A Changing Church: Adventism in Papua New Guinea in the 1980s and 1990s

Although Adventism experienced an astonishing rate of upward mobility in the New Guinea Highlands, especially the Southern Highlands, during this period, much of the rest of PNG Adventism, especially in the villages, remained poor in income, lifestyle, and level of education. When these saw the difference between their goods and those of the missionaries and…… Continue reading A Changing Church: Adventism in Papua New Guinea in the 1980s and 1990s

Adventist Relations with Other Churches

Adventists viewed themselves as “God’s Remnant People,” who, as the bearers of “present truth,” were charged with delivering God’s final warning message in the last days. Other Protestant groups were “apostate” and had become “the whore of Babylon”; the Roman Catholic Church was identified with the persecuting “beast” of the book of Revelation. Adventist evangelists…… Continue reading Adventist Relations with Other Churches

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?

Questions Concerning the Relevance of Adventist Teachings in Animist Cultures

I am completing an ambitious sociological study of global Adventism. My research has taken me to 56 countries in all divisions of the world church. Today I will focus on Africa and Papua-New Guinea, both of which have pervasive animist cultures. I will share with you some vignettes that will raise some issues where I…… Continue reading Questions Concerning the Relevance of Adventist Teachings in Animist Cultures

Review of ‘The Silent Church: Human Rights and Adventist Social Ethics’

In this reworking of a dissertation, this ethicist/theologian considers the history of the Adventist Church, and finds that it has been largely silent on issues concerning human rights. However, when he examines some case studies, he concludes that there has been some variation over time, with peripheral interest in some issues by a few pioneers…… Continue reading Review of ‘The Silent Church: Human Rights and Adventist Social Ethics’