Good News for Seventh-Day Adventists
The Shaking of Adventism
Geoffrey J. Paxton
Attempted Breakthrough: 1888-1950
We have observed that 1844-1888 was a lean and hungry period as far as the doctrine of justification in Adventism was concerned. But this was not all. Some of the foundation truths of Christianity were as scarce as justification itself. As one reads the period, he is never quite sure whether the little remnant community is going to emerge as truly Christian or not!
The story may well have been grim indeed had it not been for the quite unexpected revival of 1888. At the 1888 General Conference Session in Minneapolis, the doctrine ofjustification by faith hit the Adventist Church with unexpected fury It was as if the truest reason for the community's existence were calling a dried-up people back to life and renewed vision. E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones were the instruments of the doctrine, with considerable support being given by Mrs. White herself.
The Message of 1888
At the General Conference Session of 1888, E. J. Waggoner gave talks on the law and the gospel,1 showing that the central message of Galatians was justification by faith and that the law in Galatians was the moral law. His studies continued until Thursday, October 25.2 On October 17-25, while Waggoner was giving his lectures, Mrs. White delivered six discourses at the morning devotionals, speaking of the need to be connected with Christ.3 Her expositions gave a great deal of emphasis to justification by faith alone—an emphasis almost entirely absent prior to the 1880's.4 She spoke of the truth of justification by faith as having been rescued from "the companionship of error" and placed in its proper framework—meaning the Seventh-day Adventist framework, which stresses the law and the gospel.
On the morning before E. J. Waggoner concluded his series, the tone of Mrs. White's talks changed. She declared, I never was more alarmed than at the present time."5 The cause of such alarm was the apathy and antagonism toward the message of justification by faith that was being given at the conference. Some had become intolerant of Waggoner.6 Mrs. White, however, endorsed Dr. Waggoner's teaching on justification by faith alone:
I see the beauty of truth in the presentation of the righteousness of Christ in relation to the law as the Doctor has placed it before us. ... That which has been presented harmonizes perfectly with the light which God has been pleased to give me during all the years of my experience. If our ministering brethren would accept the doctrine which has been presented so clearly, —the righteousness of Christ in connection with the law—and I know they need to accept this, their prejudices would not have a controlling power, and the people would be fed with their portion of meat in due season.7
Since no official record of E. J. Waggoner's messages at the conference was kept, there is some uncertainty about what he actually presented. L. E. Froom says that Waggoner's ninety-six-page book, Christ and His Righteousness, reflects his messages at that time. But the book makes no mention of the real bone of contention—the law in Galatians and its relation to the gospel. In a manuscript on E. J. Waggoner which is soon to be published,8 David McMahon is probably more correct when he argues that Waggoner's pre-Minneapolis publication on The Gospel in Galatians is nearer to what he actually presented at the conference.
Froom says that Waggoner's positions are set forth principally in his three books, Christ and His Righteousness, The Gospel in Creation, and The Glad Tidings. However, Froom's claim that there is "uniformity and continuity of teaching throughout the three books"9 is open to question in the light of recent research. In the 1890's, Waggoner began to move toward pantheism, and this is reflected in The Gospel in Creation (1894) and in The Glad Tidings (1900).
The great light of 1888 was that no amount of mere human obedience can satisfy the divine law Therefore, only One who is both God and man can satisfy the law on our behalf. His righteousness may be obtained by simple faith. This righteousness is not offered merely for the past, but for the present and the future as well. Here, certainly, was a new note in Adventism. A. T. Jones put it as follows:
... some accepted it [the message at Minneapolis in 1888] just as it was given, and were glad of the news that God had righteousness that would pass the judgment, and would stand accepted in His sight—a righteousness that is a good deal better than anything that people could manufacture by years and years of hard work. People had worn out their souls almost, trying to manufacture a sufficient degree of righteousness to stand through the time of trouble, and meet the Saviour in peace when He comes; but they had not accomplished it. These were so glad to find out that God had manufactured a robe of righteousness and offered it as a free gift to every one that would take it, that would answer now, and in the time of the plagues, and in the time of judgment, and to all eternity, that they received it gladly just as God gave it, and heartily thanked the Lord for it.10
The thought that the believer has no part in producing the robe of righteousness, but has only to accept it by faith, ran counter to the semi-Pelagianism of the day and could scarcely fail to provoke a reaction.
However, while there was an advance, Jones and Waggoner in 1888 still looked upon justification as being, at least in part, a work of subjective transformation. They saw it as making the sinner righteous.11 No clear distinction was made between imputed and imparted righteousness.12
As we have already seen, the great light of 1888 was that Christ was our Substitute in holy living. But Jones and Waggoner did not clarify the Pauline and Reformation insight as to how this justifying righteousness remains outside the believer. The door was left open to see this substitution in moral and ontological terms instead of legal and judicial terms. Waggoner and Jones soon lost their way Even as early as 1891, Waggoner had come to the conclusion that what is done in heaven has no bearing on the sin problem at all. What is done in the sinner is what counts.13 Waggoner followed these ideas right into pantheism.14
The problem of the 1888 renewal was twofold. First, although Waggoner and Jones moved in the direction of the Reformation in stressing the necessity of the doing and dying of the God-man in order to stand in the judgment, they did not possess enough light to see this in a completely Reformational Christ alone perspective. Second, the message met with more opposition than positive response. This meant that Waggoner and Jones missed out on a corporate investigation into truth—an investigation which might have preserved them from pantheism and set the Adventist community solidly in the path of the Reformation gospel.
We may sum up the whole period in general, and the 1888 period in particular, with the following words of Mrs. White:
. . . justification by faith is... the third angel's message in verity ... As yet, we certainly have not seen the light that answers to this description.15
The Aftermath of the 1888 Crisis
We have only the glimmerings of the rays of the light that is yet to come to us. We are not making the most of the light which the Lord has already given us, and thus we fail to receive the increased light; we do not walk in light already shed upon us.16
Notwithstanding the opposition to justification by faith at the Minneapolis conference, Waggoner, Jones, and Mrs. White traveled throughout the land after 1888, preaching the theme of the righteousness of Christ. Mrs. White did not spare the leaders her strong indictments for their antagonism,17 even after she moved to Australia in 1891.18 Some repented of their opposition; others retained it.
The period between 1901 (when the church was reorganized for more effective missionary outreach) and the early 1920's was a time of settling down and extending the work.19 This settling down was largely due to the pantheism crisis which the Adventist Church experienced in the early years of this century The brilliant doctor, J. H. Kellogg, with the support of A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner, sought to get the church to espouse an extreme concept of the indwelling of Christ in His "temple" —a view which amounted to a pantheism. The great preparation for the day of the Lord became the cleansing of the temple of the human heart—an approach which only pushed to the extreme the internalistic notion of justification which Waggoner had come to hold after 1888.
An Adventist, Robert Haddock, made the point that after the 1905 crisis the church reverted to a pre-1888 conservatism.20 This is probably an accurate assessment of the 1888-1950 period in its entirety— a fact witnessed to by the "apologies" for the church concerning her response to the 1888 message. Nevertheless, the 1888 revival of the whole matter of righteousness by faith deeply affected the Adventist consciousness from that time on.
Froom saw the 1888 struggle largely in terms of a conflict between Adventist "distinctives" and the "eternal verities" of the Christian church. In the early period (1844-1888) Adventism began to recapitulate to some extent the history of the Christian church. Cut off from the main Christian stream, the Adventists of that time were unsettled on some of the great Christian truths— principally the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the sinless human nature of Christ,21 and His finished atonement on the cross. Froom saw 1888 as a great step forward in that it led Adventism to be fully settled on the doctrines of the Trinity and the full deity of Christ. However, he admitted that the revival did not complete the consolidation of what he called the "eternal verities." (One gets the idea that he felt it was his contribution to help Adventism become settled on the sinless human nature of Christ and His finished atonement on the cross. Agitation on these points did not come until the 1950's, however, and so we must defer discussion of this matter until later.)
It is not hard to understand why the church would "dig in" after the pantheism crisis of 1905, especially since those who attempted to introduce a new emphasis in 1888 were found to be advocating the pantheistic heresy Further progress had to await the second half of this century, for evidence indicates that the Adventist community did not make any significant theological progress until the 1950's. From 1905 to the 1920's only W W Prescott revealed any creative thinking concerning the gospel. And, apart from some good insights here and there, he could not lead the movement on to greener theological pastures.
As we shall see, there was an attempt to infuse life into Adventism through the influence of the holiness movement. But this was to retard rather than forward the realization of the Adventist aim—namely, to further the work of the Protestant Reformation.
The Doctrine of Justification Up to 1950
In the 1888-1950 period Adventists were not unanimous on their definition of justification. There were those, for example, who defined justification in the Roman Catholic sense of to make righteous.22 In a tract published in the mid-1890's, E. J. Waggoner seems to have accepted this unequivocal Roman definition.23 And despite the fact that he encountered opposition to his Roman views, (24)24 he retained this understanding of justification. Moreover Waggoner's internalistic emphasis intensified, as may be seen from his works already referred to.25
It is difficult to understand how Froom could have given his approval to these writings of Waggoner.26 Froom said that Waggoner was always sound on "righteousness by faith." Either Froom "whitewashed" Waggoner, or he himself could not tell the difference between the Protestant and Roman Catholic positions on the meaning of justification.27
Among others who took the non-Protestant position that to justify means to make righteous were H. A. St. John,28 Charles T. Everson,29 A. G. Daniells,30 A. W. Spalding,31 and Bruno Steinweg.32 The major emphasis in Adventism, however, has been the quite Protestant understanding of the meaning of justification.33 W H. Branson,34 Norval Pease,35 and a host of others agree that to justify means to declare righteous. Notwithstanding the exceptions, the movement has followed Luther and Calvin here.
We have seen that, in the Reformers, justification was given the status of being the central article around which all other articles are gathered, or, in the words of Calvin, "the hinge on which all true religion turns." We have also seen that in the 1844-1888 era this feature of Reformation theology was not honored. What of 1888-1950? It must be said that in this period justification is generally subordinated to sanctification in a Roman Catholic fashion. We shall make two points concerning this:
1. Justification is subordinated in that it is seen as only for past sins.
M. C. Wilcox, following the tradition of pre-1888, says unequivocally that "justification... always has reference to the past." (36)36 This essentially Wesleyan emphasis is not difficult to understand when the Wesleyan background of the movement is kept in mind, but we have to be critical of such an emphasis in light of Adventism's claim to further the work of the Reformation.37
Steinweg says of C. P. Bollman that he wrote frequently on the theme of justification by faith.38 But although Bollman differentiated between justification and sanctification, he relegated justification to the beginning of the Christian experience.
Edwin Keck Slade in The Way of Life is a corrective influence. He speaks of justification as being for the past, present, and future.39
2. In harmony with the thinking of the early Adventists of 1844-1888, justification is subordinated as being mere or only.
Norval Pease refers to "mere justification," showing this clear subordination in his thinking.40
Steinweg's manuscript41 closely follows that of Pease, which was written a few years earlier. Interestingly enough, Steinweg also speaks of mere justification and goes on to say that righteousness by faith, in Adventist thinking, has meant justification and sanctification.
That justification between 1888 and 1950 is treated as mere may be seen from the fact that regeneration and sanctification are seen as the higher stage in the salvation process.
Norval Pease has said that the Adventist contribution has been to give a greater emphasis on sanctification than on justification.42 If Pease meant by this that Adventists have given to sanctification the priority over justification, then his point is irrefutable; but whether this constitutes a real contribution to the Christian world remains to be seen.
M. C. Wilcox put the matter so baldly as to merit quoting:
If justification is precious, regeneration is much more so. The one is forgiveness of past sins only, the other includes all of that, and also the change of that nature which caused us to sin.43
W. H. Branson in How Men Are Saved is no more tactful.44 And Steinweg quotes M. L. Andreasen as saying that the "keeping power of God" is the "greater power" when compared with justification.45 Andreasen says further that the need (in the 1930's) is sanctification, that "we might by faith gain not only forgiveness, but that keeping power of God that will enable us... to go and sin no more."46
This era does not break with the previous period in that acceptance in the final judgment is said to be on the basis of the inward grace of sanctification. With this emphasis, the superiority of sanctification in the salvation process is guaranteed.
Earlier we observed that, as far back as 1886, Uriah Smith saw justification as being for past offenses only, and taught the need of grace to render acceptable obedience to God's law in time to come.47 In 1889, Smith makes it plain that he does not think of the believer as keeping the law in his own strength. This is really the role of the Christ within, the One who has come to change our nature. Christ pardons for the past and helps the believer to arrive at perfect conformity to the law, by which he can stand at last in the judgment.48 It is encouraging that Mrs. White found occasion to pour scorn on Smith's statement.49
G. I. Butler had the same view as Smith;50 and, notwithstanding Mrs. White's response to Smith, A. V Olson in Through Crisis to Victory cites the Butler statement approvingly to show that Butler really did believe in righteousness by faith.51
E. J. Waggoner after 1891, while emphasizing the active and passive obedience of Christ, stressed that Christ performs this in the heart of the believer.
Hence, alongside the note from the Reformation, there is also a strong Roman Catholic emphasis. This Tridentine emphasis is taken up in 1950 by W H. Branson, who speaks of those who comply with the requirement of the law by the power of the indwelling Christ.52 If—and such is the case—this imparted righteousness is believed to be that upon which the believer depends for his acceptance in the last judgment, it is not difficult to see how sanctification becomes the all-absorbing passion.
The Reformation gospel was the gospel of the righteousness of Christ being put to the believer's account. While it was acknowledged that sanctification is received as the inseparable companion gift of justification, the Reformers saw the justified man as being fully righteous only in Christ and not, at any time, in himself. Adventism has thought otherwise. Perfectionism has been a recurring theme. Insofar as this is true, the simul justus et peccator (at the same time righteous and a sinner) of the Reformation has not been echoed.
Pease is somewhat embarrassed by the presence of perfectionism and sees it as not having been the majority view. 53 This is open to question, however. And as we shall see later, it appears that the perfectionistic doctrine has become the official position of the Review and Herald publishing section of the church.
The perfectionistic element within Adventism has a positive and a negative aspect. Positively, it springs from the correct insight— as far as the Reformation is concerned—that if one is to stand in the judgment, nothing less than perfect righteousness will do. Insofar as Adventism has grasped this, it has honored an aspect of Reformation theology which many Protestants have neglected. Negatively, however, Adventists have failed to appreciate the Reformation answer to the need for perfect righteousness. Instead of looking to the Christ at the right hand of God, as did the Reformers, Adventists have looked to themselves —aided of course by the indwelling Spirit, or the Christ within —to perform such righteousness.
In the period of the 1920's there arose a "victorious-life" emphasis within Adventism. The way this emphasis was expressed is indistinguishable from the evangelical "holiness movement." In fact, much of Adventist literature was openly indebted to authors from evangelicalism, as Wieland and Short have shown.54 Implicit in the holiness theology is perfectionism. According to the holiness movement, perfection comes through a mighty infilling of the believer by God, above and beyond that experienced by believers who are merely justified. Crass Pelagianism is softened to a more refined semi-Pelagianism in the style of Trent. Emphasis is put upon the Christ within, who lives out His perfect life in and through the believer.55
Some within Adventism equated the "victorious life" of evangelical pietism with righteousness by faith and gave clear articulation to the implicit perfectionism of the movement.56 Norval Pease fails to see how this perfectionistic tendency is inimical to the Adventist claim to continue the gospel of the Reformation and, even if that is waived, to the claim that their message is something which neither Roman Catholics nor evangelical Protestants possess.57
A. G. Daniells58 in Christ Our Righteousness gives a Protestant statement on justification59 but then speaks of its content in sanctificational terms reminiscent of Trent.60 He says that the experience of justification is to receive "His [Christ's] righteousness and His life," and this is a "wondrous transformation," a "great transaction by which sinners are changed to saints."61 Righteousness by faith, we are told, includes victory over sin "through the indwelling Christ."62
Many other works could be cited to illustrate the influence of the implicitly perfectionistic holiness movement on Adventism63 — an influence whose major emphasis was on the indwelling Christ who will live His life in and through the believer.
To vindicate the character of God from the charges of Satan by proving that the law of God can be adequately kept, even by feeble mortals suffering the effects of six thousand years of sin, became the ultimate challenge of Adventist perfectionism. This perfectionism attained its clearest expression in the teaching of the theologian, M. L. Andreasen:64
It is in the last generation of men living on the earth that God's power unto sanctification will stand fully revealed. The demonstration of that power is God's vindication. It clears Him of any and all charges which Satan has placed against Him. In the last generation God is vindicated and Satan defeated.65
In the last generation God will stand vindicated. In the remnant Satan will meet his defeat. The charge that the law cannot be kept will be met and fully refuted. God will produce not only one or two who keep His commandments, but a whole group, spoken of as the 144,000. They will have disproved Satan's accusation against the government of heaven.66
Through the last generation of saints God stands finally vindicated. Through them He defeats Satan and wins His case. They form a vital part of the plan of God.67
He [Paul] does not claim absolute perfection, which is equivalent to holiness, but he does claim relative perfection. ...
Will any ever attain to the perfection to which Paul said he had not attained? ...
But will any ever reach that stage? We believe so. Read the description of the 144,000 in Revelation 14:4, 568
Before the end comes God will have a people behind in no good thing. They will reflect the image of God fully.69
Seventh-day Adventists claim to be the special "remnant-heirs" of the Reformers. Notwithstanding this, in the period of 1844-1950 the fundamental theology of the Adventist gospel sometimes has more affinity with the Roman Catholic Council of Trent than with the Protestant Reformers.
Up to this point in our investigation, the crucial area of Adventism's handling of the gospel has been the relation of justification and sanctification. The peculiar Adventist understanding of righteousness by faith has influenced the movement's approach to that relation.
Adventist theology from 1844 to 1950 has been confused over the relation of justification and sanctification. The fundamental characteristic of this confusion is the subordination of justification to sanctification. This has sometimes found expression in the definition of justification as including sanctificational renewal. The subordination also has a chronological aspect in that it views justification by imputation of the extrinsic (outside) righteousness of Christ in terms of the past only Justification has had the status of mere, while sanctification by inner renewal has been seen as the way of acceptance in the judgment. Hand in hand with this subordination has gone the un-Reformational notion of here-and-now perfectionism. Hence, righteousness by faith has meant both justification and sanctification, but mainly sanctification. If there is any difference between the two periods examined thus far, it is that there has been a progression from overt Pelagianism in the earlier period (1844-1888) to a more refined semi-Pelagianism in the latter period (1888-1950).
The semi-Pelagianism of this largely Tridentine approach has perpetrated a serious infringement of the freedom of God in Adventist theology. There can be little doubt that this has been mainly caused by the failure of the movement to give the theological priority to Christ, as did the Reformers. The Christological determination of grace alone would have gone a long way in maintaining the sovereign divine assumption and the believer's sinfulness. In viewing the evidence, there is not a shadow of doubt that the incarnation is minimized in the Adventist theology of the 1844-1950 period. It is either largely forgotten (1844-1888) or transferred to a new place (1888-1950) —namely the believer.
Adventism's theology of the gospel between 1844 and 1950 has failed to echo the Reformation understanding of the grace of God as God Himself in Christ. The subordination of justification to sanctification has infringed upon the Reformers' distinctive understanding of grace in the following ways:
1. Whereas the Reformers focused their supreme attention on the grace of God in the incarnation, Adventist theology has mainly been hagiocentric (focused on the believer). The Reformation faith alone has the "Christ for me" as its focus and not the "Christ in me." Thus, there is always a looking away from the believer rather than toward the believer or Christ in the believer, as in Tridentinism and Adventism.
2. The relation of the alien grace of God in Christ to the believer was treated by the Reformers in the Chalcedonian framework. But in Adventism (and pietistic evangelicalism, from which Adventism has borrowed its "victorious-life" piety), the relation between Christ (the grace of God) and the believer is suspiciously ambiguous. This is particularly the case after 1888. What is actually meant by "Christ obeying the law in us" or "this [obedience] is not ours but Christ's" or "it is all of Him" is, to our knowledge, never spelled out either in Adventism or evangelicalism. It must mean either the total negation of the humanhood of the believer in the interest of deference to Christ, or some type of fusion of Christ and the believer that destroys the properties of each. One thing is clear: the Reformation position of by faith alone is not compatible with such a union. It is probable that this "Christ in me" emphasis provides the impetus for the doctrine of perfectionism. After all, if we are not to have a sinful indwelling Christ, we must have a sinless receptacle (the believer). Because the believer is inescapably bound up with the sanctification process, the right relating of justification and sanctification always involves the right relating of Christ and the believer.
Hence, in Adventism's theology of the gospel, righteousness by faith is not only justification and sanctification, but mainly sanctification. That which in Reformation theology is exclusively justification is made almost exclusively sanctification, with an emphasis upon prima gratia which destroys the personhood of the believer.
3. When priority is given to sanctification, as in Adventist theology, the Reformation simul justus et peccator (at the same time righteous and a sinner) is eradicated. But when sanctification is kept under the machine-gun fire of justification (Thielicke), the infinite qualitative difference between the grace of God in Christ and the believer is kept in view On the other hand, ifjustification is reduced to the role of servant to sanctification, then it is always easier to bridge the gulf that is otherwise fixed between the perfect doing and dying of Christ and the believer's experience. Thus, the faith alone of the Reformation was the radicalization of the "other-ness" of grace. Of course, one might object that it is the obedience of Christ in the believer that stands in the judgment and not the believer himself. But this ontological appropriation of the merits of Christ is at the expense of the believer's humanhood.
It is because of the perspective of simul justus et peccator that Luther saw the vindication (or justification) of the believer at the last judgment as the consummation of that which has already been inaugurated in Christ.70 The basis of acceptance at the last is the same as at the beginning of the sanctification process. That which holds the two together is faith. It is the extrinsic righteousness of Christ which is the basis of acceptance, and not the righteousness of inner renewal.71
This approach provides a striking contrast with Adventism. Generally speaking, prior to 1888 the beginning of the sanctification process was forgiveness of past sins through the death of Christ, while the ability to stand in the last judgment was based on the law-keeping obedience of the believer. After 1888 this was refined. The doing and dying of Christ was the basis of acceptance at beginning and end, but it was the doing and dying of Christ in the believer and not the doing and dying of Christ for the believer. Luther's sola fide (faith alone) was obscured.
It remains to be seen how the "last-day heirs of the Reformers" fare in the modern period of the movement.
1. General Conference Daily Bulletin, "Second Day's Proceedings," 19 Oct. 1888, p. 2.
2. Waggoner s series on Galatians brought controversy Note the comment: "The lectures have tended to a more thorough investigation of the truth, and it is hoped that the unity of the faith will be reached on this important question" (General Conference Daily Bulletin, 26 Oct. 1888, p. 3).
4. See Ellen G. White, "Advancing in Christian Experience," Ms. 8, 1888; pub. in Olson, Through Crisis to Victory, pp. 260-69.
5. Ellen G. White, Ms. 9, 1888, p. 1.
6. See Ellen G. White, Ms. 15, 1888.
7. Ibid., p. 2.
8. David McMahon, E. J. Waggoner: The Myth and the Man.
9. Froom, Movement of Destiny, pp. 200-201. Cf. pp. 188-217. An examination of these books themselves will show that Froom is overstating his case when he says they all reflect in "documentary record" fashion what Waggoner said in 1888. It appears that at times Froom acted more in the character of an apologist and wishful thinker than that of an objective historian.
10. General Conference Daily Bulletin, 1893, p. 243. For further illustrations of the position of A. T. Jones, cf. Alonzo T. Jones, The Present Truth, 11 Feb. 1892, pp. 42-4. Cf. also idem, The Revelation of God, passim.
11. See. E. J. Waggoner, Christ and His Righteousness, pp. 29-32.
12. "Who could ask for more? Christ, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, may dwell in our hearts, so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. ... All the power that Christ had dwelling in Him by nature, we may have dwelling in us by grace, for He freely bestows it upon us" (ibid., pp. 31-2).
13. See E. J. Waggoner, "The Blotting Out of Sin," Review and Herald, 30 Sept. 1902, p. 8. Further examples of Waggoner's position are as follows: "He [Christ] shows its [the law's] righteousness by fulfilling, or doing, what it demands, not simply for us, but in us. ... the fact that the righteousness of the law could be attained in no other way by us than by the crucifixion and resurrection and life of Christ in us, shows the infinite greatness and holiness of the law" (idem, The Glad Tidings, p. 96). "...He [Christ] becomes our substitute.., literally taking our place, not instead of us, but coming into us, and living our life in us and for us, it necessarily follows that the same law must be in our hearts [that was in Christ's heart].. ." (p. 171). Cf. p. 169. See further: ..... His name is 'God with us;' so to believe on His name means simply to believe that He dwells personally in every man, —in all flesh. We do not make it so by believing it; it is so, whether we believe it or not; we simply accept the fact, which all nature reveals to us" (pp. 80-81).
14. See Froom, Movement of Destiny, pp. 349-56. For instances of pantheistic theology in Waggoner, see E. J. Waggoner, The Gospel in Creation, pp. 66, 98-9, 112; idem, Glad Tidings, pp. 80-81, 96, 169, 171. In 1891, Waggoner rejected entirely any idea of justification by faith being a legal transaction that takes place in heaven. Cf. idem, Confession of Faith, pp. 10-15.
15. Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, 1 Apr. 1890.
16. Ibid., 3 June 1890.
17. See E. G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 76, 79-80, 89-98.
18. Mrs. White was requested by the church leaders to return to the U.S.A. in 1896, but she said she would not because they were still in darkness. Cf. ibid., pp. 393, 396.
19. My impressions from Mrs. White's writings during this period are that she more or less resigned herself to the idea that the church would continue to be around for some time. She wrote The Desire of Ages from Australia in 1898, and Prophets and Kings and The Ministry of Healing between 1901 and 1915, the year of her death. It was not that she stopped calling the church to ever higher standards. She continued to do that always and exerted not a little influence on the movement in this regard. However, one gets the impression that the rejection of the 1888 light was a greatly retarding factor in the movement's realization of what it believed to be its divinely given mission.
20. See Robert Haddock, "A History of the Doctrine of the Sanctuary in the Advent Movement: 1800-1905," p. 372. Cf. pp. 239-70.
21. Adventists have never doubted the sinlessness of Christ's life, but they have often taught that He inherited "sinful flesh."
22. E.g., E. J. Waggoner, Christ and His Righteousness, p. 61. However, on page 63 Waggoner has a more Protestant tone: ..... this forgiveness consists simply in the declaration of His [Christ's] righteousness....
23. E. J. Waggoner, The Power of Forgiveness. Cf. idem. The Present Truth, 20 Oct. 1892, p. 323.
24. See E. J. Waggoner, The Present Truth, 23 Apr. 1896, p. 259.
25. See n. 9 above.
26. See Froom, Movement of Destiny, pp. 526, 530.
27. AN. Olson reveals that Froom was not the only one who took a most favorable attitude to the pantheistic works of Waggoner: "About a month after writing the lines just quoted, Elder Daniells wrote another letter toW C. White, dated May 12, 1902, and referred again to the same situation as follows: 'I am deeply convinced that something ought to be done to place a flood of light in the homes of the people. I know of no better book to do this, outside of the Bible, than Brother Waggoner's book.' The book to which Elder Daniells alluded was The Everlasting Covenant, by J. H. Waggoner" (Olson, Through Crisis to Victory, p. 231). Olson wrongly ascribes The Everlasting Covenant to J. H. Waggoner. It was written instead by his son, E. J. Waggoner. The point is that The Everlasting Covenant contains both pantheism and an outright Roman Catholic view of salvation. One wonders why Daniells, Froom, and Olson did not know this. Was it that they thought this was Protestant doctrine?
28. .... . How can unrighteous men become righteous? Well, the answer is plain. Christ is the Sun of Righteousness. He can and will write the law in the hearts of all truly penitent sinners. Through his Spirit the love of God is shed abroad in the heart, the carnal mind taken away, and the spiritual mind substituted. Thus the sinner receives the righteousness of Christ as a free gift" (H. A. St. John, The Sun of Righteousness, p.76).
29. Charles T. Everson, "Saved by Grace," in Typical Evangelistic Sermons. Recommended by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Currently available in tract form.
30. "'Righteousness by faith' is not a theory. People may hold a theory about it, and at the same time be 'ignorant of God's righteousness. ... 'Righteousness by faith' is a transaction, an experience. It is a submitting unto 'the righteousness of God.' It is a change of standing before God and His law. It is a regeneration, a new birth. Without this change there can be no hope for the sinner, for he will remain under the condemnation of God's changeless, holy law.. ." (Daniells, Christ Our Righteousness, p. 21). Emphases in original. In other places Daniells says that justification is "to declare" righteous and is by imputation. However, like Augustine and the early Luther, he confounds justification and regeneration and thereby militates against the realization of the Adventist mission.
31. "Justification ... is an experience, not an argument. It is the new birth" (Arthur W Spalding, Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists, 2:282).
32. Bruno William Steinweg, "Developments in the Teaching of Justification and Righteousness by Faith in the Seventh-day Adventist Church after 1900," pp. 22-3, 46, 68.
33. E.g., Meade MacGuire, The Life of Victory, p. 23.
34. W H. Branson, How Men Are Saved, pp. 37-45.
35. Pease, By Faith Alone, pp. 56-9.
36. M. C. Wilcox, Justification, Regeneration, Sanctification, p. 3. Cf. .... justification... is forgiveness of past sins only..." (p. 13). Cf. also idem, Review and Herald, 20 Mar. 1919, p. 3.
37. While writing this section, a flyer entitled Quick Look at Seventh-day Adventists (1976) came into my hands. It states: "Their work is to continue the task begun in Reformation times, to help reillumine principles tarnished or forgotten during Christianity's long and tortuous history."
38. Steinweg, "Developments in Justification and Righteousness by Faith," p. 25.
39. Edwin Keck Slade, The Way of Life, pp. 71, 73.
40. Pease, "Justification and Righteousness by Faith," p. 1.
41. Steinweg, "Developments in Justification and Righteousness by Faith."
42. "If the Adventist teaching of this doctrine is unique in any particular, it is in the emphasis on righteousness ... following the transaction ofiustification by faith" (Pease, By Faith Alone, p. 207). Emphases in original.
43. Wilcox, Justification, Regeneration, Sanctification, p. 13.
44. Branson, How Men Are Saved, p. 47.
45. Steinweg, "Developments in Justification and Righteousness by Faith," pp. 58-9.
46. Ibid., p. 59. Emphasis supplied.
47. See chap. 3, nn. 12-13.
48. Uriah Smith, Review and Herald, 11 June 1889.
49. See Ellen G. White sermon, June 17,1889, Ms. 5. Smith later defended his statement in a Review and Herald editorial of July 2, 1889.
50. George I. Butler, Review and Herald, 23 Sept. 1884.
51. Olson, Through Crisis to Victory, pp. 45-6. Cf. p. 47.
52. W H. Branson, Drama of the Ages, p. 308.
53. Pease, By Faith Alone, pp. 207-8.
54. See A. L. Hudson, ed., A Warning and Its Reception, pp. 224-31.
55. Hence: "The victorious life is attained only through an indwelling Christ. He alone can conquer sin" (G. B. Thomson, "How a victorious Life Is Attained," Review and Herald, 23 Mar. 1922, p. 6).
56. E.g., Meade MacGuire, Review and Herald, 11 Nov. 1920, pp. 24-7. MacGuire says: "In exactly the same manner [as they are freed from the condemnation and penalty of sin] may they obtain freedom from the power and dominion of sin" (p. 25).
57. Pease, By Faith Alone, p. 183. Pease says that the emphasis was "wholesome."
58. See ibid., p. 189, where Pease speaks of Daniells as "one of the most influential, respected men in the church."
59. Daniells, Christ Our Righteousness, p. 15.
60. Ibid., p. 66, esp. Daniells' comment on Rom. 5:1.
61. Ibid., pp. 66, 108-9. Cf. p. 91.
62. Ibid., pp. 72-3. The statement by Pease, "It is hard to imagine how the doctrine of justification by faith could have been given greater emphasis" (Pease, By Faith Alone, p. 189), can only be marveled at.
63. ..... to receive the Lord Jesus... not merely as forgiveness of my sins.., but to receive Him as my Lord, life The Christian life.., is the actual life of Jesus Christ Himself in my flesh" (Carlyle B. Haynes, Righteousness in Christ, pp. 5-10, 16, 17). "When the life has been cleansed from sin, and Jesus Christ is in full control, the glorious fruits of righteousness will appear..." (W H. Branson, The Way to Christ, p. 59). "The experience of justification and of sanctification means receiving Jesus Christ the justifier and the sanctifier, who is Himself our justification and our sanctification [i.e., inwardly]" (WW Prescott, The Saviour of the World, p. 37). ..... when faith receives Him, Christ's character is appropriated by the believer. This word is the message of the Gospel.. ." (M. C. Wilcox, Studies in Romans, p. 39). "By accepting Christ we are reconciled to God. We are justified (made righteous) by His blood from the sins of the past; we are saved byHis indwelling life from continuing in sin" (idem, The More Abundant Life, pp. 47-8). "[justification] includes forgiveness, ... regeneration, ... and.., it imputes the righteousness of Christ" (I. H. Evans, This Is the Way, p. 65). ..... Christ saves, and by His imparted obedience brings the saved one out from under the curse" (Spalding, Origin
and History, 2:286).
64. Special attention is drawn to M. L. Andreasen's perfectionism for two reasons: (1) It marks the clearest expression of the main thrust of Adventist teaching in this area prior to 1950. (2) It was clearly repudiated by Seventh-day Adventist leadership in the 1960's but was resurrected in the 1970's.
65. M. L. Andreasen, The Sanctuary Service, pp. 303-4.
66. Ibid., p. 315.
67. Ibid., p. 319.
68. M. L. Andreasen, The Book of Hebrews, p. 467.
69. Ibid., p. 468.
70. See T. F. Torrance and J. K. S. Reid, eds., "Eschatology," Scottish Journal of Theology Occasional Papers, no. 2, p. 41.
71. See Luther, Luther's Works, 25:262; 26:9, 231-32, 235-36.