Spirituality is a most intriguing dimension of human life, and one of the most fascinating subjects of study. While we witness a general decline in interest for institutionalised forms of religion in western culture, we observe around us a growing thirst for spirituality. The search for God seems to be as alive as ever but it expresses itself in many different ways going from religion to life style.
In this book, Dr. Zoltân Szalos-Farkas presents, in a powerful way, how the search for God manifested in the Adventist movement in its foundational years. The interest of his research is enhanced by the fact that apocalyptic spirituality has been very seldom studied. The diverse forms of spirituality of the main tradiţional churches and denominations have attracted the attention of scholars in their most visible forms: liturgy, devotional literature, monastic life, etc. Apocalyptic movements such as Adventism have been studied mainly from their contributions in prophetic and dogmatic areas. Their contribution to spirituality is less known, but it deserves more attention than it has received thus far. This book comes to respond to this important need.
Through a balanced historical and contextual approach, this thoughrough research unveils the diverse spiritual riches of the Adventist tradition. Special attention is paid to the charismatic figure of Ellen G. White and to her amazing work in the consolidation of the Adventist tradition. The influence of this surprising woman marked in a powerful way the Adventist mind and lifestyle, and was decisive in the making of Adventist spirituality.
In this book Dr. Szalos-Farkas meets the need for a clear, comprehensive and well structured introduction to Adventist spirituality from the apocalyptic perspective which characterised this dynamic Christian movement in its first century of existence. He analyzes, in a quite systematic way, the main themes of Adventist Apocalyptic, -the doctrine of the Second Corning, the Great Controversy Motive, vertical typology and the heavenly sanctuary doctrine-presenting a complete overview of the Adventist construction of spirituality in its foundational years. This is done in the context of the permanent quest for identity within Seventh-day Adventist history. This research shows in a very skilful way how experience, culture, doctrine, prophecy, and spirituality interact in the development of the movement, as it responded to the constant challenges coming both from inside and from outside the Adventist community.
Written in a clear and accessible style, this book goes beyond the historical approach, showing through the basic issues, personalities and trends of thought of Adventism the intimate connection between spirituality, Bible study, theology, the understanding of prophecy, and lifestyle. The extensive use of primary sources provides basic and reliable Information about the making of this body of spiritual wealth. It reveals itself as greatly useful, not only to those unfamiliar with Adventist spirituality, but also for Adventist theologians.
It is hoped that this book will provide not only enjoyment and satisfaction to the readers, but also stimulate their interest in the subject of Adventist spirituality and encourage them to further exploration of this rich field of research.
Dr. Roberto Badenas,
Chairman of the Biblical Research Committee of the Euro-Africa Division (EUD);
Director of the Department of Education of EUD, Bem, Switzerland