Friday, April 18, 2014

The 13 problems with "The Record Keeper" by the Biblical Research Institute

"The Record Keeper," the Seventh-day Adventist Church's highly anticipated series was suspended due to theological innaccuracies, according to Adventist News Network.


The series was based on "The Great Controversy" by Ellen White. It was analyzed by the Church's Biblical Research Institute, which found several "problematic and theologically inaccurate matters raised in the Web series," ANN reported.


However, according to the series' director, Jason Satterlund, the scripts had been approved by multiple committees and the Ellen G. White Estate before production began.


"We got the stamp of approval from those committees AND the stamp of approval from the White estate," Satterlund wrote. "They agreed with everything we had. Not only that, but representatives from the GC were on set every day of production"


Adventist News Network updated its news article to include a link to the Biblical Research Institute's concerns about "The Record Keeper." Here is the list of concerns:


Spoiler Alert: The following list may (obviously) give away key parts of the series, if you hadn't seen it during a screening.


Theological Problems with “The Record Keeper”
Biblical Research Institute, April 9, 2014


In contemplating the message conveyed through “The Record Keeper” film, those assigned in the Biblical Research Institute who watched the film noted the following theological problems:


View of God and His Perfect Creation

  1. The power of evil and the violence that goes with it is predominant throughout the series, while the crucially important message that “God is love” hardly appears.
  2. The beauty and love permeating God’s perfect universe is never really represented. The original creation of the earth is never described, nor is its eventual re-creation, and there is almost as much conflict in heaven as on earth.
  3. Satan’s influence permeates heaven long after the evil angels are cast out so that heaven seems to be characterized in terms of the evil and violence on sinful earth.
  4. Angels are depicted manipulating events on earth in order for the prophecy to come true of Jesus’ being born in Bethlehem, denying God’s foreknowledge.
  5. Satan seems to be in charge of “hell,” where good angels can visit and evil angels can be tortured, but, in Scripture, the words translated “hell” refer either to the grave or to the final destruction of the wicked.

View of Christ and the Atonement

  1. Having characters in the film say of Jesus “He’s not human” and “He cannot die” denies the foundational doctrine of Jesus as fully human. He is both God and Man.
  2. The central role of God’s law in the controversy and the nature of sin (as distinct from evil) are never explained. As a result, there is the danger that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross could be construed in pagan terms.
  3. A character incorrectly asserts that Christ’s death “was the pardon.” His death made provision for the pardon and salvation of human beings through faith. This so-called “universal justification,” that everyone was pardoned at the cross misconstrues the atonement and undermines Christ’s ministry as our High Priest.
  4. Also wrong is the statement that “the plan required the death of God.” To the contrary, “Deity did not die” (5BC 1113.4). Christ’s death upholds both God’s justice and mercy, but this central truth is hardly visible.
  5. Satan and his angels are told that God “sent you to earth to witness the death of His Son,” but the whole universe witnessed Christ’s death so this is not the reason for their banishment. Strongly, but wrongly, implied here and elsewhere is that Jesus died to save evil angels too. However, their destiny was sealed already by their war against God and being cast out of heaven. The reason they were not immediately destroyed was not this but so that Satan’s way of sin and evil could be seen in contrast to God’s way of love and righteousness.
  6. The ending of the series is completely unbiblical: Lars, an evil angel, is given a second chance but ultimately commits eternal suicide (as if that were possible and even more desirable), suggesting the possibility of escaping the final judgment and obviating the need of confronting one’s choices in the great controversy.

View of the Holy Spirit

  1. The Holy Spirit is the one member of the Godhead who has no visible form. Not only is it blasphemous to depict the Holy Spirit as an angel, but to depict the Holy Spirit as a woman suggests the pagan notion that the Father has a consort and that the Son is the product of that union.
  2. The feminization of God is unbiblical and lends support to the modernist agenda that seeks to remove male depictions of God.

Theological Problems with The Record Keeper




Read more about The Record Keeper:

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Unlike other websites, A Sabbath Blog is not a place for adults to argue back and forth about theology, church politics, or gossip. Please understand that this website is made by youth for other youth and young adults to enjoy without having resentful people posting confusing or misleading comments. Thank you.

Comments submitted that do not meet these ground rules will not be published.

For news tips, questions, or suggestions please email us instead of posting them in the comment form below. Thanks.

Note: Comments expressed are those of the comment author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position or opinions of A Sabbath Blog.

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