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

In the Wake of the State: Seventh-day Adventism and Apartheid in South Africa

During the Apartheid period in South Africa, the Seventh-day Adventist Church not only failed to critique the discriminatory system, but it formalized the establishment of internal apartheid within the Church, with two (and for some time three) separate race-based organizational structures that had very little contact with one another, and segregated congregations, schools, and welfare…… Continue reading In the Wake of the State: Seventh-day Adventism and Apartheid in South Africa

Adventists, War, and Oppressive Governments: Patterns and Relationships from Before World War I to the Present

The American Civil War forced the Adventist Church to grapple with the issue of military service just as it created its organizational structure in the early 1860s. After an open debate, and after the introduction of conscription in March 1863 obliged it to publicly embrace a stance, Adventism adopted what was known then as a…… Continue reading Adventists, War, and Oppressive Governments: Patterns and Relationships from Before World War I to the Present

From Political Subservience to Political Power and Influence: Seventh-day Adventists in Papua-New Guinea

Seventh-day Adventists have never had the numbers in their home base – the USA – to have electoral influence. Because of the mind-set created by this situation and their expectation that before the return of Christ, which they expect “soon”, they will face persecution, they have typically been subservient to governments everywhere, arguing that they…… Continue reading From Political Subservience to Political Power and Influence: Seventh-day Adventists in Papua-New Guinea

Broadening the Boundaries of Church-Sect Theory: Insights from the Evolution of the Non-schismatic Mission Churches of Seventh-day Adventism

Church-sect theory, when applied, as it typically has been, to sects in single societies where they began schismatically, has proved to be full of insights concerning the development of sects/new religious movements (Pope 1942; Yinger 1946, 1957; Wilson 1970, 1990; Stark and Bainbridge, 1985). My own research on Seventh-day Adventism in the U.S., where it…… Continue reading Broadening the Boundaries of Church-Sect Theory: Insights from the Evolution of the Non-schismatic Mission Churches of Seventh-day Adventism

Adventists: Cult, Sect or Denomination?

This piece considers the ways in which the terms ‘cult’, ‘sect’ and ‘denomination’ are used in everyday language, within Christian circles and in sociology, and tests the applicability of these senses of the terms to Seventh-day Adventism. Presentation developed for a service of the Metro New York Adventist Forum Click here for a PDF version…… Continue reading Adventists: Cult, Sect or Denomination?

Book Review: Religion and Social Change in Kenya

Seventh-day Adventist missionaries entered Kenya in 1906. Because they were relatively late on the scene, and the British colonial government policy discouraged direct competition between missions, they concentrated their efforts for the first several decades on the region of western Kenya near Lake Victoria. Their efforts met with considerable success, so that by 1991 Adventists…… Continue reading Book Review: Religion and Social Change in Kenya