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Gregory Matthews

Desmond Ford

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Gregory Matthews

In an age a long time ago Dr. Desmond Ford was expelled from the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  This was due to a rejection of his views on the book of Daniel and the Investigative Judgment.  However, he continued to remain a SDA member.  Prior to this action, he had been considered a SDA scholar.  His commentary on the book of Daniel  had been published by the SDA Church and he had taught at two (2) different SDA colleges.  To this day and the many years that have passed, he remains controversal in the SDA Chruch.

In 2018 the views that he held and his trial and conviction have been published in a three (3) volumn set of books, which are available to historians and others, at the following website.  They are also available in Kindle.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B07K1WJJ81

To clairfy where I am coming from in relation to him:

*   I consider him to have been an important part of SDA history to include it being of value for informed members to be aware of what happened in relationship to him.

*  I agree with some of his doctrinal positions which I consider to be well within Adventism.

*  On other doctrinal positions, some of which he has taken in more recent years, I disagree and consider them to be outside of Adventist norms.

*  I consider him to be a superb Christian gentleman who has refrained form attacking the SDA denomination.

*  "I agree with those who made the decision to retain him as a member of the SDA denomination.

*  As to the above 3-volumn set of books:  The massivse nature of that set is typical of his writing on this subject.  Probably few will ever read it outside of a few SDA scholars.

*  My listing of the availability of the above set is to be considered a news item and not a recommendation to either purchase them or not to purchase them.

 

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Gregory Matthews

NOTE:  The following are brief comments on set of books.

#1 & 2:   Reprint of the manuscript prepared by Desmond Ford for a Seventh-day Adventist convocation at Glacier View, Colorado in August, 1980. As a result Ford was let go from employment and had to hand in his ministerial credentials. This book outlines differences between the denomination's official view about the investigative judgment, 1844, and the Day of Atonement and Ford's views. It give a history of others who challenged these doctrines and gives Biblical evidence for the stances taken.

 

#3:  Desmond Ford was one of the most prominent preachers of Righteousness by Faith in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. In 1970, he completed a second doctorate in New Testament (eschatology) at Manchester University, UK, under the supervision of the eminent Professor F. F. Bruce. From 1960 till 1977, Ford taught at Avondale College, in NSW Australia and helped train a whole generation of ministers and teachers. In 1977, he and his second wife Gillian and family went to teach at Pacific Union College, in Angwin, California. Ford had many enemies who were bitterly opposed to his emphasis on a sinless Christ, justification by faith alone, a different interpretation of prophecy, and a kinder approach to Roman Catholic Christians. Robert D. Brinsmead, called “a gadfly on the flank of Adventism,” switched from his Adventist perfectionism to teaching the Reformer’s gospel of righteousness by faith in the early 1970s. This heightened the agitation against Ford, especially when Brinsmead renounced Adventism’s unique doctrine of 1844 and the investigative judgment. Through historicist principles and with the aid of the nonbiblical Year-Day Principle, Adventists had taught from 1853 that in 1844, Christ entered the Most Holy Place in heaven and began the judgment of the living. The heads of the Adventist Forum chapter asked Ford to take a meeting on the subject of 1844 at Pacific Union College. After the talk, Ford was pulled out his classes and sent to General Conference headquarters to write up his views. This manuscript was the result. In August 1980 at convocation at Glacier View, Ford’s views were rejected and plans for his dismissal were put in place. In this third volume, in chapter five Ford discusses the wider views of modern New Testament scholars (in 1980). He shows how all great eschatological themes such as the kingdom, judgment, the gift of the Spirit, eternal life, resurrection, the destruction of Satan, and the abolition of death are applied to the Cross and its fruits. In chapter six, Ford concludes that a misunderstanding of the issues of authority, inspiration, and inerrancy have been responsible for the majority of doctrinal controversies the Seventh-day Adventists has experienced. In this final chapter, Ford discusses the foundational role of Ellen G. White in forming the Adventist Church.

NOTE:  I am not the author of the above comments, they were made by someone else, and I am not certain of who wrote them--GM.

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JoeMo

I don't know all of the details behind the church's gripes with Dr. Ford; but I personally accept most of his positions (what I know of them).  I arrived at many of my personal opinions that agree with him prior to even knowing who he was (outside of how he was portrayed by the church as an apostate heretic).  The church lost a great mind when they let him go.  Still, he remains a loyal uncomplaining member of the denomination.  I admire him for that.

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Kevin H

Ford is a fantastic scholar of the theology of the reformers. He was also an excellent scholar of the old understanding of the New Testament (as opposed to what they are discovering in recent decades, see for example: Acts, New Discoveries from the Ancient church http://www.biblicalresources.net/product.cfm?product=37 ).

I am very uncomfortable with him with how he would place what he knew about the New Testament and push it on the rest of the Bible. How he seems to have seen Luther as the final authority and having the last word (Wesley went way beyond Luther), and thus I see him as the opposite ditch from the Folcrum7 people. The two groups tend to have split the truth approximately in half (picture a very jagged line, with occasionally one side being more correct than the other, and other points where the other side was more correct than the one, but basically half truths used against each other). (of course the Folcrum7 people like to picture the world as that you either fully believe like they do or you fully believe like Ford. That is probably their biggest lie).

I see the value of these resources for study. I'd like to read them, but they are not very high on my list. I'd rather concentrate my time on teachers that I see as having a more balanced view rather than the two half truths fighting each other.

I do pray for Dr. Ford as if you read about him on Wikipedia he appears to have lived a very sad life.

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The Wanderer
On 1/5/2019 at 5:44 AM, Gregory Matthews said:

  I consider him to be a superb Christian gentleman who has refrained form attacking the SDA denomination.

 

a very important and interesting point in his favor, and of some common-held beliefs with "the denomination."

11 hours ago, Kevin H said:

I do pray for Dr. Ford as if you read about him on Wikipedia he appears to have lived a very sad life.

imagine how things would change if we had all such on our Sabbath School/personal prayer lists? I notice that when we make said lists, "people like that" are usually NOT on them. "Shunning" doesnt just happen physically in person; it can be on a corporate level from the top to bottom.

Quote

And You shall hearken to the prayer of Your servant, and of Your people Israel, which they shall pray toward this place; and You shall hear in Your dwelling place in heaven, and You shall do and be gracious. (I Kings 8:30 [AB])

 

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B/W Photodude
On 1/7/2019 at 3:06 PM, JoeMo said:

The church lost a great mind when they let him go.  Still, he remains a loyal uncomplaining member of the denomination.

Desmond Ford may have a great mind, but it all depends on how you use it. The church may have had a very difficult decision in letting him go from the ministry, but the church did not abandon him. He is still a member, and kudos for him remaining an uncomplaining member. People still do not get that there is a certain responsibility to up hold the teachings of the church. As Peter said, the Bible is not for private interpretation. So, when you come up with some idea that does not meet with general acceptance, you give it up or form your own church. 

I tend to believe that some can buy into Ford's vision of how things are, but I also believe that the membership of the church does not really understand the sanctuary message. The symbolism of the day of atonement seems largely lost. Most people cannot really remember when they last heard a sermon on the sanctuary. The symbols are there for a reason and I am of the opinion, FWIW, that God does not waste symbols.

19 hours ago, Kevin H said:

I do pray for Dr. Ford as if you read about him on Wikipedia he appears to have lived a very sad life.

Some of you may have seen the movie "Follow That Bird" which came out in the 80s and was of the Sesame St genre. The movie opened at the society for homeless birds. They had taken up the case of Big Bird and it was noted as they passed his file around how sad he looked. Until the file landed in front of the Owl who said, "That funny, he looks happy to me!" So, looking into a few bio sketches regarding Ford I am mystified about how he lived a very sad life. Hard, yes as many from his era went thru. Busy, very. But I don't see sad.

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JoeMo
16 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

People still do not get that there is a certain responsibility to up hold the teachings of the church. As Peter said, the Bible is not for private interpretation. So, when you come up with some idea that does not meet with general acceptance, you give it up or form your own church. 

His ideas may not have had majority or unanimous acceptance; but Dr. Ford had a significant following.  I can't say that I believe (or even know) everything he taught; but at a high level, I agree with much of what I have read that he said.

I do agree that Dr. Ford didn't necessarily have a sad life.  Like all of us, I'm sure he went through sad and stressful times, but he seems to have recovered and kept the faith.  God bless him.

I'm leaving for NM in a few minutes.  I'll be back in about a week.

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The Wanderer
1 hour ago, JoeMo said:

but Dr. Ford had a significant following.

"and from among your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." (Acts 20:30, ASV)

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The Wanderer
5 hours ago, The Wanderer said:

"and from among your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." (Acts 20:30, ASV)

Just a parenthesis here FYI - It wasnt my intention to single out any particular individual here; including Dr Ford. I was more replying to the idea of "had a significant following." It IS a reality in most major churches and religions now. It IS something that is easy to get trapped in; I have had several times where someone wanted to "give me their tithe" and I was always flabbergasted by the idea. The ones who say NO to that kind of thing would be the ones to give more credit to. Dr Ford deserves everything we do. IMHO.

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B/W Photodude
3 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

I was more replying to the idea of "had a significant following." It IS a reality in most major churches and religions now. It IS something that is easy to get trapped in; …

1 Corinthians 1-3 is helpful in this discussion and covers the topic of following different individuals well. This has been a plus for the church thru the years of not having one pastor "squatting" on a particular church too long to make people over into their image. Being fans of a certain pastor is less than ideal, although following someone through their writings can be helpful. The church did follow EGW and others through much of their lives, although not in a week to week preaching sort of relationship.

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