Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Good News: Mr. Hein updates and expands his quote from my article on his "Seventh-day Adventism" Web Page
Anyone who has followed some of my backing-and-forthing with Anton Hein, owner/publisher of Apologetics Index, know that I have long been distressed that he had quoted PART of my Sept. 2000 Christianity Today magazine article on the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but not the relevant countervailing quote. He had quoted my report of a General Conference Session 2000 resolution about the ministry of Ellen G. White, but neglected to quote the then-newly-elected president of the Adventist Church in North America, Pastor Don Schneider, as saying the Adventist Church did -- and does -- put the Bible first and foremost.
Mr. Hein has now changed his mind, apparently, and I appreciate the way he quotes me now:
Seventh-day Adventism - Apologetics research resources on religious cults and sects: "Even Seventh-day Adventists themselves understand that certain things set them apart from historical Christianity:
In a move almost certain to invite the scrutiny of evangelical apologists, the 57th General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted July 2 ''to intensify efforts to inform all church members, especially young members, about the gift of prophecy through the ministry of Ellen G. White.''
White, who was one of the leading figures in the founding of the church, has remained a controversial figure in Adventism since her death in 1915. While describing her own writings as ''the lesser light'' leading to the ''greater light'' of the Bible, the promotion of her writings by the church has stirred charges of cultism against the group.
According to a report by the Adventist News Network, several delegates registered discomfort with the resolution: 'Is there any resolution with similar wording that deals with the Bible?' asked Jurrien den Hollander, an Adventist pastor from the Netherlands. Hollander's motion for such a resolution was voted and referred to committee.
And, said Don C. Schneider, a 57-year-old Adventist leader from Berrien Springs, Mich., who was just elected to head the church's North American Division, while some outside the group may question the resolution's meaning, Adventist church leaders line up behind the Bible as their source of doctrine.
'There's a very clear understanding here that Seventh-day Adventists believe in the Bible, and our faith comes out of the Bible,' Schneider told CT in an interview. 'There's no question among the group here.'
Schneider, who had been in charge of one of church activities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and WiscWisconsin, added that he would gladly explain the group's position to any apologists or others who have questions.
"I'd be most pleased to tell anyone about my priorities of the Bible ahead of anyone else," he said.
Mark Kellner, "Adventist Church Reaffirms 'Gift of Prophecy' , Christianity Today, July 7, 2000 (Author is a Seventh-day Adventist)
(NOTE: Mark Kellner - who authored the above-quoted article some 30 months before he became the assistant director for news and information for the SDA's General Conference Communications Department - wants to make sure people read his entire article at the URL provided. He has been made aware of the fact that - as a matter of policy - Apologetics Index is specifically designed to encourage indepth research.)"
I do wish Mr. Hein would take a kinder view of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and I most certainly wish he'd have a few more "pro" Internet links to balance the "contra" ones which seem to support his arguments. But his willingness to take even this step is appreciated by this writer, even if I have been critical of some of his comments in times past.
Thank you, Mr. Hein, for doing this.