Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lesson 6 The Earth After the Flood

For this Lesson Study critique I will begin at the end of the week’s lesson because what is said at the end is interspersed throughout the rest of the lesson and we need to deal with it

Friday November 10 the parts in light green were not printed in the lesson study guide:

Geologists claim to find evidence from the earth itself that it is very much older than the Mosaic record teaches. Bones of men and animals, as well as instruments of warfare, petrified trees, et cetera, much larger than any that now exist, or that have existed for thousands of years, have been discovered, and from this it is inferred that the earth was populated long before the time brought to view in the record of creation, and by a race of beings vastly superior in size to any men now living. Such reasoning has led many professed Bible believers to adopt the position that the days of creation were vast, indefinite periods. {PP 112.2}

But apart from Bible history, geology can prove nothing. Those who reason so confidently upon its discoveries have no adequate conception of the size of men, animals, and trees before the Flood, or of the great changes which then took place. Relics found in the earth do give evidence of conditions differing in many respects from the present, but the time when these conditions existed can be learned only from the Inspired Record. In the history of the Flood, inspiration has explained that which geology alone could never fathom. In the days of Noah, men, animals, and trees, many times larger than now exist, were buried, and thus preserved as an evidence to later generations that the antediluvians perished by a flood. God designed that the discovery of these things should establish faith in inspired history; but men, with their vain reasoning, fall into the same error as did the people before the Flood--the things which God gave them as a benefit, they turn into a curse by making a wrong use of them. (p. 113) {PP 112.3}

Ellen White, is speaking scientifically, woefully ignorant. I could spend a lot of space just posting quotes from her, that are frankly completely wrong. But hopefully a few brief examples will suffice. You can read 7 examples at Mrs. White's Top 7 Science-Defying Statements

Volcanoes caused by underground coal fires, her belief in the amalgamation of man and beast still seen in certain races today and as I have already in earlier lessons mentioned her beliefs about gold and gem stones being hidden by the flood waters yet amazingly they appear in specific strata of rock rather then randomly found.

Even her reports of what scientist’s believed may not be very accurate. There have not been found bones of men vastly superior in size then modern man. It may be that she is referring to the Cardiff giant which we know was a hoax, but maybe she believed it was true. It is likely that this hoax influenced several of Ellen Whites interpretations. The Cardiff giant was said to be ten feet high and have 21 inch feet.

Ellen White writes:

As man came forth from the hand of his Creator, he was of lofty stature and perfect symmetry. His countenance bore the ruddy tint of health and glowed with the light of life and joy. Adam's height was much greater than that of men who now inhabit the earth. Eve was somewhat less in stature; yet her form was noble, and full of beauty. The sinless pair wore no artificial garments; they were clothed with a covering of light and glory, such as the angels wear. So long as they lived in obedience to God, this robe of light continued to enshroud them. Patriachs and Prophets page 46

There are ice age animals which were much larger then modern animals, such as the Giant Beaver Short faced bear Mammoths and of course the pre ice age dinosaurs of tremendous size. But not large humans.

What about the influence of Ellen White upon Adventists today? In Tim Jennings lesson study for this lesson he makes the following statement when quoting from Ellen White Patriarchs and Prophets page 90:

Listen to the description of “their wood was of fine grain and hard substance, closely resembling stone, and hardly less enduring...” What does that sound like? Petrified wood maybe petrified wood is wood from the pre flood trees. (about minute 25)

The above statement is made by a highly educated professional. Yet with the inclusion of the word “maybe” he is willing to question all the science, all the evidence of the location of petrified wood in order to submit a fanciful interpretation based upon Ellen White.

The Lesson Study Guide for Monday November 6:

With these verses, we see again the results of sin, of God acknowledging the reality of what life will be like for human beings in a fallen world. It's very interesting, too, that the command against eating blood is something that clearly predates anything Jewish, anything linked with the Levitical laws of cleanliness and uncleanliness. Centuries later, in the book of Acts (15:20, 29), the Gentile converts were admonished to, among other things, abstain from blood, more than likely a clear reference to what was happening here in Genesis (see also Lev. 17:11, 1 Pet. 1:19).

Once again the Lesson Study Guide author works under the assumption that the story here is something given before all the Jewish laws given at Sinai. This is critical to the assumptions that fill these lessons. It allows them to assume many things which are not mentioned at all in the stories. However it is pretty clear that the stories are meant to be read from the perspective of the Jewish people under the Jewish sacrificial system with its ceremonial practices. Further we have no doubt that the stories in Genesis were recorded well after the events potentially occurred and after the exodus from Egypt. The only way the lesson guide author can make his statement above with some accuracy would be if the stories were known to be told before the Jewish laws. That however cannot be determined from the writings in Genesis.

The Lesson Study Guide for Wednesday November 8:

What is fascinating among Peter's words is his statement that the scoffers will say that "all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (2 Pet. 3:4). These verses point to a dramatic fulfillment of prophecy that has been especially revealed in the past century and a half. Science has proposed a geological interpretation that favors long ages, rather than a sudden catastrophe like the Flood, to account for the surface condition of the earth. In other words, things just keep on as they have before; many of the massive canyons and rock formations didn't come, we are told, by some sudden catastrophe but simply were the result of things continuing as they were from the beginning of creation; they're there only from a long uniform progression of events.

What is really interesting is that in 2 Peter, he is referring to creationists. The scoffers are scoffing about God’s judgment. Their evil desires over ruled their respect for God, the reference to the flood story points out the same type of disregard for God in Peter’s day as those of the past. We must always remember that the “end times”, “last days” are New Testament references which commenced during the New Testament time period.

Does modern science discount catastrophes such as floods? Of course not, Kansas used to be Oceans, much of America was under ice then and when the ice melting huge lakes formed and with the break down of ice dams huge surface changes occurred by water. What science does not do is attribute all this to a world wide flood because it simply does not work. Here in the Northwest we see abundant Ice Age evidence, glacial polish upon the Granite of our mountains, cirques and end moraines. The evidence that many claim to be from the universal flood is not very likely to have occurred at the supposed universal flood, even if one accepted a universal flood what we see is not the product of it. Multiple times areas of the North American continent have been under the sea. Growing up in Oregon I remember finding shells on our farm and thinking they were from the flood. Yet it does not work at all if we assume as many SDA’s do that coal and oil are products of the universal flood catastrophe, buried deep underground yet here we see shells on the surface or as Tim Jennings supposes pre flood wood that is hard as stone on the surface of deserts.

Unfortunately many Christians are being lead unquestioningly through a series of illogical propositions. And worse yet our own church has sought to stifle questions and research. This may explain why the topic of Genesis has come up again so soon in the Sabbath School Quarterlies as the church tries to reinforce the manufactured official statement (Statement about 6 literal days of creation voted at the last General Session) after all the Faith and Science conferences of the past few years. But that is another subject for another time.

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