Beyond Ellen White
Seventh-day Adventism in Transition
Michael Leigh Chamberlain’s third book Beyond Ellen White may be regarded by some, particularly older conservative Adventists, as controversial. But Chamberlain has been careful to draw mainly from Church official records and academic authorities in his thorough-going analysis and lays out the challenge for a more accurate big picture of his assessment.
Dr Chamberlain proposes in his analysis that we must redefine our true understanding of what Ellen White’s writings should be and that she must be preserved as the icon of foundational Adventism. In his work, based on his University of Newcastle School of Education, PhD thesis, he deals with such thorny issues as sex and rock ‘n roll, literature censorship, taboos in attending opera, theatre, dances and competitive sports, plain dress; the use of cosmetics and jewellery. He also examines the Churches attitude towards the media and public relations and its strong, but now more flexible attitudes towards the use of alcohol, driven by its medical institutions. Chamberlain regards the Churches commitment to values-based quality education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels, and its concern with disaster relief and developing third world countries, as evidence of its pragmatic realism to deal with the here and now, while it awaits the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Michael Chamberlain endeavours not only to diagnose the Churches transition from a sectarian behavioural philosophy, but also makes a prognosis of what the Church might face as a developing twenty million member strong denomination. He is concerned that Ellen White, as one of America’s most prolific female writers in the 19th century, was promoted too heavily by the Church administrators after she died in 1915. This was in part a knee-jerk reaction to the prevailing theological environment, where modernism and liberalism became rife in the larger denominations. But it was also contextualised in the belief that Jesus Christ’s return was imminent, more pronounced in the period up to 1942. Particularly during this period, Ellen White was used as a “club” to beat the Church members into thinking that she was the final authority on Biblical doctrine and eschatology, when in fact she was very humble about her own status.
Since the 1980’s, the pendulum has swung back, the reverence for her writings has steadily waned with some people now considering she is a spent force. Michael Chamberlain demonstrates the Churches former attitude, which was that they had “the message”, in other words the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as it is now more focussed on the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ and the kernels of the Gospel message. While on one hand, the conservative arm of the Church continues to wield a strong influence on culture and belief in the Church, the effects of the media, the Internet and its higher education system which has largely rendered sectarian vestiges as impotent.
Senior Adventist churchmen and academics claim that this book is a serious comprehensive attempt to clarify preconceived myths and that it is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the background to contemporary Adventism, or its current direction and mission, as in Australia and the South Pacific.
Beyond Ellen White: Seventh-day Adventism in Transition
$75 inc Postage & Handling (Australia)
$85 inc Postage & Handling (Overseas)
Black Light White Light
Beyond Azaria is Michael's first public record of his personal philosophy and feelings during a time of severe public scrutiny following the death of his daughter Azaria Chamberlain, his job, his reputation and any opportunity to ever regain his former status as happy, private family man. It was said, by one psychiatrist, that he has had to endure the equivalent of four lifetimes of stress from the loss of his daughter Azaria, the eight years of court cases, the jailing of his former wife Lindy and the loss of his second daughter Kahlia to America for six years.
This book demonstrates the foundation and values upon which he has been able to survive and overcome many of those trials and tribulations thrust upon him between 1980 and 1991. He learned to adjust and developed a new lease on life by not reacting to the past events. He sought new skills and created for himself a pathway that has been a catalyst for healing and self-actualisation to new horizons.
Cooranbong, first town in Lake Macquarie: 1826 - 1996
A history including Martinsville and Dora Creek
What the critics say... “Michael Chamberlain's definitive history of Cooranbong has brought that history to life.
"It is the type of study that will become an increasingly important feature of the historic records of the smaller communities which are so critical to the character of the Australian nation.
"The residents of the Cooranbong region - past, present and future-and the wider Australian community will be indebted to Michael Chamberlain for bringing these fascinating glimpses of this part of Australia's social, economic and natural landscape."
The Hon Robert J Brown MP
Former Federal Minister for Land Transport
Member for Charlton
The book is in A4 format, hard-cover and is cloth-sewn. There are 288 pages of text, annotated with 304 photographs. It is one of the most elaborate local histories ever written about a New South Wales country town and continues to receive many accolades for its comprehensive, in-depth research. Michael Chamberlain's focus was to create insights the personalities and characters that shaped this amazing town into what it is today.
Cooranbong, first town in Lake Macquarie: 1826 - 1996
$59.95 inc Postage & Handling (Australia)