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The Life and Ideas of Charles Scriven


In this first of several Legend of Adventism conversations, I talk with Charles Scriven, PhD, about his biography while we also discuss his recent Spectrum series: “Time to Start Over.” We start this multi-part series exploring some teachers from Walla Walla and Andrews who influenced him theologically and journalistically. In addition, Chuck references Bonhoeffer’s progressive journey while expanding on what he means by “Christ without Christ,” a hermeneutical tool of and against oppression, and why close community matters.

Born in Oregon, Chuck studied at Walla Walla College, Andrews University and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., where he earned a doctorate in systematic theology and Christian social ethics. After completion of his Andrews seminary degree in 1968, he was briefly a pastoral intern in the Pacific Northwest. He then became one of the founding editors of Insight magazine in Washington, D.C.
Scriven returned to Walla Walla as a member of the religion faculty. In 1985 he became senior pastor of the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church, and in 1992 he became president of Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University), prior to his 12-year tenure as president of Kettering College.
An accomplished author, Scriven’s books include: The Demons Have Had It: A Theological ABC, The Transformation of Culture: Christian Social Ethics After H. Richard Niebuhr and The Promise of Peace: Dare to LIVE the Advent Hope. Synonymous with Spectrum, Scriven's insights have guided the organization since its inception. For over a decade he chaired the board of the Adventist Forum, publisher of Spectrum and has always been a champion for conversation on topics of interest to thoughtful Adventists.

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Alexander Carpenter is the executive editor elect of Spectrum


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In this first of several conversations, I talk with Charles Scriven about his biography while we also discuss his recent Spectrum series: “Time to Start Over.”

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