Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Message and Mission




It is with a deep sense of indebtedness and gratitude that I reflect on my academic training. It would be impossible to mention all those who have influenced me during these formative years. While expressing my thanks to all who, in some way or another, assisted me in my education, I shall refer only to the most significant influences. FSDA xi.1

This study is the result of many converging influences from theological studies in England, the United States, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. My interest in the theological significance of the missionary nature of the church has been stimulated by Dr. Gottfried Oosterwal, and his encouragement was a major factor in the decision to pursue my theological studies at the Free University of Amsterdam. I am thankful for the insights I received during my study there, being especially grateful for the opportunity to study under Dr. J. Verkuyl whose dynamic personality and Christo-centric theology have greatly enlarged my understanding of the relevance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for contemporary society. His openness of spirit in dealing with those of a different persuasion, his respect for the human personality, and his never ceasing concern for peace, reconciliation, and righteousness were a stimulating example of a life which maintained a rare balance between doctrine and practice. I express also my appreciation to Dr. J. van den Berg for his careful reading of the manuscript and his valuable advice, and to Dr. G. C. Berkouwer who, through his lectures and books, has made me aware of the importance of historical-theological studies. FSDA xi.2

Through Prof. J. Verkuyl’s encouragement I attended the Graduate School of Ecumenical Studies, Céligny, Switzerland, held under the auspices of the World Council of Churches and the University of Geneva. The lectures and research there contributed considerably to the selection of the subject matter of the study. Discussions and interviews with various officials of the World Council of Churches such as Dr. Hans-Rudi Weber, Dr. W. A. Visser’t Hooft, Dr. Lukas Vischer, Dr. Konrad Raiser, and Dr. W. Hollenweger were of great value and confirmed the necessity of my present research. FSDA xi.3

I also express my thanks to the administration of Andrews University and its theological faculty for their cooperation while engaged in the research and writing of this subject. Discussions with Dr. C. Mervyn Maxwell, Dr. Sakae Kubo, Dr. Gerhard F. Hasel, Dr. Hans K. La Rondelle, and Rolf J. Pöhler and their encouragement and constructive suggestions have proved to be very beneficial. FSDA xi.4

The major share of my research was done through the Andrews University Archives and the Ellen G. White Research Center, Berrien Springs, Michigan. Use was also made of the Orrin Roe Jenks Memorial Collection of Adventual Materials, Aurora College, Aurora, Illinois; the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society, Plainfield, New Jersey; the Second Adventist Collection of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; and the Ellen G. White Estate, Takoma Park, Washington, D.C. I am grateful for the aid rendered by those in charge, in particular the invaluable assistance provided by Elder Arthur L. White, Mrs. Hedwig Jemison, Mrs. Louise F. Dederen, Mrs. Doris K. Colby, and Rev. Albert N. Rogers. FSDA xii.1

I am very much indebted to Dr. Sakae Kubo regarding matters dealing with the form of the footnotes, to Dr. Leona G. Running, Dr. C. Mervyn Maxwell, Mrs. Victor H. Campbell, Miss Diana Stevens, Miss Laurel A. Nelson, Mrs. James M. Crawford, and Alan Crandall for the proofreading and/or editing, and to Mrs. James Campbell for the typing of the manuscript. FSDA xii.2

Furthermore I would like to express my gratitude to Leon and Dolores Slikkers for their generous financial support. Without their assistance the completion of this research would have taken several more years. FSDA xii.3

The publication of the research was made possible through the much appreciated cooperation of the Netherlands Organization for the Advancement of Pure Research. FSDA xii.4

I am also thankful to my mother whose spiritual, moral, and financial support during my life has been an indispensable influence and strength. FSDA xii.5

The greatest source of inspiration was the Lord Jesus Christ who through His abundant love and grace provided me with the necessary strength, perseverance, patience, and insight to complete my research. FSDA xii.6