Diversity/ Debates in Adventism, Yesterday & TodayPresentation Transcript
Waggoner Jones L E.Froom M.L. Andreasen Uriah Smith AG Daniells Prescott
Which One? “ Obey and Live” – pre-1888 or “Saved by Grace” post 1888 or post “Questions on Doctrine” ? “ What happened to Traditional, Historical Adventism?
“ Adventist thought is …in a constant flux” Malcolm Bull and Keith Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary, (1989), p.83
“ It is, as mistaken to imagine that Adventist experience, practice, and belief can be exactly the same in every place, as it is to suppose that it can be exactly the same in every generation.”
Fritz Guy, Thinking Theologically—Adventist Christianity and the Interpretation of Faith (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1999), 225.
Which Shade Of Adventism? Historical, Conservative, Progressive, Evangelical, Moderate “ What happened to Traditional, Historical Adventism?
liberal progressive conservative extreme c onservative ultra-extreme conservative Moral influence theory evangelical moderate Theological diversity in Seventh-day Adventism http://www. ministrymagazine .org/archive/2010/december/theological-diversity-a-threat-an-asset-or-what (It is) an “undeniable fact that contemporary Adventist theology has quite a few different faces” Reinder Bruinsma, Executive secretary of the Trans-European Division & President of the Netherlands Union. "A problem in past evangelical evaluations of Adventism has been the failure to recognize its theological diversity . Adventism is anything but monolithic.“ Kenneth R. Sample, The Recent Truth About Seventh-day Adventists in Christianity Today February 5, 1990.
Volume 25, Number 6 • June 2010 The Immutable Law of God • Christ Our Righteousness • The Seventh-day Sabbath, The Three Angels’ Messages • The Non-Immortality of the Soul • The Sanctuary
Trisha Famisaran “… there has always been theological diversity in …”( the Church) “ it appears that there was more of an acceptance of theological diversity before the death of Ellen White than there is acceptable theological diversity now” http://www.spectrummagazine.org/node/2687
“ There is no excuse for anyone in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth , and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation” Ellen G. White, Councils to Writers and Editors , 35.
One of the ten horns (tribes or nations) described in Daniel 7 was according to:
O. A. Johnson
“ that the law in Galatians is the ceremonial law.” “The Two Laws”, Review and Herald (March 16, 1886)
G. I. Butler
The schoolmaster in Galatians 3:25 (‘we are no longer under the schoolmaster’) is the ceremonial and sacrificial laws of Moses
“ The Law in the Book of Galatians” Review and Herald: Battle Creek, Mich., 1886).
This book was handed out to all the delegates at that G.C. Conference in 1986, and stated that Waggoner's view would lead the antinomian Christians who opposed Sabbath-keeping to find a reason to claim that the moral law (especially the fourth commandment) was “nailed to the cross” and therefore was “no longer binding” on New Testament Christians
He affixed his signature at the GC in 1888 under the statement: “Resolved — That the Law in Galatians Is the Ceremonial Law.”
E. J. Waggoner “ The law in Galatians is the moral law” Waggoner wrote in late 1886 in a series of nine articles in the Signs of the Times. Ellen G. White “ In this scripture [Gal. 3:24], the Holy Spirit through the apostle is speaking especially of the moral law. The law reveals sin to us, and causes us to feel our need of Christ and to flee to Him for pardon and peace.“ Selected Messages, 1896 vol. 1, p. 234.
George Ide Butler:
“ There is a sentiment prevailing…only believe in Christ, and you are all right…Jesus does it all…That is one of the most dangerous heresies…”
“ Obedience to the law ” was the third angel’s message”
(RH, May 14, 1889, 314)
“ perfect obedience to (the law) will develop perfect righteousness, and that is the only way any one can attain to righteousness.”
(RH, June 11, 1889, 376-77)
Dr. Ellet J. Waggoner : The justified Christian “shall live by faith..For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth” “… whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Signs of the Times, Feb 24,1888,119) Alonzo T. Jones “ Therefore, my brethren, justification by faith forever, without any works of any law of any kind whatever, —this is the only ground of hope of salvation.” http://www.1888mpm.org/category/tags/alonzo-t-jones Ellen G. White “ The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to his people through Elders Waggoner and Jones” (TM 91) W. C. White, S. N. Haskell Edward Heppenstall Hans LaRondelle, Christ Our Salvation: What God Does for Us and in Us, 1980 Morris Venden
Dr. Ellet J. Waggoner 1855-1916 Alonzo T. Jones 1850-1923
"In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived ,” Ellen White, in Desire of Ages (1898) Christ is "the beginning of the creation of God." Not the beginner, but the beginning, of the creation, the first created being , dating his existence far back before any other created being or thing,next to the self-existent and eternal God. Uriah Smith, Thoughts Critical and Practical on the Book of Revelation (Battle Creek, Mich. Steam Press of the Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association, 1865), p. 59. L.L. Caviness said “…I can not believe that the two persons of the Godhead are equal…” Knight, George. A Search for Identity, p.153 For Waggoner Christ possesses “all the fullness of the Godhead” being “by nature the very substance of God, and having life in Himself, He is properly called Jehovah, the self-existent One.” E.J. Waggoner. Christ and His Righteousness . Melbourne, Aust.: Echo Publishing, 1892; p. 23.
J. H. Waggoner called it "that awful and mysterious power which proceeds from the throne of the universe “ . J. H. Waggoner, The Spirit of God: Its Offices and Manifestations , p9 Uriah Smith similarly described it as "a mysterious influence emanating from the Father and the Son, their representative and the medium of their power “ Uriah Smith, The Biblical Institute (1878), p184 But respecting this Spirit, the Bible uses expressions which cannot be harmonized with the idea that it is a person like the Father and the Son. Rather it is shown to be a divine influence from them both, the medium which represents their presence and by which they have knowledge and power through all the universe, when not personally present . Uriah Smith G.I. Butler told J.H. Kellogg on April 5, 1904 “ It is not a person walking around on foot, or flying as a literal being, in any such sense as Christ and the Father are ..” Not a Person, Only a "power" or "influence". A Person of the Godhead Ellen White said that the Holy Spirit is “ as much a person as God is a person (Ev 616-17). He is the “Third Person of the Godhead” (DA 671) “… the Holy Spirit , the third person of the Godhead,…” 1931 Fundamental Beliefs LeRoy E.Froom “ May I state that my book, THE COMING OF THE COMFORTER was the result of a series of studies that I gave in 1927 – 1928, to ministerial institutes throughout North America. You cannot imagine how I was pummelled by some of the old-timers because I pressed on the personality of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Godhead .” (L. Froom, letter to Otto Christenson, 27 th October 1960)
"For Joseph Bates the Trinity was an unscriptural doctrine...,
for James White it was that `old Trinitarian absurdity'..., and
for M. E. Cornell it was a fruit of the great apostasy.“
for J S Washburn “this monstrous doctrine transplanted from heathenism..”
Knight, George. A Search for Identity:
The Development of Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs .
Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2000. P.17, 154
That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father ,…; the Lord Jesus Christ , …the Holy Spirit , the third person of the Godhead,… 1931 Fundamental Beliefs "There is one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. [...]". Fundamental Beliefs, # 2, 1980
SDA Leadership Totally Rejects The Trinity 1919-1946 “ the last of the "old-time" Adventist antitrinitarians died in 1968. A new generation of neo-antitrinitarians emerge in the 1980s” Merlin Burt, "Demise of Semi-Arianism and Anti-Trinitarianism in Adventist Theology, 1888-1957" (term paper, Andrews University, 1996). 1844-1919 1919-1946 1946-1980 1946-1980 Anti-Trinity Joseph Bates James White Ellen G White J N Loughborough Uriah Smith S N Haskell M C Wilcox J S Washburn W C White R F Cottrell H W Cottrell G I Butler J H Waggoner J N Andrews Anti-Trinity L L Caviness T E Bowen O A Tait W H Wakeman C P Bollman B G Wilkinson W R French J S Washburn Pro-Trinity H C Lacey W T Knox W W Prescott F M Wilcox L E Froom Anti-Trinity J S Washburn C S Longacre W R French Pro-Trinity Leroy E Froom R R Figuhr RA Anderson
Christ possessed a “unfallen" nature
M. L. Andreasen,
Robert J. Wieland,
C. Mervyn Maxwell,
Authors of Questions on Doctrine
(most probably: R. A. Anderson,
Leroy E. Froom, W. E. Read),
Edward (Ted) Heppenstall,
Hans K. LaRondelle,
“ had a human nature exactly like ours” Source: Woodrow W. Whidden II http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/wwhc/hoc01.htm#5 Footnote 5 and 6 Ralph Larson has demonstrated (in The Word Was Made Flesh) that a rather strong consensus on a post-Fall view existed until the middle 1950s, Christ possessed a "fallen" nature
“ Christ demonstrates that man can do what he did…” “In the last generation God gives the final demonstration that men can keep the law of God and that they can live without sinning”
Knight, George. A Search for Identity, 146, 148
“ His sinless experience in the flesh is a guarantee that any of us may have the same victory if we will depend upon the Father as He did.
Salvation by Grace Alone Edward E. Heppenstall “… nowhere does the Bible equate perfection with sinlessness when speaking of the child of God” and that “salvation by grace means being shaken loose from the folly of implanting our ego at the center [of the plan of salvation] with the belief that we must arrive at sinless perfection to be sure of salvation “ Knight, George. A Search for Identity , 172 “ The basic doctrine of the Christian faith is salvation by grace alone. This doctrine represents the final renunciation of either human effort or the human claim to perfection” http://www.bibelschule.info/streaming/Edward-Heppenstall---How-Perfect-Is-%27Perfect%27-or-is-Christian-Perfection-Possible_24115.pdf
A “fully completed atoning sacrifice made by Christ on Calvary” (QOD 352) and argues (on the basis of 1 John 2:2) that “the all-sufficient atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ … was offered and completed on the cross of Calvary.” (QOD 350).
“ Christ’s work of atonement was begun, rather than completed , on Calvary; and that the final phase of the atonement is now being carried forward in the heavenly sanctuary.”
COTTRELL'S LETTER TO R. A. ANDERSON, Feb.1958
Christ's atonement NOT completed on the cross. Christ's atonement completed on the cross
Verbalism and Inerrancy C.P. Bollman said in 1919: “ The Bible was inerrantly given” F.M. Wilcox said in 1928: He believed in the “verbal inspiration of the Bible” and Ellen Whites writings.” Knight, George. A Search for Identity, p. 137 Ministry magazine contained this quotation: The Bible ”is a book of divine information concerning the way of salvation , and without a flaw or error in the documents as written by the inspiration of the Spirit. Not only is every word of doctrine true , but there is also no mistake in the historical data offered, nor in any other point of divine human knowledge…even every incidental remark in the field of geology, cosmology, astronomy, and biology is true” Ministry magazine, June 1931, pp. 20, 21. Knight, George. A Search for Identity, p. 138 Though Inspiration & possible Errors 1883 General Conference Session position: “ We believe the light given by God to his servants is by the enlightenment of the mind, thus imparting the thoughts and not (except in rare cases) the very words in which the ideas should be expressed.” (RH, Nov.27, 1883, 741) W.C. White writing to S.N. Haskell: “ Mother “never wished our brethren to treat” her writings “as authority on history…” I cannot see consistency in our putting forth a claim of verbal inspiration when Mother does not make any such claim…” Ellen added: “I approve…” (WCW to Haskell, Oct.31, 1912 Also for Thought inspiration: Daniells Prescott
Whatever label we may give to others or others may give to us, it is marvelous to see that, in most cases, there is far more that binds us than what divides us .
When one looks at what proponents from different currents within Adventism tell us they believe, we notice that they are held together by Common convictions.
All take the Bible very seriously.
The Trinity is real
Christ is our Mediator
Christ will in the near future return to this earth.
The value of the Sabbath
“ Conditional immortality”
History will end
Adventists have a special mission in preparation for that end.
See Reinder Bruinsma at http://www. ministrymagazine .org/archive/2010/december/theological-diversity-a-threat-an-asset-or-what