Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia


(Aethelheri; d. ca. 754). Coworker, comartyr of Boniface.*


(ca. 1000—72. Abp. Bremen-Hamburg 1045 by favor of Holy Roman emp. Henry* III; his plan to become Patriarch of N Eur. was frustrated by the Roman curia.*

Adalbert of Prague

(Czech: VojteĆ»ch; ca. 939–997). “Apostle of the Prussians”; Boh. prince and prelate; b. Libice (Lobnik; Lubik), ancestral family seat near the confluence of the Cidlina and the Elbe; educ. Magdeburg; bp. Prague 983—ca. 988/989; resigned in conflict with the Duke of Boh.; became Benedictine in Rome; bp. Prague again 992–994; miss. in Hung., Poland, and Prussia; martyr. See also Danzig; Germany, A 2.


(ca. 900–988). Saxon; chancellor of Otto* I 936/937; 7th abp. Bremen-Hamburg 937.


(9th c.). Abp. of Salzburg.

Adalward of Verden

(d. 933). Anglo-Saxon miss.

Adam, William

(November 1, 1796–February 19, 1881). B. Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scot.; educ. St. Andrews; Bap. miss. to India 1817/18; assoc. with Ram* Mohan Roy; became Unitarian; severed connection with Bap. miss. soc. March 1821; Unitarian minister Calcutta; made govt. survey of the state of educ. in Bengal 1835–38; to US 1838, Eng. 1841; d. Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England. Ed. Bengal Chronicle; Calcutta Chronicle; India Gazette; British India Advocate. Other works include The Law and Custom of Slavery in British India; East India Yearbook; Enquiry into the Theories of History. See also Hinduism, 6. LP


(Adamians). Reportedly a 2d-4th-c. sect in N Afr. that claimed the innocence of Adam, were naked in meetings (called paradeises), and rejected marriage. Similar sects by the same name, but not connected with each other, are said to have arisen in Eur. (esp. Boh. and Moravia, and in the Neth.) 15th–19th c.


(Admananus; Adamannus; Adomnan; Eunan; ca. 625–704). B. probably Drumhome, Co. Donegal, Ulster, Ireland; 9th abbot Iona* 674–704; upheld Roman (or Western) dating of Easter (see Easter Controversy). Works include De locis sanctis; life of St. Columba.

Adam of Bremen

(d. after 1081). B. perhaps Upper Saxony or Bamberg or Würzburg, E Franconia; perhaps educ. Magdeburg; to Bremen ca. 1066 as canon and head of cathedral school. Wrote Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificium, important source for N Eur. ch. hist. 788–1072, with additions to ca. 1080/81, perhaps later.

Adam of Fulda.

See Krafft, Adam (1493–1558).

Adam of Marsh

(d. ca. 1258). B. probably Somerset, Eng.; educ. Oxford; priest; Franciscan perhaps ca. 1230; attended 1245 council of Lyons* with his friend R. Grosseteste*; defended national liberties.

Adam of St. Victor

(d. bet. 1177 and 1192). Briton (Breton?) by birth; educ. Paris Fr.; entered monastery of Saint-Victor (see Victorines) ca. 1130; sequence writer; mystic.

Adams, John Quincy

(1767–1848). B. Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts; 6th Pres. of US; hymnist. Wrote a version of the Psalms, 17 of which, with 5 hymns, appeared 1841 in the Christian Psalmist.

Adams, Sarah

(nee Flower; 1805–48). B. Harlow, Essex, Eng.; hymnist. Hymns include “Nearer, My God, to Thee.”

Adams, Thomas

(ca. 1590—ca. 1655). Puritan; pastor in Willington, Bedfordshire, in Wingrave, Buckinghamshire, and London; influenced J. Bunyan.* Works include commentary on 2 Ptr; sermons.

Adam Wodham

(Goddam[us]; Godham; de Vodronio; Wodeham; Woodham; ca. 1295–1358). Eng. Franciscan; perhaps studied at Oxford; pupil of W. of Ockham*; taught at London, Oxford, Norwich. Works include a commentary on Sentences.


Mythical Babylonian hero.


Traditional founder of ch. at Edessa. Eusebius (HE, I, xii–xiii) identifies him with Thaddeus. See also Abgar, Letters of.

Addison, Joseph

(1672–1719). Son of L. Addison*; b. Milston, Wiltshire, Eng., educ. Oxford; studied law and politics; help important posts, e.g., Chief Sec. for Ireland. Contributed to The Spectator, The Tatler, The Guardian, and The Freeholder; hymnist. Hymns include “When All Thy Mercies, O My God”; “The Lord My Pasture Shall Prepare.” See also Psalter, English; Steele, Richard.

Addison, Lancelot

(1632–1703). Father of J. Addison*; b. Meaburn Town Head, manor of Mauldismeaburn and parish of Crosby Ravensworth, Westmoreland; educ. Oxford; chaplain to the garrison at Dunkirk, and in 1663 to that at Tangier; Chaplain in Ordinary to the King 1670; rector of Milston, near Amesbury, Wiltshire, 1671; also prebendary in the Salisbury Cathedral 1678; dean of Lichfield 1683. Works include devotional poems and hymns.

Addyman, John

(October 22, 1808–June 7, 1887). B. Leeds, Yorkshire Eng.; sent to Can. 1837 as pioneer Meth. New Connection (see Methodist Churches, 1). est. 177 chs.

Adelard of Bath

(Aethelard; Aethelhard; Athelard; 12th c.). Eng. scholastic philos., theol., astronomer, natural scientist; studied at Tours and Leon; traveled widely in Eur., N Afr., and Asia Minor; lived at Bath and became a Benedictine there. Works include Perdifficiles quaestiones naturales (defends Aristotle's proof of God's existence from motion); De eodem et diverso (doctrine of indifference; tried to reconcile Plato* and Aristotle* on universals).

Adelberg, Reinhold

(November 9, 1835–September 9, 1911). B. Arnstadt, Thuringia; to Am. 1855; grad. Hartwick Sem. 1859; pastor Saugerties, New York, 1859–61; Albany, New York, 1861–69; Watertown, Wisconsin, 1869–73; Milwaukee 1873–96; pres. New York Ministerium 1867–69; asst. prof. Northwestern Coll., Watertown, Wisconsin, 1869–73; special instr., in Eng. at Wauwatosa Wisconsin, sem. 1896–1900; helped organize Gen. Council (1866) and Syn. Conf. (1872). Ed. Wisconsin Syn. Gemeinde-Blatt.

Adelmann von Adelmannsfelden, Bernhard

(ca. 1457/59–1523). B. probably Neubronn, Ger.; educ. Heidelberg and Basel; pupil of J. Reuchlin*; humanist; canon Eichstätt; assoc. with D. Erasmus*; friend of K. Peutinger* and W. Pir(c)kheimer*; supported M. Luther* after Leipzig* Debate but remained RC.


(from Gk. for “eat in secret”). Sect in Ephesus ca. 350 AD; held that Christians should eat in secret, as prophets supposedly did (a reference to 1 K 13:8–9 and Eze 24:17, 22?); regarded the Holy Spirit as a creature.


(“middle matters”; from Gk. for “indifferent things”; Ger. Mitteldinge). FC Ep X 1 speaks of adiaphora as “ceremonies or church usages which are neither commanded nor forbidden in the Word of God but have been introduced into the church in the interest of good order and the general welfare.” In the OT, lives of believers were far more constricted than they are in the NT, in which God lifted this yoke, not framing all human activity with His commands and prohibitions but leaving many acts to the discretion and judgment of the Christian (Ro 14:3, 1 Co 6:12; 10:23; Cl 2:16–17). God has removed some matters from the domain of divine law to the domain of adiaphora, but adiaphora (in abstracto) may cease to be adiaphora (in concreto) under certain circumstances (e.g., when holding a life insurance policy springs from lack of trust in God; when smoking injures health; when drinking exceeds moderation; when immersion in Baptism is defended as the correct mode; when cremation is an expression of atheism).

Pietists, in harmony with their doctrine of rebirth (theologia regenitorum: one reborn and having attained full spiritual manhood is free from sin), denied the existence of adiaphora, quoting such passages as Ro 14:23; 1 Co 10:31; Cl 3:17. But they confused the action itself with the life consecrated to God.

Adiaphora lie within the domain of Christian liberty, which may be defined as consisting of the freedom of believers from the curse (Gl 3:13) and coercion (Ro 6:14) of the Law, from Levitical ceremonies, and from human ordinances (Mt 23:8–10; Lk 22–26; Rv 5:10). This liberty is the direct result of justification (Jn 8:31–32, 36; Ro 10:4; 1 Ti 1:9.

The doctrine of adiaphora is abused when it is made a springboard for loose living (Gl 5:13). Another abuse results from any attempt to make adiaphora a matter of conscience for others (Mt 20:25–26; 23:4–8; 1 Co 3:5; 1 Ptr 5:3; see also Status confessionis). Luth. principles differ widely from those of Catholicism and of many Protestants who claim for the ch. the right to command or forbid things neither commanded nor forbidden by God. To be sure, ch. officials, bds., teachers, and pastors can effect desirable changes in the field of adiaphora, but it should be done by instruction and advice. Another abuse of this doctrine results when the question of offense* to a weak brother is not taken into consideration (Ro 14:1–2; 15:1; 1 Co 8:7–13; 9:22). The guiding principle here as always must be love toward the weak (Ro 13:10; 1 Co 9:19; 16:14) but without bolstering weakness or covering malice and stubbornness (Gl 2:5). LW.

See also Abstinence; Grace, Means of, III 1; Indifferentism, 3; Interim, II.

J. Schiller, Probleme der christlichen Ethik (Berlin, 1888); W. Trilhaas, “Adiaphoron,” Theologische Literaturzeitung, LXXIV (1954), 457–462; T. C. Graebner, The Borderland of Right and Wrong (St. Louis, 1951).

Adiaphoristic Controversies

(Interimistic Controversies). 1. Caused by the Augsburg Interim (see Interim, I), forced on the prostrate Luths. 1548 by the victorious emp. and which conceded the cup and clerical marriage but demanded the restoration of the mass, the 7 sacraments, the authority of the pope and bps., etc., till matters might be finally adjusted. P. Melanchthon* and others in the Leipzig (see Interim, II) submitted and said that these Romish ceremonies might be observed as matters indifferent in themselves. M. Flacius* Illyricus, at the risk of losing his position as Prof., attacked the Interim, seconded by J. Brenz,* N. Gallus,* J. Wigand,* and others. They held it wrong to observe even indifferent ceremonies when a false impression is thereby created. “Nothing is an adiaphoron when confession and offense are involved.” The Convention of Passau* and the Peace of Augsburg* removed the cause, but the controversy went on, because the adiaphorists continued to defend their position. FC X settled the controversy. See also Status confessionis.

2. In 1681 another adiaphoristic controversy arose bet. orthodox and pietists about participation in amusements.

J. Westphal (of Hamburg), Des Ehrwirdigen und tewren Mans Doct. Marti. Luthers … meinung von den Mitteldingen (Magdeburg, 1550); J. G. Walch, Historische und Theologische Einleitung in die Religions-Streitigkeiten Der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Kirchen, Von der Reformation an bis auf ietzige Zeiten (Jena, (1730); J. W. Richard, Philip Melanchthon, the Protestant Preceptor of Germany, 1497–1560 (New York, 1898), ch. 28.

Adi Granth

(or simply Granth). Sacred book of Sikhs.*


(1) The act whereby one person imposes on another the obligation to speak as under oath; (2) a solemn oath; (3) a solemn or earnest urging or advising. Cf. Jos 6:26; 1 Sm 14:24; 1 K 22:16; 2 Ch 18:15; Mt 26:63; Mk 5:7; Acts 19:13.

Adler, Alfred

(1870–1937). B. Penzing, Vienna, Austria; psychol. (“individual psychology”). Opposed his teacher S. Freud's* emphasis on sex and substituted man's “will to power.” emphasized the role that inferiority feelings play in human action. Works include Study of Organ Inferiority and Its Psychical Compensation; Social Interest.

Adler, Felix

(1851–1933). B. Alzey, Ger.; to US 1857; educ. Columbia U., NYC; founded New York Soc. for Ethical* Culture; prof. Columbia U. 1902. Works include The Moral Instruction of Children; The Reconstruction of the Spiritual Ideal; An Ethical Philosophy of Life Presented in Its Main Outlines.

Adler, Jakob Georg Christian

(1756–1834). B. Arnis, Schleswig-Holstein, NW Ger., on the Schlei, 17 mi. NE of Schleswig, in the Angeln; studied at Kiel and Rostock; prof. Syriac and theol. Copenhagen; gen. supt. Schleswig 1792, and Holstein 1806.

Ad limina apostolorum

(Lat. “to the thresholds of the apostles”). In RCm: 1. Pilgrimages to the traditional tombs of Peter and Paul in Rome. 2. Visits by bps. to Rome to venerate the tombs and report to the pope.

Adlung, Jakob

(1699–1762). B. Bindersleben, near Erfurt, Ger.; succeeded J. H. Buttstett* as organist of the Predigerkirche, Erfurt. His Musica mechanica organoedi, Anleitung zu der musikalischen Gelahrtheit and Musikalisches Siebengestirn est. him as an authority on 17th-c. musical culture and organ building.


1. The duty of admonishing is taught in the NT (Mt 18:15–17; Ro 15:14; 1 Co 4:14; Eph 6:4; Cl 3:16; 1 Th 5:14; Tts 3:10). The early ch. observed admonition: privately in private offenses, pub. in pub. offenses. See Keys, Office of the. 2. In RCm a paternal admonition is a secret rebuke of a cleric by a prelate. If this is repeatedly disregarded, a canonical admonition (legal summons to trial) may follow.


(ca. 800–875). B. archdiocese of Sens, Fr.; Benedictine monk; abp. Vienne, Fr., 860. Works include a martyrology. See also Acta martyrum.


(Adoptianism). The view that Christ acc. to His humanity is the Son of God by adoption only. Its first exponent was Theodotus* the Fuller, who came to Rome from Byzantium ca. 190, teaching that Jesus was a mere man, whose deity was only a miraculous power that, as Christ or the Holy Spirit (identifying the two), came upon Him at His baptism. Paul* of Samosata held similar views, declaring that Jesus was a mere man who, inspired by the Logos (Word), gradually acquired a divine dignity that eventually merited the designation “God.” An Adoptionist Controversy was stirred up in Sp. by Elipando* and Félix* of Urgel, who held that Christ as the 2d Person of the Trinity is the only-begotten Son of the Father, that as the Son of Mary He is the adopted Son of God. They were opposed by Beatus* of Liébana and Heterius,* who (ca. 785) emphasized the divine Christ made man for us. Alcuin* wrote 7 treatises against Félix of Urgel. The Frankish Syn. at Regensburg 792, Frankfort 794, and Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) ca. 799 condemned adoptionism, as did Adrian* I and Leo* III. A similar controversy arose in the 12th c., when Bp. Eberhard II of Bamberg defended Adoptionist views, accusing his opponents of Eutychianism.* See also Monarchianism, A.

See references to hist. treatment under Dogmatics; A. Harnack, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte (Freiburg, 1890); J. Bach, Dogmengeschichte des Mittelalters (Vienna, 1873–75).


Primarily, worship directed to God in His majesty but also performed to idols and men. The OT forms of worship varied (e.g., Ex 3:5; Jos 5:15; Jb 31:26–28; Ps 2:12; ). In RCm the term is applied to the erroneous worship of Jesus in the Eucharist, for which a ritual drawn up by Thomas* Aquinas is still used. See also Worship, 4, 5, 8.

Adult Education.

Adult educ. is as old as civilization. Christ dealt chiefly with adults. The letters of the NT are lessons for adult Christians. But the Christian church gen. limited its formal educ. to children and youth. The Scriptures impose no such limitation. The beginnings of modern adult educ. go back to the Birmingham Sunday Soc. of 1789, Gt. Brit.'s labor colleges, N. F. S. Grundtvig's* adult schools in Den.; to lyceums, chautauquas,* correspondence courses, university extension work; to Bible study groups, adult S. S., and miss. socs. More recent roots lie in E. L. Thorndike's* research into adult learning (ca. 1925), which reversed popular opinion that adults do not learn well, and in the organization of the Am. Assoc. of Adult Educ. (1926). The Prot. chs. of Am., esp. through the United Christian Adult Movement (1936) initiated by the International* Council of Religious Educ., spearheaded the development of religious adult educ. Areas for study were set up and “learning for life” courses developed. Textbooks were written for adult leadership training. Steady progress has been made. Emphasis was placed on the young adult, family life training, the community, and the older adult. The chs. discovered that people “learn as long as they live,” that the ch. is a school, that Christian discipleship is lifelong growth in understanding, skills, and attitudes, and that it is the adult who sets the pattern of spiritual life from generation to generation. Adults are the ch.'s most influential teachers, its “living examples of Christian thought and practice.”

Attention to adults does not lessen the needs of children and youth but simply recognizes the central role which adults play. Adult educ. in the ch. is based on the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers and on the conviction that every Christian has a miss. in life to fulfill. Adults learn through all that happens in them, to them, and around them. Their whole environment is a part of their educ. In the chs. adult educ. is carried on through ch. services, cong. assemblies, committees, projects, activities, Bible classes, classes in Christian doctrine, fellowship gatherings, organizations and groups in the parish; and in conventions, institutes, etc. outside the local ch. Christian adult educ. should foster growth in 8 areas: Bible knowledge and skills, Christian doctrine and life, worship and the arts, Christian educ., Christian family life, the Christian in soc. and the ch. in the world (hist.), evangelism and miss., and Christian stewardship. Adult educ. in the ch. is strategic, because it (1) helps adults grow spiritually (Cl 1:9–10), (2) helps them face life victoriously with Jesus (1 Jn 5:4), (3) strengthens Christian elementary educ. and makes it pay larger dividends because children follow adults (Mt 18:6), (4) builds stronger Christian homes (Lk 10:38–42), (5) provides more lay workers for the ch. (Lk 10:1), (6) lifts consecration and stewardship performance for the ch.'s work at home and abroad (Mt 25:14–30), (7) helps to prevent spiritual indifference, nominal Christianity, and the loss of souls (Jn 15:2, 6), and (8) helps to stem the new secularism (Ps 10:4). What the home, the ch., and the nation are and what these will be in the future depends, under God, largely on the understanding, attitudes, skills, and spiritual responsiveness of the adult. OEF

P. B. Maves, “The Christian Education of Adults,” Religious Education: A Comprehensive Survey, ed. M. J. Taylor (New York, 1960); D. J. Ernsberger, A Philosophy of Adult Education (Philadelphia, 1959); E. F. Zeigler, Christian Education of Adults (Philadelphia, 1958); H. Kraemer, A Theology of the Laity (Philadelphia, 1959); J. D. Smart, The Teaching Ministry of the Church (Philadelphia, 1954); J. R. Kidd, How Adults Learn (New York, 1959); I. Smith Caldwell, Responsible Adults in the Church School Program (Anderson, Indiana, 1963); R. L. Howe, The Miracle of Dialogue (Greenwich, 1963); D. L. Deffner, Toward Adult Christian Education, LEA; Yearbook (1962).

Adventist Bodies.

1. Adventism centers in the belief that there are 2 advents of Christ (both visible and personal), that the 2d coming of Christ is imminent, and that the central feature of this event is the est. of His millennial reign. Adv. has existed throughout the hist. of the ch., esp. in times of stress. The most significant Adv. movement of modern times originated with W. Miller.* An ardent student of the “chronological portions” of the prophetic writings of the Bible, Miller believed that the dates for all important events in sacred hist. have been fixed in prophecy. Since the exact dates of the Flood, the sojourn of Israel in Egypt, the destruction of the Canaanites, and the duration of the Exile had been foretold, the exact date of Christ's final coming must also have been prophesied. Miller believed that he found the date of Christ's final coming in Dn 8:13–14, which speaks of 2,300 days until the cleansing of the sanctuary. He fixed the date of the beginning of this period in 457 BC, the year in which the command to rebuild Jerusalem was given, Dn 9:25. Holding, like most date setters, that acc. to Nm 14:34 a day in prophecy is a year, he proclaimed that the cleansing of the sanctuary would occur within a yr. after March 21, 1843. The 70 weeks of Dn 9:24, totaling 490 yrs. and ending 33 AD, would be the first part of the 2,300 “days,” and the 1,335 days of Dn 12:12 would be the 2d part and end in 1843. Miller held that the cleansing of the sanctuary was figurative language denoting the personal return of Christ to cleanse the world of all its pride and power, pomp and vanity and to est. the peaceful kingdom of the Messiah in place of the kingdoms of this world. In 1831 Miller opened a vigorous campaing to gain adherents to his views, and by 1843 his followers numbered 50,000. When March 21, 1844, passed without the Lord's visible return, there was keen disappointment, and Miller admitted his mistake. But some prominent leaders held that the Lord would come on the Festival of the Atonement, October 22, 1844, and not on the Jewish New Year, as Miller had predicted. This encouraged the Adventists, and they made extensive preparations for the Lord's glorious appearance, only to be bitterly disappointed again.

2. The belief that Christ would appear at an early date to est. His millennial reign persisted, and in 1845 a group of Adventists met at Albany, New York, to define their position and to adopt principles embodying the views of Miller about the nature of Christ's final advent the resurrection, and the renewal of the earth. The salient points agreed on at Albany are: (a) The present world is to be destroyed by fire, and a new earth is to be created for the believers. (b) There are only 2 advents of Christ, both visible and personal. (c) The 2d advent is imminent. (d) The condition of sharing in the millennial reign of Christ is repentance and faith, a godly and watchful life. (e) There are 2 resurrections, that of the believers at Christ's 2d coming and that of the unbelievers after the millennium. (f) The departed saints do not enter Paradise in soul and spirit until the final blessedness of the everlasting kingdom will be revealed at Christ's 2d coming. Yet differences arose within the group concerning the nature of Christ's coming, the immortality of the soul, the condition of the dead in the intermediate state, and the observance of the Sabbath. Controversies on these points led to the organization of various Adventist bodies.

3. Advent Christian Church. After the disappointment of 1844, Jonathan Cummings and others predicted that the Lord would come in 1853 or 1854. This caused a division When the prophecy remained unfulfilled. Cummings admitted his mistake and advised his adherents to reunite with the parent body. During, however, the years of separation from the main body the followers of Cummings had developed ideas on the immortality of the soul that were at variance with the views of the majority. For this reason they organized a Gen. Conf. 1860 and are known as Advent Christian Church. They accept the Bible as the only divinely revealed truth; they repudiate the “inspired” writings of E. G. White*; and they confess the doctrine of the Trin. Their distinctive tenet is the theory that man, who was created for immortality, forfeited his divine birthright through sin and that only believers in Christ will receive immortality. They believe that death is the state of unconsciousness and that all men will remain in this “soul sleep” until the 2d coming of Christ, when the righteous will receive everlasting life and the wicked will be annihilated. In common with other Adv. they believe that Christ will return visibly and rule personally in this world, which will be rejuvenated as the eternal home of the redeemed. They observe Sun, as the proper Sabbath and refuse to bear arms. See also 9.

The Life and Advent Union (see 8) merged with this body 1964.

4. Seventy-day Adventists. The movement that resulted in the organization of the Seventh-day Adv. denomination originated with the Adv. leaders who believed that the date of the cleansing of the sanctuary had been fixed correctly by Miller but differed from him in interpreting the nature of this event. They held that the cleansing of the sanctuary did not refer to the rejuvenating of the world, as Miller had believed, but to Christ's “investigative judgment” in the sanctuary of heaven. According to this view Christ began in the fall of 1844 to judge the conduct of His chosen people according to the standard of the Decalog. In the meantime a congregation connected with the Adv. movement had come into contact with Seventh-day Baps., and this group insisted that the keeping of the OT Sabbath was God's everlasting commandment. Gradually an increasing number of Adventists held that Christ was cleansing the sanctuary according “to the fourth principle of the Decalog,” that is, judging people as to their attitude over against the commandment to observe the Sabbath according to the Mosaic Law. In 1847 a female leader of the group, Mrs. E. G. White,* reported visions she had had in support of this doctrine. In one vision she saw two angels standing by the heavenly ark of the covenant in the “sanctuary” and Jesus raising the cover of the ark containing the Ten Commandments, the “fourth” being surrounded by a halo. In another vision she was informed that the third angel's message, Rv 14:9–12, referred to the papacy and that according to Dn 7:25 the great antichristian sin is the changing of the OT Sabbath into Sunday. Under Mrs. White's aggressive leadership, fortified by her vision of 1849 that her enemies were opposing not her but the Holy Spirit, the movement rapidly achieved its present basic form. An organization was formed 1853. The founding of the group's 1st pub. house at Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1855 marked the beginning of the movement's use of the printed word to disseminate its tenets. In 1863 the Gen. Conf. adopted a definitive constitution.

While Seventh-day Adventists have no formal creed, they believe that at the conclusion of His investigative judgment, begun in 1844 and based on man's attitude over against the Sabbath, Christ will return to this world, resurrect and translate all the just who have observed the Sabbath, consume the unjust who have kept the Sunday, remove the just from this world, and leave the world desolate for 1,000 years. After the 1,000 years Christ and the saints will return to this world, the unjust will be raised, be granted a period of probation, and, if found unworthy, be annihilated with Satan. This earth will then become the rejuvenated home of the redeemed race of Adam. The Seventh-day Adventists believe it is their work to announce to all nations that the keeping of the Sabbath is man's only hope of preparing for the Lord's 2d coming. In the interest of this cen. doctrine they have developed their entire theology. (a) Although they claim to accept the Holy Scriptures as the only source of faith and practice, they actually base their cen. doctrine on the visions and revelations of Mrs. White, whom they consider to have been an inspired prophetess. (b) On the one hand they confess that the sinner is “justified by the Savior's grace, who cleanses from sin,” but on the other hand they subscribe to Mrs. White's doctrine that the work of Christ consisted largely in showing that the Law of God could be kept by man. Obedience to such commandments as keeping the Sabbath, contributing the tithe, abstaining from pork, intoxicants, stimulants, and tobacco, and wearing modest clothes occupies a prominent place in their scheme of salvation. (c) In the doctrine of Christ's sacerdotal office they differ fundamentally from historic ev. doctrine. On the basis of Heb 8:1, 2 and similar passages they teach that the priestly office of Christ consists of 2 phases, the 1st extending from His ascension until 1844, the 2d inaugurated in the fall of 1844. The theory of the atonement is as follows: As the OT high priest pleaded for the congregation in the Holy Place of the temple throughout the yr., so Christ interceded for His people during the NT period; and as the high priest entered the Holy of Holies once a yr. and placed the sins of the congregation on the scapegoat, thus cleansing the sanctuary, so Christ entered the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 and is now placing the sins of His people on the devil. (d) Since the atonement is not completed until the sins have been removed from the sanctuary, the fate of the departed cannot be determined until Christ's 2d coming. In the interest of this theory they hold that all the dead, good and evil, are in a state of unconsciousness in the intermediate state. This is in line with their view that man is by nature mortal, that immortality will be given only to the believers, and that all wicked men will be entirely annihilated. When the world is rejuvenated, there will be no hell. Seventh-day Adventists reject infant baptism. They understand the ordinance of the Lord's Supper symbolically and observe it 4 times a yr. in conjunction with the rite of foot washing.

In recent yrs. an effort has been made by some denominational leaders to assimilate the Seventh-day Adventists into conservative Protestantism by minimizing the traditional differences in the Seventh-day Adv. doctrines of the Trin. and of the person and work of Christ. This effort has met with some resistance within the group and with skepticism on the part of some conservative Prots., other conservative Prots. have praised the development and have affirmed their willingness to recognize the Seventh-day Adventists as a basically Christian denomination. The group is marked by its energetic for. miss. activity (notably in Lat. Am. and in Afr.), its use of mass media of communications, its stress on educ., its work in medicine and health, its aggressive anti-RC polemics, and its emphasis on the absolute separation of religion and govt.

5. The Church* of God (Seventh Day), Denver, Colo.

6. The Church* of God (Seventh Day), Salem, West Virginia

7. The Church* of God of the Abrahamic Faith.

8. Life and Advent Union. Small Adv. group organized 1848 by John T. Walsh; held there will be no resurrection of the wicked. Merged 1964 with the Advent Christian Ch. See 3.

9. Primitive Advent Christian Church. A small body that developed out of the Advent Christian Church (see 3).

See Religious Bodies (US), Bibliography of. FEM; ACP

Advent of Christ.

The ch. speaks of a 3-fold coming of Christ: (1) His the lowly coming in the flesh (Zch 9:9; Mt 21:5; see also Incarnation); (2) His spiritual coming into the hearts of the pious and His constant presence in the ch. (Jn 14:18, 23; see Mystical Union); (3) His return to judgment (Mt 24:30; see also Last Things), properly called final coming or second visible coming—not simply second coming.


The right of presentation to an ecclesiastical benefice; first mentioned in 441 (1st Syn. of Orange [Arausio], SE Fr.). In a presentative advowson a patron presents a candidate for the bp.'s endorsement; in a collative advowson the bp. himself is the patron.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

Stay Connected! Join the LCMS Network:

Contact Us Online
(Staff Switchboard)
(Church Info Center)
1333 S Kirkwood Rd
Saint Louis, MO 63122-7226 | Directions


Featured Publication

The Lutheran Witness

LCMS Communications

Interpreting the contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.
Visit TLW Online