With the authorization and encouragement of President

Neal C. Wilson and the other officers of the General

Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the Ministerial

Association has undertaken to prepare this volume to furnish

reliable information on the beliefs of our church. It would

be difficult for any one author to state the beliefs of the

Seventh-day Adventist Church comprehensively and accurately.

But individual authors, rather than committees, write the

best books. So we have combined the efforts of many with the

efforts of one person, P.G. Damsteegt, who had the task of

preparing the initial draft of each chapter.

Damsteegt, a unique blend of scholar and evangelist, was

born and reared in the Netherlands. After finding Christ

while serving as an aeronautical engineer in the Dutch Air

Force, he pursued a theological education in Europe and the

United States. In 1977 he was granted a Doctor of Theology

degree from the Free Reformed University of Amsterdam for a

historical-theological and missiological study of the

Biblical foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Damsteegt presently teaches at the Seventh-day Adventist

Theological Seminary of Andrews University in Michigan.

A Christ-centered manuscript on Adventist doctrines

prepared by Norman Gulley, professor of religion at Southern

College of Seventh-day Adventists, provided both inspiration

and material for this volume. In addition, it has had the

benefit of thousands of hours of research among Adventist

and non-Adventist sources and thorough evaluation and

discussion by various committees.

The church's ten world divisions selected a committee of

194 persons who went over each chapter, suggesting

corrections, additions, and deletions. A smaller committee

of 27 church leaders, theologians, and pastors met regularly

with Damsteegt to give additional supervision to the

preparation of this work.

Among the many who gave special attention to this volume,

sharing their counsel, checking sources, researching

materials, rewriting, and editing, are Roy Adams, C.E.

Aeschlimann, Philippe Augendre, Francis Augsburger, Samuele

Bacchiocchi, Roberto Badenas, B.B. Beach, Enrique Becerra,

Bekele Biri, P. Bolling, F.A. Botomami, DeWayne Boyer, C.E.

Bradford, G.W. Brown, Walton J. Brown, Jetro Fernandes de

Carvalho, D.W.B. Chalale, Gordon Christo, Gerald Christo,

Paul Clerc, J.N. Coffin, P.J. Colquhoun, Robert Cunningham,

A.D.C. Currie, Raoul Dederen, P.M. Diaz, O.C. Edwards, Rex

D. Edwards, W.H. Endruveit, Duncan Eva, A.J. Ferch, Philip

Follett, Marsha Frost, E.R. Gane, A.A. Godfrey, Clifford

Goldstein, Norman Gulley, C.B. Hammond, H.G. Harker, Gerhard

Hasel, R.R. Hegstad,Hans Heinz, Bekele Heye, D.B. Hills, B.

Holanger, Frank Holbrook, Minoru Inada, Rolando Itin, W.G.

Johnsson, Bruce Johnston, Erwin Kilian, G.E. Knowles, Rubens

Lessa, M.E. Loewen, Enrico Long, Edwin Ludescher, S.H.

Makaleta, David Marshall, P. Maynard-Reid, D.P. McClure,

Lyndon McDowell, John H. McFarlane, K.J. Mittleider,

Jerry Moon, Haroldo Moran, Joaquim Morgado, Ekkehardt

Mueller, Baraka Muganda, Eric Murray, A. Mustard, Ira

Nation, R.R. Ndhlovu, Ralph Neall, J.D. Newman, D.M. Niere,

R.W. Nixon, J.J. Nortey, Etzer Obas, S.O. Omulo, Jan

Paulsen, Leon Phillips, Chek Yat Phoon, L.D. Raelly, Alex

Rantung, George W. Reid, Leslie Rhys, George E. Rice, David

Ripley, C.B. Rock, Mrs. Nel Rogers, Reinhard Rupp, W.C.

Scales, Walter Schultschik, Neal Scott, W.R.L. Scragg, W.H.

Shea, H.C. Shin, Georges Steveny, R.A. Tabingo Yoshibumi

Takahashi, R.W. Taylor, Brad Thorp, L.P. Tolhurst, James D.

Unger, Leo Van Dolson, Lutz Vollrath, Werner and Nancy

Vyhmeister, Loron Wade, A. V. Wallenkampf, M.H. Wauran, Joao

Wolff, Yukio Yokomizo, James Zachary, and Z.M. Zubaid.

Laurel Damsteegt, a trained Bible scholar, gave constant

counsel and encouragement to her husband and, along with

Mary Louise Mc Dowell, did the extensive word processing

required to prepare the preliminary manuscripts. And

Ministry editors David Jarnes and Kenneth Wade did most of

the final editing and setting up of the manuscript for


Special tribute should be paid to J.R. Spangler, associate

secretary of the Ministerial Association and editor of

Ministry magazine. Dreams too seldom become tangible. His

did. You hold it in your hands. Without his vision this book

would not likely have been conceived. Without his

persistence it would not have been published.

W. Floyd Bresee

Secretary, Ministerial Association

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists