Karen Swallow Prior, Andrew Peterson to Headline Seventh-day Adventist Conference

Former SEBTS Professor Karen Swallow Prior is headlining the 2024 Illuminate conference in just a few months, an “Arts and Faith” conference put on and organized by Southern Adventist University (SAU), a private Seventh-day Adventist university in Collegedale, Tennessee, in conjunction with the Seventh-day Adventist Church of North America.

On April 4-5, 2024, Prior will be joined by musical guests Propaganda and Andrew Peterson, as well as Seventh-day Adventist speakers Genevieve Brown-Kibble and Giselle Hasel, in order to “explore the intersections of art and faith” through “presentations, performances, workshops.”

In recent years, referring to this sect as “cultist” has fallen out of favor, the result of a concentrated push on their part to vie for theological acceptance within Christianity despite spending a century castigating and positioning every other denomination as false (a strategy Mormons are currently employing, to great success.)

The vast majority of Seventh-day Adventists (of which there are 18 million worldwide- a more significant presence than Southern Baptists or Mormons) are sub-orthodox and quasi-Christians at best, depending on how much of their cult theology and extra-biblical revelation they prioritize.

One of the four prominent cults that sprung up in the latter half of the 19th century (joining Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Christian Science, all of which were formed within a 250-mile radius of each other) following the Great Disappointment, the church’s beliefs and distinctions can be found in The 28 Fundamental Beliefs.  

Listed below is a helpful summary by CARM outlining some of their aberrations, denials, and heresies, the majority of which were created and implemented based on the revelations and prophecies of founder Ellen G White. White claimed to receive thousands of dreams, visions, and direct revelation from God, all which form the basis of the cult’s distinctives. 

  1. Our sins will ultimately be placed on Satan
  2. Jesus is Michael the Archangel.
  3. Worship must be done on Saturday (the Sabbath)
  4. On October 22, 1844, Jesus entered the second and last phase of His atoning work.
  5. Investigative Judgment – the fate of all people will be decided based upon this event in the future. (This is a major heresy)
  6. The dead do not exist anymore — soul sleep denies the immortality of the soul)
  7. The wicked are annihilated, (there is no etenral hell)
  8. There is a sanctuary in heaven where Jesus carries out his mediatorial work.
  9. Strange and legalistic dietary restrictions.

Section 18 of their Fundamental Beliefs, which must be affirmed at baptism (which they also believe is necessary for salvation), states, “Her writings speak with prophetic authority and provide comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction to the church.” In practicality, throughout SDA history her writings and teachings have long been elevated to be equal or above scripture, as well as the lens through which the bible should be interpreted.

Nathan Busenitz explains why her elevated status is so troubling: “By viewing the writings of Ellen G. White as inspired and authoritative, the SDA movement bases its doctrines on something more than Scripture alone. In practice, White’s teachings are actually placed over the Scripture because they become the lens through which the Bible is interpreted.” This is exactly the same thing that Mormons, JW’s and Roman Catholics do.

We have long questioned the discernment and theological soundness of Karen Swallow Prior, and the decision to partner with SDA cultists is yet another reason.

If anyone is in a SDA church, we implore and urge them to leave immediately and repent of their false doctrine.


To read more about the problems with SDA, click here and then here

To read more about the problems with Karen Swallow Prior:

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3 thoughts on “Karen Swallow Prior, Andrew Peterson to Headline Seventh-day Adventist Conference

  1. It’s good to have a dossier of links about her in one place. Fact that she was an SBC seminary professor until months ago should wake up the sleepy complacent Southern Baptists.

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