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  • The Challenge of Communicating Christ’s Post-aAscension Ministry in a Culturally Sensitive way to a Postmodern Latvian Society in 21st Century


    Term Papers62 Philisophy, Religion, Sociology

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ID number:530636
Published: 14.06.2005.
Language: English
Level: College/University
Literature: 105 units
References: Used
Table of contents
Nr. Chapter  Page.
  Introduction    3
I.  Historical Background of Christ’s Post-ascension Motif in Adventism    8
1.  Puritan soteriology    9
2.  Wesley’s perfectionism    16
3.  Miller and the formative period of Adventism    18
1.  Smith and the formation of the Sanctuary doctrine    24
2.  Andreasen’s contribution to the Sanctuary doctrine    27
3.  Heppenstall’s Christ centered approach to the Sanctuary doctrine    32
III.  Postmodern Latvian Society    39
1.  Decrease of modernism and Latvian postmodern society    39
2.  Adventist faith community in 21st century Latvia    44
1.  The New Testament perspective    50
2.  The way E. White communicated present Christological reality    57
3.  Constructive suggestions    61
  Bibliography    67

The controversial doctrine of the Heavenly Sanctuary and thus the post-ascension Ministry of Christ is no longer at the top of the contemporary Adventist list.1 The Adventist Church today not only encounters external critiques of its doctrine of Christ’s post-ascension high-priestly ministry as being unbiblical and irrelevant but, many Adventist church members, especially in academic circles, have reservations and doubts regarding their Church’s interpretation of the biblical Sanctuary motif and its soteriological implications.2
The Adventist Church no longer stresses that ‘the correct understanding of Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary is the foundation of our faith.’3 One can agree with Goldstein that, ‘There is a crisis of faith and identity within our ranks. The major problem is that we have an unbalanced presentation of the sanctuary.’4 More specifically, Adventists seem to focus too much on the Old Testament’s Mosaic Sanctuary type and too little on the Christological reality. In other words, by focusing on the shadow there is a risk of loosing the reality of what the symbols signify. Vick points out that, ‘One should not press the analogy too far, and then read the product into selected biblical passages.’5
The earthly Sanctuary was provided as shadow, a prophetic type and a parable of the coming Christ and his ministry. By using as a parable of the Sanctuary Adventists may be in danger of forgetting that the main reason of the existence of the Mosaic Sanctuary was not to communicate the work of Christ to 21st century postmodern people, but to prepare the ancient Hebrews for the coming of the Christological reality. In that way it is obvious that the New Testament authors communicated the message differently to the Romans who were not familiar with Jewish religious motifs, than to the Hebrews who understood the functions of the earthly Sanctuary. Consequently, the writer to the Romans presents the message more in the terms of relational-covenantal context whereas in Hebrews it is rather symbolic-figurative. 6
The Adventist pioneers and wider American society in the 19th century coming from the strong protestant tradition of Puritans and the Methodists studied their Bibles and had a good knowledge of the Old and New Testament narratives. They lived in the time of discoveries and the Bible served as ground for exciting excavations. Today the postmodern secular person knows little or nothing about the Bible. In this particular situation it is hard to communicate a complicated and distant Sanctuary motif to the postmodern person who is just starting to grasp the Bible. One can agree that, ‘Our worldview is so different from theirs. So we have to interpret what they said. They believed what they said literally. Over much of the world we do not. Or if we do, we find it very hard to explain.…

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