Essays in Honour of Dr. Norman H. Young
Edited By Kayle B. de Waal and Robert K. McIver
Seventh-day Adventist—Identity Doctrine and Deed: Straddling Two Worlds
Throughout the history of the Christian Church, believers have found it hard to accept this double-edged sword—that true religion clings to the old that proves to be truth but reaches out also for new, more appropriate understandings.1
If you approached a Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) from any region of the world and enquired as to what constitutes or defines their religious identity, it would be fair to suggest that the majority would frame their response in relation to their theological beliefs. For example, “I believe in the seventh-day Sabbath and the soon coming, literal return of Jesus Christ to earth,” both teachings which are inherent in the name “Seventh-day Adventist.” It would be of interest if any Adventists would respond by declaring that their church is a constantly developing multi-national movement with significant organizational and institutional (educational, medical, publishing, health foods etc) structures that appear to be succeeding quite well in today’s societies, yet would appear very foreign to their pioneers, all of which deserves further analysis.
The global SDA church of today is a far cry from the fledgling movement formally organized in North America in 1863. The church is one of the fastest growing religious movements witnessing a 7% p.a growth rate in some regions. While statistics provide only a limited perspective they do offer an insight into the ever increasing SDA membership that has grown from a few thousand in the 1860s to...
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