Delegates representing more than 14 million Seventh-day Adventists today elected Pastor Jan Paulsen to a second five-year term as president of the church’s General Conference.
Paulsen appears to be a conservative, going the way of the traditionalists who hold to Ellen White’s writings.
The historic sanctuary message, based on Scripture and supported by the writings of Ellen White, continues to be held to unequivocally. And the inspired authorities on which these and other doctrines are based, namely the Bible supported by the writings of Ellen White, continue to be the hermeneutical foundation on which we as a church place all matters of faith and conduct. Let no one think that there has been a change of position in regard to this.
– Jan Paulsen, “The Theological Landscape: Perspectives on Issues Facing the World Seventh- day Adventist Church”, Adventist Review, NAD edition (October, 2002), 37.
It’s unlikely that he’ll reform the Adventist denomination regarding their views on Ellen White – he has not done so thus far.
From its inception, the Seventh-day Adventist church has always maintained that Ellen White was inspired in the same manner and to the same degree as Biblical prophets. Though her writings are not “another Bible”, the difference is in function and scope, not in authority. Although Ellen White herself considered the Bible to be the test of faith and practice, she believed her messages were from God “for the comfort of His people and to correct those who err from Bible truth”. She rejected the “smorgasbord” approach to her writings, stating “There is no half-way work in the matter. The Testimonies are of the Spirit of God or of the Devil”. Nor did she make a distinction between the inspired and the less inspired testimonies, the authoritative commentary and the non- authoritative.
– Interpreting Ellen G. White’s Earth History Comments (see link for footnoted references)
:!: :!: :!: Astounding statement from the Ellen White Estate:
We believe that Ellen White was inspired by the Holy Spirit and that her writings, the product of that inspiration, are applicable and authoritative, especially to Seventh-day Adventists. … We do not believe that the quality or degree of inspiration in the writings of Ellen White is different from that of Scripture.
For a fuller list of statements on Ellen White’s writings’ status as divinely inspired, see here.
He is looking at liturgy reform, it seems, in his views on church music. “Over the last year and one-half, we’ve been working on a statement that can be distributed that can reflect both the principles of what should define good music, particularly in worship, and what Ellen White may have to say, and what the Bible says” – Paulsen, in a discussion about music reform. He seems to have been talking about this document. Notice that 4 of the 5 footnotes refer to Ellen White’s writings. Only two verses from Scripture relating to the decisions about music are listed – other references are incidental.
At least the views expressed do not go to the extreme Bacchiocchi goes to.
Finally, a cover-up involving Paulsen: The Slippery Slimy Cover-Up of Adventist Leaders