The divinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit in the writings of Ellen G. White
Rantung, Steven Jonah
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This study explores the historical development and theological understanding of the divinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit, as presented in the writings of Ellen Gould White, a prominent pioneer of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church. Specifically, the study answers four questions: (1) Is there a basic and consistent agreement between her statements on the Holy Spirit and the Bible? (2) Are there detectable inconsistencies within her writings concerning this subject? (3) Was there any progression in Ellen White's understanding of both the full divinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit? and (4) How should her several references to the Holy Spirit which use the impersonal pronoun "it" be understood? Chapter 1 describes the general plan for the dissertation. It states the problem and delineates the dissertation's purpose, the method to be followed, and the significance of the study. The background study in chapter 2 begins with a brief overview of Ellen White's personal background and then proceeds to her theological methodology. These provide the framework within which one may understand Ellen White's view of the nature of the Holy Spirit. Chapter 3 investigates the role of Ellen White in the development of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the SDA church. It presents the development of the doctrine in her writings through several discernable periods of her life. The chapter is divided into two main sections: the use of the pronoun "it" in referring to the Holy Spirit in the writings of Ellen White, and an exploration of the historical development of her understanding of the divinity and personality of the Holy Spirit. The chapter is primarily historical and developmental in nature. An analysis on the divinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit as presented in the writings of Ellen White is presented in chapter 4. The analysis is not intended to fully explain the nature of the Holy Spirit in the writings of Ellen White, but rather to determine whether her writings on the subject are in harmony with biblical perspectives. At the same time, the chapter reviews the SDA church's understanding of pneumatology in the light of her writings I and presents the degree to which the SDA church has grasped, accepted and assimilated what Ellen White has written about the divinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit. Chapter 5 presents the summary and conclusion of the study. It is concluded that the writings of Ellen White on the divinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit are in full harmony with the testimony of the Bible concerning the subject. The study also confirms that Ellen White has contributed greatly to the SDA understanding of the divinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit.