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From Our Desk: Award-Winning Conversation Starters!


From Carmen Lau, board chair:

Last Sabbath, I heard a sermon by David Hartman, professor of applied theology at Southern Adventist University. He asked, “What is the pearl of great price in Jesus’s parable?” Hartman offered two meanings gleaned from the writings of Ellen White. First, the pearl is Jesus. Second, the pearl is every person without regard to background or appearance. Either meaning offers space to imagine relevance for now and is an example of willingness to mine the text beyond one flat truth to open hearts and minds. Since Ellen White did this, by implication, one would think that this invites consideration that there could be more than one meaning to a Bible verse.

In recent years, Spectrum adopted the motto: “We create community through conversation.” Noting the conversation on the Emmaus Road, we create space to challenge one another beyond walking on flat planks of certitude. If fortunate, some here may find kindred spirits along the way. With the tool of an independent press, Adventist Forum seeks to share research and ideas, many times with a voice of critique. Also, in a spirit of celebration, we value stories of hope to help our community to heal and mend and find stamina.

To be relevant, groups must be willing to take some heat, and even, create some. A fearful clinging to past ideas is stiff and cold, and dare I say, easy? A nimble, proactive stance, willing to join a conversation and to take note of creative efforts of a Big God who is sustaining and inspiring all sorts of people—that is hot and dangerous. It requires prayerful, fearless Bible study.

I believe the Bible can withstand fearless scrutiny, but does our church? A healthy church would.

I believe God can withstand questioning and conversation, but does our church? A maturing community will.

From Alexander Carpenter, executive editor:

I am happy to announce that Spectrum won three times at the Best of 2022 Associated Church Press Awards. The ACP is the leading professional Christian media organization in the US and Canada. I joined it last year. It includes many of the Christian mainline organizations. (For instance, Methodists, Presbyterians, AME, Church of Canada, several Baptist organizations, as well as The Christian CenturySojourners, etc.) This year we met in Chicago.

There were almost 750 entries for all the awards. Spectrum submitted in 10 categories and placed in 3.

The NAD, the Lake Union Herald, and the Canadian Adventist Messenger also submitted and won some awards. Some categories had 19 entries aiming for the three tiers: Honorable Mention (3rd), Merit (2nd), or Excellence (1st).

Spectrum won Honorable Mention in Science Writing for the World of Faith for James L. Hayward’s journal article “The Family Legacy of George McCready Price.”

We won the Award of Merit for Best in Class: Social Media Presence for a submission of our Instagram growth focus on social issues. Congratulations to Associate Digital Editor Raquel Mentor.

And (drum roll) we won the top Award of Excellence for Scholarly Article for Michael W. Campbell’s “Seventh-day Adventists, Fundamentalism, and the Second Wave of the Ku Klux Klan.” It was published in my first issue of the journal. Congratulations to Michael Campbell.

Thanks to all of you who read, donate, and say nice things about Spectrum. We’re serious about excellence in our work because we value your time, our community, and the spiritual power of intellectual engagement. We press on.


We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.

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