@Sean Pitman: Here is one dictionary definition of faith: “2. Belief …

Comment on Last Thursdayism by Victor Marshall.

@Sean Pitman:

Here is one dictionary definition of faith:

“2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.”

I do not advocate a faith without supporting evidence to help confirm and apologetically defend said faith. My confidence in the Bible was partially strengthened through such apologetic evidences (more so by the testimonies of Christians who befriended and ministered to me than any scientific inquiry though). My confidence in the Bible as opposed to the other religious books was confirmed by actually reading most of them and comparing their testimonies. Not by undertaking a scientific/historical investigation of their claims as compared to external evidences. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to read the Quran, sayings of Buddha, Egyptian and Tibetan Book of the Dead, the writings of Zen Budhism, the Gita, Upanishads, Vedas, I Ching, Sayings of Confucius, LaoTzu, Theosophy, Bahaism, Book of Mormon, Native American Wisdom, Spritualism, Primitive Tribal Animism etc, etc. – and then to read the Bible, to know you are dealing with a thoroughly different document with the stamp of true Divinity. Of course that was how it went for me. God reaches different people in different ways in different cultural/educational/linguistical/environmental contexts. Most people historically or even currently worldwide probably can’t even understand what you are talking about Sean. Nor, as Paul Giem has already said, is it necessary for them to do so. What may work for you Sean may not work for everyone else . It sounds quite condescending when you pronounce others expressions regarding their ‘faith’ or their ‘evidences’ as being no different than garden fairies, spaghetti monsters or useless campfire stories etc.

I guess what I am really saying is that God wants us to trust His Word without always demanding proof or evidence or a sign. Once we commit ourselves to Christ and cast ourselves with lifelong commitment to His Word (yes, in many cases also based on confirmatory empirical evidences) then God may actually test us by challenging us to walk by faith solely in His Word and promise – not by sight (empirical evidence).
The Bible is filled with examples of persons who were called on to exercise raw faith in the Word of God – contrary to ’empirical evidences.’


While Noah received an angelic visitation that brought to Him the Word of God in regard to his mission;. he had to act upon faith purely in that Word from God to believe that he should build an ark for a family that did not yet exist, for children that had never been born to a man his age, for a cataclysmic altering of nature that defied science (no fossils to confirm a cataclysm could happen), for rain that had never even occurred in human history etc. In other words he had to act on faith in the Word of God – in spite of the empirical evidence.

Noah was called to preach the message of the deluge to the antediluvians. The antediluvians had no such angelic visitation. Was the material evidence of a man claiming to be a prophet who received angelic visitations, building a huge boat to float on an unseen rain produced cataclysmic ocean an empirical proof? No, they were held accountable for rejecting the Word of God coupled with the convicting influence of the Holy Spirit preached by His prophet. By the time God provided confirmatory empirical evidence with the animals getting on the boat, it was too late. They had already rejected the primary evidence – the Word of God through His witness the prophet.

Victor Marshall Also Commented

Last Thursdayism
“The deepest students of science are constrained to recognize in nature the working of infinite power. But to man’s unaided reason, nature’s teaching cannot but be contradictory and disappointing. Only in the light of revelation can it be read aright, ‘Through faith we understand.’Heb.11:3” – Ed.134

Last Thursdayism

Last Thursdayism
@Sean Pitman:

As if all of your previous statements were not enough – here you come with this outrageous statement:

But I do deny that the Bible is the final authority. I don’t think that it is the final authority.

I think it is plain enough now for all to see that the founding scientist of EducateTruth, who has vigorously been seeking to have LSU tow the orthodox Adventist line – is himself heterodox when it comes to the most foundational of Adventist beliefs!
Not only have you equated science with faith, you have supplanted Biblical authority with scientific authority. Isn’t this exactly in essence what theistic evolutionists do?! Is it possible that one who incessantly declares others to be ‘blind’ would himself be blind to his own hypocritical presuppositions?

Seventh-day Adventists are ‘people of the book.’ They claim the Protestant principle of ‘Sola Scriptura’ as the very foundation of their faith. You are not a Sola Scripturist. By your own standard, if you were employed by the Adventist church, you yourself should consider employment elsewhere.
This is indeed a most grave and serious ironic twist.

If the issues are not yet clear enough I will here quote one of the denominations most preeminently orthodox theologians. You will find that his clear and definitive statements are diametrically opposed to your own:

“A fundamental principle set forth by Scripture concerning itself is that the Bible alone is the final norm of truth, the primary and absolute source of authority, the ultimate court of appeal, in all areas of doctrine and practice… The principle of sola Scriptura implies two corollaries: the primacy and the sufficiency of Scripture….”

“Paul likewise rejects human “knowledge” (KJV “science”; Greek gnōsis) as the final authority (1 Tim 6:20). Both OT and NT writers point out that since the Fall in Eden, nature has become depraved (Gen 3:17-18; Rom 8:20-21) and no longer perfectly reflects truth. Nature, rightly understood, is in harmony with God’s written revelation in Scripture (see Ps 19:1-6 [revelation of God in nature] and vv. 7-11 [revelation of the Lord in Scripture]); but as a limited and broken source of knowledge about God and reality, it must be held subservient to, and interpreted by, the final authority of Scripture (Rom 1:20-23; 2:14-16; 3:1-2).”

“2. The Sufficiency of Scripture. The principle of sola Scriptura implies the further corollary of the sufficiency of Scripture. The Bible stands alone as the unerring guide to truth; it is sufficient to make one wise unto salvation (2 Tim 3:15). It is the standard by which all doctrine and experience must be tested (2 Tim 3:16-17; Ps 119:105; Prov 30:5, 6; Isa 8:20; John 17:17; Acts 17:11; 2 Thess 3:14; Heb 4:12). Scripture thus provides the framework, the divine perspective, the foundational principles, for every branch of knowledge and experience. All additional knowledge and experience, or revelation, must build upon and remain faithful to, the all-sufficient foundation of Scripture. The sufficiency of Scripture is not just in the sense of material sufficiency, i.e., that Scripture contains all the truths necessary for salvation. Adventists also believe in the formal sufficiency of Scripture, i.e., that the Bible alone is sufficient in clarity so that no external source is required to rightly interpret it.”

“Adventists maintain the rallying cry of the Reformation–sola Scriptura, the Bible and the Bible only as the final norm for truth. All other sources of knowledge and experience must be tested by this unerring standard. The appropriate human response must be one of total surrender to the ultimate authority of the word of God (Isa 66:2).” – Richard M. Davidson, ‘Interpreting Scripture According to the Scriptures:Toward an understanding of Seventh-day Adventist Hermeneutics.’ BRI

Not only do you seem diametrically opposed to foundational Adventist theology. You also appear (for all intents and purposes) to be fundamentally opposed to the purposes and goals of EducateTruth itself.

“4. More important than all of these is that the Bible find its place as the ultimate authority on all it touches upon within the classroom…… The bottom line of this controversy is not about creation vs. evolution, but authority. Does the Bible inform our science or does science inform the Bible? This question lies at the heart of this controversy.” – Shane Hilde

In light of this further unfortunate irony – perhaps you should seek employment on another web site.

I encourage you to reexamine the basis for you faith and prayerfully surrender it to the Word of God – not scientific reason.

“When we come to the Bible, reason must acknowledge an authority superior to itself, and heart and intellect must bow before the great I AM.” (SC 110).

Recent Comments by Victor Marshall

Adventist Review: Pastors Who Don’t Believe

Although no longer an Adventist I am grateful for the nurture, love and grounding in the Bible the SDA church gave to me and I continue to respect it and defend it whenever mistaken views about its teachings are expressed by other clergy.

Your positive regard for the church in spite of having left it’s fellowship is appreciated.

I too, at times, suffered crises of faith – what some call the dark night of the soul

Ministers also need ministering to.

I trust there was someone who ministered to you in your dark night of the soul. I was once called as a hospital chaplain to the bedside of a pastor who had just been told he was terminal. With great distress he told me that he had the overwhelming feeling that all of his preaching to others was nothing more than empty platitudes with no personal meaning for himself. It was a profoundly unsettling moment in which I thought to myself, ‘God forbid that I ever experience anything similar on my death-bed.’ I hope my ministry and prayer with him that day helped in some small way. That was the last I ever saw of him.

La Sierra and Battle Creek College
Following is the actual quote:
“All human wisdom must be subject to the authority of Scripture. The bible truths are the norm by which all other ideas must be tested. Judging the Word of God by finite human standards is like trying to measure the stars with a yardstick. The Bible must not be subject to human norms. It is superior to all human wisdom and literature. Rather than our judging the bible, all will be judged by it, for it is the standard of character and test of all experience and thought.”

La Sierra and Battle Creek College

@Victor Marshall: And the Latter-day Saints say the very same thing about the Book of Mormon while Muslims argue for the superiority of the Qur’an. How do you know that you’re right and they’re wrong? Upon what is your conviction based in the credibility of the Bible over the Book of Mormon or the Qur’an? or any other claimed source of authority for that matter? Should people simply know, intuitively, that the Bible is the superior source of credible information?Sean Pitmanhttp://www.DetectingDesign.com  (Quote)

@Sean Pitman:

I must apologize Sean. I neglected to inform you that the words that I just posted, and you quoted, were closely paraphrased from page 20 of the book “28 Fundamental Beliefs.”

La Sierra and Battle Creek College
@Sean Pitman:

All human wisdom should be subject to the authority of Scripture. The truths of the Bible are the norm by which all other ideas are to be tested. The Bible should not be subject to any human norms. It is superior to all human wisdom and literature. It is the standard and test of all experience and thought.

La Sierra and Battle Creek College
@Paul Giem:

Much appreciated post Dr. Giem. A voice of definitive reason in the midst of the spaghetti wars. I particularly appreciate your comment:

More importantly, scientific knowledge is not vital to either salvation or to our confidence in scripture, or our hope. It only becomes important if science is apparently raising challenges to the historicity of the Genesis account. One can believe the creation account was historical (and all the Christians on record before about the 18th century did except Origen and Augustine) without any recourse to modern science. Thus a position that “I believe in a recent 6-day creation and a worldwide Flood but have no scientific evidence to back it up” would have been appropriate for everyone before the 1700′s, and is reasonable for scientifically uninformed people today.

As a “Sola Scripturist” I have concluded that the Bible is a stand-alone document providing its own inherent proofs. To compare a scientifically unsubstantiated Bible to the book of Mormon is a gross mischaracterization of the unique testimony and spiritual power found inherently in the Word of God itself. It also gives inordinate authority to the conclusions resulting from a man-made scientific endeavor. Creation Science does have a supportive apologetic role in juxtaposition to the challenges of ‘science falsely so called;’ but the final authority must be Scripture itself.

If the findings of science can at any given theoretical moment blow us out of the Adventist Christian water, to be cast adrift on a sea of infidelity – then we are indeed peculiarly vulnerable. What will happen perchance when Lucifer brings out of his incredibly superior resources a clearly ‘scientific’ proof that thoroughly contradicts the Adventist understanding of Scripture? If our faith is in the conclusions of our ‘scientific’ senses then we will certainly be deceived. If we believe that science is the ultimate proof, not Scripture, then we are indeed vulnerable. Satan’s original deception was an overwhelming sensory contradiction of the Word of God. A ‘dumb’ dragon exhibited the gift of wisdom, with no ill effects from eating the ‘deadly’ fruit. How could Eve argue with this empirical proof?

What happens if aliens land and provide empirical proof of how they seeded planet earth with life, superintended the building of the pyramids, tried to prevent the great cataclysms caused by asteroids, inspired the great religious leaders of history (or actually were those leaders)- with video tapes and DNA to prove it etc.?

I very much look forward to reading your book.