The Evolution of Adventists’ Creation Belief Statement – The Compass Magazine

This article traces the history of the first Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Belief Statement oncreation (FB#6). It is a revised version of a previous article,[1] which describes how external andinternal attacks on a literal interpretation of biblical protology (the study of origins as described inGenesis 1-11) led SDA leaders to voice their support of (1) a literal interpretation of the early chaptersof Genesis and (2) the formulation of a specific statement on creation. It also describes the processused by the General Conference (GC) to formulate the statement on creation, and how this statementwas rewritten to include multiple interpretations of origins.

 

Creation in Early Adventist Fundamental Belief Statements

From the early days of the Second Advent Movement, Adventists were firm believers in the Creation account of Genesis 1:1-2:3. It is here that they found the theological foundation of the biblical Sabbath. To the Adventist pioneers Creation was “the reason why God blessed and sanctified the seventh day, because ‘in it he had rested from all his work which GOD had created and made.’”[2]

 

As the Second Advent Movement progressed, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald became theofficial publication of the movement. From August 15 to December 19 of 1859, “a list of five leadingdoctrines was published in the masthead of the Review and Herald.”[3] Although a reference to theLaw of God appeared in the list, there was no direct reference to Creation.

 

Adventism grew and in 1872, A Declaration of the Fundamental Principles Taught and Practiced by the Seventh-day Adventists was printed. It contained twenty-five unsigned propositions, and it was later published in the Signs of the Times on June 4, 1874, under the title Fundamental Principles.[4] It placed more emphasis on God as the Creator but had no explicit statement on Creation.[5] This particular list was never printed in the Yearbook or the Church Manual.

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The Evolution of Adventists’ Creation Belief Statement – The Compass Magazine

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