How Healthy is Adventist Hermeneutics? Re-discovering the Biblical Complexity (1)

(Steve Mga) #241

Matthew Fox, “Original Blessing”, “Creation Spirituality”.


You realize that being a part of a Protestant denomination like SDA is a criticism of RCC by default, right?

Likewise, criticism and disagreement doesn’t have to devolve to rejection of everything “tainted”. Most of the criticism that I see here is about canonized preferences rather than about core beliefs or even the importance of certain concepts in life of the SDA believer. For example, some of us do find that Sabbath is an important concept, even though we believe that placing it as the centerpiece of eschatology is problematic.

Likewise, some of us do think that health concept is important in context of diet, but we likewise recognize that one can’t perscribe the same diet for all ranges of activity and geolocation.

The same goes for certain cultural settings and beliefs which we may be approaching with attempt to enforce our preferences, which have little to do with Biblical morality (for example, see recent coments of the president on “Biblical standards for music”).

Hence, it’s very difficult to criticize RCC when we engage in similar absurdity in our own churches when it comes to tradition vs Bible.

(Frankmer7) #243

You’re assuming his writings reflect Catholic doctrine. Meanwhile, much of what he writes has little to do with doctrine in this sense, per se. You’re also assuming that no one can critically evaluate and discern what is worth keeping and what is worth ignoring.

Two questions: Have you ever read any of what Richard Rohr has written, and are making a first hand observation? Or, are you just reacting to the Catholic label and assume that it is all false and of the devil?

Another question: Are you possibly not allowing for the ability to discern what to accept from writers from other denominational traditions because we aren’t given that option with EGW and within Adventism?

Adventism doesn’t make any room for rejecting any of what she wrote. Neither did she. This is totally black and white, all or nothing thinking. It allows for no critical thought, reflection, discernment, or growth.

From that thought paradigm, no wonder why we are suspicious of any writers outside the denomination. We aren’t trained to think and evaluate critically. We have to swallow EGW and denominational positions whole, or we aren’t faithful Adventists. We take this into our evaluation of anything outside our walls. It’s all or nothing, no room for anything in between. In keeping with this dwarfed thinking and viewpoint, we have a world leader who even discourages engaging with any thought or literature outside of approved Adventist sources…namely EGW and those who he thinks are in total agreement with her.

It is unfortunate, because there is a rich world of theological thought out there from many Christian faith traditions, that in many ways leaves what I’ve encountered within Adventism in the dust. Once again, many of us here engage with it critically, not in an all or nothing fashion. As we have done with EGW.




Overall a good reply, Frank. Although had to flinch at this quote. Wish you had stated, “Some have been let…” instead of implying “all of us”. :grin:

I suspect many readers recognize and enjoy EGW as a brilliant eclectic and marvel at her ability to pick and choose the best nuggets from among the brilliant minds of her day… and from her library resources. :grin:

Yes, self-imposed labels have kept many away from interesting thoughts and ideas. Maybe such readers never attended World Literature 101. As for Fr. Richard Rohr, his upcoming (March 2019) “The Universal Christ” promises to "show Jesus Christ can be seen as a tangible portrait of exactly how God works. “The whole of creation is the beloved community—the child of God—not just Jesus,” he writes. “In a world where religion too often divides, Rohr’s understanding of the Incarnation changes not just the significance of Christmas, but how we read history, relate to nature and each other, and find our highest purpose each day.” Sounds like a worthy read… we shall see!


The reason I spoke of double standards is because people here keep criticizing EGW and the SDA church at every corner. But when they read material from other authors or some other denominations, I don’t hear them criticizing these authors or their denominations. Of course, they will say that they don’t agree 100% with these authors or denominations and take only what is good, which is the right thing to do. But then… what about EGW? Is there nothing good in her writings? And what about the SDA church? Everything is bad?

Re-read your comments, people, and you will see that practically nothing uplifting is said concerning EGW’s writings or the SDA church.

This is why I said that there is a double standard.

(George Tichy) #246



(It applies even to those who don’t like my opinions, and the “millennials” as well… :laughing: )

(Kim Green) #247

I don’t have to “reread” my comments…or others. I can only speak for myself.

If you are looking for a side by side balance sheet of commentary- no, you won’t find it here. If you would have asked me what I found favorable about EGW- I could have given that to you. Feel free to post “positive” EGW statements, no one will stop you. The ability that you have to do so negates your claims of “double standards”.

(Kim Green) #248

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours, George…and all of the commenters on Spectrum!


The fact that I can post positive statements doesn’t change the fact that the people who are very critical of EGW or the SDA church here use double standards.

Using double standards may be an indication of a bias or a blind spot. It is always a good thing to question oneself above all when one is asking the church leaders to do precisely that.


Merry Christmas to you all!!!

God bless!

(Kim Green) #251

We all have “bias”…including those of you who cannot say anything critical about the SDA church or EGW. Which, of course, shows an extreme amount of “bias”.

We are not asking the church leadership to do anything that cannot be done (or undone) that we ourselves would not do if we had the chance to do (no double standard).

Merry Christmas! :grinning:


I hope so…

Merry Christmas…

(Frankmer7) #253

Hope you all have had a Merry Christmas!



(reliquum) #254

…as a first, second, third grade ESOL child, I had read all of Lewis’ common works on my own. To learn to read, yes-and I received so much, immeasurably more.

One wonders how many Jimmy-like SDA heads would explode if they accepted that Ellen read-and used-the thoughts (if not the exact) of these writers?

(Steve Mga) #255

Paradise Lost was one of her HUGE favorites.

(Kade Wilkinson) #256

Yes. Although I would capitalize the O.

(Spectrumbot) #257

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