What Is Adventist Eschatology Good for?

By AT News Team, March 5, 2015: Three Seventh-day Adventist academics and pastors will gather at Loma Linda University (LLU) this Saturday (March 7) to address a number of questions regarding Adventist end-time expectations: What is Adventist eschatology good for? Does the Second Coming matter today? Do the books of Daniel and Revelation still matter?

“Last-day events still mesmerize many Adventists, but staying interested is not as easy as it used to be,” states the event’s promotional materials. “The long delay of the Second Coming has had a dampening effect. There is little threat, just now, of a national Sunday law. From the standpoint of traditional Adventist eschatology, difficulty in the relationship between Islam and the West comes as an unsettling surprise.”

The three participants—John Brunt, Kendra Haloviak and Charles Scriven—will argue that indeed Daniel and Revelation matter very much today. Blunt is a New Testament scholar and pastor of the Azure Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church. Haloviak is author of a just-published book on Revelation and a faculty member at the La Sierra University Divinity School. Scriven is a theologian-ethicist and visiting professor in the Loma Linda University School of Religion.

Under the title “What Is Adventist Eschatology Good for,” they will attempt to show how a fresh reading of the Bible’s literature of hope can enhance the church’s message and build a better world.

Scriven gave Adventist Today a preview of some of the material the trio will cover. “The panelists will consider whether or not a ‘last-day-events’ interpretation of the Bible’s apocalyptic literature does full justice to the moral passion that suffuses the entire biblical canon,” Scriven told Adventist Today. “John Brunt and Kendra Haloviak-Valentine have published articles and books that that raise questions about conventional understanding and supply perspective that we don’t necessarily get from the end-time preaching and seminars we are used to,” he added.

“One argument you will hear is that Daniel and Revelation, and related material in other Bible books, have this-worldly implications,” Scriven noted. “To skeptics of the Christian hope, eschatology seems, all too often, like a vision of escape from the practical demands we face today in the world God made for us. This conversation will address, among other things, the concerns that Jesus had in mind when he asked us to pray: ‘Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.’”

The panel discussion will not be live-streamed, but it will be recorded. Viewers will be able to access the video on the LLU website approximately two weeks after the event date (link).[1]

The discussion will begin at 3:00pm in the Damazo Amphitheater. The event is sponsored by the Loma Linda University School of Religion’s Humanities Program.

[1] https://www.llu.edu/religion/videos.page