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The History of Questions On Doctrine

Norman McNulty


Norman McNulty

Neurologist at Southern Tennessee Regional Health System, Lawrenceburg, TN



  • March 7, 2009
    9:00 AM
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him everyone happy Sabbath is good to see you here for this ad in history class and today we're going to be setting up very in Horton topic in the history of the church so what's our head for work first we can get started father in heaven thank you for the Sabbath they would thank you for the opportunity to study art history and we pray that as we study the things that have happened in the past that we won't learn from them so that we will give the things that can in the past and we will avoid the mistakes that were made betrayed his in Jesus name so suggests lasts is entitled by this history of questions on doctrine and for any of you to have any interest in happiness history you will know that this history of questions on doctrine is controversy and in my hand here is a copy of the Arab the original book questions on doctrine storm pretty good condition actually and it was recently read friends that I believe in two thousand E in what is known as the annotated edition and it was originally published around nineteen fifty seven so the book 's been around for over fifty years now and the effectiveness sure that this but has had on the theology of the church is pretty profound I were elected that today now it's interesting I any annotated edition George Knight who is the editor wrote an introduction in his very first sentence he refers your very first sentence the very first thing he says questions on doctrine easily qualifies as the most divisive book and Seventh-day Adventists history of the published to help bring peace between Adventism and conservative Protestantism is released brought prolonged alienation and separation to the Adventist factions I grew up around slots one historians take on the effects of questions on doctrine and the first question just to look at the background is why with questions on doctrine public I mean Seventh-day Adventists had a pretty good grasp of what their beliefs work so what was the background that led them publish a book about the doctrines of absences while the story begins with a conference president by the name of CEM and CGI unreal worst president of the East Pennsylvania conference and he was listening to a Protestant theologian by the name of Donald barn house give studies on righteousness by faith from the book of room and see him through the conference presently admits church she writes a letter C Donald barn house and tells him that he has been very blessed by the messages of righteousness by faith at barn houses been teaching under on his radio program and Donald barn house expressed great surprise that is you may have missed leader would find white service fees in the teachings of righteousness by faith by not having this particular theologian Donald Barnhill 's justice in the address work off on a certain wing and that they would not have anything in common with what he was teaching with respect to righteousness by faith in the truth of the matter is that the way it should now what happened to prove what I just said barn house rights back to utterances hey nice to hear from you maybe we can meet fruit for lunch sometime and CEO nurses had sounds like a good idea I'm sending you the books steps to Christ you can read it so that can give us some opening dialogue to talk about righteousness by faith when we meet so Donald barn house reads the books that's the Christ and he writes sentences this book with respect to righteousness by faith is false in all its parts and says this book is totally wrong with respect to righteousness by faith so it's a hungry strategy sort of backed off and said well maybe I don't want to talk to because en route of course believe in such a crisis as well as somehow he likes what he was hearing from barn house so the story continues after that interchange barn house became more interested in what Seventh-day Adventists believe in such key dispatch a young man who was working with them by the name of Walter Martin in these name should be fairly familiar to you if you're familiar with ad in this history and Walter Martin contacted barn house and he said that he wanted to have a him meeting to find out exactly what Seventh-day Adventists believe on several key issues and he told barn house like I don't want to talk to just any Seventh-day Adventist I want to talk to the leading theologians of the church on one awaits my time with it the people down here I want to go to the very top and lets actually a fairly reasonable request if you think about it why would you talk to somebody you may or may not service industry to speak for the church when you can go straight to the top goddesses so that's what Walter Martin wanted and he told him barn house and some innovators that by that point he had respect for Agnes he had read over forty books by Seventh-day Adventist authors and he wanted to find out more about what Seventh-day Adventists believe so the group of Adventist leaders that eventually sat down with barn house and Martin were we right for him W E read George Cannon and Royall and Anderson some of these names may be familiar some of them may not be the right RAM had been the director of the GCC ministerial Association from nineteen forty one to nineteen fifty when these meetings that place between the two sides was fifty five fifty six but he still had considerable influence within the general conference WG read was a field secretary of the General conference George Arcand was a professor of theology at Nyack missionary College in New York and Roy Allen Anderson was the then director of the General conference ministerial Association now you'll notice that there is a key omission of leading theologians the church from that time and the keel mission was MLM 's Rios and MLM 's reaction with the leading theologian on sanctuary theology on atonement theology on fever the book of Hebrews and a lot of see issues with respect to salvation you see was left out of that committee we've never yet been given a good reason as to why we can come up with some reasons will talk more about Andrea some later now when the committee met farmhouse and Martin have for theological points but they had concerns with written with respect to what Seventh-day Adventists believe and here's the four points that upfront Martin and barn house told the alchemist they had serious issues with number one that the atonement of Christ was not completed upon the cross slots that's an interesting issue number chewed that salvation is the result of grades plus the works of the law or for not having this have been accused through the years of being legalists this was one of their contentions numbers three but the Lord Jesus Christ was a created being not from all eternity and it is true that some pioneers believe that Jesus was a created being number four that Jesus part check of man's sinful fallen nature at the incarnation served the dish you have salvation being the result of grace plus works a lot really wasn't as much of a problem we can share from the Bible that we didn't really believe that and that Jesus was a created being not from all eternity wheat we can show how Alan why clearly shows that Jesus had been through all eternity and not a created being I wasn't a problem and how much friends were also clear that our own works don't say this and we can show from the Bible the same concept that the issue be its own man the nature of Christ quickly became a sticking point in the discussion because the one of the issues that I haven't mentioned yet with that Martin and barn house were working on a book of various denominations and they were deciding whether or not to include Seventh-day Adventists as on as one of the denominations that would be a cult and of course for him and some of the leaders didn't want these leading evangelicals to identify the method call that these leaders released Martin and barn house were basically saying these four points if you say that Jesus had a fallen nature if you say the atonement was in session at the cross we're going to identify you as a cult so that's sort of the pressure being applied to the Adventist group of leaders now here was a fraud one for frame frame with source spearheading this work fruits and whole of Avenue 's leaders and nearly all of them believe that Jesus had a fallen human nature so no seven feminist leaders in nineteen fifty five nineteen fifty six believe that Jesus has a fallen human nature so how are you dinner so Martin barn house something else when most of your leaders believe the very thing that they believe makes you a cultic denomination efforts you between a rock and a hard place if you don't want to be identified as a couple now this raises some questions for me as we get into to some of the issues first of all why did we need to have a dialogue with Martin and barn now and it's a rhetorical question why did we need to have a meeting with them now let's think about in this context and hear me out on this point Martin M barn house came from mainline Protestant denominations and the truth of the matter is they were coming from some of the daughter churches of the mother and revelation which means that their part of battle now here's something to consider is it wrong to dialogue with Babylon not if you take the opportunity to defend your face if you're defending the faith hey maybe some bright minds and Avalon will seek the beautiful truth of the Bible and say you've got a uncommon in your full diet it doesn't seem that these representative group of anonymous leaders were trying to do that with Martin Barnhart they were just trying to take hay were on the same team here now in the Bible a very similar scenario happened with King Hezekiah leaders from Babylon come to God 's people and they say what is it that you have and Hezekiah and that is saying we have much truths of God committed to us let me show you a special message that God has given us so that you can receive salvation as well instead he's like look at all riches were part of the same team you have riches in Babylon we have riches in Jerusalem was just all get along and it seems that Martin and barn house didn't get a full picture of what Seventh-day Adventist believe they got a lot of what I believe in and actually much of what is in this for questions on doctrine is actually truth is a lot of truth in this book is not one hundred percent error that that's what makes it even more problematic really so that's one of the issues so first of all it why were we dialoguing with them it's if our motives were dialoguing with them is so that he with avoid being classified as a call if you ask me and of course I'm not a leader the seventh atmospheres this is just my opinion that all take being called a call any day over compromising God streets so that didn't seem to be the issue there was sure to concern with trim and some of the other leaders and here was the other problem Martin and barn house drew the line in the sand and said if you believe Jesus had a sinful nature if you believe the atonement is finished at the cross you're a coal why would they say and that both awful first understand the theological background that Truman and about from Martin and barn house were coming from Martin and barn house came from Protestant denominations that have asked how the mists that are the Calvinist background of course has a predestination undercounts Hewitt free will is minimize and with that background what you end up having his predestination were all born sinners without a choice some of us are safe some of us are lost and obviously Jesus would have to take an unfallen nature if we are born sinners and it's time I was finished at the cross because once Jesus died on the cross such a careless unproblematic sir that sort of the Calvinist way of thinking and the patent in this background came from an Armenian Wesleyan background which taught the concept of free will that when we are born into this world we are free agents to choose good or evil and because of that Jesus could take the same nature as us and he did and he showed us how to live an obedient life when he died on the cross he made a complete sacrifice then he goes to heaven to finish the atonement and a Seventh-day Adventist we believe that the incident that led anti- typical day of atonement began on October twenty two eighteen forty four now immediately you have a problem if you believe that the its was finished on the cross and then at the same time your teaching that were living in the anti- typical day of atonement how can the atonement he finished on the cross and we be living in the absence of eleven for making forty four the same time that's hard to match so what Graham and the other leaders were trying to do you see reach an agreement which Wayne a Calvinist mindset of predestination and everything was finished at the cross with an Arminian Wesleyan have missed background of free will it's like trying to mix oil and water that you don't go together and may be friend didn't see that but if you if you read some of the books about the history of questions on doctrine free and was really more of a historian than he was a theologian saying that he didn't know anything about theology he said that with respect to understanding the implications of cost or effort from point a to point Z other theological implication perhaps she didn't understand what was happening and other theologians in the church saw that one theologian for example read you what he said I can finally go to with FDA how maybe you know who at the vehicle was longtime editor of the review he wrote books such as the midnight cry Ellen G White and her critics answers to objections he was a defender of the faith and he knew our message cold and he said page thirteen of fork in the road by Herbert Douglas C M I'm sorry page thirty seven since this is when he said he wrote to the General conference president of the time and he said that many of us on mature consideration are unable to support the material on this back as he feared that COD trio which was fruit and read in Henderson at quote either not sense that they shed a full M4 of most distinctive doctrinal differences with the world or else unwittingly six times to the temptation the blurred efficiencies in order to find a middle ground of fellowship so here with the leading advocacy was the editor of the review and he sang you know this just isn't making any sense here and behind-the-scenes there is a summary associate editors of the review editors of the Bible commentary had access to the original manuscript because one of the editors are one of the people overseeing the book 's name with the Thurber Merwin Thurber was giving them an insight in what an what many of us don't know or perhaps is that a lot of material that would've been in COD was taken out by somebody's face the Latin assistant hey you can't do that in a book about at the start and we don't know what that doctrine was that the reached a point when trimmed again and he said that's enough what we have is what were going and so that is what we have in this book questions on doctrine now is not a waste talk about some of the backer must look at some of the theology of the book 's common interests and there were forty eight questions that were asked of this panel if you look at the inside cover it says prepared by a representative group of Seventh-day Adventist leaders Bible teachers and editors of three people on it you can decide for yourself that's representative now forty eight questions and what's going on we talked about the nature of Christ and the time and all that let's get you there ran now here's a problem right off the bat because seven tablets of isolated in the world where the remnant Church of revelation here comes members of the fallen churches of Babylon and they asked his page one eighty seven of the original edition they say it is alleged that Seventh-day Adventists teach that they alone constitute the finally completed remnant church mentioned in the book of Revelation this is their twenties eighty six is this true or two Seventh-day Adventists recognized by the remnant that was an every down nomination he remained faithful to the Scriptures and the faith once delivered under the same eleven is maintained that they alone are the only true witnesses of the living God in our age and so forth so here's the answer and this is page one eighty seven they say we believe prophecy Revelation twelve seventeen points of the experience and work of a Seventh-day Adventist church that we do not believe that we alone constitute the troll true children of God now first of all did they answer the question they say what you were part of the run the behaviors God 's children every church doesn't like a politician evading the question they're not really saying there well we only constitute the run the table yes were part of the remnant yes God has his children every church without an answer the question and admittedly if you're trying to meet reach common ground with Keith a letter part of Babylon and there sank secure the run and were not all well you so that you start to see some of the compromising mentality and that gets more interesting page one ninety if you place a Seventh-day Adventist firmly believe that God has a precious remnant a multitude of earnest sincere believers in every church not accepting the Roman Catholic communion who are living up to all the light God has given Sinatra sang at the remnant is in every church now one has to question what is the biblical definition of the run those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ now can you be a child of God and the observing Sunday yes you can if you don't know the truth of the Sabbath you can be God 's child and the observing Sunday does that make you part of the run biblically speaking no it doesn't that is why the remnant calls people out of Babylon notice I call God 's people out of that and those are God 's people but there in Babylon so that the key distinguishing point and that was not addressed in this book it was totally minimized and diminished since then the next question logically is Babylon so now notice this your thicknesses question number twenty one page one ninety seven the question is use seven patents teach or believe as a body that the members of the various Protestant denominations as well as the Catholic Greek and Russian Orthodox churches are to be identified with Babylon the symbol of apostasy and the one word answer is yes that's not to say that God doesn't have his children in most churches he does that's why we call them out at here is the answer to the question in the questions on the they say we fully recognize the heartening fact that a host of true followers of Christ are scattered all through the various churches of Christensen including the Roman Catholic communion the God clearly recognizes asses are not century God recognizes them as his people that's why he says come out of her right so these are his people that is a true statement here's the next sentence such do not form a part of the Babylon for trade in the apocalypse if that's the case why do we call the mount you see the point if God 's true people who are in the Babylonian churches are not part about one watt it we call the mouth it's so there's no need for our message if we don't need to call them out to you just destroyed the three Angels messages without argument and I go on to say that they believe the papacy as Babylon and the other churches can be valid one as well their thing while God 's faithful and Babylon aren't really part about one so these are shoots you distinctive doctrines and yet we start to talk about the nature of Christ and the time and that's important obviously that the remnant and Babylon I mean that's crucial and it's interesting at the fifty year cutie conference that happened a little every year get all the papers were about the nature of Christ and the atomic number about Bob wanted to run and there should've been some discussion about and my now double get into some of the more controversial areas the nature of Christ this again as I read as I mentioned earlier friendship the poll of seven fabulous leaders and nearly all of them believed that Jesus had a fallen human nature now let's see what room and company say about Christ in there at and ask about the nature of Christ they have a whole appendix of documents the famous having this is on page six fifty of the original edition this week check some human nature now that's their view as they want to say this is what we believe about the nature of Christ and we can study and if you want to say this is what I believe okay that remember their single your representative leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist church and Maoist leaders of the sundown the church that Jesus took a fallen human nature at that time in the church 's history that's probably not true now than it was back then now notice what they say they say that he took her sinless nature and then I have some quotes in here that are our worst coordinate quote signs of the Times June nine eighteen ninety eight work alliances we should have no misgivings and Ricardo regarded the perfect sinlessness of the human nature of Christ that makes it sound like you have us sinless human nature that the only quote that you read that she did say that she so the authors as the sinless one his nature recoiled from evil he read the rest she says so it may be with us all so they just took part of the court in now this is where things get interesting then they say she bore it to see Jesus they're talking about Jesus nature he says with respect to the weaknesses that human beings have they say he wore them in his perfect sinless nature again we remarked Mrs. page fifty nine and sixty again we remarked Christ for all this invites various just as vicariously he bore the inequities of the fall the notice with their saying here and I'm not sure that any Seventh-day Adventists even believe this today they say that Jesus was a human being vicarious but she really wasn't a human being but she came and just as he bore the sins of our the war world Mohegan Sun he bore our sins vicariously and we believe that and yet they say keyboard human nature vicariously also from the Bible doesn't cease and Helen why doesn't teach that either and then notice what they say they take a bullet for the here and they say it is in this sense that all should understand the writings of Ellen G White when she refers occasionally to sinful fallen and infuriated human nature and mentioned acorn a few things we read that Jesus took our nature he took upon himself human nature and the nature of management or simple matrix each of our fallen nature he took man's nature and its fallen condition and they say all these are forceful Trojans stayed months but surely no one would designedly attach a meaning to them which runs counter to what the same writer has given another places in her words out what is that saying no one would designedly attach a meetings event which runs counter to what the same writer writer has given another places in her words they just about themselves that is what they just did and then there sank hey you better not do what we just did to the other statements that clearly prove the worst thing is wrong what were saying is the way Helen Weitz writings on the nature of Christ should be surefooted case closed moving on now let's just read a few of those other statements to balance out the texture and to George Knight 's credit he puts the men the appendix of the annotated edition here's a few of these quotes these are element white quotes review and Herald December fifteen eighteen ninety six clad in the vestments of humanity the son of God came down to the level of those you wish to save in him was no guile or sinful him he was ever pure and undefiled yet he check upon him our sinful nature then review and heralds at three twenty nine eighty ninety six Chrysler spotless son of God honor humanity by taking upon himself fallen human nature and cheese she goes on to say he lived on this earth to show by his perfect obedience to his father 's will what humanity could become by partaking of the divine nature and use instructor December twenty nineteen hundred this is very clear I think of Christ humiliation key check upon himself fallen suffering human nature degraded and defiled by sin and yet so near yet so those are the causal balance out all the statements they say when you read those quotes don't attach a meaning to them that goes counter to what were cutting harbor and yet the majority of that missed at that time believe Jesus took a fallen nature so what happens after they published the book certain leaders publish in some of our publications not Christ of fallen human nature so that present a problem to Freeman Martin Army just frame and the other leaders of what his friend say shoe Martin she says that those you believe that Christ took the fallen human nature constitute in notices carefully while the lunatic fringe of the church so now something I missed you believe what Helen why in the Bible and all the authors of have basically written up until that time now to the lunatic fringe of Athens is and it would include Ellen why and then they say there's always a certain wild eyed Rick you're responsible in any church enough of these people are so what you see is true and start to take a bully OpenFeint this is what we believe I don't care what other people are signing under the lunatic fringe and so interesting developments in church history now what happened of course there is the other issue the other theological issue was the atonement I don't have time to get on all the details the basically what happened was Agnes believed that China was made on the cross but it will be finished in the most holy place just at the stage where he teaches the emphasis of COD shifted it to the cross and not nearly as much was said about the second number the most holy place of ministry were familiar with Ellen Weiss baby and great controversy page four eighty nine were she says the intercession of Christ in man's behalf is as essential to the plan of salvation as was his death upon the cross so she's not saying that the cross was not essential she was she sang it crucial for what Christ does in the heavenly century is as essential and that was not brought clearly and questions on doctrine it was shifted to the cross and in so these were some very concerning how to fix the way to run the message was done down the way the cost of the battle and was then dumb down the way the nature of Christ and George and I even admits in his book that room was this on and how he presented the nature of Christ and then gets home that was shifted from an shoe phase atomic to the cross and so obviously that created a concern among some circles now what's interesting is Arthur why the great great grandson of Ellen White and some of the leaders of the review and Herald and so forth thought thank you ready while it would be polished to appease these evangelicals and it wouldn't really take off and people see everyone it was what happened was as soon as it was published ministry magazine course for and have considerable infants with this magazine trumpets COD as the physician of a doctrine for the Seventh-day Adventist church the book is published at a very cheap cost distributed to all the ministers of the church and its identified as art physician .com theology and he gets trumpeted as a key book on theology and subsisting a quiet little book to give them more number on houses they had these interests and answers your questions their thing now this is what some fans believe and so all of a sudden the people just in the background for what we won't say anything and we don't want to create a ruckus now they're realizing if we should've said something and that that's a lesson to us don't stand in the background we see something wrong just a seamen and go away quietly don't be afraid to stand up for the truth and God calls us to do so now one person did standup his name was in the Landry as soon as we know he wrote letters to the churches and in letters to the churches he can get an amazing library though much writings and yet that her writings index at that time before the CD-ROM he has an index as well as anybody and he addresses the concept of the lunatic fringe he also brings out several quotes from Helen what about the nature of Christ shine how the position in COD is wrong he has quotes about the atonement and on obviously church leaders didn't like him sort of exposing their work now room didn't mean excusing Andreasen didn't back now and CD-ROM you do have a fairly combative attitude I can hardly blame them though because the church was having its foundations undermine so what are the church did Andreasen they removed his credentials is a retired minister former president of Union College conference president New York that they were tired of you saying what you're sensitive you leisure ministerial credentials the firm had to get to the government to get Social Security to pay for his retirement because the church wasn't paying for his his retirement unfortunately our art is suicidally the conference president reconciled with Andreasen shortly before he died he has credentials back on after he died and his wife was supported by the church after that's the church did make that without mistakes it that that's an interesting issue that happened now I want to read one other thing and this is so it is true the Andreasen suffered for the defending the truth now there were some other people that have problems with security there was an attorney by the name of Al Hudson and Oregon to try to draft a resolution to be brought before the nineteen fifty eight General conference in Cleveland Ohio that would stay this about COD number one it contains specimens of scholastic and intellectual dishonesty member Chia contains duplicity number three it is an adequate number four contains error number five it is Satan 's masterpiece of strategy to defeat the purpose of God for the seven thousand searches and had Herbert Douglas is the fork in the road page seventy nine now that never was brought up to the General conference but this attorney out of Hudson spoke on the phone to Donald barn house this is what Donald barn house said about them then this is the person that happens for trying to appease notice from barn houses on saying is that that administer Christians I still think their doctrines are about the screws screw we estimate any group of Christians in the world I believe this beyond any question in fact the document the investigative judgment is the most blatant face-saving proposition that ever existed to cover up the debacle of the failure of Christ come in eighteen forty four they said that he says on Ellen why she was just a human being in the first place now I recognized her innocence white very frequently read some very spiritual things McDonnell and my never spoke through a one and then he says regarding Christ's human nature this is what Barnhill said they are taking the position are they not the crisis of this is the question they are taking the position are they not the Christ of the nature of Adam before he sent isn't that true noticeable barn house says I hope not Adam was a created being subject to fall Jesus Christ is the God man not subject the fall hasn't answered and that your understanding of the position of our leaders barn house of course they are taken it's a strongly and it is their back cutie you see if you do not believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal symbol son of God that he could not assent and we had eighteen quotations for Mrs. White saying the same thing and denying what you're telling some farmhouse and Martin basically thought that Q do you think Jesus could not sentence and so there's a lot of problems with questions on doctrine is you can see Morgan a study next week is the fruits of questions on doctrine the natural fruits of questions on doctrine were developed in the theology of Desmond Ford you want to know how that's the case come next week and we'll talk about that so energy can be zero the audio respect fortunes undocking has a significant impact temperatures but it's a reminder test we need to stand up for the truth and if we do not want to thank you


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