In Biblical times the Hebrews saw the world as flat. Indeed, this view persisted through New Testament times also, and far beyond chronologically. Thus, the Sabbath commandment was given in this context. There was no difficulty in the areas which provided the context of the Scriptures in knowing which day of the week was the…… Continue reading The Sabbath in a Round World
In 1962, my final “honours” year at the University of Queensland, we Adventist students there formed QUSDAS, the Queensland University Seventh-day Adventist Society. We became extremely close as a group, meeting two Friday evenings per month, debating questions concerning our faith and our studies eagerly and persistently, and attending—and in 1964 hosting—an annual national convention…… Continue reading Toward A Sociological Understanding of the Evolution of Adventism: What Had Shaped the Adventism We Knew in the 1960s? How Has It Changed Since? Where Is It Going?
New religious groups are formed frequently – there are probably hundreds per year around the globe. However, most of these come to nothing, for only a tiny fraction of them grow to any extent over time. Moreover, most of these, including most of those that become prominent denominations, eventually stagnate and then decline. The key…… Continue reading The Patterns, Sources, and Implications of Rapid Church Growth within International Seventh-day Adventism: Applying and Testing Stark’s Revised General Model
Scriptures: II Cor.6:14-7:1; Matt.5:13-16 Our two scripture passages are often interpreted in conflicting ways when they are applied to the question of how the Christian is to relate to society: how can a people be separate from unbelievers while also being the salt of the earth? How can we salt the earth while remaining in…… Continue reading In and Out of the World
When I was introduced to church-sect theory while studying undergraduate sociology of religion in Australia, I immediately realized that it gave me a new understanding of Seventh-day Adventism, the faith in which I had been raised. I wrote a paper exploring the evolution of Adventism in these terms, and determined that this would be the…… Continue reading Dilemmas in Religious Research: When a Stigmatized Researcher Researches a Conservative Church
The center of Christianity moved slowly but surely during the twentieth century from the Developed World to the Developing World, so that the majority of Christians today are nonwhite (Jenkins, 2002). However, this “Southernized Christianity” has not confined its impact to the Global South: the patterns of international migration have shifted in recent decades, bringing…… Continue reading Immigrant Influx: The Impact of Large Numbers of Immigrants from the Developing World on Seventh-day Adventism in England, France, and The Netherlands
I will begin by showing you the dramatic changes that have taken place in recent decades in the global distribution of all Christians, and of Adventists in particular. I will then compare and contrast the Adventist statistics with those of the other major religious groups that emerged, as we did, in the U.S. during the…… Continue reading Twenty-First Century Adventism: The Impact of The Decline of The Church in The Developed World and Its Rise in The Developing World