by Jack Hoehn, August 18, 2014

Jack’s question to Ted Wilson and Ed Zinke was removed by the editors of the Adventist  Review website 10 minutes after it was published, so you will have to read it here.

It took 10 minutes for the website to disapprove of my question as the first comment on a news article posted on line this morning.  So for 10 minutes you could read my unedited comment, before it was vetoed.
I tried to be respectful and courteous to the reporter, to Ted Wilson, and to Ed Zinke, even though they were asking me to leave my church.

According to the news article, those who have a different scientific opinion on the age of the earth and life on it than Mr. Wilson, and those whose theology does not require the same Biblical Literalism that Mr. Zinke sees as essential to my salvation, are invited to leave Seventh-day Adventism.

“World church President Ted N.C. Wilson forcefully asserted that life has existed on the Earth for only a few thousand years, not millions of years, as he opened an educators conference in Utah on Friday, and he said teachers who believe otherwise should not call themselves Seventh-day Adventists. . . ." according to Adventist Review news editor Andrew McChesney.[i]

Mr. Wilson’s assertion on the age of the earth must have been forceful because of the fact that he is “World Church President,”  as there is no scientific model available to support his “forceful assertion” of a few thousand year history of life on earth.[ii]  So I guess my question was, does a man elected to his office by people like me have the right to disenfranchise people like me who elected him to his position, based on a scientific opinion different from his?
“Ed Zinke, an Adventist theologian, businessman and co-organizer of the conference, explained in an interview that the implications of misinterpreting the Bible could run deep and seriously harm a person’s relationship with God,”  McChesney continues.

Mr. Ed Zinke and I attended the same classes at Pacific Union College; we had the same theology teachers for my religion major and his theology major.  I have read and valued the teachings of Ellen G. White as Ed does.  I have worked for the Seventh-day Adventist church all my life both as a denominational employee in African mission service (13 years) and in the Adventist Health system for the rest of my career.  Yet Ed thinks that Ellen White cannot be right on the fact of creation and at the same time be wrong on the chronology of creation.

Ed should know as well as I do that according to the Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, pages 706 and 707, “Nothing would prevent those who value her writings today from accepting the conventional age for the universe determined by scientists. . . .  Ellen White’s references to about 6,000 years of earth history and about 4,000 years from creation to the Incarnation cannot rightfully be used to provide a complete chronology, because Ellen White relied upon Archbishop James Ussher for these and other dates that were found in the margins of most Bibles in the mid-nineteenth century. . . .  Just as we should caution against using Ellen White’s writings to settle the date for Creation, so we must caution against using her writings to settle the date for the Incarnation or the Crucifixion.  For her, chronology is never an end in itself, but a means to an end.”[iii]
So, trying very hard to be approved by the website, I wrote a respectful and courteous question as the first comment to the article.  I wanted to ask Andrew and Ted and Ed,

“Jack Hoehn
So what shall the rest of us call ourselves now?  Seventh-day Scientists,  Seventh-day Realists, Seventh-day Old Earth Creationists?  Has anyone the right to call for a purge of Seventh-day Adventists, based on a scientific opinion?”

My question was removed by the editors about 11 minutes after I posted it, and they “will not be able to respond to inquiries regarding that.”  But then that is exactly why you read Adventist Today.  Your answers to this question are welcome.

An Update by Jack:

~~August 19, 2014 Update:  A Stranger Story.  On the Adventist Review website under McChesney’s news article on the morning of 8/18/2014 there were “No Comments” when I made mine, I was offered the opportunity of “Be the first to comment.”      My comment and question was taken off the comments 11 minutes after I wrote it  from the blog.   I then wrote my Adventist Today blog above.

Miraculously on the Adventist Review site later that day my comment/question then reappeared, with comments of 3 days and 2 days age above mine, and replies by two commenters below mine.   Happy that dialog was now permitted, I replied briefly to one who commented on my question. 

Oh no, my brief response to the comments have again  been removed by the editor when I check back this morning 8/19/2014.


[ii] The Seventh-day Adventist Geological Research Institute has admitted that there is no suitable scientific model yet available supporting a recent age of the earth.  As one avid Young Earth Creationist (David Reed, May 12, 2010) wrote, I think GRI is a disappointment, not just with regard to the La Sierra controversy but more generally. The denomination has never gotten a good return on its investment in GRI. One of the early directors, Richard Ritland, became a long-ages advocate. The current director seems deeply troubled by radiometric dating.”  Perhaps our GRI scientists are “deeply troubled” by the evidence, or perhaps they are “deeply troubled” by being forced to only have one acceptable age of the creation?
[iii] The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia. Review and Herald Publishing Association, Hagerstown, Maryland. 2013. Article “Chronology, Biblical,” pages 705-707.