Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Sunday, October 31, 2010

More on Newman's Adventist Today Article

After my last post I have been having a bit of an E-mail correspondence with Adventist Today Editor J. David Newman. In that dialog I perceived that the basic problem in our presuppositions is that the literalist creation side has taken upon themselves a very fundamentalist view of scriptures. Fundamentalists have dominated much of Christianity in 20th century as it was the Christian response to modernist reason, that reason gave us the disciplines of Higher and Lower Biblical Criticism. The Fundamentalist could not argue with the reality of Lower Criticism but they found that the more subjective ideas of higher criticism was to be decried. In Higher criticism we could see an advance in understanding through the timeline of the Bible. That the writers could actually insert their own ideas into the Bible books, that we don’t have to accept the idea that just because a text says that God said or did something it may not in fact be God who did or said what the author claims. Did God really kill thousands of Israelites for David’s transgression, did God really want to destroy Israel and Moses showed God the faulty logic of God’s intention, or that God really was sorry for creating mankind as the flood story says. The Traditionalist side of Adventism on the other hand does not seem to comprehend this idea very well. For them tradition decides their interpretations. For example the Jews have a tradition that the first five books of the Bible are the law of Moses and therefore written by Moses. Apparently even the material that describes the death of Moses, which rather makes the assumption false on it’s face. But with the Jewish tradition the Adventists prophet maintained the same tradition that Moses wrote Genesis and the other 4 books. If Moses the greatest of the prophets wrote the Genesis story it must be from God, though of course the book itself makes no such claims.

On top of this assumption Adventist have added many other traditions, mostly they can be laid at the feet of Ellen White but in most cases they were not ultimately developed by Ellen White but they became incorporated into Adventism through Ellen White. It is one of these that we find mentioned by David Newman toward the end of his Adventist Today article. He writes:

But there is an even bigger curse to come. Genesis tells us that God did not create the world to experience rain. We read in Genesis: “When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up; the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground” (Gen. 2:4-6, NIV).

It was not until the time of the great Flood in Noah’s day that rain began to fall. “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights” (Gen. 7:11-12, NIV).

Of course the Gen 2 text is not about rain falling after the creation it is the beginning statement of the alternate creation account of Genesis 2 describing the earth before anything was created. The flood account says nothing about there never being rain before but by placing the two verses together the Adventist tradition becomes there had been no rain before the flood. The creationists then will take this insertion of meaning into the Bible as one of their tools to say that physical laws have changed.

Interestingly enough in my conversation with Newman while he has no problem inserting such meaning as no rain before the flood he does not really want to deal with the idea that the Genesis story includes the law of entropy and the law of conservation. The story of creation talks about eating food, after all that is the meaning of the beasts of the field; the animals that forage on grass.

Genesis 1:30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food." And it was so.

Food implies entropy and conservation of energy. So you can’t simply pretend it is not there. It is there and an animal like an Elephant would eat a lot of it not to mention what a dinosaur would eat or a whale, and these big mammals are kind of indiscriminant eaters. They aren’t going to be checking for crickets in their clump of grass. Did they just not eat until after Adam sinned even though in the creation account food is mentioned in both Genesis 1 and 2? If an animal was to eat but was not losing energy in someway what would be the purpose of food? It tastes good yes but if the idea was just to give a pleasurable sensation why not just use smell? Were they just to eat until they reached maturity and then stop their lifelong habits? With the ploy to changed natural laws the creationist asserts the change but has no evidence to support the claim and when ideas counter to their claims are made they can simply say the laws were different so it does not matter that they ate the law of conservation did not exist or entropy, a type of magical thinking which always solves any problem because they believe in a circular fashion and their belief is their evidence to support their belief.

In his article Newman writes:

I believe this law [law of entropy]—along with other laws that lead to decay and death—did not exist before sin entered the universe. Let’s take a look at Scripture to see when God changed fundamental laws under which our Earth operates.

He then quotes the curse that God declared on the ground, thorns and thistles. But as is the way of the traditionalists who think they are literalists Newman then adds material that is not found in the Bible, he writes:

All animals were vegetarians, but now some could prey on other animals for their food. This meant a change in how they processed food. Microevolution comes into play. And Satan can use all of his skills to help evil develop.

All that from thorns and thistles, vegetarians yes we could determine that from the story but there is nothing there about predation, nothing there about Satan using his skills, of course the idea of Satan is of much later development. But what of microevolution why did it suddenly appear or was it as the theistic evolutionists believe always a part of the natural laws of God, no change needed?

It always amazes me when listening to the creationists who pretend that they are accepting the literal story of creation and when you really look at it they are inserting all kinds of details to make the story work…the details which the story does not have at all yet for some reason they still think their view is the literal historical view and that anyone who interprets the story differently is not taking the Bible literally enough.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Response to objections of death before Adam

In the Fall 2010 issue of Adventist Today J. David Newman presents his article entitled: Death Before Sin – No

I thought I would take some time to counter a few of his statements.
So Christian evolutionists say that death is natural and normal, while the Bible says that death is an enemy. “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. ...The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:22, 26, NIV). And it will not exist in the new earth (Rev. 21:4).
This is one of those techniques which frankly we see all the time right now during the political ad season. Blanket statements which seem so certain but are in fact really misinformation. Take the above as the example. The Bible says that death is an enemy. Does that mean that all death is the enemy? After all when I eat my apple or pull up my carrot and eat them I am in fact killing the fruit or for my carrot the whole plant. The Genesis story talks about eating of the fruit of the Garden that means the cessation of life for at least the fruit, or perhaps the nuts which after all are the seeds which if their life cycle was to complete they would grow into a new tree. So actually even in the Genesis story death is not treated as an enemy. At least not until it concerns the human being. And after all that is really what the text quoted above is about. It is not about plants, animals or bacteria it is death that is the enemy of Human beings, those individuals who are capable of understanding the consequences and lost opportunities that make death our enemy.  Death as the enemy of man is the concern and that is the death that will not exist in the New Earth. That statement in Revelation is not really meant to indicate that all things we know will cease to exist and all laws of the universe will change. Perhaps they will but that is not very likely the intent of a statement that reads:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Rev 21:3-4 NIV)
Newman then quotes the texts from Paul in Romans chapter 5 about how through one man sin entered the world, strangely missing the literary device Paul uses contrasting Jesus as the one man that brings life with Adam the one man who brought death because everybody in the family of Adam dies, which includes Jesus who died but stopped the death cycle by promising resurrection. It is a literary device because of course death still reigns everybody still dies, the hope of resurrection is still future for all the rest of us. So we see that being overly literal when we read these texts is not the wisest course.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--(Rom 5:12 NIV)
Newman uses the above text but is Paul consistent here or is he using it as part of his literary comparison? According to most conservative scholars Paul also wrote 1 Timothy and it says:
And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. (1 Tim 2:14 NIV)
We must therefore ask if Paul wrote both of these verses which is true? My answer is that Paul uses what will fit the comparison or point he is trying to make. He is not bound by the kind of literalistic view that subsequent traditional Christians have placed upon his writings. To Paul we all sin and we all die, the cure for one is the cure for the other. It is simple and pragmatic. We can’t really argue about it we don’t see anyone who does not sin nor do we see anyone that does not die; salvation, the healing; heals both. Death cured by resurrection and sin cured by reconciliation but you have to alive to be reconciled. The cure to sin is meaningless if you are still dead. Resurrection to a life filled with sin and misery is not a terribly appealing idea either; just doing it all over again and again, the two are intimately connected in Paul’s usage.

Newman asks:
If death were taking place in the world before Adam, and if Adam was simply the end result of the evolution of human beings, why would death be an enemy? And why would it need to be destroyed?
In the above I answered Newman’s second question as to why death would need to be destroyed. What about the previous question? This is a purely philosophical question which could probably be answered many ways depending upon ones presuppositions. The most common would be that death that was leading to the human being capable of individual understanding and reasoning to things beyond himself was not the enemy just as the death of my apple or carrot are not my enemy. Death only becomes the enemy when we understand the larger issues involved to thinking individuals. After all is the hawk grabbing up a mouse evil because the hawk lives upon the flesh of the mouse. Is the hawk sinning because Adam sinned? Or if we looked at it from a six day creationist viewpoint who made the hawk behave the way it behaves, who created it with the talons and beak made to rip flesh? Some I am sure would say that Satan did it. That being a popular excuse when all explanations fail but at least we have to admit that such an idea is not presented in the Bible.

Newman than uses the argument that is so very popular among traditional Adventists, the argument those of us who read the various discussion forum of Adventists see often.
This subject is very important, because it impacts how we look at Jesus, at the cross, and at the whole question of sin. If science explains where we come from, then the same science tells us that people do not come back from the dead, and that Jesus may have lived and died on a cross but could never have come back to life again. The same people who believe in Christian evolution also believe what the Bible says about the end of this age—that one day death will no longer exist—even though that is not what science says. So why accept what science says for the beginning of this world but not accept what science says for the end of this world?
In fact science does tell us that ordinary people don’t come back from the dead on their own. It says nothing at all about what would or could happen if there was a God, a supreme being with all power and knowledge involved. Again science tells us what would happen to a man hung on a cross but not what would happen if God came down and became a man and was hung on a cross. Science can tell us nothing about God resurrection Himself if He came as a man and died on a cross. It does not even try to tell us these things. Science has the limitation of only being able to really study what exists now. What the evidence we have now says. Granted there are scientists who will produce theories about things that happened and are not currently observable or without much evidence. For example some scientist will produce theories about what happened in the first 10th of a second after the big bang. But like a lot of science those theories come and go, science obviously changes it grows and expands and corrects itself but it does not attempt to explain the Christian Atonement.

Ultimately Science never tries to tell us what will happen if there is a supreme being who wants to step into our time and space and do something. So why accept what science says for the beginning? Because there is evidence for the beginning, we look at that evidence we compare different observations and see a lot of evidence which is very compelling. Why not accept what science says for the end of this world? Because there is precious little evidence about the end of this world since it has not happened yet, if there were multiple big bangs in a collapsing and expanding universe all the evidence from a previous end of the world would be gone so all that is left is various speculations and speculation is not science. This is Newman’s most important point and it is totally contrived and meaningless.

I will conclude by discussing the following quote:
If Adam and Eve were not historical figures, then we have no information on how we became sinners. If human beings gradually evolved from the Neolithic man to Homo sapiens, at what stage did they become sinners? If other humans existed along with Adam and Eve, how did they become sinners? Who, then, did Christ save?
This is another commonly held Traditional Adventist idea. It tends to ignore the reality of what we as human do since recorded history which is we hurt each other and often ourselves. Pragmatically we understand we are sinners; is it all that important to know which of our ancestors was the first to realize or to be accused of being a sinner? It does not change the reality of where we are one bit. I suppose it is about as useful as asking where did God come from. We don’t have any idea so we say He always was, fine then why not say humans were always sinners. Historically it certainly works; actually this wanting to know the beginnings of everything generally does not work for anyone. We have a whole Adventist sub doctrine about how Satan was once Lucifer and how sin began in him. It is not from the Bible, it is not from Jewish religion it is based upon early church traditions. Jesus was more pragmatic and simply said of Satan that he was a liar and murderer from the beginning. He did not see a need to invent a back story, just give the present reality. Surely the present reality of being sinners is enough. As for who then did Christ save? He saves whoever He wants and whoever will accept His salvation. I think I can trust Him on that issue, and I only see problems when I try and say who God saves or not, being that I am not God it would only be speculation based upon lack of knowledge and I am enough of a scientist to know that such speculation is not good for science or religion.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Doctrine to irrelevance

A recent Adventist Today article by Melissa Howell entitled Why Are They Leaving? Covers some of the material that this blog has discussed but it also shows a fatal disconnect in Adventism. That disconnect is summed up with this quote from the article:
“Thankfully, one giant we still have in our ranks is the fact that it's almost never our beliefs that make them leave. The Adventist message, our fundamentals, and the Bible truth as we see it are usually not where the problem lies. Most still see ours as the correct understanding. Most still believe in the Sabbath, the state of the dead, the second coming, the health message and the three angels' messages…”
While Melissa’s article is about young people she reflects the same idea that I have seen other denominationally employed writers put forth. The fact is you cannot separate your doctrines from your relevance. After all your doctrines are the teachings of your church, if your church is not relevant how can what you teach be relevant? The other error with the assumption is the idea that youth or adults have this great acceptance of the “Adventist Message, or “our fundamentals” “the health message”  and particularly the code word used “the three angels messages” which covers everything Adventists teach including the investigative judgment and 1844. The importance of 1844 and the Investigative judgment is certainly not readily accepted by many Adventists.

In an article on this blog I quoted Bailey Gillespie, Ph.D. Professor of Theology and Personality Director of the John Hancock Center for Youth and Family Ministry School of Religion La Sierra University at the Pacific Northwest Adventist Association Forum presentation on what we know from the Valuegenesis studies: He stated:
“However three of the least believed doctrines show up in every study we do in every single group we do they are the same three in the same order. The sanctuary doctrine definitely believed by only 20 percent of your young people in Washington 20 % [meaning Washington state where the forum occurred] of your kids so all the other doctrines except these three are right up there 20% definitely believe this one. The Remnant 42% the next one 42% definitely believe and you know what the next one is Ellen White 36%...”
If we were to state that in a more familiar form it would be 20% believe in the Adventist Sanctuary doctrine, 80% do not believe in the Adventist Sanctuary Doctrine.

42% believe that the Adventist church is the Remnant church. 58% that it is not the Remnant church.

36% believe Ellen White is a prophet. 64% that Ellen White is not a prophet.

Of course in polls you can never simply say the negative is made up of the remainder of those holding to an affirmation. The reason is that there are likely gradients of opinions and then there is always that 5 to 10% who don’t know or have no opinion. I put the negative numbers there to be used as a contrast. When you have numbers like that you really can’t be going around saying that youth or adults don’t leave the SDA church over doctrines.

However if we move back to the concept of doctrines and relevance aside from some particularly troublesome doctrines as listed above there is a good quote from and Adventist Review article by Margaret G. Dudley, Ph.D.,  a counselor and retired Andrews University faculty member, entitled: I don’t want to go to church anymore.
“Youth and young adults like to be able to think for themselves. Foster a thinking climate in which they can explore what the church teaches, in which they can discover the principles and biblical support behind Seventh-day Adventist doctrines, and in which they can determine the church’s relevance for today’s world. They should be able to feel comfortable asking questions as they sort through their values and make their own choices.”
This is very wise advise but notice the disconnect that occurs if one assumes what Melissa does in her quoted statement in her article. If the church feels that they have this giant in their ranks which is that Adventists have the true doctrines how could we or why would we encourage questioning of those doctrines so that the young person can find their relevance? We have simply said that they already believe them so why don’t they find them relevant? We have in effect destroyed their exploration of what the church teaches, what the Bible teaches, what they should support or not support and what relevance it has to them and the world around them.

Our myopic view based upon the assumptions that we are the remnant, we have the truth and most don’t leave the church because they have trouble with our doctrines translates to a church that disregards our own young people and their necessary exploration of what they believe.

Consider this quote from the Adventist Review; Drowning in a sea of Gray :
Kevin Kibble, associate chaplain at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee, believes this may be the case. “Too many still give voice to the external elements of discipleship without witnessing to the heart of the matter. Far too many in the church are preaching to the smoke and not the fire. We are making proclamations about the fruit without giving thought to the root. Many of our young adults are challenging us to speak to the core issues of salvation with a tattoo or two and a cup of coffee in their hands. They are very clever in doing so. In this way they can determine if we really can present the gospel in its greatest clarity.”

Jan Paulsen, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, addresses these issues in his televised forum for youth, Let’s Talk.2 Questions cover topics from Ellen White to legalism to morals, but the largest grouping of questions relates to lifestyle. Adventist young adults want to know: “Will disobeying these rules—such as wearing jewelry and eating meat—really keep me from going to heaven?” “How should a young person dress?” “Do I have to ignore popular culture?”
You simply cannot get past the doctrine issue. Melissa goes on to talk of other things that would no doubt help sustain our youth in the church if we actually tried them. But we don’t try them because as the above illustrates we think we don’t have to do anything other then teach what we have been teaching. We have been deluded for so long that we don’t even realize our own lack of relevance and how that lack of relevance destroys our own youth as they look for relevance.

Melissa is right, there is a giant in our ranks, the problem is it is destroying the village and the villagers and in the end the giant will be all that remains in a silent barren world.

Friday, October 01, 2010

The Death of Progressive Adventism

There once was a dynamic segment of the Adventist community which labeled themselves as Progressive Adventists. They even have a nice Wikipedia article describing what Progressive Adventism is or was. A few of my articles were even referenced in the Wikipedia article, and no I did not add them, I have never entered anything into Wikipedia. I had always looked at Progressive Adventism as representative of the following quote by C.S. Lewis:
“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turn, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. . .There is nothing progressive about being pigheaded and refusing to admit a mistake." C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan, 1952), Book I, Chap. 5, p. 22.
Unfortunately Progressive Adventism has been hijacked and very nearly killed. If not dead it is dying as it has been stolen by the political progressives. We see this mainly at the two alternative Adventist publications and websites, Adventist Today and Spectrum. Spectrum in particular has become a haven for the political left to masquerade their politics as religion. Everything from economics to California propositions on gay marriage have become their Raison d'ĂȘtre. If anyone reads the main writers on Spectrum and there aren’t that many as they only regularly have a few like minded authors that they publish on the website…most with political views of the politically progressive persuasion, they might as well be reading Jim Wallis and his Sojourners magazine. Not that they make any secret of their affection for Wallis, they endorse him and seem to despise whoever Wallis despises. More on Wallis in a moment.

There are likely still some folks who don’t know what a political progressive is. A helpful article on the subject is found in this article: Politics101: What is a Progressive? What is progressivism? An interesting quote from the article is this describing the difference between a liberal and a progressive:
The Center for American Progress founder John Podesta described the difference between liberals and progressives this way: “Liberals tend to care more about individual freedom, while progressives care more about the public good.”
In Religion terms this kind of Progressivism manifests in such things as President Obama saying:
As one website so aptly put it:
"One of their beliefs which is antithetical to traditional Christianity is collective salvation. Sin is not individual, but collective and it cannot be overcome by religious conversion.  According to liberation theologies, God does not save men. Man saves himself through a political process of absolute social justice. This is not in Christian doctrine, but it is Marxist.

Can man successfully redeem himself through collective transformation (salvation) and liberation?

Pope Benedict says emphatically "No", in "Truth and Tolerance." He writes about the fall of the
Soviet Union:
"...where the Marxist ideology of liberation has been consistently applied, a total lack of freedom had developed, whose horrors were now laid bare before the eyes of the entire world.  Wherever politics tries to be redemptive (granting salvation from sins) it is promising too much.  Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic."p. 116-Truth and Tolerance"
Social Justice is a pretty popular term on the Spectrum Website even with one Pastor working on video’s saying that they are social justice Christians. Though of course they don’t define what they mean by social justice which is typical of the Progressive movement.

There are other Christian movements who became overly political and it inevitably led to their demise. The Christian Coalition and the Moral Majority became more political then religious and lost credibility and that is what is happening to Progressive Adventism as well. They have taken the precepts of Progressive Adventism, those ideas that you read about in the Wikipedia article and moved the emphasis onto their Progressive political ideas. Progressive Adventism used to be embraced by both politically conservative and politically liberal Christians. But that is no longer the case on the main alternative Adventists websites and publications. Their perspectives are always now politically progressive. As they attempt to redefine Progressive Adventism as Progressive Christianity. Which takes us back to Jim Wallis, the self confessed Marxist who attempts to repaint Jesus Christ as a socialist.

In the Sept 30 newsletter from Soujournes (linked here currently but soon to be found in the archives rather then the current newsletter) Jim Wallis wrote an article entitled: Beck, Nazis, and Civil Dialogue. Notice what he writes:
But then Beck fundamentally mischaracterizes progressive Christians and others. His latest attack last Friday said, "That's why Jim Wallis is so dangerous. All the preachers that surround the president, they are progressives and they are big government progressives. When you combine church and state, and you take a -- you take a big government and you combine it with the church, to get people to do the things that the state wants you to do, it always ends in mass death."

And that is really ridiculous. First of all, there is not a group of preachers who "surround the president." But for Beck to accuse all the preachers or religious leaders who have advised Obama on any issue of being like the Nazi corruption of the church and on a course that "ends in mass death" is the worst kind of civil poison. It's just not right at all, and would be laughable if such irresponsible and hateful talk were a laughing matter.
Remember Jim Wallis is well thought of by those over at Spectrum. First of all Jim Wallis is not being honest not a big surprise if one looks at what he and his magazine have written before. After all they put out a magazine with Glenn Beck on the cover and article which Spectrum linked to entitled Why Does Glenn Beck Hate Community Organizers?  and the article did not even mention Glenn Beck once. There should be one thing in the above quote that should really strike you. That is Wallis does not even deny the idea big government combining with the church, he can’t and in the rest of the article he never even admits to agreeing with Beck that church and state together is not a good idea. Instead he misquotes Beck as if Beck said that all preachers or religious leaders who advised Obama are like Nazi corruption. As if danger only exists when the final corruption occurs. In fact Beck said:

Whenever you bring up Germany and Hitler, it is extreme. And actually, it's less extreme, believe it or not, than communism in Russia. For as horrifying as it is, it's just been our media propaganda that hasn't made us really look and really remember the Holocaust that happened in the other socialist state. The key is socialism.

One never thinks or imagines that this can happen again. No one thinks it can happen here. Well, did the Germans think that it could? Did the Germans sit is there at night and go, you know that Hitler thing, that could end in concentration camps and the liquidation of the Jews? Did they really think that? Or did people say all along the way, wait, wait, wait, this isn't going well, this is —no, this is — no, this isn't us. We shouldn't go down this way.

And then they were told they were conspiracy theorists. They were told that it was wrong. They would even speak out and then the beatings started, and then the execution started, and then that argument just went away.

I want you to be aware that people will say to you that I am trying to get you in religion because I want to control or manipulate you, or I want the churches to control or manipulate you. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I want you one with God. I want you to have firm self reliance or firm reliance on protection of Divine Providence because I want you to be self-reliant. I know if you know your relationship with God, no man will ever, ever put you in a camp. No man will ever tell you that they can create a life — a right, because you know who your rights come from. From the transcript Glenn Beck: Truth About Church and State

Here is as close as Jim Wallis can get to decrying the idea of combining church and state in his article:
…But the leading opponents of Hitler's totalitarianism were social-justice Christians in Germany such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Revelation 13 presents a scary picture of oppression in which the people worship the "beast" instead of God; and all of the Christian leaders I know who have given any advice to President Obama would agree, as would the Christian leaders I know who did not vote for Obama. I believe that at its best, the church should function as a conscience for the state, and not be its cheerleader. Nor should religious leaders be chaplains for any political party, but should instead offer prophetic words to the entire system.
None of that sounds like it is even close to decrying the combination of church and state. Does anyone doubt that during the Middle Ages the Roman Catholic Church thought of itself as the conscience for the rulers of Europe? The reason he does not decry the church and state combination is because the Progressive belief in social justice only works if the state enforces the redistribution of wealth which is what Jim Wallis thinks is the gospel. As Wallis answered the question,Are you then calling for the redistribution of wealth in society?” Wallis replied: “Absolutely, without any hesitation. That's what the gospel is all about.”

Wallis then continues upon the subject of social justice. As you notice when you read his article he deceptively limits his understanding of social justice. Like most progressives he won’t define it but he also pretends that it can never be anything but good. Bonhoeffer was a social justice Christian during the Nazi era. While one of the most famous people in America at the time was Father Coughlin who popularized the term social justice and who was a Nazi supporter. Of course there are practical reasons for this since social justice can be defined as socialism it fits within both the Nazi party which of course was socialist as well as those who opposed the Nazi’s in Germany namely the communists who were also socialist. Socialism automatically describes a big centralized government which restricts individual freedom. The difference between the Communists and the National Socialist party was the nationalism of The Germans at the time. Then again anything which focuses upon justice can also be defined as social justice. That is the dodge that those who attempt to mislead people politically use.

With the resurgence and prevalence of political progressives the term Progressive Adventists has been so compromised as to be an affront to freedom loving individuals. Throughout history too many times the so called public good has destroyed individual freedoms and in far too many cases resulted in mass killing of people because after all such things can be seemingly justified as being for the public good. Progressive Adventists might have survived if not for the use by the political progressives at Spectrum and some at Adventist Today, but the damage has been done.

Progressive Adventism is dead.