December 5, 2007

The Most Divisive Book in Adventism – Questions on Doctrine

In 1957 a Book was Published that forever changed the Adventist church. That book is entitled Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine or simply Questions on Doctrine.

Evangelical Leader’s Questions

These questions were presented to certain Adventist leaders by leading evangelicals Walter Martin and Donald Grey Barnhouse. As a result of the answers Martin and Barnhouse concluded that Adventists may be deluded and wrong, but they were Christian brothers.

Evangelical Backlash on Martin and Barnhouse

While today that may not seem like a big deal, but at the time Adventists were almost uniformly considered members of a sub-Christian cult. Martin and Barnhouse took much flack from their evangelical brothers and sisters for stating that Adventism was not necessarily cultic.

Backlash inside Adventism

However, the shock-waves were not only felt on the outside, but on the inside of the church as well. M. L. Andreasen took strong exception to some of the views presented in the book. Most notably are the atonement and the human nature of Christ. Andreasen saw the book as a betrayal of fundamental Adventism.

Repercussions still Felt Today

Today, the waves are still felt as various independent ministries push the church to accept Andreasen’s position or to go on further down the road inside the evangelical movement. Much of the church does not realize it, but I would argue that this book and these meetings with Barnhouse and Martin have forever changed Seventh-day Adventism.

Conference Materials Online

I would encourage all to read the materials that come out of the Questions on Doctrine conference. Read this post for a link to the original book.

Here is a link to the page that will soon have all the presentations of that meeting. Here is the organizer Dr. Nam’s presentation.

In addition, you might be interested in Dr. Herbert Douglass’ very helpful summary of what happened in the mid 1950s to give birth to the book. See the very top of the list of documents. I really appreciate and respect Dr. Douglass’ work.

In addition, you might be interested in Spectrum’s comprehensive treatment of the conference as Richard Rice gave a daily walkthrough. The post are as follows: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

In addition you might be interested in Bill Cork’s two summaries of the conference. His first is found here, the second here.

Finally, you might be interested in Larry Kirkpatrick’s comments on the conference and his presentation found at GreatControversy.Org

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shermancox

Vanderbilt Trained Minister (MDiv), Univ. of Alabama Trained Software Developer (MS), Author, Blogger (http://soulpreaching.com ), Husband, Son, Brother, Father.

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