All in church history

Hope After Disappointment: an Impression of the late-19th Century Advent Christian Message

Throughout the 1830s and early 1840s, a frenetic movement raged across the American landscape spawned by William Miller’s conclusions regarding the time and manner of Christ’s return. His study of the Bible led him to believe in the personal return of Christ in 1843, a belief that quickly won wide approbation among those who would come to make up the Second-Advent/Millerite movement. Despite the earnest expectation of these Millerites, Christ was not to appear in 1843, nor was he to appear in the eagerly embraced subsequent year of 1844. The accumulation of these failed expectations became known as “The Great Disappointment.” The Second Advent movement was in ruins.

The Lecturing Career of Rev. Mrs. Miriam McKinstry (2/2)

Mrs. Miriam McKinstry, as discussed in the previous post, outlined her course of lectures on “The World’s Great Empires” out of the desire to see a new form of teaching that would stir up more public interest. Mrs. McKinstry was an evangelist at heart, and desired to take her lecture series and teach it all over the United States and Canada with the goal of spreading the message of the soon-coming return of Christ.

The Fragmentation of Christian Perspective- with special attention given to the Book of Acts (3/4)

“In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity,”[1] but what are the essentials?  While both R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur can share a pulpit to give their differing positions on baptism (infant vs. believers baptism respectively), and speak at the same  conferences, the fact remains that if R.C. Sproul were faithfully attending MacArthur’s church he still would not meet the requirements for membership and therefore could not join.  While the general concept of baptism is necessary in order to be unified with the essentials o

"What is Theological Fragmentation?" A Four-Part Leadership Series Pointing the Church Forward

At the 2017 ERA annual meeting, President Steve Brown of BICS presented the idea that the major barrier to unity within the Advent Christians is “theological fragmentation.”  The major proposed solution, assuming one accepts the premise, was a call for a hermeneutical reformation (a la Kaiser as exemplar) to reinvigorate and reestablish basic, core, essential principles of interpretation in hopes of gaining unity of mind together. 

The Dawn of Neo-Adventism?

The title of this article is punctuated with a question mark because of the embryonic stage at which it is being put forward. In his latest two-part series, “Advent Christians in the 21st Century”, Corey McLaughlin has set before us what is in my estimation one of the most pivotal reflections on Adventism in late Advent Christian history. Conditionalism has dominated Advent Christian identity in the latter part of our history, but McLaughlin has reminded us of our other hand, in fact what was once our dominant hand, which is our Adventism.

Advent Christians in the 21st Century Part 2 - Living Forward

The passionate, zealous, spirit of the Second Advent movement is still sought today by many in the Advent Christian denomination who pant with drought stricken desperation for the same radical demonstrations of faith as our early brethren.  David Platt’s challenging call in Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream, and John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life capture the essence of this spirit many seek while avoiding the pitfalls of fanaticism and abuse.

Advent Christians in the 21st Century Part 1 - Looking Back

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards,” says Søren Kierkegaard.  This is all the more crucial for the new generation of Second Adventist leaders as they ponder the four stages of social movements and apply them analogously to our denomination, noting that we are currently in the final stage of decline and therefore soon failure.  The grave is dug, the tombstone is written, but the body has yet to fall.  Is there yet still vibrant life in this mortal frame?  In order to understand who we are, we must first look back:    

A Reformation Meditation Series on Solus Christus: Attack On The Sufficiency Of Christ (2/4)

 Within the context of the Reformation each sola affirms something and denies something else.  The final authority of the church is sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone) rather than tradition.[1]  Salvation comes sola fide (by faith alone) rather than by a combination of faith and good works,[2] as well as sola gratia (by grace alone) which excludes any and all human effort or cooperation, in solus Christus (Christ alone) as the only mediator of that grace rather than penance, sacraments, the Priests, the heavenly Saints, or Mary, all to and for soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone) rather than man.

A Reformation Meditation Series on Solus Christus: Martin Luther & Solus Christus (1/4)

The first time Martin Luther thought he was going to die he cried out, “O, Mary help!”[i]  The second time, only a few years later, during a mighty thunderstorm he fell off his horse and screamed, “Save me, St. Anne, and I’ll become a monk!”[ii]  Years later after washing in the cleansing waters of Gospel grace and drinking the living water of Gospel life thus truly becoming born-again he would launch the Protestant Reformation.  In one sermon he would reflect back soberly saying, “St. Ann was my idol.”  He told the congregation the despicable truth of the human heart is that “it is easier for us humans to believe and trust in everything else than in the name of Christ, who alone is all in all…”