Prophètes: En observant la méthodologie d’un prophète moderne, nous comprenons mieux la manière dont Dieu a utilisé des hommes et des femmes dans le passé (In her writing Ellen White used sources more extensively than we have heretofore been aware of or recognized)

Ne méprisez pas les prophéties. Mais examinez toutes choses; retenez ce qui est bon. Paul (I Thessaloniciens 5: 20-21)
Dieu vit (…) qu’ils revenaient de leur mauvaise voie. Alors Dieu se repentit du mal qu’il avait résolu de leur faire, et il ne le fit pas. Cela déplut fort à Jonas, et il fut irrité. Il implora l’Éternel, et il dit: Ah! Éternel, n’est-ce pas ce que je disais quand j’étais encore dans mon pays? C’est ce que je voulais prévenir en fuyant à Tarsis. Car je savais que tu es un Dieu compatissant et miséricordieux, lent à la colère et riche en bonté, et qui te repens du mal. Jonas 3: 10 – 4: 1-2
Soudain je parle, sur une nation, sur un royaume, D’arracher, d’abattre et de détruire; Mais si cette nation, sur laquelle j’ai parlé, revient de sa méchanceté, Je me repens du mal que j’avais pensé lui faire. Et soudain je parle, sur une nation, sur un royaume, De bâtir et de planter; Mais si cette nation fait ce qui est mal à mes yeux, Et n’écoute pas ma voix, Je me repens du bien que j’avais eu l’intention de lui faire. Jérémie 18: 7-10
En ce temps-là, Ézéchias fut malade à la mort. Le prophète Ésaïe, fils d’Amots, vint auprès de lui, et lui dit: Ainsi parle l’Éternel: Donne tes ordres à ta maison, car tu vas mourir, et tu ne vivras plus. Ézéchias tourna son visage contre le mur, et fit cette prière à l’Éternel: O Éternel! souviens-toi que j’ai marché devant ta face avec fidélité et intégrité de coeur, et que j’ai fait ce qui est bien à tes yeux! Et Ézéchias répandit d’abondantes larmes. Ésaïe, qui était sorti, n’était pas encore dans la cour du milieu, lorsque la parole de l’Éternel lui fut adressée en ces termes: Retourne, et dis à Ézéchias, chef de mon peuple: Ainsi parle l’Éternel, le Dieu de David, ton père: J’ai entendu ta prière, j’ai vu tes larmes. Voici, je te guérirai; le troisième jour, tu monteras à la maison de l’Éternel. J’ajouterai à tes jours quinze années. Je te délivrerai, toi et cette ville, de la main du roi d’Assyrie; je protégerai cette ville, à cause de moi, et à cause de David, mon serviteur. Ésaïe dit: Prenez une masse de figues. On la prit, et on l’appliqua sur l’ulcère. Et Ézéchias guérit. 2 Rois 20:1-7  
Michée, de Moréscheth, prophétisait du temps d’Ézéchias, roi de Juda, et il disait à tout le peuple de Juda: Ainsi parle l’Éternel des armées: Sion sera labourée comme un champ, Jérusalem deviendra un monceau de pierres, Et la montagne de la maison une haute forêt. Ézéchias, roi de Juda, et tout Juda l’ont-ils fait mourir? Ézéchias ne craignit-il pas l’Éternel? N’implora-t-il pas l’Éternel? Alors l’Éternel se repentit du mal qu’il avait prononcé contre eux. Jérémie 26:18-19
Les prophètes qui ont paru avant moi et avant toi, dès les temps anciens, ont prophétisé contre des pays puissants et de grands royaumes la guerre, le malheur et la peste; mais si un prophète prophétise la paix, c’est par l’accomplissement de ce qu’il prophétise qu’il sera reconnu comme véritablement envoyé par l’Éternel. Jérémie 28: 8-9
Il leur dit encore: Je vous le dis en vérité, quelques-uns de ceux qui sont ici ne mourront point, qu’ils n’aient vu le royaume de Dieu venir avec puissance. Marc 1: 9
Ensuite, nous les vivants, qui seront restés, nous serons tous ensemble enlevés avec eux sur des nuées, à la rencontre du Seigneur dans les airs, et ainsi nous serons toujours avec le Seigneur. Paul (1 Thessaloniciens 4: 17)
Ce sont les hommes, non les mots de la Bible, qui sont inspirés. L’inspiration agit, non sur les mots et les expressions, mais sur l’écrivain à qui le Saint-Esprit communique des pensées. Ellen White
J’ai reçu l’instruction que je suis la messagère du Seigneur… Dans ma jeunesse, on m’a souvent demandé : Es-tu un prophète ? J’ai toujours répondu : Je suis la messagère du Seigneur. Je sais que beaucoup de gens m’ont appelée une prophétesse mais je ne revendique pas ce titre… Pourquoi je n’ai pas clamé être un prophète ? Parce qu’à cette époque là, la plupart de ceux qui prétendaient être des prophètes étaient une opprobre pour la cause du Christ. C’est aussi parce ce que mon œuvre inclut bien plus que le mot prophète. Ellen White
La prophétie de malheur est faite pour éviter qu’elle ne se réalise; et se gausser ultérieurement d’éventuels sonneurs d’alarme en leur rappelant que le pire ne s’est pas réalisé serait le comble de l’injustice: il se peut que leur impair soit leur mérite. Hans Jonas
(Noah was tired of playing the prophet of doom and of always foretelling a catastrophe that would not occur and that no one would take seriously. One day,) he clothed himself in sackcloth and put ashes on his head. This act was only permitted to someone lamenting the loss of his dear child or his wife. Clothed in the habit of truth, acting sorrowful, he went back to the city, intent on using to his advantage the curiosity, malignity and superstition of its people. Within a short time, he had gathered around him a small crowd, and the questions began to surface. He was asked if someone was dead and who the dead person was. Noah answered them that many were dead and, much to the amusement of those who were listening, that they themselves were dead. Asked when this catastrophe had taken place, he answered: tomorrow. Seizing this moment of attention and disarray, Noah stood up to his full height and began to speak: the day after tomorrow, the flood will be something that will have been. And when the flood will have been, all that is will never have existed. When the flood will have carried away all that is, all that will have been, it will be too late to remember, for there will be no one left. So there will no longer be any difference between the dead and those who weep for them. If I have come before you, it is to reverse time, it is to weep today for tomorrow’s dead. The day after tomorrow, it will be too late. Upon this, he went back home, took his clothes off, removed the ashes covering his face, and went to his workshop. In the evening, a carpenter knocked on his door and said to him: let me help you build an ark, so that this may become false. Later, a roofer joined with them and said: it is raining over the mountains, let me help you, so that this may become false. Günther Anders
To make the prospect of a catastrophe credible, one must increase the ontological force of its inscription in the future.But to do this with too much success would be to lose sight of the goal, which is precisely to raise awareness and spur action so that the catastrophe does not take place. Jean-Pierre Dupuy (The Paradox of Enlightened Doomsaying/The Jonah Paradox]
Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed—the competition of the apostles for high places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus’ arrest, Peter’s denial, the failure of Christ to work miracles in Galilee, the references of some auditors to his possible insanity, his early uncertainty as to his mission, his confessions of ignorance as to the future, his moments of bitterness, his despairing cry on the cross; no one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them. Will Durant (In Christ and Caesar, The Story of Civilization)
 The essence of the criterion of embarrassment is that the early church would hardly have gone out of its way to « create » or « falsify » historical material that only embarrassed its author or weakened its position in arguments with opponents. Rather, embarrassing material coming from Jesus would naturally be either suppressed or softened in later stages of the Gospel tradition. This criterion is rarely used by itself, and is typically one of a number of criteria, such as the criterion of discontinuity and the criterion of multiple attestation, along with the historical method. The crucifixion of Jesus is an example of an event that meets the criterion of embarrassment. This method of execution was considered the most shameful and degrading in the Roman world, and advocates of the method claim it is therefore the least likely to have been invented by the followers of Jesus. Wikipedia
L’embarras ecclésiastique : est en faveur de l’authenticité ce qui se trouve dans les textes alors que cela constitue une difficulté pour les rédacteurs du Nouveau Testament. (exemples : la parole de Jésus sur la croix (Mc 15, 34), le baptême de Jésus par Jean qui le place dans une position inférieure) Critères d’historicité (Wikipedia)
In some cases where a historian has so grouped together events as to afford, in brief, a comprehensive view of the subject, or has summarized details in a convenient manner, his words have been quoted; but in some instances no specific credit has been given, since the quotations are not given for the purpose of citing that writer as authority, but because his statement affords a ready and forcible presentation of the subject. In narrating the experience and views of those carrying forward the work of reform in our own time, similar use has been made of their published works. Ellen G. White (The Great Controversy, p. xi.4, 1911 edition)
On January 28 and 29, G. Ralph Thompson, a General Conference general vice-president, chaired a 19-member committee composed of Biblical and other scholars, Seventh-day Adventist professionals, and administrative leaders. The committee met in the conference room of the Glendale Adventist Hospital in California to review not only the quantity but the quality of the work done by Elder Rea. The initial report from this very competent committee indicates that in her writing Ellen White used sources more extensively than we have heretofore been aware of or recognized. (…) How she used her editorial assistants and other people in her effort to present her mate rials to the public, free from literary and factual inadequacies, is a fascinating story. In observing the methodology of a modern prophet, we are able to understand better how God used men and women in the past when He revealed His gracious will to the lost, needy world. Neal Wilson (The Adventist Review, March 20, 1980)
In the March 20 1980, Adventist Review in an article entitled « This I Believe About Ellen G. White  » Neal Wilson informed the church about the Rea [Glendale] Committee. The initial report indicates that « in her writing Ellen White used sources more extensively than we have heretofore been aware of or recognized…. » [italics added.] The statement is a most significant article to appear in the Review in this century. The president of the General Conference is openly and honestly acknowledging the facts about Ellen White’s use of sources and pointing the church toward a definition of inspiration that will be new to most Adventists and threatening to some. Donald R. McAdams (Spectrum, 1980)

Enième application du bon vieux principe qui veut que le plus intéressant dans les scandales, c’est souvent (à l’instar de la fameuse affaire Perrier qui en 1990 avait contraint la compagnie à révéler qu’elle rajoutait son gaz après), ce qu’ils nous révèlent sur ce qui jusque là passait pour la normalité …

A l’heure où, pour la première fois dans l’histoire américaine, un membre de l’église mormone pourrait faire son entrée à la Maison Blanche …

Retour sur l’intéressant cas d’un des nombreux prophètes ayant contribué au remarquable foisonnement de mouvements réformistes ou religieux qui a marqué les Etats-Unis de la deuxième moitié du 19e siècle, à savoir la prophétesse de l’église adventiste du septième jour Ellen G White

Dont le début de déboulonnage un siècle plus tard en particulier sur des questions de plagiat  avait le mérite, comme le reconnaissait lui-même l’un des dirigeants de ladite église, de faire voir presque expérimentalement le fonctionnement d’un prophète et, rétroactivement, de jeter une lumière nouvelle sur le processus de l’inspiration biblique …

This I believe about Ellen G White

Neal Wilson

The Ministry

April 1980

Interesting study and research has been going on in our church in the past several years. Among the areas being examined is the role of Ellen White in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In this area, as in all others, we want to know all that can be known, because truth has a way of invigorating the believer.

For some time there have been reports circulating that in her special writing ministry Ellen White drew an « alarming » amount of material from non-inspired books. Most, if not all, such books are known to have been in Ellen White’s library, and some of them have been mentioned in her books and letters. Those who have been investigating this matter include Walter Rea, one of our pastors in the Southern California Conference. Over the past few years he has spent a great deal of time and effort in researching this subject. On January 28 and 29, G. Ralph Thompson, a General Conference general vice-president, chaired a 19-member committee com posed of Biblical and other scholars, Seventh-day Adventist professionals, and administrative leaders. The commit tee met in the conference room of the Glendale Adventist Hospital in California to review not only the quantity but the quality of the work done by Elder Rea. The initial report from this very competent committee indicates that in her writing Ellen White used sources more extensively than we have heretofore been aware of or recognized. The committee, however, cautions against the loose use of such terms as « literary dependency, » and « extensive borrowing and paraphrasing. » When such phrases are not clearly and precisely defined their use can result in irresponsible and misleading conclusions.

Even though I have carefully read the report and listened to the proceedings of this committee, it is not my purpose in this communication to evaluate the helpful comments of the members of the committee. That will follow, in due time, along with certain positive recommendations. Instead, I write in order to give my personal reaction to this and other developments that must be faced honestly and openly. I can identify with the members of the special committee and with the apostle Peter when he affirmed, « For we have not followed cunningly devised fables » (2 Peter 1:16).

In spite of what some would have you believe, there is no internal upheaval or major crisis in the Seventh-day Advent ist Church. This is God’s church, and He has made Himself responsible for its success. There is no reason to become alarmed, unnerved, or panicky. On the other hand, I do not want to lull you into false and comfortable spiritual security. There are still lessons of truth and faith that we will be called upon to learn and exercise. It is evident that the individual members of the church need to under stand more clearly the doctrine of inspiration and just how God reveals Himself to His people, so that their confidence in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy will remain unshaken.

The articles by Arthur L. White in the Adventist Review (January, February, 1978; July and August, 1979, now avail able in reprint) were especially helpful. In the 1978 articles Elder White re viewed the doctrine of inspiration as generally understood by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The second (1979) series reviewed Ellen White’s method of preparing her publications. How she used her editorial assistants and other people in her effort to present her mate rials to the public, free from literary and factual inadequacies, is a fascinating story. In observing the methodology of a modern prophet, we are able to under stand better how God used men and women in the past when He revealed His gracious will to the lost, needy world.

Other Adventist researchers have made their studies available to us in various periodicals. Several viewpoints have been expressed, but all seem to be contributing to our storehouse of under standing. In fact, my heart rejoices with every new study that gives us a fresh look at how God used Ellen White as His last-day messenger. I would like to share with you what these studies are saying to me. No doubt my understanding will continue to broaden and deepen, but several points seem clear:

1. Originality is not a test of inspiration. A prophet’s use of sources other than visions does not invalidate or diminish the prophet’s teaching authority. Ellen White’s comment that the Holy Spirit « guided the mind [of the Bible writer] in the selection of what to speak and what to write » (The Great Controversy, p. vi) explains also how she was assisted in selecting or rejecting information from existing materials. In the marvelous operation of revelation God gives the thought « in many and various ways » (Heb. 1:1, R.S.V.), and then in spires the human messenger with perceptions whereby he or she fills out the « message » with the information avail able. This assisting function of the Holy Spirit guards the messenger from using materials that would misrepresent the intent of the message given directly to the messenger.

The Bible writers have also given us an insight into how they wrote their works that eventually were recognized as inspired documents. In Luke’s pref ace to his Gospel, he explains to Theophilus his burden. Apparently many re ports were being written regarding the life and teachings of Jesus, and he felt the compulsion, after « having followed all things closely . . . , to write an orderly account . . . , that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed » (verses 3, 4, R.S.V.).

Luke was not an eyewitness. He used the materials available. One of his source materials, though he did not mention his indebtedness to it, was Mark’s Gospel, much of which was directly copied, often word for word. Luke’s final product was an extended, more complete life of Jesus, which included material not found in Matthew, Mark, or John. Luke’s insight as a physician is reflected in the way he describes some events (Luke 4:38; 5:12; 8:43, etc.).

The compilers of the books of Kings and Chronicles note extra-Biblical sources for their work (1 Kings 11:41; 1 Chron. 9:1). Other Bible authors such as Jude and Isaiah give evidence of borrowing from either other inspired sources or non-Biblical sources.

In other words, Bible writers frequently used the materials of others as the need arose. The Holy Spirit assisted them in the selection of appropriate materials. And that same principle of guarding and guiding by the Holy Spirit is seen in the experience of God’s messenger in these last days.

2. God inspires people, not words. Seventh-day Adventists are not verbal inspirationists. They have never believed that the Holy Spirit, in some way, has dictated to the prophet the actual words that appeared in the autographs. They identify with those who believe that God inspires thoughts through visions, dreams, or direct address, but, except in rare instances, not the forms of expression by which those thoughts are to be conveyed to others. The messenger operates within his or her mental and spiritual capacity, and uses his or her style of expression, skilled or common, guarded always by the Holy Spirit from misrepresenting the revealed message.

This principle, of course, relieves all anxiety when it is learned that a messenger of the Lord has used existing materials, even another’s phrases. We are not alarmed when we discover that a prophet uses editors to improve style, or specialists in certain areas to review pertinent information.

This principle of thought inspiration is one example of the fact that God does not do for people what they can do for themselves. God made men and women who could respond to Him in love and appreciate Him for the freedom implicit in love. He could have created us so that we could not sin, but then we could not love. After sin, He could have over powered our rebellious will to prove His sovereign power, but that would not have left us as responsible beings. He simply appeals to us to respond to His gracious offer of love and pardon, to accept His power to do what He asks. The responding is up to us. God makes it possible for us to breathe, but we must do the breathing. God makes it possible for us to have faith, but we must do the trusting and submitting.

In much the same way, God gives His messenger the message, but not as a heavenly telex; He gives the thought, but not the encyclopedia to check out all the historical dates, or the dictionary on how to spell words. God does not necessarily provide that which men and women can provide for themselves. But He does guide and guard His messenger by the Holy Spirit, who will protect the integrity of the message intended.

3. The Holy Spirit helps the messenger to select his material carefully. Frequently, while tracing Ellen White’s use of such men as William Hanna or John Harris in writing The Desire of Ages, we find that she would not only not use much of what they wrote, but that at times, after using a part of a paragraph, would go on to take positions contrary to their writings. This selective skill is another instance of the guiding, guarding role of the Holy Spirit. There is no question about it—prophets, ancient or modern, selected their material well. Ellen White used authors of recognized quality such as Geikie, Farrar, Hanna, Clarke, and Edersheim. This says to me that where they helped to fill out what she had been shown to be true, she wisely used them; when they gave evidence that they did not see the whole truth, she plainly stated the facts as they had been revealed to her by the Holy Spirit.

4. The prophet’s use of existing mate rials does not necessarily mean that the prophet is dependent upon these sources. No; the prophet begins with the message received; the messenger knows what must be said; in general his or her thought structure has been given by God. But the responsibility for finding historical background, descriptive amplification, and thought clarification is left up to the messenger. The employment of other authors to make the mes sage attractive and convincing should not imply that the prophet is dependent upon others for his or her message.

5. Whenever we recognize similarities we must also see the dissimilarities. This is probably the most important discovery that I have made, over the years, when I think about how Ellen White has made use of existing sources. The principle also applies to Biblical writers.

Biblical writers, as well as Ellen White, set forth a theological contribution that is more expansive, more complete, and more integrated than the authors they used for descriptive amplification. The dissimilarities be tween Ellen White and the authors she at times used are of kind and not degree.

She did more than merely gather together those gems of thought that had lain rather disconnected through the centuries. Ellen White’s theological system, her organizing principle—the great controversy theme—is unique in the continuum of historical theology. Her concept of truth regarding how sin developed; why Jesus came to earth; the integral role of the Holy Spirit in His life and in the believer’s; the sanctuary doctrine, illustrating how the plan of redemption operates—all this gives special character to her prophetic, teaching authority in these last days.

Our responsibility is to listen to truth from wherever God speaks. And we are not left to wonder whether we are listening to the Word of God. John wrote, « He who receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true » (John 3:33, R.S.V.). The psalmist spoke out of experience: « The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple » (Ps. 119:130, R.S.V.). God has made us with the ability to hear Him, either through the inner word of His Holy Spirit (1 John 3:24; 4:13) or the exterior word of the Bible (2 Tim. 3:15, 16).

After 25 years of translating the New Testament into modern English, J. B. Phillips wrote a remarkable testimony to his experience as a translator, called Ring of Truth. He pitied the modern generation, which knows so little about genuine Christianity, primarily because they have never given the Bible a fair hearing.

I agree with Dr. Phillips « that we have in the New Testament, words that bear the hallmark of reality and the ring of truth » (page 125). Such has been my experience and the experience of many people I have known. The same experience applies to those who have heard « the ring of truth » in the writings of Ellen White. No one can take that « ring » from the soul. No « new » information can shake that self-authenticating experience.

But if one’s knowledge of the Bible or of Ellen White is only theoretical, as it would be with an anatomy book or the evening newspaper, then most any allegation against the Bible or Ellen White would be either alarming or just another reason to doubt.

It may be that certain things I have written in this article will sound new to some. I recognize that we are not all at the same place on the road of information or even experience. But I assure you, the confidence we may have in these agencies God has used to reveal truth to men and women will be in pro portion to how much we learn and accept from the Bible and Ellen White.

I have heard the ring of truth in the Bible and the writings of Ellen White. Our mandate is to preach from the Bible, enriching our sermons by insights on the gospel found in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy. I believe with all my heart that Ellen White was an inspired messenger of God. Based on my under standing of revelation and inspiration as taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I must conclude that she is a reliable teaching authority and that she is a part of God’s continuing revelation and corroboration of doctrine and truth.

As the psalmist said, « O taste and see » (Ps. 34:8, R.S.V.). As Samuel responded,  » ‘ « Speak, Lord, for thy servant hears » ‘  » (1 Sam. 3:9, R.S.V.). As Jehoshaphat challenged Israel, « ‘Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed' » (2 Chron. 20:20, R.S.V.).

Ce que je crois sur Ellen White

Neal Wilson

The Ministry

Avril 1980

Notre église a été l’objet d’intéressantes études et recherches ces dernières années. Parmi les zones étudiées est le rôle d’Ellen White dans la vie de l’église adventiste du septième jour. Dans ce domaine, comme dans tous les autres, nous voulons savoir tout ce qui peut être connu, parce que la vérité a une façon de revigorer le croyant.

Pour certains témoins il y a eu des rapports circulating que je n son spec i al wr i t i ng m i n i stère Ellen Wh i te a une «alarme i ng « quantité de mater i al de la non- i nsp i livres rouges. La plupart, i f n’est pas tout, ces livres sont connus pour avoir été i n Ellen Wh i te de l i thèque, et certains d’entre eux ont été ment i onné i n ses livres et de lettres. Ceux qui ont été i Nvest i gat i e ng i s affaire i nclude Walter Rea, l’un de nos pasteurs i n du Sud Cal i Forn i une conférence. Au cours des dernières années, il a passé une grande partie de t i moi et effort i n la recherche i e ng i s sujet. Le 28 Janvier et 29, G. Ralph Thompson, un général Conférence générale v i ce-pres i dent, cha i rouge un 19 membres comm i té com posé de B i bl i cal et d’autres savants, du septième jour Avent i st professer i onals et adm i n i strat i ve dirigeants. La comm i t-shirt a rencontré i n la salle de conférence de l’Avent Glendale i er Hosp i tal i Cal n i Forn i a à rev i ew non seulement le quant i té mais la qualité i té du travail accompli par l’aîné Rea. L’ i n i t i al e rapport de i est très compétent comm i té i e i Cates que i n sa wr i t i ng Ellen Wh i te utilisé des sources plus extens i vement que nous avons jusqu’à présent été au courant ou reconnu. La comm i té, cependant, caut i ons aga i ntssp cette utilisation peu rigoureuse de termes tels que « l i terary dépendance »et« Extens i ve emprunter i ng et paraphras i ng.  » Lorsque de telles phrases ne sont pas clairement et prec i sely def i nie l’ i r utilisation peut entraîner i n i rrespons i ble et m i Slead i ng Conclus i ons.

Même si j’ai lu attentivement le rapport et l i stened à la procédure, i ons de e i comm s i té, i t i n’est pas mon but i n e i s commun i cat i à évaluer les précieux commentaires des membres de la comm i té. Que w i suivrons, i n t en raison i moi, le long w i e certa i n pos i t i ve recommandat i ons. J’ai nstead, je wr i te i our g i ve mon personnel réagissent i à e i s et d’autres développements qui doivent être relevés honnêtement et ouvertement. J’ai peut i dent i fy w i -ième les membres de la spec i al comm i té et w i e l’apôtre Pierre quand il a aff i rmé, «Car nous n’avons pas suivie cunn i ngly dev i sed fables »( 2 Pierre 1:16 ).

Je n sp i te de ce que certains voudraient vous faire bel i veille, il i s pas i nterne bouleversement majeur ou cr i s i s i n de l’Avent du septième jour i er Eglise. E i s i s l’église de Dieu, et Il a fait de H i mself RESPONS i ble pour i ts succès. Il i a aucune raison de s’alarmer, énervé, ou un panoramique i cky. D’un autre côté, je ne veux pas vous endormir i nto faux et confortable sp i r i tuel sécur i té. Il ya st i ll leçons de vérité et de fa i Þ que nous w i serez appelés à apprendre et l’exerc i soi. Je t i s ev i dent que les i nd i v i double membres de l’église doivent en vertu support plus clairement la doctr i ne de i nsp i rat i et juste comment Dieu révèle H i mself à H i s les gens, de sorte que l’ i r conf i dence i n B i ble et la Sp i r i t de la Prophétie w i ll rema i n inébranlable.

L’art i cles par Arthur L. Wh i te i n l’ Avent i er Rev i ew (Janvier, Février, 1978; Juillet et Août, 1979, maintenant ava i l peut i n repr i nt) étaient spéc i allié utile. Je n l’art 1978 i cles Elder Wh i te re v i ewed la doctr i ne de i nsp i rat i sur l’entend généralement par l’avènement du septième jour i Eglise st. Le second (1979) ser i es rev i ewed Ellen Wh i te méthode de prépa i ng son publ i cat i ons. Comment elle a utilisé ses ed i tor i al ass i constantes et d’autres personnes i n son effort pour présenter son compagnon r i als au publ i c, sans l i terary et factuelle i nadequac i es, i sa fasc i nat i ng histoire. Je n observateurs i ng la méthodologie d’un prophète moderne, nous sommes en mesure de mieux tenir dans la façon dont Dieu a utilisé des hommes et des femmes i n le passé, quand il a révélé H i s grac i ous w i ll de la perte, de monde dans le besoin .

Autres Avent i st chercheurs ont fait l’ i r goujon i es ava i ble à nous i n var i Ous par i od i chimiques. Plusieurs v i ewpo i nts ont été exprimées, mais tous semblent être contr i mais i ng à notre entrepôt de support sous i ng. Je n fait, mon cœur rejo i CES w i -ème chaque nouvelle étude que g i ve nous nouveau regard sur la façon dont Dieu s’est servi de Ellen Wh i te que H i la dernière journée messager. Je ne l i ke de partager avec i -ème-vous ce que ces montants i es sont dites i ng pour moi. Sans doute mon comprendre i ng w i ll cont i nuer à élargir et à approfondir, mais plusieurs po i nts semblent claires:

1. Ou i g i nal i té i n est pas un test de i nsp i rat i sur . Un prophète utilisation de sources autres que v i s i ons ne i nVal i date ou d i m i n i sh du prophète enseigner i ng auteur i té. Ellen Wh i commentaire te que le Saint-Sp i r i t « gu i ded la m i e [de la B i ble wr i ter] i n la sélectionner i sur de quoi parler et quoi wr i te « ( Le Grande Controverse , p. v i ) explication i ns aussi comment elle était ass i sted i n sélectionner i ng ou rejeter i ng i nformat i à partir d’ex i st i ng mater i als. Je n l’opérat merveilleuse i sur des revelat i sur Dieu g i ve la pensée  » i n et de nombreux var i façons Ous »( Héb. 1:01 , LSG), puis i n sp i res les humains messager w i ème percept i ons par lequel il ou elle f i lls sur le « message » w i -ième l’ i nformat i sur ava i l avec mesure. E i cul i er i ng fonct i sur des Saintes Sp i r i t gardes du messager de notre part i ng mater i als qui m i srepresent l’ i ntent du message g i d ven i rectement au messager.

Les B i bles wr i tres ont aussi g i ven-nous un i ns i ght i nto comment ils ont écrit les i travaux r qui ont été finalement reconna i zed que i nsp i documents rouges. Je n Luc pref ace à h i Evangile s , il explication i ns à Theoph i lus h i s fardeau. Ports re apparemment beaucoup ont été soit i ng wr i tten ce qui concerne i ng L i fe et enseigner i ons de Jésus, et il sentit les oblig. i sur, après « hav i ng suivi tous les e i END près …, wr à i te un compte ordonnée …, que vous savez peut-être la préoccupation la vérité i ng ème i ons de wh i ch vous avez été i nformed « (versets 3, 4, LSG).

Luc n’était pas un eyew i tness. Il a utilisé la dure- i als ava i ble. L’un des h i mater source s i als, bien qu’il d i d non ment i sur h i s i ndebtedness à i t, est l’évangile de Marc, une grande partie de wh i ch était d i rectement flic i ed, souvent mot pour mot. F Luc i produit interne était étendu, plus complet l i fe de Jésus, qu i ch i nclus mater i al introuvable i n Matthieu, Marc, ou John. Luc i ns i ght comme phys i c i un i s reflété i n la façon dont il descr i bes certains événements ( Luc 4:38 ; 5:12 ; 8:43 , et . c ).

La maquette i geurs des livres de K i ngs et Chron i cles noter extra-B i bl i ques sources pour l’ i r travail ( 1 K i END 11:41 ; . 1 Chroniques 09:01 ). B Autres i bles auteurs tels que Jude et j’ai sa i ah g i ve ev i dence d’emprunt i ng de e i utres autres i nsp i sources rouges ou non B i bl i ques sources.

Je n d’autres termes, B i ble wr i tres souvent utilisé la dure- i als des autres que le besoin s’en fait sentir. Le Saint-Sp i r i t ass i les sted i n la sélectionner i sur des appropr i mangé mater i als. Et que même pr i nc i exemple de la garde i ng et gu i d i ng par le Saint-Sp i r i t i s vu i n l’exper i rence de messager de Dieu i n ces derniers jours.

2. Dieu i nsp i res des gens, pas des mots . Septième jour Avent i m ne sont pas verbales i nsp i rat i sur i m. Ils n’ont jamais bel i eved que le Saint Sp i r i t, i n quelque sorte, a d i ctated au prophète les mots mêmes qui semblaient i n des autographes. Ils i dent i fy w i -ème bel ceux qui i que Dieu veille i nsp i res pensées par v i s i ons, des rêves ou d i rect adresse, mais, à l’exception i n rares i nstances, et non pas les formes de expresse i par wh i ch ces pensées doivent être transmis à d’autres. Le messager fonctionne w i e i nh i s ou son mental et sp i r i tuel capacité i té, et utilise h i s ou d’exprimer son style i sur, sk i lled ou conjoint, garde toujours par le Saint-Sp i r i t de m i srepresent i ng du message révélé.

E i s pr i nc i ple, bien sûr, rel i veilles tout anx i ciété quand i t i s a appris qu’un messager du Seigneur a utilisé ex i st i ng mater i als, même encore de phrases. Nous ne sommes pas inquiets quand nous d i scover qu’un prophète utilise ed i teurs à i mprove style, ou spec i al i m i n certa i n zones de rev i ew pert i nent i nformat i sur.

E i s pr i nc i exemple de la pensée i nsp i rat i sur i s un exemple du fait que Dieu ne fait pas pour les gens ce qu’ils peuvent faire pour eux-mêmes. Dieu a fait les hommes et les femmes qui pourraient répondre à H i m i love n et appréc i mangé H i m pour la liberté i mpl i c i t i n amour. Il aurait pu nous a créés pour que nous ne pouvions pas s i n, mais on ne pourrait pas aimer. Après s i n, il aurait pu plus alimenté notre rebell i ous w i ll prouver H i s souvera i gn pouvoir, mais qui ne nous ont laissé que responsab i ble être i ngs. Il s i mply appel à nous pour répondre à H i s grac i ous offre de l’amour et de pardon, d’accepter H i s pouvoir de faire ce qu’il demande. La réponse i ng i s à nous. Dieu fait i t poss i ble que nous respirons, mais nous devons faire la respiration i ng. Dieu fait i t poss i ble pour nous d’avoir fa i e, mais nous devons faire la confiance i ng et soum i tt i ng.

Je n de la même façon, Dieu g i ves H i s messager du message, mais pas comme un télex céleste, Il g i ve la pensée, mais pas le ENCYCLOPED i une de vérifier tous les h i stor i ques dates, ou d i ct i . coronarien sur la façon d’orthographier les mots Dieu ne veut pas nécessairement i ly prov i de ce que wh i ch hommes et les femmes peuvent prov i de par eux-mêmes. Mais il ne gu i de garde et H i messager s par le Saint-Sp i r i t, qui w i ll protéger l’ i ntegr i té du message i ntended.

3. Le Saint-Sp i r i t permet le messager pour sélectionner h i s mater i al attentivement . Souvent, wh i le trac i ng Ellen Wh i usage te d’hommes tels que W i ll i am Hanna ou John Harr i s i n wr i t i ng L Des i re-Christ, nous avons f i e qu’elle ne serait pas ne pas utiliser une grande partie de ce qu’ils ont écrit, mais à l’instant t i mes, après nous avoir i on d’une partie d’un paragraphe, allait prendre pos i t i ons contraires aux i r wr i t i ons. E i s sélectionner i ve sk i ll i s un autre i occurrenceB de la gu i d i ng, garde i ng rôle du Saint-Sp i r i t. Il i s pas de quête i sur environ i t-prophètes, anc i ent ou moderne, a choisi le i mater r i al bien. Ellen Wh i te utilisé auteurs de reconna i zed qualité i té tel que Ge i k i e, Farrar, Hanna, Clarke, et Edershe i m. E i s me dit que là où ils ont aidé à f i ll ce qu’elle avait été montré pour être vrai, elle w i sely les ont utilisés, quand ils ont donné ev i dence qu’ils Ð i serais pas toute la vérité, elle pla i nly a déclaré les faits tels qu’ils ont été révélés par le Saint-Sp i r i t.

4. utilisation du prophète de l’ex i st i ng compagnon r i als n’est pas nécessairement i ment dire que le prophète i s dépend de ces sources . Non, le prophète prie i ns w i ème le message rece i ved; le messager sait ce qui doit être sa i j; i n général h i s ou sa structure a été pensée g i ême par Dieu. Mais les responsab i b i l i té de f i e i ng h i stor i cal fond, descr i pt i ve ampl i f i cat i sur, et j’ai pensé clar i f i cat i sur i s laissée à l’ messager. L’emploi d’autres auteurs à faire le sage message d’attirer i ve et conv i nc i ng ne devrait pas i mply que le prophète i s dépendant des autres pour h i s ou son message.

5. Lorsque nous reconna i ze s i m i lar i t i es, nous devons aussi voir la d i ss i m i lar i t i es . E i s i s probablement le plus i mportant d i Scovery que je ont fait, au fil des années, quand je ième i nk sur la façon dont Ellen Wh i te a eu recours à des ex i st i ng sources. La pr i nc i sonnes également appl i es de B i bl i ques wr i lettres.

B i bl i ques wr i tres, ainsi que Ellen Wh i te, énonce un theolog i cal contr i mais i ce i s agrand plus i ve, plus complète et plus i ntégrée que les auteurs ont utilisés pendant les descr i pt i ve ampl i f i cat i sur. Le d i ss i m i lar i t i es en tre Ellen Wh i te et les auteurs-elle à l’instant t i mes utilisés sont des k i ème degré et non.

Elle d i d plus que simplement rassembler ces joyaux de la pensée qui ont eu la i n d plutôt i sconnected à travers le centur i es. Ellen Wh i te de theolog i cal système, son organe i z i ng pr i nc i -ple la grande controverse thème- i s non i that i n de la suite i Nuum de h i stor i théologie cal. Son concept de ce qui concerne la vérité i ng comment s i n développés; pourquoi Jésus est venu sur la terre, le i rôle ntegral du Saint-Sp i r i t i n H i sl i fe et i n le bel i est jamais; la doctr sanctuaire i ne, i llustrat i ng comment le plan de Redempt i fonctionne sur tous les e- i sg i ves spéc i al caractère à son prophète i c, enseigner i ng auteur i té i n ces derniers jours.

Nos responsab i b i l i té i s à l i Sten à la vérité, peu importe où Dieu parle. Et nous ne sommes pas à se demander si nous sommes l i sten i ng à la Parole de Dieu. Jean a écrit: «Celui qui recevo i ve h i s essai i met mony h i joint s à e i s, que Dieu i est vrai »( Jean 3:33 , LSG). Le psaume i er parlé de exper i rence: «Le dépliage i ng de tes paroles g i ves l i ght; i t i mparts comprendre i ng à la s i mple »( Ps 119:130. , LSG). Dieu nous a faits avec i -ième l’ab i l i té d’entendre H i m, e i ther travers la i nner mot de H i s Saint Sp i r i t ( 1 Jean 3:24 ; 4:13 ) ou l’ exter i ou un mot de la B i ble ( 2 T i m. 3:15 , 16 ).

Après 25 ans de TRANSLAT i ng le Nouveau Testament i nto moderne angl i sh, JB Ph i ll i ps a écrit un essai remarquable i mony à h i s exper i rience en tant que traducteur, appelé R i ng de la Vérité . Il p i t i ed la générat moderne i sur, wh i ch sait si l i TTLE sur genu i ne Chr i st i un i té, pr i mar i ment parce qu’ils n’ont jamais g i ême B i ble une fa i r entendre i ng.

Je suis d’accord avec i e r Ph i ll i ps « que nous avons i n le Nouveau Testament, les mots qui portent la marque de la vraie i té et le r i ng de la vérité »(page 125). Telle a été mon expertise i rence et l’exper i rence de beaucoup de gens que je j’ai connus. L’expertise même i rence appl i es de ceux qui ont entendu « le r i ng de la vérité  » i n les wr i t i ons de Ellen Wh i te. Nul ne peut prendre que «r i ng « de l’âme. Aucune «nouvelle» i nformat i le peut ébranler cette auto-authent i cat i ng expertise i rence.

Mais i f sa connaissance de la B i ble ou d’Ellen Wh i te i s seulement théo i cal, comme je l serait w i -ième un livre d’anatomie ou de la même i ng journal, puis plus aucune allegat i sur aga i nst B i ble ou Ellen Wh i te serait e i ther alarme i ng ou juste une autre raison de douter.

Je t se peut que certa i n e i NGS je avoir wr i TTEN i n e i l ‘art i cle w i ll sembler nouveau pour certains. J’ai reconna i ze que nous ne sommes pas tous au même endroit sur ​​la route de i nformat i ou même sur Exper i rence. Mais je vous assure, la conf i dence nous pouvons avoir i n ces agenc i es Dieu a utilisé pour révéler la vérité aux hommes et aux femmes w i serai bientôt i n port de pro i à quel point nous apprendre et à accepter de la B i ble et Ellen Wh i te.

J’ai entendu le r i ng de la vérité i n B i ble et les wr i t i ons de Ellen Wh i te. Notre mandat i s à prêcher du B i ble, enr i ch i ng nos sermons par i ns i dro sur l’Évangile trouve i n les wr i t i ons de la Sp i r i t de la Prophétie. J’ai bel i veille w i -ième tout mon cœur que Ellen Wh i te était un i nsp i rouge messager de Dieu. D’après mon titre se i ng de revelat i et le i nsp i rat i sur tel qu’enseigné par l’avènement du septième jour i er Eglise, je dois conclure qu’elle i sa rel i pouvoir enseigner i ng auteur i té et qu’elle i partie de sa divine cont i nu i ng revelat i et sur ​​corroborat i sur des doctr i ne et de la vérité.

Comme le psaume ier sa i d, «Goûtez et voyez» ( Ps. 34:8 , LSG). Comme Samuel a répondu, « ‘ Parle, Seigneur, ton serviteur écoute pour « ‘ » ( 1 Sam.. 03:09 , LSG). Comme Josaphat contesté , je SRAËL »,« Bel i veille i n le Seigneur votre Dieu, et vous w i serez établ i versé; bel i veille h i s prophètes, et vous w i ll réussir »( 2 Chron 20:. 20 , LSG).

Voir enfin:

Enlightened Doomsaying and the Concern for the Future

Jean-Pierre DUPUY

It has now at last become plain that the same spirit of Promethean humanism that gives our world its astonishing and unprecedented dynamism also imperils the future of human society itself. We are living today in the shadow cast by the prospect of catastrophes that, separately or in combination, threaten to bring about the disappearance of the human race from the earth. Our responsibility is all the more enormous as we are the sole cause of what will happen to us. And yet there is a danger that our sense of our own responsibility will increase, rather than diminish, the very arrogance that gave rise to it. Once we have persuaded ourselves that the salvation of the world is in our hands, that humanity owes it to itself to be its own savior, there is a risk we will throw ourselves with renewed energy into a headlong rush toward the abyss–that fatal impulse compounded of pride and panic, which with every passing day comes nearer to being the outstanding emblems of our age.

The German Jewish philosopher Günther Anders (

1902

1992

) was the most profound and the most

daring of the thinkers who contemplated the great catastrophes of the twentieth century. He is less

well known than two of his classmates at Marburg, his friend Hans Jonas and his future wife

Hannah Arendt, no doubt a consequence of both his own stubbornness and the fragmented

character of his writings. Anders abjured great systematic treatises in favor of topical investigations

that not infrequently resorted to parable. More than once, for example, he recounted the biblical

tale of the flood in a distinctive and original way. [[Noah, in his telling, had grown tired of being a

prophet of doom, forever announcing a catastrophe that never came and that no one took seriously.

One day,

he clothed himself in sackcloth and covered his head with ashes. Only a man who was

mourning [the death of] a beloved child or his wife was allowed to do this. Clothed in the garb

of truth, bearer of sorrow, he went back to the city, resolved to turn the curiosity, spitefulness,

and superstition of its inhabitants to his advantage.

Soon he had gathered around him a small curious crowd, and questions began to be asked.

He was asked if someone had died and who the dead person was. Noah replied to them that

many had died, and then, to the great amusement of his listeners, said that they themselves

were the dead of whom he spoke. When he was asked when this catastrophe had taken place,

he replied to them:

Tomorrow.

Profiting from their attention and confusion, Noah drew

himself up to his full height and said these words:

The day after tomorrow, the flood will be

something that has been. And when the flood

will have been, everything that is will never

have existed. When the flood will have carried off everything that is, everything that will have

been, it will be too late to remember, for there will no longer be anyone alive. And so there will

no longer be any difference between the dead and those who mourn them. If I have come

before you, it is in order to reverse time, to mourn tomorrow’s dead today. The day after

tomorrow it will be too late.

With this he went back whence he had come, took off the

sackcloth [that he wore], cleaned his face of the ashes that covered it, and went to his

workshop. That evening a carpenter knocked on his door and said to him:

Let me help you

build an ark, so that it may become false.

Later a roofer joined them, saying:

It is raining over

the mountains, let me help you, so that it may become false.

1)

The tragedy that awaits anyone who dares to prophesy catastrophe is beautifully condensed in this

magnificent parable, which nevertheless indicates to us the way out from an apparently paralyzing

impasse.

The prophet of doom is not heard because his words, even if they issue from sound knowledge and

true information, do not manage to penetrate the system of beliefs held by those to whom they are

addressed. It is not enough to know in order to accept what one knows and then to act on it. This

fundamental reality is foreign to the so-called precautionary principle, which maintains that we do

not act in the face of catastrophe because we are not sure of knowing enough to act effectively. It is

plain, however, that even when we know something with certainty, we may be incapable of

believing what we know. The existence and dramatic consequences of global warming were

known, and made known to the world, more than a quarter-century ago. But scientists were crying

out in the wilderness. It is true that their predictions suffer from one great imprecision: nobody

can exactly locate the average rise in global temperatur

e, by the end of the twenty-first century,

within a broad range of between two and six degrees Celsius (or about four and eleven degrees

Fahrenheit). And yet it seems not to be generally understood that half of this uncertainty is the

result of uncertainty about the type of action that will be taken to reduce greenhouse-gas

emissions. Is it really

because we do not know

how we would react to

a forecast of impending

doom that we do not act? The suggestion is absurd. Moreover, there is this one thing of which we

are quite certain: if China, India, and Brazil go on pursuing the course of development that we have

given them as a model to be imitated, we will enter into a looking-glass world in which surprises

(not only regarding the climate, but many other things as well) will be routine, in which the

exception will be the rule and our capacity to act in and on the world will have become a power of

destruction.

Searching for the reason why many European Jews refused until the very end, even on the railway platform at Auschwitz-Birkenau, to believe in the reality of industrial extermination, Primo Levi

quoted an old German adage:

Things whose existence is not morally possible cannot exist.

Our

ability not to see when faced with the obviousness of suffering and atrocities is the principal

obstacle that the prophet of doom must at least find a way around, if he cannot actually overcome it.

The precautionary principle is ritually invoked not only in support of the view that more must be

known, and therefore more research carried out, before we can act; it is also accompanied by an

appeal to our sense of ethical obligation. But ethics, if it is to be of any help to us, must prompt us

to call into question an idea that is so commonly accepted it has already become a cliché, namely,

that we are obliged to answer to future generations for our actions.

The recourse to the language of rights, duties, and responsibility in examining our moral

relationship to future generations presents conceptual difficulties that Western philosophy has

proved incapable for the most part of clearing up. A recent and eloquent example of this failure

may be found in John Rawls’s magnum opus,

A Theory of Justice

, imagined by its author and his

admirers to have both summed up and superseded all previous works of modern moral and

political philosophy. Having rigorously stated and established, at least to his own satisfaction, the

principles of justice that must order the basic institutions of a democratic society, Rawls

nevertheless cannot avoid concluding that these principles do not apply to questions of

intergenerational justice. He is aware that this is a serious problem, but the remedy he proposes is

vague and, at best, provisional.

The source of Rawls’s difficulty is the irreversibility of time. A theory of justice based on

contractual obligation embodies, by definition, the ideal of reciprocity. But there can be no

reciprocity between generations, at least not after some rather brief interval, for whereas later

generations inherit the works of those who have gone before, they are unable to give anything in

return. But the trouble goes

deeper than this. In the W

estern perspective of linear time, itself

inseparable from eighteenth-century ideas of progress, it is assumed that future generations will be

happier and wiser than previous generations. But Rawls’s theory of justice, precisely because it

formalizes a fundamental moral intuition, that priority should be given to the most disadvantaged

members of society, leads to the paradox that the first in a line of generations is the worst off and

yet its members are the only ones able to confer benefits on those who come after them.

2)

Kant,

who had already detected the problem in Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of

View (

1784

), found it inconceivable (rätselhaft) that the course of human history could be imagined

to resemble the construction of a home that only the last generation would have the privilege of

inhabiting. And yet he was unable to free himself from the spell cast by the ruse of nature, or

perhaps of history, by which prior generations are led to sacrifice themselves for later generations–

the height of the very same instrumental conception of practical reason he rejected.

-10-

立命館言語文化研究24巻 4 号

Our situation today is very different, for our main concern is how to avoid global catastrophe. Is

this to say that we must substitute for the idea of human advancement one of decay and decline?

Stating the matter in this way, as a choice between progress and decadence, has not the least

interest. One can say the most opposite things about

the age in which we live and they will be

equally true–itself an exhilarating and frightening thing. We must keep two things in mind at once,

the possibility of catastrophe and the possibly cosmic responsibility that falls to humanity of trying

to avert this catastrophe. At the table where the parties to Rawls’s social contract sit, all

generations are equal according to him: the claims of no one generation have greater weight than

those of others. But plainly generations are not equal from the moral point of view. Ours and the

ones that will follow us have a considerably higher moral standing than previous generations, of

whom it may be said today, by contrast with our present situation, that they did not know what they

were doing. We are now witnessing the emergence of humanity as a quasi-subject, the dawning

awareness that its destiny is self-destruction, and the birth of an absolute responsibility to avoid

this self-destruction.

As for our own responsibility, it is not addressed to future generations–these anonymous beings

whose existence is purely potential, and in whose happiness and welfare it will never be possible to

believe that we shall have any reason at all to take a genuinely personal interest. To cast our

responsibility in terms of a requirement to achieve distributive justice across generations lands us

in a dead-end.

3)

It is in relation to the fate of humanity that our duty must be conceived, which is to say in relation to

ourselves, here and now. Thus Dante, in the tenth canto of the Inferno:

So you understand how our awareness

will die completely at the moment when

the portal of the future has been shut.

4)

If the door to the future were to close, as a result of our own actions, the very meaning of human

history would be forever destroyed, not only in prospect but in retrospect as well:

The day after

tomorrow, the flood will be something that has been. And when the flood will have been,

everything that is will never have existed.

Can we find the conceptual resources we need by looking outside the Western tradition?

Amerindian wisdom literature has bequeathed to us this very fine saying:

The earth is loaned to us

by our children.

5)

It expresses a cyclical conception of time

that seems strange to our way of

thinking. And yet the maxim takes on even greater force in a linear perspective, I believe, once the

necessary mental adjustment has been made. Notwithstanding that our children–that is, the

-11-

Enlightened Doomsaying and the Concern for the Future

D

UPUY

children of our children, and their children, and so on indefinitely–have neither physical nor legal

existence, we are enjoined to reverse the flight of time’s arrow and imagine that it is they who bring

us the earth–which is to say everything that we value. We do not own nature, we have only the

usufruct of it. From whom have we received it? From the future! Anyone who objects,

But the

future is not real–it does not yet exist!

will have done nothing more than draw our attention to the

stumbling block that confronts every philosophy of future catastrophe: we fail to recognize, or do

not recognize as we should, and as we must, the reality of the future.

Notice that the maxim is not content to reverse time; it reconfigures time into a loop. The maxim

invites us to project ourselves into the future and to look back at the present from a point of view

that we will ourselves have created, since we are the ones who make our children, biologically and,

above all, morally. Through this act of imagination, by splitting time into two parts and then joining

them together in the form of conscious experience, it may perhaps be possible to establish the

reciprocity between present and future that is wanting. Whether or not the future has any need of

us, we, for our part, need the future, for it is the future that gives meaning to everything that we do.

Noah’s purpose in Anders’s parable is to devise just such a reciprocity. In mourning deaths that

have not yet occurred, it reverses time, or better it gives it the shape of a loop, and so, in effect,

denies the future by transforming it into an eternal present. But the doomsayer’s misfortunes have

not yet come to an end. Either his prophecy proves to be true, and yet we show him no gratitude

for having given us warning (if we do not actually accuse him of being the cause of the calamity he

has rightly foreseen); or his forecast goes unfulfilled, the predicted catastrophe does not take place,

and afterward he is mocked and ridiculed for having struck the pose of a Cassandra. But it was

Cassandra’s fate that her prophecies were never to be heeded. It seems not to have occurred to

anyone that, if a catastrophe does not take place, it may be because warning was given beforehand

and the warning was heeded.

The prophecy of doom is made to avert its coming,

Jonas observes,

and it would be the height of injustice later to deride the ‘alarmists’ because ‘it did not turn out [to

be] so bad after all.’ To have been wrong may have been their merit.

6)

The paradox of doomsaying arises from the fact that the prospect of catastrophe can be made

credible only if we can be persuaded first of its reality–of its existence as part of a fixed future. In

this conception, the predicted sufferings and deaths will

inevitably

occur; they are the unmistakable

marks of an implacable destiny. The present preserves the memory of them, as it were, as a result

of the mind’s having projected itself into the time following the catastrophe, conceiving of the event

in the future perfect tense: there exists a moment in the future that we may look forward to, and

say of the prophesied catastrophe that at that moment it

will have taken place

; thus, for example, in

Anders’s parable, the flood is something that will have been, the day after tomorrow. If we succeed

too well in doing this, however, we risk losing

sight of our purpose, which is to heighten public

awareness and bring about concerted action so that the catastrophe

does not

occur:

Let me help

-12-

立命館言語文化研究24巻 4 号

you build an ark, so that it may become false.

The same paradox is at the heart of a classic figure of literature and philosophy, the killer judge,

who

neutralizes

all those of whom it is written that they shall commit a crime–with the result that

their crimes will not be committed.

7)

Intuitively one feels that the paradox derives from the failure

of the past prediction to be joined with the future event in a closed loop. But the very idea of such a

loop makes no sense in our ordinary metaphysics, as the modal logic of prevention shows.

Prevention consists in taking action to ensure that an unwanted action is relegated to the

ontological realm of non-actualized possibilities. The catastrophe, even though it does not occur,

retains the status of a possibility, not in the sense that it would still be possible for it to take place,

but in the sense that it will forever remain true that it could have taken place. When one announces

that a catastrophe is imminent, in order to avert it, this announcement does not possess the status

of a prediction, in the strict sense of the term: one does not claim to say what the future will be, only

what it would have been had preventive measures not been taken. There is no need for any loop to

close here. The announced future does not have to coincide with the actual future, the forecast

does not have to come true–for the announced

future

is not in fact the future at all, but a possible

world that is, and will remain, non-actual.

8)

The temporal logic of prevention makes sense to us

because it corresponds to what might be called common-sense metaphysics, in which time

assumes the form of a branching tree within which the actual path of events can be traced. Time is

a

garden of forking paths

, to quote Jorge Luis Borges, the most metaphysical of poets and the most

poetic of metaphysicians.

The metaphysics implicit in Günther Anders’s parable

is obviously of another type. There time

takes the form of a loop in which the past and the future reciprocally interact and determine each

other. On this view, the future is no less fixed than the past:

When he was asked when this

catastrophe had taken place, he replied to them: ‘Tomorrow’. . . . The day after tomorrow, the flood

will be something that has been

. One of the consequences of likening the future to destiny or fate

is that any event which belongs neither to the past nor the future is impossible. From this it follows

that precaution cannot take the form of prevention. Prevention supposes that an undesirable event,

once prevented, is a non-actualized possibility; in other words, an event must be possible in order

for us to have a reason to act to prevent it; but if our reaction is effective, the event does not occur.

Such a state of affairs is impossible in the time-world of the prophet of doom.

The paradoxical character of catastrophe under the interpretation that I am urging is highly

paradoxical, but it resonates with patterns that are familiar to the western mind. The idea that a

catastrophic event not only belongs to the future as something that is fated to happen, but at the

same time is contingent and accidental, something that might not happen–even if, from the

perspective of the future perfect, it appears to be necessary–is perfectly familiar to the man in the

 

One Response to Prophètes: En observant la méthodologie d’un prophète moderne, nous comprenons mieux la manière dont Dieu a utilisé des hommes et des femmes dans le passé (In her writing Ellen White used sources more extensively than we have heretofore been aware of or recognized)

  1. […] leur barque et leurs vies quelque 700 ans plus tard, les disciples viennent réveiller le nouveau Jonas […]

    J'aime

Répondre

Entrez vos coordonnées ci-dessous ou cliquez sur une icône pour vous connecter:

Logo WordPress.com

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte WordPress.com. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Google

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte Google. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Connexion à %s

Ce site utilise Akismet pour réduire les indésirables. En savoir plus sur la façon dont les données de vos commentaires sont traitées.

%d blogueurs aiment cette page :