Where I spray-paint my thoughts…

Sunday Supplement: Conversations with Ed (1)


As you know if you’ve been reading along, my Searching Sabbath videos took on a new twist when fellow Adventist writer and video-blogger Ed Dickerson offered to engage in a “video dialogue” with me. Ed has been doing a series of videos about the book of Genesis and offered to respond to some of the questions I raised about the Genesis creation story and what it says about our origins. I think it’s a great idea to engage in dialogue. I also think his video, which cuts between my questions and his answers, makes me look like a squirrel with ADHD on speed, compared to his laid-back and relaxed presentation style, but that’s OK — we all have our different onscreen attitudes and personas. Mine is just a little more hyper than Ed’s. Anyway, if the whole Genesis, Creation/Evolution, origins question interests you, please watch the two videos below — Ed’s response to last week’s “Searching Sabbath” and then my response to him. I’m still left with lots of questions! Feel free to add to the discussion in comments.


5 thoughts on “Sunday Supplement: Conversations with Ed (1)

  1. To me the Genesis accounts of creation are definitely origins stories. Are they true? Yes, I do believe that the scriptural assertion that god created the heavens and the earth is 100 percent truth. But i also see that they are, to at least some extent, metaphorical. And why are there two different accouts of creation? I know the traditional answer is that they mesh together to give us a fuller understanding, but they don’t dovetail as nicely as I’d like.

    I’m not sure why Adventists are so dismissive of science. I love the quote from Babylon 5 about faith and science being like the shoes on your feet– you can get a lot further wearing both of them. And there’s something disingenuous about pointing out how modern science now supports the health teachings of EGW while at the same time totally discounting any findings that challenge our beliefs.

    I am uncomfortable with the current church position that all of our doctrines rest upon a literal 6 day creation that took place 6-7 thousand years ago. If that is true, then Adventism is essentially nothing but a house of cards.

    Thanks to you both for a thought provoking and refreshingly civil dialog!

    • Sharon–good point about the literal week supporting all faith. If you believe that the seventh day is of upmost importance, even today, then I think the literal week would be very important. But if, like most mainstream Christians, you believe that the Sabbath was an allegory pointing ahead to Jesus who would be our rest, then it isn’t as necessary to faith. Not that mainstream Christians don’t get behind the literal creation week, but the need to believe in it is based on something different than having it support the entire faith structure.

  2. I’ve read about a “Gap theory” that puts a big gap between God creating the world (before creating life) and the fall of Satan. It’s interesting, b/c it takes into account dinosaurs bones being found without any human bones with them, and allows for God creating all life very quickly. Basically, the person suggested that this planet has a bigger history than we are told about in the Bible account of human life. Perhaps life was started on this planet, and something (something we aren’t told about directly) happened in that experiment, and it was wiped clean to start over. Then God replanted life and our human story starts. I wouldn’t place my entire faith in a theory like that, but I’m more inclined to believe that a story can be much bigger than we know than I am to believe that God would use death an destruction as his tools of choice when creating life.

    Also, is Ed saying that life is 6000 years old? I watched his video about a week ago, but I seem to remember that he wasn’t saying that.

    • As I understand Ed’s position (and perhaps he’ll come along to clarify it further) he believes that the earth itself — i.e. the actual geological planet — may be very, very old indeed, but that all life on it was indeed created in six literal days a fairly short time ago. But I would rather hear him answer that directly than try to paraphrase what I’ve gotten from his videos.

      It seems to me that without any need to uphold a literal seventh day Sabbath, many many conservative Christians still manage to get quite uptight about literal six-day young-earth creationism (to the extent that many I know believe that not just the life on this planet, or even the planet itself, but the ENTIRE UNIVERSE, is no older than 6000 years – and contains no life anywhere except on this planet). I think the key issue really is what you believe about the inspiration of the Bible — many conservative Christians believe that without a literal creation week, nothing in the Bible is trustworthy.

      • That’s a good point about a person’s stance on the inspiration of the Bible. I think it also comes down to our understanding of what a “good God” looks like. Since we are all Christians in this discussion (so far), I think that our faith in God is probably stronger than our faith in a scientific interpretation of physical evidence (since there is none for the existence of God!) Because if we believe in God (and that God is good), we have to rectify that with our beliefs. Would a good God use evolution, for example? Does a good God give us a clear understanding of where we came from, or does he give us something more poetic or symbolic?

        For me, how symbolic or poetic the Bible is isn’t an issue, but the goodness of God IS. If there is a God who tortures us through evolution in order to get us into existence, and then sets it up so that we all eat each other… I’d have to join the rebel forces against that kind of God. But my experience of God is different. I can’t believe that he’d do that. If he hasn’t given me the whole story, I’m cool with that. My faith in God’s goodness is stronger than my faith in scientific interpretations.

        (Which doesn’t mean I necessarily read the creation story literally, but it certainly curtails the liberties I take with it.)

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