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    Chapter 2—White’s Imago Dei And Earth History

    The theme of Ellen White’s educational model is imago Dei, restoration in humanity of the holistic image of God. 1Ellen G. White, Education, 15, 16 (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1903, 1952). The challenge to the accomplishment of that anthropological center of purpose is found in her larger framework: the conflict between Christ and Satan. Central to this framework is the authority of Scripture, which declares (1) Christ as Creator of all, (2) the Sabbath as the culminating commemoration of the six literal day Creation event, (3) the complete restoration of Eden in the second dominion, including unveiled God/humanity communication, absence of death and predation, and (4) the continuance of 7 th day Sabbath memorials to God’s creation initiative. In White’s great controversy framework, Satan continues with increasing intensity his diabolical efforts to thwart those purposes.IEGWEHC 3.1

    Because this model is central to all of Ellen G. White’s writings, it is impossible to remove one segment of the structure without seriously compromising the integrity of all her writings. Ellen G. White’s theological authority hinges on maintaining the framework of her primary purpose. Even as Skinner’s philosophy crumbles with the removal of behaviorism and Descartes’ theories capsize without the paradigm of doubt, Ellen White cannot be correct in her salvific doctrines if she does not correctly define the nature of the Creator and the Creation account. As Christ is either the incarnate God, as He claimed, or He is a liar, Ellen White cannot be merely a pious writer of platitudes on education and devotional life. Her entire ministry hangs or falls on the acceptance or rejection of her central model.IEGWEHC 3.2

    Ellen White’s biblically predicated great controversy model, then, is authoritative in determining the continuing veracity of such pivotal doctrines as salvation, the Sabbath, the mystery of death, the parousia, and the sanctuary. Thus, questions of the origins and primary purpose of the Sabbath (whether, for instance, a memorial of a six-day literal creation or a memorial of deliverance from Egypt) become more significant in terms of Ellen G. White’s authority than do discussions of areas of less significance, such as two earth creations, precise earth age, or the source of volcanoes. However, with paradigms in geology and radio-metric dating in continual flux and change, time and discovery may even bring vindication to some of these controverted concepts.IEGWEHC 3.3