Moving the operation of the
Adventist Laymen's Foundation from
The home we first built in 1976
is now the Foundation library. It contains B. T. Anderson's
library, which had his father's collection (His father was the first Adventist
One of the two bedrooms of the old home is now my study, in which are the biblical linguistic books; the Writings, and other key books of the Adventist "travail" of the last half of the past century. On a shelf near the desk are five two inch, 8 by 10 metal hinged, cloth bound note books which contain my Sabbath sermon outlines. I believed that if the Holy Spirit guided my mind in the thoughts developed for a particular Sabbath presentation, He would recall the same thoughts for another Sabbath when there was a need again. One sermon was always used over again. It was the first sermon I would preach as I began my new assignment. From it, I wish to draw the "thought for the month." The "text" I took from the Writings:
We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 31). In another location of the Writings an additional thought is added - "and His teachings in our past history" (Life Sketches, p. 196).
I was aware that in our college
class in homeletics we were cautioned not to use the
Writings as "Scripture," much less as a text for a sermon; however,
the reference served as an introductory message well and let
the congregation know where I stood in regard to Ellen
G. White. The first "way" emphasized that conviction, for the first
biblical "text" I used was Hosea 12:13 - "By a prophet the Lord brought
And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord that He had done for Israel (Joshua 24:31; Judges 2:7).
The record continues:
Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord died. ... and
also all that generation were gathered
unto their fathers: and there rose another generation after them, which knew
not the Lord, nor yet the works which He had done for
Within a generation
In 1915, the "messenger to the Remnant"
died. In 1919, just four years later, a Bible Conference was held in
Last year, Graeme Bradford, a retired professor of Bible at Avondale College in Australia copyrighted his manuscript, More Than a Prophet in which he discusses "how we lost and found again the real Ellen G. White." The Foreword is written by Dr. Samuel Bacchiocchi, who also publishes the book through his own publications' venture - "Biblical Perspectives." It is less expensive through the Pacific Press.
Bacciocchi quotes in his
The White Estate seems not to
1. The book expresses the view that the prophets in the New Testament and beyond generally carry less authority than Old Testament prophets, and that the individual and/or congregation must separate the wheat from the chaff in the messages even of genuine prophets. Such a view confirms people in the human tendency to accept what they like in inspired writings and reject as "chaff" the things with which they disagree.
This is skating on thin ice. While it is true that the prophetic office in the Old Testament was more dominant, there were New Testament prophets. The emphasis in the New Testament was apostleship. "And He gave, some apostles; and some, prophets" (Eph. ).
2. The book suggests that because Ellen White used sources in her writings relating to history, prophecy, health, or theology, the views she expressed may have originated more from her contemporaries than divine inspiration. Her depiction of end time events, for example, as found in The Great Controversy, is portrayed as deriving primarily from the expectations of 19th century North American Adventists, having little application to today's global society.
3 While the White Estate staff recognizes that Ellen White was fallible and subject to human frailties - not unlike the biblical prophets - we maintain that certain positions taken in the book do not fairly reflect the understanding of Ellen White and her associates regarding her prophetic ministry, and fail to represent fully Ellen White's prophetic contributions to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.