I remember talking to a Seventh day Sabbatarian once about some of the emerging literature on the Sabbath. This Sabbatarian didn’t see the relevance of Sabbath beyond Seventh Day Sabbath Apologetics. By that I mean defense and teaching of the seventh day as the Bible Sabbath. She asked me, “what else do we need to know but that the Seventh day is the Sabbath?”
The question betrays an attitude that will on the one hand promote ecclesial chauvinism and on the other hand promotes a lack of theological sophistication in matters surrounding the Sabbath. First it promotes ecclesial chauvinism as we sit back proud of the fact that we keep the Seventh day while others do not. We “know the day” and they “do not.” But our celebration of that day is not enriched by an understanding of what role Sabbath plays or should play in our daily lives.
Which leads to our next issue of turning the Sabbath into simply a day in which we “go to church and sleep” rather than a day we more fully embrace and live in God’s coming Basilea.
Continue reading “Sabbath More Fully?”
Christ Centered Adventist preaching must uplift Christ in its core. Ellen White wrote on page 156 of Gospel Workers:
Of all professing Christians, Seventh-day Adventists should be foremost in uplifting Christ before the world. . . . The great center of attraction, Christ Jesus, must not be left out. It is at the cross of Christ that mercy and truth meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss each other.
The key here is that the cross of Christ must be at the center of any great Adventist preaching, according to Ellen White. The cross provides the place where mercy and truth will unite. If you want to make sure that you are providing the balance between mercy and truth, then you must have the cross of Christ at the center of all of your expositions.
In the 1888 era, Ellen White again argued for the centrality of Jesus in great Adventist exposition. She noted in her celebration of the preaching of A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner on pages 91-92 of Testimonies to Ministers, that their message
“was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God…This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.
What we see here is that the cross and the power and pardon that we receive from there is at the center of our presentation. She even calls it the third angel’s message that is to be proclaimed. Again it is only at the cross where justice and peace meet.
No we do not preach the cross sometimes and some conception of “Adventism” at other times. If Sister White is right here, then we must only preach the cross and uplift the savior. This point is key to any Adventist preaching methodology.
We have now looked at every one of the preachers in the book. This book is an important book for at least 2 reasons. First it is one of the few Adventist homiletics books in print. Secondly, it is specifically about Black Adventist preaching It may be the only book on that subject published by the church.
Here are links to all of the discussions. Please note that I only had 4 questions in mind when reading the book. You might have other questions and thus should go and get the book yourself.