by Ervin Taylor
by Ervin Taylor, October 16, 2014
The recent action of the General Conference Annual Council to endorse the change in Adventist “Fundamental” Belief Number 6 by stating that the Creation was “recent” and occurred in “six literal days” is further testimony that the present General Conference administration headed by Wilson II is determined to return the Adventist Church intellectually and theologically to where it was at its founding: a fundamentalist sect.
The only difference will be that corporate Adventism is now what sociologists call an Institutionalized Sect. However, intellectually and theologically, under the rule of Wilson II and his allies in the Adventist Theological Society (ATS), the standing of Adventism among well-informed and educated individuals in the 21st Century will continue to decline.
There is only one more step left in executing the long-term Adventist version of the Counter Reformation agenda of the ATS—to stop and then reverse the theological maturation of Adventism that began in the late 1950s. The next step is, or course, a “vote” during the General Conference session in San Antonio, Texas, in July 2015.
Moderate and progressive Adventists should not be surprised as to what is going on. The retrogressive theological agenda of the ATS from its beginnings in the late 1980s has been public and available for all to read. Wilson II is simply carrying out their wishes. That this agenda is fundamentally detrimental to the long term intellectual viability of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the modern world appears to be of little or no interest to ATS leadership or Wilson II, who is functioning now, essentially, as a pawn in carrying out ATS's long-term plans.
More than three decades ago, Dr. Raymond Cottrell, a long-serving associate editor of the Adventist Review and founding editor of Adventist Today, laid out in great detail the theological basis of the ATS agenda. In a future blog, we will review the insightful analysis Dr. Cottrell wrote 20 years ago in a paper entitled, “The Adventist Theological Society and its Biblical Hermeneutic.”