Document Type

Formal Lecture

Publication Date

Fall 11-18-2017


The Protestant Reformation encouraged the "priesthood of all believers" but how does that concept impact the local church in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination? The lack of a clear ecclesiology has hampered the growth and effectiveness of Adventism. Both Exodus 19:6 and 1 Peter 2:9 provide a theological hermeneutic for how to reframe our ecclesiology in a way consistent with the Protestant principle of every believer serving as a priest. Priests are teachers, holy representatives, and mediators. The practical implications of these three aspects are examined. Luther's struggle with papal power structures are examined in the light of his radical understanding of New Testament priesthood. The implications of reorienting ecclesiastical power around laity instead of priests, and the challenge of providing organization and leadership are investigated. Finally, an eschatological vision of the importance of the priesthood of all believers points to the task of God's church at the end of time.