Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A historical-contextual analysis of the final-generation theology of M. L. Andreasen
by Evans, Paul M., Ph.D., Andrews University, 2010, 362; 3439714
Abstract (Summary)

Topic. This study analyzes the teaching of the early twentieth-century Seventh-day Adventist writer M. L. Andreasen regarding a final-generation perfection that vindicates God in the great controversy between good and evil, comparing Andreasen’s views with related concepts in the writings of previous Adventist writers.

Purpose. The study has the limited objective of attempting to trace possible antecedents for Andreasen’s final-generation theology in the writings of other Adventists, in order to determine the degree of uniqueness or variance in Andreasen’s views. By means of this historical-contextual analysis, relationships are clarified between Andreasen’s views and those of other prominent Adventist writers, such as Joseph Bates, Ellen White, J. N. Andrews, Uriah Smith, E. J. Waggoner, and A. T. Jones.

Since non-Andreasen Adventist writings subsequent to Andreasen’s 1937 The Sanctuary Service are not examined, later reaction to Andreasen’s last-generation concepts is not addressed by this study. Further, an examination of the validity, or biblical foundation, of final-generation theology lies outside the scope of this work.

Sources. Andreasen’s published books and articles were examined for his final-generation views, which are stated most fully in the penultimate chapter of his 1937 The Sanctuary Service, entitled “The Last Generation.” The principal secondary source used was Dwight Eric Haynes’s M.A. thesis on Andreasen’s final-generation theology; Haynes’s categorization of Andreasenian motifs was adapted for the purposes of this study.

The views of other, pre-1937 Adventist writers were researched primarily with the aid of digitized libraries; the two primary collections used were (1) the second edition of the Adventist Pioneer Library’s Words of the Pioneers and (2) version 3.0 of the Ellen G. White Estate’s The Complete Published Ellen G. White Writings. The Online Document Archives of the Office of Archives and Statistics of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists also made possible the location of a few key documents not found in the other collections.

Conclusions. This study found all of the basic components of Andreasen’s final-generation theology expressed by previous Adventist writers. In regard to complete overcoming of sin on the part of believers anticipating translation, a rather consistent correspondence was observed over the period investigated. Less agreement was seen regarding the relationship between an end-time blotting out of sins and an end-time maturation of the saints, with A. T. Jones and Andreasen seeing a clear connection, while Ellen White, significantly, refrained from explicitly joining these two end-time phenomena.

When attention was turned to the relationship between the end-time overcoming of the saints and the vindication of God in His controversy with evil, much less correspondence was observed. While antecedents for this part of Andreasen's theology seem implied in several passages from Ellen White, they become quite explicit in the writings of E. J. Waggoner. In the post-1888 years, Waggoner's view of an end-time vindication of God based on the overcoming of His people, seems to have been spreading, as witnessed in the writings of W. W. Prescott, I. H. Evans, and Uriah Smith.

The study concludes that while Andreasen did not invent the concepts on which his final-generation theology is based, he did craft them into an end-time scenario by which he links the end-time saints to the outcome of the cosmic controversy much more emphatically than does any previous Adventist writer.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Moon, Jerry A.
Commitee: Fortin, Denis, McVay, John K.
School: Andrews University
Department: SDA Theological Seminary
School Location: United States -- Michigan
Source: DAI-A 72/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Religion, Religious history, Theology
Keywords: Adventist, Andreasen, M. L., Eschatology, Final-generation theology, Perfection, Seventh-day Adventist, Theodicy, Vindication
Publication Number: 3439714
ISBN: 9781124452654
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