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Adventist Book Centre

Remnant Study Bible
Other than a small Catholic gift and book store, the Adventist Book Centre is currently the only Christian bookstore in the city of Oshawa, so yesterday I decided to pay a visit. The store is spacious, the staff are plentiful and friendly and there is a reading area with soft chairs that ought to be the envy of every bookstore on the planet.  The store is located on a large campus that includes the denomination’s college, headquarters, and shares a building with the It Is Written media ministry. Parking is the handiest I’ve seen anywhere, directly at the door.

The store is obviously stuck with trying to fill the gap and I would suspect they are placing special orders for many things they might not normally stock. But for unsuspecting shoppers who don’t know the nuances of Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) distinctives, things could get confusing.

In many of the aisles, the signage is clear that the books in that section are promoting SDA doctrine. In other sections, such as marriage/parenting, familiar titles are shelved with ones released through various SDA publishing imprints such as Pacific Press.

Included in that, I noticed a customized version of Steve Wohlberg’s End Time Delusions with only three chapters. The SDA church doesn’t buy into rapture doctrine, but neither to some of my customers, and I would love to get my hands on this $6.59 (CDN) edition of a book I currently sell for $19.50.

andrews-study-bibleMore striking however are the customized NKJV and KJV Bibles from Thomas Nelson, including the Andrews Study Bible, which originates from Andrews University; and the Remnant Study Bible which is based on the teachings of SDA founder Ellen White. These are obviously sold exclusively through SDA outlets, as a quick check this morning showed neither available through Send the Light or Spring Arbor. However, the bookstore also had NLT Bibles.

Probably equally striking to some observers would be the general absence of a fiction section. There were a few titles on a library cart marked Buy-1-Get-1-Free, but otherwise fiction in the store was sparse.

The music and media section however most closely resembled anything seen in other Christian bookstores in North America, and if you toured the store you’d also notice more general overlap between this store and your store in the children’s section. There was also several racks of Dayspring cards, but very little giftware.

Finally, if you go through a small door in the very back corner of the store you end up in the food warehouse.  SDA people follow a Levitical diet, but many are vegetarian and as the clerk explained to me, the “health message” of the SDA attracts many people, not unlike perhaps the music attracts many to your church.

Oshawa very much deserves a full Christian bookstore. With no way for customers to easily discern what is SDA literature and what is general, mainstream Christian literature, the situation in this city, as helpful as it seems, would certainly confuse some people.

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