Latter-day saints and Seventh-day Adventist concepts of the nature of Christ: a comparative study
Unpublished Thesis (MAR)
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Both Latter-day Saints and Seventh-day Adventist believe in Jesus Christ. The Latter-day Saints teach that Jesus Christ is the central figure of the church’s doctrine and the Seventh-day Adventists also express their conviction that Jesus Christ is the living center of the truth for this time, embracing many other doctrines. It seems that the two positions are not so different, but when a careful investigation is made in the doctrinal writings of both churches, the differences become clear. The purpose of this study was to carefully explore and compare the teachings of Latter-day Saints and Seventh-day Adventist concerning the nature of Christ. Chapter 1 serves as an introduction to this research. Chapter 2 describes the concepts of the Latter-day Saints concerning the divinity and the humanity of Jesus Christ. The divinity of Christ is that of a self-existent spirit substance developing from one stage to another in the process of becoming fully God. His humanity was marked by His faithful conformity to God’s plan. He was able to fulfill His task and successfully passed His “Advanced School of Progression.” Chapter 3 discusses the teaching of the Seventh-day Adventist on the divinity and humanity of Christ. His divinity is original, unborrowed, and underived. He has been always fully divine and possessing all the attributes of God forever. At His birth as human, the two different natures, divine and human, were mysteriously combined. He was the expressed image of the Father while on this earth. Chapter 4 presents the comparison of the teachings of both churches in regard to the subject under study. Both churches believe Christ as the self-existent God, existing from eternity to eternity, and descending from God’s sphere into human sphere in man’s behalf. There are significant differences in their concept in relation to Christ’s pre-human existence, Christ’s human existence, and Christ’s post-resurrection existence. Chapter 5 summarizes chapter 2, 3, and 4, focusing on the main points of view of both churches in regard to the divinity and humanity of Christ. The conclusion of the study mentions the fact that the existence of Christ is not unique is Latter-day Saints’ concepts because He is similar to all other spirit children of God in origin, potentiality, privileges, and opportunities. To Seventh-day Adventists, the existence of Christ is unique because He is truly God and became truly man. The two natures were mysteriously combined in Him, resulting in the ability of man to see God and His character through Christ’s human life.
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