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Spes Christiana 32.2
Table of Contents Download
First Published December 2021; pp. 3-6
The Art of Remembering:
It Matters how We Tell the Sabbath Story
First Published December 2021; pp. 7-23
Sabbath is a story without peer. She is ancient, but a constant challenge to the contemporary. She ceases all things but remains unceasing. Her exquisite prestige, her dignified memory, are not indifferent to the sorrow of creation. Cries and tears and wounded bodies find space and embrace in the sacredness of Sabbath. Sabbath cannot be pressed into a doctrinal argument, confined into a rule book, or quarantined within church walls. Sabbath is of spirit matter “never to pass away,” “eternity in disguise,” as Abraham Joshua Heschel so eloquently put it. Freedom is her essence. In this article, I attempt to retell Sabbath’s story with reverberations from the world and language of biblical eras. The commitment is to not ignore the Sabbath’s inner life, to not distort her audacious vision, and not fault her for her vulnerability. Two texts from the book of Exodus will serve as paradigms. The first is from the narrative of Exodus 5, announcing the Sabbath’s subtle but intense destabilizing power of oppressive systems, inasmuch as we will hear her voice coming from an unlikely place, from a tyrant’s mouth. The second text is part of the Covenant Code in Exodus 23:12. Here, God’s compassionate listening to the cries of the oppressed urges us to receive the other, the stranger, the immigrant, the refugee, as one of us. Sabbath disrupts the dehumanizing power structures of this world and demands of us to make room for the defenseless, the weak, and the marginalized.
A Search for the Biblical Epistemic Horizon:
Gunnar Pedersen and Ján Barna
First Published December 2021; pp. 23-44
This article will propose a meta-hermeneutical approach that could help to uncover the deeper assumptions and epistemic horizon of a given biblical author. Firstly, the logic of the biblical beginning story will be examined and assessed in terms of its worldview horizon, a horizon that might constitute the larger perspective within which the subsequent authors might be thinking. Secondly, the article will engage in a broad analysis of the subsequent covenant narratives, tracing their plotlines in terms of anticipating the future, a future that the apostolic stories perceive as the fulfillments. Finally, there will be a brief sketch of some hermeneutical principles that may serve as guidelines for the reading and applications of the biblical materials in terms of doctrine and religious practice.
Reading Creation and Judgment Motifs in the Three Angels’ Message (Rev. 14:6–12):
In Quest for a Theological Link
First Published December 2021; pp. 45-70
This article examines the link between the creation theology and the judgment theology of the Three Angels’ Message of Revelation 14:6–13. It suggests that the concept of covenant provides the connecting link between these two themes which are of major significance for the theological vision of Revelation. An argument is advanced which demonstrates how the notion of covenant is woven into the Three Angels’ message, and how it is integral to both the creation and the judgment motifs.
Two Separate Eschatological Resurrection Events:
One for the Righteous and Another for the Wicked
Jan A. Sigvartsen
First Published December 2021; pp. 71-106
Revelation 20‒22 presents two separate eschatological resurrection events, one for the righteous and another for the wicked. This eschatological belief has become an integral building block in the eschatological belief structure held by the Seventh-day Adventist Church (Fundamental Beliefs 24‒28) ‒ a composite belief structure founded on the reformation principles of Sola Scriptura, Tota Scriptura, Prima Scriptura, and the Analogy of Scripture. Apart from Rev. 20‒22, there is only one other late first/early second century CE text which separates the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked by a temporal Messianic kingdom, making this a minority belief. This article will compare and contrast the eschatological belief conveyed in Rev. 20‒22 with the belief appearing in the pseudepigraphical text Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah, and with the composite eschatological belief statements held by the Seventh-day Adventist Church that are partially based on Rev. 20‒22. It will demonstrate that although there are some important overall structural similarities between Rev. 20‒22 (and by extension the Seventh-day Adventist belief) and the Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah, there are also some significant differences between the two belief scenarios in these contemporary eschatological resurrection texts.
Adventist Orthodoxy Codified:
The Fundamental Beliefs of 1931
First Published December 2021; pp. 113-136
This is the first scholarly article to focus exclusively on the Adventist Fundamental Beliefs of 1931. Although this text is largely forgotten today, it played an important role in the self-expression of Adventist orthodoxy in the middle part of the 20th century. Its swift genesis and, subsequently, significant rise in importance demonstrates that the denomination’s leaders at the time were in need of precisely such a tool of self-presentation and self-assurance and that they felt little discomfort with a move that actually ran contrary to the anticredal mood of 19th century Adventists. Theologically, the 1931 statement reconfigured Adventist beliefs as (1) squarely fitting in with the conservative strand of Protestantism at its time, including trinitarian orthodoxy, (2) implying continuity with most (but not all) key tenets of the movement in the 19th century, (3) strongly oriented towards matters of Christian lifestyle, and (4) containing a kind of upgraded sanctuary theology, which overhauled earlier expressions but retained the crucial elements of Adventist peculiarity in an environment where these were heavily contested.
Contours of European Adventism: Issues in the History of the Denomination on the Old Continent
Stefan Höschele and Chigemezi N. Wogu, eds.
Friedensau: Theologische Hochschule Friedensau, 2020. 398 pp.
Ecotheology: A Christian Conversation
Kiara A. Jorgenson and Alan G. Padgett, eds.
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020. 240 pp.
Christian Socialism: The Promise of an Almost Forgotten Tradition
Eugene: Cascade Books, 2021. 216 pp.
A Passion for Mission
David J.B. Trim
Binfield, UK: Newbold Academic Press, 2019. 461 pp.
Biblical Hermeneutics: An Adventist Approach
Frank M. Hasel
Silver Spring: Biblical Research Institute/Review and Herald Academic, 2020. 488 pp.
Divine Attributes: Knowing the Covenantal God of Scripture
John C. Peckham
Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2021. 322 pp.