Examining Trends (Especially Decline) in Religious Groups

On August 8, the Pew Research Center hosted a round-table on “Religion Trends in the US,” featuring sociologists Claude Fischer of the University of California at Berkeley and Michael Hout of New York University; Gallup’s Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport; and the Pew Research Center’s Greg Smith, the Director of US Religion Surveys for the Religion &…… Continue reading Examining Trends (Especially Decline) in Religious Groups

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

Beasts, Rules, Grace, and Relevance: What is the Message of Multicultural Adventism?

These days we hear a lot of talk and analysis of “message” , especially of the stances of politicians and the content of advertisements. Message is a word long-used by Adventists. But let us begin by asking ourselves: What was the core of the message of Jesus? Read Matthew 28: 19, 20. Teach what? What…… Continue reading Beasts, Rules, Grace, and Relevance: What is the Message of Multicultural Adventism?

Adventism and its Fringes

Review of Lowell R. Tarling, The Edges of Seventh-day Adventism: A Study of Separatist Groups Emerging from the Seventh-day Adventist Church (1844-1980). 241 pp., appendices. Barragga Bay, Bermagui South, N.S.W., Australia: Galilee, 1981, $A11. Available in the USA from Calvin Edwards, 13021 Lincoln Way, #82, Auburn, CA 95603, $15 postage pd. Click here for a…… Continue reading Adventism and its Fringes

From Separation to Integration: The Odyssey of the Seventh-day Adventist Hospital System in the US

The Adventist prophet, Ellen White, had a comprehensive health vision in 1863, from which she concluded that there was an intimate relationship between physical and spiritual health. Her subsequent writing on this subject greatly influenced church leaders, who within three years opened the first Adventist health-related center, “for the care of the sick and to…… Continue reading From Separation to Integration: The Odyssey of the Seventh-day Adventist Hospital System in the US