Letter 1903-10-28 – J. H. Kellogg to G. I. Butler

 

Letter from J. H. Kellogg to G. I. Butler, October 28, 1903

As far as I can fathom, the difficulty which is found in The Living Temple, the whole thing may be simmered down to the question: Is the Holy Ghost a person? You say no. I had supposed the Bible said this for the reason that the personal pronoun ‘he’ is used in speaking of the Holy Ghost. Sister White uses the pronoun ‘he’ and has said in so many words that the Holy Ghost is the third person of the Godhead. How the Holy Ghost can be the third person and not be a person at all is difficult for me to see.” “I am willing to confess that I am not a pantheist nor a spiritualist, and that I believe none of the doctrines taught by these people or by pantheistic or spiritualistic writings. I never read a pantheistic book in my life. I never read a book on “New Thought,” or anything of that kind. Anybody who will read carefully the “Living Temple” from the first page right straight through to the last, and will give the matter fair and consistent consideration, ought to see very clearly that I have no accord whatever with these pantheistic and spiritualistic theories…

“I abhor pantheism as much as you do. I have endeavored in my book to simply teach the fact that man is dependent upon God for everything, and that without the divine power working in him the Spirit of God operating upon the elements which compose his body, he would be dust. God, the fountain of all life, is man’s life; that is, the Spirit of God is man’s life. You will find clear statement of this in the preface of the “Living Temple” on the third page. I have also stated clearly in the preface of “The Living Temple” that my whole discussion relates only to the operation of the Spirit of God in the body in a physiological sense.” (Lt. from Kellogg to G. I. Butler, 21-2-1904)

“For sixty years I have been in communication with heavenly messengers, and I have been constantly learning in reference to divine things, and in reference to the way in which God is constantly working to bring souls from the error of their ways to the light in God’s light.” (Lt. 86, to G. I. Butler, 1906; in 4MR, p. 64) “As far as I can fathom, the difficulty which is found in ‘The Living Temple’, the whole thing may be simmered down to the question: Is the Holy Ghost a person? You say no. I had supposed the Bible said this for the reason that the personal pronoun ‘he’ is used in speaking of the Holy Ghost. Sister White uses the pronoun ‘he’ and has said in so many words that the Holy Ghost is the third person of the Godhead. How the Holy Ghost can be the third person and not be a person at all is difficult for me to see.” (Kellogg to Butler, 28-10-1903)

“I believe this Spirit of God to be a personality, you don’t. But this is purely a question of definition. I believe the Spirit of God is a personality; you say, No, it is not a personality. Now the only reason why we differ is because we differ in our ideas as to what, a personality is. Your idea of personality is perhaps that of semblance to a person or a human being. This is not the scientific conception of personality and that is not the sense in which I use the word. The scientific test for personality is the exercise, of will, volition, purpose, without any reference to form or material being.” (Kellogg to Butler, 21-2-1904) G.I. Butler to Kellogg 1904

“So far as Sister White and you being in perfect agreement, I shall have to leave that entirely between you and Sister White. Sister White says there is not perfect agreement; you claim there is. I know some of her remarks seem to give you strong ground for claiming that she does. I am candid enough to say that, but I must give her the credit until she disowns it of saying there is a difference too, and I do not believe you can fully tell just what she means. “God dwells in us by His Holy Spirit, as a Comforter, as a Reprover, especially the former. When we come to Him we partake of Him in that sense, because the Spirit comes forth from Him; it comes forth from the Father and the Son. It is not a person walking around on foot, or flying as a literal being, in any such sense as Christ and the Father are – at least, if it is, it is utterly beyond my comprehension of the meaning of language or words.” (Butler to Kellogg, 5-4-1904)

Letter 1903-10-28 – J. H. Kellogg to G. I. Butler

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