Essential Reading for an SDA History Course?

January 19, 2007

In my SDA History course I don’t have a textbook but rely heavily on a series of readings that are discussed in class–approximately one per week.

Here are the readings I’m thinking about for this year. There are some gaps that I’d like filled. Any suggestions. Any suggested alternatives to the ones I’ve listed?

Reading Reports (30%):
A reading report in the form of a written personal response to ten (10) of the following articles is to be handed in at the beginning of the relevant class. Reports will not be accepted at any other time—all students are expected to be present for each discussion class. Reports are to be a minimum of 400 words in length. Reports are not to simply summarize the reading but to RESPOND to it emotionally, spiritually, & intellectually. How does it make you feel? What opinion do you have concerning it? What didn’t you understand? What questions do you have?

“The Disappointment Remembered: The Recollections of Luther Boutelle, Hiram Edson, and Henry B. Bear,” Appendix I in Ronald L. Numbers and Jonathan M. Butler, (eds.) The Disappointed: Millerism and Millenarianism in the Nineteenth Century, (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1993), 209-226.
Carole Rayburn, “Women Heralds of ‘The Advent Near’” Adventist Heritage 17:2 (1992), 11-21.


Everett Dick, “The Cost of Discipleship: Seventh-day Adventists and Tennessee Sunday Laws in the 1890’s.” Adventist Heritage, 11:1 (1986), 6-32.
Dennis Pettibone, “The Sunday Law Movement.” In Gary Land (ed.) The World of Ellen G. White, (Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1987), 112-128.

J. Michael Utzinger, “The Third Angel’s Message for My People: Charles M. Kinney and the founding of the Seventh-day Adventist Missions among southern African-Americans,” Fides et Historia 30:1 (1998) 26-40.


Joe Mesar and Tom Dybdahl, “The Utopia Park Affair and the Rise of Northern Black Adventists.” Adventist Heritage, 1:1 (1974), 34-41,53,54.
Roy Branson, “Adventism’s Rainbow Coalition.” Spectrum 28:2 (2000), 36-43.

Roland Blaich, “Health reform and Race Hygiene: Adventists and the Biomedical Vision of the Third Reich,” Church History, 65:3 (1996), 425-440.

Don F. Neufeld, “The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary in Retrospect,” Manuscript: Seventh-day Adventist Biblical scholars, New York, 1979.
Raymond F. Cottrell, “The Story of the Bible Commentary,” Adventist Heritage 18:1 (1998), 26-34.

Ronald Osborn, “A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists in Time of War,” in Douglas Morgan (ed.) The Peacemaking Remnant: essays and historical documents, (Silver Spring, MD: Adventist Peace Fellowship, 2005), 71-77.
Douglas Morgan, “Adventism’s Peacemaking Heritage,” in Douglas Morgan (ed.) The Peacemaking Remnant: essays and historical documents, (Silver Spring, MD: Adventist Peace Fellowship, 2005), 79-91.

Alberto Sbacchi, “Solusi—First Seventh-day Adventist Mission in Africa.” Adventist Heritage 4:1 (1977), 33-43.
Danieri D. Nserenko, “Mission in Africa.” Spectrum 3:3 (1971), 47-54.

Alven Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 1996), 285-401.

Stefan Hoschele, “Interpreting African Adventism: In Search of a Paradigm.” In Mision Y Contextualization Gerald A. Klingbeil (ed.) (River Plate University Monograph Series in Biblical and theological Studies Vol. II. River Plate University, Argentina, 2005), 91-112.

There are obvious gaps: education, health (better covered in EGW Ministry & Message class) , church structure/organization, missions, doctrinal controversy. (These topic are covered, I just don’t have readings on them.) What would you include?



  1. I was interested in reading 3. Could you comment shortly on what implications this historical setting might have for our reading on EGW? I am thinking of her statements on sunday laws. Is there any predictive element in what she wrote or is she mainly speaking to the church in her present? Sorry – if this is too complex. Don’t feel any obligation to elaborate.

  2. The operative phrase in all of your assigned readings should probably be: “in search of a contemporary paradigm” Considering that this is a history course, how has SDA history adapted itself both to our contemporary post-modern culture and to our eschatological vision?

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