9 August 2023 |
Adventists have used certain key terms and phrases to express their view on doctrinal development. These catch-words reflect both the determination to uphold the doctrines of the church and the readiness to advance in the understanding of truth. Because of this tendency to use these expressions without an accurate understanding of their historical meaning and theological implications, we will discuss two key phrases: “present truth” and “new light.” This will contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of doctrinal continuity and change.
We begin with a speech by Adventist conductor Herbert Blomstedt on “Present Truth in Music.” Against this background, the paper briefly discusses the biblical derivation of the term “present truth,” followed by an overview of its varied usage and denotation in Adventist theological history. In this light, Pöhler offers a theological interpretation of “present truth” outlining its defining characteristics. In conclusion, the essay refers back to Blomstedt’s reflections on present truth in music.
Rolf J. Pöhler was born into a German Adventist pastor’s family. He studied theology in Darmstadt and the United States, earning a Master of Divinity degree in 1975 and a Doctor of Theology degree from Andrews University, Michigan, in 1995. His 600-page dissertation on “Change in Seventh-day Adventist Theology” was republished in 2020 by Friedensau Adventist University under the title Dynamic Truth: A Study of the Problem of Doctrinal Development.
Dr. Pöhler has worked as pastor, departmental director, and church president in Germany. Since 1992 he has taught at Friedensau Adventist University in Germany, as a Professor of Systematic Theology. His main areas of interest are dogmatics and hermeneutics. He has authored and edited several books and numerous articles. For more details, see https://www.thh-friedensau.de/
Linda Nottingham is an alumna of La Sierra University. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with her husband, Bud de Laurier, with whom she plays golf. She maintains a small consulting practice, and has recently taken up a late-life career in modeling where, she says, “the most important criterion is to look old.”
How to join:
One-click link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85247670298
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The class is intended to last about 2 hours, though the conversation often continues to 4 PM (Eastern time).
About our class:
- The AT Sabbath Seminar is intended to be a courteous forum. We discuss and ask questions politely. We don’t accuse, get angry, put people down, or judge the state of their salvation.
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We look forward to getting acquainted with you!
- David Neff (Retired editor, Christianity Today)
- Sigve Tonstad (Loma Linda University)
- Rolf Pohler (Friendensau)
- Pilira Zapita (Newbold)
- Kärt Lazic (Newbold)