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review 2018-01-26 00:07
A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists (Adventist Heritage Series)
A Brief History of Seventh-Day Adventists (Adventist heritage series) - George R. Knight

Condensing over 170 years of history of a religious movement and denomination into a readable 156-page book seems daunting and the recipe for a sketchy history.  Yet George R. Knight, one of the foremost historians of the Seventh-day Adventist church, produced a very readable summary of the Sabbatarian Adventism in A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists that is meant for an Adventist audience of both long-time members and those new.


Knight divides the book into 8 chapters that focus on different eras starting with the pre-Great Disappointment Millerite Roots of Seventh-day Adventists and with the maturity of the Church from 1955 to the present day with its achievements and challenges.  Focusing on high-points, both good and bad, and trends in each “historical” era, Knight gives the reader a barebones yet informative look at history and those who influenced the Church on both large and small ways.  Given the audience Knight is writing for, the book is filled with Adventist nomenclature but Knight ensures that newer members of the Church have an understanding of the terminology that is even helpful for those that have been Adventists all their lives.


If one is looking for an in-depth look at doctrinal developments and how the Church was structurally organized, this is not the book.  While both elements are discussed as part of the overall history, Knight makes it clear at the beginning of the book that those looking for emphasis on either need to turn to the other two book of the “Adventist Heritage Series”, A Search for Identity and Organizing for Mission and Growth.  Yet this book is an excellent first read to understand how each of those specific topics tie into the history of the Church in an overall scope.


A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists does not pretend to be more than it is.  George R. Knight gives the reader an overview of the history of Sabbatarian Adventism in a very readable and quick format.  However, Knight does not leave those readers wanting more information hanging as at the end of each chapter he provides numerous books that go more in-depth in relation to the topics covered.  This is a highly recommended book for Seventh-day Adventists interested in understanding how the Church came about.

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review 2017-12-12 01:12
Romans: Salvation for "All"
Romans: Salvation for "All" - George Wilson Knight

The Epistle of Romans is the most evangelistic book of the New Testament as the Apostle Paul gave to the church in Rome and every reader since a the best explanation of the good news of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.  George R. Knight’s commentary Romans: Salvation for “All” not only gives the background of the book, but also a clarification of what Paul means throughout his multi-layered sermon.  Meant to be read alongside the Epistle, in which the reader can examine the Old Testament verses that Paul quotes extensively, this commentary allows the reader a deeper and all-encompassing understanding of the message that Paul is giving the reader in its correct context.  An excellent book that comes in at only 127 pages.

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review 2017-09-02 21:16
The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation
The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith

The prophecies of Daniel and Revelation have been a long studied by Seventh-day Adventists and their precursors for almost 200 years; one of the most prominent writers was Uriah Smith during his long tenure with the newsmagazine Advent Review and Sabbath Herald.  Smith’s major contribution to Adventist theology was his verse-by-verse commentary of the books of Daniel and the Revelation.


This book is the most in-depth explanation of Seventh-day Adventist thought on end-time Biblical prophecies from the turn of the 20th Century, yet even though it’s mostly over 100 years old—there are some publisher insertions here and there—it is mostly what Seventh-day Adventist still believe today.  However, the biggest difference is the focus of the Islam and Ottoman Empire—referred to Turkey—as being a major prophetic “player” in the past in particular in relation to Revelation 9 though in other places as well.  While today Adventists do see the rise of Islam as playing a role in the prophetic past, it is only in affecting the Church at a particular time and nothing more.


Though Daniel and the Revelation is not an up-to-date book on what Seventh-day Adventists believe about those prophetic books, the great majority of Uriah Smith’s text is still relevant today.  The only significant change has been an even more focused look at the history of the Church in prophecy than on another religion.

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review 2017-06-24 21:45
Tell It to the World
Tell It to the World - C. Mervyn Maxwell

The beginnings and the early development of the Seventh-day Adventist church spans continents and over a century that sees a handful of disappointed believers grow into a worldwide church with millions of members.  Tell It to the World is a popular history by Mervyn Maxwell who used his long career teaching students to write church history in an engaging way.


The history begins with William Miller beginning his ministry about the coming of Christ in 1843-44 and how for years he remained in small towns until events brought his message to a much wider audience.  The events in the United States and around the world at the same time that contributed to the Great Second Advent Movement before the Great Disappointment gave background not only to the times but the individuals who would soon shape the Seventh-day Adventist church.  The aftermath of the Great Disappointment brought about division among Millerites and one small group formed what would become the Seventh-day Adventist church through Bible study and the Voice of Prophecy.  The slow process of organizing the church along the concurrent beginnings of missionary work first around the nation and then across the world are interwoven together to show how both helped and harmed one another until a more centralized structure brought things into place.  But this only took place after 16 years of crisis that brought reforms to the structure of the church that would allow it to continue to grow into the 20th Century.


Though the text is only 270 pages long, Maxwell packs a lot of information and anecdotes into the 32 chapters of the book that many Adventists would appreciate.  Being a popular history, this book shies away from scholarly prose but Maxwell’s professionalism makes sure that footnotes are peppered throughout the text so those who question statements or wanting to know more could examine his sources.  As stated above Maxwell used his long career in teaching to write so his students would enjoy reading and because the book was first published in the late 1970s, the ease of reading holds up very well.


Tell It to the World gives readers an ease to read history of the beginnings and early development of the Seventh-day Adventist church that is informative and riveting.  Mervyn Maxwell’s book brings to focus a lot of Adventist history that many lifelong and new members of the church will find inspiring and instructive.  If you’re a Seventh-day Adventist and haven’t read this before, I encourage you to do so.

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review 2017-05-24 16:04
The Antichrist and the New World Order
The Antichrist And The New World Order - Marvin Moore

Throughout the early 1990s, many wondered what would be happening next as the globe emerged from under the shadow of the Cold War.  For many Seventh-day Adventists such phrases as ‘the new world order’ instantly brought to mind end-time events.  Editor and lecturer Marvin Moore in his book The Antichrist and the New World Order presented to both general and Adventist audiences the eschatology—the study of end-time events—and doctrines of the Church to answer some of these questions.


Moore begins his book with predictions by economists, politicians, and scientists about what would occur during the rest of the 1990s.  Then using that ‘set up’, he slowly introduces the eschatology of the Seventh-day Adventist church along with historical precedents that they point use to support their thoughts and use to answer claims of an ‘alternative’ narrative of the past from other’s.  Moore deftly navigates the reader through the eschatology beliefs of the Adventist church through Biblical sources, the writings of Ellen White, and historical sources.  Yet his tone of presentation is thoughtful and considerate to anyone reading the book, unlike the confrontation style of other’s that I’ve read.


The biggest drawback of the book is the obvious dated current events of the late 1980s and early 1990s, especially the titular phrase ‘the new world order’, the predictions of experts about what could happen before the end of the decade.  However, the dated references and such cannot take away from Moore’s inviting tone.  One of the book best features is Moore’s own experiences in relating his own interaction with non-Adventists friends when explaining Adventist end-time thoughts, even relating how one friend said, “That’s stupid”, before they went out to dinner and how they continued to be friends long after the conversation.  Essentially Moore wanted to remind everyone reading his book that Christian friends can disagree and should not holding grudges because the focus is on the destination in which we won’t be grading one another on how accurate we though the journey would be.


Though dated, The Antichrist and the New World Order is a thoughtful look at Seventh-day Adventist eschatology from someone well versed in it though his various lectures.  Being both short, very readable Marvin Moore’s book is very good read for both Adventists and the general public.

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