A Word About the 27 Fundamental Beliefs of

Seventh-day Adventists

Through the years Seventh-day Adventists have been

reluctant to formalize a creed (in the usual sense of that

word). However, from time to time, for practical purposes,

we have found it necessary to summarize our beliefs.

In 1872 the Adventist press at Battle Creek, Michigan,

published a "synopsis of our faith" in 25 propositions. This

document, slightly revised and expanded to 28 sections,

appeared in the denominational Yearbook of 1889. This was

not continued in subsequent issues, but it was inserted

again in the Yearbook in 1905 and continued to appear

through 1914. In response to an appeal from church leaders

in Africa for "a statement [that] would help government

officials and others to a better understanding of our work,"

a committee of four, including the president of the General

Conference, prepared a statement encompassing "the principal

features" of belief as they "may be summarized." This

statement of 22 fundamental beliefs, first printed in the

1931 Yearbook, stood until the 1980 General Conference

session replaced it with a similar but more comprehensive

summary in 27 paragraphs, published under the title

"Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists."

In publishing this summary the church took steps to

assure that it would not come to be viewed as an

unchangeable creed. The introduction to the Fundamental

Beliefs reads: "Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as

their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be

the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set

forth here, constitute the church's understanding and

expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these

statements may be expected at a General Conference session

when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller

understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in

which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word."

The present volume, Seventh-day Adventists Believe..., is

based on the 27 short summaries. They appear at the

beginning of each chapter. In this book we present for our

members, friends, and other interested persons, in an

expanded, readable, and practical manner, these doctrinal

convictions and their significance for Adventist Christians

in today's society. While this volume is not an officially

voted statement--only a General Conference in world session

could provide that--it may be viewed as representative of

"the truth...in Jesus" (Eph. 4:21) that Seventh-day

Adventists around the globe cherish and proclaim.