Book Review: The Biblical Flood: Context and History of Adventist Understanding

Editor's Note: This book review appears in the latest issue of Spectrum (volume 49, issue 2). 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Thank you Larry for this very informative review.

I would order the book, except that my salvation has never depended
on the flood narrative ( was it global? what was its date?) so I am never preoccupied by it.

Your most pertinent comment:
“By 1900 the distinctive Adventist views on the flood, had been clearly established by Ellen White, not educated in, or even familiar with the geological science of her day “. In fact, say the authors, “ the prevalent attitude to science seems to have been one of disdain “.

Regrettably, many in Adventism continue to have faith in this purported “ prophet” with a third grade education, whose many comments and observations have been proven to be absurdly false.

Time for Adventism to return to SOLA SCRIPTURA.


Were they ever sola scriptura? If so, when?

Not trying to be mean, but I just don’t think that was ever the case.


i agree: adventism has never been about sola scriptura, since it isn’t a biblical phrase or concept…some argue that the gift of prophecy is provided for in the bible - and required by the bible for a church to be true - and so in this sense, it’s use is biblical…

Of course you are talking about EGW and the SDA church. I guess you are in the one true church, unless you know of any others, past or present, that would qualify.

my experience has been very different from yours…i left the church as a young person, without bitterness or regrets…i’ve since returned, knowing fully what i believe, and why…returning to adventism has been my best decision ever, next to studying the bible and egw comprehensively for myself…

as for adventism being the one true church, i would say in theory this is true…but as you may know, egw teaches that more than 95% of the adventist church is lost…this tells as that church membership only goes so far…

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Even if one could muster fairly compelling evidence for a world-wide flood catastrophe in “recent” history, you are still worlds away from the biblical account of God’s role, Noah’s role, animals in the ark, and so on. Chasing historical evidence for religious and theological “meanings” this way can give a boost to many, but trust me, is far from convincing to those suspicious of the validity of any “miraculous” claims in prehistory.

Yes, our experiences are very different regarding EGW and Adventism.

But, there is not any connection between “the spirit of prophecy” and a “church” in scripture. I haven’t found it anyway.

I am impressed with the anthropological evidence. The numerous flood myths from many regions in the world suggest to me that something happened, notwithstanding that Talk Origins is a goofy website.

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