Creation Controversy in Sabbath School
by Jack Hoehn
2013 for Seventh-day Adventists starts out with the first quarter Sabbath School lessons written by the head of the Geoscience Institute in Loma Linda, G. James Gibson, and edited (perhaps more than less?) by Clifford Goldstein. For the first 13 weeks of this next year it explores the importance and consequences of Creationism, under the title of “ORIGINS”.
These lessons also promote a single 144 hour chronology of Creationism 6,000 years ago, and continue the mistake that all other differing Creationist chronologies and interpretations are “Darwinism” or “Evolution”.
Beginning in March 2012 I have blogged 13 blogs about an alternative, Bible-believing, Seventh-day-Sabbath-keeping, truly Adventist understanding of Creation called “Old Earth Creationism” that takes seriously both Science and Revelation, and attempts to let the Bible explain why things happened, and to let Science explain how they happened. If you want to refresh these topics, you are invited to go to https://atoday.org/article/1095/blogs/hoehn-jack where you can find the following:
|The False Burden of Time||21||December 19, 2012||Long chronology is not a moral problem.|
|2||December 5,2012||(Ladies liked the Christmas one!)|
|98||November 19, 2012||Permitting Ellen White to be right on creation and wrong on chronology.|
|144||November 6, 2012||Creation Days are God Days not man days.|
|79||October 25, 2012||We have to translate Bible words to understand them.|
|58||October 3, 2012||God designed things to adapt and evolve.|
|192||August 30, 2012||Bible doctrines can change.|
|197||August 14, 2012||(Don’t administrate truth.)|
|191||July 17, 2012||We can all see earth must be older than 6,000 years.|
|220||Jun 21, 2012||Militant YEC is dangerous.|
|251||May 27, 2012||Sabbath does not need a short Creation Chronology.|
|166||April 25, 2012||Old Earth Creationism is not Godless Evolution|
|13||March 26, 2012||Bible Faith is Thoughtful and Reasoned.|
Old Earth Creationists accept that Genesis tells us literally what happened, but not how and not when. They do not agree that YOM (day) means only a 24 hour solar day in the Bible. I was teethed in Adventism that a YOM (day) stood for a year in prophecy! I read that to God a YOM (day) is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a YOM. So I have not had much trouble in accepting that Creation Days can be God’s days, not human days.
Real Adventists can have an alternative view of creation.
I do not claim any deep knowledge of earth sciences (I am a medical doctor who uses applied science); I do not claim any deep expertise in theology (I have an undergraduate degree in Religion from an Adventist college). I just claim to be a real Seventh-day Adventist who keeps the commandments of God and has the faith of Jesus including deep respect for the ministry of Ellen White, who thinks the chronology of our “Young Earth Creationists” is impossible to support either by the evidence of science or by a healthy Biblical understanding. I fear that if this defective chronology is forcefully imposed on our church it will lead to mass defections of the thoughtful and educated members, especially of our children and grandchildren.
So for the next 3 months these blogs may be reactive and comment on our Sabbath School lessons. I expect to find much to agree with in these lessons, but I will point out where an unnecessary devotion to a short-term Young Earth chronology exists, or a failure to appreciate the possibility of Creationism with a different chronology.
SS Lesson ORIGINS, Introduction.
NOTES on Origins Sabbath School Lesson #1. (These comments are for those who have a SS Lesson Quarterly) :
“It (Genesis) says nothing about the state of the dead,
the Day of Atonement, or even the seventh-day Sabbath.
“IN THE BEGINNING” IS NOT A DATE, NOT A CHRONOLOGY.
“And, in almost all cases, the theological context (of Genesis)
demands that it be taken literally.”
YOU CAN TAKE THE TEACHINGS AS TRUE BUT AS NOT
COMPREHENSIVE, DETAILED, AND NOT AS RESTRICTIVE–
LITERAL DOES NOT MEAN SIMPLE,
LITERAL MAY BE AN INTRODUCTION TO COMPLEXITY,
IT CAN BE A LITERAL OVERVIEW, A LITERAL OUTLINE,
A LITERAL INTRODUCTION,
WITHOUT PUTTING LIMITS ON OUR UNDERSTANDING OF CREATION.
LITERAL CAN TELL US WHAT GOD LITERALLY DID,
LITERAL MAY NOT EXPLAIN AT ALL HOW HE DID IT.
“Though some voices may urge us to incorporate evolution
into our theology, Seventh-day Adventism and Darwinism
are inherently contradictory”
AND DARWINISM ARE INHERENTLY CONTRADICTORY.
DARWINISM AS A SUFFICIENT MECHANISM FOR
THE ORIGIN AND DIVERSITY OF LIFE
IS BEING DAILY PROVED FALSE.
THE ADVENTIST STRUGGLE AGAINST DARWINISM,
ATHEISM, AND INFIDELITY IS ADMIRABLE.
THE ADVENTIST STRUGGLE AGAINST SCIENCE
AND THE EVIDENCE
REGARDING THE LITERAL CREATION
IS LESS ADMIRABLE.
RIGIDITY IN BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION HAS DRIVEN
MANY BELIEVERS INTO DARWINISM
BECAUSE THE LITERALISTS HAVE OFFERED
NO OTHER CHOICE.
“Logically one cannot hold both views(creation and evolution)
at the same time.”
AND THEN CONTRADICT THAT TRUTH WITH AN INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE,
EVEN IF THAT INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE
WRAPS ITSELF IN THE GARMENTS OF
LITERALITY AND TRADITION.
WHO WISH TO ACCEPT BOTH THE TRUTH OF SCRIPTURE
AND THE TRUTH OF NATURE
AS GOD’S TWO BOOKS
ARE STRUGGLING AGAINST THE ATTEMPTS
OF THE EDITOR OF THESE LESSONS
TO EXCLUDE THEM FROM ADVENTIST THOUGHT.