Binging on Meaning: Cults, Adventism’s “Fringe”, and Unbelief

Binging on Meaning: Cults, Adventism’s “Fringe”, and Unbelief

Soon after I became a pastor, I started wrestling with the phenomenon of cults: wondering what separates my religion from a cult. I do not mean cult as in a church that diverges from orthodox Christian teachings like the trinity. Nor do I mean merely a new religious movement (value-neutral term of art used in academic religion research instead of c

An Appetite for Life

An Appetite for Life

“Mandy looks like she’s dying,” someone whispered in the next pew. I snapped back from confused thoughts. Glancing at my daughter I sighed and bowed my head. The service was over, but we remained seated as people filed out of church. We had an appointment with our pastor. Perhaps the most important one of our lives. I felt my heart breaking. Mandy’

How to Survive Homeschooling Your Children, When You Never Decided to Homeschool Them In the First Place

How to Survive Homeschooling Your Children, When You Never Decided to Homeschool Them In the First Place

So, you are here. In a place, you never chose for yourself. At best it may seem like a position caused by a series of unfortunate events-homeschooling because of mandatory quarantine. Could it be, however, that this is not a series of unfortunate events, but rather an opportunity to create some of the best memories in your child’s life? I would lik

This Too Shall Pass: An Encouraging Word to Students During the Coronavirus Pandemic

This Too Shall Pass: An Encouraging Word to Students During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Hello, my precious students! I woke up this morning thinking about Y’all. It seems that every institution, every business, every organization has sent out a statement regarding the Coronavirus. Being one that has many thoughts and opinions and rarely wastes an opportunity to share them with anyone that will listen (😉), I thought I would wri

Life in Flux: Coping with Pandemic Change

Life in Flux: Coping with Pandemic Change

Life is movement. It is change. It is flux. To move is to exist. So, change is part of the fabric of existence. But change comes in countless degrees, from barely noticeable to shockingly fast. On the latter end of the spectrum, we’ve all experienced times when we had too much going on at once. Often, this overwhelming feeling is correlated to the

Why, When, and How to Close Church During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Why, When, and How to Close Church During the Coronavirus Pandemic

In the COVID-19 pandemic the world is facing a public health crisis the likes of which we haven’t experienced in over half-a-century. Churches are being urged to take preventative measures up to closing their doors in order to do their part to “slow the curve.” (If you don’t understand that expression, some of what follows will not make sense if yo

October 18, 2019 Jesus and Politics, Jesus and the #MeToo Movement

October 18, 2019 Jesus and Politics, Jesus and the #MeToo Movement

  The first breakout session of the Jesus & Politics conference had an option entitled Jesus and the #MeToo Movement. The section was moderated by Melissa Ponce-Rodas (Assistant Professor of Psychology, Andrews University). Joining her on the panel were Jennifer Jill Schwirzer (Life Coach, Abide Counseling), Erica Jones (Assistant Director

Surprises in the Numbers: The Adventist Church in Review

Surprises in the Numbers: The Adventist Church in Review

When church administrators gathered in 2013 to review the results of the first Global Church Member Survey, they expected to find some areas of concern, particularly in regard to doctrine. They weren’t surprised to find a subset of Adventists, especially in Western countries, expressing doubts about a recent six-day creation, Ellen White’s propheti