Adventist History Podcast
Adventist History Podcast

Season 2, Episode 38 · 8 months ago

(S2, E38): Questions on Doctrine, part 2

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Summary:

In this episode, we cover the first four meetings between evangelicals (Walter Martin, George Cannon, and Donald Grey Barnhouse) and Adventists (T. Edgar Unruh, LeRoy Froom, W.E. Read, and Roy Allan Anderson) as both sides try to leave Fundamentalist behind.

The What:

The Adventist History Podcast is a monthly podcast telling a story of the Seventh-day Adventist Church hosted by Matthew J. Lucio.

Links:

Web http://adventisthistorypodcast.org/

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October twenty two is a very significant day in the history of our beginnings. Welcome to the avenues history podcast. This is season two, episode thirty eight. Questions on doctrine, part two. Last time we talked about Donald Gray Barnhouse, this giant of fundomntal evangelicalism. He's bridging that that transition there, and just how much of a pugilist he was. You know he inherited some anti avenues views from his teachers and and also from his own experience growing up near the Pacific press in California, and how things began to change after a letter he received from Edgar Unreu in one thousand nine hundred and forty nine and response to his radio broadcast, one of his radio broadcasts on Romans, and how that started a little dialog with unrue was a conference president and that went nowhere. After Barnhouse is scathing review of steps to Christ but then Barnhouse had a little epiphany, I come the Jesus moment in early one nineteen fifty three. That led to him wanting to have better relationships with other Christ and then we also talked about Walter Martin, who was a protege of Barnhouse, a young, just extremely gifted clergyman, thinker, writer who specialized in cults and was going to write this book about adventists being a cult, and so he requested this meeting with church leaders, and I think that's about where we wrapped it up. Really big, really big intro into this whole questions and doctrine thing, which we're going to spend a few episodes on now. Before we talked about the first meeting between the adventists and the evangelicals, I need the correct mistake and made in the previous episode when I began talking about the fifty anniversary of the questions and doctrine conference. That was in two thousand and seven. Yeah, well, I also had said that the version of questions and doctrine which I still have here on my desk next to me, was the fifty anniversary addition. Ron Not reached out. He's the director of the Injie University Press. He reached out and said, Hey, this is not the fifty anniversary edition of the book and actually came out a few years before the fifty anniversary of Qod, and so it's really just the annotated edition of Qod came out in two thousand and three, and in my mind I just conflated the two because, well, I first saw the annotated edition of Qod at the fifth anniversary conference. So here's my Maya Culpa. Okay, hopefully that will tell us a little bit more about the annotated edition which he published, and sometime soon. So we hope to get him on here at least he can share some thoughts on that at some point. Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled programming. The evangelicals and avenues met for the first time on March eight one thousand nine hundred and fifty five of the General Conference Office at Thirty PM. In fact, they said that they found an empty office. Later on they said they had been meeting in Roy and Allen Anderson's office. As he was traveling and gone to they just took over his office. That may have been where they met this time, or maybe they just picked different whatever whatever office was free when they were there. Anyways, this was to be the first of eighteen meetings over the next year. Martin showed up with what froom called, quote, a formidable list of definitely hostile and slanted questions and, quote, forty of them to be exact now it was clear that Martin was leaning heavily on former avenues like Dudley M can write and Ernest Be...

Jones to to come up with these questions. Can write, of course, had known Ellen and James White and his name is familiar to anyone who's been listening to this podcast, especially season one now. Ernest be Jones, on the other hand, is a is less wellknown. Jones was a former Avenus missionary to India and he was a publishers in the publishing work and in the spirit of Buzzfeed, he published forty reasons why you should not become a seven day adventist. Arthur white called many of these reasons quote, very shallow and quote. But if you're an outsider like Martin and you see can write blasting adventists in the s about some things, and then you see Eb Jones, you know arnest be Jones, blasting avenues and in s with basically the same arguments, you know you might think that there's something to it. Okay, if all of your ex boyfriends or ex girlfriends say you stole money from them, you know you tend to think, how can they be wrong right if so many people one after the others say that something is true. How could it be wrong? Now Martin Challenged Adventists on the divinity of Christ, the Atonement, the law, the Sabbath, the Investigative Judgment Ellen White, the whole nine yards, or, for our non American listeners out there, the whole three meters. That just doesn't sound as good, to be honest. anyways, Martin believed that Avenu is believed that you had to keep the Sabbath to be saved, that salvation itself was not complete on the cross, but only at the second coming, which to him minimize the importance of Jesus's death on the Cross. He wanted to know if going to church on Sunday meant he had the mark of the beast or anybody else had the mark of the beast. And above all, Martin wanted to know if adventists were anti Trinitarian. Martin wasn't just asking questions, okay, he he brought quote from avenues publications which seemed to deny the Deity of Christ here or this other publication which denied his equality with the father over there. Now Short, Martin admitted some recent books you guys have published are firmly Trinitarian. But what am I to do with all of this contradictory information? Right I got Uriah Smith over here saying one thing. He's he's as close to being a founder as anyone can be. He's making these Aryan or semi Ariyan claims about Jesus. Your more recent books are saying another thing about Jesus. Which one of these is true? How am I supposed to make sense out of this? You guys have some people who seem to be all for Jesus being a member of the Godhead, a member of the Trinity, and you have some people who say, well, he's not divine, and some people say he's not equal with the father. Like. What do you guys actually believe here now, from described Martin's rapid fire way of shooting his questions at them like Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, but from and read resisted the urge to merely defend themselves from the attack. Instead, they asked Martin if they might begin not what denials, but with affirmations. Can we tell you what Avenu is? Do believe rather than responding to forty questions? An is believe in the Deity of Christ. is a toning death in the Cross is literal resurrection, and so on and so on and so on. From there, from and read began passionately denying some of the more egregious charges which Martin was leveling against the church. To eat. UNRUET, girl, unru who had planted that first seed by reaching out to Barn House in one thousand nine hundred and forty nine, serves as chair and, as he remembered it, quote, this first meeting can best be described this confrontational and quote, it sounds like it. At the end of the first day it became apparent that to challenges faced these men. First, there's a lot of trust. froom and read and UNREU could affirm salvation by grace through faith alone all day long. But how does Martin know that? You guys are just not dissembling to tell...

...me what I want to hear or hiding through some loophole and language right, maybe faith means something different to you avens than it does to us, or and maybe you do mean what I think you mean. But how do I know your beliefs represent all adventist because I've got some books out here that suggests that there's some confusion on this. Besides, off having us were a cult, as Martin suspected, you couldn't expect them to give a straight answer. I you caught us where a cult you know. So how do we solve this trust problem? How can Martin and Cannon Trust anything that froom and company are saying? Well, for starters, the general conference would, I mean eventually let Martin borrow any book he wanted from the vault. You want to see what we've published, you want to see what we have in our heart of hearts here at the general conference, have at it. You can borrow any book you want. And that move showed trust. And somewhere cloud of Holmes is rolling in his grave. Oh so you'll open up the vault to him. Huh, but I have to steal things. Okay, I see how it is. Okay, steel is a strong word, but you give it, I mean anyways, at the end of the first day it was from and read who said, look, don't take our word for it. They gave Martin and they gave cannon a stack of publications to prove that that avenues at least more than just these three really do believe this stuff. Now the second challenge that they face. Okay, the first one was lack of trust. The second challenge was that Walter Martin had been researching and thinking about these questions for a very long time, but having us were only now just seeing them. Doesn't mean they weren't familiar with some of these common charges against him, but they're just seeing Martin's articulation of them for the first time. They couldn't possibly respond off the cuff in that moment in a way that would do justice to those questions. I mean, have you ever been asked to explain the Trinity? Just got caught off guard on that one. And if you have deep even if you have deep thoughts about the Trinity, okay, you often walk away from that conversation like man. You know, if I had time to collect my thoughts, I could have done a better job presenting what I actually believe. So froom and company said, look, we're going to write out a very quick response to the questions that night and and we can just start with that. That can be our basis of our conversation. So they did. FROOM, is real quick with the pain, apparently wrote it down, a secretary typed it up, they gave it to Martin and cannon and those two men stayed up until two o'clock in the morning reading rooms, paper and whatever other materials the avenues had given them. That sounds like a good time, doesn't it? Let's stay up till two am the night. What do you want to do? Let's read theology. Oh Yeah, now unrue tells us. That quote the second day will never be forgotten by those who participated in the conferences. As the morning session began, Martin announced that, as a result of the first round of discussion and the reading matter he had been given, he was admitting that he had been wrong about seven day adventism on several important points and had become persuaded that avenues who believed, as did the conferees, were truly born again Christians and his brethren in Christ. In a dramatic gesture, he extended his hand in fellowship and quote. Wow, man, what did froom right? Twenty pages? Twenty pages sounds like a lot. Certainly is a lot to write by hand, but you got to keep on. He's asking forty questions. That's a lot of questions, and twenty pages isn't isn't really a lot of space to give to those questions. So obviously this was. It wasn't exactly off the cough like in the conversation that they're having across the table from one another. You have some time to think about what you're writing, but you don't have a lot of time. Nevertheless, what froom and unrue and read together managed to write on...

...that paper was persuasive. Now, froom in company denied that Sabbath keeping was a basis for salvation. Well then, why? Martin asked where their books being sold? In the avenues book and Bible House. That was the precursor to the avenues book centers or ABC's, which in turn with a precursor to nothing, because they're kind of closing down anyways. You guys have books in the avenues book and Bible House, which seemed to teach that you needed to keep the Sabbath to be saved. So why you telling me? The guys don't believe that Sabbath keeping was a basis of salvation. So Room and company called for the book in question to be brought from the book and Bible House. They turn to whatever page Martin was quoting, realize that he was correct and they said we're going to fix this situation and in words, that would forever haunt froom. He told Martin that those avenues who publish this kind of Anti Trinitarian stuff or that you need to keep the Sabbath to be saved, they belong to the lunatic fringe of the church. It was a phrase that barnhouse would adopt and just would love, love to use. He used it several times in defending his analysis later on that Avens were where Christians he's you know, whenever people brought up objections, what happens? Believe this, of this, of that? He would say, yeah, you know, some, we do have some disagree amous with them and if they brought up something really agreed just they say, yeah, that's just the lunatic fringe of the church. They don't matter. Even Arthur Maxwell, editor signs of the times for what seems like forever, appreciated the accuracy of this phrase in his view. Quote. Surely God has raised you up for this vital hour, he told froom, to help set the remnant people in the right light before the churches. What a tragedy it is that we have so large a lunatic fringe which militates against all our best efforts in this respect. And quote now, as we will learn in the next episode or two, some Heavenus don't really like being thought of as lunatics by their church leaders. But you know, who could have known all they would react to that? Maxwell statement helps us understand how froom saw the meetings with Martin. FROOM saw how other Christians saw adventists and how it was often based on misconceptions, and he wanted to fix that. Like why would any of these people want to join the avenues church when they think, you know, when they when they think we believe some of this crazy stuff? We're going to talk about more of that in a few minutes. Edgar UNREU saw nothing but roses after that first meeting. Sure, it was tough, it was tense at times, but there had been a breakthrough. Speaking of Martin and cannon, unreuwrote, quote, they can become our defenders if our next meeting is a successful one and quote. Just think about that conclusion. Okay, Walter Martin, George Cannon came to this first meeting with guns on the table. We think you're a cult. We're going to write a book saying that you're a cult. We just have some questions for you to answer. Okay, and then by the end of that day, or should say the earlier the next day, Martin's like. You know what, I think we were wrong about you guys. In some respects, what a turnaround in twenty four hours. So unreute is just exalting after this first meeting, these first two days, like that, that this person who came to persecute us, this person who came to perpetuate the demonization of the seven day Avenus church among evangelicals, this person could become our defender if...

...our next meeting is a successful one. Wow. They met again on March seventeen, a week later, at Edgar UNRU's office, is at the conference office in Reading, Pennsylvania. We don't know a whole lot about this meeting, except that they discussed avenues views of the scapegoat of Leviticus sixteen. Okay, so not to get too much in the weeds here, but basically Ivan is are following this day of atonement imagery, believing that in the end, the sins that people had been forgiven of in the in the sanctuary system, those sins went from the person to the animal who was sacrificed. The animal's blood would be brought into the sanctuary and then one day you're in the Day of Atonement. The blood carrying the guilt of those people sins would be placed on this scapegoat, which is a type pointing towards Satan, and it would be led out into the Wilderness to die. And so of course this is something that Barnhouse had brought up and its scandalized many, many, many critics of adventism and the Evangelical World, saying, does that mean Satan is our sin bearer? I thought Jesus was our sin bear. How can you guys get that mixed up? I miss of course don't believe that. It's just a common misconception. I mean they do believe the thing about all the sins being put on the scapegoat as a type of Satan, but not that Satan bears our sins. In any case, they, it seems, cleared that up a bit and the meeting seems to have gone well. Now the tone of the meetings had changed and Martin realized that his first set of questions was based on huge misconceptions in an unwarranted hostility, so he wrote a new list of questions. We're down the twenty four this time. So Yay for brevity, and he sent the list for the avenues to consider. Meanwhile, Martin faced the unenviable task of informing Donald Barnhouse that he no longer thought of adventist as a cult. However, however that conversation went, it produced some fruit with Barnhouse, because Barne House called en route on the phone and apologized for his review of steps to Christ that he had published in nineteen fifty remember that one we talked about in the last episode. We're just got of savaged Ellen White and steps to Christ, saying if I just looked at the first page of the preface, I would have thrown this book down. You never would about this book. And barnhouse realizes, you know, he still didn't like steps to Christ, don't get me wrong, but he's like, I didn't handle that the right way, to which everybody who ever saw that article said yeah, no, kidding, okay, not back then, but today. But here he is apologizing. All Right, progress is being made. On April Eleventh Nineteen fifty five, they met again, went through Martin's twenty four questions. Froom wrote eighteen of the responses and true Alexander Hamilton Federalist Paper Style and read wrote eight. The five men also discussed the former president of Biola, Lewis Talbot, and his recent Tirade against adventists in the king's business is magazine. Talbot series of three articles, the first of which was published as adventists and evangelicals were meeting, was nothing short of a tirade designed to expose adventists as a cult. Okay, the very first sentence reads quote. I consider seventh day adventism to be the most deceptive of all the els. and quote. It's like there's a competition to have the most forceful, aggressive, decisive language about adventism. I guess between Barnhouse and Talbot, and others not. The whole article is peppered with words like deceit and fraud, and it repeated this eternal myth that the millerites waited for Jesus to come in their ascension robes. Okay, the article just ticked from off. Who W then prepared...

...a blistering reply to Talbot? Arthur Maxwell, still editor of signs of the Times, right joked that it should have been printed on his bestest paper, meaning a fireproof material. Right, because froom's words were fire. I don't think Maxwell put it quite that way, but froom sought counsel from both read and reads like Hey, you should show this to the general conference president. And you know in the response was toned down. Walter Martin, on the other hand, was absolutely enraged at Talbot. As they met on April eleven, the evangelicals in the avenues, that is froom said that Martin, quote, was so agitated that he paced the room like a lion and he said they are going to put the Crimson that man and either force a retraction or force him to stop that type of stuff. In quote. Why did Martin react so strongly to Talbot's article? I mean it's hardly anything different than what Barnhouse had written, okay, even if a bit maybe less restrained, as disciplined than Barnhouse is writing. Perhaps there was some professional rivalry there? I don't know. Martin saw himself as the expert on colts, not Talbot, or perhaps Martin feared that Talbot's Tirade would and ravel the progress he was making with adventist. You know, Martin, are you really here on good faith? I mean, look at your look at your pit bull over there chomping after us. Is it really matter what we tell us? It seems like you evangelicals are just going to come to whatever conclusion you want anyway. Well, whatever the reason, Martin was just furious with Talbot for that article. But now both sides needed a break. FROOM was set to go to Europe from the end of April that early August, and Martin had to sit down with Barnhouse and more fully explain all of this. There was a distinct possibility that barnhouse could think Martin had been swindled, been deceived, been tricked by the Advenus, and he should be fired from this project of writing this book about adventist to be replaced with someone who had a more sufficient appetite for flesh. But even if barnhouse could be persuaded, Martin new full well that accepting advents as Christians would mean what that would mean from the Legion of evangelicals who were licking their lips at the thought of Martin ripping the avenues church into Barnhouse, thankfully, was coming around and Martin kept his job at eternity. Barnhouse himself had gone to Germany to speak and while he was there wrote to Martin that. You know, maybe when I get back and be a good idea for the group to meet at the Barnhouse House. What do you think? Martin got another job during those summer months. This is when he was appointed by Zondervan publishing to do, to direct this new division of Cult apologetics. Now, a brief word is in order here, because today Ivan is probably don't think twice about purchasing a book published by Zondervan. Back then, Zondervan was, as UNRU says, quote, the source of a great deal of anti avenues literature and quote, that was putting it delicately, I guess. froom called them bitter and atrocious. Evenus now had a friend in high places, and they recognize the strategic value of Martin having that position there. Martin, of in turn proved his worth almost immediately by canceling a contract that Zandervan had for two anti avenues publications, one of which have been written by Lewis Talbot. Ha, ha, ha, sweet revenge. Meanwhile, froom was equally embarrassed by what his own side was publishing. He lamented ML Andreasen's book on Hebrews as having some quote, gravely inaccurate statements and quote which might contradict everything he had been telling Martin. FROOM and read felt they couldn't defend Andreas and against Martin's attacks, and so avenus from realized would have to run a tighter ship in terms of the theology that they were publishing. Its oiler alert.

Andreas and isn't going to take this well. Now, just a month and we are already seeing how this dialog between avenues and evangelicals was changing how both sides handled their own people. Martin wanted to clamp down hard on evangelicals who were still blindly blasting adventists, and froom felt similarly towards avenues in his own camp, who were publishing things that he felt well contradicted the things that he was telling Martin and cannon that Avenus actually believed, including, by the way, one of the things that from disagreed with, including a statement that the previous General Conference President, William Je Branson, had published just a few years earlier, stating that Jesus had quote man's sinful nature. And quote this. It scandalized Martin and cannon. You're right here, you saying Jesus sinned. What does this mean? While it's Julius Non Points Out in his dissertation. Brandson, to his credit, changed this wording when someone brought it to his attention weeks after froom's critique. Purely by coincidence, it seems, from continued to confide in Arthur Maxwell through the summer. When from expressed eagerness to meet Martin Neemler in Germany during his summer speaking trip, Maxwell shared the feeling. Quote. I agree with you entirely that we have too long neglected these distinguished theologians in the other churches. I'm inclined to think that some of our men have been afraid of their superior educational accomplishments. But, as you know only too well, the better educated these men are, the humbler and more approachable they usually turn out to be. and quote from went on to meet Edmund Shlink, another German theologian to whom froom had sent a copy of his prophetic faith of our father's books. Slink was not on the avenues end of the spectrum. He was destined to be the Evangelical Church in Germany's representative to the second Vatican Council in a few years. But froom found that Schlink was happy to meet him, even though he chided adventist for not playing nicely with other Christians. Slink asked from whether avenues wrote anything other than propaganda, which probably hurt from a little bit. From responded by describing the avenues progress in medical field, in temperance reform, in humanitarian work, which did seem to impress shlink. She link had read frooms books and place them in the university library when he was finished. And so froom found that several of the students at Heidelberg University, where Schlink Taught, have been reading frooms prophetic faith of our father's. there. Now adventism was was making in roads in a prestigious university in Germany, and from knew what lesson to draw from this story, Arthur. He wrote to Maxwell, quote. I want to tell you that we have made a mistake and not frat or and I using with these men. I told him I wanted to talk with him and let him see that I don't have horns and quote. During the fundamentalist era of adventism, can you imagine any avenues leader desiring friendship with those evil German theologians? MMM, froom. In Maxwell's views, here portended a rift between this emerging neo evangelical adventism, which which sought a better relationship with other Christians, and the the remnants of the fundamentalist adventist who saw such friendship as dangerous. And these two threads, of course, are going to continue even until today. UNRUE was on the same page as froom. If avenues believe that the majority of God's people existed outside of the Avens Church, then, quote, God must have some shepherds for those sheep in other communions. and quote. What's more, those people could never join the Aven as church. Quote, until the avens...

...denomination is set before the world as being absolutely Orthodox on the fundamentals of salvation and quote, UNRU went on. Quote. We continue to emphasize before the world that Jesus is coming the second time, when most people don't believe he came the first time. We continue to convince the people that the seventh day is the Sabbath when they don't believe the Bible to be the word of God. and quote. The Barn House wanted to join this discussion and here for himself what the adventists were saying. Since barnhouse was being added to Martin and George Cannon side, the anus would be permitted to add another member to their team. From selected Roy Allen Anderson for his history of maintaining good relations with Christians of other denominations and for his experience in public evangelism. In fact, from had wanted Anderson instead of w e read. At the very beginning he found read a little bit of blunt instrument, though he didn't regret read being on the team. Still, from thought Anderson's diplomatic gifts were well suited to the task. But Anderson had been traveling when the talks began. So all right, read, you're on the team. UNRUE wasn't really in favor of Anderson joining the team, but readd welcome Anderson, offering Anderson his place on the team. Maybe I'll step down and Anderson can take my place. It was a sign of a little bit of tension between read and from now on, October twenty two, one thousand nine hundred and fifty five, Martin met with the avenues again to plan the meeting that was going to happen at the Barn House House. In fact, Martin was a little short on cash and ask the avenues to spot him and Canon Eighty two and twenty cents for air fare. And then, three days later, from unrute, read and Anderson made their way to the Barnhouse House in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, forty five miles north of Philadel you. Barnhouse welcome them warmly and set the tone at the beginning by saying that he fervently hoped that there might be a spirit of love during their talks. So they prayed together, and then Barnhouse let the Avenus know his opinion of them. Barnhouse believed that they were ignorant fanatics who believe people needed to keep the Sabbath in order to be saved and taught that the devil was the sin bearer. And then he talked about how he had read the works of former adventists like Eb Jones, who just confirmed in his mind that all of his suspicions were true. But now, with what Walter Martin had just shared with him, he came to realize that avenues were indeed Christians and that he had been wrong. Oh, I mean, you know. Don't get me wrong, Barnhow said, I still have some very serious, serious disagreements with some of your theology and we know I'll let you know about that. But you get the impression here that that Barnhouse didn't admit that he had been wrong about many people before. Here he is apologizing to unrue for an article he wrote, and here he is not exactly apologizing, they'll maybe he did, but just admitting that he had been wrong about having as his whole life. Okay, Barn House is about five years from the end of his life right now and it took this long. He's not too proud to say I had it wrong about you guys. Now, as I mentioned in the last episode, this was a Barnhouse that had changed since his decision and early one thousand nine hundred and fifty three to listen to other Christians and not to be so quick to attack people. Much to froom's delight, the first day's discussions sent around his prophetic faith of our fathers. Is that for volume opus that narrated Christian history in a distinctly advent his voice. This was a book that from had traveled to Europe several times for to do research. You'd spent sixteen years on this project, I mean so it's a massive opus and and you know then froom went on the campaign to get this the set of four volumes and as many universities to as many prominent Christians around the world as...

...he could. I mean a set was sent to the University of Edinborough and Scotland. That was sent to Heidelberg University in Germany, of course. Another set was reviewed in the Journal from the American Society of Church history, which did recognize it as a very slanted reading of history, very denominationally focused reading of history, but Martin, Barnhouse and cannon respected room's achievement there in that book. Again, there were still some disagreements to work out concerning ADVENTISMS, Christianity, the precise contours of it, and unreudescribed it this way. Quote. The questions and answers so far developed were reviewed in depth during both days of the conference. We came to see that many misunderstandings rested on semantic grounds because of our use of an inbred denominational vocabulary. Our friends helped us to express our beliefs in terms more easily understood by theologians of other communions. And quote, in bread denominational vocabulary. Well, that's a great way to put it. I think today we'd probably say insider language. Now every group has insider language. Okay, but it was in these talks with the evangelicals that these avenues became so painfully aware of how that insider language is a barrier to understanding. Of course, to Avenis who might not care about reaching peace with the evangelicals, this will all smell like compromise. Right, we're changing the words we use, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Okay, we'll cover that in the future. That evening, Martin Cannon in the avenues met at their hotel to talk some more. Martin and Cannon New Barnhouse better, of course, and described his open attitude towards adventists as a miracle. A miracle, it was astonishing to them. Now more astonishment was to come on the second day, when Ellen White was brought up. Roy Allen Anderson earned his spot on the team here during the discussions by pointing Walter Martin to an Ellen White statement where Ellen White wrote quote. We should come to the investigation of God's word with a contrite heart, a teachable and prayerful spirit. We should not study the Bible for the purpose of sustaining our preconceived opinions, but what the single object of learning what God has said. If there are those whose faith in God's word will not stand the test of an investigation of the scriptures, the sooner they are revealed the better, for then the way will be open to show them their error. We cannot hold that a position, once taken, an idea ones advocated, is not under any circumstances to be relinquished. There is but one who is infallible, he who is the way, the truth and the life. In quote, you can imagine how this quote appear old. appealed to Barnhouse, who had always felt the same way. Right. If, if someone's faith won't stay in scrutiny, than it is better that they learn how weak it is. Then the go their whole lives thinking that they are strong. Barnhouse was so impressed by this statement that he ran upstairs to his secretary and had his secretary copy it for him so he could have a copy of it. The two days spent at the Barn House House was invigorating. Unrute was on the something when he wrote quote. We avenues had come to see that we could state our doctrinal positions with clarity in language understood by theologians of other churches, yet never bending for the sake of clarity or harmony alone. And quote now, enrew is writing years after this whole affair became controversial, so he's careful to add that the goal here was never the change what even is. Believe fine, but what's interesting about that statement is that it tells us that the Aven a side walked away with a confidence boost. I mean having confidence in your beliefs, in the correctness of your beliefs, is one thing, but having confidence in your ability to express them well is another. I'd sell if you've ever had a theological conversation with somebody, like a really deep one, where you know your challenge to explain what it is that you believe in in a way that you haven't had...

...to before. I mean it really you can get this this kind of emotional rush afterwards of feeling like wow, I just passed a test. You know, I didn't study for it. He's not consciously. We went and had this conversation. It was fruitful, we were engaged, we were both sharing our ideas, you know, and we were connecting and understood each other. I mean there's just nothing kind of like it. It wasn't just a one way preaching. It's like this was a conversation between between practitioners, between people who know and and we understood each other, despite the fact that we believe many different things. So they haven't aside is feeling better. It's not that they didn't have confidence in what they believed beforehand, but I think the the expression of belief is different than confidence in the belief itself. Like I may have confidence that we can come to this these foreign people who believe these very different things in some respects or who are hostile to us, or were hostile to us, and we could express ourselves well and be understood and be appreciated. It felt good. Felt good now, returning home from the Barnhouse House, froom wrote Barnhouse a letter expressing appreciation for his hospitality. Speaking of Walter Martin, froom wrote, quote, he has unusual gifts for a man of his age. We have learned to love him as a brother in the Lord and quote from went on to say that he hoped to that quote, a new day may come in our mutual witness before the world. In quote. Now, this rather innocuous statement is curious in light of all that we've covered in Avidus history, our mutual witness. Is that how hapvens had always seen it? We're in this together, side by side. Is it possible that, just as we are speaking of a neoevangelical movement, that is, a resurgence of Evangelical Christians who are rejecting the belligerent tone of fundamentalism in favor of a little bit more cooperation with each other that we is it possible that we could also speak of a neo evangelical spirit within adventism rising at the same time? Just as adventist had followed evangelicals into fundamentalism, are they following fundamental fundamentalist right back into evangelicalism? What happened to the AVIDENCE die had tribes against a postate protestantism. Warn't believers supposed to come out of these fallen churches? This Babylon? I don't think from would disagree with that. It's more like a new tension is forming within adventism. Yeah, you had this Babylon Critique, but now you have something else alongside of it, intention with that which is which is brotherhood. Yes, there is babylonianism in the sense of believing some of the wrong things about God, there's Babylonianism in Barnhouse, but there's a brother in him too. Yes, there's babylonianism in evangelicalism, but there's also brothers insisters there too. How do we, how do we believe both things at the same time? How can they be both brother in Babylon at the same time? That that's that's the part that's intention right. It's you can't reconcile that neatly, but both things to them seemed to be true. Having US are both working against these churches by trying to reform their theology, by trying to get them to accept the truth that happened, disbelieved that they have, while at the same time they're also working with these true churches to preach the Gospel to the world. The world was a much bigger place in the s. How could heaven is possibly reach the world all on their own? Maybe God had a role for some of these other churches in finishing the work.

Maybe when Arthur Maxwell visited headquarters from let him borrow his correspondence with Walter Martin. Maxwell thought it was brilliant and he gave him an idea. Why don't you publish this stuff? Well, that's spooched from WHO came alive. To the idea that his letters to Martin might be leaked. That would be disastrous. They would embarrass everyone involved. Can Imagine what some of his enemies might do with it, or or even just how well meeting people might misinterpret it? Hmm Yeah, imagine what the fundamentalist might do with this ammunition before Martin and Barnhouse had a chance to present their conclusions carefully and reason them well. And because room didn't have explicit GC approval for what he had written. Okay, if it created a firestorm and avenue circles, then the GC could just look the other way, as froom was burnt at the stake. Right, we never authorize that. This was something for him was doing on his own. No, no, these letters cannot get out. Negotiations were positive, but they were still delicate. Trust would be broken if these letters got out. So froom cool to the idea of publishing anything. Maxwell could not use these letters in any way. And if something were to be published, then the GC leaders had to do it, they had to authorize it, they had to be their initiative. So Arthur, send me the letters back as soon as you can from told them this is, from rote quote, a far larger matter than at first it seemed. and quote. So we have the first meetings between the avenues and evangelical representatives. Now, don't worry, we're not going to go through all eighteen meetings this that this space. Okay, but I think it's important understand what is shaping up here. There's a genuine respect, even affection, that was forming between the two sides, dare I say love, unexpected, unsolicited, and people in the Evangelical Camp and the eveness camp who are not party to these meetings won't understand it. And from this affection and respect a new vision of adventism was was being articulated was forming, a more gospel oriented adventism, a more neighborly adventism. I guess we can call it spider man adventism. Like froom and company. They didn't retreat from their core beliefs here, but they were tired of fundamentalism, they were tired of the fighting, they were tired of adventisms reputation among other Christians as a kind of a snarky small dog syndrome, kind of denomination. I almost apologize if you have small dogs for that comment. But you know, like the just Yappy, Yappy, happy yappy kind of religion, you always challenging people, always, you know, looking down on these on these bigger, more prestigious denominations. is of adventism, you know, kind of kind of has this reputation of being smogg and I'm not saying all that to deserve it, okay, but it's like we can do something the combat that can't. We can't. We communicate better, but what we actually believe room one and an adventism that was less insular, more helpful, more engaged. Again, he didn't set out to change avenuest theology, avenes theology. I mean this is this is what a lot of people don't understand. When they get in. They reacting the quity, especially negatively. Is That havness theology was? This is this? It's like a soup. You know, you will have books published that are pro trinity, books pubs that are Anti Trinity. I mean there's it's not like there's one true faith here. Right, of course, everybody will say there is and the rest of that is just noise or worse, but I mean it's all there. You can find a...

...number of positions within adventism at this time on a number of issues, all of them published officially. They may not be endorsed by the highest officers of the land, but I mean they're freely disseminated, they're freely taught, and so people are sometimes like why, I qd you know it, it's changing what Aven has believe it, but it's not. Froom is simply picking one of those ingredients in the soup, saying more of this, less of the other stuff. FROOM in company didn't retreat from his core beliefs. They were just tired of fundamentalism. They were tired of the fighting, as were Martin and Barnhouse with with their squad. But in order to realize this more neighborly or more respected, less cult like version of adventism, they need to do something about the adventist in their midst, the lunatic fringe, as froom dismissed them. This questions on doctrine. Process wasn't just about theology. It was about representatives from hostile religious groups coming together at the table of peace realizing how much they had in common, how much in particularly the evangelicals misunderstood adventism. In finding respect and finding affection and again, I mean dare I say love? Right, froom saying Martin is a brother in the Lord, he's one of us, he's part of the family. Questions and doctrine is about that. And then the people around this table trying to explain Martin to the Evangelicals, froom and company, to the avenues, what they found at that table, trying to persuade them. Like we didn't expect this to happen, but this is our love story. This is what we found when we came together. We weren't looking for it, we didn't ask for it, you know, we just thought it became a much bigger thing, right from says, a far larger matter than at first it seemed. With this is what it gets like. I just want to show you, guys, what we found here, and it's part of the story, is how people reacted to that story that froom was telling about this relationship. It's not just about theology, it's about a new vision not only for Evangelicalism, a vision which had started long before this but is influencing it here, a vision, a New Vision for adventism. Right, less of this ingredient, more of this ingredient, let's be friendlier, let's be more neighborly, let's let's communicate better work in ways in which we can work with other Christians. Wasn't just about theology, right, it was about this love story, about this respect. It's also about this, this New Vision for adventism and, as such, it was about regime change because in order for this new spirit that froom found at the peace table, in order for this New Vision for adventism which froom was trying to live out, in order for that to to to really be what froom said it was, which is the IT reflects the majority view of adventists, there's going to have to be a new way of doing things in the avenues church, not that room was trying to be president, and that regime. Not Regime change in terms of politics, regime change in terms of culture, in terms of vision. It's not just about theology. It's about so much...

...more. We're going to pick it up again next time.

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