Together We Can Make It Happen

I have a proposal for you, a project that we can do together to enhance the church community we all love and believe in. It will take money from my pocket and put it into independent media that provides the kind of information required for a community that reads to improve itself. You will benefit by receiving a beautiful journal that explores the Bible creatively, reports independently on church activities, and examines issues from multiple points of view.

Spectrum is both a quarterly journal and digital magazine. In both versions you get news, not public relations; crucial opinion and research, not bromides and boilerplate. And underneath everything—I emphasize this point—is the fire that gets us going: passion for what’s best in the Adventist heritage; questions about what’s not.

Most Adventists learn church news primarily from official sources, that is from the materials produced by or for people who hold administrative offices. For example, the Adventist Review’s 80-page special issue on the General Conference session in San Antonio, just off the press, bears the cover headline “Five Years of Progress,” and makes no explicit mention of gender equality in ministry. Arguably one of the single largest projects involving people from around the world—The Theology of Ordination Study Committee—is not discussed. That should make the point. Official information serves officials, and panders to an uncritical readership, Adventists who are inattentive, that is, to cultural, spiritual and denominational challenges thoughtful Christians simply must contend with.

As Adventist Forum board chair, I make Spectrum (along with the church proper) a major recipient of my own giving. So here’s my proposal to you. Over one week, starting right now, for every one of you who becomes a new “member” of the Adventist Forum, and thus a receiver of the quarterly journal, or print version of Spectrum, I will donate $50 to the organization. I will write the check in June.

Independent Adventist journalism matters in all its forms. The print version of Spectrum contains longer pieces—journalistic revelations; essays on church history and theology; personal accounts—that thoughtful readers value and that scholars will consult for years to come. It is beautiful magazine with original art in every issue. So I urge you to sign up.

Here’s how. Become a member of Adventist Forum and you will receive Spectrum as a benefit. Call our California office at (916) 774-1080, or follow the link below to our online subscription page. A one year membership costs $39.95, and you will receive 4 issues. The two year membership is a bargain at $69.95 for 8 issues. There is also an online only option for $39.95. Students can get a year of printed issues for $19.95 (US/Canada) or $29.95 (international).

Spectrum has been the remarkable (if imperfect) voice of reformation-minded Adventism for more than forty-five years. You’ll be proud to get the magazine in your mailbox. As for that check I’m going to write this month, it will make me feel…really good. Now as always, after all, Christ’s relevance to world depends heavily on those who write—and read—with unfettered passion, creativity and faithfulness.

Click here to become a member now.

Chuck Scriven is chairman of the Adventist Forum board, the parent organization of Spectrum Magazine.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6862

As art director of Adventist Review, I feel I should clarify that the Adventist Review’s “80-page special issue on the General Conference session”—cited as an example of an official news source—is, in fact, called the GC Session Supplement and is simply the quinquennial reports from all of the General Conference departments and institutions. If you’re looking for news, that issue would certainly leave you disappointed.

That’s not to say the Adventist Review is your go-to source for hard-hitting investigative journalism, but you also won’t necessarily find controversial topics swept under the rug. The ordination vote was the cover story on the Nov. 20, 2014 issue and the Adventist Review daily bulletins will cover everything that transpires at the session, including verbatim transcripts of the proceedings and actions. That’s the kind of factual content you should expect from an official source. If I’m looking for opinion, there’s no shortage of sources—that’s what I appreciate about Spectrum. Reliable facts are more elusive.

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There are two ways of misrepresenting the truth while keeping within the parameters of “factual content”.

1 - Be selective about which issues you cover
2 - Be selective about which facts you report

Main stream media in the West (USA and NZ from personal experience) have lost almost all credibility because of their practice of deception based on their use of this technique,

The AR is clearly a mouthpiece of the administration. Their coverage of the Faith and Science Conferences removed all doubt about that. Their coverage of WO and EGW and Evolution and LGBTQ issues similarly is extremely selective in their choice of facts.

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Thank you very much for your gracious clarification. The daily bulletins from San Antonio will be quite helpful as most of us follow events from afar. As you note, Spectrum demonstrates a variety of opinion, but in the news we try hard to focus on reliable facts. When we miss the mark we also know how to apologize for errors, which I think helps to support our overall credibility. There is clearly a valuable role for the Review to play, but we also need Spectrum’s independent voice as well, which is the essence of Chuck’s article and challenge. Thanks again for contributing to the conversation.

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the review is really for people who have made decisions on these, and similar, issues that concord with the bible through the prism of egw…i don’t think it’s misrepresentation to take a clear stand for something and selectively nurture that stand…

Selectively nurture is code for lie

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One of the major newspapers has the slogan --“All the news fit to print”. The Review has the Slogan --“All the news designed for your eyes and minds.” The time is long past since the laity were largely uneducated and uninformed. Thanks for Spectrum to report another view of the proceedings. Tom Z

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As all official publications are…they serve as the source of official “perspectives” disseminating the stories and news which the organization deems newsworthy. I think that Jeremy stated it best why many Adventist prefer official SDA news sources:

Though I think that you and I disagree on his summation :smile:

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This phrase says it all!!!

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i disagree…selective nurture is keeping japanese knotweed out of a garden dedicated to roses…a lie would be calling japanese knotweed a new type of rose…

R.P. McMurphy. I think I’m supposed to take offense at the “art lipstick” comment but I’m afraid I’m not understanding your point.

I’m self-employed, btw… laid off from R&H last October. I wasn’t qualified for cookie sales so I settled for this gig.

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I wholeheartedly agree, Ken. Spectrum is an essential independent voice.

Facts are easily manipulated to serve the underlying bias. Anyone who truly wants to be informed will glean from multiple diverse sources, with an understanding of the biases of each, then triangulate the facts to form a clearer picture of the truth. I would never trust the opinion of someone who watched nothing but Fox News or nothing but CNBC.

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My father discovered he was getting better and more objective news coverage from al jazerra and China TV than he was from the BBC and American media.

That bodes very ill for the west.

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Get me excited, Chuck. Put together a plan led by Spectrum which will offer e-courses worldwide topics of interest to progressive SDAs. A kind of online school, with curriculum, where many things can be found in one place, where, for a small fee per course, I can grow in understanding and knowledge of the Gospel, justice, creation, Jesus, the Bible, church history, SDA history, scientific method, women and children’s issues, health research, leadership. Written and created by the best writers, with embedded media and links to sources. In English, French, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Hindi, and a dozen more languages.

The world is waiting!

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What does your dad think of C-SPAN?

HA

I have a proposal for you, a project that we can do together to enhance the church community we all love and believe in.

I grew up SDA but was educated at a public university and have been away from the church for many years. Visiting the Spectrum website has been a way for me to put a toe back into Adventist waters.

I’m sorry to say that my experience in the Comments section has been largely unpleasant and reminds me of why I hated adult sabbath school -my perception is that a handful of individuals dominate discussions and instruct others on their “ignorance” and the “right way” to view issues.

I don’t need Spectrum to inform me on society’s view on evolution or sexuality. I’ve already parroted those views back to undergrad instructors so I could get an “A” in their class.

I believe strongly in Christianity but am very unsure about Adventism. I wonder if Spectrum is a place for someone like me? My husband who grew up as a PK and had cousins in the mission field votes “no”. He thinks Spectrum is just the flip side of the same unsavory coin.

Right now, I’m still wondering…

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Hey everybody, the first sentence in my comment is a quote from the first sentence of this blog. I am responding to that. I didn’t know that when I clicked o “reply” that the first sentence would appear without a highlight…

I’m not plagerising you Mr. Scriven. I’m asking a question.

The vast majority of what is passed as news in the US is really editorial entertainment. The true independent journalism department of a newspaper or news program is practically non-existent. I don’t watch much TV and the cable news channels anymore since I don’t have a television but when I do, they seem to be passing tweets off as news and getting ahead of the facts.

I think part of the problem with the loss of audiences for true journalism is a vicious cycle. The “media” companies started to see declining viewership because of the internet and other social forces. They then started to give people what they thought the public wanted. Part of the public didn’t want that kind of non-journalism and peeled off to find other sources. The ratings and sales went down so the media companies went further down the road they chose which lost them more business. Some newspapers still have great journalism, and some independent journalists are doing excellent work. But I don’t see much journalism on Cable or TV news programs.

As far as Spectrum is concerned, it have the resources to do investigative journalism. So content is mainly editorial in nature. Even with limited resources, I do see news here that is never going to appear in an official church publication and is relevant to me.

@Marie3 I understand where you are coming from. To me the commentary here can be mean-spirited, intellectually lazy and sometimes irrelevant. I welcome you to continue to contribute. There is much polarization of opinion here so a moderate voice is always needed.

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Thanks Carolyn. A little empathy goes a long way.

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Not to worry. If EGW can do it, anyone can do it. We’re a bunch of forgiving Spectrumites. :smile:

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