How Healthy is Adventist Hermeneutics? The Hypertrophy of the Interpreting Church (5)

Hi Steve,

Irrespective of which position one holds, it appears no one has identified or applied the clay symbols of Dan. 2:41 and 43, the “potter’s clay”, the “miry clay” or the “iron mixed with miry clay.” As it is the miry clay that unites with the iron, it is logical the kingdom power or powers represented by the symbol of “miry clay”, is not the same kingdom power or powers represented by the potters clay.

The point is not whether iron and clay represents strength and weakness or political and religious kingdoms, (both can apply) the point is what does the potter’s clay and the miry clay represent ? i.e. what types of kingdoms are represented by the symbol of iron mixed with miry clay, who unite and annul their marriages?

That’s precisely my point. It doesn’t take a genius to recognize problems; the genius is in coming up with solutions. The fact is that you can survey the entirety of Christian theology and what you will find is a limited number of viable solutions, all of which have their problems. It’s easy to magnify the problems of other people’s views when you don’t have to account for your own.

If we magnify the hermeneutical difficulties with Scripture to the point that it can no longer be trusted to provide sufficient data to develop a coherent theology (philosophy/worldview) on, then we are forced to obtain that data elsewhere. In most cases, however, the hermeneutical difficulties are even greater with those other sources (ex. tradition, experience, philosophy, science, church, holy spirit, etc. etc.).

I would say that neither of those options applies to Adventists. They most likely represent Fundamentalists on the one hand and Liberals on the other; a false dichotomy as far as Adventism goes.

I guess the previous comment didn’t post as a reply.

Date Setting, as the term is normally used, refers to setting a date for the return of Christ. That’s not what we are talking about here. We are trying to understand what God has revealed about the world and His Kingdom. Christ referred to Daniel in the Gospels (he who reads let him understand) and I think it behooves any serious student (disciple) of Christ to understand what Daniel wrote.

We might have to agree to disagree, but from my perspective the majority of Adventists are content with our hermeneutics, they are content with our list of proof texts, the Sabbath school quarterlies confirm what they believe and so they don’t feel a need to study more. So I think it is essential to point out the problem in a way that gets people feeling uncomfortable, otherwise nothing will change.



We never hear Adventists disagree with that sentiment–in so many words. However, the practice is overwhelmingly the reverse.

As I recall, she first copied William Miller’s statement that the RCC was “established” in 538 and “abolished” in 1798–neither of which was true, as you say. When it sank in that the RCC church hadn’t disappeared at all, the healing of the beast provided what John Kellogg called a “crawl out hole”. (Never mind that the timing was all wrong.)

Reminds me of the shut door of probation that she affirmed early on. She “solved” the problem by saying that Jesus had shut the door that no one could open, and opened another door that no one could shut…as if that makes any sense.


Reading these comments, how I long for the day when people engaged in conversation to share insights and seek understanding. Polemics has taken over public civility, a reflection of the ordinary Adventist mind. Lets take away the labelling and retort-mongering like petty children. Its time to grow up and be adults.

Jordan R –
Spectrum Magazine is NOT school or academic lecturing ONLY.
One might call it “After School Day Discussions” among class mates
over a hamburger and milkshake.
There IS a lot of learning that is shared. Shared thinking in the Malt
There ARE a huge number of Academics who post on Spectrum and DO
give their Academic, long years of Research and Thinking in posts.
As Proverbs says, “Iron sharpens Iron”, both creating “sharp minds.”

Feel free to join us all in the Malt Shop and feel free to offer any comments
[whether you believe they are positive or negative]. All are welcome as long
as ALL take issue with the ideas expressed and NOT the persons who express


Harry, the two witnesses are the key. It’s the little horn of Daniel 7 that kills them. The idea is too revolutionary for me to post it on spectrum.

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“EMPIRE” whether Secular Empire or Religious Empire is always against
the Tenants of God’s Kingdom.
This has been true ever since the Tower of Babel.
God takes away the curtain on Both Empires in Daniel and Revelation.
The two horned land beast of Rev 13, over time, develops “Empire Mentality”.

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Good observation Steve!

A church that develops empire characteristics,
I read that as “institutionalism”

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Timo –
NO! I meant “Empire Mentality”.
not the same as ‘institutionalism’ although that may be one facet of
We had “Religious Empire Mentality” under Constantine and after. Even
though it began as “institutionalism”.

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Thats my general gist Steve-it begins the slippery slope from an internal personal spirituality into an externally forced poseur.

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Meant to respond to this sooner but got sidetracked.

You need to decide whether you’re going to evaluate Adventism based on the Sabbath School quarterly, which is written at a very basic level, or based on expositions written at the scholarly level. This author’s work actually helps Adventism more than it hurts us because it discredits many of the fundamentalist attacks on Adventism found in articles right here on Spectrum.

The church is actually worshipping Ellen White. Was it not Ellen White who placed her seal of endorsement on all of Adventist doctrines and teachings? If our expositions of the Scripture are not all correct, she has to take the greater share of blame. She had realized towards the end of her ministry that there could be some mistakes in our teachings. Let me specify it in her own words: “…if the pillars of our faith will not stand the test of investigation, it is time that we knew it” (Councils to Writers and Editors, pp. 43-45, 1946).
An example of Ellen white’s hermeneutics. But let us first hear what she said about the use of scripture to suit ones opinions: “In order to sustain erroneous doctrines or unchristian practices, some will seize upon passages of Scripture separated from the context, perhaps quoting half of a single verse as proving their point, when the remaining portion would show the meaning to be quite the opposite” (GC, p. 521). The bible verse used by her: “Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left ” – Isaiah 24:6. (Emphasis added). Now note how she had left out “and few men left” in order to sustain her point - the desolation of the earth during the millennium: “Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned” – Isaiah 24:6 (GC, p. 657). This was how Ellen white sometimes interpreted the Scriptures while condemning others of the same. (This is just an edition to what i had already commented).

I could answer that ABEN but I would then be accused of mental gymnastics. Suffice it to say that the millennium is behind us. We’ve all been left behind ( whether you believe it or not). The destruction of Babylon at Armageddon is right before us.

EGW said the SDAC is not a part of Babylon. Surprise surprise, she got that one wrong too! The only thing left is for Babylon to fill up the measure of her guilt and that is happening right now as we speak!


If you have answers, why not speak out for the benefit of others? I would appreciate if you could make yourself clear on your statements - Millennium is behind us; We’ve been left behind?

The millennium is in the past

The resurrection of the dead and the translation of the living saints has already occurred. We are the ancestors of those who were left behind.

The full extent of what I have to say will be written in a book. To post it all on spectrum wouldn’t give it any justice and I don’t think Spectrum would appreciate it anyway.


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