Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Goldstein...you don't belong!

Today I saw and interview with Clifford Goldstein on 3ABN The show was 3ABN Today. I saw it on 5-16-2015 though I don't know if that was the original air date or not. In this portion which I have recorded and placed on YouTube Goldstein the following is stated:




Interviewed by Shelly Quinn on 3ABN Today; speaking of a new series Goldstein is introducing on the 3ABN channel:

“…Why would Adventists want to watch your program, who already believe in the Bible?”

Goldstein:
“Well we are all assaulted by this in the church being assaulted by this, we are also in the church being assaulted by evolution by a lot of you know even professed Adventists who believe in evolution and I am sorry if you believe that God used millions of years what they now call neo-darwinian synthesis to create life you do not belong in the Seventh-day Adventist church.”

Quinn:
“I agree”

Goldstein:
“You don’t  belong  here, some people say they can reconcile it well I think they are being deluded. But there are a lot, particularly our young people who tend to be a lot more honest  and if I were a young Seventh–day Adventist and I were convinced that evolution were true I don’t know how I could remain a Seventh-day Adventist…”
 
There are a number of problems here. First he miss defines Neo-Darwinian synthesis apparently conflating it with Theistic Evolution.  The definitions follow later. The really key problem here is that his view produces a self fulfilling prophecy. His view is that if Adventists believe that God used millions of years then you don't belong in the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church. Then in his estimation if you are a young person who believes in evolution (apparently any kind, I don't know, let us for this article assume he just means that evolution was a involved in millions of years to get to life that we see today) then you simply could not remain an SDA. Why would that be? The simple answer is because people like him say that you don't belong. He then thinks that these young people are more honest then those older deluded Adventists who came to realize the reality as they see it in the principles of evolution and the evidence for an earth that is much older then traditional Adventism says. These older people did not have people in General Conference leadership roles telling them they did not belong in the SDA church. Well he clearly is out to fix that! They simply don't belong!
 
The Adventist church has somewhat allowed the divergent beliefs of those who can synthesize modern science and theology but it has become an exceedingly unfriendly place for such people. After all why be part of a group that says you don't belong. Not something I would fight to remain in, but that may be because I find so many other problems in the SDA church.
 
If any of you think that this is simply about the wording of a fundamental belief to be decided at the upcoming General Conference session...you are in for a disappointment.
 
Now for some definitions.
        
Theistic evolution is the teaching that God used natural evolutionary processes to bring     life  to its current level of speciation. Theistic evolution would deny the specific creative act of God in bringing the person of Adam, who would be the first human and the representative of mankind, into existence.https://carm.org/dictionary-theistic-evolution

 
Theistic Evolution would include most of the variants of Intelligent Design and has been the view of notable Christians such as C.S. Lewis: "C.S. Lewis clearly believed that Christians can accept evolution as common descent without doing violence to their faith. This is what Lewis was getting at when he wrote to evolution critic Bernard Acworth, "I believe that Christianity can still be believed, even if evolution is true."18 In Lewis's view, whether God used common descent to create the first human beings was irrelevant to the truth of Christianity. As he wrote to one correspondent late in his life, "I don't mind whether God made man out of earth or whether 'earth' merely means 'previous millennia of ancestral organisms.' If the fossils make it probable that man's physical ancestors 'evolved,' no matter." http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/11/darwin_in_the_d_1079231.html

 
What is intelligent design?
Intelligent design refers to a scientific research program as well as a community of scientists, philosophers and other scholars who seek evidence of design in nature. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. Through the study and analysis of a system's components, a design theorist is able to determine whether various natural structures are the product of chance, natural law, intelligent design, or some combination thereof. Such research is conducted by observing the types of information produced when intelligent agents act. Scientists then seek to find objects which have those same types of informational properties which we commonly know come from intelligence. Intelligent design has applied these scientific methods to detect design in irreducibly complex biological structures, the complex and specified information content in DNA, the life-sustaining physical architecture of the universe, and the geologically rapid origin of biological diversity in the fossil record during the Cambrian explosion approximately 530 million years ago. http://www.intelligentdesign.org/whatisid.php1. T

The Neo-Darwinian Synthesis (also called the "Synthetic Theory of Evolution")

• formulated during the decade 1937-1947.
• updated Darwin's ideas using new information from many scientific fields.
• main features of this view are mutation and natural selection.
• genetic mutations produce variation within a population (Darwin could not explain variation).
• natural selection preserves the most fit varieties within a species, as explained by Darwin.
• macroevolution is simply microevolution extrapolated.
• evolution is slow, gradual, and continuous, as held by Darwin.
• this view has difficulty explaining the fossil record with its lack of transitional forms.
In the 1930s and '40s evolutionists worked to incorporate new data from various subdisciplines of biology into a revised version of classical Darwinism. The primary focus on natural selection was maintained, but other aspects of Darwin's thinking were updated.  http://www.creationbc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=124&Itemid=62

 
You can see that there is a large division between Neo-Darwinian Synthesis and Theistic Evolution and Intelligent Design...that being the unseen hand of God somehow at work. Which makes Goldstein's use in the sentence completely wrong. "I am sorry if you believe that God used millions of years what they now call neo-Darwinian synthesis to create life you do not belong in the Seventh-day Adventist church.” If he meant to say that naturalistic atheistic evolution then I could agree because why be a part of a theistic church if you don't believe there is a God then I would not have a problem with his view. But since in the sentence he specifically said "if you believe that God used" and then reference an entirely naturalistic evolutionary process his statement does not work on any level. Sadly like the interviewer Shelly Quinn there are far to many people who will simply agree with Goldstein's incorrect logic and use of terms.
 
 

 

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