Refuting old-earth church publication
Published: 14 March 2013 (GMT+10)
Bruce B., a generous supporter of our ministry from Australia wrote to us about yet another compromising churchian publication [Ed. note: Following publication, it became clear that some have taken ‘churchian’ to mean a ‘church’ publication, i.e. an organ of the Seventh Day Adventist church, which is not the case. This is a common term in Dr Sarfati’s writings to refer to people who have an affiliation with a church (of whatever denomination) but whose approach to the authority of Scripture is such that it makes it difficult to assume that the label ‘Christian’ is necessarily appropriate. See also endnote 1.]. This one was called Good News for Adventists from New South Wales, Australia, September 2010, in an article “The Age of the Earth” by one Ritchie Way. But this just shows that the craving for secular intellectual respectability has even infected some academics from the Seventh Day Adventists, a denomination historically known [but see comment by Gavin B below, which captures my intent—JS] for a strong stand on Genesis—and many of their churches still support CMI.1 See some astute quotes on the futility of this craving:
- Doug Wilson: Christians should believe six-day creation regardless of academic respectability
- OT Professor Todd Beall: take Genesis 1 as written, rather than crave secular respectability
Dr Jonathan Sarfati responds to the parts that Mr B. highlighted in the paper.
It’s a shame when professing Christians give away biblical authority and also surrender on the biblical truth of death coming by sin (see Did God create over billions of years? And why is it important? and The Fall: a cosmic catastrophe). This undermines the very good news they claim to proclaim, since Romans 5:12–19 and 1 Corinthians 15:21–22 contrast the death brought by the first man, Adam, with the resurrection brought by the Last Adam, Christ (cf. v. 45).
A lot of that article shows that they know very little about modern creationist arguments. E.g.:
No informed person disputes the reality of the last Ice Age; there is just too much evidence for its existence, not only on land but also on the sea floor.
However, for many years, creationists have affirmed the reality of the Ice Age. The difference with the uniformitarians is that creationists affirm a single Ice Age; one that’s the aftermath of the Genesis Flood, while uniformitarians postulate many ice ages without an adequate mechanism (see Mammoth—riddle of the Ice Age).
They fondly ignore the many examples where the ‘dates’ from different methods disagree outside their stated experimental uncertainties.
The problem is getting all that ice onto the land, which requires snowfall, which requires evaporation, which requires heat. Evolutionary mechanisms postulate that some external cause cooled the entire earth, but that would cut off the evaporation. But the Genesis Flood would have included volcanoes and subterranean water to heat the ocean, while volcanic ash would have been a sunblock cooling the land. This is the perfect condition for an ice age lasting centuries.
All the same, not all evidence attributed to ancient ice ages is conclusive. Some so-called glacial tills mentioned in the article were really submarine landslides (see A classic tillite reclassified as a submarine debris flow). Some transported boulders are better evidence for the Flood, e.g. very hard quartzite boulders show evidence of having been rounded by water transport (see Noah’s long-distance travelers: Quartzite boulders speak powerfully of the global Flood).
A number of Aboriginal campsites have been discovered around former inland seas in Australia, such as Lake Mungo, which indicates that humans were on Earth during the last Ice Age which came to an end about ten to twelve thousand years ago.
I co-authored an article on that a decade ago: Was Adam from Australia? The mystery of ‘Mungo Man’. My geologist colleague Dr Tas Walker used this as an example of the flaws in ‘dating’ methods in The dating game.
But sometime prior to all this, the [Mediterranean] Sea had taken one thousand five hundred years to evaporate into salt lakes; become a basin fertile enough to attract elephants and refill again with sea-water. The amount of time required for these events, reveals to us that the Εarth and its biodiversity is much older than is suggested by a superficial interpretation of biblical genealogies.
This idea makes no sense. A slowly evaporating body of water would have time to accumulate dust and other impurities, which we don’t see in the massive pure salt deposits. Rather, they are not evaporites at all but precipitites, resulting from precipitation of very concentrated hydrothermal solutions that would have common in the Flood. See Geology and the young earth: Answering those ‘Bible-believing’ bibliosceptics and The Messinian salinity crisis questioned. Another idea is that they solidified from halite magma—see A magmatic model for the origin of large salt formations.
Many Christians believe that the layers of the geological column were laid down in the space of a little over one year at the time of Noah’s Flood. A major problem with this theory is that within these layers are found glacial deposits, lake beds, coral reefs, river deltas and beaches – none of which could have formed during the Flood. There can be no question that the geological column covers a vast period of time. The onus is on those who dispute this, to explain how lakes, coral reefs and glaciers etc. could have formed and left their footprints beneath the waters of Noah’s Flood.
The above ignores the important role of the post-Flood ice age, which explains the mammoth fossils and also the glacial evidence (see above section on the Ice Age). With the coral reefs, according to Dr Rob Carter, an expert on corals, coral reefs grow much faster than most people think, and there is no evidence that there are any genuine coral reefs in the fossil record, even if some limestone fragments are known. See also Dr Carter’s paper in the latest Journal of Creation, 26(3):50–53, 2012: ‘Ancient’ coral growth layers: Countering the Critics.
The science of dating rocks, called geochronology, is quite precise. There are labs all over the world dedicated to measuring the ages of rocks that contain naturally occurring radioactive elements. These unstable elements decay into more stable elements, and the rate of decay can be measured quite accurately. Uranium, for instance, decays to lead, and it is known precisely how long this process takes.
Also, we know that many layers can form almost simultaneously, as long as there are differently sized particles and horizontal flow—because we have seen it happen, while no one has seen annual varves forming over millions of years.
This is also nothing new. For example, even if we grant that we know the decay rate precisely, this is not enough to determine age. We must also make assumptions about the starting conditions, and that uranium and lead were from the system measured and nothing got in or out from outside that. However, even the constancy of decay rates claimed in the article has been undermined—see Radiometric dating breakthroughs.
Geochronologists have at least eleven different methods of radiometric dating at their disposal. Three of these methods have been used to date minerals from an ancient volcanic ash-bed in southern Saskatchewan, Canada. The potassium/argon method revealed their age to be 72.5 million years, plus or minus a small percentage. The uranium/lead method dated the ash at 72.4 million years, plus or minus a bit. And the rubidium/strontium method said the ash was 72.54 million years old, plus or minus a little. The date determined by one method is thus corroborated or contradicted by other methods.
These compromisers hope that an alleged example of concordant dates supports their long-age dogma. However, they fondly ignore the many examples where the ‘dates’ from different methods disagree outside their stated experimental uncertainties. Dr Walker provides some examples in Radioactive ‘dating’ methods: Ways they make conflicting results tell the same story, and Ph.D. geologist Andrew Snelling has provided another one where the same sample had radiocarbon and potassium-argon ‘dates’ disagreeing by a factor of 1000—see Radioactive ‘dating’ in conflict! Fossil wood in ‘ancient’ lava flow yields radiocarbon.
Green River Formation
If the great Flood deposited the layers of the Grand Canyon, and the Green River Formation was laid down after the Flood, the Flood could not have occurred later than four million years ago. Even if a highly improbable average of ten varves a year were laid in the lake, that would still mean that the Grand Canyon sedimentary layers were deposited no later than 400,000 years ago.
There is blatant question-begging above: they assume that the fine layers are annual varves to ‘prove’ that the formation took millions of years. But the GRF is actually evidence against millions of years, because there are well-preserved fish fossils which penetrate several layers (see Green River Blues). Also, we know that many layers can form almost simultaneously, as long as there are differently sized particles and horizontal flow—because we have seen it happen, while no one has seen annual varves forming over millions of years. Here is an example from Queensland: Sandy stripes: Do many layers mean many years?
To get that much chalk requires a huge algal bloom, on a scale not happening today. But the Flood would have provided ideal conditions: warm water and an immense supply of nutrients from decomposing animals.
These chalk beds were laid down over a period of thirty to thirty-five million years during the Late Cretaceous period. It has been estimated that it took one thousand years to lay down fifteen millimetres of chalk. The computation for this rate is based on the thickness of the chalk and the time it took to deposit it, as calculated by isotopic dates of chalk from the top and bottom of the layer. Consider, on the basis of this estimate, how long it would have taken to lay down 400 metres.
The purity of the chalk beds testifies that they were laid down in calm water. Had they been laid down during the Flood–which creationists claim was so turbulent it created the sedimentary layers of the geologic column–the chalk would have either not formed, or would have been contaminated with a great deal of sediment.
The claims about chalk are wrong on two counts:
- To get that much chalk requires a huge algal bloom, on a scale not happening today. But the Flood would have provided ideal conditions: warm water and an immense supply of nutrients from decomposing animals. See Can Flood geology explain thick chalk beds?
- The claim that fine deposits require still water has been demolished by geological experiments—see Mud experiments overturn long-held geological beliefs: A call for a radical reappraisal of all previous interpretations of mudstone deposits.
Salt and the age of the Earth
Salt is dissolved from the rocks and is carried by streams and rivers to the sea. Henry Morris, Steven A. Austin, D. Russell Humphries [sic], and others argue that if the world were millions of years old, the oceans would contain much more salt than they do today. The amount of salt in the oceans, they say, supports the theory that life has been on Earth for only ten thousand years or less. These scientists, however, failed to take into account the fact that when God created the Earth he built into it mechanisms for self-correction, one of which is the removal of excess salt from the ocean and lakes by evaporation, which is then buried by subduction or folding of the earth. Some of this salt was deposited at the bottom of the Mediterranean when that sea dried up, but most of it has been buried deep underground in the earth.
Salt and the age of the Earth: one must wonder if this person even read the Humphreys/Austin paper judging by their patronizing nonsense. They explicitly tabulated measured rates of salt input and output. See Salty seas: Evidence for a young earth, which provides later data showing that they had actually underestimated the rate of salt influx. This would lower their estimate for the upper bound of the age (NB, not actual age) of about 62 million years.
The Galileo canard, again
Remember that it wasn’t too long ago Christians believed the Earth was the centre of the universe, and that the sun and stars revolved around our planet. The overwhelming clear evidence of science, however, compelled them to change their unscientific and unbiblical beliefs. Today we Christians face a different challenge; science is revealing that the world is much older than we used to believe.
Death and the Fall
The problem is that even human death is a huge problem for long-earth ideas, because indisputable Homo sapiens fossils have been ‘dated’ to almost 200,000 years old by dating methods they worship.
The Bible says, ‘Death came through a man’ (1 Cor. 15:21). An examination of this passage reveals that it is not talking about death in general, but the death of human beings. Verse 22 says, ‘In Adam all die, but in Christ all will be made alive’. It is clear that these two verses are not referring to animals because no animal was ever ‘in Adam’, nor could it ever be ‘in Christ’.
The problem is that even human death is a huge problem for long-earth ideas, because indisputable Homo sapiens fossils have been ‘dated’ to almost 200,000 years old by dating methods they worship (see The Fall: a cosmic catastrophe).
You can read the Bible from beginning to end but nowhere does it establish any connection between the fall of man and death in the animal world.
Evidently this person didn’t read the Bible very carefully, because he would have seen ample connection between the Fall and animal death too. For example, animals and humans were both created vegetarian, and Isaiah 11 and 65 point to an Edenic non-carnivorous state in the future where animals will “no more hurt or destroy” (as you noted yourself in a bold comment on the article). But in between Creation and Redemption, there was the Fall, which had cosmic scope, affecting the entire creation because it was under Adam’s federal headship. This is documented in the paper Cosmic and universal death from Adam’s fall: an exegesis of Romans 8:19–23a. See Shame on Charisma! for more on both human and animal death and the Fall, and The carnivorous nature and suffering of animals.
How did carnivory arise?
Consider this; if God created animals to live without dying, what did tigers and hyenas eat before the Fall? What did sharks and seals eat? What did eagles and swallows eat? Did God create them just as they are today, or have they evolved since the Fall of Adam? Did an elephant never tread upon an ant or worm before the Fall, and did a rhinoceros never eat a caterpillar on a leaf before Adam sinned?
Maybe in return, this author should ask, what did the ferocious piranha eat before the Fall? Answer, just what its relative the pacu eats today— aquatic plants, and fruit that falls from overhanging trees (see Piranha); or what does this official ‘bird of prey’ known as the oilbird eat (only fruits—see The super-senses of oilbirds); or what did this fearsome-looking creature with fangs and carnassials eat (it’s the skull of a fruit bat), or what did theropods (which included T. rex and Velociraptor) eat (answer, mostly vegetarian). It’s so obvious that he hasn’t even read our introductory material, such as ch. 6 of our Creation Answers Book which addresses:
- How did ‘bad things’ come about?
- If God’s original creation was ‘very good’, why is ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ now?
- Did God create animals with defence-attack structures?
- Or were they re-designed after the Fall?
- Wouldn’t there be a population explosion if animals did not eat each other?
It’s really hard to take these compromisers seriously when they fail to conduct even basic research on the view they are attacking. Also, we have often pointed out that insects probably don’t count as life in the biblical definition of nephesh chayyah. See for example Venus flytrap: Ingenious mechanism still baffles Darwinists and Captivating chameleons.
This bat eats fruit, although it’s classified as a carnivore because of its fangs and carnassials.
The piranha’s vegetarian relatives, known as pacus. Photo: Don Batten
Genealogies were sometimes shortened, either to save space, or to make them easier to remember. Christ’s genealogy in Matthew, for example, was trimmed, so that each of its three sections would have exactly fourteen generations (Matt. 1:17). If you compare the genealogy in Matthew 1:8–9 with the one in 1 Chronicles 3:10–12 you will see where Matthew shortened his genealogy. (Please note that Uzziah was also known as Ahaziah.)
Genesis 5 and 11 provide the ages of X at the birth of X+1 in the line, so even if they were not strict genealogies, they were strict chronologies, hence ‘chronogenealogies’.
David’s name in Hebrew had a numerical value of fourteen, so some generations were excluded from this genealogy so that a person committing David’s line to memory just had to count the number in each category to ensure he had all fourteen generations.
We are of course perfectly aware that Matthew’s genealogy was selective, but he told us he was selecting 3 sets of 14 (see for example The genealogies of Jesus). But Genesis 5 and 11 provide the ages of X at the birth of X+1 in the line. So even if X+1 were a great-grandson, say, instead of a son of X, there are still Y years between them. So even if they were not strict genealogies, they were strict chronologies, hence “chronogenealogies”—see Biblical chronogenealogies. Since this compromiser also mentions the slightly longer Septuagint chronogenealogy, this article also explains why the Masoretic Text should be preferred to the Septuagint, which in any case doesn’t help his millions-of-years compromise.
The pre-Flood and post-Flood genealogies, as given in Genesis 5 and 11 respectively, have exactly ten generations each, and the last generation in each genealogy has three named sons.
Perhaps he should learn to count! From The Genesis 5 and 11 fluidity question:
Külling highlights an important point that most scholars seem to have overlooked; namely, that the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies are not really symmetrical. The genealogy of Adam contains ten names (Adam to Noah), with the tenth having three sons (Shem, Ham and Japheth). The genealogy of Shem records only nine names (Shem to Terah), with the ninth fathering three sons (Abraham, Nahor and Haran).
|1. Adam||1. Shem|
|2. Seth||2. Arphaxad|
|3. Enosh||3. Salah|
|4. Kenan||4. Eber|
|5. Mahalaleel||5. Peleg|
|6. Jared||6. Reu|
|7. Enoch||7. Serug|
|8. Methusalah||8. Nahor|
|9. Lamech||9. Terah (three sons, including Abram)|
|10. Noah (three sons)|
To say that Abraham (Abram) counts as the tenth generation in Genesis 11 is no help to symmetry, because consistency would then demand that Shem be counted in Genesis 5 (compare 11:26 with 5:32). The supposed symmetry does not really exist.
Hope this helps. This article is really nothing to fear—it’s severely outdated, grossly ignorant of what biblical (“young-earth”) creationists teach, and undermines the good news they claim to defend.
- Ed. note: To be clear: the official stand of the Adventist church continues to support a recent creation in six days of all life on Earth, and a global Flood (though unlike CMI, it leaves room ‘soft gap’ theories that postulate an ancient earth and/or universe, though no death before sin). Unfortunately, this instance is not the only case where even in this strongly creationist denomination, some academics are increasingly defying the hierarchy by coming out in favour of compromise with evolution and/or an old age for living creatures, i.e. death before sin. Return to text.
On the, “Is this a slanderous” article issue, I don’t think it is. The impression comes from the use of the word “once” in the phrase, “a denomination once known for a strong stand on Genesis”—the word can give the impression that they no longer have such a strong stand. It would read just as well and show more respect for SDAs if that word was removed, although I’m sure no disrespect was intended.
Hi to all you fine folk at CMI,
Thank you thank you thank you for putting up such good help on the Internet as you have been all these years.
I was an Adventist myself many years ago. So I found your article below interesting. It just goes to show that when anyone hangs on to “Their own human corrupt opinion” then God cannot help them to learn via the gift of the Holy Spirit (HS), that is given only to those who DO accept that are in fact a happy slave in God’s wonderful care and not to Satan grip any longer. These self-opinionated (hopefully) believers cannot even access the very help they need so much to mature, from the milk, as God intended they should. I am so so grateful to God for the help of the Holy Spirit to teach me God’s word which is so trustworthy. Because of the Holy Spirit we can now learn, grow, and mature each and every day as we take in more and more Scripture. No wonder Creation-based Science researchers are so much closer to the truth. The Scriptures give Creation researchers so much more of a head start in understanding reality it is not funny.
Again thank you simply for being there on the net. Blessings on all at CMI. Can’t wait till the next time one of you folk come to a Group in Lismore next.
Kindest regards in the Service Of The King
Humbly yours Dr. Col Lismore NSW
Well, I'm glad that many other Adventists rushed to comment on this article, not that I feel the article was slanderous, as some have said, but simply that we can voice the truth that the majority of Adventists are certainly Young Earth Creationists. Coincidentally our Sabbath School (our version of Sunday school) Quarterly, which is studied around the world by our members, is currently on Creationism and Origins. Having said that, they chose this topic in part to reaffirm their stance in the face of various scandals with evolution in academic and administrative ranks.
Adventists would be the biggest fools to believe in evolution - because if the 7 days in Genesis 1 were metaphorical, how could the Sabbath day have any literal significance today? And if it did have significance, what would it signify (surely not creation).
Evolution is an assiduous lie, and any Christian who feels the need to accommodate it is akin to the lukewarm Laodicean in Revelation, which will soon be spewn from the Creator's mouth.
Thanks for taking up this fight, which is important at this time in History.
I just want to echo the words of Johannes A. I am quite disappointed that you did not do some background checks before making those almost slanderous statements regarding the Seventh Day Adventist church.
As a member myself, and aware of these issues within the church, I can most assuredly affirm that the Seventh Day Adventist does believe in the historicity of Genesis and a six day creation. This has been discussed in our church on a global level in recent times and our stance has been reaffirmed and consolidated at every level of church governance.
The publication you mentioned is not an official publication of our church, but one started by an individual who was explicitly teaching contrary to the established doctrine of our church, and was removed from employment about 30 years ago. He may express the views he or others hold himself, but he is NOT expressing the official view of the church.
Lastly, as Johannes A. suggested, we do have many individuals and academics within our church who think differently, as there will be in every church. That does not mean they should be excluded. I would be willing to uphold people's right to hold their own views, so long as they don't seek to insist them upon others. Even though I would strongly disagree with those in my church who support an alternative stance on Genesis.
I refer you to three official statements on creation, issued on our world website, that affirm our stance on Genesis, and also recognise the need for ongoing dialogue.
I would appreciate a correction by CMI to these comments, given that they were incorrectly and poorly stated, and that I and many other Seventh Day Adventists have been, and will continue to be, strong supporters of your ministry.
I still don't think there was anything slanderous in:
But this just shows that the craving for secular intellectual respectability has even infected some academics from the Seventh Day Adventists, a denomination once known for a strong stand on Genesis—and many of their churches still support CMI [Italics added].
I published the comment from Johannes without comment to give orthodox creationist SDAs a fair go, and am likewise publishing yours above also without editing.
First I would like to point out that "Good News for Adventists" is NOT an official publication of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The views expressed in this publication do NOT reflect the doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Unfortunately like any organisation we have people who dwell on the lunatic fringe and because we live in a democracy and respect the right of free speech the church does not sanction or prohibit publication of material that does not reflect the official beliefs of the church.
It should be noted that the Bible Study quarterly for January - March 2013 deals exclusively with Creation. This IS an official church publication that is distributed world-wide.
You will find NO contradiction to Creation beliefs within its pages.
Therefore please do not tar the Seventh-day Advenist Church with the same brush as the erronious views of one author.
Yours in the Master's service,
I feel I do not have enough scientific training to discern anything about the age of the earth; however, as to the Creation, I feel that like Einstein’s theory of relativity, that time was pretty much according to the way God thought it to be. The days were not literal 24-hour days; and who can say what day of the week he began on? He surely wouldn’t pick “Saturn” as a name for a day of the week, would he? Maybe that is why Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath?” I think it is the greater wisdom to treat God's Creation as we do God's Word, and leave it to tell US what the truth is, rather than trying to make our “truths” fit what we think it to be, perhaps.
Indeed so. We should not try to make our truth fit what we think it should be, and second-guess the 24-hour Creation days that God clearly revealed in His Sabbath Command in Exodus 20:8–11. Also, since Scripture is God’s revelation to man and designed to teach us (2 Timothy 3:15–17), it follows that the words must mean the same to God and man, and that divine logic and human logic are the same. See for example:
- Six days? Really?
- The days were ‘God’s days’ not ‘man’s days’ [refutation of this argument]
- 6,000 years of biblical history: Questions and answers (especially both responses to Syd W)
Thank you, Dr Jonathan Sarfati, for these excellent answers!
As a Seventh-day Adventist I must agree with some previous comments. The wording, “Seventh Day Adventists, a denomination once known for a strong stand on Genesis—and many of their churches still support CMI" [my emphasis added], seems to say that we’re moving away from this strong stand. I’ve seen no such shifts on the denominational level, not even on a local church level, but only on the individual level. (They might of course group together on Internet forums.)
I don’t know how they manage combining Seventh-day Adventist theology with evolutionary ideas, and I strongly disagree. But since we don’t exclude people simply for not agreeing with the majority, these people will always be among us. In fact I would welcome them to take part in all our discussions on creation. Hopefully they will realize that there is absolutely no need for them to compromise!
(May I humbly suggest that the words “once” and “still” be removed from the sentence, since these are the ones suggesting that there is a shift going on other than on the individual level. I think the point you intended will still be the same.)
The First Light channel here in New Zealand broadcasts lots of CMI and AIG material.
They are truly a blessing here in New Zealand and for free to view watchers.
Sadly, Richie Way did leave the SDA church quite some time ago, and the article he wrote no doubt reflects why he did that.
We serve not only a powerful God, but a very patient one.
Thanks CMI for your helpful response to his article.
I also am a Seventh-Day Adventist and sadly have been aware of rumblings of long age earth ideas with a few of our academics. I believe that the vast majority of SDAs believe the Genesis account of origins and I personally do not know of anyone within our denomination that gives credence to the theory of evolution. I have only a secondary education but consider myself to be too intelligent to believe such nonsense. Thank you for your excellent articles. Joseph
I love the article, a question about genealogies though. I always wondered why the earliest people waited so many hundreds of years to have children. Did they really wait 100+ years to get married and have kids? Did they mature far more slowly (imagine if the terrible two's lasted 10 years!) or have much more difficulty conceiving?
Not sure actually. I doubt that people closer to creation would have more difficulty conceiving; surely it would be easier not harder. Maybe because of their longevity, they didn’t need to rush. It’s also possible that the named seed son was not the first; we know this to be true of Seth.
Great article! It’s so sad to see so many church-goers being deceived and led astray. I experienced this first-hand a few weeks ago when I debated Dr. Hugh Ross on his Facebook page. While I don’t think it is right to question people's salvation based on the issue of the earth’s age, if fruits have roots, then I sense that Dr. Ross isn’t really who he claims to be at all. Thanks so much for writing these articles to help arm the Church and to warn us of these false doctrines.
Your article gives the impression that this writer's beliefs are common to SDAs. I have been an Adventist for 59 years and have never heard of such things from our church nor have I ever heard of the publication. We have our own publishing company that I am positive would not publish such writings. It is a core belief of our church that creation took place in six days and then God rested on the seventh day, hence the name “Seventh-Day Adventists”. We worship on the seventh day because it was given as a memorial of that creation week , as stated right in the fourth commandment.
That wasn’t the intended impression. See my responses to Alan S. and Errol B. above.
As an Adventist, the statement “a denomination once known for a strong stand on Genesis” concerns me. This quarter’s lesson is specifically about the historicity of Genesis. I would like to reassure you that the vast majority of Adventists do believe in the literal 6 days of creation followed by the 7th day of rest, I’ve yet to meet an Adventist who does not believe in a literal six day creation about 6,000 years ago although I have met the occasional Adventist who is open to the idea of an old earth / universe... until I point out; the primary dating method used isn’t radio isotope dating, but rather index fossils (at least when it suits) and therefore is interpreted as a record of death before Adam, they usually get the point.
Exodus 20:8–11 is of significance to ‘Seventh Day Adventists’ helping define who we are. I hope Ritchie is just a lone squeaky wheel demanding attention. The title of his publication suggests he’s telling Adventists something we didn’t know, but that doesn’t mean most of his audience agrees with him. Your ministry has been a valuable resource, without it, Adventists may well be suffering an exodus of youth equal to that of some other less fundamentalist denominations.
We do need to be on guard and test any doctrine that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, is it biblical? Might we be forgiven for thinking Ritchie lacks the ‘childlike’ faith, that would be a very dangerous position. The churches at which you give your presentations, are blessed.
My experience is likewise that the vast majority of Adventists whom I’ve met believe in literal 6 days of creation followed by the 7th day of rest, about 6,000 years ago. Sad to say, I’ve met some that compromise with billions of years and even evolution. But good on the majority for holding the line.
CMI regards it as a blessing on us when we have the privilege of speaking in churches, the Body of Christ.
I'm reasonably certain that some Seventh-day Adventist academics have indeed been infected by long-age thinking. I just want to point out though, that I visited the “Good News For Adventists” website. It does not appear to be affiliated with the denomination.
The point in your article that we need to hold to the truth and not crave secular respectability is well-taken. I agree on that point. And you’re right, there is sometimes a craving for respectability. It is important to me to be respected in my field, for example. I need to take care not to let that desire overcome the truth.
I found this remark interesting to say the least:
God created the Earth he built into it mechanisms for self-correction, one of which is the removal of excess salt from the ocean and lakes by evaporation.
Working in the Aquatics/Coral propagation industry, I know that salt does not evaporate. There is a degree of ‘salt creep’ but certainly no evaporation.
To keep salinity stable we top up tanks with FRESH water :)
Also in my country of birth, the salt manufacturers flood their huge holding ponds with sea water, then after the water has evaporated harvest the salt.
If salt evaporated there would be nothing to harvest …
I agree with John S whomever wrote this rubbish that you so well defended is not a SDA in any form; this is an attack by an outsider, YEC is the foundation of the SDA doctrines so any one in that denomination will very quickly burn rubbish like this.
I have said it before if you don't believe in the creator then you don't qualify to be known as a Christian (if you don’t know him you can’t use his name) SDAs believe in the creator. So much so that they still keep the memorial day of creation … the 7th day.
So linking anything like this is in fact insulting to them.
your statement “the Seventh Day Adventists, a denomination once known for a strong stand on Genesis” is incorrect they always have and always will be the strongest supporters of Genesis, their stand on Genesis is immovable, anything to the contrary disqualifies them of their claims to be SDAs.
My full statement was:
But this just shows that the craving for secular intellectual respectability has even infected some academics from the Seventh Day Adventists, a denomination once known for a strong stand on Genesis—and many of their churches still support CMI.
I don’t think there was anything unfair in this. The SDAs would hardly be the first denomination where academics strayed from the stand of the church as a whole.
I am a Seventh-day Adventist who is embarrassed over a long age publication coming from one of our churches. We have been going over the whole question of origins in our current Sabbath School quarterly which is decidedly pro-creationism of the six day type but apparently some choose to ignore the theological implications involved and go the other way (down, I think). But then Jesus did ask, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Lk. 18:8 NKJV). Maybe He knew something we overlook especially when considering how many people were saved during the flood.
Thanks so much for making clear and accessible what is so often said to be too big and too scientific a subject for the average person to comprehend, let alone explain or defend. CMI you are all doing a fantastic job in helping God’s people get a more thorough grasp of what our God has said and how it is relevant in every way to today's issues. May Almighty God delight to continue to bless and empower you.
The author of that article may identify himself as an SDA, but he sure doesn’t think like the majority do. If he had been come to church for the last six months, he may have had some of his questions answered, as CMI has eloquently done in this rebuttal. Thank you once again Dr Sarfati.
This is an excellent rundown of the supporting evidence for a young earth. The more I study the scriptures and the scientific evidence that’s available to all the more the young earth creationist view fits perfectly and the more problems one uncovers with the secular view of billions of years for the age of the earth. The creationist view just makes more sense too in the scheme of things.