Monthly book reviews by various authors.

The Reformation and the Advent Movement

W. L. Emmerson, Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1983, 214 pages, $9.95. Reviewed by Patrick Boyle, stewardship director, South England Conference, Watford, Hertfordshire, England.

Erhmerson's thesis that the "roots" of the Seventh-day Adventist Church lie in the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century is one with which few Adventists would disagree- In essence this is the view held by Ellen White in The Great Controversy and elaborated by LeRoy Edwin Froom in his Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers. However, Emmerson argues that Adventist roots lie largely in the soil of what we now call the Anabaptist or Radical Reformation. It is to them rather than to Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin that we are indebted for our theological inheritance and our openness to truth. While careful not to downplay the significance of justification by faith and its importance, nevertheless the author does highlight the limitations and weaknesses of the magisterial Reformation and clearly shows how and why it was a "halfway Reformation" and the major Reformers, for all their achievements, "halfway men. "

The genius of Seventh-day Adventism is hot simply that its roots lie in the sixteenth-century Reformation, but that it is the full flowering of that Reformation. The truths we profess—justification by faith, the Sabbath, believer's baptism, the Lord's Supper and footwashing, health reform, conditional immortality, the Advent hope, and the holiness of God's law—all have come to us sanctified with the incredible sufferings, the astonishing courage; and the indomitable faith of the men and women we dare to claim as our fathers and mothers in Christ.

Whether it is the story of Hippolytus Eberli burned at the stake by the Catholics or Felix Mantz drowned by the Protestants, the total loyalty of these men and women to Christ presses home to our hearts the high cost of truth. If Seventh-day Adventism can be credibly called "God's ecumenical movement," then it must have a more meaningful appreciation of the faith it possesses and the responsibility laid upon it to publish by precept and maintain by practice "the commandments of God" and "the testimony of Jesus." The Reformation and the Advent Movement inevitably calls for comparison with Dr. Bryan Ball's The English Connection (see MINISTRY, May, 1982). Both books are concerned with origins, and in this they are similar in purpose. However, the focus is different. The English Connection, as the title indicates, has a more limited purpose than Professor Emmerson's book and is more heavily theological. The Reformation and the Advent Movement is broader in scope in that it attempts to show why the Advent Movement arose in America, not in Europe.

While this book has certain minor defects, such as no index and inadequate maps, it is a book that every person interested in the "roots" of Seventh-day Adventism should read.

The Sanctuary, 1844, and the Pioneers

Paul A. Gordon, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Hagerstown, Maryland, 1983, 157 pages, $8.95 paper. Reviewed by B. Russell Holt, executive editor, MINISTRY.

Do Seventh-day Adventist under standings of the sanctuary and judgment rest on the writings of Ellen White, as critics without (and in recent years, some within) the church have charged? Or do these doctrines have a scriptural foundation? Paul Gordon decided to go to primary sources the writings of those church leaders who developed and defended these doctrines to see where they based their teachings in these areas.

The result is this book in which Gordon allows the pioneers to speak for themselves through articles appearing in The Present Truth and The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald between 1849 and 1905. His conclusion: "The evidence simply does not support the charge that Ellen White originated the present sanctuary doctrine,"

Gordon does not intend to give a complete account of how the pioneers developed and arrived at agreement in these areas. Rather, he takes up his study primarily at the point where that consensus has been reached and demonstrates from their writings the scriptural foundation upon which they built. This book is valuable reading for anyone who wants not only to under stand better how those of the past understood the sanctuary and its associated doctrines, but also to under stand these things better himself.

The Battle for the Family

Tim LaHaye Fleming H. Revell Co., 1982, 249 pages, $6.95, paper. The author, who wrote the bestselling The Battle for the Mind, describes the subtle influences of humanism on the American home.

Advertisement - Ministry in Motion 300x250

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
Monthly book reviews by various authors.

June 1984

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

You can do evangelism!

Most adult converts still come into the church through public evangelism. But audiences are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Can a pastor offer an evangelistic program that will attract and hold them? W. B. Quigley says Yes, describing one of the audiovisual "tools" now available and how it worked for him.

Sanctification and perfection: another look

What is the relationship of justification and sanctification? How do they relate to works and faith? To salvation? In what ways do they differ? In what way does perfection serve as the goal of sanctification? And what is the content of perfection?

Finding a Theme

If you re frustrated at times because your preaching doesn't seem to move people to change, it probably is because they aren't sure just what your sermon is really calling for. And if your congregation doesn't know, maybe you don't either. Probably the most difficult part of sermon preparation is defining in your own mind, clearly and in a single sentence, the idea you want your listeners to take home with them. This sixth article in a twelve-article series on better preaching will help you do just that.

Whatever happened to the ark?

Daniel 8:14 centers on the sanctuary or Temple, And the Temple's services revolved around the ark of the covenant. The author of this article suggests the fate of the earthly ark may have significant implications for the understanding of Daniel's prophecy.

Family life ministry that works!

Most churches feel the need to develop a program of family life ministry but often their attempts to do so are less than satisfactory. Monte Sahlin, in a two-article series, lays out in detail how you may plan and carry out a successful, ongoing family life ministry in your church. In this article he covers how you can define the needs in your area, how to figure how many to plan on, packaging the program successfully, and more.

A Passover communion

Even though we celebrate them only once a quarter) our communion services easily can become mere formalities) neither involving our members nor making a contribution to their spiritual growth. Changing the routine once in a while focuses the congregation s attention on the service and encourages a fuller participation. The author suggests here a celebration of the Lord's Supper which not only offers variety but deepens understanding as it builds on Communion s roots in the Passover.

Shepherdess: The pastor's wife then and now

Many pastoral wives find themselves today in a crisis of conflicting expectations from within as well as without. How did the present situation come about, and what can you do to cope with it?

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated


Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - Healthy and Happy Family - Skyscraper 160x600