A guidebook to the beliefs and practices of the Seventh-day Adventists.
Rasell’s aim is to give a clear, careful explication of the core tenets of Seventh-day Adventism, focusing mainly on the two most central tenets: belief in the sanctuary or temple of heaven where Jesus, whom they see as both high priest and messiah, works and intercedes for the faithful, and the Adventist belief (suggested by their faith’s name) in the imminent arrival of the world’s cleansing on Judgment Day. Rasell has a formidable command of Scripture, and in the course of this relatively brief but extensively researched book, a great many other topics of exegesis are presented, from the nature of the obedience the Hebrew prophets showed God to the details of crucifixion as practiced by the Romans to the uses and abuses of angelology. But book’s main aim—and the bulk of its teaching—centers on the scriptural basis for the Adventist belief in the temple of heaven. Rasell explains that it derives mainly from the book of Hebrews, in which the temple is described as not of human creation and “therefore superior to anything man has ever made or can conceive of,” a kind of divine tabernacle in which Jesus as high priest works on behalf of his believers in an analogous manner to the way human priests receive the confessions of sinners and offer redemption. Rasell stresses the importance of this intercessory aspect in Adventist faith. “We need to learn that there is no merit in repeated penances or pilgrimages,” he writes, “man only needs the all sufficient sacrifice of Christ.” The special nature of the Adventist worldview is spelled out as a gentle rejection of worldly indulgences: “[W]e are called upon to be sober and to restrain our appetites.” Rasell writes of all this in clear, accessible language, and although his scriptural analysis can be extensive, general readers will be able to follow along with ease.
An extremely thorough, engaging presentation of the framework of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs.