ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 150

“Ellen White and the Trinity”

Jerry Moon, Ph. D.

Chairman, Church History Department

Andrews University Theological Seminary

 

“The Da Vinci Cracks and More than a Prophet–Part 2”

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,

Retired Professor of Theology and Church History

Andrews University

 

        It is hard to believe that almost 8 years have past since on October 25,  1998, when I posted the first ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER, dealing with “The Deception of Conscious Life After Death.” That first newsletter was emailed to a couple of thousand persons who had been following with interest my debate with Dale Ratzlaff on the Sabbath/Sunday question. Ratzlaff was a former Adventist teacher and pastor, who left the Adventist church, primarily because he could no longer accept the Sabbath and other Adventist teachings, especially the prophetic role of Ellen White. Incidentally, out of that debate developed my book The Sabbath Under Crossfire–a book the Lord has used to help many people and pastors of different faiths to accept the Sabbath.

 

        Frankly, I would have never imagined that the number of subscribers would grow from a couple of thousand to over thirty thousands, with an average of 100 new subscriptions arriving every week.  Furthermore, I never anticipated that the Lord would grant me wisdom and strength to address during the past 8 years so many different current issues from a biblical perspective.

 

        On a personal note I might mention that on more than one occasion, I was ready to throw the towel and call it quit. I felt that I could not afford to invest an average of 100 hours to prepare a newsletters every two or three weeks, while working on a new book and presenting seminars in many parts of the world. What has encouraged me to persevere, have been the many messages of appreciations arriving daily from many parts of the world.

 

        Every time I send out a newsletter, I receive  many gracious messages expressing appreciation for the new insights gained on the biblical truth examined. I take this opportunity to let you know that your words of encouragement have meant a lot to me, especially when saddened by the “hate mail” from fellow believers who disagreed with what I wrote.

 

        A special word of thanks goes to those Adventist scholars who have submitted timely essays for our newsletter. They have provided me a welcome relief from the pressure of producing a new newsletter, and they have offered to our subscribers insightful biblical studies on current issues. For example, Prof. Jon Paulien recently contributed two perceptive essays on “Armageddon and the War on Terror.” Other essays from Prof. Paulien will soon be posted.  The last two newsletters offered a timely discussion of the Trinity by Prof. Woodrow Whidden and Prof. Jerry Moon from Andrews University.

 

        In the last newsletter, Prof. Moon offered a well structured, brief, but most informative survey of the Trinity controversy in the Adventist church.  The study continues in this newsletter, where Prof. Moon outlines the significant contribution of Ellen White  in leading our Adventist church to accept the doctrine of the Trinity.

 

Ellen White Grew in Her Understanding of the Trinity

 

        You may be surprised to discover that Ellen White herself grew in the understanding of biblical truths, such as the Trinity. Prof. Graeme Bradford devotes one chapter of his book MORE THAN A PROPHET to Ellen White’s growth in the understanding of Bible truths. In the case of the Trinity, Prof. Moon shows that she offered her clearest definitions of the Trinity during the course of her debates with Dr. J. H. Kellogg–a most influential Adventist physician who promoted a pantheistic view of the Godhead in his book The Living Temple.

       

        Contrary to what some Adventists believe, Ellen White did not support the anti-Triniterian positions of some of our pioneers. On the contrary, she was largely responsible for leading most of our pioneers to accept the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. An exception was Uriah Smith, who remained anti-Triniterian to the end of his life.

 

        After reading this essay, those who appeal to Ellen White to justify their anti-Triniterian beliefs, they will have to admit their ignorance of what she actually wrote. I am thinking of a message I received today from a lady who  left the Adventist church three years ago, because she claims that the church has rejected the anti-Triniterian teachings of Ellen White and accepted instead the Catholic Triniterian doctrine.  This message reminded me of the saying that ignorance breeds arrogance.

 

        A careful reading of Prof. Moon’s essay will clear the air of misconceptions about Ellen White and help Adventists appreciate her contribution in developing  vital biblical doctrines such as the Trinity. If you wish to express your gratitude to Prof Moon for preparing such an informative essay, feel free to email him your note or comments at  <jmoon@andrews.edu>

 

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UPDATE ON THE DVD RECORDING OF THE DA VINCI CRACKS

 

        In the last newsletter I informed you of my decision to prepare a two hours-video lecture, that examines The Da Vinci Code, not only from a biblical and historical perspective, but also from social and prophetic aspects. I believe that the popularity of The Da Vinci Code–which is heralded as the best seller of all times in US history–tell us volumes about the growing secularization of our society, which conditions people to tolerate without questioning even the desecration of Christ, the central figure of the Christian faith.

 

        During the past few days I have spent considerable time collecting slides and reviewing about 30 powerpoint presentations produced by competent scholars. I also have purchased several books that I am currently reading to prepare myself for the video recording. Most likely I will be spending the next two months preparing for the taping.

 

        Some of you have told me that I should not waste my time examining the false claims of a novel, because after all it is a novel. The problem is that Dan Brown is marketing his book as a FACTUAL NOVEL.  In the title page he boldly states: “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” He has repeated the same false claim in several interviews.

 

        The subtle way in which Dan Brown mingles fiction with facts, is leading many people to doubt the divinity of Christ, the trustworthiness of the Bible, and the genuineness of the Christianity itself. A recent survey indicates that even in America 60% of the people who read The Da Vinci Code  or have seen the movie, believe that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children from her. Such a belief is held only by 30% of the people who have not read the book or seen the movie.

 

Issues Pertinent to Adventists

 

        I believe that The Da Vinci Code raises a number of questions that are pertinent to us as Seventh-day Adventists. For example, on pages 232-233 we read: “Christianity honored the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, but Constantine shifted it to coincide with the pagan’s veneration of the day of the sun.” There are several mistakes in this statement. First, Dan Brown falsely accuses the early Christian of observing the “Jewish Sabbath,” when in reality they observed the “Christian” or even better the “biblical” Sabbath.  Christianity was hardly Jewish during the fist three centuries until Constantine.

 

        Second, Brown makes Constantine the originator of Sunday observance, when it is well documented that Sunday observance began in the early part of the second century, almost two centuries before Constantine. All what Constantine did was to make Sunday a civil holiday in A. D. 321.  Lastly, he associates the observance of the “Jewish Sabbath” by the early church, with their human view of Christ, their goddess worship, and their sexual mysticism. Within such a context, Sabbathkeeping is part of the perverted early Church religion fabricated by Dan Brown. 

 

        A compelling response to the false and deceptive claims of  The Da Vinci Code, can help people appreciate not only the trustworthiness of the NT witness to Jesus Christ, but also the prophetic significance of the endtime perverted worship promoted by Dan Brown.

 

Reviving Religious Sex

 

        In a biblical response to The Da Vinci Code, entitled “Reviving Religious Sex?” Dr. Vishal Mangalwadi writes: “The Da Vinci Code promotes salvation through sex more effectively than its predecessors because it is an engaging novel. It teaches ‘sacred sex’ not on the basis of Pagan philosophy, Jungian psychology, or quantum physics, but by invoking the authority of Jesus – albeit a Gnostic rather than Jewish Jesus.

 

        “Those unfamiliar with the rituals of ‘sacred sex’ may not realize that the novel alleges that Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples was a sexual ritual: the ‘Cup’ (Chalice) that Jesus offered to his disciples was the vagina of Mary Magdalene. In Tantra, this ritual is called Yoni Chakra Puja or Swadhistana Sattva – the worship of the second chakra, that is, the vagina. . . . It is easy to miss the point of Brown’s interpretation of Leonardo’s painting of the Last Supper because Brown follows the tantrik tradition of using suggestive rather than explicit language.” (http://www.cbn.com/special/DaVinciCode/Mangalwadi_ReligiousSex.aspx).

 

        “Religious sex” is only one of the several critical issues raises by The Da Vinci Code, that I intend to address in the video taping. During the next two months, I will invest the available time in preparing a two hours powerpoint lecture, which hopefully will help many people understand the significance of the cultural phenomenon of The Da Vinci Code from a social and prophetic perspective.

 

UPDATE ON THE PUBLICATION AND RECORDING OF MORE THAN A PROPHET

 

        In the last newsletter I informed you about the publication of Prof. Graeme Bradford’s manuscript More than a Prophet. This is the first and only book that I have offered to publish as part of the Biblical Perspectives Series. The reason I have taken on this project, is because I firmly believe that this study is urgently needed to restore confidence in the gift of prophecy manifested in the writings, preaching, and teachings of Ellen White.

 

        At this time I am pleased to share three exciting news.  The first good news is that this past week I met with the printer, Gregg Patterson, to check the galley proofs and everything look great.  Gregg has ressured me that the book More than a Prophet will be delivered to me by the end of this week, on June 30.  For any printing need you can reach Gregg by phone at 269-2177, extension 571 or by email at gpatterson@patterson-printing.com 

 

        You can see the attractive cover of More than a Prophet at http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/BradfordOffer/offer.htm  By next week all the orders we have already received will be speedily processed. If you have not ordered  your  copy yet, you are still in time to benefit from the pre-publication offer. See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

        The second good news is the release last week of the CD which contains the books and articles by Prof. Graeme Bradford.  The third good news is that last Tuesday, June 20, Prof. Bradford recorded at the Avondale media studio in Australia, a two hours live DVD lecture dealing with the highlights of his book More than a Prophet.  The lecture is illustrated with 120 powerpoint slides. You will find the lecture most enlightening. It offers you an informative preview of the issues relating to Ellen White, which are discussed more fully in the book More than a Prophet.

 

        Both the DVD disk with Prof. Bradford’s lecture and the CD disk with his writings, will be packaged together in the same album. The special introductory offer for this CD/DVD album is $50.00, instead of $100.00. The price includes the airmailing expenses to any foreign destinations. You can also order the complete package of Prof. Bradford’s CD/DVD album and his book More than a Prophet for only $70.00, instead of $125.00.   See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

Who is Prof. Graeme Bradford?

 

        In the last newsletter I mentioned that Prof. Graeme Bradford has served the church with distinction as a pastor, evangelist and professor in the theology department of Avondale College, in Australia.  He has written books and numerous articles, prepared a Bible Course for Global Mission, and he is currently preparing a Revelation Seminar course together with Prof. Jon Paulien for the South Pacific Division.

 

        Prof. Bradford’s interest for the study of the prophetic ministry of Ellen White, was sparked by his painful awareness of thousand of Adventists who have left and are leaving the church, because they have found inaccuracies or mistakes in Ellen White’s writings. They assumed that inspired prophets are inerrant all the time, no matter the topics or circumstances of their writings.

 

        According to Prof. Bradford,  in many cases the departure of church members could have been prevented, had they been given the opportunity to understand what the Bible teaches regarding the gift of prophecy, namely, that prophets are human. There are times when they communicate a message from God, but there are also times when they speak their own mind.

 

        Prof. Bradford reaches this conclusion through a careful study of how the gift of prophecy was manifested in  Bible prophets. In fact he devotes the first 100 pages of his manuscript, to an analysis of the biblical understanding of the working of the prophetic ministry. This provides the basis for evaluating the ministry of Ellen White in the second part of the study.

 

A Timely Book to Reclaim Former Adventists

 

        More than a Prophet is a timely book that can restore confidence in the prophetic ministry of Ellen White and help reclaim former Adventists who have left the church because of unresolved questions about Ellen White’s writings. Somebody told me that in the Loma Linda area there are far more former Adventists outside the church, than Adventists inside the church.

 

        I became aware of this situation when I was invited to speak at the Seventh-Day Baptist church in Riverside, California (very close to La Sierra University). The church meets in a recently built impressive two million dollars sanctuary. The congregation consists of about 500 members.  I am told that it is the largest Seventh-day Baptist Church in America, possibly in the world. What surprised me is that both the pastor and 90% of the members are former Adventists.

 

        The Pastor, Gabriel Orzani, used to be the Director of Youth Ministry in the Middle East Division. The members are mostly professional people who used to be local officers in Adventist churches. Surprisingly, some of the members are medical doctors currently teaching at Loma Linda Medical School. In fact, on Saturday evening we were invited to a party held in the mansion of a medical doctor who teaches in the Loma Linda Medical School.

 

        What drove most of these former Adventists to join the Seventh-day Baptist church, is their disenchantment with certain Adventist doctrines, especially the prevailing view that all what Ellen White wrote is the result of divine inspiration. When they became aware of inaccuracies and errors in her writings, they felt that they had been deceived and thus decided to leave the church. Since the Seventh-day Baptist observe the Sabbath, they decide to join that church.

 

Reasons for Publishing More than a Prophet

 

        The reason I decided to publish Prof. Graeme Bradford’s book More than a Prophet,  is because I am constantly approached by people who have left or are  considering leaving the Adventist Church over the question of Ellen White.  For example, this past week I received a message from an Adventist couple who picked up in their Pastor’s office the book entitled The Cultic Doctrines of Seventh-day Adventists by Dale Ratzlaff, a former Adventist pastor and teacher. They wrote to me saying that the reading of this book has badly shaken their confidence in Ellen White.  They asked me if I had written something that could help them find answers to the attacks against Ellen White. I reassured them that help is on the way. In a few days Prof. Bradford’s book will be out and it will help them greatly.

 

        It is noteworthy that an increasing number of Adventists are leaving or considering leaving the Adventist church, not to go back into the world, but to join other Christian churches, which in their view are truer to Scripture. Often, their major problem is the acceptance of the prevailing view that Ellen White is the infallible authority on everything she wrote.

 

Prof. Bradford’s Stated Objective

 

        Prof. Bradford firmly believes that our Adventist church cannot afford to ignore this problem much longer. This is what motivated him to write More than a Prophet.  In the introduction he clearly states his objective , saying: “Let me say from the outset, I write this book as one having great confidence in the prophetic gift as it has been used in the ministry of Ellen White. After reading and studying the evidence for and against her work, I emerge as a strong believer. However, I also realize that the Adventist Church has not always used this gift wisely. Despite her protests during her lifetime, after her death unrealistic expectations were placed upon her writings by those who saw her as a means to settle questions on a variety of subjects. It is imperative that the Church places her ministry where the Bible would have it placed. If this is not forthcoming then the gift that God designed to be a blessing can become counterproductive.”

 

The Loss and Recovery of the Ellen White’s Prophetic Gift

       

       More than a Prophet defends the true nature of Ellen White’s ministry, by showing how her ministry was perceived by herself, her son “Willie,” and church leaders who worked closely with her. These leaders, including the General Conference President A. G. Daniells, who assisted Ellen White for many years in the preparation of her books, expressed their fears at the 1919 Bible Conference, that the Church was heading in a wrong direction in its understanding and use of her ministry. A few ultra-conservative leaders wanted to glorify Ellen White as an infallible authority on everything that she wrote and said.

 

        Unfortunately, the few ultra-conservative won the day, and the worst fears expressed at the 1919 Bible Conference by the close associates of Ellen White, were realized. The cultural pressures  brought upon the Church, caused the ultra-conservative to promote an unrealistic and inaccurate understanding of Ellen White’s ministry. This has resulted in the perception still prevailing today in the mind of many Adventists,  that Ellen White’s writings are like “fax messages” she received directly from God.

       

        Fortunately, this misconception is slowly being corrected today,  as numerous recent studies have shown the human aspects of Ellen White’s life and writings. Adventism is gradually returning a full circle by coming back to a more biblical understanding of her gift, that acknowledges her prophetic gift, while recognizing at the same time her human limitations. This intriguing story is revealed in Bradford’s More than a Prophet.

 

A Corrective Message from Elder Kenneth Wood

 

        Few days ago Elder Kenneth Wood called me to discuss my comment about the reluctance of the E. G. White Estate to inform the church at large about Ellen White’s human limitations.  For the sake of the younger generation, I need to mention that Elder Wood served with distinction for many years as the Editor of the Adventist Review. He is a most gracious Christian gentleman with whom I interacted on numerous occasions when he was Editor of the Adventist Review.  He does not agree with me in everything that I write, but he does not allow a disagreement to make him disagreeable.

 

        For the past 25 years Elder Wood has served has the Chair person of the Board of Trustees of the E. G. White Estate. He called me to point out that my comment about the E. G White Estate is inaccurate, because especially during the past 10 years their office has endeavored to promote a balanced understanding of inspiration of Ellen White’s writings. I apologize for my inaccurate characterization of the E. G. White Estate.  I was not aware that their office is actively involved in correcting some of the misconceptions regarding the inspiration of Ellen White.

 

        Elder Wood mentioned that already 25 years ago, in one of his last editorial (October 21, 1982) he wrote:  “Scripture is quite clear that God alone is infallible.  Human beings, though inspired and used mightily of God, do err at times.  Biblical examples are numerous.”  He goes on saying: “I quoted Ellen White’s comment: ‘Though some of these men wrote under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, yet when not under its direct influence they sometimes erred.’”--Sketches From the Life of Paul, p. 214.

 

        Elder Wood notes that the failure to understand the human limitations of a prophet, is “one reason that few Seventh-day Adventist are disturbed by criticism of Ellen White’s character or literary practices. . . . In dealing with a subject such as inspiration,  it is essential that a right balance be given to both the human and inspired aspects of the prophet.  For this reason the White Estate published the 587-page book, Messenger of the Lord, in l998.”

 

        Thank you, Elder Wood, for correcting my inaccurate statement.  It is reassuring to know that efforts are under way to help our Adventist members gain a balanced understanding of the prophetic ministry of Ellen White. Apparently, the problem is not the lack of information, but the difficulty to uproot popular misconceptions that have developed over the years.

 

        A similar example is the recent effort of our Adventist church to expose the problems of the traditional application of the number 666 to the Pope’s title Vicarius Filii Dei.  In spite of the research done by trustworthy Adventist scholars, and the clear and compelling reasons given by Dr. Angel Rodriguez in the Sabbath School Lesson of June 1-7, 2002, there are still a significant number of Adventists who are determined to hold fast to the traditional application of 666 to Vicarius Filii Dei. This goes to show that legends do not easily die.

       

COMMENTS ABOUT PROF. BRADFORD STUDIES ON ELLEN WHITE

 

        Several church leaders and scholars have already requested a review copy of More than a Prophet which will be mailed to them in few days as soon as the book comes off the press. Eventually I will post their comments in this newsletter. For the time being I am posting the comments issues on two booklets Prophets are Human and People Are Human: Look What they Did to Ellen White! These two booklets are a shorter and simpler abridged version of More than A Prophet. The main difference is that the two booklets do not have the extensive documentation of over 60 pages of footnotes and do not offer the fuller analysis of the issues related to the prophetic ministry of Ellen White, found in More than a Prophet.  Yet, both the abridged two booklets and the unabridged version of More than a Prophet,  are essentially the same in content. They both call for a recovery of a balanced view of Ellen White–a view that recognizes both her divine inspiration and her human limitations. Thus, the comments already released for the two booklets largely apply to More than a Prophet, since the same view and arguments are presented in both publications

 

These Are a Sampling of Comments by Church Leaders

 

        “Thanks for the copy of your excellent book, Prophets are Human. I have given it a careful reading and am thrilled with what you have done. It is just what we need. It is at once readable, informative, and convincing for anyone who is sincerely looking for truth. The Lord Himself surely helped you produce this work.”

 

Bob Olson

Former Director of the White Estate in Washington, D.C.

 

        “Dr. Bradford has provided the church with a much-needed resource. While the reader will find the book confronting at times and very likely will not agree with everything it contains, the author is to be commended for bringing long-standing and difficult issues out into the open and addressing them in a manner that is not only credible but congruent with Scripture.  In short, it is a stimulating and provocative read for the intelligent Christian.”

 

Dr. Lester Devine

Director, Ellen G. White SDA Research Center

 

        “Graeme Bradford is an honest seeker who writes honest answers to questions about Ellen White.  Prophets are Human should give help to many other seekers. I commend this book.”

 

William Johnsson, Ph. D.,

Editor, Adventist Review

 

        “Neither the critics nor the defenders of Ellen White have given adequate attention to the full range of biblical and historical evidence. That makes this book much more important than the easy to read style might suggest. Bradford’s book is must reading for anyone interested in Ellen White’s inspiration.”

 

Jon Paulien, Ph. D.,

Chair, New Testament Department, Andrews University.

 

        “Not everyone will agree with every point that Bradford asserts, but all of us must of necessity agree with his major thesis—that the church and its members will be healthier when they get as much as possible of the truth about Ellen White on the table and then disseminate it far and wide. Only in that way can the criticism of those who have built upon false conception be put to rest.”

 

George R. Knight, Ph. D.,

Professor of Church History

Andrews University Theological Seminary

 

        “In his new book People Are Human, Graeme Bradford effectively builds up a holistic and truthful picture of Ellen White, her growing understanding of Scripture, and her exhortations to advance more fully in the knowledge of the Bible. Now every church member has easy access to information hidden in the archives, which is needed to form a balanced view of her character and inspiring ministry.”

 

Hans LaRondelle, Ph. D.,

Professor Emeritus of Theology

Andrews University Theological Seminary

 

        “It is vital that every Seventh-day Adventist have a clear understanding of the issues discussed in this book.  For too long too many, both friend and foe, have been drawing conclusions on this topic on the basis of little information, misinformation or suppositions which do not stand up under scrutiny.  Graeme Bradford has my highest admiration, not only for the very readable manner in which he has addressed some significant issues surrounding the life and writings of Ellen White, but also for his personal integrity and commitment to the truth.  I strongly commend this book to the reader and thank Graeme for his work.”

 

Barry Oliver M. A., Ph. D.,

General Secretary, Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific

 

FOREWORD TO PROPHETS ARE HUMAN

By Laurie Evans, President of the South Pacific Division

 

        Prophets are Human is one of those books that is born out of adversity and controversy.  The catalyst for it centers around the increasing criticism and accusations that have been leveled at Ellen G White and her writings by those intent on destroying her credibility as an inspired writer and one through whom the gift of prophecy was manifest.  Much has been published, circulated via videos and promulgated on the internet with this objective in mind.

 

        This book has been written to show the arguments brought against Ellen White are, in the main, based on an incorrect understanding of inspiration and how this gift is manifest through the biblical prophets.  The author, by analyzing the human side of Bible writers as revealed in scripture, shows clearly that the problems encountered, which have caused many to lose their faith, are not so much with her writings as they are with unbiblical expectations of them.  In short, the book makes the very important point that the same criticisms brought against Ellen White can to a large degree be brought against many of the authors of Scripture.

 

        The book has been written in a very captivating and engaging story form that makes it easy to read and difficult to put down.  The main characters ask questions that thoughtful people have pondered and stumbled over for decades.  The answers given by “the pastor” are both biblical and faith affirming.

 

        Graeme Bradford has done an excellent job in dealing with issues in connection with Ellen White and inspiration that for far too long have gone unaddressed.  This book is long overdue and will do much to restore confidence in the authority and validity of the gift of prophecy as evident in the writings of this woman who has left such a rich legacy not only for the Seventh-day Adventist Church but for the world at large.

 

        I commend the author for recognizing the need to provide answers to difficult questions, and strongly recommend the reading of this book which I believe will be very rewarding to the honest seeker of truth.

 

Laurie Evans

President, South Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

Your Help is Needed to Promote More than a Prophet

 

        Publishing a most timely book is a futile effort, if the book does not reach the people who need it. This is why I need your help in informing your church members and friends about the release of More than a Prophet.

 

        To make it possible for many people to benefit from More than a Prophet, I have decided to offer the book by the case of 30 copies for only $5.00 per copy, instead of the retail price of $25.00. This means that the total cost for a case of 30 copies is only $150.00, instead of the retail price of $750.00.

 

        As a token expression of gratitude for your promotional effort, I will add 2 free complementary copies to your order.  This means that you will receive 32 copies of More than a Prophet, when you order a case of 30 copies.  To promote the book, you can download the picture of the cover and the information about the book by clicking at http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/BradfordOffer/offer.htm  The details on how to order More than a Prophet in single copies or by the case, are given at the end of this newsletter.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS AT THE END OF THE NEWSLETTERS

 

          A detailed description of the special offers on goods and services is provided at the end of this newsletter. Here is a brief listing of the announcements that are expanded at the end of this newsletter.

 

1. CALENDAR OF FORTHCOMING WEEKEND SEMINARS for the months of June and July 2006. See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

2. PROF. BRADFORD NEWLY RELEASED BOOK MORE THAN A PROPHET,  HIS CD ALBUM WITH HIS WRITINGS, AND HIS DVD LIVE LECTURE ON ELLEN WHITE. All the three new releases, (the book, the CD album, and the DVD album) are being offered for the first time at an introductory price. See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

3. PROF. JON PAULIEN PUBLICATIONSIN ONE CD ALBUM.  The album contains more than a dozen of books and scores of articles written during the past 20 years of research. See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

4. DR. BACCHIOCCHI’S  NEW DVD ALBUM ON THE MARK AND NUMBER OF THE BEAST. See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

5. TAGNET SPECIAL NEW WEB HOSTING OFFER for Adventist churches and members. TAGnet provides an incredible number of services to our churches and members. This newsletter comes to you through their gracious and efficient service. For detail information, visit their website at http://www.netadventist.org or

http://home.tagnet.org/ You may also call their office 800 - 9TAGNET

 

6. SPECIAL OFFER ON THE PACKAGE OF ALL THE  RECORDINGS DONE BY DR. BACCHIOCCHI. The package consists of 5 albums which are offered for only $100.00, instead of the regular price of $500.00. See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

7. PROF. JON PAULIEN’S 60 CD DISKS containing 120 lectures that explain verse by verse the book of Revelation. See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

8. SPECIAL OFFER ON HITACHI PROJECTORS: HITACHI has offered an additional discount to help especially our churches and schools in developing countries. For examples, the special offer for the new 2000 LUMENS PROJECTOR CP-X250 IS ONLY $1095.00, instead of the previous SDA price of $1995.00.  See the details at the end of this newsletter or call me at 269-471-2915

 

9. SPECIAL OFFER ON NEW TOSHIBA LAP TOP TECRA A8 released on June 28, 2006.  See details at the end.

 

10. REMOTE PRESENTER: Special offer on the smallest and most powerful REMOTE  powerpoint presenter by Honeywell.  See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

“Ellen White and the Trinity”1

Jerry Moon, Ph. D.

Chairman, Church History Department

Andrews University Theological Seminary

 

        In 1846 James White dismissed the doctrine of the Trinity as “the old unscriptural trinitarian creed.”2   A century later, in 1946, the denomination he co-founded voted a “Fundamental Beliefs” statement that specifically endorsed the doctrine of  the Trinity. That most of the early leaders among Seventh-day Adventists held an antitrinitarian theology, and that a major shift has since occured, has become standard Adventist history3  in the 43 years since E. R. Gane wrote an M.A. thesis on the topic.4  What is now disputed by some is Gane’s second hypothesis, that Adventist co-founder Ellen G. White (1827-1915) was “a trinitarian monotheist.”5  Since the 1980s, that view has come under intense attack from some writers.6  This renewed scrutiny of the role of Ellen White in the development of the Adventist Trinity doctrine has raised enough questions to warrant a fresh examination of the issue.

 

        In the previous newsletter we identified six stages in the development of the Adventist doctrine of God, from opposition to the Trinity doctrine, to acceptance of the basic concept of one God in three eternal divine persons.7  In the second part of our study I will present evidence in support of a fourfold hypothesis: (1) That Gane’s characterization of Ellen White as a “trinitarian monotheist” is accurate regarding her mature concept of God, from 1898 onward. In the 1840s, however, she did not yet have all the components of that view in place. Her mature view developed through a 40-year process that can be extensively documented. (2) That her writings describe two contrasting forms of trinitarian belief, one of which she consistently opposed, and one that she eventually supported. (3) That Ellen White’s developing understanding exerted a strong influence on other Adventist writers, leading eventually to a substantial degree of consensus in the denomination; and (4) that the method by which early Adventists came to this position was by disallowing tradition from having any normative authority and insisting on Scripture alone as the basis for doctrine and tests of membership.

 

        This rejection of tradition led them initially to some heterodox views that received severe criticism from the broader Christian community. Their dependence on Scripture, however, brought them eventually to what they believe is a more biblical view of the Trinity.8  This material will be presented under four subheadings, (1) Evidences for Change, (2) Varieties of Trinitarianism, (3) The Development of Ellen White’s Doctrine of God and Its Influence on Other Adventist Writers, and (4) Conclusions.

 

EVIDENCES FOR CHANGE

 

        At the core of the debate is the question whether Ellen White’s position on the Trinity ever changed. Some assume that she never changed, that either she always believed in the Trinity or never believed in the Trinity.9  There is ample evidence, however, that Ellen White’s beliefs did change on a number of other issues, so it is entirely plausible that she grew in her understanding of the Godhead as well.

 

        When she declared in 1849, “We know we have the truth,”10  she was referring to the beliefs that Sabbatarian Adventists held in distinction from other Christian groups. She did not mean that there was no more truth to be discovered or that Adventists would never need to change any of their views. “We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn,” she wrote in 1892. “God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed.”11

 

        My argument that her views did change is based on the recognition that at every stage of life her knowledge of God and His will was a combination of what she had learned through ordinary means such as parental training, church attendance, Bible study, and personal experience, and—after December 1844—what she received through visions. Furthermore, she herself considered her visions as an educational process that continued in cumulative fashion throughout her lifetime.12  Consequently, her personal understanding, especially in the early years, contained some elements not fully consistent with her later beliefs, because neither her Bible study nor her visions had yet called her attention to those inconsistent elements.

 

Reckoning of the Sabbath

 

        For instance, after her first vision in December 1844, she continued to observe Sunday as the Sabbath for almost two more years. She had not yet learned about the seventh-day Sabbath.  A second example of a changed view was the discovery in 1855 of the13  “time to commence the Sabbath.” For nine years after they accepted the seventh-day Sabbath, the Whites and most of the Sabbatarian Adventists observed the Sabbath from 6:00 p.m. Friday to 6:00 p.m. Saturday. Not until J. N. Andrews in 1855 demonstrated from Scripture14  that the biblical Sabbath begins at sunset, did Ellen White very reluctantly acknowledge that for nine years Adventists had been ignorant of the biblical time to begin the Sabbath.15

 

Health Reform

 

        A third example is what Adventists have historically called health reform. Until 1863, most of them, including James and Ellen White, were heavy meat eaters, even slaughtering their own hogs. Not until after basic denominational organization had been achieved, was the attention of the movement called to a broader platform of health principles, including complete abstinence from eating pork products and the strong recommendation of vegetarianism.16

 

        In view of these and other areas of conceptual development, it is not particularly surprising that Ellen White should show both development and change in her view of the Godhead. Her writings about the Godhead show a clear progression, not primarily from anti- to pro-trinitarianism, but from relative ambiguity to greater specificity. Some of her early statements are capable of various interpretations, but her later statements, 1898-1905, are explicit to the point of being dogmatic. Her change of view appears clearly to have been a matter of growth and progression, rather than reversal, because unlike her husband and others of her associates, she never directly attacked the view of the Trinity that she would later support.

 

VARIETIES OF TRINITARIANISM

 

        The conceptual key that unlocks the enigma of Ellen White’s developmental process regarding the Trinity is the discovery that her writings describe at least two distinct varieties of trinitarian belief. One of these views she consistently opposed throughout her adult ministry, and the other she eventually endorsed. The trinitarian concept that she opposed was one that “spiritualized” the members of the Godhead as distant, impersonal, mystical, and ultimately unreal. The concept that she favored portrayed God as personal, literal, and tangible.  She did not initially recognize His trinitarian nature, but when she did, she would describe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as real individuals, emphasizing Their “threeness” (individuality) as willing, thinking, feeling, and relational persons, and explaining Their oneness in terms of nature, character, purpose, and love, but not of person. The basis of these differentiations will become clearer as we examine the historical context and process of her developing thought.

 

The Development of Ellen White’s Understanding of the Godhead

 

        Three pieces of evidence are particularly significant for reconstructing the historical context of Ellen White’s earliest references to the Godhead: (1) the role of “spiritualizers” in post-disappointment Millerism; (2) the polemics of James and Ellen White against those spiritualizers; and (3) a contemporary Methodist creed that the Whites (and other early Adventists) repeatedly cited in support of their rejection of traditional trinitarianism.

 

        In the post-disappointment period of 1845, many former Millerites “spiritualized” the second coming, by interpreting the biblical prophecies of Christ’s return as having a spiritual, not literal meaning.17  Hence the spiritualizers could believe that Jesus did come on October 22, 1844, not literally, but “spiritually.” This view led to a wide range of aberrant behavior. Among the most extreme were the “no work” fanatics who believed that the seventh millennium had already been inaugurated as a Sabbath of perpetual rest, and that the way to demonstrate saving faith was to refrain from all work. Others of the “spiritualizers” dabbled in “mesmerism,”18  joined the Shakers,19  or even became followers of occult spiritualism.20

 

        James and Ellen White believed this teaching was false, because it took a Bible doctrine that they believed was clearly intended to be “literal” and made it nonliteral or “spiritual.” The core belief of Millerite Adventism was the literal, bodily, premillennial second advent. To the early Adventists, if the second advent were not a literal, bodily return of the same divine-human Jesus who ascended, but rather some subjective spiritual “revelation” to the individual heart or mind, then the teaching of His literal return had been not just modified, but destroyed—hence the phrase “spiritualize away.” To “spiritualize away” meant to take something intended as literal, and by calling it “spiritual” to so radically change the concept that it no longer had any real meaning.

 

Opposition to Spiritualizing Tendencies

 

        For this reason both James and Ellen White came early to the conviction that they must oppose this spiritualizing as rank heresy. Ellen’s polemics against this doctrine and its resulting behaviors are well known.21  James also wrote repeatedly in the post-Millerite Day-Star against these spiritualizing tendencies.22 

 

        One of James’s polemics against the spiritualizers included a remark about the Trinity that implied a similarity of belief between the spiritualizers and the trinitarians.23  Apparently some of the “spiritualizers” were supporting their error by reference to what James called “the old unscriptural trinitarian creed.” James charged that both the “spiritualizers” and the traditional trinitarians “spiritualize[d] away the existence of the Father and the Son, as two distinct, litteral [sic], tangible persons.”24 

 

        In maintaining that the Father and the Son are “real,” “literal” persons, the Whites certainly didn’t doubt that “God is spirit” (John 4:24),25  but they insisted that as Spirit, God is still Someone real, tangible, and literal; not unreal, ephemeral, or imaginary. They felt that the terms used for Trinity in the creeds and definitions they knew of, made God seem so abstract, theoretical, and impersonal, that He was no longer perceived as a real, caring, loving Being. Thus the attempt to make Him “spiritual” rather than literal, actually “spiritualized Him away,” that is, destroyed the true concept of who He is and what He is like.

 

        A third piece of evidence confirms that James was indeed linking the spiritualizers with traditional trinitarians—two groups that were in almost every other way theological opposites. Furthermore, a Methodist creed of the same period, and the way this creed was quoted and rebutted by early Adventist writers,26  support the suggestion that there was some agreement between Ellen White’s earliest statements about the person(s) of God, and her husband’s rejection of the “the old unscriptural trinitarian creed.”

 

The Question of God’s Form

 

        The suggestion that there is a dual linkage here—spiritualizers with philosophical trinitarians, and Ellen’s concept of a personal God with James’s antitrinitarianism—may sound far-fetched to many readers. But consider the wording of a typical trinitarian creed of the time. One aspect of traditional trinitarianism espoused by some Protestant creeds, but rejected by several early Adventists, was the somewhat curious statement that “There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts.”27  Early Adventists read this creedal statement as describing a shapeless, amorphous God who could morph from one to three and from three to one because He had no certain form. This they vigorously refuted, citing several Bible passages that portrayed God as having both “body” and “parts.”28

 

        The question of God’s form was evidently on the mind of Ellen White as well,29  because twice in early visions of Jesus, she asked Him questions related to the “form” and “person” of God. In one early vision, she “saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus’ countenance,” she said, “and admired His lovely person. The Father’s person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered Him. I asked Jesus if His Father had a form like Himself. He said He had, but I could not behold it, for said He, ‘If you should once behold the glory of His person, you would cease to exist.’”30

 

        About 1850 she reported, “I have often seen the lovely Jesus, that He is a person. I asked Him if His Father was a person and had a form like Himself.  Said Jesus, ‘I am in the express image of My Father’s person.’”31   Thus she gained visionary confirmation of what her husband had written in the Day-Star in 1846, that the Father and the Son are “two distinct, literal, tangible persons.”32  In terms of the trinitarian question, this statement is ambiguous. By itself it contains nothing contradictory to early Adventist antitrinitarianism, nor does it directly contradict her trinitarian statements of 1897-1905.

 

        Other hints of her early views came in 1858 with the publication of the first volume of Spiritual Gifts.33  Her belief in the Holy Spirit is not in question, for she links the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in Christ’s baptismal narrative. But she does not mention the Holy Spirit in connection with the divine councils about creation and the plan of salvation.  These statements, like the 1850 statements above, were ambiguous, in34 the sense that they could be read without conflict from either a trinitarian or non-trinitarian point of view.

 

Christ Pre-existent with the Father

 

        Perhaps her first statement that clearly disagreed with her antitrinitarian colleagues came in 1869 in a landmark chapter, “The Sufferings of Christ,” where in the opening paragraph she asserted on the basis of Heb 1:3; Col 1:19; and Phil 2:6 that Christ in His pre-existence was “equal with God.”35  Here it became evident that if no one else was listening, her husband was. Though James White’s early statements about the Trinity were uniformly negative,36  by 1876 and 1877 he was following his wife’s lead.

 

        In an editorial comparison of the beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists with Seventh Day Baptists, James included the Trinity among the doctrines which “neither [SDAs nor SDBs] regard as tests of Christian character,” that is, tests of fellowship. James now held that one could believe in the Trinity and still be an Adventist in good standing, because the Trinity was nota test of membership. “Adventists hold the divinity of Christ so nearly with the trinitarian,” he continued, “that we apprehend no trial [controversy] here.”37  Clearly James was moving away from his early polemics against trinitarianism. A year later, 1877, in a Review article titled, “Christ is equal with God,” he showed he was in sympathy with certain aspects of trinitarianism. “The inexplicable trinity that makes the godhead three in one and one in three is bad enough,” he wrote, “but ultra Unitarianism that makes Christ inferior to the Father is worse.”38

 

         In asserting Christ’s equality with the Father, James was echoing what his wife had written eight years earlier. For another evidence of her leading her colleagues, note that her assertions that Christ was uncreated39 preceded by more than two decades Uriah Smith’s published acceptance of that concept.40

 

Building a Triniterian View

 

        Brick by conceptual brick, (perhaps without even being aware of it herself) she was slowly but surely dismantling the substructure of the antitrinitarian view, and building a trinitarian view. In another clear break with the prevailing semi-Arian consensus, she declared in 1878 that Christ was the “eternal Son.”41  Ellen White did not understand his eternal Sonship to imply derivation from the Father. Sonship in His preexistence denoted that He was of the same nature as the Father, in unity and close relationship with the Father, but it did not imply that Christ had a beginning. For in taking human flesh Christ became the Son of God “in a new sense.” From the perspective of His humanity, He for the first time had a “beginning,” and also, as a human, He began a new relationship of dependence on the Father.

 

        “In His incarnation He gained in a new sense the title of the Son of God. Said the angel to Mary, ‘The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’ While the Son of a human being, He became the Son of God in a new sense. Thus He stood in our world--the Son of God, yet allied by birth to the human race. . . .

 

        “From all eternity Christ was united with the Father, and when He took upon Himself human nature, He was still one with God [emphasis supplied].”42

 

        An even more fundamental departure from the “old view” emerged in 1888, in the context of the struggle over the law in Galatians [3:19-3:25] and a clearer view of justification through substitutionary atonement. Ellen White and others came to the realization that a broader concept of the atonement and of righteousness by faith demands the full Deity of Christ. “If men reject the testimony of the inspired Scriptures concerning the divinity of Christ,” she wrote, “it is in vain to argue the point with them; for no argument, however conclusive, could convince them. [1 Cor 2:14 quoted.] None who hold this error can have a true conception of the character or the mission of Christ, or of the great plan of God for man’s redemption” (emphasis supplied).43  Christ is “one with the eternal Father,—one in nature, in character, and in purpose,” “one in power and authority,”44  she proclaimed, “the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God.”  The context shows that her phrase “the only being” contrasts Christ to the angels. Nevertheless, this statement precedes the fuller exposition of the role of the Holy Spirit.

 

Christ’s Eternal Self-existence

 

        In 1890, she followed up her 1888 affirmation of Christ’s unity with the Father (in nature, character, and purpose) with perhaps her last major statement that can still be read ambiguously. “The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both.”46  Retrospectively, this phrase harmonizes perfectly with her later statements (especially Desire of Ages, 530) that Christ is “self-existent” and that His Deity is not “derived” from the Father. It is also possible, however, to read the sentence from a binitarian (two-person Godhead) or even semi-Arian (Christ inferior to the Father) perspective—that Jesus, exalted to the Father’s throne in the presence of the angels, was “encircled” by “the glory of the eternal, self-existent One,” i.e., the Father. Patriarchs and Prophets, where the phrase appears, was an amplification of an earlier work, Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1 (1870), where the corresponding phrase says simply, “The Son was seated on the throne with the Father.”47  The surrounding context in both works is similar, reflecting her earlier perspective, while the new phrase, “the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both,” reflects her growing understanding in 1890.

 

        A pamphlet published in 1897 carried the next major component in her developing doctrine of God, that the Holy Spirit is “the third person of the Godhead.”  This concept would receive wider attention and more permanent form in The Desire of Ages (1898), where she repeated and emphasized the previous two points: “In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived,” and the Holy Spirit is the “Third Person of the Godhead.”49  In 1899 she confirmed the other side of the paradox, that in His “person,” Christ was “distinct” from the Father.50  Here the essential trinitarian paradox of the unity of God in a plurality of persons is clearly articulated, and her trinitarianism is essentially complete. All that remains for her capstone statements of 1901 and 1905 is to affirm most explicitly that the three “eternal heavenly dignitaries,” the “three highest powers in heaven,” the “three living persons of the heavenly trio,” are one in nature, character, and purpose, but not in person.51

 

        Thus there is a clear progression from the simple to the complex, suggesting that Ellen White’s understanding did grow and change as she received additional light.  Fernando Canale has pointed out that this progression is similar to the one presented in the NT.  In the gospels, the first challenge was to convince the disciples that Christ was one with the Father. Once their concept of monotheism had been expanded to accept “one God” in two divine persons, it was comparatively easy to lead them to recognize the Holy Spirit as a third divine person.52

 

THE KELLOGG CRISIS AND THE CAPSTONE STATEMENTS

 

        As noted above, Ellen White’s writings on the Godhead address at least two distinct varieties of trinitarian belief—one she consistently opposed, and another she eventually came to agree with. Her differentiation between these two views of the Trinity became most explicit during the Kellogg crisis of 1902-1907.53  Because certain of the writings of both J. H. Kellogg and Ellen White during this period have been seriously misunderstood in recent years, it is necessary to consider this controversy in some detail.

 

        Dr. J. H. Kellogg, medical superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, was the leading person of scientific credentials among SDAs at the turn of the twentieth century. Possibly influenced by intellectual companions from outside Adventism,54  he eventually theorized that the life of every living thing—whether tree, flower, animal, or human—was the very presence of God within it. His view was a form of pantheism,55  of which traces can be found in his public presentations in the 1890s,56  but the “crisis” did not break until 1902.

 

        Following the Battle Creek Sanitarium fire of February 18, 1902, Kellogg proposed a fund-raising plan to finance the rebuilding. He would donate to the Review and Herald Publishing Association the manuscript for a new book on health.57   If the Review and Herald would donate the costs of publishing, and if the 73,000 members that composed the Seventh-day Adventist church in 1902 would undertake to sell 500,000 copies at one dollar each, the proceeds would both pay off long-standing debts and rebuild the sanitarium. This plan was accepted. The Living Temple was primarily a handbook on basic physiology, nutrition, preventive medicine, and home treatments for common ailments. But the title page quoted 1 Cor 6:19 about the body being the “temple of the Holy Ghost,” and here and there Kellogg incorporated his theological views.

 

The Publishing of The Living Temple

 

        While preliminary readers of the manuscript were pleased with what it said about physiology, they sharply criticized some of its speculations about the doctrine of God. Despite this criticism, Kellogg pressed ahead with publication. On December 30, 1902, however, while the Review and Herald Publishing Association was in the midst of printing the first edition, the publishing house burned to the ground. Among other losses were the printing plates and unfinished copies of The Living Temple. Kellogg promptly took the manuscript to another printer and contracted for 3,000 copies at his own expense.

 

        When the book was finally distributed, the most flagrant departures from established Adventist theology appeared in the opening chapter, “The Mystery of Life.”58  “God is the explanation of nature,” Kellogg declared, “–not a God outside of nature, but in nature, manifesting himself through and in all the objects, movements, and varied phenomena of the universe.”59 

 

        Evidently reacting to some of his prepublication critics, Kellogg sought to blunt or circumvent their objections by specific reference to the Holy Spirit.  He reasoned that if the Holy Spirit could be everywhere at once, and if the Holy Spirit were also a Person, then no one could say that the God Kellogg set forth as dwelling in all things was an impersonal God. “How can power be separated from the source of power?” Kellogg asked? “Where God’s Spirit is at work, where God’s power is manifested, God himself is actually and truly present.”60  In claiming that God’s power equals His presence, Kellogg blurs his logic, as a brief example will show. A military commander can issue orders to mobilize the armed forces, and through those orders the leader’s power reaches right down to the home of an individual soldier, but that’s clearly different from the commander visiting that home in person.

 

        Then Kellogg spins his defining metaphor—the most quoted paragraph from The Living Temple: “Suppose now we have a boot before us,—not an ordinary boot, but a living boot, and as we look at it, we see little boots crowding out at the seams, pushing out at the toes, dropping off at the heels, and leaping out at the top,—scores, hundreds, thousands of boots, a swarm of boots continually issuing from our living boot,—would we not be compelled to say, ‘There is a shoemaker in the boot’? So there is present in the tree a power which creates and maintains it, a tree-maker in the tree, a flower-maker in the flower, . . . an infinite, divine, though invisible Presence . . . which is ever declaring itself by its ceaseless, beneficent activity.”61

 

Kellogg’s Pantheism Debated

 

        Kellogg’s theory was vigorously debated in the church for several years. Since leading Adventists had pointed out its weaknesses,62  Ellen White hoped at first that it would not be necessary for her to get involved. But by September 1903 Kellogg’s views were gaining adherents. When he claimed publicly that the teachings of The Living Temple “regarding the personality of God” were in accord with the writings of Ellen White, she could remain silent no longer. “God forbid that this opinion should prevail,”63 she declared.  “We need not the mysticism that is in this book,” she continued. “[T]he writer of this book is on a false track. He has lost sight of the distinguishing truths for this time. He knows not whither his steps are tending. The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit, and which, therefore, are not quick to discern the difference between truth and error.”64

 

        In a follow-up letter, she zeroed in on the core issue: “The Lord Jesus . . . did not represent God as an essence pervading nature, but as a personal being. Christians should bear in mind that God has a personality as verily as has Christ.”65

 

        A few weeks later, in a letter to former General Conference president G. I. Butler,66  Kellogg defended his view: “As far as I can fathom the difficulty which is found in the Living Temple [sic], the whole thing may be simmered down to this question: Is the Holy Ghost a person? You say No.” (Butler was of the older antitrinitarian school who held that the Holy Spirit was an aspect or power of God, but not a person.) Kellogg continued: “I had supposed the Bible said this [that the Holy Spirit is a person] for the reason that the personal pronoun ‘he’ is used in speaking of the Holy Ghost. Sister White uses the pronoun ‘he’ and has said in so many words that the Holy Ghost is the third person of the God-head [sic]. How the Holy Ghost can be the third person and not be a person at all is difficult for me to see.” 67

 

        Here is a fascinating example of Kellogg as a debater.  Essentially he is saying, “I have been misunderstood. I didn’t claim that the Father is in everything; it is the Holy Spirit who is in everything. And if the Holy Spirit is a person, then Ellen White is wrong in saying my view undermines the personality of God.” Thus he sought to outmaneuver Ellen White’s reproof and maintain the legitimacy of his own opinion.

 

        Butler’s reply, however, shows that he was not fooled. “So far as Sister White and you being in perfect agreement is concerned, I shall have to leave that entirely between you and Sister White. Sister White says there is not perfect agreement. You claim there is. . . . I must give her the credit . . . of saying there is a difference.”68

 

        Kellogg is here telling half-truths to Butler, attempting to rationalize that the “pantheism” of Living Temple was simply a scientific perspective of the same doctrine that Ellen White had expressed in Desire of Ages. That was what Kellogg wanted his readers to believe, but that did not make it true, although Ellen White herself acknowledged that “to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit” it might seem so.69

 

Ellen White’s Explicit Statement

 

        As the conflict dragged on into 1905, Ellen White wrote another document that exposed the matter to the church in such stark lines that it could not be misunderstood. The manuscript offered perhaps the most radical, foundational indictment she ever wrote against a false view of the Trinity, followed by her most explicit description of what she considered to be the true understanding of the Godhead. In this document, published in 1905, she labels the first view “spiritualistic,” “nothingness,” “imperfect, untrue,”70  “the trail of the serpent,” and “the depths of Satan.”71  She said those who received it were “giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, departing from the faith which they have held sacred for the past fifty years.”72

 

        In contrast to this view which she unsparingly denounces, she sets forth another view which she regarded as “the right platform,” in harmony with “the simplicity of true godliness,” and “the old, old times . . . when, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, thousands were converted in a day.”73 The antagonism between two opposing views could scarcely be drawn in more stringent terms in a theological context, than a disagreement between doctrines of “seducing spirits” and the doctrine of “the old, old times” of the original Pentecost. She is talking about two contrasting doctrines of the Trinity. Here is the first, attributed explicitly to “Dr. Kellogg” and his associates in “our leading medical fraternity.”

 

        “I am instructed to say, The sentiments of those who are searching for advanced scientific ideas are not to be trusted. Such representations as the following are made: ‘The Father is as the light invisible; the Son is as the light embodied; the Spirit is the light shed abroad.’  ‘The Father is like the dew, invisible vapor; the Son is like the dew gathered in beauteous form; the Spirit is like the dew fallen to the seat of life.’ Another representation: ‘The Father is like the invisible vapor; the Son is like the leaden cloud; the Spirit is rain fallen and working in refreshing power.’

 

        “All these spiritualistic representations are simply nothingness. They are imperfect, untrue. They weaken and diminish the Majesty which no earthly likeness can be compared to. God can not be compared with the things His hands have made. These are mere earthly things, suffering under the curse of God because of the sins of man. The Father can not be described by the things of earth [emphasis supplied].74

 

        Then she defines what she understands to be the truth about the Godhead.  “The Father is all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and is invisible to mortal sight. The Son is all the fulness of the Godhead manifested. The Word of God declares Him to be ‘the express image of His person.’  ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’  Here is shown the personality of the Father.

 

        “The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fulness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ [emphasis supplied].75

 

        In charging that Kellogg, with his “spiritualistic” trinity doctrine, was “departing from the faith” Adventists had “held sacred for the past fifty years,” she clearly refutes the assumption that all doctrines of the trinity are the same and that objection to one demands the rejection of all. She is clearly distinguishing between two varieties of trinitarianism.

 

        Significantly, Ellen White condemns Kellogg’s view of the Trinity in almost identical terms to those used by her husband James in 1846 when he condemned the “old unscriptural trinitarian creed” for “spiritualiz[ing] away the existence of the Father and the Son, as two distinct, literal, tangible persons.” This parallelism supports the interpretation that she was at least in partial agreement with him in 1846, and that she later saw similarities between the creeds that claimed God was “invisible, without body or parts,” and Kellogg’s “spiritualistic representations” of God under metaphors of light and water.

 

        Furthermore, Ellen White claims that in Kellogg’s heresy she “recognized the very sentiments” she had opposed among spiritualizing ex-Millerites in 1845 and 1846.76  The implication is that the spiritualizing of the post-disappointment fanatics, the creedal teaching that God is formless and intangible, and Kellogg’s impersonal concepts of God were all associated by James and Ellen White under the general heading of “spiritualistic theories.”77

 

        This is directly germane to the current debate, because some have claimed that Kellogg’s view which Ellen White condemned is the same view of the Trinity later accepted by the church78 —a claim that is not supported by the evidence. She clearly rejected any traditional view of the Trinity that made God seem distant, untouchable, or impersonal; and she embraced a literal, biblical79  view of the Trinity, a view that portrayed one God, subsisting in three divine personalities, who are perfectly united, hence one, in nature, character, purpose, and love.

 

        Her latest affirmations of one God in three persons are fully in harmony with the first explicitly trinitarian belief statement among Seventh-day Adventists, published in 1913, during her lifetime, by F. M. Wilcox, editor of the Review and Herald from 1911-1944, and one of the original five trustees appointed by Ellen White to superintend her estate. “Seventh-day Adventists believe,—” Wilcox explained, “1. In the divine Trinity. This Trinity consists of the eternal Father, . . . the Lord Jesus Christ, . . . [and] the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead”80

 

CONCLUSION

       

        In the first part of our study we noted that the 1946 General Conference session voted the first officially Adventist endorsement of belief in the Trinity,81  just 100 years after James White’s strong rejection of that idea in the 1846 Day-Star. This change was not a simple reversal. The evidence is that Ellen White agreed with the essential positive point of James’s belief, namely that “the Father and the Son” are “two distinct, literal, tangible persons.”  Subsequent evidence shows that she also agreed with James’s negative point: that the traditional, philosophical concepts held by many trinitarians did “spiritualize away” the personal reality of the Father and the Son.82 

 

        Soon after this she added the conviction, based on visions, that both Christ and the Father have tangible forms. She progressively affirmed the eternal equality of Christ and the Father, that Christ was not created, and by 1888, that an adequate concept of the atonement demands the full and eternal Deity of Christ. Only in the 1890s did she become aware of the full individuality and  personhood of the Holy Spirit, but when she did, she referred to the Holy Spirit in literal and tangible terms much like those she had used in 1850 to describe the Father and the Son. For instance, at Avondale in 1899 she declared, “the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds, unseen by human eyes; . . . He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind.”83

 

        This confirms the fourfold hypothesis with which this article opened. First, E. R. Gane’s characterization of Ellen White as a “trinitarian monotheist” is accurate regarding her mature concept of God, from 1898 onward. She never, however, used the term “Trinity” to describe her belief about God. Perhaps the closest she came was her use of the phrase “heavenly trio.”  A likely reason why she consistently shunned the term “Trinity,” even after she had embraced certain aspects of trinitarian teaching, is the second hypothesis: that she had become aware of two varieties of trinitarian belief, one that she embraced and one that she vehemently rejected. An uncritical use of the term “Trinity” might appear to endorse philosophical concepts to which she was diametrically opposed.

 

        This seems especially plausible in light of the third hypothesis, that as she endorsed conceptual steps toward a biblical trinitarianism, her developing understanding exerted a strong influence on other Adventist writers, leading eventually to a substantial degree of consensus in the denomination.

 

        Fourth, the method by which the early Adventists sought to separate the biblical elements of trinitarianism from the elements derived from tradition, was to completely disallow tradition as a basis for doctrine, and struggle through the long process of constructing their beliefs on the basis of Scripture alone. In doing so, they virtually retraced the steps of the NT church in first accepting the equality of Christ with the Father, and second, discovering Their equality and unity with the Holy Spirit as well.  In the process, their theology showed temporary similarities to some of the historical heresies, particularly Arianism. The Adventists’ repudiation of tradition as doctrinal authority was costly in terms of the ostracism they endured as perceived “heretics,” but their dependence on Scripture brought them eventually to what they believe is a more biblical view of the Trinity.85  A controversial corollary is the conviction that the classical formulation of the Trinity doctrine, resting as it does on Greek philosophical presuppositions of timelessness and impassibility, is simply incompatible with a thoroughly biblical theological system.86

 

        As a systematic theologian deeply involved in the development of the Adventist doctrine of God, Fernando Canale has written extensively on the distinction between a theology based on Greek philosophical presuppositions,87  and one based on biblical presuppositions.  He makes a strong case for his contention that because Adventists, “departed from the philosophical conception of God as timeless” and “embraced the historical conception of God as presented in the Bible,” they were enabled to develop a genuinely biblical view of the Trinity.88

 

ENDNOTES

 

        1. The essential content of this article was published as “Ellen White’s Role in the Trinity Debate,” chapter 14 in The Trinity: Understanding God’s Love, His Plan of Salvation, and Christian Relationships, by Woodrow Whidden, Jerry Moon, and John Reeve (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2002), pp. 204-220; as expanded and updated in Jerry Moon, “The Adventist Trinity Debate, Part 2: The Role of Ellen White,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 41, no. 2 (Autumn 2003), pp. 275-292.

       

        2. James White, Day-Star, January 24, 1846, 25.

 

        3. See Russell Holt, “The Doctrine of the Trinity in the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination: Its Rejection and Acceptance” (Term Paper, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, 1969); Le Roy Edwin Froom, Movement of Destiny (Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1971), 148-180—although Froom’s pleading on the basis of Millerite statistics that a “majority” of the Adventist founders were trinitarian (ibid., 147) has not been supported by the evidence; Merlin Burt, “Demise of Semi-Arianism and Anti-Trinitarianism in Adventist Theology, 1888-1957”(term paper, Andrews University, 1996); Woodrow W. Whidden, “Salvation Pilgrimage: The Adventist Journey into Justification by Faith and Trinitarianism,” Ministry, April 1998, 5-7; Fernando L. Canale, “Doctrine of God,” in Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, ed. Raoul Dederen, Commentary Reference Series, vol. 12 (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2000): 117-150; and Woodrow Whidden, Jerry Moon, and John W. Reeve, The Trinity: Understanding God’s Love, His Plan of Salvation, and Christian Relationships (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2002), 190-220.

 

        4. Erwin R. Gane, “The Arian or Anti-Trinitarian Views Presented in Seventh-day Adventist Literature and the Ellen G. White Answer” (M.A. thesis, Andrews University, 1963).

 

        5. Gane, 67-79.

 

        6.  See, e.g., [Fred Allaback], “The Doctrine of the Trinity in Adventist History,” Liberty Review [5250 Johnstown Road, Mt. Vernon, Ohio], October 1989, 4-5, 7-8; Lynnford Beachy, “Adventist Review Perpetuates the Omega,” Old Paths [Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC64, Box 128-B, Welch, WV; website www.smyrna.org], vol. 8, no. 7, July 1999, 1-14; David Clayton, “The Omega of Deadly Heresies,” n.p., n.d. [ca. 2000], in my files; idem, “Some Facts Concerning the Omega Heresy,” www.restorationministry.com/Open_Face/html/2000/open_face_ oct_2000.htm; accessed Mar. 10, 2003; and Bob Diener, The Alpha and the Omega (Creal Springs, IL: Bible Truth Productions, [ca. 1998]), videocassette.

 

        7. Moon, “Adventist Trinity Debate, Part 1,” AUSS 41 (Spring 2003): 113-129.

 

        8. Canale, Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, 150.

 

        9. For example, John Kiesz, an antitrinitarian of the Church of God (Seventh Day), speculates that Ellen White was a “closet trinitarian” who kept that view to herself for half a century until in the 1890s she suddenly broke her silence to challenge the then majority view of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination (“History of the Trinity Doctrine,” Study No. 132, <http://www.giveshare.org/BibleStudy/132.trinityhistory.html>, accessed January 2001).

 

        10. Ellen G. White to Brother and Sister Hastings, March 24-30, 1849 (Letter 5, 1849), pp. 5-6; in Manuscript Releases, 21 vols. (Silver Spring, MD: Ellen G. White Estate, 1981, 1987, 1990, 1993), 5:200.

 

        11. (E. G. White, “Search the Scriptures,” Review and Herald, July 26, 1892, par. 7).

 

        12. “With the light communicated through the study of His word, with the special knowledge given of individual cases among His people under all circumstances and in every phase of experience, can I now be in the same ignorance, the same mental uncertainty and spiritual blindness, as at the beginning of this experience? Will my brethren say that Sister White has been so dull a scholar that her judgment in this direction is no better than before she entered Christ’s school, to be trained and disciplined for a special work? . . . I would not dishonor my Maker by admitting that all this light, all the display of His mighty power in my work and experience, has been valueless, that it has not educated my judgment or better fitted me for His work” (E. G. White, Testimonies for the Church, 5:686).

 

        13. It should be noted that when she and James White did accept the Sabbath, their acceptance was based initially on Bible study prompted by reading a tract by Joseph Bates. Later the correctness of this view was confirmed by vision (Arthur L. White,  Ellen G. White, vol 1, The Early Years, 1827-1862 [Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1985], 116, 120-121.

 

        14. See, e.g., Lev 23:32 and Mark 1:32; J. N. Andrews, “Time for Commencing the Sabbath,” Review and Herald, 4 Dec. 1855, 76-78.

 

        15. A. L. White, Ellen G. White, 1:322-324.

 

        16. Richard W. Schwarz and Floyd Greenleaf,  Light Bearers: A History of the  Seventh-day Adventist Church, rev. ed. (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 2000); D. E. Robinson, The Story of Our Health Message: The Origin, Character, and Development of Health Education in the Seventh-day Adventist Church 3d ed. (Nashville: Southern Publishing Association, 1965), 75, 81. Most Adventists were already opposed to the use of alcoholic beverages.

 

        17. Schwarz and Greenleaf, Light Bearers, 53-54. For the most extensive investigation to date of post-disappointment Millerism, its division and disintegration, see Merlin D. Burt, “The Historical Background, Interconnected Development, and Integration of the Doctrines of the Sanctuary, the Sabbath, and Ellen G. White’s Role in Sabbatarian Adventism from 1844 to 1849” (Ph.D. dissertation, Andrews University, 2002), 60-272.

 

        18. Burt, dissertation, 145.

 

        19. Enoch Jacobs, editor of the Day-Star led in this move (Burt, 231-242).

 

        20. Burt, 242; George R. Knight, Millennial Fever and the End of the World (Boise, ID: Pacific Press, 1993), 260.

 

        21. See, e.g., E. G. White, Life Sketches, 85-94.

 

        22. Burt (146-147) lists four such items, each titled “Letter from Bro. White,” in Day-Star Sept. 6, 1845, 17-18; Oct. 11, 1845, 47; Nov. 29, 1845, 35; and January 24, 1846, 25 .

 

        23. James White, Day-Star, January 24, 1846, 25; Ellen Harmon’s first published writing was “A Letter from Sister Harmon,” in the same issue of the Day-Star, January 24, 1846, 31-32.

 

         24. James White, Day-Star, January 24, 1846, 25.

 

        25. In 1877 Ellen White quoted John 4:24 KJV: “God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (E. G. White, Spirit of Prophecy 2:143). In 1904 she wrote, “God is a spirit; yet He is a personal being, for man was made in His image” (E. G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1904, 1948), 8:263. James White held that God is “a Spirit being” (idem, Personality of God [Battle Creek, SDA Pub. Assn., (ca. 1868)], 3).

 

        26. Several Adventist writers cited almost the same creedal phrases. D. M. Canright quotes two creeds,  Methodist and Episcopal. The Methodist creed included the phrase “without body or parts,” whereas the Episcopal creed specified that God is “without body, parts, or passions.” Canright claimed knowledge of “other creeds” that went “still further” and said that God is “without center or circumference” (D. M. Canright, “The Personality of God,” Review and Herald, Sept. 5, 1878, 81; cf. ibid., Sept. 19, 1878, 97; cf. J. B. Frisbie, “The Seventh Day-Sabbath [sic] Not Abolished,” Review and Herald, March 7, 1854, 50. Cf. James White, Personality of God.

 

        27. Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church (New York: Carlton and Porter, 1856), 15.

 

        28. For instance, Exod 24:9-11; 33:20-23; John 1:18; Heb 1:1-3; Uriah Smith, The State of the Dead and the Destiny of the Wicked (Battle Creek, MI: SDA Publishing Assn., 1873), 27-30. Note Smith’s polemic against any “mystical interpretation of our current theology” (ibid., 27).

 

        29. The creed in question was a Methodist creed, and she had been raised Methodist. Furthermore, she was closely associated with early Adventists who cited this creedal detail as one of the unbiblical aspects of trinitarianism.

 

        30. Ellen G. White, A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views [Visions] of Ellen G. White (Saratoga Springs, NY: James White, 1851), 43; reprinted, idem, Early Writings of Ellen G. White (Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1882, 1945), 54.

 

        31.E. G. White, Early Writings, 77, emphasis hers.

 

        32. While there is no record of her denouncing the “trinitarian creed” as did her husband, note the similarity of expression between her view in 1852 and what he wrote in 1868: “The Father and the Son were one in man’s creation, and in his redemption.  Said the Father to the Son, ‘Let us make man in our image.’ And the triumphant song of jubilee in which the redeemed take part, is unto ‘Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever.’”

 

        “Jesus prayed that his disciples might be one as he was one with his Father. This prayer did not contemplate one disciple with twelve heads, but twelve disciples, made one in object and effort in the cause of their master. Neither are the Father and the Son parts of the ‘three-one God.’ They are two distinct beings, yet one in the design and accomplishment of redemption.  The redeemed . . . ascribe the honor, and glory, and praise, of their salvation, to both God and the Lamb” (James White, Life Incidents [1868], 343, all emphasis added).

 

        33. The title was an explicit assertion of her claim to have received the gift of prophecy.

 

        34. Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts, vols. 1, 3 (Battle Creek, MI: Steam Press of the Review and Herald Office, 1858; Steam Press of the SDA Publishing Association, 1864), 1:17-18, 22-28; 3:33-34.

 

        35. Ellen G. White, “Testimony 17 (1869),” in Testimonies for the Church, 9 vols. (1855-1909; reprint Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1948), 2:200; cf. “The Son of God was in the form of God, and he thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (E. G. White, Spirit of Prophecy [1877], 2:10).

 

        36.“To assert that the sayings of the Son and his apostles are the commandments of the Father, is as wide from the truth as the old Trinitarian absurdity that Jesus Christ is the very and eternal God” (James White, “The Faith of Jesus,” Review and Herald, Aug 5, 1852, p. 52).

 

        37. James White, “The Two Bodies,” RH Oct. 12, 1876, 116; cf. Froom, Movement of Destiny, 178.

 

         38. James White, “Christ Equal with God,” Review and Herald, Nov. 29, 1877, p. 72.

 

        39. Ellen G. White, “The First Advent of Christ,” Review and Herald, Dec. 17, 1872, par. 4; later published in Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2 (Battle Creek, MI: SDA Publishing Association, 1877), 9-10; cf. E. G. White, “Bible Study,” Review and Herald, Jan 11, 1881, par. 3.

 

        40. Uriah Smith, Thoughts on the Revelation (Battle Creek, MI: SDA Publishing Association, 1865), 59, calls Christ the first created being; a view repudiated in Looking Unto Jesus (Battle Creek, MI: Review and Herald, 1898), 17, 12.

 

        41. Ellen G. White, “An Appeal to the Ministers,” Review and Herald, August 8, 1878, par. 4; Ellen G. White to E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones, Feb. 18, 1887 (Letter 37, 1887), in Manuscript Releases,15:25, par. 3 (also in idem, 1888 Materials, 28.3); idem, “‘Search the Scriptures.’ John 5:39,” in Youth’s Instructor, August 31, 1887, par. 1; idem, “The Truth Revealed in Jesus,” Review and Herald, Feb. 8, 1898, par. 2.

 

 

        42. E. G. White, “Christ Our Only Hope,” Signs of the Times, Aug. 2, 1905, reprinted in E. G. White, Selected Messages, 1:226-228.

 

        43. Ellen G. White, Great Controversy (1888 ed.), 524. Cf. E. J. Waggoner’s assertion that “Our object in this investigation is to set forth Christ’s rightful position of equality with the Father, in order that His power to redeem may be the better appreciated” (Christ and His Righteousness [Oakland, CA: Pacific Press, 1890; facsimile reprint, Riverside, CA: The Upward Way, 1988]; 19).

 

        44. E. G. White, Great Controversy (1888 ed.), 493, 495.

 

        45. Ellen G. White, Great Controversy (1888 ed.), 493; idem, Patriarchs and Prophets (1890), 34.1; cf. idem, “That We Might Be Partakers of the Divine Nature,” Signs of the Times, Oct. 14, 1897, par. 3.

 

        46. Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets (1890), 36.

 

        47. Patriarchs and Prophets (1890) was an amplification of an earlier work, Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1 (1870), where the corresponding sentence says simply, “The Son was seated on the throne with the Father, and the heavenly throng of holy angels was gathered around them.”  E. G. White, Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1 (1870), 17.

 

        48. Special Testimonies for Ministers and Workers, No. 10 (1897).

 .Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, 530, 671.

 

        49. “The world was made by him, ‘and without him was not anything made that was made.’ If Christ made all things, he existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore.

 

        “The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father” (Ellen G. White, “The Word Made Flesh,”Review and Herald, April 5, 1906, par. 6-7, italics supplied [reprinted from Signs of the Times, April 26, 1899]).

 

        51. E. G. White, Manuscript 130, 1901, in Manuscript Releases, 16:205, quoted in idem, Evangelism (Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1946), 616 (but erroneously attributed to Ms. 145, 1901); idem, Special Testimonies, Series B, no. 7 (1905), 51, 62-63, quoted in Evangelism, 617.3, 615.1.

 

        52. Fernando L. Canale, “Doctrine of God,” in Handbook of SDA Theology, ed. Raoul Dederen, 128-130.

 

        53. On the Kellogg Crisis, see R[ichard] W. Schwarz, John Harvey Kellogg, M.D. (Nashville: Southern Publishing, 1970; reprint, Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1981), 174-192; idem, Light Bearers to the Remnant, (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1979), 282-298; Jerry Moon, W. C. White and Ellen G. White: The Relationship between the Prophet and Her Son (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1993), 274-320.

 

        54.Froom, Movement of Destiny, 351.

 

        55. W. A. Spicer, “Pantheism Here and in Its Ancient Setting,” in How the Spirit of Prophecy Met a Crisis: Memories and Notes of the “Living Temple” Controversy,” [1938], chapter 13. http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/white/spicer/index.htm, accessed September 18, 2003.

 

        56. See J. H. Kellogg, “God in Man, No. 1,” “God in Nature, No. 2,” and “God in Man, No. 3,” in General Conference Daily Bulletin, 1897, 72-84.

 

        57. J. H. Kellogg, The Living Temple (Battle Creek, MI: Good Health Pub. Co., 1903).

 

        58. Kellogg, Living Temple, 28-30.

 

        59. J. H. Kellogg, Living Temple, 28.

 

        60. Ibid.

 

        61. Ibid., 29.

 

        62. W. A. Spicer, (n. 55 above); W. W. Prescott, “Suggestions on Matter Found on Galleys 1-129, Inclusive, of Matter for Dr. Kellogg’s New Book, The Living Temple,” Record Group 11, A. G. Daniells, 1901-1950, J. H. Kellogg Case File, General Conference Archives, Silver Springs, MD.

 

        63. E. G. White to the Teachers in Emmanuel Missionary College, Sept. 22, 1903 (“Teach the Word”), in Spalding and Magan’s Unpublished Manuscript Testimonies of Ellen G. White, 1915-1916 (hereinafter referred to as Spalding-Magan Collection (Payson, AZ: Leaves-Of- Autumn Books, 1985), 320.

 

        64. Ibid., 320-321.

 

        65. Ibid., 324. Kellogg hinted in Living Temple (29-32) that the concept of a personal God was an (ultimately unfactual) construct for the benefit of immature minds, implying that intellectuals like himself could perceive the reality beyond the anthropomorphic accommodation.

 

        66. George I. Butler had been president of the General Conference (1871-1874, 1880-1888) and in 1903 was president of the Southern Union.

 

        67. J. H. Kellogg to G. I. Butler, Oct. 28, 1903a [one of two letters from Butler to Kellogg on the same date], Center for Adventist Research, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI.

 

        68. G. I. Butler to J. H. Kellogg, April 5, 1904, emphasis supplied.

 

        69. E. G. White, “Teach the Word,” Sept. 22, 1903, in Spalding-Magan Collection, 321.

 

        70. E. G. White, Special Testimonies, Series B, no. 7 (1905), 63.

 

        71. Ibid., 62, alluding to Rev 2:24.

 

        72. Ibid., 61.

       

        73. Ibid., 63-64.

 

        74. Ibid., 62.

 

        75. Ibid., 62-63.

 

        76. E. G. White, Selected Messages, 1:203.

 

        77. Ibid., 204.

 

        78. Diener, see note 6 above.

 

        79. Bible texts that Ellen White cited as supporting various aspects of a trinitarian view include Rom 8:16 (Evangelism [Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1946], 617); 1 Cor 2:10-14 (ibid.); John 16:7-14 (ibid., 616); John 14:16-18, 26; 16:8, 12-14 (Desire of Ages, 669-671); and Col. 2:9 (Evangelism, 614).

 

        80. [F. M. Wilcox], “The Message for Today,” RH, October 9, 1913, p. 21.

 

        81. Jerry Moon, “The Adventist Trinity Debate, Part 1: Historical Overview,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 41 (Spring 2003): 122.

 

        82. James White, Day-Star, January 24, 1846, 26.

 

        83. E. G. White, “Talk at Avondale School,” March 25, 1899, in Sermons and Talks, vol. 2 (Silver Spring, MD: E. G. White Estate, 1994), 136-137; also in Evangelism, 616; and Manuscript Releases, vol. 7 (Silver Spring, MD: E. G. White Estate, 1990), 299.

 

        84. E. G. White, Special Testimonies, Series B, no. 7 (1905), 62-63, quoted in Evangelism, 615.1.

 

        85. Canale, Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, 150.

 

        86. Ibid., 148-150. On a more popular level, see Moon, “The Trinity in the Reformation Era: Four Viewpoints,” in The Trinity, by Whidden, Moon, and Reeve, 166-181. For a discussion of specific contrasts between Ellen White’s biblical Trinity and the traditional Trinity doctrine as developed in the medieval church, see Moon, “The Quest for a Biblical Trinity: Ellen White’s ‘Heavenly Trio’ Compared to the Traditional Doctrine,” Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, forthcoming, 2006.

 

        87. Fernando Luis Canale, A Criticism of Theological Reason: Time and Timelessness as Primordial Presuppositions, Andrews University Seminary Doctoral Dissertation Series, vol. 10 (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1983), 359; 402, n. 1;  idem, “Doctrine of God,” in Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, ed. Raoul Dederen, 117-118, 126, 128-129, 132, 138-140, 145, 148-150.

 

        88. Ibid., 150.

 

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          Prof. Jon Paulien is one of the most respected Adventist scholars. Besides serving as the chairman of the New Testament at Andrews University Theological Seminary, he writes and lectures extensively in many parts of the world.

 

          Until now Prof. Paulien books and articles were available only in a printed form, often unavailable at local ABC stores.  In view of my indebtedness to Prof. Paulien’s scholarship, I have offered to help him to place all of his books and articles on a CD disk.  This makes it possible with the ACROBAT global search, to locate immediately what he has written on biblical texts or current topics.

 

          The new CD-ROM, released on May 1, 2006,  contains more than a dozen of books and scores of articles written by Prof. Paulien during the past 20 years of research.  You will find in this collection a priceless resource to enrich your understanding and experience of biblical truths. Prof. Paulien examines fundamental biblical beliefs in a profound and yet popular way.  He is a recognized expert on the book of Revelation. Several of his books will help you to unlock the secrets of Revelation.

 

          The special introductory offer of the newly released CD-ROM ALBUM with all of Prof. Paulien books and articles is only $35.00 instead of the regular price of $50.00. The price includes the airmailing expenses to any overseas destination.

 

          To order the newly released CD ALBUM with all of Prof. Paulien books and articles, simply click here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/PaulienAD/ 

 

          If you have a problem ordering online, email us your order at  at <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>, giving us your address, credit card number, and expiration date. You can also order by phone, calling us at (269) 471-2915.  We will take your order by phone.

 

SPECIAL OFFER ON THE NEW DVD ALBUM ON THE MARK AND NUMBER OF THE BEAST

 

          The DVD album consists of two disks which contain the live recording that was done at the Andrews University Towers Auditorium on Wednesday, February 1, 2006.  The marathon lecture lasted over two hours and was delivered with the help of 175 powerpoint slides. The lecture was introduced by Prof. Jon Paulien and Prof. Ranko Stefanovich,  two foremost Adventist experts on the book of Revelation.

 

          You will be thrilled by this passionate lecture that will help you understand what the mark and number of the beast are all about. This prophecy is not about external markings, barcodes, biochips, or pope’s titles, but  rather about the internal control of the mind of every human being. It is a battle over who will people worship in the final showdown: the true God or Satan. This visual presentation will help you to see the role of the Sabbath in the battle over worship in the endtime showdown.

 

          At the end of the second DVD disk, there is a separate powerpoint file with all the 195 slides and accompanying script. This should prove to be a valuable resource for evangelists, pastors, and anyone engaged in sharing the prophetic message of Revelation. They can use some of the stunning pictures for their own presentation.

 

How to Order the DVD Album

 

          The special introductory offer on the DVD Album  on The Mark and Number of the Beast,  is only $50.00, instead of $100.00. The airmailing expenses to any foreign country are included in the special price.  You can order the DVD album in four different ways:

 

        (1) Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/BeastAD/

 

        (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

        (3) Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.

 

        (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check for $35.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990  Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

SPECIAL OFFER ON THE 5 ALBUMS CONTAINING ALL OF DR. BACCHIOCCHI’S PUBLICATIONS AND RECORDINGS

 

           In occasion of the release of the new DVD album on The Mark and Number of the Beast, I am pleased to offer you the complete package of all my DVD and CD recordings, consisting of 5 Albums, for only $100.00, instead of the regular price of $500.00. This is a one-time incredible offer.

 

          You can see the picture of all the FIVE ALBUMS and read a detailed description of them, just by clicking at this URL address:

http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/holidayoffer.htm

 

          You can order the complete package of 5 DVD and CD Albums for only $100.00,  instead of the regular price of $500.00,  in four different ways:

       

        (1) Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/holidayoffer.htm

 

        (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

        (3) Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.     

 

        (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check for $100.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

SPECIAL OFFER ON PROF. JON PAULIEN’S 5 ALBUMS (60 CD DISKS), called The Bible Explorer Series on Revelation

 

          The book of Revelation has both delighted and frustrated readers ever since it was written. Sensational but senseless interpretations of the book abound. In this unique package consisting of 120 lectures professionally recorded in 60 CD disks, Prof. Jon Paulien guides you through a verse by verse study of the intriguing messages of Revelation.

 

          Prof. Paulien is rightly regarded inside and outside the Adventist community, as a foremost authority in Johannine literature, especially the book of Revelation. Students have told me that listening to his lectures, is a mind-opening experience. Personally I esteem Prof. Paulien as the leading Adventist authority on the prophetic books of the Bible.

 

          If you wish that you could go back to school and seat in Prof. Paulien classes, I have good news for you. You do not need to worry about your age or your financial limitations.  You do not even need to enroll at Andrews University and spend thousands of dollars of tuition to benefit from Prof. Paulien’s instruction.

 

          All what you need to do is simply to order his 120 lectures which have been professionally recorded and packaged in FIVE ALBUMS, EACH CONTAINING 12 CD-ROMs, for a total of 60 CD disks. The set is called The Bible Explorer Series on Revelation and takes you verse by verse through the whole book of Revelation. These lectures are the equivalent of four Seminary courses (about $2000.00 of tuition), yet they are presented in a way that lay people can understand. Each lecture concludes with spiritual lessons for everyday life.

 

          To express my appreciation for the contribution that Prof. Paulien has made to the understanding of Revelation, I am promoting and distributing his The Bible Explorer Series on Revelation consisting of 5 albums with a total of 60 CD-ROMS, as a free service without any commission. I have offered my service to facilitate the purchase of this timely set of 120 lectures through the shopping cart at my website: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/paulien/

 

          Your special offer for the complete The Bible Explorer Series on Revelation consisting of 5 albums with a total of 60 CD disks, is only $175.00, airmailing expenses included to any domestic or oversea destination. You can order the package in four ways:

 

        (1) Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/paulien/

 

        (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

        (3) Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.        

 

        (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check for $175.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990  Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

INCREDIBLE NEW OFFERS ON HITACHI PROJECTORS

 

          Lately HITACHI has given an additional discount on their projectors to help especially our churches and schools in developing countries. This is the special offer on the following four models:

 

CP-X250 HIGH RESOLUTION 2000 LUMENS - Only $1095.00

          Previous SDA price for the 2000 lumens was $1900.00.

 

CP-X260 HIGH RESOLUTION 2500 LUMENS - Only $1495.00

          Previous SDA price for the 2500 lumens was $2900.00.

 

CP-X444 HIGH RESOLUTION 3200 LUMENS - Only $1895.00

          Previous SDA price for the 3200 lumens was $3295.00.

 

CP-X1250 HIGH RESOLUTION 4500 LUMENS - Only $3995.00

          Previous SDA price for the 4500 lumens was $4900.00.

 

WARRANTY: The above prices include a 3 years 24/7 replacement warranty that is worth about $285.00.You can order these projectors in four ways:

 

        (1)  Online: By clicking HERE: or go to: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/bpprojectors/

        (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

        (3) Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.        

 

        (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990  Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

NEW TOSHIBA LAPTOP TECRA A8-EZ8312

 

        This is the latest TOSHIBA laptop that was first released on June 27, 2006. These are the specifications: Duo processor 1.66Hz, Memory size 512MB, Monitor size 15.4”, Resolution 1280x800, Hard drive 60GB,  Optical drive CD-RW/DVD-Rom, Wireless, 3-USB ports, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Works software. The special price is $950.00.  You can order the TECRA A8-EZ8312 in four ways:

 

        (1)  Online: By clicking HERE: or go to: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Toshiba/Notebooks.html

 

        (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

        (3) Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.        

 

        (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990  Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

THE SMALLEST AND MOST POWERFUL REMOTE PRESENTER

 

          If you are looking for an outstanding REMOTE for your PowerPoint presentations, you will be pleased to know HONEYWELL has just come out with the smallest and most powerful remote in the market.

 

          The size of the transmitter is smaller than a credit card. You can stick it inside the palm of your hand and nobody can see it. I tested the remote in an open environment, and the radio signal can go up to 400 feet of distance. IT IS INCREDIBLE! The transmitter has three button: forward, backward, and laser.

 

          You can order online the new POWERPOINT  PRESENTER simply by clicking here:  http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=bookstore&Category_Code=RP

 

          If you have a problem ordering online, simply call us at (269) 471-2915.  We will take your order by phone.

 

               You can also email us your order at <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>, giving us your address, credit card number, and expiration date.

 

DOES YOUR CHURCH OR SCHOOL NEED A SCREEN?

 

           If your church/school is looking for a screen, the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY, the largest manufacture of screens in the world, has agreed to offer their line of screens to our Adventist churches and schools at a about 30% discount.

 

          The procedure is very simple. Visit the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY website at http://www.da-lite.com. You will see hundreds of models of screens with their respective prices. Once you find the screen that you need, give us the model number by phone (269) 471-2915 or email your request <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com> We will forward your order immediately to DA-LITE that will ship the screen directly to your address. You will receive the screen at about 30% discount.