Kevin Barret

I must be the bearer of some sad news. Our editor S. Lawrence Maxwell went to sleep in Jesus this past November. Throughout the past 22 years, Adventists Affirm has been blessed with excellent editors who have guided us as we’ve tackled the tough issues facing Adventism. Most recently, Lawrence provided his steady hand at the Adventists Affirm helm as editor. In fact, this was his second tour of duty, having worked with us previously in the capacity of editor from 2000-2004. He was also a frequent contributor through the years. Lawrence had an enticing approach to the Bible. His love for the Lord and desire to communicate profound bible truths in ways in an easily understandable manner greatly benefitted the Adventists Affirm reader and many who knew him personally. He will be deeply missed for now, but we have hope that we will see Lawrence again in the resurrection! We are dedicating this issue of Adventists Affirm in loving memory of S. Lawrence Maxwell.

Of all the subjects Adventists Affirm could possibly devote an issue to, I cannot think of a subject more important than sin and salvation. It is impossible to overstate how critical it is for each of us to have a crystal clear understanding of what sin is and what we must do to be saved. The intent of this second issue for 2009 is to reaffirm our understanding of sin and salvation as Seventh-day Adventists, inform the reader about current challenges to our historical positions, and to pique the reader’s interest to engage into a deeper individual study.

Keith Phillips begins this issue by reminding us that we as Seventh-day Adventists should be the happiest people on the earth. Are we? I think after reading his article you’ll see that joy and our understanding of righteousness by faith are inextricably linked. 

I think you’ll enjoy Kevin Paulson’s article on righteousness by faith as well. However, he approaches this topic from the perspective of the sanctuary doctrine and thoroughly demonstrates how an adoption of an evangelical salvation theology necessitates the rejection of this doctrinal pillar.

Karl Tsaltabasidis asks the question, “What is sin?” The answer to this question has vast implications on a correct understanding of salvation. He demonstrates that Ellen White’s definition of sin is consistent with the biblical record. However, Pastor Karl warns us that there is another definition of sin circling about that originates from a
completely different paradigm of understanding. A fascinating read!

Richard O’ Ffill contributes a primer in salvation, “Planning to Win.” It’s a loving reminder from the heart of a pastor that we need not lose sight of the basics of our salvation. What does it mean to be born
again, and what does that look like? This is a practical message that you won’t want to miss!

Daniel Ferraz’s article, “The Humanity of Christ Is Everything to Us” tackles the subject of Christ’s human nature. This has been and continues to be a volatile subject within Adventism, but it wasn’t always that way. What happened, and does our understanding of Christ’s human nature really matter?

Finally, we conclude this issue with the article, “Peril of Neglecting Salvation” from the pen of inspiration written in 1891. In a succinct and sobering way, Ellen White reminded us that there is an enemy tempting us to be careless with our redemption to the point of neglect. She beautifully outlined for us the completeness and perfection of the plan of salvation, and the great provision that has been provided for us. Read this one over and over again.

May this issue serve as a reminder to Adventists everywhere—God’s wonderful love is for each of us!