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

Constructing a Christ-Centered Adventist Faith, Part 2: Did Jesus Put an End to the Law?

Constructing a Christ-Centered Adventist Faith, Part 2: Did Jesus Put an End to the Law?

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”[1] This scripture has often been used to try to prove that now that we are under a new covenant the law of God is no longer something that we need to follow. I was watching a debate recently where the 10 Commandments were being discussed, and a Christian man who believed

Recontextualizing the Adventist Message for the African Continent

Recontextualizing the Adventist Message for the African Continent

The Africanization of Adventism project has been raging with Africans themselves echoing different views on the necessity of this controversial move. Arguments against this are primarily premised on fears on whether this will divert the movement from the noble work of proclaiming the second coming of Jesus, whether this drive is indeed salvific, be

Why Your Church Must Change, Even if You Don’t Want It To

Why Your Church Must Change, Even if You Don’t Want It To

I need you to use your imagination with me today.   But first, let me paint a picture.   Just a few months ago, most of our churches were tracking along as usual. We had lots of events, a big central program every weekend that we put most of our energy into, and our usual Sabbath Schools, prayer meetings, etc.   Then, along came the

Reimagining Adventism: Baptism and Absurdity, Part 3

Reimagining Adventism: Baptism and Absurdity, Part 3

Every institution that we trust lies to us. - Dave Chapelle In the previous article, we touched on the nature of inclusivity and exclusivity in the church. We saw that the church can be passively exclusive while imagining itself actively inclusive by nurturing structures, cultures, and systems that are designed for one kind of demographic. In Adven

On the Question of Gay Identity and Christian Sexual Ethics

On the Question of Gay Identity and Christian Sexual Ethics

On the question of gay identity and Christian sexual ethics, I start with a bare-bones theology of group identity drawn from Acts 17:26–27. In his discourse at the Areopagus, Paul briefly laid out how the Athenians have already groped toward a knowledge of God. It is because God arranges history so that, through the formation and shifting of group

Reimagining Adventism, Part 13b: Baptism and Absurdity

Reimagining Adventism, Part 13b: Baptism and Absurdity

There can be no great love without exclusivity. - Carol Grace   In the previous article, we explored how an experiential approach to baptism—one that emphasizes its romantic and metamorphic roots—is necessary for the secular man’s discipleship journey. The one-dimensional approach that often suffices for those who are brought up in church must

Reimagining Adventism, Part 13a: Baptism and Absurdity

Reimagining Adventism, Part 13a: Baptism and Absurdity

We have in Christ what we have lost in Adam. - John Calvin   Baptism is one of the most remarkable and profound rituals of church life. It emerges in scripture as part of the nexus of sin, salvation, and the new humanity birthed in the second Adam. Properly understood, its themes maneuver like tendrils through the Old Testament narrative, full