This month marks the 150th anniversary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, when the pioneers of the movement, gathered in Battle Creek, first adopted the name by which they are known today. Credit for coining the distinctive name goes to one David Hewitt. The other alternative, Church of God, was left to a small band of schismastics who are - like the larger body - still with us today, though shattered into countless bickering fragments.
The SDAs have changed the world for all of us in the decades since, whether we know it or not, most noticably at the breakfast table with boxed cereals, and to a lesser degree in their crusading zeal with anti-smoking programmes. Arguably the Adventists have left a less healthy legacy in their championship of Young Earth Creationism, which they were early promoters of, and lurid, fantastical interpretations of the apocalyptic parts of the Bible.
The SDAs have also produced a handful of remarkable theologians of which, sadly, few have felt able to remain within their denomination. Desmond Ford springs immediately to mind, but mention has also to be made of fellow Australian Bob Brinsmead, whose journey from Adventism to a form of lower-case lutheranism (in Present Truth), and from there (in Verdict) to "Christian Atheism" and beyond, is a tale I hope he one day might be willing to share with a broader audience.
To Adventist readers, happy birthday.