"Questions on Doctrine"and the Purple State of SDA Theology

Speaker: Categories: Jul 12, 2008


[1hr, 14min, 59sec / 51min, 50sec]


"Should we find Jesus in our doctrines or our doctrines in Jesus?"the subtitle for the cover story in the May 15, 2008, edition ofAdventist Reviewposes a timely question. How should that question be answered? Is the answer you propose likely to be the answer reached by Shane Anderson, the article's author? Might the answer proposed by SDA church theologians have differed over time? How about SDA church administrators - or pastors - or laity? If likely to have undergone change, would such change have been desirable, inevitable, of rather irrelevant?

In 1957 the bookQuestions on Doctrinewas published by the Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in response to some challenges posed by evangelicals about key elements of Adventist doctrine. Controversy regarding the book's position on the nature of Christ and the atonement soon stopped its circulation. (By the way, did you obtain a copy? Did you read it? Do you still have it somewhere, dusty, on your book shelves?)

Dr. Nam notes"In October, 2007, a group of Adventist theologians, pastors, and church leaders gathered at Andrews University for theQuestions on Doctrine 50th Anniversary Conference. The group had representatives from different wings of Adventism which held widely divergent perspectives on the book and its significance in contemporary Adventism. Perhaps because no attempt was made to reach a consensus, but simply to listen and understand each other better, the conference ended on a positive note and generated good reviews from different quarters of Adventism. However, questions surrounding the doctrines discussed in Questions on Doctrine and the related question on the definition of Adventism remain.


Julius Nam is an associate professor of religion at Loma Linda University School of Religion, specializing in Adventist studies and historical theology. During the 2003-2006 academic year, he taught religion at Pacific Union College. Prior to that, he served as a pastor in Korea, Michigan,and southern California. All his post-secondary degrees are from Andrews University. His Ph.D. dissertation is entitled"Reactions to Seventh-day Adventist Evangelical Conferences andQuestions on Doctrine, 1955-1971."He is a commissioned minister in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. July 12 will be Dr. Nam's initial appearance as a speaker at San Diego Adventist Forum.

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