The Shape of an Adventist Future

Speaker: Categories: May 23, 1987


[57min, 17sec / 50min, 4sec]


Churches (or denominations), like people, are dynamic. They mature. They change. However, the changes, though inevitable, are not totally predictable. Nor are they easily discerned! Too often, the awareness of the change comes late -- the needed fence repair is discovered after the horse is out!

What causes these changes? Are they controllable? Are these inevitable events of growth and maturation even desirable?

Some might argue that the entire question is moot, for God is directing and, therefore, when he IS in charge only what he wills will happen. Others, pointing to the experience of Israel, God's chosen people, might counter that history does not support such a contention.

Our May meeting of the San Diego FORUM Chapter will address this question of change and the future of the Adventist Church.

"For nearly a century and a half," according to Dr. Fritz Guy, our speaker, "Adventists have been developing and changing in various ways -- culturally, sociologically, economically, educationally, theologically -- and we will certainly continue to do so. While we cannot control the future (or even predict it in detail), we can try to shape it in ways that will improve our theological and spiritual health and enable us to make a positive difference in the world. But this kind of future is not a 'sure thing' by any means. It will happen only if there is a good deal of deliberate effort by all sorts of people who care about the Adventist future and are willing to invest time and effort to improve the prospects."

Dr. Guy promises that the May 23 presentation will focus on a "threefold theological agenda: the Christian gospel, the contemporary world, and the Adventist heritage."

Further, he suggests that "while the topic is theological, it may well have some broad implications for Adventist life and experience as well."


Fritz Guy's experience and academic background immediately identifies him as a scholar practitioner.

Currently, he serves as Lecturer in Theology, Loma Linda University, and also as Associate Pastor of the University Church at Loma Linda -- positions he has held since 1984.

Prior to his current roles, he was Professor of Theology, SDA Theological Seminary, Andrews University, 1977-84. While in that position, he addressed our San Diego FORUM on the topic: "A Prophet in a Changing World," May, 1982.

During the sixteen years, 1961-77, he worked as Instructor, Assistant-, Associate- and Full-Professor in the Department of Religion at LLU, La Sierra campus.

His earlier pastoral ministries included service in San Diego, Huntington Beach, Indio, El Centro, and Oceanside.

For three years, 1957-60, he was Assistant Editor of The Youth's Instructor.

Born in Minnesota, he is an alumnus of Cedar Lake Academy in Michigan. His Bachelor of Arts degree was earned at La Sierra (1952); his Master of Arts in Bible and Systematic Theology at the SDA Seminary (1955). He earned further graduate degrees from Andrews University and from the University Chicago where he was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Christian Theology in 1971.

He has been published widely in various Seventh-day Adventist journals including Insight, Ministry, Adventist Review, College People, and Spectrum.

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