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March 10, 2007


Kevin Kuehmichel

I think its simplistic myself. As I have been journeying though issues like this with people who have left Adventism (recently my head elder) I find that the arguments of living in Jesus is a "cheap Grace" message. No accountabilty and no salvation from sin but in sin. We cannot be saved by our works but the Bible is clear we are judged by what we do. Being in Jesus is a personal transformational experience that brings us into harmony with heaven. the problem is when we judge others and not ourselves

Just a thought.


Ray Tetz

There are: "two kinds of faith among religious people..."

Very few "religious people" on the planet have heard any of the jargon used in this description of the world. Only religious people of a particular tradition would even be able to decipher the terms, and I doubt that there would be any unanimity about what all those terms mean.

My parents divided the world into three groups--adventists (our friends), non-adventists (the targets), and ex-adventists (the devil). My world view is far more complex, thank Goodness.

This perspective is just as simplistic in its viewpoint, and wholly useless for anyone wishing to engage people of faith from all traditions in a deepening understanding and appreciation of the way that the Divine is revealed in our world.

Surely we can find ways to describe God's abundant grace in generative, inclusive terms.


Stu seems to place everything on a one-dimensional polarity; the grace-oriented and the opposite. (I'm not sure how defined he has the opposite?) Are there other dimensions that have equal value and meaning? Protestant faith seems to focused on this one dimension to a near exclusion of all else.

Ron Corson

I posted my comment on my blog
it looks like my comments fit in with the other comments above.


Ron, I read our comment on your blog and tried to post a comment there, but the system wouldn't let me. My questions: Are you setting aside all tools that might sharpen the issues? Is there never a proper time to clarify positions in dialog about spiritual things?

Ray Tetz

I think we may have missed Stu’s big point.

What if the original list that was posted would have said:

The Adventist tradition within Christianity asserts that the authentic end-time people of God are:

Set free by the everlasting gospel.
Clothed with Christ.
Marked with God’s commands.
Ready for the Bridegroom.
Troubled by their times.
Tested by the Sabbath.
Sealed by the Spirit.

Isn’t this a fairly straightforward description of Adventist orthodoxy?

Rather than being a comparison between “Two Kinds of Faith,” this list marks those points on the horizon towards which believers in the Adventist tradition have long aspired. It uses the very words, phrases, and biblical metaphors so cherished by the believers who pioneered our distinctive tradition through its development across the centuries. And it forges a spiritual linkage with the believers who lived during apostolic times and whose stories of struggling with issues of faith are captured in the scriptures.

I think it is quite valuable in that regard. I just wish I knew more about what it really means.

The original list describes some of the things that the writer believes that these end-time characteristics of God's people DON’T mean. But what DO they mean? How do they express themselves, in practical, concrete, appreciative terms? What is it like to be this kind of believer? How does it shape everyday life? How does it alter one’s view of the future? How does it inform the decisions that are made every moment?

It is in answering these questions -- posed by our theological/metaphorical descriptions -- that our faith begins to be relevant, vital, and missional.

Ron Corson

I don't know why you could not enter a comment, I just tried it and it worked. You can always use the anonymous button.

In response to your question:
"re you setting aside all tools that might sharpen the issues? Is there never a proper time to clarify positions in dialog about spiritual things?"

I did not really see any tools given in the list. They seemed to be either or positions which are generally not even remotely similar to reality. There is always time to clarify positions on spiritual or other things. But it generally takes a much more broader understanding then comes from either or positions. Most importantly the position one opposes must be accurately represented, then dialog proceeds.


Ron, you are right, "the position one opposes must be accurately represented," -- I would say, understood -- for dialog to happen. But Ray opens up another, perhaps more useful way of looking at these issues by focusing on faith affirmations, ignoring the negations and asking what do the affirmations mean in real life? How one's affirmations are lived is the real test of faith, is it not?

Ron Corson

I don't know about that it seems to me one is an affirmation the other is a negation:
"One group is set free by the everlasting gospel. The other group is enslaved by the Law."

I do know quite a few Traditional SDA's and I can't think of any of them that would say they are enslaved by the Law. In fact in general they would say they were set free by the everlasting gospel. I as a Progressive SDA may look at them as enslaved by the law, but that is not what they would say. What I would say was freedom by the everlasting gospel they would call antinomianism. So it is very much dependent upon the perspective one begins with.

So you have not convinced me it is useful yet. Though maybe there is a larger article which develops the idea more fully then the list you posted.

Ryan Bell

For what it's worth, I think Ray's last comment is right on the money. I can't figure out what the dialogue between Ron and Monte is about.

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