March 1, 2022

AR, The Print Magazine

James White’s “little paper” today.

Lael Caesar

When did the Adventist Review [AR] submit its application to be considered Adventism’s flagship journal?

Never did.

Then what is the basis of its esteem? Consider its origins story of clear and simple beginnings.

Birth Pangs

It’s 1848: along with a few other earnest Christians, preacher James believes that his wife, Ellen, receives visions from God. Fol- lowing one of these, she tells him he needs to begin publishing “a little paper.” He does, calling it The Present Truth—called AR since 1978—a product of great conviction and great faith, undertaken without the means to pub- lish, but with the clear awareness that it is and will be God’s paper.

After more than 170 years, and now under its eleventh senior editor, what does the “little paper” do? Much the same as White first did.

His original focus, the doctrine of the Sabbath, spoke compellingly to future editors: Address current issues. Be relevant. Be biblical. Be open. Be faithful, full of faith.

AR editors are still listening. Today they share news, theology, or fellowship with the saints as part of a major multimedia operation—multiple plat- forms integrated with the ministry’s hard copy dimension. Along with kindred productions—Adventist World, KidsView—AR now plays unique print roles that emphasize its distinctive importance, while complementing the work of the ministry’s other platforms. This includes providing a distilla- tion of conversations following online responses to real-time situations, e.g., strongly principled pieces by Ella Simmons—July 2020; Gary Blanchard and Washington Johnson—August 2020, responding to boiling indignation in the streets of the world, following the murder of George Floyd. Also, featuring themes of current interest that are more amply dealt with online—e.g., the different Christmas concerts staged (yes, “staged”) in our pages and online, December 2020. Also, offering introduction to regular online programs—e.g., January 2022, where our samples of GraceNotes inform readers about a weekly program from the AR audio platform.

Overall, AR continues to share the news of inter- est to the global church wherever it happens (see, in this issue, Enno Muëller and Marcos Paseggi). Also, we engage on the relevant social, spiritual, and theological questions (e.g., May 2021: multiple scientists on “Science and the Gospel”; October 2020: the three angels’ messages). And we facilitate discussion on difficult topics (e.g., March 2021: “Can We Talk About Change?”; July 2020: econo- mist Malcolm Russell, “The Pandemic, Socioeco- nomic Impacts, and Adventism”). AR also orients readership on the Christian’s response to their sociopolitical times (e.g., January 2021: attorney and historian Nicholas Miller, “After the Dust Set- tles,” following a tumultuous year in American politics); and, of supreme importance, AR stays in contact with the saints through (a) their letters that give constant feedback; (b) manuscripts they submit that we are glad to publish; (c) articles we solicit from authors among our readers, in the area of their expertise.

As from its beginnings, AR continues in its commitment to establish the church in present truth, helping to lead people to Jesus Himself, who is the truth, as well as the way and the light.


Lael Caesar has loved the Adventist Review forever. He works there now.

Lael Caesar
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