QOD conference bulletin two


(system) #1

By Richard Rice

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I got to the Seminary Chapel last evening right on time for the first meeting of the QOD conference and discovered I was late. Every pew on the main floor was filled, and I was lucky to find a seat in the small balcony. The meeting began on a decidedly religious tone, with congregational singing “I Would Be Like Jesus,” prayer and a beautiful soprano solo for special music. Jerry Moon introduced the conference and laid down some ground rules for the proceedings. There is to be no cheering (it only escalates), all questions will be submitted in writing (no speeches from the floor, obviously), and we should not expect to agree on everything. Instead, the planners want an honest exchange of views that remains cordial throughout. After brief welcoming comments from representatives of two of the sponsoring institutions for the conference, Denis Fortin, Dean of Andrews University Seminary, and Jon Paulien, Dean of Loma Linda University’s School of Religion—Mervyn Warren of Oakwood was delayed in leaving Huntsville—George Knight gave the first keynote address.

George Knight is well know to SDAs. Now retired from teaching at the Seminary after thirty years, he is the author of thirty books, with three more in production, and he has guided many doctoral dissertations dealing with SDA history. His presentation, entitled “Questions on Doctrine: symbol of Adventist Theological Tension,” gave a clear and helpful account of the background of the book. Among the major points he made was the fact that the book paradoxically held firm on many points of distinctive SDA beliefs, such as the heavenly sanctuary and the mark of the beast, and finessed the issue of the atonement—arguing that it included references to both Christ’s sacrificial death and his ministry in the heavenly sanctuary (not just the latter). It broke new ground in asserting the sinless nature of Christ’s humanity. Knight showed that this was a clear departure from the view that prevailed among Adventists through the years, in spite of later assertions to the contrary by church leaders. He also detailed the bitter conflict between M L Andreasen (pictured) and the church administrators responsible for QOD. It led to his forced retirement and the eventual lifting of his credentials. There was, however, a touching account of his deathbed reconciliation with the G C President and another church leader. \u003c/span\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;min-height:14px\"\>\u003cbr\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;min-height:14px\"\>\u003cbr\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;min-height:14px\"\>\u003cbr\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px\"\>Knight’s presentation ended with a moving account of his own experience. “My life has been dominated,” he said, “by the events surrounding the QOD controversy.” He entered the church through the ministry of Ralph Larson, worked hard to achieve the endtime perfection which Andreasen called for, left the church for six for years, disillusioned with religion generally, and finally returned with a new vision of what Christ meant to him. He moved away from Andreasen’s theology, convinced that biblical perfection is not sinlessness, but mature Christian love.\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;min-height:14px\"\>\u003cbr\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;min-height:14px\"\>\u003cbr\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;min-height:14px\"\>\u003cbr\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px\"\>Well, the sun is finally up—that means it’s after eight a.m. in western Michigan—and I’m looking at a good ten hours of meetings today. More later. \u003cspan\> \u003c/span\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;min-height:14px\"\>\u003cbr\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;min-height:14px\"\>\u003cbr\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px\"\>______________________________\u003cWBR\>__\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px;min-height:14px\"\>\u003cbr\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv style\u003d\"margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:0px;margin-left:0px\"\>",1] );

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Knight’s presentation ended with a moving account of his own experience. “My life has been dominated,” he said, “by the events surrounding the QOD controversy.” He entered the church through the ministry of Ralph Larson, worked hard to achieve the endtime perfection which Andreasen called for, left the church for six for years, disillusioned with religion generally, and finally returned with a new vision of what Christ meant to him. He moved away from Andreasen’s theology, convinced that biblical perfection is not sinlessness, but mature Christian love.

Well, the sun is finally up—that means it’s after eight a.m. in western Michigan—and I’m looking at a good ten hours of meetings today. More later.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4071