Thompson Helps Form Foundation for Examining Scriptures

December 01, 2007 | Michael Devitt

Although the topic of inspiration has a long history in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, it is one that still leaves a lot of people confused, unsure, or at odds with others within the body of Christ.

To help clarify the difficult issues, and assist believers in forming a firm foundation from which to examine the scriptures, Alden Thompson spoke at Oasis Church in Boise Aug. 24–25.

"It takes time to make changes," Thompson reminded the standing-room-only crowd, "but let's always see Jesus as the Great Ideal."

Thompson's Friday evening presentation laid the groundwork for the Sabbath morning and afternoon meetings, as well as connecting with the audience with many personal stories and observations.

"I was really surprised at how personable and funny he was," remarked one attendee, admitting a previous bias that authors and professors were required to be dull speakers. Many others agreed, adding that the clarity of the model Thompson presented as the Adventist advantage for a world that is, "a mess," gave them renewed confidence in studying and sharing scripture.

Thompson talked about the pyramid principle of the one great law of love uppermost, with the two great commands to love God and man on the next level. The decalogue presents a foundation (or the wide base of the pyramid) that protects against both fundamentalism and apostasy, giving tremendous freedom to meet Christ in a very real way through in-depth examination of scripture without the fear of finding apparent contradictions or problems.

"Many Adventists are crushed by their ideals," warned Thompson, "rather than seeing them as ideals that will never be accomplished here on this Earth." He has concluded that it is only through the understanding of the purpose, the time and the place of God's communication with His people, in scripture and down through history, that we can truly grasp the concept of inspiration, and where we see the ideal that God has for us.

Thompson was the first speaker in what is to become a semi-annual event at Oasis. The church plans to bring in respected speakers for weekend seminars on important topics to the Boise area as an outreach to both Adventists and community members.