Adventism Confronts Modernity: An Account of the Advent Christian Controversy over the Bible's Inspiration

Adventism Confronts Modernity: An Account of the Advent Christian Controversy over the Bible's Inspiration

by Robert J. Mayer, Garth M. Rosell

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Many restorationist-oriented associations like the Advent Christian Church often embrace two conflicting principles. First, they understand the Bible's inspiration and authority in a way that minimizes the importance and value of church tradition. Second, they give high value to individual autonomy both in biblical interpretation and in church governance. Adventism Confronts Modernity describes what can happen when these principles conflict and make it difficult to resolve theological conflict. This work begins by exploring the nineteenth-century historical and theological roots of early Adventism with special attention to William Miller and the theological impact of the Great Disappointment, the failed prediction of the early Adventists that Jesus Christ would return visibly in 1843 or 1844. Subsequent chapters explore the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversies of the early twentieth century and focus on the impact of those events on the two colleges that trained Advent Christian clergy--Aurora College (now Aurora University) and New England School of Theology (later Berkshire Christian College). After discussing theological reform efforts within the Protestant mainline and fundamentalist coalitions, this book describes the conflicting views regarding the Bible's inspiration that emerged in the early twentieth century and their impact on the Advent Christian Church during the 1950s and 1960s. It concludes that further reflection is needed on both the doctrine of Holy Scripture and how restorationist movements balance Christian theology with individual and congregational autonomy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498295277
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 02/16/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 212
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Robert J. Mayer is Senior Librarian and Assistant Professor of Theological Bibliography at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he has served since 1997. He is based at the seminary's Charlotte, North Carolina campus.
Garth M. Rosell is senior research professor of church history at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and former director of the Ockenga Institute. His books include The Memoirs of Charles G. Finney (coedited with R. A. G. Dupuis) and Commending the Faith: The Preaching of D. L. Moody.

Table of Contents

Foreword Garth M. Rosell ix

Preface xi

Introduction xv

1 Restorationists, Modernists, and Adventists 1

2 Setting the Stage: The Conflict between Fundamentalists and Modernists 24

3 Advent Christian Responses to the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy 53

4 A Divided Protestantism Competes for America's Soul 73

5 Advent Christians Engage a Divided Protestantism 101

6 Cleveland and Montreat: Discussion, Debate, and Decision 123

7 Aftermath and Impact 155


1 William Miller's Fourteen Rules of Interpretation 169

2 The 1881 Advent Christian Declaration of Principles 171

3 The 1900 Advent Christian Declaration of Principles 174

4 Advent Christian Curriculum Materials 177

Bibliography 183

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