Moribund: The State of Contemporary Conservative Adventist Hermeneutics

I wouldn’t call believing in a literal creation about 6000 years ago conservatism, it is simply biblical. The idea of evolution is based on the idea that the fossile record represents millions and millions of years. However, if life on earth for million of years was fossilized instead of moldered, life simply couldn’t have survived. Neither plants nor animals could exist for so many years if everything is fossilized instead of moldered. Only a catastrophe can explain the fossile record.

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Amem, Mr Quartey! As a practising Christian and a practicing scientist I fear greatly the

Is there room for me and my ilk in this shrinking tent?


[quote=“simpleman, post:21, topic:20197”]
…it is simply biblical.

Is that really the reason? It’s Biblical that says the snake talked because he was so cleaver–oops, subtil. I suspect that you believe that it was Satan, which is not Biblical. And that God consequently punished the wrong parties, billions of them! (No dirt eating or stomach crawling for the real culprit.)

Maybe a protagonist who’s a talking animal is the author’s way of telling us this is a parable or fable, not actual history.


according to your bible, prophecy is a spiritual gift, and spiritual gifts are given variously - not everyone has the same gifts…paul compares the church with it’s spiritual gifts to the human body, where different members with different gifts work together for the good of the body…he explicitly makes the point that everyone having the same gift would not be in everyone’s collective interest…

in an ideal situation, where the full set of spiritual gifts in the church are active, we would not have seen the disaster of san antonio five yrs ago…we would have asked our BRI and other technical specialists to lay out what the bible has to say about WO, and whether it should be adopted anywhere, but we would also have sought input from our prophet, or prophets, on whether any of our BRI’s views were correct…at that point we would have rallied around what our prophet was indicating, and we would have been much more unified than we are now (i’m confident that a true prophet would have authorized WO where it is appropriate, which is the implicit teaching of Acts 15)…

i think we should be praying for a modern edition of the gift of prophecy…only a supernatural gift can break the logjams that human endeavours, however well-intentioned, inevitably lead into…


This invites the inevitable baptist dunking vs catholic sprinkling joke-
did we really just make it up as we went along? Or should we even tempt sin by fulldunk baptisms on sabbath?

I remember asking my dad why fish could swim on the sabbath, or birds could fly but i couldn’t ride my bike…
I didn’t sit so well in the bare oak pew that sabbath, until after church.
I went and cooled my overheated bottom -in the river.



I love the title … summarizes well, what we need to realize.

Just this morning (thanks to Corona) I watched a service online. Didn’t hear such an Adventist, forward moving sermon, hope filled sermon (John 14) in a long time. A hermeneutic suggesting we ought not to live and define ourselves from the past and from what we have lost (deficiancy orientation), but to live in the present, preaching the Christ, not getting confused (John 14:1) … alas … it was a Lutheran church service, having a Catholic colleague preach…


Hey, these aren’t my ideas. I got them from Paul.

23 But before faith came, we [Jews] were [past tense] kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (Gal 3:23-25)

Intrinsic evil didn’t cease being evil at the cross, but the law as guidance ceased.


It is difficult to gain new insights from studying the word of God if it meaning is put in a box with definite parameters. Quite a contrast between the new and exciting and the old and stale.


you may have gotten a few words from paul, but you haven’t necessarily gotten his ideas…in the Galatians passage you’re citing, you’re missing the subject, which is the jews, who were hopelessly bound up by many laws and ordinances on everything they did, or thought of doing…these laws and ordinances had been bound up so thoroughly with the laws given through moses, as well as the law given by god, that there was no distinction in terms of obligation or penalty…this situation is hardly true for anyone else…

only a holistic reading of not only paul, but other inspired jews, can possibly tease out what paul meant when he said we don’t throw out the law, but establish it, Rom 3:31, and that we aren’t to let sin reign in our mortal bodies and obey its lusts, Rom 6:12, directly after explaining that sin is only deemed to be sin when there is the existence of law, Rom 5:13…

in fact a brother of jesus, who was certainly jewish, admonishes us to keep what he calls the law, the royal law, and the law of liberty, while illustrating what he means by directly citing two of the ten commandments, James 2:8-12…one of jesus’ best friends, who was also jewish, and after explaining to us that sin is the transgression of what he calls the law, tells us not to sin, and that people who sin are of satan, 1Jn 3:4, 6-8, cf. 2:1…and of course jesus himself, also jewish, pointed the RYR to obedience to the ten commandments while following him, and not to lawless grace, as the way to receive eternal life…

when we put everything together, we see that paul, in Gal 3 and elsewhere, is describing a new way of spirituality, which is faith in christ’s death and resurrection to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, even while we’re doing our best to cooperate with the HS’s work in us despite the setback of our inherited fallen nature which always works against the HS’s work…this new way doesn’t set aside the law from its purpose, which is to identify sin, but it sets aside the law as a method we can use to work our way towards salvation, which is the type of legalism the jews had lapsed into…

ironically, paul is really saying that the way to keep the law is to accept christ, and work cooperatively with the HS as he writes the law of god in our minds, intentions, impulses and feelings (he doesn’t mention that christ main job as our high priest in heaven is to perfect our efforts by adding his merits under these conditions, possibly because he didn’t know that this is what would be happening)…paul is talking about a transformative experience that brings religion into our inner heart and changes us into what the law calls for, as opposed to strictly obeying the law on a behavioural level and being no different than anyone else except for that behaviour…in his own words:

“Yea, we establish the law”, Rom 3:31.


Not really. No bible story pegs creation on a specific date. Ussher and others have tried, but they’ve misused the bible wholesale in order to do that, trying to intuit the chronology of the history of the world from its pages, when that is not what it is for.

The Wiki article puts it mildly when it states, “Establishing the chronologies is complicated by the fact that the Bible was compiled by different authors over several centuries with lengthy chronological gaps, making it difficult to do a simple totaling of Biblical ages and dates.”

If one replaced the word complicated with impossible in that statement then it would be more accurate.

"In 1890, Princeton professor William Henry Green wrote a highly influential article in Bibliotheca Sacra entitled “Primeval Chronology” in which he strongly criticized Ussher. He concluded:
“We conclude that the Scriptures furnish no data for a chronological computation prior to the life of Abraham; and that the Mosaic records do not fix and were not intended to fix the precise date either of the Flood or of the creation of the world.”

He was and is correct.


Spectrumbot, I am almost at a loss for
words to express my appreciation for this article. I will have to settle for “enlightening” because a simple thank you is entirely inadequate.


Had Adam and Eve been created as Chinese… humankind’s fate would have been very different since they would have eaten the damn snake instead… :innocent: :rofl:


Serpent. Not snake. And delicious!

Anyway, the Chinese have it right:

God said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”

They have been quite fruitful and they’ll eat most anything, just as God prescribed. :slight_smile:

Snails, anyone? Mmmmmmm.


That is in the context of the clean and unclean animals as evident by Peter’s actions. Remember Jesus granted Peter the authority to bind things on earth. When the sheet in Peter’s vision came to him with the command to eat its filthy creatures, Peter sent it back bound to heaven. Peter did not kill or eat any filthy thing in that vision.

I am not sure it is quite fair to characterize the pre-Nicene period as an era of the “church fathers” (which I assume is a positive value) and the post-Nicene period as that of the “catholic fathers” (a negative value). There were generally the same kind of “fathers” on either side of 325 AD. The biblical canon was already fairly well established by the time of the Council, which itself was primarily concerned with the doctrine of the Trinity and the particular identity of Christ (the Arian controversy).

Many of these issues and debates continued long afterwards; I would argue that relatively little was definitively settled or set in stone by this time, not even the issue of the nature of Christ. If you want a long and extremely pedantic read on the subject, check out the Athanasian Creed.

I understand that this is somewhat of a hobbyhorse of mine on Spectrum, but I am always concerned when we make assumptions or generalizations about Catholic theology and practice, often inaccurately. I have found that as Adventists we easily fall into this habit, whether we identify as conservatives, moderates, or progressives within the church. I believe it is easy because we have been generally catechized (intentional word choice) into an anti-Catholic worldview since childhood. However, as EGW told us, “truth can afford to be fair”. The 9th commandment also comes into play (or 8th commandment, if you are a Catholic!).




Yes, I had the same fear and guilt drilled into me growing up in the 80’s, and the constant sermons and school talks about the terrible things that would happen to us during the “end times”. And to be told as children that “if just one little sin was on the record” we would be cast into the lake of fire. I would desperately rack my brain, trying to remember any sins I may have forgotten to confess, and watched the sky in terror, looking for a cloud the same size as my hand. I don’t think I got over having nightmares about it until I was at least 30.

I remember the first time I entered a Catholic parish church (for a funeral, I think), and I thought I was committing a terrible sin. I was also surreptitiously looking around for the door to the underground torture chambers. Nowadays I spend a whole lot of time in Catholic parish and cathedral churches (due to my research), and I’ve told this to many of my close friends who are priests and bishops, and they laugh.




I can overnight a bunch of them from my backyard! They must be healthy because they are eating my lettuce… Not easy to get rid of them… but hey, maybe selling them is a great idea!


i can assure you this was an inadvertent, although perhaps freudian, slip :slightly_smiling_face:

i’m actually suspicious of all official churchdom, including israel’s sanhedrin, which persecuted god’s true people from pentecost onward…however, and as you know, the 1260 day (42 month/time, times and the dividing of time) prophecy that started in 538 AD - when belisarius defeated the ostrogoths, enabling the implementation of the 534 AD justinian code that placed the papacy at the head of all christendom - and that was followed almost immediately by the council of trent (1545-1563), is a thoroughly catholic phenomenon…to maintain synonymity between ante-nicene church fathers and church fathers who came after the post-nicene period - after one of the most important prophecies in daniel and revelation had commenced - seems to overlook quite a bit…in fact it may infringe on the 9th commandment that you mention, since it facilitates the view that catholicism, brought into particular relief by our historicist approach to biblical prophecy, isn’t a denominated antagonist…

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What? There were no clean and unclean animals in in Genesis. There is no Peter in Genesis.

Well, I had no idea what you’re referring to, so I googled it. I got this:

But there was no Peter at the time of the Flood. He was not in the context at all, so I’ve no idea what you’re trying to get at. Perhaps a joke I just don’t grasp?

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I share @David Knedallls experience :Growing up in the Hitler time with the SDA families stictly antin - NAZI convictions I for the families safety just HAD to be rather secluded. Ant the environment underlying the NAZI crust was that of a strictly conservative RC population. - - But what I heard and learned and was told about those bad Catholics ! - I already had found a cave in the nearby woods where we , the Remnant, could hide when Sunday laws would give the signal for starting the persecution ! - - And then I grew up and was in a State College and then on University of Vienna- -and just had to correct clusters of SDA illusions about those “bad people” - -and of History and of my distorted vision of the Middle Age - - -

By the way - just yesterdays SS theme and discussion : It was the RCC Viennese Archbishop who stirred up a discussion worldwide , stimulating the view of “Creation / Intelligent Design” on a visit in New York !