Arts & Essays

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An epiphany is a manifestation, an appearance, perhaps of something that was always there but overlooked or excluded out of habit and tradition, brushed aside in our haste — only to become, when revealed, so compelling that we can’t take our eyes off it.

Jesus did not let religious or secular cultural norms cloud what was truly worthwhile. He embodied an expansive gospel. Sometimes, this debunked what false conservatives idolized. Jesus made room for the meaningful new by sifting out the irrelevant dross.

To be human is to live in paradox. We are made of earth but aspire to the heavens. We wish to be infinite but are bounded on all sides. We want to please those whom we love, placate those whom we fear, be admired by those we admire. We want to be the masters of our destiny, but on some days we fall and we can’t get up.

On New Year’s Day we come the closest to innocence that we are capable of as adults during the cycle of seasons in the year. We are done with the old year and its failures.

In 2018, we published over 750 articles online, covering a diverse array of topics that included art, music, church history, social justice, current events, popular culture, and so much more. It would be nearly impossible to reflect on all of the important content from this year, so instead, the Spectrum editors have chosen 10 pieces they found memorable. These are articles, essays, and interviews that invited conversation on history, art, the Bible, and more, and that truly embodied Spectrum’s mission of “community through conversation.”

A variety of issues and challenges have risen to the top this year in Adventism, and the diverse collection of books published in 2018 reflect that tension. From three titles on Last Generation Theology, to a guide for families with LGBT+ loved ones, from books discussing racism and social justice, to a look at what it means to be an “authentic” Adventist, here we round up 10 books that were published in 2018.

Two families, tied together by tragedy, find a common path to healing...

We read these verses of John’s gospel, especially within this Christmas hour, as we might read the letter of a relative who, long ago, writes to a friend about her love for another. 

Wounded in Spirit: Advent Art and Meditations makes room for pain in the midst of celebration.

Advent for me means the coming of the Christ-child into this world, through the back door of the world, under the silent stars of the world, for the world. It always catches me off-guard, which is good, because we should always be surprised at Advent.