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SDA Techniques For Rationalizing Anything

Antithetical Terms Expressing A Relationship - terms that are directly opposed or contrasted; opposite.

Apparent Contradiction - too often, theologians are satisfied with the paradox -- "the apparent contradiction" -- and leave it at that.

Bifurcation - to divide or fork into two branches.

Circular Reasoning - an attempt to support a statement by simply repeating the statement in different or stronger terms.

Equivocation - the misleading use of a word with more than one meaning (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time).

Excess Verbiage - overabundance or superfluity of words, as in writing or speech; wordiness; verbosity.

False Authority - using a biased, suspicious, or incredible source to defend a conclusion.

False Dilemma - a fallacy of reasoning that omits consideration of all reasonable alternatives.

The Law of Appearances - things are seldom what they seem

Obfuscation - the concealment of meaning in communication, making it confusing and harder to interpret.

Point of Departure - changing the focus of the subject in question by launching a new subject for discussion

"Pointing to the truth should not be mistaken for the truth itself" - creating a false impression in order to lead others to the truth.

Present Truth - "There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is "present truth" that the flock needs now.", Early Writings, page 63.

Prevarication - to be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information.

Progressive Revelation - concept that the visions of Ellen White that occurred later contain a fuller revelation of God compared to the earlier visions.

Red Herring - a diversion intended to distract attention from the real issue.

Stating an Assumption as a Fact - to make a statement, usually without adequate evidence, and then to reference it as a proven fact

Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy - information that has no relationship is interpreted or manipulated until it appears to have meaning.

True Dialectic Fashion - the juxtaposition or interaction of conflicting ideas

This is a real doozy from an SDA pastor who is attempting to validate Ellen White as God's messenger:

"It is possible that she may have spoken something from her best judgment that was not correct. She herself gives us examples of this kind of thing--matters of judgment that God later revealed as being incorrect.

My first assumption is not that she is wrong, but that I have overlooked something myself. I don't assume she is wrong every time I found an apparent contradiction. I have had enough evidence to see the genuineness of her relationship with Jesus and the reliability of her statements.

I think you are saying, is there a principle of interpretation that allows her to be wrong on a major doctrine but still believable. Is that correct?

If there isn't such a principle, and I deem something she teaches unbiblical, does that not disqualify her?

Judging her as false on the basis of my own particular view of a passage or on the basis of the most negative view of her own words is not being fair to her. I must recognize the possibility that my view is lacking particulars that she was privileged to see."

"I still do not want to judge her too harshly, though, because her understanding did grow a great deal during her lifetime."

"Maybe she was given insight to connect the evidence of Scripture."

More interesting insights:

"There is no contradiction. They are indeed talking about different things, because they aren't talking about the same subject."


"The evidence says that {fill in the blank}. It says no more. "Why" is only a speculation, an assertion.

The reason I call attention to this is to point out that what you have done, though you may not recognize it, is to accept someone's opinion as fact.

I pointed this out previously when you spoke of now being "objective" in your Bible study. Accepting a different system of explanation is no more objective than accepting the {fill in the blank} system of explanation.

Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this ExposingAdventism.com website is 2007-2008 by Gilbert Jorgensen. Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.