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Notes on Jennings Lecture 1

Notes on Jennings Lecture 1

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Published by Alvin Cardona

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Published by: Alvin Cardona on Mar 21, 2009
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01/30/2013

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October 16, 2008Wanda SarrHarriet Clark John RosengrenChester Clark IIIRe: An Evaluation of the Six Lectures in the “Healing the Mind Seminar” heldthis past February at the Forest Lake Church by Dr. Timothy JenningsDear All,It has taken me longer to complete this project than I anticipated. The sixlectures combined amount to about 7.5 hours of listening time. Dr. Jenningsfrequently goes overtime.But he is far from making a slow delivery. Indeed, I took well over 8,000words of notes in real time while listening to these lectures. And I know howto abbreviate when typing notes. His lectures are content rich and areprofusely illustrated.As you are all busy, I will (A) give a summary of my conclusions – 400 words,(B) give some data that I believe supports my conclusion – 2000 words (C)give an appendix that amounts to the entire 8,000 words of notes which Ibelieve not one of you will probably ever read. But maybe I am wrong. So Iwill send them. Plus I will feel better about having typed so much if I thinkthat someone somewhere, someday, reads it.
(A) My summary
Dr. Jennings is in grave danger.Like Dr. Kellogg of yesteryear, he has been used by God to uncover a greatdeal of truth in his professional studies. I found my self remarking repeatedlythat this man was teaching things that I teach that I have never heard taughtby any other person. His teachings regarding the relation of the variousfaculties of the mind (will, appetites, passions, reason, conscience, emotions,imagination, etc.) are profound and incredibly consistent with EGW’steaching on the same (though Dr. Jennings doesn’t make use of her writings.)And like Dr. Kellogg of yesteryear, he has woven into his presentations adeadly net of falsehoods that destroy the most fundamental of Christianvirtues – faith.
 
In short, Dr. Jennings believes that God takes no initiative in the destructionof the wicked, and that to prolong or cause punitive suffering is torture andthat such a view of God destroys love and trust.But even worse than this view, which is explained thoroughly in two lecturesand is alluded to in two others, Dr. Jennings has espoused the moral-influence theory of the atonement. He does not believe in substitutionaryatonement and mocks the idea that sins must be “paid” for.Not less harmful, and in some ways, more pronounced, is Jenning’sepistemology. He argues, when defending the views above, that we mustreject any doctrine that requires us not to reason. But he explains this insuch a way that if we believe that God is loving, and that God burns peoplefor rebelling, that is not reasonable and the latter must be rejected. Thus hesets individual reason above inspiration. Jennings also repudiates the idea of the investigative judgment, of thekeeping a record of sins in heaven, of blotting them out in the judgment, andmocks the idea that the our personal sins will be forever forgotten. These views, woven into such a collection of profound insights into humannature, make for an extremely cogent parallel to the book Living Temple withits incredible insights into physiology interwoven around a philosophy of life-is-God.And like the book Living Temple, which was critically evaluated by Jones,Waggoner, and several other notable messengers of God, and waspronounced harmless by them all, the lectures of Dr. Jennings seem to haveelicited no protest from the audience. (This I gather from the 30 minutequestion and answer period at the conclusion of the final lecture.)I must conclude that it would be irresponsible for us to ask our students tohear these lectures.
(B) The DataLecture One
In his first lecture Dr. Jennings sets the stage for what he will develop morethoroughly in lectures four and six. He begins to explain that “lies believed”destroy love and trust. Then he begins to hint that the audience may evenbelieve lies. Then, to paraphrase (all statements in quotes are quotes frommy notes, paraphrases only of Dr. Jennings) him from my notes,“The most destructive lies we believe are lies about God himself. Someof you will be shocked by the evidence. I want you to look at theinformation and weigh it.]
 
 This idea is important to him. He emphasizes repeatedly that:“Trust broken makes fear and selfishness…as a natural consequence. This idea is known as survival of the fittest – the opposite of God’sprinciple of love.”What comes clear later is that if one believes in the executive judgment andthe substitutionary atonement, one will not trust God, but will become selfishand self protecting from such a cruel Being. The first lecture ends with six suggestions. Number 2 introduces an idea thatwill be repeated throughout the series,“If you have seen me [Jesus], you have seen the Father.” This Jennings develops into a hermeneutic such that if Jesus didn’t punishthen the Father won’t, if Jesus could forgive men before dying, then theFather could forgive men without Jesus dying. But that comes in lectures 4and 6, and the person listening doesn’t realize what the repetition of the“principle” is setting him up to experience.
Lecture 2
 This is the lecture on the Law of Liberty. It is fascinating. The short of it isthat if a husband, for example, threatens to beat his wife if she will not obey,the natural consequence of this will be that“love is damaged, and eventually destroyed. A desire to rebel isinstilled.”“If the woman stays, she loses her individuality, she becomes ashadow person.” The principle seems true and obvious as it relates to marriage. But Dr. Jennings has wider applications in mind, and he begins to make them in thislecture. If you believe that God threatens disobedience with punishment,“love is damaged” and see above for the rest. This places the cause forrebellion squarely at the feet of whoever inspired a prophet to threaten. Dr. Jennings indicates that he is very aware of the implications.On a light note in a serious article, he says that the “stimulus package of Bush is a example of the law of love.” I don’t think this represents his best judgment. Jennings explains that the sinner killed the lamb, not the priest. His point isabout the relation of the Father to Christ’s death at Calvary. But it is a poor

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