Reimagining Adventism: The Gifts of the Spirit and Absurdity, Part 2

Reimagining Adventism: The Gifts of the Spirit and Absurdity, Part 2

Desire needs mystery. - Esther Perel In the previous article, we saw that mission in emerging secular contexts requires the church to shift from the centralization of rational discourse toward a more holistic rhythm that balances gnosis (knowledge), koinonia (relationships), and doulos (service). In fact, it is the element of service that, in the p

Reimagining Adventism: The Gifts of the Spirit and Absurdity, Part 1

Reimagining Adventism: The Gifts of the Spirit and Absurdity, Part 1

Most Seventh-day Adventists and Adventist churches I know are functionally binitarian. - David Hamstra In his book “The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated”, authors James Emery White makes a remarkable observation about contemporary mission. In the olden days, he argues, a church could reach its community by

Reimagining Adventism: The Lords Supper and Absurdity, Part 3

Reimagining Adventism: The Lords Supper and Absurdity, Part 3

The greatest among you will be your servant. - Jesus   In the previous two articles, we explored the ritual of the Lord's Supper with a focus on transplanting its timeless themes to the present age. The conclusion of this journey was a simple reclaiming of the biblical communion expression—an expression rooted in Hebraic materiality which cele

Reimagining Adventism: Absurdity and the Lord’s Supper, Part 2

Reimagining Adventism: Absurdity and the Lord’s Supper, Part 2

God creates everything out of nothing. And everything which God is to use, he first reduces to nothing. - Soren Kierkegaard In the previous article, we explored three interconnected themes. The first is that emerging generations find value in the ancient. Therefore, in seeking to connect with contemporary seekers, the church should not be driven by

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

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

Reimagining Adventism, Part 12b: Unity and Absurdity

Reimagining Adventism, Part 12b: Unity and Absurdity

“Autonomy and independence involve taking care of yourself—not doing things that diminish you.” - David Schnarch In the previous article, I introduced a simple approach to the doctrine of Christian unity as the one doctrine among all the others which—while often ignored in an academic or apologetic sense—happens to be the one Jesus declared would g