Project Documents

Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Jerry Moon

Second Advisor

Richard Davidson

Third Advisor

Peter van Bemmelen

Abstract

Problem

A new view of the atonement threatened to divide some local congregations of Seventh-day Adventists. Referred to in this study as the "trust-healing model" of atonement, the new paradigm proposed by A. Graham Maxwell was developed from a wide reading of Scripture and claimed additional support from the "great controversy" motif in the writings of Ellen G. White. However, because it seemed to call in question certain aspects of the long-accepted substitutionary model of the atonement, the new paradigm became a point of conflict.

Method

This dissertation seeks to clarify the issues by comparing the trust-healing model of atonement with the substitution model of atonement, and evaluating both models on the basis of Scripture and the writings of Ellen G. White. Incorporating the sound concepts from both models, a cosmic-conflict model/paradigm was developed. From this cosmic-conflict paradigm seven atonement-related doctrinal concepts were presented in Bible study form. They were field tested on two groups of individuals and evaluated as to their effectiveness in helping individuals separate the truth about God from common misconceptions of God's character.

Results

The seven Bible studies did assist the participants in the process of identifying and filtering out Satan's misrepresentations. Understanding God increased confidence in and trust in God.

Conclusions

Subject Area

Atonement; Salvation; Trust in God

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