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How Healthy is Adventist Eschatology? An Exogenous Imbalance (Part 2)

Christianity, historically and structurally, was born as an eschatological community. While this emphasis has not always been preserved in subsequent Christian movements, the same affirmation certainly still remains true for Adventism. But here we need to remember that both Christianity and Adventism need to pay careful attention because they continually face two different and opposite kinds of challenges. The first one, by default, is that of forgetting, or even escaping, from eschatology. The second one, by excess, is unbalancing it.

Fashion and Fragility

I try not to live in an echo chamber. That is, I try to listen to a diversity of beliefs—even and especially those I disagree with. But despite my best efforts, I seem to have been blithely unaware of the persistence of one issue. I thought it had died unceremoniously, but the past few weeks have shown that this “controversial” topic is as fervent as ever. That is church dress. Quite recently, I’ve seen an uptick in postings among individuals and in groups about the “proper church attire” for Divine Worship.

Peer Review and Religious Truth Seeking

At first look, the two parts of my title would seem to be totally unrelated. Peer Review is a concept typically found in the process of publishing scientific articles. It operates in a world apart from religious truth seeking. However, crucial components of Peer Review actually transfer over to the world of religion and would be a beneficial aid in the truth seeking process.

Church Folk

Over the past couple months, a statement has been working its way around social media with regard to church attendance. Although not always the same, it goes something like this – “Stop using ‘church folk’ as an excuse to not attend church. There are messy people in the club, but you still go.” The more I saw this statement, and seeing others support the idea, it began to bother me.

“The Great Controversy” Shackles Adventist Theology

E. G. White’s (EGW) Great Controversy (GC) is, by all accounts, the most important Adventist publication. And for the same reason, it poses grave problems for the church if concerns that limit its influence are not addressed. Our church spends more to publish and circulate this book than any other because, in the GC, many distinctive Adventist positions are compellingly advocated. These include explanations for the 1844 Great Disappointment, Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary, the Investigative Judgment, and the Universal Sunday Law/Mark of the Beast.

How Healthy Is Adventist Eschatology? An Endogenous Imbalance (Part 1)

Eschatology is a major branch of study within Christian theology dealing with “last things." Eschatology, from two Greek words meaning "last" (ἔσχατος) and "study" (λογία), is the study of “end things,” whether the end of an individual life, the end of the age, the end of the world, or the nature of God’s coming Kingdom. Christianity is unintelligible without eschatology because Christ (Messiah), the center of it, is thoroughly an eschatological character.

Until Next Time

I remember traveling home from the subway in New York City as a young person. Always on high alert. Listen for footsteps. Always looking for someone walking too close or too fast. As a teenager, you might be “grown” enough to go places alone, but grown people get hurt, too. Think of your child walking home alone after a quick run to the neighborhood store for some snacks. It’s pretty dark. But you’ve always reinforced the importance of being vigilant. Besides, your community is pretty safe and the store isn’t that far.

Church-State and the Role of the Prophet

Several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. James Wood at a reception when I was a PhD student at Baylor University. I am not sure if Wood is well-known in academia (though he should be), but at Baylor he is well respected. Wood was the first director of the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor University (where I studied), guiding the Institute from 1958-1973 and then again from 1980-1995. A room in the Institute is named after him, and his picture is everywhere.

Do We Really Have the Freedom to Choose?

There are aspects of our current teaching about God’s character that are problematic. But because our leaders generally do not encourage open dialogue about dissenting doctrinal views, some are reluctant to probe into those difficult areas to avoid the “rebellious” tag. Consequently, we “accept” proffered explanations, suggesting that some questions about God are mysteries and are unprofitable avenues to pursue. We intuitively file such inscrutable questions into the mental “mystery” column.

Toward A Latin-American Adventist Theology, Part 6: The Praise of Hybridity

Listen to this story:

“Unable to perceive the shape of You, I find You all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with Your love. It humbles my heart, for You are everywhere.”  Guillermo del Toro, (The Shape of Water)

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