Jerry Gladson on the Battle Between Text and Tradition

Professor Gladson admits in this interview that he rejects SDA teaching. How is it that folks are claiming that he was unjustly removed? What is the basis for him to continue training SDA ministers when he rejects the basic “fundamental” teachings of the church.

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I doubt that he was rejecting SDA teaching at the time; he was likely an excellent teacher trying to get his students to think and “not merely reflect other men’s thoughts.” But when one chooses another religious culture, they are going to accept its teachings, if only because of the changed environment and evolving influence by peers (much like in scientism). That doesn’t mean he gave up the Christian faith, just an interpretation of it. I am puzzled about his reference to the “great controversy motif.” If one doesn’t see a battle between good and evil going on, they are from another planet!

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If you read Glasdon’s own statements it is clear he has strong doubts about key teachings of the SDA church. He probably hoped to remain within the organization to drive change on these issues in his direction, but the church also has the right to reject his views as well. Unfortunately, termination is a consequence of that rejection if one is in the position of teacher or professor.

Many teachers, professors and pastors have these doubts, (or out and out rejection of) some of these teachings, as well. But “mum” is the word. Sometimes after retirement, courage is found to voice concerns and Biblical objections…sometimes.

I don’t know how people manage to live with such dissonance, especially where spiritual things are concerned. But, they do.


(Sp. Freeze) It was W.D. Bill Frazee (1906-1996) who founded Wildwood

I think they can (as I try to do) by admitting that none of us have or know all the religious truth. We might admit that we may be wrong and leave it at that. We don’t how, when, or why God created the earth, or proof that He did. We may like to debate opinions (it can be fun) and feel we are being more logical. All we have to direct us is an ancient book written over thousands of years that teaches love and values . We can accept it as a reference/guide or beyond that to an inspiring, mystical history, and hopeful reality. I choose the latter without forgetting the former. But real faith leads us to say in honesty “I don’t know!” I am still trying to understand why the obsession over “the sanctuary” and why it matters.


I read Dr. Gladson’s book “Out of Adventism” as I was searching for answers to my own personal dilemma within Adventism. The Adventism machinery appears not to be about love or truth but about its own survival and personal agenda at all cost; even if it means destroying your career! I experienced the same after nearly 20 years of conference work! Freedom of thought or ideas is not tolerated. You cannot trust anyone to confide in for later on in meetings you discover you were betrayed.

Reading the book, my conclusion was that difference of how to interpret the Bible was a big player in the conflict with Dr. Jerry and the leadership. While I too am not sold on the Historical Critical method of interpretation I respect those who take that approach. Dr. Gladson in my opinion was sorely mistreated and highly disrespected due to this difference of approach to scripture. He should have been allowed to respectfully place his understanding on the table and then analyzed his conclusion with others respectfully. Then, in love both sides should have accepted the differences of understanding and sought out a way to conquer and not divide! To build up and not tear down!

Like Dr. Gladson I too sit unemployed due to the fact that once you have a difference of approach or opinion in ministry to those on top, they work together, scheme, and connive to ruin you, your family and career without regard that you are a human being. Like Gladson, I too am looking for a new church. His book helped me to see there is light at the end of the tunnel. Adventism today runs much like the Catholic Church in that it does not allow for individual thought or reason. The local churches have no real voice. You are silenced and are at the unmerciful hands of leadership! They desire your tithe, offering and time, while they attempt to shame you to cooperate with their organizational desires in a manner that refuses your honest response and input.