It is precisely because of these sorts of theological controversies that I ran as far as I could from Christianity.
When the Torah says to keep the Sabbath or bring two turtle doves to the temple, it is pointing out a profound philosophy — you can do it!
You are not helpless in your sins. You don’t need a savior. You don’t need to wait for salvation to drop from above. You don’t need to eat the flesh or drink the blood of the god.
You’ve got the Torah. You just do it.
Those of us who write about others usually reveal much about ourselves. I believe that Milton Hook does this in Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist (Riverside, Calif.: Adventist Today Foundation, 2008). Among other things, he tells us that he is not happy with the Wesleyan heritage that we Seventh-day Adventists share.
Hook’s unhappiness with what we have inherited from John and Charles Wesley and their colleagues in eighteenth-century England is one of his book’s continuing threads. Early on, he refers to a colleague’s “Wesleyan fundamentalist’s perspective on salvation themes” that contributed to his eventual “hostility toward Des and his gospel emphasis” (70). Toward the end of his account, he writes that this same colleague subsequently used phraseology that “was vintage Roman Catholicism from the Councils of Trent.” He states that “it was also the raw Wesleyan perfectionism” that caused a prominent Seventh-day Adventist scholar “to wring his hands in dismay, predicting a reversion to its emphasis in the 1970s” (302).
He notes that Ford admits that for some time “there still lingered in his thinking some traces of the justification plus sanctification model of salvation, so pervasive in the SDA church” (93; emphasis in original). He observes that “the Wesleyan strand had rope-like proportions in early Seventh-day Adventism and persisted at length” (97). He writes that another colleague, “perhaps ignorantly, was coaxing the constituency back to the Roman Catholic Councils of Trent and the second blessing of Wesleyanism, the two sources that advocated self-generated righteousness with God’s assistance as the essence of sanctification” (288–89).