28 Fundamental Beliefs

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The 28 fundamental beliefs are the core beliefs of Seventh-day Adventist theology.[citation needed] Adventists are opposed to the formulation of creeds,[citation needed] so the 28 fundamental beliefs are considered descriptors, not prescriptors; that is, that they describe the official position of the church but are not criteria for membership. These beliefs were originally known as the 27 fundamental beliefs when adopted by the church's General Conference in 1980. An additional belief (number 11) was added in 2005.[1] The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary is a significant expression of Adventist theological thought.[citation needed]

They may be grouped into the doctrines of God, humanity, salvation, the church, Christian life, and the restoration.[2]

History[edit]

Seventh-day Adventists Believe (2nd edition 2005), official publication explaining the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

Adventists have historically been reluctant to formalize a creed; in the October 8, 1861 Review and Herald, J. N. Loughborough wrote:

"The first step of apostasy is to get up a creed, telling us what we shall believe. The second is, to make that creed a test of fellowship, the third is to try members by that creed. The fourth to denounce as heretics those who do not believe that creed. And fifth, to commence persecution against such."[3]

Several summaries of Adventist theology have been presented at various times.

  • In 1872 a pamphlet was produced presenting twenty-five Fundamental Principles[4] not to "secure uniformity" but "to meet inquiries" and "to correct false statements."[5]
  • In 1931 a list of 22 Fundamental Beliefs[6] was produced and published in the Adventist Yearbook, and subsequently in the Adventist Church Manual.
  • In 1980, the 27 Fundamentals were instituted by the denomination's General Conference. Fritz Guy was the secretary of the original committee which produced the 27 Fundamentals. They were discussed and adopted at the 1980 General Conference Session. Ron Graybill wrote the preamble.[7] They are expanded upon in the book Seventh-day Adventists Believe: A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines.[8] This elaboration does not constitute the "official" position of the church.[citation needed]
  • In 2005 another belief was inserted, fundamental belief number 11 "Growing in Christ", in response to the requests of Adventists in developing nations for a statement on spiritual warfare. It was voted in at the 2005 Adventist General Conference Session held in St. Louis, Missouri, yielding the current total of 28.

Preamble[edit]

The preamble to the 28 Fundamentals states that Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed, and that revision of the statements may be expected during the church General Conference Session:

Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, these beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church's understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference Session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word."[9]

Theological beliefs[edit]

Doctrines of God[edit]

1. Holy Scriptures

"The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of [God's] will." Adventist theologians generally reject the "verbal inspiration" position on Scripture held by many conservative evangelical Christians. They believe instead that God inspired the thoughts of the biblical authors, and that the authors then expressed these thoughts in their own words,[10] this view is popularly known as "thought inspiration", and most Adventist members hold to that view. According to Ed Christian, former JATS editor, "few if any ATS members believe in verbal inerrancy".[11]
Adventists generally reject higher critical approaches to Scripture. The 1986 statement Methods of Bible Study, urges Adventist Bible students to avoid relying on the use of the presuppositions and the resultant deductions associated with the historical-critical method.[12]

2.Trinity

3. Father

4. Son

5. Holy Spirit

The doctrines of humanity[edit]

6. Creation

7. Nature of Humanity

The doctrines of salvation[edit]

8. The Great Controversy

9. The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ

10. The Experience of Salvation

11. Growing in Christ

The doctrines of the church[edit]

12. The Church

13. The Remnant and Its Mission

14. Unity in the Body of Christ

15. Baptism

16. The Lord's Supper

17. Spiritual Gifts and Ministries

18. The Gift of Prophecy

The doctrines of Christian living[edit]

19. The Law of God

20. The Sabbath

21. Stewardship

22. Christian Behavior

23. Marriage and the Family

The doctrines of the restoration[edit]

24. Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary

25. The Second Coming of Christ

26. Death and Resurrection

27. The Millennium and the End of Sin

28. The New Earth

Shared Protestant doctrine[edit]

In Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine (1957), the editors outlined the doctrines that they share with Protestant Christianity.

"In Common With Conservative Christians and the Historic Protestant Creeds, We Believe—
1. That God is the Sovereign Creator, upholder, and ruler of the universe, and that He is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
2. That the Godhead, the Trinity, comprises God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
3. That the Scriptures are the inspired revelation of God to men; and that the Bible is the sole rule of faith and practice.
4. That Jesus Christ is very God, and that He has existed with the Father from all eternity.
5. That the Holy Spirit is a personal being, sharing the attributes of deity with the Father and the Son.
6. That Christ, the Word of God, became incarnate through the miraculous conception and the virgin birth; and that He lived an absolutely sinless life here on earth.
7. That the vicarious, atoning death of Jesus Christ, once for all, is all-sufficient for the redemption of a lost race.
8. That Jesus Christ arose literally and bodily from the grave.
9. That He ascended literally and bodily into heaven.
10. That He now serves as our advocate in priestly ministry and mediation before the Father.
11. That He will return in a premillennial, personal, imminent second advent.
12. That man was created sinless, but by his subsequent fall entered a state of alienation and depravity.
13. That salvation through Christ is by grace alone, through faith in His blood.
14. That entrance upon the new life in Christ is by regeneration, or the new birth.
15. That man is justified by faith.
16. That man is sanctified by the indwelling Christ through the Holy Spirit.
17. That man will be glorified at the resurrection or translation of the saints, when the Lord returns.
18. That there will be a judgment of all men.
19. That the gospel is to be preached as a witness to all the world."[13]

All of these doctrines, with the exception of item 11 (regarding the premillennial return of Christ), are widely held amongst conservative or evangelical Protestants. (Different Protestant groups hold varying views on the millennium.)

Regarding salvation, a major statement was the 1980 "The Dynamics of Salvation".[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Growing in Christ". Adventist News Network. 2005-07-04. Archived from the original on 2005-11-29. Retrieved 2006-05-26. 
  2. ^ Seventh-day Adventist Church Fundamental Beliefs
  3. ^ Bates, Joseph; Smith, Uriah (1861-10-08). "Doings of the Battle Creek Conference, Oct. 5 & 6, 1861". Review and Herald. 18 (19): 148. Archived from the original (DJVU) on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-11-06. 
  4. ^ Fundamental Beliefs
  5. ^ Schwarz, Richard W. (1979). Light Bearers to the Remnant. Boise, Idaho / Oshawa, Ontario, Canada: Pacific Press. 
  6. ^ Online Research Center: Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists, 1931 Archived March 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Scofield, Michael (May–June 2000). "How the 27 Fundamental Beliefs Came to Be". Adventist Today. Loma Linda, CA: Adventist Today Foundation. 8 (3): 11. ISSN 1079-5499. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  8. ^ Seventh-day Adventists Believe... FILE: index.htm
  9. ^ "Fundamental Beliefs". Seventh-day Adventist Church. Archived from the original on 2 September 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-12. 
  10. ^ General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists 2005, pp. 14–16
  11. ^ The Adventist Theological Society Archived 2007-12-25 at the Wayback Machine., an interview of Ed Christian by John McLarty.
  12. ^ "Methods of Bible Study". 
  13. ^ Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington D.C., 1957. Chapter 1 "Doctrines We Share With Other Christians."
  14. ^ Adventistbiblicalresearch.org Adventist Review, July 31, 1980
  • General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Ministerial Association (2005). Seventh-day Adventists Believe (2nd ed.). Pacific Press Publishing Association. 

External links[edit]

See also Seventh-day Adventist theology#External links

Each issue of Adventist World comments on a fundamental belief. Following is the list to February 2012 inclusive: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 6, 7, 9, 9, 10, 10, 11, 12, 12, 15, 15, 16, 16, 17, 17, 17, 19, 20, 20, 21, 21, 22, 22, 23, 23, 24, 24, 25, 26, 27, 27, 28