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I can answer most any question about church history and theology, starting from 1818 when William Miller articulated the 1st Angels Message that became the foundation of the Adventist Movement. While this first prophetic message terminated in the spring of 1844, it was followed by what Adventists refer to as the 2nd Angels Message, which dates from the spring of 1844 until the great disappointment of October 22, 1844. By 1847, the 3rd Angels Message had been developed and this Sabbatarian theology represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Moreover, I can explain the historical and theological development of the SDA denomination from its beginning and on through the great Battle Creek schism that forced the SDA's to retreat to Takoma Park. Here the 20th century church recovered from their internal battles that had erupted at the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis over the definition of the law and the Gospel. Fearing another repeat of this disaster, President Daniels, determined to hide this debate. However, this policy led to more conflict, especially over the role and authority of Ellen White, a unique and accomplished religious writer that had remarkable spiritual gifts. However, by the decade of the 1970`s, the church once again erupted into debate. The hierarchy settled the turmoil in 1980 with the trial of Dr. Desmond Ford at Glacier View. Here Dr. Ford was exiled because he supposedly disagreed with Ellen White over the Fundamentals. But this controversial action resulted in another major schism that is still in progress today.

Experience in the area

Tom Norris was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist in Takoma Park, Md. He attended SDA grade and High schools, moving on to study Adventist theology at Columbia Union College. He also spent significant time conducting independent research in the General Conference Archives and the Ellen G. White Estate. Over the years he has also interviewed a number of prominent Adventist scholars, theologians, and Pastors ranging from the late Arthur White to the exiled Dr. Desmond Ford. In addition, he has amassed a large private library, which includes numerous rare books and manuscripts about Adventist theology and history. He is presently the online editor of Adventist Reform, and can be found at Adventist for Tomorrow answering questions online about SDA theology and history as well as promoting Adventist Reform.


Tom Norris attended SDA grade and High schools, moving on to study Adventist theology at Columbia Union College. He also spent significant time conducting independent research in the General Conference Archives and the Ellen G. White Estate.

What do you like about this subject?

The Study of Seventh-day Adventism is fascinating because it deals with how the world will end. With the recent focus on WMD's and the Middle East, the eschatology of the SDA's becomes even more timely and provocative. The SDA's also have a very interesting emphasis on Natural Health and Vegetarianism.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

Seventh-day Adventist eschatology was meant to reach a point of sophistication whereby a new and final Message would emerge at the end of time. So this is the challenge for this unique group, whose self-proclaimed mission is to complete the Protestant Reformation and prepare the church for the Great Time of Trouble that precedes the Second Coming.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Many do not understand that the Adventist Movement is responsible for changing the eschatological paradigm for the entire Protestant church. Although every 19th century church repudiated their pre-millennial eschatology about the Second Coming as the Day of Judgment, virtually every denomination has since embraced this fundamental Adventist theology.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

The modern SDA Church has not been honest about Historic Adventism. The leaders have seriously and dishonestly misrepresented the theology of Ellen G White and the Adventist Pioneers, even as they have beem caught hiding thousands of documents in the White Estate in order to promote myths and legends as if they were facts.

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Recent Answers from Tom Norris

2016-10-06 Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith:

Adventist history has not been honestly taught by the Denomination.  The 20th century apologists routinely hid and manipulated church history, including the writings of both Uriah Smith and to a much larger

2016-09-17 Character Perfection:

The SDA’s have had a very difficult time understanding the Protestant Gospel. In fact, this core issue about Law versus Gospel; sanctification and character perfection, has haunted the Advent Movement

2016-08-01 Azazel the Scapegoat: Christ or Satan?:

The Scapegoat:  Jesus or the Devil?    Adventist History is complicated and intriguing.  It is full of both myths and surprising insights.   Following the great disappointment of 1844, a 24-year-old Millerite

2016-03-31 Sunday laws, IJ, Tithe, EGW:

Kelly, I sympathize with your uncomfortable predicament.  Most, if not all SDA’s today are confused, discouraged, and embarrassed about what they have been taught.  Many are also angry.  Which is why millions

2016-03-25 Abomination of Desolation:

Abomination of Desolation    To better understand Christ’s teaching about the AOD, we must first see how that term was used in the Old Covenant.  While there are over a hundred mentions of this term, we


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