Charles Scriven

Why Does Jesus Christ Give Offense?

The following editorial first appeared in the Fall 2015 Volume 43 Issue 4 of Spectrum Magazine. To obtain a copy of the journal, contact the Spectrum office, or become a member of Adventist Forum and receive the journal four times a year.

At ASRS, Christ in Scripture and Sermon: A Puzzle

Insight outstripped irony.

Scholars with the Adventist Society for Religious Studies (ASRS) were gathered in Atlanta for reflection on the church’s witness in “the Public Square,” the theme of this year’s annual meeting.  Now, with members joined in Sabbath morning worship, William Johnsson, the former editor of the Adventist Review and, in 1979, the first president of ASRS, was the preacher. 

Adventist Philosophers—Swimming in the Deep End

How, if at all, does God-talk matter?

UltraViolet: Gentle Takedown, Reason for Hope

Like families, churches are flawed. Without gestures of love and reconciliation, without conversation toward renewal, they slump toward tedium and discord, or even break into pieces. Thus our own church, like any other, stands always on the razor edge of danger.

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.”

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