Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ty Gibson's Sermon on Penal Atonement

Thanks to the Good News Tour some people may have been under the impression that Ty Gibson is like many Progressive Adventists against the Penal/Substitutionary Atonement Theory; instead holding to Christ’s revelation of His Character of love as the method of drawing us to God. Simply put God did not have to punish Christ, Christ did not suffer the wrath of God but God was through Christ demonstrating the love of God and His ability to forgive and reconcile no need to kill in order to forgive. Today I listened to Ty Gibson’s Auburn Camp meeting presentation from Tuesday June 23, 2009. The first 30 to 40 minutes seemed innocuous enough mainly dealing with the attractive nature of God’s love revealed by Jesus Christ. But then as so many Adventists do he began to intentionally misinterpret the Bible to make it appear that Christ could not see through the portals of the tomb, even though He clearly could from the New Testament stories and Jesus made it plan to the thief on the cross that the thief would be with Jesus in paradise. But the need to incorporate Ellen White’s extra biblical ideas into the Bible is very strong among traditional Adventists. Yes I would label Ty Gibson a traditional Adventist, not simply because of his history on 3ABN, but his theology is very much that of traditional Adventists who can’t seem to pull themselves away from Ellen White and Penal/Substitutionary Atonement. The Good News Tour often uses Ty Gibson in their presentations because he seems to have a willingness to speak on the influence of the love of God, but make no mistake he does not really depart from penal atonement theory as I will demonstrate here. In fact his opening text at the camp meeting sermon was not from the Bible but from Ellen White. I suppose that such things are appropriate at camp meetings since they are mainly attended by traditional Adventists who think that Ellen White is in total harmony with the Bible because they interpret the Bible by Ellen White.

After a highly questionable attempt to indicate that Christ is a separate person who no longer held to the attributes of God. Instead of recognizing Christ as still God but living as a human being because if God was Omnipresent, Omnipotent and all knowing Christ’s life would be like a charade.

Ty Gibson says:

“What would it mean for someone who is omniscient to say My God My God why have you forsaken me, what would it mean?

The answer is probably that Jesus was directing the listener’s attention to Psalm 22 which is a Psalm of tragedy to triumph. There is nothing in the New Testament to indicate that God abandoned Christ, nothing to indicate that God forsook Christ. But it is a founding tenant in Traditional Adventist’s Penal Atonement theory despite its lack of New Testament documentation other then reading into those words “My God My God why have you forsaken me”

He continues:

“What would it mean? Approximately nothing. It would be meaningless because if you were omniscient not to mention omnipresent you would be on the cross in that locale and you would simultaneously be where? In heaven with the Father.”…

“So Jesus was revealing love authentically so that we could look at the cross and believe that He did lay down His life for you and me. That there was a period of time when He couldn’t see through the portals of the tomb. When bright hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave as a conqurer. Jesus hung between heaven and earth my friends and He literally was submerged within the deep dense psychological darkness of your shame and mine. Our guilt our sin”…

He then quotes Isaiah 53 where the Lord laid the iniquity of all of us on him.

“The collective whole of all human sin as though He were the guilty party. Do you know what that means? Just to give a hint as to what it might mean imagine for a nanosecond what it would be like right now if you were made perfectly conscious of every sin you have ever committed. .. all the guilt of sin would come to an acute awareness in our consciousness that would crush us. Jesus goes to the cross and He experiences the full ramifications of our sin. Not as a charade, but as a literal actual sacrifice of Himself, and there hanging upon the cross, unbelievable.”

“Psalm 88 as a messianic prophecy pointing forward to Jesus probing into the inner workings of mind and heart hanging there upon the cross not to mention in Gethsemane he says [I am using the NIV I don’t know which version or paraphrase he is quoting but instead of transcribing I will use the NIV] “my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like a man without strength. I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more,”

He then interjects: “This is second death language by the way”

You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths. “what kind of darkness, like the turn off the lights kind of darkness? This is a metaphor for what is going on in His mind in His heart as He bares our sins.” Your wrath lies heavily upon me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves. Selah He said in chapter 26 of Matthew I am exceedingly sorrowful even to the point of death” Your wrath lies heavily upon me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves. Selah

“Verse 8 is crucial”

You have taken from me my closest friends and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape; my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, O LORD, every day; I spread out my hands to you. Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do those who are dead rise up and praise you? Selah Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction?

“You hear what Jesus is going through here? Jesus is feeling a psychological and emotional chasm of separation from the Father that is so immense that He begins to feel that He is sinking into a depth from which there will be no resurrection. I am shut out and I can’t get out shall I arise even? Is there a resurrection Father from the death to which I am sinking? But here is the thing my friend. Jesus had earlier told His disciples no man takes my life from me I lay it down freely…”

Now is there some indication that Psalms 88 is a messianic prophecy let alone one that talks about Jesus Christ’s psychological and emotional state on the cross? Here is the whole Psalm.

Ps 88:1-18


1 O LORD, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you.

2 May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.

3 For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave.

4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like a man without strength.

5 I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care.

6 You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths.

7 Your wrath lies heavily upon me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves. Selah

8 You have taken from me my closest friends and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape;

9 my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, O LORD, every day; I spread out my hands to you.

10 Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do those who are dead rise up and praise you? Selah

11 Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction?

12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness, or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?

13 But I cry to you for help, O LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you.

14 Why, O LORD, do you reject me and hide your face from me?

15 From my youth I have been afflicted and close to death; I have suffered your terrors and am in despair.

16 Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me.

17 All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me.

18 You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend. (NIV)

Take the time to read the surrounding chapters as well, you will see that there is nothing here to cause one to place this as a messianic prophecy other then a desire to find something in the Bible to back up Ellen White’s statements and the Penal idea that the wrath of God was poured out upon Christ, which we have to remember is another of those ideas missing from the New Testament. If one looks at the lists of presumed Messianic prophecies 88:8 is however listed. These lists are made primarily by comparing any phrase found in the Gospels that is close to a phrase found in the Psalms. For instance the website 365 Messianic prophecies states under number 127:

Psalms 88:8...They stood afar off and watched...Luke 23:49

A site called 324 Messianic prophecies uses the same thing. These type of messianic prophecies are all based upon a very loose comparisons of a few words based upon the King James Version of the Bible. For this Luke 23:49 says: And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things. Compared with the KJV version of Psalms 88:8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. The similarity being the word “acquaintance” and “far” of course if you consider going from Hebrew to Greek even those limited words could be questionable.

Considering Psalm 88 does seem to begin naturally in verse 1 (remember verse numbers were not used in the original texts of the Bible and Psalms were referred to by how they began since they had no numbers or some other memorable refrain from the Psalm). This Psalm begins with “O LORD, the God who saves me”, to use this as some sort of evidence that Christ did not think He would be resurrected is to ignore the beginning sentiments. No, there is little evidence that this is a messianic Psalm. This is a good example of having an idea and reading meaning into a section of the Bible to make it appear that the Bible is saying something it is not. This is known as Eisegesis.

Eisegesis is a huge problem in Christianity. Remember above where Ty Gibson said “this is second death language”. Biblically the second death is mentioned only in the book of Revelation and it is described as a death to which there is no resurrection. In Ty Gibson’s sermon he uses eisegesis to arrive at a position very similar to the Word Faith teachers, such as Kenneth Copeland who once said:

"How did Jesus then on the cross say, ‘My God.’ Because God was not His Father any more. He took upon Himself the nature of Satan. And I’m telling you Jesus is in the middle of that pit. He’s suffering all that there is to suffer, there is no suffering left . . . apart from Him. His emaciated, little wormy spirit is down in the bottom of that thing and the devil thinks He’s got Him destroyed. But, all of a sudden God started talking." (Kenneth Copeland, Believer's Voice of Victory (television program), TBN, 21 April 1991.)

The similarities here are interesting, first Ty Gibson set forth Jesus as not God because He did not have the 3 omni characteristics of God. They can then move to the next step which is that Jesus died Spiritually, as in Adventist terminology Jesus died the second death. There is an interesting article by Troy J. Edwards and Victory through the Word Ministries I am going to use some of the sections from this article to point out the similarities between Ty Gibson, Word of Faith movement and earlier Penal Atonement theorists. The above link is to Part 1, most of my quotes will be from Part 2 of the article.

First here is a bit from the article about what the Word of Faith teaches using Psalm 88:

The Old Testament, according to the Lord Himself, gives us a picture of all that the Lord was to suffer. Though the disciples were focused on what the Messiah would suffer at the hands of the chief priests and rulers (Luke 24:20), the OT Scriptures focus on both His physical sufferings as well with His internal sufferings. One of the first passages we find in relation to His internal sufferings is in Psalm 71:20-21:

Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.

Though this might be applied to David symbolically, it's literal meaning can only be applied to Jesus Christ Himself. David never died and had to be made alive again and David never went to the depths of the earth. On the other hand, God gave David a glimpse into the future concerning the coming Messiah that the Father would send in the fulness of time. It was He who died and was made alive again. It was He who went to the depths of the earth. The New Living Translation interprets the first part of verse 20 this way: "You allowed me to suffer much hardship..."

If read in the sequence in which this Psalm is written and applied to the Lord, it would seem that the Lord had suffered while still in the depths of the earth. However, I can understand if this passage from the 71st Psalm is not enough to convince the reader that perhaps Christ suffering in hell on behalf of His people may have been prophesied. I believe however, that Psalms 88 gives us much stronger evidence of this possibility. Although a sound exposition of this Psalm would do more justice in the presentation of our case, it would require us to make this series of essays longer than we desire. Instead, I will quote the first seven verses from two different translations:

I won’t deal with the eisegesis of Psalm 71:20-21 now, you can read it and see that it is simply another example of reading into a text the meaning you want just as is being done to Psalms 88. When you read into a text you can always make it refer to whatever you want, here we see that they apply Psalm 88 to Jesus in hell, whereas Ty Gibson makes it Jesus on the cross. What is so interesting about this article is how they relate the Word Faith movement beliefs with pervious Christian writers who taught Penal Atonement theory:

John Calvin seemed to believe wholeheartedly that Christ descended to hell and suffered there. In his well known works, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin says:

If Christ had dies[sic] only a bodily death, it would have been ineffectual. No – it was expedient at the same time for him to undergo the severity of God's vengeance, to appease his wrath and satisfy his just judgement. For this reason, he must also grapple hand to hand with the armies of hell and and the dread of everlasting death ... Christ was put in place of evildoers as surety and pledge – submitting himself even as the accused – to bear and suffer all the punishments that they ought to have sustained. All this with one exception: "He could not be held by the pangs of death."[19]

Now some critics of the Faith Movement would attempt to make us believe that Calvin's teaching is different from that which is advocated by the Faith Movement.[20] Yet we have Calvin saying that Christ had to "suffer all the punishments that they ought to have sustained." Is Calvin saying that men would only have suffered torments in their soul for the rest of eternity if Christ had not suffered them on their behalf? Furthermore, what does it [sic] Calvin mean by having to "grapple hand to hand with the armies of hell and and the dread of everlasting death?" Calvin is very clear that Christ's suffering was not limited to the cross alone but He actually descended into hell itself and suffered there:

The article gives several other examples which I won’t list but they are interesting how so much of Christian history believed that Jesus (who is God) had to die spiritually, that God had to literally cease to be God, which indicates a real lack of understanding about the nature of God. Primarily that God is One. In the words of Ty Gibson it becomes a charade. For the Word of Faith movement that Jesus (who is God) suffered in Hell and for Ty Gibson that conservatively 10 Billion lives worth of human sins were placed upon Christ who felt the guilt for all of them though He was guiltless but this feeling of guilt was the second death and Jesus thought He would die forever for undertaking the charade.

While in the main I have not offered the alternative to Ty Gibson and the other Penal Theory proponents you can read more in my article What is wrong with the Substitutionary theory of the Atonement? And Moral Influence Theory and the Adventist World Magazine This is probably the biggest problem in Christianity today as it says horrible things about God, God has to punish, pour out His wrath and place as a penalty on Jesus (who is God) so that God can forgive the guilty. It makes it appear that Christ is more loving than God, Christ loves and offers Himself as sacrifice while God demands that someone even if it is the innocent has to suffer before God will forgive. It is a terrible view of God and it is not the New Testament view of God but a relatively new view only popularized about 500 years ago with the Satisfaction theory of atonement which progressed into the penal/Substitutionary atonement. Still most people don’t think about what their tradition really says about God. But in the postmodern world we need to present a much more accurate view of God than this human based medieval traditions.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Would you die for the Adventist church?

Recently I got the following comment:

Ron, what is your purpose in even remaining a Seventh-day Adventist? You would probably find it much more agreeable to join the many other denominations whose beliefs are very similar to yours. What is your agenda in remaining in a church that you seem to have no affinity towards? The Seventh-day Adventist church has been raised up by God to give the last warning to the world, living in the hour of God's judgment. It is a church that keeps the commandments of God and has the Spirit of prophecy (which the church believes to be Ellen White). If you do not agree with this and the other beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church, then why remain in a church whose sole reason for existance is the proclaimation of the three angel's message? You could then spend your time differently then in attempting to show why the church you are a member of (I am assuming you are, otherwise, disregard this post) was wrong from the beginning. Please consider why you are a Seventh-day Adventist, and if the reason is enough that you would be willing to die for it. Grace be with you.

I was wondering how representative this person’s views are of Adventism. So after the questions he asks he makes the following claims, are these claims true of Seventh-day Adventism?

The Seventh-day Adventist church has been raised up by God to give the last warning to the world, living in the hour of God's judgment.

Is that a true statement? Did God raise up the Adventist church or is that an assumption. Most all churches feel that God in some way was involved in their origin, is that only really true for Adventism? Do you believe that Adventist church was raised for no other reason than to give the last warning to the world? Has the message of God so changed that there even has to be a last warning to the world? What kind of church would give up all the other Christians duties of a church just to offer a warning to the world? What is the hour of God’s judgment, the same God who knows the end from the beginning, who knows who are His and they will never be snatched from His hand. Is God somehow judging us differently then anyone else in history? You notice that single statement raises a lot of questions, most of which I doubt the author of the comment can answer adequately, but he continues.

It is a church that keeps the commandments of God and has the Spirit of prophecy (which the church believes to be Ellen White).

How does an organization keep the commandments of God? Does the organization have a mother and father to honor? We know very well that the organization has stolen from its members and misused their money at times so just how do they keep the commandments of God? I know very well that the people in the organization don’t keep the commandments of God, not the 10 and not even the simply love your neighbor as yourself. Even if you excluded the heretics like me the members or the church itself will not be found to keep the commandments of God. Does the Adventist church have the Spirit of prophecy? Most all churches claim to have the Spirit of prophecy as most all churches claim to hold to the Bible in some way, to the inspiration of the founders of Christianity and Judaism. Is Ellen White the Spirit of Prophecy? Not by a long shot, to say that is to totally rip the meaning out from the text which makes use of the term Spirit of Prophecy. It is rather like the claim that the church keeps the commandments, a big claim with no truth behind it.

If you do not agree with this and the other beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church, then why remain in a church whose sole reason for existance is the proclaimation of the three angel's message?

Probably because I reject your views and the views of those who because of their spiritual blindness think that the sole reason for the Adventist church is the proclamation of the three angel’s message. Because the church began by thinking it was soon to be taken to heaven and that the door to salvation was closed to anyone but a select few does not mean that the church has to remain thinking in that provincial way. The church actually did change unfortunately now there are people like the person who wrote the above comment who want to go back instead of forward. Do we cede the Adventist church to those people because they claim it is theirs or do we fight for truth?

You could then spend your time differently then in attempting to show why the church you are a member of (I am assuming you are, otherwise, disregard this post) was wrong from the beginning.

So if the church is wrong just don’t tell them…does that sound like a wise strategy? If someone was eating low grade poison should not one tell them to stop before they destroy themselves? Is not that the whole emphasis of Adventist evangelism, we claim we are giving them truth, we ask them to decide and change their beliefs, is it only acceptable if we tell others to change but we don’t dare internally look at our beliefs and consider if what we say is true or not. Has Adventism simply become the haunt of hypocrites unwilling to think differently from the traditions of some Adventists, saying you must change your beliefs, we can never change ours?

Please consider why you are a Seventh-day Adventist, and if the reason is enough that you would be willing to die for it.

How many Adventists are willing to die for the Seventh-day Adventist church? Is the Seventh-day Adventist church God that we should die for a denomination. Perish the thought…well probably very few Adventists would have ever produced that thought. To me it represents a misplaced allegiance. But maybe I am wrong maybe most of the Adventists out there agree with that comment. Because if my church has really become as myopic as the message of the comment above the question is very good…why would I or anyone remain in such a denomination?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The destruction of Adventist Sabbath Schools

Adventist Today alerted me to a recent survey which covers numerous areas dealing with Adventists. There is a convergence of thought in my mind concerning the recent topic of theistic evolution vs. 6 day literal creation and some of the information in this survey dealing with Sabbath School.

Here are a couple of Sabbath School survey results:

Sabbath School Compared to Sunday School

Adventist churches are nearly twice as likely as other faiths in America to have a regular Sabbath School or Sunday School or similar religious education program for children and adults. More than 99% of Adventist local churches have Sabbath School each week, while only 53% of the local congregations of all religions have Sunday School or a similar program each week.

This is a major strength of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. Dr. Win Arn and other church growth researchers working across many denominations have shown that congregations that have regular religious education programs are more likely to have significant growth. The research shows that this is especially true for those congregations that have a regular adult religious education program.

Research also shows that the better the attendance at the religious education program, the more likely a congregation is to grow. This is one reason why it is important to have a strong, vibrant
Sabbath School, perhaps making changes to increase attendance if it has fallen off because the program is boring and not meeting the needs.

Small Groups

This week a church member considered moving her membership because her Sabbath School class didn't have enough interaction among class members.

"Because I have a stressful job and my family lives in other parts of the country, I look forward to relating to other believers at church," she stated. "But most classes are very impersonal with the entire focus on the lesson. I would really like to find a class that includes both in-depth Bible study and social activities."

According to data from the "Faith Communities Today" (FACT) study, in more than 75% of local Adventist churches, only a few members participate in small groups.

Only about one in fifteen churches have strong small group ministries with many or most adults participating. Nine Facets of Small Groups book.

Last week at the Sabbath School class I attend we were talking about how few people go to Sabbath school classes in our church, as we waited for more than the two of us to arrive. The largest class that week in the church had 9 people in attendance, yes I went out and counted them. This is a moderate sized church and I am pretty sure it is also representative of the majority of Adventist churches. Of course the numbers will vary with the size of the churches but I have noticed over the last 10 years that Sabbath School classes are very poorly attended. As the Center for Creative Ministries research shows the small groups and Sabbath Schools are important for the health of our churches. To be correlated to the small groups the Sabbath Schools must be the interactive variety rather then the sermon variety. The sermon variety is easily identified with the Sabbath School class that Doug Batchelor teaches.

But as we can see from the recent blog discussions here and elsewhere there are often people who don’t handle discussions very well. There seems to be a large segment in Adventism who are so certain, that they cannot even allow other ideas to be entertained. That is part of the problem when one assumes that their church is the remnant and that it holds the truth. The church then has the answers and no other ideas need apply. What do people like that do to a discussion group? Well they stifle it, they make it hurt for others to express their views if they are different from traditional church beliefs. If every one agrees with the traditional beliefs there is usually no discussion at all. No discussion leaves you with a Doug Batchelor style sermon class where half true amazing facts are inserted to add some interest to the topic. But the problem is that in a sermon class people don’t get to know other people. The problem with a class or small group that can’t allow other opinions is that people with other opinions do not feel accepted enough to care to go to the class. That can even be uncomfortable for people who may accept other ideas but don’t like to see any friction in a class.

It is very possible that we live in a time when people need to relearn how to talk to other people; how to discuss things without needing to become judgmental or overly protective of their traditions or orthodoxy. We will never connect with people until we can talk to them and if we don’t listen to other people we will not learn from them or about them. Thus there will really be no connection, no real church growth because as a church what do we really have to offer. If we can’t even accept the people in our churches who are we going to accept?

So tell your pastor to consider giving some sermons on how to accept people, how to listen to people and how to communicate what you believe and why you believe it without resorting to demanding that the other person leave their church. Sermons that address the need for small group community, because often sermons are the only thing people are coming to church for as they think that fulfills their worship requirements. So we have to depend on our pastors to communicate the need to form a community at an interpersonal level. Frankly I am constantly amazed at how irrelevant most sermons are today to the needs of modern people. Perhaps there is a class on irrelevance in seminary; I suppose if the sermon is so milquetoast it does not upset anyone that may be what some pastors are shooting for. But as it is now we are shooting ourselves constantly, driving out our own members and helping practically no one, within or without our churches. Many may want to stay doctrinally pure but that assumes that their doctrines were pure to begin with, that their doctrines were completely correct and without any need to ever be updated or rethought. Which strikes me as a very conceited point of few, and conceited points of view are poison to churches and community.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Do 6 literal day creationists really believe the account is literal?

The answer to that question is no they don’t. What is so hard to pin down with these people is what they really believe. They constantly revise their statements. They will say how literal they take the story of creation and the flood and then as you discuss with them you see that they take only certain parts literally. All the while claiming they are the ones who accept the Bible just as it reads. Here I will examine with the aid of a review of David’s Read’s comments why he does not do what he claims. Adventist Today has an interview with Read about his new book Dinosaurs: An Adventist View ($34.95 you can see why I am not going to buy it and review it).

Notice this quote from the Adventist Today interview:

Q. Do Ellen White's writings figure into the content of your book?

A. Absolutely. The book's central thesis revolves around a cryptic statement by Ellen White concerning "amalgamation." She stated that the worst sin of the people who lived before the Genesis Flood was the sin of amalgamation, which produced species that God did not create, and that one of the most urgent reasons for the Flood was to destroy the amalgamated species. For many years, the most knowledgeable, doctrinally well-grounded Adventists have seen a connection between extinct pre-historic animals, such as dinosaurs, and Ellen White's "amalgamation" statements. My book explores the thesis that dinosaurs were the products of amalgamation-now understood as genetic engineering-by people who lived before the Genesis Flood. While this theory, like any theory about origins, has its problems, it turns out to be a very defensible thesis. Moreover, it explains much about the fossil record that cannot otherwise be explained within the "young earth creationist" paradigm. This theory has been discussed by and among Seventh-day Adventists for more than three decades, but there has never been a book-length exploration of it. An appellate court justice I worked for back in Texarkana, Texas, once told me, in the context of legal appeals, "You don't really know what you've got until you write the opinion." In other words, you do not know how strong your position is until you write it down on paper, and explain and argue it in a logical, step-by-step manner. That's what I've tried to do in this book. I hope everyone who reads it will find it interesting, and receive a blessing from it.

So here we see the fantasy position that the antediluvians were technically so savvy and scientifically so advanced that they created dinosaurs. Judging by the number of different dinosaur species they were an industrious bunch as there are hundreds of species. As the USGS says:

Approximately 700 species have been named. However, a recent scientific review suggests that only about half of these are based on fairly complete specimens that can be shown to be unique and separate species. These species are placed in about 300 valid dinosaur genera (Stegosaurus, Diplodocus, etc.), although about 540 have been named. Recent estimates suggest that about 700 to 900 more dinosaur genera may remain to be discovered.

But how does this conflict with a literal view of Creation? Let’s look at the Bible verse that begins the Genesis account of animals created:

(Gen 1:21 NIV) So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

(Gen 1:25 NIV) God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Now does the story contain anything about new creatures created by amalgamation by man and beast? Now of course not it is not found in the story that they claim to take literally, no it is found in a nineteenth century writer…that is roughly 1700 years after the books of the Bible were combined into what we call the canon of scripture. No, what these people mean is that when they believe in the literal 6 days of creation they believe in their traditional interpretation of what happened. Of course then if you don’t believe like they do then you simply don’t believe the “word of God” or the word of Moses because they think that Moses really did write all the Pentateuch because that is what tradition has held.

But David Read even goes farther as a recent comment on my article on Adam’s Busy Day shows. The article shows the huge number of animals that he would have to name in a 24 hour period. David Read puts forth this argument on 02 June 2009 at 4:17 on the Spectrum Blog under the thread The Creation Wars:

No creationist argues that every one of the modern "species" was originally created by God in its present form and brought aboard Noah’s ark. There was a period of rapid speciation immediately following the Flood….

Some creationists believe that as few as 1,000 pairs of animals were brought on board the ark and that all modern land animals and birds descended from these….

Now what does the book of Genesis literally say. I mean that is what these people claim to believe isn’t it?

(Gen 6:19 NIV) You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.(Gen 6:20 NIV) Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.

(Gen 7:2 NIV) Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate,

(Gen 7:3 NIV) and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.

So here is a guy right in the fight with David Asscherick to decry evolution, who claims that man created dinosaurs and that only a limited number of animals were taken on the ark and that: “There was a period of rapid speciation immediately following the Flood.

He in his book is not only speculating about the creation of dinosaurs but it is a book against evolution.

Q. I assume that you are writing from the creationist perspective?

  1. Absolutely. Darwinism has plenty of defenders; it is the dominant point of view in academia, media, the museums, foundations, government, entertainment, business, etc. Darwinism has no need of additional advocates.

Q. Do you bring any new insights into explaining the young earth creationist model and the critique of Darwinism?

  1. Maybe not, but I think I have presented the material in a fresh and interesting way. One example is my discussion of the theory of evolution: When our DNA copies itself, it does so flawlessly 99.99% of the time, but occasionally there is a copying error. The modern theory of evolution posits that those copying errors accumulate to create new biochemical mechanisms, new organs, and eventually change species into different, new species. That is the theory of evolution in a nutshell. But our real-world experience with DNA copying errors is that they cause all kinds of problems, including thousands of diseases. The notion that DNA copying errors are responsible for all of the diversity of plant and animal life that we see around us is an idea that I don't find at all credible, and I marvel that it has become scientific dogma. But it has, and to remind readers what the theory is, I refer to it throughout the book as "the copying error theory of evolution."

The sad thing is this book probably does represent an Adventist perspective. Poorly reasoned and largely based upon the writings of Ellen White treated as if her writings are the literal Biblical story. Because frankly the literal Biblical story is not all that likely at least not as mankind realizes the scientific method of reasoning. The story still teaches some important lessons and that is what is really important, that the Bible story can inspire ideas from the primitive to the modern mind is encouraging that God is able to communicate to us on any level of knowledge that man has. The problem comes when we try to remain stuck in a previous more primitive mindset and claim that that is simply the right thing to do and the right way to interpret the Bible.