WE GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGE...
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