How did We (Christians, Adventists) get from There to Here ? Did our doctrinal understanding evolve ?Presentation Transcript
did our understanding evolve ? The images used appear to be in the public domain. If any picture is used inappropriately, please let me know I will correct it immediately.
Do YOU believe in GOD? Why ? On what do you base your belief ?
Reason ? The Bible ?
“ The heavens declare the glory of God;..” Ps.19,1
Personal Experience ?
Do you think REASON can proof the existence of God ?
St. Thomas Aquinus Believed that reason can, in principle, lead the mind to God
Classic Arguments (Aquinas) for the Existence of God Title of Argument Content of Argument The Argument From Perfection It can be observed in the universe that there is a pyramid of beings (e.g., from insects to man),in an ever-increasing degree of perfection. There must be a final being who is absolutely perfect, the source of all perfection. This being is God.
Classic Arguments (Aquinas) for God (cont.) The Argument From Motion There is motion (locomotion) in the universe. Something cannot move itself, an external agent or force is required. An infinite regress of forces is meaningless. Hence, there must be a being who is the ultimate source of all motion while not being moved itself. This being is God, the unmoved mover. The Cosmological Argument (The Argument From Cause) Every effect has a cause. There cannot be an infinite regress of finite causes. Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause or necessary being. This being is God .
Do you think One could reason equally convincing for the existence of the TRINITY ? If not, on what do you base your belief in the TRINITY ?
How do you know The BIBLE is God’s Word ? Who told you so ? The Bible ?
How did we get the New Testament Canon ?
It had to have a history of
“ continuous and widespread approval
(J. W. Wenham, Christ And The Bible).
The common evangelical view :
New Testament canon developed gradually and through usage
Catholic View :
Conciliar pronouncements vested the books of the New Testament with authority.
How did we get the New Testament Canon ?
How did we get the New Testament Canon ? Usage ?
Marcion c. 140
Irenaeus c. 180
Revelation of John
Shepherd of Hermas
Muratorian 200 1. Matthew (?)
Revelation of John
Revelation of Solomon
Eusebius c. 325 1. Matthew
Revelation of John
The Canon WEST: The decision of the Council of Carthage ( Third Synod of Carthage (A.D. 397) in the West is viewed as having fixed the Latin canon. EAST: Athanasius' festal letter (A.D. 367) is generally viewed as the document which fixed the canon in the East
AD 1536: In his translation of the N.T. Luther removed 4 NT books (Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelations) from their normal order and placed them at the end, stating that they are less than canonical . AD 1546: The Catholic Council of Trent reaffirms the canonicity of all 46 O T books and reaffirms the full list of 27 NT books.
Who told us
The BIBLE is
God’s Word ?
The Church (usage)
Internal Evidence ? Permissible? 2. Tim. III, 16: “ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,…” Scripture is inspired, but how do we know which books are the Scripture, except
How did we get some of the principal beliefs ? TRINITY ? Equality of Christ and the Holy Spirit With the FATHER Natures of Christ Salvation: A divine act of Divine act and Man
The Relationships of the Persons in the Trinity The Issue: Was Christ fully God, or was he a created and subordinate being?
Arius (ca. 250-336) held that:
Only God the Father
The Son had a
beginning as the
first and highest
The Son is not one in
essence with the
Christ is subordinate
to the Father
He is called God as a
Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria
the Father and the Son are of:
“ one substance ,”
The Roman Porta Nigra in Trier, were Athanasius was exiled in335/336 Athanasius
Christ was not created out of
He was begotten of the Father
before time in eternity.
Christ was of a like (homoi) or similar
essence to the Father.
Eusebius of Caesarea - Compromise
Council of Nicaea (325) Because of the spread of the Arian heresy, which denied the deity of Christ, the unity and even the future of the Roman Empire seemed uncertain. Constantine convened an ecumenical council in Nicaea to settle the issue.
Or would any sincere individual be able to deduct it from Scripture ? Councils decided key beliefs ?
Biblical or Pagan ? Arthur Weigall " The origin of the [Trinity] is entirely pagan ." (The Paganism in Our Christianity, Arthur Weigall, as quoted in, Should you believe the Trinity?, Watchtower publication) Will Durant " Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it . . . . From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity ." ("Will Durant", quoted in, Should you believe the Trinity?, Watchtower booklet) Winwood Reade " Christianity had conquered paganism, and paganism had corrupted Christianity . (Winwood Reade, Philosopher and historian, The Martyrdom of Man, p 183-84, quoted by anti-Trinitarians) Lyman Abbott Trinity " is a corruption borrowed from the heathen religions, and ingrafted on the Christian faith ." (A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge, Lyman Abbott, p944, as quoted in, Should you believe the Trinity?, Watchtower publication)
The Egyptians had worshiped a triune God (Horus-Osiris-Isis) for thirty centuries. Horus,Osiris,Isis (Louvre )
What does the Bible say?
God Only ? "And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God , and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.“ John 17:3 is to a Jehovah’s Witness, what John 3:16 is to a Christian! John 17:3 John 8:42 "I proceeded forth and have come from God" Arians argue that "proceeded forth" indicates a creation point and origin of Jesus as a creature. Gal 4:14 "you received me as an angel of God , as Christ Jesus Himself.“ Arians argue that the text says that angel of God is Christ Jesus .
Or does the Bible suggest the TRINITY ? “ The Old Testament does not explicitly teach that God is triune, it alludes to a plurality within the Godhead.” Seventh-day Adventists Believe …p.22 (Ex.: “Let US make man…” “ I have put My Spirit upon Him: (Isa.42:1)
TRINITY in the New Testament? John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.“ The three "a,b,c" clauses referred to in this document: John 1:1a "In the beginning was the Word," John 1:1b "and the Word was with God," John 1:1c "and the Word was God."
TRINITY in the New Testament? "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.“ John 8:56-59 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ , and the love of God , and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit , be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14 Baptize them into “the name of the Father , and of the Son , and of the Holy Ghost .” Mt. 23:19
God Only or Trinity ?
Are the Bible texts clear?
Would you arrive at the Trinity
without having been taught so?
Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.“ John 8:56-59 Arian: Son, Begotten before Abraham ? A beginning Abraham
Baptize them into “the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Mt. 23:19
Just like I am:
Yet, I am the same person;
So is God only ONE
Seventh-day Adventists Believe God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, … Fundamental Beliefs, 4
Seventh-day Adventists Believe The Yearbooks published from 1931 indicate official acceptance of Trinitarianism Was it always so ?
"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, along with such false doctrines as Sundaykeeping and the immortality of the soul.“ Knight, George. A Search for Identity: The Development of Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs . Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2000. P.17 Early Adventist Views
Early Adventist Views cont. J. M. Stephenson , Review and Herald in 1854, an Arian. “ The idea of the Father and Son supposes priority of the existence of the one, and the subsequent existence of the other. To say that the Son is as old as the Father, is a palpable contradiction of terms. It is a natural impossibility for the Father to be as young as the Son, or the Son to be as old as the Father. 1 J. M. Stephenson, "The Atonement," Review and Herald , VI (November 14, 1854), 128.
If you cannot allow inconsistencies in men, how can you accuse the Saviour of leaving the world to go to the Father, and at the same time assert that the Saviour was Jehovah himself? D. W. Hull , "Bible Doctrine of Divinity," Review and Herald (November 10, 1859), 194
Moreover, he 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.
James White was editor of the Review and Herald in 1861. In November of that year, he published J. N. Loughborough’s answer to the question:
"what serious objection is there to the doctrine of the trinity?" Loughborough replied:
“ There are many objections which we might urge, but on account of our limited space we shall reduce them to the following:
1. It is contrary to common sense.
2. It is contrary to Scripture.
3. It’s origin is Pagan and fabulous”
Previous quotes based on: The Arian or Anti-Trinitarian Views Presented in Seventh-day Adventist Literature and the Ellen G. White Answer by Erwin Roy Gane Masters Thesis by Erwin Roy Gane, written June 1963 for the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews
Neil C. Wilson in the preamble to the 1980 statement "Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word." How do beliefs emerge ? Decisions of the Church ?
Poehler, Rolf. Continuity and Change in Christian Doctrine. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1999. 156 pp. Poehler, Rolf . Continuity and Change in Adventist Teaching. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2000. 380 pp. Knight, George. A Search for Identity: The Development of Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs . Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2000 Do things change over time? Is it wrong?
"Most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to agree to the denomination's `27 Fundamental Beliefs.'" Knight, George. A Search for Identity:..chap.1, p.1
Knight and Poehler document the tendency of believers to soften the contrast between the strident anti-Trinitarianism of our forebears and modern Adventism's acceptance of the Trinity. James White's comment against that "old Trinitarian absurdity" (Review and Herald in 1852) was quoted in the SDA Encyclopedia (1976, 1996) closing the quote before "absurdity" and substitutes the word "idea," yielding the "old trinitarian' idea," a far kinder, gentler James White than the original source would suggest. Should we soften historic truth ?
bishop of Constantinople (341-360)
Holy Spirit was a “minister and a
servant” on a level with the angels
The Holy Spirit is a subordinate
creature to the Father and the Son.
B. The Relationship of the Holy Spirit to the Father
Macedonianism was condemned and the Holy Spirit's deity affirmed . Council of Constantinople (381) The original Nicene Creed stated simply: “We believe in the Holy Spirit.” This was modified by the Council of Constantinople to read: “ We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father , who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who spoke through the prophets. ”
When the Nicene creed was recited at the Council of Toledo in 589 the following words were added: The Hl.Spirit “ that proceedeth from the Father and the Son.” Council of Toledo in 589 Macedonius
Seventh-day Adventists Believe “ God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in.. Fundamental Beliefs, 5
“ 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.” Uriah Smith , “In the Question Chair,” Review and Herald , LXVII (October 28, 1890), 664. Early Adventists
Christology – Relationship between the Natures of Christ
Apollinarius, bishop of Laodicea
Spirit of man replaced in Christ by
the logos .
Stressed Christ’s deity, minimized
D Spirit LOGOS Soul Body H
SOUL SPIRIT LOGOS SOUL
Nestorius (5 th cent. Bishop of Constantinople)
Opposed to use theotokos of Mary
Christ was in effect only a perfect
man who was morally linked to the
deity. The union was only moral,
not Organic – thus two persons.
God – bearer rather than God – man.
archimandrite of a monstery in Constantinople
Two natures of Christ, the human and
the divine, were fused into one
nature, the divine .
The human nature was swallowed by
Denied the true
humanity of Christ.
Eutyches views reappeared in Monophysitism. Today Monophysitism exists among 16 million Coptics.
The Council held that Christ was
“ complete in Godhead and manhood , truly God and truly man” having “two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation.”
These two natures were brought together harmoniously in one person with one essence by the Incarnation
Council of Chalcedon (451)
“ ..being in the form of God ,… but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men ” Phil. 2: 6, 7 What does the Bible say ? Form –Likeness ?
Seventh-day Adventists Believe Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. Fundamental Beliefs, 4
Seventh-day Adventists Believe… Jesus Christ has two natures “ The Bible testifies that in addition to His divine nature, Christ has a human nature.” p. 45
Do the beliefs come from the Bible Or Church (community) decisions ? How do beliefs or truth definitions emerge? Does the understanding change over time? Is the exposition wrong, or can God do his work through Cyrus the king of Persia?
The Wills of Christ Issue: Did Christ have a human and divine will? Were they equal or was one subordinate? Council of Constantinople (680-81) In Christ the two wills exist in harmonious unity in which the human will is subject to the divine will. What do WE and Adventists believe?
Anthropology The Manner of Man’s Salvation Does personal experience have an impact on beliefs? How about culture, the particular time…?
Adam would have died whether he sinned or not Adam's sin injured only himself Children are born in the state in which Adam was before his fall The law and the gospel both lead to the kingdom of heaven Even before the coming of the Lord there were men without sin Neither by the death and sin of Adam does the whole race die, nor by the resurrection of Christ does the whole race rise Sin brought death into the world All men fell in Adam Children are born guilty and Depraved No man can enter the kingdom except through Christ There is none righteous Just as all men died in Adam, all men can be raised to life in Christ Augustine Pelagius
Seventh-day Adventists Believe… “ Salvation is all of grace and not of works, but its fruitage is obedience to the Commandments” Fundamental Beliefs, 18
Seventh-day Adventists Believed “ Salvation is all of grace and not of works, but its fruitage is obedience to the Commandments” Fundamental Beliefs, 18 Was this always our position? What about the 1888 General Conference? ( the law in Galatians at the 1888 General Conference) Shut Door? Inspiration?
“ While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works.“ Selected Messages, vol. l, 377