Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Adventism Reversed

I have benefited immensely from the blog ministry of Julius Nam. Recently he has had to cut back, as well as revamp the nature and specificity of his blog. I'm especially sorry to see all of the links to Adventist blogs removed.

I am especially grateful for the article in question which I've linked to the title of this post. In the article in question, "'Questions on Doctrine' and M. L. Andreasen: The Behind-the-Scenes Interaction" he recounts the effects of objections voiced and written by one, . L. Andreasen, a deceased Adventist theologian, on Adventism.

While one cannot effectively turn back the wheels of time, I can't help but wonder what Adventism would be like today had brother Andreasen simply sat back and enjoyed his retirement. Perhaps others would have stepped in and taken up the challenge. Or perhaps those involved in Questions on Doctrine would have revised and republished that book as the direction of the Adventist church would have grown increasingly self-critiquing and transparent.
I must tell you that as I read about the machinations, although I fear that word is too strong, of M. L. Andreasen, I felt both postive and negative emotions. Negative because so much discord and wasted opportunities were the result of his objections. Positive because of his refusal to simply go with the flow and to fight for what he felt were his just rewards for his efforts or objections.

As I reflected further on the results--five decades--of changes in Adventism because of M. L. Andreasen's efforts, I wondered if it was providential that he entered Adventist history in the way that he did, as a corrective, if you will. Or were his letters and published materials merely free human will injecting itself in the stream of time? Much depends on which view one takes. If it was the former, then it is a good thing, of course. If it was the latter, it may happen yet again with untold consequences within the Adventist movement.

At this point in time I think it accurate to speak of Adventist movements. I strongly feel that conservative, mainstream and progressive Adventist approaches to the nature of the church, and its future, consitute distinct movements with soon-to-be-felt repercussions, and not just divergent currents within one homogeneous body of water.

Please click on this link, Progressive Adventism, in order to read the entire article and benefit from Julius Nam's research.

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