The Adventist Theological Society: Diagnosis and Prognosis

Speaker: Categories: Jul 07, 1992


[1hr, 14min, 9sec / 39min, 13sec]


ATS -- if you remember those letters as standing for the American Temperance Society, you and this writer are probably dated!

In current parlance, ATS stands for the Adventist Theological Society. Do you know the "who," the "what," and the "why" of it?

"Recent meetings conducted by the Adventist Theological Society in Loma Linda (April 16-18)," comments Dr. Cottrell, "introduced a new dimension of theological concern into Adventist circles in southern California. In response, Loma Linda University religion teachers sponsored a panel on the future of Adventist theology on May 9. The panelists represented a wide spectrum of Adventist doctrinal understanding. For two and a half hours the Campus Chapel was packed as it seldom, if ever, had been packed before. All seats were taken, and perhaps two hundred were either standing or seated on the floor. Future meetings on specific areas of theology [were also] planned."

Dr. Cottrell promises that the July 11 meeting of the San Diego Forum "will focus on the Adventist Theological Society -- its background over the past twenty-three years, what it is and what it stands for, its theological perspective, its biblical hermeneutic, its relationship with other Adventist Bible scholars and theologians, and what portends for the future of the church."


Raymond Cottrell is a frequent presenter at San Diego Forum having addressed this audience eight times since 1980. Dr. Cottrell's family tree dates back to the Albigenses in southern France in the thirteenth century. About 1636 Raymond's forbearers joined the Seventh Day Baptist church in England who soon thereafter emigrated to Roger William's Rhode Island colony. For the next two hundred years family members served the SDB church as pastors and administrators. In 1851 Roswell Fenner Cottrell joined "the little flock" and, over the next forty years, served the church as pastor, evangelist, and frequent contributor to the Review and Herald (1,692 articles). Dr. Cottrell is his great-grandson, a fourth generation SDA, whose family has treasured the Sabbath for twelve generations.

Like his great-grandfather, Dr. Cottrell has made a major contributions to SDA thought. His work on the Adventist Bible Commentary, his seven hundred articles, and four hundred research papers are most laudable. However, since retirement, his pen has not been idle. He continues to challenge Adventist thought, policy, and procedures through his various committee assignments, speaking appointments, and articles.

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