Alternative Christianities: Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses

Ronald Lawson, Kenneth Xydias, and Ryan T. Cragun The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Seventh-day Adventists (Adventists), and Jehovah’s Witnesses (Witnesses) are three of the most successful American religious exports. All three groups started in the United States and have now expanded internationally, with a presence in most countries around the world.…… Continue reading Alternative Christianities: Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses

Reflections on Adventism in Europe, 2014

Intro: I was invited to speak at a symposium in May 2014 at Friedensau University on the impact of World War I on Adventism. Since it was some years since I had done systematic interviews in Europe, I took this as an opportunity to update my data, and completed close to 100 interviews in eight…… Continue reading Reflections on Adventism in Europe, 2014

The Sabbath in a Round World

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

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?

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?

The Patterns, Sources, and Implications of Rapid Church Growth within International Seventh-day Adventism: Applying and Testing Stark’s Revised General Model

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

In and Out of the World

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