Schematic View of the Seventh-day Adventist

System of Theology and Doctrine

Prepared by Stephen Bauer,

Associate Professor of Theology,

Southern Adventist University

August, 2008

Part I - Theology:

Who is God?


Part II - Anthropology:

Who is Man? How was man supposed to relate to God?

Divine Revelation/Inspiration of Scripture


God as Creator

God as Trinity:

       - Father

       - Son (Christology I - Divinity of Christ)

       - Pneumatology I: Holy Spirit


Man as creature (a finite being)

Image of God

Pre- versus Post-fall nature

How man should have related to God

Part III - Socio-cosmology (Great Controversy):

What went wrong?


Part IV - Soteriology (Salvation):

How does God fix what went wrong?

Great Controversy – creature vs Creator

    - In Heaven (angel vs Angel)

    - On Earth (fall of man)

    - Christology II: Incarnation of Christ &

           Humanity of Christ

Doctrine of Salvation

      - Substitutionary Atonement

The Sanctuary - How sinners approach God

Experience of Salvation

      - New Birth/Conversion

      - Growth/Sanctification

      - Christ as our Example

Christian Growth (the new Fundamental Belief)


Part V - Matthetology (Fruits of Salvation):

What happens to people when God fixes what went wrong?


Part VI - Leitourgology (Agencies of Salvation ):

What means does God use to fix what went wrong?

Law of God


Change of Sabbath


Marriage & Sexuality



Lifestyle Standards:

       - Dress Reform

       - Diet and Health Reform

       - Entertainment

       - etc.

Holy Spirit & Sp. Gifts

Doctrine of the Church

Ministry of the Church

   & its Ordinances (Baptism, Lord’s Supper, Foot washing)

The Remnant & its Mission

Prophetic Ministry

     - General Characteristics

     - Testing the Prophets

     - The work of a Prophet

     - Prophecy and the remnant

     - Ellen White



Part VII - Eschatology (Final Destiny):

How will God ultimately end what went wrong?


System Structures:

Soft Heuristic Center: A permeating Essence or Flavor throughout the system = Christ

Investigative Judgement

     - The Sanctuary and 1844

     - The Investigative Judgement Process

Immortal Soul & Hell

Second Coming

The Millennium

New Earth

Hard Heuristic Center: The doctrine that organizes and integrates the others into a system = Great Controversy. Like the hub of a bicycle wheel holding the spokes in order.

Theological Foundation: This is the doctrine of Creation, which is what makes God, God.

Starting Point: Divine Revelation/Inspiration. We could do no true theology (study of God) if God never reveals Himself to us. We start with what He has revealed.