Other Studies in SDA History

Case Histories

Jones, Edwin R. (1845-1892): the danger of extremes; biographical information; letters from Ellen White (16 February 2015; updated 9 January 2017)


Brother Miller’s Dream With Notes by James White and Additional Notes by Fred Bischoff Reproduction and analysis of James White’s 1850 pamphlet of William Miller’s 1847 dream of a jewel casket (see Ellen White’s book Early Writings pp. 81-83). Good summary of early events among Sabbath-keeping Adventists in late 1840s and early 1850s with connections to the end of the movement. (25 June 2014)

A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, John Adams, 1765, Annotated. I have known of this document since 2006, and have been impressed that before the United States of America existed as a nation, an understanding had developed of religious and civil liberty (the two lamb-like horns of the beast of Revelation 13:11). This early document is very helpful in clearly and repeatedly addressing these two liberties. I have annotated it at length in footnotes, showing connections to Seventh-day Adventist history as well as our understanding of the Bible, secular history, and philosophy. (16 March 2016; Updated 27 June 2016).

Early SDA Writers on Women in MinistryCollection of articles, documents, and statements from 1845 to 1911 dealing with women in ministry. The main articles were found by searching for texts about women being silent and not usurping authority, and about bishops/elders and deacons being the husbands of one wife. Ellen White’s comments on women in ministry and laying on of hands are included. All materials are arranged chronologically. Can we find a narrow path of unity between the extremes of a simple “Yes” or “No”? My reflections are in “Compiler’s Notes.” 121 Pages (21 June 2015)

Gender–From Creation to Ordination: Gender is much contested these days, as gender confusion continues to accelerate, and the SDA church revisits gender in the light of ministry. What are my summary thoughts at present after attending the four Theology of Ordination Study Committee meetings? Can we pull together in seeing God’s ideal in its simplicity while deepening our grasp of agape love? 12 Pages (3 November 2014; updated 21 June 2015)

Significance of 1844 in Light of the United States of America: What does liberty mean based on the New Testament? Explore the words “free” (verb and adjective) and “liberty” (noun), and then understand what no freedom (tyranny) means. What are the two aspects to the “law of liberty” that produces dual liberties? What is some of the civil history leading up to the founding of the United States of America, the cradle of the Advent Movement? Finally consider the messages and landmarks of the Advent Movement in light of liberty versus tyranny. The handout and four lectures were given to Laurelwood Academy students 23-26 February 2016. Lecture 1, Lecture 2, Lecture 3, Lecture 4. (25 March 2016).

Turn of the Twentieth CenturyWhat was transpiring in the world and church as the 1800’s neared their end, and the 1900’s began? The more we learn about the details in both realms, the more sense these amazing, somewhat cryptic passages from Ellen White will make to us, living over a century later. As with many messengers, it is likely Ellen White did not understand what she was shown, in the fullness of their import. She is reported to have told M. L. Andreasen when during his 1910 visit he inquired what she meant by certain things she had written, that she had no more information on the meaning of what she wrote than he did. Read these statements spanning 20 years from 1889 to 1909, and ponder! (17 October 2016)

Word or Phrase Tracing

Word studies are like tracing a thread through a fabric, or a family lineage through the maze of humanity. Much can be learned from such adventures! (Alphabetically listed)

Ellen White on Three in Godhead (1900-1909) Something appears to have developed in the 1890s that came to a head in the next decade, necessitating Ellen White to make some explicit descriptions of the Godhead she had not previously made. This 2-page document summarizes searches focused on “three” in relation to the Godhead. (5 December 2015; updated 23 January 2017)

Free-Lovism, Free-Love, Unholy Spiritual Love (1903, 1904) The counterfeit of agape! Can we recognize it in our day? The omega is the final development of the alpha. (26 March 2015)

“Heaven” & “Eternity” (1892-1913) space and time, regarding truths and principles  (4 April 2014)

“Intensely Practical” (1892-1907) word study regarding Christianity and religion (4 April 2014)

“Latter Rain” and “Loud Cry” (1854-1896) analysis of statements on the connections of the Midnight Cry of 1844 with the Loud Cry, and that with the Latter Rain (25 June 2014)

“Made Us What We Are” (1890-1909) “Twenty Year Span of Statements on Seventh-day Adventist Identity”–The issue of identity is at the root of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. Our individual and corporate identities are given us by God, and we lose them at our eternal peril. A recurring theme over the last two active decades of Ellen White’s life was specifying the elements that provided the identity of Seventh-day Adventists. It is clear from the evidence of the history of these twenty years that an attack was being made on that identity, from within even more than from without. The confusion is only accelerating. Can we trace this DNA of our movement, so it can be expressed as it should? (30 January 2015)

Nature Above God? (1876-1905) Were there philosophies Ellen White addressed over a 30-year period that were echoes in her day of antediluvian thought, Baal worship, and the Greek ideas of Paul’s day? Might we in our day, immersed as we are in a blend of ancient philosophies and modern science, be susceptible to such fatal thought patterns? Can we connect Romans 1:25 with 8:3,4? It appears historically significant that the first statement found of Ellen White on this topic was written the year that Johns Hopkins University began, launched in September in a service marked by a keynote address by Thomas H. Huxley, often called “Darwin’s bulldog.” God was not once mentioned in the service. The goal, as Huxley later advised, was “to follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads.” (30 May 2017)

“One Interest … One Subject” (1890-1911) What is the “one interest … one subject” that Ellen White wrote repeatedly of from 1890 to 1911? What connection does this have to the gospel message, the experience at Pentecost in Acts 2, and the final message to the world pictured in Revelation 18? Do we like the rich young ruler, and like Martha need “one thing” we are missing (Mark 10:21; Luke 10:42)? (20 July 2014)

Statements About God’s Work Through Waggoner and Jones (1890-1901) No one should claim perfection in human messengers. But some assert that immediately after 1888 E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones got into error. What is the significance of repeated uses of the present tense and present perfect tense in verbs over 10 years after Minneapolis, describing what God was attempting to do with the message these men were presenting? (20 July 2014)

“Tidal Wave” (1844-1901) How is this dramatic phrase used to describe events in SDA history of mighty movings of the Spirit of God? What do the timing of its uses from 1844 to 1901 teach us? (7 August 2014)

Last Update: 13 December 2017