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 Copyright  1979 Verdict Publications, Fallbrook, California, USA

 

 

Ellet Joseph Waggoner: The Myth and the Man, is especially relevant to those who are examining the various conflicts and strains of Adventist thought that grew out of the opposition to the book Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrines.  It is significant, not only because it analyses the teachings of E J Waggoner, and carefully chronicles his slide from a proponent of righteousness by faith into mystical and even pantheistic views of salvation,  but also because it represents a significant turning point in the views of Robert Brinsmead.   Since both Brinsmead's and Waggoner's names come up in discussions of the issues raised at the Conference held at the 50th anniversary of QOD, it is fitting that we take a serious look at this book.

The title page of the book lists "David P. McMahon And the Editorial Staff of Verdict Publications" as the authors of the book.  Private correspondence with McMahon gave the information that he regarded himself as only the researcher, with the actual writing being done by others... probably by Robert Brinsmead himself.  Assuming this to be true, this gives us a look into what must have been a very significant factor in the process whereby Brinsmead dropped the "mystical perfection" of his early "Sanctuary Awakening" message, and moved to his "righteousness by faith" stage.  It also strongly suggests that Brinsmead's earlier teachings were heavily dependent upon the doctrines as taught by Waggoner.... those things which he explicitly describes and  rejects in the final chapter, "Waggoner in Retrospect". 

We would do well to heed the warnings implicit in this book's analysis.... especially those which have to do with current theories of salvation that have their roots in the errors of the later Waggoner.



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