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Thursday: Creation, the Fall, and the Cross — 29 Comments

  1. We bought a house with an unfinished basement. After living in the house for 15 years, we decided to complete the basement. Since it was an open space, I had the chance design and finish the basement. When I had completed the basement, it looked very good. I was very happy. Year after I had completed the basement, my wife got a job in Texas and we moved. What a pain it caused my heart because I thought about what it took for us to complete the basement. This is in no way a comparison I can make to the creation of God. This incident brought to light in my heart, how painful it must have been for God to learn that his creatures have deliberately turned its back on God. To make matters worse, we did not seek God nor had the desire to seek God. Love of God turned and became fear of the punishment from God. He had every right to judge, yet in His forbearance He gave us a choice which we did not deserve.

    What is stopping you from accepting Him?

    What is stopping you from surrendering yourself to Him?

    Amen!(24)
  2. God created nature and sustains it, He established their methods of operating and He made humans responsible to look after it.
    Col 1:15-17; Heb 1:3; John 1:3; Gen 2:15; Jer 31:35-36;

    God sometimes overrode His Laws of Nature to teach His people a lesson that nature is a gift from Him and is controlled by Him.
    Gen 3:17-19; Gen 6:7; Gen 41:28-30; Lev 26:3-5; Lev 26:18-20

    The promise of restoration to humans also applies to nature.

    Rom 8:19-22 ISV For the creation is eagerly awaiting the revelation of God's children, (20) because the creation has become subject to futility, though not by anything it did. The one who subjected it did so in the certainty (21) that the creation itself would also be set free from corrupting bondage in order to share the glorious freedom of God's children. (22) For we know that all the rest of creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time.

    Amen!(7)
  3. Treasure Hunting in the Word: What have I discovered this week?
    An insight into the character of the serpent by what he tried to convince Eve.
    He didn't want to have a caring, loving nature like the LORD, he wanted to have the power that the LORD has over the Universe. He was not given control of the earth so he instigated a revolution and coup to steal dominion over the earth originally given to Adam & Eve.
    How did he do it? By creating doubt about the word of the LORD. This continues to be his method of operation even today. Beware of serpent language - "In this text God didn't really mean what it says, let me tell you what to believe"

    Amen!(24)
    • Doubt in the Word was also doubt in His character, motives, etc. God can't be trusted because, well God is selfish in keeping you from the fruit because He knows when you eat it you will become just like Him. He wants no rivals so He has given this scare tactic of the tree not to eat so you won't become as Himself. Common, your life is yours and you can't die. Another lie. You are self sustained. You are just being held back.....

      They took the bait...

      Amen!(2)
  4. “ The Bible provides an unbroken link between the perfect Creation, the Fall, the promised Messiah, and final redemption. These major events become the basis of the theme of salvation history for the human race.”

    What exactly is this “unbroken link”?

    The sad, heart-breaking history of our world since Genesis 3 testifies that abundant life on any other foundation than other-centered love does not work. This is why God Himself (plural) embraces and embodies this Agape (other-centered) love and why He created humanity with a heart based on this love.

    Satan successfully seduced Eve and Adam into embracing self-centered ‘love’/lust instead. And as a result, humanity developed a terminal heart condition (see Genesis 6:5; Romans 5:12). So, what was needed for humanity’s salvation from this terminal condition? Punishment for disobedience? Execution of retributive ‘justice’?

    Or perhaps a heart transplant? The Creator stepped down into humanity and became one of us with us - the Second Adam (Romans 5:12-21; 2 Corinthians 5:21 in conjunction with Romans 8:3; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 2:17; Philippians 2:7; Isaiah 53:12).

    And as the second Adam He faced the same Tempter who also tried to entice Him to, like the first Adam, exchange other-centered Love for self-centered ‘love’. But the Second Adam held on to obedience to other-centered love no matter what was thrown at Him by the Tempter. Even the temptation to avoid death on the cross would not break His resolve (Philippians 2:6-8; Luke 22:42). This is how the Second Adam defeated/destroyed death (2 Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:14) and retained the ‘right’ to eternal abundant life (Romans 5:19; Revelation 3:21). And it is this inheritance that the Second Adam offers to all who will respond to His invitation to take away their heart of stone and transplant a new heart (based again on other-centred love) and a right Spirit (Romans 8:3,4; Ezekiel 36:26).

    Punishment and retributive ‘justice‘ cannot achieve this restoration of heart and Spirit. But God’s true, ‘higher way’ of justice is instead displayed - humanity’s ‘stolen’ inheritance of abundant eternal life is restored. What was stolen by deception is made right once again - the ‘justice of restored righteousness’. And thus humanity’s terminal heart condition really is healed “by His stripes” (Isaiah 53:5).

    One unbroken link: God-authored other-centered love. The only viable foundation capable of producing, maintaining and restoring abundant life.

    Amen!(7)
  5. And we all know that all things work together for good to them that love God...
    Rom 8:28

    Creation, the Fall, and the Cross
    After creation everything was PERFECT. Humans were perfect and bore the image of God. But even in perfection they were told and encourage what to do and what not to do. Humans had two choices. What they could do founded from Gen 1:28-30; Gen 2:15-16. Not to do in Gen 2:17.
    Obey and live, or disobey and die. Those were the two choices.
    Humans choose to disobey, so death followed- the fall.
    But even in willful disobedience, the Godhead had a plan in place should humans choose to die.
    It is said before we tell or preach about the 28 fundamentals of religion, point people to the cross. It is at the cross that the heart of humans are melted as they behold the love of God.

    The Cross- who is this God that Loves us so much that even when we by choice reject him and choose to perish/die, came and die for us so we do not have to die. O what Love is this!!

    There are several stories in the bible about this love. The entire bible is about a love story between a God and his people. Despite what we do, He keeps coming back. We run away, we turn our backs on him, we do our own thing according to what we want to our detriment, yet He keeps coming back to help us in love.

    The story of Hosea and Gomer- isn't that love? Hosea 1:11;2:1-23; 3:1-5
    Eze 15:2-63 God the lover first initiated the love relationship- isnt that love?

    Then he even went on to say if we choose him he will take us on a vacation for 1000 yrs with him. We will get to see where he lives, he is preparing our own mansion for us. We will never be hurt again, no pain, no sorrow, no tears, actually sin will never rise again to separate us from him. We will live forever and ever together. Isn't that Love.

    Amen!(4)
  6. The lesson authors frequently critique theistic evolution (TE) which asserts that God made all things, and evolution is the human description of that process. Most SDAs are either 6,000-year Youth Earth Creationists (50%) , or Old Earth creationists (OEC) (30%) or Evolutionary Creationists / Theistic Evolutionists (10%).), Some believe that Satan has had some creative power and has produced some life forms. Surveys which I have taken since the 1980's suggest that in recent years both YEC and TE positions have gained members, with OEC declining since about 2000.

    All of this suggests that, indeed, Genesis is foundational for Adventist belief. However, that belief is divided among several different interpretations. We are currently going through a period of re-assessment of the SDA doctrine of Creation.

    It will be interesting to see if these various alternates are published in a single volume some time in the near future.

    Amen!(3)
      • I think two things have happened. First, there has been an increasing polarization. About 45% of Americans currently believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so." YEC have been very evangelistic in positioning science against religion and forcing a choice on the younger generation. Similarly, secular evolutionary experts have successfully persuaded all levels of education that it is a factual and valid science and that creationism is not. Consider the various court cases, including (Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 2005) which have ruled against creationism as a legitimate course of instruction.

        As a result, the middle ground which seeks to harmonize these two camps has also grown, and perhaps a majority of SDA college - level teachers now hold perspectives which take the science more seriously--the universe, planet and life are billions of years old--and scripture less literally. Whether called Intelligent Design, or Evolutionary Creation, or Theistic Evolution, many thinking Christians do not believe there is an intrinsic conflict between science and faith.

        As church officially continues to tighten its views, forcing a false choice between the Bible and science, it is losing many of the younger generation, while hardening the attitudes of those who remain. For many others, like me, who have studied these issues for decades, this is regrettable. We refuse to play in a game of false choices.

        Amen!(3)
        • Thanks Jordan for your insights. I believe the principles in the dynamic you have described are reflected across a range of issues within the church. Will be interesting to see what ‘evolves’ down the track.

          Amen!(2)
        • Thank you for your thoughts, Jordan. 🙂 I hope you don't mind my asking a few questions to understand better how you view the "middle ground."

          You write of

          ... the middle ground which seeks to harmonize these two camps has also grown, and perhaps a majority of SDA college - level teachers now hold perspectives which take the science more seriously--the universe, planet and life are billions of years old--and scripture less literally.

          Am I right to conclude that that is the ground on which you stand?

          In that case, I am interested to know how you reconcile science, as you understand it, with certain biblical fundamentals.

          Let's just leave the question of time aside for the moment and focus on spiritual fundamentals. Please share with us your understanding regarding the following teachings:

          Did God personally create the first humans? If not, how did humans originated?

          Were the first humans created perfect and did they fall from that perfection by distrusting their Creator, thus becoming sinners in need of a Savior? If that's not a scientifically viable belief, according to your understanding, do humans need saving? Why?

          Is Jesus Christ truly God, or was he just a good human being? Is there a reason he was born? If so, what is it?

          Is the seventh day especially blessed by God for the enjoyment of His created beings so that they might draw closer to Him and to each other and contemplate His glory in His creation? Is the Sabbath also a symbol of the spiritual rest we find in Jesus? If neither applies, is there any significance to the seventh day of the week?

          Amen!(1)
          • No, you are not correct. I accept the current scientific view of the development of life as it is, and accept the meaning of scripture as it is. I see no inherent conflict between God's languages of nature and in the written Word.

            As for the rest of your questions, they are important, but I am not here to share my personal views on a range of beliefs, but to share my own research on the spectrum of views within Adventism, at this time.

            Amen!(0)
          • Thank you for your reply, Jordan. In checking my comment the only statement I find to which you may refer is my conclusion that you try to occupy the middle ground between taking Genesis as history and rejecting that history and taking the current evolutionary account of origins literally. Now it seems you are saying that you "accept the current scientific view of the development of life."
            A number of high-profile scientists, including Stephen Hawkings, have made it very clear that there is no place for God in their view of the development of life.
            The Bible, on the other hand, claims that God personally created life on this planet. If you see "no inherent conflict" between these two world views that most of us see inherently opposed to each other, it is fair to ask you how you reconcile these views. And I asked you only some very basic questions.

            You have come to a blog that is meant for conversation, not a place to post abstract "research." 😉 To further this conversation, it would be helpful for you to share your beliefs. Note that the post under which you commented addresses "Creation, the Fall, and the Cross," and I believe it is fair to ask you to address the subject. (I think my questions approximately covered the topic, but if you want to address it differently, that is your privilege, of course.)

            As for the research you shared, you might as well have included that only half of Seventh-day Adventists in the global North attend church at all. It is equally as relevant and equally as sad, IMO.

            Amen!(0)
          • I see that you are exploring the "middle ground" idea. However, all the questions about first humans, Jesus, Sabbath etc that you are asking are religious or faith-based questions, and are answered in the Bible and in the history of theology. Science does not deal with these questions at all, as there is only one source of knowledge on this. I don't need to supply answers.

            You might consider asking some scientific questions, and exploring the answers you find. I did this for many years, while I also learned Hebrew and studied the ancient world, which is the literary context for the Bible.

            These are God's two books. It is only by going deeper into BOTH that you will achieve a harmony.

            Amen!(0)
        • "We refuse to play in a game of false choices." I agree with you and feel the same. Though I don't accept evolution, I also don't accept a 6,000 yr old earth. I am of the old earth creationist category: old earth and universe, young creation on this earth). I agree with your assessment. Like everything else in life today, polarization and false dichotomies abound.

          Amen!(2)
        • Jordan, I agree with you that there need not be a conflict and in fact, science with a Christian base, supports and reveals God and His creative genius. The more science learns about the working parts of our world, the more minute the particle, the more sophisticated and elegant is its design.

          As for the “scientific theory” of the genius of randomness surrounded by the hard facts of scientific laws of math, physics, quantum physics and the like - it has always astounded me that anyone would except a random result from such obvious order. They do this for all for one reason; not to have to answer to to a Creator and the laws of His government.

          Amen!(3)
        • The problem with trying to merge notions of theistic evolution with Bible-based Christianity is that the Bible makes very specific claims that are fundamentally opposed to long-ages of evolutionary progress for life on this planet.

          And, this isn't just an Seventh-day Adventist notion either. The well-known Oxford Hebrew scholar, James Barr, says the same thing, noting that, "The apologetic arguments which suppose the 'days' of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors [of Hebrew or Old Testament studies at world-class universities], as far as I know."

          This doesn't mean that Barr was a Young Life Creationist. He wasn't. He was just honest about what the Biblical authors claimed about the nature of the creation of life on this planet - that they claimed that it was young and that the Noachian Flood was in fact universal, on this planet, destroying all life on land outside of the Ark.

          This is an important concept because it plays into the overall credibility of the Bible. If you can falsify such clear claims regarding the history of life on this planet, what basis for rational credibility remains for the other more metaphysical claims of the Bible? - such as the nature and origin of sin, the need of a Savior, the Virgin Birth, or the Resurrection? Why even be a Christian or believe in a God at all who has a personal interest in you as an individual?

          You see, a lot is at stake here if you start undermining Biblical credibility. Fortunately, however, for the Christian who cares to investigate the claims of the Bible, vs. the claims of modern evolutionary scientists, more than superficially, it turns out that the claims of the Bible are supported by the significant weight of empirical evidence that is currently in hand. Year after year the neo-Darwinian claims lose more and more credibility as one supposed "fact" after another disintegrates and more and more evidence for a superintelligence behind the origin and diversity of life on this planet is revealed - as well as the recent origin of life here.

          As just one example, consider that the detrimental mutation rate for DNA in all complex organisms (like all birds, mammals, and reptiles for instance) is far far too high. Natural selection simply cannot effectively eliminate all of these detrimental mutations remotely as fast as they are entering all of these various gene pools. In other words, everything is devolving over time, not evolving. Everything is headed for eventual genetic meltdown and extinction - and always has been. This fairly new understanding of the detrimental mutation rate is right in line with the Biblical claim that everything started to degenerate and die after the Fall in Eden - since God is no longer constantly maintaining living things.

          I could go on and on about the evidence for Design in nature and for the recent arrival of life on this planet, but, for now, you can start, if you're interested, with DetectingDesign.com

          Amen!(2)
          • One of the attractions of Intelligent Design theory is that it avoids needing to stretch the days of creation out, as Progressive Creationists have done. ID essentially accepts the long history of life (millions and billions of years) but proposes a Creator who gives evolution some technical help along the way. A kind of god-of-the-gaps deity who plugs in a patch when things get rough. The number of SDAs who believe in ID has grown substantially, although largely unknown by that name until the 1990s, and its increase is recent and rapid. We also have many hybrid views among SDAs, including the composite idea of an ancient earth+ancient life+satan's fall+recent creation of Adam and Eve. (Dr Jack Provonsha)

            Professor Barr is correct that trying to "accommodate" the Biblical narrative to science is rarely done by Old Testament scholars. That is because they are more often theistic evolutionists, not Creationists or followers of Intelligent Design.

            Amen!(1)
          • Jordan,
            Inge (May 22, 2020 at 4:21 am) asked some questions which you declined to answer (May 22, 2020 at 12:58 pm). This is understandable, as your aim was apparently (correct me if I am wrong) to simply present the range of (actual, therefore) possible Adventist belief, not to defend any of it. This can sometimes be done with the idea that since they are possible positions for an Adventist ("in good standing") to believe, they should be considered normative and not be criticized.

            This procedure seems to me to be be faulty. Adventism should not be simply a search for what Adventists have believed in the past, with the result that every position that is found is assumed to be (equally?) valid. It should rather be a search for truth, first Biblical truth, and second, scientific truth (if the two cannot be harmonized, we may be forced to choose, but for now let us assume that they can be). If not, we have no right to be considered the spiritual descendants of the Adventist pioneers. For they chose to effectively disregard not just possible beliefs of their ancestors, but the majority view of their ancestors (at least their immediate ancestors), on such subjects as the proper day to keep, and whether the soul was immortally conscious. A theological method that says they were out of line in doing this cannot fairly be called Adventist.

            Inge's questions were not to shut down discussion, but to point out that if we try to integrate some scientific positions with the Biblical narrative, we have certain problems. She was inviting you to wrestle with those problems and propose some answers, and perhaps to discuss the adequacy of those answers. She mentioned specifically the doctrine of man, soteriology, Christology, and the Sabbath. To the questions she mentioned, I would add some about the authority of Jesus (He seems to have believed the creation story in a way that we would now call uncritical, even using it to trump the Mosaic law) and the authority of the Bible in general. These are rather central doctrines for Adventism. If one does not respond to these concerns, is one really asking to be taken seriously?

            One can also raise the question of the actual state of scientific evidence for ancient life, and how the method of intelligent design makes a scientific defense of ancient life difficult. Perhaps a scientific discussion would lessen the pressure to disregard the early Genesis record taken at face value. The website detectingdesign.com has quite a bit of material regarding that subject.

            You mention Provonsha. I have some acquaintance with his ideas, as he and my father were in the same medical school class, his daughter and I were in the same medical school class, he was one of my teachers when I did my graduate work in religion, I attended his Sabbath School class for some time, and I have read and reviewed (in print) some of his work. My present opinion is that he does the best job of harmonizing ancient life with the Genesis story. Perhaps you would like to present his ideas as you understand them (or if you wish I can present his ideas as I understand them) and we can discuss them. Or perhaps another view makes more sense to you, in which case we can discuss that view.

            Amen!(0)
          • Thank you Sean, this is all very true. Let alone the fact that almost all fauna and flora came into existence in very short order, by Dawrininian standards. Even with the billions of years the evolutionists put into their numbers, there is no where near Mathematically, enough time for the random chance of the evolutionary “stepping stones” to have all taken place by now.

            Amen!(0)
          • Sean,
            When you state : "since God is no longer constantly maintaining living things"
            I believe you mean - He is no longer maintaining them in their original condition.
            Because nothing has any life without Him according to the Word of the LORD
            Neh 9:6 you keep giving all of them life,
            Heb 1:3 upholding all things by the word of His power

            Neh 9:6 KJV Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.

            Neh 9:6 ISV "You are the LORD; you alone crafted the heavens, the highest heavens with all of their armies; the earth, and everything in it; the seas, and everything in them; you keep giving all of them life, and the army of heaven continually worships you.

            Heb 1:3 MKJV  who being the shining splendor of His glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding all things by the word of His power, through Himself cleansing of our sins, He sat down on the right of the Majesty on high,

            Amen!(0)
          • Shirley,

            Yes, you are correct. I was speaking of God maintaining living things in their original condition without experiencing the process of decay and death over time. It is certainly true, however, that we are dependent upon God moment by moment for life. Every breath that we take is a gift of God. However, God no longer maintains us as He did when we were in Eden before the Fall. In our current state we experience decay and eventual death because of this decay...

            Amen!(1)
        • Hi Jordan -
          Following your recent posts with interest, I am reaching out to ask you to kindly consider my point of view as it relates to the Creation controversy. I posted it in response to today's Sabbath lesson.

          In addition to my personal walk by faith, having the opportunity to worship God on Sabbath, caused me to join the Adventist family of believers as an adult.

          Thoughts regarding the believer's spiritual well being come to mind often and concern me greatly. Assuming that you are a scientist and Christian, could you agree that we would all do better in our walk by faith if we increased our Worship of the Creator instead of focusing our minds on figuring out How and When God created the worlds?

          I believe that our spiritual wellness would be strengthened by focusing on the PURPOSE of God's 'speaking' Creation into existence before the Fall, and now, in our fallen state, His invitation to ultimately rejoin Him in HIS Kingdom.
          This Purpose should be at the heart of the creation controversy, not the mechanics of the How He brought things into existence. One is spiritually discerned, the other for ever left to speculation.

          Yes, there certainly is a place for science to bring to view, to share the wonders of God's Creation. I just do not think that, by taking the 'bate' to 'debate' the 'How', that this can bring to light anything of substance to add to that which can only be somewhat satisfactorily be established through Faith.

          In my opinion, by placing much thought and effort into understanding the 'How' of 'Creation', we loose focus on 'understanding' its purpose, the 'Why and What-fore' it was established in the first place, and this to mankind's great detriment.

          Actually, by falling into the enticing trap to engage our reasoning mind, using the scientific method of establishing evidence, we will never 'proof' God's existence or, for that matter, know the How or When or how long it took.
          The receive an answer to these questions would require an intimate, scientific knowledge of a God that 'only the faithful' claim exists.

          I expressed my thoughts about this at length in today's Sabbath post. My point tries to establish that there is an underlying, malevolent spiritual component in the effort to maintain an endless debate to establish scientific proof regarding Creation:
          By accepting the enticement to use the 'power' inherent in reason, and the acceptance of the scientist's 'rule' to only except empirical evidence as its premise to establish the proof for God and His Creation, this will cause many to 'reject' the God of Creation.
          Reason's hideous circular 'reasoning' is at work here, doing its best to establish reason's preeminence as source for proof.

          The mind knows that it cannot establish 'proof' and define the source of its existence based solely on its own reasoning; it might even be inclined to be 'hostile' - keeping itself in control by preventing the acknowledgement/acceptance of the higher Power.

          We can see its effect in the alienation between God and man after the Fall. An innate recognition of each other - God and man - was not possible any longer. Man had accepted the enticement by God's adversary to establish its own identity, preferring its own measuring devises and so give himself into the hands of the destroyer.

          Only science augmented by faith can attempt to answer creation questions. Faith is superior source compared to the reasoning ability of the mind to understand man's existence, though we still need to acknowledge that answers will remain incomplete.

          We ask and allow God's Wisdom to enlighten understanding through our faith.
          If you should find time and interest to respond to my points, this would be very much appreciated.

          Amen!(2)
          • Hi Brigitte, I haven't read your Sabbath comment yet. This seems to be your core belief: "Only science augmented by faith can attempt to answer creation questions. Faith is superior source compared to the reasoning ability of the mind to understand man's existence, though we still need to acknowledge that answers will remain incomplete."

            If you mean that we need to take science seriously, but that faith still adds something important, then I certainly agree. Science can never ask or answer questions about existence or purpose for the universe. Those answers are provided by faith. Dividing up the questions and answers this way is a successful way of reconciling science and religion.

            Amen!(0)
  7. God's character leads to His utter commitment in making intelligent beings created in His likeness and image with the ability to say "no" to Him. For the design of free will, God went to the cross for it.

    Amen!(3)
  8. Sean, thank you for your web sites, it is wonderful that all that information provides the reason for my faith in the Word of the LORD and in particular Genesis 1-11.
    Heb 11:3 KJV  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

    I found your second web site more user friendly for me.
    Please provide the link

    Amen!(0)
  9. Thanks to all who have responded to my initial posts above. I cannot see links to all comments, so I will respond here.
    To Phil: ". . .reflected across a range of issues within the church" ... I certainly agree. The beliefs of members of any organization are always in flux, sometimes tightening, sometimes loosening, sometimes in response to larger cultural trends. Adventist beliefs on a range of topics keep adjusting also. My reporting here on Creation-related ideas is just an example.

    To Inge: It seems that Adventists on a site like this rarely have the opportunity to engage with someone whose views may not reflect the majority view. And there is even more appetite, it seems, for discussions of "implications" of such views. At this moment, I only have time to outline in a little more detail my general views on Creation, and cannot respond to everything in the SS lesson for this week. Please forgive my brevity. Im sure there will be more opportunities in the next weeks. If I am wrong about that, then please remind me and we can return to this thread.

    I accept the broad scientific outline of earth history and for life here. It is falsifiable, of course, but has not been overturned yet. I also accept the scriptural accounts/views of creation as written, of which there are least four or five. As a Christian, I give precedence to the writings of the New Testament such as the Prologue to John, which identifies Christ as the universal creative agent. The two accounts in Genesis reflect two traditions from ancient Israel, each with its own purpose and detail. These are not intended as either scientific or historical documents but as faithful representations of the beliefs of ancient Israel, and I accept them as such. Adventist scholars have published showing how these accounts both reflect and reply to the mythological views of Israel's competing neighbors. In find this convincing.

    There is no need to try to harmonize the details of all these accounts, or correlate them with science and history. However, it is possible to reconcile them theologically. In my view, God's gracious revelations are composed and granted in the language and worldview of the receiving audience. God continually condescends to use human language and thoughts forms appropriate to the times. This is also the message of John, that the "Word" became flesh and dwelt among us. This has always been God's method.

    To Sean: As I have already stated that I am in accord with Barr's general view against attempts to "harmonize" the Bible and science. I could add much more, but I will leave it to you for the marshaling of modern science to add credibility to the Bible's stories. In my view, this has the tendency to place science above scripture, which is not my hermeneutics. The Bible stands on its own. However, if you were to show that science and history can demonstrate how divine revelation is adapted over time to various audiences, that would interest me.

    You make grandiose claims which strike me as static and untrue: "the claims of the Bible are supported by the significant weight of empirical evidence that is currently in hand. Year after year the neo-Darwinian claims lose more and more credibility ..." One would expect that parts of any successful theory should be revised as new data or better explanations arise. Science is self-correcting, which is more than can be said for theology.

    To Paul: I met Dr Provonsha only once, but have read his creation proposals. They are an example of the kind of the Adventist "middle ground," which uses the Satan narrative to mediate scientific views with biblical (also used by C.S. Lewis and many others). I think his views have deficits, for example his aesthetic judgments about what is attractive or unattractive in nature, but at least he took both the scientific and the biblical text seriously, and gave an Adventist spin on it.

    Thats all I have time for this week. Perhaps we can begin again next week, or later in the Qtr.

    Amen!(1)
  10. Hi Jordan -
    Following your recent posts with interest, I am reaching out to ask you to kindly consider my point of view as it relates to the Creation controversy. I posted it in response to today's Sabbath lesson.

    In addition to my personal walk by faith, having the opportunity to worship God on Sabbath, caused me to join the Adventist family of believers as an adult.

    Thoughts regarding the believer's spiritual well being come to mind often and concern me greatly. Assuming that you are a scientist and Christian, could you agree that we would all do better in our walk by faith if we increased our Worship of the Creator instead of focusing our minds on figuring out How and When God created the worlds?

    I believe that our spiritual wellness would be strengthened by focusing on the PURPOSE of God's 'speaking' Creation into existence before the Fall, and now, in our fallen state, His invitation to ultimately rejoin Him in HIS Kingdom.
    The Purpose should be at the heart of the creation controversy, not the mechanics of the How He brought things into existence. One is spiritually discerned, the other for ever left to speculation.

    Yes, there certainly is a place for science to bring to view, to share the wonders of God's Creation. I just do not think that, by taking the 'bate' to 'debate' the 'How', that this can bring to light anything of substance to add to that which can only be satisfactorily be established through Faith.

    In my opinion, by placing much thought and effort into understanding the 'How' of 'Creation', we loose focus on 'understanding' its purpose, the 'Why and What-fore' it was established in the first place, and this to mankind's great detriment.

    Actually, by falling into the enticing trap to engage our reasoning mind, using the scientific method of establishing evidence, we will never 'proof' God's existence or, for that matter, know the How or When or how long it took.
    The receive an answer to these questions would require an intimate, scientific knowledge of a God that 'only the faithful' claim exists.

    I expressed my thoughts about this at length in today's Sabbath post. My point tries to establish that there is an underlying, malevolent spiritual component in the effort to maintain an endless debate to establish scientific proof regarding Creation:
    By accepting the enticement to use the 'power' inherent in reason, and the acceptance of the scientist's 'rule' to only except empirical evidence as its premise to establish the proof for God and His Creation, this will cause many to 'reject' the God of Creation.
    Reason's hideous circular 'reasoning' is at work here, doing its best to establish reason's preeminence as source for proof.

    The mind knows that it cannot establish 'proof' and define the source of its existence based solely on its own reasoning; it might even be inclined to be 'hostile' - keeping itself in control by preventing the acknowledgement/acceptance of the higher Power.

    We can see its effect in the alienation between God and man after the Fall. An innate recognition of each other - God and man - was not possible any longer. Man had accepted the enticement by God's adversary to establish its own identity, preferring its own measuring devises and so give himself into the hands of the destroyer.

    Only science augmented by faith can attempt to answer creation questions. Faith is superior source compared to the reasoning ability of the mind to understand man's existence, though we still need to acknowledge that answers will remain incomplete.

    We ask and allow God's Wisdom to enlighten understanding through our faith.
    If you should find time and interest to respond to my points, this would be very much appreciated.

    Amen!(1)

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