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Episode 4: Thus Far and No Farther

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

William Miller preaching in 1844.

The Seventh-day Adventist pioneers had major issues with the idea of any kind of unchangeable creed. So how did we end up with a list called, “The 28 Fundamental Beliefs”?

Does someone have to know, understand, and believe all 28 to still be a part of the Seventh-day Adventist church?

And what does the early Adventist's pursuit of "present truth" mean for us today?

Guests: Frank Hasel, Joseph Kidder, George Knight, Ken Denslow, Stan Patterson

CORRECTION: Ken Denslow is now serving as the President of the Lake Union Conference in Berrien Springs, Michigan.


Dive Deeper

You can read the official wording of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs, along with the Bible verses that guided Adventists to develop this particular theology, on the official Seventh-day Adventist Church website.

At the most recent General Conference Session in 2015, the world church voted several changes to the Fundamental Beliefs. This article details the changes and the process it took to get there.

1951 portrait of F.M. Wilcox, editor of the Review and Herald (Adventist Review) and pivotal contributor to the development of the Fundamental Beliefs. Wilcox was editor from 1911-1944, during the rise of the Fundamentalist Movement within the larger American Christian community. Photo courtesy of the Center for Adventist Research.

Article | Creeds by Joseph Kidder and Katelyn Campbell Weakley - ESDA

This article dives even deeper into the context and timeline surrounding the development of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs, co-written by one of our guests on this week's episode.

F.M Wilcox is a prominent figure in the development of the Fundamental Beliefs, and as long-time editor of the Review and Herald, now called the Adventist Review, he had considerable influence over the conversations and perspectives Adventists considered during his tenure.

From the Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists.

Pastor Clinton Shaffer baptizes the first female Adventist convert in Palau, cir 1955. Courtesy of the Center for Adventist Research

Article | Baptismal Vows by Joseph Kidder and Katelyn Campbell Weakley - ESDA

Just like the Fundamental Beliefs, Seventh-day Adventist Baptismal Vows have gone through changes and revisions. This article details the journey to the two sets of Baptismal Vows we have today.

From the Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists.

Original cover of Questions on Doctrine, first published in 1957. Photo courtesy of thewalkingstick on Wikipedia..

Book Resource | Questions on Doctrine (1957) - Adventist Archives

Though not detailed in this episode, the publishing of this book was an important step in Adventism's articulation of its unique doctrines.

Adventists felt pressure from Evangelical leaders to explain and defend its beliefs, as it had been considered a fringe religion by many.

While the development and publication of this book was important, its legacy is still being debated today.

The Biblical Research Institute was established by action of the General Conference Committee in 1975.

The BRI's vision is to be a leader in the exploration of biblical truth and the creation of cutting-edge biblical and theological resources to enhance the world church’s understanding and expression of its message, mission, and unity in a globally sensitive and relevant way.

It consists of several Adventist theologians and staff working at the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.


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Twitter: @htcwpodcast

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