Adventism in America

Adventism in AmericaAdventism in America by Gary Land
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Adventism in America is a history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church from it’s roots in the Millerite movement in the 1830s to approximately 1980.  The book is a collection of historical essays by the leading Adventist historians at the time of it’s original publication in 1986.  The essays, edited by Gary Land who wrote two of them, are a well-researched and footnoted collection that dives into historical, theological, and social dynamics that the Seventh-day Adventist Church experienced both internally and as part of the greater fabric of American and Christian history and society.

The book is not for a general reader, the essays are of peer-review quality and thus meant for the serious student of history or historian.  Of the seven essays, the final one covering the period for 1961-81 is the weakest given that the major challenges the Seventh-day Adventist Church dealt with during the period were still being felt.  Given that it has been nearly 30 years since the book’s original publication and a little over 15 since this revised edition, it makes the last essay’s weaknesses even more glaring.

Notwithstanding this one flaw, the book is a candid look by Adventist historians into the history and issues that the Seventh-day Adventist Church dealt over the course of 150 years.  For the serious student of Adventist history this is a must read book.

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