Short Note on Questions of Doctrine and Adventism


So much have appeared on the book of Questions on Doctrine in the 1950’s and scholars and laymen are trying to trace precursors back to the 1919 Bible Conference and its issues and questions and answers at times.

I want to make something clear: questions on doctrine of the Sanctuary that were raised by Desmond Ford, or Ballenger, or Conradi or any other person outside or inside the Adventist church in the previous century or until recent, are not new.

Why do I say this? The book by Paul Gordon [Paul A. Gordon, (1981, July). Pioneer Articles on the Sanctuary Daniel 8:14, The Judgment, 2300 days, Day-Year Principle 1846-1904. Ellen White Estate. Also at Sahmyook Theological Library on floor 4 in Seoul, South Korea] clearly indicate that the writers to the Review and Herald and Present Truth between 1846-1904 wrote in order to answer questions exactly the same as were asked by Ford, Ballenger, Brinsmead, Waggoner, Jones, Conradi, and the list goes on. The writing style is answer to objections.

Take one example from J. N. Andrews in Review and Herald of July 7, 1853 page 4 on Hebrews 9:8 talking about the plural word “holies of holies” [plural] does not indicate “most holy place” or “holiest place” but the whole type: “We think that this truth shines out from the text with vivid distinctness, namely: that while the first tabernacle with its two holy places was standing – that is, while the typical dispensation lasted – the way into the greater and more perfect tabernacle was not laid open. – But when the typical dispensation ended, and the pattern was superseded by the true tabernacle, the way of the heavenly holy places [plural] was laid open, and we have boldness to enter where our High Priest is ministering for us”.

A fantastic answer to objection here. This question or misapplication pops-up time and again in preteristic commentaries and also by liberal or so-called “progressive” thinkers in Adventism [who are actually trying to align with these preteristic or Reform tradition commentaries they are utilizing] by making the distinction by Paul here horizontal between two zones in the tabernacle when the distinction is actually vertical between earthly tabernacle and heavenly tabernacle as J. N. Andrews so eloquently indicated.

In conclusion I would suggest that anyone who has questions on doctrine pertaining to the Sanctuary should first do their homework: not by reading Ford, not by reading Ballenger, not by reading Questions on Doctrine of 1953, not by reading Conradi, or Waggoner or Jones, but by analyzing the Sanctuary doctrine explicated by the Pioneers J. N. Loughborough, Ellen White, James White, J. N. Andrews, Uriah Smith, David Arnold and others between 1846-1904.

Solomon said so well: “There is nothing new under the sun.”


Never say that this doctorate or that doctorate was completed recently at Andrews University “indicating conclusively . . . “ because the data is all there in the doctorate, but how this data is dealt with, how it is classified, how it is analyzed makes the difference.

Two scholars will take the same data in the doctorate and they will come to different conclusions. Why? The answer is: the way you live [lifestyle = ontology] determines the way you think [epistemology] and the way you think [worldview, church view, inspiration view, doctrinal view] determines the way you go about analyzing [methodology] and your methodology determines the end-product [doctorate, article, book, sermons, talk, comment, opinion, idea, twitter].

Remember that it is in the footnotes that the weakness of the doctoral candidate as to his own ideas shows up with incriminating comments. Read the doctorate from the back to the front and from the footnotes to the text!


Koot van Wyk, South Korea, August 2018