The Changing Texture of Adventism

Speaker: Categories: Feb 08, 1986


[59min, 13sec / 1hr, 38sec]


One of the dilemmas which organizations and individuals must face is that of change. Maintaining the status quo, preserving those patterns of behavior which seem endorsed by time, has a certain logical rightness which provides a stability, a sense of foundation and anchor. To "hold fast" often takes on the meaning of "hold the past" because, almost by definition, the "past must have been right. If the pioneers believed it, or did it, then it must OK, perhaps divinely ordained. Wistfully remembering the "good ol’ days" is a pastime enjoyed by most of us and, as a corporate body, enjoyed also by the church.

Such behavior tends to evaluate thought and behavior not according to inherent logic, but in terms of inherent dating. Old is good, new is, at best, questionable. Therefore, effort devoted to preserving past values, past behaviors, is energy well-spent.

In reality, however, life is not static -- neither for organizations nor individuals. Change does occur with or without our consent! Then why fight it -- or can we?

Dr. Chand suggests ". . . change is a normal process. [emphasis supplied] It is something to be desired and not dreaded." But do we really look forward to change; do we see it as something desirable? Can we envision such fluidity, such variation, as an exciting, inevitable, and desirable part of life? Can organizational change be studied objectively, especially if such an organization is the "remnant church"?

Dr. Chand proposes to apply the skills of the sociologist to examine changes which have taken and are taking place within the Adventist Church. Included will be an exploration into how changes in the world have impact upon the Church. He will also examine some Biblical guidelines for dealing with change.


Ian Chand received a Bachelor of Theology degree from Spicer Memorial College in 1965 with emphasis in Theology and Religious History. Two masters degrees followed: an M.A. in Religion from Andrews University in 1969 and an M.S. from The Pennsylvania State University in 1973. He was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the same institution in 1980. Since that time he has completed a two year post-doctoral study program in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Southern California.

He joined the faculty of Loma Linda University in 1979 as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and was promoted to Associate Professor two years later.

Included in the repertoire of courses he has taught are such titles as: Social Psychology; Social Issues; Social Stratification; Sociology of Deviance; Sociology of Religion; Population Dynamics; Cross-cultural Family; and Introduction to Family Counseling. Students enjoy his classes as evidenced by course evaluations they provide.

He has been published in several professional journals and currently has three manuscripts in preparation, co-authored with Dr. Anees Haddad, entitled: Sourcebook of Research on the Seventh-day Adventist Church; Mobility and the Family; and Families of the World.

His paper, "Adventism and Models for Change," presented at the Loma Linda University Division of Religion Retreat in November, 1983, focused attention on those changes which currently must be confronted by the church.

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