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This article was originally published as:

Kent, L. (2017). The Adventist "health message" unpacked. Ministry: International Journal for Pastors, 89(3), 12-16. Retrieved from

ISSN: 0026-5314


111712 Health Promotion| 111716 Preventive Medicine| 220205 History and Philosophy of Medicine| 220315 Philosophy of Religion| 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)| 220405 Religion and Society

Avondale Research Centre

Lifestyle Research Centre

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Since its organization as a denomination in the mid-19th century, the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church has been advocating the counsel of the church’s primary health reformer, Ellen White, which emphasizes the role of lifestyle in promoting health, happiness and enhanced spirituality1. In 1905, Ellen White consolidated her counsel into this graphic statement: “Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, use of water, trust in divine power – these are the true remedies”2. Consequently, it is not surprising that research on the health of SDA since the 1950’s has shown that they appear to enjoy low rates of chronic diseases and lower total mortality, despite living in areas where chronic diseases are prevalent3. Science is only now validating the significance of this 19th century counsel and its importance for physical and mental health as chronic disease rates escalate in the 21st century. Let’s examine the importance of each of these elements in light of current scientific knowledge.


Used by permission: Ministry,® International Journal for Pastors,