1975 Jan-MarVIII 1(75) - VIII 3(75)
1975 Apr-Jun VIII 4(75) - VIII 6(75)
1975 Jul-Sep VIII 7(75) - VIII 9(75)
1975 Oct-Dec VIII 10(75) - VIII 12(75)
1976 Jan-Mar IX 1(76) - IX 3(76)
1976 Apr-Jun IX 4(76) - IX 6(76)
1976 Jul-Sep IX 7(76) - IX 9(76)
1976 Oct-Dec IX 10(76) - IX 12(76)
1977 Jan-MarX 1(77) - X 3(77)
1977 Apr-Jun X 4(77) - X 6(77)
1977 Jul-Sep X 7(77) - X 9(77)
1977 Oct-DecX 10(77) - X 12(77)
1978 Jan-Mar XI 1(78) - XI 3(78)
1978 Apr-Jun XI 4(78) - XI 6(78)
1978 Jul-Sep XI 7(78) - XI 9(78)
1978 Oct-Dec XI 10(78) - XI 12(78)
1979 Jan-Mar XI 1(79) - XI 3(79)
1979 Apr-Jun XI 4(79) - XI 6(79)
1979 Jul-Sep XI 7(79) - XI 9(79)
1979 Oct-DecXI 10(79) - XI 12(79)
Feb Knight Descends On Jones. 1of 4.
Mar Knight Descends On Jones. 2 of 4.
1988 Apr-Jun 3 & 4 of 4.
last of WWN published
ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)
SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation
- Legal Documents
Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer
Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer
the Form of a Slave
In Bible Prophecy
Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer
Seal of God
Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer
of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear
OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:
Various Studies --
Bible As History - Werner Keller
Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts
Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith
Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson
Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones
"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson
Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen
Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones
Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen
So Much In Common - WCC/SDA
Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy
As of 2010, all official sites of ALF in the United States of America were closed. The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada with its website, www.Adventist Alert.com, is now the only official Adventist Layman's Foundation established by Elder Grotheer worldwide.
The MISSION of this site -- to put works of the Foundation online.
Any portion of these works may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from Adventist Layman's Foundation, AdventistAlert.com, Victoria, BC Canada."
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WWN 2005 Jul - Sep
Jul 2005 -- XXXVIII - 7(05) -- Decades of Conflict and apostasy -- Part 1 -- 1952 - Present -- Editor's Preface -- Moses introduces his second book and the details of Israel's "way out" of Egypt with the terse announcement that "there rose up a new king over Egypt which knew not Joseph" (Ex. 1:8). Few there are in Adventism today who were active as the Church entered the last half of the 20th century. Assured by the 1952 Bible Conference that all was well and that the doctrinal basis of Adventism was sound, the Church was ill prepared to confront the challenge which the SDA-Evangelical Conferences brought. It was not that some of the questions raised by the Evangelicals didn't need deeper study and clarification. Some of them did, even in fundamental areas such as the atonement. While the atonement was not completed at the cross, a sacrificial atonement was made there. It was to be concluded in the final atonement. In God's revelation to Israel through the sacrificial system divinely inaugurated, there was revealed a dual atonement.
Instead of recognizing the duty that was ours, for having been made the "repository of sacred truth" to develop "that truth on a higher scale than it had hitherto been done, we compromised that truth and sought to eliminate those who would not go along with the compromised version. From al1 the composites given as to what the nature of "the omega of apostasy" would be like and seek to accomplish, one can recognize in that which took place at the SDA-Evangelical conferences and the results which followed, prophecy fulfilled.
p 2 -- The Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught in Adventism - 8a -- Decades of Conflict and apostasy --Part 1 -- 1952 - Present -- To even suggest that it would be possible for me write with a detached objectivity the history the doctrine of the Incarnation as taught by the Church during this period of time would be to create a credibility gap in the mind of the reader. During the decade prior to 1952, I served as conference evangelist in Georgia and pastor-evangelist of the first church in Toronto, Ontario. During the decade of 1952-1962, my ministry continued in pastoral -evangelism climaxing as head of the Bible and History Department of old Madison College. From then to the present it has been f ocused in the editorship of WWN. Both in preaching and through writing, I have defended what I believed to be the historic position of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in this area of doctrinal teaching. This manuscript, as first published in 1972, was evidence of the in-depth study that I made to determine this position.
At the time of the f irst publication of the manuscript - An Interpretive History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church - most of the principals in the conflict and apostasy were still living, with the exception of Elder M. L. Andreasen, prince of Adventist theologians, who defended to the end the historic position of the Church. Naturally, the original publication of the manuscript on this research involved the actions and writings of people then living. There are those, who, when living personalities are involved, hope and even pray that the research writer will use extreme caution and reserve in interpreting their writings and actions. The gravity of the conflict then and recent revelations now forbid such an approach. This is no minor issue. It was a matter of lif e and death. The destiny of the Church was at stake. The words spoken in the night season to the messenger of the Lord regarding those who accepted the sentiments found in The Living Temple by Kellogg, apply with equal force to those who would accept the sentiments regarding the nature of Christ's humanity as found in certain publications issued during this time period. How one should relate himself in evaluating this situation was also spelled out by the "voice" in the same night season. Here are the words of counsel: The sentiments in "Living Temple" regarding the personality of God have been received by men who have had long experience in the truth. When such men consent to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we are no longer to regard the subject as a matter to be treated with greatest delicacy. That those men we thought sound in the faith should have failed to discern the specious, deadly influence of this science of evil, should alarm us as nothing else has alarmed us (Special Testimonies, Series B, #7, p. 37).
The research of this chapter will be presented in harmony with the counsel of the "voice" in the night. It will not be written with "delicacy," but as an alarm sounding in the "holy mountain" of the Lord.
The last half of the 20th century for the Church began with a re-introduction of the 1888 Message. In 1950 the General Conference session elected Elder Wm. H. Branson as president. At the same session two young workers from Africa, R. J. Wieland and D. K. Short, home on furlough, attended the session and became alarmed by what they saw and heard. They approached the leadership of the Church, and voiced their concern. In response, they were asked to write out their convictions. This resulted in the manuscript, 1888 Re-Examined. It was, however, placed under interdict. While I first heard about this document from Elder Henry F. Brown, of the General Conference Home Missionary Department, when he visited the Toronto First Church in 1950, it took another decade for me to obtain a copy so as to read it for myself. However, there was an immediate effect.
[Note: In 1987, a "'revised and updated publication under
the same title was released by Wieland and Short. It was altered and "watered-down"
compared to the original edition. The original manuscript was preserved
in a documentary, A Warning and Its Reception, put together and
p 3 -- published by A. L. Hudson "for the study and guidance of the members of the Executive Committee of the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists" ("Preface", p. i) this documentary is today available through the Foundation office.]
Authorized by Annual Conference action, Branson set in motion plans for a Bible Conference in 1952, the purpose of which was to affirm the foundation of tth Church's faith and indirectly the message brought to the 1888 General Conference by A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner. Branson made this latter aspect of the Bible Conference very clear in his presentation captioned, "The Lord Our Righteousness." He stated: To a large degree the church failed to build on the foundation laid at the 1888 General Conference. Much has been lost as a result. We are years behind where we should have been in spiritual growth. Long ere this we should have been in the Promised Land.
But the message of righteousness by faith given in the 1888 Conference has been repeated here. Practically every speaker from the first day onward has laid great stress upon this all-important doctrine, and there was no prearranged plan that he should do so. It was spontaneous on the part of the speakers. ... Truly this one subject has, in this conference, "swallowed up every other."
And this great truth has been given here in this 1952 Bible Conference with far greater power than it was given in the 1888 Conference because those who have spoken here have had the advantage of much added light shining forth from hundreds of pronouncements on this subject in the writings of the Spirit of prophecy, which those who spoke back there did not have.
The light of justification and righteousness by faith shines upon us today more clearly than it ever shone before upon any people. No longer will the question be, "What was the attitude of our workers and people toward the message of righteousness by faith that was given in 1888? What did they do about it?" From now on the great question must be, "What did we do with the light on righteousness by faith as proclaimed in the 1952 Bible Conference?" (Our Firm Foundation, Vol. 2, pp. 616-617).
These words of Branson stand as an attempted answer to the challenge which Wieland and Short placed in their manuscript as presented to the General Conference Committee in 1950.
No speaker at the conference was assigned the subject of the Incarnation. Reference was made to it by Elder H. L. Rudy in his presentation of "The Mediatorial Ministry of Jesus Christ." He declared, speaking of the sacrifice provided by Jesus Christ: The providing of this sacrifice was possible only at an infinite cost. It included more than just the death on the cross. As the Father's representative He must fulfil all righteousness. Every day of His humiliation in sinful flesh was a day of suffering. It was in the days of His flesh that He "offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears" (Our Firm Foundation, Vol. 2, p. 17; emphasis mine).
In three years (1955), the SDA-Evangelical Conferences would begin resulting in a compromise and denial of basic truth held by the Church in the areas of the Incarnation and the Atonement. It was in 1957 that I first awakened to what had taken place as a result of these conferences. Disturbed by what I was reading in The Ministry, I wrote a letter to Elder H. L. Rudy, a vice president of the General Conference and presenter at the 1952 Bible Conference. It stated in part: In the recent issue of The Ministry there are three articles on which I have spent much time. One I have re-read parts of it at least three times. These articles are entitled: - "Adventism's New Milestone," "God With Us," and "The Incarnation and the Son of Man." I also observed that there were at least three verses of Scripture missing in discussing the subject of the nature of Christ in humanity. These three verses I checked, as far as I am able with my library, in the original Greek. Here is what I found on these words in the verses indicated:
8:3 - "In the likeness of sinful flesh."
"Flesh" - sarx - "when used either expressly or tacitly opposite to the spirit, has an ethical sense and denotes mere human nature, the earthly
p 4 -- nature of man apart divine influence, and therefore prone to sin, and opposed to God; accordingly it includes whatever in the soul is weak, low, debased, tending to ungodliness and vice." Then the positions of Luther and Melanchthon are cited (ibid., p. 571).
Hebrews 2:1'7 - "in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren."
Hebrews 2:18 - "in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted." ...
Now I am well aware of the fact that Jesus did not sin, that at no time, and in no wise did He yield to sin. But what did He receive from His mother, Mary, for He was the seed of David according to human descent? In The Ministry (April, p. 34) stress is laid on the fact that Jesus was ' the seed of the woman' not of man. Now if, and this is what is disturbing, Jesus did not inherit through Mary on His human side all that we inherit by human nature, then what kind of a nature did Mary have, and how far is this from the Immaculate Conception doctrine of Catholicism? (Letter dated April 8, 1957).
To this letter I received a reply stating: I merely want to acknowledge the receipt of your letter now and let you know that we are giving study to it, and it may be that either one of the other brethren or I will be writing to you again regarding the questions you raise. Perhaps you know that we have a group of men here in the General Conference office who are giving much of their time to the study of just such questions as you raise. We do appreciate the fact that our ministers in the field feel free to write us about these things (Letter dated April 12, 1957).
No further word was ever received. In a few months the book, Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine (QonD) was published.
Prior to this exchange of correspondence, which marked my own awakening,
much had transpired that set the stage for the years of turmoil and conflict
which has marked the history of the Church in the last half century. In
the previous issue of WWN we noted the position taken, and counsel
given by F. D. Nichol in his revised edition of Answers to Objections
(pp. 5-6). The 1952 edition carried a foreword by W. H. Branson which
gave a "hearty approval" to the book (p. 24). Yet, in 1953,
following the Bible Conference, Branson's
book, Drama of the Ages, was published. What he wrote
on the incarnation fails to tally with Nichol's statement, nor does Branson
heed Nichol's note of counsel. Branson wrote: It
was man's flesh and blood that Jesus partook. He became a member of the
human race. He became just like men ...
A few pages later in discussing the doctrine of the immaculate conception, Branson reasoned: The Catholic doctrine of the "immaculate conception" is that Mary, the mother of our Lord, was preserved from original sin. If this be true, then Jesus did not partake of man's sinful nature. This belief cuts off the lower rungs of the ladder, and leaves man without a Saviour who can be touched with the feelings of men's infirmities, and who can sympathize with them in their temptations and sufferings. By this teaching Jesus is made out to be altogether and wholly divine. Thus the ladder does not reach to earth where men are (pp. 88-89).
From this incident in our church history questions arise in the minds
of researcher and reader alike. Why did the president of the General Conference
place the endorsement of the Church upon a book that taught differently
than he himself believed? Or did he himself not read the manuscript carefully
enough to note this difference, and trusted to a man's position
p 5 -- Church - editor of its official journal - to state the teaching of the Church correctly and in its historical context? Or does this shed further light as to why the doctrine of the Incarnation was not a topic at the 1952 Bible Conference?
Events began in 1955 involving the doctrine of the Incarnation, and which prefaced the SDA-Evangelical Conferences. In the January 1955 issue of Our Hope, the editor, Dr. E. Schuyler English, who was also chairman of the Revision Committee for the Scofield Reference Bible, stated in an editorial note that the Seventh-day Adventist Church "disparages the Person and work of Christ." He referred to the Adventist teaching that Christ in His humanity "partook of our sinful, fallen nature." English's position was that Christ's conception in His incarnation was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit so that He did not partake of the fallen sinful nature of other men.
Dr. Leroy E. Froom entered into correspondence with Dr. English and assured him that his position on the incarnation was "precisely what we likewise believe," and that the old Colcord minority view "notes" in Bible Readings (See WWN, 6(05), pp. 6-7) "contending for an inherent sinful, fallen nature for Christ had years before been expunged of its error" (Movement of Destiny, pp. 469-470).
Closely following the exchange with English came the fateful conferences between some of the church leaders in Washington and Barnhouse and Martin. The incident that precipitated these conferences is chronicled by Froom. T. E. Unruh, then president of the East Pennsylvania Conference of the Church, listened to a series of radio broadcasts by Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse on the book of Romans. Unruh wrote to Barnhouse "commending him on the biblical soundness and spiritual helpfulness of his presentations over the airways on Righteousness by Faith" (ibid. p. 477). Here was fulfilled the warning which had been given to the Church five years previously by the missionary brethren from Africa "that Satan's final effort to deceive and allure us would be an attempt to infatuate us with Babylon's understanding of the 'doctrine' or 'tenet' of 'justification and righteousness by faith"' (1888 Re-Examined, as printed in A Warning and its Reception, p. 165).
It is altogether possible that Elder T. E. Unruh did not know about the manuscript which had been written by Elders R. J. Wieland and D. K. Short when he first made contact with Barnhouse. The Defence Literature Committee of the General Conference, chaired by W. E. Read, had declared against this manuscript in 1951. Thus in 1955, it was still under interdict. However, Read was involved in the Barnhouse-Martin conferences and he should have seen the relationship between the warning given and the events transpiring if an honest and in depth evaluation had been given to the manuscript by the committee he chaired. Thus, the Church must share its responsibility in the results which followed a rejection of a clear cut warning. This does not leave Unruh in the clear. He should have known the antinomian sentiments of the Evangelicals, and the counsel of Isaiah 8:20 - "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." It is impossible for an antinomian to present righteousness by faith in the perspective of Romans 3:31. How then can one commend such presentations, and think of them as the genuine message? How dark becomes one's light when we call darkness light, and light darkness?
During the eighteen conferences that took place between Adventist representatives
and Barnhouse, and Martin, with their Evangelical colleagues in 1955-1956,
the Adventist teaching on the Incarnation was discussed. The answer the
Adventists gave the Evangelicals was revealed in one of their publications.
When the subject of Christ's incarnation was introduced, the Adventist
conferees assured their counterparts that "the majority of the denomination
had always held [the humanity assumed by Christ] to be sinless, holy,
perfect despite the fact that certain of their writers have occasionally
gotten into print with contrary views completely repugnant to the Church
at large." The Adventist representatives explained further to Mr.
Martin "that they had among their number certain members of their
'lunatic fringe' even as there are similar wild-eyed irresponsibles
p 6 -- in every field of fundamental Christianity"(Eternity, Sept., 1956, p. 6). The impression was left that it was these irresponsible lunatics in the Church who had written that Christ accepted the fallen nature of man when He became the Son of man.
While these conferences were in progress and understandings were being reached for simultaneous publications by the Evangelicals and the Church, the ministry of the Church was being propagandized through The Ministry to accept the changes in doctrine which the leadership had already declared to Barnhouse and Martin to be our fundamental position. This included the nature of the humanity which Christ accepted in the Incarnation.
In the September (1956) issue of The Ministry eight pages were devoted to quotations from the Writings on "Christ's nature during the Incarnation." One section was captioned - "Took Sinless Nature of Adam Before the Fall." An editorial in the same issue called attention to this compilation, and asked the ministry of the Church "to carefully and prayerfully study these illuminating paragraphs." The editor, and head of the Ministerial Department of the General Conference, R. Allan Anderson, rationalized further on the inspired sources writing: In only three or four places in all these inspired counsels have we found such expressions as "fallen nature" and "sinful nature." But these are strongly counterbalanced and clearly explained by many other statements that reveal the thought of the writer [Ellen G. White]. Christ did indeed partake of our nature, our human nature with all its physical limitations, but not our carnal nature with its lustful corruptions. When He entered the human family it was after the race had been greatly weakened by degeneracy. For thousands of years mankind had been physically deteriorating. Compared with Adam and his immediate posterity, humanity, when God appeared in human flesh, was stunted in stature, longevity, and vitality ("Human, Not Carnal," p. 13).
Included in this editorial was a comment on the statement in Bible Readings. Anderson wrote: Many years ago a statement appeared in Bible Readings for the Home Circle (1915, edition) which declared that Christ came "in sinful flesh." Just how this expression slipped into the book is difficult to know. It has been quoted many times by critics, and all around the world, as being typical of Adventist Christology (ibid., p. 14).
It becomes increasingly clear that the, men who espoused the "new" doctrine of the incarnation read into the expression - "fallen, sinful nature" - not only the tendencies to sin, but also the "corruptions" resultant from sinning. Thus they failed to do what the messenger of the Lord, our earlier brethren, and writers of the Sabbath School lessons of past decades did, that is, differentiate between inherited tendencies and cultivated habits to sin. By confusing the issue, they have been able to make the historic teaching of the Church look like error, and thus rob of its power, the original doctrine of truth in regard to the incarnation of Christ. In fact, the clear statements in The Desire of Ages are mitigated by the same devious device. Anderson stated: A hasty reading of two or three statements from The Desire of Ages without repeated counterbalancing statements found in so many other places has led some to conclude our official position to be, that Christ, during the incarnation, partook of our corrupt, carnal nature, and therefore was no different from any other human being (ibid., p. 12).
A summary statement from the Writings drew the contrast distinctly. It read - "Jesus was sinless and had no dread of the consequences of sin. With this exception His condition was as [ours]" (Our High Calling, p. 59).
How were the "three or four places" in the inspired Writings that used the terms, "fallen nature" and "sinful nature" in referring to the humanity which the Son of God assumed in the incarnation to be explained? In the April (1957) issue of The Ministry, Elder W. E. Read wrote an article on "The Incarnation and the Son of Man." In this article he stated what has become the key word of the "new" theology in regard to the Incarnation. He stated: Christ was tempted in all points as we are, - This is a wonderful, comforting thought. But let us ever remember that although it is true, it is also true that He was "without sin" (Heb. 4:15). His
p 7 -- being tempted, however, did not contaminate the Son of God. He bore our weaknesses, our temptations, vicariously, in the same way He bore our iniquities (p. 26).
In the same issue of The Ministry, another editorial appeared from the pen of R. Allan Anderson. In this editorial he commented: When the incarnate God broke into human history and became one with the race, it is our understanding that He possessed the sinlessness of the nature with which Adam was created in Eden. The environment in which Jesus lived, however, was tragically different from that which Adam knew before the Fall (ibid. p. 34).
Thus by 1957, the doctrine in regard to the nature of the humanity that Christ assumed in the incarnation paralleled the teaching of the Holy Flesh men of Indiana as understood by the leadership in Battle Creek from their contacts at camp meetings in Indiana. In 1900 S. N. Haskell, returning from a Camp Meeting in Muncie, Indiana, wrote to Ellen G. White in Australia that "their point of theology" was: "Christ took Adam's nature before he fell; so He took humanity as it was in the garden of Eden, and thus humanity was holy" (Letter dated Sept. 25, 1900).
R. S. Donnell, president of the Indiana Conference, held, that "Christ's body represented a body redeemed from its fallen spiritual nature, but not from its fallen, or deteriorated physical nature. It was a body redeemed from sin, and with that body Christ clothed His divinity" ("The Nature of Christ and Man," p. 4).
S. S. Davis, founder of the Movement, in answer to a question proposed by I. H. Hankins, successor to Donnell, asking, "is every child born into the world naturally inclined to evil?" replied, "Yes, unless preserved from the law of heredity in conception by the power of the Holy Ghost" (Letter dated, March 15, 1903 from Elnora, Indiana.).
All of these three positions either stated by the men who led the Holy Flesh Movement or attested to by those who came in direct confrontation with the Movement have now been confessed by those who were in contact with Evangelicals as being the Adventist position. One of these teachings is also positioned as an "alternate" concept to the historic teaching of the Church and is being promoted by certain "independent" ministries stating that Christ came into humanity, "born, born again."
The climax to the conferences between representatives of the Adventist Church and the Evangelicals headed by Barnhouse and Martin was the publication of the book, Questions on Doctrine. The book carried an introduction by an unnamed editorial committee which emphasized:
1) "The writers,
counsellors, and editors who produced the answers to these questions have
labored conscientiously to state accurately the beliefs of the Seventh-day
p 8 -- To Better Understand the "Religious Right" - Those who are viewing the American scene and sense the fulfilling of the final prophecies concerning "the beast and his image," no doubt wonder at times, just what is taking place. There is a name and different words being used than the ones which were used previously. The overall teaching is called "Christian Reconstructionism." The author of the concepts is the late Rousas John Rushdooney. At the time of his death in 2001, the Daily Oklahoman eulogized him as "a man of rare grace ... a scholar with a pastor's heart ... (whose) care extended to not only fellow protestants, but also to Catholic friends influenced by his integrity" (March 10, 2001).
In 1973, Rushdooney published his magnum opus, a 800-page tome patterned after Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion and titled, The Institutes of Biblical Law. He is an adamant opponent of the First Amendment to the Constitution. In his Institutes he gives an indication why he believes that the American system of a pluralistic democracy is heresy. He wrote - "In the name of toleration, the believer is asked to associate on a common level with the atheist, the pervert, the criminal, and the adherents of other religions" (p. 294).
If Rushdooney and his disciples had their way, democracy would be abolished and a Christian theocracy would be established. He wrote, "The only true order is founded on Biblical Law. All law is religious in nature, and every non-Biblical law-order represents an anti-Christian religion" (p. 113). He also made it clear that he expects that force will be necessary to impose such an order, "Every law-order is in a state of war against the enemies of that order, and all law is a form of warfare" (93).
At its root, Reconstructionism is a rnilitant Biblicism. In many ways, it is a revival of the holy war theology of the Hebrew Bible under the guise of Christianity. The chief difference is that Reconstructionists believe they have a mandate to claim more than the land of Palestine, they believe they are commanded to conquer the entire world and exercise "dominion" over all its peoples. That is why Reconstructionism is also known as "dominion theology."...
The laws that Reconstructionists want to enforce are those of ancient Israel. ... Stripped to its barest essentials, here is their blueprint for America. Their ultimate goal is to make the U.S. Constitution conform to a strict, literal interpretation of Biblical law. To do this requires a series of legal and social reforms that will move society toward their goal, among these is "to make the ten commandments the law of the land" as well as "require capital punishment for all of ancient Israel's capital offences including apostasy, ... Sabbath-breaking, sodomy, and witchcraft." (Excerpts from a presentation by Dr. Bruce Prescott at an Interfaith Alliance forum on Religious Extremism, April 11, 2002) --- (2005 Jul) ---End --- TOP
Aug 2005 -- XXXVIII - 8(05) --"The Centrality of Sunday for Christians of Today" -- Editor's Preface -- The Documentation of the teaching On the Doctrine of the Incarnation as taught by the Adventist Church continues in this issue of WWN (pp. 2-4). However, the emphasis takes second place to what John Paul II said prior to his death regarding Sunday, and what emphasis Benedict XVI will give to the same question, as well as his ecumenical intents. Just as we were concluding this draft of WWN, the June issue of L'Osservatore Romano came to the desk with center spread featuring the "Homily" which Benedict XVI gave at the Mass in Bari , Italy, closi ng the 24th Italian National Eucharistic Congress. The strong affirmation of his ecumenical intent - "working with all my might" to achieve - and parallel events demand close attention, but must await another issue of WWN.
There are three factors which surface in the current emphasis of Sunday by Rome: 1) The day - "Making holy the Lord's day!" (L'Osservatore Romano, 1 June 2005, p.1); 2) The Sunday Mass, the celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday, the worship of a presumed "creation" by man, instead of the worship of the Creator on His day - the Sabbath; And 3) the use of the Eucharist to achieve the "unity" of Christendom under Rome.
"The Christ whom we meet in the Sacrament is the same here in Bari (Italy) as he is in Rome. ... He is the same Christ who is present in the Eucharistic Bread in every place on earth. This means that we can encounter him only together with all others. We can only receive him in unity." -- Benedict XVI - May 29, 2005 - Bari, Italy
p 2 -- The Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught in Adventism - 8b -- Decades of Conflict and Apostasy -- 1952 - Present - Part 2 -- Continued from 7(05), p. 7 -- On the question of the Incarnation, Questions on Doctrine followed closely the articles that had appeared in The Ministry. The writer(s) of the book declared that "although born in the flesh, He [Christ] was nevertheless God, and was exempt from the inherited passions and pollutions that corrupt the natural descendents of Adam. He was 'without sin' not only in His outward conduct, but in His very nature" (p. 383; emphasis supplied).
The word, "exempt" has theological connotations borrowed from Rome. James Cardinal Gibbons, in his comments on the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception in his monumental work The Faith of Our Fathers, stated that "unlike the rest of the children of Adam, the soul of Mary was never subject to sin, even in the first moment of its infusion into the body. She alone was exempt from the original taint" (88th ed., p. 171; emphasis supplied). The main thrust of the view presented in QonD, however, was pegged to the word "vicariously." After quoting from Isaiah 53 and Matthew 8, this comment is made: It could hardly be construed, however, from the record of either Isaiah or Matthew, that Jesus was diseased or that He experienced the frailties to which our fallen human nature is heir. But He did bear all this. Could it not be that He bore this vicariously also, just as He bore the sins of the whole world?
These weaknesses, frailties, infirmities, failings are things which we, with our sinful, fallen natures, have to bear. To us they are natural, inherent, but when He bore them, He took them not as something innately His, but He bore them as our substitute. He bore them in His perfect sinless nature. Again we remark, Christ bore all this vicariously, just as vicariously He bore the iniquities of us all (pp. 59-60; emphasis theirs).
I recall as if it were but yesterday, the day following the close of a camp meeting in Indiana, where I was ministering, of being called off of a work detail by T. E. Unruh, the president, to meet with Elder A. V. Olson of the General Conference, who had been the principal speaker that year. The objective of the meeting, which was held in Unruh's camp meeting office, was to interrogate me about my position on the Incarnation. (That is a story in itself.) During the session Unruh and Olson got into an argument as to whether Christ could take a "common cold." I was amused; for it reminded me of the history from the Middle Ages of the scholastic debates over how many spirits could dance on the point of a needle. I laughed. This brought a verbal blast from Unruh. It embarrassed Olson, and he quickly ended the meeting because he had "to catch a plane." In parting, he assured me that he had not requested the meeting.
When QonD reached the ministers and laity of the Church, reaction was swift and pointed from those who knew what the Church had taught inregard to the nature Christ had - assumed in becoming man. Elder M. L. Andreasen met the issue "head-on." Through mimeographed and printed Letters to the Churches, he presented to all who were willing to read about the compromises resultant from the illicit fraternization with the Evangelicals by leading ministers at the headquarters of the Church. On the subject of the Incarnation, Andreasen wrote: If Christ had been exempt from passions, He would have been unable to understand or help mankind. It, therefore, behoved Him "in all points to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest. ... for in that He himself hath suffered, being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted" Hebrews 2:17-18). A Saviour who has never been tempted, never has had to battle with passions, who has never "offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him who was able to save Him from death," who "though He were a son" never learned obedience by the things He suffered, but was "'exempt" from the very things a true Saviour must experience: such a saviour is what this new theology offers us. It is not the kind of Saviour I need nor
p 3 -- the world. One who has never struggled with passions can have no understanding of their power, nor has ever had the joy of overcoming them. If God extended special favors and exemptions to Christ, in that very act He disqualified Him for His work. There can be no heresy more harmful than that here discussed. It takes away the Saviour I have known and substitutes for Him a weak personality, not considered by God capable of resisting and conquering the passions which He asks men to overcome.
It is, of course, patent to all that no one can claim to believe the Testimonies and also believe in the new theology that Christ was exempt from human passions. It is one thing or the other. The denomination is now called upon to decide. To accept the teaching of Questions on Doctrine necessitates giving up faith in the Gift God has given this people (Letters to the Churches, Series A, #1, p. 8).
Andreasen was correct in drawing a distinct line that the acceptance of the "new" view of the Incarnation meant rejection of the "testimonies" of the Spirit. The "'messenger" had plainly written - "Though He [Christ] had all the strength of passion of humanity, never did He yield to temptation to do one single act which was not pure and elevating and ennobling (In Heavenly Places, p. 155).
During the controversy resultant from the publication of QonD, a group of representative members in the Loma Linda, California, area formed a committee for the revision of the book. They presented a Memorial to the General Conference Committee which charged that the book glossed "over certain vital fundamentals and compromise[d] other tenets of our faith." Then the committee illustrated what they meant by this charge: To illustrate: In Hebrews 2:14-17 and The Desire of Ages, pp. 48-49 and 112, it is stated in clearest language that Christ our Saviour was "subject to the great law of heredity" and took upon Him our "fallen" and "sinful" nature. See also Medical Ministry, p. 181.
In direct contradiction to these inspired words QonD declares that Christ "took sinless human nature," and that "He was exempt from the inherited passions and pollutions that corrupt the natural descendants of Adam." This constitutes a most unfortunate surrender to the so-called "Evangelicals," and robs the Christian of a perfect divine-human Saviour.
The Memorial also expressed the Committee's deep conviction in these words: It is evident that certain statements and teachings of the book will never be accepted by a considerable number of our people. In fact, it is our conviction that not since the time of J. H. Kellogg's pantheistic controversy more than a half century ago, has anything arisen to cause such disquietude, dissention, and disunity among our people as the publication of this book.
The Memorial was signed by the following: A. D. Armstrong, Frank L. Cameron, Edna E. Cameron, R. F. Cottrell, Florence Keller M.D., Scott Donaldson, Claude E. Eldridge, Pearl Ferguson, N. M. Horsman, Orville W. Lewis, Sharon Y. Lewis, Daniel A. Mitchell, Harold N. Mozar M.D., 0. S. Parrott M.D., B. R. Spear, Claude Steen M.D., Willa S. Steen, W. T. Weaver, Walter L. Webb, Harry G. Willis and Thomas 1. Zerkle M. D. (This group could hardly be considered a part of the "lunatic fringe" of the Church.) [See 7(05), p. 5, col. 2].
While at Andrews University (1964-1965) to complete work for a Master's degree, I obtained a copy of a term paper, "The Humanity of Christ" by Robert Lee Hancock, written for the Faculty of Church History. This paper was a brief study of the teachings of the Church on the nature of Christ's humanity. It has served as a guide for the in-depth research that I have done for this manuscript. The term paper was motivated because of the charge "that the church has changed her historic position on the doctrine of Christ's human nature." The study was "limited to the question of whether Christ took the nature of Adam as he was originally created perfect by God, or whether he had the 'sinful' flesh with its inherent weaknesses which every child normally inherits from his parents."
p 4 -- The student's conclusions were most interesting. He wrote: Regarding the specific question of Christ's humanity, this study has revealed that:
1) from its earliest days the Seventh-day Adventist Church taught that when God partook of humanity He took, not the perfect, sinless nature of man before the Fall, but the fallen, sinful, offending, weakened, degenerate nature of man as it existed when He came to earth to help man. ...
2) that during the fifteen year period between 1940 and 1955 the words, "sinful" and "fallen" with reference to Christ's human nature were largely or completely eliminated from denominational published materials.
3) that since 1952, phrases such as "sinless human nature," "nature of Adam before the fall," and "'human nature undefiled" have taken the place of the former terminology. ...
The findings of this study warrant the conclusion that Seventh-day Adventist teachings regarding the human nature of Christ have changed and that these changes involve concepts and not merely semantics (Robert Lee Hancock, "The Humanity of Christ," Term Paper, Dept. of Church History, AU, July, 1962, pp. 26-27).
In 1971, Review & Herald Publishing Association released a book by Dr. Leroy E. Froom titled, Movement of Destiny. The weight of two of the highest officers of the Church was employed in placing the "imprimatur" upon the book. Elder Robert H. Pearson, president of the General Conference wrote the Foreword (p. 13) and Elder Neal C. Wilson, chairman of a large guiding committee which reviewed the book before it was released, wrote the Preface in his capacity as Vice President for the North American Division (pp. 15-16). This book is as "official" as any publication could be except for one approved by the General Conference in Session. Froom himself maintained that "some sixty of our most competent denominational scholars of a dozen specialties" approved what he wrote in the book (Letter to Editor, dated April 17, 1971).
A book review of Movement of Destiny by Ingemar Linden (Spectrum, Autumn, 1971) cautioned readers as to the pitfalls they might meet in the reading of this book. Linden stated that Froom "stands as the foremost current apologist" of the Church. In 1971 Linden was a teacher at Uppsala University in Rimbo, Sweden. He was a member of Church Historians Association of Sweden, and reviewer of theological dissertations in the field of eschatology and apocalypticism for church historians in Scandinavia. He noted that in writing the book, Froom was given the task of "countering all 'charges' against Adventism's founding fathers and succeeding leaders," and observed that because this puts considerable limitation on his work, "the reader must always be on the alert when studying Froom, asking himself whether Froorn has given a full account, or whether important aspects have been neglected, or misrepresented." ... "Movement of Destiny seems to be the work of the General Conference 'defense committee to put all things straight', with Froorn serving as an untiring preacher and organizer of the material" (pp. 8991).
While Froom covers many doctrines in their historical development in the Church, this manuscript is primarily concerned with the teaching of the Church in regard to the humanity Christ assumed in the Incarnation. On this subject Froom revealed his position in writing of the contacts which preceded the publication of the book, Questions on Doctrine. He placed himself and the Church in full accord with the editor of Our Hope, who had written that Christ's "conception in His incarnation was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit so that He did not partake of the fallen sinful nature of other men."
In a section which discussed the note in Bible Readings on the nature of Christ's humanity, Froom declared it to be an "erroneous minority position" (p. 428). The phrase to which Froom most strenuously objected indicated that Christ " partook of our sinful, fallen nature." How then did this "minority" concept get into Bible
p 5 -- Readings? In 1956, Anderson did not know (WWN 7(05), p. 6, col. 2). Froom, being a part of the same study group did not know then either. But now fifteen years later an answer is either found or manufactured. It was written supposedly by one, W. A. Colcord. No proof is given; a mere statement is made - "Apparently it was first written by W. A. Colcord, in 1914" (Froom, op.cit.) To discredit the statement in Bible Readings, Froorn resorted to what amounts to a "'smear" tactic. In a footnote, he alleged "In 1914, about the time his note on Christ's nature appeared in Bible Readings, he regrettably lost faith in the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church" (Ibid). Not having an admissible answer in 1956, a "goat" was found in 1971! -- (To Be Continued)
"The Centrality of Sunday for Christians of Today" -- Two and one half months before his death, John Paul II addressed the Pontifical Commission for Latin America whose theme was "Sunday Mass, the center of Christian life in Latin America." He said: I am pleased that in this year dedicated to the Eucharist you have chosen to reflect on the various initiatives in order to "experience Sunday as the day of the Lord and day of the Church" (apostolic letter Mane Nobiscum Domine, #23). It was not the Church who chose this day but the Risen Christ himself, and this is why the faithful should welcome it with gratitude, making Sunday the sign of their fidelity to the Lord and an indispensable element of Christian life.
I already wrote in my apostolic letter Dies Domini: "It is crucially important that all the faithful should be convinced that they cannot live their faith or share fully in the life of the Christian community unless they take part regularly in the Sunday Eucharistic Assembly." Taking part in Sunday Mass is not only an important obligation, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out clearly, but first and foremost a profound need of every member of the faithful. It is impossible to live faith without taking part regularly in Sunday Mass, the sacrifice of the Redemption, the common Banquet of the Word of God and of the Eucharist Bread, center of Christian life.
The importance of the topic demands of us, pastors of the Church, a new effort to make people discover the central place of Sunday in the ecclesial and social life of today's men and women. For all bishops and priests it is a challenge to summon the faithful to constant participation in Sunday Mass, an encounter with a living Christ (The Pope Speaks, Vol 50, #3, PP. 161-162).
This last quoted paragraph from the pope's address needs careful reflection. Two categories of people are noted, "the faithful" (the members of the Roman Church) and "'today's men and women" (the non-Catholic). Observe that the pope called for a "new effort to make people discover the central place of Sunday" in their lives. It should also be observed that the emphasis is on the "Sunday Mass."
In the June issue of WWN (p. 7) we noted that the last prayer intent of Pope John Paul II for April was that "Christians may live Sundays more fully as the Day of the Lord." We asked what might be ahead under Benedict XVI? Now an answer can be given.
On Trinity Sunday (May 22) Benedict XVI, in a reflection before leading the prayer of the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square, made the following observations: We are contemplating the mystery of the love of God shared in a sublime way in the Most Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, the representation of his redeeming Sacrifice.
For this I am glad to address today, the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, my greeting to the participants of the Eucharistic Congress of the Church in Italy which opened yesterday in Bari. In the heart of this year dedicated to the Eucharist, the Christian people converge around Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament, the source and summit of their life and mission.
p 6 -- In particular, each parish is called to rediscover the beauty of Sunday, the Lord's day, in which the disciples of Christ renew, in the Eucharist, communion with the One who gives meaning to the joys and hardships of each day.
"Without Sunday we cannot live:" thus professed the first Christians, even at the cost of their lives, and this is what we are called to repeat today (L'Osservatore Romano, 25 May 2005, p. 1; emphasis his).
Not only does Benedict XVI emphasize the need for Sunday, but Sunday connected with the Eucharist. Further, he intends to promote "visible unity" of the body of Christ. "in an address read in Latin to cardinals in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel, after his 19 April election, the Pope said his 'primary task' would be 'that of working - sparing no energies- to reconstitute the full and visible unity of all Christ's followers.' "He said he was "aware that showing good sentiments is not enough for this. Concrete acts that enter souls and move consciences are needed.'"
"Benedict said he was 'fully determined to cultivate any initiative that might seem appropriate to promote contacts and understanding with representatives of different churches and ecclesial communities.' And he pledged to 'continue weaving open and sincere dialogue' with people of other faiths or those simply looking for an answer to life's fundamental questions" (ENI, 25 May 2005, p. 2).
Earlier, Cardinal . Walter Kasper, who was President of the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian Unity under the reign of John Paul II, and who was a fellow theological professor with Ratzinger in Munster, Germany in the 1960s told the television network CNN that the election of Ratzinger was a "good sign" for the ecumenical movement. Kaspar quoted Ratzinger as telling him in a "short" meeting that he had with him after his election - "Well, now we will work together, walk together, on paths to the unity of the churches" Ibid). In his inaugural mass during which he was invested with the papal ring, Benedict "seized the opportunity by challenging the Christian church of his desire for unity. His first prayer as pope was significant - 'Grant that we may be one flock and one shepherd.'" Representatives from half of the world's nations together with 350,000 pilgrims witnessed the solemn ceremony.
On his first trip outside of Rome following his installation as Pope, he conducted an outdoor mass at the Italian city of Bari which was attended by an estimated 200,000 people. Still pledging to make Christian unity a priority of his papal reign, he "called for the rediscovery of the religious meaning of Sunday as an antidote to the 'rampant consumerism and religious indifference' that was making the modern world a spiritual desert."
Catholics and Evangelicals -- In the June issue of Christianity Today, (CT), there is an article by Timothy George, dean of the Beeson Divinity School of Samford University, and an executive editor of CT, which is a "must reading" for all who are seeking to put together the meanings and factors of events that are now unfolding as a result of the change in the Papal pontificate. George asserts that "Evangelicals can be glad that the new pope is not likely to be a mere caretaker;" and "I believe that his pontificate will be one of great moment for the Christian church, not least for evangelicals" (p. 49).
He lists five reasons why "evangelical Protestants, and orthodox believers of all persuasions, should be pleased at the election of Pope Benedict XVI."
1) He takes truth seriously. 2) His theology is Bible focused. 3) His message is Christocentric. 4) He is Augustinian in perspective, 5) He champions the culture of life.
Then Dr. George turned to the new Pope's concern for the unity of all Christians. He revealed that in the turbulent '60s as a professor at Tubingen, Ratzinger forged an alliance with Peter Beyerhaus and other evangelical leaders to stand together against the forces of unchecked
p 7 -- secularism and unbelief. He quoted Ratzinger as saying: We saw that the confessional controversies we had previously engaged in were small indeed in the face of the challenge we now confronted, which put us in a position of having, together, to bear to our common faith in the living God and in Christ, the incarnate Word.
Then, Dr. George added - "Though the battlefronts have shifted, the same cooperation between faithful evangelicals and believing Roman Catholics is no less urgent today" (p. 52).
To this pronouncement, George wrote two key sentences which focus on a deeper understanding of the prophecy of Revelation 13. He stated: "Roman Catholicism is not a cult, and the pope is not the Antichrist. Just so, evangelicals are not a sect, and the gospel call for all people to repent and turn to Jesus is not proselytism."
The orthodox "Protest"ism, that arose in the "sea" as the time allotted to the beast that came "up out of the sea" drew to its close (Rev. 13:1, 5), did proclaim that the Papacy was the "antichrist" (See Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. II). Now we have a new "evangelical" protestantism coming up in the "earth" which is denying the orthodox position, but the prophecy designates it as the "false prophet." (Rev. 13:14-15; 19:19-20). Yet it was with representatives of this "false prophet" that Adventists leaders dialogued which altered some of the basic teachings of the Church and set in operation the decades of conflict within the ranks of Adventism itself, involving the areas of the Incarnation and the Atonement.
"We Are Brothers" -- In the June issue of CT, two articles are referenced back and forth, the one by Dr. Timothy George, which we have noted above, and another, an editorial commenting on a meeting in 1981 between the late Pope John Paul II and Billy Graham, founder of CT. The editorial observes: Billy Graham had never met a pope until John Paul Il invited him to Rome in 1981. Ushered into the papal apartments by the Vatican's famous Swiss Guard, Graham marvelled at the pomp. He and the pope chatted like long-lost friends for half an hour, swapping photos, gifts, and travel stories. Before Graham left, John Paul II reached over, clutched Graham's thumb, and told him, "We are brothers" (p. 28).
The editorial closes with this observation: With new found political influence, evangelicals have supplemented their meagre public ethic by learning from Catholic social teaching. So long as the Catholic Church adheres to John Paul II's firm orthodoxy, evangelicals will gain from this ecumenical effort (p. 29).
Footnote: Just as we concluded the above for this issue of WWN, we received the 1 June 2005 issue of L'Osservatore Romano. Bannered across the central part of page 1 were the words "Making holy the Lord's day!" The next large type sentence reads - "The Pope stresses our indispensable need for Jesus in the Eucharist." The core of this issue is the homily given by Benedict XVI at a Mass in Bari, Italy, May 29. One sentence is excerpted and set in a box in the center of the two pages which reads - "I would like to reaffirm as a fundamental commitment working with all my might" to re-establish the "full and visible unity of all Christ's followers." (More, next issue of WWN.)
p 8 -- Christianity Today Operators -- Christianity Today (CT) was founded by Billy Graham, and he remains Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors. The issue from which we quoted extensively in this WWN, focused on "Christian College Renaissance." The gist of these articles was showing how "scholars and schools are thinking harder than ever about how to shape higher education that is truly Christian."
The Managing Editor, Mark Galli, in his editorial comments, stated that when it comes to "Christian" higher education, "we know whereof we speak." He stated that nearly "every person on the CT hallway has attended a Christian institution of higher learning." He then lists the production staff of CT, and where each received his graduate work.
He lists himself as having obtained his "Christian higher education" from Fuller Theological Seminary, and then noted that the editor, David Neff, received his at "La Sierra University, Andrews University, and San Francisco Theological, Seminary," a Presbyterian school (p. 9). -- --- (2005 Aug) ---End --- TOP
Sep 2005 -- XXXVIII - 9(05) -- Incarnation - 1952 - Present - Part 3 -- Editor's Preface -- In 1980 the General Conference Session of the Church voted a new Statement of Beliefs. The section on "The Son" did not clarify the nature Christ assumed in the Incarnation. The Statement read: "He became truly man, the man Christ Jesus." Adam was a "man" both before and after he fell . The Statement affirmed further that Christ "lived and experienced temptation as a human being, yet without sin." Again, Adam was a "human being" both before and following the Fall. However, during this time, there were voices raised which echoed the original position held by the Church, even in editorials in the Review. But by that time - 1967 - the Review was no longer "the official organ of the Church," but merely a "General Church Paper." The final picture is the republication of Questions on Doctrine as an Adventist "Classic" even noting that the Adventist Conferees had been "less than transparent" with the Evangelicals. Froom, in his "apology," Movement of Destiny, went even further - he put words from the book as if the quoted author, E. J. Waggoner, had actually written them.
Since ascending the Papal throne, Benedict XVI has emphasized as his goal the "visible unity" of all Christians. He demonstrated his serious intent by restoring the dialogue with the Anglican Church, which John Paul II had cancelled in 2003. In the 57-page statement released in May, this year, the affirmations of agreement are resolved around the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. See quotation, page 7.
p 2 -- The Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught in Adventism - 8c -- Decades of Conflict and Apostasy --Part 3 -- 1952 - Present -- Movement of Destiny is but an enlargement of, and justification for, the position taken in Questions on Doctrine on what is termed "'the Eternal Verities." They were written from two different motivations, or, at least so claimed. It is obvious, that Questions on Doctrine was written to answer the questions asked by the Evangelicals at the SDA-Evangelical Conferences in 1955-1956. On the other hand, Froorn alleges that he wrote Movement of Destiny at the behest of A. G. Daniels. In his preface to the book, he wrote: Back in the spring Of 1930 Arthur G. Daniels, for more than twenty years president of the General Conference, told me he believed that, at a later time, I should undertake a thorough survey of the entire plan of redemption - its principles, provisions, and Divine Personalities - as they unfolded to our view as a Movement from 1844 onward, with special emphasis upon the developments of "1888," and its sequel (p. 17; emphasis his).
Much is suggested in this one paragraph: "1930" - this must be noted in the light of Froom's comments on informal Sabbath afternoon "'intimate Bible study" and "dialogue" at the General Conference headquarters during the years from 1930 to 1935 (p. 429). Not being "official" meetings, no minutes were kept, but Froorn alleges that "copious notes" were taken by some present. These have yet to surface, but they do need to see the light of day. "1888" - this was revived in the research done by Wieland and Short in 1950 - 1888 ReExamined. But this was kept in wraps for more than a decade until it imploded upon the Adventist scene about the same time as Andreasen's Letters to the Churches challenged the compromises of Questions on Doctrine. This all occurred because of the dedication of a layman - A. L. Hudson - and the devoting of his expertise and facilities to the service of the Lord.
While each of these dates - 1930, 1950, and 1955-56 - open avenues for research and observations, we need to note carefully the advice of Egemar Linden, teacher at Uppsala University, Sweden, when reviewing Froom's conclusions as a denominational "apologist." He wrote: "the reader must always be on the alert when studying Froom, asking himself whether Froorn has given a full account, or whether important aspects have been neglected, or misrepresented" (Spectrum, Autumn, 1971; emphasis mine). This is very apropos when noting Froom's handling of the doctrine of the Incarnation in Movement of Destiny.
In rewriting the doctrinal history of the Church's teaching, Froom found himself faced with some difficulties when presenting the teaching of the Church in regard to the nature of Christ's humanity. He had set forth the General Conference of 1888 as towering above all other conferences before or since. He wrote: The epochal Minneapolis Session stands like a mountain peak towering above all other sessions in uniqueness and importance. It was a distinct turning point. Nothing like it had occurred before, and none since has been comparable to it. It definitely introduced a new epoch (p. 187).
First, Froorn had to show beyond question that the doctrine of the Incarnation was a major point of discussion at the 1888 Session, and then, secondly, show that what was taught was the same thing that was affirmed to the Evangelicals.
There were no official verbatim minutes made of the 1888 General Conference Session. Froom alleges that the book, Christ and His Righteousness, published in 1890 by the Pacific Press, was an edited copy by E. J. Waggoner of "shorthand reports taken down by Jessie F. Moser-Waggoner at the time" (p. 189). Nothing in the "October 15, 1890" publication of the book indicates this to be true; and Froom gives no source documentation for his allegation. The book did set forth in clear uncompromised statements the nature assumed by Christ in
p 3 -- becoming the Son of man, and it was not the position as affirmed to Barnhouse and Martin. How did Froom handle that?
Froom chose a section from Waggoner's book, - "God Manifest in the Flesh" (pp. 24-28). He selected phrases, words, and added comments to what Waggoner wrote so as to convey the opposite meaning to what had been written. To illustrate: Waggoner (p. 27) quoted 2 Cor. 5:21 and commented: This is much stronger than the statement that He was made "in the likeness of sinful flesh." He was made to be sin. Here is the same mystery that the Son of God should die. The spotless Lamb of God, who knew no sin, was made to be sin. Sinless, yet not only counted as a sinner, but actually taking upon Himself sinful nature. He was made to be sin in order that we might be made righteousness.
Froom's interpretive quoting reads: "As to His humanity, Christ came in the 'likeness of sinful flesh.' 'God laid on Him the iniquity of us all.' He 'took' all the 'weaknesses' of man, and 'suffered all the infirmities' of man. More than that, He was actually 'made' - vicariously - to 'be sin for us'. that we 'might be made the righteousness of God in him.'" Then Froom quotes verbatim the above paragraph from Waggoner beginning with "Here is the same mystery as that the Son of God should die (p. 197).
The fact is simply that Waggoner never used the word, "vicariously." That word was taken from Questions on Doctrine and written into this interpretive quotation from Waggoner. This type of misrepresentation - for it is simply prevarication - in a work that claimed to give an accurate presentation of our denominational history as a Movement of destiny leaves one stunned. It stands as a mute testimony to what extent apostates will go to cover their tracks. A creditability gap is created. Why the leadership of the Church placed their full weight of approval behind such a work has yet to be explained.
Another "exhibit" from this period of conflict and apostasy will evidence how deeply this alien doctrine on the human nature of Christ had penetrated the Church, and how the very sentiments of Roman Catholicism were echoed.
The Southern Publishing Association published in 1971 a book by Edwin W. Reiner, M.D. In the Foreword, Dr. Reiner stated that "Elder Harry W. Lowe, of the General Conference, and Dr. W.G.C. Murdoch, dean of the Theological Seminary of Andrews University, critically read each chapter before its final approval. [Lowe had served for ten years as secretary of the Defence Literature Committee until it was merged with the Biblical Study Research Committee in 1969 to become later the Biblical Research Institute.] In a chapter captioned, "Christ the Sinless Sinbearer," the following concepts were presented: Christ, as He lived on earth, was a singular combination of man and God. To become human, He clothed His divinity with humanity, yet He never ceased to also be God. It is, of course, unthinkable that Deity could dwell in a body combined with sinful human nature. Sin cannot exist in the presence of God, and although He shared man's physical degeneration, He did not possess man's spiritual alienation from and rebellion against God. Neither did He sin by thought, deed, or action. He accepted only the human physical condition as it existed after four thousand years, becoming tired, hungry, and weak like any other human being (p. 132).
Here we find that the Church in 1971, in a published volume, critically read by the dean of the Theological Seminary, declared that the concept that Christ took upon Himself the fallen nature of man in the incarnation to be "unthinkable." In a Sabbath School Lesson for 1913, a Catholic source was quoted which stated: Disbelief in the immaculate conception of the blessed virgin Mary would imply belief in the following revolting consequences; namely, that He who is holiness itself, and has an infinite horror of sin, took human nature from a corrupt human source (Quoted in Senior SS Lesson Qrt., May 17, 1913, p. 26).
The Roman Church considers the doctrine that Christ accepted the fallen nature of man in the Incarnation as "revolting," because Christ is "holiness itself." An Adventist publication in
p 4 -- 1971 considers the doctrine as "unthinkable," because "sin cannot dwell in the presence of God." How apropos are Elder E. J. Waggoner's words - "We need to settle, every one of us, whether we are out of the Church of Rome or not. There are a great many that have the marks yet" (GC Bulletin, 1901, p. 404).
During this period, not all of the voices contending for the historic faith of the Church were drowned in the flood of water pouring forth from the dragon's mouth. In 1960, the Pacific Press published a book by a layman from Iowa on the subject. After quoting - "He [Christ] did in reality possess human nature," Albert H. Olesen wrote: Throughout Christ's life upon this earth, and when He went into the grave, this was the only human nature that He had. This nature was tempted to retaliate when tormented, to anger when insulted, to covet distinction when adored. Jesus was tempted, not merely vicariously, but actually through His own human nature. He fought against this nature until the last hours on the cross, even as we are tempted throughout life (The Golden Chain, p. 30).
Again: In our study we come to this conclusion: While it was possible for Christ to bear vicariously the penalty of sin for mankind, yet it appears to have been impossible for Him to have lived the human life vicariously. Because this sinless human living was the center and the heart of redemption, it of necessity was exact and total reality; no substitution could here suffice (p. 33).
This layman also made very clear what he understood the term "human nature" to mean. On this point he wrote - "Our nature is the inheritance we receive at birth, the legacy of inclinations and trends that enfold us without our conscious volition. This legacy includes the physical structure and certain tendencies that we receive from former generations, the possession of which is not our responsibility" (p. 15).
In a private publication, Think Straight About the Incamation, this same author stated very clearly the historic position of the Church. He wrote: Christ proposed to take in reality man's fallen nature, and to overcome the devil in that very nature, and it was in the order of God that this should be done. This was the divine plan that was to "open the way" for Redemption. ... In other words, it was the foundation upon which Salvation was to be built. For it was not the desert or the garden or the cross alone that saved us, but the whole lifetime struggle of Christ against tempting fallen flesh in His own person of humanity! It was a titanic daily accomplishment for all those human years that saved man and refuted the challenge of Satan before the universe. For it was in the "form and nature of FALLEN MAN" that Christ saved us, NOT in the form and nature of sinless Adam. This is the very foundation of Redemption, that Christ overcame Satan in our fallen nature of flesh and blood, and there is no other salvation for man (p. 15).
The last two issues of the Review for 1971 and the first for 1972, carried a series of editorials on the nature of the humanity which Christ assumed in the Incarnation. These editorials echoed the historic position of the Church. As far as this editor has been able to verify, these editorials were the first such presentations in any Church publication in over a decade. It must be understood, however, that after the August 31, 1967 issue, the Review no longer carried in the masthead the status of the journal as "the official organ of the Church." It would be simply "The General Church Paper of the Seventh-day Adventists." Thus editorials appearing in the Review "in no way bind the Church body to an action, nor do they reflect any particular official position that a committee has designated (H. E. Douglass, Letter to Editor, dated at Takoma Park, D. C., Dec. 29, 1971).
In the first editorial, the associate editor, Dr. Herbert E. Douglass wrote: The song above all songs that will be sung forever is that Jesus did not take flesh but became flesh, taking "our sinful nature, that He might know how to succour those that are tempted" - Medical Ministry, p. 18l. He took "upon Himself man's nature in its fallen condition" yet in no way, "not in the least," did He participate in its sin (BC5:11-31)." Indeed, though beset by fallen, sinful nature, our Lord remained sinless (R&H, Dec. 23, 1971, p. 13).
The second editorial told of Satan's attempt to vitiate the victory won by Jesus in our fallen nature. It read: One of the mysteries of iniquity is the successful outcropping of Satan's malice in traditional
p 5 -- Christian thought. For example, in order to vitiate the victory of Jesus, many attempts have arisen to explain that Jesus did not defeat Satan in man's sinful, fallen, degenerate, hereditary nature but in some sphere with only a physical appearance like other men. This error is the foundation of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception whereby to assure the perfect, sinless nature of Jesus He is said to have been born of a perfect sinless mother. But the same subtle and perverse doctrine lies under other explanations such as "Jesus took the sinless nature of the first Adam," or He "vicariously bore man's weaknesses" (R&H, Dec.- 30, 1971, p. 16).
It has been forever true, that when the Church proclaimed the truth of the greatness of Christ's victory in fallen human flesh, the purity of the perfection required of the last generation shone forth in undimmed brilliance. The third editorial projected just such an objective. It read: The faith that made Jesus the sinless man among men is that characteristic which distinguishes the living saints in the last generation. ...
The last generation of those who "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" will dissolve forever all lingering doubts as to whether man's will joined to God's power can throw back all temptations to self-serving and sin (R&H, Jan. 6, 1972, p. 14)
In 1972, the February issue of The Ministry carried a valuable supplement prepared by the Biblical Research Committee of the General Conference. It was a revision of the one appearing in Questions on Doctrine as Appendix B. The new compilation of quotations from the Writings on the incarnation of Christ removed the heading which introduced Section III of the previous set. In other words, the concept that Christ "took sinless human nature" is muted. Upon receiving this supplement, this editor addressed a letter to the committee which read in part: It was with interest that I noted in detail the most recent insert in The Ministry. Certain corrections which appear as different from the compilation in the book, Questions on Doctrine, have been long overdue. I refer to the heading "Ill. Took Sinless Human Nature" - which appears on page 650 of the book. But it is very difficult to understand just what objective is to be served by the present compilation which is in itself incomplete. It is very difficult for me to believe that you men who compose the committee are unaware of those statements which have been omitted, and which unless included cannot give the true picture which the title of your insertion conveys - "The Nature of Christ During the Incarnation." In fact, such an omission leaves you brethren open to some very serious questioning.
In order that you might see there is another section to the subject of the Incarnation, I am enclosing a copy of a proposed section to be included somewhere in your brochure either after "V - Christ Was the Second Adam," or after "VI - Christ Took Real Human Nature." Now it is true you have in Section VII used several quotations wherein is found the expression, "fallen nature," but by your association of these statements with others in the same section, you are conveying the impression that this expression means - "effects of sin" in a physical sense alone. But you have omitted the statements which give the full picture - a nature "defiled by sin," and the "offending nature of man."
A copy of the quotations as sent to the Research Committee will appear as Appendix C in this series of articles.
In the letter sent to the Committee I also asked about a quotation which is printed in several places but quoted two different ways. A reply to my letter was written by Dr. Gordon M. Hyde, Secretary of the Committee. He kindly sent me a copy of the article from the Youth's Instructor wherein the quotation in question was printed, but completely ignored the section of my letter which is quoted above.
In closing the original manuscript in 1972 - An Interpretive History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, - I wrote the followin paragraph: As one surveys the last two decades, and the present hour of decision to which the Church has arrived in regard to the doctrine of the humanity our Lord assumed in becoming the Son of man a message of an ancient prophet of Israel speaks to this hour - "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark." Would to God the next verse could soon be fulfilled in regard to our teaching on the most
p 6 -- marvelous thing that ever took place in heaven or earth - "It shall be one day, which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light" (Zechariah 14:6-7). If this research will in any way hasten the "light" at "evening time," it will have accomplished its mission.
In these intervening years two events have taken place: 1) In 1980, the General Conference Session at Dallas, Texas voted a new Statement of Beliefs. The Statement regarding Jesus Christ continues the description of the prophet Zechariah - neither "'clear, nor dark;" and 2) in 2003, after all the major participants in the production of the book,'Questions on Doctrine had passed from the scene, the book was republished as a part of the Adventist Classic Library series by the Andrews University Press with notes by Dr. George R. Knight, successor "apologist" to Leroy E. Froom. To call a book which misrepresents the historic position of the Church on a major teaching, as a "Classic" is difficult to comprehend. But when Knight admits that the book "easily qualifies as the most divisive book in Seventh-day Adventist history" (p. xviii); and to state that "Froom and his colleagues were less than transparent" [lied] (p. xv) to the Evangelicals, then to classify it as an Adventist "Classic" leaves one stunned.
Benedict XVI -- News reports have noted Joseph Ratzinger as "the generally accepted head of the greater Christian Church" since his elevation to the Papal throne. While most greeted his election with unbridled joy and there was dancing and clapping in the square at St. Peters, there was uneasiness in liberal ranks at the hard line which he had taken during most of his priestly ministry. He has openly railed against homosexuality, abortion, birth control and a married priesthood. He clearly believes and preaches that only through the Roman Catholic tradition can a person find salvation. However, at his inauguration mass attended by kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers, he seized the opportunity by challenging the Christian Church of his desire for unity, that is, Catholic unity. His first prayer as pope was that God would "grant that we may be one flock and one shepherd." Further, he promised that he would work "tirelessly" for the "visible unity of all Christians."
The Anglican Church is a case in point. While not a true Protestant Church as the Lutheran, it had broken with Rome, over other than doctrinal matters. It has been for a period of time in dialogue with Rome through the joint Anglican-Roman Catholic International Committee on unity. In 2003, the talks had been suspended by John Paul II after the Episcopal Church in the United States had agreed to the consecration of an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, had been in Rome prior to John Paul II's death, and his remarks then indicated that he did not expect any early progress toward unity between the two churches. But since the elevation of Cardinal Ratzinger as Benedict XVI the Vatican surprised Anglican leaders by announcing it was ready to resume talks on unity despite the barrier now separating the two churches. The announcement from the Vatican office that deals with other Christian faiths praised the way the Anglican leaders had handled the crisis over the gay clergy, suggesting that there was now a new hope that the dialogue could make progress toward full communion. It confirmed that a document to be issued on the Virgin Mary, which had been tabled because of the crisis, would be presented from Seattle, WA, the following Monday. It was; and carried as an Associated Press Release in newspapers across the country. It gives an insight into how controversial teachings will be handled on other doctrines.
In 1995, John Paul II, a devotee of the Virgin Mary, defined the top issues that would have to be resolved before Christianity could be reunited, including seemingly intractable differences over beliefs about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Now a 57-page statement raises the prospect that doctrine concerning Mary, and devotion to her need "no longer be seen as communion-dividing."
p 7 -- How various key differences were reconciled is worth noting.
We shall let the Associated Press release speak for itself on '"Key Points of Accord:" Non-Catholics typically say the Immaculate Conception, Mary's freedom from original sin and resulting sinlessness, contradicts the Bible's teaching that "all have sinned" (Rom 3:23) and that Jesus is the sole exception (Heb. 4:15). On that question, the accord says "we can affirm together that Christ's redeeming work reached 'back' in Mary to the depths of her being, and to her earliest beginnings" without violating Scripture.
Mary's assumption into heaven at the end of her life is not taught in the Bible. But the accord says "we can confirm together the teaching that God has taken the Blessed Virgin Mary in the fullness of her person into His glory as consonant with Scripture," because God directly received others (Elijah, Stephen (?), the thief on the cross).
We are agreed that Mary and the saints pray for the whole Church, the accord states, and it's appropriate to request their prayers, just as Christians on Earth ask each other for prayers. Most Protestants, however, see no biblical justification for this practice.
Regarding traditional Catholic belief in Mary's life-long or "perpetual virginity," most Protestants hold that the Bible contradicts this by saying that Joseph and Mary did not come together "until" Jesus was born (Matt. 1:25). Without committing the Anglicans to a specific belief, the accord says, "our two communions are both heirs to a rich tradition which recognizes Mary as ever virgin."
"Mary's role in the redemption of humanity" and her biblical words ("all generations will call me blessed"), the accord says, support appropriate devotion to her in both private and public prayer. But it emphasizes that veneration of Mary cannot supplant Jesus as "the one mediator" between humans and God (I Tim 2:5).
The new accord notes, but doesn't resolve, a related snarl.
In 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed that the Immaculate Conception must "be believed firmly and constantly by all," and any dissenter is '"condemned" and "separated" from true Christianity. Similarly Pope Pius XII's 1950 declaration on the Assumption said doubters "incur the wrath of Almighty God." Yet an Anglican principle, dating from 1562, holds that Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required." - Richard N. Ostling, Associated Press.
The lone US representative for the Anglicans on the committee which drew up the Accord, historian Rozanne Elder from Western Michigan University, said that ecumenists hope that Catholics will eventually "agree teachings proclaimed during the centuries of church separation cannot be binding on non-Catholics."
two great errors,
p 8 -- An Adventist Mariology -- From among the "many voices" echoing down the corridors of Adventism (Review & Herald, Dec. 13, 1892), there has been proclaimed what could be called an "Adventist Mariology."
In a book blessed (p. i) by Dr. Ralph Larson, and edited by Dorothy Hilmer, is found the following Mariology: As God [Jesus] chose Mary to be His mother. She was chosen because of her piety and her devotion and love to God. She was everything that God could find in a human mother, a sinner, but filled with love for God and her fellow men. In the prenatal experience, while in her womb, Christ was inheriting Mary's love for God. In the post natal experience, He saw God through his (sic.) mother. Mary was continually yielding her will to God's will. Christ learned these lessons from His mother's knee (Waymarks of Adventism, 2nd Edition, July, 1981, p. 39).
Think. Do not be deceived. He who was God came to be flesh. As God, He was love (I John 4:8). It was the very essence of His Divine Identity. To inherit in Mary's womb, a love superior to His own Identity would require an immaculate condition greater than even Rome gives to Mary. --- (2005 Sep) ---End ---