(The Use of Higher Criticism to Interpret the Bible)
[Excerpted from the author's Must We Be Silent?]
Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, Ph.D.
Director, Public Campus Ministries, Michigan Conference
In Part 1, we detailed the cold-war that has ensued in the church over the Bible, detailing how during the past decade some influential thought leaders have undermined the authority of the Bible (and the Spirit of Prophecy) by their use of contemporary higher criticism. In this second part of our discussion, we shall attempt to explain the difference it makes when one employs the liberal approach to the Bible. We shall also mention how the Seventh-day Adventist church responded to this liberal challenge.
What Difference Does It Make?
Whenever scholars teach the existence of factual errors in Scripture, they are compelled to explain the source of these mistakes and how to identify them. One explanation liberals often offer is that these alleged factual errors (in history, science, etc.) result from the Bible writers' limited knowledge and/or cultural prejudice and not from God Himself. Others suggest that God accommodated Himself to popular opinions, even opinions that are in error. Consequently, these scholars find it necessary in their study of Scripture to isolate the human aspects of Scripture (deemed riddled with factual mistakes) from the divine aspect (considered infallible).
Our discussion in subsequent paragraphs will show that this "pick and choose" approach to the Bible ultimately leads one to a repudiate established biblical teachings, including a six-day creation and a worldwide flood in Noah's day.
1. Dissection of God's Word. The pick and choose approach to the Bible, separating the human from the divine, is best illustrated in an article by an Adventist scholar who, like the author of Reading Ellen White, also advanced the questionable view that there were factual errors in Scripture. This scholar is a vice-president at one of the church's leading publishing houses and was also the editor of the 1991 controversial book Inspiration. In a Ministry magazine article, he suggested that we can isolate the divine from the human in Scripture.  He argued:
So contrary to what some suggest, it is not heretical to deal with merely the human aspect of the Bible in isolation from its divine side, or vice versa. That's not heresy but simple necessity. The heresy occurs when we deny the unity, wholeness, and complementarity principle in relation to inspiration. 
Notice, however, that Ellen White challenged this tendency of moderate liberalism to separate the human and divine elements in Scripture and confer uninspired status upon some portions of the written Word. She wrote:
The union of the divine and the human, manifest in Christ, exists also in the Bible. . . . And this fact, so far from being an argument against the Bible, should strengthen faith in it as the word of God. Those who pronounce upon the inspiration of the Scriptures, accepting some portions as divine while they reject other parts as human, overlook the fact that Christ, the divine, partook of our human nature, that He might reach humanity. In the work of God for man's redemption, divinity and humanity are combined (Testimonies for the Church, 5:747; cf. The Great Controversy, vi).
Despite this statement, another professor has suggested in a Ministry article that because God's messages were delivered through human instrumentalities, thus bearing the impress of human expression, in Scripture, "It is necessary to sort out what is human expression and divine message, even though all are inspired." For him Scriptures are reliable and trustworthy, only in the sense that they guide the hearer or reader "in the direction God wants him or her to go." However, he explained, the "attendant details with which the message is infleshed, but which are not an essential part of it, may have their origin in the culture or personality of the human messenger." 
In the carefully worded statement above, our scholar is suggesting that because the Bible is a record of God's communication to people who lived in a particular historico-cultural setting, part of Scripture's message (the "non-essential" part) is culturally conditioned. To discern the "direction" God wants today's interpreter to go, we must "sort out" which sections of God's Word are human (non-essential) and which are divine (essential).
It is instructive that while this professor of New Testament explicitly endorses the use of the historical-critical method in his Ministry article, Ellen White warned against higher criticism's attempts at sorting out from Scripture what is essential from the non-essential. Because the entire Scripture is inspired, Mrs. White warned:
Do not let any living man come to you and begin to dissect God's Word, telling what is revelation, what is inspiration and what is not, without a rebuke. . . . We call on you to take your Bible, but do not put a sacrilegious hand upon it, and say, 'That is not inspired,' simply because somebody else has said so. Not a jot or tittle is ever to be taken from that Word. Hands off, brethren! Do not touch the ark. . . . When men begin to meddle with God's Word, I want to tell them to take their hands off, for they do not know what they are doing (E. G. White comments, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, 7:919-920).
Again she wrote:
The warnings of the word of God regarding the perils surrounding the Christian church belong to us today. As in the days of the apostles men tried by tradition and philosophy to destroy faith in the Scriptures, so today, by the pleasing sentiments of higher criticism, evolution, spiritualism, theosophy, and pantheism, the enemy of righteousness is seeking to lead souls into forbidden paths. To many the Bible is a lamp without oil, because they have turned their minds into channels of speculative belief that bring misunderstanding and confusion. The work of higher criticism, in dissecting, conjecturing, reconstructing, is destroying faith in the Bible as a divine revelation. It is robing God's word of power to control, uplift, and inspire human lives (The Acts of the Apostles, 474).
2. Reinterpretation of Traditional Bible Teachings. Indeed, as we have seen in the previous sections of Must We Be Silent? the rejection of the Bible's teaching on homosexuality and role distinctions between male and female stems from liberalism's argument that we can pick and choose from Scripture or separate the essential truth from the allegedly culturally conditioned parts. By cultural conditioning liberal authors mean that the Bible mirrors the prejudices or limitations of its writers' culture and times.
This is the reason why some of the authors in the pro-ordination book The Welcome Table maintained that the apostle Paul erred in his interpretation of Genesis 1-3 when he grounded his teaching of role distinctions between male and female in Creation and the Fall. Reasoning along feminist and higher-critical lines, they claimed that the apostle Paul's statements were merely expressions of uninspired personal opinions—opinions that reflect his culture and hence do not apply to us. To these authors, Paul was "a man of his own time." He occasionally glimpsed the ideal that Jesus established during His time on earth; yet he never fully arrived at "the gospel ideal" of "full equality" or complete role interchangeability in both the home and the church. 
In certain denominations proponents of the cultural conditioning argument dismiss the Bible's condemnation of pre-marital and extra-marital sex, claiming that in contrast with our enlightened age, the Bible writers lived in a "pre-scientific" era with no antibiotics for venereal diseases, and no condoms and contraceptives to prevent pregnancies. The Bible writers' views, these liberal scholars contend, were consistent with the conditions of their times. But, they continue, if the Bible writers had lived in our day, they would have viewed pre- or extra-marital sex differently.
In my earlier work, I showed how some of our church scholars are employing similar arguments to reject the Bible's teaching against the wearing of jewelry, eating of unclean meats, drinking of alcohol, divorce and remarriage, etc. They maintain that these Christian lifestyle practices are culturally-conditioned to the pre-scientific Bible times or, perhaps, to the nineteenth-century Victorian age of Ellen White. 
The cultural-conditioning argument implies that in some cases the Bible writers wrote from ignorance or a distorted view of reality. In effect, today's historical-critical interpreters believe that they can decide which parts of the Bible are inspired and valid and which are not---the latter being the alleged culturally-conditioned sections of the Bible, not fully binding on all people in all ages. But they fail to show by what criteria they are able to sort out those parts tainted by the inspired writers' so-called cultural prejudices or ignorance.
3. Rejection of Six-Day Creation and Worldwide Flood. Some of our scholars are arguing that the Bible is culturally-conditioned because the Bible's teachings conflict with certain assumptions they hold on key issues of science. Thus, one former editor of the Review and Herald Publishing Association, who more recently served as an editor of the liberal publication Adventist Today, has carried liberalism's cultural condition argument to its logical conclusions by repudiating the Bible's teaching on creation and the flood in Noah's day. He argued for his new view in the liberal book Creation Reconsidered (2000).
Working on the assumption that "in matters of science, the Bible writers were on a level with their contemporaries," this thought leader suggested that on these issues our understanding should be informed by the more reliable data from modern science. He concluded that "at an unspecified time in the remote past, the Creator transmuted a finite portion of his infinite power into the primordial substance of the universe---perhaps in an even such as the Big Bang." 
This position essentially negates God's special direct creation, His creation from nothing (technically referred to as creatio ex nihilo), and undercuts the creation basis of the seventh-day Sabbath.
The reason for his repudiation of a literal six-day creation is his view that we must make a distinction between the "inspired message" of the Bible and the "uninspired message on record in the Bible," which he views as "culturally conditioned" or "historically conditioned." He wrote: "Historical conditioning permeates the entire Bible. It is not incidental, nor is it exceptional and unusual; it is the invariable rule." 
Like the author of Inspiration, the above scholar also concludes that the Genesis Flood did not extend beyond the known "lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea." In his opinion, "only by reading our modern worldview of 'all the earth' [Gen 7:3] back into the Hebrew text can the idea of a world-wide flood be established." 
Observe that this new view represents a major departure from the traditional Adventist understanding of the universal flood, as described in the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, of which this scholar himself was an associate editor. The commentary reads: "This description [of Gen 7] renders utterly foolish and impossible the view set forth by some that the Flood was a local affair in the Mesopotamian valley." 
Significantly, the above thought leader for years had argued for the use of higher criticism, discrediting the traditional Adventist approach as "prooftext subjectivity." This same scholar criticized the church's Rio document (as "Methods of Bible Study" is also called) as representing a "myopic position, . . . altogether unacceptable." 
This scholar's adoption of higher criticism may also explain why he claims that a significant number of scholars and church administrators, including himself, seek to revise our traditional Sanctuary doctrine (Article 23 of our Fundamental Beliefs).  Perceptive readers of his chapter in the pro-ordination book, The Welcome Table (1995), will notice that his analysis of Daniel 9:25 also repudiates the Adventist belief that the 2300 day prophecy of Daniel 8:14 ended in 1844. 
Re-Affirming the Adventist Position
In the face of a growing awareness of historical-critical challenges bearing fruit in the church, it is not surprising that during the second half of the 1990s the church took steps to reaffirm its long established position on the nature, authority, and interpretation of Scripture. The then president of the General Conference set the tone in his 1995 Adventist Review article:
Our unequivocal, historic emphasis upon the divine inspiration and trustworthiness of Scripture has strengthened our church. It has helped us resist the error of treating some parts of Scripture as God's Word, while ignoring or rejecting other parts. If we accept it as God's Word, we must accept it all, whether or not we like what it says. To us the Scriptures should be the ultimate revelation of God's will for our lives. 
Indeed, a careful study of official church actions during the latter half of the 1990's confirms that the positions of the Seventh-day Adventist church on the nature, authority, and interpretation of Scriptures have not changed since they were last formulated in the 1980's. For example, having designated 1998 as the "Year of the Bible," the world church chose as its theme "Experience the Power of His Word" for that year's annual Week of Prayer readings.  Similarly, the sermon theme for the 1998 Spirit of Prophecy Day (or as it is sometimes called, Heritage Sabbath) was entitled "God's Word Elevated."  The materials put forth by the church in the above world wide events affirm its longstanding position on the Bible.
Also, in response to the liberal challenge, a June 1998 International Bible Conference was convened in Jerusalem to urge Adventist scholars and leaders around the world to reaffirm their commitment to the authority of Scripture. The Jerusalem Bible Conference was sponsored by the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the Adventist Theological Society, the Institute of Archaeology at Andrews University Theological Seminary, and other Adventist entities. Noteworthy is the fact that the plenary speakers at the Jerusalem Bible Conference were all conservative thought leaders.
The worldwide church made another significant effort to curtail liberal scholars' attempt to erode confidence in God's Word . The Adult Sabbath School Lessons for the first quarter of 1999 and its companion book titled Show and Tell centered on "revelation and inspiration." Both works affirmed the longstanding Adventist position on the full inspiration, infallibility, and trustworthiness of Scriptures.  The principal author was one of the editors of the Adventist Theological Society book Issues in Revelation and Inspiration (1992).
Though other scholars wrote to affirm the longstanding Adventist position,  the clearest presentation of the church's position on the Bible is reflected in the recently released Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (2000), volume 12 of the commentary series.  This work was commissioned by the delegates "from all parts of the world" assembled at the 1988 Annual Council meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. The volume was "to strengthen unity among a body of believers diffused through more than 220 countries and in widely diverse cultural settings. . . . [and] to review carefully the biblical teachings undergirding the dynamic Adventist movement." 
The Handbook of Seventh-day Theology article on "Revelation and Inspiration" asserts that "the Scriptures are fully human and fully divine. Any idea that some parts of the Bible are merely human while other parts are divinely inspired contradicts the way the biblical writers present the matter." In an apparent response to liberalism's cultural-conditioning argument, the volume affirms "the complete veracity of Scripture," arguing that "the historical narratives of the Bible are to be accepted as reliable and true":
Many today claim that there are numerous errors, contradictions, historical inaccuracies, anachronisms, and other flaws in the Scriptures. Worse still, it is alleged, the Bible contains deliberate distortions of historical events (e.g., the Exodus), narratives colored by national pride and prejudice (e.g., the story of Esther), and pseudonymous authorship (e.g., that the book of Daniel was not written by a sixth-century prophet). Such claims and allegations constitute a serious indictment against the truthfulness of Holy Scriptures. 
Similarly, the article on "Biblical Interpretation" in the Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology affirms the "inseparable union of the Divine and Human." While recognizing "some minor transcriptional errors in Scripture," it affirms the reliability of the Bible's history and rejects the liberal attempt to question "the accuracy or veracity of numerous historical details in the biblical record." 
This chapter has highlighted how the cold war over the Bible has played out in the church during the past decade. In their attempt to marry Adventism's high view of Scripture with aspects of the historical-critical method (higher criticism), some of our scholars are teaching that (1) parts of the Bible are culturally conditioned, since God sometimes accommodated Himself to the personal or cultural opinions of the Bible writers, even opinions that were in error, (2) there are factual mistakes (e.g., scientific or historical) in the Bible, and that (3) we can sort out the statements on God's acts of salvation (deemed to be infallible) from the nonessential statements (believed to be riddled with possible factual inaccuracies).
Because of the sophistication of these liberal arguments, and in view of the manner in which some of our publications and publishing houses have been employed to domesticate the liberal views, it is important to summarize the theological concerns raised by the subtle attempts to inject assumptions of higher criticism into traditional Adventist and Ellen White positions.
1. The Question of Divine Accommodation. Does God accommodate Himself to popular opinion, even opinions that are in error? Does God in Scripture ever make an incidental affirmation of a so-called fact that was untrue? Some scholars think so. They would argue that even though God or Jesus was aware of the truth of certain minor historical, scientific, or geographical facts, (a) for the sake of the people at that time whose knowledge of those truths was limited, and (b) for the sake of effectively communicating His ethical and theological teachings to them, He deliberately accommodated His message to the needs of the people—sometimes by adopting mistaken views prevalent in those days.
This view is not only contrary to Scripture's own testimony, it raises many theological questions: 
1. If this view of divine accommodation is right, that is to say, if God intentionally affirmed incidental falsehoods in order to present greater truths, then God is guilty of telling "white lies." But the Bible teaches that it is "impossible for God to lie" (Heb 6:18); God "cannot lie" (Titus 1:2); "thy word is truth" (John 17:17; cf. 10:35).
2. If such a view of accommodation is correct, it raises moral problems for Christians since they are called to imitate the character of God (Lev 11:44; Eph 5:1).
3. If this position on accommodation is right, it denies the Bible writers' unanimous affirmation in the absolute truthfulness of every statement in Scripture—not some, or most (Ps 12:6; 18:30; 119:96; Prov 30:5; Matt 22:44-45; Luke 24:25; John 10:35; Acts 3:18; 24:14; Rom 15:4; 2 Tim 3:16-17; etc.).
4. If such a view of divine accommodation is valid, it is contrary to Jesus' claim that "He who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from Him" (John 8:26, 38).
5. Finally, adopting this view of divine accommodation is contrary to the practice of Jesus, who refused to accommodate Himself to the mistaken views current in his day. His statements, "You have heard that it was said of old . . . . But I say unto you" (Matt 5; cf. John 8:24, 44), illustrate this fact. For this reason, Jesus took contrary positions on divorce, oath-taking, and traditions regarding food (Matt 19:9; 23:16-22; 15:11-20). If Jesus, the Incarnate Word, deliberately accommodated Himself to mistaken views of His day, He was a liar and therefore a sinner. But the Bible says that He "did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth" (1 Pet 2:22).
2. The Problem of Mistakes or Errors. By mistakes or errors, we are not referring to those that may have crept into the text as a result of transmission (e.g. occasional or apparent discrepancies due to copyist glosses, slips, misspellings, additions, etc.) which can be corrected by comparing the various manuscripts. 
The question at hand has to do with mistakes or errors alleged to have originated with the Bible writers themselves at the time they wrote their accounts. For example, was Moses mistaken when he wrote of a literal six-day creation, a literal Adam and Eve, a literal universal flood, a miraculous Exodus consisting of over 600,000 males, etc.? Was Matthew deceived or mistaken about the virgin birth or about the crucifixion and the bodily resurrection of Jesus? Was Paul misguided when he condemned homosexuality because he lacked knowledge of an alleged genetical basis for homosexuality? These are the kinds of so-called mistakes or errors we have in mind.
Are the details (however minor) in the Bible accurate and trustworthy, or are they mere theological statements, void of any factual certainty? How do we define what constitutes an error in Scripture? Does an interpreter possess superior wisdom and spiritual insight enough to determine the mistakes, contradictions, or errors of the Bible? What if the person's judgment is wrong? What if that individual condemns as mistaken what is correct and endorses as correct what is erroneous?
Bible-believing Christians accept the biblical command: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Prov 3:5, 6). Therefore, when Bible-believers perceive difficulties in Scripture, rather than judging the Bible to be contradictory, they question their own assumptions. As they study prayerfully, they ask God to shed more light on the difficult passages. God has done so in the past.
For example, through the painstaking studies of the Adventist scholar Edwin Thiele, the world came to recognize that there are no contradictions in the chronology of the Hebrew Kings; through the discovery of scientists, He proved that rabbits (Lev. 11) chew the cud; through archaeologists He showed the trustworthiness of historical details of the Old Testament. 
The decision to suspend judgment as they wrestle with difficult biblical texts is one of the reasons why Bible-believing scholars study the Bible so thoroughly. It would be easier for them simply to declare unresolved difficulties as errors, thereby avoiding the challenge of seeking biblical solutions.
3. Saving Acts vs. Factual Statements. As we have shown, some of our scholars suggest that we can accept the Exodus miracle but that the exact number of people involved in the Exodus is not that crucial; they claim that there was a miraculous flood in Noah's day but that it was less than a universal event. In effect, these scholars suggest that in Scripture some things are "essential" and others are "debatable." Their model for biblical inspiration allows for human imperfections in what they call the lesser matters of Scriptures. 
Can we make a distinction between theological statements of God's saving acts and their accompanying historical descriptions? Is there a dichotomy between true doctrine and true science? For example, can we separate the theology of creation (the who of creation) from the scientific issues (the how and the how long of creation)? Can we separate the miracles of the exodus from the actual number of people who left Egypt and the biblical dating of that event? On what basis do we accept one and not the other?
Bible writers make no such distinction between saving acts and the historicity of the details. Some 400-500 years after the events of Moses' day later Old Testament writers reaffirm their historicity (see for example, Ps 105; 106; Isa. 28:21; 1 Kings 16:34).
The New Testament writers, more than a thousand years after the events, trusted even the smallest details of the Old Testament narratives. They wrote about detailed aspects in the Old Testament accounts of Abraham, Rebecca, and the history of Israel (Acts 13:17-23; Rom 4:10, 19; 9:10-12; 1 Cor. 10:1-11). They gave a detailed description of the Old Testament sanctuary (Heb 9:1-5, 19-21), the manner of creation (Heb 11:3), the particulars of the lives of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Rahab and others (Heb 11; 7:2; James 2:25), Esau (Heb 12:16-17), the saving of eight persons during universal flood (1 Pet 3:20; 2 Pet 2:5; 3:5, 6), and the talking of Balaam's donkey (2 Pet 2:16), etc.
Moreover, Jesus, our example, accepted the full trustworthiness of the Old Testament accounts, making no distinction between history and theology. For example, He believed in the historicity of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah's universal flood, and Jonah's story (Matt 19:4, 5; 23:35; 24:38, 39; 12:40).
On the basis of the Scriptures, Bible-believing scholars make no dichotomy between so-called essential and debatable aspects of Old Testament saving acts. They do not claim to be more Christlike than Christ, or more apostolic than the apostles, in their use of Scripture. Like their Savior, they accept every historical detail—chronology, numbers, events and people—as a matter of faith and practice. Such scholars are not verbal inspirationists nor fundamentalists, as alleged by their critics. They are simply Bible-believing Adventists!
 Richard W. Coffen, "A Fresh Look at the Dynamics of Inspiration," two-part series in Ministry, December 1999, 9-14, 29; February 2000, 20-23. Coffen, vice-president of editorial services at the Review and Herald Publishing Association, was the editor of Alden Thompson's Inspiration: Hard Questions, Honest Answers. According to church historian Alberto Timm, Coffen "showed himself very close to Thompson's theory of inspiration" (see Alberto Timm, "A History of Seventh-day Adventist Views on Biblical and Prophetic Inspiration [1844-2000]").
 Richard Coffen, "A Fresh Look at the Dynamics of Inspiration–Part 2," Ministry, February 2000, 22.
 Robert M. Johnston, "The Case for a Balanced Hermeneutic," Ministry, March 1999, 11.
 Jeane Haerich, "Genesis Revisited," in The Welcome Table: Setting A Place for Ordained Women, eds. Patricia A. Habada and Rebecca Frost Brillhart (Langley Park, Md.: TEAMPress, 1995), 99-101; David R. Larson, "Man and Woman as Equal Partners: The Biblical Mandate for Inclusive Ordination," ibid., 131, 132; Raymond F. Cottrell, "A Guide to Reliable Interpretation," in ibid., 87; Fritz Guy, "The Disappearance of Paradise," in ibid., 142-143. Although the book's introduction and back-cover recommendations state that The Welcome Table comprises "carefully thought-through expositions by some of our most competent writers" and "is a definitive collection of essays for our time from respected church leaders," others have observed that, regarding the key hermeneutical issues of women's ordination, this volume is more noteworthy for its breadth than for its depth. For example, Keith A. Burton, an Adventist New Testament scholar, has exposed the historical-critical assumptions underlying some of the essays in The Welcome Table. He concludes his insightful critique of this pro-ordination book: "The table around which we are warmly invited to sit is one that already accommodates those who have attacked the relevance of biblical authority; those who wish to pretend that the gnostic image of the primeval and eschatological androgyne is the one toward which Adventists should be moving; those whose interest is in the acquisition of corporate power rather than the evangelization of a dying world; and finally, those who confuse the undiscriminating limitation of the familial and ecclesiastical roles that have been defined by the same Spirit." See Burton, "The Welcome Table: A Critical Evaluation" (unpublished manuscript, 1995), available at the Adventist Heritage Center, James White Library, Andrews University. In my earlier work Receiving the Word ( 119-129), I spotlighted a few of the troubling aspects of The Welcome Table's arguments for women's ordination.
 For more on this see my Receiving the Word, 115-142, 155-180.
 Raymond F. Cottrell, "Inspiration and Authority of the Bible in Relation to Phenomena of the Natural World," in James L. Hayward, ed., Creation Reconsidered: Scientific, Biblical, and Theological Perspectives (Roseville, Calif.: Association of Adventist Forums, 2000), 199, 219. Cottrell's article was originally presented at a 1985 Conference on Geology and Biblical Record sponsored by the Association of Adventist Forums (the liberal Adventist organization that publishes Spectrum magazine).
 Ibid., 195-196, 199, 200, 205, 218.
 Raymond F. Cottrell, "Extent of the Genesis Flood," in Hayward, ed., Creation Reconsidered, 275.
 Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 257. For a detailed response to the liberal reinterpretation of the creation and flood accounts of the Bible, see John T. Baldwin, ed., Creation, Catastrophe, and Calvary : Why a Global Flood is Vital to the Doctrine of Atonement (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald, 2000); cf. Marco T. Terreros, "What Is an Adventist? Someone Who Upholds Creation," Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 7/2 (Autumn 1996): 142-167.
 Raymond F. Cottrell, "Blame it on Rio: The Annual Council Statement on Methods of Bible Study," Adventist Currents, March 1987, 33. Since at least 1977 Cottrell has employed the euphemism "historical method," to describe his historical-critical method. For more on this, see my Receiving the Word, 94, 95 notes 9, 11, 15.
 Raymond F. Cottrell, "1844 Revisionists Not New: President Indicts the Church's Scholars," Adventist Today, January-February, 1995, 16. The front cover of the defunct Adventist Currents (October 1983) places Cottrell's picture alongside "some of the Seventh-day Adventist leaders who either doubted or discarded the traditional teaching of the sanctuary: O. R. L. Crosier, D. M. Canright, E. J. Waggoner, A. F. Ballenger, J. H. Kellogg, A. T. Jones, L. R. Conradi, W. W. Prescott, Raymond Cottrell, Desmond Ford" ( 3). Careful readers can discern Cottrell's "revised" views on the sanctuary doctrine by reading his assessment of Ford's position in the same issue of Adventist Currents in which his picture appears on the cover page. See Raymond F. Cottrell, "'Variant Views' Digested," Adventist Currents, October 1983, 4-9, 34.
 See Raymond F. Cottrell, "A Guide to Reliable Interpretation," The Welcome Table, 74-75.
 Robert S. Folkenberg, "Standing on Solid Ground---The Bible," Adventist Review, August 3, 1995, 22.
 See Adventist Review, October 29, 1998.
 The Heritage Sabbath, October 17, 1998, document God's Word Elevated was written by Allan G. Lindsay, who currently serves as director of the Ellen G. White SDA Research Center and senior lecturer in Adventist church history at Avondale College in Australia. He also narrated the "Keepers of the Flame" video series on denominational history.
 Leo R. van Dolson, Show and Tell: How God Reveals Truth to Us (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press, 1998).
 See for example, Gerhard Pfandl, "The Authority and Interpretation of Scripture," Record (South Pacific Division), April 26, 1997 [supplement, 1-16]; Ekkerhadt Mueller, "The Revelation, Inspiration, and Authority of Scripture," Ministry, April 2000, 21-22, 24-25; Roy Gane, "An Approach to the Historical-Critical Method," Ministry, March 1999, 5-7, 9; Merling Alomia, "Some Basic Hermeneutic Principles Established by Christ," Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 10/1-2 (Spring-Autumn 1999): 475-485; P. Gerard Damsteegt, "New Light in the Last Days," Adventists Affirm 10/1 (Spring 1996): 5-13; C. Mervyn Maxwell, "Take the Bible As It Is," Adventists Affirm 10/1 (Spring 1996):26-35; George W. Reid, "Another Look at Adventist Methods of Bible Interpretation," Adventists Affirm 10/1 (Spring 1996): 50-56; Miroslav Kis, "Biblical Interpretation and Moral Authority," Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 6/2 (Autumn 1995):52-62.
 Raoul Dederen, ed., Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, vol. 12 of commentary series (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald, 2000). Observe that "although each article [in the Handbook] is signed, it was agreed from the start that all contributions would be subject to review and suggestions from the Biblical Research Institute Committee (BRICOM), a group of 40 persons predominantly scholars but including a few administrators. With its international composition BRICOM was called to function as an efficient sounding board. . . . This book is not simply a collection of parts written separately by individual contributors. In fact, no part of it is the work of a single author. As the text proceeded through editing and consultation, all parts of the book and the book as a whole profited from this cooperative approach. The whole working team, i.e., authors and BRICOM members---many of whom were authors---could claim to be genuinely international. . . They wrote this work for a worldwide readership" (see Raoul Dederen's "Preface" in Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, x-xi).
 George W. Reid, "Foreword," in Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, ix.
 Peter M. van Bemmelen, "Revelation and Inspiration," in Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, 40, 43, 45.
 Richard M. Davidson, "Biblical Interpretation," in Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, 62, 73, 72.
 Those who desire to speak knowledgeably about this issue will benefit greatly from Peter van Bemmelen's article on "Revelation and Inspiration," in the Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology, 22-57; cf. his "Divine Accommodation in Revelation and Scripture," Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 9/1-2 (Spring-Autumn 1998): 221-229.
 I have given examples of these in Receiving the Word, 227-236.
 Edwin Thiele, A Chronology of the Hebrew Kings (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1977). Regarding the questions raised about rabbits chewing the cud, studies comparing cows and rabbits have concluded that "it is difficult to deny that rabbits are ruminants" (Jules Carles, "The Rabbit's Secret," CNRS Research 5 :37). For a brief summary and bibliography of scientific studies on the issue, see Leonard R. Brand, "Do Rabbits Chew the Cud?" Origins 4/2 (1977):102-104; cf. Fauna and Flora of the Bible (London: United Bible Societies, 1972), 39. For how archaeological discoveries have confirmed the Bible, see, for example, Siegfried H. Horn, The Spade Confirms the Book (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1980).
 See for instance, Alden Thompson, Inspiration, 202, 222, 229, 248, 249; Raymond F. Cottrell, "Inspiration and Authority of the Bible in Relation to Phenomena of the Natural World," and "Extent of the Genesis Flood," in Hayward, ed., Creation Reconsidered, 199, 219, 275; Jeane Haerich, "Genesis Revisited," in The Welcome Table: Setting A Place for Ordained Women, eds. Patricia A. Habada and Rebecca Frost Brillhart (Langley Park, Md.: TEAMPress, 1995), 99-101; cf. George Knight, Reading Ellen White, 116, 111, 110; cf. his Anticipating the Advent, 106-107.
[ back to Part-1 ]
True Protestantism is dying because ...
Why do popular modern Bibles
tell us less about Jesus?
Brothers & Sisters,
now is the time to get out of the big cities.
It should be now and not later.