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With the authorization and encouragement of President Neal C. Wilson and the other officers of the
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the Ministerial Association has undertaken to prepare
this volume to furnish reliable information on the beliefs of our church. It would be difficult for
any one author to state the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church comprehensively and accurately.
But individual authors, rather than committees, write the best books. So we have combined the efforts
of many with the efforts of one person, P. G. Damsteegt, who had the task of preparing the initial
draft of each chapter.
Damsteegt, a unique blend of scholar and evangelist, was born and reared in the Netherlands.
After finding Christ while serving as an aeronautical engineer in the Dutch Air Force, he pursued
a theological education in Europe and the United States. In 1977 he was granted a Doctor of Theology
degree from the Free Reformed University of Amsterdam for a
historical-theological and missiological
study of the Biblical foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Damsteegt presently teaches at the
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in Michigan.
A Christ-centered manuscript on Adventist doctrines prepared by Norman Gulley, professor of
religion at Southern College of Seventh-day Adventists, provided both inspiration and material
for this volume. In addition, it has had the benefit of thousands of hours of research among
Adventist and non-Adventist sources and thorough evaluation and discussion by various committees.
The church's ten world divisions selected a committee of 194 persons who went over each chapter,
suggesting corrections, additions, and deletions. A smaller committee of 27 church leaders,
theologians, and pastors met regularly with Damsteegt to give additional supervision to the
preparation of this work.
Among the many who gave special attention to this volume, sharing their counsel, checking
sources, researching materials, rewriting, and editing, are Roy Adams, C. E. Aeschlimann,
Philippe Augendre, Francis Augsburger, Samuele Bacchiocchi, Roberto Badenas, B. B. Beach,
Enrique Becerra, Bekele Biri, P. Bolling, F. A. Botomami, DeWayne Boyer, C. E. Bradford,
G. W. Brown, Walton J. Brown, Jetro Fernandes de
Carvalho, D.W.B. Chalale, Gordon Christo, Gerald Christo, Paul Clerc, J. N. Coffin,
P. J. Colquhoun, Robert Cunningham, A. D. C. Currie, Raoul Dederen, P. M. Diaz, O. C.
Edwards, Rex D. Edwards, W. H. Endruveit, Duncan Eva, A. J. Ferch, Philip Follett, Marsha
Frost, E. R. Gane, A. A. Godfrey, Clifford Goldstein, Norman Gulley, C. B. Hammond, H. G.
Harker, Gerhard Hasel, R. R. Hegstad, Hans Heinz, Bekele Heye, D. B. Hills, B. Holanger,
Frank Holbrook, Minoru Inada, Rolando Itin, W. G. Johnsson, Bruce Johnston, Edwin Kilian,
G. E. Knowles, Rubens Lessa, M. E. Loewen, Enrico Long, Edwin Ludescher, S. H. Makaleta,
David Marshall, P. Maynard--Reid, D. P. McClure, Lyndon
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McDowell, John H. McFarlane, K J. Mittleider, Jerry Moon, Haroldo Moran, Joaquim
Morgado, Ekkehardt Mueller, Baraka Muganda, Eric Murray, A. Mustard, Ira Nation, R. R.
Ndhlovu, Ralph Neall, J. D. Newman, D. M. Niere, R. W. Nixon, J. J. Nortey, Etzer
Obas, S. O. Omulo, Jan Paulsen, Leon Phillips, Chek Yat Phoon, L. D. Raelly, Alex
Rantung, George W. Reid, Leslie Rhys, George E. Rice, David Ripley, C. B. Rock, Mrs. Nel
Rogers, Reinhard Rupp, W. C. Scales, Walter
Schultschik, Neal Scott, W. R. L. Scragg, W. H. Shea, H. C. Shin, Georges
Steveny, R. A. Tabingo Yoshibumi Takahashi, R. W. Taylor, Brad Thorp, L. P.
Tolhurst, James D. Unger, Leo Van Dolson, Lutz Vollrath, Werner and Nancy
Vyhmeister, Loron Wade, A. V. Wallenkampf, M. H. Wauran, Joao Wolff, Yukio
Yokomizo, James Zachary, and Z. M. Zubaid.
Laurel Damsteegt, a trained Bible scholar, gave constant counsel and encouragement
to her husband and, along with Mary Louise McDowell, did the extensive word processing
required to prepare the preliminary manuscripts. And Ministry editors David Jarnes and
Kenneth Wade did most of the final editing and setting up of the manuscript for publication.
Special tribute should be paid to J. R. Spangler, associate secretary of the Ministerial
Association and editor of Ministry magazine. Dreams too seldom become tangible. His did.
You hold it in your hands. Without his vision this book would not likely have been conceived.
Without his persistence it would not have been published.
W. Floyd Bresee
Secretary, Ministerial Association
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists