What Does the Present
S.D.A. Church Say?

WHAT DOES THE CHURCH TODAY BELIEVE?

Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists

The Godhead

“2. There is one God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons.  God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present.  He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation.  He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.” (Church Manuel, p. 23)

God the Father

“3. God the Eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation .... The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father.” (Ibid.)

God the Son

“4. God the Eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ.  Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged.  Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ....” (Ibid., p. 24)

God the Holy Spirit

“5. God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption....”  (Ibid., p. 24)

Arthur S. Maxwell

“Do Seventh-day Adventists believe in the Trinity? They do. Reverently they worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. ‘three Persons in one God. And they do so because they believe this to be the teaching of the Bible concerning God in His relation to this world and the human race.’”(A Guide to the Religions of America, by Leo Rosten, p.136, quoting Arthur S. Maxwell, What is a Seventh-day Adventist?)

QUESTIONS ON DOCTRINE

“QUESTION 1 What doctrines do Seventh-day Adventists hold in common with Christians in general, and in what aspects of Christian thought do they differ...?

“1. In common with Conservative Christians and the Historic Protestant Creeds, We believe…2. That the Godhead, the Trinity, comprises God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” (Questions on Doctrine, p. 21, 22)

SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS BELIEVE

“The origin of the human race is found in a divine council. God said, ‘Let Us make man’ (Gen. 1:26). The plural ‘Us’ refers to the trinitarian Godhead—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.” (Seventh-day Adventists Believe, p. 80)

William G. Johnsson—Editor: Review

“Adventist beliefs have changed over the years under the impact of ‘present truth.’ Most startling is the teaching regarding Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Many of the pioneers, including James White, J.N. Andrews, Uriah Smith, and J.H. Waggoner, held to an Arian or semi-Arian view—that is, the Son at some point in time before the Creation of our world was generated by the Father.

“Likewise the Trinitarian understanding of God, now part of our fundamental beliefs, was not generally held by the early Adventists. Even today a few do not subscribe to it.” (Adventist Review, January 6, 1994 p.10, 11)

George Knight—Professor of History, Andrews University

“Most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to subscribe to the denomination’s Fundamental Beliefs.

“More specifically, most would not be able to agree to belief number 2, which deals with the doctrine of the trinity.” (Ministry, October 1993 p.10)

J.R. Hoffmann

“The Father-Son relationship in the New Testament must always be understood in the light of the event of Bethlehem. The only child born into this world with a divine, rather than a human, father is Jesus. The title, ‘Son,’ refers to His entry into time and does not deny at all His eternal origin. There are references in the Old Testament to Sonship, but these are always in anticipation of the incarnation.” (Ministry, June 1982)

Gordon Jensen

“A plan of salvation was encompassed in the covenant made by the Three Persons of the Godhead, who possessed the attributes of Deity equally. In order to eradicate sin and rebellion from the universe and to restore harmony and peace, one of the divine Beings accepted, and entered into, the role of the Father, another the role of the Son. The remaining divine Being, the Holy Spirit, was also to participate in effecting the plan of salvation. All of this took place before sin and rebellion transpired in heaven.

“By accepting the roles that the plan entailed, the divine Beings lost none of the powers of Deity. With regard to their eternal existence and other attributes, they were one and equal. But with regard to the plan of salvation, there  was, in a sense, a submission on the part of the Son to the Father.” (Adventist Review, October 31, 1996, p.12—Week of Prayer readings)

J. R. Spangler

“To me this signifies the interchangeableness of the members of the Godhead since they are on in action and purpose.” (Review & Herald, Oct. 21, 1971)

“The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and then through theologians it became words again.” Karl Barth