Present Truth

Present Truth
   Present Truth is the Christian doctrine that at particular moments in the life of the church certain special ideas need to be highlighted, along with the major teachings that are affirmed in every generation. The idea derives from 2 Peter 1:12: "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth." The term can also have a related meaning, that certain truths have been forgotten and need rediscovery today.
   Those teachers who emphasize "Present Truth" usually affirm a form of dispensationalism, the belief that God has presented different tasks to humans in different eras. The discovery of what God demands at present becomes an important part of Bible study. one must understand which passages particularly spoke to a past dispensation, and which speak to the present.
   Teachers who emphasize the Present Truth often have a strong belief in the imminent second coming of Christ. The apostle Paul is seen as speaking Present Truth when addressing the church concerning marriage in I Corinthians 7: "in light of the soon appearance of Christ, it is better not to marry." Millennialist groups, from the early Adventists who followed William Miller to the Jehovah's Witnesses, have often confronted the larger Christian community with the need to reorient their lives as Christ gets ready to appear. If such a dramatic change is to occur in the next few years, it would be proper to dedicate one's life to religious activity as opposed to following a career, raising a family, and building for future generations.
   In both the Evangelical and Adventist tradition, editors have chosen The Present Truth as the title for periodicals, possibly the most prominent being that of James White, cofounder of the seventh-day Adventist Church. Paul S. L. Johnson, who founded the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement with former followers of Charles Taze Russell, used that same name for his movement's periodical. Representative of the Evangelical dis-pensationalist tradition are the books and other materials issued by Present Truth Publishers of Jackson, New Jersey.
   Further reading:
   ■ Ellen G. White, Present Truth and Review and Herald Articles, 6 vols. (Battle Creek, Mich.: Review & Herald, 1962)
   ■ Jonas Wendall, The Present Truth, or, Meat in Due Season (Edenboro, Pa.: the author, 1870).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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