This thesis concerns apostasy, which responds to a major religious crisis in the life of a believer by a deliberate alienation and abandonment of faith. This crisis involves a conflict on an intellectual, social, or emotional dimension. The problem of the thesis may be stated as follows: How can an understanding of the dynamics of apostasy benefit gospel workers? To this question the thesis answers in three different ways: Biblical, theological, and practical. Chapter Two, the Biblical approach, is a rather detailed survey of two typical cases which serve to define apostasy as a sinful process. The first example, belonging to the Old Testament, treats the Fall of Man, while the second example, belonging to the New Testament, deals with the Hebrews to whom the letter bearing the same name was addressed. Moreover, each of two cases offers the possibility to make plain certain elements of a theological value, whose understanding will increase the practical importance of dealing with such a topic. Chapter Three, the theological approach, focuses on the three elements of theological significance involved in any case of apostasy: freedom of will, sin, and sin against the Holy Spirit. In the sinful process of apostasy, it is man's freedom of will which makes sin possible. In its turn, the unremittance of sin brings man to the ultimate stage of apostasy--the sin against the Holy Spirit. Chapter Four, the pastoral approach, examines the dimensions of religious commitment versus religious defection, and the main factors influencing believers toward apostasy. But it underlines the fact that apostasy is not a hopeless, unsolvable event in one's life. For this reason, some practical suggestions to prevent and to cope with apostasy are mentioned at the end of this chapter. Finally, Chapter Five summarizes the conclusions and suggestions for further exploration of this important subject.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Baldwin, Dalton D.

Second Advisor

Rice, T. Richard

Third Advisor

Fagal, Harold

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Apostasy - Christianity; Apostasy - Seventh-day Adventists

Subject - Local

Free Will



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives