The Limits of Apologetics

DC, would you say that you are “positioned” on this subject? Which by the definition above could make you a non-truth seeker. Why seek truth when you already know it, right? However, if your statement below is really what you think, why wouldn’t you be an open minded truth seeker?

If none of us, including you and me, does not know the truth about origins, why wouldn’t we be open to new possibilities? Does apologetics get in the way of that endeavor?

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What you are saying is entirely consistent with his description of the problem. Can you say that if you are resisting fact, you really want to quit?

I would recommend that you buy a used copy of The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood by David R. Montgomery–and give it a chance. (About five bucks plus postage, on line at Amazon. It doesn’t talk down to you.)

Incidentally, does your faith require you to believe that the serpent in Genesis 3 was able to talk because of his intrinsic intelligence, as the Bible says, or was it a trick, as EGW says?

Do you accept Gen 3:'s declaration that the heavens and the earth were created, in a single day, “the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens”? (Genesis 2)

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So its a quandary about the age of the earth. The Bible puts no dates on the creation of the earth, but strongly implies that is is young in several places. None of us was there when it was created, and every scientific dating methodology known at this time makes assumptions which may or may not be founded; if a given dating methodology is unfounded then we can’t trust the dates it gives us. EGW says in many places that the earth is around 6000 years old. So it seems like the prophetic gift/authority is at stake when we argue about this.


If you guys would please note, this (YEC) topic is not what is being discussed here. It’s only an illustration of a point being made. Rich H. knew (highly suspected) that the discussion would devolve into a defense of YEC. So, my question to the both of you - do you understand what is actually under discussion? Hint - it’s not about the age of the earth.

After about two decades of joining the SDA church, I decided to “nail down” its unique beliefs I had accepted at 16. In those two decades I had been to college and even minored in religion, but I decided to lay aside all the books and “apologetics” tried to tackle the Bible - alone. Interesting experience. Like someone once said - “it’s not for the faint of heart”.


@Sirje, I have taken the same journey. You’re right - its not easy. The Bible’s main thrust is to preach Jesus Christ and the kingdom of Heaven, not do apologetics or measure the age of the earth.


The age of the earth is not so important as who made it and what He did to reclaim ownership of the earth and all that dwell in it.


The question is Who, not when. There is a conflict between chaos and design. But that is preceded by conflict over Who. So the Word became flesh and dwelt among us that belief in Him Who is able to restore, even as He could lay down His life and pick it up again at the call of His Father. We now have a High Priest Who was tested and won. So our confidence is in Who not when.


Only if one ascribes inerrancy to EGW, which I don’t believe she did herself.


Back in those days EVERYONE was going by Ussher’s Chronology of the World.
THAT was Before all those preacher in Scandinavia and Swiss began looking
at rocks and streams. Finding weird things that should NOT be there.
Knowing Latin, they could converse with each other all over Europe.
In the US, Latin was little known, so letters back and forth across the Atlantic
Did Not Happen.
SDAs were really Very Late in learning about all the years of conversation in
Europe about rock finds.


Genesis 1
Is it a SONG?
Is it a History?

@pierrepaul - What do YOU mean by “inerrancy?” I know how the dictionary defines it.

Thank you for the article. If every SDA were to take a critical thinking course, much of our dogma would melt away. We should all strive to be as open minded as Anthony Flew, who renounced atheism when confronted with DNA code.

But, unfortunately many SDA feel a sense of safety with their protective hedge of “truth” - whatever that may be (creation, only sda’s saved, etc.). Let’s face it, it can be a bit unsettling when admitting there may not be clear evidence, biblically or scientifically, for reaching grounded conclusions.


The prophetic gift/authority is not at stake. It’s the claim that’s at stake.


Truth is those who co-opt “truth” fear losing status quo…

I sense the silences of God speak louder than the clamor of men-
and his silence on these things we desperately desire “proof” is likely the perfect test of faith.
Do we trust Love, the God who says He Is love, and His promises, anyway?

I don’t recall that Jesus had any “thus sayeth” grounded conclusions that he would survive his hellish dip below the gates of death.

Yes, it is interesting to read about the Theologians of the 1600, 1700, 1800s in
Europe who went trekking and digging among former glacier beds in
Northern Europe, the Alps, in England, Ireland, and looked at strange things
they found that should NOT have been there.
Of course they all knew Latin so could converse by post easily. Some wrote
short books with “pictures”.
But their Bibles had little or no information to give them. THESE Theologians
were the 1st Scientists, later followed by non-theologians from the Secular
Society. Then we had Darwin’s adventure encouraged by his Theologian father.
It was designed by his father to PROVE the Flood. But it just raised more
questions in Darwin’s mind. And it was decades before he felt comfortable
writing about his trip.

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I’m not open to an atheistic narrative about origins because I have a prior commitment to the truth of Scripture and the prophetic writings of Ellen White. Apologetics do not interfere with my faith, they are a product of my faith. I would suggest to you that the atheistic apologetics embraced by others are a response to their faith position that God did not create the world in six days as taught in Scripture.

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i think i’m with david on this one…religion has to be received through faith - as iterated everywhere in the NT - which means there’s an element distinctly unamenable to demonstration, or whatever is meant by apologetics…religionists, then, aren’t generally open to neutral evidence…their concept of truth seeking centres primarily on the successful accrual of more of what they already have…does anyone for one moment believe that the apostle paul was remotely interested in or open to anything that disagreed even slightly with his message, or religion…great religious figures are never uncertain…uncertainty and neutrality are in fact antithetical to faith…

not really…religionists explicitly, but also implicitly, believe they already have the truth…if they are seeking, and that’s a substantial if, it’s merely to confirm rather than challenge what they have…they automatically filter out anything that contradicts what through faith they’ve chosen to believe…this means it’s probably a hopeless quest to try to find points of intersection between a religionist and a neutral evidence-based seeker…for the good of all, this fact should probably simply be calmly acknowledged, and accepted…

Evolution need not be an “atheistic narrative about origins”. Anyone interested in how the world and the universe actually work must look beyond the bible, as it doesn’t exist to explain such things. It’s a collection of ancient religious texts, not a science textbook. Same for Ellen.