SDA Admissions About Their "Trinity" Doctrine

The following quotes (which can also be found on the main page) are a collection of some of the most amazing admissions from the Seventh-day Adventist Church's own leaders/scholars/theologians/professors, admitting that Adventism teaches a different "Trinity" doctrine than the historical, orthodox Christian doctrine of the Trinity, as defined by the Christian Church throughout Christian history in its creeds and confessions.

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"A more substantial development [in Adventism] was the continued quest to articulate a biblical doctrine of the Trinity, clearly differentiated from the Greek philosophical presuppositions that undergirded the traditional creedal statements. [...]


"The long process of change from early Adventists' initial rejection of creedal trinitarianism to their eventual acceptance of a doctrine of the Trinity could rightly be called a search for a biblical Trinity. They were not so much prejudiced against traditional formulas as they were determined to hew their doctrine as closely as possible to the line of Scripture. In order to base their beliefs on Scripture alone, and to disenfranchise tradition from exercising any theological authority, they found it methodologically essential to reject every doctrine not clearly grounded in Scripture alone. Since the traditional doctrine of the Trinity clearly contained unscriptural elements, they rejected it. [...]" (From an article by SDA Seminary professor Dr. Jerry Moon entitled "The Adventist Trinity Debate Part 1: Historical Overview," published in Andrews University Seminary Studies in 2003, and available online at

"This research has shown that: (1) Ellen White agreed with some aspects, but not with every aspect of the antitrinitarian views of other early Adventists. (2) Ellen White's view did change—she was raised trinitarian, came to doubt some aspects of the trinitarianism she was raised on, and eventually came to a different trinitarian view from the traditional one. (3) There is a basic harmony between Ellen White's earliest statements and her latest ones. Even on internal evidence, there is no reason to question the validity of her later, more trinitarian writings. They are completely consistent with the trajectory of her developing understanding of the Godhead, and there is every evidence that they represent her own thought. In her earliest writings she differed from some aspects of traditional trinitarianism and in her latest writings she still strongly opposed some aspects of the traditional doctrine of the Trinity. (4) It appears, therefore, that the trinitarian teaching of Ellen White's later writings is not the same doctrine that the early Adventists rejected.11 Rather, her writings describe two contrasting forms of trinitarian belief, one of which she always opposed, and another that she eventually endorsed." (From an article by SDA Seminary professor Dr. Jerry Moon entitled "The Quest for a Biblical Trinity: Ellen White’s 'Heavenly Trio' Compared to the Traditional Doctrine," published in the Spring 2006 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society and available online at

[...] "She [Ellen G. White] taught that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three distinct individuals, which is not true of the medieval doctrine of the Trinity. [...]" (From SDA Seminary professor Dr. Jerry Moon's presentation of the above paper at the Adventist Theological Society’s 2006 "Trinity Symposium",

[...] "What James [SDA co-founder James White, husband of Ellen White] and the other men were opposed to, we are just as opposed to as they were. Now, their solution to that, at that time, they didn't see any solution by retaining the Trinity concept, and getting rid of its distortions. But, in reality, we have been faithful to their commitment, and I know of nothing that they were objecting to, in objecting to Trinitarianism, that we have not also objected to. So I see a considerable fluidity and continuity." (From the Q&A session after Dr. Merlin Burt's presentation at the Adventist Theological Society’s 2006 "Trinity Symposium." The audio file from which the quote is transcribed can be found at

[...] "Secondly, as several of the gentlemen have pointed out, the doctrine of the Trinity that we teach is not identical to the doctrine of the Trinity as developed by the Roman Catholic Church. [...]" (A panel participant at the Q&A Session at the end of the Adventist Theological Society’s 2006 "Trinity Symposium,"

"I just wanted to comment, in line with what has already been said, but that there were several tribes that were identified by the Papacy as Arian. Ellen White warns us, however, about the fact that the Papal historical process has actually confused many issues. But I would like to say, I think there were seven non-orthodox, which means those who did not hold their brand of Trinitarianism, which we reject today, along with them. So, we probably would have been branded as Arian by the orthodox." (SDA scholar and author A. LeRoy Moore, at the panel Q&A Session at the ATS 2006 "Trinity Symposium,"

"It is true that the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople did make declarations that we must now reject because they disagree with Scripture. [...]


"A major development [in Adventism] since 1972 has been the quest to articulate biblical presuppositions grounding a biblical doctrine of the Trinity, clearly differentiated from the dualistic presuppositions that undergird the traditional creedal statements. [...]

"In 1983 Fernando Canale set forth an analysis and radical critique of the Greek philosophical presuppositions underlying what Dederen had referred to as 'speculative thought.' Canale's dissertation, A Criticism of Theological Reason, showed that classical Catholic and Protestant theology took its most basic presuppositions about the nature of God, time, and existence, from a 'framework' provided by Aristotelian philosophy. He argued that for Christian theology to become truly biblical, it must derives its 'primordial presupposition' from Scripture, not from Greek philosophy (Canale, Criticism, p. 359; p. 402, n. 1)." (From pages 150 and 201 of the book entitled The Trinity: Understanding God's Love, His Plan of Salvation, and Christian Relationships, written by Woodrow Whidden, Jerry Moon, and John W. Reeve (SDA theologians), and published by the SDA Church-owned Review and Herald Publishing Association (Copyright 2002).

"The eastern Cappadocian fathers expanded on Tertullian's thought and tended to emphasize the distinct individuality of the three persons while safeguarding their unity by stressing the fact that both the Son and the Spirit derived from the Father.10 They spoke of one 'substance' (ousia) in three 'persons' (hypostases).'11 However, another issue for us today is that much of that vocabulary and thought assumed ancient Greek dualism and metaphysics, which are very distant and confusing to us now.


"Our own Adventist theological experience and history can make valuable contributions to this discussion. In many ways the philosophical assumptions and presuppositions of our worldview are different from traditional Christianity and bring different perspectives on some of these old issues. We do not accept the traditional Platonic dualistic worldview and metaphysics that were foundational to the church fathers' theology of the Trinity, one of these being the concept of the immortality of the soul." (From an article by Denis Fortin, Professor of Theology and Dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (at Andrews University), entitled "God, the Trinity, and Adventism: An Introduction to the Issues," published in the Spring 2006 Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and available online at

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