Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Review It's Okay Not to be a Seventh-day Adventist part 4

I am going to entitle this as Part 4 of my Review of It’s Okay Not To Be A Seventh-day Adventist. This post however is a continuation of sorts of the article inspired by the book though not really a part of the review. That article was Wednesday, February 18, 2009 Judged by the ten commandments? In that article the book rightly criticized the Adventist statement which indicated we are judged by the 10 commandments. The book however a little latter basically does the same thing by saying in Chapter 11 - Pillar III Part 3 - the Law under the heading Mainstream Christianity and the Ten page 172:

“So the Ten Commandment are useful in today’s world.

Hanging them on the Supreme Court walls is beneficial because it reminds lawbreakers that a Supreme God will ultimately judge the evildoers. It also shows the believer the incredible things He overcame for us. Having tried to keep a law in the past, we understand our weakness. We now understand the generous gift of Christ. It gives us a reason to say thanks and to worship Him.”

Of course the Ten Commandments say nothing about God judging evildoers so the author’s statement is pretty questionable. But it shows that this idea of being judged by the 10 commandments is still very much a part of contemporary Christianity, not simply some Adventist delusion. It is in fact a Christian delusion based upon the Penal Atonement theory which aside from asserting that Christ paid our penalty Christ kept the law perfectly and applies it to our account. Thus we have kept the law perfectly so that we can be judged by the 10 commandments and any other law. Christians are fictionally viewed as perfect because they have accepted the gift of Christ, fictionally because in reality we know that we are not perfect at all and that we don’t keep the Ten either. But we say God does not see reality he sees the legal fiction. The evildoers of course can still be judged by the Ten Commandments because they have not been imputed with the perfect law keeping of Christ. For more on the problems of this view see the article Justification By Faith…No hiding From God

I won’t spend much time on the mid section of the book which goes over various pillars of the Adventist church and the author’s objections to those views. There are some worthy arguments made but unfortunately since the first part of the book was written in such a biased fashion and included too many factual errors it is doubtful many Adventists will get to this section of the book. I am pretty sure it is the most important section of the book however. But the arguments are their interpretation versus the traditional Adventist interpretation. As such I won’t spend anytime on what preference my interpretation is over theirs or over traditional Adventists. I began this review by saying the book needed to be revised. From my correspondence with the one of the author’s I don’t get the sense that the book was really ever intended for Adventists as much as for ex-Adventists and those already sure that Adventism is wrong. The funny thing is, that is probably a bigger market then trying to reach the Adventist market. Though my view is you should write to reach both markets by being as factual and objective as possible.

The last chapter is entitled “Transitioning Out” which deserves its own article and will conclude the review.

The following links will take you to the previous reviews.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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