The Spectrum Blog rises again

(system) #1

Greetings all:

I've been away on a bloggin' vacation due to the holiday break and traveling down to San Diego for the Adventist Society for Religious Studies meetings. Plus, sometimes it just feels really good to leave my computer off.

After the ASRS fun, I attended the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature conference and heard bracing talks by N. T. Wright, Judith Butler, Cornel West, and S. Brent Plate. I also picked up Alister McGrath's new history of Protestantism, Christianity's Dangerous Idea. (One of the benefits of the conference is that all academic publishers sell their books with healthy discounts.)

I'm about half-way through it now and am marking the margins for a forthcoming blog post. McGrath, who teaches at Cambridge, spins off some really fascinating observations about the authority and causes of Protestant beliefs, all through the lens of the Reformation's "dangerous" leveling of all authority to subjective interpretation. Especially interesting is the fear that kings felt toward this democratizing (remember the English Levelers?) tendency. Perhaps the relativity of "postmodernity" has always been with us?

It's also pretty clear that while Seventh-day Adventism really is a rich mix of Christian traditions, we are most strongly shaped by the Anabaptism, the radical wing of the Reformation.

But more on that later. I just wanted to check back in with all you good folks, wish you a happy and less-consuming holiday season and get in gear for more scintillating conversation.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at