April 25, 2011

Etc. Bookmark

The Case for the Investigative Judgment
Marvin Moore, The Case for the Investigative Judgment (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2010), 350 pages, US$19.99, reviewed by Gerhard Pfandl, Ph.D., associate director of the Biblical Research Institute, General Conference of ?Seventh-day Adventists.
In this volume Marvin Moore, longtime editor of Signs of the Times, responds to objections of critics, showing that the investigative judgment is in fact a biblical teaching. Apart from the introductory chapter, 35 short chapters are divided into eight sections dealing with such topics as righteousness by faith and the investigative judgment, issues concerning this doctrine in the books of Daniel and Hebrews, the history of the doctrine, and the investigative judgment and the sanctuary.
This book is a landmark study on the subject of the investigative judgment because Moore pulls together some of the most recent relevant studies of Adventist scholars (e.g., Roy Gane, Martin Proebstle, Brempong Owusu-Antwi, and Felix Cortez) on the topic to refute the attacks of those challenging this belief. He masterfully distills the technical language of these dissertations into a readable form for the average lay person, at the same time also keeping the attention of the scholars.
2011 1512 page29Moore’s basic premise is that “the investigative judgment has to be understood in the context of the great controversy, for only in that context does it make sense” (p. 37). The investigative judgment is part of “God’s plan to resolve the sin problem” (p. 42). Satan accuses the saints before God, pointing to their sins and claiming them as his subjects. In response God opens the books, so to speak, and lets the angels and unfallen beings in the universe review “the life of every single human that He has decided to bring into His kingdom” (p. 43). Thus the investigative judgment is not for God to decide who is worthy; He knows that before the books are opened, the “purpose of this judgment is to let the angels see the grounds for God’s decisions regarding each of His people” (p. 44). Thus this judgment vindicates the saints and God Himself before the universe.
Every objection to the investigative judgment teaching is heard, evaluated, and refuted. Moore is not afraid of going beyond traditional explanations. Concerning the heavenly sanctuary, for example, he says that “the throne room Jesus entered at His ascension includes both the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place” without a veil between them (p. 277). The purpose of the veil in the earthly sanctuary was to shield the priest from God’s presence, but there is no need for Jesus to be shielded from the Father’s presence in heaven. Jesus has been sitting at the right hand of God since His ascension (Heb. 1:3; 8:1). In this way Moore deflects the common criticism that Jesus entered the presence of God in the Most Holy Place in A.D. 31 to begin the Day of Atonement ministry, and not in 1844. While He entered the presence of God in A.D. 31 to begin His intercessory ministry, He added in 1844 the judgment ministry to the intercessory ministry.
This book is a must-read for every minister and church member interested in understanding the importance of the investigative judgment. Moore has done the church a great service by taking on the critics and confounding them. This volume will be a blessing to every Seventh-day Adventist.