(Part II will appear in the next issue)
In recent months the question, “Are Seventh-day Adventists evangelical?” has been troubling many Christians. This question has been accentuated by many articles on both sides.
The recent publication of an important volume by the Seventh-day Adventist leaders gives the discussion added significance (Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine, a commentary on questions addressed to the movement).
Among The Cults
For many years SDA has been labeled a cult. Conservative Christians, particularly, have said hard things about the group and its doctrines. But this situation is changing. Some voices now lifted in defense of SDA are from theologically conservative ranks. Walter Martin, in several recent magazine articles (expected soon to be expanded into book form) comes to the defense of SDA, declassifying it from the list of false religions, and approving it, for the most part, as evangelical. One of the leading SDA writers, LeRoy E. Froom, asserts in Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge that the Adventists “do not regard themselves as just another sect, but as continuators of the arrested Reformation, and in the spiritual line of the apostolic faith and the Protestant dissentients.”
While an exhaustive examination of SDA teachings must now take cognizance of contemporary literature as well as that of the past, certain preliminary observations should be made in approaching the question whether SDA is entitled to evangelical approval or acceptance.
The SDA book, Questions on Doctrine, does not disclose the names of its authors. They remain anonymous. It is admitted that the authors cannot and do not speak with authority, since “official” statements come only from the General ...1
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