Sunday, August 19, 2007

IFBs and the Seventh-Day Adventists

A side thought
For as much as IFBs talk about the men leading the church and the home, in my experience, what the "Mrs." wants, the "Mrs." gets. The women don't hold _positions_ of power, but they make up for that with their _attitude_ and _influence_. Is it a reaction to a feeling of suppression? Or is it just merely the outworking of their hearts' desire in the only form available?

A word on the roots of KJVOs
In response to the point that modern KJVOism started in the 1930s. It is often pointed out that a group of men called the "old conception" were present in the mid-to-late 19th century that held KJVO views. This is, in fact, the case. However several points need to be made:
1. These men never caused any of the denominations or Baptist groups to change their position
2. By 1920 the "old conception" men had died off having never left enough of an impression any group for their views to be carried on

So when, in 1930, a Seventh-Day Adventist by the name of Benjamin Wilkenson put forth the KJVO position in his book, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, he did so independently. Not only is this evident from the time-line of the "old conception" movement, but it is also evident from the scope of that movement, which would have had no dealings with the SDA, especially given that the height of the movement was during Ellen White's adult lifetime.

Furthermore, men like Ray, Fuller, and Ruckman did not reach back in their quotations and defense of KJVO to the "old conception" men; they reached back to each other and ultimately, to Wilkenson.

For KJVO IFBs, they reach back to Hyles, who took from Ruckman initially.

And this is not the ONLY major fighting doctrine IFBs inherited from the Seventh-Day Adventists.

6-day/24-hr day creationism as an essential doctrine
Now let me say, from the outset, that I subscribe to the gap theory. Gen 1:1, then perhaps the creation of angels and the earth as their habitation, the resulting destruction as a result of Satan's fall, and then v.2, the recreation of a void earth for man. As such, I do believe in a miraculous 6-day/24-hr day creation.

Is it a point of no-compromise for me? No. I don't see why IFBs have to have a problem with theistic evolutionists. My mom has an atheist friend who says she can't accept Christ because she can't accept a literal, 6-day/24-hr day creation. This shouldn't be the case.

Truly the grandfather of the modern-day YEC (Young Earth Creationism) movement is Seventh-Day Adventist George McCready Price. In 1902 he published what was the first attempt to harmonize a literal reading of Genesis 1 with new scientific findings, titled "Outlines of Modern Christianity and Modern Science". From the "Reasons to Believe" website:

"Shortly after the turn of the century the self-instructed Adventist geologist George McCready Price began advocating a scientific version of White's views that he called "the new catastrophism," "the new geology," or simply "flood geology." According to Price, a correct reading of Genesis 1 ruled out any notion of "creation on the installment plan," that is, creative acts interspersed over millions of years, which he regarded as a "burlesque" of creation. The gap theory required too much verbal "dodging and twisting" to conform to his standards of biblical literalism, and the day-age theory seemed even more egregious."

So we see that the predominant theories among Christians at the time were the "gap theory" and the "day-age theory." Into this Mr. McCready began to fight for a straight, unassuming, literal reading of Gen 1, and in 1925 published "The New Geology," in which he laid out scientific arguments for YEC, many of which are still used today. In the famous Scopes trial, Williams Jennings Bryan quoted some of Price's arguments and his opponent Darrow said, "You mentioned Price because he is the only human being in the world so far as you know that signs his name as a geologist that believes like you do . . . every scientist in this country knows [he] is a mountebank and a pretender and not a geologist at all."

Among those who borrowed directly from Price are Dudley Joseph Whitney in mid-1930s, and ultimately Henry Morris, the founder of ICR(Institute for Creation Research) out of which came Ken Ham of AiG(Answers in Genesis). Of Price, Mr. Morris said that reading "The New Geology" was a life changing experience.

It's a small world

KJVOs who know about the old conception men quote WB Riley for proof that these men existed as late as 1917. In the extended quote, Riley says "I think it would be accepted without fear of successful controversy that such fogies in Biblical knowledge are few, and their funerals are nigh at hand." Riley was AGAINST KJVOism himself, and as it turns out, believed in the "day-age" theory of creation. Our friend Mr. McCready spoke of Riley and said his "day-age" theory was "the devil's counterfeit."

Riley was a Baptist, and the pastor of First Baptist Church of Minneapolis, MN for 45 years from 1897-1942.

More on YEC and Ellen G. White

According to the website of the Ellen White estate:
"Although Ellen White uses the phrase “unity in diversity,” and stated “Instructors in our schools should never be bound about by being told that they are to teach only what has been taught hitherto,” she maintained that the landmarks and pillars of Adventist truth were to remain. Concepts that impact the science of geology which she “was shown” to be identified as permanent include six literal, empirical, historical 24-hour days of creation, culminating with a literal 24-hour Sabbath day of rest, and human life on earth non-existent before the literal creation week described in Genesis. Recognizing that all truth in a fallen world is vulnerable to distortion, Ellen White continually repeated her clarion call to elevate Scripture over humanity’s ideas of science. True science, in her view, must always be brought to the test of the unerring standard of Scripture.

"Ellen White was aware of ideas similar to the uniformitarianism of James Hutton. She was also aware of the scholarly scorn leveled against the notion of a recent historical creation week, similar to the scorn offered by Schleiermacher’s caricature in 1829 that only “gloomy creatures” believe in ancient literalism. In this milieu of Genesis reconstruction with its converging concept of “deep time,” she could state both, “The work of creation cannot be explained by science,” and “True science and the Bible religion are in perfect harmony.”"

Apparently, a literal reading of Gen 1 was a non-negotiable for White, and in this context it is easy to see why an SDA teacher such as Price would have fought in its defense.

America in Prophecy

I attended an IFB church in the south bay area of San Diego, CA from age 5-13. This church had Hyles in just about every year until the mid-90s. During the time I was there, they passed out the book "America in Prophecy." I remember as a young boy thinking, well that's exciting, to see America in the Bible. Of particular interest was something in the book referring to a heavenly purification starting in 1844. That peaked my interest because evidently the Bible had a prophecy with a modern date! I never made sense of it then.

Now, I know that the 1844 Investigative Judgment is a peculiar doctrine of the SDA. I also know that America in Prophecy is merely another name and packaging for Ellen White's "The Great Controversy."

I think the church just didn't realize it, at first. But the material drew them. What is it with IFBs and the SDA?

2 comments:

LR said...

(LOL) Greetings David T! How are you today! I was wondering when someone would suggest this. I'm DEAD! (LOL). I guess I shouldn't leave my BLOG hanging on this last entry. To answer your question: Life. I've been too busy raising my four boys, trying to enjoy life rather than rant and rave. I have reconsidered continuing this blog but this time I may name some names! (Hey the IFB'rs like to name names from the pulpit too) In short, they've struck again! Let me ask you a hypothetical question. If you were an IFB preacher would you leave your daughter in the ER with a critical grandson and drive through the city the hospital is in just to make Thursday visitation? Not even call? Not even be there for her? And yes they knew where he was they knew how serious he was? It gets better . . . I'll have to revisit my blog, write a book, make a lot of money. God Bless.

Jhn 13:35
By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another

[In response to a comment left on my blog, I re-posted here because I'm not sure if you'll be notified of my response]

LR said...

Follow up: Don't misunderstand my Rant and Rave comment, that was directed to me not you.