Bloggin' the 28: In Medias Res, the Preamble

(system) #1

Leaving no doctrinal gem unturned in our summer Bloggin' the 28 project, Loma Linda University professor and blogger, Julius Nam, glosses the famous preamble to the Fundamental Beliefs.

He presents truth: This preamble—in what it says and does not say—is pregnant with the potential to lead Adventism further into becoming an incredibly open, dynamic, diverse yet mutually engaged community. The genius of this statement is that it makes the bold claim that there is no creed but the Bible, yet it does not tell you how you should read it—and then it prevents the 28 from encroaching upon the absolute place of Scripture by relativizing those statements and making them vulnerable to changes. Thus, to be an Adventist, you only need to accord Scripture a creedal place in your belief system—and then commit to engaging with the rest of the community in seeking a fuller meaning and application of Scripture. Your Adventism is not to be judged by the 28 (which are descriptive statements of the dominant, consensus views, but not normative), by any statement made by a traditional authority (such as Ellen White, Joseph Bates, or Uriah Smith), or by positions propounded by representatives of any administrative structures or major church institutions (such as Andrews Seminary, Biblical Research Institute, or Loma Linda University). This may seem like an unrealistic expectation, but it’s the very vision that is implicit in the preamble. It is a statement of hope for a community that is patient and kind with each other because no one has the final word on the truth.Read the whole essay and join the already active commentators here.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at