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Concluding Unscientific Post


The time has come for me to move on from the daily editing of the Spectrum blog. I will continue to write for Spectrum and stay connected to the community, but I need to free up some space in my schedule for other media and academic projects. Before I finish on June 30, we’ll keep you informed about what’s next for the blog.

I owe the Adventist Forum board and especially Bonnie Dwyer much gratitude. They supported my interest in starting this blog in June of 2006. It’s been a great seven years. Thanks to your contributions and commitment to conversation the blog has grown every year since. In the last four years, we’ve had 8.3 million pageviews. Of those, 2.6 million pageviews have come just in the last year. We’ve created a community!

Toward that end I’ve appreciated Chuck Scriven’s advocacy for short mission statements and have found Spectrum’s—“creating community through conversation”—to be a very useful guide as the blog evolved over the years.

In growing our conversing community, I am particularly proud of the original reporting that Spectrum has done about ADRA, a certain alleged, conservative sexual predator, LGBT rights, La Sierra University, and women’s ordination. Thanks to your support in reading and talking about these issues and many more, together we have actually made progress.

Telling the truth about these Adventist stories has, I hope, witnessed to a fact-based, historically aware and forward-looking progressive faith. One of the best tests for good or bad models of Adventism is how it fits with various cultures, identities, and generations. Through the last five years of teaching at Pacific Union College, I’ve periodically had young Adventists sit in my office and share their frustrations, beliefs and hopes about our church. Telling them that they are not alone, and pointing them to this online witness to a wider Adventist community has been very fulfilling. Thank you for being and becoming that with me.

One of the first things I edited on this blog was a series of articles on the 28 fundamental beliefs of Adventism. Since my last day will be June 30 I’m going to go out on a challenge to myself. Sure, “the 28” can sometimes seem far removed from day-to-day life in the 21st century, but they remain one of the frameworks for Adventist identity. If there is one thing that I’ve learned from my experience reading hundreds of thousands of Adventist thoughts, it is that belief matters. But I don’t think that belief is enough. We need more ethical action. As I close out my time editing the blog this month, I’d like to sketch out what our fundamental framework might actually call Adventists to do. What are 28 essential Adventist actions?

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