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Reinder Bruinsma: “Adventists and Catholics: The Story of a Turbulent Relationship” at the Asheville Forum


(3:00 p.m. eastern / 2:00 p.m. central / noon Pacific)

Reinder Bruinsma will present “Adventists and Catholics: The Story of a Turbulent Relationship” for the Asheville Adventist Forum chapter meeting on Saturday, May 27.

About the presentation:

Adventists have traditionally regarded Roman Catholics as their enemies, if not of today then certainly of the future. They inherited a prophetic scenario from their Millerite forebears. Uriah Smith and other pioneers of Adventism painted a picture of Daniel’s “little horn” and of the “beast” of Revelation as symbols of Roman Catholicism that have stayed with us. Ellen White’s most famous book, The Great Controversy, set this interpretation in concrete, as she was (and is, by many) regarded as inspired. In this presentation, we will look at factors in United States history and in the Seventh-day Adventist Church that solidified the Adventist hostility towards Catholicism. It will trace the history of this turbulent relationship from the inception of Adventism until the present.  

These are some of the questions that will be addressed:

– Why are Adventists so hostile toward Roman Catholics?

– Is our continued hostility based on a tradition of prophetic interpretation?

– What role do our roots in 19th-century America play?

– What is the role of Ellen G. White and her book The Great Controversy?

– Has our attitude changed? If so, will further change likely occur?


If you would like to attend this meeting via Zoom, email alexander@spectrummagazine.org to request the link.


Reinder Bruinsma is a retired pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Netherlands. He studied in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States and received his doctorate from the University of London. He currently lives in his native country, together with Aafje, his wife of 58 years. They have two adult children and two grandchildren.

Bruinsma has served the Adventist Church for more than 40 years in various branches of church work, in the Netherlands, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, United States, Great Britain, and Belgium—in educational and publishing assignments and administrative positions. From 1995 to 2001, he served as the general secretary of the Trans-European Division. From 2002 to 2007, he was president of the denomination in the Netherlands. He is the author of numerous articles and some 30 books, several of which have been translated into a number of languages. After his retirement, he has remained active in preaching, lecturing at home and abroad, and writing.

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