The Scandal Of A Book
PART 4 of 8
The Incredible Realities (2)
While we are still reeling from the shock of this revelation of wrong doing,(1) our attention is directed to the Ministry magazine of April, 1957.(2) in this issue we find an editorial announcing a “new milestone” in the history of our church. “Evangelistic brethren in Christ” (Calvinist) had accepted our position regarding the human nature of Christ, and had agreed to no longer classify us as a “cult.”
In the same issue there were two articles on the nature of Christ. Both gave great emphasis to the mysterious character of Christ’s Incarnation. Both strongly affirmed the divinity of Christ. Both strongly confirmed the humanity of Christ.
But the clear voice of Adventism in regard to Christ having taken the fallen nature of man is no longer heard in either, and one firmly states that:
“When the incarnate God broke into human history and became one with the race, it is our understanding that he possessed the sinlessness of the nature with which Adam was created in Eden.”(3)
So the new milestone in the history of Adventism turns out to be A direct repudiation of the clear testimony of the church for a hundred years, 1852 until 1952, that Christ had come to earth in the fallen nature of man.
This had been testified to by four hundred published statements by Ellen White, and eight hundred published statements to by other prominent church leaders.
These leaders constituted Adventism’s first line of leadership they included General Conference presidents White, Daniels, Spicer, Watson, McElhaney, and Branson. They included six of the seven Review editors who served during those years, and five of the six Signs editors. They included a galaxy of the general conference presidents, division presidents, union presidents, conference presidents, college presidents, college Bible teachers, and pioneer missionaries. According to Donald Barnhouse, our four self-appointed representatives referred to the above persons contemptuously as a “poorly informed minority” of our church membership, our “lunatic fringe.”(4)
What in the world was happening here? A gigantic fraud was happening! This gigantic fraud would compare favorably with some of the great frauds of Roman Catholic history, such as the Donation of Constantine. This fraud would be used as the projectile to place the book Questions on Doctrine into orbit. This “Guided missile,” with its 140,000 copies, would scatter the seeds of deception completely around the world. Those seeds have germinated, grown, and are bearing their evil fruit in the chaotic confusion in her world-?wide church today.
How could it happen? As we have seen, A small group of firmly determined men at our world headquarters were engaging in a dialogue with some Calvinist theologians. Although their names had not been officially announced until recently,(5) we now know that the group included Dr Leroy Edwin Froom, elder Roy Allen Anderson, Elder W E Read, and Elder TE Unruh. Some reports include Dr Edward Heppenstall as well. The Calvinist theologians were Dr Walter Martin and Dr Donald Grey Barnhouse.
These theologians, we were told, had accepted as true the monstrous misrepresentation that our church, apart from a “poorly informed minority,” our “lunatic fringe,” had always believed and taught the same doctrines about the human nature of Christ that the Calvinists believed.
The “evidence” presented to Martin consisted of the misrepresentations and falsifications discussed in the previous parts of this series, which were a methodological monstrosity and a historical fraud.
The “Group” at our world headquarters had a very difficult assignment They had to produce a double deception, for two different audiences. They had to prove to the Calvinists that we had changed our doctrines, and at the same time prove to the Adventists that we had not changed our doctrines. This took some “doing.” How do you convince anyone that Ellen White, who had written four hundred times that Christ had come to earth in the fallen human nature of man, had actually intended to say exactly the opposite? No one. Absolutely no one. No one except a person, that is, who was a party to the conspiracy and was only role playing in pretending to be a critic. I am referring to Dr Walter Martin.
This is my explanation for the weird arrangements, the self-?contradictions, and the outright falsifications and misrepresentations of fact that are in the announcements about the book, Questions on Doctrine. And it also helps us understand the strange mantle of secrecy that enshrouded the entire project. For 45 years the names of the authors of the book had not been officially revealed.
Before we go any farther, we need to look again at what Ellen White wrote on page 57 of her book, Education:
“The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” (Emphasis supplied.)
Friends, we must unflinchingly force ourselves to face the facts.
Fact number one: There is no way, absolutely no way, that a trained scholar with a Doctor’s degree, like Dr Leroy Edwin Froom, could put forth such a mass of mangled, misrepresented and misstated materials as this without knowing what he was doing. No Ph.D is that dumb. This “presentation” could not have been an accident. It had to be a deliberate and intentional deception.
Fact number two: there is no way, absolutely no way, that a trained scholar with a Doctor’s degree, like Dr Walter Martin, could accept such a mass of mangled, misrepresented, and misstated materials as this without knowing what he was doing. No PhD is that dumb. This “acceptance” could not have been an accident. It had to be a deliberate and intentional deception.
I see one possible conclusion. I am convinced that when the great scroll is finally unrolled, and “earth and sky stand presently at God’s great judgment seat,”(6) it will be seen by all that Dr Leroy Edwin Froom and Dr Walter Martin, while pretending to be opponents, were in fact working in collusion with one another, with one on one side of the bargaining table and one on the other side. Under the guidance and supervision of the great master mind of Satan, they succeeded in deceiving and doing enormous damage to the Seventh-?day Adventist church.
As stated previously, I found all of this information in the Ellen White Repository in our seminary library in the Philippines. It is still there, ready for use by any person who wants to verify the shocking facts. And of course the same materials are in the archives of the White Estate in Washington, D.C.
I put all of the results of my research into a 365-page manuscript for a book, and offered it to our two publishing houses: the Review and the Pacific Press. BOTH REJECTED IT (Emphasis supplied).
So I put a mortgage on my house and published twenty thousand copies myself.(7) Thousands were sent to high-ranking church officers and thousands more went to loyal church members who shared my concern about conditions in the church that had been produced by the book, Questions on Doctrine.
By rare good fortune, or by the providence of God, a copy came into the hands of a highly qualified Seventh-day Adventist scholar named Jean Zurcher, of Switzerland. His scholarly credentials are impeccable, as are his impressive achievements in the scholarly world. He read my book carefully, and decided that it was a good beginning, but that the subject needed more enlargement and development. He therefore addressed himself to the task of completing what I had started. The result is a new 308-page book, Touched With Our Feelings, published in 1999 by (are you ready for this?) the Review and Herald Publishing Association.(8) To call this progress would be an understatement.(9) In my research work in the Philippines I was limited to certain materials. These were primarily Ellen White’s published books and magazine articles. I did not have access to all of the books and articles that were in the archives at the denominational headquarters in Washington, D.C. These were all available to Dr. Zurcher, and he made good use of them. Thus he was able to add a great deal to the evidence that I had published, and to verify my findings.
Zurcher also examined the statements that were written in our European journals and found no disagreement in them. In fact he found no sign of any disagreement among Seventh-day Adventists anywhere, regarding the human nature of Christ, before the 1950’s. He uses the words “remarkable unanimity”(10) to describe the testimony of our people on this subject until the 1950’s
Another item of interest that he points out is the fact that some of the most highly respected Protestant theologians of our time have taken the same position that our people took regarding the human nature of Christ. Among these theologians he lists Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Rudolf Bultmann, Oscar Cullmann, and J.A.T. Robinson. Are these persons also to be seen as a part of a “lunatic fringe”?
See the previous article in this series.
Louise C. Kleuser, “Adventism’s New Milestone,” Ministry, April 1957, pages 31-32
Roy Allan Anderson, “God With Us,” Ministry, April 1957, page 34.
See Donald Barnhouse, “Are Seventh-day Adventists Christians?” Eternity,
See George Knight, ed., Questions on Doctrine: Annotated edition. xiv.
Rudyard Kipling, “The Ballad of East and West.”
The Word Was Made Flesh: One Hundred Years of Seventh-day Adventist Christology 1852—1952, Cherrystone Press, 1986
(These may still be available secondhand from certain Adventist book outlets and on the internet at Amazon and maybe other sources. Perhaps from Leaves of Autumn.)
(10) Page 146