Good News for Seventh-Day Adventists
The Shaking of Adventism
Geoffrey J. Paxton
Advance and Retreat: The 1970's
The 1970's is the period when, for the first time, two consistent streams of thought on the gospel emerge in Adventism. One stream carries the Christological gains of the 1950's and the soteriological gains of the 1960's to their logical end. The other stream retreats from those gains into pre-1950 Adventism. This division brings Adventism to the threshold of an unprecedented shaking. It is now our task to trace the steps of this astounding development.
Brinsmead Capitulates to Heppenstall and Ford
At the beginning of 1970, Robert Brinsmead and his colleagues became deeply involved in studying the issues of the Protestant Reformation and the implications of Pauline theology In the study of Reformation theology and Roman Catholic theology Brinsmead came to a renewed understanding of the issues of the sixteenth century—in particular, the meaning and implications of justification by faith alone.
The rediscovery of the Reformation gospel brought about a revolution in Brinsmead's thinking. (1) He understood for the first time the real meaning of justification by faith alone—its primacy, centrality, and all-sufficiency It became clear to him what Luther meant in calling justification the article of the standing and falling church.
What this meant for Brinsmead and his colleagues was that, whereas in the past the Reformation had always been viewed in the light of the distinctive Adventist perspective, now the Adventist perspective had to be viewed in the light of the Reformation. Brinsmead came to believe that any building upon the Reformation had to be a building upon the Reformation and not in place of the Reformation. Whatever contribution Adventism had to give to the world, that contribution must not conflict with the central article of Reformation theology—the gospel of justification by faith alone.
Theologically, Brinsmead's rediscovery meant the following:
1. Brinsmead was forced to accept the position of Heppenstall, Ford, and others on the question of perfection. Although he had taught a modified perfectionism (i.e., perfection in the judgment but not before), Brinsmead now came to realize that even such a modified perfectionism and justification by faith alone cannot live in the same house happily Niebuhr focused the issue for him: righteousness for the Reformers was a faith-righteousness, and they saw their true nature and destiny in terms of this righteousness and not in any tangible, empirical righteousness in the historical process. Heppenstall and Ford were right: there can be no perfection until Christ returns.
2. Using the Reformation gospel as a canon, Brinsmead and his colleagues came to the conclusion that the traditional Adventist way of treating "righteousness by faith" was in harmony with Roman Catholic theology and not with that of the Reformers. As we have had ample occasion to note, traditional Adventism saw justification as initial forgiveness for sins of the past, while regeneration and sanctification were viewed as qualifying a person to stand in the coming judgment. Righteousness by faith was thought to encompass both justification and sanctification. Brinsmead came to the conviction —via Luther and Calvin (and Chemnitz) —that righteousness by faith means justification only. He saw that to continue in the thought patterns of traditional Adventism was to mingle law and gospel, to depend ultimately upon character development and inner renewal rather than upon an alien righteousness for our acceptance with God, and to be forced into positing perfectionism in this life. He concluded that the traditional Adventist sense of "righteousness by faith" leads to a focusing on the saint—the dreadful turning in upon ourselves.
3. Justification by faith alone in the alien righteousness of Christ called Brinsmead's traditional Adventist eschatology into question. In his theology of the 1960's he had sought to keep original sin and in-the-judgment perfectionism under one roof. Now the gospel of Paul and the Reformers made it clear that his in-the-judgment perfectionism was an attempt to deal with original sin in a way which amounted to competition with the active and passive obedience of the God-man Substitute. Brinsmead's in-the-judgment perfectionism was an emergency measure to handle the original-sin problem. But the gospel of the Reformers taught him that justification by faith in the merits of Christ was the only effectual method of dealing with original sin. (2) Whereas in traditional Adventism the initial, mere nature of justification was a concession to final acceptance on the basis of inner renewal, Brinsmead's final renewal was a concession to justification, yet also a vitiation of it. (3) According to him, all this "had to go." Justification was seen to be clearly eschatological. It was God's final judgment-day verdict received here and now by faith.
For Brinsmead, this eschatological view of justification meant that it can never be subordinated to sanctification, contrary to much traditional Adventist theology. While the believer stands on justification, yet justification is always that to which he is moving. Like the psalmist, the believer can look forward not so much to a judgment of him by the Judge, but to a judgment for him. The judgment is vindication—a vindication that the believer already enjoys by faith.
4. Brinsmead testifies that this rediscovery turned himself and his colleagues outside of themselves to others. With the coming of the gospel of Paul and the Reformers, sectarian mentality began to fade away Brinsmead sought the fellowship of God's people wherever they could be found. Also, he and his fellow agitators approached their estranged Adventist fellow Christians to confess their errors and seek reconciliation. (4)
The major expression of Brinsmead's new look outward was his publishing venture, Present Truth magazine. The fundamental aim of Present Truth was to remind Protestants of their Reformation heritage and of how far they had wandered from it.
Brinsmead's Capitulation: A More Dangerous Threat
The reader will not fail to notice the irony in the above subheading. During the conflict of the 1960's, church leaders turned to Heppenstall and Ford for an answer to Brinsmead's teachings. Thus, when he capitulated to Heppenstall and Ford's position, one would naturally have expected the leadership to be delighted. However, an almost unbelievable turn of events was to take place: Brinsmead came to be looked upon as a greater threat than ever!
Within Adventism in general, opinion regarding Present Truth differed. Avondale's Dr. Desmond Ford and retired Australasian Division President, L. C. Naden, saw Brinsmead's new move to be in the right theological direction. In some respects it was a vindication of Ford and Naden's position on perfection. However, alarm at Brinsmead's "one-sided" view of justification by faith issued from church headquarters in Washington, D.C., where Kenneth Wood and Herbert Douglass, editors of the Review and Herald, began to emphasize such things as victory-life piety, the development of sinless-demonstration people in the last generation, the example of Christ in sinless living, and the sinful human nature of Christ. Leading theologians in the church's Australasian Division began to be alarmed at the perfectionistic emphasis of the Review and Herald and the undoing of the Christological gains of Questions on Doctrine in the 1950's. And in North America, Dr. Heppenstall as well as some leading theologians at Andrews University were also unhappy with the perfectionism of the Review and Herald and its teaching on the sinful human nature of Christ.
Polarization Becomes Obvious
If there was any doubt about whether church leaders were taking an opposite stance toward the new Brinsmead message, such doubt was dispelled in 1974 with the appearance of a special issue of the Review and Herald on the topic of "Righteousness by Faith." (5) It was diametrically opposed to Brinsmead's teaching. The special issue defined righteousness by faith as
... more than a doctrine, it is a relationship with a purpose. And if we turn our backs on sin, and let Christ live His life within us, it doesn't matter what we call the process. (6)
It seems that Present Truth magazine was being criticized for being cerebral in its approach to the gospel because it spoke much of the "doctrine" of righteousness by faith.
In the same special issue, Don Neufeld describes righteousness by faith as an "experience," (7) and the "no condemnation" of Romans 8 is interpreted in the way of Trent. (8) C. Mervyn Maxwell says unequivocally, "Righteousness by faith is much more than forgiveness of sin; it is also victory over sin." (9) Other passages could be cited to show that the Review and Herald persists in the traditional Adventist definition of righteousness by faith as including both justification and sanctification. (10) Looked at from an academic perspective, it is no exaggeration to say that this special issue majors on sanctification and character development and a hagiocentric (believer-centered) emphasis. (11)
Herbert Douglass has emerged in the 1970's as the one who is seeking to make the Andreasen-Branson perfectionism dominant in Adventist thinking. In the special issue of the Review and Herald, he proposes to tell his reading audience "Why God Is Urgent and Yet Waits." The answer is: "God waits for a people who will prove that what Jesus did ... could be done by His followers . . ." (12) "For such a people," says Douglass, "God waits." (13) This is the here-and-now perfectionism of the early (and later) years of the 1960's, and it characterizes the Review and Herald stand of the church in the period of the 1970's.
A few weeks after the distribution of the Review and Herald special issue in Australia, Brinsmead issued a brochure entitled A Statement to My S.D.A. Friends. (14) Without mentioning the Review and Herald, he called into question the assumption that sanctification belongs to the Pauline article of righteousness by faith. Brinsmead claimed that righteousness by faith is nothing done by us or felt by us and is never a quality in us. The righteousness in "righteousness by faith" is the doing and dying of Christ, which is ours by faith in the merciful verdict of God. Brinsmead declared that this position is faithful to that of the sixteenth-century Reformers and all those Protestants who have stood with them for some four hundred years. To call sanctification "righteousness by faith" is to side with the Council of Trent against the Protestant Reformation.
If the special issue of the Review and Herald represents the position of church leaders—and subsequent events show that it does—then we have to say that the ambivalence of the leadership's stand in the 1960's has disappeared. The leadership that once espoused here-and-now perfectionism and no here-and-now perfectionism (following Heppenstall and Ford) now advocates here-and-now perfectionism only. This confronts the academic researcher with certain questions. What was the significance of the leadership's embracing Heppenstall and Ford's teaching in the 1960's? Why has that position now fallen out of service? Still another question is raised by the fact that church leaders now advocate the final-generation perfectionism which Brinsmead advocated in the 1960's, and Brinsmead now advocates the anti-perfectionism which the leaders advocated in the 1960's. What induced the leadership to adopt Brinsmead's position? To attempt to answer these questions may take us outside of our immediate task. We simply observe the interesting fluctuations.
The 1970's is a period of two distinct theologies in the Adventist Church. To one extent or another, the theology of Brinsmead has always had a voice within Adventism, especially in the 1960's. But in the 1970's, through a more precise definition of "righteousness by faith" and perfectionism, it has been purified of those vitiating elements with which it was encumbered. Likewise with the theology of the Seventh-day Adventist leadership. The theology represented in the Review and Herald has always been present in Adventism. Yet it emerges in the 1970's, purified of those elements (e.g., anti-perfectionism) which were bound to retard its effectual articulation.
Further, these two theologies have never stood in the relationship to each other that they do in the present period. Each stands purified of elements which logically belonged to the other, and each is now competing for the devotion of church members. Thus, this decade is a time of unprecedented polarization.
At the beginning of this chapter we mentioned that each of these theologies stands in a quite different relationship to the preceding two decades. The theology of Brinsmead, within and without the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is a theology which is logically consistent with both the Christological gains of the 1950's and the soteriological gains of the 1960's. On the other hand, the theology of the Review and Herald special issue (and subsequent articulation) has to bypass twenty years of theological development within the Adventist Church. It has to brush aside both the Christological gains of the 1950's and the soteriological gains of the 1960's. Thus—as we shall see later—Dr. Herbert Douglass seeks to show that Questions on Doctrine is, as M. L. Andreasen called it, "damnable heresy" And the Review and Herald editors also spell out their denial of original sin and their disagreement with the anti-perfectionism of a growing number of advocates.
"The Ford-Brinsmead Mateship" (15)
In 1975, Mrs. Desmond Ford issued a paper entitled The Soteriological Implications of the Human Nature of Christ. (16) It included an appendix of answers to questions, by Dr. Ford. The link of this manuscript with the theology department at Avondale College was obvious.
The paper majored on three highly contentious areas. (1) It looked at the question of the sinlessness of Christ's humanity and clearly repudiated the doctrine of the sinful human nature of Christ. (2) It dealt with the meaning of righteousness by faith, stating clearly that righteousness by faith is justification alone. (3) The manuscript took up the question of perfectionism and repudiated the notion of perfection in this life.
This paper brought a heated response from some influential laymen and retired church workers in Australia. The leaders of the church in North America and Australia arranged for a conference of administrators and theologians in an attempt to settle the issue. This conference took place at Palmdale, California, on April 23-30, 1976.
Before the Palmdale conference, however, a large group of church leaders in Australia met at Avondale on February 3-4 to hear charges brought against Dr. Ford by a group under the leadership of J. W Kent. The main accusation concerned Ford's understanding of righteousness by faith. Dr. Ford was attacked in a paper by F A. Basham as follows:
There are many who find it impossible to distinguish between the teaching contained in the Ms. [of Mrs. Ford] and that of Robert Brinsmead. The Theology Department and Brinsmead are in total agreement both in what they affirm to be true and what they denounce as false. The Ms. from the Theology Department alleges that those who included the work of the Holy Spirit within the meaning of the phrase "the righteousness which is of faith" are teaching a "false gospel." Brinsmead calls it "undisguised Romanism." Both statements reflect an attitude of hostility towards the denominational position. (17)
Pastor Basham saw clearly the facts of the situation when he said, "Thus we have a clear division between what is taught at Avondale by Dr. Ford and what is taught by our American brethren." (18) There is little doubt that Basham's assessment of the theological situation is correct. Ford espouses quite a different theology from that of the Review and Herald. Basham wrote further:
The situation that now exists in the church can be stated simply If the position taken by the Ms. sent out from "the Theology Department" at Avondale is right, then the historical position of the Adventist Church is wrong. The two view points are irreconcilable. (19)
Pastor Basham has put his finger on the heart of the critical situation that faces the Seventh-day Adventist Church today Of course, the meaning of Basham's "right" and "wrong" must be ascertained from a knowledge of the express goal and intention of the movement. Let it be remembered that the avowed aim of Adventism is to perpetuate the work of the Reformation with unprecedented force and clarity
By linking Ford and Brinsmead, Basham implies that Ford has become a follower of Brinsmead's theology. (20) But the evidence from our investigation of the 1950's and 1960's will not support this conclusion. As has been pointed out, Ford was teaching fundamental aspects of this theology—with the (apparent) approval of church leaders—during the 1960's. Indeed, the leadership of the church had been teaching aspects of that theology themselves. Further, the Christological perspective of Ford stands upon the Christological advance of the 1950's. The fairly widespread idea (which Basham voices) that Ford has stepped aside from Adventism to follow Brinsmead's theology in the 1970's cannot be supported from the evidence. The most that could be said is that Brinsmead's rediscovery of the Reformation gospel and its articulation in Present Truth magazine gave Ford's perspective a sharpness which it had hitherto lacked. Hence, when Basham says, "Such an abandonment [i.e., Ford's theology] of the faith once delivered to the saints ... must be resisted with a determination that is invincible , " (21) he is not altogether fair to the Avondale professor's position. At least in some major parts, Ford's teaching has been delivered to the saints by the church's leadership in Questions on Doctrine and the anti-Brinsmead stance of the 1960's.
The Palmdale conference took place with a division of opinion concerning the meaning of righteousness by faith and the question of Christ's human nature. (22) Yet when Dr. Ford returned to Australia, he did so with the conviction that the conference had agreed that righteousness by faith, as used in the Bible, means justification alone. However, some North American delegates returned to their areas equally convinced that Palmdale had supported the traditional Adventist position on the meaning of righteousness by faith. (23)
For a time after Palmdale it was not clear to what extent the representatives from the Review and Herald supported Dr. Ford's position that righteousness by faith equals justification alone. But Ford was confident that this was the predominant concession at Palmdale, and he said it was a "first" in the history of Seventh-day Adventism. (24)
Quite a debate followed in Australia, although many church members were unaware of its controversial background. This conflict and polarization were viewed from very different perspectives. As Ray Martin's Objective Digest Report (1976) observed:
Some see it [Ford's doctrine] as the destruction of all that Adventism has stood for and as the omega of apostasy, while others see it as the beginning of that truth which will lighten the earth with the glory of God and believe that at last Adventism has come of age.
As time went on, it began to be obvious that some influential Review and Herald leaders did not accept Ford's position on the definition of righteousness by faith. Both the editor of the Review and Herald, Kenneth H. Wood, and the President of the General Conference, Robert H. Pierson, made their position clear. Wood quotes the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, which says that righteousness by faith includes both justification and sanctification, (25) and then goes on to say: "The Palmdale statement concurs with this view." (26) Further on he continues:
We think it only fair to say.., that those who hold sanctification to be a part of "righteousness by faith" seem to place greater emphasis on holy living than do those who exclude it; also, they seem to give greater emphasis to humanity's part in cooperating with divinity in the plan of salvation. This is perhaps because they consider the gospel not merely as the good news that through Christ repentant souls may have a new standing before God, but that through Him sinners may be transformed. (27)
In subsequent articles on the Palmdale statement, (28) Wood makes clear how he understands the gospel: He writes:
We think it is important to understand that the gospel (good news) is not merely an announcement of what Christ has done in the past to save a lost world, it is an announcement of what Christ wants to do, and is able to do, in the present. It is not merely an announcement of Bethlehem and Calvary, it is an announcement of a living Saviour, a Saviour who is able to save to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25), a Saviour who can save not merely from the penalty of sin but from the power of sin (Titus 2:11-14), a Saviour who not only forgives but cleanses from sin (1 John 1:9), a Saviour who is able to keep us from yielding to temptation (Jude 24), a Saviour who ministers on our behalf in the heavenly sanctuary (Heb. 8:1, 2). (29)
The President of the General Conference, Robert H. Pierson, gives his influential contribution in an article entitled "What Is Righteousness by Faith?" (30) Pierson follows Wood in referring to the Adventist Encyclopedia and then says:
From these words it is clear that the Seventh-day Adventist Church accepts the two phases or steps in the experience of righteousness by faith. One is the "instantaneous experience," known as justification, ... [which is] the imputed righteousness of Jesus ... and the resultant peace and joy in Christ....
At least two things became clear after Palmdale: (1) The Palmdale statement settled nothing. Despite its preamble, which confesses that Adventism has for years lacked a clear statement on righteousness by faith, the statement itself perpetuates rather than corrects that situation. (2) Brinsmead's contribution to Ford's theology became evident. As we have already noted, the idea that Ford has become a follower of Brinsmead is too broad an assertion for the evidence to support. It would be just as true to say that Brinsmead has become a follower of Ford. What has become clear after Palmdale is the precise way in which Brinsmead did influence Ford. Brinsmead, via Present Truth magazine, caused Ford to sharpen his definition of righteousness by faith into the shape of the biblical-Reformation understanding of it as justification alone. Brinsmead taught Ford to view the Adventist concept of righteousness by faith in the light of the Reformation, and not the Reformation position in the light of Adventist usage. What this meant for Ford was that he not only came to see the righteousness of faith as meaning justification alone, but he also came to see the all-determining significance of justification by faith for life and doctrine. (32) His whole perspective was sharpened more than fundamentally altered by encounter with Present Truth.
The second phase is a "lifelong experience of Christian living". . . . (31)
Palmdale added fuel to the fire of controversy within Adventism over the biblical-Reformation significance of righteousness by faith. Many who had not previously been aware of the division joined ranks according to their convictions.
This controversy reached a new level of tension in the publication of the Adult Sabbath School Lessons for April-May-June, 1977, entitled Jesus, the Model Man. (33) If there were ever any doubts in the minds of some Adventists as to where the American leadership of the 1970's stands in relation to Questions on Doctrine and the soteriological gains of the 1960's, this Lesson Quarterly dispelled those doubts once and for all.
In the Quarterly, Herbert Douglass presents the idea that the Second Person of the Godhead divested Himself of His divine powers and prerogatives. (34) "Our Model is not merely an example which beckons us on but is never to be reached." (35) Jesus was altogether human and possessed a sinful nature common to all men. Hence, Jesus is qualified to be our Example, and the gospel (good news) is that He has proved we can overcome sin and live exactly (sinlessly) as He did. (36)
The Lesson Quarterly caused no small stir in Adventist circles. M. G. Townend (the Sabbath School Director for the Australasian Division) sent a letter to President Pierson and was informed, among other things, that "I [Pierson] have personally gone through the lessons within the last few days, and I received a blessing from the thoughts presented." (37)
As is the custom, the Quarterly was sent to scholars and theologians for perusal before its final draft. The leading theologians of the Australasian Division were deeply apprehensive and sought to have its publication halted. However, the President of the General Conference informed the Australian leaders that to withdraw the material at that particular stage would only aggravate the situation into a worse state.
The Lesson Quarterly was finally sent out to the local Adventist churches throughout the world, and objections to it followed from ministers, theologians, and laity Typical is an open letter "To My Fellow Ministers," by Victor P Kluzit, (38) and the tape-recorded discussion of the Quarterly by Dr. Richard Neis, who expresses fears of heresy (39) Kluzit calls upon the leaders to repent, and Dr. Neis wonders if some of Douglass' views on Christ "border on blasphemy" An Australian pastor, Max Hatton, calls the Lesson Quarterly "not truly Protestant" and deplores its shallow view of sin. (40)
There is obvious confusion in the minds of many rank-and-file members of the church, and serious division over the very nature and meaning of the gospel exists among Adventist ministers and theologians. There is also confusion over the relation between much teaching in the 1970,s (41) and respected works published in the earlier decades of contemporary Adventism—works such as Questions on Doctrine.
Breaking the Synthesis
Prior to 1970, Adventism's view of the gospel was a synthesis of Protestant and Roman Catholic elements. It was this synthesis which bound all Adventist theologians together in their articulation of the gospel. The synthesis was to be found even in those theologians who stood closer to the Reformation perspective (e.g., Heppenstall, Ford, and LaRondelle).
When justification and sanctification are synthesized (as in the Council of Trent), sanctification inevitably swallows up justification. Hence, prior to the 1970's—and for those who persist in the synthesis after 1970—sanctification becomes the predominant emphasis over justification.
This synthesis of righteousness by faith and sanctification was the weak spot in the theological "attack" of Heppenstall, Ford, and LaRondelle against Brinsmead during the 1960's. (42) Though these theologians took a strong anti-perfectionism position against Brinsmead's teaching, the fact that they still synthesized justification and sanctification in their understanding of righteousness by faith vitiated their anti-perfectionism emphasis. Especially was this so when we consider that Brinsmead could call upon Adventist tradition to support his perfectionism. So long as he saw the gospel as including in its essence the sanctification of the believer and then reflected upon this emphasis in Adventist history, he could not be moved from his belief of perfection in this life.
This observation is endorsed by the events of the 1970's. Ford appears to have learned the lesson of the 1960's and has come forth with a clear distinction between righteousness by faith and sanctification. (43) However, Heppenstall and LaRondelle have yet to make it clear that they too have broken the synthesis. (44) Thus, it is not surprising that their anti-perfectionism arguments are lacking the leverage needed to pry their fellow Adventists off the notion that there will be a final generation who, because of their sinlessness, will not need the Mediator's benefits. (45)
The new element in Adventism's approach to the gospel in the 1970's is the breaking of the synthesis of righteousness by faith and sanctification in the understanding of righteousness by faith. This is the first time in Adventist teaching that the break has taken place. (46) Where it has occurred, there is an unashamed return to the gospel of the Reformation.
Since 1970, Brinsmead has never ceased to stress the all-sufficiency of justification and to deliver attacks on anything that would in any way downgrade this article of the Christian faith. (47) For both Brinsmead and Ford, the centrality of justification lies at the heart of the gospel of Paul and the Reformers. Yet in the face of Brinsmead and Ford's breaking of the synthesis between righteousness by faith and sanctification, there is now a definite effort by others to maintain it.
It is now our purpose to examine the place of the Reformation gospel in Adventism at the point of the movement's latest development. We have seen that, prior to 1950, Adventist theology of the gospel tended to relegate justification to the status of mere. Justification was seen as only for the sins of the past. But what about Adventism today?
The President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Elder Robert H. Pierson, quotes approvingly the Signs of the Times of 1874 which says: "We are dependent on Christ, first for justification from our past offenses, and, secondly, for grace whereby to render acceptable obedience to His holy law in time to come." (48)
The tendency to subordinate justification to sanctification receives its strongest representation in the special issue of the Review and Herald on "Righteousness by Faith," which, as we have already mentioned, was published by those who wanted to counteract the new-face Brinsmead of the 1970's. (49)
Also, in "Why You Lose What You Don't Use," J. W McFarland and J. R. Spangler, in contrasting justification and sanctification, have this to say:
Justification blots out the black picture of the past, sanctification paints a bright picture for now and the future; justification clears. . .
Though this downgrading of justification is shared by Review and Herald editor, Kenneth H. Wood, (51) as well as by George McCready Price, (52) none of these presentations is as explicit as that of Don Hawley in his book, Getting It All Together. Hawley says:
the record, sanctification keeps the record clear. ...
Sanctification as well as justification, is Christ taking action in my life. (50)
Sanctification then is growing up into Christ; becoming more and more like Him through the impartation (actual receiving) of His righteousness. With the passage of time we should require less emphasis on Christ's imputed righteousness and should actually possess more and more of His imparted righteousness. (53)
Arnold V Wallenkampf, in the Review and Herald article, "Saved Solely by Grace," says that "keeping grace" is superior to "forgiving grace" and that we should reach a place where we are able to live without forgiving grace! (54)
In our chapter on the gospel of the Reformation, we have seen that such a severe subordination of justification in the interest of sanctification is foreign to the thinking of the Reformers. (55) The Avondale Professor of Theology, Dr. Desmond Ford, is aware of this. In the papers he presented at the Palmdale conference, he included an appendix to indicate the "Atlas" nature of justification. (56) Likewise, in The Soteriological Implications of the Human Nature of Christ, Ford makes it clear that justification is the basis of the believer's holy life and that the Christian's eyes are to be focused on that fact. (57)
In pre-1950 Adventism we encountered an understanding of justification as being the creative action of God in the life of the believer. Whereas it is not improper to speak of justification as the creative action of God, we have shown that this refers to the believer in Christ and not to the believer in himself. (58) The same tendency that was found in pre-1950 Adventism is also present in contemporary Adventism: the idea that justification is the making of the believer to be ontologically righteous in himself.
Clifford and Standish are explicit. Justification is an inward work involving a change in the character of the person justified. (59) For Dr. Ford, however, "Justification is a declaring righteous, not a making righteous." (60)
Pastor J.W. Lehman of the Campus Hill Church in Loma Linda, California, is in agreement with the Council of Trent in his understanding of justification. In a series of four recorded studies on the theme, "What Is Righteousness?" (1975), he says that righteousness is love, and the believer becomes righteous by having Christ's love poured into his heart. (This emphasis of Lehman is the more interesting since in the same series he delivers forthright attacks upon Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism.) Further, in his Campus Hill Sabbath Service address called "The Other Half of Forgiveness," (61) Pastor Lehman deals with "some of the misunderstandings and problems of justification by faith." He says: "Thus far we have been emphasizing that justification by faith is a twofold operation—forgiveness for sin and making us righteous." (62) The Vice-President of the General Conference, Neal C. Wilson, endorsed Lehman's perspective in a circulated brochure advertising his recorded studies.(63)
The Roman Catholic understanding of justification is given clearest expression in a paper by Erwin R. Gane entitled "Is There Power in Justification?" He says, "Far from being merely a forensic act of God, justification involves the most direct and transforming divine intervention in the life of the Christian believer.,, (64) The righteousness of the believer is an alien righteousness, says Gane, because it comes from without. (65) But once it is bestowed, it becomes the property of the believer as well as of Christ. (66) This infused righteousness immediately qualifies the believer for heaven. Gane equates the infusion of righteousness with the new birth of John 3:5, and he calls upon the passage in Titus 3:5-6 to support his case. This new life-righteousness belongs to the believer only so long as he "allows Jesus to reign." (67) Gane concludes his article by stating that E. J. Waggoner of 1888 fame taught that justification is the work of the Spirit in the heart of the believer and that A. G. Daniells, who intended to revive the 1888 message, saw justification as "a vital experience to be entered into." (68)
This type of approach to the meaning of justification is quite widespread in contemporary Adventism. (69) From this approach to the meaning of justification it is only a short step to the idea that acceptance in the final judgment is on the basis of character renewal. If it be admitted that justification puts us right with God (which Adventism has always believed) and that justification either includes or is "the grace of sanctification," then it follows that acceptance must be on the basis of inner renewal.
In preparation for this book, this author conducted an extensive survey in the United States in 1976 on the topic of justification by faith and the seminary student. Eleven schools were surveyed with a multiple-choice questionnaire. Question six was:
My acceptance in the final judgment will be based upon
Sixty-six percent of the Seventh-day Adventist Andrews University Seminary students who filled out the questionnaire answered with (b): "the character which Christ has worked out within me."
(a) my character.
(b) the character which Christ has worked out within me.
(c) the forgiveness of sins.
It is not difficult to understand this response of Seventh-day Adventist seminary students when the editor of one of the church's leading papers writes as follows:
All of us face the final judgment, when God, the Ancient of Days, will sit at the bar of eternal justice, and all who have ever lived will be summoned to appear before Him....
J. L. Tucker in It Happened at Night says:
Will we be found guilty in that dreadful day? Or shall we face the righteous Judge with our sins cleansed and our records clear?...
Fortunately there is hope. If you apologize for your sins and ask for help, Jesus Himself will help you. He has promised, "I will help you." Isaiah 41:10, RSV. Paul found Christ's offer more than sufficient. He rejoiced, "I can do all things in him who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13, RSV You don't need to go on in your old sinful way You can be a new person in Christ, conqueror of every evil tendency, beautiful with a character like the character of the lovely Jesus.
And then you can face the judgment unafraid. Thank God for Jesus Christ! (70)
Describing the characteristics of the saved who are welcomed by Jesus at His second coming, we read, They have the patience of the saints; they keep the commandments of God, and they have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 14:12. And ... "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life... ." Revelation 22:14. The wise thing for each of us to do is to let Jesus come into our hearts and live His beautiful life in us. (71)
The whole context of this statement shows Tucker to mean that salvation is attained by the subjective process of Christ within.
If there is a difference between these writers on final acceptance and writers such as Herbert Douglass and C. Mervyn Maxwell, it is that the former fail to take their theological perspective to its ultimate conclusion, whereas the latter follow their views through with strict logical consistency The former are implicitly perfectionistic, while the latter are explicitly perfectionistic.
If righteousness by faith is "the goodness of Jesus in us" (R. A. Anderson), then it is a very short step indeed to the idea that righteousness by faith is perfection. The final generation, then, are those who perfectly duplicate the sinless character of Jesus. Dr. Douglass writes that Adventists will
... demonstrate to the world that man need not remain a sinner, that man may attain a sinless, righteous experience by the same faith that Jesus exercised, that is, righteousness by faith.
Douglass spells out his equation of righteousness by faith with perfectionism in "The Unique Contribution of Adventist Eschatology.,, (73) For the associate editor of the Review and Herald, the
The Adventist invitation to the world is to "come and see".... (72)
"'..... gospel of the kingdom' is the good news that God can change men and women into His likeness if they would make Him Lord of their lives." (74) The
... dramatic, distinctive life witness will indeed be the evidence —the "good news"—that Jesus reigns in the lives of men. Such is the gospel in living color that will be "preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come." (75)
For Douglass, the vindication of the character of God was not accomplished once and for all in the doing and dying of Jesus Christ. The necessary beginning was made with Jesus, but the perfect, sinless life-style of final-generation Adventists "completes the vindication of God's character and government and settles the question of His justice and mercy forever." (76) God is waiting for "His church to prove.., that the life of faith that He [Jesus] lived and the character He manifested are possible attainments that all men may reach." (77)
The Douglass approach to the human nature of Christ is to be understood in the context of this eschatological vision. If, as Douglass suggests, "Jesus showed us the possible," (78) then it is important that both Jesus and the believer start from the same vantage point. Hence, it cannot be said that Jesus had a sinless nature, for that would render Him "out of our reach."
Therefore, He is not to be considered as the North Star—a good guide but never to be reached; or a Superman who could never be reproduced. He is a working Model, a relevant Example for us all. . . (79)
Morris Venden supports the perspective of Douglass. Venden writes: "Did you know that Jesus' life on earth was a perfect demonstration of righteousness by faith?" (80)
The Clifford and Standish publication, Conflicting Concepts of Righteousness by Faith in the Seventh-day Adventist Church: Australasian Division —written to counteract the theology of Ford and Brinsmead—leaves no room for doubt as to where it stands on the question before us. If the believer is to follow the example of Jesus, he must commence with a good start. Hence, the carnal nature is eradicated at regeneration. (81) To believe it persists until death would lessen the struggle against sin. The notion of the imputation of Christ's righteousness instead of its impartation is seen as the Calvinistic poison in Ford's pottage. (82) Those who say the carnal nature remains are to be more pitied than blamed. (83) Further, we are told that if there is any of self in our works, Christ will not add His merits to them. (84)
We have placed the perfectionism of Douglass and that of Conflicting Concepts together because it appears (from correspondence in this author's research material) that Conflicting Concepts is accepted by the Review and Herald leadership of the Adventist Church. (85) This teaching of Douglass and Conflicting Concepts is an unprecedented high in Adventist perfectionism. In By Faith Alone, Norval Pease infers that perfectionism is exceptional in Adventism. (86) But we cannot concur with this judgment. Nor can we simply place this new-face perfectionism alongside that of Andreasen and Branson. This is perfectionism with unprecedented intensity. Never before in the history of Adventism has it received so much stress and such explicit expression. Naturally enough, the corresponding "sinful human nature of Christ" motif and the denial of original sin are also given unrestrained expression in much of the "synthesis theology" of Seventh-day Adventism today.
Ford has set his face against the perfectionism of contemporary Adventism as being a false gospel which is inimical to the movement's goal of finishing the work of an arrested Reformation. He maintains that, in Christ, the believer has perfection now. (87) By faith in Christ's atonement, the believer is perfect at every step of the way (88) The Christian's life is a battleground between the two natures; (89) and although the character of Christ is our daily aim, we cannot reach it in this life. (90) Christian perfection is maturity, a growth in Christian character. (91) Properly understood, perfection is not sinlessness. (92)
Likewise, from outside of official Adventism, Robert Brinsmead exercises a marked influence within Adventism against the perfectionistic teaching of Douglass and Conflicting Concepts. Both in Present Truth (93) and in his reply to Clifford and Standish (94) Brinsmead has made it clear that perfectionism is unbiblical (95) and contrary to the sound testimony of Reformation Protestantism. (96)
One would hardly believe that the anti-perfectionism of Present Truth magazine is written by the same author that produced such abundant perfectionistic material in the 1960's. From Brinsmead's writings it is supremely evident that the doctrine of justification by faith alone is that which casts out any notion of perfection in this life.
1. See Brinsmead, Review of the Awakening Message, pts. 1-2.
2. Brinsmead was impressed with the following quotation: "Justification by faith is really the only answer to the moral perplexities of the doctrine of original sin" (W H. Griffith Thomas, The Principles of Theology, p. 193).
3. In his earlier sanctuary teaching, Brinsmead would speak of justification as being the "outer court," sanctification the "holy place," and perfection the "most holy place."
4. See Brinsmead, Review of the Awakening Message, pts. 1-2.
5. Undated but issued 16 May 1974.
6. George E. Vandeman, "Meet the Master," Review and Herald, special issue, "Righteousness by Faith" [16 May 1974], p. 3.
7. Don F. Neufeld, "Righteousness by Faith—Is It Biblical?" Review and Herald, special issue, "Righteousness by Faith" [16 May 1974], p. 6.
8. Ibid., p. 8.
9. C. Mervyn Maxwell, "Christ and Minneapolis 1888," Review and Herald, special issue, "Righteousness by Faith" [16 May 1974], p. 18.
10. Herbert E. Douglass, "Why God Is Urgent and Yet Waits," Review and Herald, special issue, "Righteousness by Faith" [16 May 1974], p. 23. Kenneth H. Wood, "Jesus Made the Way Plain in Parables," ibid., p. 24. Here Wood says that righteousness by faith "is a supernatural change."
11. See esp. Vandeman's article cited in note 6 above.
12. Douglass, "Righteousness by Faith," p. 22.
13. Ibid., p. 23.
14. The subtitle reads, Is Sanctification the Same As Righteousness by Faith? Rome Says Yes; The Reformation Says No; Where Do Seventh-day Adventists Stand?
15. This phrase is taken from a letter written by a (then) member of the Review and Herald staff in Washington, D.C. See A. John Clifford and Russell R. Standish, Conflicting Concepts of Righteousness by Faith in the Seventh-day Adventist Church: Australasian Division, which has quite a lot to say concerning this "mateship."
16. The paper is composed of 53 quarter-size pages.
17. F A. Basham, "A Paper Presented to the Biblical Research Committee of the Australasian Division on the Subject of 'Righteousness by Faith,' 3 Feb. 1976," p. 2.
18. Ibid., p. 3. The brethren referred to are members of the Review and Herald staff.
19. Ibid. Emphases supplied.
20. This is clear from the following paragraph in Basham's paper: "The Ms. put out by the Theology Department at Avondale was not written in a vacuum. It was written after the publication of the special issue of the 'Review' and after Brinsmead's public criticism of same. At the time that the Theology Department printed its manuscript, Dr. Ford was fully aware of the controversy that had developed over this specific issue. In the very midst of the controversy between Brinsmead and the Editors of the 'Review' Dr. Ford used the resources of the Theology Department to publish a Ms. that fully endorses Brinsmead's radical criticism and that takes a diametrically opposite position to the Editors of the 'Review and Herald.' Thus we have a clear division between what is taught at Avondale by Dr. Ford and what is taught by our American brethren" (ibid., p. 2).
21. Ibid., p. 6.
22. See "Christ Our Righteousness," Review and Herald, 27 May 1976, pp. 4-7.
23. I.e., that "righteousness by faith" means both justification and sanctification. Cf. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, p. 1085.
24. "And it's a wonderful thing that recently in America we could make a statement like this for the first time in our history, a wonderful thing" (Desmond Ford, Avondale College Chapel address, 18 May 1976).
25. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, p. 1085.
26. Kenneth H. Wood, "F. Y I. [For Your Information]," pt. 1, Review and Herald, 21 Oct.
1976, p. 2. Notice that Palmdale spoke of "the experience of justification by faith."
28. Wood, "E Y I.," pts. 2-4, Review and Herald, 28 Oct. 1976, pp.2,19; 4 Nov. 1976, pp.2,15; 18 Nov. 1976, pp.2,13. Cf. Kenneth H. Wood, "Fit for a Wedding," ibid., 2 Dec. 1976, pp. 2,11.
29. Wood, "F. Y I.," pt. 3, p. 2.
30. Robert H. Pierson, "What Is Righteousness by Faith?" The Ministry, Feb. 1977, p. 9.
31. Ibid. It is noteworthy that Pierson includes the subjective aspect, "the resultant peace and joy in Christ," in his definition of justification as the first phase of righteousness by faith.
32. For Brinsmead's emphasis on this point, see Robert D. Brinsmead, "St. Paul's Message of Justification," Present Truth, Apr. 1972, pp. 5-10; idem, "The Righteousness Which Is of Faith," ibid., special issue, "Justification by Faith" [May 1972], pp. 14-17; idem, "The Radical Meaning of Sola Fide," ibid., June 1975, pp. 6-7. Cf. idem, Statement; idem, The Current Righteousness by Faith Dialogue. In Current Dialogue, Brinsmead gives 10 reasons why sanctification cannot be included in the article of righteousness by faith.
33. Herbert E. Douglass, Jesus, the Model Man. These lessons are used simultaneously by Adventist churches worldwide.
34. Ibid., p. 22.
35. Ibid., p. 96.
37. Quoted in M. G. Townend letter to division officers, dated Jan. 24, 1977.
38. Victor P. Kluzit, An Appeal to Withdraw and Make a Public Confession for the Sabbath School Quarterly Entitled "Jesus, the Model Man" April-June, 1977 (Lev. 26:40, 42). Kluzit's last paragraph conveys the spirit of his appeal: "Brethren, as an ordained minister of the Seventh-day Adventist church, I have written this protest, for it is necessary for another Joseph to stand today and speak (Luke 20:50, 51) for the Truth that is in Jesus to the Council of Spiritual Shepherds ... and to voice the deepest disapproval to the Laodicean indifference that we have for the One knocking at the door of our church.... Therefore, This Sabbath School Quarterly has to be withdrawn and public confession made by the General Conference for this denial of Christ
39. Richard Neis, "Jesus, the Model Man."
40. Max Hatton, Jesus Our Example, pp. 2, 8.
41. E.g., the 1970's have seen an unprecedented flood of teaching on perfectionism in Seventh-day Adventism. There is increasing emphasis along the lines of Douglass' Lesson Quarterly, Jesus, the Model Man. See Herbert E. Douglass and Leo R. Van Dolson, Jesus, the Benchmark of Humanity.
42. In a paper entitled "Fitness for Heaven: A Dialogue with Robert Brinsmead on Bible Perfection," Hans K. LaRondelle argues that justification means "the transformation of the sin-governed heart" (p. 7), "the outpouring of love in the heart that believes" (p. 12), "the impartation of the recreating Holy Spirit" (p. 13). "Bible justification means much more than a mere forensic or legal forgiveness of sin" (p. 14). Instead of the believer's escaping condemnation by virtue of what Christ did on the cross, LaRondelle says, ... when the corrupt channel or nature is made ineffective by the grace of the indwelling Christ, there is no condemnation for the perfected soul. (Rom. 8:1)" (p. 80). LaRondelle came out strongly against perfectionism only after he did his doctoral thesis, Perfection and Perfectionism, under G. C. Berkouwer in 1969-70. This thesis contradicts some of LaRondelle's earlier theology.
43. On Oct. 2, 1976, Dr. Ford remarked, "I have used (as many of the brethren have) the expression 'righteousness by faith' to include sanctification" (Desmond Ford, "An Answer to Dr. Russell Standish," sermon transcript, p. 41).
44. In the case of Dr. Hans K. LaRondelle, this synthesis between justification and sanctification is still present after 1970. See Hans K. LaRondelle, "Seventh-day Adventist Statement on Righteousness by Faith." Here LaRondelle says that justification is "a judicial transaction of Christ as heavenly Mediator, but it is more than that. It implies the sanctifying impartation of the Holy Spirit of divine love within the heart of the justified believer (Rom. 5:1, 5; 8:14-16), or stated differently, the indwelling of Christ in the believer's heart (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 3:14-19)" (p. 2). Also: ..... it can be said that justification sets the repentant believer free from the guilt of sin and delivers him at the same time from the bondage and defiling power of sin" (p. 3). See also idem, "Kommentar van dr. h. k. la rondelle op het artikel van paxton in jeugd, november, 1976" [Commentary of Dr. H. K. LaRondelle on the Article of Paxton in Youth, November, 1976]. Here LaRondelle says: "John ... proclaims the gospel in terms of love to one another The "gospel in all its fullness [is] presented to us in the Old Testament" (p. 10 in Dutch original). LaRondelle seems to regard any attempt to clearly distinguish between justification and sanctification as a separation of the two. But Heppenstall clearly reflects the breaking of the synthesis when he says: "When Paul speaks of righteousness which is by faith, he is not thinking in terms of righteousness in man, but of their legal standing before God. ... 'Justify' never means in Scripture to pour the quality of righteousness into someone, but to establish righteousness forensically, or to make righteous by an act which is entirely outside man" (Edward Heppenstall, "The Meaning of Righteousness," in lessons at Andrews University, pp. 39-40). It here seems that Heppenstall is the forerunner of the Ford-Brinsmead theology. It only remains for him to indicate that he consistently carries through with this understanding of righteousness by faith. It seems that LaRondelle, if he is consistent with himself at his best (i.e., in his thesis, Perfection and Perfectionism), must also come out on the side of Reformation theology.
45. The "dialogue" of Heppenstall and LaRondelle with the perfectionists over the possibility of perfection in this life may be seen in Herbert E. Douglass, Edward Heppenstall, Hans K. LaRondelle, and C. Mervyn Maxwell, Perfection: The Impossible Possibility.
46. As the theology of those who have broken the synthesis makes clear, this does not mean a separation of justification and sanctification. Rather, the "breaking" means (1) the clear distinction between justification and sanctification and (2) the primacy of justification. See Desmond Ford, "The Scope and Limits of the Pauline Expression 'Righteousness by Faith,"' in Jack D. Walker, ed., Documents from the Palmdale Conference on Righteousness by Faith, pp. 1-13.
47. A sample of Brinsmead's teaching on this point may be seen in Robert D. Brinsmead, Present Truth, special issue, "Justification by Faith and the Charismatic Movement" (Sept-Oct. 1972]; idem, "Justification by Faith and the Current Religious Scene," ibid., Aug. 1973, pp. 14-34; idem, ibid., special issue, "Sanctification," Feb. 1975; idem, "Radical Meaning," pp. 6-7.
48. Quoted in Pierson, "What Is Righteousness by Faith?" p. 9.
49. At least 90% of the special issue of the Review and Herald on "Righteousness by Faith" is given over to sanctification. Justification is damned with faint praise.
50. J. W McFarland and J. R. Spangler, "Why You Lose What You Don't Use," Century 21: Institute for Better Living, p. 15. Emphases in original.
51. See Wood, "Fit for a Wedding," pp. 2, 11.
52. "We hear much about receiving Christ's righteousness, but this almost always refers to the imputation of this righteousness. This is highly important as a beginning, but there is a much higher stage of attainment, when Christ's righteous character becomes imparted to us .. ." (George McCready Price, Review and Herald, 1 Jan. 1976).
53. Don Hawley, Getting It All Together, p. 35. Emphasis in original.
54. Arnold V. Wallenkampf, "Saved Solely by Grace," Review and Herald, 9 Sept. 1971, p.4.
55. See chap. 2, "The Heart of the Reformation."
56. Ford, "Scope and Limits," in Walker, Documents from Palmdale, pp. 11-13. The appendix is actually J. I. Packer's "Introduction" to James Buchanan's The Doctrine of Justification.
57. Mrs. Desmond Ford, The Soteriological Implications of the Human Nature of Christ, pp. 9-10.
58. See chap. 1, appendix, "1888: A Thorn in the Church's Flesh."
59. Clifford and Standish, Conflicting Concepts, pp. 24, 53, 56.
60. Desmond Ford, Redemption, Objective and Subjective, p. 2.
61. J. W. Lehman, "The Other Half of Forgiveness," transcript of a sermon delivered in the Campus Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church, Loma Linda, Calif., May 10, 1975. This is a major Adventist church in a major Adventist center.
62. Ibid. Cf. "Pardon includes not only the removal of condemnation, but also the making us righteous" (p. 4).
63. A Gift for Pastors of Seventh-day Adventist Churches in North America (1 Sept. 1975). Wilson gave his approval in a personally written letter of Aug. 5, 1975, entitled, "Memo from Neal C. Wilson, Vice President, North American Division," which was sent out with the brochure. Lehman says that the righteousness of Rom. 3:21 is the infused righteousness of love.
64. Erwin R. Gane, "Is There Power in Justification?" p. 1.
65. Ibid., p. 2.
67. Ibid., p. 3.
68. Ibid., p. 7.
69. See LaRondelle, "Statement on Righteousness by Faith," p.2; idem, "The Everlasting Gospel and Righteousness by Faith," p. 21, in Biblical Research Committee, North American Bible Conference, 1974. Here LaRondelle says that Paul guards against a mere "extrinsic justification" in Galatians by stating that "in justification" his "I" was crucified with Christ. However, contrary to pietistic evangelicalism, Paul's meaning of the crucifixion spoken of in Gal. 2:20 is not a subjective crucifixion but that which took place on the cross of Calvary See also Froom, Movement of Destiny, pp. 207, 267, where justification is said to be by indwelling; Edward Hoehn, "Salvation without the Deeds of the Law," Review and Herald, 21 May 1971 (Hoehn says: "What concerned Paul was lack of recognition that no one can make himself righteous in the sight of God. This transformation is possible only by the power of Christ living in the heart." [Emphasis supplied.]); Roy Allan Anderson, Tree Indeed," The Ministry, Nov. 1976, p. 17, where Anderson says that justification is made possible by Christ's becoming goodness in us.
70. Lawrence Maxwell, Signs of the Times, June 1975. Lawrence Maxwell is editor of Signs of the Times.
71. J. L. Tucker, It Happened at Night, pp. 13-14.
72. Herbert E. Douglass, "God Does Not Play Word Games," The Ministry, Oct. 1974, p. 37.
73. Herbert E. Douglass, "The Unique Contribution of Adventist Eschatology," esp. pp. 18-33, in Biblical Research Committee, North American Bible Conference, 1974.
74. Ibid., p. 18.
75. Ibid., p. 19.
76. Ibid., p. 27.
78. Herbert E. Douglass, Review and Herald, 30 Dec. 1971, p. 16.
79. Herbert E. Douglass, The Ministry, Apr. 1977, p. 29. Cf. idem, Review and Herald, 23
Dec. 1971, pp. 12-13.
80. Morris Venden, "Jesus Our Great Example," Review and Herald, 17 Oct. 1974, p. 18.
81. Clifford and Standish, Conflicting Concepts, p. 117.
82. Ibid., p. 118.
83. Ibid., p. 134.
84. Ibid., p. 113. It is not easy to see why the merits of Christ need to be added to totally selfless works!
85. Although the Field Secretary of the Australasian Division, Elder A. S. Jorgensen, assured me that he did not accept the perspective of Conflicting Concepts.
86. Pease, By Faith Alone, pp. 207-8.
87. See Mrs. Ford, Soteriological Implications.
88. Ibid., p. 35.
89. Ibid., p. 37.
90. Ibid., p. 39
91. Ibid., p. 40.
92. Ibid., pp. 41-3.
93. See Brinsmead, Present Truth, special issue, "Sanctification," Feb. 1975. Here Brinsmead says, "We cannot reach a point in sanctification where our fellowship with God does not rest completely on forgiveness of sins" (p. 55). Cf. pp. 56-7. For further material from Brinsmead on the relation of justification to eschatology, see idem, ibid., special issue,
"Justification by Faith and Eschatology," Sept. 1974; idem, "Antichrist 1975," ibid., Apr. 1975, pp. 12-20; idem, ibid., special issue, "New Testament Eschatology," Apr. 1976.
94. Brinsmead, Answer to "Conflicting Concepts," pp. 78-89.
95. Ibid., p. 79.
96. Ibid., pp. 80-85.