Dr. Calvin Rock and Reform in Adventist Preaching

Adventist Co-Founder James White
Dr. Calvin Rock wrote about the content and purpose of Adventist Preaching in his influential Ministry Article of September 2000 entitled “Black SDA Preaching Betwixt and Between.” We have looked at that article periodically on the website and will look at it again. This time we look at it for his definition of Adventist preaching.

He writes:

Adventist preaching…essence is clearly one of reform—Sabbath reform, health reform, family reform, stewardship reform, etc. Preaching that does not ring with the certainties of Daniel and Revelation; that is not flavored with the symbols of the sanctuary; that does not uphold the law of God; that does not honor the prophetic gift of Ellen white; that does not extol justification by faith is not Adventist preaching. It may be truth, but it is not Present Truth; it may constitute an engaging performance, but it does not constitute the remnant proclamation.

There are a few things that are interesting about this quote. First it makes “reform” that upon which our preaching rests. It is not simply about preaching truth. Certainly it includes preaching truth, but it is a certain kind of truth. It seeks to preach an end time message. It seeks to preach getting better. It seeks to prepare a world. All of these things require change. And it is to us as Adventist preachers to proclaim these truths.

So we preach “present” truth. This is a truth that is needed right now. We teach truth that reforms and calls the hearer to a better way of living. Finally it has at its base that which we agree with others as well as that which has been given to us to teach for we preach the gospel through the symbols of the Sanctuary as we uphold the Law of God while keeping ahold of the prophetic gift. But we must never forget the truth of justification by faith.