The Adventist Quadrilateral:A Digisn For Mission


July 23




Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body bd kept blameless untill the day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.  1 Thess. 5:23, NLT.

The biblical view of human beings is interested in their total health. Scripture is not merely concerned with people's spiritual lives, but also their mental and physical ones. Thus the healing and teaching aspects of Jesus' ministry.

The missiological corollary of such a theology leads to a program that not only touches people's spiritual nature but also seeks to meet their mental and physical needs. As a result, there eventually developoed what I wouldlike to call the Adventist missiological quandrilateral.

The quadrilateral found its birth in Battle Creek, where the church established its publishing ministry in the early 1850s, its conference structure in 1861, its initial medical institution in 1866, and its first educational institution in 1872. Adventist leadership may not have been completely conscious of what they were doing at the time, but those institutions provided an approach to mission that reached the needs of the whole person. Thus it provided a model for mission.

With that in mind, we should not see it as accidental that Adventists exported the quadreilateral to California, the denomination's first "overseas" mission field. Things got under way in a more formal way when in February 1873 the 238 believers from seven churches organized the California Conference.

The next step took place in 1874 and 1875 with the publishing of Signs of the Times and the formation of the Pacific Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association (Pacific Press today) in Oakland. Then in 1878 came the Rural Health Reatreat (St. Helena Hospital today) in the northern part of the state. Finally they established in 1882 what became Healdsburg College and eventually Pacific Union College.

The European mission followed the same pattern during the 1870s and 1880s. Beginning in the 1890s the quadreilateral would spread around the world as Seventh-day Adventism sought to better the lives of people in every way.

God has a message for earth's people. And that message is not merely theological. It concerns healtheir living, better thinking, and social responsibility.

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We thank You, Lord, for a balanced message and a balanced mission. Help me to live a balanced lifethis very day.