I have a proposal for you, a project that we can do together to enhance the church community we all love and believe in. It will take money from my pocket and put it into independent media that provides the kind of information required for a community that reads to improve itself. You will benefit by receiving a beautiful journal that explores the Bible creatively, reports independently on church activities, and examines issues from multiple points of view.
Spectrum is both a quarterly journal and digital magazine. In both versions you get news, not public relations; crucial opinion and research, not bromides and boilerplate. And underneath everything—I emphasize this point—is the fire that gets us going: passion for what’s best in the Adventist heritage; questions about what’s not.
Most Adventists learn church news primarily from official sources, that is from the materials produced by or for people who hold administrative offices. For example, the Adventist Review’s 80-page special issue on the General Conference session in San Antonio, just off the press, bears the cover headline “Five Years of Progress,” and makes no explicit mention of gender equality in ministry. Arguably one of the single largest projects involving people from around the world—The Theology of Ordination Study Committee—is not discussed. That should make the point. Official information serves officials, and panders to an uncritical readership, Adventists who are inattentive, that is, to cultural, spiritual and denominational challenges thoughtful Christians simply must contend with.
As Adventist Forum board chair, I make Spectrum (along with the church proper) a major recipient of my own giving. So here’s my proposal to you. Over one week, starting right now, for every one of you who becomes a new “member” of the Adventist Forum, and thus a receiver of the quarterly journal, or print version of Spectrum, I will donate $50 to the organization. I will write the check in June.
Independent Adventist journalism matters in all its forms. The print version of Spectrum contains longer pieces—journalistic revelations; essays on church history and theology; personal accounts—that thoughtful readers value and that scholars will consult for years to come. It is beautiful magazine with original art in every issue. So I urge you to sign up.
Here’s how. Become a member of Adventist Forum and you will receive Spectrum as a benefit. Call our California office at (916) 774-1080, or follow the link below to our online subscription page. A one year membership costs $39.95, and you will receive 4 issues. The two year membership is a bargain at $69.95 for 8 issues. There is also an online only option for $39.95. Students can get a year of printed issues for $19.95 (US/Canada) or $29.95 (international).
Spectrum has been the remarkable (if imperfect) voice of reformation-minded Adventism for more than forty-five years. You’ll be proud to get the magazine in your mailbox. As for that check I’m going to write this month, it will make me feel…really good. Now as always, after all, Christ’s relevance to world depends heavily on those who write—and read—with unfettered passion, creativity and faithfulness.
Chuck Scriven is chairman of the Adventist Forum board, the parent organization of Spectrum Magazine.