Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, Theological Studies PhD

First Advisor

Hans K. LaRondelle

Second Advisor

Kenneth A. Strand

Third Advisor

Robert M. Johnston

Abstract

The topic. The Adventist doctrine of judgment is part of a larger salvation-historical perspective that in Adventist theology is termed the Sanctuary Doctrine. This doctrine depicts the post-ascension soteriological work of Christ as reaching its consummation in the judgment and the parousia. Critics of the Adventist doctrine of judgment consider it perplexing and even incompatible with the basic principles undergirding the classical Protestant doctrine on forensic justification, understood as a present, complete reception and possession of salvation both existentially and forensically.

The purpose. This study aimed at investigating to what degree theclassical Protestant principles of grace alone, Christ alone, and faith alone are shared by the Seventh-day Adventist soteriology, as presented by Ellen G. White, with regard to the doctrines of justification and judgment. The design of the study includes four major sections. Chapter 1 presents the basic principles of Lutheran soteriology as reflected in The Formula of Concord as a basis for comparison with Adventist soteriology. Chapter 2 analyzes the unique features of the Adventist Sanctuary Doctrine with special focus on the place and meaning of Christ's post-ascension mediatorial work in relationship to the present-existential and eschatological-judicial dimensions in Adventist soteriology. Chapter 3 provides an analysis of the loci of the themes of faith, sanctification, and works in relationship to the Adventist perception of justification and judgment. Chapter 4 systematizes the constituent elements of Ellen G. White's soteriology and summarizes its basic principles as compared with the Lutheran tradition.

Conclusions. The Adventist perception of the post-ascension mediatorial work of Christ, which reaches its consummation in the judgment, is in this study identified as the unique christological dimension by which Adventist soteriology may be viewed from either a present-existential or an eschatological-judicial perspective without contradiction. Justification, understood as a complete, present, existential reception and possession of salvation, may in this christological context be interpreted as mediated eschatology. Finally, this study concludes that the Lutheran-Protestant principles of grace alone, Christ alone, and faith alone are in all their essentials fully shared by the Seventh-day Adventist tradition as presented by Ellen G. White.

Subject Area

Salvation--Comparative studies, Sanctuary doctrine (Seventh-day Adventists), Lutheran Church--Doctrines, White, Ellen Gould Harmon, 1827-1915--Views on salvation

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