Charles Scriven

The Ordeal of the Adventist Scientist: An Interview with Alvin Kwiram

Alvin Kwiram took his bachelor’s degrees—one in chemistry and one in physics—at Walla Walla College and earned his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology.  He became a member of the chemistry faculty of Harvard University, and in 1970 moved to the University of Washington in Seattle, where he eventually became that university’s vice-provost for research, a position he held for over a

Half-Discipleship: General Conference Adventism’s Truncated Bible

In the name of the Genesis creation story delegates to the 2015 General Conference session jabbed a thumb in the eye of Adventist scientists; then the session’s preachers mostly ignored—in effect, dismissed—the meaning of the story.  Despite pious-sounding words inserted into Belief #6—“recent,” for example, against overwhelming evidence to the contrary—the doctrine of creation was an orphan in San Antonio.

The Preaching: Heaven Still on Our Minds (Earth Not So Much)

Heaven is your ultimate home.

Jesus transforms your mood and spirit, even your face.

One thing matters and that is crossing the (“figurative”) Jordan, making the journey—very soon—to heaven. 

So said three preachers over the week, the last one Ted Wilson, now eight days into his second term as General Conference president.  The General Conference session was turning toward its finish.  Heaven was still closer to consciousness than the earth God created and blessed at the beginning.

Midweek Preaching: Evangelizing a Doomed World

Through the weekdays at the General Conference session, one preacher a day stands at the podium.  One of these sessions is like camp meeting—old friends, sweaty weather, crowds like rivers—yet it’s not camp meeting.  Church business is the main course; music and homily are side dishes.

General Conference Delegates Vote No on Ordination Question - Status Quo Prevails

At approximately  6:15pm, on Wednesday, July 8, the answer was "No." Delegates of the 60th General Conference voted down the question, "Is it acceptable for division executive committees, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry?"  The action by the General Conference Session delegates means that the Seventh-day Adventist Church will con

Infamy and Afterwards

“We’re not leaving the church; the church is leaving us.”

A Summary of Sabbath’s Sermon

G.T. Ng, who will return to his post as General Conference Secretary, began his Sabbath morning sermon, “From Despair to Mission,” with the lighthearted humor that has become his trademark. To loud laughter, he told a story that involved the question “Who Are You?” and turned on a botched use, by a non-English speaker, of the phrase “Me, too.” Then he asked worshippers whether, if asked that same question, they would really know who they are.

A Woman and a Man and a Pulpit

A woman born in Zimbabwe strode to the pulpit Friday morning. A man from Connecticut, perhaps the best-known of all currently practicing Adventist evangelists, did so on Friday night. And the General Conference session’s twin themes—both at the heart of President Wilson’s vision—came to expression again. From the standpoint of session leaders, San Antonio is about the Second Coming and it’s about evangelism.

Wilson's Message on Day One: It’s Our Fault, But We Did a Great Job.

At about 10:30 Thursday morning, delegates watched a video produced by the General Conference Revival and Reformation Committee.  A fictionalized enactment of conversation among Adventist leaders in 1901, and based on an Ellen White letter from twenty months later, the video addresses the delay of the Second Coming.  The startling thesis, put into the mouth of George Irwin, th

First Worship: Exploration of Second Adventism Begins

Communicating heartfelt warmth and irrepressible hope, Janos Kovacs-Biro opened the first General Conference session worship service with a reflection on promises recorded at the beginning of John 14. The passage, on his reading of it, comes down to this assurance from Jesus: I am preparing a place for you. I will return. I will welcome you home.



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