Panel Discussion of Dr. Desmond Ford’s Presentation on Forensic Atonement

On September 6, 2008 following Dr. Ford’s presentation “Forensic Atonement Theory in Light of the Christian Gospel” at Loma Linda a distinguished panel engaged in a dialogue and discussed various aspects of the lecture.

Distinguished PanelThe panel was composed of scholars from La Sierra and Loma Linda Adventist Universities: Professor Fritz Guy and Professor Kendra Haloviak from La Sierra University School of religion, Larry Christoffel, Pastor of the Loma Linda campus Hill church and Professor Jon Paulien, Dean of the School of Religion at Loma Linda University, the moderator of the discussion.

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Dr. Jon PaulienJon Paulien, PhD: Let me introduce our members. We’ll be going a little less than an hour, and around 5 o’clock written questions will be delivered to me and by some magical system I will choose a few of those to share with the panel. …

Dr. F. GuyWe have Fritz Guy who is with us from La Sierra University – a systematic theologian, philosophical theologian, and one of my Professors at seminary, for which I will always be grateful.

Pastor Larry ChristoffelWe have Larry Christoffel, who is one of the pastors here at the campus Hill church. He will bring us, I think, a bit of a perspective of practical pastoral theology.

Dr. K. HaloviakTo my right is Kendra Haloviak, who I was deeply privileged to have as a student at the seminary. And sometimes your students go beyond you, and Kendra would be one of those who I’m very proud of. And she is at La Sierra University, and we share a specialty in the New Testament and in the book of Revelation in particular.

Dr. Desmond FordTo my left of course in the man of the hour [Dr. Desmond Ford] and I’d like to open this discussion with a short testimony. We have hardly ever met, I think just in passing a couple of times. So this is really our closest acquaintance. And I would like to tell you that growing up as a Seventh Day Adventist I was one of those weird children who spent a lot of time in the Bible, and kind of knew the Bible back and forth. I was even in New York City on some Bible quizzes and came out very successfully over the radio as a small child. But there were two books of the Bible that always troubled me. They were not Daniel and Revelation, they were Romans and Galatians. And it just seemed to me, if somehow those could be left out of the Bible, the Adventism I knew could be perfectly defended [laughter in the audience].

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Forensic Atonement Theory In Light Of the Christian Gospel

Bible’s Chief Metaphor on How to Get Right with God

Right Now despite Sinfulness, Failures and Follies

Desmond Ford

Loma Linda, September 6, 2008

By Dr. Desmond Ford

If you have felt impatient in the last half hour, I know someone much more sinful in that respect. He is talking to you.

None the less, it is a joy to be here. As a matter of fact at my age, it is a joy to be anywhere [laughter].

I beg of you not to be put off by the title assigned me for this lecture. It could just as easily have been “What Is The Bible’s Chief Metaphor On How To Get Right With God Right Now Despite Sinfulness, Failures And Follies?”

The word “forensic” sounds so metallic impersonal, cold. But it just means “according to law”. And law is codified “love”. Law is not God’s creation, it’s God’s nature. Law is alive on God’s throne, sways His scepter, basks in His glory. Without it you and I could not survive 5 seconds. Law tells us, that the universe is not haphazard. Law tells us of the secret of lasting joy is obedience to law – physical, mental and spiritual.

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Desmond Ford’s Presentation at Loma Linda. September 6, 2008

Desmond FordLoma Linda’s Hill Church on Sabbath, September 6, 2008, hosted Dr. Desmond Ford, the most significant theologian produced by the Adventist church. The hot topic of the afternoon was his presentation on the Forensic Atonement Theory In Light Of the Christian Gospel.This was probably the first time D. Ford was given an opportunity to speak at an Adventist Church in North America since Glacier View.

The event was sponsored by the Adventist Today Foundation.

Desmond Ford was introduced by the executive director of the Adventist Today Foundation, Dr. Ervin Taylor:

Ervin Taylor, PhD“On behalf of the Adventist Today Foundation who is the publisher of the journal “Adventist Today” I would like to welcome you to this 2008 Richard Hammill Memorial lecture. This lecture series honors the late Richard Hammill, the scholar, who had a long and distinguished carrier as a Seventh-day Adventist educator, University administrator and a senior churchman. In the early and mid 1990-s in active retirement at Loma Linda Dr. Hammill became involved in discussions, which contributed greatly to the advancement of progressive approaches to various traditional Adventist theological understandings. Today, we honor the memory of Dr. Hammill by seeking through open dialog a better understanding and appreciation of the range of views on important theological and other issues that are currently being discussed by scholars both within the Adventist faith and within a larger Christian community.

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