Magnificent Disappointment – 1844 and the Sanctuary

In 1994, the late Dr. C. Mervyn Maxwell wrote a book entitled Magnificent Disappointment for the Pacific Press Anchors Series.

The book had 3 sections. In the first section the basic question was how do we calculate the date? This calculation has been done by many and here in basic terms is a quick overview of how Adventists have calculated 1844 from Daniel 7-9. Such calculations are abundant in many places. In fact the current Sabbath School Lessons seem to be totally about defending the Investigative Judgment and the date 1844.

In section two there is a discussion of what happened in 1844. Here we have a basic description of the traditional Adventist understanding of what happened.

Finally, Section 3 is where Maxwell attempts to explore the meaning of 1844 for contemporary Adventists. This section is the majority of the book and I think is the reason why this book is still of value to Adventists today. Maxwell Celebrates the doctrine and thus it is relevant to this website. In addition, Maxwell attempts to answer the question, “Sanctuary So What?” This question is what interests me as I discuss the Sabbath, nonimortality of the wicked, and Sanctuary themes. I wish to find out what does it have to say about individual and communal ethics? What does it mean for us as a people?

For the next few weeks I will take a chapter every other day or so and interact with the book. A stated before, if you want to understand the traditional understanding of the the Sanctuary message of Seventh-day Adventists including an overview of the calculation of the date 1844, a discussion of what happened on that date, and the ramifications of that belief for Adventists, then this book will provide that for you. It is too bad that the book is out of print, but you can purchase a reprint of the book at Maxwell’s Gifts and Books. You may also be able to find it used at Amazon.Com.

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