Frisson Spotlight (1.7) The old categories of right/left in Adventism are over

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This is part seven of the conversation with Timothy Puko. To read them in sequence, click here. ____________________________________________________Mr. Puko, I hope that your Sunday will treat you well. Just read a good Slate article on the origin of the Sunday brunch, apparently it started around your old Upper West Side 'hood. Well, now back to your cheery post from yesterday . . .this conversation along with my reading and conversations of late and attending this Global Internet Evangelism Network forum confirms a growing suspicion: The old categories of right/left in Adventism are over. I'd say that the any definitions that persist come between those who see and talk about coming changes and those who don't. And I'm not talking primarily about doctrine. Traditionally that has been the largest conflict point, but your report on Costa Rica shows that there are struggles over other things. Yesterday I received two emails - sparked by your article - about the conference/mission shift in other parts of the developing world. Online communication is radically shifting the power bases within the church. Last night I sat through a very impressive demo/sales talk by the sharp folks at NetAdventist . In two oversimplified sentences: in the very near future - a couple of years - every local Adventist church will have its own completely integrated web hub. Paying tithe, church directory, prayer requests, watching and reading church media is already happening all online in some churches. But what is really radical about this is that it is a horizontal connection. Combined with some type of tagging technology, $100 crank laptops hitting the developing world this year (thank you MIT) and increased contextualization, the reality is that Adventism as we know it will change exponentially (that's not hyperbole) becoming increasingly local, cross-geographical, and independent. I ate lunch with your pal Ray Dabrowski yesterday and he talked of whole villages in Andra Pradesh, India joining the church because the village leader did - flooding the churches by tens of thousands in weeks this year. Let's face it, those folks aren't joining because they really dig the 2300-day prophecy. Although I, too, don't have the degrees, I'd say that community and cellular organizational strategies will be the talk of the town. I don't know if Monte Sahlin is reading this, but I'd love to hear a little forecasting from him. The Anglican Communion is experiencing this jumping of territorial boundaries and from your reporting on Costa Rica, ( translated to Spanish), it sounds like folks are starting to think like that within Adventism. One of the biggest complaints by the net evangelical folks is that their bible study leads aren't being followed up due to territorial concerns. It will be interesting to observe what happens in the future. But no longer are the terms conservative or liberal relevant - the laity and leadership can care about the changing church or not, period. (How's that for a tenuous dichotomy?) The dead binary was "critics of the church" vs. "the loyal," but now most leaders of note are loyal critics. We're all conservatives in that we want to preserve something of the past and all liberals in that we know that the new contexts will shift what our past means. And so I see your "semi-wholesale changes" and raise you a "what the hell will they be?" Thanks for this conversation and, now, you get the last word. Peace,


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