Michael L. Ryan, a vice
president of the Adventist world church, called on church-operated schools to
become scientific leaders in a world that teaches that humans evolved over
millions of years.
Ryan, speaking at a 10-day
International Conference on the Bible and Science in St. George, Utah, told
educators that the secret to success was to follow the examples of biblical
leaders like Moses and Daniel, who greatly influenced the world by rejecting
popular science to embrace a Creator God.
schools need to lead the world in research, scientific study, and the invention
of technology,” Ryan said in a sermon on Sabbath, Aug. 23.
“Positioning our schools as
giants of science does not conflict with faith,” he said. “Testing hypotheses,
testing and debating scientific findings, examining and exploring the wonders
of science do not make faith invalid.
“However, God’s Word, the Bible,
the sacred Scriptures, are irreplaceable as the guide and anchor to all our
endeavors and our conclusions,” he said.
Ryan’s remarks to an
audience of about 450 people came on the closing weekend of a conference that
sought to reaffirm the faith of Adventist educators in a literal, six-day
creation several thousand years ago and to provide them with the latest
scientific evidence supporting it.
Ryan, who chairs the
church’s Faith and Science Council, the main organizer of the conference, said
Adventist educators must accept the Bible without mixing it with popular
theistic and atheistic teachings that contend humans evolved over millions of
“The truths of science can often
be temporary, but God’s statements of faith, they are eternal,” he said.
Ryan did not say how
Adventist schools might take the lead in science.
One school, Loma
Linda University, is already regarded as a global leader in education, research and
clinical care. Its headline-making accomplishments include ongoing research
into the vegetarian diet and a 1984 milestone when doctors at its Loma Linda University Medical Center transplanted the
first baboon heart into a human.
Adventist educators have
published groundbreaking studies in mainstream academic journals, and a group
of them, including paleontologists Leonard R. Brand of Loma Linda University and
Arthur V. Chadwick of Southwestern Adventist University, made presentations at the
Utah conference. But Adventist and non-Adventist educators alike told the
conference of uphill battles and painful rejection as they pursued work in a
sometimes-hostile academic community.
said in his sermon that Bible-believing educators were not alone, and he offered
encouragement from the story of Moses, the son of a God-fearing Israelite
mother who was adopted by the powerful king of Egypt.
he was in one of the most powerful, wealthy, progressive, scientific countries
in the world,” Ryan said. “It would be easy to speculate that he was drowning
in evidence, well-polished rationales, science that worked, the powerful,
mystical display of the occult.
what did Moses write? What did he write? He wrote what God wrote,” Ryan said. “Do
I need to read it to you?”
turned to the fourth commandment in Exodus 20:11 and read: “For in six days the Lord
made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh
day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
is credited with authoring the first five books of the Bible, including the
creation story in Genesis and the words of the 10 commandments, which Moses
said were written by God’s own finger on stone and handed to him on Mt. Sinai
as he led the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan.
said: “And though he was surrounded by a blizzard of academic swagger and
buried in Ivy League pomp and arrogance, Moses wrote faith. He did not write
similar story, Ryan said, is found in the life of Daniel, the Israelite taken
into slavery by powerful and wealthy Babylon. The Bible tells how the captive Daniel
insisted on eating healthy food and later found himself before King Nebuchadnezzar, who was upset
after his educated elite could not recall a forgotten dream and interpret it.
magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans … watched as Daniel
timidly walked into the great hall,” Ryan said, peppering his remarks with colorful, modern-day
descriptions. “He had no academic regalia. He had no cap with a short fat tassel. There
he stood with a Big Frank under one arm and three pounds of broccoli under the
Linda Big Franks are a canned vegetarian meat substitute popular among Adventists in North America.
did they know that Daniel stood in the assembly of the most powerful nation on
Earth armed with the power and faith and the testimony of the great God of
eternity, the Creator of the world,” Ryan said.
the world upside down, he said.
Daniel was divinely armed with the answer what did he say? Listen to this,”
Ryan said, reading from Daniel 2:20-22: “’Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for
wisdom and might are His:and He changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth
kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to
them that know understanding:He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth
what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.”
noted that Daniel, who went on to become a prime minister, still faced trouble
for much of his life, including being thrown into the lion den. But he appealed
to Adventist educators to, like Daniel, remain strong and commit to
“Daniel entered in blisters
and rags, but he went out with a Lamborghini parked in the garage,” he said.