Date of Award

1980

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Theology

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Theology, ThD

First Advisor

Raoul F. Dederen

Second Advisor

Fritz Guy

Third Advisor

C. Mervyn Maxwell

Abstract

This investigation studies the Adventist theology of the sanctuary as it found expression in the writings of Uriah Smith (1832-1903), Albion Fox Ballenger (1861-1921), and Milian Lauritz Andreasen (1876-1962).

Not only does the selection of these three figures make it possible to deal with the subject of the sanctuary, but it also provides a good opportunity to observe certain important developments in the understanding of the sanctuary doctrine within the Adventist church, because of the strategic place each figure occupied in Adventism, historically and theologically. The study attempts not only to describe the sanctuary theology of the three figures, but also to provide interpretation and evaluation informed by the particular theological outlook of the respective figures.

Chapter I points out that Smith, though he appreciated the doctrine of the sanctuary for its own sake, nevertheless used it to support and defend what to him were even more fundamental theological concerns. Three such concerns are identified: (1) the salvation-historical significance of 1844, (2) the perpetuity of the decalogue and the Sabbath, and (3) the imminence of the parousia. The perception of such underlying concerns contributes to a better grasp of Smith's approach to the doctrine. It also aids in the identification of certain theological weaknesses.

Chapter II shows that what motivated Ballenger was a basic concern for righteousness by faith and Christian assurance, undergirded by a strong evangelist orientation. It was this concern which led him to a radical revision of the historical Adventist understanding of the doctrine of the sanctuary. This reinterpretation provides positive insights into the doctrine, but also proves unsound in some of its basic assumptions and conclusions.

Chapter III makes clear that in those aspects of the doctrine which he emphasized, Andreasen, too, was motivated by an overriding theological concern--a concern for the sinless perfection of an eschatological Remnant. Emphasizing a three-phase process of atonement, he suggested that it was the third phase occurring in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary which effected the perfecting of the saints.

Andreasen's position, though basically traditional, shows several departures from Uriah Smith, mostly on non-major points. At the same time, Andreasen echoes Ballenger at many points. But while it would be possible to combine the views of Smith and Andreasen into a coherent Adventist theology of the sanctuary, the position of Ballenger represents too radical a departure to be included in such a merger.

The dissertation concludes that, bearing in mind the passage of time and a changed cultural setting, a contemporary Adventist approach to the doctrine of the sanctuary might benefit from some modifications in terms of method, language, and content. In addition, some of the major facets of the doctrine (for example the investigative judgment, the relationship of the cross to the antitypical day of atonement) may need to be expressed with greater theological precision. Moreover, Adventism may need to develop a greater degree of theological confidence in its approach to the subject so as to assure a climate conducive to new approaches, as well as a serious, critical appraisal of problems still outstanding.

Subject Area

Sanctuary doctrine (Seventh-day Adventists)

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