Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, Theological Studies PhD

First Advisor

Peter van Bemmelen

Second Advisor

John T. Baldwin

Third Advisor

Denis Fortin

Abstract

Abstract. Since Seventh-day Adventist eschatology is often perceived as seriously deviating from other Evangelical eschatological views, it would be desirable and fitting to discover whether significant agreement or disagreement exists between Evangelical eschatological views in regard to the Kingdom of God. The purpose of this study was to make an analytical comparison of the concept of the Kingdom of God in the writings of two representative Evangelical voices, George Eldon Ladd, a well-known Baptist theologian, and Ellen G. White, a significant Adventist writer, in order to understand the similarities and differences that exist between the concepts of the Kingdom of God in these two traditions and to provide useful theological insights for framing a systematic theology of the Kingdom of God that would be of interest to both the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the wider Evangelical community.

For this study, inductive, analytical, and comparative methods are used. After the introduction (chapter 1), chapter 2 covers thehistorical background of both writers, focusing on their biographical sketches and the theologians and theological traditions that influenced them. Chapters 3 and 4 deal with their concepts of the Kingdom of God. Finally, chapter 5 provides an analytical comparison of both writers‘ concepts on the Kingdom of God and conclusions with recommendations for further study.

Three major conclusions have been reached in this study. First, one of the major reasons for Ladd‘s and White‘s theological similarities is that they accept the Bible as the only authoritative interpreter, using a historical-biblical method, and rejecting non-biblical philosophical presuppositions about the nature of God, history and revelation. Second, one major reason for their theological differences is that they use different approaches to interpret the Bible. Their concepts of the Kingdom of God have been heavily influenced by their uses of biblical sources from which they collect the data for the subject. White interprets the Bible within the great controversy theme, with comprehensive uses of both the Old and New Testaments focused on the restoration of God‘s sovereignty through revealing both His love and justice before His subjects in the universe. Ladd accesses the Scriptures with apredominant emphasis on the New Testament, his special field of study. Finally, the fact that there are differences intheir views of the Kingdom of God indicates White‘s unique position in the concept of the Kingdom of God and thedifficulty of a precise classification of that position. This study also shows that White‘s understanding could provide better alternatives to Ladd‘s theological approach in spite of the weak points in her systematization.

Subject Area

Kingdom of God-- Comparative studies, Ladd, George Eldon, 1911-1982 -- Views on the Kingdom of God, White, Ellen Gould Harmon, 1827-1915 -- Views on the Kingdom of God

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