Date of Award

1985

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Theology

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Theology, ThD

First Advisor

Hans K. LaRondelle

Second Advisor

Robert M. Johnston

Third Advisor

Kenneth A. Strand

Abstract

This research studies the relationship between faith and works as the grounds of the last judgment in the thought of Ellen G. White.

Chapter I forms the introduction to this research.

Chapter II sketches the historical and theological milieu of the Adventist movement in nineteenth-century North America as the background for the formation of Ellen White's concept of the last judgment. As one of the ardent followers of William Miller, Ellen White had been influenced considerably by Millerite leaders in the formation of her eschatological foundation. Many of her own positions related to the judgment scene, such as the Day of Atonement theme, the pre-Advent investigative judgment, and the end-time warning message of Rev 14. These came to her as a result of her diligent Bible study and that of other Adventist pioneers. Later she received visions--which Adventists believe to be God-inspired--that confirmed her positions.

Chapter III shows the various aspects of the last judgment as expressed in White's writings. Her concept of the last judgment has been analyzed both thematically and chronologically emphasizing her unique contribution to Adventist society. In contrast with her contemporary Protestant theologians, Ellen White viewed the last judgment of God in three distinctive phases: (1) pre-Advent investigative judgment; (2) millennial consultative judgment; and (3) postmillennial executive judgment.

Chapter IV discusses White's views on the soteriological and eschatological aspects of the last judgment. She consistently acknowledged faith as the indispensable factor in the sinner's experience of justification before God. Nevertheless, she did not deny the importance of works in determining man's eternal destiny of either salvation or destruction.

Chapter V summarizes chapters II, III and IV, cites some conclusions as to Ellen White's position on the relationship of faith and works in the last judgment. White advocated righteousness by faith (apart from works) but admitted that the last judgment would be on the basis of works, since at that time man would be judged according to his works which are the fruit evidencing either faith or non-faith.

Subject Area

Judgment Day, White, Ellen Gould Harmon, 1827-1915

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