by people who don’t understand the difference between committing an amoral mistake versus an action against one’s own conscience – a moral wrong.

    Just because someone can be convicted for doing something that they didn’t know was wrong doesn’t mean that they can also be convicted for sin. It is for this reason that only God can judge the moral state of a person because only God knows the true heart of a person – the true motive.

    When it comes to morality, everything is based on a person’s motive before God – everything.

    I repeat again, even in heaven it will be possible to make amoral mistakes due to a lack of infinite knowledge. Some of these mistakes may even have negative consequences for those we love – even in Heaven. Yet, these mistakes will not be considered “sinful” because they weren’t done with malicious intent, but out of ignorance.

    I dare say that even angels make such mistakes from time to time. Once the mistake is realized, one apologizes and moves on. There is no sin here. No moral fall has taken place.

    My final comment is that you have a warped view of guilt in reference to law. If you break God’s law, you are guilty whether you know it or not.

    And you don’t seem to understand that it is impossible to break the moral law without knowing it. One always knows when one breaks the moral law of Love that is written on the hearts of us all. It is for this reason that none of us have any excuse for breaking this law before God – because we already knew what it was and that it was right when we broke it.

    So Paul says, “At these times of ignorance, God winked at.” Not because people were not guilty, but because God took into account their ignorance of His will.

    They were guilty only of errors based on a lack of knowledge. They were not guilty of sinning against their conscience or “sinning”.

    And the only reason God can “wink” at sin or overlook sin is because of the atonement of the cross. So, once again, you have a convoluted non-scriptural view of sin, guilt, and the law.

    No cross was or will be need for mistakes that have taken place and will continue to take place in heaven that are based on a lack of knowledge. The cross of Jesus was only needed because of the sin of deliberately going against our conscience – against the moral Law of Love. That is why the relationship was broken between us and God and that is why the cross was necessary to re-establish this relationship.

    Our relationship with God was not broken over some honest misunderstanding. Our relationship was broken due to a deliberate rebellion against what we knew was true – against the Law of Love. That’s what broke the relationship.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  66. Sean&#032Pitman: Plant protein does not have the negative effects that certain animal proteins have on the human system. Laboratory studies have shown that plant protein, even if provided at the same level in the diet of lab animals, does not have the cancer-promoting properties of certain animal proteins.

    I’ve searched the published literature on “animal protein” and “cancer” using the best search engine available and am not particularly inspired by what I found. I trust peer-reviewed literature more so than claims unearthed from Google searches. I’m pasting below some snippets from the most recent study I could locate that summarized what we know about the contributions of different protein types to disease. I think it’s premature to conclude with any confidence that animal protein is necessarily more deleterious than plant protein when consumed in similar quantities. Part of the problem is going to be the other dietary factors associated with the types of protein consumed that cannot be readily controlled in studies. I believe we need to learn more before making definitive claims.

    Halkjae et al. 2009. Intake of total, animal and plant proteins, and their food sources in 10 countries in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 63:S16-S36.

    [INTRODUCTION] Another issue that is still unclear is whether all sources of protein have the same impact on disease outcomes. As an example, one study indicated that plant proteins had a protective effect against coronary heart disease mortality compared with animal proteins, whereas no clear association with cancer incidence and mortality was observed for any subtype of protein (Kelemen et al., 2005).

    The association between protein and cancer risk has often been assessed on the basis of the food sources of protein rather than on the nutrient itself. Two of the main contributors to animal protein, red and processed meat, have been found to be consistently positively associated with risk of colorectal cancer (WCRF/AICR, 2007). The main explanation behind this association may, however, not be directly related to animal proteins, but to haem iron and endogenous N-nitroso components present in high concentrations in red and processed meat (Kuhnle and Bingham, 2007). In contrast, some researchers have suggested that other important sources of animal proteins, such as fish, may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer (Geelen et al., 2007) without being able to disentangle any specific beneficial effect of proteins.

    [DISCUSSION] Processed meat has recently been judged as one of the most cancer-promoting food items (WCRF/AICR, 2007), whereas fish is considered to have beneficial effects in heart disease (He et al., 2004; Whelton et al., 2004) and also potentially in some cancer sites (Norat et al., 2005; Geelen et al., 2007), although possibly because of factors other than protein. Studies of the association between (animal or plant) protein and disease incidence may consequently be less reliable if the contributing protein sources are not evaluated in addition to total protein intakes.

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  67. @Bill Sorensen:

    Then people who keep Sunday in ignorance are not sinning? Is that your understanding, Sean?

    That’s right – as long as they had no known opportunity to consciously recognize and deliberately reject the truth or knowledge of the truth.

    Honest ignorance of various forms of truth is not a moral wrong and does not lead to eternal death. As long as a person is living according to his/her God-given conscience(which is the Holy Spirit speaking to the heart) as best as he/she knows how given his/her limited knowledge of the truth, that person is considered to be righteous before God… end of story.

    Now you quoted this text….

    “Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. – John 9:41 NIV ”

    But this is typical of the NIV. It distorts the true meaning of the text. In fact the text means this, “If ye were blind, you would have no sin that could not be forgiven. But now you say ‘We see’, therefore, your sin is unpardonable.”

    No version of this text reads like this. For this particular text, the KJV reads the same as the NIV:

    “Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin.” – John 9:41 KJV

    Jesus specifically claims that ignorance is equal to a complete lack of sin – period. There is no qualifier here that even suggests what you are suggesting.

    Consider also the following texts that say essentially the same thing:

    If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. – John 15:22

    If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. – John 15:24

    Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. – James 4:17

    Over and over again the Bible makes clear that truly honest ignorance of this or that truth, without any opportunity to know any better, is not viewed by God as a sin against one’s conscience… against the motive of selfless love.

    In an objective sense, the law doesn’t care what you know or don’t know. The law pronounces guilty any and all who transgress it no matter what the reason.

    The moral law is based on selfless love. In other words, the moral law is based on motive, not on perfect knowledge of all truth or actions. Not even in heaven will we have perfect knowledge or be perfect in every thought and action. We will, however, be perfect in selfless love. Only God is completely perfect in knowledge and action.

    Not too many years ago doctors and dieticians actually believed that meat and dairy products were vital to good health. Therefore, out of love and care for their patients, they would tell them to eat more meat, eggs, and milk to build strong bodies and bones. Now even the secular medical community is starting to realize that this advice was completely mistaken – that animal protein is actually quite harmful to the human system over time – resulting in markedly enhanced heart disease, a significantly increased risk of cancer, and numerous other medical conditions.

    So, were those who honestly advised their patients to eat lots of animal protein, thinking they were acting selflessly for the benefit of others, living a life of sin while in their ignorance? I think not. Their motives were pure and it is the motive that is judged by the moral law and by God, not the lack of correct knowledge.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  68. @Professor Kent:

    Studies of the association between (animal or plant) protein and disease incidence may consequently be less reliable if the contributing protein sources are not evaluated in addition to total protein intakes.

    The findings of Colin Campbell’s “China Study” did not show that all animal proteins are detrimental to human health. As far as I’m aware laboratory research (with lab rats) only seemed to confirm that one animal protein in particular, casein, is detrimental to human health in the form of the promotion of cancer cell growth. It is suggested that other animal proteins may also function in a similar manner to that of casein, but I don’t think that this has been confirmed in isolation with either animal or human experiments.

    Beyond this, of course, The China Study cites a lot of research, not just the one big study in China, all supporting the same conclusion: a plant-based, whole foods diet provides tremendous health benefits over traditional American/European diets. This conclusion also appears to be supported by the fact that Seventh-day Adventists are part of the longest-lived “Blue-Zone” peoples and are the only group of long-lived people that have a mixed ethnic background. This strongly suggests a dietary component to longevity.

    There are of course some seemingly valid negative critiques of Campbell’s methods and conclusions. In my opinion, there are most likely numerous contributing variables which tend to favor the vegetarian diet over the diet rich in animal products (as I’ve already noted above).

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  69. @Bill Sorensen:

    “No cross was or will be need for mistakes that have taken place and will continue to take place in heaven that are based on a lack of knowledge.” – Sean Pitman

    This is partly true like much of what you have to say. But “partly” is not sufficient to explain or describe all the elements of God’s government.

    First, let me say “The cross” is a revelation, not an inovation. The principles of the cross are an essential and eternal part of God’s government.

    The “sinless” angels are considered sinless only and precisely because they are accepted “in Christ”.

    The sinless angels are considered sinless because they have never rebelled against their consciences – against what they knew to be right. This is the reason why they never needed a Savior to sacrifice himself on the cross as we did… even though they certainly made many mistakes along the way due to a lack of perfect knowledge. They never required redemption from a life of sin as we do.

    The cross is also not “eternal” since it was not always needed and never should have been needed in God’s ideal government.
    You see, the cross simply was not necessary before the Fall of Adam and Eve because there was no redeemable moral fall before Adam and Eve deliberately chose to rebel against what they knew was right for selfish reasons.

    There was of course a moral fall before Adam and Eve – i.e., the fall of Lucifer and those angels that chose to go with him in his rebellion in Heaven. However, this particular fall was unredeemable because they rebelled in the full knowledge of God and the implications of their own actions. There was nothing left that could be done or shown to these rebels that hadn’t already been done.

    Adam and Eve, on the other hand, rebelled against what they knew was right, and therefore sinned against their consciences. However, they did not rebel in the full light and understanding of God’s character or with the full understanding of the implications of their actions. Therefore, it was possible to re-establish the relationship between God and man given a further demonstration of the character of God and of the nature of Evil which would have the power to convert many human hearts.

    Did Adam and Eve make mistakes in Eden before the Fall? Of course they did, due to their lack of knowledge. But, these were not moral mistakes. Was it possible that Adam could have accidentally tripped Eve when she came around a corner unexpectedly? Of course! Could Eve have accidentally hit Adam in the face with a branch of a tree, not knowing he was directly behind her? Obviously. Clearly, however, such mistakes in action, due to a lack of knowledge, are not sinful. They are amoral mistakes. There is absolutely no need for Jesus to have died on the cross for such amoral mistakes.

    You don’t seem to understand that morality requires the conscious ability to make a choice. Robots are not moral agents because they are not free to choose between options nor are they capable of understanding the implications of options. The same is true for animals or even humans that have suffered enough brain damage so that they no longer understand the implications of their actions. A lack of knowledge produces the same effect – it removes moral responsibility to the same degree that there is a lack of knowledge.

    You may be a good scientist Sean, but I know theology. I’ll listen to you on scientific issues, you would do well to listen to me on theological issues.

    If you do know theology better than I do, you will have to do a whole lot better at explaining yourself in a way that makes much more sense to my simpleton mind.

    Just think about what makes humans morally responsible for certain actions while animals or robots wouldn’t be morally responsible for the same actions.

    It seems to me, and I may be too simplistic in my thinking to understand, that it all has to do with a conscious realization of what you’re doing and the consequences of your actions.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  70. Sean said…..

    “No cross was or will be need for mistakes that have taken place and will continue to take place in heaven that are based on a lack of knowledge.”

    This is partly true like much of what you have to say. But “partly” is not sufficient to explain or describe all the elements of God’s government.

    First, let me say “The cross” is a revelation, not an inovation. The principles of the cross are an essential and eternal part of God’s government.

    The “sinless” angels are considered sinless only and precisely because they are accepted “in Christ”.

    This means Christ is first the mediator of creation before He became the mediator of redemption. That is, all created beings are accepted before God by virtue of the mediation of Christ.

    So, EGW can correctly say…..

    “As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. We respond to His invitation, Come, learn of Me, and in thus coming we begin the life eternal. Heaven is a ceaseless approaching to God through Christ. The longer we are in the heaven of bliss, the more and still more of glory will be opened to us; and the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness. As we walk with Jesus in this life, we may be filled with His love, satisfied with His presence. All that human
    332
    nature can bear, we may receive here. But what is this compared with the hereafter? There “are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Revelation 7:15-17. {DA 331.3}

    All approach God through Christ. This includes the sinless angels. And this is the principle Lucifer hated and warred against. If there were no law, there would be no need of mediation.

    In the final reality, the law demands equality to God. God can not create another “god”, but he can create moral beings who reflect His image. None the less, all “come short of the glory of God”, (even the sinless angels) and Jesus, being God Himself, is qualified to be the mediator between God and all created beings.

    So, as you suggest, even in heaven mistakes will be made because no one has all knowledge. But heavenly mistakes are still covered by the mediation of Christ.

    And I do commend you for thinking “outside the box” and beyond what many will do in considering the full implications of all the ramifications of God’s government.

    When we understand that rebellion is against God’s government of justice and mercy with the intent to do away with both, we can then understand that law and grace are eternal principles that reflect God’s character. His government is simply a reflection of this reality.

    We should be able to readily see that if there is no law, no grace is necessary. Since law is eternal and dynamic, so is grace.

    My illustration of a civil law scenario is very clear and reflects the moral law as it pretains to all moral beings.

    Sins of ignorance are damnable unless the intercession of Jesus is present. Your theory denies any need for the intercession of Christ in the context of sins of ignorance.

    You may be a good scientist Sean, but I know theology. I’ll listen to you on scientific issues, you would do well to listen to me on theological issues.

    I’ll give you any final word you may have to say on this issue. I have pretty well explained all I have to say about it.

    Bill Sorensen

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  71. @Professor Kent:

    Sean Pitman: Now even the secular medical community is starting to realize that this advice was completely mistaken – that animal protein is actually quite harmful to the human system over time – resulting in markedly enhanced heart disease, a significantly increased risk of cancer, and numerous other medical conditions.

    Prof. Kent: It’s not quality; it’s quantity.

    You’re mistaken. It’s not just the quantity, but the quality of the protein in the diet that is important to health.

    Plant protein does not have the negative effects that certain animal proteins have on the human system. Laboratory studies have shown that plant protein, even if provided at the same level in the diet of lab animals, does not have the cancer-promoting properties of certain animal proteins.

    There is an increasing evidence that a diet mainly based on animal protein, casein in particular, is associated with various diseases in humans. High intake of animal protein increases total blood cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, obesity, and risks of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. On the other hand, many studies report that vegetable protein is associated with low blood cholesterol and the low risk of these diseases.

    In fact, eating plant-derived protein has a greater power to lower cholesterol levels than reducing fat or cholesterol intake.

    The animal protein casein, in particular and in isolation, has been shown to causes a broad spectrum of adverse effects.

    Among other fundamental effects, casein makes the body more acidic, alters the mix of hormones and modifies important enzyme activities, each of which can cause a broad array of more specific effects. One of these effects is its ability to promote cancer growth (by operating on key enzyme systems, by increasing hormone growth factors and by modifying the tissue acidity). Another is its ability to increase blood cholesterol (by modifying enzyme activities) and to enhance atherogenesis, which is the early stage of cardiovascular disease.

    And finally, although these are casein-specific effects, it should be noted that other animal-based proteins are likely to have the same effect as casein.

    Dr. Campbell and his colleagues studied the effects of casein versus plant proteins such as those found in soy or wheat. What they found was startlingly clear. Plant proteins do not promote foci or cancer growth, even when consumed in very large quantities. However, casein has a dramatic affect on foci or cancer cells. The Cornell researchers found that casein turns cancer on and off. If you consume even moderate amounts of milk and cheese you will promote any cancer cells that may be latent in your body. If you stop eating casein containing products, the growth of foci or cancer growth slows or stops.

    There is also the problem of what comes along with the protein you’re eating. A 6-ounce broiled porterhouse steak is a great source of protein—38 grams worth. But it also delivers 44 grams of fat, 16 of them saturated. That’s almost three-fourths of the recommended daily intake for saturated fat. The same amount of salmon gives you 34 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat, 4 of them saturated. A cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein, but under 1 gram of fat.

    See also:

    http://www.tcolincampbell.org/

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1308977765978236346

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com

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  72. pauluc: 5] I do not fault you in wanting to limit academic freedom in Adventist schools but I do ask you to recognize that you cannot have an accredited university and so do.

    We should allow the accademic freedom to engage in actual science – but forbid the storytelling and junk-religion that goes into the junk-science called evolution.

    Collin Patterson – Paleontologist British Museum of Natural history – said:

    Patterson – quotes Gillespie’s arguing that Christians
    “‘…holding creationist ideas could plead ignorance of the means and affirm only the fact,'”

    Patterson countered, “That seems to summarize the feeling I get in talking to evolutionists today. They plead ignorance of the means of transformation, but affirm only the fact: ‘Yes it has…we know it has taken place.'”

    “…Now I think that many people in this room would acknowledge that during the last few years, if you had thought about it at all, you’ve experienced a shift from evolution as knowledge to evolution as faith. I know that’s true of me, and I think it’s true of a good many of you in here…

    “…,strong>Evolution not only conveys no knowledge, but seems somehow to convey anti-knowledge , apparent knowledge which is actually harmful to systematics…”

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  73. I think most of us understand the final goal of Satan is to discredit the bible. He can no longer take it away physically. There are too many in print for that.

    Thus, his alternate plan is to undermine its teaching and authority by denying its validity.

    One of his most effective ploys is to claim it is too ambiguous and non-definable to conclude non-negotiable facts. So everything is subject to some new understanding that is superior to any historical conclusions.

    What the liberals would call “new light”. And/or progressive enlightenment. While we as bible believing Christians are aware of “new light” being possible and even likely, we are also convinced that any “new light” will not attack and/or contradict basic bible truth that has been clearly established by the bible itself.

    Any “new light” must necessarily fit the flow of the whole biblical revelation.

    As the first coming of Jesus was eventually understood by His followers in a scriptural context, and proved and supported by the same, even so, any “new light” about the second coming must follow this same norm.

    We are also aware that Satan will impersonate Jesus and His second coming before the true and real event. With the purpose of creating a “new world order” that fits his own kingdom principles in opposition to God’s kingdom.

    This he can not do without first undermining the bible and placing its teaching and influence in a vague and obscure light. Evolution has worked well to help him in his final goal.

    But we must be aware that his final thrust is even more subtle than a blatant attack on creation. He is master of creating a diversionary problem and then solving it by his own false spiritual principles that are more subtle.

    In this way, the true antichrist (Satan) supposedly exposes the false antichrist and the people readily follow him as some spiritually mature “savior” who has saved them from a delusion and a deception.

    His final goal is to overthrow and undermine the bible Sabbath. We have yet to see his final principles put in place, but we have clearly seen how easily many have already been deceived, even in the SDA church. If God cleanses the church, then we should be prepared for a mass exodus with no surprise that so many would leave the SDA faith.

    And if you don’t see the very spirit of the celebration movement is a godless antichrist movement, embraced and endorsed by modern Adventism, it is not likely you will see it in the future.

    Ultimately, what are they celebrating? They are celebrating the idea that the law was done away at the cross. Do you see that? If not, you would do well to carefully consider the implications of what is being taught and said. Hopefully, more church members in the near future will see this reality and demand a more dynamic accountability of themselves individually, and the church corporately.

    If not, as I have said many times, the final result is a failure of the SDA church to fulfill God’s message and mission for the church.

    Keep the faith

    Bill Sorensen

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  74. Calvin, our prophetic movement was started by God. He led our pioneers to Bible truths that had been hidden for a long time or undiscovered. Our spiritual forefathers (and mothers) studied and prayed to bring those truths to us. There was much sacrifice. The Fundamental Beliefs that we have today are the end result of those long hours of study and prayer. These beliefs were given to us as a gift from God to help us have healthy, happy lives and relationships. We are supposed to use these beliefs to evangelize the world.

    This site exists because church employees in our universities (yes, plural) are undermining our Fundamental Beliefs, teaching error, and causing young people to lose their faith, all the while they are being paid with our church’s hard earned money.

    No, there is not a better way to deal with this. We have spineless administrators who are afraid to stand up against wrong, and who white wash problems or sweep things under the rug. Or they are sympathetic and are helping to tear down our beliefs. Yes, there are a few Daniels, but not enough.

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  75. pauluc: 3] I do accept that God is constrained by this ordered universe in the same way as he is constrained to act by the principles of his Kingdom as an incarnate God.

    You just killed your own argument.

    God is in fact most directly constrained by His own Word declaring what He has done and what He will do. Which totally kills your “no miracles – all things happen as the atheist would expect” solution as a replacement for the Bible account of the creation of all complex life forms on planet earth.

    After killing your own argument in that reference to the principle of God being constrained by something – at what point then did you expect to be taken seriously?

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  76. @Faith: With more hope than expectation I will try to respond.
    1] Do you believe that God is physically moving the electrons in your computer as you write your response. Do you think the behaviour of the semiconductors and electronic components in your computer and the channels that are modern telecommunications are explicable by natural law? Do you believe in atomic physics and quantum theory as adequate explanations of the reality that underlies these physical structures.

    2] I would answer yes to the last question because I believe as John Lennox,Alistair McGrath, John Haught and other modern critics of the new atheists have well articulated that we live in an intelligible universe subject to nature law. A universe that shows features consistent with the anthropic principle. At this point my faith in God does give the basis for my science.

    3] I do accept that God is constrained by this ordered universe in the same way as he is constrained to act by the principles of his Kingdom as an incarnate God. A God that as described in Phillipians 2:1-11 made himself a suffering servant. In accepting the kenosis of God in the person of Jesus Christ I can see a new perspective on Gods creative act.

    4] I believe as the 28 fundamentals indicate that the bible is inspired and authoritative for instruction in righteousness but is not verbally inspired. I do not accept the peculiar perspective articulated in the “Fundamentals” published from the 1920s that the bible is verbally inspired and infallible in all areas of life history and science. I do not accept this of the writings of EG White though I consider her inspired of God.

    5] I believe that the process of open inquiry and peer review that is the basis of science is God given and that we can understand much of the physical universe by this process but this is not at all the basis of knowledge of God. I reject Sean Pitmans scientific evidences for God and like Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer I think natural theology is largely a senseless exercise. The revelation of God is Jesus Christ and is just that a revelation and comes through the account of His life in the Bible and through the witness of the community of faith.

    You can believe this is joyless existence but I have not found it so during these last 40 years as a disciple of Christ. Whatever the new and exciting observations or discovery I may make I remain secure in my life in Christ. I do not foolishly brag that I will reject the Adventist tradition if it is found that there is overwhelming evidence of antiquity of life or of direct genetic relationships between man and higher apes is found. Nor do I suggest that I can comprehend the breadth of all science so that I can confidently reject the work of thousand of honest scientists that may conflict with my prejudices or presuppositions.

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  77. Bill&#032Sorensen: I think most of us understand the final goal of Satan is to discredit the bible. He can no longer take it away physically. There are too many in print for that.
    Thus, his alternate plan is to undermine its teaching and authority by denying its validity.

    That is true – since the end of the dark ages that has been his new strategy.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  78. @David Read: Sorry if I have imputed to you views that you do not hold.

    I have only one major question. Please give me one area of science in which methodological naturalism is not accepted as normative.

    Why do you want an exception for origins? I am not sure that you fully appreciate the sentiment of the 19th century natural scientist and the attraction of natural selection as a mechanism that would finally place biology on a similar footing to all other areas of science with reliance on natural explanation and lack of recourse to the miraculous.

    I am surprised that you cannot see that modern evidence based medicine does not resort at all to miraculous explanations and that in this it is reflective of the nature of all science including the study of the origins of species. It is quite arbitrary to accept wholesale natural explanation in medicine but not in speciation and certainly makes a mockery of presumed similar standards of exegesis for genesis 1 and Matt 17.

    As a Christian I reject entirely the premise of philosophical naturalism but I hold as a foundation of science methodological naturalism.

    Argument about abiogenesis is moot as no-one has any explanation. But as I said before no evidence for abiogensis does not provides any evidence for miraculous creation of life.

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  79. calvin: I am a Seventy-day Adventist who happened to stumble over this site a couple months ago. I have one question. Really, what are you fighting over?

    Yes there is: — responsible leadership that sees a problem ahead of time and takes effective action to avoid it.

    Failing that – things get so broken that eventually you need a 3-alarm fire gong that sounds off until the problem is fully addressed.

    Right now we have people trying to take the right steps – but they are opposed at every turn – so someone needs to remind the group that “yes this thing is very important and must still be solved”.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  80. Bob&#032Pickle: LSU stated:So what does that mean? That means that the WASC wants LSU to operate independently of the denomination. “Institutional autonomy.” And the WASC is concerned about how many church leaders and/or members are on the board, it appears.

    Does anyone know of any documented examples of a Christian College that has actually been de-certified because they defended their Christian beliefs by firing someone?

    There seems to be a lot of concern about this, but is it really something that has happened before. There a lots of Christian colleges.

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  81. Lydian&#032Belknap: Sometimes I get a little weary of the “sniping” between many of the folks who post here. While I wholeheartedly agree with those who believe in Creation just as to Bible says, I can’t see that they are making any real impress what so ever on those who believe in evolution. After all, “a person convinced against his (her) will is of the same opinion still!”
    We can’t scientifically “prove” creation? (I’m not perfectly sure about that.) But to be 100% positive that they can “prove” evolution isn’t true either no matter how many “scientists” say they can.

    Evolutionism is merely a junk-science form of religion about “birds coming from reptiles” etc etc.

    I am very happy to stated that creationism is a matter of faith in God’s Word. But I am not at all inclined to go down the Dawkin’s flying spaghetti monster form of religion that blindly claims that science has proven Christianity to be wrong but we “believe Christianity anyway because we are silly”.

    Apparently 3SG 90-91 also condemns that form of self-conflicted Christianity as well.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  82. @Greg: You say

    Fair enough. I can agree with you on this. I definately think “thus saith the Lord” comes ahead of science. If Pauluc rejects creationism, then that is unfortunate.

    I certainly do not reject a doctrine of creation which I endorse entirely. My concern is that we must not read the bible with a mindset that imagines that it was written to satisfy our curiosity on mechanism in the physical world (which is the core role of science) rather that tell us about faith and the nature of God.

    Do we in reading Deut 23:13 condemn all modern sewerage treatment strategies and the WC as they are not according to the biblical standard? Does a “thus saith the Lord” trump any rational consideration and relieve us of any responsibility to interpret? Do we condemn all advances in science and technology because it is not in the Bible or the writing of EGW? Do we think we can exhaustively understand the bible and arrogantly believe that we interpret the bible to say what is really “Thus saith the Lord”? How may injustices have been perpetrated by people imaging they are following a “thus saith the Lord”. Dont you think the opponents of Galileo opposed him because of a “thus saith the Lord”. Were they right because they invoked this appeal to a special knowledge of Gods word?

    The 6000 year premise that seems to be accepted in creationism without question is not biblical and is based only on calculations by a Catholic who made certain assumptions about the accuracies and completeness of the geneologies. Why do we accept this rather than a simple biblical “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” which is the true basis of any doctrine of creation.

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  83. If you ask “Are humans and apes related by descent” then most people with anything like “observations in nature” would have to admit that humans do not come from apes NOR do they come from something that can produce both apes and humans.

    That is the “pure science” – where instead of engaging in outright storytelling you engage in “observations in nature”.

    Some have argued that having the same number of chromosomes – Humans and Tobacco must be related to each other in some secret mystical “Genetic” fashion.

    As much as that kind of storytelling is helpfull in certain lines of fiction – it is utterly meaningly to someone who makes “observations in nature” about where humans and Tobacco plants come from.

    Of course the Fern has 480 so maybe humans and Tobacco are both trying to evolve “into Ferns”.

    There are, for instance, more than 3,000 species of frogs and yet there is greater variation of DNA between frogs than there is between the bat and the blue whale.

    Still “observations in nature” tell us that whales do not come from bats nor do bats come from whales.

    Evolutionists are not always so careful to separate storytelling and wishful thinking – from actual science – real observations in nature.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  84. @David Read:
    Thank you for your articulate response to my post.

    On many things I think we agree entirely. If as it appears the GC wish to be consistent with their current theological views then it has little option but to remove its educational medical institutions from the influence of modern evidence based medicine and external academic accreditation.

    This is the only position that is consistent with an understanding of the inerrancy of both EG White and the Bible that underpins the world view of historical Adventism, a position that seems to be accepted by you and people like Faith.

    Your minimalist solution seems to be to try to keep the University and the external academic accreditation and carefully and surgically remove any dissident voices from the university, muffled though they may be.

    Though I agree this is a laudable goal I am much less sanguine and accept that such measures cut to the core of the idea of a university and will be viewed with cynicism by external accreditation bodies. But you are a lawyer and know the difference between what is legally possible compared to what is sincere.

    As you appreciate LLU and medical schools are now hotbeds of “liberal” thought and this I believe is absolutely related to the scientific world view that has given us the cargo of modern society and modern medicine, but this is a faustian bargain and asks us in return to live by evidence not by tradition. I think this cannot help but erode the idea that we must accept “God said it I believe it without”without in some way scrutinizing the basis for this as Sean has repeatedly asserted in his polemic against blind faith. I think you only have to look back at the history of Creation science since the time of Darwin and Wallace as chronicled by the books of Ron Numbers [The Creationists, see particularly the history of the ASA] to see that education is mostly the enemy rather than the ally of fundamentalism. Even EGW was stung by this in the person of JHK. What happened to the GRI under Ritland? On the evidence it is clearly better not to encourage young men and women into science or academic enquiry for there lies great risks as Faith has correctly articulated above. The church fundamental would clearly be better off without modern institutions of higher learning.

    I think you vastly overestimate the cogency of creation science as hypothesis driven science. The basic premise or origin of species by divine fiat was discarded some 150 years ago with natural explanations of natural selection. But I do suggest that as Leonard Brand et al have done you can as a creationist publish in the scientific literature on issues directly related to origins but the expectation is that you will try to provide an explanation without invoking miracles to hide a lack of explanation. The absence of evidence for an hypothesis however is not evidence for the alternative which is unfortunately the way creation science is mostly practiced.

    I have never argued that you must be forced to tolerate “Darwinist” biology departments, whatever that may be, because of a need to teach modern medicine. What I am arguing that if you want to allow teaching of conventional science in any form which is predicated on explanations of physical reality without resort to the supernatural then you have to allow for the possibility that there will also be natural explanations of origins. There is no free lunch. You cannot dictate truth and allow search for knowledge in an accredited University. You are welcome to remove all science from Adventist colleges but I do think it is capricious to exclude scientific explanations of origins without at the same time excluding scientific explanations for mechanics, planetary motion, quantum physics,astronomy and cosmology all of which have historically enjoyed supernatural explanation.

    I do think your classification of Christians into believing or cultural based only on whether their views agree with yours lacks objectivity and rigour. Can you really know the heart and the commitment to God? Who really believes? Those will a simple understanding and no knowledge of the problems and counter arguments to their belief or the one who in the face of vast knowledge of the deficiencies in their understanding and the strength of the arguments against their position nonetheless accept the Grace of God and claims the name of Christian?

    In summary I agree that a sectarian church does not benefit from wider understanding or expanding knowledge and that it should jettison the dangerous baggage of modern naturalistic medicine and the science that goes with it. The blueprint articulated in the 19th century writing of EG White is more than adequate [And I would concur has substantial benefit as Fraser and other have shown] and if perchance we suffer an acute coronary event we can simply benefit from the drug eluting stent generated by the infidels without muddying our hands with the details.
    We could of course be consistent with the 1864 vision and practice the water treatment when we get community pneumonia with MRSA. Accepting our fate like Esther we could say if I perish, I but in my experience fear of premature death trumps religious principle every time and we readily accommodate ICU admission, ventilators and Tigecycline therapy without considering it a denial of faith. Only then are we grateful for those who question and search for the new and better, people who we might denigrate as cultural Adventists.

    When I read of EG White burying her own children who died of treatable infectious diseases I cannot help but think she would be proud of an LSU and LLU that seeks to practice the love of God in a practical way and accepting with equanimity the collateral of the difficult questions associated with naturalistic explanation of origins.
    I do not at see her viewing with approbation the sentiment of Arnaud Amalric that would accept the collateral damage to the innocent inherent in out practice of Truth at all cost.

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  85. @Lydian Belknap: You state
    “We can’t scientifically “prove” creation? (I’m not perfectly sure about that.) But to be 100% positive that they can “prove” evolution isn’t true either no matter how many “scientists” say they can.”
    I am concerned that you manifests some misconception of what is science. It is simply a method of testing hypothesis that are always based on natural mechanisms to see if they are false. It can never absolutely prove anything but it can provide proof that something is false and a probability that something is not yet false.

    Your statement on proving evolution is not stated in a testable way particularly if you have not stated what it is you mean by evolution.

    If you restate this generic question into a more specific and testable one than you can have a scientific answer.

    If you ask “Are humans and apes related by descent” then most people with knowledge in this would have to acknowledge that this is true to the level of confidence that is used to convict for murder in a court of law or to assign parentage by DNA techniques.

    However you are always able to invoke the miraculous and say that any genetic similarities and identities were created by divine fiat. This option however is not favoured in science any more than it is invoked as a legal defence against DNA testing in a court of law.

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  86. pauluc: I have only one major question. Please give me one area of science in which methodological naturalism is not accepted as normative.
    Why do you want an exception for origins?

    Hint: Romans 1 –

    “They are without excuse” who “pretend” not to see the I.D. Element in “the things that have been made” to the extent of even “the invisible attributes of God”.

    Your less-than-insightful question above is “why can we not look at creation the same way an atheist would?” — as if that question even makes sense to a Seventh-day Adventist.

    How do you expect to be taken seriously at that point?

    Hint 2: At this point your suggestion does not even pass the snicker test when it comes to obvious elements of I.D. totally inconsistent with your “lets all see nature as if we were atheists” argument.

    Hint 3: In your efforts to appeal to “ad populum” instead of reason – consider this

    Here the entire nation is basically in awe of the I.D. element so inconsistent with the atheist “there is no Creator God” model you are promoting.

    ABC news reports on – shows – BioVisions Inner Life of Cell

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  87. Holly&#032Pham: Does anyone know of any documented examples of a Christian College that has actually been de-certified because they defended their Christian beliefs by firing someone?

    Does anyone have any documented examples where WASC (or any other regional accreditation body for that matter) failed to follow through on requests they have made to institutions?

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  88. Faith: So, all the little scientists met and decided God doesn’t know what He is talking about in His Word? (The only eye-witness account in existance, BTW.) Is that what you are saying, PK? Just another step down on the Heresy Ladder to Hell?

    If the SDA scientists can’t meet and confirm a strong faith in God’s Word and Creation, regardless what the world throws at them, then they have failed miserably. If they have to have confidentiality and closed meetings, then something isn’t quite kosher, is it?

    How sad this must make God feel.

    Faith, you obviously do not know what you are speaking of. THE MEETINGS WERE ALL ABOUT CONFIRMING A STRONG FAITH IN GOD’S WORD AND CREATION. You have reached a conclusion based on nothing but presumption, prejudice, ignorance, and malice.

    The reason for confidentiality was that you and others like you are eager to find fault with any given statement by a participant, and to hold that person up to public ridicule and contempt, with flagrant disregard for Christ’s instruction in Matthew 18.

    A plea to the moderators: please put a stop to the posts by those who engage in nothing but fault-finding without factual basis. Your failure to refute such posts gives Educate Truth the repugnant reputation it has earned. I recognize that you guys have a personal vendetta against GRI and all but a few SDA universities, and that you were likely offended if you were not invited to speak at the meeting, but there is no reason to mischaracterize the meeting and lambast those who attended and/or spoke. It’s highly uncharitable and unChristlike.

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  89. Sean&#032Pitman: It is for this reason that professors at a WASC-accredited institution are only required to inform their students of the mainstream concensus on the theories of evolution. That’s it.

    Consensus in that context merely means that they can count more on one side than another. It does not mean all scientists are blindly drinking the evolutionist koolaide – though a few T.E.s like to imagine such things when they post here for “effect”.

    As you point out – the “fact” that more official endorsements for evolutionism (in a strict popularity context) exist among scientists – than registered formal complaints against it — is a “given”.

    It is among the few actual “facts” about evolutionism that is actually ‘seen to be true in real life’.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  90. Sean: “Rather, your are a prime case in point of the fact that mainstream evolutionary theories are being promoted at LSU and that the Biblical perspective on origins is being actively undermined by LSU.”

    Sean, you are 100% correct. This is exactly what we are here about. If this is an example of the ‘valuable’ “Christian” teaching this person got from LSU, they have done a bang up job of undermining the church and teaching heresy…complete with sneering arrogance. I shudder to contemplate what the Creator will say in the judgment day to both the professors and their students.

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  91. LSU&#032Alumnus&#032&#049&#057&#057&#054: @Sean Pitman:
    Evolution is a fact. It is not a theory. Evolution, like gravity, is a natural force that we can try to describe and test and form a theory about.

    Evolutionism is junk science pure and simple. Adventist know T.E as the “worst form of infidelity” for it is “infidelity in disguise”.

    Its birds come from reptiles fictions are only a little less outlandish than its “animals come from plants” fictions.

    And above all they are NOT observable in actual nature!

    So to “make up for it” the diehard evolutionist tries to toss the evolution ‘blanket’ over “yes but your fingernail grows old over time” as if “change over time” is all you need to “observe” when making wild claims about birds coming from reptiles.

    What alchemist in the dark ages could not thrive in such an atmosphere of misdirectoin and storyteling such as evolutionists like to foment.

    LSU&#032Alumnus&#032&#049&#057&#057&#054: @Sean Pitman:

    I’m glad you understand that WASC’s requirements simply require the professors to “inform their students of the mainstream concensus (sic) on the theories of evolution.” This is my point exactly. It is not trying to “meddle” or require “independence” from the church. It is simply requiring that the fact of evolution (i.e., that evolution can and does occur) be taught

    The simple fact is there IS NO requirement from WASC or any other governing body that LSU proclaim to its students “evoution can and does occur”.

    Nobody is going to revoke anything if LSU chooses to simply “tell the truth” instead of pandering after the atheist-centric idea that “evolution can and does occur in real life”.

    LSU&#032Alumnus&#032&#049&#057&#057&#054: @Sean Pitman:
    In fact, Professor Bradley was doing precisely this – teaching creation and evolution concurrently—and meeting the requirements for WASC certification. It is a shame that he has lost his job simply for doing it properly.

    Misdirection and smoke screen above – totally debunked by Bradley’s own statements to the press in higher education.

    You need a less transparently flawed argument.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  92. Anybody who thinks or tries to push the idea that this fiasco with LSU is ET’s fault needs to have their head examined!

    This problem is CLEARLY LSU’s fault from start to the finish. The University administrators and Board members for a decade or more have practiced “good ol’ boy” SDA politics as usual and have abdicated their responsibility and ignored the warning signs that this was coming because they were not willing to stand for the truth or do what was right and correct the error that wad being taught.

    Educate Truthers do not share in this blame. We are here simply to say enough is enough, it’s time for accountability. This could have been corrected very easily about 2 years ago when it was first brought to light, but LSU continued its lies and deception. LSU made this worse, not ET!!! It is time to let the chips fall where they will. This could still be corrected if the Board had the desire to really fix the problem. That would include adding some new loyal SDA faculty to the Departments of Religion and Biology, Getting rid of those faculty that are not interested in being loyal to the church, and replacing Whisby with a strong leader who will follow truth “tho the heaven’s fall.” Do I have hope that this will happen, no. Not many Daniels exist today.

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