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The post-ascension mediatorial ministry of Christ - A study of the redemptive implications of the assertion that Christ’s mediation will climax in the cosmic judgment, Masters dissertation Craig Baxter

The post-ascension mediatorial ministry of Christ - A study of the redemptive implications of the assertion that Christ’s mediation will climax in the cosmic judgment, Masters dissertation Craig Baxter

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Published by: Craig Baxter on Apr 28, 2011
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The post-ascension mediatorial ministry of Christ: A studyof the redemptive implications of the assertion that Christ’smediation will climax in the cosmic judgment
Introduction
Christ’s earthly ministry has been the main focus of Protestant theology whilst hisrole as mediator at the right hand of God has received little theological attention.
1
Although Protestant theology is aware of the biblical concept of Christ’s post-resurrection mediation, it has not been integrated into their soteriology.
2
This paper seeks to provide a modest contribution to the largely untouchedarea of Christ’s intercessory ministry; also known as Mediation theology. TheProtestant tradition saw the initiation and recovery of the mediation motif that wasstarted by Luther and Calvin.
3
The greatest contributors still however seem to be thePuritans in the 17
th
century. In the 19
th
century the rise of Adventism brought about arenewed focus on Christ’s redemptive role as ascended mediator. Thereafter the lastformidable work was approximately 80 years ago by a Prof. Joseph Jungman, aRoman Catholic, who wrote
The place of Christ in liturgical prayer 
.
 
His work is stillregarded as the building blocks for Mediation theology,
4
however it focuses on thedevelopment of the first four centuries of Christianity and has no emphasis on theimpact of Protestant or Reformist movements.
5
 Since the writings of Ellen G. White in the 19
th
century, the Adventistcontributors that are worthy of recognition are Edward Heppenstall with his book,
1
Alister E. McGrath,
Christian Theology: An Introduction
(Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing,2001), pp. 411-13.
2
Bertold Hibner, `The Intercession of Christ: A Study of the Adventist Contribution to the Doctrine of the Work of Christ', (unpublished masters dissertation, Open University, Newbold college, Oct 2002), p. 2.
3
George R. Knight,
 A Search for Identity: The Development of Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs
(Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2000), p. 38; Clifford Goldstein,
1844 Made Simple
(Ontario,Canada: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1988), p. 12; Julian Kastrati, `The Eclipsing andRecovery of the Redemptive Role of Christ as Ascended Mediator' (unpublished masters dissertation,Open University, Newbold college, 2006), p. 3.
4
Kastrati, `The Eclipsing and Recovery of the Redemptive Role of Christ as Ascended Mediator', p. 5.
5
Kastrati, `The Eclipsing and Recovery of the Redemptive Role of Christ as Ascended Mediator', p. 5.
 
Our High Priest (1972).
After this, contributors like Desmond Ford took radicalsteps to challenge the Judgment phase within Adventist Mediation theology.Therefore it appears profitable to attempt to understand the role of Christ as mediator after his resurrection.The Old Testament Mosaic sanctuary presented in the biblical account hasincredible significance for the doctrine of the Sanctuary, which is the heart of Mediation theology as held by Seventh-day Adventists. In fact their Sanctuarydoctrine is, as referred to by James White, the central hub of the wagon wheel.
6
Allother Adventist doctrine are the spokes that shoot off of the central Sanctuary hub. I prefer to think of the hub as the table and culet
7
of a diamond, whilst the other doctrines are the many facets that reflect light from each other.The Sanctuary doctrine is what founded the Seventh-day Adventist church andcarries with it certain significance, when Miller died his headstone had the text fromDan 8.14 on it saying, “and unto 2300 days then the sanctuary will be cleansed”. Thissignificance is not greatly felt in Seventh-day Adventist churches today.
8
Historically,Seventh-day Adventists have regarded themselves as part of a restoration movement,wanting to recover neglected truths,
9
however they do not claim to make acontribution to the doctrine on the incarnate work of Christ, but rather to hissubsequent role in applying the benefits of his death to the believer through hisministry at the right hand of God.
6
George R. Knight,
Millennial Fever and the End of the World 
(Ontario, Canada: Pacific PressPublishing Association, 1993), p. 308.
7
The table is the top flat surface and the culet is the point at the bottom. This is merely arepresentation and not a typological picture since a diamond has 58 facets, and this has no particular representation in mind, however when one looks into a diamond, the many facets reflect light fromeach other. Snoop, Diamond information <http://24carat.co.uk/diamondsfacetsframe.html>, 2008[Accessed 15-02-2008]
8
Goldstein,
1844 Made Simple
, p. 12.
9
Kastrati, `The Eclipsing and Recovery of the Redemptive Role of Christ as Ascended Mediator', p. 4.
10
Whilst our understanding is that Christ is applying the benefits of his death to us in a ministry of mediation, it does not come across like this in the latest Adventist handbooks. It still talks in terms of cleansing the sanctuary, which confuses people. Raoul Dederen,
 Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology
(Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2000), p. 402.; Ministerial Association,
What Seventh-day Adventists Believe
(Sliver Spring, MD: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2005), pp.347-70.
2
 
It has been stated, “many have lost sight of the pioneers' insights into thesanctuary doctrine. Often without realizing it, Seventh-day Adventist members acceptviews of Christ's ministry held by non-Adventist Christians”.
The core of Adventism, the Sanctuary doctrine, needs to be reaffirmed or thrown out, but not justignored, which is the present reality. In view of the fact that today Adventists need to be assured of its brilliance in an ever-changing deconstructed post-modern world.Today, people come to the buffet table of doctrine and take what they like and leavewhat they do not understand. This paper will attempt to make Mediation theologymore understandable to the Christian world.
The purpose of the paper
 Christ’s mediation motif needs further exploration. The problem that will be dealtwith is, what are the redemptive implications of the meaning of Christ’s postascension ministry, in the context of the Seventh-day Adventist’s salvation paradigm,as understood by Ellen White? I will attempt to understand what is her understandingof the eschatological dimensions of the Sanctuary doctrine with emphasis on Christ’s post-ascension mediation.Thus the purpose of this research is to explore the meaning of Christ’s redemptivemediation climaxing, according to classical Adventism, in a cosmic judgment andassess the Gospel implications?
Significance
The significance of this dissertation is to discover new relevant information and bringharmony to existing information with regards to Christ’s post-ascension mediationwithin the light of Eschatology and Soteriology. I will then analyze and critique thefindings so as to harmonize it into a language relevant for today’s postmodern mind.
Methodology
 The method that will be used in this paper will be largely analytical-historical-systematic. The study will be divided into three major parts. My method of investigation will be to establish, firstly,
a brief review of the pre-Adventist
11
Gerard P. Damsteegt, `How Our Pioneers Discovered the Sanctuary Doctrine',
 Adventists Affirm
, fall1992.
3

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