James White explained, “The church [has] ever had a present truth.
The present truth now, is that which shows present duty, and the right position for us…” ”Present truth is present truth, and not future truth, and the Word as a lamp shines brightly where we stand, and not so plainly on the path in the distance.” Ellen White pointed out that “present truth, which is a test to the people of this generation, was not a test to the people of generations far back.” The founders of the SDA church had a dynamic concept of what they called present truth, opposed to creedal rigidity, and had an openness to new theological understandings that built upon the landmark doctrines, or Pillars of Adventism that had made them a people.
This statement of beliefs was originally adopted by the church's General Conference in 1980, with an additional belief (number 11) being added in 2005.
Also significant are the baptismal vows, of which there are two versions; candidates for church membership are required to accept one.
It is always open to better insights to learn—to seek for truth as for hid treasure. Adventists are still pilgrims on a doctrinal journey who do not repudiate the way marks, but neither do they remain stopped at any of them.” A "Valuegenesis" study in 2000 of students at Adventist high schools in North America showed a generally high acceptance of the church's beliefs, with some such as marriage within the same faith, the remnant, Ellen White's gift of prophecy, and the investigative judgment with acceptance rates less than 63% percent.
"In looking at the research this may be because over the first ten years of Valuegenesis research, fewer young people were reading their Bibles and Ellen White.
In a 1985 survey of North American Adventist lecturers, 45% described themselves as liberal compared to other church members, 40% as mainstream, 11% as conservative, and 4% gave no response to the question.
The theology of the Seventh-day Adventist Church resembles that of Protestant Christianity, combining elements from Lutheran, Wesleyan/Arminian, and Anabaptist branches of Protestantism.
Adventists believe in the infallibility of Scripture and teach that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
However, in common with many restorationist groups, Adventists have traditionally taught that the majority of Protestant churches have failed to "complete" the Reformation by overturning the errors of Roman Catholicism (see also Great Apostasy) and "restoring" the beliefs and practices of the primitive church—including Sabbath keeping, adult baptism and conditional immortality.
Adventists typically do not consider themselves part of the Fundamentalist Christianity community: "Theologically, Seventh-day Adventists have a number of beliefs in common with Fundamentalists, but for various reasons have never been identified with the movement...